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The Amulets of Sihr by Abu Bilaal Yakub - Book Review

Book Description:
As the world plunges into darkness,
How will mankind survive the purge?
Of that which is evil...
Of that which is wicked...
Submerge into the unknown. Enter the realm of the Unseen. Prepare to face the evil beyond the veil...
Arisen is he. From the ashes of war. Avowed is he. To destroy the world of man.
Of beast and creed...
Of blood and clay...
Of sin and deed...
Of Fire and Ash...
Of Jinn and Man...
The battle has just begun!
An impulsive leap of faith coerces Mukhtar to free four slaves from their captors. Little does he know how remarkably this would shape his destiny.
As the turmoil within him unfolds, his mother unveils her most guarded secret - an ancient and powerful Amulet. Once belonging to his long-lost father, the Amulet sets Mukhtar upon a path unraveling a grim and dark past of his bloodline.
Now, at the crossroads of good and evil, he must face his life's greatest trials and tribulations in order to save the empire from the brink of annihilation. 

Where to Purchase:

Amazon:
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France: France Link
Germany: Germany Link
India: India Link
Italy: Italy Link
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Mexico: Mexico Link
Spain: Spain Link
UK: UK Link

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Author Bio:
Kenyan born, Canadian author began writing short stories, songs, and poems since he was 12 years old. After earning an apprenticeship with Mercedes Benz, he studied Mechatronics Engineering for two years before specializing as a Diagnostics Technician for the global luxury vehicle manufacturer.
With a love for graphic design, film-making, animation, and music, he channeled his creativity into pen and paper and began writing his first novel. After nearly ten years of working on his manuscript, he finally makes his debut with The Amulets of Sihr, an Epic Fantasy combining fact and fiction, controversy and concurrence, embedding some of his own experiences with the occult and unseen into a stunningly immersive anecdote.
He is open to constructive criticisms, intellectual discussions or just a fancy chat!

Book Review by Carmen: 
A lot of this story takes place in desert-like surroundings; having a fairly Middle Eastern setting with a fantasy element to it. One thing to keep in mind if you happen to pick this book up is that there is a bit of scene setting in the beginning of this novel. This novel also has aspects of paranormal to it; there are times where you dive into the world of occult. I get the idea that there might be a second book following this one, since by the end of it, there are still one or two loose ends that need to be resolved. I ended up giving this book a four star rating and got a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

*Please be sure to support the author by buying their books and connecting with them on social media.

Until We're More by Cindi Madsen - Release Day Blast

We're so excited to be celebrating the release of UNTIL WE'RE MORE by Cindi Madsen! Get your one-click finger ready!


Title: Until We're More
Author: Cindi Madsen 
Age: NA
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Embrace


Goodreads: Book
Amazon: Buy Link


Blurb:
Chelsea is smart, funny, gorgeous, and the best friend I’ve ever had. Ever since she left, I’ve been a wreck. I’ve been focused on keeping my family’s MMA gym afloat while I train and coach fighters, anything to not miss her more. But now she's finally back, along with her grumpy, possessive cat, and things are weird between us.
By weird, I mean I can’t stop thinking about her in that way. She’s in the room next door, and it takes all my control not to storm in there, sweep her up, and bring her back to my bed. Even stranger, I’m pretty sure she’d be into it.
And this time, I’m not going to stop fighting until we’re more.


About the Author:


USA Today Bestselling author Cindi Madsen sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she'd be even crazier. She has way too many shoes but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they're sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.


Visit her at her website where you can sign up for her newsletter and learn about upcoming releases.


Enjoy,
Carmen. 

Gift of the Shaper by D.L. Jennings - Book Review

Book Description:
Armies will clash, and even gods will die… For thousands of years, the Breaker of the Dawn has been locked away in the ethereal plane of the Otherworld. Now, a young blacksmith’s apprentice finds himself trapped in a war between the noble Athrani, a subset of humanity gifted with the ability to transmute matter, and the malevolent and powerful Khyth, who seek to free the ancient god from his prison. When his father, Olson, is kidnapped, Thornton Woods and his childhood friend, Miera, must leave their small village of Highglade to find him. On their way, they are joined by Ynara and Kethras, cat-like humanoids called Kienari, who use their skills as hunter/trackers to follow Olson’s trail. When it comes to light that one among them possesses the key to the Breaker’s release, Thornton and his friends must defy the might of the Khyth as armies on both sides collide in pursuit of the ultimate prize. Gift of the Shaper chronicles the epic struggle between the existing forces of good and evil, with both sides vying for control of the key that unlocks the Otherworld. The very powers of creation and destruction hang in the balance, and only a heroic effort by Thornton and Miera, backed by the power of the Athrani, can possibly stop the Khyth from unleashing ruin — and the Breaker — upon their world.

