Category Archives: Blog Tours

The Longblood (The Longblood Series Book 1) by Charmin Blazier Audiobook Tour and Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A promising young musician getting ready to the life he’s always dreamed of finds his world turned upside down as he discovers another life he never knew he lived, and soon he is drawn to Ainsley Fairfax, who works in the shadows to discover the truth behind both their fates in author Charmin Blazier’s “The Longblood”, the first in the Longblood series. 

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The Synopsis

Love will make him a better man. If it doesn’t kill him first.

Nineteen-year-old Daniel Marco is about to start the life he’s always wanted. But when he blacks out and etches a mysterious code on his arm, it changes his plans in ways he never imagined.

The code leads him to the grounds of an ancient British asylum housing a secret society where he learns the unthinkable – he’s lived before. As his past life begins to resurface in unpredictable and terrifying ways, Daniel seeks answers and learns his life is in danger.

And he’s not alone.

When he meets bold Ainsley Fairfax, who is working in the shadows to solve a mystery tied to both their fates, Daniel is intensely drawn to her in ways he can’t explain. Ainsley believes Daniel is the key to solving the mystery and keeping them alive. But the more time Daniel spends with Ainsley, the deeper he’s drawn into danger. And the more he begins to lose control…

Together, they must solve the mystery before it’s too late. Will he prevail? Or will all he cares for be destroyed?

Be on the lookout for the second audiobook in this paranormal new adult romance – Lost Longblood: The Longblood Series, Book 2 (coming soon).

The Review

The author does a great job of balancing a blooming romance with the mystery and suspense of the novel’s narrative. Perfectly capturing the New Adult genre in this story, the plot is both creative and original, giving readers a new paranormal romance series to dive deeply into. 

The narrator does a great job of bringing these characters and their story to life. Readers instantly feel connected to Daniel and Ainsley, as both come at this mystery from two very different points of view but soon find themselves drawn together. The novel jumpstarts immediately with shock and awe with Daniel’s introduction into this dangerous world and the mystery within, giving readers an instant connection to the overall narrative. 

As someone with a keen interest in the past life theory and the paranormal, I found myself drawn to the narrative immediately, and the narrator himself does a great job of capturing the amazing cast of characters that fill out this large plot and mystery.

The Verdict

A memorable, entertaining and engaging audiobook, author Charmin Blazier’s “The Longblood” is the perfect start to a brand new paranormal romance New Adult series. The characters are engaging and the story adapts perfectly to the audiobook format, creating a narrative that lends itself to some cinematic style imagery within each chapter. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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Author: Charmin Blazier

Narrator: Alex Black

Length: 12 hours 1 minutes

Series: The Longblood Series, Book 1

Publisher: Charmin Blazier

Released: Feb. 12, 2021

Genre: Paranormal Romance

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Love will make him a better man. If it doesn’t kill him first. Nineteen-year-old Daniel Marco is about to start the life he’s always wanted. But when he blacks out and etches a mysterious code on his arm, it changes his plans in ways he never imagined. The code leads him to the grounds of an ancient British asylum housing a secret society where he learns the unthinkable – he’s lived before. As his past life begins to resurface in unpredictable and terrifying ways, Daniel seeks answers and learns his life is in danger. And he’s not alone. When he meets bold Ainsley Fairfax, who is working in the shadows to solve a mystery tied to both their fates, Daniel is intensely drawn to her in ways he can’t explain. Ainsley believes Daniel is the key to solving the mystery and keeping them alive. But the more time Daniel spends with Ainsley, the deeper he’s drawn into danger. And the more he begins to lose control… Together, they must solve the mystery before it’s too late. Will he prevail? Or will all he cares for be destroyed? Be on the lookout for the second audiobook in this paranormal new adult romance – Lost Longblood: The Longblood Series, Book 2 (coming soon).
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Charmin Blazier is a writer of paranormal romance and a mother of chihuahuas. She lives in Northern Virginia with the most amazing sister and blue-eyed pup on earth. Her poetry was published in the Heart 11 Poetry Journal, and she holds a Master of Arts degree in Philosophy from George Mason University. Additionally, she’s currently working on the next installment in The Longblood Series. Be on the lookout for Lost Longblood: The Longblood Series Book Two (coming soon)!
Website
Narrator Bio

