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Blog Tour Excerpt & Interview for Ifechidere by Chinedu Enechi




About the Book

Title: Ifechidere
Author: Chinedu Enechi
Genre: Coming of Age
The loss of both her parents, even before she is old enough to speak, appears to pre-determine Ifechidere's life. She is made to toil from dusk to dawn.

Yet, Ifechidere is no modern-day Cinderella, as she finds that faith in the will to survive, which is stronger than any absentee fairy godmother, will propel her to find herself. And it'll lead her to the thing that was always meant to be …

Goodreads


Purchase the book on Amazon: United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Japan, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Australia and India.

The book is also also available on Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble (Nook), Okadabooks and major online stores in Kindle, EPUB and iBook formats. Okadabooks is for buyers in the African market.




The mourners wept even harder, when they looked at Obande's children. Afoma, who was 15, had been the apple of her father's eye. She was responsible, industrious and humane. Even during the times her mother maltreated Ifechi, Afoma got into trouble because she would always console Ifechi. Shortly after Ifechidere’s disappearance, Afoma had decided that she would become a lawyer in future, so that she would be able to fight more effectively for the less privileged. She also promised herself that she would look for Sister Ifechi and live with her.

Onukwube was now nearly 13; he was a different story. He was wild, rebellious and flagrantly irresponsible. Egged on by his mother’s pampering, he saw no reason to be any other way. Ogolo never allowed him to do chores in or around the house. She called him Onochie, insisting that males, especially those who were Onochie, were not supposed to any work. The house chores were therefore passed on to Afoma, as Ifechidere wasn't there to do them. If Afoma was not around to do the work, their mother would do them.

Yet, Onukwube seemed to have a soft spot was his sister. It was either that, or he just loved any excuse to get into a fight. One day, their mother tried to punish Afoma because she dared to ask him to wash some plates. But he stood between his mother and sister, absolutely refusing to move and daring Ogolo to touch Afoma. On another day, Afoma returned from school, with her clothes in tatters. Onukwube was the only one at home. In tears, she said that a boy in her class, named Okenna, had fought with her. Onukwube went and sought out Okenna. Though Onukwube didn’t win the ensuing fight, he gave his opponent an unforgettable mark. He hit Okenna on the head with a stick, even after Okenna felled him to the ground. This was before passers-by separated them. They reprimanded Okenna, asking him why he chose to fight with the mad boy that everyone knew as Onukwube.

There was one incident that stood out in many people's memories. It happened one morning, when Afoma had gone to fetch firewood and her mother had gone to fetch water. Obande woke up and called Onukwube to sweep the compound, when he noticed that Afoma and Ogolo were not at home. Onukwube refused to do the sweeping and Obande beat him. When Ogolo returned and met her son crying, she picked a fight with her husband. They created such a ruckus that villagers assembled to pacify husband and wife. Ogolo was insistent that her husband was trying to kill her only son. She claimed that Onukwube was the reincarnation of her late father; instead of respecting him, Obande wanted to send him into a second exile. Thee villagers sighed because they knew even before she said anything, what Ogolo would say. Onukwube usually had his mother as a shield. He was her favourite. Whenever she was not in school teaching, Ogolo could be seen fighting one teacher or the other, for disciplining her son. There was no limit to the lengths she would go, to protect her son. Even his school-mates were not spared; Ogolo had physically engaged with children who quarrelled or fought with Onukwube. It was no wonder he had no friends.

Onukwube was known as one of the villains of Nimbo community. Petty stealing was not beyond or beneath him. Whenever Onukwube entered any compound, something was bound to go missing. His infamy even extended to neighbouring villages of Uzo-Uwani; everyone called him a bad son and parents warned their children to avoid him. On one occasion when yet another case involving Onukwube had to be heard by the Igwe and his cabinet, Obande and Ogolo were summoned. But Ogolo was more defiant than usual, that day. She told the Igwe, in the hearing of all present, that he and his cabinet were envious of Onukwube; that was the only reason they often accused her precious son of stealing and other social vices. She then said that the Igwe was 'an enemy of progress' and that was why he didn’t have a son. It was because of the hardness of his heart and the atrocities he had committed, that the gods had punished him by withholding a son who would carry on his name, from him. That was why no matter how hard he tried, he had ended up fathering eight daughters.



IFECHIDERE is available in all Amazon markets on Kindle. It is also available as an EPUB and iBook on Smashwords, Overdrive.com, Kobo, Apple, Okadabooks.com and major online stores.



Author Bio

Chinedu Enechi is a Philosophy graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and an MA student of Political and Social Philosophy at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. His hobbies include cooking, reading, watching movies and hanging out with friends.