Where to Purchase:

Amazon:
USA: USA Link
Australia: Australia Link
Brazil: Brazil Link
Canada: Canada Link
France: France Link
Germany: Germany Link
India: India Link
Italy: Italy Link
Japan: Japan Link
Mexico: Mexico Link
Spain: Spain Link
UK: UK Link

Connect with the Author:
Twitter: Twitter Link
Facebook: Facebook Link
Author Website: Author Website Link

Author Bio:
D.L. Jennings was born in Dayton, Ohio to two Air Force veterans, and is a thirteen-year active duty veteran Air Force himself, serving under the Air Force Special Operations Command. He earned an associate's degree in Korean Studies in 2005 and earned his bachelor's in Global Security from Bellevue University in 2008. He finished writing his debut novel, Gift of the Shaper, while serving overseas on his ninth combat tour. When he is not reading or writing epic fantasy, he enjoys traveling, listening to '90s punk, and watching Ohio State football.

Book Review by Carmen:
This book ended up surprising me slightly. In the beginning of the book, there was a lot of 'setting the scene' going on, with a little bit happening, but nothing hugely mind-blowing - all this that takes place leads up to what happens later in the book. Two things I did find interesting was the world and the Athrani, who were also fascinating at times. I ended up giving this book a four star rating and got a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

*Please be sure to support the author by buying their books and connecting with them on social media.

Only the Willing by A D Critchley - Book Review

Book Description:
Corruption and vice in King’s Cross
In 1970’s Australia, American soldiers on R&R descend on Kings Cross in Sydney, their goal to have a good time and forget, for a while, the horrors of war.
Mike is a deserter from the Australian navy living in the Cross and working for Jack who owns a nightclub. In response to the influx of cash from the American soldiers Jack expands his business to include a restaurant and prostitution business. 
As Jack’s business booms Mike becomes drawn into the corruption and deals that are part of life in the Cross. Prostitutes, drug dealers, corrupt cops, and goodhearted people – the Cross has it all.
Life is good for Mike, but nothing stays the same and happiness is never a guarantee.

Where to Purchase:

Amazon:
USA: USA Link
Australia: Australia Link
Brazil: Brazil Link
Canada: Canada Link
France: France Link
Germany: Germany Link
India: India Link
Italy: Italy Link
Japan: Japan Link
Mexico: Mexico Link
Netherlands: Netherlands Link
Spain: Spain Link
UK: UK Link

Connect with the Author:
Please Note: It appears as if this author doesn't have any social media links.

Author Bio:
Hi All,
My fortunate life.
I live "Down Under" A land of sweeping plains Gum trees and Koala bears. Isolated from everywhere. I've written many newspaper articles and technical papers over the years. 
In 2009 I wrote a book on Organic Agriculture published in Jordan for their Countries farmers. 
I now work for Australian business advisors. I've completed six business volunteer assignments overseas in South East Asia. Teaching Marketing, social marketing to Advising on 'organic agriculture." The people you meet are diverse in nature and a pleasure to work with. Third world countries rich in spirit and endowed with good humour. I've 25 years running my own business, before becoming a business advisor.
Awarded a outstanding lecturing award from the prison service 2013 while working for College at a large prison.
I joined the Navy as a boy and went to Vietnam, then I moved into the Submarine Service and served on 5 'O" class Submarines, fantastic times wonderful shipmates and a pleasure to serve. I'm an Advocate for ex military since 2001-2015.
Serving with many Submariners from around the world USA and UK for instance. Life has had it's up and downs and like most have had my share.
My first novel is a fact/fiction based on WW2 soldier and how it affects him during and post war and his family. My second novel I've nearly finished it and I'm considering crown funding.
It will be available around April 2016.

Book Review by Carmen:
The writing in this novel had it's ups and downs, there were times when I felt things were a little bit rushed, as well as the dialogue not always being great. Overall, the story-line was alright with this book, so I ended up giving it a three star rating and got a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

*Please be sure to support the author by buying their books. 

Falling Silver by A.M. Ross - Book Review

Book Description:
The return of Waterwolf Simon desRosiers is enough to unbalance Karina Redfeather's reclusive lifestyle, but he's inadvertently brought with him a destructive chain of events that will unfold over the next two moon cycles. The four werewolf bloodlines—one so elusive that the other three hardly believe in it—are converging on this remote Northern Minnesota town. A showdown is coming among the Hunters and the four bloodlines, sparked by the most terrifying of them all: the Firewolves. Simon has Karina’s heart, but vigilante Adam Hunter has her attention. Which is the real animal?

