2015 Audiobook Challenge: Second Quarter Update


This will be my second (extremely late) update in the 2015 Audiobook Challenge hosted by The Book Nympho & Hot Listens! 



I'm aiming for the second level: 
Weekend Warrior (I'm getting the hang of this) 5-10 Audiobooks.

Nope, still not getting the hang of this. I only listened to one audiobook since the last update, but I blame the Edge by Tiffinie Helmer audiobook which I never got into and I kept putting it off. I decided to leave it alone and instead I listened to FOUR: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth.


I enjoyed this audiobook a lot and better yet, it was a quick listen. 

My next listen will be:

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

I'm nervous to listen to this audiobook, I would have preferred to have read the book but since I don't see myself buying it any time soon, I should just give it a go now before it gets spoiled to me by my friends who have just read it.

So, this is my progress bar:

2/10 books

How are you doing with your challenges? Have you listened to good audiobooks lately?

The Week's Entrée #69

Hey everyone! Welcome to another edition of The Week's Entrée!

I don't usually post so late but my computer is acting up horribly and every single thing I do here is oh so painfully slow. Need to buy myself a new one!

On a bright note, summer vacations are just around the corner and I can already taste the freedom. More time to read books, yay.

*****
Book reviews in other sites:

I reviewed Volcrian's Hunt by T. L. Shreffler at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers

The Cat's Eye Chronicles just keeps getting better and better! Seriously guys, if you love fantasy books then this series is THE series to try out. Volcrian's Hunt (third book in the series) was epic and ohmygush the feeeels. Finally got them in full force. ♥

Here's the book's summary:

A plague is spreading across the land. Crops are rotting. People are dying in the streets. Sora, with the help of her magical Cat’s Eye necklace, is the only one who can stop it.

She must travel overseas to the Lost Isles, a place of legend and mystery. Only there can she destroy the bloodmage, Volcrian, putting an end to the curse. She is accompanied by Crash, a lethal assassin who once threatened—and saved—her life. But Sora is beginning to question her dark companion. He seems to be carrying a secret; a hidden past that could endanger them all.

Meanwhile, they are hunted by an underground society known as the Shade. For centuries, the Shade has waited for the perfect opportunity to step into the light. Now they are perilously close to resurrecting a Dark God and unleashing a wave of unimaginable destruction. They only need to collect the three sacred weapons, and Sora has already found two….

Books I Got Last Week:

{For review}
From Netgalley, authors, publishers, etc.


I couldn't resist to snag a copy of this pretty looking book on Netgalley. A few of my closest online buddies have been talking about it so I'm curious to see if this turns out to be a good read. Also, can someone gift me a dress like that on my birthday? It's gorgeous! ♥.♥

{Purchased}


This insanely gorgeous book arrived from Amazon last week.  I'm so excited to start reading and I might bump it up on my tbr list for this week. Maybe, I have a lot of other books to finish first. :(

To Read This Week:


I just started this book but OMG am I hooked! From page one, seriously. It's mysterious and I really have no idea where it is heading but I can feel its magic working on me. Hope it stays amazing till the very end!

*****
And that's it for The Week's Entrée! What are you reading this week? :)

Book Review: The Kitchen Magpie by James Steen


Title: The Kitchen Magpie
Author:  James Steen
Publisher:   Icon Books Ltd (May 1, 2014)
Published: May 1, 2014
Page count: 227
Format: eBook
Source: Netgalley

Goodreads | Amazon


Book Summary:

A feast of hundreds of food facts, mouth-watering myths and culinary curiosities to satisfy all appetites.

Join award-winning writer James Steen for a feast of food and drink facts and culinary curiosities.

Delving into forgotten corners of gastronomic history, Steen reveals what Parmesan has to do with broken bones and why John Wayne kept a cow in a hotel. Laying bare the secrets of the kitchen, he concocts the ultimate hangover cure and explains how to cook perfect rib of beef with the oven off.

With much-loved cooks including Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood sharing passion and know-how, this mouth-watering miscellany will sate the appetite of every kitchen dweller, from the masterful expert to the earnest apprentice.

Featuring exclusive recipes from top chefs such as Marcus Wareing and Mary Berry, and contributions from Raymond Blanc, Marco Pierre-White, and chef-to-the-stars Kai Chase, this beautifully presented miscellany blends the history of cookery through the ages with expert tips and astonishing facts.

