Blitz | Mermaid of Sicily by Jincey Lumpkin

Mermaid of Sicily
Jincey Lumpkin
(Mermaid of Venice, #2)
Publication date: September 20th 2021
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

The glamorous Gia Acquaviva struggles to maintain her freedom and hold onto her business empire. A Sicilian mob boss nips at her tail, hoping to lure her into his sick fantasies. Meanwhile, the global media hunts Gia, attempting to hold her accountable for a string of murders. Can the world’s most famous mermaid escape their net, or will she be caught?

Dive into the extremely glamorous life of Gia Acquaviva, an ultra-rich Venetian mogul with a portfolio of clubs and casinos around the globe. Gia harbors dark secrets––and an underwater graveyard filled with the bones of her former lovers.

Her family’s roots descend from the mythological sirens of ancient Greece, but she’s taken every precaution to protect her anonymity and the existence of other mermaids. Gia lures in men with a beguiling façade, but inside lurks a deeply troubled soul, severely damaged by a mysterious past.

Fans of Killing Eve and Big Little Lies will love Mermaid of Sicily, a sexy psychological thriller with lush fantasy elements. The chic mystery and European hot spots of Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley with a juicy splash of the lavish lifestyle in E. L. James’s 50 Shades series. This is not the Little Mermaid you grew up with. Gia’s out for blood.

Mermaid of Sicily is the second installment in a series of 6 books about Gia Acquaviva.

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EXCERPT:

Gia arrived at the base of the Eiffel Tower in disguise. An auburn wig, a pair of large sunglasses, and a wooly cap hid her identity. She approached the brown awning of the Jules Verne restaurant with supreme caution, hyper vigilant of her surroundings and potential threats. It was then that she was met at the front door by two of Q’s men.

“Are you here for Signor Mosca?” one asked.

“Unfortunately,” Gia chirped, sarcasm thick in her voice.

“This way.”

As they entered the restaurant, Gia discovered that Q had paid enough money to clear the place out completely.

How much had that set him back?

People waited months for a reservation—it couldn’t have been easy to compensate all those angry patrons overnight. The men escorted Gia into the glass elevator. As it rose, they passed through level after level of the brown iron that Mr. Eiffel had twisted himself.

The men took Gia all the way to a table that was situated in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows.

“Thank you gentlemen,” Q said, patting them on the back. “I have asked the chef to set up a table for the two of you in the kitchen. Please enjoy your meal. We will come to you when we are ready to go.”

He shuffled toward Gia and took her hand in his. Gia resisted the urge to pull away, her stomach lurched in revulsion to his touch.

Signorina Acquaviva, I have been looking forward to spending time with you since we met in Athens…”

Author Bio:

JINCEY LUMPKIN is a writer and creative director in Luxury Beauty. She is the author of the Mermaid of Venice fantasy thriller series. Recognized as a thought leader on women and culture, Jincey has written more than 50 columns for the Huffington Post and Playboy. She headlined Sex Week at Harvard and gave an infamous TEDx talk, “Are Robots the Future of Sex?” She has been profiled by Dateline NBC, Vice, and GQ, among others. Out Magazine listed her in its “OUT 100”, naming her as one of the world’s most influential LGBTQ+ people, alongside celebrities like Laverne Cox and Ricky Martin.

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Blitz | Moon Madness by Sabrina Silvers

Moon Madness
Sabrina Silvers
(Dirigo Pack, #2)
Publication date: March 19th 2022
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

A wolf on the edge, deadly shifter political games, and an unexpected attraction.

Sloane Wyman is haunted by her past and she’ll let nothing get in the way of her future. She’s vowed to defend her pack as long as there is breath in her lungs.

Benedict MacKinnon can’t trust the beast within. Not since it burst forth and nearly cost him everything. But, when his brother and mate are accused of murder, he’s willing to put everything on the line. Benedict must stand before the Supreme Council in their defense, even if it costs him his life and future.

