Silver Dagger Tours Blog Tour/Guest Post: Hypathia of Alexandria By Laurel A. Rockefeller

Silver Dagger Tours Blog Tour/Guest Post: Hypathia of Alexandria By Laurel A. Rockefeller

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Hypatia of Alexandria

The Legendary Women of World History #8

by Laurel A. Rockefeller

Genre: YA Historical Fiction

 

Teacher. Philosopher. Astronomer.

Born in 355 CE in the aftermath of Constantine’s reign, Hypatia of Alexandria lived in a collapsing Rome Empire, a world where obedience to religious authorities trumped science, where reason and logic threatened the new world order. It was a world on the edge of the Dark Ages. As libraries burned, she dared defend the light of knowledge.

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Born, raised, and educated in Lincoln, Nebraska USA Laurel A. Rockefeller is author of over twenty books published and self-published since August, 2012 and in languages ranging from Welsh to Spanish to Chinese and everything in between. A dedicated scholar and biographical historian, Ms. Rockefeller is passionate about education and improving history literacy worldwide.

With her lyrical writing style, Laurel’s books are as beautiful to read as they are informative. In her spare time, Laurel enjoys spending time with her cockatiels, attending living history activities, travelling to historic places in both the United States and United Kingdom, and watching classic motion pictures and classic television series. 

 

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Describe your writing style

Lyrical is probably the best word for it. I came into writing through my music. I was making up songs long before I could read. My songs helped me express myself and survive a very difficult and often very violent childhood. I was in my teens the first time my poems were published, including a sonnet, “Why Bilbo?” for the American Tolkien Society in the winter of 1991/2. So, it makes sense that my writing has a musical quality to it and translates so easily to audio books. Indeed, poetry and music is a common feature in most of my books, both fiction and non-fiction. “Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd” opens with an original poem called “Gwenllian’s Tears” and “Mary Queen of the Scots” opens with the original poem, “Of Scotland Forgotten.” There is plenty of period music in the narrative biographies and original music in the “Peers of Beinan” science fiction novels. You can hear me sing many of these songs on my youtube videos.

What makes a good story?

To me a good story has to pull at your heart strings. There are many very competent writers out there who know their stuff, but fail to really get you invested emotionally. If you aren’t empathizing with the characters or historical persons, then the author is not doing her or his job. With a good story you really truly care about these people and what is happening to them. You hurt with them at the difficult moments and you rejoice with them when they succeed at something. For non-fiction science, the aim has to be making whatever it is really compelling and interesting without sacrificing accuracy or reading comprehension. Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is an expert at this which is why he is one of my favourite authors.

What are you passionate about these days?

Immigration to England! As a very hands-on historian I feel I do my best work when I have walked the places I’m writing about and done many of the activities in my historical narratives. There is no substitute for direct, personal experience when you are writing. And while yes, it is possible to travel to the UK and the EU from the USA, such trips are too long and expensive to take on the sort of regular basis I need in order to do the best possible work I can. So I am engaging in this extremely long, difficult process called legal immigration.

Making my life more difficult in pursuit of this effort is the current anti-immigrant climate in both the USA and abroad. Ten years ago all you really needed to prove was that you were earning enough money to be self-supporting for the first three to ten years in your new home country. Today those skilled worker visas are extremely hard to come by, particularly for writers and other creative professionals. Everyone is presumed to be a potential terrorist or an economic threat to native-borns so the number of visas available has dramatically shrank and the standards for what skills you need have skyrocketed. It’s no longer good enough to be even in the top 25% of your profession to be considered skilled.

The good news for me is that with your help, I can and will reach England from which I will be better empowered to tell these stories of inspiring historical women. All it takes from you is a review or two on Amazon and sharing what you love about my work with others! So please, help me make my dream come true. Help me earn that visa!

What do you do to unwind and relax?

I have two beautiful cockatiels who are my pride, joy, and usually a form of amusement for me. Absolutely love my birds. I play a couple Facebook games on a daily basis. And of course, I’m a big movie fan, especially of classic films. Favourite television series include Doctor Who, Star Trek the Next Generation, Star Trek Voyager, the West Wing, Victoria, Sherlock, and Downton Abbey. For social activities, I enjoy fine food and drink (I’m quite the foodie at times), history tourism, and playing several outdoor games. I don’t generally exercise if I’m alone, but in the company of a small group I rather enjoy golfing (either the driving range or miniature golf), badminton, archery, frisbee/catch games, and sometimes a bit of football (soccer). Walking around zoos and botanic gardens is also fun too, especially if the trip involves seeing birds. Roses are my favourite flowers, especial white and fire-and-ice varieties.