 *The Chef's Review*

     My rating: 4/5 stars

     I first started reading this book as a way to expand my knowledge on the kitchen area. I like discovering tips on the hows and whys in the process of food making. The title of this book drew my attention immediately and I'm happy to say that I wasn't disappointed.

     This book doesn't follow an order so you can feel free to browse through it's pages to find the section that you are most interested. What I liked best about this book is that it uses simple and clear words to explain every tip, fact or curiosity. Like when ice-cream was created, it wasn't generally liked because it lacked of the qualities it now has, but then farmer street vendors in London gave it another try and stared selling them. People didn't know how to eat it, but claimed that "it had snowed in their bellies". Later on, italian gourmets came to London and made a whole new market, improving the flavors of ice-cream.

     Like that kind of information, The Kitchen Magpie if full of interesting stories ready to be enjoyed and here and there recipes that might catch your eye and wake up that culinary curiosity many of us out there have. I had fun with it, I believe many of you will too ;) 

That's What HE Said Thursday #44: Chaol from Crown of Midnight


That's what HE said Thursday is a weekly meme hosted at Chapter Break where you post a favorite line of a book boyfriend to his girl. It's the perfect meme to share all those awesome quotes!

                     Today's quote is from Chaol of Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas!

Quote:
And she would never come back.

And because she was young, and so damn clever and amusing and wonderful, wherever she made her home, there would be some man who would fall in love with her and who would make her his wife, and that was the worst truth of all. It had snuck up on him, this pain and terror and rage at the thought of anyone else with her. Every look, every word from her... He didn't even know when it had started.

"We'll find that place, then," he said quietly.

"What?" Her brows narrowed.

"I'll go with you." 

-Chaol to Celaena


Chaol is amazing! I love how this character doesn't say much about what he feels, but thinks it so thoroughly. I chose this quote because this is the part of the book where both Celaena and Chaol start opening up about their feelings for each other. I thought that it was sweet. :)

The Week's Entrée #68

Hey everyone! Welcome to another edition of The Week's Entrée!

I missed last week's post thanks to a busy blog schedule during that day, but I'm glad to be back on track. I love doing this post, it's so much fun to do. :)

Anyways, I'm excited to announce that I'll be co-hosting another twitter chat with Danielle L. Jensen, author of The Malediction Trilogy, using @StolenSongbird's account. Yay! It will be this Friday, June 26 at 9pm EST. I really hope to see you there! Use #Trollus to join in on the fun, I heard there will be a few prizes. ;)


*****
Book reviews in other sites:

I reviewed Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers

Lying Out Loud is a great companion novel to The DUFF! This book is worth GOLD in the friendship department, not much in romance. For romance The DUFF is WAY better. 

Here's the book's summary:

Kody Keplinger returns to the world of The DUFF in this brand-new companion novel!

Sonny Ardmore is an excellent liar. She lies about her dad being in prison. She lies about her mom kicking her out. And she lies about sneaking into her best friend’s house every night because she has nowhere else to go.

Amy Rush might be the only person Sonny shares everything with— secrets, clothes, even a nemesis named Ryder Cross.

Ryder’s the new kid at Hamilton High and everything Sonny and Amy can’t stand—a prep-school snob. But Ryder has a weakness: Amy. So when Ryder emails Amy asking her out, the friends see it as a prank opportunity not to be missed.

But without meaning to, Sonny ends up talking to Ryder all night online. And to her horror, she realizes that she might actually like him. Only there’s one small catch: he thinks he’s been talking to Amy. So Sonny comes up with an elaborate scheme to help Ryder realize that she’s the girl he’s really wanted all along. Can Sonny lie her way to the truth, or will all her lies end up costing her both Ryder and Amy?

Books I Got Last Week:

{Purchased}

 

Geek Girl is currently on sale on Amazon! I couldn't pass up the opportunity to snatch a copy of thisbook, I've heard that it's one hilarious read (and I love funny reads!).

{Gift}


My awesome parents bought me a copy of P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han! They hardly have any idea of which books I love, but they save all the book covers I send them in hopes they will buy me a book, and  if they happen to walk by a bookstore or book section in stores, they pick one at random. I got lucky, I wanted this one SO BAD.

