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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween - 5 Scary Books of choice giveaway



With Love for Books wishes you Happy Halloween 2018.

Enter this giveaway for a chance to win 5 scary books of choice. Good luck!


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Talented Artist - Natalie from Violet and Alfie - Interview & Giveaway

Violet and Alfie
About Natalie

I named my shop after my children as they are the motivation for everything I do ♥ 

I illustrate every detail and hand letter each design before digitising and printing them on gorgeous heavyweight 310gsm paper in vibrant long lasting high quality inks. 

There are no 'fonts,' no clip art- just digitised versions of my own pen and pencil Illustrations. I think this makes them extra special, particularly for giving as gifts as they are totally unique. 
I wrap each piece lovingly before shipping them off to their new home ♥

Links


Discount code

Natalie has set up a discount code of 15% by using the word BOOKISH if your purchase an item from her shop. There's no minimum amount before you can use the discount code. It can only be used once per customer.

Interview

1) Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

I'm Natalie, the owner of Violet and Alfie, a little one-woman business selling prints of my hand lettered quotes and illustrations. 

Originally from Wiltshire, I now live on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales with my other half, our two children and our black lab Louie. 

I love to create and hope, one day, to illustrate children's books. 


2) What’s the inspiration behind your work?

My children are a constant, ever changing inspiration to my work- I love creating fun or inspirational art for other little ones and I always ask mine for their opinions on new pieces. 

Living on the edge of the Dales with so much beauty around me, I can't help but be inspired by nature and the breathtaking scenery. Haworth (home to the Brontë sisters) is very close by and it is one of my favourite places to visit- it's easy to see where they got their inspiration from! 

I often like to listen to music when I'm planning new designs as it really helps to get things moving! 


3) Where did you learn to illustrate and design?

My education in Art and Design started at school and tailed off after my A levels. The majority of techniques I use have been self taught, particularly the digital part of the process. Learning Photoshop from scratch was quite daunting at the start but very satisfying once I'd cracked it!

I am always learning new techniques and looking for new things to try out and I've found that experience and trial and error has been the very best way to hone my skills and develop my own creative style.


4) What does your work place look like?

My work place is a happy mess littered with sketches, paintings, random ideas jotted down on scraps of paper, books, photos, test prints, pencils, pens and thousands of paint brushes and sketchbooks (you can never have too many). 

My children like to come in here and draw alongside me, which I love- as long as they don't use the expensive paper I use for my prints!


5) You also make bookish items, where does your love for books come from?

My mum reads a lot so I think I inherited my love of books from her. My very first books as a child were Beatrix Potter and I fell in love with the illustrations as much as the stories. Roald Dahl and C.S. Lewis were also firm childhood favourites of mine. 

The magical feeling of getting lost in a book is something that cannot be beaten. I always have a couple of books on the go and if I absolutely had to choose a favourite it would probably (definitely) be Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere- I have read and re-read my copy so much it is falling apart!

I love to read to my children and I hope they grow up to love books as much as I do. 


6) Can you tell a bit more about how you started your store?

I was selling painted Christmas decorations and cards at a local fair when someone suggested I should open up an Etsy shop- I had never heard of Etsy but I checked it out and it really impressed me with it's unique focus on handmade products and artwork. 

I decided to open a shop selling painted quotes. It was really overwhelming at the start and I didn't have much confidence in my work but then I started to get sales and good feedback from customers and it took off from there. 

A few thousand sales later and I still get a warm, fuzzy feeling and whisper a little thank you every time I get a sale or some lovely feedback. 

It's a strange but fantastic feeling to know that my prints are in people's homes all over the world!



7) You use a lot of quotes, how does a quote end up on your products?

I love quotes that inspire people, or classic quotes from great books that evoke an emotion or nostalgia. 

Relatable quotes are fab too- the ones that make you think 'that is SO me!' (in my case any quotes about books and tea).

After some heartwarming messages from customers it is nice to know that some of my prints are helping someone in a little way or bringing a smile to their face.



8) What do you like the most about having your own shop?

Running my own business is such, such hard work- but it is hard work on my terms. I may work many more hours than a nine to five job, with no paid holidays or sick days but- I can jiggle things around if the kids need me, I can choose which direction my work is going in, I can work in the middle of the night if I wish, I make a living from my passion, I have total creative freedom (and I can work in my PJs if I want to) and THAT is priceless. 


