Streams Of Consciousness Poetry book by Kindred Spirits, a poetry group.

I haven’t read this book so its a promotional post today, not a review. I admire the group for actually doing something tangible, usually people Talk grand ideas but don’t get round to Doing anything about them. Well done for achieving this.

 

A poetry workshop to celebrate Black History Month last October has now led to a group of Kingston University students anticipating the publication of their first book of poems which was released in late March.
The book, Streams of Consciousness, is a compilation of poems students across faculties, and includes collaborations with award winning poets Deanna Rodgers and Sabrina Mahfouz. The authors wrote about subjects they are passionate about, but the themes are ones that all can relate: loneliness, love, joy, and family.
The original poetry workshop was last year and this year was dedicated  to getting it published.
​​
It started as a group of p​eople with no experience or some experience of writing poetry and we surprised ourselves with what we were capable of creating.
​I​t seemed a waste to let all the talent disappear without being seen so we decided to write the book. Deanna and Sabrina heard about it and were so impressed with the writing they asked to be a part of it, which is a huge compliment and endorsement of everyone’s work.
We had our official launch on Monday the 29th of June which featured live performances, readings, and networking at the Poetry Café in Covent Garden.
When we hear a poetry project most of us will picture arts students, however it’s quite different in this case.

Under My Skin, Stark International 3, J. Kenner

 

Under My Skin, Stark International 3,  J. Kenner
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre:  Romance,

I had such high hopes after the wonderful story of Nikki and Damien.  This started well, but in my review of book two I thought it was a series that would work better as two books, that it felt padded and repetitive and now we’ve got the final part and I’m definitely feeling that way.
I felt this final part of the trilogy just wasn’t that great. Too repetitive, too predictable, too much sex…and I love sex in a story ;- )  but once again found it was all the story, dominated it far too much.
I loved Damien and Nikki, but sadly Jackson and Sylvia didn’t cut it for me.

A good read of course but just not great, as I’d hoped. It seems that their answer to every problem is sex, media attention – lets have sex, upset

over Ronnie – lets have sex, bad phone call – lets have sex, problems at work – lets have sex…and so it seemed to go. It got to the point where I

was betting against myself as to what would come next – and yep, it was sex. All that, plus unnecessary recapping of past events led to the book

feeling for me fluffed out, stretched just to fill space. Throw in that right from book one I’d guessed who Ronnie was, who was behind events,

just how Jackson and Damien were linked, and it all became just too predictable and not what I’d hoped for. Maybe its me needing to stay

away from J Kenner’s reads for a while? Usually when I find an author whose books I love I like to read whatever they write – doesn’t mean I’ll

always enjoy them but this time the main events in this trilogy were just too foreseeable for me, and it was too padded with sex and other filler

for me to really love it. Its a good trilogy, just not a great one as the past books from JK have been. well, for me anyway, though of course

everyone feels differently and there will be lots of people who adore this trilogy.
Stars: Three, a good read, just not a great one.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, in case I’ve inadvertently added a spoiler and need to edit.

The Lost, A Crow City Novel, (Cole McCade: After Dark), Cole McCade

 

The Lost, A Crow City Novel, (Cole McCade: After Dark), Cole McCade

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance,

I struggled with this book at times, its a great read but parts made me very uncomfortable. Its quite dark, and not a HEA, fluffy, light romance but one that’s really gripping, and at times emotionally draining.

I so felt for Leigh, it was clear she was running from something, using the streets and her lifestyle as some kind of an escape, sort of just marking time but also to me seeming to punish herself. She’s having sex with total strangers daily, but only for the minutest fraction of time does it give her pleasure, a momentary escape, so why is she doing it? Its almost like she’s punishing herself. And I wanted to know why. Why did she push everyone away who tried to help? Why was she on the streets? What happened in her past? Why wasn’t anyone looking for her.

