Shari’s Life: Getting ready for holiday!

Shari's Life

This Sunday me and my sister will be jetting off to Iceland for our first abroad holiday together since 2010 and my first holiday since 2015! I’m really looking forward to it and have spent most of the week so far making sure that I’ve done everything I need to do for it. I like to be prepared so I have already made a packing list and put out things that I know I will need to take! My cat-sitter came by on Monday and collected the spare set of keys. Tash was very happy to see her and tried to get an extra lunch from her too! 

I’m hoping to find some time to write before I go but I’m working this week too so I’m not sure how much time I will have. Hopefully I can do some though! 

These last few weeks has also been epic for UK squish-hunting! When I started collecting it was so depressing how few squish squads the UK was getting. But in the last few weeks we have had so many new squad drops! And there is more to come! My haul has been pretty insane. It has to be 15 at least! There is a toy shop at Gatwick airport and we’re going to check that before we fly out! I’m hoping they don’t have too many of my ISOs though as I can only fit a few into my suitcase!

This will probably be the last Shari’s Life post until after I come back. We have some exciting excursions planned so I will be taking lots of photos to share with you!

 

 

 

New Release Blitz: The View from Olympus Mons by Barry Creyton

Title: The View From Olympus Mons

Author: Barry Creyton

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 08/09/2022

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 56500

Genre: Gay Fiction, LGBTQIA+, sex workers, bartender, scientist, men with children, performance arts, reunited, deep closet, coming out, HIV/Aids, tear-jerker

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Description

Nate and Craig are inseparable high school friends in spite of their social differences—Nate from a wealthy family, Craig struggling to support his drug-addicted mother.

The boys seal their friendship by burying a time capsule, a collection of childhood possessions representing their lives, swearing to unearth it thirty years hence. They look forward to the future with optimism, but when Nate declares his deep feelings for Craig, he’s rejected and circumstances part the two. Thirty years later, Craig is informed of Nate’s hospitalization in critical condition, the victim of a hate crime.

In the twenty-four hours Craig spends at his boyhood friend’s bedside, events which have shaped their lives over three decades unfold—Craig’s journey from poverty to respect as a computer scientist, through twenty years of unhappy marriage, to the late discovery of his true sexuality, while Nate is disowned by his family and forced to support himself by prostitution.

Though contact between them has been nil for thirty years, neither has been able to break the bond formed in their childhood—Craig unable to forgive himself for re-jecting his friend; Nate’s life and relationships ham-pered by his unending, unresolved love for Craig.

Ultimately, Craig will drive a frenzied 900 miles to find release from the guilt that has shadowed his life—back to the tree house where it all began.

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Release Blitz and Review: Captured (Cold Love 1) by Scarlet Blackwell

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Captured (Cold Love, Book 1)

Author: Scarlet Blackwell

Publisher: Scarlet Books

Cover Artist: B4Jay

Release Date: August 8, 2022

Genre: Contemporary small-town m/m romance, crime/thriller

Tropes: Enemies to lovers

Themes: Forced proximity, hurt/comfort, angst

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 46 000 words

It is book 1 in the Cold Love series, but does not end on a cliffhanger. (HEA)

Goodreads

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

“I’m not going anywhere until I’ve slept in your nice warm bed. If you haven’t got an electric blanket, I’ll expect you to warm me up personally.”

Blurb

Who is the man with the gun? Friend or foe? Enemy or lover?

Ethan

I saw my way out and took it. I never dreamed it would be complicated by someone as distracting as Gabriel.

Gabriel

I thought my cabin was safe in a snowstorm until he arrived. Shivering, blue with cold and armed with a gun. The hottest thing to ever happen to me.

Horror writer Gabriel’s worst nightmare is about to come true…

Alaska is home to Gabriel Black two months of the year when he retreats to his isolated cabin to write. But with his relationship on the rocks, life is treating him badly. He doesn’t think things can get any worse when a storm strikes, keeping him snowed in, but he’s wrong.

