Book Review: Shinigami (Takamagahara Monogatari #2) by Xia Xia Lake

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A coming-of-age love story between an orphan and the heir of the richest family in the Land of Yamato. The human world meets the yōkai in a power struggle for the fate of Fujiwara no Hirotsugu.

While he battles to find his own path, Hirotsugu finds solace in a boy who will become his secret friend, then his salvation, and then as they become adults together, the love of his life.

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: Shinigami


Review

*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 5 stars

Shinigami is the second novel in the Takamagahara Monogatari series. As with the first book in the series, Shinigami draws Japanese religion and folklore into its stories as well as the life of Fujiwara no Hirotsugu. I don’t want to say too much about the historical Fujiwara no Hirotsugu as it would spoil some plot elements, but he was a real person and I liked how the author incorporated this into their work.

Shinigami begins when a young compassionate Hiro takes pity on a starving boy and from his kindness a bond between them is forged. Over the years their friendship turns into a forbidden love that will shape the course of Hiro’s destiny.

Like the first novel, Shinigami combines a mixed of folklore, history and religion to create a uniquely beautiful tale. Time is taken to set each scene and describe every detail in a way that draws you into this wonderful world that the author has created. The romance happens gradually and at a natural pace that never once feels rushed or false. You really feel for these characters and the struggles that they are facing.

Shinigami is a beautifully written and moving novel, which I cannot recommend enough. I very much look forward to reading further novels in the series.

New Release Blitz: Time Waits by C.B. Lewis

Title: Time Waits

Series: Out of Time, Book One

Author: C.B. Lewis

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: April 27, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 109300

Genre: Science Fiction, British, gay, intercultural, PTSD, Science Fiction, time travel

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Synopsis

On the run from his former allies in 1943, Janos Nagy’s life is turned upside down when he stumbles through a mysterious doorway and finds himself in the hands of the Temporal Research Institute, a covert organization that verifies historical events through time travel.

The year, he is told, is 2041. Wounded, exhausted, and helpless, he’s in a time he doesn’t know and a world that has changed beyond his wildest imagination. Dieter Schmidt, one of the TRI linguists and historians, offers his aid in making sense of this strange new existence.

But Janos’s arrival has broken the TRI’s prime rule of non-interference. It’s not long until someone in the TRI decides that if the rule can be broken once…well, why not break it again?

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What Day is it Anyway? Wednesday, 22nd April 2020

My day: I’m still working from home and I must admit I am actually starting to miss going into work now. There’s only so much I can do from home too so there is going to be a nice backlog waiting for me once the lock-down is over which I am itching to get started on!

I finished the main story in Animal Crossing yesterday! I was actually surprised at how short it was, but now at least I can focus on what I want to do. I’ve been breeding flowers mainly and also paying off that massive loan for my extra room! My house isn’t that organised at the moment and is filled with random things for each different room I want to eventually build. I also saw today that Redd is going to be added to the game so yay I’m going to have to waste money on his forged paintings!

I’ve been watching a few things on Netflix this week. I watched a film called Time Trap which is about some teenagers who go looking for their missing archaeology professor in a network of caves and discover that time starts moving at a different speed to the outside world. When I first started watching it I wasn’t sold immediately but it ended up being quite good in a scary, messing with your mind kind of way. There are few things that can even remotely freak me out but that came close in a good way.

The other thing I’ve started watching is Tiger King. I cannot get my head around it. It’s completely insane, disturbing yet compelling. I’ve watched just over half of it so far and will probably end up finishing it tonight.

I amended my online shopping order earlier and I was actually able to add hand gel to the basket for the first time in forever! Whether it will turn up is another thing entirely but that its not all sold out is encouraging! I also ordered Tash some dreamies. I think she’s starting to wish I would go back to work too as I’m constantly sitting on her sofa or disturbing her middle of the day cat-naps with brush time!


Linda G. Hill came up with this great idea to keep track of the weeks and months ahead. For those who already are, and will be isolated in the coming weeks, it is important to all come together and support each other.

Book Review: Lament of the Fallen (Hero of Darkness #2) by Andy Peloquin

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Can a killer escape the evil inside him?

The Hunter has fled his home and the suffering left in his wake. Hoping to cleanse the stain of blood on his hands, he aids travelers beset by bandits only to discover those he saved are warrior clerics on a holy mission to kill him.

Left for dead, he must hunt down the priests to reclaim his stolen birthright and silence the relentless whispers in his mind that hunger for blood and death.

From feared assassin to wretched outcast, the Hunter journeys toward the truth about his forgotten past and the demons he pledged to hunt. But will his discoveries be his salvation, or will they cost him his sanity and even his life?

Purchase: Amazon.com

Goodreads: Lament of the Fallen


Review

*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 4 stars

In the second instalment of the Hero of Darkness series, the Hunter sets out on a quest to discover the secrets of his own past. Along the way he again faces adversity from those he meets, as well as his own internal struggle with the demons that threaten to consume him.

