The School of Night by Colin Falconer – Review @hfvbt @Colin_Falconer #WilliamShakespeareDetectiveAgency

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author, publisher, or another source such as Netgalley or Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. This post may contain affiliate links; thank you for supporting Brooke Blogs!

Please join Colin Falconer as he tours the blogosphere for the first book in his William Shakespeare Detective Agency series, The School of Night, from January 10-February 6.

02_The William Shakespeare Detective Agency-The School of Night_CoverPublication Date: October 7, 2014
Cool Gus Publishing
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 168

Series: The William Shakespeare Detective Agency
Genre: Historical Mystery

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“My name is William Shakespeare. No, not that Shakespeare; and no jests please, I’ve heard them all. I’m the other one, the ne’er do well cousin, the loafer, known to family and friends as the dunce, the one who could not recite Cicero or Horace, who could never be as good as his clever cuz, the one who has just come to Bishopsgate from Stratford with silly dreams in his head and a longing to make something more of himself than just a glover’s handyman.”

What he finds in London is Lady Elizabeth Talbot, who is willing to pass a few shillings to this blundering brawler if he will help her find her husband. Poor William does not realize the trail will lead to the truth behind the death of Shakespeare’s great rival, Christopher Marlowe – or to a lifelong love affair with a woman far above his station.

Each book tells the story of William’s adventures as England’s first gumshoe, set against turbulent Elizabethan politics; of his romantic pursuit of the impossible Elizabeth Talbot; while charting the career of his up and coming dramatist cousin, the bard of Stratford, but just Will to his family.

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The School of Night by Colin Flaconer is book one in the William Shakespeare Detective Agency. This was an enjoyable historical mystery. William, cousin of the famous playwright, has come to London with a secret dream: to be an actor in his cousin Will’s plays. Upon first entering the city, he is robbed and then his cousin doesn’t seem the least bit interested in having him around, much less helping him. William decides to keep his dream a secret for the time being. William is funny and honest and comes across as a very likable character. He’s a down on his luck guy, and you just feel bad – he seems to constantly be getting into situations that get him into trouble. The settings were very aptly described – I could definitely picture myself in the time period. This was a quick read for me with an interesting mystery. I would like to read more in this series.

About the AuthorColin Falconer

Born in London, Colin first trialed as a professional football player in England, and was eventually brought to Australia. He went to Sydney and worked in TV and radio and freelanced for many of Australia’s leading newspapers and magazines. He has published over twenty novels and his work has so far been translated into 23 languages.

He travels regularly to research his novels and his quest for authenticity has led him to run with the bulls in Pamplona, pursue tornadoes across Oklahoma and black witches across Mexico, go cage shark diving in South Africa and get tear gassed in a riot in La Paz.

He currently lives in Barcelona.

For more information please visit Colin Falconer’s website. You can also find him on Facebook or follow on Twitter.

The School of Night Blog Tour Schedule

Saturday, January 10
Spotlight at Historical Readings and Views

Monday, January 12
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, January 13
Spotlight at Layered Pages

Thursday, January 15
Interview at Teddy Rose Book Reviews

Friday, January 16
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Monday, January 19
Spotlight at Susan Heim on Writing

Tuesday, January 20
Review at Book Nerd

Thursday, January 22
Review at Just One More Chapter

Friday, January 23
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Saturday, January 24
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Obsession

Sunday, January 25
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Monday, January 26
Review at Boom Baby Reviews

Wednesday, January 28
Review at Carpe Librum

Thursday, January 29
Interview at Mina’s Bookshelf
Interview at Books and Benches
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book

Friday, January 30
Review at Brooke Blogs

Friday, February 6
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

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Rating Report
Overall: 3.7

State of Alliance by Summer Lane – Blitz + Giveaway


StateOfAllianceState of Alliance by Summer Lane
Collapse Series #5
Publication date: January 30th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Post-Apocalyptic

There is no such thing as safe.

