Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Heartstone by Clemency Crow (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT



Clemency Crow




GENRE:  Middle Grade Fantasy Adventure






Jeremy isn't surprised his grandfather died. He's surprised he had one.

When the family travel to Cumbria for the funeral arrangements, he realises his grandfather had an important job to complete. Jeremy's grandfather was part of the Order of the Magi, who trapped an evil spirit away from our world, using the power contained within heartstones, and hidden in special places around the county.

But the heartstones need recharging every hundred years, so Jeremy and his strange new friend must find each stone, and complete dangerous tasks to prove they are worthy, before the power of the stones runs out and evil has control over the world.






“Good morning, sleepy!” Ben grinned as he spoke. He looked no worse for wear after his ordeal from yesterday. That is, until Jeremy saw the grey arm resting above the cover. Ben followed his gaze and his grin widened. This boy would make a funny situation out of anything, no matter how grim.

“Do you think you convinced your mum?” he asked.

Jeremy shook his head, as the conversation of last night came back to him.

Ben looked at him, his grin melting away. “What do you mean?”

“She said she knows what’s going on, and that her dad was a mage.” Jeremy screwed up his eyes as he tried to remembered the details of the conversation, but all he could concentrate on was the argument blazing downstairs. The more he listened, the more he wanted to hear. “I’m going to get done in the bathroom,” he mumbled, getting out of bed.

“Report back,” Ben said, completely unfooled by his excuse.

As Jeremy wandered along the landing, closer to the stairs, the voices became clearer.

“I’m not staying here long enough to lose my son,” Jeremy heard Dad’s voice snap. He stopped in his tracks in surprise.

“He’s my son, too, David,” Mum replied, equally harshly. “And he’s got no choice in the matter. If Dad chose him, then the damage is already done.”

“No!” Dad shouted. “I will not have him throw away what is going to be a fantastic life.”

“Right,” came the scoffing reply. “And a fantastic life by your standard is a good wage and a respected job. He will get both of these things in this job. When he’s ready to take it.”

“We… are… leaving.”

There was a pause.

“You may be, David,” Mum said, quietly so Jeremy had to concentrate to hear. “But I’m staying.”


Free to read on Kindle Unlimited




AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Clemency is a primary school teacher, children’s author, and illustrator, based in rural Caithness with her family and two needy spaniels. In fact, Clemency is typing this one handed, because Jess cries if she isn’t stroked for five seconds.


When she isn’t writing, Clemency loves designing new parts of her garden, trying to find plants that will withstand the 70mph winds that are likely to batter them. She is oftentimes to be found tearing her hair out at the prevalence of ground elder in the flower borders, while cultivated species struggle to survive.


Clemency’s favourite genre to write, and read, is fantasy adventure. This gives her ample opportunity to put her long suffering characters in perilous situations.


Book Trailer for Heartstone


Website (currently in process of switching to Wordpress, but I’ll keep you updated if it changes)

BlueSky - Social Media 



a Rafflecopter giveaway

The tour dates can be found here


My review

4 stars



Heartstone by Clemency Crow follows the adventure of young Jeremy, who accompanies his parents to Church Brough, Cumbria in England, to deal with the final affairs of a grandfather Jeremy has never heard about. An irrepressible boy named Ben and Ben’s grandfather guide Jeremy on an unexpected adventure that will change his life forever.


This middle-grade fantasy adventure story is inventive and exciting, with lots of fun elements. There are realistic touches, such as when Jeremy witnesses tension between his parents, and mystical aspects as he discovers powers that he never dreamed of and fights against evil. I enjoyed the whimsical nature of the quest as fantastical creatures and startling repercussions evolve, even as Jeremy discovers the importance of friendship and faces the unpleasant specter of betrayal by someone he should be able to trust. This is an entertaining story that is also thought provoking, which will be enjoyed by fantasy lovers of all ages.


A copy of this title was provided for review

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Adulting: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet by Haley Cavanagh (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT


Adulting: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet


Haley Cavanagh




GENRE:  Self-help






Embark on a journey to adulting mastery with Adulting: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet. Unlock the secrets to a well-rounded adult life with clear, concise, and invaluable advice on budgeting, cooking, time management, building meaningful relationships, and so much more! This comprehensive guide is your roadmap to taking charge of your life, offering you the tools and wisdom you need to sculpt the life of your dreams. This book offers practical advice and user-friendly tips that will empower you to make the most of every aspect of your life, ensuring that you become the self-reliant, confident, and accomplished person you were always meant to be. Join author, Haley Cavanagh - military veteran, devoted wife and mother, and award winning author-in waving goodbye to uncertainty and hesitation and embracing the fulfilling life you've envisioned. Don't just drift through adulthood-thrive in it. The future is yours to shape, and this book is your indispensable guide on the journey to living the adult life you truly desire.