What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?

I don’t think anyone in this business really wants per se to be a writer. I think it is like acting and you are a writer from birth and then, through the trials and tribulations of life, finally learn to embrace your talent. As with acting, the road can be very long and convoluted and take decades before you take the plunge and decide to really go for it as a trade as opposed to a hobby you do for fun. Some published authors never take it out of hobby mode. I personally resisted making writing my profession. None of my family, living or dead, support(ed) the idea and I was pushed hard to pursue a “real” job. That’s a key reason I majored in Psychology while in University – my writing major was for me and my psych major was for my mother. History came about through my elective course options. By the time I was registering for classes for senior year my minor advisor in the history department told me I only needed three specific required courses to turn my minor into a major –so I did. History is really the hobby I made into a profession via becoming a non-fiction history author.

As for the right or wrongness of the decision, well it took me over 25 years to finally stop resisting my talent and go for it. In that time, I tried to make a living doing anything except write; the list is very long of the odd, usually poorly paid jobs I took. Now I have taken the big plunge and made writing my sole source of income, yes, I am happy with the decision. I’m finally doing what I was always meant to do.

A day in the life of the author?

I don’t think there is a typical day for me. I get up, check my email and social media, and go from there. I am very active on twitter and there are certain people I like to keep up with every day if I can. I love a good twitter conversation about history, birds, and so forth.

My work usually involves interacting with my translators on a regular basis and in truth I enjoy talking to them about both work and personal stuff. I may have writing or research to do that day or book promotion. It really all depends. When I’m doing initial research for a book I usually start with youtube in search of documentaries relating to the new project. Look through my bibliographies and you usually will find at least one video listed as proof of that.

One thing I always do every day unless I’m traveling is take a nap after my mid-day meal – usually with my cockatiels nearby. The mid-day nap time is often my main time to get in quality interactions with each bird because they are often most friendly with me then. What could be better than your cockatiel walking right up to you for a head rub or a kiss? Heaven!

Do you have advice you would give new authors or aspiring writers?

Learn everything you can. Nothing is irrelevant. When I was seventeen I never thought I would use my high school chemistry. Flash forward to 2011 when I started writing “The Great Succession Crisis” and was laying down the scientific foundations for my world-building and I was neck deep in three different versions of the periodic table of elements, tables I couldn’t have understood without that foundation from high school.

Another piece of advice: there is no substitution for either practice or hands-on experience. Writing is not something you can really learn in the classroom. You can and should master grammar and vocabulary, the technical parts of the languages you are writing in and that can be taught to you. But the creative part of writing, the instincts for plot, pacing, character, and so forth comes from experience and from reading a lot. Details matter a great deal in making your work believable which is why you must travel and experience life directly. The more you get out into the world and experience the breadth of what life has to offer the better your writing will be.

For example, in “Mary Queen of the Scots” there is an especially detailed dancing scene, a scene that reflects my many years dancing at Society for Creative Anachronism events. The scene works because I’m not imagining how people danced at Mary’s court; I know how they danced after years of dancing those dances myself. Likewise, in “Hypatia of Alexandria” there is an early scene with Hypatia trying to learn to spin with a drop spindle. Drop spinning is one of those medieval crafts I practice and do badly. So the scene is coming from real life. Drop spinning takes years of constant practice to master. Being mathematically inclined and with her talents being much more for philosophy and astronomy, I have zero doubt that Hypatia struggled with the “traditional” crafts women are expected to master just as much as I have all my life.

Those scenes work because I have broad experiences. Therefore allow me to encourage you to put down the tech and reach for all the different sorts of experiences you can.

What are you currently reading?

I am reading “Forgotten History: Unbelievable Moments from the Past” by Jem Duducu. Like me, Duducu brings history out of academia and into the hands of “the common man” though he goes about it quite differently and focuses much more on the military side of history than I do.