For Commander Cassidy Hart, staying alive is only one of her day-to-day problems. As a newly minted Senator of the State of California, she must travel to Monterey Bay with the hope of bringing an agreement between the militia forces and the Pacific Northwest Alliance as the United States desperately battles against the shadow invasion forces of Omega.

But Monterey is not what it seems. The threat of another Omega attack looms on the horizon, and Commander Chris Young – the love of Cassidy’s life – is not the only important person in Cassidy’s life who is keeping secrets. Assassinations, betrayal and startling revelations lie ahead.

The war is now. Fight or die.

Choose your side.

The fifth installment in the international bestselling Collapse Series, a YA/NA post-apocalyptic romantic adventure.

Goodreads | Amazon

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Of Love and Magic – Boxed Set + Recipe

In honor of the angels in Of Love & Magic, Christina Dymock with Hungry Family has created an amazing chocolate angel cake recipe. I can’t wait to try it out.

Publishing February 1, 2015
Five intriguing romances wrapped in love and magic
Angel in a Black Fedora, by Sherry Gammon
Ciel Björk died a tragic death…but she got over it. Now she works as an undercover angel, answering people’s prayers. She’s sent to the sleepy little town of Port Fare, New York to help turn Chloe’s dreams into a reality. As secrets are revealed, Ciel soon learns that things are not as simple as they seem.

A Wish in Her Hand by Amberlee Day
Professor Miri Keeler’s life is perfect, and she knows just the sort of man she wants to share it with. When she meets a genie who’s willing to grant her a favor, she uses her wish to get the attention of her crush, poet Jamison Arbor. But has the genie’s magic missed its target? Miri suddenly has the attention of not only Jamison, but also of Alex, an attractive maintenance man. How will she know which is the right match for her, or what’s real and what’s magic?

Reality Ever After by Cami Checketts
Pregnant at eighteen, Sydney Richland’s happily ever after is in serious peril. Her grandmother’s ghost can work miracles, but she also might ruin Sydney’s chances with the man of her dreams.

Prom Diaries by Taylor Hart
Sixteen-year-old Lacy O’Donnell discovers her best friend has cast a spell, putting everyone in a time loop, forcing them to relive the same four days before prom over and over. The good thing–Lacy doesn’t remember the loop. The bad thing–Drake Davis, the guy she’s been stalking, does. Only true love’s kiss can break the spell, but true love’s kiss has to happen at a precise moment. It’s not exact science…it’s exact magic.

What If Wish by Lucy McConnell
Morana is doomed to a life cataloging spells deep below the palace unless she can make her magic bloom. If her deepest wish comes true, it would open up all sorts of possibilities. The whispers that she was a fluke of nature would hush. The King would stop stalking her. Her parents would no longer live under a cloud of shame. And, Adam could look at her as more than a friend. Despite the promises magic holds, Morana will quickly learn that the thing she wishes for most, could quickly be her undoing.

Chocolate Angel Food Cake


1 1/2 cup egg whites (10-12 large eggs)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 ounces milk chocolate, shredded
2 teaspoons vanilla


Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a metal mixing bowl. Beat until stiff peaks form and the whites are glossy. Add the vanilla and beat well.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, powdered sugar, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and shredded chocolate. Fold 1/2 cup of the powdered mixture into the egg whites. Repeat until all the flour mixture is incorporated into the eggs.
Pour batter into a non-stick angel food cake or bunt cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 -35 minutes or until cake springs back. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert the pan onto a funnel or cup and allow to cool for 2 hours. Remove the cake from the pan and serve with fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
love and magic banner

Just Add Magic – Pilot Review #JustAddMagic


Just Add Magic by Cindy Callaghan has been made into an Amazon Original Series. The pilot is available by clicking the picture above or the link below. Description of the show from Amazon:

Rated: TV-G
(For children ages 6-11) – Kelly Quinn and her two BFF’s, Darbie and Hannah, stumble upon her grandmother’s mysterious cookbook in the attic and discover some far from ordinary recipes. When the Shut’em Up Shortcake silences Kelly’s pesky little brother and the Healing Hazelnut Tart heals Darbie’s ankle, the girls discover they have the power of magic. A single-camera live-action pilot based on the popular book.

