Tuesday – Anything Possible – Ionia Martin

ionia martin:

I don’t see this this morning, but wanted to share it now. John Howell is a sneaky one. Thanks so much, John.

Originally posted on Fiction Favorites:

a ionia headshot

Iona Martin has just published two books and since she is such a good writer I want to take the time to let you know about them.

a Reluctant Muse

The first is one that Ionia wrote for authors. She is such and excellent reviewer and writer that it is time for all of us to take advantage of the prompts that she has provided.  It is titled The Reluctant Muse and is “a writing prompt and idea book for authors of fiction works. It is intended to offer inspiration when you can’t think of anything to write about and includes photos, exercises and inspirational quotes. It is not a long book and the exercises are simple and designed to only take a few minutes of your time. Hope you enjoy!” I know i want to read it and gain some fresh ideas.

The second book is one that only Ionia could write. Titled

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Everything but the Glittery Hoo-ha~#BookReview: Plundering the Romance Novel, #parody by Ionia Martin

ionia martin:

This is the best review I’ve ever seen. I’m still giggling!

Originally posted on Barb Taub:

I was crying. No, really.

cupid1I downloaded and read Ionia Martin’s hilarious bodice-ripper spoof, Plundering the Romance Novel (subtitled A Really Awful, Truly Terrible, Very, Very, Bad Romance) and was laughing so hard I was using the sleeve of the sweatshirt my husband had left lying on the couch—again, even though I’ve warned him about it, so it serves him right—to wipe off the tears and snot because I didn’t want to stop long enough to go for tissues.

Now that I’ve finished (and, okay, done some laundry) I just have to tell you about it.


gold starMy Review: 5  stars out of 5

Once upon a time there was an Omnipotent Narrator. Actually, she was a romance novel reviewer who had just had it up to HERE with all the crap that gets published these days, for god’s sake, she could do better in her sleep and maybe make a…

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Center of Gravity by Laura McNeill

Center of GravityCenter of Gravity by Laura McNeill

The truth could cost her everything.

Her whole life, Ava Carson has been sure of one thing: she doesn’t measure up to her mother’s expectations. So when Mitchell Carson sweeps into her life with his adorable son, the ready-made family seems like a dream come true. In the blink of an eye, she’s married, has a new baby, and life is grand.

Or is it?

When her picture-perfect marriage begins unraveling at the seams, Ava convinces herself she can fix it. It’s temporary. It’s the stress. It’s Mitchell’s tragic history of loss.

If only Ava could believe her own excuses.

Mitchell is no longer the charming, thoughtful man she married. He grows more controlling by the day, revealing a violent jealous streak. His behavior is recklessly erratic, and the unanswered questions about his past now hint at something far more sinister than Ava can stomach. Before she can fit the pieces together, Mitchell files for divorce and demands full custody of their boys.

Fueled by fierce love for her children and aided by Graham Thomas, a new attorney in town —Ava takes matters into her own hands, digging deep into the past. But will finding the truth be enough to beat Mitchell at his own game? Center of Gravity weaves a chilling tale, revealing the unfailing and dangerous truth that things—and people—are not always what they seem.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow! This is really a very compelling and exciting book. I read this in the space of one evening as I found it impossible to put down.

For anyone who has had issues with a crazy ex–this book will remind you why you were lucky to get away. I loved the relationship between Sam, Jack and Ava. The way the author portrayed the selflessness of the main character and her desperation to be with her children was so on target. I found myself wishing I could jump into the pages and fix the situation for her.

This story unfolds rather quickly, and after the first few chapters there is no way you can put it down without thinking about it when you walk away. The writing is excellent, the conversations seem realistic and the emotions that the characters display are genuine. This is an author who knows how to captivate her readers.

I did find in some places that Jack seemed a bit advanced for his age. Particularly in one spot where he is using a computer, it seems he has knowledge of how things operate way beyond his years, whereas the rest of the book he appears as an intelligent, yet appropriately minded young boy. I wanted to hug him.

Still, this was a nearly perfect book. It grabbed my attention early on and gave me a reason to keep turning pages–I even found that I missed the characters when the story was finished.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a great read. Fast paced, witty and well planned.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and Netgalley. All opinions are my own.

Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty

A spooky mystery-thriller about an unusual girl who lives secretly in the basement of the grand Biltmore Estate. Watch the exciting new book trailer.

“Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there and they will ensnare your soul.”

Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of Biltmore Estate. There’s plenty to explore in the shadowed corridors of her vast home, but she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate’s maintenance man, have secretly lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember.

But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows who the culprit is: a terrifying man in a black cloak who stalks Biltmore’s corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of Biltmore’s owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak’s true identity before all of the children vanish one by one.

Serafina’s hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear. There she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic that is bound to her own identity. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must seek the answers that will unlock the puzzle of her past.
Serafina and the Black CloakSerafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Serafina and the Black Cloak is promising to be one of the biggest books released this year. After reading it, I can see what all the hype is about. This is a book that much like Harry Potter did, will keep the kid’s imaginations wildly anticipating what is going to happen next.

I was taken aback a little by how dark this novel is. I don’t expect everything to be roses and butterflies, but for a first book, this was rather dark. I do however, thank the author for keeping those elements consistent throughout the story. Serafina is a character that was designed to carry a book like this, and she pulls it off well.

This book fascinated my children and they were insistent about getting to the end of it, which is usually a pretty good sign that they care about what you are reading with them. As a mum, that makes me happy.

The setting for this story is unbelievably interesting and allows you a chance to open a conversation with your kids and teach them something fun.

Overall, this was a great book for kids, and even for the adults in the family. I think you should check it out.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley.

Poetry for Lovers and Others

ionia martin:

I keep seeing couples comment on a need for books that they can share with one another to spice things up. Pamela Beckford has that and much more available in her poetry books. The price is perfect, so give it a go. Steamy, sexy and enticing her books are sure to “kindle” your flames.

Originally posted on Poetry by Pamela:

I was chatting with my best friend this morning and she asked why I never promote my books. Hmmmm, I think I just hate pushing them all the time. But it has been quite awhile since I’ve talked about them at all so maybe it is time to remind you all that I have three solo books and one joint venture that are available for the nominal fee of $.99 on Amazon. If you prefer paper books, those are available as well. I primarily write poems around love – life wouldn’t be any fun at all if we didn’t have love in our lives. But, as things happen sometimes, love can be unrequited or can turn to loneliness and angst of loss. So, my books and my poems tend to highlight both sides of love.

So, if you haven’t purchased one or more of my books, please do so today…

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Thank you :)

I wanted to take a moment and thank everyone who has bought and helped promote my book. I am humbled by all of your kind comments and thoughtful gestures. It is a bit odd for me to be on this side of things. I am so very lucky to have the support of such great people.

And now that my academy award speech is over, here’s a shameless plug. I promise this is the last one. Unless you count that great big image over there —> in the side bar. Don’t count that one.

Excerpt:

“Should we not be doing something? Surely characters in a romance cannot just stand around on board a ship all day long making eyes at one another. Don’t you have a map of buried treasure or a key that opens a treasure chest or something to point us in some kind of direction?” asked Candy, looking around her at the storm brewing overhead. The storm was made possible by our sponsors, Pointless Pancakes. They were too broke to offer up a real storm, so the characters will now spend a minute or two yelling boom! While attempting to make rain noises.

“I have neither a map, nor a key, miss,” Captain V.D. announced, as he tossed the map and key he was holding into the ocean. “I am not one of those clichéd pirates that female authors put in their high-seas themed smut books.”

“Boom!” replied Candy.

“That scene has ended. It’s time to move on to the part where you see my sensitive side and fall helplessly in love with me.”

Candy looked him up and down. She wondered why the 1500’s seemed to be such a popular theme in romance. Didn’t authors know that deodorant had not been invented yet and soap was more of a luxury than a prerequisite? She could smell him from 11 and ¼ feet away and she was pretty sure that if she moved even farther away, she would still be able to. She wrinkled her nose. That’s what characters do when something smells bad, apparently.