Lying and scheming enemies eager to see him spiral out of control test his resolve at every turn. Sloane, as his back-up, is more of a hindrance than a help thanks to the unwanted primal attraction that leaves his inner wolf rumbling.

As they become targets in a game they don’t know the rules, and the clock ticks down on their deadline, can they outsmart their enemies? Will they allow themselves to unite via the mate bond? Or will their attempts to save those they love meet a bloody end?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

EXCERPT:

He strode around the boulder where he had stashed his clothes earlier and tossed her his shirt.

She caught it, surprise flashing across her face. Then she narrowed her gaze. “You had clothes all of this time and never said anything?”

He shrugged as he slipped on his jeans. “What can I say? I was enjoying the view. And why get dressed if we’re just going to shift again? However, since we’re going to fight, it might be easier if you’re not distracted.”

She rolled her eyes and snorted. But she did slip on his T-shirt. She was tall, but not quite as tall as he was, so the garment covered her to about to mid-thigh, and he mourned the loss of seeing her naked. Yeah, it was commonplace to see a lot of skin as shifters, and it was courtesy not to notice, but Sloane affected him like no other, and he wasn’t sure what to do about it. Well, he knew what his body wanted to do about it, but he was in control of his cock, not the other way around. Usually.

Sloane narrowed her eyes, crouched in a fighting stance, and began circling, her body low and ready. She had no idea what, or who, she was up against. She still thought he was the desk-jockey shifter who couldn’t control his wolf. This was going to be fun. Or it might kill him. It could really go either way.

He watched her, carefully sidestepping in the circle to counter her as she studied him, partially crouched, her hands in front of her. Sloane was patient, a strong and competent fighter, but she had one flaw. She could be swayed by emotion, which made her vulnerable. Then again, emotion made everyone vulnerable, didn’t it?

So, he let a slow smile stretch across his face and his gaze travel over her shirt to her bare legs. “That shirt never looked so good.”

A low growl erupted from Sloane’s throat, and sparks flashed in her eyes, but she remained calm, just watching him for her way in. She reached out with her hand then kicked her leg to the back of his knee to take him down, but he jumped back in time.

“Not bad, Wyman. A little slow but you’ll get there. Eventually.”

He smirked and swiped a hand out, his claws slicing the shirt in four precise cuts right over her torso, down to the hem. The breeze fluttered the edges of the shirt, and she glared at him, her anger rising. She lunged wildly, and he made a half-turn then grabbed her arm and twisted her off-balance, pulling her close to his body.

He leaned into her ear, nipping lightly. “Gotcha.”

He quickly released her and stepped back. She whirled around, her eyes wild, her teeth bared, frustration evident. He grinned. “This is so much better than sparring with Hugh. I’ll have to come back here more often.”

Again, her leg kicked out, catching him behind the knee, but instead of going down, he grabbed her leg and flipped her. He followed her down onto the soft earth, pinning her in place. Her wide eyes stared up at him, and then he did the one thing he’d been wanting to do since he’d seen her two weeks prior.

He kissed her.

Sloane froze under him, her body stiff and tense, her lips cool and unresponsive, but then they softened, and she opened her mouth, responding to his kiss with as much passion as she had in the previous fight. His tongue tangled with hers while his hand roamed under the shirt that barely covered her, riding up to expose her skin to him. He caressed the side of one of her breasts, his thumb stroking over her nipple until it beaded under his touch, and she arched into his body as if silently begging for more.

Her hands clutched his back, claws pricking his skin, not to push away but to pull him closer, and she lightly scored him down his back, marking him for anyone to see later. Her leg wrapped around his waist, her heel digging into his lower back, bringing his denim-covered erection into full contact with the heat of her center.

A howl in the distance broke their concentration, and he lifted his head, listening to gauge the distance. A second howl answered, a bit closer, and Sloane shoved Benedict off of her, scrambling to her feet and gathering the shreds of the shirt around her.

“That can never happen again.” Her words were angry, vehement, but her breath sawed in and out as her chest heaved, belying her own reaction to the kiss.