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My twelve year old daughter and I both watched the Just Add Magic pilot on Amazon and we loved it! She has shared it with her group of friends as well. We can’t wait to find out what happens next. Kelly, Darbie and Hannah are great characters, very easy to relate to and just nice girls. It was a show that I enjoyed watching together with my daughter, and one I would watch myself. The show was magical, intriguing and really family friendly. We’re planning on reading the book, which you can pick up at Amazon:

We will definitely be tuning in to watch Just Add Magic. What about you?!

The Schwarzschild Radius by Gustavo Florentin – Review, Guest Post + Giveaway

The Schwarzschild Radius by Gustavo Florentin – Review, Guest Post + Giveaway

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author, publisher, or another source such as Netgalley or Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. This post may contain affiliate links; thank you for supporting Brooke Blogs!

This book may be unsuitable for people under 18 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
The Schwarzschild Radius by Gustavo Florentin – Review, Guest Post + GiveawayThe Schwarzschild Radius by Gustavo Florentin
Published by Curiosity Quills Press on September 23, 2014
Barnes & Noble
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Pages: 292
Rating: five-stars
Rachel, an 18-year-old Columbia University student, descends into the netherworld of runaways and predators to find her sister, Olivia, who has suddenly disappeared.

After getting a job in a strip joint where Olivia worked, then doing private shows in the homes of rich clients, Rachel discovers that Olivia has been abducted by a killer who auctions the deaths of young girls in an eBay of agony.

When she finds Olivia, Rachel becomes the killer’s next target.


Write What You Know?
Gustavo Florentin

One of the platitudes of fiction writing is “write what you know.” Really? Do sci-fi writers know anything about Martians or the fourth dimension? Do thriller writers have personal experience in thwarting international terrorists? I say “write what you want.” If you don’t know something, it has never been easier to research it and in a matter of two hours, sound like an authority on a subject. Stephen Crane never fought in the Civil War, but he wrote The Red Badge of Courage.

The important thing is to write what compels you to write. First of all, write what you like to read. If you have never read a romance novel, don’t presume to write one. Read extensively in the genre you wish to write. Know what is overdone and hackneyed, something you can only find out by reading scores of books in that area. That passion will fuel you to dig into your subject and fill in the holes in your knowledge.

The Hunt for Red October was written by an insurance salesman, not a submariner. So thorough was his research, that Pentagon officials were stunned at the accuracy. With that book, Tom Clancy invented the techno-thriller. What if he wrote what he knew? What would the titles sound like? The Whole Life Caper. Mask of the Actuary. Copayment. How would you like to curl up with those gems?

The Schwarzschild Radius by Gustavo Florentin is a tightly wound thriller that packs a lot of twists and turns. The story gripped me from page 1 and didn’t let go until the end. The author has created a world of depravity that is all too realistic. Rachel’s sixteen-year-old adopted sister is missing, and she’ll do anything to find her. She follows her trail into the dark world of underage sex. She has no idea how dark that world really is. She puts herself in this dangerous world, going further and further for more clues to find her sister.

Rachel isn’t street-smart, but she is intelligent and tries to use this to her advantage in gathering information. She places herself in the same settings she discovered Olivia had been in, and it is truly awful. Many of the men she finds herself with are wealthy, influential, and pillars of society. You would not expect that once their true natures are exposed.

Even farther beyond the realm of where you think people can go comes even more wicked behavior. There is a killer, kidnapping young girls and torturing and killing them for the highest bidder. Anything goes in this twisted, torturous online auction. Detective McKenna is running against the clock trying to find Olivia and save her and any other missing girls in the same situation. He has a teenage daughter and takes the case to heart.