How long have you been writing?

I don’t believe you choose to be a writer. I believe writing chooses you. This is my entire life for my entire life. I began as a song-writer using my music to help me cope with a violent home life. Today we call that music therapy and recognize the healing power of music, but back in my childhood people simply thought I was a freak for constantly making up songs and singing to myself, despite my lovely voice.

As for making a living writing, that really started in the wake of the Great Recession and the loss of my salaried job as a commercial photographer and graphic artist. I resisted pursuing a writing career for decades; the familial antagonism towards the profession was simply that strong. I started numerous small businesses which each failed and threw me into debt. I really come into this career really kicking and screaming.

In August 2012 I published the first version of “The Great Succession Crisis” (it is now in its third edition). Five years out it is still not yet a commercial success, but that is fine because I am happy with the quality of my writing and I recognize that science fiction is a very crowded genre. People will discover GSC in time along with its prequels and sequels in the Peers of Beinan Series. As a literary social science fiction I am well-prepared for that.

Until then, I am very happy to continue to write the Legendary Women of World History series. There are currently eight titles in English. In 2018 I begin work on “Cleopatra VII” and on “Hildegarde von Bingen.” The series itself will probably finish after about 40-50 total titles meaning you can expect more great narrative biographies for years to come!

What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first? What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?

Whenever I start a new biography I usually begin my research by going as far back in time for that culture or nationality as possible and then working forwards in time. For example, on “Mary Queen of the Scots” I began by watching documentaries on ancient Scotland and the first known settlements in the highlands. With “Empress Matilda of England” I began with pre-Roman Germany and discovered that for all the differences between the Germanic and “Celtic” languages, northern Europeans were far more similar to each other than they were different. From there, the research propelled me into the Roman era, the formation of the “Empire of the Romans” (the term “Holy Roman Empire” dates to the Renaissance), and finally into the Salian dynasty and to Kaiser Heinrich and Matilda herself.

As a rule, I start with documentaries and then work my way into books, journal articles, and online published content. I’m very top-down, working from largest and broadest details to more specific. All this time I log my sources used and construct the timelines you see in every LWWH book since the second one (Boudicca does not have a timeline because we do not have precise dates for events in her life). In that sense I am outlining because with history I must present events in the sequence they happened.

I’m not outlining the story per se in the traditional sense, but I am logging what happened and when which in turn functions like an outline. The story telling itself (which events to include and how) does not get outlined. The bulk of what you see in the Timeline appendix in each book does not make it into the narrative. That adds to its usefulness.

With the main parts of the Timeline worked out, I usually begin with writing the opening prologue or poem that breaks the ice, that first 1-3 pages that most potential readers first see on retailer websites. Once perfected, a simultaneous process of writing, research, and editorial begins in earnest as I shape my list of historical events into a compelling narrative biography. Once I am satisfied with the core narrative, I finish by organizing, formatting, and polishing the appendices before uploading each book for publication.

Can you tell us a little bit about the historical persons in “Hypatia of Alexandria?”

Hypatia of Alexandria was born in 355 CE, just twenty years after the death of Constantine. The sixty years of her life saw some of the most sweeping changes of the late Roman Empire. It was a time of transition from the classical world to the medieval world. Hypatia lived right in the heart of it, in the intellectual capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. She was, for all practical purposes, the very last of the classical philosophers.

Two of Hypatia’s most famous students were Orestes and Synesius of Cyrene. Very little is known about Orestes. In the film “Agora” he is treated as a love interest for Hypatia, but in fact we have no evidence of that either way. The only mention to Orestes in historical sources tell us he was ’Praefectus augustalis’ which was the title given to the Roman governor of Egypt. Sources then go on to very briefly tell us of Orestes’ conflict with Patriarch Cyril in the events immediately leading up to Hypatia’s murder. After her death, Orestes disappears from the historical record entirely.

Synesius of Cyrene studied with Hypatia from 390 CE to 395 CE at which point he returned to Cyrene in modern day Libya to become its bishop in 409 CE. By this point, Synesius was married and had two sons which he refused to put away upon his elevation to bishop as was normal custom. Much of what we know about Hypatia comes from the surviving letters he wrote to her from Cyrene. He loved Hypatia deeply and to some degree continued her scientific work after he left, inventing numerous scientific instruments—some of them more successful than others. Synesius of Cyrene died heartbroken in 413 CE following the death of his wife and children. Contrary to the film “Agora” he never lived to see the brutal murder of his beloved “Philosopher” let alone contributed (as the film shows) to her death on the 15th of March, 315 CE.

