#BookReview : Esme's Gift (Esme Series #2) by Elizabeth Foster @e_foster3 @OdysseyBooks

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Esme’s Gift (Esme Series #2) by Elizabeth Foster
Publication Date: November 30th 2019
Publisher: Odyssey Books
Genre: Middle Grade / Fantasy
Pages: 266
Stars: ★★★★★

In the enchanted world of Aeolia, fifteen-year-old Esme Silver is faced with her hardest task yet. She must master her unruly Gift – the power to observe the past – and uncover the secrets she needs to save her mother, Ariane.

In between attending school in the beguiling canal city of Esperance, Esme and her friends – old and new – travel far and wide across Aeolia, gathering the ingredients for a potent magical elixir.

Their journey takes them to volcanic isles, sunken ruins and snowy eyries, spectacular places fraught with danger, where they must confront their deepest fears and find hope in the darkest of places. Esme’s Gift, the second instalment in the Esme trilogy, is an enthralling fantasy adventure for readers 12 years and over.

*** Note: I received this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Elizabeth Foster. ***

Previous Book in Series:

Esme’s Gift was fantastic middle grade fantasy, set in the parallel magical world and revolved around Esme’s efforts in saving her mother. It was about resilience, righteousness, good vs evil, friendship, greed of power, and using gift wisely.

I loved this book more than first one. Writing was better, fabulous, gripping and as magical as its setting. Book was written in third person narrative from Esme’s perspective. It felt so good to read Esme and her adventure in Aeolia once again.

Book started with Esme returning back to her home in Picton Island to let her dad know about her mom and convince him to come with her to Aeolia. But that didn’t turn out well, he didn’t believe a word she said and forced her to run off to Aeolia once again. She wanted to be beside her mother who needed her more. Meanwhile she joined school at Aeolia, made new friends, met mysterious boy and found a lot about Aeolian history and myth.

Through her history project she found out important thing related to her mother. She knew what could save her and rouse her from her comma, a magical elixir. But its recipe was incomplete and ingredients were rare and illegal. For that she needed to master her gift first and travel far and dangerous places to get ingredients.

It was interesting to find out if Esme will succeed in helping her mother or get in trouble once again, what will happen to her and her mother if she failed and if her father will try to believe her and come to Aeolia.

Esme was great throughout the book. Her enthusiasm, optimism and curiosity was infectious. She dug deep to get all the answers, to find out the truth with her history project and her mother’s condition. She was developed character, kind, and compassionate with conscience mind. She knew how to fight unfairness and voice her opinion whenever necessary. What I like about her most was she wasn’t week, or reckless or grumpy teenage. She cared for her friends, helped them when needed and understood the gravity of danger.

Both Daniel and Lillian were amazing friends. They never retreated or hesitated from danger or left Esme alone. Their gift were amazing. This time Lillian’s gift surfaced and she could sing song-spell well. One time it did went wrong and it was fun to read.

New characters Vince, Meera and Seth were interesting and so were their gifts. Seth was mysterious one. I had my doubts like Esme but I couldn’t be sure. I couldn’t guess who he was and what he did in the book.

What I loved most about the book was world and adventure. There was hell lot of things in this world. Aeolia and its history was well described. Its origin, some history, and people of Aeolia was covered in first book but here there was a small part of it that helped to get the idea as there was 2 years gap between this and first book. I loved the history part and stories of ghosts.

Most of the people in this picturesque world had gift- fire breather and fire repellent, Songstress (like sirens), enchanters, healing, muting (I love that one, I wish I could mute people), Ice animation, and water walker, creating portals through painting, passing though solid objects… you name it. Esme’s gift was rare and fascinating. She could time travel in history by touch of water. I liked the concept behind it which was well explained. I usually don’t like time travel but in here with a touch of magic and gift, it sounded good and interesting. Adventure was exciting and dangerous. There were dragons and all sort of creatures, oracle and her cruel truth, annoying ghost, and deadly curse.

