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I was lucky enough to get an ARC copy of this book via Net Galley. It’s release date is 14 June 2022.
About the book
I read an ARC from Net Galley and this is my honest review.
Wow! This book is dark and twisty. I’ve always wondered how people fall prey to a cult leader. How fears can control.
Esta lives on a patriarchal island where they fear the seawomen, and every challenge the islanders face is blamed on the sins of their women. Punished by god, they must repent to be saved. Esta sees through the lies and dangerously seeks answers to questions that if she was a good holy girl she’d ignore.
This book reminded me of the darkness of The Handmaids Tale. The way the book made me turn the page out of morbid curious that people could live this way. The history and characters are written so well, it was difficult to put down.
My birthday was back in November and my online writer friends clubbed together and got me an Amazon voucher. I didn’t spend it right away. I wasn’t sure if I might get books for Christmas. Plus my book Wishlist is insane so I took my time narrowing down my choices.
I delivered my first ever face-to-face author event for World Book Day. It was extra special because I got to attend the high school where my book Ocean Heart is set.
Ocean Heart is set in Felixstowe. When I started writing the novel there were two high schools in the town. Deben High School and Orwell High School, both named after local rivers. The two schools had some rivalry and I didn’t want my book about that so I merged the schools together and made Felixstowe High School.
Little did I know that the council were going to do this. The old schools were knocked down and a new modern building erected.
I’ve never had the opportunity to visit the high school so it was really fun to see if it was anything like I imagined. The school was lovely, and very modern, and a lot bigger. I was very impressed.
I met up with groups of five to six students from Key Stage 3. The plan was to introduce myself, and my book, and discuss what had inspired my writing.
I’m not great at public speaking, so I took a notebook with some conversation bullet points to boost my confidence and feel more prepared. I’m not sure what I’m scared will happen, other than making a fool of myself.
The students were very sweet and polite. Once I flipped the attention off myself and onto them, I was able to relax and the conversation flowed better.
We discussed my writing, debut novel, and reading. The students came up with some great questions for me, some that madrWhen we discussed their interests they even had some book recommendations for me.
The book recommendations
My notebook came in handy to write down the books the students recommended I read.
I’m so thankful to Felixstowe High School for having me. I appreciated that Deputy Head, Darren M arranged for me to chat with a small groups rather than in-front of a large audience.
Darren also got me thinking about delivering some leisure learning courses for Creative Writing. I’ve been going over old books, notes from courses I’ve done, to explore the idea. Ifurther
I think the more I do, the easier it will get. As a natural introvert, I have to push myself outside my comfort zone but this is good for my professional development. Plus, afterwards I was buzzing that I did it.
Mermaid of Sicily Jincey Lumpkin (Mermaid of Venice, #2) Publication date: September 20th 2021 Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
The glamorous Gia Acquaviva struggles to maintain her freedom and hold onto her business empire. A Sicilian mob boss nips at her tail, hoping to lure her into his sick fantasies. Meanwhile, the global media hunts Gia, attempting to hold her accountable for a string of murders. Can the world’s most famous mermaid escape their net, or will she be caught?
Dive into the extremely glamorous life of Gia Acquaviva, an ultra-rich Venetian mogul with a portfolio of clubs and casinos around the globe. Gia harbors dark secrets––and an underwater graveyard filled with the bones of her former lovers.
Her family’s roots descend from the mythological sirens of ancient Greece, but she’s taken every precaution to protect her anonymity and the existence of other mermaids. Gia lures in men with a beguiling façade, but inside lurks a deeply troubled soul, severely damaged by a mysterious past.
Fans of Killing Eve and Big Little Lies will love Mermaid of Sicily, a sexy psychological thriller with lush fantasy elements. The chic mystery and European hot spots of Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley with a juicy splash of the lavish lifestyle in E. L. James’s 50 Shades series. This is not the Little Mermaid you grew up with. Gia’s out for blood.
Mermaid of Sicily is the second installment in a series of 6 books about Gia Acquaviva.
Gia arrived at the base of the Eiffel Tower in disguise. An auburn wig, a pair of large sunglasses, and a wooly cap hid her identity. She approached the brown awning of the Jules Verne restaurant with supreme caution, hyper vigilant of her surroundings and potential threats. It was then that she was met at the front door by two of Q’s men.
“Are you here for Signor Mosca?” one asked.
“Unfortunately,” Gia chirped, sarcasm thick in her voice.
As they entered the restaurant, Gia discovered that Q had paid enough money to clear the place out completely.
How much had that set him back?
People waited months for a reservation—it couldn’t have been easy to compensate all those angry patrons overnight. The men escorted Gia into the glass elevator. As it rose, they passed through level after level of the brown iron that Mr. Eiffel had twisted himself.
The men took Gia all the way to a table that was situated in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows.
“Thank you gentlemen,” Q said, patting them on the back. “I have asked the chef to set up a table for the two of you in the kitchen. Please enjoy your meal. We will come to you when we are ready to go.”
He shuffled toward Gia and took her hand in his. Gia resisted the urge to pull away, her stomach lurched in revulsion to his touch.
