Posted in Blog Tour

A Flame Through Eternity by Anna Belfrage **Guest Post** @tlcbooktours

Happy Thursday!

I always love when an author shares something a little unique on my blog! Thank you so much Anna Belfrage for this wonderful guest post!

About the Book

According to Helle Madsen, being the protagonist of a time-spanning epic love story has some things going for it, primarily Jason Morris. Because seriously, meeting up with your fated lover after 3 000 years apart is not bad–at all. Unfortunately, where Jason goes, there goes Sam Woolf, yet another very, very ancient acquaintance–with the fundamental difference that Sam is not into Happily Ever After. He’s into destruction, more specifically of Jason and Helle.

Helle may believe in second-chance love, but she sure doesn’t believe in reincarnation. Okay, she didn’t believe in stuff like that until she met Jason Morris a year or so ago. By now, she has accepted that sometimes impossible things are quite, quite possible–like an ancient princess being reborn as an ambitious financial analyst.

Finding Jason was like finding the part of her that had always been missing–a perfect match. But handling Sam Woolf, the reborn version of their ancient nemesis is something of a trial. No sooner do you have him well and surely beat, but up he bounces again. Sheesh, will it take an oak stake to permanently rid their lives of him?

Sam Woolf is a powerful adversary. Too powerful, even. Jason and Helle will need help from unexpected quarters to finally bring this tangled, ancient love-and-hate triangle to some sort of conclusion. Question is, will they survive the experience?

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Anna

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Guest Post

The Romantic hero – a victim of male objectification

Some time ago, I heard an interesting interview on the radio about the objectification of the male body. This, apparently, was major news, with the male presenter almost stuttering as he expressed just how upset he was by this new development. (The fact that women have been the unfortunate recipients of equivalent objectification since ages back was sort of glossed over)

That young male presenter had it wrong, IMO. Men have always been objectified. Take, for example, the depictions of the male body on ancient Greek urns—these are handsome, chiselled dudes with bulging muscles and narrow waists. Somehow, I think the majority of those ancient Greek men did not look quite like that, but they likely wanted to look like that, so they spent hours in the gym, oiled their hair and generally went about beautifying themselves as much as they could. Yup: clear case of male objectification.

The trend continues through history:

Roman statues may often depict graceful female nudes, but just as often virile, potent males with bulging muscles, profiles to die for and jawlines that show just how determined these men are—were.

Michelangelo’s Davide is yet another example of male perfection, and I wonder just how many Florentine youths stood in front of it and cursed the artist to hell and back for placing the bar so very, very high. How would a real man ever compare to this marbled perfection? (I dare say they were very relieved that Davide’s package is surprisingly modest)

To the Tudor gentleman obliged to sport hose all the way to the very, very short puff breeches, keeping his legs looking good was important. As were codpieces, even if I suspect the more exaggerated among these did not have women swooning in hope at the delights potentially offered, but rather giggling on the sly.

In the 18th century, gentlemen would pad their stockings so as to get the required muscular calf-profile. The handsome rakes of the Regency period worked out with boxing, riding and fencing – because wearing tight, tight buckskin breeches with no muscular thighs beneath was not on.

For most of recorded history, men have taken centre stage. It follows that they have groomed their bodies and adorned themselves in rich cloths, in jewellery and other accessories. Like preening peacocks, the males of our species have showed off, spending a lot of time and money to ensure they looked their best—all the way from their arranged locks to their muscles. Male objectification, dear peeps, has been de rigeur through the ages.

Male objectification is standard in romance novels – as is the female version. Rarely do we read of ugly, squat and overweight people being swept off their feet by love. One could argue there should be a niche here, as the number of people in the world who are not gorgeous, tall, well-muscled (if they’re men) or gorgeous, well-shaped and with masses of glorious hair (if they’re women) is relatively low. Writing a romance featuring a protagonist that is more like most of us—a woman who has to hold her breath to close her jeans and then goes about the entire day tugging at her sweater to ensure it hides the roll of fat above the waistline, alternatively a man with thinning hair and a slight paunch that strains against the buttons of his shirt—should lead to mases of readers identifying with the main characters, thereby driving sales. Yes? No.

You see, we read romance to escape. We read to pretend we’re somewhere else, someone else. As a fifty-plus woman I like pretending I’m a young gorgeous someone who has her whole life in front of her—and an equally gorgeous man by her side. Which does not mean I don’t read novels with a far more realistic depiction of life and the people who walk this world—but it sure doesn’t qualify as romance!

I shall continue indulging myself. In the romances I read, I like my male heroes tall, strong—maybe somewhat dark—and brave. In the books I write, my male protagonists tend to be of the same ilk: they’re men of integrity, of eyes that flash with conviction. They’re strong and muscled, they’d die for their lady-love (except that she is usually the kind of lady-love that would be really, really angry with him if he did something that stupid) and look surprisingly good when naked. Am I guilty of male objectification? Yup—and utterly unrepentant!

In my series The Wanderer (the third book being A Flame Through Eternity), my dashing hero is Jason. Tall? Tick. Muscled? Tick. Amazing eyes? Tick, tick. A profile to die for? Tick. Add to all that gorgeousness a sensitive and very, very, very experienced man—that’s what you get when you’ve lived through fifty-odd lives (well; unless you go totally crazy) and I’d say Jason is the perfect man. Except, of course, that while we want our romantic heroes hot, we don’t want them without flaws, and Jason has his fair share of those!

***************************

Anna has recently released A Flame Through Eternity, the third in her Romantic Suspense series, The Wanderer.

When she isn’t writing contemporary suspense with a time travelling twist, Anna is usually visiting her favourite historical periods, namely the 17th century and the 14th century. And yes, she is quite convinced people were as much about love back then as we are now!

Find out more about Anna on http://www.annabelfrage.com.

Or pop by her Amazon page and browse through her books, http://Author.to/ABG

Posted in Blog Tour

The Cottage on Wildflower Lane by Liz Davies **Book Review** @rararesources

Happy Thursday everybody!

It is a gorgeous day the perfect day to share with you my thoughts on this lovely story with a springy title! 💐

The Cottage on Wildflower Lane

Esther’s life isn’t perfect (whose is?) – but she’s happy enough living in her little flat with her boyfriend, Josh.

But that’s about to change.

Bored out of her mind in work, she wishes that something, anything, would happen to liven her life up.

Unfortunately, her wish comes true when Josh calls her from the airport to tell her he’s going to work in a bar in Spain, and she’s not invited, Esther is devastated, and her unhappiness is compounded when she discovers she can actually view the bar via a webcam link and watch him chatting up other girls.

But when she inadvertently clicks on a link to another webcam which shows a pretty cottage and the rather hunky man who lives in it, her interest is piqued and she wishes she could get to know him.

Wishes don’t really come true, though – do they…?

My Thoughts

This was such a sweet, charming, and feel good story! Esther gets dumped by phone by her tool of a boyfriend. He calls her from the airport to tell her not only is he leaving her but he is leaving the country to go to Spain and work in a bar. When Esther goes online to find the website for the bar she also stumbles across a WebCam with a live feed inside the bar. So Esther does what we all would probably do, tortures herself by watching her ex-boyfriend hook up with other girls. Ester becomes a little obsessed, but fortunately one time when there was a lull in the action at the bar she comes across a WebCam feed of a lovely cottage with a handsome resident. What follows is a fun story filled with coincidences, misunderstandings, charm, wit, and romance.

Such a sweet story that made me smile! Ester was a great character; I found her to be so relatable, but I really wanted to get a hold of her and talk some sense to her. I am so grateful there weren’t WebCams back in my days of heartache, I would probably be glued to the screen torturing myself just like Esther. Unlike Esther I probably would not stumble across a cute cottage with an even cuter boy who then I coincidentally end up working for. This was the perfect little afternoon romantic escape.

*** Big thank you to the author for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

Purchase links

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B083QRXBW9 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083QRXBW9  

Author Bio –

Liz Davies writes feel-good, light-hearted stories with a hefty dose of romance, a smattering of humour, and a great deal of love.

She’s married to her best friend, has one grown-up daughter, and when she isn’t scribbling away in the notepad she carries with her everywhere (just in case inspiration strikes), you’ll find her searching for that perfect pair of shoes. She loves to cook but isn’t very good at it, and loves to eat – she’s much better at that! Liz also enjoys walking (preferably on the flat), cycling (also on the flat), and lots of sitting around in the garden on warm, sunny days.

She currently lives with her family in Wales, but would ideally love to buy a camper can and travel the world in it.

Social Media Links:

Website: https://lizdaviesauthor.wixsite.com/home

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LizDaviesAuthor1

Twitter https://twitter.com/lizdaviesauthor

Posted in Blog Tour

The Girl in White Gloves by Kerri Maher @berkleypub **Book Review**

Happy Thursday all!

I just want to take a minute to brag about our fabulous 85° temperatures at the moment! This is the reason we live in Southern California, even if Grace Kelly wasn’t a fan of LA! Today I am excited to share with you this entertaining and engaging fictional biography about Grace Kelly.👑🎬

My Thoughts

Would you rather… be a princess or a movie star?

This is a fictionalized biography of Grace Kelly. A girl from Philadelphia who lived her very own fairytale and became a real live princess. But there was so much more to Grace than the glitz, the glamour, and the crown. I really knew very little going into this book about Grace Kelly other than she was once a movie star who married a prints and then was a princess who died in a tragic car accident. Kerri Maher’s vivid storytelling really brought this icon to life for me. Grace really impressed me, she was smart and savvy, knew what she wanted, and went for it. She was brilliant when it came to navigating and negotiating her movie career. Grace was forever wanting her father’s approval and perhaps this led to her multiple affairs with older and sometimes married men. Grace always seem to be searching for acceptance and ultimately wanted to be a wife and mother. I found her so likable and relatable even though her life was way different from mine. I found it interesting how her life somewhat mirrored that of Meghan Markle. I think it is always interesting to see behind the public image. There were some definite parts in the story where my heart broke for Grace, it would be difficult to find out your life is no longer your own. This was an entertaining and engaging story that really gave me a brand new appreciation of Miss Kelly.

This book in emojis 🍸 🎭 🚬 🎬 🐶 👑 🇲🇨

*** Big thank you to Berkley for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

A life in snapshots…

Grace knows what people see. She’s the Cinderella story. An icon of glamour and elegance frozen in dazzling Technicolor. The picture of perfection. The girl in white gloves.

A woman in living color…

But behind the lens, beyond the panoramic views of glistening Mediterranean azure, she knows the truth. The sacrifices it takes for an unappreciated girl from Philadelphia to defy her family and become the reigning queen of the screen. The heartbreaking reasons she trades Hollywood for a crown. The loneliness of being a princess in a fairy tale kingdom that is all too real.

Hardest of all for her adoring fans and loyal subjects to comprehend is the harsh reality that to be the most envied woman in the world does not mean she is the happiest. Starved for affection and purpose, facing a labyrinth of romantic and social expectations with more twists and turns than Monaco’s infamous winding roads, Grace must find her own way to fulfillment. But what she risks – her art, her family, her marriage – she may never get back.

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Have a Beautiful day!🌻

Berit☀️✨