Review: The Imaginary Life

The Imaginary Life

Author: Mara Torres
Series: Standalone
Genre: Women’s Fiction,
Publisher: Grupo  Planeta
Publication Date: August 5th, 2014
Format: ebook
Pages: 172
Source: TLC Book Tours
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

Rating: ★★★.5

Summary from Goodreads:

Meet Fortunata Fortuna, at a crossroads but ready to make her mark on the world

What goes through your head when the person you love leaves you? What do you do with your life when you have to start it all over again? Do you make it up? Nata’s world fills with unanswered questions when Beto leaves her. But time doesn’t stop, and the stories that Nata begins to tell herself about her own life lead her to a place where everything becomes possible again.

Original and contemporary, this debut novel, a finalist for the Planeta Prize, has the nerve center of a confessional and introduces readers to Fortunata Fortuna, a character the world won’t soon forget.



Opening Lines

“Life sucks. I don’t mean always; I mean now. I don’t mean that life has sucked since the moment I was born. I mean these past few days, weeks, months. Days when I open the window in the morning and couldn’t care less if the plum tree opposite me is in bloom or has withered away. These colourless months, not even black and white but drab. Like the pages on a calendar: the mornings at work, the evenings when I collapse onto this sofa and stare at the wall until everything goes blurry and I have to blink because my vision has clouded over.”

Ever wonder what could happen in a post-breakup situation? Well I jumped into The Imaginary Life to find out! I was instantly attracted to the cover. The use of pink against the off-white background gave this book a nice pop that made it stand out more. Nata is indeed an interesting character, she knows she needs to accept what has happened and move on, yet she seems to keep doing things to throw herself 10 steps back. The Imaginary Life is split up into 3 parts, and within each part each chapter has a named with sayings. This added a very unique and cute spin on the story, I often found myself reading a chapter and trying to connect it to the title of that chapter.

At times I struggled trying to identify who the narrator was, I wasn’t sure if we were being introduced to another character or not. This lead to some confusion on my part and had me flipping back pages and re-reading. I also struggled to grasp the magical part of this story. What I loved about Mara Torres’ writing style is that it allowed me to really put my imagination to work. And I don’t mean I had to work hard to picture everything, just that there was great use of words that had me wanting to picture every detail and every moment.

Overall, The Imaginary Life was more enjoyable then I thought it would be! I think this is a great read for everyone with valuable life lessons. I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending, although I understand what it symbolizes, I would have like to see more of depth as to what and where Nata’s life will go from here. I wonder if a second book is in the making, probably not but one can hope!

 

About the Author

Mara Torres is a reporter and author. She earned a degree in journalism from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). Torres began her professional career in radio in the 1990s; a decade later, Hablar por hablar became a leading show on evening radio. In 2006 Torres moved to Spanish Television Information Services, where she is a host of news and entertainment shows. Among other awards, Torres has won the Golden Antenna and the Silver Microphone. She has published two nonfiction books. The Imaginary Life is her first novel and her first book in English.

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Release Day Launch | Falling For Her Husband

We are so excited about the Release Day Launch for FALLING FOR HER HUSBAND by Karen Erickson! FALLING FOR HER HUSBAND is the third novel in Erickson’s romantic suspense The Renaldis Series published by Samhain Publishing!!

 

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Falling For Her Husband

Author: Karen Erickson
Series: The Renaldis, #3
Genre: Adult Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publication Date: July 22nd, 2014
Format: ebook
Source: InkSlinger PR
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

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She’s desperate to remember…and he’s desperate to forget.

The Renaldis, Book 3

As one of the heads of his family’s well-respected fashion house, Vincenzo Renaldi is used to living life at light speed. His relationship with Amber, a successful model, was the definition of “jet-set”, from whirlwind romance to quickie wedding. Now, at the rate these two workaholics are going, they may as well live in two different worlds.