His solitude is invaded by armed intruder Ethan, his origin a mystery. Ethan is an enigma, a man surely on the run, maybe a dangerous criminal, but Gabriel is drawn to Ethan’s broken spirit and damaged soul. Ethan is so much more than he first appears and Gabriel wants to know what he hides.

Heat ignites between Gabriel and Ethan and the lines between captive and captor soon start to blur. What secrets is Ethan keeping and will Gabriel be prepared to risk all for him?

Trigger warnings: Scenes of violence and murder. Mentions of rape. Homophobic language. Strong language and sexual scenes.

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Shari’s Top 5: Books

Top 5

Welcome to Shari’s Top 5! This is a new feature I have created to showcase my personal top 5 of various books, shows, toys, music, films, food, etc, whatever I fancy focusing on for each post really! To kick off the first post in the feature, I have chosen to share my top 5 books that I own with you! I hope you enjoy this new feature and do comment and let me know what your top 5 is!


Shari’s Top 5: Books

IMG_75725. Space – Our Final Frontier by John Gribbin

This book came out in late 90s/early 00s and was to accompany the BBC television series. This is my favourite non-fiction book because my parents bought it for me when I was 16. I’ve always had a fascination for Space and the Planets and before Covid I used to visit the local planetarium very regularly.  Of course, the science in this is probably a little dated now, but it contains some beautiful imagery of the stars and planets!

 

4. Watership Down by Richard Adams

IMG_7571This is a very old edition that my parents used to read to me as a kid and my Mum gave it to me. I’ve read it so much that it is falling apart now, but I would never change it up for a newer edition as it has sentimental value. I remember this was one of the stories that first inspired me to become an author. And yes you guessed it, many of my childhood self’s stories involved bunnies!

 

 

 

3. Remember Me by Christopher Pike

IMG_7569I first read this book when I was 14 and there was something about Shari’s story that really drew me and stayed with me even when I had outgrown the teen-horror genre. I don’t know how many times I have read this book over the years and I think I probably know it off by heart! When I changed my name at 18 I decided upon Shari Ann as she is probably a character I relate to most out of all the novels I have ever read. Ann is also my Mum’s middle name and I wanted to keep the family connection through this too. 

 

2. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

IMG_7570As you all know, I love dinosaurs and Jurassic Park is my all time favourite film! I was 8 or 9 I think when it first came out and I can recall watching the film and never being so scared in all my life (and I loved that!). When the film was released, Mum borrowed the book from our local library and when she had finished I asked to read it. I have always been a very fast reader, even as a child, and was already reading books that were aimed at children older than I was. I said I could read it in an afternoon and understand it. And I did! I’ve always been more life-smart than academic-smart so this remains one of my best moments academically! 

 

IMG_75681. The Silver Brumby by Elyne Mitchell

When I was growing up I had my ‘horse phase’ where I was completely obsessed with them. And my most coveted book was The Silver Brumby. Back in the 90s it had been out of print since the 70s I think and there was no Internet like it is now so I couldn’t just find a second hand copy on eBay. So my quest for it involved trawling through countless car boot sales and visiting second hand bookshops searching for it. I eventually found all the books in the series (which I still have too!) apart from this one. I was only able to get a copy when Collins finally issued a reprint! 

 

So these are my Top 5 books! I found it really interesting when I sat down to plan this post, that when I thought about it most of these books have some connection with my family and childhood. In fact they all do to some extent! I’m sure the choices will surprise many people who know me and were expecting horror, science fiction and fantasy novels to dominate! 

New Release Blitz: Blood & Dirt by Corey Niles

Title: Blood & Dirt

Author: Corey Niles

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 08/02/2022

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 110200

Genre: Paranormal Horror, LGBTQIA+, Contemporary, paranormal, horror, urban fantasy, golem, students, homophobic attack, murder, revenge

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Description

Vincent depended on his boyfriend, James, to stand up for him—until a violent hate crime results in James’s murder.