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Tell us a little about yourself?
I am honest, determine, ambitious and kind.
How did you realized you wanted to write?­­
I like telling stories; I started with folktales.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Hmm… I can’t say one particular book but some of the books that have an impact on me are Chinua Achebe’s Chike and River, and Things Fall Apart.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything?
No, absolutely no.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes, meeting the expectations of my readers/audience.
What projects are you working on at the present?
I am writing something on domestic violence in marriages and relationships that I hope will be adapted for the screen.
What book are you reading now (or the last book you read)?
“The Kingmaker” by Brain Haig and “The go-giver” by Bob Burg and John D. Mann.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
It would be Ifechidere. I would ask more questions about the Osu caste system.
One of your hobbies is cooking, is there a particular dish/recipe you’d like to share?
There is a native delicacy from my place ofe akwu (palm fruit stew). It's made with the liquid squeezed out of palm nuts.
Favorite food?
White rice with ofe akwu.
Favorite movies? Black American movies or action movies.
Last song you listened to? John Legend's “Tonight best you ever had”.
Dragon or Unicorns?
Dragons.
Superpower of choice?
The power to influence.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Try to learn the positive from any positive book you read.
Are there misconceptions that people have about your book? If so, explain.
None that I've been made aware of
What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about your subject/genre, that isn’t so?
That all African literature is the same.
What is the most important thing that people DON’T know about your subject/genre that they need to know?
All African literature isn't the same; there are so many aspects and different sub-genres.
What inspires you?
My family and my experiences. Ifechidere is actually based on my mother's life story!
How is the best way for readers to connect with you and learn more about your books?
They can get in touch with me through my publisher, The Fearless Storyteller House Emporium Ltd – info@chiomannani.com I am also on Facebook (Chinedu Enechi) and Twitter @chineduenechi


What did ya'll think of the excerpt? Any more questions for Enechi today?


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Broke Home Reviews: New Thermometer & Facial Scrubbers

Brooke Banks | 12:00 AM | | Please comment!



Best Quality Oral Digital Thermometer 

For Infants, Kid & Adults - 30 Seconds Read & Monitor Fever Temperature for Fast & Accurate Measurement, Water Proof, and Flexible by RnS Star

Regular Price: $12.99 + Prime Eligible One Day Shipping




I've always used those cheap metal thermometers, thinking there wasn't a big different and it wouldn't matter.

I couldn't be more wrong.

While my daughter had the cough & sniffles a couple of weeks ago, I ordered this one at her urging. I was skeptical but willing to try, especially with Prime's free returns.

She literally ripped the package from my hands and immediately tested her temperature. And kept testing it on her own volition for a week until she was better.

If I had known it'd be this easy, I would've bought this LONG ago. It's hard as a struggling parent when to splurge on the better items and when the cheapest works just as well.

Do the generic straight metal thermometers work? Of course and if you've only got a couple bucks, that's what you get. But it's not as pleasant and my daughter is a cranky monster when she's sick. She'll use all her energy to fight me because she "doesn't want to". She just wants it to go away and feel better. But life doesn't work like that and anything to help me from losing my mind and get her back to normal self is a win in my book.

  • +Soft, comfortable
  • +Quick & Easy
  • +Reliable
  • +Totally worth $13 bucks.


Me and Brian tested it out too and found out our baseline temperatures. No wonder the dude is always cold, he runs hotter than me and Laylah.


Bonus: Is it just me or is thermometer a pain in the ass to spell? Since I pronounce it with a d-sound, I have to say "therm-o-meter" every single time or I'll sit there like a dumb ass wonder HTF it's spelled. Spell check did not save me when I tried it with a D.


2 Pcs Silicone Facial Scrubber Cleansing Pad Deep Pore Cleaning Brush 


Massage,Blackheads Removing, Exfoliating
by AOMUU

Regular Price: $21.99
On Sale Now: $10.99
Prime Eligible


I am always on the lookout for new facial products to try. I'm almost 27 and I'm still struggling with acne problems. My nose is giant whitehead, my chin's a blackhead, my checks and forehead are acne-scar riddled and ripe to sprout new ones when my body decides it really hates my face and my back's a minefield. Oh, and my pores are HUGE. I'd post a picture but nobody wants to see that. Thanks a lot, Mom.

I have found some success and my routine has greatly improved all the above problems. But they're still there. Hence, my continued hunt. At this point, I've given up looking for my holy grail and just want something that produces some results.

So when I saw these, I signed up to review lickety split. I've seen the small round ones around Walmart but they didn't look impressive or worth the money. Plus, I have a microdermabrasion kit, why would I need these?

Why I Love These Massage Pads as Much as My Microdermabrasion Brush


+Convenient. They're always right there and I don't have to worry about a timer or charge running out. Or replacing pads.

+Suction cups worked perfectly for me.I've been able to put it everywhere at a drop of a hat with no problems. That's easier than having to buy a holder, mount it, and only have it in one place.

+Gets in hard to reach places around my nose without having to bend my nose and use both hands.

+Covers a larger area

+I don't have to worry about going too fast and messing it up. The microdermabrasion sometimes feels like it takes forever because you can't push down, you have to glide and make sure it has time to do its job.

While it says for best results to use a cleanser, I've loved using these dry. I keep one at my desk so when I need I can just massage my face. It felt weird the first time I used it with cleaner and water. But dry? That feels so fucking relaxing!

