Cruise with an Adorable Fat Girl Blog Tour, Review and GIVEAWAY




Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐



Mary Brown – our full-figured heroine – is off on a cruise. It’s the trip of a lifetime…featuring eat-all-you-can buffets and a trek through Europe with a 96-year-old widower called Frank and a flamboyant Spanish dancer called Juan Pedro in attendance. Then there’s the desperately handsome captain, the appearance of an ex-boyfriend on the ship, the time she’s mistaken for a Hollywood film star in Lisbon and tonnes of clothes shopping all over Europe.

Purchase from Amazon UK




Mary Brown is: THE ADORABLE FAT GIRL. She may be fat, but that is only one small part of who she is. In this installment of her life’s journeys, Mary has been invited along on a Mediterranean cruise. Her friend Dawn is a blogger and has been given a free cruise for two in exchange for being featured on her blog.

A FREE 20 day Mediterranean cruise. Who could possibly resist? Not Mary. She is as excited as a toddler receiving its first ice cream cone. Of course, the “Eat-All-You-Can Buffet” is a huge bonus.

When boarding the ship, Mary meets the gorgeous Captain of the Angel of the Seas – Will Homarus. He is so strikingly gorgeous that Mary thinks to herself; “I knew instantly that I would have to keep right away from this guy when I’d had a few glasses of wine or I’d be wrapping my legs round his neck and asking him to marry me.”

Mary’s first night on the ship passes in a blur and when she wakes up in the morning she cannot remember what she did the night before. But, she learns a bit about it in the morning when one of the men sharing her table says: “Yes, the captain was telling that you were performing YMCA last night and doing high kicks to New York, New York. You were quite the party animal by the sound of it…The captain said your Elvis impersonation was one of the best he’d ever seen.”

I laughed out loud at this.

I do not want to give too much more away because I am excited to let readers discover all the hilarious hijinks when they read this book. It is filled with colorful characters, wondrous scenery and is. incredibly hilarious.

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I highly recommend it. This would be the perfect beach read or even a winter weekend read to remind readers that summer is coming.



My favorite line in the entire book is the following:

“I don’t know a great deal about politics: only that Theresa May wears great shoes and Donald Trump is a giant orange loon-bucket and no one knows how he was elected.”
“Always a joy to meet someone who doesn’t take life too seriously… Life’s supposed to be full of surprises, Mary Brown. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”


Hello, my name is Bernice Bloom and I am a writer (I write light-hearted rom-com style novels and also work as a magazine journalist and advertising copywriter) and jewellery designer. My recent series of novels is called ‘Adorable Fat Girl’ and it features a heavily overweight woman called Mary Brown. She is bright, funny, friendly and bonkers. She’s also fat. The books blend the comedy of her efforts to lose weight with a more serious backstory about what happened to her in the past that had led to the issues that make her prone to over-eating. I’m fascinated that there are so few overweight heroines in literature. Women can be manipulative, evil, even murderers in fiction, but not fat! Certainly not fat and beautiful with loads of friends! Then along came Mary and she’s developed quite a fan base of people who love the fact that the heroine is large. She gets lots of letters and I have ended up taking her on lots of adventures!

To learn more about this author visit the following links:






Giveaway – Win a Daisy Bracelet and Earring set created by Bernice Bloom (Open Internationally).

Giveaway – Win a Daisy Bracelet and Earring set created by Bernice Bloom (Open Internationally).

*Terms and Conditions

Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.




Title: Diary of an Adorable Fat Girl: The Complete, Full-length Novel


Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Mary Brown is funny, gorgeous and bonkers. She’s also about six stone overweight. When she realises she can’t cross her legs, has trouble bending over to tie her shoelaces without wheezing like an elderly chain-smoker, and discovers that even her hands and feet look fat, it’s time to take action. But what action? She’s tried every diet under the sun.

This is the hysterical story of what happens when Mary joins ‘Fat Club‘ where she meets a cast of funny characters and one particular man who catches her eye.
The story is laugh-out-loud funny and will resonate with anyone who has dieted, tried to keep up with any sort of exercise programme or spent 10 minutes in a changing room trying to extricate herself from a way too-small garment that she ambitiously tried on and is now completely stuck in.
Bernice Bloom is the big, new name in comedy writing…this is the first full-length novel after her series of laugh-out-loud mini books.

Purchase from Amazon UK




I have a new favorite heroine. Her name is Mary Brown and guess what, she is F-A-T and she relishes it.

The ADORABLE FAT GIRL SERIES by hilarious author BERNICE BLOOM features real people. There are no blonde barbie dolls who look like they might die if they so much as look at a cheeseburger. Nope. Mary Brown is FAT and in this series, fat is not a bad word.

If you are in the mood for a good laugh, this is the book for you!