Alex Black is a professional audiobook narrator who has performed and produced over 75 audiobooks. Many of his audiobooks have made the top 20 Amazon best sellers list within their category. He has received hundreds of 5 star reviews across various genres. Audible listeners have this to say: “Fantastic narration! The narrator weaves a spell reading this book!” “I felt all the emotions these characters experienced through his voice and I was totally pulled into this story!” Location: Vermont, United States
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Guest Post
Author Charmin Blazier’s Reasons Why You Should Give Audiobooks a Listen
You deserve to hear a great story. And how long has it been? For some, far too long. As we grow up, we often leave great joys behind. We forget to play, lose interest in drawing for the fun of it, and no longer ask those in our lives to crack open a book and read us a story. I mean, why would we do that? We can read it ourselves, right? Yes, but in our quest to be silently independent in the presence of books, we’ve lost something vital. We’ve lost a realm of creativity, a place like no other, a place that belongs to us. It doesn’t have to be this way. The realms we leave behind might be forgotten for a while, but they don’t disappear. And though we have tight schedules, bills to pay, and doings to do, we also have a way to reclaim long-forgotten joys even as we speed through our over-tasked lives. Enter audiobooks. Glorious, magical, irresistible audiobooks. For me, they’ve done the impossible—made otherwise hideous commutes enjoyable. And that’s just the beginning of their talents. Audiobooks change our relations to stories; they expand our creative collaborations. After all, when you engage with fiction, you become a creator of worlds. When you read, you and the writer come together to craft something utterly unique in your mind. And when you listen, you, the writer, and the narrator come together. Voice brings another layer to the collaboration, another soul to the story, another existential form via external sound. The jump from book to audiobook is more subtle than the one from book to movie. It’s a mid-way point—a zone of twilight that retains intimacy and imaginative engagement yet draws the inward nature of reading ever so slightly outward. And all this is done with just a bit of breath and sound. People sometimes ask whether listening to a book is as good as reading it. Some even suggest that listening equates to “cheating.” Such notions miss the larger point. It’s not about what’s as good or better. It’s about you as a creator and what a different artistic collaboration can bring to your life and imagination. It’s about fun, expansion, and learning that in the best possible way, you and I are not so different than we used to be. So, go ahead. Give an audiobook a listen and reclaim your forgotten creative realm. Your collaborators are waiting. Happy listening. -Charmin Blazier Top 10 List
Author Charmin Blazier’s Top Ten Perks of Being an Author
 
  1. The possibility that your story might bring a little lightness and joy into a reader’s vacation/rainy day/train ride/life in general. There’s nothing better than that.
  2. Being able to collaborate with other creative people such as cover artists, narrators, and bloggers.
  3. Being able to dedicate your work to all the people who’ve supported you along the way.
  4. That moment when you hold your paperback book for the first time.
  5. That moment when you hear your audiobook for the first time.
  6. Creating story worlds where the impossible becomes possible.
  7. The sense of accomplishment when you learn a new writing skill (and there’s always more to learn!).
  8. Being able to connect with your audience in so many ways.
  9. The joy of creating characters out of your imagination.
  10. Having an excuse to spend countless hours in Starbucks.
  I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Charmin Blazier. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
VIEW THE FULL Tour SCHEDULE HERE!

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Sign up as a tour host here.

Confined Desires (Rehoboth Pact #1) by Katherine McIntyre Blog Tour

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Two women who have been best friends for years find themselves sharing a home during a required Quarantine during a pandemic, and in the process find their buried feelings for one another coming to the surface in author Katherine McIntyre’s “Confined Desires”, the first in the Rehoboth series.

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The Synopsis

Sky’s crush on her best friend has always been unrequited… until they’re stuck in quarantine together and sparks fly.

Sky’s high school bestie is moving back to the area and staying with her for a few weeks. Easy, right? Not when she’d held a torch for the woman since high school. The moment Mia walks through Sky’s door, those unrequited feelings return full-force. So, when a spreading virus keeps them confined in Sky’s apartment even longer, Sky is screwed.

Mia returns home after a bad breakup, but Sky is the only one who offers a safe place to land. However, the seven years they spent apart has her looking at her best friend through a different lens, attraction sparking with every inside joke, shared dinner, and cuddle on the couch.

That flare of desire fast turns physical. They can’t get enough of each other. Yet, whenever Mia tries for the “where is this going” talk, Sky dodges. Sky lost her sister in high school, and ever since, she’s become ace at keeping dates at a distance. Yet if she doesn’t manage to push past her own fears, she might lose her one shot at happiness with the woman she’s waited a lifetime for.

The Review

This was such a well-balanced and engaging read. The author brilliantly delivers a powerfully romantic story of two friends who reunite after years apart, only to be forced into quarantine together where feelings both had pushed down without the other’s knowledge begin to stir up. The author expertly brings the real-life feelings and complications from a romance such as this to life, from the fear of losing that best friend should the relationship fail, to the pain of the past threatening to loom over their relationship, and more.

What makes this novel stand out is not only the amazing relationship between these two women and its evolution throughout the narrative but the setting of the novel as well. While not the exact same virus, pitting this romance story against the backdrop of a pandemic is inspired at a time like this. The real-world pandemic has not only been stressful and painful for many around the world but has forced us all to reexamine our lives and the relationships we hold dear as well. This makes the romance even more profound and emotional in this story.

The Verdict

A romantic, emotionally investing and remarkable read, author Katherine McIntyre’s “Confined Desires” is a must-read novel. The author’s use of the two central protagonists for a majority of the novel’s plot was an inspired choice and really elevated the book’s setting as well. Combine this with the extreme emotions these two women share together and apart from one another throughout the narrative, and readers will be thoroughly invested in this book. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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Confined Desires - Katherine McIntyre

Katherine McIntyre has a new FF contemporary romance out: Confined Desires. And there’s a giveaway!

Sky’s crush on her best friend has always been unrequited… until they’re stuck in quarantine together and sparks fly.

Sky’s high school bestie is moving back to the area and staying with her for a few weeks. Easy, right? Not when she’d held a torch for the woman since high school. The moment Mia walks through Sky’s door, those unrequited feelings return full-force. So, when a spreading virus keeps them confined in Sky’s apartment even longer, Sky is screwed.