Plus, I use it a lot more sitting at my desk because it's so easy, quick, convenient, and feels great. More Usage = Better Results.

I have tooth and jaw pain (thanks again, Mom.) and using my microdermabrasion hurts when I have these problems because of the vibrations. The pads don't, they actually HELP. That's a reason to love them all on its own.

It's not a miracle product, and if you're looking for that you're going to be disappointed, but I've seen improvements in a couple of days and it won't be a struggle to make using it a habit.

Recommendation: Get it while it's on sale and you won't regret it. $21 bucks is a lot of money for a cheapskate below-poverty-line person like me so it's hard to say "Go buy it now!" at that price. But $11 bucks? Hell yeah!




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Babblin' Brooke: Wish I'd Thought of That + International Inspiration Month

Brooke Banks | 12:00 AM | | | Please comment!


"Damn, wish I'd thought of that" is apparently a very common thought. There's even a conference based on that phrase. While it's usually home tips and crafting that I see (and I have plenty of those myself!), I want to highlight some of the amazing, creative, awesome content specific to book bloggers and reviewing.

Did you know January is also International Inspiration Month? What better way to showcase members of this community that are hard at work that's often free, thankless, and draining that inspire me in many different ways, but most importantly, to be a better person.

TBR Jars:


I spent hours and I can't find a definitive answer to who started it. The oldest post I found was this video, which links to a blog post that is now disappeared. But that's what The Wayback Machine is for. I found a copy of the page here, where it says she first heard it from a pen pal when she was 12-13.


I just found out about it through Paige on Twitter with this tweet:



Apparently, I'm VERY late on the uptake. Which makes it perfect for this list!



Book Blogger Icons by Parajunkee



Here's a big preview but if you read my reviews you'll find them there too :D

I LOVE using these, it makes classifying books much easier, prettier, and I use the tag urls to turn them into buttons for browsing other reviews with that label.

Another Parajunkee slam dunk: Book Blogger Planner.

Seriously, is there nothing the woman can't do right?!?!



Bookish Crafts



Okay, so again I have no idea who started it but I love the idea of book inspired candles and pins and shirts and omg, there's so much stuff! I really wish I had more money to give back to the community in this way.

NovelHeartbeat makes candles and dragons but there's no dragon listed and I want one :*(

From a previous listing: Look at this little guy!
Amanda @ Garden Dreams Decor makes lovely book inspired metal flowers.
I have three adorning my shelf right now:


I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Marina aka Bookphile, who's mainly on tumbler kicking ass and has a Redbubble shop of bookish dragon designs.


Online Book Tours:


Again, no idea who started it but there's tons of them now and I'm signed up with several as evidenced in my sidebar. They make a whole hell of things easier. Plus, I seem to do well with deadlines. Trying to force myself with arbitrary dates for my reviews that I make up don't seem to work. (I'm a terrible person.) There's no way I'd make my own right now but I always thought it'd be cool shit to work for one. (But I'm a terrible person, see last sentence.)

Special shout out to Rich in Variety, who's a new comer but desperately needed and appreciated. Sign the fuck up now!


#DiverseBookBloggers


Naz @ Read Diverse Books is fucking amazing. I could make a whole list of his shit that I'm thankful for. His latest is the Read Diverse 2017 Reading Challenge.

I have found so many people and books through this tag and browsing through the stream always makes me happy.


The Resistance.


I've talked a bit about the diverse books movement but I want to spotlight another aspect of the literary community doing work I can't even imagine coming up with:

Celeste P. @ The Reading Nook Reviews is a fabulous source for protesting and making your voice heard against all the terrible political bullshit going down. She's also co-creator of @Roadto18 to "help Dems hold and flip seats in 2018, so we can win back both the House and the Senate. Rise Up!"

I am impressed, humbled and honored to be apart of such a community that fights back and supports marginalized people and communities on and off paper. It's glorious and hard work and can be heart-breaking, triggering, with terrible harassers and assholes. And yet they keep going. I've done thing any where near this level, and I hope I'll at least be a useful support because it means so much to me I'm about to cry from just thinking about it all.

Okay, no more heavy stuff today. I don't think I can handle more.


Clever Blog Names







The Everything: Content, Aesthetics, Graphics, Layout, Style, & Grace









You know what's one thing I've never wished I thought of? Story ideas. That sounds really odd given *gestures around vigorously* but I'm a terrible writer. Why would I want such wonderful stories to languish in my dreams and suffer under my pen?

This is obviously not an exhaustive this, though it was exhausting putting all of it together. If you haven't seen or heard of these people, please check them out and support their stupendous work. I hope to at least shine my light on this little platform for the people who deserve it.


What are some things you wished you thought of and people that inspire you?

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Book Blast Freebie: Hidden Realms, 10 Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy Books

Brooke Banks | 10:43 AM | | | Please comment!