To Read This Week:

I asked for help on Twiter and on Instagram to help me pick a book to read this week between this three beautiful choices:


So far P.S. I Still Love You is winning, but Snow Like Ashes is not far behind. Any last minute votes? ;)

*****
And that's it for The Week's Entrée! Hope you have a wonderful week full of books! 

Post-Traumatic Brazilian Wax Syndrome Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway!


Hi everyone! Welcome to my stop in the blog tour of Post-Traumatic Brazilian Wax Syndrome by Tamara Lyon. Below you'll be able to find my review of this great Contemporary Romance book for all type of readers and one sweet giveaway you surely don't want to miss. Enjoy!

*****
Title: Post-Traumatic Brazilian Wax Syndrome
Author: Tamara Lyon
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: May 29th, 2015

Page Count: 321 Pages
Format: eARC
Source: From Tour Host
Amazon | Goodreads | B&N 
Summary: 
Bristow Sparks, an interior designer in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, has just landed the contract of a lifetime, working for the Cherry Wyeland, volatile reality star and CEO of Wine-A-Lot. Designing for a crazy person is an around-the-clock commitment. It frays Bristow’s nerves and forces her to compromise in unimaginable ways, but, given that the finished product will be featured on The Decorating Network, she must succeed.

While her professional life is hot, her personal life is barely room temperature. After surviving the relentless media spotlight because of a personal tragedy and a traitorous ex-boyfriend, Bristow flies so far under the radar she can’t even be detected. A homebody to the core, she binges on episodes of the Showtime series, Dexter, lives in sweatpants, and is addicted to exercise and Oreos.

As for relationships? She has fallen hard and fast for witty and adventurous Jack Hoffmann. However, after their disastrous first date where Bristow collides with a park bench among other mortifying mishaps, they are unfortunately just friends. At least there’s one male sharing her bed, even if it’s only Vegas, her theatrical golden retriever.

For her twenty-ninth birthday, Bristow goes out of her comfort zone and gets a makeover at an elite spa. Post-Brazilian wax and in excruciating pain, Bristow realizes that she’s been in a post-traumatic state for years. She vows to start taking risks again. When she finally goes after what and whom she wants, no matter the cost, tragedy strikes again . . . 

*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 4/5 stars

Okay, I admit it. I thought this book wasn't going to be for me. The title itself had me doubting because, despite being eye-catching, it seemed like a more mature read than the ones I'm used to. However, this book surprised me in so many awesome ways. I ended up loving it and I seriously had the time of my life reading it.

Post-Traumatic Brazilian Wax Syndrome is the story of a 29 year old virgin. She's a successful designer with a crazy, but lovable family, and after losing her father three years ago and suffering a horrible betrayal from her ex-boyfriend involving the media, she swears off having relationships until she meets the "right guy", if ever. But meets him she does. Just before her 29th birthday, the gorgeous Jack Hoffmann enters her life and puts a spin to her oreo and Dexter binging nights. The problem is,somehow they end up being "just friends", and to top it all off, suddenly her ex is back in town and things start going horribly, horribly wrong.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: great characters = great books, and this book nailed it with them, starting with Bristow. I'm typically a YA reader, so I often have a hard time connecting with older main characters because I'm so used to reading about teens and young adults, so it was a nice surprise that I instantly connected with Bristow.
She was a fun character to get to know and I loved her quirks that so many readers will instantly relate to. Cookie-eating + series binge-watching? Yup, I'm quite familiar with that. And not only that, she's a really strong woman with great family values. She's far from perfect but she tries to look out for her own, even give more than generous second chances to people who don't deserve it all.

However, Bristow wasn't my favorite character. Her great-grandmother, Gigi, was the real deal for me. What an awesome old lady! She had me laughing every time she would say something, and although she was quite old and had trouble with her memory, she was a dazzling, bright character that held her weight in this book. I loved her so, so much. Actually, the rest of Bristow's family was crazy awesome and I adored their close relationship. The death of Bristow's father was a hard thing for them, but I'm glad that this was not the case in which the family breaks apart.  

Jack was another amazing character. I admit I fell a little in love with him. He's kind, smart, hard-working, sweet and overall, a perfect guy. His relationship with Bristow started out weird and highly embarrassing, but I loved that. Right from the get-go there were no secrets between them - except for their feelings for each other - so it was kind of awesome how their friendship developed. I should emphasize here a bit more how entertaining the embarrassing aspects were. Totally hilarious and mortifying!