Where to Purchase:

Amazon:
USA: USA Link
Australia: Australia Link
Brazil: Brazil Link
Canada: Canada Link
France: France Link
Germany: Germany Link
India: India Link
Italy: Italy Link
Japan: Japan Link
Mexico: Mexico Link
Netherlands: Netherlands Link
Spain: Spain Link
UK: UK Link

Connect with the Author:
Facebook: Facebook Link
Twitter: Twitter Link
Author Website: Author Website Link

Author Bio:
Anne Maclachlan is an award-winning writer of fact and fiction. Originally from Scotland, she has made her home in the USA, and currently resides in Santa Fe, NM,where she is senior editor at Santa Fean magazine.
She is a competitive flash-fiction writer as well as a creator of academic readers for K-12 and adults. Her magazine features appear internationally, and she has a particular passion for maritime issues and history.
Anne's interactive ESL reading and writing textbook, "Life Goes Wrong for Harvey," is used in classrooms around the world as well as for individual study.

Book Review by Carmen:
I enjoyed the relationship that Karina Redfeather and Simon DesRosiers has; though I would have liked it if there had been a little bit more about the characters with their background, but the story does start off with a very intriguing concept. I ended up giving this book a four star rating and got a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

*Please be sure to support the author by buying their books and connecting with them on social media.

Down the Willow Tree by Elizabeth Robin - Book Review

Book Description:
Lizette's 18th birthday ends with the surprise of an arranged marriage she doesn't want. Her Father has promised her to a man she doesn't know and isn't sure she will ever love. In the late 1800's, Liz knows that not following through will put her family in jeopardy. She finds herself hopelessly tied to an aloof and cold stranger, William Hamilton. 
She arrives at her new home and is introduced to William's two closest friends and business associates Rendt and Jack. She finds herself trying desperately to resist the charm of Jack and only her guilty conscience stands in the way of the blooming feelings they have for each other.
When the very wealthy William Hamilton's obsession with an heir turns dangerous, Liz's on'y comfort in her strange new world is a relationship with Jack that could quickly become unforgivable. She soon finds out that William will stop at nothing to protect what is his and get what he wants.

Where to Purchase:

Amazon:
USA: USA Link
Australia: Australia Link
Brazil: Brazil Link
Canada: Canada Link
France: France Link
Germany: Germany Link
India: India Link
Italy: Italy Link
Japan: Japan Link
Mexico: Mexico Link
Netherlands: Netherlands Link
Spain: Spain Link
UK: UK Link

Connect with the Author:
Twitter: Twitter Link
Author Website: Author Website Link

Author Bio:
(Please note that I couldn't find an author picture.)
All about me!  I am a lover of books, reading them or writing them I can’t seem to get enough.  After my first day of kindergarten I came home crying because they hadn’t taught me to read that day.
That hasn’t changed since I became an adult, well maybe the crying part now that I can read.
I am married to a great guy and we have two sons. We live in the Midwest where we enjoy all four seasons to their fullest.  We are cottage and boat sport fans in the summer and die hard college football fans in the winter.
I write because I love to create stories and I hope that you will get to escape with me into these tales even if for just a little while.

Book Review by Carmen:
On thing I liked about this book was that it had a nice cover; and overall, the story was quite decent, even though there were occasional punctuation errors/problems. I ended up giving this book a three star rating and got a copy in exchange for an honest review.

*Please be sure to support the author by buying their books and connecting with them on social media.

The British Frontlines by Thomas J. Eyre - Book Review

Book Description: 
Patrick Regan is a man on a mission. Expertly trained by the Royal Marines and with crack sniper skills, he's always taken the fight to the enemy, but now he realises that whilst he's been away Great Britain has been attacked. 
His parents are dead, his sister is missing and he's getting zero help from the authorities, Regan is forced to face the faceless: the insidious thugs of the invading Russian Mafia. With their sights set on the complete domination of Britain's organised crime, their toxic regime of bribery, intimidation and violence has even infiltrated to the very top of Britain's military intelligence. 
Once again Regan prepares to take the fight to the enemy, but this time, he's hunting them on home soil.
The British FrontLine is a violent roller coaster thriller and Patrick Regan will sink to any low to get the job done. Not afraid to get his hands dirty, he is more alpha male than Lee Child's, Jack Reacher, or Mark Dawson's, John Milton. 
Winner of the prestigious BooksGoSocial quality approval gold seal award.