Tell us about Hypatia – what makes her tick?

Hypatia of Alexandria was a woman both ahead of her time and yet very much a part of it. She was in many ways a classical philosopher in a classic sense with much in common in terms of upbringing and outlook as other greats from the classical period. She received both a Roman and Greek education, the Roman being very practical and emphasizing education to foster good citizenship and the Greek emphasizing arts, sciences, physical education, and music. The Greeks considered education a form of worship to the Gods which is one reason why Christianity so often took on anti-intellectual qualities. When Paul writes in Colossians, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ,” part of what he opposes is this Greek belief that learning itself is a form of worship. To Paul, philosophy was a form of idolatry, a belief that really empowers Patriarch Theophilus and his successor, Cyril, to go in and attack the intellectual communities and institutions that made Alexandria the educational center of the Roman world.

Hypatia’s world is literally falling apart around her. Everything she has ever known and ever believed in is under attack. But rather than turning a blind eye as those she knows and loves are taken off and killed, she puts her own life at risk helping and defending them, including many Jewish friends who were by this time facing extermination at the hands of the church leaders.

Hypatia taught anyone and everyone who came to her without concern for money, nationality, or religion. She put everything on the line to help and teach others. Truly a great role model for us in these turbulent times.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Tough one because as a rule I love the research aspects of writing each of my books. But if I needed to specify one thing unique to Hypatia that is not present in the other books so far it is the astronomy which was really my first love growing up in Lincoln, Nebraska. Before the car accident that took my eyesight, I seriously considered a career in science. Getting back to my astronomical roots was a lot of fun and I have some very cool astronomy-related resources in this book’s bibliography along with an appendix providing the latitude and longitude coordinates for several Roman Empire cities. This appendix will help you look up star charts for each location so you can see first-hand how the night sky differs depending on where in the world you are. I also really enjoyed writing the big astronomy scene in chapter two where Theon is introducing Hypatia to what becomes her life-long passion with the stars. We forget that each of these constellations have stories behind them. It was a lot of fun researching and telling the stories of Ursa Major (the Big Bear) and Ursa Minor (the Little Bear) and exploring several of the Greek astronomical discoveries in the process.

Follow the Tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway! 

 

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway: Hinder By Kristin Ping (Guardian of the Monsters #1)

Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway: Hinder By Kristin Ping (Guardian of the Monsters #1)

 

 

 

Title: Hinder
Author: Kristin Ping
Series: (Guardian of Monsters #1)
Publication date: May 15th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal

Available: Goodreads / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

Synopsis

Ethan Sutcliff seems like a normal seventeen-year-old—at least that’s what he’s trying to portray. In a secret society run by the Supernaturals, Ethan is what witches call a Bender. Benders are Witches’ Guardians, who are able to control a witches’ ability, bend it, or move it away from harming humans. In Ethan’s case, he is able to bend the Earth element. But at the age of fifteen, he lost all connection to it, and the reasons behind it could only mean one of two things: His Wielder is either dead, or hiding out somewhere.

Alex Burgendorf has been living in her aunt’s locket for the past sixteen years with her mother—a Fire Wielder, and her father—a Water Wielder. For sixteen years, her parents vowed to protect her, and they have, as she is the last Earth wielding witch. However, time is running out. Alex must find her Bender, or the fate of the Supernaturals might be at stake.

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Contact

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Author’s Bio

Kristin resides in South Africa with her husband, two beautiful girls and two bulldogs that tries to eat her house.

She has been writing for the past eight years and her first debut novel, Hinder: A Bender’s novel will be published 2018 by Fire Quill Publishing.

When she isn’t writing, she is spending her time with her family, or trying to teach her two bulldogs to not eat her house. You can find more about Kristin at http://www.authorkristinping.com

My Review

Pretty good beginning to this brand new series. Beware of the beginning, however, there is quite a bit of information thrown at you. I had to take notes in order to understand the lore of witches, benders, and wielders. Other than that, everything in the novel begins to progress smoothly.