I rate DIARY OF AN ADORABLE FAT GIRL as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐



Hello, my name is Bernice Bloom and I am a writer (I write light-hearted rom-com style novels and also work as a magazine journalist and advertising copywriter) and jewellery designer. My recent series of novels is called ‘Adorable Fat Girl’ and it features a heavily overweight woman called Mary Brown. She is bright, funny, friendly and bonkers. She’s also fat. The books blend the comedy of her efforts to lose weight with a more serious backstory about what happened to her in the past that had led to the issues that make her prone to over-eating. I’m fascinated that there are so few overweight heroines in literature. Women can be manipulative, evil, even murderers in fiction, but not fat! Certainly not fat and beautiful with loads of friends! Then along came Mary and she’s developed quite a fan base of people who love the fact that the heroine is large. She gets lots of letters and I have ended up taking her on lots of adventures!

To learn more about this author visit the following links:







Giveaway – Win a Daisy Bracelet and Earring set created by Bernice Bloom (Open Internationally).

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.



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by Cecy Robson
O’Brien Family, #5
Publication Date: April 25, 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Standalone



RT Book Reviews proclaims that the O’Brien Family series from award-winning author Cecy Robson “has the hottest brothers ever!” And in SAVE ME, it’s time for Seamus, the family’s most notorious bachelor, to find true love.

Three weddings. No date. What’s a hot stud to do when all the women on his speed dial are either serving dinner to their families or serving time?

Out of all the O’Briens, Seamus is the best-looking, most creative, and, did I mention, best-looking? Single at almost forty wasn’t a big deal until every sibling in his large and loud Irish family found “the one.” Now, he’s desperate for a wedding date, one he doesn’t have to worry will make out with the limo driver or rob the bride and groom blind.

Allie Mendes is the good daughter, who’s spent her life living in her perfect sister’s shadow. But when her sister steals the man Allie was supposed to marry, that shadow she’s lived in threatens to swallow her whole. Allie wants to believe a bright future awaits. But when she begs God to save her from this disastrous twist of fate, the last person she expects Him to send her is Seamus O’Brien.

Allie needs a stand-in boyfriend to avoid appearing as lonely as she feels. Seamus needs a decent woman without an ankle bracelet or a rap sheet as long as his muscular arms. The two make a deal to pose as each other’s perfect date. But weddings mean romance and a chance at forever neither had planned.



“Me little Finnie is right,” Ma says from the door, her Irish accent as thick as the day Grammie popped her out on a potato field.

“He’s the baby and already getting married. Promising me grandbabies like a good boy.”

He points at her and making a clicking sound. “You know I’ve got you, Ma.”

That did it. The moment Ma leaves, we’re throwing down.

Ma shakes her head like people do when all is lost and there’s nothing that can be done. “Look at you, Seamus. All strapping male with the strength and charm of an Irish prince.” She walks in, her steps slow and steady. It’s the same way she walked in when we were kids and we knew we were fucked.

“I just have one question,” she says, her voice light as it often is before she strikes. “Are you trying to kill your mother?”

Jesus. Here we go.

She holds her hand. “Oh, me handsome son. It’s a simple question really. Do you want me to die?”

“You want Ma to die?” Wren yells from the other room. She shuffles in with enough white fabric trailing behind her to sail across the Atlantic. Brenda’s other daughters, the not so slutty ones, charge after Wren, lifting the eighty feet of material high in the air.

Wren points an irate finger at me. “If you give Ma the big one, you’re going to really piss me off. You and me both know we never thought this shit was going to happen,” she adds, motioning to layers of dress.

Brenda’s daughters, Finnie, and Ma nod their heads in unison. My sister is beautiful. I can say that because it’s true, even though right now she looks like a Barbie doll shoved into a giant cupcake. Like me she has black hair, blue eyes, and light skin. If you cut us, we’d bleed Leprechauns that would dance a jig the moment their little feet hit the floor. We’re that Irish.

Wren’s problem is she has a mouth most sailors would run screaming from, and an attitude that’s even less polite. Let’s face it, none of us ever thought Wren would meet a man strong enough to tame her.

I’m happy for her and everything, but right now it sucks balls.

Wren was my safety-net because of her mouth. Finnie was too, because he was the youngest and always in trouble. As far as I was concerned, I had years, no, decades before I had to worry about settling down. But life can be a real bitch and here she is waving two giant middle fingers at me now that Finn and Wren are getting hitched.

“So what if I’m not married? So what if I haven’t popped out a few kids?” I hold out my arms. “Plenty of women have had the absolute pleasure of sampling the merchandise—”

I wince when Ma slaps me upside the head. She might be five feet nothing, but she has the agility of a cobra, and possibly the ability to fly. I’m almost 6’2. How the hell can she can reach me?

“And what happened to all these ‘ladies’ who sampled the merchandise?” Ma demands.

“I think the one is back in prison,” Finnie offers. He frowns, giving it a lot of thought. “Larceny and Fraud. Right, Seamus?”

“It’s where most of the skanks he dated belong,” Wren agrees. “Remember Kenna O’Sullivan?” We all collectively cross ourselves, including Miss Brenda’s daughters. “They never did find the body.”

“Yeah. She was a nutcase.” My voice trails. I’m not doing myself any favors. Thank God Finn has my back.

“Hey, Shoshana Greenstone was nice. Oh, and her husband was pretty damn understanding when he found out you were banging her.”