Where to Purchase:

Amazon:
USA: USA Link
Australia: Australia Link
Brazil: Brazil Link
Canada: Canada Link
France: France Link
Germany: Germany Link
India: India Link
Italy: Italy Link
Japan: Japan Link
Mexico: Mexico Link
Netherlands: Netherlands Link
Spain: Spain Link
UK: UK Link

Connect with the Author:
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Twitter: Twitter Link
Author Website: Author Website Link

Author Bio: 
Thomas J Eyre was born in Oxford and moved to Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire when his family relocated in 1969. He left school at the age of 15 and worked as a cook, waiter, plate collector and washer-up in his parents transport cafe before joining the Royal Navy in 1973. As an Aircraft Handler/Crash-Rescue Fireman he served on Great Britain's last true fixed wing aircraft carrier, HMS Ark Royal before she was scrapped in 1978. Yes he hears the cries of derision from serving and former members of the Fleet Air Arm who served in big ships since the "Big A" was scrapped, but even the Royal Navy called them through-deck cruisers and they didn't have catapults to launch them, nor aircraft landing at 250 knots. 
Since leaving the Royal Navy he has worked as a long distance class 1HGV driver, drayman, fettler and mechanical engineer. He worked on contract in Libya and in 1995 became a Bachelor of Science after graduating with a 2:1 honours degree from Bournemouth University. A motorcycle accident in 2000 left him with serious injuries, finished his engineering career and almost his life. He now lives in Poole in Dorset and after many years writing stories for his own amusement has been prompted by friends and family to publish some of them.
The Second of his books, The British FrontLine, follows Royal Marine Sergeant Patrick Regan who is repatriated from the fighting in Afghanistan to bury his mother and step father, after they are killed in an explosion that destroyed their yacht. On returning back to Great Britain, Regan finds out his half-sister, Susie, is missing and he sets about finding her. The body count begins to rise when he discovers that Susie has been abducted by Russian Mafia gangsters. 
Thomas is currently writing the Third in this series, which will be published around the middle to end of 2018.

Book Review by Carmen:
Even though this book didn't catch my attention in the beginning, it wasn't long before this book became quite interesting. One thing I wasn't too fond of is that there wasn't a lot of detail about the character Patrick Regan, there isn't a lot about him as a person. I ended up giving this book a three star rating and got a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

*Please be sure to support the author by buying their books and connecting with them on social media.

My Health Journey Continues........

https://burst.shopify.com/food

Over the last four years I have been on a health and fitness journey. I did great when I got serious about dropping weight and getting fit. Over the years I have also been working on my mental health, realizing a lot of things over the years really harmed my mental health which then wrecked havoc with my physical health. I started working out hardcore back in August of 2014. I started to decrease my calories in and started eating a cleaner diet. In March of 2015 I hit it hard and actually got super strict with my food intake and did some carb cycling. For the first time in my life I didn't really have love handles it was awesome. It also gave me more mental strength to leave my toxic relationship and realize I didn't need to stay in that situation any longer and my kids and I deserved so much better.  I went super determined to get my life together and get out. During 2016 was a really tough time, left my ex while trying to stay friends with him and keep things good for the kids, got my house together to put it on the real estate market and spent sometime finding myself and enjoying life. All this go go go wrecked more havoc on my physical and mental state and found myself becoming super tired and lacking the energy to continue. PTSD and anxiety was really holding on and I kept trying to fight back only to get more tired. I then decided that I needed to go to a naturopath and see what really was going on with my body. 

The "fit" Genuine Jenn in 2016! Starting my running back then and working out daily with HIIT workouts

The fall of 2016 and into 2017 I suffered with Adrenal Fatigue. I was put on a ton of supplements, given a diet plan to follow and told to rest whenever I needed to and that was A LOT.  Slowly I gained weight because I couldn't workout, I would have to force myself to get out and walk only to come back home to sleep. I started eating comfort food because I was stressed over being so tired and angry that I was tired and gaining weight. When I started to feel better I was now back eating junk, still eating clean more than 70% of the time but I was drinking wine and beer and eating complex carbs. My Dr and Naturopath both suggested I start eating a hunter-gatherer type diet. I tried to eat clean and did well for awhile then would eat out and fall off. 

Fast forward to now, June 2018 I am back mentally on getting healthy and fit. I am working on eating to fuel my body with clean food and healing my hormones and the pain that I have been experiencing. I have tendinitis in my right rotator cuff and have been experiencing extreme hip pain. I have a Dr. appointment later this month to see what is happening with my hip. 