I loved Esme’s experience in school of Aeolia, ongoing political campaign and the part when Esme interacted with dragon. I liked the way author represented horrors human can create and its consequences through political scheming, abusive parents, madness of scientist, greed for power and misuse of gifts.

Mystery was well written. I couldn’t guess how Esme will save her mother or find ingredients and what was to come next. Climax was uncertain and nail biting. I was holding my breath in that scene at hospital after the climax. End was great. I still wanted to know the result of political campaign. But I’m sure it will be revealed in next book. There might be a love story or love triangle in next book, I hope not love triangle.

Overall, it was fun and wonderful fantasy with lots of adventure and magical gifts, interesting characters and broad world. I definitely recommend this book to all middle grade readers and fantasy lovers, but read it in order.

Book Links: Goodreads
Affiliate Link: Amazon.in | Amazon.com | Book Depository

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#BookReview : The Celestial Assignment by Theresa Braun @tbraun_author

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The Celestial Assignment by Theresa Braun
Publication Date:  February 14th 2020
Publisher: Gorgon Blood Press
Genre: Fantasy / Supernatural
Pages: 28
Stars: ★★★★★

After a sudden death, Will, a misguided angel, is tasked with protecting a baby girl. Watching over her as she grows up and navigates the world appears a harsh punishment for his past failings. Can he redeem himself, or will he fall further from grace?

*** Note: I received this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Theresa Braun. ***

The Celestial Assignment was a supernatural fantasy short, only 28 pages story. It was about understanding what true love is, respecting the love you find in life, not treating it selfishly but mainly it was about redemption.

Writing great, enjoyable and was filled with humor. Story was written from Will’s perspective. His voice was witty and refreshing. Book started with Will was given assignment to watch over Celeste as a guardian angel. If he read and followed manual, learned what true love is from this assignment, he would be promoted to be an angel. At first he didn’t care about any of it, not manual nor Celeste and even less love. I was curious to know how watching over Celeste throughout her life can change his perspective towards love and women.

Will was selfish worthless person, not someone I would like to watch over me. He cared nothing in life he lived or any of his incarnated life and not even after his death as a guardian angel. He didn’t even had a clue why he was given the assignment not until Celeste tasted betrayal and when he met fellow guardian angel. Dawn of realization was fantastic part in the book. I loved how he gradually developed throughout the book, the way he understood to respect love and women and what he lost by being selfish and running away from commitments. At the end yes, I rooted for him. He was not perfect but definitely interesting and entertaining angel.

I even enjoyed reading Celeste’s life through his eyes. It made me wonder if there’s my own guardian angel or if I could get the message he/she said that helped me in life. (I hope there is! I can hold that guardian angel accountable for things going wrong.)

Loved the message of redemption. End was great. I wouldn’t want to do anything wrong in this life and then was assigned to any such crazy assignments.

Overall, it was quick, interesting and intriguing short story.

Book Links: Goodreads
Affiliate Links: Amazon.in | Amazon.com

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#AuthorInterview : Robert Crouch, author of No Mercy @robertcrouchuk #NoMercy

Hello Readers! I’m happy to welcome Robert Crouch, author of No Mercy, fifth in Kent Fisher Mysteries, for an interview on Books Teacup and Review. Check out more about the book and author in this post.

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No Mercy (Kent Fisher Mysteries #5) by Robert Crouch
Publication Date: January 16th 2020
Genre: Murder Mystery



Highways Inspector, Derek Forster, couldn’t go on after the death of his wife. Even though he had a secret lover, he took his own life. Or did he?

Samson Capote, the restaurateur from hell, brutally attacked and left to die in a deep freezer. Did he antagonise too many people? Was he sharing Forster’s secret lover?Millionaire entrepreneur, Clive Chesterton, falls from his yacht and drowns in Sovereign Harbour. Why did he have Forster’s missing journals in his cabin?