Title: Hidden Realms 
Subtitle: A Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Bundle 
Authors: Dean Murray, Skye Malone, Sarra Cannon, Christie Rich, Heather Hildenbrand, Stormy Smith, Desni Dantone, Melissa Wright, Sara C. Roethle, Nancy Straight  
Genre: Young adult paranormal romance 
Publication Date: October 2, 2016 
Publisher: Fir’Shan Publishing 
Cover Artist: Christie Rich 

  
Strong, independent heroines join together with mysterious, dangerous heroes in explosive conflicts that are as much external as they are internal.

Hidden Realms has all of this along with mermaids, shape shifters, demigods, fae, demons and half-breeds with even darker inheritances. There's love, both forbidden and true, and there's all the sacrifice it takes to keep it. Regardless of what your preferred flavor of paranormal romance or urban fantasy actually is, there is something in this collection of 10 novels that will knock your socks off.

Hidden Realms contains multiple books that are otherwise only available for $2.99 or more, and it's available for FREE—but only for a limited time! 


Torn by Dean Murray 

Shape shifter Alec Graves has spent nearly a decade trying to keep his family from being drawn into open warfare with a larger pack. The new girl at school she seems to know things she shouldn't about his shadowy world, and the more he gets to know her, the more mysterious she becomes.

Is she an unfortunate victim or bait designed to draw him into a fatal misstep?



Awaken by Skye Malone 

Chloe had never been to the ocean, and now one simple vacation has altered her life forever. Her body is changing in bizarre ways, a mysterious boy is following her, and she's become the target of killers too. Ancient and deadly secrets surround her and it's going to take everything she has to discover the truth.



Beautiful Demons by Sarra Cannon

Harper moves to Peachville hoping for a fresh start, but when evidence ties her to the gruesome murder of a Demons cheerleader, she discovers this small town has a big secret.



Five by Christie Rich

Rayla Tate dreams of escaping her ordinary world for a bright future in the art world. Throw in an overbearing aunt who is keeping major secrets, a disgruntled best friend tagging along to college, and a bunch of fae warriors waiting in the wings to claim her the minute she leaves her sleepy little town, and Rayla’s dreams are about to shatter.



Bitterroot by Heather Hildenbrand 

Charlie and Regan Vuk have secretly always wanted a sister. Now, they finally found each other, only to be forced into a head to head contest for pack alpha. A competition that threatens to destroy their new bond and 1 sister’s chance for true love. Bitterroot is a 3-part Young Adult Paranormal novella series with a dose of sibling rivalry... Who will you root for?



Bound by Duty by Stormy Smith 

Amelia Bradbury is the last living Elder. She has power she can’t control, a prophecy dictating her fate, a betrothal she can’t stop and a heart lost to a human.



Ignited by Desni Dantone 

When evil forces come for Kris Young, she is forced to go on the run with the young man she has long considered her guardian angel. As they search for the truth behind her role in the long-running battle between good and evil, they discover that nothing is as it seems, and nothing, least of all their hearts, are safe.



King of Ash and Bone by Melissa Wright 

When monsters break through the veil between worlds, Mackenzie Scott devises a plan to stop them, whatever the cost. She finds an injured stranger who just might hold the key, but he's not the helpless boy he appears to be. He's one of them, and he's got plans of his own.



Xoe by Sara C. Roethle 

Xoe never thought she’d be the type of girl to contemplate murder. Of course, she never thought she’d be dealing with werewolves on top of her own strange, budding powers. Everything comes crashing down at once when her best friend’s life is put in peril, and Xoe will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it involves trusting a tall, handsome vampire with an infuriating attitude.



Meeting Destiny by Nancy Straight 

Lauren is visited in her dreams for years by a stranger claiming to be her destiny. Destiny becomes reality when paths cross during a failed robbery attempt.



Let this Friday the 13th be your LUCKY day! Download the box set now to get TEN free ebooks!

*Hidden Realms is free for a limited time, and was free at the time of this posting*




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Review, Excerpt & Giveaway for Calling the Reaper: First Book of Purgatory by Jason Pere






CALLING THE REAPER

by Jason Pere
BLURB:
The time of the Unity has ended. Now, the realm of man is stranded between Paradise and Purgatory. The Valkyrie and Reaper battle over the fate of all who pass from the land of the living and into the afterlife.

Eight mortal spirits from vastly different worlds tread the same, inevitable path toward their last, crucial decision. Within them all exists the defining conflict every man must face—to look upon the end of their life with glory and honor, or to give credence to their baser longings, calling the Reaper to their own demise.

In this rich, harrowing tale of pride, deceit, honor, vengeance, and redemption, each individual must battle their inner turmoil, facing the sacrifices they have made before their unavoidable end in the land of the living.

But their last day in life is also their first day of death amidst the terrors of the underworld. Lord Master Death wants them all…and the real battle has only just begun.


Calling the Reaper is on sale for $0.99 during the tour, get a copy here!




Aristo reached far within and blocked all the pain shooting through his being. I am Praetorian, my flesh does my bidding. Again, he commanded his eyes to open. When he finally managed to force them open, the agony consuming his head must have felt very much like staring straight into the blazes of the sun. He felt the tearing of skin as his world instantly turned from the darkest black to a moment of brightest white. His eyes watered heavily and he blinked, trying to clear away at least some of the dried blood which had sealed his eyes shut. For several moments, everything was a blur, but then he could distinguish colors and shapes again.

He nearly wished that he had in fact been blinded; he would have at least been spared the image before him. Aristo had been wounded in battle before, but never like this. His body lay covered in a blanket of dried crimson. No one would have known that he bore the deep purple uniform of the Praetorian Legion had they even bothered to look at him. It was confounding that he had bled so profusely and could still draw breath, still feel the beat of his heart within his chest. A moment of warrior’s pride overtook him when he studied his twisted form and realized the excruciating pain was not unwarranted. Then he remembered.

Captured, he thought. I’ve been captured.



Trigger Warning IconAdult IconFantasy Icon Others IconCliffhanger IconDark Icon

Beware: Colonizer perspectives calling natives barbarians and locals.

Basically: Decent, entertaining read though I was really confused. It sets up the world slowly to keep you guessing and the ending has me very excited to continue the series.

Calling the Reaper opens with a pirate tale and I’ll admit I was initialing confused. I had no idea why I was reading about that given the blurb. Soon enough I went “ohhhhh” in realization.

After my initial confusion and the second story, I sped along enjoying the ride. Though I have my favorites like The Kiss and Sacrifice, each is a solid mini-story. Of the eight stories, two are about women and most are non-Western in setting.

There are stories from colonizers calling locals barbarians and savages though. While one story is set from inside such a society and shows how the invading forces is wrong in such assumptions, it doesn’t negate the harm of perpetuating colonial rhetoric.

Calling the Reaper follows eight separate stories of various people throughout the world and each story is split into three parts: backstory, set-up, and death. After each story is a glimpse at the larger picture, the players behind the chess pieces, with letters and excerpts from various texts. Which is very well done.

Again, at first, I was confused at how it all came together. It’s not until the very end when the pieces drop into place to reveal the big picture. Now THAT has me excited to continue. Too bad I can’t talk about it without spoiling it :/

Recommended for: fans of dark, bloody fantasy with a bunch of different POVs.



About the Author:


Jason Pere is a born-and-raised New Englander. He always had a passion for the arts and creative storytelling. At the age of thirteen, Jason took up the craft of acting for film and theater. He pursued that interest for over a decade until refocusing his medium of expression into writing.

At first, Jason took a causal interest in writing, starting with poetry and journaling. Over time, he honed his direction and finally began writing larger works. In November of 2012, Jason self-published his first book, Modern Knighthood: Diary of a Warrior Poet.

Since then, Jason has continued writing on his own, mostly short stories and poetry. Calling the Reaper was his first experience committing to a full-length Fiction title.

In early 2015, Jason became affiliated with Collaborative Writing Challenge (CWC). Since then, he has joined many other writers on numerous collaborative projects. Jason is a regular contributor to CWC and is scheduled to have multiple pieces of his work appear in their publications throughout 2016.

You can find out more about Jason Pere’s involvement and publications in collaborative fiction at: http://www.collaborativewritingchallenge.com

To connect with Jason, check him out at: http://www.facebook.com/jason.pere.7

Jason also writes fanfiction for Team Covenant on their Blog of the Pheonixborn, dedicated to the new game by Plaid Hat Games, ‘Ashes’. Go to http://teamcovenant.com/ashesonline/ to read Jason’s flash fiction work.

Goodreads




One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway





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Tour Excerpt & Giveaway For Now & Forever by Simi K. Rao

Brooke Banks | 12:00 AM | | | | 1 Comments
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zhszdJ4YEck/WCX4-sACIeI/AAAAAAAALkI/GRAaoG0c-7E9zFqczEjpaiEj_rECF5EsQCPcB/s640/Banner%2B-%2BNow%2Band%2BForever.jpg
On tour with Prism Book Tours


Now and Forever (Inconvenient Relations Book 2)

Now and Forever

by Simi K Rao
Adult Romance
Paperback & ebook, 216 pages
October 10th 2016


Can Shaan and Ruhi face their biggest fears and unite together?
Shaan and Ruhi Ahuja, very much in love Indian newlyweds, discover each other in Simi K. Rao’s Now and Forever—the sassy and sexy sequel to Inconvenient Relations. After getting the scare of their lives while traveling in the Grand Canyon, Shaan and Ruhi go back home to one dilemma after another. Shaan’s job is in jeopardy, and one of Ruhi’s closest friends, Sunshine, needs her. How will Shaan and Ruhi handle life’s hurdles, while still trying to get to know each other as husband and wife? Will they be able to forsake all others and consolidate their relationship?