I wouldn't call this a fast-paced book, but neither a slow kind of read. It goes at a steady pace and it absorbs the reader as one goes about Bristow's slightly traumatic life, her cousin Margarita's messed up choice in men, and her highly demanding career as an interior designer. This book is a really great read and I'm glad I had the chance to read it. It's not every day that one crosses a clean adult read as good as this one!

Meet the Author:
Post-Traumatic Brazilian Wax Syndrome is loosely inspired by an unfortunate, painful event that occurred three years ago and is critically acclaimed author Tamara Lyon’s sixth novel. Her previous works include The Ugly Tree series, a Flamingnet Top Choice Award winner, 2011 Next Generation Indie Finalist, Eric Hoffer Finalist, and Midwest Book Award Finalist. In 2010 her novel, Fixing Forever Broken, earned an IPPY Award for romance. Lyon has taken her recent books in a decidedly chick-lit direction and creates characters and stories that are refreshingly and humorously real. She makes her home in Wisconsin with her talented husband, cycling-superstar son, and counter-surfing golden retriever, Macy.
Social Media Links:
Follow the Tour:
June 15th – Heather Ann's Book Reviews – Review 

June 16th – J & J Book Bangers – Review  

June 17th – Bookish Lifestyle – Review  

June 18th – A Diary of A Book Addict – Review  

June 18th – Room With Books – Review  

June 19th – Laura's Interests – Review/Top Ten

June 19th – All For The Love of the Word – Character Interview/Top Ten

June 19th – Books & Bling – Author Interview 

June 19th – The Reader and The Chef – Review  

June 19th – Pixie Vixen Book Reviews – Review  

June 19th – Kaidans Seduction – Review/Guest Post

June 19th – Nicole Alamillo – Review


Giveaway:
Event hosted by:

The Witch of Painted Sorrows Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway



Hi!  Welcome to my stop in the blog tour of The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose, hosted by Dark World Books. I'm super stoked to be sharing with you all a small guest post/excerpt from one of the characters of this beautiful book (have you checked out that stunning cover?!) and one amazing tour-wide international giveaway! Please check out all the deets about this book below and don't hesitate to add it to your Goodreads' shelf. Thank you so much for stopping by!

*****
The Witch Of Painted Sorrows 
(Daughters of La Lune #1)
by M. J. Rose
Gothic Historical Fantasy
Published by Atria Books on March 17th, 2015
Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.

Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten—her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.

This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul”, her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.

Praise for The Witch of Painted Sorrows

This bell époque thriller is a haunting tale of obsessive passions.” —People Magazine

Provocative, erotic, and spellbindingly haunting…will have the reader totally mesmerized cover-to-cover….a ‘must-have’ novel.” —Suspense Magazine

A haunting tale of erotic love…. M.J. Rose seamlessly weaves historical events throughout this story filled with distinctive characters that will keep the reader captivated to the end.” —Examiner.com

Rose has a talent for compelling writing, and this time she has outdone herself. Fear, desire, lust and raw emotion ooze off the page.” —Associated Press

Haunting tale of possession.” —Publishers Weekly

Rose’s new series offers her specialty, a unique and captivating supernatural angle, set in an intriguing belle epoque Paris — lush descriptions, intricate plot and mesmerizing storytelling. Sensual, evocative, mysterious and haunting.” —Kirkus

Mixes reality and illusion, darkness and light, mystery and romance into an adult fairy tale. [Rose] stirs her readers curiosities and imaginations, opening their eyes to the cultural, intellectual and artistic excitement that marked the Belle Epoque period. Unforgettable, full-bodied characters and richly detailed narrative result in an entrancing read that will be long savored.” —Library Journal (Starred Review)

An elegant tale of rare depth and beauty, as brilliantly crafted as it is wondrously told….melds the normal and paranormal in the kind of seamless fashion reserved for such classic ghost stories as Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw.” —Providence Journal
*****


Postcard no. 2
Postmark Paris, France 1894

We waited until midnight to visit the nightclub called Hell.  We’d heard that they enacted rituals there. Deep underground, on certain nights of the week, it was said there was carnage. On other nights miracles were performed.