When Kent Fisher becomes a murder suspect, he realises he could be the next victim of a killer who shows no mercy.

Can Kent connect the deaths and solve the mystery before the killer gets to him?

About Author:

Robert Crouch writes the kind of books he loves to read. Books ranging from the classic whodunit by authors like Agatha Christie, the feisty private eye novels of Sue Grafton, thrillers by Dick Francis, and the modern crime fiction of Peter James and LJ Ross.

He created Kent Fisher as an ordinary person, drawn into solving murders. He’s an underdog battling superior forces and minds, seeking justice and fair play in a cruel world. These are the values and motivations that underpinned Robert’s long career as an environmental health officer.

He now writes full time from his home in East Sussex. When not writing, he’s often found walking on the South Downs with his West Highland white terrier, Harvey, enjoying the scenery and researching the settings for future Kent Fisher mysteries.


Can you tell readers a little about your book, No Mercy? What they can expect from the book?

My books are contemporary murder mysteries, featuring amateur sleuth, Kent Fisher. He’s an environmental health officer by trade, but finds himself drawn into murder investigations.

The stories feature a strong backstory based around his work, relationships and the animal sanctuary he also runs. The characters and events in the backstory often link to the murders and themes of each book and offer readers something in addition to a classic whodunit, such as a glimpse into the world of environmental health.

No Mercy is the fifth novel in the series where Kent has to connect three seemingly random deaths to identify a killer before he becomes a victim himself.

How did you come up with the idea for your book?

I hate injustice and unfairness and wanted to explore what could happen when someone felt the system had let them down. I also wanted to how a restaurateur from hell can abuse social media to give Kent nothing but grief.

No Mercy is fifth in Kent Fisher Mysteries Series. Can readers read it as standalone or should read in order? How do your plot and characters develops in the series?

Yes, it can be read as a standalone, but most readers want to get to know the characters and backstory, starting at the beginning with No Accident. Many of the comments readers and reviewers make concern the relationships and characters as much as solving the murders.

There are running issues in the backstory. Kent’s work as an environmental health officer happens during severe public spending cuts, which affect his ability to do the work he loves. The relationships between characters, especially Kent and Gemma continue to change, offering a romantic element to the stories. Then there is his animal sanctuary, family problems and the effects of solving some testing murders.

You get a flavour if this in No Mercy, but not the full picture.

What is the key theme and/or message in the book?

How far would you go if justice failed you? Would you kill?

What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?

The challenge is invariably the same with all my books – keeping it fresh and credible, which isn’t easy when your main character isn’t a police officer or private detective.

I also want the events to be based on reality, especially as an environmental health officer wouldn’t normally investigate murders. That means accuracy, which is where research comes in. As an environmental health officer in real life, I’ve enforced the law, worked with the police and Coroner’s Officer, so I have a good idea how things work. But I’m always asking friends in the police for help.

I also don’t plan the books. I have a few notes on the subject area, what motivates the killer and the theme, but that’s all. It means I’m never sure if I have enough for a novel when I begin writing. I have only a vague idea where the story will go as it develops chapter by chapter. I simply throw in complications at the end of every chapter and see where they take me. More ideas come to me and sometimes the rest of the story, which forces me to stop and make notes.

Though scary, writing is much more exciting this way. After all, if I knew what was going to happen it wouldn’t be as exciting. I hope it shows in the stories

What type of characters do you love and hate to write? What is your favourite quality in protagonists? Does anyone in real life inspire you to write them?

All characters, whether good or bad, are interesting. Some characters present challenges as it’s easy to slip into cliché with police officers or managers who talk like training manuals. As in real life, where you get to know people slowly over time, my characters grow and develop as they become involved in the stories.

I love writing the female characters, especially those who might become a love interest for Kent. As in real life, he reacts differently to different people, so it’s fascinating to watch these characters in action.

I have lots of favourite qualities – like courage, empathy, sacrifice, selflessness and determination, but top of the list is fighting unfairness and injustice.