Gary, the bar owner, seems to see her as a kind of lost child and does his best to help, but within her strict boundaries – he gives her a place to at least leave her belongings safely, have a shower, wash her clothes, even if she rarely stays there herself. Then she meets Gabriel and he seems to know what she needs, to offer more, but he’s not a man to be treated lightly. He needs to be in control, he needs to call the shots but he’s so careful not to scare her away. He’s also got demons in his past though, and they have a tenuous rapport that starts off badly. I felt like Leigh and Gabriel were walking on eggshells most of the time, and at any moment something would crack and break their fragile relationship. I so wanted something positive for Leigh, she seems so brittle, fragile, damaged and made me want to cry for her at times. Gabriel too – he’s a good man, with a hard past and if they can just find a way forward together…but can two such hurting characters find common ground, grow to love each other?

Stars:Five, a riveting if uncomfortable read. It shows that people from all walks of life have serious issues, that the charmed on the outside, perfect family can mask a host of problems.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers.

If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, in case I’ve inadvertently added a spoiler and need to edit.

Tall, Dark and Immortal, Cat Devon

 

  Tall, Dark and Immortal,  Cat Devon

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance, Fantasy/Paranormal

I’ve read the first book in this series, and the novella but somehow missed books two and three. It didn’t matter as I was able to slip seamlessly into the events surrounding Vamp Town. This is a fun series, light but with a decent backstory and easy to read. It’s got snippets of subtle humour creeping in every now and then that made me smile, and I really enjoyed the story. Its not a deep, heavy, brooding paranormal,full of blood, murders and drama, nor a light and fluffy type with alpha males grunting commands whilst peeling off the lady’s clothes…Its just a fun read, one you can put down and pick up without having to back track to recall the plot(s ).

I liked Kiera, gutsy to the point of foolhardy, though I did get a bit tired of the “ I’m a reporter…” refrain by the end. She jumps right in when she finds out about the blood thefts, having just discovered that vampires are real…and that her grandfather was a famous vampire hunter! She’s a personal interest in the blood thefts, her godson needs frequent transfusions and is a rare blood type, and without them he could die. So it seems to her axiomatic that the vampires would be involved – and she wades straight in. Alex, vampire detective, is astonished by her. He’s not sure whether to admire her bravery, or chastise her for being so stupid as to confront a vampire with accusations. He’s surprised at himself, she’s the last person he needs to be involved with and yet the sizzle between them, the way she just feels so right for him, can’t be ignored.

Its a fun read, building on past books, but one its easy to follow if like me you’ve not read all of them. Its a light but decent plot, allowing for some snarky humour and some great one liners, as well as bringing in a mystery to puzzle out. The search for who is responsible for the blood theft brings them both into danger, throws them even closer together and forces them both to take a closer look at the romance that seems unstoppable between them.

Stars: Five, it a really fun read, perfect for when you’ve not time to read a whole book but want one you can easily pick up the story when you’ve next got some free time.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, in case I’ve inadvertently added a spoiler and need to edit.

Rock & Release Summer Love Series, by Riley Edgewood

Rock & Release Summer Love Series, by Riley Edgewood

Genre:  Romance,

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

I was looking forward to this but at first it dragged a bit. I found Cassidy a bit hard to like, though as the story continued and we saw some of the issues troubling her and how she was dealing with them I felt a lot more sympathetic to her, and understood more about how and why she acted as she did.

Gage – Oh Gage, what a terrific man he was. So patient when most guys would have given Cassidy the heave ho, but he knew there was something between them that was worth waiting for. Even the most patient of men have a breaking point though, and he also has issues from his past affecting the present. At times Cassidy seemed very young, very immature whereas Gage always felt that bit older, with an outlook that considered first not just reacted as she did.