He took a step forward even as she stepped backward. “Sloane, you can keep running, but you clearly need stress relief, if nothing else.”

She pointed at him then at herself. “This is never going to happen again. You and I have to work together, and sex just muddies everything up.”

He shrugged. “It also gives new meaning to close cover. No one can guard me better than from my own bed.”

She growled and threw her hands up, forgetting about the sad state of her shirt. “I also might be the one to kill you in your sleep.”

Author Bio:

Sabrina Silvers began her writing career dreaming of elves, orcs, and hobbits in the fantasy section of her local library, looking in wardrobes for Narnia and Aslan, and hunting for gnomes in the forest. To her dismay, she never found any of them except between the pages of her books. So, she had to go out and create them for herself, leading to her lifelong love of reading and writing and dreaming about adventures, fantasy creatures and love in fantasy lands! She divides her time between writing sexy contemporary romances under a different pen name, reading, knitting and being owned by a very spoiled cocker spaniel who does not share her love of fantasy creatures.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram / Bookbub


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Review | The Me You Love In the Dark Series by Skottie Young

Writer SKOTTIE YOUNG (I HATE FAIRYLAND, Deadpool, Strange Academy) and artist JORGE CORONA (NO. 1 WITH A BULLET, Super Sons, Feathers) follow up their critically acclaimed series MIDDLEWEST with a brand-new haunting tale. An artist named Ro retreats from the grind of the city to an old house in a small town to find solace and inspiration without realizing the muse within is not what she expected. Fans of Stephen King and Neil Gaiman will enjoy this beautiful, dark, and disturbing story of discovery, love, and terror.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Having really enjoyed I Hate Fairyland I was excited to see something new from Skottie Young. The Me You Love In the Dark was very twisted and had touches of almost Lovecraft type elements. What at first seems to be a ghost ends up being something else. It has themes of obsession, madness and very dark horror. Though it’s a short series, it is not for the faint of heart and there are some truly dark sequences and themes. It’s much more than Ro trying to find her muse again, that’s just the surface level of the story.

Happy reading!

Cover Reveal | Monterey King by Claire Marti

Monterey King
Claire Marti
(California Suits, #3)
Publication date: May 19th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

When former Army Major Cameron Taylor comes home a hero from his deployment in the Middle East his scars run deep – both physically and emotionally. But he’s starting over, running a luxury hotel with his best friends. And Lucy Goodwin, apparently…his high school sweetheart who he’s never quite managed to forget.

There’s only one reason Lucy’s been engaged – and walked away – three times and now he’s standing right in front of her. Cameron Taylor is the man she’s never stopped loving, even when he left her “for her own good” all those years ago. There was nothing good about it, that’s for sure. Just like there’d be nothing good about trying to break down Cameron’s walls now. But that doesn’t mean she’s not tempted to try…

***Monterey King is the third book in award-winning and USA Today bestselling author Claire Marti’s spin off contemporary romance series, California Suits. The series will follow the adventures of five best friends who are opening a string of luxury boutique hotels from La Jolla to Monterey to Beverly Hills as each one finds true love…usually where he least expects it. Each book is a standalone.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


Author Bio:

Claire Marti is an award winning and USA Today Bestselling author of swoonworthy Contemporary Romance novels set in Southern California, including the Pacific Vista Ranch series and the spin-off California Suits series. She lives in San Diego with her husband, silly dog, and two clever cats.

Claire started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.

When Claire’s not writing, she’s teaching yoga. You can find her sixty+ online classes on the international website http://www.yogadownload.com. A breast cancer survivor, Claire is a sought-after speaker on the power of yoga and meditation. She’s been published in numerous magazines with articles on wellness and is the author of a memoir, Come Ride with Me Along the Big C, on her experience beating breast cancer.

Claire loves to hear from readers!

Reach out via email or sign up for her newsletter at http://www.clairemarti.com

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Blitz | Hot Girl Summer by Sonia Palermo

Hot Girl Summer
Sonia Palermo
Publication date: March 14th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Sophia DeLuca is over casual hook-ups. Between her sister’s eating disorder, her track record of falling for fuckboys, and a lifetime of being written off as a shallow flake, “failure to launch” may as well be her middle name.