“Signorina Acquaviva, I have been looking forward to spending time with you since we met in Athens…”
JINCEY LUMPKIN is a writer and creative director in Luxury Beauty. She is the author of the Mermaid of Venice fantasy thriller series. Recognized as a thought leader on women and culture, Jincey has written more than 50 columns for the Huffington Post and Playboy. She headlined Sex Week at Harvard and gave an infamous TEDx talk, “Are Robots the Future of Sex?” She has been profiled by Dateline NBC, Vice, and GQ, among others. Out Magazine listed her in its “OUT 100”, naming her as one of the world’s most influential LGBTQ+ people, alongside celebrities like Laverne Cox and Ricky Martin.
Gage by Christina Bauer (Angelbound Offspring, #8) Published by: Monster House Books Publication date: 16th June 2022 Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
“An action-packed series full of adventures, romance and fun! If you want a fantasy world with sexy times, this series is for you.” -Rosee Reads
Gage runs the L’Griffe, AKA the dragon shifter mafia on Earth. Since the human realm has no supernatural police, the L’Griffe do more than loan money or sell contraband. When it comes to dragon shifters, the L’Griffe are the law. And Gage isn’t the only sheriff in town, either. Other secret groups have their own gangs, including ghouls, demons, and everything in between. It’s an awkward balance, but it works.
Until the demons consolidate into the Horde. This alliance plans to take over Earth, and that’s just for starters.
Now Gage must build his own connections to fight this new threat. Fortunately, Gage’s true love, Huntress, comes from a family of superhuman warriors. All of them agree to team up and put down the Horde. Success seems just around the corner.
Then the truth becomes clear.
Thanks to magical cloning, the Horde is led by an old enemy of Huntress’ family—one that everyone thought had been destroyed forever. Now their archnemesis is back and more powerful than anyone could have imagined.
Looks like defeating these demons may also destroy Gage, Huntress, and everyone they love.
Don’t miss the exciting conclusion to the Angelbound Offspring Series!
ANGELBOUND OFFSPRING 1. Maxon 2. Portia 3. Zinnia 4. Rhodes 5. Kaps 6. Mack 7. Huntress 8. Gage * This is a completed series.
Perfect for teen and young adult readers who want their book series to deliver: badass world building, angels, demons, paranormal romance, fresh themes from contemporary fiction, LOL romantic comedy, gods and goddesses, dark fantasy, strong girls and women as heroines, themes about loners and outcasts, the best laughs in humorous literature, general coming of age whackery, and (most importantly) truly unusual epic fantasy.
Christina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.
This project is set in the same low fantasy world of The Soul Heart Series. In fact, for readers of Ocean Heart they may recognise the main character, Denny.
This story is a prequel. It’s set in the 90s, back when Denny was a teen herself. It will cover how she became friends with Gwyn, started her Sparkle Cake business, and the highs and lows as a new mum.
I feel more prepared now I have created a title, cover, and blurb. Of course these are all just a work in progress, so could change but it helps me feel more focused.
I’ve started writing an outline. I intended for this to be a novella but I already have a sneaky suspicion this could become a full length novel.
I’ve also made a spreadsheet to help me track my word count. If this works successfully, I will look at making a version available to my followers on Ko-Fi.
I’m going to aim for the big Five-O (50,000 words). If I don’t make it, I will still have made progress, but if I do, it’d make me so happy.
I’ve been struggling with motivation because Sky Heartis on hold until I can afford the professional services I need to move it forward. I’ve also been bummed out with all the germs (sick kids) ruining September, and fracturing my ankle ruining October.
I really want to get back into the habit of writing again. My ultimate goal for November is this: To write!
Are you doing NaNoWriMo? What’s your project, goal, and how do you prepare?
There are tons of ways to own your very own copy of Ocean Heart. Check out my webpage About Ocean Heart for full details, but here are a few:
Some of these links are affiliate links. Please visit my about Affiliate Links page for more details.
You can buy a signed copy of Ocean Heart from Ko-Fi, and there are two options:
Personalised & Hand Signed
This is limited to the UK due to postage costs. First, I order the book, sign it, and then send to you. If you’d like a personalised message for you or someone special, I can do this.
This was the method used for the first 20 copies of Ocean Heart bought during my book signing event at Stillwater Books.
Now, you can get a hand signed copy by supporting me on Ko-Fi & visiting my Ko-Fi Shop.
Personalise & Digitally Signed
This is limited to countries with an Ingram printing facility. I will design a personalised page for you, that will be added to the book when printed. Ingram then will send out directly to you (saving on international postage costs/emissions).
Currently there is only one copy of Ocean Heart like this that I gifted to a TikToker.
The great thing about Smashwords is you can buy your eBook and choose the format, enabling you to read on whatever device is your favourite. In addition your eBook is saved to your Smashwords library, so you keep it forever.
Kindle is one of the most popular eReaders both as a tablet and app.
If Smashwords and Amazon aren’t your thing, you can get Ocean Heart from many other popular eBook stores. Click this link to discover more eBook buying options: https://books2read.com/OceanHeart