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Shaan saw his wife cast a suspicious glance at him before climbing in. For once I have her in the palm of my hand! he thought. Then he instructed her in a gruff manner while trying to keep from breaking into a smile, “Move over…”

“Shaan…” She looked terrified as she slid back on the seat. “I know I’ve annoyed you today, but I really don’t think I need to be chastised for it.”

Sliding in after her, he crowded her into the farthest corner. The vehicle had transformed into an oven. “You don’t?” he asked softly.

“No.” She bravely shook her head. “First and foremost, I’m your wife and that calls for some respect.”

He furrowed his brow as if trying hard to recall. “Really? Hmm… I forget. Remind me.”

“Don’t you remember taking the saat pheres with me, when we pledged to be partners for life?”

“Nope!” He shook his head.

“And this mangal sutra that you tied around my neck…” She held it up. “…and the sindoor?”

“That is just a fancy necklace and if I recall correctly, you took it off, which negates the entire deal…and as far as the red powder is concerned,” he said, glancing at her forehead. “I haven’t seen any trace of it for the longest time. Therefore, as far as I can tell, we aren’t really married at all,” he concluded with a crafty grin.

She began to shiver despite the heat, her eyes suddenly wild with panic. “Alright. So by some weird twist of fate, we took part in all the rituals but ended up single. Still, despite that, can’t I appeal to your human side? All the things that I’ve done for you so far should count towards something!”

“Such as?” he inquired.

She brightened up a little. “Such as all the cooking and cleaning?”

Shaan felt his heart soften of its own accord and had to remind himself of his original intent. “I thought that was partial payment towards the two months’ rent you owe me. Anything else?” he asked brusquely.

“I can’t think of anything.” She conceded with a delicate shrug of her shoulders.

“Gave up so quickly?” He moved closer, causing her to shrink back. “What about how you turned my whole life upside down? That should account for something, too, shouldn’t it?”

“What?” She appeared taken aback.

He perused her keenly, as she focused her huge eyes on him. She looked a mess; her hair like tumbleweed after having been whipped around mercilessly by the desert wind. Her face grimy with streaks of black running down her cheeks and bare; stripped of any hint of makeup. Her lips, swollen and bruised from all the anxious chewing. Even her earlobes were barren of any adornment. Yet, she was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. He let out an inward groan. She’ll kill me one day, but I’ll die a happy man.

He sighed. “You showed me that living alone was really not so much fun after all. You made me chase behind you across the world just because I wanted to see you again. You took my heart and wrung it so hard all emotions came pouring out.”

“I…didn’t.”

“Yes, you did Ruhi! You took me to the edge of the precipice and then stood there laughing, waiting for the moment I’d stumble and fall screaming into the abyss. And you do it to me relentlessly every single day without a break…and for all that, you deserve the worst you can get!”




Tour Schedule

January 8: Launch
January 6: Mythical Books
January 8: The Broke Book Bank
January 10: Book Lover in Florida
January 11: Grand Finale


Simi K. Rao


Simi K. Rao was born and grew up in India before relocating to the U.S., where she has lived for several years.
The inspiration for her books, and other projects, comes from her own experience with cross-cultural traditions, lifestyles and familial relationships, as well as stories and anecdotes collected from friends, family and acquaintances.
Rao enjoys exploring the dynamics of contemporary American culture blended with Indian customs and heritage to reflect the challenges and opportunities many Indian-American women face in real life.
Much of Rao's down time is devoted to creative pursuits, including writing fiction, poetry and photography. She is an avid traveler and has visited many locations around the world.
A practicing physician, Rao lives in Denver with her family.
WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitter






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$100 Stash Cash Giveaway from Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews Ends 1/21/2017

Brooke Banks | 12:00 AM | 2 Comments
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Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews would like to thank all of our amazing readers. Without you, these awesome giveaways wouldn't be possible.  We are sponsoring this giveaway to show our appreciation for the way you have treated  us since the beginning. This has been an awesome adventure! 

Here's to an amazing 2017!!


Now for the fun stuff. This giveaway is open to WW. There are daily bonus entries so please check back tomorrow. Share it with your family and friends, they'll want to enter to win too!!

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2017 Challenge Sign Ups Dump: Because Why The Fuck Not?

Brooke Banks | 4:11 PM | | | 12 Comments

http://www.girlxoxo.com/the-master-list-of-2017-reading-challenges/


Blogging:



I'm shooting for one a month, which puts me in Level 2: Creative Conversationalist. I've never posted a discussion post and I think it's important to do so. I certainly have plenty of ideas written down, time to make it happen!




Reading:



This lines up with my already made goal, so why not? Shooting for 51+ books



Again, aligns with goals I already made for myself. The hardest part will be remembering to check back and link up XD


Because there are tons of diverse stories in other formats than novels that I NEED to get to, so here it goes! I'm going to go slow with the first level, Modern Age: 12 books.



Reviewing:



Since I want to review every book I read and my GR goal is 200, plus my desire to expand into non-book reviews, I'm shooting for 210 reviews. o.O Holy shit, pray for me.