“I didn’t know she was married!” I yell for the hundredth time. “I just, you know, thought she worked odd hours.”

Wren grins. “No, she just had trouble finding a babysitter for her kids.”

“What about the others?” Ma asks. “The girls have liked you since you were a wee boy.”

“I don’t know,” I answer truthfully, my annoyance making my voice sound gruff. “No one’s really ever done it for me.” I look at them. “You want them to do it for me, don’t ya?”

Wren places her hands on her hips. She may look like a lady, all soft and dainty in all that lace, but she’ll never exactly think or talk like one. “You mean besides in the backseat of your truck?” She nods. “Yeah, that would be nice.”

Ma leans in. I know what she’s going to say, even before she says it. “I was younger than you when I pushed out your baby brother onto the cold kitchen floor.”

Finn holds out his hand, looking a little green. “Ma, please don’t. Miss Brenda won’t like it if I puke on her stuff before I pay for it.”

“Then you better pay for it,” Wren says, knowing once more it’s time to tell the divine tale of Finn’s birth.

Shoot me.

The birth of a child is supposed to be a good thing, a beautiful thing, filled with miracles, stuffed animals, and balloons. Maybe for most families it is, under the right conditions. But my family doesn’t tend to do things the right way. I suppose it’s one of the many things that makes us “us.” Our hearts are usually in the right place. But the right way for birthing babies means a hospital and under sanitary conditions—not in a kitchen barely big enough for a refrigerator and stove.

I remember that day clearly. Ma was making shepherd’s pie, until she wasn’t. Her water broke like an extra-large water balloon thrown on the floor by a very pissed off toddler. She started screaming, then Angus started screaming, and Curran almost fainted. Five contractions later, Finnie was coming out and there wasn’t anything we could do to stop him.

Bastard. I missed my baseball game because of him.


Cecy Robson is an author of contemporary and new adult romance, young adult adventure, and award-winning urban fantasy. A double-nominated RITA® Finalist, Winner of the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and published author of more than twenty titles, you can typically find Cecy on her laptop or stumbling blindly in search of caffeine.

Connect with Cecy online:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Profile


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REVOLVER by Michael Patrick Hicks AUDIOBOOK REVIEW – This is one of the most terrifyingly eerily plausible future scenarios I Have EVER Read. 5 Massive Stars!





Length: 1 HOUR, 14 MINUTES

Type of Book: AUDIOBOOK

Release Date: 2016

Price: $1.99 on AUDIBLE.COM

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Cara Stone is a broken woman: penniless, homeless, and hopeless. When given the chance to appear on television, she jumps at the opportunity to win a minimum of $5,000 for her family.

The state-run, crowdfunded series, Revolver, has been established by the nation’s moneyed elite to combat the increasing plight of class warfare.

There’s never been a Revolver contestant quite like Cara before. The corporate states of America are hungry for blood, and she promises to deliver.


Although this Audiobook is not long in the length of time it will take a reader to listen to, it’s storyline and content will remain on a person’s mind for a very long time.

The thing that struck me most about this story was it’s terrifying plausibility.

The story is set in the future United States where it is law to carry a gun openly. It is illegal to not carry a gun. Some people may scoff at this notion, but you only have to turn on the news to realize that this type of thing may come about all too soon.

Although this story was written in 2016, it seems like it was written this past month. Within the last few weeks there have been TWO school shootings and when discussing solutions, President Trump actually offered up the idea that maybe teachers should carry guns.

It is a short step from this to the dissolution of the United States, as happened in the book. They become instead, the Corporate States of America. Scary!

In the audiobook, Cara, who has struggled with depression is labeled “lower class.” These citizens have no rights and horrible things can be done to them without fear of retribution.

The television show REVOLVER offered desperate people a way to help their families and would earn each participant a minimum of $5000. What do they have to do on the show? You need to listen to this audiobook to find out. I will say that it is Reality TV taken to the extreme.

From the very first minute, listeners will be drawn into the story. This book is so enthralling that you will find yourself tuning out the rest of the world and becoming completely immersed in this terrifying tale.

In an audiobook whose length is just over one hour, I did not expect much in the way of world-building. I was WRONG. The world-building in REVOLVER is top-notch. In fact, I am hoping that author Michael Patrick Hicks has since written a full length novel, or at least more short stories about this same dystopian future.

I am rating this audiobook as highly as possible. The narration was quite simply PERFECTION. Narrator PATRICIA SANTOMASSO’s voice and the emotion she is somehow able to instill in that voice, make the story seem even more realistic. Listeners will feel as if they are living in the story itself. I admit to being extremely impressed by both the author and the narrator.

I rate REVOLVER as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


MICHAEL PATRICK HICKS is the author of a number of speculative fiction titles. His debut novel, Convergence, was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist. His most recent work is the horror novel, Mass Hysteria.

He has written for the Audiobook Reviewer and Graphic Novel Reporter websites, in addition to working as a freelance journalist and news photographer.

