From That Brew That You Do releasing next year.
I realized my mouth had dropped open and that I looked like an idiot. “How did you know I could see magicals?” The languid movement of his long, blue tail was having some unexpected effects on my favorite body part. I wiggled on the seat, my jeans feeling uncomfortably tight all of a sudden.
Naël peered at me from underneath half-closed lids, that damned sensual smile still hanging from the corner of his lips. The bastard knew exactly what he was doing to me. “All magicals around here know about you, Mr. Mercer. You’re sort of a celebrity.”
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©2019 Natalina Reis All Rights Reserved
Author of We Will Always Have the Closet, Desert Jewel, and Loved You Always, Natalina wrote her first romance in collaboration with her best friend at the age of 13. Since then she has ventured into other genres, but romance is first and foremost in almost everything she writes.After earning a degree in tourism and foreign languages, she worked as a tourist guide in her native Portugal for a short time before moving to the United States. She li
ved in three continents and a few islands, and her knack for languages and linguistics led her to a master’s degree in education. She lives in Virginia where she has taught English as a Second Language to elementary school children for more years than she cares to admit.
Natalina doesn’t believe you can have too many books or too much coffee. Art and dance make her happy and she is pretty sure she could survive on lobster and bananas alone. When she is not writing or stressing over lesson plans, she shares her life with her husband and two adult sons.
Whoever came up with the old adage laughter is the best medicine was on to something in my opinion because when you laugh darkness loses some of its power. I love to laugh and, much like Chandler in the TV series Friends, I’ve used it as a shield against many things throughout my life.
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of my long history of using humor as a protection of sorts is a time when I was about eight or nine years old. I was in fourth grade at the time and living in a tiny African island in the Atlantic called Ilha do Sal (Salt Island). As the name clearly suggests, the island was known for its salt mines and, unfortunately for the inhabitants at the time, for very little else; there were hardly any trees or other vegetation, nothing really grew on the island, it rained maybe once a year if we were lucky, and the only food resources came from the ocean. Not a bad thing for me since I discovered that I, the pickiest eater in the western world, absolutely adored lobster, a food product that abounded in the island.
My dad worked for the national airline and, sort of like in the military, we moved around a lot. This time we were to spend a little over a year on this island where everyday luxuries were not quite a thing yet. For the first few months we lived in a tiny house without running water and no electricity but rich in giant flying roaches. Yes, that was quite an adventure.
My sense of humor came to my rescue when I became the target of hate in my school. There were two other white girls who hated me because I was not the daughter of a high-ranking officer in the army like they were, and I was hated by the other girls because–well, I was white. The simple act of going to school had become unbearable. I was bullied all the way to the building, during class by the most horrible teacher known to mankind, at recess, and then again on my way back home. All I wanted was to either be invisible or be seen for who I really was; just a girl who hated no one.
My dad loved a Portuguese comedian called Raul Solnado and had all his records (yes, records. I’m ancient.) which he listened to every time he had a chance. I had grown up listening to those comedy skits and had them pretty well memorized. So one day at recess–not quite sure how or why–I began retelling all the jokes I had learned from listening to this comedian. Suddenly I had them. All the girls who had hated me because of the color of my skin were now my captive audience.
Things haven’t changed much for me when it comes to using humor to protect myself and those I love. Life turned hairy some years ago and if it wasn’t for my talent to find humor in pretty much everything, I’m sure I would have lost my mind a long time ago.
My love for the funny is well reflected in almost all my books, where I balance the sad and the serious with a touch of comedy. I’m sure not everyone thinks that is an actual good thing, but I do hope never to lose the power to see the kernel of the absurd in even the direst of situations.
Syrian Brides, published on November 3rd, is a collection of eleven short stories about the lives of women in Syria. The author manages to make the reader laugh while introducing a range of serious topics, such as domestic violence and the role of women in the Syrian society.
Anna Halabi was born and raised in Aleppo, Syria. She emigrated to Europe in 1999 for her university studies. She currently lives with her family in Germany.
Syrian Brides is her debut as an author. The stories and characters in this collection were inspired by her personal experiences as well as her relatives, friends and TV Shows.
· Paperback: 136 pages
· Publisher: Independently published (November 3, 2018)
· Language: English
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I came across this book on accident and boy, am I glad I did. I got sucked in shortly after I started listening to it (I bought both the book and the audible book) and it was a roller coaster ride of epic proportions. Loved it and will be buying the second in the series as soon as possible. My only issue was that there wasn’t much romance in it. I had been under the assumption it was a romantic urban fantasy. But it’s not like I missed it too much. Loved Jade’s voice, her sister, the complicated relationships with the other magical beings, and ultimately the mystery all rolled up into a thick layer of chocolate frosting. Lovely. Excited I have found a new favorite author.
A peculiar explorer and downtrodden acrobat span the globe on a building-sized hot air balloon, in search of a precious artifact and the murderous treasure hunter who seeks it.
Beatrix, a spirited but abused acrobat in a traveling circus, seeks more than her prison-like employment offers. More than anything, she wants to know her place in the world of the halcyon 19th century, a time when the last dark corners of the map were being sketched out and travel still possessed a kind of magic.
One night in Switzerland, the mysterious Colonel James Bacchus attends Beatrix’s show. This larger-than-life English gentleman, reputed to have a voracious appetite for female conquests, is most notable for traveling the world in a four-story hot air balloon called The Ox.