I create all my characters from scratch so they were entirely fictional. Of course, there are characteristics, phrases, tics and mannerisms I pinch from people I know and meet. If I want a particular characteristic or type, there may be someone who could act as a role model, but it’s much more fun and more satisfying to create my own people.

Tell us about your journey to publication.

How long have you got? It’s a long journey filled with rejection slips, self-doubt, frustration and unrealistic expectations.

My true journey to publication began when I realised I wanted to write crime fiction, thanks to Agatha Christie and in particular, Sue Grafton, who wrote the brilliant Alphabet series featuring PI Kinsey Millhone. I created Kent Fisher, found a way to draw him into a murder and wrote three novels. The first was okay, but the characters and relationships weren’t right. The next two became the foundations for No Accident and No Bodies. The stories lacked that certain something to tempt a publisher, but the plots were complex, intricate and unique.

When I gave up smoking in 2006, I had to stop writing. The two were so intrinsically linked and I had no intention of smoking again. Roll on about nine months, and the urge to write returned. Feeling rusty and unsure of myself, I started a humorous blog, based on my experiences as an environmental health manager. To disguise my identity, I wrote it as Kent Fisher and called the blog, Fisher’s Fables.

Five years and many blog posts later, I realised I’d found my author voice. I returned to my two novels and rewrote them in this new voice. I showed a couple of chapters to an author friend, who offered to introduce me to a publisher. The publisher liked the first chapter and offered me a contract. He went on to publish No Accident in June 2016.

While I bought back the rights and now publish the novels myself, I’m grateful for that first opportunity and the confidence boost it gave me.

What are your most favourite and least favourite thing about being an author?

Writing and editing the stories are my most favourite. As I mentioned earlier, I’m a pantser, who writes his stories chapter by chapter, never quite knowing how the story will develop. I love it when characters surprise me by not doing what I want or expect them to do. This takes me into uncharted territory. It makes the writing more exciting and dynamic and somehow it all works out in the end.

Editing polishes the rough stone. I love sharpening the prose, lifting the plot when it sags, making the story clearer. With each edit and revision, the word count drops and I can see and feel the story improving, which means it will be better for the reader.

My least favourite things are the covers and blurb. I tried to make life easy by keeping the same background for all the covers, changing only the title, strapline and what appears in the foreground. Yet when I write each book, I have no idea what to put on the cover – with the exception of No Bodies, which is my favourite cover.

Writing the blurb is difficult and frustrating. Once written, it never seems good enough. I often update the blurbs for my books. One day, I’ll work out the secret and enjoy the process.

Do you have any writing rituals?

No. I write morning, five days a week, slipping into the afternoons when I need to. I keep evenings and weekends free.

What is the next project you’re working on?

Book 6 in the Kent Fisher mystery series, is provisionally entitled, No Love Lost. As the title suggests, there’s bitterness and ill-feeling at its core, which leads to murder. Revenge is a dish best served cold. Ice cold. These words have been going around in my head and may well become the strapline.

It’s the most difficult and adventurous book I’ve attempted so far, which adds to the pressure. But I need to stretch myself, to try something different and improve as a writer. I also hope it keeps the series as fresh and interesting as possible.

Can you describe No Mercy in five words?

I struggled with the blurb, so five words feels almost impossible.

Injustice. Betrayal. Baffling. Unusual. Exciting.

And the last one, top 3 tips for aspiring authors.

Find your author voice – it’s what makes you and your work unique. It’s the way you write and express yourself naturally, so don’t fight it or be stifled by grammar or comparing your writing with that of other authors. Cherish your natural style and develop it with lots of practice. Without it, you will never produce your best work.

Read, read, read and keep reading. There are so many great authors and books out there. Let them become your friends and offer you insights and guidance.

Listen to your inner voice – it soon speaks out when something isn’t right, or when you’re pushing your characters into places they shouldn’t go. Trust that voice and become a better writer.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

The best places are my website or my Amazon author page.