I really enjoyed reading the second novel in this series. It is more focused on the character of the Hunter and his personal struggles. Delving into his mind, you learn more about his motivations and also how he fights against his own destiny as an assassin. Through the people that he meets on the road, you learn how the Hunter really craves companionship and acceptance although forced to hide the true nature of what he really is for fear of attack or rejection. These fears are often proved founded however there is also hope for him that he can forge some relationships with those open and willing to look beyond and see the man that he truly wants to be.

His internal struggle makes for some compelling reading and you really get a sense of who wants to be. Even in his darkest moments, you can really feel for the man fighting the demon and this invokes an empathy that on a less well developed character you might feel does not deserve it.

The Hunter’s path inevitably leads to conflict and his compassion at the end of the novel fits in well with who he has developed into as a person.The world-building is as rich and vivid as the previous novel, as is the description. The fight scenes are realistic and as brutal as they need to be, contrasting against the Hunter’s reluctance to engage in the violence that he is forced into.

This a really great, character-driven story and I am very much looking forward to finding out the secrets of the Hunter’s past in further novels in this series.

New Release Blitz: Dragon Consultant by Mell Eight

Title: Dragon Consultant

Series: Supernatural Consultant, Book One

Author: Mell Eight

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: April 20, 2020

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 33300

Genre: Paranormal YA, LGBTQIA+, YA, dragon shifter, mage, men with children, magical detective agency

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Synopsis

Dane, a supernatural consultant, is hired by the FAA to look into a series of reported dragon attacks on their planes. What Dane finds in the wooded area where the attacks took place is not quite the problem he expected: a group of dragon kits and their sick father hiding from the authorities.

When he learns the real reason the family was in the woods, his case grows more dangerous, and though Dane is experienced at both crime solving and watching his own back, taking care of baby dragons and their ill father makes everything else look easy.

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What Day is it Anyway? Sunday, 19th April 2020

Yesterday: I spent most of my day working on Perfect World 3. I try to find positives in bad situations and one positive is that I have never had so much time to write. I shouldn’t get too carried away as Perfect World 3 is still very much a draft but if I keep this up a release in the first half of next year does not seem overly optimistic. As I’ve said before its taking a much darker tone than the previous books. I never like to give away too much when I’m still writing a novel but this except below sums up how things are turning out!

“I’m sorry,” Adam murmured quietly. In truth he didn’t know what he was apologising for. For what he had been about to do or what he knew he would do before all of this was over.

I also spent some time on Animal Crossing. I moved my house AGAIN so that’s cost me 60,000 Bells so far as I cannot make up mind where I want it. It’s currently next to a waterfall and I think I will leave it there now. I’m breeding plants at the moment and have some lovely black roses for my garden! I also saved up enough Nook Miles for the Godzilla statue! So he’s now overlooking/guarding the beach from the clifftops!

Today: I wrote some more this morning and this afternoon I dropped in on my Sims. Dallas’ aspiration is Social Butterfly but other Sims don’t seem to like her much so making friends for her is such hard work. She’s finally got the 3 children friends she needs but she needed a couple of adult friends as well. So I thought it would be a good opportunity for her to patch things up with her father. Dallas called him over and he actually turned up this time which was a good start! After some cloud gazing together and a couple of hugs they were friends so mission accomplished! Don also tried to flirt his way back into Bella’s good-books! Which did not go unnoticed by Mitchell and they got into a fight! Unfortunately for Mitchell, Don is ripped for spending all day every day at the gym so he got his ass kicked. They now despise each other!

I’m finding that since everyone went mad with food shopping and hoarding, I am ending up with way more substitutes with my online shopping. The other week they included these really cute heart marshmallows! Normally I just get the plain white 80p ones for my hot chocolate but they didn’t have them so they sent the heart ones instead. Thesse are almost double in price but I only paid the price of the normal ones!

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Linda G. Hill came up with this great idea to keep track of the weeks and months ahead. For those who already are, and will be isolated in the coming weeks, it is important to all come together and support each other.

 

Release Blitz and Review: Handsome Death by Sara Dobie Bauer

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Handsome Death

Author: Sara Dobie Bauer

Publisher: Carnation Books

Release Date: April 10, 2020

Genre/s: Paranormal M/M romance, contemporary M/M romance

Trope/s: Vampires, bondage, hurt/comfort, age gap

Themes: explicit sex, past abuse, dark, immortal, graphic violence, stalking

Heat Rating: 5 flames

Length: 72 000 words

It is a standalone story.

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Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

I’m not hunting him; I’m protecting him.

At least, that’s what I tell myself.

In New York City, a beautiful creature like Tristan Clement should not be walking the streets alone, and I’m the perfect vampire to watch his back.

But what if keeping him safe isn’t enough anymore? What if I want to touch? And taste?

I need him. But I’ve never needed anyone.

