Archive for May 12th, 2018

“The Thick of Things” by J.L. Campbell

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The Thick of Things (In Medias Res Book 1)

by J.L. Campbell

Genre: Women’s Fiction/Romance/African-American

2.99 at time of posting

Life has a way of going awry when you least expect it, and Khalila Skyers learns this lesson the hard way. In one devastating blow after another, she loses her cosy existence. Then Douglas Blythe overtakes her life like a flood, and she’s not equipped to deal with an attraction that seems forbidden and overwhelming. But her body and heart want what they want, and leave her wondering if she ever knew herself at all.

Douglas is determined to help Khalila move beyond her obsession with the past and reach for love a second time. No matter how long it takes. No matter the distance. He’s going to prove he’s worth the risk.

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#Review “My Sweet Friend” by H.A. Leuschel

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5/5 Stars!

A new employee can change the dynamics in the workplace, but few do it with such disastrous consequences as the illusive Alexa.

Like a blustery tornado, she blows into her new position at an advertising agency, upsetting work friendships, workflow, and for some… emotional stability.

Alexa is the epitome of the high-powered professional. She has looks, style, and an impressive resume. You either like Alexa or you don’t, and both of those opinions are held among her new coworkers.

However, there is a third. One of impressionable awe with a dose of intimidation thrown in. Unfortunately for her, co-worker Rosie falls into the last category.

A forgettable young woman, Rosie is quickly pulled into Alexa’s web. The gal-pal time is a welcome respite from her closely held secret—an ill mother and a mountain of debt.

In the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, Rosie had to admit she could no longer care for her mother at home. After Rosie’s dad walked away when she was a toddler, her mom made whatever sacrifices necessary to give her a good life. Now Rosie feels she at least owes her dear mom the same. Private care is expensive, but she refuses to submit her mother to the same hell her grandmother went through in a state facility.

Rosie suffers in silence, barely meeting her personal expenses each month.

When Alexa discovers Rosie’s secret, she’s ambivalent and even a cold. But with her usual quick-change personality, in the end, she offers to help Rosie with her bills… an offer Rosie accepts but knows she will regret.

Of course, being Alexa’s sweet friend comes at a price and it is steep.

Besides being at Alexa’s beck and call for her emotional meltdowns and rants about some mysterious ex who’s stalking her, Rosie also finds herself doing more of Alexa’s work in the office… and defending her to coworkers. Time with the controlling Alexa has even caused Rosie to miss visits to see her mom.

Rosie isn’t alone in falling under Alexa’s sway as Jack abruptly falls into a hot affair that cools quickly along with his positive opinion of Alexa.

Confused about their relationships with the skilled manipulator, Jack and Rosie, good friends before Alexa entered the picture, don’t turn to each other.

This is very telling at how masterful a liar and schemer Alexa is. She had Jack believing things about Rosie he KNEW were out of character for her… but he went along with it. She also cast her shortcomings onto Rosie, making her appear inept at the job she once handled with aplomb.

The pressure of her mother’s situation and mounting debt send Rosie into counseling where she discovers something else… resentment toward Alexa.

Armed with new emotional tools and a stronger sense of self, Rosie begins to move away from her former friend.

The bottom falls out quickly when Alexa’s past catches up to her. But like a true sociopath, Alexa continues to play victim without thought of any harm she’s done. Incredibly, she ponders ways to play on the sympathies of others and remain the center of attention.

This is the second book I’ve read by H.A. Leuschel and again she delivers an intense character study in an engaging short read.

In Tess & Tattoos, she showed how a brief friendship had a positive and lasting effect on everyone it touched. In My Sweet Friend, we see the opposite. Alexa’s well thought out manipulations have a negative impact on the entire office, but we can only hope it isn’t lasting.

I highly recommend this intriguing page-turner to anyone who’s ever crossed paths with a true narcissist… and is still standing! The only downside is the pages run out too quickly.

Enjoy!

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A stand-alone novella from the author of Manipulated Lives.cover

A perfect friend … or a perfect impostor?

Alexa is an energetic and charismatic professional and the new member of a Parisian PR company where she quickly befriends her colleagues Rosie and Jack. She brings a much-needed breath of fresh air into the office and ambitiously throws herself into her new job and friendships.

But is Alexa all she claims to be?