Mia returns home after a bad breakup, but Sky is the only one who offers a safe place to land. However, the seven years they spent apart has her looking at her best friend through a different lens, attraction sparking with every inside joke, shared dinner, and cuddle on the couch.

That flare of desire fast turns physical. They can’t get enough of each other. Yet, whenever Mia tries for the “where is this going” talk, Sky dodges. Sky lost her sister in high school, and ever since, she’s become ace at keeping dates at a distance. Yet if she doesn’t manage to push past her own fears, she might lose her one shot at happiness with the woman she’s waited a lifetime for.

Publisher | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Universal Buy Link | Goodreads


Giveaway

Katherine is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card with this tour:

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47177/?


Excerpt

Confined Desires meme

Mia twined her arms around Sky and leaned her head against her shoulder. “See, this is why I missed you so damn much.”

Sky froze, unable to move. Part of her melted at this touch, while the other freaked out. The last thing Mia needed was her best friend dumping a lifelong crush on her lap. This close, she could feel the woman’s sleepy heat, and the sweet scent of peaches wafted off her. Sky’s mouth watered—the response instinctual. She forced her hand up to run her fingers through Mia’s silken strands. That was friendly, right?

“Missed you too, babe,” she murmured.

“So, wait, are you working tonight, or no?” Mia asked, pulling away to grab her mug.

“Uh, no,” Sky murmured, mind racing as she tried to come up with an excuse to leave.

Mia tapped the edge of her mug with her fingernail. “Then maybe we could take the day to play catch up?” she asked. When Sky didn’t respond, the words refusing to leave her tongue, Mia’s eyes widened. “I mean, as long as you didn’t have plans or anything. I know I kind of dropped this on you. Fuck, I don’t even know if you’re seeing anyone or who you hang out with anymore.”

“Pitifully single,” Sky responded. “My girlfriend and I split up last year, and I’ve been so busy with work that I haven’t been able to get out to the bars or clubs in Philly at all to jump back into the dating scene. Trust me, you haven’t missed much.”

“Bullshit,” Mia said, placing her mug of coffee down. “Get dressed. We’re heading out to Lucky’s, and I’m buying you breakfast.” Her blue eyes twinkled as she doled out the commands, and Sky’s heart thumped harder.

Sky scratched the nape of her neck. “Yes, ma’am.”

She headed to the bedroom, cursing her lack of an excuse. A large part of her was thrilled to be spending all of this time around Mia after so long. Yet the other part of her just wanted to solder metal sheets around her heart.

As if she’d stand a chance with Mia Brownstone living at her house for the next two weeks.

 


Author Bio

Katherine McIntyre

Snarky women, ragtag crews, and men with bad attitudes.

Katherine McIntyre is a feisty chick with a big attitude despite her short stature. She writes stories featuring snarky women, ragtag crews, and men with bad attitudes—and there’s an equally high chance for a passionate speech thrown into the mix. As an eternal geek and tomboy who’s always stepped to her own beat, she’s made it her mission to write stories that represent the broad spectrum of people out there, from different cultures and races to all varieties of men and women.

Author Website: http://www.katherine-mcintyre.com

Author Facebook (Author Page): http://www.facebook.com/kmcintyreauthor

Author Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pixierants

Author Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/authorkmcintyre

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6473654.Katherine_McIntyre

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Katherine-McIntyre/e/B00J8U4VNU

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Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay (Narrated by Caroline Holmes) Audiobook Tour and Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A now 15-year old Alice finds herself desperate to escape an asylum her tales of Wonderland landed her in, but upon deciding against an experimental experiment at the last minute, Alice escapes back into Wonderland, only to land in the court of the Queen of Hearts in author H.J. Ramsay’s “Ever Alice”. 

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The Synopsis

Alice’s stories of Wonderland did more than raise a few eyebrows – it landed her in an asylum. Now at 15 years of age, she’s willing to do anything to leave, which includes agreeing to an experimental procedure. When Alice decides at the last minute not to go through with it, she escapes with the White Rabbit to Wonderland and trades one mad house for another: The court of the Queen of Hearts. Only this time, she is under orders to take out the Queen. When love, scandal, and intrigue begin to muddle her mission, Alice finds herself on the wrong side of the chopping block.

The Review

A fantastic deep dive into the aftermath of author Lewis Carrols classic tale, Ever Alice does an amazing job of standing on its own feet while still paying tribute to such an iconic story. The narrator brought a sense of classic English literature to the retelling of this novel, capturing the elegance and grace that the themes of royalty and the setting of the 1800s in her delivery. 

The thing that really stood out to me while reading this book was the way the author mirrored real-life tales of royalty and betrayal. The spiraling nature of the Queen of Hearts and her capturing of the Queen of Spades reminded me of Mary, Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I, which as a history buff was a great addition to the fantasy element of the narrative. The way the author delves into both Alice and the Queen of Hearts stories was interesting to see, the complexity of their journeys layered perfectly.

The Verdict

A fascinating, entertaining and engaging journey through Wonderland, author H.J. Ramsay’s “Ever Alice” is a fantastic audiobook. The story is magical and the characters both old and new highly complex and thrilling in their depictions. The surprise ending has me as a reader hooked on this particular fantasy world, and everyone should check out this book for themselves. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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Author: H.J. Ramsay

Narrator: Caroline Holmes

Length: 11 hours 2 minutes

Publisher: Red Rogue Press

Released: January 19, 2021

Genre: Fantasy; YA

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Bittersweet Revenge (The Patricians #2) by R.G. Angel Audiobook Review/Tour

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

After seemingly escaping and building a new life, Esme is forced to return to the dangerous world of Stonewood as she faces more secrets, lies, and the vengeful Caleb as his need for revenge clashes with feelings he thought he’d left behind in author R.G. Angel’s “Bittersweet Revenge”, the second in The Patricians series.

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The Synopsis

Esme had thought she was free, but a shocking revelation forces her to return to Stonewood.

There she must deal with life-altering secrets and lies, as well as face the consequences of running away.

Caleb is angrier than ever, hell-bent on punishing her for what he considers to be the greatest betrayal.

As she delves deeper into the past with the aid of unlikely allies, even more secrets resurface, making her and everyone around her question the very foundation of their lives.

As the clock ticks and danger looms closer, what will Esme sacrifice to get to the truth? What will Caleb destroy to get his revenge?

The Review

This was a captivating and intriguing sequel to the hit YA thriller fans were treated to in book 1 of the series. I absolutely loved the dual perspectives of this narrative, as Caleb’s darker, more vindictive personality was paired with Esme’s lighter, more caring, and innocent perspective, creating a memorable and almost iconic relationship between the two.

After the events of the first book, the author does a great job of maintaining the same level of suspense in the second book while increasing the danger and shock of the narrative, from Esme’s imposing father to Caleb’s complicated feelings of both revenge and romance towards Esme and even the growing relationship between Esme and her brother Archibald. The narrators do a great justice towards the two protagonists, capturing the raw emotional delivery of their dialogues and the intrigue of the plot overall. 

The Verdict

A memorable, entertaining, and satisfying second book, author R.G. Angel’s “Bittersweet Revenge” is a must-read novel. The twists and turns of the suspenseful part of the narrative take to complement the satisfying conclusion to both protagonist’s stories, while also leaving room for some spin-off or even possible sequels in this memorable series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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Author: R.G. Angel

Narrators: Charlotte Claremont, Robert Hatchet

Length: 10 hours 10 minutes

Series: The Patricians, Book 2

Publisher: Angel Production

Released: Jan. 22, 2021

Genre: Romance; New Adult

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Will Rise From Ashes by Jean M. Grant (Narrated by Caroline Hewitt and Andrew Perkins Audiobook Tour And Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young widow, her 9-year old autistic son and a former military man travel together towards the epicenter of the massive eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano in hopes of finding her youngest son and her brother in author Jean M. Grant’s “Will Rise From Ashes”. 

The Synopsis

Living is more than mere survival.

Young widow AJ Sinclair has persevered through much heartache. Has she met her match when the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, leaving her separated from her youngest son and her brother? Tens of thousands are dead or missing in a swath of massive destruction. She and her nine-year-old autistic son, Will, embark on a risky road trip from Maine to the epicenter to find her family. She can’t lose another loved one.

Along the way, they meet Reid Gregory, who travels his own road to perdition looking for his sister. Drawn together by AJ’s fear of driving and Reid’s military and local expertise, their journey to Colorado is fraught with the chaotic aftermath of the eruption. AJ’s anxiety and faith in humanity are put to the test as she heals her past, accepts her family’s present, and embraces uncertainty as Will and Reid show her a world she had almost forgotten. 

The Review

A truly remarkable read, this apocalyptic, disaster-driven drama immediately draws the reader in with shocking events that would terrify and challenge any of us. The author does an excellent job of blending in-depth character growth with realism in the face of a tragic event such as the eruption of a supervolcano with a writing style that immediately conjures up a strong sense of imagery, bringing the action of this narrative to life in a brilliant way.

What stands out in this audiobook is that the story doesn’t necessarily focus as much on any sense of mystery, as the main plot of the story involves an already erupted volcano, but instead on the characters as they face this disaster together and must work to find one another. The author delves into themes of grief, loss, trust, and family as the main protagonist, AJ, deals with the loss of a loved one and the challenge of raising two sons, one of which is autistic, and must find the rest of her family in the face of disaster. Along the way, AJ’s struggle to trust anyone again comes to life through Reid, as a hint of possible romance and survival come through early on in their meeting one another. 

The Verdict

An engaging, emotional, and thoughtful audiobook, author Jean M. Grant’s “Will Rise From Ashes” is a must-read (listen) audiobook. The narrators really capture the emotional core of these characters and their world, while the writing itself brings to life the chaos and upheaval such a powerful event would have on our nation and world as a whole. With a cast of memorable characters, this is not a book you want to miss. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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Author: Jean M. Grant

Narrators: Caroline Hewitt, Andrew Perkins

Length: 10 hours 32 minutes

Publisher: Jean M. Grant

Released: Mar. 16, 2020

Genre: Women’s Fiction

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But First, Rumi by Chitra Ramaswami Review & Guest Post

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A woman searching for answers after a shocking medical diagnosis meets a stray cat in need of help find one another and helps the woman find answers she didn’t even realize she was seeking in author Chitra Ramaswami’s “But First, Rumi”. 