Website: https://robertcrouch.co.uk

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

Twitter: @robertcrouchuk

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01HFPCYOM

Book Links: (Amazon)

No Mercy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B083JHPLCJ

All books listed on my Amazon Author page

Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book and interview?
Have you read this book or any in this series?
Are you going to add it to TBR?


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#BookReview : Has Anyone Seen My Sex Life? by Kristen Bailey

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Has Anyone Seen My Sex Life? by Kristen Bailey
Publication Date: February 14th 2020
Publisher: Bookouture
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Stars: ★★★★★ [4.5]

It’s normal for your washing machine to get more action than you, right?

I wake up, bleary-eyed.

It’s been two years, six months and three hours since I last shaved my legs, and the llama-patterned knickers I’m wearing have seen better days.

We have seven minutes before the kids wake up, and my husband shuffles closer. ‘Ouch,’ he says, a piece of Lego sticking into his back.

Then, a light comes on in the landing. Small footsteps creep down the stairs. A little voice screams, ‘IS SOMEONE COMING TO MAKE BREAKFAST?!’

All hopes of having some ‘alone time’ is replaced with wondering if we’ve run out of Cheerios, thinking about the overflowing laundry, and remembering that I forgot to take out the recycling. Again.

Just a typical Monday morning for the Morton family…

Except today, when I go downstairs in my dressing gown, I find something. Something belonging to my husband. Something that definitely wasn’t mentioned in the wedding vows. And it’s either going to make us… or break us.

An utterly hilarious and unmissable novel for anyone who has ever felt like they spend more time washing the dishes than getting lucky. Fans of Why Mummy Drinks and The Unmumsy Mum, and rom-coms by Sophie Ranald and Sophie Kinsella, will ugly laugh at this gloriously funny and relatable read.

*** Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to NetGalley and publisher. ***

Has Anyone Seen My Sex Life was quirky Women’s fiction that revolved around Meg and Danny’s married sex life and lot of sex related things but definitely not erotica or a pure romance. It was about uncertainty and questions related to sex life after marriage and kids, rekindling sex life, professional unhappiness, and honest portrayal of sex and how it’s different for everybody.

Now I’m really scratching my head how I should say and how much I should say. There was lot of things in this book. At first I thought it might be a chick-lit or about betrayal or rekindling love but it was much more than that.

It started with Meg receiving a shock in the morning when something arrived in the post that belonged to her husband that changed her life and views. What was it and if her doubt was right or not, was revealed pretty quickly, within first 30% of the book. I’m pretty sure you cannot figure out what was in the box and what was the truth behind it or what Meg will do about it and what happens in the end.There was hilarity in every single chapter. This book defines what laugh-out-loud is, from the very beginning.

Writing was fabulous, gripping and so lovely with varied characters, couples and gossips. Setting of Kendal, Lake District in northern part of the UK made it more entertaining with its close-knit community where everybody knows everybody’s business. I loved characters, family dynamics and even school moms. I rooted for Meg and Danny pretty quickly. I loved Meg more and her voice had a charm that made me to stick with her story and thoughts throughout the book.

Meg was amazing partner and mom. Her sacrifices and love for her family were great to read. When she did her research and found about many other things that might question if she even know her husband, I really felt sad for her. No wife deserves that but oh my, that scene later in bedroom and hospital made me forget all that. Her reaction to the truth was so natural and real. I could feel her insecurity, self-doubt and vacillation. It was not easy for her to clear her mind and see it from Danny’s perspective and when she heard opinions of her sister, best friend and cleared the fog with Danny, she was back to herself. She found a new knowledge and new spark.

Danny was such a nice and well written character. I had my doubts like Meg, but he turned out really amazing. He was a great father, son, brother and husband, I get what he did and why and still I feel he shouldn’t keep it secret and for that I was holding back my likeness. I like how he explained things, his hobby and all the things he did. He didn’t voice it earlier out loud but one can see and feel unhappiness in his professional life. His worry, anxiousness, and love was realistic. I had trouble understanding at first but I loved what he decided at the end and I agreed with Meg.