In a world where paranormal creatures live amongst us and must follow certain laws, living life as a dangerous loner works for vampire Ethan. Inhabiting his gleaming apartment, wearing his designer suits, jetting around the world as a fanged killer-for-hire, Ethan does it all alone.

That is, until he literally runs into Tristan. Tristan, who is clearly trouble wrapped in skinny jeans and an oversized sweater. Tristan, with his shock of angelic blond curls. Tristan, who plays piano more beautifully than the old masters– and Ethan would know; he saw Beethoven.

Tristan is gorgeous, a little sassy, and irresistible. Also, Ethan is horrified to note, Tristan has no idea how incredibly tempting he is to things that go bump in the night.

Overcome by the urge to keep Tristan safe, Ethan begins to… well, stalk is such a strong word. What starts as an obsession quickly becomes something more, something that Ethan needs. And to his surprise, Tristan seems to need him, too…

*This darkly romantic tale delivers steamy passion and a happily ever after. Be advised that Handsome Death includes explicit m/m content, stalking, mentions of past abuse, and graphic violence.*

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Blog Tour: To Target the Heart (Spellster Series Book 2) By Aldrea Alien

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: To Target the Heart (Spellster Series Book 2)

Author: Aldrea Alien

Cover Artist: Leonardo Borazio

Release Date: April 15, 2020

Genre/s: M/M Fantasy Romance

Trope/s: Hurt/Comfort, Man in Peril, Cultural Differences,

Big Bottom/Little Top, Bear Bottom, Dysfunctional Family, Opposites Attract

Themes: Love, Attempted Suicide, Engagement Challenge

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 226 000 words

It is a standalone book.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

How can he win with the odds stacked against him?

Blurb

Prince Hamish has no interest in fulfilling his duty of marrying. Not to a woman, at least. That doesn’t stop his mother, Queen Fiona, from presenting him with every eligible noblewoman that enters their castle. He’s certain it’ll be no different with the representative of the Udynea Empire.

So when they do arrive, Hamish is relieved the imperial prince, Darshan, is not the woman everyone expected. Until the man kisses him and Hamish is confronted by the very emotions he has been forced to conceal or be punished for. Emotions he is eager to explore.

But the kiss proves to be a little too public and leads his mother to take drastic measures to ensure Hamish adheres to her family vision. The contest of arms will force Hamish to make a choice: give up his happiness for convention’s sake or send the kingdom spiralling into civil war for the right to love his own way.

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Demon’s Blood Book Proof!

I received the other week my book proof for the Demon’s Blood reprint! Overall I am very happy with how it came out and I really should have approved it by now but I’m a little stuck on one point and would appreciate your thoughts on it.

DB Proof

As you can see in the photo there is a fold line down the left hand side so when you open it, it folds all nicely. Now my question is about the text. It is currently aligned to the fold line so there is the same amount of space each side but it also gives the impression that it is off-centre if that makes sense? My question is should I leave it how it is or move it so the text aligns with the same spacing each side without taking the fold line into account?

Any thoughts anyone has on this would be very much appreciated as I’m really not sure what would look better.

What Day is it Anyway? Monday, 13th April 2020

Easter Weekend: I hope everyone was able to enjoy the long Easter weekend even though it was probably not spent how we all planned or wanted.

I spent Saturday sorting some bits out around the flat and watching some films. I also played more of my Animal Crossing (I now have two bridges so am much closer to not needing the stick to vault over the rivers anymore yay!). My little critters who share the Island with me always seem kind of angry for some reason? When I talk to them they are fine, but they stomp around the place looking furious! Maybe its all the weeds and stuff? I want my Island to be quite natural looking so I haven’t pulled them all up as I used to in previous games but maybe I ought too?

My new duvet set arrived! I’m so happy with it, it is so cute! Tash sat in my windowsill and watched me put it on. I think she was planning on claiming it as soon as I had finished but the sun had come out and her spot on the sill was nice and warm so she ended up staying where she was for a while!

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Yesterday I mostly worked on Perfect World 3! I am getting so much done on that now! I think now I’ve sorted the issues I’ve had with it, it should write itself very quickly which is great! I have no idea how long it is going to be yet, but I have a feeling it will be at least as long as New Era. I also worked on my fantasy novel. I always have a couple of books on the go at the same time so if I get writer’s block on one I can switch to the other, which always works quite well for me. I also planned my chapters out for my fantasy novel which is a first for me so it will be interesting to see how that works out.

Today I worked some more on Perfect World 3 and played some Sims. Deacon is being a little horror and refuses to eat any of the food that Bella and Mitchell give him. Dallas is doing well in the drama club, she’s on level 3 Practical Performer now! She’s doing better at school again too and has made her first BFF Billie Jang! Don came by to see her once, or rather he was going to but he stopped to chat/flirt with Bella Goth so Dallas had gone to bed by the time he actually made it to the front door!


Linda G. Hill came up with this great idea to keep track of the weeks and months ahead. For those who already are, and will be isolated in the coming weeks, it is important to all come together and support each other.