The Confectioner’s Guild. ARC Book Review.

Title: The Confectioner’s Guild. (Book One The Confectioner Chronicles)

Author: Claire Luana

Published: Live Edge Publishing

Release: 23rd October 2018

“A magic cupcake. A Culinary killer. The perfect recipe for murder.”

Confect

I gobbled this delicious story up in a day, I was hooked right from the beginning and could not put it down. Many thanks to NetGalley for getting me an advanced copy of this beauty. Fast paced, lots of twists and a dash of scrumptious romance made for the perfect tale of confectionery delights! It’s not often you find a book that combines two of your passions, The Confectioner’s Guild satisfied my love for baking sweets treats with my love for magical mystery novels!

Our main character Wren, has had a hard life full of bad luck. The only thing she knows for sure is that she is an incredible confectioner whose sweet treats work wonders. What she doesn’t know is that she can work magic through her baking! Wren is approached at the shop she works at by a strange man who whisks her away. She is introduced to the head of The Confectioner’s Guild and told of her magical powers. Barely used to the idea, given only seconds to process, the head of the Guild falls dead before her, poisoned by her own cupcake and now she stands accused of murder! A turn of events I definitely wasn’t expecting. In a whole new world with no friends she must learn how to use her magic properly and figure out who has framed her for murder. She only has a few weeks before the King and his headsman arrive, she starts to make friends but she doesn’t know who she can trust. The inspector on the case takes a special interest with her, they become close and together with her new friends search for whoever framed Wren. They uncover many secrets and a conspiracy that runs deep within the Guilds, they must stick together if they’re all to survive!

I loved so many of the characters in this book and was so thrilled to find out this is only the first book in a series. I can’t wait to see where the story goes now and how the relationships develop. Claire has created an intricately powerful world that I yearn to be part of. She is the perfect amount of descriptive which makes envisioning the scenes so spectacularly enjoyable. You feel for Wren straight away and want nothing more than for her to succeed and for the person who framed her to go down!

The Confectioner’s Guild is available for pre-order here: The Confectioner’s Guild, there is also a pre-order giveaway to coincide, just email your receipt to claireluanapreorders@gmail.com

The Pre-Order swag and giveaway includes:

  • Four recipe cards with recipes from the book
  • High res signed digital poster
  • High res digital maps of the Western Reaches and the City of Maradis
  • Folks who claim their pre-order bonuses will also receive entry in a giveaway to win:
    • (1) signed paperback copy of The Confectioner’s Guild;
    • (1) $10 Amazon gift card;
    • (5) 9 ounce Character candles from The Confectioner’s Guild;
    • (10) Autographed bookmarks!

Be sure to subscribe to Claire Luana’s website here: Claire Luana Home

Once you’ve gobbled up Book One you’ll no doubt want to pre-order Book Two which is being released on the 19th November 2018, so here’s the link for that too: The Confectioner’s Coup

Rating out of 10: 10!

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The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen – Cover Reveal Party!

Hey bookworms! I was lucky enough to get to participate in the much anticipated cover reveal for The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen yesterday. This was my first ever cover reveal and it was so much fun, thanks to MTMC Tours for including me! I’ve really enjoyed chatting to everyone over on Instagram and i love being part of the International Giveaway that’s also happening (scroll down to the bottom for details). I thought i’d share the cover here too and tell you a little about the audio book that will be released on October 16 this year. Danielle L. Jensen wrote the Malediction Trilogy that i absolutely adore. They were one of the first YA Fantasy collections that i read so they will always have a place in my heart.

For us bookstagrammers we were to create our own unique set-up using the image provided of the cover photo, here’s the one i made.

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It was so fun to see what everyone came up with and be part of such a special day. It will be released as an Audio Book but sometime next year will also be released as a paperback too. Here’s the full close up image of the cover and a full synopsis of the story.

BridgeKingdom Cover

‘Blending the steamy romance of OUTLANDER with the lush fantasy world and violent power struggles of GAME OF THRONES, THE BRIDGE KINGDOM follows a princess who is trained to be a lethal spy and is sent to marry the king of an enemy realm. But complications arise when she finds herself falling for the man she was raised to destroy. Out October 16th, 2018 from Audible Originals!’

From Danielle L. Jensen:

“I’m so excited to share the cover of THE BRIDGE KINGDOM, which was illustrated by the talented Richard Anderson! This novel was pure enjoyment to write because I was able to create a story that blends intrigue, adventure, and LOTS of steamy romance, all of which takes place in a fantastical setting. THE BRIDGE KINGDOM was written specifically for audio, and with the exceptional narration of Lauren Fortgang and James Patrick Cronin, it truly is an incredible listening experience!”

Full Synopsis

Lara has only one thought for her husband on their wedding day: I will bring your kingdom to its knees.

A princess trained from childhood to be a lethal spy, Lara knows that the bridge kingdom represents both legendary evil – and legendary promise. The only route through a storm-ravaged world, the Bridge Kingdom controls the trade and travel between lands, allowing its ruler to enrich himself and deprive his enemies, including Lara’s homeland. So when she is sent as a bride under the guise of fulfilling a treaty of peace, Lara is prepared to do whatever it takes to fracture the defenses of the impenetrable Bridge Kingdom.