Weeks after his funeral, James reappears, perfectly healthy but changed in ways that neither of them can quite understand. Now, Vincent must uncover what truly happened on the night they were attacked.

In the face of an apathetic police force and a growing number of missing gay men, Vincent and James work to identify the criminals who attacked them.

With James scarred from what happened to him in the weeks between his death and rediscovery, Vincent must learn to stand up for himself and face his real monsters or lose James—and himself.


Excerpt

Blood & Dirt
Corey Niles © 2022
All Rights Reserved

Panther Hollow

Dead man walking. Vincent waited for the elevator in Posvar Hall. Four years was coming down to a single meeting. If the trajectory of his day so far had been any indication of how it would go, he was fucked.

The elevator door opened with a ding. Empty. His chest pounded and hands shook, but he forced himself to step inside and press the button for the third floor. The stainless-steel door closed him in, and he stared at his blurred reflection in the metal. Another ding rang out as he was dragged past the second floor and again when the door opened on the third. They sounded like the beating drums of a funeral march, and he did his best to ignore them.

Just outside the elevator, a woman spoke with an older man about some foreign conflict. They were both dressed in business casual attire. History professors, which didn’t come as much of a surprise in the history department.

“Excuse us,” the woman said, and only then did Vincent realize he was standing in the elevator doorway.

“Sorry.” He slipped past them, his cheeks blazing. The hallway was empty and silent beyond a little chatter leaking from the office doors that lined the walls. Professor Cowart’s office was down the hall on the right. Vincent had figured that out the last time he’d attempted to visit him, but he wasn’t going to turn back again. He was going to face him and explain the situation.

Each step made his heart beat faster and hands shake with more fervor. Sweat crawled down his back, and he knew it had little to do with the winter coat he wore or the backpack slung over his shoulders. So much was riding on this meeting. If today was going so badly, then maybe that was a warning sign from some higher power to turn around and come back another day.

Shit.

He stopped, and before he chickened out, he called James. “I don’t think I can do this.”

“What’s going on? What did he say?” Concern dripped from James’s words like butter on movie theater popcorn.

“Didn’t get there yet.”

“I thought you got off work at four?”

“We got slammed right before my shift ended. Didn’t get out of there until a quarter after. Then, someone stopped me to ask about Damien Wright. He’s the guy I had that thing with freshman year, and apparently, no one has heard from him for like a week. He’s in Myths with me. So, I—”

“Okay, that’s a lot, and we can talk about it later, but just breathe for a hot second because you sound like an old man in an anti-smoking ad.”

He might’ve laughed at that, under better circumstances. He sucked air into his starved lungs, filling his nostrils with the stench of his own sweat. He hadn’t smoked since he started dating James, but a cigarette sounded pretty good right about now.

“Babe, something is always going to happen. You can’t keep putting it off.”

Vincent exhaled. “I know. I’m just…I don’t know.”

“Today isn’t going as planned, but he has office hours until five, right? So technically, you aren’t late.”

“Right.”

Someone called out to James, and he said something Vincent couldn’t quite make out in response before he got back on the phone. “Sorry. Look, I gotta get back to the lab to help clean up for the day. Just don’t leave until you come to an understanding. Most of undergrad is proving that you care enough to work for it.”

With that, he was gone. Vincent took another breath and let his boyfriend’s words wash over him. James was right. He couldn’t keep putting off the meeting, but James’s ideal outcome was a little harder to swallow.

James spoke from the perspective of a student who’d graduated with honors and breezed through his first year of med school at the University of Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, Vincent had barely survived his first three years of undergrad. To make matters worse, he’d only started caring about Professor Cowart’s Myths, Legends, and Folktales class after he got back the rough draft of his final and realized he risked failing out during his last semester.

While he seriously doubted the meeting would end as favorably as James assured him, that didn’t mean it would be as disastrous as he presumed. He repeated James’s words to himself, screamed them in his mind over every second thought that sprung to life until he reached his destination. By that point, he almost believed them.