Stormy looked overhead at the clear blue sky and thought about how inconsistencies in romance novels can really kill a story. He ran a hand through his closely cropped red hair and jumped a little when a thunder blast struck overhead. He admired Candy from far enough away that he hoped she wouldn’t be able to smell him. His hopes were obviously in vain, as she was covering her nose with one of those pointless decorative fans that women of the era liked to carry.

This girl is an odd one, he thought. She wasn’t particularly difficult to talk to, as women were supposed to be. She didn’t try to run from him, of course, at this point in the story he was too tired to chase her anyway and she did not seem to be the slightest bit in need of rescuing. He was wondering how he was going to rescue her from danger even though he was the one who originally kidnapped her and put her in danger in the first place, when something happened that changed both of their fortunes. A seagull flew overhead and dropped a coin. One of them was about to be a coin richer.

They both scrambled across the deck after the coin (it is so annoying when an author keeps using the same word over and again.) Crashing into one another and falling to the deck, they watched as the coin rolled away down to a grate and nearly tipped inside. Captain Ahab, I mean, Captain V.D., flared into a pyre of burning temper. “Dammit woman! That coin could make all the difference right now! I’m going to go get it and you stay here! Stay put! I’m not kidding,” he reminded her, pointing his index finger in her face.

Suddenly Candy began to behave exactly as a romance heroine does, and burst out into a flood of enormous tears and began to sob and wail and sniffle and sniff and cry and moan and snuffle and weep and then the author ran out of synonyms. Naturally, this made Stormy feel terrible, so he took her chin and lifted it so he could look deeply into her eyes and convey his silent apology. “I’m Sorry,” he said, not silently at all, still keeping an eye on the coin perched precariously at the edge of the grate. Pirate.

Candy continued to carry on for a moment, before trying to pull away and hide her tear-stained face, because no romance heroine wants to admit that they do the ugly cry. Candy continued to wriggle and struggle against his firm grasp. (Why he would grasp her firmly on the chin is another matter entirely.)

“I didn’t mean to upset you. I will go get the coin and once I have the coin I will allow you to hold the coin until we get to wherever the author decides we are going and then I will use the coin to buy you something pretty, after I buy myself a drink, with the coin. If there’s enough left from the coin, I mean.

Candy dried her cheeks upon her skirts and stared up at him, eyes still glistening. “Stop saying ‘coin’” she said in a trembling voice. “It is annoying the fuck out of me.”
Captain felt his heart do a flip flop. She swore like a sailor. Sexy.

Plundering cover

Available on Amazon

Plundering the Romance Novel by Ionia Martin

Plundering cover

If you should feel so inclined to purchase

Description: A silly, satirical romp into the land of romance novels and pirate adventures, full of romance clichés and humour. This book is a short novella, just over 10k words.

Have you ever wondered what goes on in the minds and hearts of romance novel heroes and heroines? No? Good, because this book won’t be helpful with that at all.

If romance clichés drive you mad and you like Monty Python style humour, this may be the perfect book for you.

From the twisted mind of a sometimes writer and lifelong reader, you are certain to have less brain cells than you started with after reading this book.

Captain Stormy is the typical romance hero/villain archetype. He follows the Romance Hero Handbook to the letter, but he is about to figure out that nothing in his guidebook is going to prepare him for the trials he’s about to face.

Uncooperative heroines, lack of treasure, severely delayed sex scenes, a missing crew and an old man’s butt cheeks later, Stormy has a story to tell you.

Even pirates have bad days.

*contains some mature themes and language

Wonder Fire By B.J. Webster

Wonder FireWonder Fire by B.J. Webster

1666, was called “The Year of Wonders”, despite it being a year of great calamity and disaster in London. The joke was, at least things weren’t worse than they were.

Who really started the Great Fire of London? Nobody knows for certain. The official line is that it was started in a bakery on Pudding Lane. The Privy Council concluded that the fire was caused by nothing other than ‘the Hand of God, a great wind and a very dry season’. But what if that was not the case? Could the Great Fire, which destroyed so much of the City of London, have been the result of a deliberate act? Let’s assume this is the case and delve into the motives of ambition, illicit affairs, unrequited love and political intrigue, none which was a stranger to the court of King Charles II.