We follow the perspective of two main characters. The first is Ethan, an Earth Bender, is searching for his bender. In order for a Bender to keep his powers, he must find his Wielder/Witch. The second is undiscovered other half, Alex. Alex and Ethan both are constantly being hunted by Necrocretors due to the fact they both hold control over one of the rare elements. They have till they are 25 to try to outmaneuver the enemy and remain alive. But this is only one part of the danger at play. Wielders and Benders are forbidden to have relationships. Throw in some normal teenage drama and you have an interesting novel.

I must give props to Kristin Ping for incorporating a family dynamic to this series. It was about time a YA novel brought family in who actually took part of the story. And no, they are not in the backseat whatsoever.

Another downside is Ethan connecting women to animals. It made me uncomfortable at times. My only request is for him to mature and not have this unfortunate trait in the sequel.

Rating 6

 

GIVEAWAY!

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Library Sale Mini-Book Haul

Library Sale Mini-Book Haul

The moment I hear there is a small library sale, I practically run to the site. I was a little late but I was able to snag these reads!

If you’ve read these, let me know your thoughts in the comments! 😊

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

Silver Dagger Tours Book Series Review: The Hunted Series By Ivy Smoak

Silver Dagger Tours Book Series Review: The Hunted Series By Ivy Smoak

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Tempted (The Hunted Series #1)

Temptation (The Hunted, #1)
Available: Amazon/iBooks/B&N/Kobo

hs- about the book

When Penny Taylor runs into a handsome stranger in a coffee shop, she believes her luck has finally changed. After having her confidence unwound by her ex, she falls hard for a true gentleman. But once she realizes that her crush is her communications professor, her world is turned upside down.

Haunted by dreams of the alluring Professor Hunter, Penny can’t seem to dismiss her fantasies and the temptation to have him grows deeper. Will the excitement, danger, and mystery surrounding Professor Hunter bring her to her knees?

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Oh Glory, move over Christian Grey, class is now in session! Nineteen year old Penny Taylor, recently turned sophomore in college, off with a…sort of a splash. After meeting a handsome stranger during a spilled coffee incident, she later finds out he is her Com 212 teacher and he is not there merely for teaching. She begins to have dreams about him and have him rescue her whenever she falls into mishaps. Who is Professor Hunter? Why is she so attracted to her?

This book made me begging for more Penny and Professor Hunter and their world! The ending left me immediately pulling up the sequel!

Rating: 5 out of 10 Book Charms

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Addiction (The Hunted Series #2)
Addiction (The Hunted, #2)
Available:Amazon/iBooks/B&N/Kobo

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Temptation has quickly turned into addiction. Penny Taylor fell hard for the sexy, mysterious, exciting, and dangerous Professor Hunter. But scandalous affairs are meant to go down in flames. Now that he’s not speaking to her, she feels numb. And what hurts the most is that he appears to be completely fine. As she struggles to accept that their relationship is really over, her best friend’s crude advice is in the back of her mind- the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else.

Will she be able to move on, or is her addiction to her alluring professor only just beginning?

hs- my review

Scandals, Secrets, and Betrayal –

Penny tries to recover over the breakup with Professor Hunter. Her roommate Melissa suggest the best way to get back at him is to move on with someone else. That someone is Tyler, Penny’s friend who is in love with her and despised by Professor Hunter. Will Penny move on with her or will Professor Hunter come back for the girl he is ADDICTED to?

We find out more about Professor Hunter’s background in this sequel along with more goodies only Author Ivy Smoak can provide.

Rating: 8 out of 10 Book Charms

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Eruption (The Hunted Series #3)
Eruption (The Hunted, #3)
Available:Amazon/iBooks/B&N/Kobo

hs- about the book

Two and a half years later, Penny and James are living happily in New York City. Their love is stronger than ever. Penny is graduating from NYCU, James is growing his new business, and the two are getting married at the end of the month.

But graduation, starting an internship, and planning a wedding is a lot for Penny to tackle. Especially when mysteries from James’ past are clawing at the surface and his scheming ex and unsupportive parents threaten to destroy the happy couple.