The office door was shut. A small wooden plaque was fixed to the opaque glass with “Dr. Charles Cowart” printed on it, and a poster was taped to the door below it:

I’ve always preferred mythology to history. History is truth that becomes an illusion. Mythology is an illusion that becomes reality. —Jean Cocteau

White text on a galaxy background. Laminated. Vincent wasn’t surprised to see the poster. He’d heard Professor Cowart babble on about the quote at least a hundred times in class. Beyond the plaque and poster, he could make out the faint silhouette of someone at a desk through the opaque glass. He brought his ear to the door. Silence broken up by the occasional clacking of a keyboard.

Just don’t leave until you come to an understanding.

Vincent knocked on the door.

The silhouette rose and walked over to him. The door swung open. Professor Cowart stood in the doorway. He was dressed in a beige suit with a crimson tie. His salt-and-pepper hair was shaped into a tight Afro that seemed at odds with the unkempt soul patch jutting from his chin.

“Hello.” He said it as a statement, but his furrowed eyebrows made it a question.

“Hi, Professor Cowart. I was wondering—”

“Dr. Cowart.” He motioned his head toward the plaque.

Vincent wiped the sweat from his forehead and pushed back his hair to keep it from sticking to his damp flesh. “Sorry. Dr. Cowart. I was wondering if I could speak with you.”

“And you are?”

“Oh, I’m, ah, Vincent Vicar. I’m in your Myths class.” He offered his hand, but Dr. Cowart walked back into his office.

“Take a seat. I’ll be with you momentarily.”

The office was colored yellow in the afternoon light pouring through the three floor-to-ceiling windows opposite the door. Dr. Cowart took a seat at his desk and resumed typing something on his laptop. Vincent set his backpack on the ground. He sat down in one of the two wooden chairs in front of the desk. The musky smell of tobacco and old books filled the room. The warm light and the smell had a dizzying effect. He felt like he was in a preheating oven.

He took off his jacket and laid it on his lap. Thankfully, he hadn’t sweated through his T-shirt. His phone buzzed in his pocket. James knew he was busy, so it was probably some telemarketer. He ignored it. He didn’t want to give Dr. Cowart any more reason to dislike him. Trying to sit quietly, Vincent waited for his professor to finish whatever he was doing.

Dr. Cowart typed in no apparent rush.

Vincent focused his attention on the bookshelf behind Dr. Cowart to keep his mind from spiraling down a rabbit hole of what-ifs. Worrying about having to retake the class in the fall as opposed to graduating in a little under two months would only make him a bigger ball of stress. On the stuffed bookshelves were small copper figurines of various characters and creatures from stories they’d studied in class. Vincent could make out a wolf stalking a young, hooded girl just behind Dr. Cowart’s head. There was also a Grecian warrior wielding a taut bow, whose name he should know at this point in the semester. The hero’s cape was molded to look as if it were blowing in the wind. Like the warrior could come alive at any second and land an arrow between his eyes.

Dr. Cowart shut his laptop. “Without telling me something I shouldn’t know, you wouldn’t happen to be aware of any reason why Damien Wright has missed my last two classes?”

“No, I’m not.”

“Hmmm. It’s difficult to keep track of all of you in such a large class, but some students, like Damien, make themselves known.”

“Oh?” was all Vincent could think to say. He wasn’t sure if the comment was directed at him or Damien. While missing a week’s worth of classes didn’t seem like something overachieving Damien would do, Vincent hadn’t known him all that well, and he had bigger problems to deal with at that moment.

“You’re a senior, correct?”

“Yeah. I mean, yes, I am.”

“Not a history major, though, are you?” He rubbed his soul patch thoughtfully like some wise old sage.

“No. I’m general studies.” He waited for a lecture concerning the pitfalls of such a degree when just another semester or two could enable him to obtain a more specific and substantial degree.

“Hmmm,” Dr. Cowart said, as if that decided something. “Anyway, what was it you wanted?”