Like everything else in Paris that year, the sexual innuendos that swirled were as powerful as the perfume the courtesans at the table next to us wore.  The two women were both dripping in pearls, whispering and pointing. I looked at the man they were singling out. He was too thin and too ugly but he had the most brilliant blue eyes. 

They said he had almost died and that a woman had brought him back from the dead and he was still under her spell. When I asked they who had that ability they said Sandrine knows… but has never told anyone.

That name again! Sandrine! Who is she? Where can we find her?


 *****
About the Author


New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice… books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it. Rose’s work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com. The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and currently serves, with Lee Child, as the organization’s co-president. Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.
INTERNATIONAL!
Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!


Hosted by:


Rising Tide Book Blitz + Giveaway



Hey everyone! Welcome to the book blitz of Rising Tide by Susan Roebuck! Read along to learn about what this book is all about, read an excerpt, and don't forget to enter the international giveaway. Thanks so much for stopping by!


*****

Rising Tide 
by Susan Roebuck
Contemporary Suspense
Published by Mundania Press on March 19th, 2015


Time, and most of Portugal, has almost forgotten Luminosa, a small fishing community on the Alentejo coast. A cluster of white and blue cottages huddle under the cliffs overshadowed by the great manor of Herdade Albatroz, whose family has ruled the village since the days of Napoleon. Far off the tourist route, nobody visits Luminosa by chance.

When a ruthless American racketeer turns up, the peaceful village’s way of life could be ruined forever. But will other visitors—Piper Pines, seeking news of her long dead Portuguese mother, and Leo Shine, bereft of a father and brother accused of terrible crimes—help or hinder his objective to drag Luminosa into the twenty-first century?


*****

*Rising Tide Excerpt*
Alentejo, Portugal 
Leo woke to find the sun on his face. He raised himself onto his elbow, disorientated. Had he slept too late? He’d kicked off the covers during the night and was butt naked, his body sweating in the heat. Shouldn’t it be raining? It always rained in September. The crashing of waves sounded familiar enough, but where were the other usual sounds: the clanking of the dockside crane as it dipped and swung from the fishing boats’ holds, the wagons rumbling towards the canning factory, the glad shouts from crews on the vessels returning home? Where was the everlasting stink of fish and gasoline? Why did it smell of freshly baked bread? He scratched his head to free it from the last clouds of sleep and forced his eyes open wider to look around the cramped room. Against the wall was his open rucksack with his few spare clothes spewing out onto the floor. 
Glancing at his watch, he saw it wasn’t that late and then it dawned on him the sun was in a different position, that’s all, because he wasn’t in his bedroom in the family home on Wharf Street; he was six thousand miles to the southeast and he’d arrived last night. 
****