9) You create a lot of animal themed prints, what's your favorite animal?

My passion for drawing animals definitely started with Beatrix Potter books as a child- if I wasn't reading then I was drawing animals or writing little stories about them. I was, and still am, a big animal lover and nature geek. If my family and I don't get home with muddy boots and pockets full of interesting pebbles or feathers on the weekend then it's not been a successful day!


10) What are your plans for the future?

One day I will settle on one of the ideas floating around in my head and sit down to write and illustrate a children's book with lots of lovely animal characters.

For now I am focusing on growing my website Violetandalfie.com and getting lots and lots of new designs ready for the busy Christmas season. 


Giveaway

Bookish prints
One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a print of choice (A4 format) from Violet and Alfie.


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale - Book Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads Bookdepository
Review by Anniek

Abbey is a single mom who's working very hard to make ends meet. Abbey is a nurse and she takes care of Caroline, an old lady who's living in a guesthouse owned by her grandson Nick. Abbey always dreamed of being an interior designer but to pay the bills she had to put her dreams on hold. Caroline is very fond of Abbey and when Nick needs an interior designer she makes sure that he hires Abbey. Will Abbey be able to transform Nick's mansion into a Christmas dream?

Nick has taken over his father's business after he passed away. He's determined to uphold the business' success and to make his father proud. To accomplish this he has turned into a workaholic and his marriage failed because he was never home. Now he has a woman in his house who's full of happiness and doing what she loves to do. With each passing day Nick has more problems with being able to focus on his work. He would rather be spending time with Abbey and her son Max. Will he be able to balance the two?

Abbey wants nothing more than to increase her income, so she can take better care of her son and her grandfather who needs more expensive medicine than he's getting at the moment. When the opportunity presents itself to decorate Nick's mansion she's nervous, but she's up for the challenge. The paycheck is more than she could ever have wish for and Abbey is looking forward to giving her son the most magical Christmas ever. Abbey's sweet, caring and loves her family and friends dearly. She is the kind of person who can get along with everyone and I loved her creative mind. I was wishing that all of her dreams would come true.

Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses is a heart-warming and festive love story. Jenny Hale's vivid descriptions made me able to picture each and every room. The way Abbey 'fixes' up the house sounds like it was done by Santa himself. I read Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses in one sitting and wasn't ready to let it go. This story put a smile on my face and I can't wait to read more books written by Jenny Hale.

Advice

If you love beautiful and magical Christmas stories Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses would be an excellent choice.

About Jenny Hale


When I graduated college, one of my friends said, "Look out for this one; she's going to be an author one day." Despite being an avid reader and a natural storyteller, it wasn't until that very moment that the idea of writing novels occurred to me.

Sometimes our friends can see the things that we can't.

While I didn't start straight away, that comment sowed a seed and several years, two children, and hundreds of thousands of words later, I completed a novel that I felt was worthy of publication. The result was Coming Home for Christmas, a heart-warming story about friends, family, and the magic of love at Christmas.

The rest is history.

When I'm not writing, I'm a mother of two boys and a wife to a very supportive husband.

Links


Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses 
Guest post by Jenny Hale

Last Christmas was our first Christmas in Nashville. Having barely unpacked, boxes everywhere, hearing our own echoes as we waited for furniture to arrive, I told the kids, “Don’t worry. Even if we have to put a tree up in the middle of this empty room, we’ll have Christmas.” And that was my plan. Luckily, I got the entire downstairs unpacked and decorated just in time for the big day, but that promise was an important one.

The reason I promised a tree, even if we had no furniture, was because the Christmas tree is where we all gather as a family on Christmas morning. While it still feels like months of planning are over in seconds, we make every effort to unwrap each gift slowly, one at a time, and talk to each other about it before pulling the next one from under the tree. We watch each other open our gifts and delight in giving as much as receiving.

I usually try to extend this idea outside of the family as well, involving our kids in some sort of community giving activity. We’ve filled shoeboxes for children in need, bought clothes for others, participated in hat and glove drives—whatever we feel in our hearts to do. Primarily, for us, Christmas is about helping, about giving.

But Christmas is also about snowy days, steaming mugs, fuzzy socks, and good books too, am I right? You’re sure to find a little bit of me in all my books. It’s for this reason that you may notice the same sentiment of helping each other filtering through my novel Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses. And yes, there’s snow and steaming mugs too!