Don’t Overthink Everything

Don’t spend too much time analyzing or rehashing things in your head.

Overthinking can rob you of the present and create undue stress and anxiety you don’t need. If you find yourself mentally besieged by something stressing you out, go for a walk to help clear your mind.


It’s Okay to Fail

The average young adult goes through five or six career changes before age thirty. It’s okay if something you’ve dreamt about falls through. Perhaps you were meant to walk a different path. It doesn’t mean you’re any less unique or special. It means you’re growing and about to embark on a different journey than you fantasized about as a teen. And that’s okay. It’s a normal part of life experience.

Failure is a good teacher and a powerful motivator. James Cameron started as a truck driver, and Harrison Ford was a blue-collar carpenter. J. K. Rowling was a teacher and single mom on welfare. Adam Driver got turned down when he first auditioned for the Juilliard School; he joined the Marines, and two years later, when he reauditioned for Juilliard, he got in.


Learn from Your Mistakes

Inevitably, everyone messes up. Despite how together or entitled people might act, nobody knows what they’re doing when they first launch into adulthood. Everyone starts as a fish swimming in the same ocean against the same current. As the Alanis Morissette song goes, “No one’s really got it figured out just yet.” Making mistakes is essential to learning and growing, and it’s how we evolve.



Buy links:


Abe Books


Barnes & Noble


Cedar Fort Publishing

Chirp books



Google Play

Indiebound Bookshop









AUTHOR Bio and Links:



Haley Cavanagh is a military veteran, wife, and mother. In 2020, she won the Silver Quill award from the League of Utah Writers for Retaliation, the second novel in her Oceanstone Initiative sci-fi series. Haley is an alumna of Columbia College and a musical theater nut, and she loves to dive into any book that crosses her path. Haley enjoys spending time with her husband and children when she's not writing. She loves to hear from her readers and encourages you to contact her via her website or social media.


Book Trailer: 


Social media links:











 Cedar Fort Teaser Trailer





a Rafflecopter giveaway

 The tour dates can be found here


My review:


4.25 stars


“Adulting: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet” by Haley Cavanagh is a self-help book aimed at those who are just starting to be independent. There are tips about how to set up a budget, how to save money, keeping a living space clean, etc., and templates for things like meal planning, budgeting, and other checklists.


This is a fun and easy-to-read compilation of various tips. I enjoyed reading through and analyzing how I would react to some of the suggestions, particularly if I was just moving out of the family home as an adult. The author’s voice varies between motherly and big-sisterly, and she reminds the reader of various important things to take note of and to establish routines for. I was entertained by some of the things that were included as standard line items in the sample budget (Netflix, cable, Sirius, and yoga classes) since I consider those non-essential, and I think there are other venues to think of when choosing eye exams and eyeglasses such as Costco and similar membership stores. I laughed at the recipe section (and definitely marked some to try out) because it starts with dessert rather than other items. The hacks are arranged in a kind of stream-of consciousness fashion, but are definitely helpful.


I think this is a wonderful resource that should be recommended reading for anyone who is moving out on their own for the first time, and I think it would make that scary first step much easier and less stressful.


A copy of this title was provided for review


Sunday, June 9, 2024

Love is All, Volume 7 (Spotlight and review) Adult titles


Love is All

Volume 7


 Gabbi Grey

Xio Axelrod A.D. Ellis Susan Scott Shelley

Lee Blair Piper MaloneR.L. Merrill,

Sophia SoamesSkylar M. CatesChantal Mer 

Adult titles



Get ready to turn the page on love, acceptance, and making a difference with Love Is All: Volume 7!

This limited-edition anthology features swoon-worthy novellas and short stories by ten award-winning and bestselling authors, including A.D. Ellis, Chantal Mer, Gabbi Grey, Lee Blair, Piper Malone, R.L. Merrill, Skylar M. Cates, Sophia Soames, Susan Scott Shelley, and Xio Axelrod. Second-chance sweethearts, steamy encounters, and heartwarming friendships all await you.

All proceeds from the anthology will benefit Advocates for Trans Equality, an organization dedicated to protecting and empowering transgender individuals.

Love Is All: Volume 7 is only available for a limited time.




Universal Link

Amazon US

Barnes and Noble




The Charities

All proceeds from this year’s collection will benefit Advocates for Trans Equality.

Founded in 2024, A4TE brings together the National Center for Transgender Equality (a previous LIA beneficiary), and the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund - two powerhouse champions of trans equality.



Gabbi Grey

USA Today Bestselling author Gabbi Grey lives in beautiful British Columbia where her fur baby chin-poo keeps her safe from the nasty neighborhood squirrels. Working for the government by day, she spends her early mornings writing contemporary, gay, sweet, and dark erotic BDSM romances. While she firmly believes in happy endings, she also believes in making her characters suffer before finding their true love. She also writes m/f romances as Gabbi Black and Gabbi Powell. 