The Schwarzschild Radius by Gustavo Florentin has a lot of moving parts. There are lots of characters and viable suspects – or at least those you suspect know more than they let on. The book has a staccato feeling, as there are several short chapters that alternate points of view and pack a powerful punch. These short chapters helped add a sense of urgency to the story and really kept me on the edge of my seat, turning pages long into the night. Florentin has written a dark world that you can’t help but delve into – then find yourself clawing your way out. The Schwarzschild Radius is a well-written and suspenseful thriller that exposes the darkness that exists in a startling amount of people. I was enthralled with the story and it stayed with me even after finishing. This is a top-notch thriller, but be warned – it is not for the weak-hearted.

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About Gustavo Florentin

Gustavo Florentin

Gustavo Florentin was born in Queens, New York and received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Polytechnic University of New York. He spent a decade in the defense industry working on the F-14 fighter jet and classified electronics projects. After the fall of the Soviet Union, many thought America wouldn’t need weapons anymore, so while others waited for the peace dividend, he moved on to the financial sector in New York where he is currently a network engineer. His passions include violin, travel to exotic places and exploring worldwide conspiracies. He lives in New Jersey where he is working on his third novel. His thriller, In the Talons of the Condor, won the following awards:

WUACADEMIA–Prix d’Or Best Novel
The Verb First Chapter Contest–First Prize
Mount Arrowsmith Best Novel 4th place
The Writing Show–Second Prize best first chapter of a novel.
Second Prize–16th Annual International Latino Book Awards

Rating Report
Overall: 4.5

Climax by Christina George – Review + Giveaway

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author, publisher, or another source such as Netgalley or Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. This post may contain affiliate links; thank you for supporting Brooke Blogs!

This book may be unsuitable for people under 18 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Climax by Christina George – Review + GiveawayClimax by Christina George
Series: The Publicist Book Three
Also in this series: The Publicist
on December 15, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 489
Format: ARC
Source: Author
Rating: five-stars
Kate Mitchell has never forgiven herself for breaking Nick Lavigne’s heart. Now he’s back and he’s moved on, and it’s affecting Kate’s life more than she’s willing to admit.

Kate Mitchell has everything. She's the head of a crazy successful publishing house, engaged to the traffic-stopping sexy Mac Ellis and she's about to sign one of the biggest authors of her career.

And that's when everything falls apart. Everything is perfect...until it’s not.

In a city of 8 million people Kate manages to run into someone she never expected to see again.

Nick is handsome, impossibly kind, every girl’s dream, and Kate’s former fiancé. He’s also the brother of the rising star author she’s trying to sign. Now that Nick’s back in town and has moved on he insists he’s over Kate, but part of him still can’t get past how amazing they were, and his sister won’t let anyone forget how brutally it ended.

When Mac is dealt a life-changing blow, it forces Kate to question every single choice she’s made.

Follow Kate as she embarks on a journey of life and love, navigating through the decisions that will change it all forever.

Yes! <3 I couldn't wait to read Climax by Christina George and was so super excited when I received an advanced copy from the author. I love, love, love Kate and this story was so wonderful! It seems like she has grown so much since the first book, and I love watching a character have that transformation. I devoured every word of this book in one sitting, much like the other books in the series. I love Kate, I love Mac, I love Nick, I just love everything about this series. I really like when reading a series, and the characters feel like old friends, and the settings feel familiar, but there is still so much more to the story to know and love. I knew that before I even read page one, I was going to love this story, and I was right. Christina George is on my auto-buy list, and I can't wait to read what she writes next!

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About Christina George

Christina George

Christina George has worked in publishing for twenty years (give or take). Here’s what this book isn’t. It’s not a slam against publishing (though it is broken) and it’s not a slam against authors (though some of them are crazy). This book is not autobiographical though many of the stories are true. No you won’t know which ones, cause it’s more fun to guess, right? George continues to work in publicity and helps authors because at the end of the day she does love books, she loves publishing, and she loves authors. She hopes you’ll enjoy this romp through Kate’s world as much as she enjoyed creating it.

Rating Report
Overall: 5

Ignite Your Book

Ignite Your Book is an awesome place for readers and authors to find new books and promote books and book sales. Ignite Your Book shows you great deals on ebooks and has an email newsletter that notifies you when there are free or sale ebooks available. Plus, newsletter subscribers are entered into drawings for $10 Amazon gift cards. There are free and paid feature options available for authors to sign up to promote their ebooks.


