Top Faves of 2018

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Hey all! Well, we are about to say goodbye to another year. Since I started off this year focusing on the positive, I thought I would make my last blog post of 2018 on the same note. From books to tv and personal moments, here is my list of favorites from the year!

Book: While I didn’t read as many books as I had wanted this year, I did binge out on some great reads. It’s a hard thing to pick a favorite book, but I think for this list I am going with new-to-me author Candace Osmond and her Dark Tides series, which I have raved about here. The Devil’s Heart is the first in the series and it got me hooked! I am looking forward to reading more of her work in 2019.

Movie: Again, another hard pick. I watched a lot of great flicks and there were a ton that came out this year I didn’t get to watch yet. But I am going with Black Panther, which was a kick ass awesome movie! I loved every aspect of this movie, and I can’t wait for the sequel.

Song: I got hooked on a few new bands this year, thanks to my husbands great taste in music. The band July Talk is now on the top of my list of fave bands, but the song Roots by In This Moment is my binge song of the year.

Celeb Meet: Hands down, Manu Bennett. I met a few cool people and had a blast at comic con in Toronto, but he was on my bucket list for a few years and I was supposed to meet him a few years ago. He was an awesome guy, and I enjoyed chatting to him.

me and manu

I was so happy meeting him I didn’t even care I looked like shite in this pic haha.

Life Moment: Adopting our greyhound, Foxy. It has been a much more rewarding experience then I could ever have imagined. Watching her come out of her shell has been amazing. She’s a hoarder of stuffies and she makes me laugh every day.

 

Bucket List Moment: Getting to see Bryan Adams in concert with one of my best friends. Mr. C surprised me with the tickets last spring. He wasn’t able to come with me but miss Tanya joined me for an amazing night.

concert

This year was a good one. I hope 2019 is just as good. What are your favorites of 2018? I would love to hear what book, movie or moment is on the top of your list! 🙂

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A Magickal Interview With Candace Osmond

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If you have been here before, you know that I am a big fan of Candace Osmond. I discovered her because of her Darktides series, which has magick, time travel, pirates, adventure and more!

Now she is onto a new story, with more magick and time travel, but a in different world and new characters to fall in love with. Her story, co authored with J.J. King, is newly in my hands, thanks to being on her ARC team. I recently talked to her about her new story, co authoring, and life after Darktides.

Hey Candace! Thanks for coming back! You’ve been a busy bee! The Dark Tides series just ended, how are you feeling about that?

Writing Dark Tides was a total rush. We did a rapid release with each new book in the series releasing every two months for the last year. Now that it’s wrapped up, I feel like I can finally suck in a full breath of air LOL but it also makes me anxious to not have a brand new book to give to readers yet.

I’m very excited about your upcoming project! The Rite to Reign box set. Can you tell us a bit about it? 

I’m excited, too! The theme of the box set is Royal Witches. So, all 24 books have a fantastical witchy theme. There are nearly 30 authors in total, some partnering up and co-authoring a book like myself and JJ King did. But there are 24 books in total, plus two bonus books by USA Today Bestselling Authors Rebecca Hamilton and Monica Corwin for free!

The group also banded together and created a custom spell book, recipe book, and short story collection that are all totally free to readers when they pre-order the set for $0.99. You can get our FREE gifts right here.

Oh my gosh! That sounds fanastic! Tell us more! What is your story called? And what is it about?

Mine and JJ King’s story is aptly titled Reigning Magicks and follows the epic journey of Princess Ashlynn, a powerful Celtic witch and rightful heir to her kingdom’s throne. But her father doesn’t care about that. He plans to use her as a tool to bridge peace between their kingdom and a rival Scottish clan of witches and sorcerers.

Of course, stubborn Ashlynn will have nothing of it. She ventures out in search of a way out and stumbles upon an ancient ritual that will grant her a wish. But it goes awry, and Ashlynn is thrust to the future; our modern day.

There she meets a handsome gypsy prince and powerful sorcerer, Cian Boswells. He’s in a similar predicament that Ashlynn had been forced into and together they solve one another’s problems while also falling in love.

Is it going to be the start of a new series for you or a stand alone project?

At first JJ King and I had planned for it to be a stand-alone project, something fun for the box set. But as we kept writing and developing the characters of Cian and Ashlynn, we realized there’s so much more story to tell. So, it’s set for a trilogy!

That sounds exciting! So you’re co authoring this as well, correct?  What’s that been like?

I was terrified at first. I’d never co-written anything before, not to this degree. Also, JJ King is one of my closest friends. But the process was amazing! We learned a lot about one another’s writing style as well as technique and discovered just how well we compliment one another. The key is to establish ground rules and what you expect from the other upfront, before you begin writing.

Going through this experience, would you co-author again with someone?

Only with JJ King LOL Coming form a background of screenwriting, I’m a very plot-driven writer. JJ is more focused on the descriptive narrative, so we just work so well together.

What goals do you have for the box?

Our main goal is to release on Dec. 11th and soar to the tops of charts, with a focus on NYT and USA TODAY. We’ve set goals along the way and are working hard to meet them. But pre-orders are crucial to this goal. It helps us to see how far we are and how far we have to go before release day.

When does it come out?

Dec. 11th is the official release date! But after that, the price goes up so be sure to pre-order to grab that sweet $0.99 deal plus all the pre-order goodies.

I pre-ordered ages ago! I can’t wait for release day! What writing goals do you have for the rest of the year?

For the rest of 2018 I’m focusing on this box set release while writing book one in my new series that’s slated for a 2019 release. It’s called Kingdom of Sand & Stars and is a Time Travel Fantasy Romance with an ancient Egypt setting. You can find out more about it on my Facebook page!

Thanks so much for the chat, Candace! Now, if you all will excuse me, I have a novel to read…and a review to write!

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Book Review: The Siren’s Call by Candace Osmond

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I have been patiently impatient for the release of the fourth and final book in the Dark Tides series by Candace Osmond. And finally, I got a copy in my hands!

Warning! Some spoilers ahead…

I have been devouring these books. This series has everything I love. A handsome hero with a hard past, a strong and kick ass heroine who keeps going even when she wants to quit; secondary characters that are complimentary and support the FMC and MC. There’s no cardboard cutouts here. Each person has their own important role to play.  Not to mention adventure, romance, time travel, action, quests, and more!

sirens call

As the crew reach the shores of England, the power of a wish weighs heavy on Dianna’s shoulders. What should be a simple task snowballs into an endless pit of questions and second guesses as Dianna’s yet to mutter the words that will finally put an end to their formidable journey.

Find her mother before Maria Cobham ends her life. 

The mission is simple, yet so much stands in the way. Including Roselyn Wallace, queen of the port and an old friend from Henry’s past. Time after time, Dianna reluctantly crosses paths with the tall, dark beauty until she finds herself in a world of trouble. Can she dig her way out before everything she’s worked for falls apart? Or will the world Dianna loves wash away with the unforgiving tides? 

As I began to read, I had so many questions. What wishes would Dianna make? What would become the fate of her evil sister and the mother she thought was lost? When would the siren call on her and what would she ask of Dianna? And what of Benjamin; would Dianna find out if her wish worked, or was he still stuck on the cursed ship?

So. Many. Questions.

I was excited and thrilled to start reading book four. I dived right back into the story of Henry and Dianna. I devoured it, but tried to take my time simply because: this is the last book in the series. *insert super sad face here*

The writing flow is consistent throughout the entire series. It was if Candace sat down to write a novel and it turned into something she had to break into four sections.

The title ‘The Siren’s Call’ works in a few ways. That’s one of the things I love, that each book title doesn’t give away the story. Instead it captures several aspects of the story, ones you don’t see coming. One aspect this fits is that one of the places Henry and Dianna visit is called The Sirens Call. It’s the home of Roselyn Wallace, a woman that Dianna not only feels jealous of but doesn’t know if she trustworthy. In a way, Roselyn is a siren of sorts, with her beauty and Dianna wonders if that will lure Henry back into the arms of his former flame.

Dianna and Henry’s characters are always growing, as are the secondary characters. There has been growth in friendships and relationships. And the hard times they all go through only make them strong, better and smarter. I just adore Lottie, Finn and Gus.

With being the last book, there were loose ends being tied, including some I forgot. Dianna had to take Charlie home to see his dying mother, and to bring Pleeman’s ashes back to his family. Neither event went as expected, but life never does.

I felt Dianna’s desperation throughout the story. She never stops believing that she will find her sister, even when she is doubted. She never stops her quest. She is also on a time limit of sorts. Dianna needs to finish what she started before she is to pregnant to stop. And she also needs to protect the growing baby inside of her.

The end of the book….endings are the hardest to read, when a series you are in love with is ending.

Of coarse, Dianna and Henry get their HEA. It wasn’t easy getting there, but they make it.

There was one detail at the end that made me go “OMG you are killing me here!”

Here’s some bad news, kids. The ending leaves you wanting-no, NEEDING- more. I had a half hour of processing what I had just read. The ending of the series ended on a cliffhanger.  Then I reached out to Candace, because I needed help processing it all. I didn’t expect a book series to end on such a…WOW note. Not like that, anyway.

So, here’s the good news, kids: Candace will be writing with these characters once again, sometime down the road when the siren calls to her to return to this awesome world she created. She’ll be working with other worlds and projects she’s creating at the moment. As much as I want more NOW, I can wait. Because when the time comes I will happily step back into the magical world of Dianna, Henry and the others that Candace has created.

On a personal note, I have another reason for being happy about this series. When book one came out, all I knew is that Candace was an author in an online writing community I am in. Her book was promoted, I read the blurb and knew it was for me. But now I have also gained a new writing friend. Candace and I have been talking during the year, giving each other pep talks and chatting about writing and life. So I feel like I have made a new friend, which is a gift in itself. And hey, never hurts to know one of your fave authors. I won’t let her forget about coming back to Dianna and Henry someday, and getting back to that cliffhanger. 😉

If you want to grab up your copy of The Sirens Call, get it at a few places including amazon.com or at amazon.ca.

Happy reading y’all!

Book Haul

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In the last week or so I have had a mini book haul. Brand new beauties for my very crowded bookshelf.

I had read some e-books, but because I loved them so much I had to get the hard copy. If you have read earlier reviews, you know I am a big fan of Candace Osmond. I ordered the first 2 books in her Darktides series….book three may or may not have been ordered as of last night. 😉

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I also bought Beyond The Sentinel Stars by Sherry D. Ramsey last week. It is the third book in her Nearspace series and I am looking forward to reading it soon.

books 2

 

My newest book in my collection was given to me just the other night. My husband knows me all too well. I guess he doesn’t tune me out all the time after all. 😉 As you may know, The Princess Bride is my all time favorite movie. So imagine my surprise- and joy!- when I got this lil gem.

books 3

I started reading this the other night. I am loving it so far! I got an awesome hubster.

So, any new books on your shelf these days? What are you reading?

Early Review: The Blackened Soul by Candace Osmond

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OMG!!!!

Yes. Just yes.

I can honestly say that the third installment in the Darktides series is just as wonderfully well written as the first two. Like the others, there is something always happening, the characters develop  more as the series goes on and the story line keeps you on your toes! And wanna know one of my favorite things?

The books are consistent! That is so huge in a series! I have read books where the author has gone way off base with the plot/characters/etc… But Candace has written these in such a way that I feel like I am just reading one big book, not three.

Book Blurb:

 Dianna’s in over her head.

The Queen is her ship now. Hers to sail with a crew to keep safe as they voyage across the Atlantic to stop Maria’s evil plan of killing her mother. The stress of responsibility, her pregnancy, and helping Henry deal with his PTSD has become a nightmare from which she has nowhere to run. Henry is suffering, refusing to let her in, and Dianna is worried that their love won’t survive the tumultuous journey ahead.

Just when she thinks all hope is lost, a massive storm hits and threatens to sink The Queen. By some miracle of fate, Dianna survives and finds herself alone, stranded on an island to fend for herself. But she soon discovers that the isle may not be as deserted as she thought.

Can she charm her way to safety and find her crew? Or will she be forced to stay on the island forever? 

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Dianna certainly has a lot on her plate. She is pregnant, learning how to be captain on her ship, The Queen, and  trying to help Henry, who is dealing with an inner darkness/PTSD. On top of that, she is trying to get to England and save her mother from her evil half sister, Maria.

Things are hard enough for her and she certainly doesn’t have it easy. During a massive storm, she is washed overboard. She survives but finds herself stranded on an island, alone and worried about the fate of Henry and her crew.

But the island is not as deserted as she thinks.

Enter Benjamin Cook. A pirate on his brother’s ship, The Black Soul. He takes her aboard the ship, and finds herself yet again trying to befriend its crew and trying to escape with her life. She learns some terrifying truths about the ship: it and the crew are cursed. Thanks to the greedy Captain Cook who stole a siren heart, his crew and ship are tethered to the island- and have been for a hundred years.

She faces horrid weather, evil pirates, magic, breaking a curse, a siren and even a Kraken. But she does it and survives it all with friends new and old at her side.

The title of the book works in a few ways, and I really like that. For starters, the first thing I thought of was Henry. He is having a really hard time with what happened on Kelly’s Island and what Maria had done to him. He has night terrors and has  attacked Dianna. The guilt makes him retreat further into his darkness.

Then there is the new ship, The Black Soul. Very fitting seeing as how it a) looks like it is charred and b) Captain Cook is insane. His soul is tainted from greed and evil.

I am very excited for the fourth and final book in the series, A Siren’s Call. I am anxious to see how Dianna’s story is going to play out and how everything will tie up. Will she save her mom? Will she kill her sister or grant her mercy? What about the siren who she owes a favor? And what of Benjamin? Did the curse really break and will she see him again? So many questions! Oh yes, I am very anxious already for this book!

The Blackened Soul is available on June 25th. However you can pre-order The Blackened Soul on Amazon as well as pick up the first two books if you haven’t already!

 

 

April Wrap-Up

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Back in January, I set some hopes and goals for the new year. While it’s only the end of April, I am really happy with how things are going. This is the first time I have kept up with my goals so far into a new year. Each month I am making progress and/or crossing off items off my to-do list.

Writing: I joined Camp Nano this month. My goals were wide and flexible. As far as the writing part of my goals went, I edited a short story, wrote notes on existing ones and started a new piece. My Camp Nano goal was to log in 35 hours of  time, and I have managed to get in 36! So I am really happy with how things went.

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Reading: Another part of my Camp Nano goal was to catch up on some articles and blogs about writing. I also read a collection of short stories by Sherry D. Ramsey as well as the newest novel in Candace Osmond’s Darktide series. If you want to check out either amazing author, you can buy their stories wherever books are sold. Some of Sherry’s books such as One’s Aspect to the Sun and Candace Osmond’s Darktide Series can be found on Amazon. (Links attached to book titles).

Blogging: I have been posting, sometimes more then I thought lol. This blog has been a great place for me, especially recently. Sometimes you just need a place to get out what you’ve been feeling. I have also been slowly learning new blogging tips. Either way, I am happy and thank YOU for being here.

The Book Pile: I have now read 7 out 15 books for the year. So I am almost half done according to Goodreads, and also ahead of schedule. Considering I barley read the last few years, I am really happy with how I have been doing.

Positive Vibes: Learning how to manage my negative feelings and focus on the good stuff has really come in handy. Even on a blue day or a day I feel like a writing impostor, I don’t dwell on what’s making me feel like crap. I allow myself to feel it, because that’s important. Then I am able to move forward. I still make a note in my journal every day, about something good that happened.

So, how was your month? I hope that May treats you all well!

 

Book Review: The Pirate Queen by Candace Osmond

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Yessssss. Just. Yes.

I have been an eager beaver to get my hands on the sequel to The Devil’s Heart. I pre-ordered The Pirate Queen right away and I was literally counting down, being patiently impatient.

the pirate queen

I was very anxious to see what was going to happen to Dianna, Henry and her crew. Candace is such a great story teller, I was very curious to know what was going to become of this beloved crew.

The story opens with Dianna being back in the present. She remembers the image on Henry’s face as the threads of time opened up to take her back home. Her need to get back to Henry is deep. After being taken to hospital, she finds out she is carrying his child. The need to get back to him  grows stronger.

Once back in her parents home, Dianna is trying to heal from injuries while frantically looking for a key to get her back to the past. She doesn’t want to be without Henry, and can’t stand the thought of him not seeing their child. Finding a clue, key or a glimpse of hope sends Dianna on a mission, making her aunt worry. Finally, her aunt gives her a journal. But not just any journal. It belonged to her mother, who had time traveled herself.

Dianna, with luck and magic, finds herself back in the past. She makes her way to an inn, and after getting a mysterious letter is reunited with Finn, the big burly Scotsman and friend. While staying at the inn, she makes friends with Lottie. I love this new character. There is much more to her then meets the eye. She is full of secrets and surprises!!!

Dianna and her friends are on the hunt to save Henry. While doing so, we discover some fun twists that send the story and events into another direction. Leaving us with more questions and also the anxiousness of wanting a character to succeed and discover the answers.

I won’t give the whole book away. That would spoil the fun! But Dianna is such a strong character. There needs to be more female characters like her. She is strong, independent and smart. There is no doubt as to why her friends, crew and Henry love her. Lottie is such a fun new addition to the group. There is growth of characters, like the cranky Gus. And deepening of other relationships, such as her friendship with Finn.

The ending also left me a little worried about Henry and what the effect of his past life had on him. He once turned himself into something dark and dangerous. Will Dianna’s love be enough to keep that tortured part of his soul at bay? (Gosh I frickin hope so!)

I have quickly fell in love with these books and characters. I must add that the author, Candace, is such a sweetie and I am a total fan and fangirl. She loves hearing from her readers so if you enjoyed this or any of her other work, she would love to hear from you.

Well, guess it is time for me to check the calendar and start the count down to book three, The Blackened Soul.

Here are some places you can get your copy!

Amazon US

Amazon CA

Kobo

Nook