Giveaway

Two very lucky readers of With Love for Books will receive paperback copies of Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale.


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Books of Choice Worth $64 Giveaway


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win books of choice worth $64. Good luck!


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Fabulous Freebie Book Review - Something Wicked by Louise Marley

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads
Review by Anniek

Kat is married to Jack, but is sick and tired of feeling lonely. In an attempt to attract her husband’s attention again she flees to Raven’s cottage, taking Jack’s cat Mister Snuggles with her. She inherited Raven’s Cottage from her aunt and Kat quickly settles in, running the attached coffee shop and bookstore. Raven’s cottage was once the home of a witch named Magik Meg and the locals believe the cottage is still haunted by her. Ever since Kat arrived strange things keep happening. Is this the work of Magik Meg or is it someone else?

Kat has a very down-to-earth personality. She always looks for logical explanations first when something's going on. Kat had a terrible accident eight years ago and she never regained her memories about that frightful day. I couldn't wait to find out if she'd ever know what happened. I also enjoyed reading about how she overcomes her fears and she’s so resourceful and smart. Kat's talented in many ways, the cookies that she bakes made my mouth water and I would have loved it if I could visit her coffee shop and bookstore in real life.

Something Wicked is a story full of suspense and magic. I’ve always been fascinated by stories about witches and their magic. I loved it that Louise Marley tells the stories of both Kat and Meg. They go really well together and I loved their natural flow. Kat and Meg both have mysteries surrounding their lives and I was hooked from the start. Louise Marley knows how to write a magical story and definitely managed to enchant me.

Advice

If you love magical stories about witches and like a good mystery, Something Wicked will definitely put a spell on you.

Free book

Something Wicked is free on Amazon until October 31st.

If you'd like to check out all freebies and promotions by Louise Marley visit her wonderful website.

Five Ways to Get Your Writing Mojo Back by Zoe May - Guest Post & Giveaway



About Zoe May


Zoe May lives in south-east London and writes romantic comedies. Zoe has dreamt of being a novelist since she was a teenager. She moved to London in her early twenties and worked in journalism and copywriting before writing her debut novel, Perfect Match. Having experienced the London dating scene first hand, Zoe could not resist writing a novel about dating, since it seems to supply endless amounts of weird and wonderful material! 

As well as writing, Zoe enjoys going to the theatre, walking her dog, painting and, of course, reading.

Links


Books by Zoe May

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads
Five ways to get your writing mojo back
Guest post by Zoe May

Even the most committed writers have days when they don’t really feel like writing. But if you wait until the perfect moment – when inspiration strikes, your house is calm, the stars have aligned, etc - you’ll probably never get anything done. Writing a novel takes perseverance, which means making yourself write even when you don’t particularly feel like it. Here are a few ways to get your mojo back when you're not in the mood to write.

Write in a notebook

Sometimes not wanting to write can simply be about reluctance to sit in front of a computer screen. I think this is particularly common if your day job involves typing away at a desk. There are only so many hours in a day that you want to be doing that so finishing work and then typing even more can seem far from ideal. I’ve definitely had this problem and what I do is write in a notebook instead. It can be a bit annoying as you do have to type it up later, but at least you’re moving your story forward.

Change your scenery

Feeling like you don’t want to write might just be about not wanting to be cooped up at home anymore. Changing your scenery and going to write at a café can be a great way to get out of the funk. Once you’re sitting down in a cafe with a coffee and your laptop, there’s not really much else to do but write.

Write with other people

Writing is a very solitary act, but it doesn’t always have to be. I used to mix up my writing routine by going to write with a group of aspiring novelists that held writing meetups in a pub on Saturday afternoons. Everyone would sit together and just write in a companionable way, with the odd bit of chit chat to break up the long stretches of typing. It was great. The collectively diligent atmosphere gets you back in the zone and other people’s enthusiasm can be infectious. With National Novel Writing Month coming up, there’ll be lots of local writing meetups taking place.

Cheer each other on in an online group chat

A writer I know posted in a Facebook group that she needed to write a substantial amount over the next few days and wondered if anyone would be interested in joining a group chat to share progress and cheer each other on. I’d never tried that before and thought I’d give it a shot. I was surprised at how helpful it was. There’s something useful about checking in with others; it makes you feel inspired and more accountable.

