This Side of Paradise by TK Olsen Review

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

Once in a while you come across an author who is able to engage an audience in a matter of just a few simple pages, and that’s what we have today. Author TK Olsen has brought to life an incredible story of two men from very different cultures who find their own personal paradise in the short story This Side of Paradise. Here’s the synopsis:

“Huritt looked gorgeous in his suit, albeit very out of place. He had lovely tan skin, a color only Jin could dream of achieving, and dark brown eyes, lighter than Jin’s almost black ones. They both had short, messy dark-brown, almost black hair, and Huritt was just a tad taller than Jin; however, that wasn’t much as Jin was blessed with being almost six feet in the height department. Huritt also had calloused hands and strong lines of his face, smoothed out by the softness of his skin and slight roundness of his cheeks. Jin hadn’t really experienced races outside of his own, this really was his first time meeting a Native person in real life; however, he was drawn to the male in ways that made his heart soared and his father’s legacy cry. Huritt was beyond gorgeous and Jin’s father was going to kill him.”

The story of two boys and how they found their side of paradise.

The story was very thought-provoking and entertaining. The story of Jin and Huritt is amazing to watch unfold, bringing a natural and emotional LGBTQ romance to life while exploring two people who fall in love despite their very different cultural upbringings. It showcases the struggle members of the LGBTQ community go through when living in a culture or family that abhors people who simply want to love who they love, and the struggle to find happiness and peace while living in that kind of hostile environment that forces young people to repress who they really are.

It’s a very impactful story that is also a quick read, coming in at only 18 pages or so. Yet in that short amount of time you come to know Jin intimately and see his struggle and his passion for Huritt come to life. These characters are so engaging that you will be left wanting to explore their lives even more, and that’s what true storytelling is all about. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copies of TK Olsen’s This Side of Paradise today!

Rating: 10/10

https://amzn.to/2tOdLHM

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Storm of Attraction by Lily Black Review

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

A complex tale of rivalry, obsession and passion erupts into a fantastic romantic thriller in author Lily Black’s Storm of Attraction. Here’s the synopsis:

Love is worth fighting for.

Alexa Wolving has just one rule: never give a guy a second chance. That works just fine in the safe life she’s built. In the charming town of Willowdale, her day job as a librarian balances perfectly with her evening job as a black belt instructor. But when she attracts the attention of a stalker, Alexa’s carefully built world begins to crumble.

Drew Cosimo knows he broke Alexa’s heart five years ago when he took his first Ranger assignment and disappeared from her life. Now that he’s out of the army, he’s moving back home to Willowdale. He’s not looking for a fight, but making peace would be easier if Alexa hadn’t told the entire town he was a money-grubbing jerk. Despite the tension between them, Drew is quick to offer his protection when a stalker forces Alexa from her home.

As the stalker’s attacks escalate, Alexa and Drew are forced to face their painful past and the simmering attraction between them. They must fight to save each other before everything they care about goes up in flames. 

This book was a very fast paced yet well developed read. The complex history between the two protagonists made for a wonderful look into relationships and how sometimes time apart can lead to unexpected reunions. Whether they be good or bad is up to you to decide, but in author Lily Black’s novel readers get to see an intoxicating relationship form between these two complex and emotionally scarred people. The edge of your seat thriller explores the danger of obsession and how that danger presents itself. It allows readers to see that asking for help and looking to others isn’t a sign of weakness, and by working together terrifying threats can be manageable. The best part of this though is seeing how the danger of this stalker brings these two driven yet emotional people closer together than they ever anticipated.