Will their own insecurities make them question everything and sway them from the altar?

hs- my review

Isabella, Isabella, I could not stand Isabella, Professor Hunters Ex! Right when you think James (Professor Hunter) and Penny can have a smooth transition to marriage, in swoops James’ ex-wife to attempt to ruin it all. Lies, Blackmail, and Sadness plague the couple as the past seems to not want to disappear as much as Penny and James would like it too.

I was positively frustrated after this book was over. I could not believe how things went and begged the powers that be that it would get better in the next book. James….he transferred over to my “Dead List.”

Rating: 7 out of 10 Book Charms

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Devotion (The Hunted Series #4)
Devotion (The Hunted, #4)
Available:Amazon/iBooks/B&N/Kobo

hs- about the book

Tick tock. One day before the wedding of her dreams, Penny is in a city that is no longer her home. Alone. Heartbroken. Lost. Could the past few years really mean so little to a man that became her world? To a man she’d do anything to protect? There is no future without him. There is no her without him.

With only 24 hours until the wedding, is there enough time to repair the damage? Tick tock.

And even if Penny and James do come back to each other, Isabella is still out there plotting. The world is still against them. Darkness still lurks in the shadows of James’ past. A student and her professor were never meant to be forever. They thought it was an everlasting love, but it was doomed from the very start. Tick tock.

hs- my review

When it Rain, it pours…that’s the perfect way to describe this next book. James kicked Penny out, deciding he’d rather believe his ex-wife than Penny. Now, Penny does not know what to do. Her ex-fiance believes his attraction is due to his addiction complex and she wants to run away with her old friend Tyler. Penny is willing to fight for what she wants, James.

I wanted to smack James constantly. His stubbornness to accept love was infuriating because clearly what he calls “addiction” is devotion between them But will he finally accept it?

Rating: 8 out of 10 Book Charms

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Foundation (The Hunted Series #5)
Foundation (The Hunted Series Book 5)
Available: Amazon/iBooks/B&N/Kobo

hs- about the book

Penny and James defied the odds. A professor and his student were never supposed to become husband and wife, let alone a father and a mother. The couple created a foundation in NYC that is held together with love, family, and friends. A foundation that they believed was impenetrable.

But what happens when the life they know is threatened? If a struggle that should bring them closer together begins to tear them apart? All it takes is – One. Single. Slip. Foundations crumble. Will Penny and James continue to defy the odds?

hs- my review

The final installation of The Hunted Series….I can’t believe it’s all come to this. These books are like candy for me. They aren’t good for me, I know it, but I can’t get enough of them! I had a few teary moments because this book touches a special place in my heart.

My beloved book candy is officially over until next year and I wish I could have more, but wickedly pleasant things must come to an end….for now….

Rating: 7 out of 10 Book Charms 

hs- about the author

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Contact

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Amazon/Goodreads

Ivy Smoak is an Amazon bestselling New Adult Romance author. When she’s not writing, you can find her binge watching too many TV shows, taking long walks, playing outside, and generally refusing to act like an adult. She lives with her fiancé in Delaware.

hs- giveaway

Enter for a chance to win an ebook bundle of the spinoff books in the series – City of Sin, Third Chances, & Missing Pieces!

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway Here

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

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C.H.B. Reviews Book Blitz & Giveaway – Holiday Ever After

C.H.B. Reviews Book Blitz & Giveaway – Holiday Ever After

 

Holidays Ever After: Contemporary Romance Holiday Boxed Set

Publication date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance

 

 

Which holiday hottie will you unwrap first?

No matter the time of the year, it’s always the season for seduction!

From Spicy to Sweet and everything in between, this sizzling boxed set of TWENTY contemporary romances from today’s New York Times, USA Today, and International bestselling authors will give you tons of holiday hunks to fall in love with.

Inside these pages you’ll find everything from sexy strangers and brooding billionaires to marines, firefighters, and the guy next door.

Whether you’re in the mood for a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, or a New Year’s celebration, this limited edition Holiday Ever After anthology is packed with exclusive, full-length titles to lift your spirits. From Halloween to Kwanzaa, Valentines Day, Norooz, and the Fourth of July, these stories will give your holiday season extra spark and will be the best romantic holiday bundle to hit your ereader this year!