Write a scene that connects to your mood

I’m a romantic comedy author so it helps if I’m in a good mood when I write and most of the time, I am quite an upbeat person. However, if I’m feeling down, like everyone gets from time to time, I try not to let that stand in the way of writing. Not every scene in my novels is funny, so even though I prefer to write chronologically, sometimes I’ll skip forward in the plot to a scene in which the heroine is struggling or having an argument and I’ll write that bit, channelling my blues onto the page. 

Giveaway

One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a signed paperback copy of Perfect Match or How (Not) To Date A Prince by Zoe May (winner’s choice).


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are
international.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

A Christmas Date by Camilla Isley - Book Review & Giveaway

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads Bookdepository
Review by Anniek

Nikki isn't a fan of the Christmas season. Her boss always closes the company during the Christmas holidays, thus leaving her no excuse to not be with her family. Ever since she met Paul in college Nikki secretly has a crush on him. Even when he was off limits because he was dating her sister Julia, her feelings for him didn't go away. When Julia tells Nikki that she and Paul are engaged and that he'll be spending the holidays with their family, Nikki has no idea how she is going to survive the Christmas days. Can Nikki find a way to make the upcoming days more bearable?

After talking with her best friend Blair, Nikki decides to hire a fake boyfriend who'll accompany her to her parents house. This way they won't see her as the pathetic single and she won't have to endure her mom's comments. Luckily Nikki works at an advertising agency so she has a whole database filled with good looking actors. To annoy her sister she searches for an actor who has all the characteristics her sister would look for in an ideal boyfriend. Diego is the perfect match. Diego agrees to be her fake boyfriend during the holidays but can they fool Nikki's family?

Nikki feels like she always needs to compete with her beautiful sister. To her Julia, is perfect in every single way. When Julia started dating Paul, Nikki's heart shattered. She never thought that she'd find another man who'd make her feel the same way but spending time with Diego is heart warming. Nikki works hard, is a perfectionist and keeps most people at arms length. Even though she is a bit of a Grinch I had a connection with Nikki from the start. I was wishing for her to find the courage to open up her heart for love again.

A Christmas Date is a feel good love story filled with humor and Christmas festivities. I absolutely love Christmas and I truly believe it's the most magical time of the year. Nikki's family loves Christmas as well and her mom went into full decorating mode. I could easily imagine what the house looked like and I wish I could visit Nikki's family as well. Unwrapping presents around the Christmas tree always fills my heart with joy and I couldn't wait to find out more about the blossoming love between Nikki and Diego. Camilla Isley never disappoints her readers with her lighthearted romantic novels and A Christmas Date is another fun and sweet story that I highly recommend. 

Advice

If you love to read heartwarming Christmas stories about friendship, family and love, then you should definitely read A Christmas Date.


Camilla’s an engineer turned writer after she quit her job to follow her husband in an adventure abroad.

She’s a cat lover, coffee addict, and shoe hoarder. Besides writing, she loves reading—duh!—cooking, watching bad TV, and going to the movies—popcorn, please. She’s a bit of a foodie, nothing too serious. A keen traveler, Camilla knows mosquitoes play a role in the ecosystem, and she doesn’t want to starve all those frog princes out there, but she could really live without them.

Ten random things about Camilla Isley

I got married twice. Same man, different dresses.

In total, I’ve earned three driving licenses from three different states. I failed only one driving test overall.

I did bungee jumping once.

I’m a picky eater.

I think tea is disgusting.

I love Coke; I hate Pepsi.

I love the iPhone but I can’t use an Apple iMac for the life of me. I always end up pressing apple c
and instead of copying text, I delete everything that I’ve written.

Once I was involved in a spectacular bike accident. A classic, a lady opened her car door without looking and I rode into it at full speed. I flew over to the other side of the door and landed flat on the concrete, unscathed.

I’m not a morning person.

I used to be good at baking cakes, but lately they either burn, don’t cook, or don’t rise properly. My mom says it’s a clear sign I got married.

Links


Free books


Amazon USA Amazon UK
Let's Be Just Friends is currently free on Amazon.
Friend Zone, the second book in the Just Friends series, is free when you sign up for Camilla Isley's newsletter.

Giveaway

Silver Phantom Jewelry Cat Ear Ring
One very Lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a Silver Phantom Jewelry Cat Ear Ring from Camilla Isley. The ring is available in three different colors. The winner may choose the color and ring size.