“I was wondering if I could talk to you about the grade I received on the rough draft of my final.” He took his paper out of his backpack. Dr. Cowart made them print out their essays and submit them in person so that he could write out his feedback, which, in Vincent’s case, was little more than a red “D” written on the top of the page with the phrase “off topic” written below it. “I just wasn’t sure how my paper was off topic.”

Dr. Cowart took the paper and leafed through it. “What was the assignment?”

“To look at a story we discussed in class.”

“And for what purpose?”

“To research the historical context and analyze it to understand its legacy.” That was all the assignment guidelines had said.

Dr. Cowart glanced up at him, his eyes narrowing. “And what did you do?”

Vincent wasn’t sure what Dr. Cowart was getting at, but he had a sinking feeling he was walking into a trap. “I traced Grimm’s Hansel and Gretel to the 1635 story, Nennillo and Nennella, and then I examined how it was rooted in oral stories dating back to the Great Famine of 1315-1317.”

“That’s right.” He set the paper down on his desk. “And why did you examine this context?”

Vincent resisted the urge to point to his thesis statement on the first page. “I guess to indicate how this absurd story was inspired by real history, which resonated with readers.”

“I wanted you to examine the historical context. However, as I discussed in class, realism is of little concern to me beyond understanding why these stories continue to affect those who read them centuries later. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I seriously doubt that modern readers are captivated by how the story captures accounts from the Great Famine of 1315-1317. I want to know why this tale has survived the test of time.”

Vincent couldn’t remember whether he had attended the class where Dr. Cowart explained the assignment. If he had, he must not have been paying attention. He wished that archer on the shelf would put him out of his misery, but when Dr. Cowart continued to stare at him, he realized his question wasn’t rhetorical. “I don’t know.”

“Which is why you earned such a low grade on this assignment.” Dr. Cowart slid the paper back to him. His lips tightened like he was fending off a smirk.

Vincent swallowed in an attempt to push down the anger bubbling up inside him. “Because of this grade, I risk failing the class.”

“I don’t believe this grade would have been so devastating if you had a higher grade going into the assignment. That being said, I assign the draft of your final at midterms to ensure there is plenty of time for revisions. I suggest you use the next two months wisely.”

Vincent wanted to interject. Flip his desk. Do whatever he had to do for Dr. Cowart to understand that it was virtually impossible for him to pass the class unless he got a perfect grade on every assignment, including the final draft. Tell him he was already drowning in loans he couldn’t pay off and he couldn’t afford to be there another semester. Explain that it was tough working two jobs and keeping up with all his course work. Demand a new grade.

But he didn’t.

Unlike James, he didn’t have the drive and hard work to back up his words. As much as Dr. Cowart wasn’t softening the blow, Vincent had gotten himself into this situation, and he would have to try, and undoubtedly fail, to get himself out of it.

He collected his things and stood up. “Thanks for taking the time to meet with me.”

“Of course.” Dr. Cowart opened his laptop. Vincent was at the door when Dr. Cowart added, “History isn’t about observation. You have to dig into it and see what’s between the dirt and worms.”

Vincent wondered what great historian had said that quote and whether Dr. Cowart had it printed, laminated, and hanging somewhere in his office. As soon as he got into the hall, his phone vibrated. Below a missed call from an unknown number that surely belonged to a telemarketer was a text from James, asking how it was going. Vincent called him.

“So, what happened?”

The eagerness in his voice made Vincent feel sick. “Can we go for a jog?”

“What? It’s cold out, it’s supposed to like rain or slush tonight, and it’ll be dark in another hour or so. What happened?”

“Sun’s still out. It’s not that cold. The rain isn’t supposed to hit us until later. We have time. Please?” Vincent needed to get away from campus and pump his arms and legs until he forgot about everything except filling his lungs with air.

“Was it that bad?”

Vincent didn’t think he could explain just how poorly it’d gone without crying in the hall. “I’ll explain everything later. Can you bring my sweats and meet me at Schenley Park? We can park on Overlook Drive.”

“If you insist, cutie.”

“Thanks.”

“Just hurry. It’ll be dark soon.”