In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:














I grew up in CT, a child obsessed with scary stories. I was so horrified by Camilla by Sheridan Le Fanu that I slept with garlic on my windowsills for a year when I was 10. I’m mostly over it now, but I order a New Haven clam pie light on the garlic. You may think that incident would have stopped me from reading every Stephen King novel I could get my hands on. Spoiler: it didn’t.

I got my BA in English Lit because I love reading, and then moved to NY because I love the MTA. Who doesn’t? After graduating from acting conservatory, I spent a number of years traveling across the country doing plays, until I realized I could make a living talking to myself in a padded room – and here we are!
When I’m not reading, I’m baking, organizing things (I’m sick, I know), riding around on my razor scooter, and finding any excuse at all not to go to the gym.

To learn more about this Narrator, visit the following links:















Length: 4 HOURS, 26 MINUTES


Type of Book: AUDIOBOOK

Received From: THE AUTHOR

Release Date: FEBRUARY 19, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐


For his entire life, twenty-two-year-old Chance Lee has been dreaming of greatness — something far beyond getting high in his mother’s old farmhouse, and much more prestigious than playing in a twangy West Virginia country band on the weekends. Unlike many other small-town boys with lofty dreams, Chance see his future of musical greatness, with his best friend Tollie by his side, as an undeniable fact. And when a reading from a local fortune-teller seems to affirm his unstoppable luck, it’s not long before he’s ready to break out of Falling Waters and put his plans in motion. But when creative differences and the undeniable pull of home begin to get in the way, Chance is finally given reason to doubt his lucky star — at least, until he finally hits the road alongside an unexpected companion.


Sometime in the 1980s, Chance and his best friend and band mate, Tully, visit a fortune teller on the night of the full moon. That night changes everything. Of course, they were unaware of the changes at the time.

Young men, a bit of weed, raging hormones, a lot of music, women, sex, rock’n’roll, friendship and a desire for something more all come together in the mish-mash of indecision which faces all youth.

Witty and engaging, this fictional memoir will have readers reminiscing about their own youth.

The narrator for this audiobook may be new to the profession, but he did an commendable job and his accent made the scenes come alive. The only issue with the narration was that at one point you hear him grunt which actually provided a bit of comic relief. Also, the pauses between chapters are a bit too long for my taste.

I rate the book itself as 5 out of 5 Stars, but the Audiobook as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐



Linda Collison’s fiction, nonfiction, and articles have appeared in a variety of publications. Her debut novel, “Star-Crossed,” was chosen by the New York Public Library as a Book for the Teen Age-and her writing has received awards from the “Literary Fiction Review,” “Foreword Reviews,” “Honolulu Magazine,” and more.

In addition to her career as an author and freelance writer, Collison has worn many other hats-including mother, registered nurse, volunteer firefighter, skydiving instructor, and restauranteur.

Born and raised in Maryland, she lived in Hawaii for many years with her husband Bob Russell. Currently, the couple resides in Colorado.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:











Camilla Monk
Publication date: February 28th 2018
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

It always started like this, a pulse inside me, like a warning before the tide surged, roared… and froze everything.

Twenty-year old Emma just landed in Rome, to find the father who walked out of her life more than a decade ago and was too busy eating pizza to call. Traveling with her is a secret she’s carried alone since childhood: sometimes, around her, time stops. People and cars freeze, rain hangs still in the air and there’s only her left in the silence.

To make things worse, instead of her dad, Em runs into a past she’d rather forget in the person of Lily, her step-sis. Kind, beautiful, Harvard honors student Lily: the perfect daughter Em never was. As the two of them reconnect, Em starts to pick up some creepy vibes from Katharos, the mysterious archaeological foundation Lily works for—and more specifically the ancient stone table they’re digging up near the coliseum…

Faust, the blind hobo Em keeps running into, might be the key to piercing Katharos’s secrets. Actually, he might even have something to do with that pesky time-freezing thing. With Lily’s life on the line and no one else to turn to, Em chooses to trust this unlikely ally, but behind his charming smile and lunar antics, the guy comes with some serious fine print…

Goodreads / Amazon


Officially, this is not my story. It’s not my face you saw on CNN and Rai News after it was all over. I didn’t lose my mother at a young age; as far as I know, she’s still alive, probably doing fine. My paternal grandfather wasn’t a world-class historian, and I didn’t enroll in Harvard at seventeen to follow in his footsteps—I was never really good with books and studying. Just didn’t have the brains for that.

But I was there. I went to Rome to visit my dad at the time—booked a round trip ticket and six nights in a budget guesthouse with my tips from Tuna Town. I know, I know . . . Keep your jokes; I’ve heard them all. We had the cheapest tuna rolls on Broadway, though, and fresh most of the time. Anyway, I hadn’t seen my dad since I was seven, so it might sound like the adventure of a lifetime. It could even have been my story: this girl who decides to burn her meager savings on a trip to Italy to find the mysterious genitor she hasn’t heard from in thirteen years. There’s a tearful reunion, they sort out their issues, and she moves to Rome at the end—to start a new life and all.