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

$50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a $50 (or your country's equivalent) Amazon gift card. Good luck!


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Creature of the Night by Anne Stinnett - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads Bookdepository
Review by Anniek

Every year the reality TV show Creature of the Night gives one person the privilege to become a vampire. Vampires have been living out in the open for years now. Some humans have accepted the fact that they're here and others protest against the things vampires do, like drinking blood. All the contestants have to face up to the challenges until only one remains who'll become a creature of the night. This year the challenges are even more gruesome then before and the audience is loving it. Who will come out as the winner?

All contestants signed a contract before they could participate on the show, however nobody really knows what will happen. During the show they all live together in a mansion and also the people who get eliminated stay there until the end. Everyone has their own story and in order to win they shouldn't become friends. What will happen when the challenges demand the contestants to show their dark side?

The judges and the host are all vampires. They vary in age and character and not all of them are very good in restraining their needs. Weaknesses are brutally punished and I was fascinated by the way the audience reacted to this cruelty. The contestants differed from one another and this made the outcome of some of the challenges very unexpected. I loved to get to know the contestants better and to find out who would put everything on the line to beat the others.

Creature of the Night is a terrifying story about humans who are willing to do everything to become immortal. I loved it how Anne Stinnett gives her characters plenty of depth to and that she skillfully wrote about why they chose to be on this reality TV show. Creature of the Night has a fast pace which kept me entertained throughout the whole story. I'm a big fan of creepy stories and loved this surprisingly scary book which kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end.

Advice

If you like to read a thrilling story about vampires and the eagerness to become one, Creature of the Night would be a perfect choice.

About Anne Stinnett


Anne Stinnett was born in Los Angeles where she spent most of her first decade reading books and playing in traffic. Eventually, she learned the foolishness of frolicking amongst moving vehicles, but she is still a voracious reader of multiple genres. After growing up in California, she moved around a bit, eventually landing in Albuquerque. She graduated from the University of New Mexico, with a major in English and a minor in Theater Arts. She now lives in Palm Springs, California with her freeloader canine friends Sirius (yes, Black) and Midge, who occasionally allow her to get some writing done.

Links


Interview

1) Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

I was born and raised in Los Angeles and have always been a book lover. My favorite things to do are reading and hanging out with my dogs. I’m not generally a domestic goddess, but about twice a year I do make a highly edible lasagna.

2) What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day is going to my day job, where I work as a veterinary technician. In short, I give comfort, shots, and assist the doctors while trying my best not to get peed on. The last is the biggest challenge.

3) In Creature of the Night the contestants compete to become a vampire. Which of the contestant resembles you the most?

I think Emily is the contestant who resembles me the most. We’re both avid readers and we both tend to play things close to the vest. Another similarity is that Emily isn’t chatty. She doesn’t feel the need to talk just to fill a silence.

4)When things go bump in the night, what would be your first thought and course of action?

I listen first. Usually a dog is to blame. Occasionally, I will drag myself out of bed to investigate, but a lot of bumps are nothing much. I’m still waiting for that magical dark night when Vlad finally shows up.

5) What makes your heart beat faster?

The thought that I’ve forgotten something I was supposed to do, or done something wrong.

6) Could you describe the main characters of Creature of the Night in 7 words each?

Emily: Knows her books, but what of life?

Delia: Men want her. As does everyone else.

Vlad: Like your pervy uncle, but with fangs.

Madeline: Has much to offer, but no interest.

Donovan: The guy you warn your daughter about.

Brett: Loves the world, but it doesn’t reciprocate.

Cassie: You almost want to root for her.

Lola: Great at her persona, because it’s true.

Portia: Just wants the recognition she planned on.

Chaz: Wants nothing more than to be adored.

Nodin: Eternity is hard when you’re not cool.

Edmund: Why can we not all just…Ugh.

Chaz: Predator’s heart with a boy band face.

Celeste: I want to die. Wait! Oh fuck.

Stewart: Gave them his life. For no appreciation.

Ollie: If you don’t know yourself, be whatever.

Jeff: A true believer. Until the facts hit.

Kannon: The envy of his peers. Or was.

7) Which monster do you fear the most?

I love the monsters. I guess I would have to say zombies, though. Traditionally, they’re known for their relentlessness, which is scarier because it’s so mindless. I feel like it’s harder to anticipate the actions of someone or something that’s not thinking.