Leo had wondered during all those hours on the planes if he should charge in when he arrived in the village like a storm trooper and shake the first inhabitant he saw until information rattled out of him along with his teeth. He snorted at the idea. No, he’d play with them like a fish on a line and then reel ’em in once they took a bite of his enticing bait. And if it turned out they had played any part, however small, in the Goblin’s sinking then he, like Luke Skywalker, would be a force to be reckoned with. 
But when he did arrive last night, a stocky and very hairy guy asked, stating, Leo thought, the damned obvious, “Just arrived?” He said his name was Serafim as he placed a dish of steaming fish stew in front of Leo. 
This was a primo. The main one. Serafim was the guy who sent the Christmas cards and he hadn’t been difficult to find in this one-horse town since the sign Serafim’s Bar/Café was the first thing Leo spotted on arrival. 
It felt strange, though, finally meeting a relative who wasn’t his father or brother, and for a moment Leo was tempted to wonder if he could get away with introducing himself. Nah—bad idea. Hadn’t he already decided the best action was to keep schtum? Anyway he was too hungry and he eyed a fragrant dish brimming with clams, white fish fillets, golden potatoes, and chorizo sausage with almost the first feeling of pleasure he’d known since March. 
Leo chewed on a briny clam and eyed possibly more of his relatives: a handful of fisherman who arrived, creating a buzz of too many voices so the air was thick with sounds and a fishy odor that didn’t come from his plate. They didn’t look much different to the hard-lined, weathered fishermen he’d lived and worked with all his life, sitting at the scuffed bar on bar stools that had been broken several times and patched up, their shirts stained with fish blood. Except money wasn’t flowing like it would where Leo came from. In the dingy Halcyon Bar back home there would be a constant ringing of a bell when guys had had a big catch and a bunch of money to spend on buying rounds. Here they hugged their one beer, chewed what looked like flat yellow beans and spat the transparent skins out onto a saucer. 
Still, their leathery faces looked cheerful enough and they’d given him a wave or two as they passed, even though they couldn’t have a clue who he was. Course, they might all be dimwits. His father had once referred to the primos as “all inter-married and crazy as Crackerjacks. Won’t change a thing in the village, it’s like walking into a time slip and going back a hundred years.” 
When it came time for Leo to ask about renting a room, Serafim told him there was one above the café and didn’t even ask his name. 
****
This morning, Leo clambered down the wooden staircase and opened the door that was the inside entrance to the café. The only things he desired right now were freshly baked bread and a coffee. 
The café was empty except for a plump woman holding a straw basket, her ankles so swollen they rose over her shoes and spilled down the side like beer foaming over a glass. She turned as Leo came in, saying, “Good morning,” and her weathered face creased into a brown-tooth filled smile. “Welcome. I do hope you have a very pleasant stay.” 
His mind tumbled in confusion. Where did these people learn their English? It wasn’t like everyone in the country spoke fluently. The cab driver last night had stumbled and tottered over his words several times before he’d managed to convey to Leo he’d have to drop him at the top of the hill that led down to the village because he didn’t think his cab would get down the narrow street. 
Unaffected by Leo’s lack of response, the woman continued, “Would you like a coffee the likes of which you’ve never had before? Just the way Serafim knows how to make it, thick, strong and short—a bit like Serafim himself, but not so hairy.” The woman gargled what could’ve been a chuckle. “One and a half cups and you’ll be buzzing.” 
“Sounds good to me,” Leo said as she threw a final laugh in Serafim’s direction before she placed what looked like jars of honey on the counter and then clattered through the chain curtain hanging at the door. 
Leo turned to his primo behind the counter. Primo. God dammit, families were people you had feelings for and the only people he cared about had been wiped out by a rogue wave. In any case, Leo didn’t think Serafim and he resembled each other in any way. 
Bica I presume?” Serafim asked, offering the tiny steaming cup of coffee with an elaborate bow. 
In the fug of ground coffee-beans, tobacco, stale beer and wine, Leo held the tiny cup of thick brown liquid to his nose, inhaling deeply before adding three packets of sugar. The coffee began to work its magic, bringing a warm glow to his insides on a par with a gulp of brandy. 
“We aim to please,” Serafim said, obviously reading Leo’s expression correctly. 
The guy had attitude and Leo had to admit he liked it. Serafim wasn’t morose, nor a meathead, and probably neither were the guys in the bar last night because after Leo had turned in, he heard a coarse-voiced chorus from down- stairs which had lulled him off to sleep. “You speak good English,” Leo said. 
“Practice, that’s all,” Serafim said, handing over a warm roll with butter and jelly that, he told him was, “all homemade. If you want any ask Rosa, she’s my sister and the one who just left.” 
So he’d just met another primo, had he? Rosa? Shame, he’d kinda liked her. 

 *****
About the Author

Sue Roebuck was born and educated in the UK but she now lives in Portugal with her Portuguese husband. She has taught at various colleges and institutions in Portugal and her interest in dyslexia started with a discussion over lunch with a colleague and friend. Nowadays Sue’s mostly occupied by e-learning courses which, when no cameras are used, are also known as “teaching in your pajamas”. But, given a choice, writing would be her full-time occupation. Working from home presents no problem for her since her office window overlooks the glittering point where the Tagus River meets the Atlantic Ocean. The huge container ships, tankers and cruise liners which are constantly on their way in or out of Lisbon harbor are a great source of inspiration (or distraction). She has traveled widely through The States and believes that “being born American is like winning the lottery of life”. If she could live anywhere, she’d live in the Catskills in Upstate New York.

INTERNATIONAL!
GRAND PRIZE:
         ·         E-copies of Rising Tide, Perfect Score and Hewhay Hall
RUNNER-UPS:
·         E-copy of Perfect Score

·         E-copy of Heway Hall

Hosted by: