Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Book Review

What's up everyone?
 So a couple of days ago, the wonderful Tracy Sinclair and I connected on Twitter and she sent me her latest book The Bridemaid Blues for free but on the condition that I share my thoughts with you guys afterwards which is what am about to do. Am sure you guys know that the fact that I didn't pay for it doesn't affect my opinion in any way, right? Great!

Title: The Bridesmaid Blues


Genre: ChickLit


Author: Tracey Sinclair

Format: She sent me an ePub but am sure it's available in other formats (I'll ask her).

Date of Publication: 2016

Plot: Meet Lucinda Bailey, Luce to everyone. She lives in London and she is your average twentysomething career woman. Or almost. But anyway, some of her special talents include turning
ordinary-looking stones into kick-ass jewellery pieces, guzzling a bottle of wine in record time and last but not least, dating the wrong men.
 And as if the poor girl doesn't have enough problems, now her best friend has asked her to be braidesmaid at her wedding in which her ex Jimmy will serve as best man.
 If there was ever a time to show an ex what he's missing, that time is now.

Review: Honestly when I accepted this book, I had no idea what I was getting myself into but after a couple of pages, I knew that Bridesmaid Blues was one of the funniest books I would ever read. I was laughing 98.9% of  of the time (and you do not want to hear me laugh), which was of course ok when I was alone, but most of the time it was in public: on a bus on my way to School, in class, the iPad hidden underneath my school books or sitting in the library. You can just imagine what that did to my reputation. I hate you Tracey!
 Luce (she's already high on my list of literary characters I cannot get enough of. Read the full article here:   https://upcloseandliteral.blogspot.com.ng/2016/08/Amsoinlovewiththesefivecharacters.html), was witty, funny and provided super big budget blockbuster rom-com-level dose of entertainment that I just couldn't get enough of. Yes, I can already picture a big-screen adaptation for this one. In fact I asked Tracey about it when I interviewed her (yes I did). I'll share it with you on Friday so stay tuned.
In addition to the humour, the book provides some valuable lessons about appreciation, self confidence and some clues about steering clear from the kind of guys no girl should ever have to suffer the indignity of dating.
 A little spoiler and forgive me for this Tracey but if you think your annoying ex broke up with you in a very shitty manner, that's one more reason why you should read the book. And am not saying more than that. Am trying to avoid a lawsuit here people.
 It's a book I highly recommend, especially if you're having a not too good day. Pick it up and let Luce make your day a little better.

Rating: 4.5

Of course you guys know I usually award kisses but I haven't figured out a way to represent have a kiss yet (any graphic designers in the house?) so here are the four kisses that I can show you.

πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹
 Have a lovely day everyone and remember that I love you almost as much as I love me.

Stay bookish,
 Chiomaah
😜









Sunday, 28 August 2016

I have fallen helplessly and hopelessly in love with these five Womens' Fiction/Chick-Lit characters and I guarantee you will too.

Hey Everyone!
 Hope you are doing great. A couple of weeks ago, I was just sitting down and minding my own business when I suddenly realised that I was in love. Again. Not just with my boyfriend (of course I have one. What did you think?), but with a couple of really amazing fictional characters who only exist in some wonderful books that I have recently read (even though I really wish some one would make a big screen adaptation of the books so I can finally put a face on them). Now I've loved books for as long as I can remember so me being obsessed with fictional characters is nothing new. I mean I, like very other normal human girl out there also went through a Mills and Boon stage : Dreaming about my Prince Charming, my first kiss... But I think this is kind of special, maybe because am grown up now, I think I kind of admire these women. Yes. Finally found the right word! Admiration. Full blown hero worship-let-me-kiss-your feet-because-I-wish-I-could-have-your-strength-beauty-and-power admiration.
 So without wasting any more of your precious time, here are the five women I can't stop obsessing over and what's more, am guessing that by the time you are done reading this, you may feel the same way too:

1. Ifemelu from Americanaah
a). Because she finally found the courage to love the black, curly, kinky, fabulous hair she was born with.
b). Because she is a fighter and doesn't give up.
 You can read and  article I wrote about the book here: https://upcloseandliteral.blogspot.com.ng/2016/01/americanah-i-have-british-accent-you.html




2. The Five Women from Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons

a). Because Audrey, Slip, Kari, Faith and Kari somehow managed to be there for each other for almost three decades when girls these days can't even mainten friendships for a month!
b). Because they served the most wicked dishes you can ever imagine at their book club meeting
which I absolutely hate them for.
c). Just for having a solid three decades-old book club. I always wanted one so am jealous.
You can read my review of the book here:https://upcloseandliteral.blogspot.com.ng/2016/04/review-angry-housewives-eating-bon-bons.html










3. Lucinda Bailey from The Bridesmaid Blues








Before you ask, I have read this book and I plan to share my review with you guys very soon but before then you can regard this as a sort of introduction to Lucinda Bailey.
 I even interviewed the author Tracey Sinclair (yes, I know. It's super awesome, right?).


 So here are the reasons why Luce totally rocks.
a). She's funny. Sorry, huge understatement. She's downright so-funny-I-laughed-so-hard-while-reading-this-book-thereby-earning-me-looks-that-were-laden-with-concerns-about-my-sanity-from-strangers funny. Enough said.
b). She designs fabulous jewellery though she apparently doesn't know it yet. I could be friends with this girl. Think about all that free stuff!

 4. Casey Han from Free Food for Millionaires


a. She wears what she likes, no matter what anyone says. I see myself raiding her wardrobe in the dead of the night and stealing some (not all, am not as brave as Casey yet) of her clothes and hats.
b). She's determined and strong. Even with only a couple of dollars to her name.
c). She stood up for her mother Rachel, when she was raped by that evil choir master.
 You can read my review of the book here: https://upcloseandliteral.blogspot.com.ng/2016/07/Freefoodformillionairesbminjinlee.html





5. Chloe Germain from The Devil's Own Chloe




a). She's got a hot career (she's an architect), seems like she'd be fun to be with and she lives in Paris. Yes. I love Paris that much. Sue me


b). That Halloween cat-woman outfit, oh-la-la!
 The writer Alix Nichols stopped by the blog during her blog tour soin case you missed it:
https://upcloseandliteral.blogspot.com.ng/2016/07/Blogtourforthedevilsownchloebyalixnichols.html
 So there you have it. My five current obsessions. Do you think I've left anyone out? Do let me know
Cheers,
Chiomaah😍









Friday, 19 August 2016

Book Review

Samantha March sent from www.clp.com sent me this one a couple of weeks ago. I got it free in return for an honest review. Ah, the perks of being a book blogger. It's by Amazon's #1 Bestselling Author Alix Nichols. Now stop ogling at the model and read the rest of the review!
 There are three short stories in this bundle: You are the one, Winter's Gift and The Devil's Own Chloe. Plus excerpts from two of her other books Falling for Emma and Under my Skin.
I'll review the first two stories but as for The Devil's Own Chloe, I already reviewed it during Alux Nichol'sThe Devil's Own Chloe blog tour, kindly read it here: https://upcloseandliteral.blogspot.com.ng/2016/07/Blogtourforthedevilsownchloebyalixnichols.html

In You are the One, Natalie's boyfriend cheats on her with a waitress, finally opening her eyes to the real state of their relationship and giving her the courage she needs to make some tough decisions.
Review: As always when I read stories like this, I felt sorry for Natalie ansd at the same time I wished I could slap some sense into her. The weakness of that relationship was super obvious from the start and yet she couldn't see it. Smh. 
Though it was the waitress whom her boyfriend cheated with that I found myself  hopelessly admiring. Apart from having amazing hair, she did something really noble. Very admirable. Don't ask me what, read  the book and find out for your self.
Rating: πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹
In Winter's Gift, Anna makes the difficult decision to become a high class call girl for her mother's sake. Then she meets oligarch Anton and ends up breaking all the rules written  in how to be a high class call girl 101 (Yep. I just made that up).
Review: First of all, the trips, the gifts, the money, what girl wouldn't fall for that? Then the sex. Oh, the sex.  Alix Nicholls sure knows how to write a love scene. But then, it's impossible to ignore the underlying sadness if it all. I can only imagine how tough it was for to make the decision to start selling her body and I felt sorry for her (am not telling you why she did it. Read the book! Don't be lazy).
This book manages to combine passion, aka sizzling sex, adversity and hope all in a couple of pages and I loved it . It was a poignant tale and a well written one.
But there's also a happy ending and you know how much I love those
Rating: πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹


Am so sorry I couldn't bring you the FridayLiTerview this week. I'll try and make it up next week. Until then remain bookish.
Cheers,
Chiomaah

Friday, 12 August 2016

The Friday LiTerview: Leo deSouza (con't)

Sorry guys, this is the second part of the interview
So you're brazillian, tell us about the Olympic games, whats the mood like in Brazil right now. Have you been to the stadium yourself? What games did you watch? Don't blame me, I can't afford to go myself so thats why am pestering you. You're the closest I can get to experiencing it live (even better than watching it on tv).

The Olympics are in Rio, one among many big cities of my country, Brazil is a huge country!
As I don't live in Rio, I'm not following the games in live. But! The football is been disputed in all states, the last match was yesterday! It was only 100km far from my home and I went there to see it! Fortunatelly, we won 4x0 against Denmark. And as in Brazil we always like to win in football, you bet my mood. :D
But the general mood is not that great, Brazil is Huge, there is people who live so far from Rio that it is like if they were living in other country! Besides, we are facing many political problems. :(
Kindly say something sweet to our readers in a Portuguese (then translate it to english, of course. Lol).

I can say in portuguese:

Aproveite o seu tempo livre lendo mais, o objetivo da ficção não é apenas nos afastar do mundo real mas também abrir nossas mentes para novas possibilidades!

Which means in english:

Enjoy your free time to read more, the goal of fiction is not just to move us away from the real world but also open our minds to new possibilities!


How super sweet! Thanks a lot, Leo.
Tune in next week for another interview.
Cheers,
Chiomaah 
😍






The Friday LiTerview: Leo deSouza

Hey everyone,
So a few days ago I had the opportunity of interviewing Leo deSouza, the author of The Red Fields (The Eastern Dwarfs Book #1)  Read the review here: ahttps://upcloseandliteral.blogspot.com/2016/08/Areviewoftheredfieldsbyleodesouza.html And he was just the sweetest most down-to-earth person ever. Though I must warn you, he is intensly protective of his privacy. Case in point: When we asked for a photo, he politely declined and sent us this instead:
I kid you not! He says it's what he uses as his official author photograph. Not to worry Leo, it doesn't put us off  at all. I mean over here at Up close and literal, there's nothing we love better than a little mystery. Right guys?
Ok, enough talk. The interview
1. Tell us about yourself, Leo
Before talking about myself, let me apologize for my english, it is not my main language, that is why my books had to be translated from portuguese.I'm a simple Brazilian guy, 29 years old, civil engineer, who likes to write when I have some free time. Real life can be pretty boring some times, that is why we need fiction.

2. Your latest series, the  red fields, is a fantasy tale of adventure with several magical lands and creatures, what was the inspiration behind it.

A reader who starts reading The Eastern dwarfs will soon notice a strong Tolkien/Lord of the Rings bias. It is for sure the main inspiration. The basic concepts are there, but I did my best to create a completly new history with completly new characters. My intention was to make the reader feel back in Middle Earth one more time, but not in the same plot. In The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, much is told about the Western dwarf houses, but there is still four houses in the East of Middle Earth, and for them Tolkien never wrote a complete story. So I decided to take this task to myself, of course with all due respect to Tolkien and his original tale. I do not use any of his charaters or names. As I said, everything in my book is fresh.
3. I personally loved the elves' sky high tree houses with their furniture carved into the tree trunks, I couldn't stop imagining what it'd look like. Infact, I think I'd like my own treehouse one day so tell us 
about it, how did you come up with such a genius idea?

By observing carpenters! When you look at a finished furniture piece, you can't imagine all the skill necessary to craft such a thing. It is really a form of art. I like wood, it is warm and cozy, different from stone and metal.
3. How hard was it to get your first book published?

The publishing process was actually simple and comfortable. I would like to say that Amazon is really an amazing tool, indie authors can now publish their books from inside their own homes and wihout many risks. Thank you Amazon!

In the beggining I had some problems due to the fact that my book was firstly written in portuguese and then translated to english. That caused some problems for readers which main language is English. But the books are now in their third version and reaching a professional quality.


4. What are your favourite literary genres?
Religion, sci-fi and fantasy, as well as many things related with occultism and mysticism, I have a special interest in Eastern traditions.

As for fantasy, I'm an old school reader. Tolkien is for sure my main inspiration. He invented modern fantasy, all that came after him is based in his concepts, with a few exceptions.


5. Do you have a favourite character from the red fields series?

Rurur! He is me, and I am he. Somehow lazy, food and animal lover. But to be honest, the one I liked more when writting was Torag. He plays the tough guy and sometimes I like to think that we need to act like that in certain life situations.

6. If you were not a writer, what would you be?

As I said, I'm a civil engineer! But I could be anything else... maybe a cook, who knows...

7. What's the most valuable writing advise you ever reveived?

Not to hurry! That is essential in order to write a good plot. There must be no loose ends and inconsistences, and that demands much patience!

8. Should we be expecting a new book from you, soon?

Yes! I'm about to release a sci-fi book with a lot of philosophical content soon. Something different from the fantasy dwarfs, and a much more serious book. Besides, I have a lot of ideas in mind. Who knows, many things could come next.


9. What are your top five favourite female heroines of all time?

The new book I'm about to release has a female hero, and I'm now leaning to keep writting about woman. Why? Because women are the most fascinating creatures that God have ever put in this world.

I could not cite many heroines from fiction, but what about from reality?

Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space and Mother Teresa by her work with poor people.
They are not fictional characters, but they are amazing sources of inspiration! 

10. Are there any other writers that you look up to? 

I'm currently reading The Name of the Wind by  Patrick Rothfuss, and the more I read it the more I admire his writting style. But, strange as it can sound, fiction is not my main inspiration! I prefeer to take inspiration from real life sources, as well as religion and myths.

New Stuff: The Friday Literati Interviews

Hey guys,
You know how I promised to make this blog the ultimate bookworm fantasy land? Well, I hope you've enjoyed all the reviews, blog tours, book blitzes and cover reveals that you have been feasting on so far because I am about yo add one more feature to that list. Drum roll please: interviews! The Friday Literati Interviews, The  Friday Literviews for short. Super exciting huh? Well, starting from today, I will try my best to bring you an exciting interview with a different personality- authors, book bloggers, agents, publishers, etc. And sometimes we may even have a not so bookish personality.
So enough talk, we are starting off right away with an insightful interview with the one and only Leo deSousa, author of the Red Fields (The Eastern Dwarfs Book #1). I just posted a review of that by the way, see it here: https://upcloseandliteral.blogspot.com/2016/08/Areviewoftheredfieldsbyleodesouza.html
Or if you'd rather read Leo's interview first: https://upcloseandliteral.blogspot.com/2016/08/AninterviewwithleodeSouza.html and here: https://upcloseandliteral.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-friday-literview-leo-desouza-cont.html
Cheers,
Chiomaah 
😍

New Stuff: The Friday Literati Interviews

Hey guys,
You know how I promised to make this blog the ultimate bookworm fantasy land? Well, I hope you've enjoyed all the reviews, blog tours, book blitzes and cover reveals that you have been feasting on so far because I am about yo add one more feature to that list. Drum roll please: interviews! The Friday Literati Interviews, The  Friday Literviews for short. Super exciting huh? Well, starting from today, I will try my best to bring you an exciting interview with a different personality- authors, book bloggers, agents, publishers, etc. And sometimes we may even have a not so bookish personality.
So enough talk, we are starting off right away with an insightful interview with the one and only Leo deSousa, author of the Red Fields (The Eastern Dwarfs Book #1). I just posted a review of that by the way, see it here: https://upcloseandliteral.blogspot.com/2016/08/Areviewoftheredfieldsbyleodesouza.html
Or if you rather read Leo's interview first: https://upcloseandliteral.blogspot.com/2016/08/AninterviewwithleodeSouza.html
Cheers,
Chiomaah 
😍

Book Review

Title: The Red Fields (The Eastern Dwarves #1)
Author: Leo deSouza
Format: epub
Source: I got it from the author himself
Genre: Fantasy/ Adventure
Plot: Two dwarfs of the RockFoot house, Olaf and Rurur are out berry picking one day when they witness the entry of a mysterious dark rider mounting a flying beast into their homeland the Eastern Lands. This obviously means trouble so the king sends out a delegation consisting of  Olaf, Rurur, Master Chief of Arms Thuor and warrior Torag to find answers and avert impending diseaster.
 On the way they pass through magical lands and of course encounter lots of different creatures.
Review:  This book is almost 900 pages, I think that automatically makes it ten times harder to mainten the readers' interest. But am happy to report that Mr. deSouza does a fairly good job. The book builds suspense from the very beginning which is essential in order to prevent the reader from putting it down after the first few pages. Even though the length of the book means that it's a very long time between the beginning and the end, there is a lot to keep you interested in the mean time. I thought my poor eyes would pop out of their sockets while reading the descriptions of the different magical creatures and lands. I particularly loved the elves' magnificent tree houses. I was so intrigued by it  I couldnt help myself so I asked the author  about it when I interviewed him. Wait, you mean you didn't know about that? Ok, read about it here:  https://upcloseandliteral.blogspot.com/2016/08/AninterviewwithleodeSouza.html and here:https://upcloseandliteral.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-friday-literview-leo-desouza-cont.html
Though there were one or two boring interludes here and there. Plus, I had expected to be fully rewarded for my patience in the end. I wasn't  and I may have, you know, grumbled a little.But that's understandable as this is only the first part in the series. Guess that means I'll be forced to pick up the next one to find out what happens in the end. Not that I mind. 
But overall, it was just such a worthy escape for a while, at some point I felt like I was in an amusement park or something. Am happy to report that this one of the few books which will somehow manage to appeal to both adults and children. 
Rating: 3.5
Too bad I can't I represent half a kiss, but here are the first three kisses for it, though: πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹
Cheers,
Chiomaah

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

It's a Cover Reveal Party!

So Sage from www.sagesblogtours.com is organising a cover reveal for The Stripped Bounty by Dorothy F. Shaw and she agreed to let us have a taste of the action. Enjoy
The Stripped Bounty
By Dorothy F. Shaw
Genre: Romantic suspense
Protecting her isn’t an option. It’s a requirement. Badger finally got Rosie in his bed, but in order to keep her there, he has to figure out how to save her life.
After her drug-running husband gets himself killed, Rosie Santini figures Phoenix is a fine
place to get a fresh start. Deuce's strip club isn't too fresh, but the money
works the pole, the only gaze she cant ignore belongs to the club's head bouncer, Badger
Baxter. But Rosie's seen her fair share of tall, dark, and dangerous, and no way is she
heading down that road. Not even for a hot hunk of muscle like Badger.
 
When he's not bounty hunting, Badger runs security at Deuce's. Rosie should be just
another piece of fresh meat in the club's stable of pole jockeys, but all her sexy parts add up
to a ride Badger would like to test drive. Trouble is, Badger likes his women submissive,
but not broken. She's definitely got baggage he wants no part of. But when her husband
killer shows up looking for stolen cash, she fits naturally under his protection
long before she's hooked deep into his heart.
 
So deep, losing her now would make him bleed in more ways than one.

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDorothyFShaw/
On Twitter https://twitter.com/DorothyFShaw
www.dorothyfshaw.com

Purchase Links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aHImwp
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/stripped-bounty/id1137853216?mt=11
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/stripped-bounty
Now if the oh-so out of  this world abs on that delicious model isn't enough to convince you to grab the book when it finally comes out, then I do not know what else will. 😜 
Cheers, 
Chiomaah

Thursday, 4 August 2016

A Knight With Grace by Laurel O'Donnell book blitz!

A Knight with Grace


By Laurel O'Donnell

Genre: Historical Romance

Lady Grace Willoughby defies her father’s orders to marry Sir William de Tracy and escapes with a friend. She has no intention of wedding a cursed man, a man ostracized from the church, a man who would only doom any future children they might have to the fires of Hell. She prays for a knight to rescue her.

Excommunicated and outcast for a horrible crime in his past, Sir William de Tracy searches for forgiveness. Marriage has never crossed his mind until Lord Willoughby commissions him to retrieve his fleeing daughter and honor the dying wish of his father by marrying Grace.

But things are not as they seem. And when an assassin tries to kill Grace, William must choose between his soul and the woman he has come to love. Can William and Grace overcome their past and find the redemption and love both are so desperately seeking?

Author Bio
Bestselling, critically acclaimed novelist Laurel O’Donnell sold her first book, The Angel and the Prince, to Kensington after being a Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart finalist. She has gone on to win many more awards, including the Holt Medallion Award for A Knight of Honor and the International Digital Award for Angel’s Assassin.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Laurel began writing in junior high school when she carried a pen and paper around wherever she went. In college, she took fiction writing classes to further her skill. Her love of the medieval time period led her to work at King Richard’s Faire in Wisconsin where she learned stage combat and sword fighting. The Faire fed her insatiable appetite for the medieval era.

Laurel has many books yet to write and hopes you will join her on her journey to bring the medieval era to life! Please visit her at her website www.laurel-odonnell.com for the latest information about upcoming releases, contests and to contact her.

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/LaurelODonnell.author

Twitter - https://twitter.com/laurelodonnell
Amazon - https://amzn.com/B01IWEYQA0



A Knight With Grace by Laurel O'Donnell book blitz!

A Knight with Grace

By Laurel O'Donnell

Genre: Historical Romance

Lady Grace Willoughby defies her father’s orders to marry Sir William de Tracy and escapes with a friend. She has no intention of wedding a cursed man, a man ostracized from the church, a man who would only doom any future children they might have to the fires of Hell. She prays for a knight to rescue her.

Excommunicated and outcast for a horrible crime in his past, Sir William de Tracy searches for forgiveness. Marriage has never crossed his mind until Lord Willoughby commissions him to retrieve his fleeing daughter and honor the dying wish of his father by marrying Grace.

But things are not as they seem. And when an assassin tries to kill Grace, William must choose between his soul and the woman he has come to love. Can William and Grace overcome their past and find the redemption and love both are so desperately seeking?

Author Bio


Bestselling, critically acclaimed novelist Laurel O’Donnell sold her first book, The Angel and the Prince, to Kensington after being a Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart finalist. She has gone on to win many more awards, including the Holt Medallion Award for A Knight of Honor and the International Digital Award for Angel’s Assassin.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Laurel began writing in junior high school when she carried a pen and paper around wherever she went. In college, she took fiction writing classes to further her skill. Her love of the medieval time period led her to work at King Richard’s Faire in Wisconsin where she learned stage combat and sword fighting. The Faire fed her insatiable appetite for the medieval era.

Laurel has many books yet to write and hopes you will join her on her journey to bring the medieval era to life! Please visit her at her website www.laurel-odonnell.com for the latest information about upcoming releases, contests and to contact her.

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/LaurelODonnell.author

Twitter - https://twitter.com/laurelodonnell
Amazon - https://amzn.com/B01IWEYQA0