But as she infiltrates her new home – a lush paradise surrounded by tempest seas – and comes to know her new husband, Aren, Lara begins to question where the true evil resides. Around her, she sees a kingdom fighting for survival, and in Aren, a man fiercely protective of his people. As her mission drives her to deeper understanding of the fight to possess the bridge, Lara finds the simmering attraction between her and Aren impossible to ignore.

Her goal nearly within reach, Lara will have to decide her own fate: will she be the destroyer of a king or the savior of her people?

Content warning: The Bridge Kingdom includes more explicit sexual content than Danielle’s other YA novels

INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY ON INSTAGRAM

Head over to my page @bitsandbooks92 and follow the rules below to enter this awesome giveaway! Open internationally until 27th September 2018.

giveaway prize

INTL Giveaway!
Win a The Bridge Kingdom–themed goody box that includes an exclusive candle from A Court of Candles, tea, sea salt & hand cream from The Body Shop, a pen, postcard, and an audiobook download (on release date)!

HOW TO ENTER
– Follow me, @danielleljensenl & @mtmctours!
– Like & leave a comment

ADDITIONAL ENTRIES
– Tag friends who might want to enter in a DIFFERENT comment (up to 3 comments). But make sure to tag friends you do know.

And that’s it! This giveaway ends on September 27th at 11:59 PM EST. Open INTL. Good luck!!! (Giveaway not affiliated nor endorsed by Instagram)

Unspeakable: A Deadly Secrets Novel. ARC Book Review.

Title: Unspeakable – A Deadly Secrets Novel

Author: Elisabeth Naughton

Published: Montlake Romance

Year: 2018

“At what should have been one of the tensest moments of his life, Rusty laughed. And for the first time, he was glad he wasn’t alone.”

Unspeakable

‘All his siblings have moved on from their troubling pasts, but Rusty McClane can’t leave his behind. Not even when his freedom is in jeopardy. Legal investigator Harper Blake can sense a bad boy. She’s drawn to them—like she is to her mysterious and brooding new client. The police believe that Rusty is involved with the case of a missing underage girl. Harper’s job is to find evidence to defend him. But is her sexy suspect a predator…or something else? If Rusty is guilty of anything, it’s of stirring something primitive in Harper. The closer they get, the harder it is to believe the worst of him. But in an underworld filled with sex trafficking, kidnapping, and murder, Harper will need to be cautious about whom she trusts. Because Rusty isn’t the only one with secrets.’

Fast-paced, raunchy as hell sex scenes and deep dark twisty shit that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Love, love, loved this book! Only took me a day to read it, I went to bed early just so I could keep reading and I stayed up until 3 AM to finish it. The drama, the romance, the sex, the emotions, all written so well I felt like I was living through it myself.   I really felt the connection between Rusty and Harper, their relationship was so similar to my own with my partner so I really related to what they were going through, falling in love and learning to trust, not only each other, but trust that they deserved the happiness they were finally feeling after both having such a rough past.

I can see why Elisabeth is a best-selling author, her writing flows, she creates suspense and keeps you wanting more. She writes with confidence and doesn’t shy away from sex, she puts a fire in your belly you can’t put out. This book was also quite humorous and had a great family aspect where you feel warm and comforted knowing there are good people and good families out there. I absolutely loved how everything tied together in the end, very clever storytelling. Elisabeth shows she can create a relationship as well as connect her readers with her characters, which is no small feat for an author. TO make you want to care, to make you invested in a characters outcome, even if they’re not the main character. I was just as concerned for some of the supporting roles as I was for Rusty and Harper.

Those who love Nora Roberts and Jackie Collins will absolutely adore Elisabeth Naughton, I for one can’t wait to read more!

Rating out of 10: 10

Unspeakable will be available in November 2018. You can pre-order it here: Unspeakable

 

Kindle Vs. Hardcopy.