I’ll get to that part, but let’s start with the afternoon right after I landed. I was sitting on a bench in a tiny park square tucked by the Piazza di San Marco—little more than a patch of grass under a few parasol pines. With my ripped jeans, my old Eastpak, and a can of beer tucked between my knees while I munched on a two-euro slice of margherita, I probably looked like your average gutter punk to the untrained eye. The October sun was warm in my hair—a messy bun dyed a washed-out turquoise. I liked that color, even if my blonde roots looked a little greenish.

Washing down the pizza with a slow sip, I watched over the rim of my can as buses came and went from a station on the square. Tons of buses, white and red, vomiting families of tourists coming to visit Roman ruins and that castle thing overlooking the piazza. It kinda looked like a Greek temple, with columns everywhere, white marble, and a statue of a guy on a horse in front of it. Old stuff, very nice. I took a couple of pics, mostly to pass the time because I couldn’t muster the courage to hop on a bus and go knock on my dad’s door.

I had his address saved in Google Maps; well, I hoped it was his, anyway. I’d found it not long after discovering his Facebook profile a few weeks ago, but he hadn’t replied to my friend invite. Maybe social media wasn’t his thing. He must be in his mid-fifties after all, which, to my twenty-year-old self sounded like some sort of pre-mummification stage. I set my beer down on the bench and took out my phone to check my Facebook feed for the hundredth time. I chewed on my nails. No new notification.

A few taps and a tiny profile pic of a fifty-something guy with graying blond hair appeared. Big grin, a tan, and sunglasses—taken during a vacation, I gathered.

Gabriele Lombardi.

Lombardi . . . the last name I had never worn. The name of a quiet Italian dude who’d sometimes visit our Brooklyn flat on Sundays and take me to Coney Island for the afternoon. We never did any rides, just strolled up and down the Boardwalk and shared a hot dog. He didn’t know what to say to a six-year-old, so he’d be like, “Guarda, gabbiani!” Look, seagulls! Meanwhile, I’d eat my half of our hot dog in dignified silence because I already knew what a seagull was. I would have wanted to hear about his job instead, or if he’d left Rome because of all the slavery there, like in Gladiator. And maybe, if I’d been brave enough, I’d have told him about the secret weighing in my chest and keeping me up at night, but I was too shy—too awkward for any of that.

I had no idea, back then, that Italy was even farther than Florida, and that this occasional Sunday dad of mine didn’t have legit visitation rights because he’d never filed for paternity in the first place. I didn’t know there’d be one too many fights with my mom over alimony, one too many threats of suing his lazy ass, one last Sunday, one last hot dog, and that I’d never see him again after that afternoon, when the seagulls paused in their flight above our heads for a short eternity.

Whatever. Tough shit, I guess. I chugged another gulp of beer and listened to the city’s noise, the cars, and the laugh of strangers, getting reacquainted with what little Italian I’d learned from my dad as a kid, like a song I wouldn’t remember well, but whose melody lingered. The notes threaded with Roman voices to fill the gaping holes in my vocabulary, and I could tell that those two women worked in a hospital, or that the guys sitting in the grass were checking their phone to see how to get to Quartaccio—wherever that was. Not bad for a high school dropout with a record 0.6 GPA. I gave a snort when I noticed an ad on the side of a bus with the words test di admissione. College, the final frontier . . .

I manspread wider on the bench with a bitter sigh and craned my neck to look up at the azure sky. Maybe I should message him again, and say “Hey, I’m here in Rome”? But what if he thought I was a stalker and he freaked out? What if he didn’t want to be found? Okay, that one was far-fetched; he was on Facebook, after all. And yet goose bumps bloomed under my hoodie in a familiar mix of shame and dread. It was kind of too late for that, but I was starting to realize I’d fucked up—again. I’d pictured myself starring in my very own Lifetime movie and blown $700 on a stupid impulse. Now I couldn’t even find the balls to call him and simply ask, “Do you remember me? Do you want to see me?”

“Okay,” I announced, to no one in particular—scared a couple of pigeons though.

I slammed my beer on the bench. Night wouldn’t fall for another couple of hours, at least. Museum tickets and tourist stuff were expensive, but I could always take a stroll around the piazza to clear my thoughts—the forum with the old Roman ruins was right behind that palace with the horseman. No need to pay for a ticket to check it from the street and snatch a few pics. I grabbed my backpack and beer. I frowned down at the almost-full black can. Honestly, that shit tasted worse than a Natty Daddy you drink alone for breakfast, and I didn’t want to be the girl who drowns her sorrow in grandma’s rubbing alcohol.

But I didn’t like to waste either. I decided to leave it up for whoever wanted to grab it—a bit of street solidarity never hurt. I’d barely shrugged on my backpack before this old guy with dirty track pants and gaping sneakers popped up behind me. Bumdar alert: dude hadn’t even bothered removing the cardboard sign around his neck—a few lines in Italian hastily scribbled with a Sharpie. I made no attempt to decipher it; his toothless grin spoke for itself. I flourished my hand toward the can with a wink.

He took the can and toasted me with it, chewing out a few words in a raspy singing voice. It took me a couple of seconds to make sense of the jumbled syllables—he wanted to know what a nice girl like me was doing in Rome.