Purchase at NineStar Press

Meet the Author

Corey Niles was born and raised in the Rust Belt, where he garnered his love of horror. When he isn’t advising college students, he enjoys binge-watching horror movies and traveling to hoard American history in his cheeks like a chipmunk. He hasn’t met a creepy, isolated hiking trail he hasn’t liked.

After studying creative writing and gender and women’s studies as an undergraduate student, he went on to graduate from Seton Hill University with an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction.

In his spare time, he nurses his caffeine addiction and tends to his graveyard of houseplants. He is also a single father of a very fluffy cat named Alexander, who quickly forgot about his humble beginnings.

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Shari’s Life: New Flooring and Thrift Haul!

Shari's Life

Floor 1Last weekend I spent hours moving all my stuff into the kitchen and bathroom so that I could have my new flooring fitted in my lounge, hall and bedroom! Whilst I was lugging all my collection around (I didn’t appreciate how much I had until I had to move it!) I was questioning whether I should I have just put up with the carpet but I am so glad I did decide to get it all changed! The new floor is amazing! It changes the whole look of my flat (and unfortunately highlights the fact that the lounge needs a repaint so that’s project number 2 now!). Whilst it was being fitted a few straggler moths made an escape bid. I took pity on them and put them out the window! My new floor is Tash-approved too although she did not approve of the noise whilst it was being fitted!

Yesterday me, Sarah and Georgie went thrifting at the car-boot at Ford. I didn’t really find much for myself apart from these adorable as-new beanie boos for £2 for both! They are £9.99 each in Claire’s so that really was a steal! Georgie found a lot of stuff he wanted and his haul was a bargain too! The lot was £13 and retail the big truck alone was that much at least!Thifting 1

We also went into Chichester to squish hunt! I had such a good find in the Entertainer! They had one random Livvy the Starfish so I grabbed her! They had none of the rest of her squad tho which was a shame 😦 I also got some blind bags for my blind bag box and some more Recyclings! Claire’s are still having their buy 3 get 3 free offer so we checked that out too! I got one flip-a-mallow and then some jewellery and hair ties! Me and Sarah had also gone to Claire’s in Bognor and Chichester on Tuesday and did the offer with Squishmallows and got 6 each which was amazing! They’d had some of the blacklight squad, the new clips and the wildlife squad! If they had re-stocked on Saturday I properly would have done the offer with the squish again! 

My favourite buy of the day was this adorable caterpillar I got from Clintons. He was another steal at £9.99! It was funny as he was standing upright in the box and when I started to pull him out I was shocked at how big he was! I’ve put him on my sofa, and I can see his big happy face as I am typing this!

Squish 1Today I’m going up to B&M to get some bits for my flat and for holiday (and also to check for squish!). I then want to download the new Sims 4 high school expansion! I am very excited about this (despite hating high school myself when I was there haha!). I hope everyone is having a great weekend too!

Blog Tour: Sins of our Sons by Kristian Daniels

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Sins of our Sons

Author: Kristian Daniels

Publisher: Extasy Books

Release Date: May 28, 2022

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Forbidden love, murder, conversion therapy

Themes: Coming out, forgiveness, hate crime, love

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 94 000 words/ 333 pages

It is a standalone book and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Extasy Books

Contemporary MM Romance, murder, conversion therapy

Blurb

Young lovers Greg and Tyler secretly meet to spend time together, until a moment of passion by the moonlight throws their lives into chaos. When their parents learn about their little escapade, it opens a Pandora’s box that spreads family discord, resentment, and heartaches. When someone adds fuel to an already fragile situation, things get out of hand quickly. Will these two young lovers stay safe? How much can they endure before they break?

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Shari’s Life: Heatwave and almost holiday time!

Shari's Life

It’s very hot in the UK at the moment. Apparently there are red warnings and scientists saying it is going to be the hottest ever recorded over the next few days. A lot of people enjoy the hot weather. I really don’t. I’m not a fan of weather full stop to be honest. I like it ‘just right’ and ideally no rain and in the UK we seem to just go to one extreme to the another!