Because I already have the goal of getting my Netgalley % up and catching up on past due review copies so why not? Starting at Level 1 Bronze: 10 books, because that's around my catch up number right now.








The Mother Lode:



Reading:

  • Get my Netgalley percentage up to 80%
  • Read 50 books that I already own
  • Read all blog tour books 2 weeks before post date


Blogging Goals:

  • Fix tags on blog
  • Redo your layout or update your design
  • Update Pages on your blog
  • Respond to comments as they come in
  • Create a Blog/Review Schedule (e.g. using a spreadsheet)
  • Stay ahead of the reviews 




The Pièce de Résistance



I WANT TO BE THE VERY BEST! Okay, if not the Diverse Blogger of the Year than 30 points for sure. I already have stuff to link now and am making plans *rubs hands together**evil laugh*


To help me keep track, make it easy to find, and stay accountable, I found this great make your own tracker. I'll be adding one for each challenge along with the button to my sidebar.

Here's the one I made for the Discussion Post Challenge! I put 1 in just to see how it would look, not trying to cheat :D

1 ~ 12 (8.33%)
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Ok, Seriously Here Are My Own 2017 Goals

Brooke Banks | 10:13 PM | | Please comment!
2017 Goals


  • Do More Beta or Sensitivity Reading
    • I’ll be creating a page called “Services” when I’m ready to announce it and set up some guidelines. And keeping an eye out on Twitter in the meantime. I won’t be charging right now for a multitude of reasons. However, there’s some 2016 clean up still necessary before I take that step forward.
    • Rough ETA: March for official search launch
  • Complete 2017 Reading/Reviewing/Blogging Challenges
    • The specific ones will come in a separate sign up post
    • ETA: Ongoing; End of the Year for completion
  • Blog the whole year long
    • Thankfully, housing and employment have remained stable and should for the foreseeable future with a strong cushion in case it doesn’t. But my mental and physical issues are lifelong conditions that make this a goal I need to commit to. It’s just not as simple for me.
  • Review Books Within 1 Week of Completion
    • At this moment, I still have 7 reviews from 2016 to finish. I’d love to say they’re all from December but alas, it’s mostly ARC August readathons and such that have piled up. I DON’T want this problem next year. So, I’ll be striving to finish and post a review (at least on GR) for each book read in 1 week unless there’s a specified date for an event, release, tour, etc.
  • Don’t Fall Behind on ARCs & Review Copies
    • Request Less, Plan More & Do It Quicker. Basically, the same as the sub-bullet above.
  • Complete at least 1 Blogging Master List Item Per Month
    • Things tend to pile up and get neglected, which just makes it all worse. There’s so many damn things to do! I might come up with a schedule later but for now, doing any damn thing around here would be a win.
  • Comment More & Consistently
    • And I don’t mean just reciprocating those who comment here. I’ve started commenting well these last couple of months but it’s been hit or miss for making it a routine or habit. Thus, this goal.
    • To Start: 14 comments per week. Hopefully I can find a way and time that works best for me to hop around and ramp that up as the year progresses.
  • Make My Own Design to Re-Do My Blog
    • This coincides with personal plans I’ve made for myself and I love the idea of hand making a new look to match.
    • ETA: TBD, depends on other shit.
  • Review More Non-Bookish Stuff
    • I have two things to review soonish, but I want to make it a consistent, focused thing. 
  • Post Updates on How I'm Doing Throughout the Year
    • Kinda like the monthly hauls and recaps people do, but not because that just sounds daunting and not fun. I'm a make it something that works for me. Or not, but I'll at least try. 


January is going to be Finish Cleaning Up Month since working the holidays screwed all my plans up. So quickly this month I’ll be:

  • Finishing and posting all reviews from books read in 2016. I’ve done a couple already and whittled it down to 7. I’ve also already reviewed one book I’ve read in 2017 with the second review completion being tomorrow. Looking good for keeping that goal so far!
  • Finish and Review All ARCs & Review Copies Received in 2016
  • Read Physical Copies on My Shelf to Make More Room



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WTF Did I Do & What I'm Going To Do About It: 2016 Recap & 2017 Goals

Brooke Banks | 10:48 PM | | | 8 Comments

Everyone is doing their yearly recaps and surveys and well, I just have to join in. Though I'm late and doing it a bit differently. But first...

Obligatory GR Recap Screenshot:


Of the 227 books I read, 58 had diverse MCs and 42 were written by marginalized authors.


That's it?!? That's terrible! I could've sworn there was more. Scrolling through my list it looks like before I started blogging again in May and after I started there's a huge divide of types of reads. Before, it's Lily White time with series by white straight women about white straight women. I read 40+ books in the In Death series alone. o.O

Now I can't say I regret those series as some of them were very important to me and I will be continuing. In Death has the PTSD rape survivor while White Trash Zombie and Cherry Tucker have the poverty I was born into.

However, I'm still sad my stats are that lopsided. This is why looking at the number is really helpful, memories are not reliable and studies have shown our perceptions are skewed.