Feel what it was like to live in 1666 and better understand the intricacies of politics, power and class divide of the time. Be drawn in by the fascinating web of intrigue and how it plays out to create one of the most devastating events in history.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wonder Fire by B.J. Webster, is an awesome book filled with historical knowledge as well as the author’s take on the happenings of London in 1666.

This is a great book for a variety of reasons. The setting was interesting and hasn’t been overused by other authors. The characters were realistic and I found the speech to be very authentically written. I want to shake this author’s hand.

I find that when you read a book that the author was really passionate about, it shows in their writing and this was definitely the case here. The author has written a beautiful book, but has also shown the true historical side of things. The depth of her research is clear in the little known facts available in this book.

I can’t say enough good things about this book. Highly recommended to anyone curious about this period of history.

This review is based on a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Awake by Natasha Preston

AwakeAwake by Natasha Preston

Scarlett doesn’t remember anything before the age of five. Her parents say it’s from the trauma of seeing her house burn down, and she accepts the life they’ve created for her without question—until a car accident causes Scarlett to start remembering pieces of an unfamiliar past.

When a new guy moves into town, Scarlett feels an instant spark. But Noah knows the truth of Scarlett’s past, and he’s determined to shield her from it…because Scarlett grew up in a cult called Eternal Light, controlled by her biological parents.

And they want her back.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Whilst I liked the idea behind this novel, I felt the execution was somewhat lacking. I struggled with getting into this book, since I didn’t find the main character’s personality to be very appealing. If I can’t relate to the MC, I have a hard time relating to the rest of the story.

The author has a good imagination, and some interesting ideas and I think this is a matter of staying tuned to see what happens next, after this book.

I thought the beginning of the relationship between the main character and her love interest had promise and hoped that would be the redeeming agent for the rest of the novel, but in the end, that did not happen in my opinion either.

I didn’t hate this book, but I can’t recommend it as one of my favourites either.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from Netgalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.

The Idea of Love by Patti Callahan Henry

The Idea of LoveThe Idea of Love by Patti Callahan Henry

As we like to say in the south: “Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.”

Ella’s life has been completely upended. She’s young, beautiful, and deeply in love—until her husband dies in a tragic sailing accident while trying save her. Or so she’ll have everyone believe. Screenwriter Hunter needs a hit, but crippling writers’ block and a serious lack of motivation are getting him nowhere. He’s on the look-out for a love story. It doesn’t matter who it belongs to.

When Hunter and Ella meet in Watersend, South Carolina it feels like the perfect match, something close to fate. In Ella, Hunter finds the perfect love story, full of longing and sacrifice. It’s the stuff of epic films. In Hunter, Ella finds possibility. It’s an opportunity to live out a fantasy – the life she wishes she had because hers is too painful. And more real. Besides. what’s a little white lie between strangers?
But one lie leads to another, and soon Hunter and Ella find themselves caught in a web of deceit. As they try to untangle their lies and reclaim their own lives, they feel something stronger is keeping them together. And so they wonder: can two people come together for all the wrong reasons and still make it right? –goodreads

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A fascinating novel right from the start. The premise here–that two people could fall in love even if they hadn’t been honest with one another from the start, was explored in detail in a way that I wouldn’t have imagined.

Patti Callahan Henry has a gift for creating characters that are flawed, but in such a way that they feel so human, so familiar, you want to know them better. When I read her stories, I often find myself forgetting that this is a book and that these are not real people. They become your friends, your family, people you feel you could open up to. That’s a hard quality to find in a lot of contemporary literature.

From the start we, as the reader get that the characters are not being completely honest, and it makes for an interesting journey. Whilst part of me wanted to scream at them and tell them–“Stop! You are going to ruin a good thing,” part of me wanted them to continue and see how things would turn out.

This book also has some of the most honest sounding and genuinely believable dialogue I’ve seen in a long time. The writing flows so smoothly that you feel as if you are overhearing a private conversation.

The story never slowed down, the plot never lost steam and the characters got more intriguing with each turn of the page. A great book that you won’t want to miss out on.

An unusually enchanting novel with captivating characters.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.