Xio Axelrod

Xio Axelrod is a USA Today bestselling author of different flavours of contemporary romance. She also writes what she likes to call strange, twisted tales. Xio grew up in the music industry and began recording at a young age. When she isn’t writing stories, she can be found in the studio, writing songs, or performing on international stages (under a different, no-so-secret name). She lives in Philadelphia with one full-time husband and several part-time cats.

Chantal Mer

Chantal Mer is an author and optimist. Her stories explore relationships and what it means to be family. When she’s not writing about strong women, strong men, and strong love, she can be found walking her adorable dog, volunteering at her kids’ school (in the library, of course), teaching at the local university, and reading.

Chantal lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband, kids, Toffee the Wonder Dog, and vicious cat, Gracie.

Susan Scott Shelley

USA Today bestselling author Susan Scott Shelley writes stories with heat and heart, where love always wins. Her romances give readers lighthearted and emotionally satisfying escapes into happily ever after. In addition to crafting stories, she is also a professional voiceover artist and enjoys lending her voice to a wide range of projects.

She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and is an avid fan of her hometown sports teams. Her favorite things include running (honestly, it's more like jogging), sports (especially hockey), hard rock (but will listen to anything from heavy metal to show tunes), and writing about people from all walks of life finding their special someone.

Lee Blair

Lee Blair is a queer author from Oregon who writes low angst, funny, M/M contemporary romance. She's constantly amused by the antics of her two ginger cats, considers daydreaming about future trips to Scotland a part-time job, and is obsessed with Schitt's Creek to an alarming degree.

Piper Malone

Piper Malone is an award-winning author of sweet and sexy romance.

Dog lover. Reader. Foodie. Coffee, please.

A.D. Ellis

A.D. Ellis is an Indiana girl, born and raised. She spends much of her time in central Indiana as a teacher in the inner city of Indianapolis, being a mom to two amazing teens, and wondering how she and her husband of nearly two decades haven't driven each other insane yet. A lot of her time is also devoted to phone call avoidance and her hatred of cooking.
She loves chocolate, wine, pizza, and naps along with reading and writing romance. These loves don't leave much time for housework, much to the chagrin of her husband. Who would pick cleaning the house over a nap or a good book? She uses any extra time to increase her fluency in sarcasm.
A.D. uses she/they pronouns.

R.L. Merrill

Whether she’s writing contemporary romance featuring quirky, queer, and relatable characters or diving deep into the supernatural to give readers a shiver, R.L. Merrill loves creating compelling stories that will stay with readers long after closing the book. Ro writes inclusive romance for the Happily Ever After collective, contributes paranormal hilarity to Robyn Peterman’s Magic and Mayhem Universe, and pens horror-inspired tales and music reviews for HorrorAddicts.net. A mom, wife, daughter, and former educator, you can find her rocking out in her Bronco with Great Dane pup Velma, being terrorized by feline twins Dracula and Frankenstein, or headbanging at a rock show near her home in the San Francisco Bay Area! Stay Tuned for more…

Skylar M. Cates

Skylar M. Cates loves a good romance. She is happy to drink coffee, curl up with a good book, and not move all day. Her novels feature strong and passionate men. Skylar loves to craft stories where realistic characters are challenged with emotional situations. Although lately the laundry room is the farthest place she has visited, Skylar loves to chat with folks from all around the globe.

Sophia Soames

Sophia Soames is a Scandinavian, UK based, Author of contemporary MM romance. She writes stories of everyday people with kids and families living real life fairytales.



My review:

4 stars


“Love is All, Vol. 7” is an anthology of m/m and f/f romance novellas and short stories by Gabbi Grey, Xio Axelrod, et al. Each tale artfully depicts the challenges of following one’s heart and the joys of finding love.


Each story is set up with a unique twist, yet all celebrate love. I lean more toward reading m/m rather than sapphic romance, but this collection gave me a chance to read stories by several new-to-me authors, and I appreciated the opportunity to expand my horizons. Even better, this is a charitable endeavor to benefit transgender individuals.

I continue to be a fan of Gabbi Grey, and enjoyed her tale of discovering something that’s been in front of you all of the time; I was intrigued by R. L. Merrill’s exploration of the feminine archetypes as portrayed by someone who is exploring such and finds more than she bargained for, including whether you actually can go home again; and Piper Malone’s rebound vacation romance tale was fun and I adored the secondary characters who styled Bram. All of the stories were entertaining and easy to read and a delightful celebration of love. I am happy to add new authors to my list of those to keep an eye out for.


A copy of this title was provided for review