Beatrix flees that night to join the Colonel, and the two of them make a narrow escape—Beatrix from her abusive ringleader, the Colonel from a freshly-made cuckold. Beatrix, feeling the Colonel may have the answers to her problems, pledges to help him catch the criminal he seeks in exchange for passage on his magnificent balloon.
The criminal seeks a precious figurine, The Blue Star Sphinx, but he’s not alone. The Sphinx’s immense value has also drawn the attention of the world’s most deadly treasure hunters. A murder in Antwerp begins a path of mystery that leads all the way to the most isolated island on Earth.
What dangers await the Colonel and the acrobat?
Patrick Canning was born in Wisconsin, grew up in Illinois, now live in California with his dog HANK, practicing the alchemy of writing: coffee turns into words, words turn into money, money turns back into coffee. Repeat until dead.
Patrick spends as much time as possible turning coffee into collections of words that look like books, shorts, and screenplays. Most of his stories attempt to look for the meaning of life in an adventurous way, and often employ humor, important since the search usually doesn’t turn up much. He is scared to use semi colons and rarely puts his seat back on airplanes.
I was offered an ARC from the author with no expectations of a review, but I had to write a review for this one. I finished last night (I was up very late because I couldn’t put it down) and Samatha Harris did not disappoint me.
Whole Lotta Frogs is funny, sweet, and hot without going overboard with sex. The characters are flawed but very likable . By the end I felt I knew Len and Ellis as well or better than some of my own friends.
Harris’ use of blog posts in between chapters is brilliant. The blogs were believable and fun to read while giving Len (the FMC) and the plot more depth.
I’ve been known to collect quotes from books I liked and I collected quite a few from this one. “…but you love me, Lennox. The only one who doesn’t believe it is you.” and “Wishes are like prayers fueled by hope and desire.” are just a couple of them.
Those of you who have followed me for a while know I love funny and this romance didn’t let me down–it had me laughing through the pages up to the very end.
Five enthusiastic stars for A Whole Lotta Frogs!!
I stepped into an enormous bowl made of trampolines. Bright neon-green padding ran in a grid-like pattern across the entire arena, separating each trampoline into its own little rectangle. The springy black fabric covered every available surface, including the walls.
I stepped down into the closest square, giving it a test bounce, and smiled. It doesn’t matter how old you get. It’s impossible not to smile when bouncing on a trampoline.
We had the entire bowl to ourselves. I could still hear the music and the screaming, but it sounded distant and not nearly as deafening.
Ellis bounced back and forth from square to square, the squeaking of the springs mixed with my own tentative steps.
“Is this part of your plan?” I asked.
Ellis stopped jumping and rested his hands on his hips to catch his breath. “I could’ve gone with the cliché dinner and movie, but I figured you could use a little bit of fun.”
I laughed. “You’re right. I could use some fun. I’ve been a little stressed since this guy from my past came back into my life and won’t leave me alone.”
Ellis shrugged. “Maybe he likes you.”
I laughed and jumped to another square. “He thinks he does.”
“Trust me, Len. He knows.”
“Okay, so what’s next? Or was your grand plan to make me work out against my will.”
Ellis held up one finger and disappeared through the curtain of netting, only to reappear with a bag of bright red balls.
“What is that?”
“I was thinking about what you said about me torturing you when we were younger. I was a punk kid trying to get the attention of the girl he liked, but I get how it may not have felt that way to you.” He dropped the bag at my feet and turned it upside down, emptying six rubber balls at my feet. “This is your chance to get me back.”
Ellis made his way to the other side of the bowl and opened his arms. “Let me have it, Len. All I ask is that you don’t aim for the face.”
“You want me to hit you?”
“If you’re ever going to give us a chance, you need to let go of the past, and if this is what it takes to get you to forgive me then so be it. I’m willing to take the hit.”
I picked up a ball, testing the weight in my hands and eyeing him as he stood, arms wide open, feet spread apart, muscles tense and prepared for impact.
I wanted to hit him. I really did. But I am an adult, and adults don’t solve problems by hurling rubber projectiles.
“I can’t,” I said. “This is childish.”
“You scared?” he asked that trademark smirk of his spread wide across his face.
“I’m not scared. This is stupid.”
“I agree, but continuing to punish me for the mistakes I made as a kid is also pretty stupid.”
Anger welled inside of me and I drew back, hurling the ball as hard as I could toward his chest. The ball hit its target with a loud thud and bounced away.
Victory swelled inside my chest.
“See?” Ellis said. “Feeling a little vindicated, aren’t you?”
“Shut up,” I said, hurling the next ball toward him.
Yesterday I had my second signing at a Barnes & Noble here in Northern Virginia. I have been trying to get them to let me have one at a local branch but the district manager won’t return my emails. A writer friend was able to get three other branches in the area to hold multi-authors signings and I managed to snag two of those.
The first one was kind of a sleepy event. Not many people visiting the gigantic store but somehow we all managed to sell books and interact with many people. The second one was held in a wealthier part of Northern Virginia and the place was teeming with humans. The four of us got pretty excited. If we had a good turnout in a sleepy branch, here we should make a killing, so to speak.
Here’s how it really went:
Moral of the story: don’t judge an event by how posh the neighborhood is. Buying power and romance doesn’t always jive, apparently.