Overall I loved this story. The characters were engaging to the point where I’d love to read more stories featuring these two protagonists, and the big reveal of the stalker will leave the reader floored. This was a well rounded and emotionally driven read, and I highly recommend checking it out. If you haven’t yet be sure to grab your copies of author Lily Black’s Storm of Attraction today!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1940215862/ref=x_gr_w_glide_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_glide_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1940215862&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Interview with Author Faye Hall

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

My name is Faye Hall and I am an Australian Historical Romance author.  My books are set in North Queensland, Australia during the 19th century.  I got into writing as a young child when my parents encouraged me to write down the stories I was forever telling them.  When I reached high school my senior English teacher told me I would never be good enough to make it as a writer.  It gave me the incentive to send my first manuscript to a publisher just to prove him wrong.  I’ve been working as an author ever since.
2) What inspired you to write your book?

My latest book, Indulgence & Temperance, is book number 2 in the Sins of the Virtuous series.  I have always wanted to write a book about the seven deadly sins, but it is a subject that has been done to death.  So I decided to incorporate heavenly virtues into each book as well, kind of like a good vs evil and using the characters to explain each sin and virtue.  Indulgence & Temperance takes the reader on a journey of Hellfire clubs, kidnapping, laudanum addiction and a passion driven love affair that is threatened to be ripped apart.
3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I want readers to take piece of Australian history with them.  As far as Romance novels go, Australia is still very much a new setting.  I want to show readers my country has just as much of a passionate history as every other.
4) What drew you into this particular genre?

My love of history is what started it, but as I traveled through my teenage years I realized as much as I loved the suspense in my writing, I wanted more.  I wanted to create that ‘happily ever after’ that you read about in fairy tales.
5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

It would be Beth Meridian from Indulgence & Temperance.  I would want to ask her just exactly what she got up to when she worked in that Hellfire club.
6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

It would have to be Goodreads or Instagram – I end up chatting to quite a few people on there.  
7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

To not give up and to not be afraid to let yourself grow as a writer.
8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

More writing!  I’m almost finished book 3 from the series, and I’m onto the second draft of book 4.

Author Bio:

Come on a journey with me through 19th century North Queensland, Australian and explore the passions and hardships of unique characters.
There is corruption, deceit and murder, as well as cattle rustlers, slave traders and hell fire clubs. Explore townships of Jarvisfield and Inkerman, as well as Ravenswood and Bowen. One book even incorporates my great grandmothers cattle station ‘Inkerman Downs Station’.

As well as an author, I am also the most spoilt wife in the world, and a very contented mother.
Come and discover all the passion and drama of North Queensland history with me

Book Blurb:

Indulgence and Temperance by Faye Hall

 

Would you abandon the woman you love for your own indulgence?

 

Beth Meridian has returned home, hoping to leave her sordid past behind her and settle into a quiet life. When her childhood friend, Hannah Raeburn, offers her a place to stay, Beth knows it won’t be long until she runs into Hannah’s brother, Daniel. What she doesn’t expect is for him to reignite feelings deep in her heart, reminding her of the kiss they shared before she left town.

 

Daniel Raeburn’s past is scandalous, his sinful indulgences allowing him more wealth than he could ever need. Still, he wants more, and his gluttonous appetite for wealth and women leads him to buy into a partnership at the local hellfire club.

 

When Hannah goes missing, Beth and Daniel follow her trail through the Australian outback. Witnessing the womanizer Daniel is, Beth flees on a cattle train headed north. Desperate to explain his actions, Daniel follows her.

 

Arriving in the small town of Jarvisfield, Daniel is shocked to learn that Beth is now the owner of the largest cattle company in the area. He’s even more shocked to discover that the preacher controlling the town, and stealing from the townspeople, is his once business partner William Maxon. He’s convinced this man is also responsible for his sister’s disappearance. When he learns William has Beth picked out as his next victim, Daniel knows he must do whatever it takes to make her listen to the truth. But she has no interest in hearing anything he has to say.

 

Faced with losing the two women he loves, Daniel is forced to choose between their freedom and the possessions and wealth he has hoarded over the years. But even if he gives it all up, he still might lose everything.