Under false pretences and a fake name, she meets Danny Pearce, an obnoxious musician on the opposite end of the millennial spectrum. Danny is cocky, rude, and a contender for fuckboy of the year.

After a series of serendipitous encounters and a secret gig, Sophia unexpectedly falls for Danny. But when he is faced with his own demons, Sophia must reclaim her power and forgive the past, or risk losing the only thing that’s real.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Gently, he places a hand on the small of my back, guiding me into a small space in front of him. I want to lean into the warmth of his palm, to step back just a little to feel him behind me.

“Better?”

I close my eyes to savour his touch before turning around to thank him.

“No worries.”

Dimples indent his cheeks as he returns the smile, and I spin back around. I’m dizzy, and my heart is racing. I can’t decide if it’s a delayed side effect of the alcohol, or a Danny side effect, but I could easily get used to this feeling. The only downside is that his proximity resurfaces every ache I’d tried to bury when he was up on that stage.

My only hope to avoid going completely overboard with want for Danny Pearce is to focus on the music; the beams of light oscillating between us and the stage; the sensation in my body as the bass ripples through the floor and diffuses at my feet.

I try to focus on anything but the ghost of his breath in my hair, teasing trails down my neck. I lose balance, swaying with no rhythm as his body heat radiates onto mine, and I hope to God this feeling goes both ways. If not, I might die.

Monty addresses the crowd, snapping me out of my stupor. Much like Ollie had done previously, he relays anecdotes and speaks about his music, although his demeanour errs on the side of cockiness over confidence. He introduces his band, thanks the audience, and shares more self-indulgence, but there is no denying his talent.

The band continue their upbeat energy over the next few songs, and the crowd rambunctiously bounce along to hit after hit. But I can’t ignore the all-consuming pulsing and throbbing taking over my entire body, especially when there’s no way of avoiding Danny’s addictive Riviera scent.

Without a glance behind, I finally gather the courage to test the waters. I’ve never made the first move with anyone before, and I like it that way. I’m terrified, but if there was ever a time to take agency over my life, facing the fear of rejection in favour of something better, fighting the voices in my head that tell me I’m not good enough, this is it.

If I don’t try, I won’t know.


Author Bio:

Sonia Palermo writes fun, sexy, steamy contemporary romance with sex-positive, sassy-but-soft heroines and cinnamon roll heroes.

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Blitz | Highland Games by Evie Alexander

Highland Games
Evie Alexander
(Kinloch Series, #1)
Publication date: October 15th 2021
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

‘Take it. It’s yours. Go have an adventure.’

Zoe’s done playing it safe. When she inherits a cabin in a remote corner of Scotland, she ditches the big city and heads for the Highlands. But reality soon strikes. The roof leaks, there’s no front door, and her scorching hot neighbor wants her out.

Rory’s a grumpy man-bear with nothing but problems. Kinloch castle is falling apart, and if he can’t make it profitable, he’s out of a job. He dreams of a quiet life, alone in the cabin he loved as a child, but a fire-cracker’s moved in and turned his world upside down.

Rory may want Zoe out of Scotland but she has no intention of leaving. As they clash over the cabin, things start heating up. Are they about to spark the hottest winter Scotland’s ever seen, or is everything about to come crashing down around them?

Let the games begin…

Highland Games is a steamy, slow-burn, enemies-to-lovers, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy, with no cheating, no cliff-hanger, and a guaranteed happy ever after (HEA)

Goodreads / Amazon

Only 99c for a limited time!

