Smashword Authors Give Back

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Good Morning Everyone! I hope you’re all doing okay. I wanted to let you know that the awesome authors of Smashwords pleaded with the online company to help readers cope with stress and anxiety during this difficult time. As a result, now through April 20th, you can find some great markdowns at 30%, 60%, and 100% on thousands of select ebooks. Just click on the link below and go crazy!

https://www.smashwords.com/shelves/promos

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Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel, by Ruth Hogan ~ 4.5 Stars

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Thanks to NetGalley and William Morrow Paperbacks for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date : April 14th, 2020

352 Pages

Synopsis: From the bestselling author of The Keeper of Lost Things and The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes—a novel of mothers and daughters, families and secrets and the astonishing power of friendship.

Tillie was a bright, outgoing little girl who liked playing with ghosts and matches. She loved fizzy drinks, swear words, fish fingers and Catholic churches, but most of all she loved living in Brighton in Queenie Malone’s Magnificent Paradise Hotel with its endearing and loving family of misfits—staff and guests alike.

But Tillie’s childhood was shattered when her mother sent her away from the only home she’d ever loved to a boarding school with little explanation and no warning. Now, Tilda has grown into an independent woman still damaged by her mother’s unaccountable cruelty. Wary of people, her only friend is her dog, Eli. When her mother dies, Tilda goes back to Brighton, and with the help of her beloved Queenie sets out to solve the mystery of her exile from The Paradise Hotel, and discovers her mother was not the woman she thought she knew at all…Mothers and daughters…their story can be complicated…it can also turn out to have a happy ending.

What initially caught my eye about Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel was the awesome title and visually appealing cover. Then, when I read the synopsis with its description of an intriguing mystery complicated mother-daughter relationship, and wacky guests, well, my requesting it was a forgone conclusion. And for the most part, it did not disappoint.

The story is split into two narratives. That of six-year-old Tilly, and the present day middle-aged Tilda who is struggling with intimacy issues and OCD, which go back to the trauma of her mother inexplicably sending her away all those years ago. While I enjoyed both past and present passages, I have to admit I enjoyed young Tilly much more, although Tilda did grow on me eventually. The secondary characters are delightfully quirky as promised and added an extra layer of fun to an already enjoyable tale.

I truly enjoyed Hogan’s descriptive style of writing which helped bring her story and characters to life without slowing the pace down. While reading I could have sworn I could smell the ocean air and hear the waves crashing on the beach. There were also a few little twists that managed to surprise me before the eminently satisfying ending.

Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel was my first book by Ruth Hogan and it’s left me with the burning desire to scoop up her other books. With its beautifully descriptive setting of seaside Brighton, and a storyline that almost immediately sucks you in, this will hold wide appeal for readers no matter what genre they usually prefer. Its poignant exploration of love and loss is tempered by moments of levity resulting in a multi-layered, memorable read. I highly recommend this to anyone who’s looking for a story that’s a little off the beaten path with enjoyably eccentric characters, and topped off with a splash of the supernatural. 

Staying Informed Without Getting Overloaded

This post by Joanne has some of the best advice on avoiding information overload and how to care of your emotional wellbeing I’ve come across! A true MUST READ!

WordyNerdBird

During any crisis, be it war, fire, flood, famine or pestilence, it’s important to stay up to date with important information, but it’s also really easy to be overloaded by non-stop discussion and bombardment by both media and social channels.

In recent weeks, it seems that every time one turns the radio on or watches anything on commercial television, the only thing anyone talks about is corona virus related. It’s relentless. Government officials, scientists, medical authorities, celebrities, talk shows, podcasts, and current affairs specials are all contributing to the conversations, with varying degrees of accuracy and relevance. Every news bulletin tells us how many people have been diagnosed and how many have died. 

It would be quite possible to consume media about global developments, self isolation, quarantine, and empty supermarket shelves all day, every day— and there are probably people doing that.

That’s not healthy. 

It very quickly becomes emotionally…

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The Extraordinaries (The Extraordinaries #1), by TJ Klune ~ 4.5 Stars

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Thanks to NetGalley and Tor Teen for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: May 5th, 2020

400 Pages

Synopsis: Some people are extraordinary. Some are just extra. TJ Klune’s YA debut, The Extraordinaries, is a queer coming-of-age story about a fanboy with ADHD, and the heroes he loves.

Nick Bell? Not extraordinary. But being the most popular fanfiction writer in the Extraordinaries fandom is a super power, right?

After a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nova City’s mightiest hero (and Nick’s biggest crush), Nick sets out to make himself extraordinary. And he’ll do it with or without the help of Seth Gray, Nick’s best friend (and maybe the love of his life).

Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl meets Marissa Meyer’s Renegades in TJ Klune’s YA debut.

With everything going on I needed something fun that would make me smile and laugh, and The Extraordinaries more than delivered!

Nick Bell is an adorably awkward gay teen who has ADHD and an obsession with superheroes. His relationship with his small group of friends and his dad provide some wonderfully moving moments as well as some humorous ones. The “Extraordinaries” of Nova City themselves, are mainly in the background, but provide context for Nick’s obsession.

The storyline itself is a little rough around the edges at times, especially in regards to Nick’s utter cluelessness about what’s going on with his best friend Seth, but to be honest, Nick’s personality is otherwise so endearing, that I was willing to overlook his shortcomings. 

In the end, The Extraordinaries is a memorable coming-of-age story filled with relatable, diverse characters and a fun messy storyline. It’s the perfect escape from what’s happening in the real world and I can’t recommend it enough, especially for fans of authors such as Becky Albertalli, Rainbow Rowell, and Adam Silvera. I’m eagerly looking forward to the next book in this trilogy.