Get ready to heat up your holidays when you treat yourself to Holidays Ever After!

Including stories from…

Colleen Charles

Monica Corwin

Amy L. Gale

Becca Fanning

Victoria Pinder

Alexa Padgett

Tuesday Embers

Khardine Gray

Holly Dodd

Liz Gavin

Jillian Quinn

Courtney Hunt

Vivi Holt

Kristen Luciani

Astrid Arditi

Rebekah R. Ganiere

Jessica Gray

Ja’Nese Dixon

Teresa Roman

Angela Corbett

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

SNEAK PEEKS:

Someone Special

By: Teresa Roman

“What can I do?”

I lifted my head, looked into his troubled eyes and then, without thinking, said,” Kiss me.”

For a moment I wasn’t sure he would. Not after our stupid fight and my bullheaded refusal to pick up the phone and apologize. Only moments ago, he’d referred to himself as a friend. Maybe that’s all he wanted us to be. But then he leaned forward and pressed his lips against mine. One hand came around the back of my head, the other pulled me closer to him. My heart raced as his lips pressed harder against mine. His tongue slid into my mouth and I reached up to circle my arms around his shoulders.

The heat from his kiss and the way his body pressed against mine chased away the cold that had felt like it settled inside my bones, but it was still raining, and though the heat in my car had helped to dry my scrubs a little, they were soaked again from standing out in the rain talking to Jude.

I pulled away from him and reached into my purse searching for my keys. “Let’s go inside.”

Jude followed me without saying a word. After I closed the door behind him and flicked the light switch on, I turned around and kissed him again. He ran his hands through my dripping wet hair moaning gently as he pressed me against the door, pinning me between it and his body.

“You have no idea how much I’ve missed you, Dawn.”

He lowered his lips, kissing the sensitive skin on my neck. My breathing quickened. “I missed you, too. Badly. I was so stupid. I shouldn’t have—”

Jude pressed his finger over my lips. “Shhh, let’s not talk about that right now.”

He was right. Talking could come later, right at that moment the only thing I wanted was him. I needed this connection. And not just because it had one of the most heartbreaking days I’d had in a while, but because not seeing him or talking to him for

all those days made me realize that I did have feelings for him, feelings that were stronger than I’d cared to admit. Feelings I desperately wanted to show him because I sucked at finding the right words.

Blissful Valentine

By: Amy L. Gale

Dean jumps over the top of the couch in a Dukes of Hazard move and lands on the cushion next to me perfectly seated. It’s like he practiced the move a million times. He slides his arm around my shoulder. “Sorry bud, she’s with me.”

I fight the urge to stand up and cheer from his flawlessly choreographed stunt. Soft fingertips graze the skin under my collar bone.

The man squints and tips his head. “She can be with you later,” he slurs and pulls at my arm again.

I yank my hand backward breaking his loose grip. “I’m a one-man kinda woman.” I shrug. “Sorry, there can be only one.”

The man holds up his hands and backs away. He trips on the coffee table on his way out.

Dean wrinkles his forehead. “Where’d you come up with that line?”

I sip my drink. “A line from a cheesy 80’s movie.”

He slowly slides his hand off my shoulder. “No way, Highlander?”

I raise my cup.

He leans back and looks me up and down. “Yep, you’re perfect. Marry me.”

I set my cup back on the table. “Wow, a marriage proposal because I know a line from a movie where the character’s main goal is to cut the other’s head off… It screams romance.” I smile.

“Hey, everyone ends up dead in Romeo and Juliet so decapitation in Highlander works too.” He winks.

I chuckle. Guess he’s got a point. Romeo and Juliet is a classic. If poisoning can be romantic then so can beheading. “Flowers and candy don’t stand a chance next to decapitation.”

He shakes his head. “I get it, all girls want is expensive jewelry, fancy dinners, and a white knight on a horse.”

Yeah, like anyone actually gets that. I press my lips together and hold back a smile. “I’ll take John Cusack holding up a radio and blasting a ballad outside my bedroom window.”

He flashes a sexy half-grin. “Nice, a girl who knows her 80’s flicks.” He tips his chin toward me. “Theater major?”

I scrunch my eyebrows and move my head back. “Do I look like I want to be a star?”