Stu, Danny’s brother was not easy to like but he surprised me at the end. And I have to say he took the entertainment to upper level. School moms and their gossips was hilarious. Some were friends while some were always at each other’s neck, bitching about other moms and that cat fight in the end was so funny. It all says a lot about how people let out their suppressed feelings and unhappiness on other, finding fault in other person and their life.

I loved Danny and Meg’s girls. They were charming. I can see my girl turn out like Eve! 😅 Emotions and feelings of the characters were well written. Even serious and sad moments were given the touch of humor.

There was lot of sex talk so if you are prim and prudish, just be prepared. You will see lot of sex trinkets, different sex life of different couple, threesome, toesome, wild and adventurous, hook ups… and many sex terminology and synonyms of body parts. To be honest it was all so informative.

I loved the message in the book. It say a lot about people’s mentality towards erotica and art related to it, how people jump to assumptions and think the worst about the person behind any sex related act. It told what love is, what sex is and how it can be different for everybody. It showed a difference between sexual exploration and perverseness.

Climax was uncertain. I was not sure what they will do about this Danny’s secret. I guessed it a little and I was only 20% right about it but anyway it was good to see how they all solved their problems and doubts.

Why 4.5-

I have to say I had little difficulty in understanding some terms and British phrases that slowed the pace, as I was doing lot of googling. Of course it wasn’t difficult to get the idea.

Overall, it was hilarious, entertaining, and enjoyable women’s fiction with a unique and quirky topic. I recommend to all readers of this genre.

Book Links: Goodreads
Affiliate Links: Book Depository | Amazon.in | Amazon.com

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What do you think about the book?
Have you read this books or any book by the same author?
Are you going to add it to TBR?
Have you read a book which has lot of sex talk? Are you prudish to read such books or open-minded?


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Hello readers! I hope you all had great week. I was moody this week I even took more than one day break in reading and exercise. But overall it was good. I bought new phone as there’s another crack on the screen, thanks to my daughter. That phone has undergone screen replacement twice. You can blame that on me and my mom! I don’t think it can bear another replacement and its touch sensor is also not working that nicely. Hopefully new phone will arrive today.



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It took me longer to read this than I expected but it was enjoyable so I don’t mind. I loved this book with its quirky topic. It was uproariously funny. I did recount all those hilarious scene to my husband. Review will be up tomorrow.

Currently Reading-


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I’m 70% through this book and I’ll finish it before the nightfall. I enjoyed this one more than first book. I could recall most of the things but not few minor details. Writing was better and the mystery and adventure was just as interesting. I can’t wait to see what happens by the end of the book. Review will be up later this week.


The Celestial Assignment by Theresa Braun

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After a sudden death, Will, a misguided angel, is tasked with protecting a baby girl. Watching over her as she grows up and navigates the world appears a harsh punishment for his past failings. Can he redeem himself, or will he fall further from grace?

This is short read. This will be my first book by author. I’ve heard this one is great and how can I resist fallen angel!

Unborn: A dystopian thriller by Rachel McLean

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She killed her unborn child. The punishment will fit the crime.

America, 2026.
Feminism has been defeated.
Equality is a memory.
And abortion has been criminalized.

Three women find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Kate, carrying the child of a sexual predator. Grace, whose baby will be born with a fatal deformity. And Cindee: abused, abandoned and pregnant.

Their punishment will fit their crime.

Can these three very different women come together to fight an oppressive system and win their freedom?

Find out by reading Unborn, a chilling dystopia combined with a gripping legal thriller.

Now that sounds interesting. I haven’t read any dystopia this year and this sounds perfect to start with. I’m on blog tour for this book. My stop is on 25th.

Let’s discuss!

What did you read last week?
What are you planning to read this week?
Have you read any of these books?


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