8) What’s the inspiration behind Creature of the Night?

Reality tv was the inspiration. I’m fascinated with how people behave on reality television shows, and also with the fact that they’re so popular because people ostensibly want to watch real people. To me, Creature of the Night type scenario is, given, of course, the existence of vampires, inevitable.

9) How did your writing journey start?

I’ve wanted to write in some form since I was young. I dabbled a bit, but wasn’t serious enough to write my first book for quite a while. I think that journey started at the point that I realized maybe I could actually sit down and just write until I had a book. Before that, it was a lot of wanting to magically be a writer without the actual writing. So, I guess my writing journey started when I actually picked up a laptop.

10) What are your plans for the future?

I plan to continue writing. I’m working on a couple projects currently.

Giveaway

Two very lucky readers of With Love for Books will receive digital copies of Creature of the Night by Anne Stinnett.


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Mystery Box Worth $75 Giveaway


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a mystery box worth $75. Good luck!


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Possessed & Exposed by Ben DeValve - Book Reviews, Guest Post & Giveaway


Reviews by Anniek

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads 
Natalie was just a baby when her father put demons inside her body. She has tattoos all over her body which keep the demons locked up inside. Her father summons these demons regularly, keeping Natalie from having control over her body and mind. These demons did horrible things and Natalie has a hard time dealing with those memories. Is Natalie able to keep the demons from taking over control?

Natalie lives in foster care after her father was arrested by the police. She wants to be normal and tries to stay out of trouble. Whenever she gets angry or emotional the demons try take over control. Natalie is so much stronger then she thinks and my heart ached after reading what her father did to her. A child should feel save and loved and it broke my heart to read that she lacked this while growing up. I  was wishing for her to find her safe haven.

Possessed is a dark and gripping story. I'm a big fan of scary stories, movies and television series. I read and watch a lot of them in the dark and by myself. There's not much that scares me more than stories about demons. Ben DeValve added an extra dimension to terrifying stories when he wrote Possessed. This story grabbed me from the very beginning and I read it in one sitting.

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads
Natalie stood up to her father and battled her fears. She's trying to get back on her feet and at the same time helps her friend Clara to deal with all the things Natalie's father did to her. It turns out that her father isn't the only one who knows how to summon the demons who still live inside her and Natalie is very afraid to lose control again. Who can Natalie turn to when she needs help fighting this new enemy?

Natalie is cursed for the rest of her life. The demons inside her body are trapped there and are searching for a way to get out. To help her in the battle against her father Natalie made a deal with Dantalion, a demon who is now allowed to take over her body on agreed times. Natalie is so brave and loyal. Her world falls apart when she finds out she has to fight again, but she doesn't run away from her problems. Natalie is special and unique and I felt a bond with her straight away.

Exposed is the thrilling second book in the Natalie Mirka Chronicles. When I finished the first book, Possessed, I couldn't wait to read more about Natalie's journey. Ben DeValve is a very skilled writer and this unique second story gave me goose bumps to the bone. I love reading about strong characters and Natalie truly is one tough young lady. The Natalie Mirka Chronicles are Ben DeValve's debut and I can't wait for the next books of Ben to be published.

Advice

If you like to read dark and terrifying stories, then definitely consider Possessed and Exposed. They will make you hold your breath.

About Ben DeValve


Ben DeValve lives in New Jersey on a horse farm.

His writing has previously won a VSA Arts Excellence Award, and a New Jersey Governor’s Award.

He is a Writer ~ Reader ~ Farmer ~ Lumberjack ~ Wizard ~ Not necessarily in that order.

Links


Who is Natalie Mirka?
Guest post by Ben DeValve

The first book I wrote was a behemoth of a tome called ‘Nephilim’. Unfortunately, it was awful. Oh, the story itself was pretty good, and there were a lot of fun moments within it, but the writing was poor at best. So I shelved it until my writing had ‘leveled up’ to where it needed to be in order to do the story justice.

Hidden away in ‘Nephilim’ was a character named Natalie. She wasn’t the main character, and she possibly wasn’t even a ‘good guy’, but it was universally decided by every one of my beta readers that she kicked ass. When you met her in ‘Nephilim’ Natalie Mirka was a young woman, somewhere between her late teens and early twenties. She wields machine guns, possessed spears, and supernatural forces of destruction, all with equal ease and skill. She also has a bit of an attitude.