 

Content Warning: contains sex, strong language, and some violence

 

 

Genre(s): Historical Romance

 

IndulgenceAndTemperance_Large.jpg

You can learn more about the author at her social media links here:

Links

Buy links

http://beachwalkpress.com/faye-hall/

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00DPIMSMW

https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/faye-hall/id1104960880?mt=11

https://www.kobo.com/au/en/search?query=Faye%20Hall&fcsearchfield=Author

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Faye%20Hall%22?Ntk=P_key_Contributor_List&Ns=P_Sales_Rank&Ntx=mode+matchall

 

social media links

website https://www.faye-hall.com

blog http://www.faye-hall.info

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Faye-Hall/174774709247649

https://www.facebook.com/faye.hall.3363?ref=tn_tnmn

Twitter https://twitter.com/FayeHall79

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6882637.Faye_Hall

Tumblr http://fayehallauthor.tumblr.com/

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/fayehall79/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/fayehallauthor/

Flipagram http://flipagram.com/fayehall79

Youtube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoS8vLrlO0XZT80xTuJnrkA/videos

 

 

How I Met Your Mother Fail: My Problem with the Finale:

SPOILER ALERT: IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER OR THE FINALE, DON’T READ AHEAD.

Now before I write this, let me state a simple fact: I loved How I Met Your Mother and all the characters over the course of it’s nine
seasons. While the ninth and final season had it’s hiccups, I even loved the emotional core of the season. This post however is one writer’s
perspective on the finale, and why I felt it failed to conclude the series story properly.

There are a few problems I had with the finale as both a fan and as a writer. First off, let’s start with the fact that the final episode
felt like a forced plot. Spending an entire season building up this massive weekend affair for Robin and Barney’s wedding, plus spending
the whole last season showing Barney and Robin’s progression as characters to evolve to a loving, more committed place, would have been
a great payoff. However, to end the series with Robin choosing her career over a balance of work and love, and having Barney return to
womanizing after the divorce, only to get a woman pregnant and become a father, seems a huge disservice to the growth each character
had towards the end of the series.

Now let’s talk about Ted and The Mother. The entire series has been this huge build up of meeting the mother. Everyone has been looking
forward to learning the mother’s identity, and then we spent the entire last season meeting and falling in love with the mother character.
It seems to me that the entire series led up to this beautiful relationship building between Ted and the Mother, and then we finally get
this relationship, and then she’s taken away by an unknown disease. Then, to end the series, the kids tell Ted to go after their aunt
Robin. To me, this seems like one of the biggest slaps in the face the audience could get.

To me, this, coupled with little things in the finale like Robin leaving the group because of another burst of unresolved feelings for Ted,
or the group loosing touch with one another after going through everything they went through together, made the finale a bust. The biggest
takeaway from the finale was that Barney, Robin and Ted seemed to regress to their season 1 selves, completely taking away the growth each
character had throughout the series.

The only people that seemed to grow as people were Marshall and Lily, and yet their success was not enough to wash away the bad taste this finale left. As a writer, I felt let down by the utter lack to faithfulness to the characters. If I had
written the show, I either would have alluded to Robin’s conflicting feelings for Ted throughout the series more often, with the Barney
relationship being a mistaken hook up and nothing more, or I would have let the mother live, and let Barney and Robin stay together, and the
group, including the mother, would stay together as a close-knit group of friends. To me at least, the name of the game would be growth for
these characters, and this finale was more about a total regression.

What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments below whether or not you guys liked the finale, or if you agree with my view on it.

Romanticism in the 21st Century: Author Anthony Avina’s Inspiration for His Novella, VOID

Hello there everyone. Today’s blog post is going to be partly a behind the scenes look at my creative process and inspiration for VOID, the
novella I just released for preorder on Amazon Kindle. It’s also going to be partly personal, in which I talk about a big part of my life,
and that is my romantic side.