My lips parted to reply. No sound came out. A loud and familiar beat in my chest muted my voice. His. Everyone else’s.

Oh God. Oh no . . .

It always started like this: a pulse inside me, like a warning before the tide surged, roared . . . and froze everything. The bum had raised my beer to his lips; golden drops remained still in the air above his open mouth. The tourists stood paralyzed mid-stride. The children’s grins were empty masks; their legs were coiled, ready for a jump that wasn’t coming, like birds about to fly away. The cars and the buses had stopped. Over the suffocating silence, all I could hear was the blood drumming in my ears, my neck. I staggered back, buried my face in my hands. I didn’t want it anymore—this hideous disease I could tell no one about.

It’d been weeks, perhaps even months since the last time, and like always, I’d almost allowed myself to believe it’d never happen again. How the fuck do you sit down in front of a shrink—or worse, your social worker—and tell them that you’re doing great, except when time stops, and everyone and everything is frozen but you? Don’t worry, though, it’s been like this since I was a kid; I’m used to it. I mean, sure, I freak out a teensy bit when I wake up at night, and I see a drop of water hanging midair from my kitchen faucet, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. Nothing the right kind of meds and a straitjacket can’t fix, right, Doc?

It wouldn’t last. It never did. I massaged my skull and kept my eyes screwed shut, repeating the words in my head like a mantra: It’s almost over. It never lasts. Never. Just long enough to make me freak out in the middle of Central Park among frozen joggers and their dogs. Wax statues everywhere whose clothes wouldn’t wrinkle when I tried to touch them, water that wouldn’t wet my hands, and the silence, the silence drilling into my eardrums. I breathed through my nose. In. Out. Slowly, ticking endless seconds in my head until the hallucination passed.

Reality rushed back to me in a deep exhale. A car honked somewhere across the piazza, and the bum chugged down the rest of my can with a reassuring gurgle. A fat kid bumped into me; I was so out of it that I was the one who kept apologizing over and over as I stumbled away from the bench and toward the sidewalk. I needed to get away from the noise, the people. Right now. Scratch tourism; my new plan was to run straight to the guesthouse, check into my room, and stay curled in the dark until tomorrow.

Fighting the urge to climb on the first bus I saw, I resolved to ask for directions instead. Because my day hadn’t been shitty enough yet, might as well stack some cringeworthy social interaction in a language I hadn’t spoken in over a decade on top of it. I waved awkward fingers at a sweaty driver who sat slouched behind his wheel. “Quale . . . Autobus . . . Appia Alba?” Which . . . bus . . . Appia Alba?

My stuttering efforts were rewarded with a compassionate wince before he motioned at another station across the park with a doughy arm. “Si può prendere l’ottantasette.” I remained stuck in place, my jaw hanging limply as I slowly processed his instructions. “Ottantasette,” he repeated, before thankfully adding, “Eighty-seven.”

I gave an eager nod. “Grazie mille, signore.” Thank you very much, sir.

Well, things were looking up. If the bus didn’t freeze on its way to my guesthouse, I might even consider the trip a small victory. I strode toward the station at a brisk pace, passing the bum I’d given my beer to earlier. Dude had collapsed on the bench, using his cardboard sign to shield his leathery face from the sun while he napped. I thought of that old Phil Collins song: “Just Another Day in Paradise,” but I wasn’t really sad for him because I knew there were good and bad days on the streets, and to him, a sunny afternoon and free beer probably made for a good one.

Lost in my own thoughts, I didn’t pay attention to the elegant silhouette catching up with me until a soft voice said, “Em? Is that you?”

Author Bio:

Camilla Monk is a French native who grew up in a Franco-American family. After finishing her studies, she taught English and French in Tokyo before returning to France to work in advertising. Today, she builds rickety websites for financial companies and lives in Montreal, where she keeps a close watch on the squirrels and complains on a daily basis about the egregious number of Tim Hortons.

Her writing credits include the English resumes and cover letters of a great many French friends, and some essays as well. She’s also the critically acclaimed author of a few passive-aggressive notes pasted in her building’s elevator.

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About the author: CARL R. MOORE lives in upstate New York with his wife Sarah and two daughters, Maddy and Izzy. His fiction has appeared in numerous other magazines and anthologies. When he’s not writing or working the night shift, he enjoys playing guitar and walking miles through the woods. News and contact information can be found on his website,

Book Synopsis for Slash of Crimson and Other Tales:

SLASH OF CRIMSON AND OTHER TALES offers two novellas and six short stories that combine an intoxicating mix of horror, crime noir, and alt-mythology. Its title story spins a dark maritime yarn about Drew Aldrin, a young guitarist and street rough, who takes a harrowing journey with a red-eyed beauty who claims she’s from Atlantis. The half-dozen brutal and sardonic short stories that follow tell of lost souls tortured by demons and far worse. The final novella, Torn from the Devil’s Chest, serves unsuspecting Sociology student Lyla Banes a deliciously disturbing feast of deception and trust-destroying lust. Indulge yourself in a collection that guarantees to thrill the senses while it shocks the nerves
Author Links:

twitter: @carlrmoore
Tour Schedule and Activities

2/27 MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape Author Interview
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2/28 Armand Rosamilia, Author Guest Post
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Daughter of Death

by Lexi C. Foss
Publication Date: February 20, 2018
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Paperback Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

A dead body.

