🖤 Write, read, review, repeat 🖤

Author: CatrinRussell (Page 2 of 65)

Book Review: The Smoke Tree

📚 Review time! 📚

📚 The Smoke Tree by Stefanie Nici

📚 My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Smoke Tree is a fantastic book, true to life, and wonderfully relatable.

Tora’s life turns upside-down, and she ends up alone, at the precipice of a new life. But things take a turn for the better as the little Yorkie Peanut enters the picture, especially when she is the reason behind Tora meeting a very… agreeable veterinarian.

Even though this sounds like a love story, The Smoke Tree is so much more than that. It is a journey of self-acceptance, where Tora must realise her own strength and carry on. She must allow herself a second chance and believe she can do it.

There is an essential and heartfelt lesson to take away from a book like this. It was brilliant to follow along on Tora’s journey and her quest for happiness. A highly recommended read!

Author Interview: Bruce Nesmith

Check out this author spotlight Bruce Nesmith!

You can find all his links furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out his books!

1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!

I spent many years writing D&D products for TSR, including the very popular Ravenloft boxed set for 2nd edition AD&D. I transitioned into designing and writing video games for Bethesda Game Studios, where I was fortunate enough to be the lead designer for blockbuster hit The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. I have three wonderful daughters, all grown now, leaving my wife and I as empty nesters.

2. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some this or that questions. Answer 5 of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!

Library or museums? Museum
Mountains or beaches? Mountains
Plotter or pantser?
Pen and paper or computer/phone? Computer
Standalone or series? Series

3. When you look for books to read, what trope or type of story will always catch your attention?

Either science fiction or fantasy. I prefer a fresh take on an old idea, but if it’s got great characters I’ll read it.

4. What do you write? Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!

My current series is urban fantasy featuring Loki as a stage magician in the modern-day Chicago suburbs. He’s hiding out there from the other Norse gods, but gets drawn back into the Nine Realms when someone tried to murder him. Although I researched Norse mythology and culture heavily, I’ve given it a fresh take with some fun twists. The Nine Realms themselves are a magic place, but the gods are just people that have special abilities, and the dwarves are steampunk. Part of Loki’s journey is trying to decide what is means to be a god in a modern world, or if there even is such a thing.

5. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!

The first two books in the Loki Redeemed series are out and available from Amazon. The second book, Odin’s Escape, sees Odin escaping from the land of the dead and trying to reclaim Asgard. Loki joins with a mysterious stranger from Asgard and the two deal with a biker gang and the Norse gods to stop Odin’s plot.

6. What real-life inspiration do you draw from, and what are your primary fictional sources of inspiration (books, authors, films, music, etc.)? Name a few!

I’m an avid reader and researcher. I’ve always been a huge fan of mythology and really got into researching Norse myths and legends. Of the old school authors, I’m a huge fan of Roger Zelazny, Robert Jordan, Terry Pratchett, and Patricia McKillip. Of the more recent authors, I like Jim Butcher (who doesn’t!), Seanan McGuire, Adrian Tchiachovsky, Alastair Reynolds, and Holly Black, just to name a few.

7. What is your writing routine? If you have one, give us the run-down!

I’m pretty disciplined. I use a spreadsheet to track how many words I write and I set weekly goals. I don’t get too worked up if I miss a goal for a good reason, like my wife and I decide to go out for the day. I usually write in the morning so I have my afternoons available for family and house stuff.

8. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice as you started out on the path to becoming an author, what would it be?

Read more books about writing, like Save The Cat Writes a Novel. It would have saved me a lot of grief.

9. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!


Finished the cover art for my Condemned prequel!

🔥 Finished Cover Art! 🔥

🍁 Here is the finished piece for yet another cover! This will be for a prequel of my WIP and, like with the main book, one of the MCs is disabled. There is darkness, romance, and a bit of action (both as in fighting and as in steam 😘🥰

🍁 QOTD: Do you read prequel stories? ❤️

🍁 AOTD: I most certainly do! They can make brilliant additions to a series or stand-alone 😍

Sunday Shout-out to Carrie Weston for her review of The Redeemed

🔥 Sunday Shout-out to Carrie Weston for her review of The Redeemed, a prequel of The Light of Darkness🔥

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Wow what an epic fantasy full of wonderful descriptions.

The Haunted Shadows are a group of mercenaries and Edric is the youngest of all the recruits. He has accepted his life and it’s worth until he sees Raven the leader sneaking out and discovers his secret.

Loved this – highly recommend.” – Carrie Weston

Author Spotlight: Callie Thomas

Check out this spotlight for YA Fantasy and Sweet Romance author Callie Thomas!

You can find all her links furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out her book!

1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!

I’m Callie Thomas, a writer of YA fantasy and sweet romance stories, with even more story ideas on the horizon. I’m also a mother of two handsome boys (one who is almost a teenager this year!), a wife to an amazing man who protects our country, a Christian, beach bum, and coffee lover. My family just relocated from Okinawa, Japan, to Virginia where we are still settling in. When I’m not writing or reading, I love playing video games and board games. In fact, I beta test board game apps and proof rulebooks on the side for fun. 