 

The first 40% I almost gave up at times, I just wasn’t really being pulled into the story, couldn’t somehow get to grips with it and then suddenly it became such that I just could not put it down. Waiting for my friend in Morrisons for our usual Monday breakfast I got caught out. Didn’t see her, didn’t hear her and when she tapped my shoulder and said hello I almost jumped out of my skin. I was away, with Gage, Cassidy and Luca…..that’s the best book isn’t it – those that transport you into the story, make you feel part of it. I was so angry with Cassidy at times, so cross with Luca and inwardly yelling “don’t be so stupid!! What about….” but of course if they’d listened to me it’d be a dull book ; –)

So after that slow start the story raced along for me, gave me all the drama and emotion I wanted and was a fantastic read, and became one I’d reread – I just love drama and angst…I’m looking forward to more in the series.

 

.

Stars:Four, if it wasn’t for that slow start this would be a five, certainly the drama part made it.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers.

If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, in case I’ve inadvertently added a spoiler and need to edit.

Running with Scissors, L.A. Witt

Running with Scissors,  L.A. Witt
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre:  Romance, LGBTQIA
I love LA Witt’s writing, it just seems to make sense to me, and the style fits the way I want to read. Its written mainly in 3rd party but with insets of thoughts in 1st POV and that works for me. I feel with these little though additions that I’m getting an insight into what the character is thinking and feeling, while still getting an overview of the situation from outside.

I so felt for Jude, I really liked him as a person. It must be tough walking away from a relationship, the band you love and the friends you’ve had since childhood, and things must have got desperate for him to do that. As we get to know Connor though, the man he left, and the rest of the band we can see just how intense it had got. Now Connor has just had another breakup and Wyatt has left the band. Jude is a talented musician and though he was their drummer he’s been replaced, but as he knows the music and can play bass they want him back to fill Wyatt’s position. He’s hated the last 18 months, regretted leaving like that though he couldn’t stay involved with Connor, and the chance to come back – well, its like a Godsend. Will they accept him though? He left them in a really bad place, on the cusp of success and they’ve struggled to get back there, and they need to feel trust in him. There’s lots of conditions laid down – no-one can take another disastrous breakup so band relationships are out – thats made Very Clear. Thats OK by him, and then….he sees A.J. the man who replaced him. There’s an incredible spark between them, and I could feel the intensity of the pull, the way they seemed to attract each other like magnets, and tried so hard to avoid it.

Of course inevitably they get together, and also inevitable – they get caught out. Poor Jude, poor A.J. AJ’s scared of losing his place in the band. Though he’s been there 18 months to him he doesn’t feel part of the tight knit group of friends, and he’s always waiting for them to tell him he’s been replaced, especially now Jude is back and he’s incredible at drums. Jude doesn’t want to lose AJ, but equally doesn’t want to lose the band and his second chance. The band manager tells him if he and AJ can’t work it out so they’re not together but still both in the band it’ll be AJ that goes, and Jude can’t bear that either…Its a time of huge friction for all of them.

I loved AJ and Jude, and seeing the way the others interacted. Conner came off as a bit of a jerk, always ready to blame someone else, always demanding to be the one in control, making the decision. Later we see his side and I realised he wasn’t quite as bad as I’d thought. When he knows about Jude and AJ though the shite really hits the fan….he and Jude have not got on great since Jude’s been back, Connor clearly still holds a grudge. Jude regrets what he did, the way he left, the hurt he caused Connor but he can’t change that now, and has been trying hard to just get along with everyone. They’ve not really extended a great deal of friendship to him though, clearly there’s still much resentment and the Tour has been gruelling, with them all at very close contact on the tiny, cramped tour bus. There’s the album to record, and an even bigger tour coming up where they’ll be headlining so they need to find a way forward…
Its a great read, has the band stuff I love, great characters and realistic storyline. Intense relationships are formed in those circumstances, bands do have these kind of issues and I wasn’t sure how on earth it was going to get resolved. What a choice, the band or the man, you can’t have them both – who’d want that kind of decision?
Stars: Five, one I’d be happy to reread.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, in case I’ve inadvertently added a spoiler and need to edit.