A missing daughter.

A silver blade.

All the clues point to one person: Me.

My name is Evangeline, and I’m a retired assassin who wants nothing to do with the underworld. But an edict from a Demonic Lord forces me to return to the man and the life I left behind.

I have seven days to prove my innocence.

Whoever set me up is going to die.

About the Author

Lexi C. Foss is a writer lost in the IT world. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and their furry children. When not writing, she’s busy crossing items off her travel bucket list. Many of the places she’s visited can be seen in her writing, including the mythical world of Hydria which is based on Hydra in the Greek islands. She’s quirky, consumes way too much coffee, and loves to swim.

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BECOMING ANIMALS by Olga and Christopher Werby




Length: 417 PAGES


Type of Book: SOFTCOVER

Received From: THE AUTHOR

Release Date: DECEMBER 27, 2017

ISBN: 9781981404148

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Humans have always wanted to know what goes on inside the minds of other animals. But what if humans could become animals? Toby’s father leads a team of neuroscientists directly connecting the brains of humans with those of animals. And Toby is a prodigy at throwing her mind into the animal subjects in his lab – she’s the best there is.

But Toby suffers from cystic fibrosis and she’s not likely to live into adulthood. Could a radical plan to embed her consciousness into an animal allow Toby to survive? And what does it mean to live without a human body?

Can Toby and her father solve the problem of fully merging two beings before she takes her last breath? Will the government succeed in stopping their efforts before they are done? It’s a race against death and into the minds of animals.


Technology is advancing so quickly that books once considered science fiction are now reality.

This book contains scientific ideas that are probably, even now, being worked on in labs across North America. No matter how interesting the idea of being able to connect human brains with animal brains, that idea alone is not enough to keep a reader interested or invested in a book.

This is where Toby and her father come in. Toby’s father is a brilliant neuroscientist. It is due to his vision and incredible work ethic that brings about the first way to connect animal and human brains.

Toby is young at the beginning of this book (only 10 years old) but it is her that gets to try her father’s invention first. Using her pet rat, Rufus, Toby connects their minds and is instantly enamoured with the process. Imagine being able to see through the eyes of another creature, to taste what they taste and even to feel their emotions as if they were still your own; what a life-altering experience it would be.

This is exactly what Toby experiences and for her it feels like freedom. Toby has Cystic Fibrosis and isn’t able to do everything her peers can do. Her mother also has the disease, and Toby watches her mother fight for every single breath of air – until the end when her body finally gives out on her. Toby knows that because of her Cystic Fibrosis, she will probably not live to see adulthood.

According to Cystic Fibrosis Canada,
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common fatal genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults. At present, there is no cure.

CF causes various effects on the body, but mainly affects the digestive system and lungs. The degree of CF severity differs from person to person, however, the persistence and ongoing infection in the lungs, with destruction of lungs and loss of lung function, will eventually lead to death in the majority of people with CF.

As the novel progresses and Toby gets older and more frail, she comes up with an idea. She wants her father to figure out a way to download Toby’s brain into the brain of a whale.

But, ideas are easy to come up with. It is translating that idea into reality that is difficult – maybe even impossible.

Both Toby and her father know they are racing against the clock. Will he figure out how to transfer Toby’s consciousness into that of a whale? Should he do it if he figures out how? What are the ethical implications?

I love it when I not only enjoy the plot of a story, but also when I learn something from reading a book. I realize that BECOMING ANIMALS is Science-Fiction, but so were cell phones at one point.

Another reason I am rating this book highly is that it informs readers about cystic fibrosis which is not often the case with popular fiction. Raising awareness of any disease is terrific and although reading about Toby’s mother’s death as well as Toby’s daily struggle just to breathe is eye-opening. Most people have heard of Cystic Fibrosis, but do not have any idea of what it means to be diagnosed with it, or worse, to have your child be diagnosed.

I encourage all of the people who follow my reviews to purchase this book and to see for themselves what I am talking about.

I should also mention that even though this book is targeted at adults, the author has included many photographs into this book which assist the reader in visualizing what is happening in the story.

I rate BECOMING ANIMALS as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Christopher Werby, J.D., has had a varied career as a lawyer, businessman, technologist, filmmaker, journalist, and new media creator. He has been active with computers since 1975, and taught computer programming at Sarah Lawrence College. He is a commercial photographer and videographer who has contributed to a number of projects. He received a B.A. degree in Physics from Sarah Lawrence College and a Juris Doctor degree from U.C. Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. He is admitted to practice in the State of California and is an active member of the California State Bar (member 124299). Christopher serves on the board of directors of Grosvenor Properties, Ltd., a real estate investment company. Since 1994, when he formed Pipsqueak, he has been focused on web work, technology, programming, and creating digital assets.