Which is why I am super excited to be jetting off to Iceland in just under a month’s time! It’s going to be averaging at a much more tolerable (for me anyway) 13 degrees celsius (55 F)! I booked our excursions the other day. We’re going whale watching and doing the Golden Circle tour. The northern lights aren’t that visible this time of year but I think we will try for this too! We have also planned in some exploring (and shopping!) time! 

My sister is coming over tonight and we are going to go through anything we still need to organise and using this an excuse to try the new Tapas restaurant that opened in town!

IMG_9545I met the lovely lady who is going to be looking after Tash for me the other week. I am worried about leaving Tash as I have not been on holiday since I got her but I am less worried now I know she will be in safe hands. Tash approves of her temporary cat-mum too which is great! 

The weekend will probably be quite busy as I need clear up my lounge and bedroom for the carpet fitters on Monday! This doesn’t sound like it will take all weekend but with the amount of collectables and other stuff I have it really will! They were going to do the lounge, hallway and bedroom over 2 days but they now think they can do it in a day which is great! 

If I have some time, I am hoping to go thrifting as well as squishmallow / toy hunting! If I’m able to fit it in too I will be sure to post about any great gets! 

I hope everyone is managing to keep cool!

New Release Blitz: Force Majeure by Sophia Soames

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Force Majeure

Author and Publisher: Sophia Soames

Cover Model: Rourke

Release Date: July 15, 2022

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope: Childhood friends to Lovers

Themes: Jealousy, Hurt/Comfort, Set in Berlin

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 32 000 words

It is a standalone story.

Goodreads

Buy Links

Universal Link | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Love is an earthquake that relocates the centre of the universe.

Blurb

Oakley Hoffman is a walking, talking natural disaster. Not only does he seem to be the only functioning adult in his family, but he also stomps around creating irrational earthquakes with every badly thought-out ridiculous move he makes. He barely survived lockdown, and with life returning to something that vaguely resembles normal, Oakley has landed himself an inconvenient infatuation with his former best friend. Well, if he’s totally honest, he’s probably nursed that crush for years. Yet, this time around, infatuation has brought a bad streak of jealousy to boot.

Force Majeure is a 32K novella featuring childhood friends to lovers in adulthood, with explicit content intended for mature readers. No trigger warnings.

Force Majeure refers to a clause that is included in contracts to remove liability for natural and unavoidable catastrophes that interrupt the expected course of events.
Excerpt

The clinking of the lock to the Demircis’ apartment kicks me out of my daydreams, and my heart jolts as I jump to my feet, almost tripping myself up in an effort to not look like I’m loitering.

“I could hear you a mile off,” Cem says, shuffling out into the hall, shivering despite the duvet draped around his shoulders like a royal cape. “You need to go to work and stop trying to scratch my head through the walls.”

He sits on the step. Too weak to fight the pull of his presence, I plonk down beside him, probably bruising my arse in the process, because I know I’ll get what I’ve been craving. Cem has always needed contact, and here I am, being squashed against the wall as he leans his body against mine and his head falls heavily on my shoulder.

“I’m a dick,” he says, bang on with the self-reflection.

“Yeah,” I want to shout at him, scream in his goddamn face, shake him until he gets his head in gear and sees how he has shattered my world. But I don’t. I can be a calm, reasonable person, and I have far too much self-control to fall apart in front of Cemil Demirci.

“I got carried away at the weekend,” he continues. “There was a party, and then I stayed over with friends, and time just kind of evaporated, you know?” Excuses. Always excuses.

“You have an exam today,” I say. If I sound angry, it’s because I can’t help myself.

“It’s under control.” He sighs deeply and turns his head so his nose is pressed into my shoulder. That’s something else he does to reel me in. Why do I let him so cheaply buy my forgiveness? “I studied all week, so I’m good. It’s all in here.” His hand pokes out of the duvet to point at his head. “I’m not worried about the exams.”