When I was looking for my next project, Natalie felt like the obvious choice. Who was this woman who was sometimes possessed and sometimes not? Where did she come from? What did she really want? And what was with those crazy tattoos? I decided to jump back in time to Natalie’s early teenage years and start the tale there.

In ‘Possessed’ you first meet Natalie as she arrives at her new foster home. She is forced to deal with all the normal problems of being a teenager, including bullies, school, and the general suckiness that comes with puberty. In addition to all of that Natalie has to contend with a daily struggle with the forces of darkness. When she was an infant her father branded her with a series of demonic sigils, binding the essence of an army of evil spirits into Natalie’s flesh.

As she grew up her evil father used the demons to further his own dark agenda. The leader of a nefarious cult, he used his supernatural enforces to compel obedience and silence dissent, as well as to perform the occasional miracle. To keep Natalie in line, he kept her locked in a crate in the basement of the church. When the feds busted the cult for various crimes Natalie’s father went to prison, and she went into the foster system.

Starting with ‘Possessed’ the ‘Natalie Mirka Chronicles’ explore the formative years of Natalie, and how she arrives as the machine gun toting badass in the later story ‘Nephilim’. She will face terrible danger, and a wide array of sinister characters. She will know triumph and heart break and gut wrenching despair. At the end of it all, perhaps she will be a better person. But perhaps not. We will just have to wait and see!

Giveaway

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One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive paperback copies of Possessed & Exposed by Ben DeValve.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Write for us – November is our blog readers guest post month



In November With Love for Books is planning on hosting a new event. We would like to get to know you, our readers, better and therefore give you the opportunity to write a guest post on our blog. Everybody who regularly visits our blog can participate and we hope to receive many posts. You can write about anything: your personal life, family, hobbies, job, a poem or a short story, be creative. Of course, we also like to read what you love about books and our blog. 

If you are interested in writing a post, then please read and follow the article requirements below:

1. We need a photo we can use in the post. It should be relevant for the content of your post.

2. Start your post by introducing yourself. 

3. The format should be in Word or Google Docs and you can send it to events@withloveforbooks.com

4. We’ll edit the article so it matches the style of the writing and layout of the blog.

5. We'll email you as soon as your post is online. 

6. We’ll promote your post on our social media, but of course we would like you to share your post on your social media as well.

7. The post should be content based and relevant for our blog. You may include links to your company or blog, but these should be directing to relevant content on your own site and not linked to purely commercial pages. 

8. Aim at 300-800 words


Trapped in Room 217 by Thomas Kingsley Troupe - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Anniek

The father of Jayla and Dion takes on an assignment in Colorado. The roads there have been flooded and he is requested to help them to restore it. Together with a complete crew they'll be working restoring the roads for at least a week. The company has booked a room for them at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. The hotel is luxurious and looks amazing. Jayla and Dion will be spending a lot of time on their own together in the fabulous hotel, but for Jayla something about the hotel feels weird. They stay in room 217. What has the hotel in store for them?

The Stanley Hotel has a rich history of being haunted. Late Elizabeth Wilsonis is one of the frequent visitors. She was a maid at the Stanley Hotel in the early 1900's. After passing away she held on to her job and is somehow trapped in room 217. Several stories are circulating about how she died and she's not the only spirit who wanders around the hallways. What would you do if you got a chance to stay the night in room 217?

Jayla and Dion are young children who love adventures. Instead of being scared, they're searching for a way to help Elizabeth. Just like real paranormal investigators they look for answers in order to understand the strange things they're experiencing. I loved to read about the strong connection they have with their dad and how he believed their stories straight away. I couldn't wait to find out if they'd be able to free Elizabeth.

Trapped in Room 217 is a ghost story based on reported sightings and
the hotel exists in reality. I'm a big fan of Ghost Hunters TV series and I've watched all series I could get my hands on. I've also watched the episodes about the Stanley Hotel and have been fascinated ever since about the stories. Thomas Kingsley Troupe stayed in the Stanley Hotel himself and I love the fact that he actually has spend the night in the hotel he wrote about. Trapped in Room 217 is part of Thomas Kingsley Troupe's Haunted States of America series and I can't wait to read another book in this series. I couldn't put down this thrilling story and read it in one sitting.

Advice

If you like to read ghost stories about an existing haunted hotel, then Trapped in Room 217 will definitely creep you out.