Ah the age old question, Kindle E-copy or proper hardcopy/paperback? For so long I said “no way will I ever get a Kindle, I can’t cheat on my books like that!”, it genuinely felt like I’d be betraying my books and that I’d be contributing to the loss of bookstores and public libraries. So what changed my mind? Well it was a series of novellas written by Kylie Chan, she only released them on Amazon as e-copies and I absolutely could not miss out on reading them just because I was being stubborn. I did a lot of research so I could weigh the pros and cons of e-books over real books. My partner ended up buying me a Kindle Paperwhite for my birthday and I haven’t been parted from it since. I found the paperwhite model to be perfect for me and didn’t cost an arm and a leg. The Kindle Unlimited feature is by far the best bang for you buck I’ve ever encountered. $14 per month for hundred of thousands of titles? Hell yeah! Everyday there are specials from all genres where books will only cost you $1.49, you’ll never get that anywhere else except for perhaps a thrift shop or garage sale. And you can store endless amounts of books on there too. Oh and did I mention you can get the Kindle app on your Smartphone? Everything you buy on your Kindle automatically syncs to your app so no matter what, you can bring multiple books with you everywhere and for someone like me who likes to read 4 or 5 books at once, this is a lifesaver. I used to take a huge book bag to work with the 3-5 books I was currently reading, it was so heavy, but it was necessary because I never knew what I was going to feel like reading, with a Kindle that is never something you have to worry about. And I know what you’re thinking, but Jen, what about real books and book stores? I still read real books, I still go to my public library and borrow regularly and the few bookstores that are left, I still go to when I have the money (which unfortunately isn’t as often as I would like). Nothing compares to the feeling and the smell of a new or borrowed book so that is not something I’ll ever give up for good. Also the cover artwork on most of the novels I read are absolutely stunning and unfortunately the Kindle Paperwhite is only black and white so you don’t get the full effect of a beautiful fantasy novel cover, they still look great as you’ll see below but not quite the same as the hardcopy. Sometimes if a book on Amazon is cheap enough I will buy it for my Kindle and buy a hardcopy to keep too. I should probably start receiving commission from Amazon with the amount of Kindle’s I’ve convinced people to buy, none of them have regretted it either, promise!

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Look how clear the image is! The brightness is only half way up too.

I nearly forgot to mention possibly the best feature of the Paperwhite, it has a MULTIPLE MONTH BATTERY LIFE. I use my Kindle everyday usually for 2-3 hours, and I never turn it off. I’ve had it for a year and a half and I swear I’ve only charged it maybe 4 times. It has a backlight that you can dim or increase to suit you, finally I can read my book in bed and not keep my partner and puppy awake! You can also easily skip forward and back in the book and highlight passages/quotes you want to post or keep. You can purchase all different covers to protect your Kindle, it makes it a little bit bulkier but at least you have piece of mind that it’s safe no matter what.

Another amazing feature Kindle’s have is Goodreads. Goodreads is a magical place where you can connect with other likeminded readers and share your thoughts and opinions and reviews. I love the world of books Goodreads opened up for me, I love the people I’ve become friends with through writing reviews and I love that they have regular competitions and giveaways along with interviews with authors! It connects us all in a way real books just can’t, unless you’re in a book club, which lets face it, are more of an online thing now anyway! I must be part of 10 different book clubs right now, all of them online. Without my Kindle I don’t think I would have even thought to start this blog. Posting reviews to Goodreads was what got me interested in writing even more for myself. Okay so you’re probably wondering if I’m getting paid to write this by Amazon because of how much praise I’m giving, I assure you, I’m definitely not! I genuinely believe this piece of technology is a must have for avid readers. So what are you waiting for? A magical world awaits!

You can buy your very own Kindle Paperwhite here: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Or at JB HIFI here: JB HIFI Kindle Paperwhite

 

2018 Reading List

My goal for 2018 is to read 100 books, doubling my amount from 2017. To hold myself accountable i thought i’d post my read-so-far list here. I’ll also add links to those I’ve posted reviews for so far! I’m a little behind on my goal, i have about 5 books i’m reading right now, i can’t help but switch between books sometimes. You’ll notice a recurring theme of authors, once i find an author i love i try to read everything they’ve ever produced. I’d love to hear about what everyone else has been reading, feel free to leave your list in the comments!

  1. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao
  2. Golden Age (Shifting Tides Book One) by James Maxwell
  3. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Manisalco
  4. Hunting Price Dracula by Kerri Manisalco
  5. Year One by Nora Roberts
  6. Cargo by Jessica Au
  7. Silver Road (Shifting Tides Book Two) by James Maxwell
  8. The Liar by Nora Roberts
  9. Designer by Marius Gabriel
  10. Fired up, Frantic and Freaked out by Laura VanArendank
  11. Copper Chain (Shifting Tides Book Three) by James Maxwell
  12. Don’t Tell by Karen Rose
  13. Iron Will (Shifting Tides Book Four) by James Maxwell
  14. Society of Wishes by Elise Kova Society of Wishes. Book Review.
  15. Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gartner
  16. What Happened by Hilary Clinton
  17. Earth is Hiring by Peta Jean Kelly
  18. The $1000 Project by Canna Campbell
  19. Air Awakens (Book One of Air Awakens Series) by Elise Kova
  20. Fire Falling (Book Two of Air Awakens Series) by Elise Kova
  21. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (12th re-read) by J.K.Rowling
  22. Earth’s End (Book Three of Air Awakens Series) by Elise Kova
  23. Water’s Wrath (Book Four of Air Awakens Series) by Elise Kova
  24. Crystal Crowned (Book Five of Air Awakens Series) by Elise Kova
  25. The Devil’s Disciple by Glenn Meade The Devil’s Disciple Book Review
  26. Throne of Glass (Book One) by Sarah J. Mass
  27. Crown of Midnight (Book Two) by Sarah J. Mass
  28. The Witches of Blackbrook by Tish Thawer The Witches of Blackbrook (Book One of Series). Book Review.
  29. What Manner of Love is This? by Dani Daniels What Manner of Love is This? Book Review.
  30. Empress Orchid by Anchee Min