As her life intertwines with Rosie and Jack’s, they must all decide what separates truth from fiction. Will the stories that unfold unite or divide them? Can first impressions ever be trusted?

In this original novella, H.A. Leuschel evokes the powerful hold of appearances and what a person is prepared to do to keep up the facade. If you like thought-provoking and compelling reads with intriguing characters, My Sweet Friend is for you.

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Universal Purchase Link
https://t.co/BtwZGcmEwt

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Giveaway

Win a signed copy of Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel (Open Internationally)

E N T E R

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organizer and used only for fulfillment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

 

 

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#BlogBlitz “My Sweet Friend” by H.A. Leuschel

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banner

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A stand-alone novella from the author of Manipulated Livescover

A perfect friend … or a perfect impostor?

Alexa is an energetic and charismatic professional and the new member of a Parisian PR company where she quickly befriends her colleagues Rosie and Jack. She brings a much-needed breath of fresh air into the office and ambitiously throws herself into her new job and friendships.

But is Alexa all she claims to be?

As her life intertwines with Rosie and Jack’s, they must all decide what separates truth from fiction. Will the stories that unfold unite or divide them? Can first impressions ever be trusted?

In this original novella, H.A. Leuschel evokes the powerful hold of appearances and what a person is prepared to do to keep up the facade. If you like thought-provoking and compelling reads with intriguing characters, My Sweet Friend is for you.

~~~~~

 

Universal Purchase Link
https://t.co/BtwZGcmEwt

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Author Bio

HA LeuschelHelene Andrea Leuschel grew up in Belgium where she gained a Licentiate in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She now lives with her husband and two children in Portugal and recently acquired a Master of Philosophy with the OU, deepening her passion for the study of the mind. When she is not writing, Helene works as a freelance journalist and teaches Yoga.

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Author Links
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads Author Page
Website

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Giveaway

Win a signed copy of Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel (Open Internationally)

E N T E R

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

 

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Fibromyalgia & Lupus

Fibro Cloud

Social media drives me nuts. But I also find it amusing. And sometimes I’m even grateful for it because of the connections it allows me to maintain. Like the dear friend with whom I’d fallen out of touch, only to recently discover was diagnosed with lupus disease two years ago. Apparently, lupus disease is also similar to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia, just two of the conditions with overlapping symptoms that can muddy the waters when it comes to a diagnosis. With that in mind, it took a while for my friend to get her lupus diagnosis. In all my research and experiences with both CFS and fibromyalgia, one thing I have learned is that these and similar conditions are often very difficult to diagnose. In fact, many patients have multiple conditions at the same time. And, of course, lupus frequently shows up in the research of these conditions. But just what is lupus and how is it treated?

What’s in a Name?

It’s hard for me to hear the name “lupus” without linking it to the fictional “Professor Remus Lupin” from the Harry Potter series. In the story, Professor Lupin was a werewolf. So, it should not come as a surprise that the word lupus is Latin for “wolf.” The name is no mere coincidence, although it lupus as a disease has nothing to do with any disease or contagion from a canine. It is actually called “lupus” because of a 13th century physician “who used it to describe erosive facial lesions that were reminiscent of a wolf’s bite.” However, the reality is that lupus can damage any part of the body, including the skin, joints, and/or organs.

Sadly, lupus is an autoimmune disease. The Lupus Foundation of America explains that with lupus, the immune system cannot tell the difference between “foreign invaders” like the flu, germs, and bacteria from healthy tissues. In other words, the body begins to attack and destroy itself the way it would foreign invaders. Even though the physician didn’t intend it, associating this condition with a wolf that instinctively attacks and destroys was certainly appropriate.

Lupus Disease Symptoms

Fibromyalgia is sometimes referred to as an autoimmune disease as well. However, there is much debate over that. Nevertheless, it is easy to see why fibromyalgia and lupus disease, not to mention chronic fatigue syndrome, can be mistaken for each other and often overlap. Fibro patients will definitely recognize a lot of these common lupus symptoms:

  • Extreme fatigue (tiredness)