2. Tell us 5 fun facts people might not know about you!

  1. Japan wasn’t the first overseas country I’ve lived in. I spent six year in Spain as a child through my teen years.
  2. I’m a sucker for Yorkshire terriers dogs. They are sweetest and smartest little fur babies. Instagram knows my weakness. They are always showing me reels.
  3. The Legend of Zelda is my favorite video game franchise. I’ve played them all. I could even sit and listen to the music from games for hours.
  4. I’m scared of heights. You’ll never catch me on a high speed rollercoaster or parasailing.
  5. My family and I are big Disney fans. We usually try to make a trip to the castle once year. Even when we lived in Japan, we traveled up to Tokyo Disneyland.

3. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some “This or That”-questions. Answer 5 of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!

Ebooks OR physical books? Ebooks because it’s like having a bookshelf in my pocket. I can read on the go.
Plot driven OR character driven? Character driven! With the characters calling the shots, you can always expect the unexpected. It leads to the most memorable moments.
Enemy to Lovers OR Friends to Lovers? Enemy to Lovers is the best, hands down! There is something about watching the chemistry build between two people who are fighting the attraction. The moment they finally give in feels like an explosion. BOOM!
Music while reading OR silence? Silence- Everything disappears when I read and I get sucked into a story. So, I won’t even hear the music if it is playing.
Read in bed OR read on sofa? I like to be in bed and under my covers. Then I’m right where I need to be when I finish binge reading at 3 AM.

4. When you look for books to read, what trope, theme, or type of story will always catch your attention? Anything with princesses or a fantasy style romance with a royal theme. If there is a fancy ball gown on the cover, I’m going to stop and check it out. It gets extra points if it’s an enemy to lovers story too.

5. If you were to describe your writing style using 3 words, what would they be? Creative, spellbinding, and heartwarming

6. So what do you write? Tell us a bit more about your chosen genre, style and ongoing projects/WIPs/series! I write YA fantasy, sweet romance, and romantic comedies. My Kindle Vella story, A Forest of Stolen Memories, is complete and will be arriving to paperback, Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited this year. AFoSM is my backward fairy tale where the end of the story is only the beginning. I loved exploring this magical world where anything can happen and mixes up everything you thought you knew about fairy tales. This is not a retelling, but its own unique story with inspiration from the classic fairy tales .

7. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it! My newest release is A Sea of Golden Chains. It’s book two and follows the lost sister’s story. Currently, it’s only available on Kindle Vella (bundled at the end of A Forest of Stolen Memories) with new episodes releasing every Sunday. You can read it here: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/episode/B0BB1YXL61.

Here is the blurb: A failed ransom sends Marigold overboard into the turquoise waters, death’s grip too tight to escape. As she sinks into the darkness, her screams echo into a bewitching song, luring a merman to her rescue. Now the ancient magic that saved her chains them forever, their destinies entwined. Desperate for her freedom, she will escape at the first chance she gets. But this handsome merman is hooked, refusing to leave her side, even if that means following her to the surface.

8. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!

Check out my website at https://www.authorcalliethomas.com/ or you can follow me on my social medias (Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok) @authorcalliethomas. If you are looking for insider scoops, exclusive previews on episodes quotes, graphics, and news, plus free content—then sign up for my newsletter here: https://www.subscribepage.com/authorcalliethomas.

Book Review: The Museum of Perfect Scenes

📚 Review time! 📚

📚 The Museum of Perfect Scenes by Kirran Thompson

📚 My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Museum of Perfect Scenes is a quirky, strange, yet intriguing story. It reads almost like a stream of consciousness, as a tale told first by Betty Brown, then by her friend Cosima, and so on.

The plot is simple but still highly intricate, and difficult to describe, almost like a puzzle with pieces scattered throughout. But it starts with Betty Brown talking about her past, and how she keeps a bottle in which she places coins for every mistake she makes. And there are plenty of those over the years. There are so many fabulous little titbits scattered throughout this story, and it’s told in an odd but entertaining way.

In the end, I found the characters engaging and fun, and the tale itself unique and thought-provoking. A great little read!

Tuesday Teaser – A Kiss to Keep Her Quiet

🔥 Tuesday Teaser 🔥

🖤 Here’s a snippet from my current WIP, The Condemned. It’s part of my unedited first draft 🖤

Iselyn squirmed beneath him. “Please! They could help us!”

Gharrus bared his teeth. “No! By the Makers, lass, trust me on this!”

Tears shone in Iselyn’s eyes, but she continued to shift, trying to get loose.
Gharrus didn’t know what to do. Any word from her now, and the hunters would find them. As her mouth opened and a breath entered her lungs, he knew he had no choice. Desperate to keep her quiet, he leaned in.

“But, Gharrus—” was all Iselyn managed to say before his lips connected with hers.

🖤 The Condemned – a stand-alone Romantic Fantasy novel, perfect for readers who enjoy dark and gritty fantasy tales with romance and explicit steam 🖤

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