Olga Werby, Ed.D., has a Doctorate from U.C. Berkeley with a focus on designing online learning experiences. She received a Master’s degree in Education of Math, Science, and Technology from U.C. Berkeley and a B.A. degree in Mathematics and Astrophysics from Columbia University. She has been creating computer-based projects since 1981 with organizations such as NASA (where she worked on the Pioneer Venus project), Addison-Wesley, and the Princeton Review. She conceived, designed, and illustrated the award-winning “Field Trips” series of programs distributed by Sunburst Communications. Olga currently teaches interaction design and cognitive theory at the American University in Paris and the University of California at Berkeley Extension Program. She was part of the faculty of San Francisco State University’s Multimedia Studies Program, the Bay Area Video Coalition, and the campus of Apple Computers. Olga is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education. She also holds a California teaching credential and is part of the San Francisco Unified School District where she often tests science-related curriculum materials in public elementary and middle schools.

To learn more about these authors, visit the following links:









Author: Errin Stevens

Narrator: Sean Posvistak

Length: 8 hours and 37 minutes

Publisher: Errin Stevens⎮2017

Genre: Romantic Fantasy

Series: The Mer Chronicles, Book 1

Release date: Apr. 20, 2017

Synopsis: For Kate Sweeting, love isn’t in the air. It’s in the water.
Since her father died, Kate Sweeting’s home life has been in the pits, her well-being on life support. Her future looks desolate until she and her mother, Cara, make another plan: abandon their shriveled existence for more promising prospects on the coast, where Cara can play small-town librarian-bachelorette and Kate can figure out what’s up with that secretive Blake family from the beach.
Everyone is eerily captivated with Kate and her mother, and Cara is the first to figure out why when the man of her dreams arrives all dripping and devoted and closed-mouthed about what he intends. Kate is willing to go along with their subterfuge for a while, but eventually makes a charge for the water to learn what her mother is hiding. Gabe Blake is there waiting for her…and so is someone considerably less friendly. By the time Kate navigates her way home, everything will have changed for her—what she feels, what she wants, and what she’ll risk to be with the man she loves.

Buy Links for Audiobook #1

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Firstly I would like to say thank you to AudiobookWorm for providing me with a free copy of this audiobook.

UPDRIFT is the first book in a series called THE MER CHRONICLES. There are literally thousands of books on mermaids on the market today and most have been written for a Young Adult readership, this is not so for UPDRIFT.

This audiobook drew me in right away and held my attention for the entirety of the eight and a half hours.

I was pleasantly surprised by the storyline – there is no Disney princess in this book. The Mermaids and Mermen in this book are also called Sirens and it even gives a bit of history and explains how and why ancient sailors got their information wrong.

The story centers on two “people.” One is human (Kate) and one is a siren (Gabe). They meet at age five and the story follows the paths of their separate lives right up to the age of twenty-one. I don’t want to give too much away with my review, so, suffice it to say that the waiting is worth it.

But of course, someone is always out to stomp on another’s happiness.

There are several themes included in this audiobook that are taken very seriously by the characters. These themes persist throughout the book and I think they should also be important to listeners.

The first theme is FAMILY.

At the very beginning of the book we learn that Kate who is a toddler at that time, has lost her father to a farming accident. Kate’s mother, who is only in her twenties when she becomes a widow, decides to answer an advertisement for a small-town librarian. Her older sister, Dana, laments Kate’s choice and cannot understand why she wouldn’t pursue a higher paying and more prestigious career. Kate’s reasons are both simple and admirable. She wants a job that she can enjoy and that offers her flexibility and working hours that allow her to spend as much time with her daughter as possible.
There are many more examples of the importance of family throughout this book. There is also an example of what the lack of a loving family can do to a person.

Theme #2 is COMMUNITY.

This Audiobook does a wonderful job of relaying the importance of community, not only for children, but also for adults.


In one scene, Carmen (Gabe’s Mother) is reading a magazine article regarding the effects of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and she becomes so upset that she has to stop reading.

All of the Mer wear belts that hold knives while they are in the water. The reason for this is so that if they become entangled in a fisherman’s net, they can cut themselves free. They can escape unlike whales and dolphins who often drown from being stuck in a net and unable to surface and take a breath.

There are several other themes in this audiobook and I encourage potential readers/listeners to return to my blog after finishing the book and to post the themes they have discovered.

The narration was terrific and even though it was a male Narrator, he did an excellent job of voicing characters of both sexes.

I rate this audiobook as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐.

About the Author:

Errin Stevens writes paranormal romantic suspense stories from her home in Minnesota. When not wrestling with unruly narrative – or reading literary and commercial fiction like a fiend – you’ll find her poring over seed catalogues (winter) or gardening (the other three days of the year).


About the Narrator: Sean Posvistak

Sean is an aspiring game developer who’s used his years of work on Youtube to excel at audiobook narration.

Giveaway: $20 Amazon Gift Card

Runs Feb. 22nd to Mar. 7th⎮Open internationally

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The Mer Chronicles Giveaway: $20 Amazon Gift Card