Tiger Lily part three A m é l i e S. D u n c a n

 

Last part out Sept 8th.  I’ve loved this trilogy, full of drama and emotion. Its not on preorder on amazon, but I’ll be adding my review and link on publication.

 

Lily loves Jonas but implicit trust is another matter. After all they’ve been through, she still can’t believe he’ll stay no matter how deep, how dark her secrets. With her ex, Declan, up to his worst, Lily’s embarrassed and ashamed…but she’s underestimated Jonas. He has brains as well as beauty. With the same ruthlessness he uses to dispatch his business rivals, he vows to annihilate Declan.

Lily is glad to relinquish control. Jonas is determined to personally oversee her recovery and she lets him. She’s still too weak to deal with the chaos that’s become her life. Jonas whisks her away to a secluded luxury loft in Tribeca and pampers her with sensual decadence. Every caress, every lingering honey-sweet kiss they share says he loves her—even the way he possesses her body in the sultry heat of the night…but will Jonas commit? Will he ever be able to say those three little words she craves to hear from him?

Cuffs, Georgie Tyler

 

Cuffs,  Georgie Tyler
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre:  Romance, Erotica
Well, this is one of those bad choices on my part. To be fair I couldn’t find any info around to help me choose, and if I’d known it was so short – just 1710 kindle locations – then I’d have passed. But I didn’t, so read it and just couldn’t get into it. despite its brevity I skim read second half as I fond it hard going.
I love a sexy romance that’s got an element of suspense, and that’s what I expected here and to a degree that’s what it is but….I found it impossible that a professional such as Alex would act this way, make such a basic mistake, not only in what he did with her for the two days, but  the stupid error in then believing her when she says….well, you’ll see when you come to it.
I can’t take to insta love when she’s just seen a murder which Alex was involved with, and both Alex and Lacey just didn’t feel real to me, neither in their characters, or their actions. Would you get hot and heavy with a guy who’s gorgeous but you’ve literally just seen taking part in a backstreet vicious murder? Or more realistically would you be scared to death and thinking of anything but sex? We don’t know much about them as people, as there simply isn’t space to tell us, so we’re dropped straight in and need to pick it up from there. I just couldn’t see any reality here, it was just too simplistic, too stereotyped. If you don’t mind stories that stretch credulity to its extreme then you may enjoy it but for me it just didn’t work.
I’ve really enjoyed works from all three authors mentioned, and that was one of the things that hooked me to this story.  I just can’t find anything in common with this book and their works though. Kylie Scott is one of my favourite romance authors and her main series is a four part rock band romance, all full length stories, with two zombie novels comprising the rest – none of which seem to be in any way similar to this.
Stars:Two, sorry a pass from me.  As ever this is just my personal view and of course others will feel very differently.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

Shadows Strike, Dianne Duvall

 

Shadows Strike,  Dianne Duvall

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Romance,Sci-fi and Fantasy

I’ve not read all the books in this series, but several and understand the world Dianne has created. I think you need to read a least the first in this series to understand and enjoy the story even though each book is a complete one, as the overall story arc and the individual characters pay such a strong place in the stories. I’m always intending to go back and read the ones I’ve missed but its that old shortage of time and cash that’s stopped me so far. So many great books and so little time…

Once again its a solid read, a perfect romance with tension and sensuality, lots of action and the overall story arc of Guardians, Others and Vampires all having different ideas about interacting with the human world. For some time the guardians have been fighting vampires, trying to keep the humans safe, and in the dark about supernatural matters. There’s a force out to provoke war though, and its getting stronger all the time. They need to keep up if the world is to stay safe, but in the last big battle they lost some key members, both Guardians and the humans who work with them. Now it looks like the battle is on once again and a human telepath, Heather, seems to be in the middle of it, but the Guardians need to know why.