Determined to recapture the magic that drew them together, Vince flies to New York to confront his wife. And only succeeds in chasing her away—straight into the path of a moving car.

When Amber awakens in the hospital, she’s overjoyed to see her husband by her side. Yet there’s something behind the relief in his tired eyes. And something behind his determination to treat her like a queen. Something that lurks just beyond the shadows of her missing memories.

And when the truth re-emerges, the pain could be a sign of healing…or the final straw that tears them apart once and for all.

Warning: The last of the Renaldi brothers finally gets his story. Which means a hot and possessive Italian man is on the menu, determined to show his beautiful wife just how much he loves her. In every sizzling, sexy way he can.

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Excerpt:

She traced his lips with her fingertip, her touch so light it sent a shiver stealing through him. He parted his lips and she dropped her hand, brushed his mouth with hers again, softer this time. Lingering. As if she wanted more.

God knew he wanted more. Needed more. He’d missed his wife so damn much.

Reaching up, he cupped her uninjured cheek, holding her to him as he took over the kiss, parting her lips with his delving tongue. She welcomed him, the soft sound of pleasure making his skin tight, and he slid his fingers into her thick, silky hair, holding her to him.

When was the last time they kissed like this? He couldn’t remember. All he knew was he could devour her. Kiss her for hours. Touch her everywhere. Slowly strip off her clothes…

“Sorry.” He broke away from her still seeking lips, feeling like an ass. “We’ve gone too far.”

“What? Are you serious?” The teasing smile curving her lips would be the death of him. He knew it. “We aren’t teenagers with curfews, Vince. You’re my husband. You can do with me what you wish.”

If that wasn’t a bold invitation… “You’re still in recovery, Amber. I can’t push too hard. I don’t want to hurt you.”

“I’m not dead.” She slid closer to him, pressing her cheek to his so her lips rested just beside his ear. “I want you. It’s been too long since I’ve felt you inside me.”

If she only knew the truth to that statement. They hadn’t been together in months. And her words of promise, the way she moved against him, the honey sweet taste of her still on his lips…it was taking everything within him not to jump her. Take her back to their new bedroom and christen that giant king-sized bed properly.

“Amber,” he said warningly, but it was no use. His persistent wife was now nibbling on his ear.

And she knew how much he loved that. What it did to him. Such a dirty trick.

“If you’re afraid you’ll hurt me, don’t be.” She nipped his earlobe, and a low hum that he couldn’t hold back escaped him. “I know you’ll be gentle this time. We can take it slow. Can’t we?”

He wanted to. God knew how badly he missed having her beneath him, naked and willing. But it would kill him if he hurt her. He’d never forgive himself. And what if he couldn’t control himself? Her body, the way she responded to his every touch and kiss had always been his weakness. The first time they met she’d flashed that wicked smile at him and he’d been done. Dead.

They’d moved fast. One minute they were flirting, the next, they were kissing. And then…he got her into his bed.

He never let her out of his life after that. Sexually, they were combustible.

Could he hold himself back if he had her naked in his bed? He wasn’t sure.


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** Two signed print copies of Tempted By Her Boss!**
(First book in the Renaldis series)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About Karen Erickson:

USA Today bestselling author Karen Erickson writes what she loves to read – sexy contemporary romance. Digitally published since 2006, she’s a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite with her husband and three children.

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

FALLING FOR HER HUSBAND Goodreads | Amazon author page

 

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Review | Marry Me For Money

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Marry Me For Money

Author: Mia Kayla
Series: Standalone
Genre: Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Mia Kayla
Publication Date: May 4th, 2014
Format: ebook
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

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Leaving her small town behind, Bethany Casse moves to Chicago in search of a new life. Working at a top financial bank brings her into contact with two men who are as different as night and day.

Kent Plack, heir to Plack Industries, has no interest in being with a woman for longer than one night. A spoiled and lazy man-whore, he is completely content with his playboy lifestyle, and Beth is surprised when they form an unlikely friendship.

Brian Burcham, a finance banker, is gorgeous and respectful. A man plucked from Beth’s dreams, he is definite husband material. Unfortunately, Beth has a hard rule against dating coworkers, but Brian is determined to change her mind.

When a deadbeat mother and money problems follow her to Chicago, Beth is offered a solution that could fix everything. Marrying for money seems simple enough, but when lines become blurred, Beth faces difficult choices, making her realize that the easy way out just made her life even harder than before.

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First Impression

Ah, a contemporary romance. This is exactly what I need right now! A cute story, wait…love triangle? Hmm. We’ll see how this plays out…

The Good

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It was just so damn cute!!! Marry Me For Money had a really slow start but it quickly starts to pick up! This was a well written romance novel with a little twist, and it’s probably not the twist you’re expecting! I couldn’t put it down, I legit read it in one sitting late one night. I could feel my eyes starting to burn with tiredness but I NEEDED to know how it would end!! Although predictable at times, I highly enjoyed the plot! And the characters! I instantly loved Kent, yep I did<3! As for Brian, well you know that saying “nice guys finish last“? Well, they really do. I honestly wasn’t that into his character anyways so it worked out perfectly for me! Oh, and for Bethany as well ;).

The Bad

  • Nothing I would consider bad.

The In-Between

  • A little bit predictable at times, and I wasn’t a fan of how Kent was portrayed at certain points. But that’s it!

Lasting Impression

Overall, Marry Me For Money is a cute contemporary read! It’s one of those books that I can picture being turned into a movie and would be perfect for a girls night in! If you’re looking for a well written, ‘just friends but little do they know’ kind of romance I highly recommend reading this!

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3.5 Stars

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Tour wide giveaway
Open to US and Canada – Ends July 15th
— $20 Amazon gift card

— Print copy of Marry Me For Money

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Mia Kayla is a New Adult/Contemporary Romance writer who lives in Illinois.

On the weekdays, she can be caught wearing a suit, commuting to her corporate job in downtown Chicago and raising three beautiful munchkins in the suburbs, four if you count the husband. In her free time she loves reading romance novels, jamming to boy bands, catching up on celebrity gossip and designing flowers for weddings.

Most of the time, she can be caught on the train with her nose in a book sporting a cheeky grin because the main characters finally get their happily-ever-after at the end. She loves reading about happy endings but has more fun writing them.

To find out more about my upcoming release, sign up for my newsletter. Click here to sign up.
Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

Blog Tour: Forever Layla

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Forever Layla

Author: Melissa Turner Lee
Series: N/A
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Contemporary
Publisher: AltWit Press
Publication Date: May 27th, 2014
Format: ebook
Pages: 217
Source: IFB
Purchase: Amazon

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What if the woman you envied most is the person you are destined to become?

In 1994, high school senior David Foster was the lackey and soundboard geek for his best friend’s grunge band. During spring break, the band lands a dream gig playing at a motel in Myrtle Beach, SC. David expected all the girls to ogle the guys on stage, but when a beautiful blond “Bond Girl” approaches him and calls him by name, he’s shocked to find out she knows more about him than a stranger should.

She even knows about his notebooks and his visions of time travel.

What she thought was a quick time-travel-sightseeing trip takes a surprising turn when she meets the young adult version of the man she’d heard stories about as a child. His fairy-tale romance with the woman he’d loved, Layla, inspired her to accept nothing less than a love just as strong…but hopefully not as tragic. When she won’t tell the younger version of him her name, he calls her Layla–and the world as she knows it changes forever.

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Whatever happens, the pain and sorrow will be worth it in the long run.

When I signed up for the blog tour for Forever Layla and read the synopsis it peaked my interest. However, when I finished the first chapter I became hooked! I’m normally easily confused when it comes to time travel, it’s a complex concept to have in stories and most times authors do a poor job at covering all their bases. This however was not the case for Melissa.

The story is split from being told from David’s perspective and then it switches to Layla. I actually enjoyed this style; it allowed for getting a better sense of both characters and the chance to build a connection. While this was a solid story I wasn’t a fan of the ending, I found it was so abrupt and didn’t follow the overall flow of Forever Layla.

Overall, this was a unique and captivating read. I definitely recommend Forever Layla to anyone who wants a great romance, with strong characters and a well laid out plot.

3.5 Stars

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[US Only]
* Win a signed copy of Forever Layla + swag.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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“David?” a soft feminine voice spoke my name.

I glanced up to see the biggest brownest eyes framed by the longest blackest lashed I’d ever seen. I glanced down to focus on the rest of her. The form fitting black dress she wore hugged every curve down to her toned and tanned legs.

My gaze trailed on down to her fancy black heels and then back up at her face. She was hot…like model hot. I couldn’t blink or think as I stared at her beautiful face framed by large amounts of blonde hair and a pair of large hoop earrings. She didn’t look like the other girls with her eye makeup, glossy pink lips and the way her hair was puffed up and styled. She looked like she had just stepped out of one of the James Bond movies Dad and I liked to watch on TV.”

“I glanced around the crowd of girls in cutoffs, t-shirts, Keds and stringy hair. Her look wasn’t in style at the moment. Most girls were doing the grunge and hippie thing, but Bond girls never went out of style with guys. I tried to say something, but I think I just stared and possibly stuttered before a wheeze came out. She reached for the inhaler in my shirt pocket and handed it to me. I took a puff as she shook her head smiling.

“It is you.” A look of pure wonder and amazement lit her face. She blinked, making her thick and extremely long lashes flutter like butterfly wings. “I can’t believe it. You wear glasses now.”

I pushed them back on my nose self-consciously as I put away my inhaler. “Yeah, like since the third grade.” I eyed her up and down once more and worked hard to remember to breathe. “Do I know you?”

“Kind of…Well not really. I’m…” she shifted her eyes to the side without moving her head and bit her lips like she needed to remember something and stopped for a moment before she continued. “Ugh! I suck at this. You’ll never let me do this again if I mess this up.” She shook her head and then turned her attention back to me. “No, you don’t know me, but I know all about you. Let’s just put it that way.”

Her grin said something was up.

 

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Melissa Turner Lee holds a BA in Communications with a concentration in Journalism from the University of South Carolina. She has studied fiction writing since 2008, attending various writing conferences and workshops, along with guidance from professional writing coaches. She resides in Spartanburg, SC with her husband and 3 sons.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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Release Day Launch: Aspen

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Aspen

Author: Rebekah Crane
Series: N/A
Genre: YA, Romance
Publisher: In This Together Media
Publication Date: June 5th, 2014
Format: Paperback
Pages: 236
Source: JenHalliganPR
Purchase: Amazon

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One quiet night in Boulder, Colorado, Aspen Yellow-Sunrise Taylor made a mistake.

In the next instant, her life changed forever.

Aspen doesn’t want to remember the devastating car accident that killed Katelyn Ryan, a sleek-haired popular soccer player. But forgetting is hard– because Katelyn may have died — but she didn’t leave. Her ghost is following Aspen around, and heading into senior year, it’s kind of a problem. Especially when Katelyn’s gorgeous former boyfriend Ben appears to be the only person at school with a clue as to how Aspen feels.

Popularity, college, Homecoming Court, hot guys – none of these things ever mattered to Aspen. She’s been busy trying to rein in her giant mass of blonde curls, keep her stoner mother Ninny away from Toaster, her mom’s awful bongo drumming boyfriend, and prevent her best friends Kim and Cass from killing – or kissing – one another. But with Ben sitting next to her in Physics looking all too gorgeous, Katelyn’s spirit dogging her steps, and her obsessive snow-globe collecting therapist begging her to remember all the things she wants to forget, Aspen is thrust into a vivid, challenging world she can’t control … and doesn’t want to.

A darkly funny, emotionally gripping story of opening up, letting go, and moving on, ASPEN is about the best-worst accident of your life … and what comes next.

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One winner will receive a signed copy of ASPEN and $25 Amazon gift card (US/CA only).

***Any contestant that uses dummy or contest only accounts to enter will be disqualified.***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Purchase and review ASPEN on Amazon by June 22, 2014 to enter to win 2 tie-dye scarves, 1 t-shirt from Moe’s Broadway Bagel in Boulder, Grateful Dead stickers, a signed copy of PLAYING NICE and a signed annotated copy ASPEN, plus $25 Amazon gift card.

To enter to win this epic giveaway, you must
1) Purchase a copy of ASPEN
2) Read it
3) Review it on Amazon
4) Submit your entry by filling out this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1S1jgnrB0YBxpiJwtAcn6acqUL8-kPrZ7623XiElv-0c/viewform

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   I swallow hard, trying to wet my dry mouth as someone takes the seat next to me. The bell needs to ring now to save me from further conversation. I scoot my chair over, the room and all its occupants slowly closing in on me—and then my neighbor’s head of messy black hair catches my eye. My stomach drops to the floor.

“Why are you sitting next to me?” I snap.

It’s Ben Tyler. Katelyn’s Ben. His eyebrows are pulled high on his forehead, his eyes wide.

“Taylor and Tyler. I guess Mr. Salmon did the seating chart by last name.” Ben says it like I’m interrogating him and he’s nervous he might give me the wrong answer.

“Oh.” Tingles flood my hands and I shake them out at my side. All around the room, people are looking at me. My cheeks heat with embarrassment. I’d get up and ask Mr. Salmon to change my seat, but then I’d get even more attention. People would start to wonder why I don’t want to sit next to Ben Tyler. Hotty Ben. The grieving, perfect boyfriend of the dead Katelyn Ryan. Me getting up is how rumors start. Suzy tells Olivia who tells Sophia who tells Claire that I didn’t want to sit next to Ben, and by the end of the week, everyone is talking about it.

I slink down in my seat, wishing I could disappear into the floor. “I hate eyes,” I whisper to myself.

“Don’t sweat it. I get that a lot, too,” Ben whispers out of the corner of his mouth. Only one side of his face curls into a smile, like he can’t force himself to pull the other cheek any higher. I feel the same way most days.

Then it hits me. People aren’t staring at me; they’re staring at us.

“I’m sorry.” I force a two-cheek smile. “I’m an ass.”

Ben huffs out a laugh. A scar runs through his right eyebrow, another across his left cheek. But even with the imperfections on his face, he looks handsome. I count all the colors in his eyes. Yellow, green, brown, flecks of blue.

“Aspen,” Ben says. “You don’t need to apologize to me.”

I saw him at the hospital that night. He was sitting in a chair, his head in his hands, while Mr. and Mrs. Ryan talked to a doctor in purple scrubs with a colorful sleeve tattoo down her right arm. The scrubs looked more like a costume than a uniform. Mrs. Ryan had her hand on Ben’s shoulder. Even with a face full of tears, he was beautiful.

At one point, he looked at me from across the emergency room. I was sitting in a bed, waiting for Ninny. My head was bandaged, and my leg was in a splint. I was even wearing one of those terrible gowns that open in the back so everyone can see your ass. As Ben stared at me, I kept seeing him and Katelyn in the halls. The whole school knew when they started dating sophomore year, because all of a sudden Katelyn went from the girl who played soccer really well to the girl who held Ben Tyler’s hand in the hallway.

We stared at each other for so long that eventually it got awkward. I asked the nurse to pull the curtain closed.

Ben doesn’t say anything else to me during class. Mr. Salmon goes over the syllabus for the year and then says he’s retiring in the spring and plans to be sick a lot.

“Nothing’s new in physics anyway,” Mr. Salmon says. “Gravity is still gravity.” He sits down behind his desk, takes a swig of his coffee, and tells us to “read or something.” Maybe I won’t fail after all.

When the class ends, Ben walks out of the room without another look in my direction.

 photo 82e606ad-3695-4aad-a23c-81fc38599ce0_zpsd6c239b4.pngRebekah Crane fell in love with YA literature while studying Secondary English Education at Ohio University. After having two kids, living in six different cities, and finally settling down in the foothills of her beloved Rocky Mountains, her first novel, PLAYING NICE, was published. ASPEN, her second YA novel, set in Boulder, CO, is due to release in summer 2014 from In This Together Media. She now spends her day carpooling kids or tucked behind a laptop at 7,500 ft high in the Rockies, where the altitude only enhances the experience.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads

 

 

Thanks for stopping by!

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Blog Tour: Remnants of the Damned

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Remnants of the Damned

Author: Gavin Hetherington
Series: Abyssal Sanctuary, #1
Genre: Horror, Fantasy
Publisher: Gavin Hetherington
Publication Date: October 9th, 2013
Format: ebook
Pages: 330
Source: IFB
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

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Witness the Birth of Fear.

There has always been something wrong with the sinister and secluded town of Lakefield View. For one, people get murdered on the streets and nobody does anything about it. Even if they hear their screams curse the night skies, the number of saints has diminished. But it isn’t the sick and twisted residents of Lakefield View that are the ones who you should avoid… it’s the killers, the psychopaths, the witches and the monsters you should watch out for.

Five unsuspecting workers of a picturesque café get the shock of their lives when a family member is killed before their eyes. A chain of events ensue and they are all catapulted down a spiralling road of mystery and magic, each struggling to overcome constant obstacles that threaten their lives and the safety of their families. As the mystery progresses and the secrets get darker, the friends find it harder and harder to keep their heads above water.

The only thing worse than being alone in the dark, is finding out you’re not!
_______________

A prism of genres, Remnants of the Damned promises to be a truly different approach of a series of novels with one of the main characters being gay – a rare occurrence in a mainstream piece of literature in this kind of genre.

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“…Everybody has a secret. Behind every smile lies a dark story. Behind every hello is a hidden goodbye.”

* Silence…*

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Do you feel that? That’s the hair on the back of your neck standing up! That’s the goosebumps slowly taking over. And that is a book you’re not going to want to put down. Holy jumpin’ books! What an opening! From the book cover alone, you know your about to ready something spooky, add in the synopsis and I’m sure your ready to plug-in your night-light!

“A sly fog rolled into the town like a flood from the forest, completely embedding the ground, hiding the pavements and roads from naked eyes.”

This was perfect for opening up on my imagination. The detailing and description through this book had me feeling like I was actually there among the characters, and that is an amazing feeling to have while reading a book. Remnants of the Damned started with a fast paced prologue that has you jumping right into the story. I loved how fast paced it was, this book had a perfect flow and there wasn’t a point when I thought the story line was too slow or too fast.

Gavin decision to have multiple POV’s from all the main characters was absolute genius! From this you get to experience and see the scenario from a different angle, which makes this book so much more fastening. While there was room for improvement with the writing style I still strongly believe that Gavin Hetherington is an author to look out for!

Overall, Remnants of the Damned has every single element to classify this as a horror story and a good one at that! A spooky fast paced read that ends with a cliffhanger and makes you want to run out and grab the next book! Sadly, I’ll have to wait until October, cue the sigh! Sigh.

I give this 4 ‘high pitch screams’ butterflies!

4 Stars

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[Open Internationally]
– $100 Amazon Gift Card + a signed copy of Remnants of the Damned!

[UK Only]
– 4 winners will receive a signed copy of Remnants of the Damned!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Gavin Hetherington currently resides in the town of Gateshead in the United Kingdom. A literature fanatic of fantasy, Gavin began writing stories when he was young, mainly about witches and the supernatural.

 Thanks for stopping by!

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