I’ve checked out the site and signed up for the newsletter. The site is very easy to use and navigate, and I was able to find several ebooks that interested me. I look forward to receiving the Ignite Your Book newsletter to find out about more great ebooks. Have you checked out Ignite Your Books? Do you know of any other great sites for ebook deals? Let me know in the comments.

In Your Wildest Scottish Dreams by Karen Ranney – Guest Post + Giveaway


IN YOUR WILDESTIn Your Wildest Scottish Dreams by Karen Ranney
The MacIain Trilogy #1
Published January 27th, 2015
Avon Romance

New York Times bestselling author Karen Ranney’s first novel in a brand-new series spins the intriguing story of a beautiful widow and a devilishly handsome shipbuilder…

Seven years have passed since Glynis MacIain made the foolish mistake of declaring her love to Lennox Cameron, only to have him stare at her dumbfounded. Heartbroken, she accepted the proposal of a diplomat and moved to America, where she played the role of a dutiful wife among Washington’s elite. Now a widow, Glynis is back in Scotland. Though Lennox can still unravel her with just one glance, Glynis is no longer the naïve girl Lennox knew and vows to resist him.

With the American Civil War raging, shipbuilder Lennox Cameron must complete a sleek new blockade runner for the Confederate Navy. He cannot afford any distractions, especially the one woman he’s always loved. Glynis’s cool demeanor tempts him to prove to her what a terrible mistake she made seven years ago.

As the war casts its long shadow across the ocean, will a secret from Glynis’s past destroy any chance for a future between the two star-crossed lovers?

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

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Just Let Me Love You by S.R. Grey – Blitz + Giveaway


JLMLYmagic sizeJust Let Me Love You by S.R. Grey
Judge Me Not #3
Publication date: January 27th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance

No one ever said a lasting love would be easy.

When Chase and Kay hit the streets of Las Vegas, the goal is simple—rescue Will, Chase’s brother, from making the biggest mistake of his young life. But keeping Will out of trouble turns out not to be the only obstacle in Chase and Kay’s path. Finding himself back in the city that broke him, Chase’s heartbreaking past threatens to derail all the progress he’s made.

However, Chase is determined not to let that happen.

While striving to help Will before he implodes, Chase seeks to come to terms with the things that almost destroyed him. He soon discovers that the answers to the most complicated questions sometimes lie in one’s own heart. You just have to be willing to dig deep enough to find them.

Can Chase succeed in doing that?

Just Let Me Love You is a story of healing, letting go, and trusting love to guide you. The conclusion of the Judge Me Not trilogy brings everything full circle.

*mature themes including explicit sex scenes and profanity*

Third and final novel in the Judge Me Not series/trilogy.

Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble

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Angels Without Wings Series by Chris Smith – Blast + Giveaway#PUYB

Angels Without Wings Series Banner

Pump Up Your Book is pleased to bring you Chris Smith‘s Angels without Wings series Book Blast January 5-30!

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PUYB Inside the Book

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AWOW Series - Scepter of Faith - Book 1


Title: Angels without Wings: Scepter of Faith

Series: The Angels without Wings Series – Book 1

Author: Chris Smith

Genre: YA Christian Fantasy

Publisher: Tate Publishing

Publication Date: March 5, 2013

ISBN: 978-1622956319


For God, we fight; all angels have heard the command. Troy Decker has heard it from his parents countless times. All he wants in life is a chance to prove himself and be granted his scepter – the first gift angels receive from God in their war against Lucifer. Standing in his way is fallen angel Kyle Downey, who used to be best friends with Troy’s parents but is now on a quest to destroy all that is good in the world.

Will Troy ever earn the scepter that God has prepared for him? And what happened between Kyle and Troy’s parents? As the War for Sins rises to heights not seen in generations, Troy must find the strength to hold his faith when demons target his friends and family. In this war, there is only one winner. Will the world fall to demons or be saved by angels?

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