I loved the interaction between Heather and Ethan. That insta love kind of thing sometimes just isn’t believable, but here Heather has been dreaming of Ethan for so long that she feels she already knows him. Throw in the very real danger she’s in and its easy to understand her live for the day motto when she finds him. Ethan has been very lonely and finding Heather, finding a connection with her that’s bone deep is a real bonus for him. Immortals can live long lives, thousands of years for some, and even though Ethan is just a baby at 200 years its a long future to be lonely. For the last hundred or so he’s had a friends with benefits thing with his maker, but now she’s found a mate he’s kind of lost, and Heather comes along just at the right time. They can be with humans, but its the gifted ones such as Heather that they need for mates, they are able to be changed, whereas humans just become vampires who  go crazy from the virus in a very short time.

Its a great blend of romance with story, and there’s lots of action. I don’t like long, drawn out battle scenes, where we get pages and pages of heavy, dull descriptions, but Dianne delivers battles that are perfect for me. I understand what’s going on, why they act as they do, what they hope to achieve and the way its all done. That keeps me reading, keeps me wondering where its all going to end, and how they can fight against an enemy who’s uncaring of humanity, when they do all they can to save it. Its tough fighting someone who views humans as disposable and has no morals about using them for his own ends. This series is working well for me, gaining pace with each book and I’m really enjoying it. Its one of those that when its finished I’ll immerse myself in the whole series, having a back to back read through of all the books. I love to do that with good reads, where I can get lost in the world created and feel part of it.

Stars: Five, another great instalment, full of romance and sensuality, action, drama and lots of emotion.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

The Order by A.C. Donaubauer

 

The Order by A.C. Donaubauer

 

Genre:  Sci-fi and Fantasy,

I really wasn’t sure I’d like this book – it sounded good but would I find it’s one of those full of battles and gore that I hate? Well, it isn’t, and I loved it.

At over 900 pages its a solid read, but it’s all relevant. Nothing that feels added to pad out the content, and slowly the story starts to build up and grow.the pacing is perfect, and I really felt I knew the characters as the book continued. I loved the way Eryn’s abilities grew slowly, no sudden mystical, magical powers but magic that she either works out herself, learns from others, or where she watches and experiments building upon what’s already known. I hate those reads where people just suddenly gain – out of the blue – a slew of powerful abilities, it just feels like the reader is being cheated, but here everything develops at a believable rate, thoroughly explained and its easy to see how Eryn reaches the conclusions and developments that she does.

I love that’s she’s a strong and moral character, it would be easy for her to just give way to The Order but she stand firm in her beliefs, even at personal cost. I loved Vern too – he’s a great addition and provides someone for her to have fun with, relax, and I’m sure he’ll be a strong focus in further books. Then there’s his father, Orrin, and he’s another strong person, but always fair, and he’s a huge support to Eryn after their initial skirmishes. Enric, second in command, and only a few years older than Eryn. He’s attracted to her and the more they are together the stronger that grows for him, but he’s hampered by their first meetings where he had to use force to subdue her and now she hates him, really resents him and what he stands for. Its going to take lot to change that but he’s a planner, a patient man.

The whole story flows really well, is full of interesting characters and plots and was one that despite my reservations I really enjoyed. Would I read it again? Well, not for a long while but I certainly want to read more from the series,and will be looking for further books.

The length, over 900 pages, is fantastic and for quick readers like myself that’s perfect, lets us get lost in another world for hours. When some authors are turning out “books” from as little as 50 pages its a real treat to get one of this length, and so fairly priced. I’ve just seen one thats less than 100 pages for almost the same cost. 100 or 900….I know which I’d go for ;- )

Stars:Five, a fabulous, engrossing read and I’ll look forward to more.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers.

If you enjoyed my review I’d love it if you would please click “Like” and if you didn’t I’d love to know why, in case I’ve inadvertently added a spoiler and need to edit.

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