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The Synopsis

When Chitra discovered a stray cat in need of help, she never thought they’d wind up saving each other. Struggling to come to terms with an unexpected diagnosis, Chitra returned home to Oman seeking a sense of familiarity. What she discovered instead was a very special cat who changed her life. But First, Rumi is the story of how, day by day, Rumi and Chitra got to know one another, and as she learned to love the little stray, she began to see greater life lessons about herself, her family, her home country and her place in the world. 

What unfolds when girl and cat meet? What happens when you follow your heart? What if the world is not as it seems? Is it worth taking a chance? 

The Review

This was an emotional, heartfelt read that the author has shared with us. This memoir immediately clicked with me from the start, as someone who has experienced autoimmune disease and sudden health scares, I found myself identifying with the author. The balance of memoir and reflection the author implements into the narrative are not only well-written but speak of an honest approach to life itself that many of us can either identify with or seek to include in our lives moving forward.

The other half of this amazing story is the impact of finding and opening her heart up to this stray cat. Rumi’s story is paired with the reality of stray cats within Oman, showcasing how different felines are viewed there as opposed to the West. Trying to peel back the layers of superstitions and fear that many people have of the animals, the author showcases how love and compassion for these creatures are not only essential to their survival and perseverance within Oman, but how beneficial pets, in general, can be to a person’s physical and emotional well-being also. 

The Verdict

A remarkable, emotional, and engaging memoir, author Chitra Ramaswami’s “But First, Rumi” is a must-read book. An honest look into themes such as health, both physical and mental, and the impact pets can have on a person’s life, this story is heartfelt and speaks to many readers out there, making this a truly remarkable, short yet powerful read. If you haven’t yet, make sure you grab your own copy of “But First, Rumi” today!

Rating: 10/10

But First, Rumi is available to purchase now on Amazon.com.

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About the Author, Chitra Ramaswami

Chitra Ramaswami was born and raised in the Middle East by Indian parents, and her childhood was spent reading every book she could lay her hands on or writing stories and lines of poetry. As a result of traveling the world extensively and being a natural linguist, she is an amalgamation of many cultures and tastes and is constantly looking for the next experience she can immerse herself in. When she isn’t writing, Chitra rides horses, climbs mountains and is a passionate advocate for the Omani Mau/ street cat. She currently lives in New York with her husband and a very spoiled cat and hamster duo. 

Find her online at:

Author’s website: https://cramaswami.com/ 

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Author Chitra Ramaswami’s Guest Blog Post: The Purrfect therapist

With the best PR in place, dogs are the title holders of therapy animals with more Google search results and more therapy programs working exclusively with them. Say the words “Therapy animal” and a ready image of a dog wearing a vest comes to mind.

But what about Cats? 

Meh. Aloof. Unexpressive. Anti-social. Want you only if they need you. 

Hmmm. Aren’t we being a tad bit unfair? 

I say we have a closer look at what contribution our feline friends have made to people’s psychological health, shall we?

Let’s start with:

  • Abner, an Abyssinian is popularly known as the rockstar of pet therapy cats. His daily duties consist of visiting the retirement community at Bayview, Queen Anne in Seattle. His superpower is the ability to make seniors live in the present, forget their loneliness or lack of family, and focus their attention on him. Works like a charm for all parties involved!
  • Thula, a water-loving Maine coon changed the life of Iris, a 6-year-old autistic girl for the better after her failed interactions with therapy dogs, horses, and rabbits. Before Thula, Iris’s crippling anxiety instilled a fear of water in her. This however changed and Iris took to swimming with Thula accompanying her in the pool. Thula also helped Iris relax enough to resume her normal sleep cycle which was nonexistent before her arrival. Besides, Iris also resumed homeschooling activities and reached verbal milestones. The duo has been inseparable since their first meeting. 
  • The Meow mates & Mutt mates program in the Allendale correctional institute in South Carolina pairs dogs and you heard right – CATS with inmates and accompany them 24/7. Sharing common life experiences like having lived on the streets, abuse, etc. with their assigned feline helps the inmates experience hope and companionship like never before.
  • Duke Ellington is a rescue cat who regularly visits the ICU at USCF and is eagerly awaited by both staff and patients alike. His calm demeanor has a great impact on alleviating symptoms of stress and depression of the inpatients. Also, seeing a cat being wheeled around in a hospital never fails to bring a smile to onlookers!

However, are these cats few and far between? 

Let’s see what science has to say about the feline-mental health link:

  • Anti-social – Think again: Contrary to popular belief, cats are social animals. They have the ability to be just as attached to humans as dogs. Unfortunately, lesser studies are done on this bond with felines. 
  • Precious Purrs: Cat purrs have a gamma-ray frequency same as meditation waves, thereby lending a calming effect to those beside them. Cats have a calming effect on people with Alzheimer’s disease too and serve as a mood booster too.
  • Research catching up: According to various recent studies, there’s increasing evidence showing cat owners of various ages being happier, focused, and feeling less isolated.
  • Pet away: Stroking a cat rhythmically aids in emotional regulation and subconsciously teach those suffering with anxiety, panic disorders or PTSD to calm themselves down. 
  • ESA advantage: If your cat qualifies as your emotional support animal (ESA), they get to accompany you on the flight without a ticket and live in apartments where pets may not be allowed otherwise. All you need is a letter from your mental health professional. 