He scans my body, from my black, high-heeled boots, to my fitted, white, now-stained, shirt. “Hell, yeah.”

My skin scorches from his heavy gaze. “I’m a double major, business and marketing.” I grab my cup and slug down the rest of my drink. “How about you? No.

Wait. Let me guess. Undeclared until junior year and until then it’s all about frat parties and bagging chicks.” Oh my god, what the hell am I saying? Real cool, Brooke.

I cover my mouth with my hand and slowly lower my fingers down my chin, dropping my hand at my side. “I’m sorry, looks like I had a bitch hiccup. I’m blaming the drink.”

 

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You can enter to win a box of books here as well as gift cards via the Rafflecopter below!

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Happy Reading!

~C.C.

End Of the Year Book Tag!

End Of the Year Book Tag!

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I found this tag on Katelyn @ From Cover to Cover‘s blog and originally created by Ariel Bessett. I thought it would be fun to get back into the Book Tag game by going over this past year’s Bookish events.

Question #1: Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Wow, I could give you a list. I had to pause in my Anne Rice Book-a-Thon to tap into my ARC list and make deadlines. I have another few books I started and didn’t finish from the beginning of the year. Here is my list of books I still need to finish:

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Question #2: Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

 

Not really, I’m in the middle of so many books that I couldn’t pick just one as an autumnal transitional book.

 

Question #3: Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

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I have a huge list of new releases I’m waiting for, one in particular is Kelley Armstrong’s latest edition to her Casey Duncan series. I’m planning on beginning the series at the beginning of next year and adding this new release to my collection.

Question #4: What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

 

I want to finish at least one of the books I’ve been in the middle of but two others would be new reads I’ve needed to knock off my TBR list…

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Question #5: Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?

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I already know what this book is and I’ve already read it and plan on reading it again. I highly suggest this to anyone who is looking for a thrilling read!

Question #6: Have you already started making reading plans for 2018?

Not yet, I’ve almost reached my 2017 reading goal for the second time this year so I’ll probably attempt to double it next year. I’ll be keeping you all posted on what next years reading goals will be. I’m anxious to see how it will all go.

 

I challenge you readers to do this tag!

Don’t forget to link your posts back here so I can see your answers!

Happy Reading!

~C.C.

C.B.H. Reviews: Stalking Jack the Ripper By Kerri Maniscalco

C.B.H. Reviews: Stalking Jack the Ripper By Kerri Maniscalco

 

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Hi Everyone! So I’m a part of this group on Facebook called Life and Lit where we discuss books, exchange our book favorites, ask bookish questions, and much more. Each month we have a “Book-of-the-Month” type of read and this past month was Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco.

28962906 I started reading this book not long after it was released last year but was unable to finish it because life last year was a cruel, cruel thing. This year, though, I was able to join the others in the group and able to go back to late 1800’s England during Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror. Audrey Rose Wadsworth escapes her high lord father’s home late at night in order to be an understudy for her professor uncle in order to help him and his assistant Thomas Cresswell solve the grisly murders haunting the streets of England.

For a Historical Fiction and Murder Mystery novel, it holds up very well! The struggle Audrey Rose goes through in order to pursue her life’s calling screams the problems we women used to face back in those days. Instead of seeking out a successful career, we were expected to have tea, delve in the gossip of the elite, focus on our needlepoint, and worry about marrying into a wealthy family. Also the social rules of speaking to single men as a single woman were absolutely horrendous. If you were spotted out on the streets without a chaperone, speaking to a single gentleman – you could kiss your reputation goodbye and expect to be officially shunned by society because…us women and our feminine wiles, you know.

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I gotta say, Audrey and Thomas are partner goals, I swear. Their banter and chemistry is everything and they remind me of another carnation of Sherlock Holmes (Thomas) and Dr. Watson (Audrey Rose). I challenge you to go to Tumblr and look them up. The fan art of Audrey Rose and Thomas are absolutely adorable.

Now, the ending resolution to this story is predictable but the novel is still fun. The sequel, Hunting Prince Dracula, came out earlier this year and I was able to get my hands on it last month. If it’s just as good as this book, I can’t wait to read it!

Rating 9

 

Have you read this Mystery?

If so, let me know your thoughts on it down in the comments!

 

Happy Reading!

~C.C.