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text 2022-12-14 18:03
Release Blitz: Faking it for the Holidays by Soraya Bancroft

[Because facebook has very unfairly blocked my blog, Punya Reviews..., from being promoted on their platform, I'm using booklikes as a "gateway" of sorts so I have a link to promote. It's been over a year but I tried for the first 4 months to reach them through any means I could find but without any luck whatsoever. Doesn't look like I'll get the block removed anytime soon, if ever. More on what happened can be found here.]


LINK to my release blitz post for Faking it for the Holidays on Punya Reviews...:


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review 2017-06-02 08:08
What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories - Lesley Nneka Arimah


Lesley Nneka Arimah

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books (April 4, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735211027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735211025

    Lesley Nneka Arimah debut is a collection of short stories set in Nigeria and the US. Each short story is complete, solid, clear, and well written. I love her characters, strong, straight forward, and genuine. Lesley Nneka Arimah writing shows humor, horror, and shock in some places, yet her characters and plots flow naturally, and are engaging. I found myself immersed into each story. Her incredible grasp of language and the powerful way in which she uses it to form a story is unique, and captivating. Definitely something I would reread, and recommend


    ***Thank you to Penguin House and Riverhead Books for the print copy I received through a giveaway in exchange for a fair review.****

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review 2016-05-05 18:36
The Teacher - A Review

THE TEACHER by Katerina Diamond

“The Teacher” is a solid debut novel by Katerina Diamond.  That’s not to say that it does not have its flaws, but still a very enjoyable read for fans of the crime/thriller genre.  Is it even appropriate to use the word “enjoyable” for a novel this gruesome?  The tag line “Not for the faint of heart” is a valid warning.
As the book opens the head master at a very prestigious private school in Devon receives a package.  He knows what the package contains without opening it and is also aware of the fact that it foreshadows his death.  He is not wrong.  The next morning he is found hanging from the rafters in the school’s assembly hall.  Before he died he sent a very cryptic note to someone, simply saying “HE HAS RETURNED”.
So begin a series of murders … one more ghoulishly gory than the next … perpetrated on influential, well-respected members of the local community.  DS Miles, just recently returned to duty after an enforced leave and DS Grey, new to the detachment, catch the first case but in a sudden turn of events the powers that be are doing everything they can to keep them at arm’s length from the investigation.  Circumstances, however, have a different agenda and the two investigators keep getting drawn in further and further, until it seems they themselves might not survive this case.
Admittedly, the plot itself is not a new one – revenge for past sins – it has been done countless times before.  As a probably unfair example because their release dates were to close together, but having recently read “Brotherhood in Death” by J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts) this book is a hair’s breadth away from being called “fan fiction”, but Ms. Diamond does give it a couple of new twists.  It is page-turner and I enjoyed the read.
Now about those flaws I mentioned at the beginning of this review?  The writing (editing?) could have been a little better as some parts were confusing; too many similar character names … Abbey, Adrian, Andrea … and then, often referring to characters by their first names and then their last names, sometimes in the same paragraph.  Throw in some nicknames and it definitely required some rereading of sentences to keep them all straight.  Not something I want to do when I’m reading an otherwise fast paced crime thriller.
Every character in this novel was somehow “damaged” from previous life events.  I understand an author building empathy for the characters and understanding for the character’s decisions and actions, but it would have been nice if just one person in the book had suffered no trauma – even fictional characters need a shoulder to lean on once in a while.
Frustrating for me as well, certain threads of the story were dropped along the way with no explanation or closure. (The package that arrived at the beginning of book – it seemed significant but then it was placed in a desk drawer, still unwrapped, and never mentioned again.  Did the police miss it?  Parker’s dog – in the story for a few chapters to move the action forward and then never heard from again?)
Some of the action was gratuitous and a little far-fetched (Christian’s eventual fate) even for crime thriller fiction.  Cringe-worthy to be sure but it felt slightly misplaced in the story, as if the author added it because she could.
Shaking off the first book jitters Ms. Diamond could be a crime writer to keep on the radar so I stand by my first statement; a solid debut novel and fans of crime thrillers will certainly enjoy it.  I understand that her second novel, “The Secret” is due to be released in October 2016 and also features DS’s Miles and Grey so obviously this is the first of a series.  I would not hesitate to pick it up, just to see where the story (and the writing) goes.
I’d like to thank the publisher, Harper Collins UK, Avon and Netgalley for providing me with an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from the Harper Collins website) 

Katerina Diamond was born in Weston in the seventies, and her parents owned a fish and chip shop in the Greek community. She moved to Thessaloniki in Greece and attended Greek school where she learnt Greek in just 6 months. After her parents’ divorce, they relocated to Devon. After school, and working in her uncle’s fish and chip shop, she went (briefly) to university at Derby, where she met her husband and had two children. Katerina now lives in the East Kent Coast with her husband and children. This is her first nove

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text 2016-01-18 17:13
Best Debut Romance Writers of 2015
In Search of Scandal (London Explorers) by Susanne Lord (2015-12-01) - Susanne Lord
Act Like It - Lucy V. Parker
Ruth's Bonded (Ruth & Gron Book 1) - V.C. Lancaster
I've Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm (The Lords of Worth) by Bowen, Kelly (2014) Mass Market Paperback - Kelly Bowen
Change of Heart (A Keepsake Pocket Quilt Novel) - Molly Jebber
The Harlot Countess - Joanna Shupe
Bachelorette for Sale - Gail Chianese
Time's Up (A Maisie McGrane Mystery) - Janey Mack
Hello, I Love You: A Novel - Katie M. Stout
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake - Amy E. Reichert

I am always on the look out for new writers. Here are some great Romance Authors who made their debut in 2015.



Vote on your favorite Best Debut Romance Writers of 2015


My lists are never in any particular order. 



1. The Courtesan Duchess (Wicked Deceptions, #1)  by Joanna Shupe

2. Act Like It by Lucy Parker (first book under this name)

3. In Search of Scandal (London Explorers, #1) by Susanne Lord

4. Ruth's Bonded (Ruth & Gron, #1)  by V.C. Lancaster

5. I've Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm (The Lords of Worth, #1)  by Kelly Bowen

6. Bachelorette for Sale by Gail Chianese

7. Change of Heart by Molly Jebber

8. Time's Up by Janey Mack

9. Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout

10. The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert



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review 2015-08-10 18:03
good girl, bad boy, by a different auther
Saving Toby - Suzanne McKenna Link

I was on the fence between 3 and 4 stars. Here, 3 1/2. Everywhere else, I gave this 3. This is a good book. It is well written, but this story has been written so many times, and I have read it so many times. I will read more by this author.


The good:


-this author is very good at describing a scene. I feel like I just watched an episode of Dawson's Creek or Awkward. 


-Toby is funny. I laughed out loud a couple of times while reading this.


-This wasn't the love at first sight type of story.


-The way the character's are written are spot on for their age. Thy don't 


The downside (these are my dislikes so I won't call this "The bad"):


-The sex/lovey scenes felt too detailed and drawn out. I love a good sex scene, bt I don't need to know exactly where Toby's knee was placed. It felt more described then necessary.


-this book, like the sex scenes, seemed too drawn out for me, it is set over, a 2 year period.


-I knew exactly what was going to happen, before it happened. Like I said, this story has been told so many times.


Won in goodreads giveaway.

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