So, are some cat breeds better suited to play therapists? We don’t have all the answers yet. But The good news is more research is on its way. 

In the meanwhile, would you like to read the story of a special feline named Rumi? By the way, he has all the qualities of the purrfect therapist!

To read the memoir, But First, Rumi – please click on the link below:

But First, Rumi is available worldwide on Amazon as e-book and paperback. Also available in select bookstores.

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– Blog Tour Dates

March 15th @ WOW! Women on Writing 

Join us at the WOW blog, The Muffin, to celebrate the launch of Chitra Ramaswami’s book But First, Rumi. You can read an interview with the author, find out more information about this touching memoir, and win a copy for yourself! 

https://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

March 16th @ Hook of a Book 

Join Erin as she shares a guest post by the author about Omani street cats.

http://www.hookofabook.wordpress.com 

March 20th @ Boots Shoes and Fashion 

Visit Linda’s blog to read her interview with author, Chitra Ramaswami about her book But First, Rumi

http://bootsshoesandfashion.com 

March 20th @ Pages and Paws

Visit Kristine’s blog today to read her review of But First, Rumi by Chitra Ramaswami.

https://pagesandpaws.com

March 21st @ Shoe’s Seeds & Stories 

Visit Linda’s blog today to read her review and spotlight for But First, Rumi by Chitra Ramaswami. 

https://lschuelerca.wordpress.com

March 25th @ Keeping it Real 

Join Lisa as she shares a guest post by the author about how to get past writer’s block. 

https://www.lisambuske.com/

March 26th @ Author Anthony Avina 

Visit Anthony’s blog as he shares a guest post about cats and mental health and reviews But First, Rumi by Chita Ramaswami. 

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com 

March 28th @ The Faerie Review 

Visit Lily’s blog where she interviews author Chitra Ramaswami. 

https://www.thefaeriereview.com/

March 29th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog 

Join Bev as she shares her thoughts about But First, Rumi by Chitra Ramaswami. 

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

March 30th @ Lisa’s Reading 

Visit Lisa’s blog where she reviews But First, Rumi by Chitra Ramaswami. 

http://lisasreading.com/ 

April 1st @ Knotty Needle 

Visit Judy’s blog and read her review of this touching memoir for pet lovers, But First, Rumi. You can also win a copy of the book too! 

http://knottyneedle.blogspot.com/ 

April 5th @ Reviews and Interviews

Join Lisa as she interviews author Chitra Ramaswami about her book But First, Rumi.

https://lisahaselton.com/blog/

April 5th @ Note to the World

Come by Mahnoor’s blog today and read the review of But First, Rumi by Chitra Ramaswami.

https://www.notetotheworld.com/

April 7th @ It’s Alanna Jean 

Join Alanna as she shares a guest post by Chitra Ramaswami about the misconceptions about cats. https://itsalannajean.webnode.com/

April 13th @ Deborah-Zenha Adams 

Join Deborah as she shares a guest post about writing process by the author of But First, Rumihttp://www.deborah-adams.com 

Bittersweet Legacy (The Patricians #1) By R.G. Angel Audiobook Review/Tour

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young woman’s world is turned upside down as she learns she is part of a family she never knew existed, and must navigate a world of lies, conspiracy and murder in author R.G. Angel’s “Bittersweet Legacy”, the first book in The Patricians series.

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The Synopsis

You don’t realize when your life is about to change forever, how a simple text can tear your world apart.

Esme Danvers doesn’t have an easy life but at least she is loved by her widower father… or at least that’s who she thought he was for 17 years. Enter William Forbes, top 10 of America’s 1% and her actual father – or rather the father of Esmeralda Forbes, the girl she was born to be, the heir to a legacy she’d never known or wanted.

Esme’s thrown into a world of glamour and money, smoke and mirrors, hate, pain and unspoken rancor. A world with a distant, calculating and uncaring father; Archibald, a brother who hates her; and Caleb, his best friend who is as wicked and mean as he is beautiful and charismatic.

Caleb, this broken boy whom she can’t seem to hate enough to keep him out of her bloodstream, a boy who doesn’t seem to hate her enough to stay away.

But as the past reveals itself in ways Esme didn’t expect, she finds herself in the middle of a swirl of lies, betrayals, conspiracy and even murder, with barely anyone to watch her back.

The only thing she really wants is to get back to being Esme Danvers, to find a way out before it’s too late.

The Review

This was a fantastic story. The author immediately does an incredible job of layering the mystery and suspense of the narrative, creating a protagonist many people could relate to and throwing her into a whirlwind of psychological and emotional upheavals that drastically change the course of her life. 

The narrator does an amazing job of bringing this story to life. Readers and listeners really can feel the protagonist’s struggle and emotional journey. The story plays out like a blend of Cruel Intentions meets Pretty Little Liars, expertly navigating the YA genre while artfully crafting a suspense thriller that both entertained and engaged the reader on multiple levels. 