I’m not worried either. Cem is too clever for his own good. He’ll read a book and memorise every line, quoting it back at me in long, rambling sentences I barely understand. Nor have I ever seen him use a calculator. He scribbles down numbers at frightening speed on whatever surface he can find and then does the calculation in his head.

Cem knows stuff. Far too much stuff.

“I miss you,” I whisper without meaning to. Even shielded by all the jealousy and anger I feel, knowing I’m slowly, irrevocably losing him again, it’s the truth. He is the calm to my inner storm, and I will forgive him for anything and everything. And I hate myself for it.

 

About the Author

Sophia Soames should be old enough to know better but has barely grown up. She has been known to fangirl over TV shows, has fallen in and out of love with more popstars than she dares to remember, and has a ridiculously high-flying (un-)glamourous real-life job.

Her long-suffering husband just laughs at her antics. Their children are feral. The Au Pair just sighs.

She lives in a creaky old house in rural London, although her heart is still in Scandinavia.

Discovering that the stories in her head make sense when written down has been part of the most hilarious midlife crisis ever, and she hopes it may long continue.

Find me on social media @sophiasoames on all platforms

Christina Stern is a Russian based artist. Quick sketches and portraits drawn in pencil are what she likes to do the most. Her work can be found on @christinastern on Instagram

Aurelia Morris is a cover artist, photographer, Photoshop wiz and eternal fangirl. She works in many mediums under more aliases that she can keep track of.

Social Media Links

 

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Shari’s Life: New flooring, general sorting out and Squishmallow hunting!

Shari's Life

It’s been quite a busy week or so for me lately. There was Broken World’s release on 8th and I’ve been focusing on getting a lot sorted out in my flat too. One thing I really wanted to get was new floors in the lounge, hall and bedroom. I had a carpet moth infestation in 2021 and they did quite a lot of damage 😦 I have decided to go for wood-effect vinyl which looks lovely, is easier to keep clean and no moths will want to eat it! I’ve had a quote and its going to be fitted at the end of the month. I went for a light coastal oak colour and am so excited for it to be done! I had a company quote for custom curtains in my lounge but they said it would be nearly £1,000 due to the size of my bay window :O I’ve found some online myself which are a fraction of the cost so I will be getting these and putting them up myself instead! 

I’ve also been doing a lot of sorting out (I had so much for the charity shops!) and its starting to look a lot better. When I moved in, I just kind of dumped everything in place and never really got around to sorting it. I wish I had done it sooner as it just looks so nice. Once the new floors are down I will take some photos to share with you! 

SquishmallowsOn Saturday we went up to Hilsea again for another Squishmallow / toy hunt and this time it was a major success! Smyths had restocked and I was able to get so many that I wanted! They had the Squishville playsets on reduced so I was able to grab the two that I was after for £9.99 each which was awesome! I found Xiomara the cat who I really wanted last time but they didn’t have! I also found Maggie the stingray in B&M and my sister bought me Mony the butterfly on the facebook group! 

Of course, the star of the haul is the Squishville version of Misty the Mouse. I had been trying to get her for weeks (I bought so many capsules!) and then I found out that she is in the pink ones only! They had four pink ones in Smyths and I was trying to peep through this tiny hole in the bottom of the capsule with help from my phone light to see if I could see her! My sister said that would never work as she wasn’t the only grey one in the set but I was quietly confident I had picked the right one – and I did! We both agreed that opening that up and finding her was the best moment of the day! 

DragonWe also went into Portsmouth to continue the hunt but apart from series 2 capsules in Tesco there wasn’t much sadly. I went into the crystal shop and I bought this really cute dragon incense burner! I’ve got back into using incense again and my stick burner is really old (I’ve had it since I was 17!). Another issue I have is Tash keeps trying to grab the stick! This dragon one is really neat as it uses the cone incense. You can lift the dragon off the base and light one under it and smoke rises up and comes out of holes in his nose! I cannot wait to try it out! I remembered when I got home that I had this log stand that I have never used for anything so I put the dragon on that and think it looks really neat!