♥♥♥ Praise for Highland Games ♥♥♥

★★★★★ A hilariously funny and sizzlingly sexy romp in the Scottish Highlands. This book had me crying with laughter and begging for more…’ Margaret Amatt, author of The Scottish Island Escapes series

★★★★★ ‘Is there a reason you’re just discovering Evie Alexander? Where have you been?! Evie’s writing crackles and pops with the most delightful characters and wit. And don’t get me started on the steam! I can NOT wait until the next book.’ Kelly Kay, author of The Five Families Vineyard series

★★★★★ ‘A fantastic, funny and oh so sexy story, full of Highland mischief and romance!’ Julia Jarrett, author of The Dogwood Cove series

★★★★★ ‘This book is bloody brilliant. It’s snortingly funny, honest, page turning and downright fabulous. As soon as the book starts you know you are in a safe pair of hands. The writing is tender and intelligent and moves quickly to engaging and provoking. I was hooked.

Zoe, Rory and all the characters are one hundred percent believable. The plot itself is a hoot and at no point is Zoe the helpless victim waiting to be rescued, no matter how many screw-ups she gets herself into. Even when she does have to be rescued, she turns it to her own advantage.

Highland Games has smoking sex scenes, and I mean the pages were on fire, but they are also fun. Evie Alexander writes sex like it’s fun and joyous and bouncy. Imagine two otters having the time of their lives in a bowl of trifle. If this isn’t the best rom com of the year then I don’t know what is.’ Liz Hurley, author of The Hiverton Sisters series


Author Bio:

Evie Alexander is the author of sexy romantic comedies with a very British sense of humour. She takes a method approach to her work, believing her capacity to repeatedly fail at life and love is what has given her such a rich supply of material for her writing.

Her interests include reading, eating, saving the world, and fantasising about people who only exist between the pages of her books. She lives in the West country with her family.

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Review | Secret Identity by Alex Segura

It’s 1975 and the comic book industry is struggling, but Carmen Valdez doesn’t care. She’s an assistant at Triumph Comics, which doesn’t have the creative zeal of Marvel nor the buttoned-up efficiency of DC, but it doesn’t matter. Carmen is tantalizingly close to fulfilling her dream of writing a superhero book.

That dream is nearly a reality when one of the Triumph writers enlists her help to create a new character, which they call “The Lethal Lynx,” Triumph’s first female hero. But her colleague is acting strangely and asking to keep her involvement a secret. And then he’s found dead, with all of their scripts turned into the publisher without her name. Carmen is desperate to piece together what happened to him, to hang on to her piece of the Lynx, which turns out to be a runaway hit. But that’s complicated by a surprise visitor from her home in Miami, a tenacious cop who is piecing everything together too quickly for Carmen, and the tangled web of secrets and resentments among the passionate eccentrics who write comics for a living.

Alex Segura uses his expertise as a comics creator as well as his unabashed love of noir fiction to create a truly one-of-a-kind novel–hard-edged and bright-eyed, gritty and dangerous, and utterly absorbing.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I thought the premise of this book was really interesting, especially with the mixed media aspect of it. It took on a somewhat tumultuous time in comic history. The pacing of the writing was a little slow, but the experience was immersive to say the least. You are invested in Carmen’s overall story and the struggle she faces in the comics industry, but also the mystery. Carmen as a character was compelling and all of the components of her personality, past and more were woven really well into who she was and her actions. While it was a slow building story it was gripping and kept me going until the last page.

Happy reading!

Review | What’s Your Sign?: A Guide to Astrology for the Cosmically Curious by Sanctuary Astrology

You don’t have to be famous to dance with the stars—you just need a healthy dose of cosmic curiosity. Explore astrology and dive deep into your birth chart with Sanctuary, featuring insights from the interactive app that go way beyond your horoscope.

What’s your sign? It’s not just a pickup line anymore, it’s a whole way of looking at the world. With the explosion of astrology into popular consciousness, anyone can access the deeper meaning of the cosmos and delve into the unique and personalized insights of their birth chart. This book guides beginners and enthusiasts alike through the signs, planets, and basics of astrology, helping you understand why not every Leo is the same, and why you might be reading their horoscope wrong. Before you know it, you’ll be an expert at identifying the paths to love, money, and magic that the stars hold for you.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I feel like interest in astrology has gained a renewed interest in previous years, so something like this book – a digestible guide regarding not only the different signs and their characteristics but all of the components that go into your birth chart. It is obvious because of references within the book that the author’s have an app and suggest trying it out, but not to a point where it felt like they were pushing. This book was written in a easy to understand way and would be a great resource for anyone wanting to dip their toes into astrology and lean more.