After the Adrenal Fatigue, eating out and being happy. I can actually run longer than I could two years ago so to me I am more "fit" even with the added weight.

I have been running since last fall and working towards running a half marathon in a year. I have been getting real sleep! I actually sleep through the night most nights now. This was a huge thing in the past. I wouldn't sleep a full night and wouldn't feel rested in the am. I am slowly working in other workouts but they have been mainly cardio due to my shoulder. I will start adding in two weight training workouts a week very soon. One of my daily goals is to get 10,000 steps a day, a combo of walking and jogging. I don't run everyday but I am working back up to 3 to 4 times a week. 

My husband and I are on this journey together and I couldn't be happier with the support he has given me over the last two years. He has been there for me through it all, my good days and the really hard bad days. I will check in here with my workouts and eating to share how we are doing. 

Until then, be happy! 

May Reading Challenge Update


I hope you have had a chance to read some amazing books. I would love to hear what you are reading! Please leave a comment below or pop onto Instagram/Twitter to share with me.

I feel terrible, I had this post all set to go and was hoping I would get my reviews up. I did not and two months flew by yet again. I have been busy with life and fitness (I found out that I have tendinitis in my right rotator cuff and have been doing physio for it) and still reading. I will work on getting caught up for the month of June on my review posts.

MARCH post - This month I had big plans but I didn't get them all finished. I will keep reading into April with those books and have a few more to add. The list never ends and I am super happy about that as I just love reading and finding new authors. In April I will be finding a balance between reading and exercising again. I have a few test that were done on my shoulder this week and I am hoping to get back into Spartan race training. Until then I am on my half marathon training. I may need to pick up more audiobooks for this.

Here are the books I did finishing reading in March & April and will post reviews soon. 

Bringing Me Back by Beth Vrabel
This Heart of Mine by C.C. Hunter
Dead Inside by Cyndy Etler
The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding
The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewel

June reading list: 

Full Disclosure by Beverly McLachlin
Dear Isaac Newton, You're ruining my life by Rachel Hruza
Perfected books 1-3 by Kate Jarvik Birch
Cheat Day Rules by Josephine Fitzpatrick
Chewish: 36 Recipes of Love with Stories by Sandra Goldberg Wendel
Kiss & Tell by Luke Murphy

I have a few other books I am reading on the side for fitness and health. Two audiobooks also.

Keep checking back as I add my reviews in this post. Happy Reading!

The Fallen by Ravek Hunter - Book Review

Book Description:
Drystan, Temple Knight of Lyonesse, is sent to retrieve the betrothed of his uncle, the Duke of Tintagel. This simple journey will set into motion a parade of events that will upend the lives of three unsuspecting innocents and everyone they care about.
Betrayal, intrigue, jealousy, murder . . . And love will drive the human condition to its most extreme. Who will survive the emotional struggle and find true love in the end? Or will love be lost forever? 
There are strange and dark forces working against the struggle in a very unsuspecting way. A healer with a remote background and a dark secret, a soldier with a penchant for debauchery and the moral high ground, and two mysterious brothers from the mystical island of Hy Brasil all have a stake in the outcome. And the stakes are higher than any of them could imagine.

Where to Purchase:

Amazon:
USA: USA Link
Australia: Australia Link
Brazil: Brazil Link
Canada: Canada Link
France: France Link
Germany: Germany Link
India: India Link
Italy: Italy Link
Japan: Japan Link
Mexico: Mexico Link
Netherlands: Netherlands Link
Spain: Spain Link
UK: UK Link

Connect with the Author:
Twitter: Twitter Link
Author Website: Author Website Link

Author Bio:
Born in 1969 in Homestead, Florida, Ravek Hunter grew up in the US and Belgium. He earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Florida International University and went on to become a sporting goods executive. He currently serves as a consultant in the same industry and occasionally assists his wife of fifteen years at her floral design company. The proud father of two boys, Ravek counts reading, exercising, and family travel among his leisure hobbies.
Over the past 35 years, Ravek’s passion has been researching ancient civilizations with a focus on the origin stories behind their mythology. His writing style attempts to immerse the reader into the story by bringing to life historically accurate and rich details of the culture that frames the narrative of the time period in which his novels are based.
Inspired by classic fantasy authors like Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind, and R. A. Salvatore, Ravek writes to entertain and provoke his readers, who, he hopes, share his fondness for mythology.

Book Review by Carmen:
I really enjoyed the romance between two certain characters, though I would have liked a little bit more background and description of some of the characters. I ended up giving this book a three star rating and got a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

*Please be sure to support the author by buying their books and connecting with them on social media.

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