About Thomas Kingsley Troupe


Thomas Kingsley Troupe likes writin’. He is the author of the fiction series HAUNTIQUES, FURRY & FLO and the upcoming STAR BELCHERS. Other than that, he’s written a whole bunch of titles for kids from non-fiction picture books, to a few installments in the JAKE MADDOX sports series.

Thomas has been writing books and stories in one form or another ever since he can remember. When asked, he’ll tell you about the time he entered a book into his school’s book fair in 2nd grade. His super hero story lost to a series of books about puppies, rainbows, and some kid’s new baby brother. It just wasn’t his time.

Raised in “Nordeast” Minneapolis, Thomas now lives with his family in Woodbury, Minnesota. When he’s not writing stuff in his basement office “The Nerdery,” he’s taking naps, watching campy movies, powering up and going on the occasional ghost hunt.

FUN FACT: He believes pineapple is easily the best fruit out there and still thinks zombies are cool. Even after all these years.

Links


Interview

1) Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi, I'm Thomas. I'm a children's author with over 100 titles published. I'm one of those people who can't sit still. I've always got to be doing something, so I've had my hands into a lot of things! I was a firefighter for 12 years, and I'm a paranormal investigator with the Twin Cities Paranormal Society. I have 2 boys and we live in Minnesota.

2) What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day for me goes like this: I wake up, get my kids ready for school and head to my day job. Yes, yes... I still work a full-time job in addition to everything else I do. In the evenings, I hang out with my sons. We try and do some creative stuff together. My oldest likes to create music and my youngest makes comic strips. When they're in bed, I get behind the keyboard and write until my fingers won't type anymore. Thankfully, I'm a night owl who only needs around 5 hours of sleep!

3) Could you describe the main characters of Trapped in Room 217 in 7 words each?

Jayla - Dreamer, Adventurous, Determined, Helpful, Brave, Thoughtful, Protective

Dion - Sassy, Stubborn, Funny, Cautious, Excitable, Outgoing, Smart

4) You go on ghost hunts occasionally. Is there a specific location you'd love to investigate?

There are so many "haunted" places I'd love to investigate. If I had to choose just one I think I'd like to explore and spend the night in Alcatraz. I've seen some pretty explainable images come from others who have visited that reportedly haunted prison. I need to see it for myself! 

5) What would you do to survive if the zombie apocalypse happens today?

If the zombie apocalypse happened today, I'd grab my family and head for a cruise ship. I figure we could survive in style for a while, visiting warm climates, swimming, playing shuffleboard and avoiding the zombies altogether. Word on the street has it that they can't swim all that well. Hopefully they'll all die (again) by the time we need to replenish the ship with supplies.

6) Which monster do you fear the most?

Which monster do I fear? Hmmm...the cool answer would be to say: I FEAR NO MONSTERS! But, if I had to choose, I'd probably pick a vampire, the type of vampires from the old days. Not these supermodel ones that sparkle in the sun. I'm talking about those nasty ones that are constantly out for blood with super strength and have a real bad stink to them.

7) The Stanley is a well known haunted hotel. How did you came up with the idea to spend the night there?

I'd always been curious about The Stanley Hotel ever since hearing Stephen King used it as inspiration for his book The Shining. So, when I saw there was a deal to stay there through Groupon, my friend and I jumped at the chance. We ended up turning the trip to Colorado into a long-weekend ghost hunt by staying in 3 different haunted hotels over 3 days. We started with The Stanley in Estes Park, The Armstrong in Fort Collins and The Brown Hotel in Denver. We saw some things we couldn't explain...

8) What are your hobbies besides writing and reading?

Besides writing and reading? Is there anything else? I like to ride my mountain bike, I'm a movie junkie and I love video games. I've been playing them since I was 5 when my dad brought home the original PONG. That should give you an idea of how old I am!

9) What makes your heart beat faster?

My heart beats fast when I come up with a new and exciting idea for a book. It beats even faster when my editors love the idea just as much as I do. And my heart is ready to burst when I hear from readers that they loved something I've written.

10) What can we expect from you in the future?

In the future, I'm hoping to continue writing the kinds of books I loved to read as a kid. My hope is to branch out into young adult and even books for grown-ups. With any luck, I'll be able to make writing my full-time job!

Giveaway

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One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a signed paperback copy of one of the books from the Haunted States of America series by Thomas Kingsley Troupe (winner’s choice).

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.