I have 94 reviews posted on The Broke Book Bank, and only 26 are from my previous years. That means I tripled the amount in 2016 with 68 new reviews. 

I've blogged for 8 months straight since May and have grown more consistent as time went on rather than being burned out. That simple fact I'm insanely proud of. I'm on medication for my depression and anxiety, which is clearly working for me.

Other notable moments:

  • I've had several wonderful moments interacting with authors and publishers that loved my review.
  • I did a beta read and a sensitivity read through request on Twitter. I've learned a lot from those experiences, made a new friend, and plan on doing more such reads this year.
  • I read AMAZING books I wouldn't have been able to if I wasn't active online again
  • One such book, White Nights, Black Paradise, has a short film and praise from my review is included in the trailer
  • I've branched out to reviewing more products on Amazon and a couple on here. This I will be continuing as well.


Looking pretty good considering my only hope when I restarted this endeavor was not to crap out unexpectedly on everyone. Yay me!

Before I get to my goals, I want to include some bits and pieces from the amazingly thorough long ass survey from Jamie @ The Perpetual Reader.

BEST IN BOOKS


2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han. I'm such a fan of hers but holy shit, I reading this one was miserable.
3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
The Good: Dark Matter, The Bad: The Devil's Madonna
19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
Iron Cast, Baby.
25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You and Play Me Backwards. Still making me smile!
29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?
Rosewater.


YOUR BLOGGING/BOOKISH LIFE:


1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016?
Nas from Read Diverse Books
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2016?
Oh man, that's a tough question. Hmm...if I HAVE to pick, then Mark of the Dragon.
4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I didn't do any meatspace events (time, money, mental, physical reasons) but I loved doing tours. It's again hard to pick just one, but every tour for Rich In Variety has been amazing and fun.
5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016?
Most recently, I did a beta read and a sensitivity read. I was an anxious mess and learned a lot but everyone walked away happy. (I consider myself friends now with one of them, bonding over her book :D)
6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?
DEADLINES. CONSISTENCY. THE PRESSURE. THE DEPRESSION & ANXIETY.
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
Most Views: Fates Entwined by Julie Barnes Most Comments: Portraits of the Dead
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
Uh....any of them? All of them!
10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I set nothing because I'd been gone for so long. My only hope was to continue blogging and reviewing instead of letting my depression, anxiety and chronic pain run me down/out. But, I did it! I kept at it. I'm ecstatic about that TBH.


LOOKING AHEAD:


1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?
Oh why you do this to me?!? Why did I pick this question? But FINE. Here's five of the many hundreds: If I Were Your Girl. Certain Dark Things. Air. The Sorcerer to the Crown. Juliet Takes A Breath.
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?
SO HARD to pick. One book I haven't mentioned yet: The Upside of Unrequited.
3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?
#THUG #THUG #THUG #THUG #THUG #THUG #THUG #THUG #THUG #THUG and Girl Out of Water, of course. That's just harder to chant.
4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?
Series: Assassin's Fate
5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?
I want to keep going and be more social and outspoken in the community. Use my voice for good, but still shut up and promote when necessary.


Why is nobody asking the about the worst reads and experiences?


They exist and it's not all down to personal presences. You can't ignore that part. Especially all the problematic shit that happened! I couldn't even begin to list all that. Authors and bloggers advocating diversity, inclusion, and fairness were threatened and harassed. The response? "Keep YA Kind". Swarming to support white authors while ignoring women of color, particularly black women, and using their labor.

Nazis. TERFS. White Feminists. Intersectional Ignorance. Blocking POC but retweeting white people saying the same damn thing.

It's all just...UGH.

Anyways, Read this post by Meleika @ The Aus Library, who's an amazing person, activist, blogger, and withstood some of the biggest fucking bullshit this community had to offer.

Now to my Worsts List E.G:



  • Problematic Piece of Shit That Still Pisses Me Off: Winger
  • Hindsight Is Painful: All of Sarah J Maas's books. How did I not see all those problems and the writing?!? WHY? *facedesk*
  • Worse Love Triangle: Starters. Seriously ruined, ruined the book. The ending was a hook but dear lord, I don't want to deal with more of the back 'n forth shit.
  • White People Writing Out Their Lane: A Mortal Song. Nemesis.
  • New (to me) Authors to Avoid Because They Showed Their Ass: Anna Banks, Lauren DeStefano, Tommy Wallach,
  • Books I Will Not Read Because of Problematic Rep: Rebel of the Sands, Poison's Kiss, The Continent,
  • WTF Nazi Nonsense: The Devil's Madonna. I had no idea it'd turn out the way it did and I'm so pissed at myself for reading it.
  • Abusive, Unhealthy Relationships: Ten Tiny Breaths
  • Blandest: Perception
  • Forgettable: A Hold on Me.
  • Worst of the DNF: A Casual Vacancy.

Okay, I know I said I'll also do goals but holy shit this was longer and more work than I expected. Next time!

Any of your worse reads or experiences you'd like to share/add?

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