The Verdict

A thrilling, breathtaking and shocking yet fun read, author R.G. Angel’s “Bittersweet Legacy” is a must-read YA suspense novel. The audiobook does a great job of implementing emotional storytelling with a brilliant sense of imagery. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of this audiobook today and read for yourself how this shocking first novel ends in a massive cliffhanger. 

Rating: 10/10

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Author: R.G. Angel

Narrator: Stevi Incremona

Length: 8 hours 14 minutes

Series: The Patricians, Book 1

Publisher: Angel Production

Released: Nov. 24, 2020

Genre: Romance; New Adult

Continue reading

Guest Blog Post by Author/Poet Arisa White

I am happy to share this amazing guest blog post from author and poet Arisa White, who is here to share with us some insight into her latest release, “Who’s Your Daddy”. Look for the review of this amazing book soon. Now enjoy this great post from the writer.

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In February 2015, in a blog I was keeping to document the writing process of dear Gerald, which later developed into Who’s Your Daddy, I was thinking about the following as I prepared for my trip to Guyana:

Today is the day we hit the air for Guyana.

This week, or maybe it was last week–time just seems to be blending–I was talking to my friend Amber and from the conversation we concluded that I’m going to meet my masculine (my maker). It all seems so biblical at times . . .

But the conversation didn’t stop there: we made some connections to the way that society treats and incarcerate Black men . . . my father has been sent to his homeland as correctional punishment, and the last three dear Gerald letters I’ve received have come from inmates at San Quentin. The letters are so touching and they reflect on the cycle of violence, neglect, and abandonment–and these men recognize that they are not present as fathers for their children.

What happens when our masculine energies are imprisoned, literally and figuratively? What is amped up in our performance of masculinity, what is downplayed? And who/what in the end benefits from all this absence and negative expression?

As a woman, with strong feminine energy, how do I integrate my masculine energy? How do I not imprison that masculine force within in, but allow it to have its freedom of expression, without fear of punishment?

All interesting questions to be felt through . . . . 

Now, I understand why the title, Who’s Your Daddy, which was first a tongue-and-cheek placeholder, became the actual title of the book. The whole book project was driven by an interrogative mode—this desire to know my father and understand who I am. 

As my publisher, editor, and I decided whether or not to keep the question mark after Who’s Your Daddy, we concluded it was best without it. 

The implied question, which I was signaling with my usage of ellipsis in the entry above, continues to ask. And the asking interrogates along different layers of meaning. It lingers in and around you, resonating. So once I was able to personally respond, there was a need to turn outward and question patriarchy and its role in our social and political institutions, how we are governed by what is there and not there, how our consciousness functions around the ways we identify (and often those identities are defined through systems of power). Who’s your daddy is one of those questions that can ripple throughout you, if you allow it.

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About the Poet

ARISA WHITE is a Cave Canem fellow, Sarah Lawrence College alumna, an MFA graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and author of the poetry chapbooks Disposition for Shininess, Post Pardon, Black Pearl, Perfect on Accident, and “Fish Walking” & Other Bedtime Stories for My Wife won the inaugural Per Diem Poetry Prize. Published by Virtual Artists Collective, her debut full-length collection, Hurrah’s Nest, was a finalist for the 2013 Wheatley Book Awards, 82nd California Book Awards, and nominated for a 44th NAACP Image Awards. Her second collection, A Penny Saved, inspired by the true-life story of Polly Mitchell, was published by Willow Books, an imprint of Aquarius Press in 2012. Her latest full-length collection, You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened, was published by Augury Books and nominated for the 29th Lambda Literary Awards. Most recently, Arisa co-authored, with Laura Atkins, Biddy Mason Speaks Up, a middle-grade biography in verse on the midwife and philanthropist Bridget “Biddy” Mason, which is the second book in the Fighting for Justice series. She is currently co-editing, with Miah Jeffra and Monique Mero, the anthology Home is Where You Queer Your Heart, which will be published by Foglifter Press in 2021. And forthcoming in February 2021, from Augury Books, her poetic memoir Who’s Your Daddy.

Guns and Gods In My Genes: A 15,000-Mile North American Search Through Four Centuries, to the Mayflower by Neil McKee Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Readers are treated to a journey through time as author Neil McKee highlights his family history and both the heroes and villains who comprised his family’s legacy in Canada and America in the book “Guns and Gods In My Genes”. 

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The Synopsis 

Neill McKee, author of the award-winning travel memoir Finding Myself in Borneo, takes the reader through 400 years and 15,000 miles of an on-the-road adventure, discovering stories of his Scots-Irish ancestors in Canada, while uncovering their attitudes towards religion and guns. 

His adventure turns south and west as he follows the trail of his maternal grandfather, a Canadian preacher who married an American woman in Wisconsin, and braved the American Wild West from 1904 to 1907, finding a two-story brothel across from one of his churches and a sheriff who owned a saloon and dance hall, while carrying a gun with 20 notches, one for each man he had killed. 

Much to his surprise, McKee finds his American ancestors were involved in every major conflict on North American soil: the Civil War, the American Revolution, and the French and Indian War. In the last chapters, McKee discovers and documents his Pilgrim ancestors who arrived on the Mayflower, landing at Plymouth in 1620, and their Puritan descendants who fought in the early Indian Wars of New England. 

With the help of professional genealogical research, he tracks down and tells the stories of the heroes, villains, rascals, as well as, the godly and ordinary folk in his genes, discovering many facts and exposing myths. He also lets readers in on a personal struggle: whether to apply for Canadian-United States dual citizenship or remain only a Canadian.

The Review

The author has really crafted an amazing book. What immediately stands out is how unlike the typical memoir or biography style of writing this book takes. A great portion of this read encompasses a personal take on some of history’s greatest and most memorable moments through the lens of one man’s family, from the American Civil War to the arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth. The amount of detail and research the author poured into his family’s history was incredible to read, especially for a fan of history such as myself.

Yet what really stood out was how so much of this book also incorporated meditative, reflective moments in which the author seemed to speak to the reader, to his ancestors as he explored moments in history, and to himself. It allows the reader to really get a sense of the connection the author had to this journey and his family as he delved deeper and deeper into their history, allowing the reader to also feel more connected as well.

The Verdict

A remarkable, thoughtful, and lengthy yet engaging read, author Neil McKee’s “Guns and Gods In My Genes” is must-read non-fiction read. The amount of research, history, and personal reflection that the author shares in this journey make for a truly memorable read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of this amazing book today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

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Neill McKee is a creative nonfiction writer based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His first travel memoir, Finding Myself in Borneo, won a bronze medal in the Independent Publishers Book Awards, 2020, as well as other awards. McKee holds a Bachelor’s Degree, from the University of Calgary and a Master’s Degree in Communication from Florida State University. He worked internationally for 45 years, becoming an expert in the field of communication for social change. He directed and produced a number of award-winning documentary films/videos and multimedia initiatives, and has written numerous articles and books in the field of development communication. During his international career, McKee worked for Canadian University Service Overseas (CUSO); Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC); UNICEF; Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland; Academy for Educational Development and FHI 360, Washington, DC. He worked and lived in Malaysia, Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, and Russia for a total of 18 years and traveled to over 80 countries on short-term assignments. In 2015, he settled in New Mexico, using his varied experiences, memories, and imagination in creative writing.

Find him online at:

Author’s website: www.neillmckeeauthor.com/

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/neill-mckee-b9971b65/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/McKeeNeill/

Twitter: twitter.com/MckeeNeill

NBFS: www.northborneofrodotolkien.org

– Blog Tour Dates

February 15th @ The Muffin

What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Grab your coffee and join us as we talk to author Neill McKee and celebrate the launch of his blog tour for his travel memoir, Guns and Gods in My Genes. You can also enter to win a copy of the book yourself!

https://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

February 17th @ Choices

Join Madeline today as she spotlights Neill McKee’s travel memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.

http://madelinesharples.com/

February 20th @ Bring on Lemons

Turn lemons into lemonade by visiting Crystal’s blog today, where you can read her honest review of Neill McKees insightful memoir, Guns and Gods in My Genes.

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

February 22nd @ CloudsGirls27 Reads Books

Join Melissa as she reads Neill McKee’s memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.

https://bookreviewsbycloudsgirl27.home.blog/

February 24th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Come by Anthony’s blog today where he interviews author Neill McKee about his memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes

February 25th @ What is That Book About

Michelle spotlights Neill McKee’s book Guns and Gods in My Genes.

https://www.whatisthatbookabout.com/

February 26th @ Lisa Haselton’s Book Reviews & Interviews

Visit Lisa’s blog today where she interviews author Neill McKee about his book Guns and Gods in My Genes.

https://lisahaselton.com/blog/

February 27th @ Boots, Shoes, and Fashion

Join Linda as she treats us to an interview with author Neill McKee and chats with him about his memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes. She also shares some insights about the book! 

http://bootsshoesandfashion.com/

February 28th @ Lilly’s Book Wonderland

Join Lilly as she shares her insights into Neill McKee’s fascinating travel memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.

https://www.lillysbookwonderland.com/

March 1st @ World of My Imagination

Light up your imagination when you visit Nicole’s blog today! She shares her insights into Neill McKee’s memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.

https://worldofmyimagination.com

March 3rd @ Joy Neal Kidney’s Blog

Make sure you stop by Joy’s blog today and read her review of Neill McKee’s memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.

https://joynealkidney.com/

March 3rd @ Memoir Memoir

Visit John’s blog today and you can read his review of Nell McKee’s memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.

https://memoir-memoir.com/

March 5th @ A Storybook World

Deirdra spotlights Neill McKee’s profound memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.

http://www.astorybookworld.com/

March 8th @ Memoir Writer’s Journey

Join Kathy as she reviews Neill McKee’s memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.

https://www.krpooler.com/

March 11th @ The Frugalista Mom

Join Rozelyn as she reviews Neill McKee’s fascinating memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes. You can also win a copy of the book too!

https://thefrugalistamom.com/

March 12th @ Memoir Revolution

https://memorywritersnetwork.com/blog/

March 14th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Join Anthony again when he reviews Neill McKee’s memorable memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.

March 15th @ My Writer Blog

Join Carole as she reviews Neill McKee’s memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.

http://carolemertz.com/

March 16th @ Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire

Set your reading list on fire with Mindy McGinnis as she spotlights Neil McKee’s memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes. You also have the chance to win a copy of this fascinating book!

https://www.mindymcginnis.com/blog/