Happy reading!

Blitz | Omniscience by Janine Frances

Omniscience
Janine Frances
Publication date: February 13th 2022
Genres: Adult, Dystopian, Thriller

A family seek refuge in the Australian outback as tyranny takes hold, but who can they trust?

The world is at war and an authoritarian government has taken control in Australia. A terrorist group known as Day One is attempting to destroy civilisation so humanity can start again.

Shareen Miller becomes caught in a bureaucratic nightmare when she’s detained by an Auto-Enforcer for not having the right travel permit on the way to a job interview. Shareen’s detention sets off a chain of events that leads to her five-year-old twins being taken by the government.

With her husband Daniel, grandmother Alma, and sister Layla, Shareen seizes her children and escapes from Sydney. On the road, she reveals a secret about her missing mother Veronica that she’s been hiding from her family for five years.

What follows is an intense journey into the harsh Australian outback where nothing is as it seems, and no one can be trusted.

As they fight for survival, Veronica’s family finally learn the truth about why she left them. The stakes couldn’t be higher as the future of humanity hangs in the balance.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“It’s obviously a mistake,” said Alma in a soothing voice. “We’ll get to the bottom of it now that you’re here. Just keep your wits about you and everything will be fine.”

“Stay here.” Shareen strode straight up to the counter. The man behind it tapped at a keyboard and stared ahead.

“I’m here for my children. There’s been a mistake and I need to get them home.” Her calm voice belied the storm inside. The man was wearing a transparent visor and she could see his eyes moving as he read something on his invisible screen. His hair was closely cropped, and his face was dominated by a large nose. He still didn’t acknowledge her.

“Excuse me,” said Shareen, knocking on the glass partition. “Can you hear me?”

He finally turned towards her with an annoyed look. “If you don’t mind, I’m familiarising myself with your case. I’ll be with you in a minute.” He would have been able to see everything about her as soon as she stepped into the room.

“There is no case to familiarise yourself with,” she said, and then clamped her lips shut. She didn’t want to antagonise him when he might be the only person who could help her. Watching his eyes flash back and forth made her dizzy but she couldn’t look away.

Finally, he glanced at her again. “I’m sorry, Mrs. Miller, but unfortunately, you won’t be able to take your children today.” His tone was perfunctory, as if he was informing her that her favourite brand of toothpaste was out of stock. “Once they’re in the system, they have to be assessed fully. This can take several days or longer based on the complexity of the case. You will be interviewed―”

“Wait a minute,” she said, leaning forward so that her forehead was pressed against the barrier. This couldn’t be happening. “My grandmother was told we don’t have permission to live at her place, but that’s not true. I have it right here on my iD. I can show you.” She lifted her wrist.

“That won’t be necessary. Even if it is a mistake, we need to follow protocol. If you’ll just be patient, you should see them again soon.”

“We don’t need to follow protocol because we’ve done nothing wrong.” She took a deep breath. “I don’t mean to be rude, but I’m not leaving without my children. Either get them now or get a manager out here.”

He sighed dramatically. “I’m afraid I can’t do that. The best thing you can do is go home and wait until we notify you. I’m sorry you were called in unnecessarily. We take child protection very seriously, and there’s no special treatment for anyone, not even you.”

Shareen slammed her palm hard against the protective barrier and the sound echoed like a rifle crack, causing the man to recoil. “Get a manager or my children out here now,” she yelled, “or I will kick in that door and find them myself.” She was so angry, she could easily have followed through on the threat.

Through the fog of her anger, she felt a gentle pressure on her arm and turned to find Alma by her side. “Calm down, darling. This will only make things worse.”