Let’s get personal guys. I am what is referred to as a hopeless romantic. That means that basically, I believe in love. I believe in the
power of love and that when you find love, it’s a rare but beautiful thing. I know that for most guys, the bachelor life appeals to them.
They enjoy moving from one night stands and flimsy relationships to the next one. I also know that women might be wary of a guy who speaks
of love, especially at my age, (25). Yet a bachelor lifestyle never appealed to me, and I’m not interested in a one-sided relationship where
I’m more invested in the relationship than she is. I have no interest in being one of those men who is clingy, or too focused on the relationship
and not on myself. No, what I want is a partner, whom I love and who loves me.

There’s a saying that I think fits my thinking best. Love is patient, and love is kind. To me, that means that everyone is different. Sometimes,
a person is lucky enough to know at their first encounter that they’ve found the person they love. Others take time to grow their feelings.
It’s about respecting love’s timetable. It cannot be forced. It cannot be arranged or brought on unnaturally. Love is a living, breathing
thing. It grows when two people, (and I mean any two people, but more on that later), work together in unison, taking in both the good and
the bad aspects of one another, and at the end of the day deciding that their love for one another is stronger than any apprehensions or
fears.

This has been a driving force in my life for years. I’ve always been more in touch with my feelings and the feelings of those around me, which
made me a good friend and shoulder to lean on for friends I’ve made over the years. While most people won’t agree with me, I am looking for
love, and I know I’ll find it one day. I have no interest in forcing it or assuming I’ll find it immediately. I just am allowing myself to
open up to love, and going along for the ride.

Now on to how this applies to VOID. You see, as a romantic, I’ve always incorporated love into my horror stories. I believe in showcasing
romance even in the face of horrific situations. Yet I felt inspiration strike after listening to a song. It was A Great Big World’s “Say
Something”. This song spoke to me on a new creative level. I listened to the song, and heard a message of loss, of hope, and of love. It
spoke to me about how life throws us curve-balls. How through pain, through loss, and through tragedy, one can find hope. Although the song
can be open to interpretation, this is the message I heard, and so VOID was born.

I decided to write a story about six friends, each undergoing a tragedy or dilemma of some sort. I decided to incorporate bits of my life
or things I believe in into their stories, such as Jasper, who’s undergoing a tragic set of circumstances as he is a gay man with parents
who are devoutly religious people who are against homosexuality. This is a subject I’m passionate about, because not only have I met and
known people who judge people by their sexuality, but I believe that love knows no sexual orientation. I felt like I needed to showcase
the mistakes and pitfalls of judging people. I wanted to highlight the struggles of the LGBT community in the face of adversity, and showcase
that friends could help him overcome his debacle.

I am writing this all down because I wanted to give you all a deeper understand of how I write and what I believe in. I’m a straight man
who fights for equality for everyone. I believe whole heartedly that everyone, no matter your race, gender or sexuality, is equal, and I
choose to believe this because I believe in love. You know, I just recently watched a very heartwarming and romantic video on YouTube of
well known YouTubers Colleen and Joshua Evans. It was their wedding video, and the love I saw in this video spoke to me. Not only the bright
love between this young couple, but the family that grew among their friends and family. Bonds were formed out of this love. A new family
was created out of this love. That is what I wanted to convey in VOID. Love among friends can bloom a new family. Love is one of our world’s
most powerful forces, and it should be cherished. That is what defines the theme of VOID.

Thank you guys for listening. To Josh and Colleen Ballinger, congratulations on your wedding. I’m always happy to see love blossom like in
your case. It’s a beautiful thing, and as a fellow YouTuber and romantic, I couldn’t be more proud and happy for you. To the rest of you guys,
I hope this gives you a better understanding of who I am and my creative process. I feel deeply, and I have always striven to incorporate
my thoughts, my feelings, and my romanticism into my writing. I hope you guys will check out VOID and see for yourself how love runs throughout
the veins of this novella. It’s available for preorder now on Amazon Kindle and will be out on October 1st, 2015 in both paperback and eBook
formats.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010VUR5QK?*Version*=1&*entries*=0