  • Headaches
  • Painful or swollen joints
  • Fever
  • Anemia (low numbers of red blood cells or hemoglobin, or low total blood volume)
  • Swelling (edema) in feet, legs, hands, and/or around eyes
  • Pain in chest on deep breathing (pleurisy)
  • Butterfly-shaped rash across cheeks and nose
  • Sun- or light-sensitivity (photosensitivity)
  • Hair loss
  • Abnormal blood clotting
  • Fingers turning white and/or blue when cold (Raynaud’s phenomenon)
  • Mouth or nose ulcers

The similarities between lupus and other conditions are frightening and frustrating. Indeed, so much so, that the Lupus Foundation adds: “Many of these symptoms occur in other illnesses. In fact, lupus is sometimes called “the great imitator” because its symptoms are often like the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, blood disorders, fibromyalgia, diabetes, thyroid problems, Lyme disease, and a number of heart, lung, muscle, and bone diseases.” No wonder it took so long for my friend to get a diagnosis. Not to mention a doctor who would take her symptoms seriously.

Treatments for Lupus

Like most of the conditions and diseases above, lupus has no cure. That means that healthcare practitioners will often focus on managing the symptoms to improve your quality of life. The Mayo Clinic recommends starting with lifestyle modifications, including sun protection and diet changes. The Lupus Foundation of America has an excellent resource regarding common diet questions for lupus patients. Some of these include avoiding alfalfa and certain ‘nightshade vegetables,’ such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers. The Mayo Clinic adds that some medications can be helpful. Especially immunosuppressive drugs that reduce immune response and steroids which can reduce inflammation and repair tissues.

It is important to note that you, the patient actually living with lupus and any related conditions, play an important role in helping your physician manage this disease. And if you haven’t been diagnosed yet, but suspect you may have lupus, be ready ahead of time for your visit. Have your medical history and medications list ready, be prepared to answer lots of questions regarding your symptoms, and arrive with a list of questions to ask they physician as well.

 

The preceding article is from FibromyalgiaTreating.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. No copyright infringement intended. For additional information, please visit their website or consult your physician.

 

 

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“Daughter of Shadow (The Chronicles of Hawthorn Book 7)” by Rue

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Daughter of Shadow (The Chronicles of Hawthorn Book 7)

by Rue

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy/YA/Historical/Self-Esteem

2.99 at time of posting

For a LIMITED TIME, book can also be downloaded for FREE through Book Funnel. (Book Doggy giveaway – newsletter sign-up required.)

Conceived in magic. Born into deception. Roselle Katipo is no ordinary child.

The daughter of the Shadow Witch is missing and she has a powerful amulet in her possession. She continues to mature at an unnatural pace, but becomes more animal than human as she hides among the massive Sky Shadows in their mountain roosts.

Several leagues to the north, Flynn Hawthorn fights to restore her reputation and reunite her family. If she hopes for any chance at redemption she must forsake everything beyond the Mist.

Flynn, the child of prophecy, struggles toward the Light and yearns to heal her land.

The Daughter of Shadow, Roselle, surges toward darkness as she obsesses over unlocking the secrets of her own twisted magic.

Will Roselle join her mother in the battle to destroy the Light, or will Flynn have to fight a war on two fronts?

Daughter of Shadow is the seventh book in the best-selling young adult fantasy series The Chronicles of Hawthorn. If you like historical fantasy, magical adventure, deadly enemies, and unbreakable friendships that readers have called, “truly a wonderful read for all ages,” then you’ll love Rue’s spell-casting spectacular.

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“Murder by Misrule” by Anna Castle

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Murder by Misrule (The Francis Bacon Mystery Series Book 1)

by Anna Castle

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense/Historical

FREE at time of posting!

Brilliant Francis Bacon is at a loss — and in danger.

Bacon must put down his books and investigate the murder of a fellow barrister at Gray’s Inn in order to regain the queen’s favor. He recruits his pupil, handsome Thomas Clarady, to do the tiresome legwork. The son of a wealthy privateer, Clarady will do anything to climb the Elizabethan social ladder.

The first clues point to a Catholic conspirator, but other motives for murder quickly emerge. Rival barristers contend for the victim’s legal honors and wealthy clients. Highly-placed courtiers are implicated as the investigation reaches from Whitehall to the London streets.

Bacon does the thinking; Clarady does the fencing. Everyone has something up his pinked and padded sleeve. Even Bacon is at a loss — and in danger — until he sees through the disguises of the season of Misrule.

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