“He just told me to go home without the kids and wait for them to call. Like hell will I be leaving here without them. This is unbelievable.” She raised her hand to her forehead and closed her eyes. She was on the verge of a full-blown panic attack.

“Please, young man, there must be some way you can help us,” said Alma. “We haven’t done anything to deserve this.”

The man glared at her with narrowed eyes, but his expression softened slightly as he took in Alma’s stricken face. He glanced from one to the other. “Look,” he said in a low voice, “I shouldn’t even be telling you this, but an investigation was triggered because you have three strikes against you, Mrs. Miller. There was an incident at a train station last week, and then”—he glanced back at his screen—“a welfare breach for not attending an interview, and―”

“But―” Shareen started. He held up his hand.

“Your children’s school results are also below standard. When the investigators looked further, they found you don’t have the correct authorisation to live at your grandmother’s public housing property. Based on all these factors, the earliest you’ll realistically be able to see your kids is a couple of weeks, but it can take up to twenty-eight days, sometimes longer.”

“I told you, we got permission before we moved in. They even did an inspection while we were there. And how can the kids’ results not be up to standard? They started school less than a week ago,” sputtered Shareen.

“You applied for emergency instead of temporary residence, which is only for six weeks, and you’ve been there longer than the permit allows. Academic results are measured as soon as children start school. Poor results can signify welfare issues. If it wasn’t for the other factors, they wouldn’t have mattered much, but once you have three strikes against you, everything’s taken into consideration. Your social score―”

“No,” she said. “None of this is right. I know for a fact we got permission to live with Nan for six months, and the teacher told me the kids are doing fine. This doesn’t make any sense.”

The man just shrugged. “I’m sorry, but there’s really nothing I can do for you right now. Your only choice is to go home and wait.”

Author Bio:

Janine Frances lives in Australia with her partner David and dog Banjo.

The journey to publishing her novel Omniscience has been a long one. After doing the nine-to-five grind in Sydney for many years, with a couple of stints as a high school teacher and bank teller in the outback, she is currently relishing the freedom that comes with living in a picturesque small town and working from home.

Janine has an MA in Creative Writing. She chose to write a speculative thriller because it’s an exciting genre that asks important questions about the future.

Website / Goodreads


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Smile and Look Pretty by Amanda Pellegrino

A juicy, fun yet piercing debut novel, Smile and Look Pretty tells the story of four assistants working in media who band together to take on their toxic office environments in the ultimate comeuppance—pitched as Sweetbitter meets Whisper Network.

Online they’re The Aggressive One, The Bossy One, The Bitchy One, and The Emotional One. In real life, best friends Cate, Lauren, Olivia and Max all have one thing in common—they’re overworked, overtired, and underpaid assistants to some of the most powerful men in the media and entertainment industries. When they secretly start an anonymous blog detailing their experiences, their posts go viral and hundreds of other women come forward with stories of their own. Confronted with the risks of newfound fame and the possibility of their identities being revealed, they have to contend with what happens when you try and change the world.

Gripping, razor-sharp, and scathingly funny, Smile and Look Pretty is a fast-paced millennial rallying cry about the consequences of whistleblowing for an entire generation, and a testament to the strength of female friendship and what can be accomplished when women come together.

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Rating: 4 out of 5.

There are a lot of titles that have come out as of late concerning a lot of recent and current events and this is definitely one of the stand outs on the fictional front for me. Tackling the #metoo movement and showing the lives and work experiences of the four leads – Cate, Lauren, Olivia and Max – was really well done for the most part. There were perhaps some moments of immaturity on their parts, but it gave some authenticity to their personalities in some ways. The book itself was well written and the last section of the book was definitely the best part. I enjoyed the author tackling such a current and relevant topic and writing a great story out of it.

Amanda Pellegrino is a TV screenwriter and novelist living in New York City whose writing has appeared in Refinery29 and Bustle. Smile and Look Pretty is her debut novel.

SOCIAL LINKS | Author Website | Instagram | Twitter

Happy reading!