*REVIEW* – Flame to Frost (The Last Tritan Book 1), by Myra Danvers

#DarkFantasy

Flame

Blurb

Back by popular demand, the infamous cult classic has returned in its original glory! Complete with bonus scenes, this chart-topping fan favorite is available for purchase for the first time!
Sheltered in the lap of luxury, Mila is eighteen when her world dissolves in flames around her.
War.
A utopia swallowed in a single night.
Orphaned and alone, terrified of being captured, Mila flees the conquerors who have come to claim. To snatch up those gifted few called priestess―Tritan women born with magic in their blood. They are healers. Peacekeepers bound and chained, used as living batteries, they become the fuel that feeds the Caledonian army and creates unstoppable warriors.
The elite.
Warmongers. Dogs of the state, they are the perfect soldiers―everything a Tritan priestess isn’t, wielding power that does not belong to them.
But Mila is an enigma. A priestess hidden from her own people, hers is a secret her father died to keep. One Mila will use to fight from the shadows, striking against the empire in any way she can. An army of one, with the power of many…
Until she is betrayed.
Captured.
Sold.
To Captain Asher Rawlings.
Captor. Villain. Elite. Even without a priestess of his own, Asher’s power lashes at her senses. Dark flames lapping at her nape, whispering of untapped potential Mila didn’t think possible.
Helpless, subject to Asher’s every whim, Mila is made to obey his every sordid command. Left with nothing but her secret.
That she is a Tritan priestess―the one thing he needs to seize a legendary power that could tip the scales of the war and ensure an everlasting Caledonian rule.
Now Mila must navigate a world of villains and political conspiracy, endure anything Asher throws her way, and above all else… never reveal what she is.

The Last Tritan is perfect for fans of the Grishaverse. Those who fell completely in love with the Darkling―a smoldering villain we wanted to see win… 

My Review

Amazing Dark Fantasy – 5 stars

I absolutely inhaled this amazing dark fantasy read. It is the first book I have read by the author Myra Danvers and  is one of her earlier works, reworked as part of her Triton Evolution series. I have now found another awesome author to add to my list!

I loved the central character of Mila and her journey from a pampered and orphaned escapee to when she becomes a thorn in the side of her enemies, until she is finally captured. She is strong, empathetic and kick-ass, but with a secret that she is at great pains to conceal, lest it lead to her downfall. The contrast between her frugal existence in hiding in the forest and the debauched life of the world she is thrust into is well done, as is the worldbuilding.

As soon as her path crosses with the uber anti-hero Asher Rawlings, her captor and a member of the enemy Elite, the air positively crackles with tension. He is an alpha to die for, but one you would not want to get on the wrong side of – as Mila is wont to do. He typifies everything Mila despises and I adored how she defies him at every turn, even though it costs her. I was on pins as she strives to hide her secret from him – that she is a priestess with powers he will exploit to the maximum if he discovers them. 

I can’t wait to read the next instalment of this superbly sexy and suspenseful captor/captive romance.

Recommended to fans of dark fantasy who adore villainous anti- heroes you love to hate and strong heroines who do all they can to resist their fate.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

I received a copy of this book from Booksprout and I am voluntarily lieaving a review.

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*ARC GIVEAWAY* – Blood Money: A Dark Cartel Romance (Dinero de Sangre Book 1), by Lana Sky

💸 Hot New Series and ARC Giveaway 💸

Blood Money by Lana Sky!

A New Dark Cartel Romance!

Releases June 28th!

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Blurb

In this twisted dark cartel romance, revenge and hate collide with the past…

Ten years after a devastating betrayal, revenge has come back to bite Ada Pavalos.

Literally.

Once her family’s trusted bodyguard, Domino Valenciaga is out for blood.

Or her heart.

Whichever goal takes more violence to achieve…

#Preorder #DarkCartelRomance #NewSeries #LanaSky #TwistedRomance #RevengeAndHate #NeedToReadItNow #ReadMoreRomance #Bookstagram

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Lana Sky is a reclusive writer in the United States who spends most of her time daydreaming about complex male characters and legless cats. She writes mostly paranormal romance, in between watching reruns of Ab Fab and drinking iced tea. Only iced tea. 

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Dark Read | Giveaway | Psychological

*BOOK TOUR & REVIEW* – Am I Loved? The Most Asked Question Of All Time by John D. Bieber.

#nonfiction #philosophical #psychological

Am I Loved TWITTER GRAPHIC

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Book Blurb

We did not enter this world with a manual. This book is the next best thing. As the world’s only emotional beings is it not truly astonishing that we function through emotions that we do not remotely understand or control? How then can we possibly understand or control ourselves? Bound together by a total ignorance of the human condition, we conduct our lives unaware of how we are meant to live.

Am I Loved? is nothing if not about being human. It is a book of secrets. A book about life, how life has been lived by a parade of humanity 65 billion names long all of whom have got it wrong, failing to understand how things are meant to be. This book defines the human condition as it is and, unknown until now, how it has always been. Our emotions exist not to benefit us but to safeguard our genes, protecting the life within us. Thus is the language of our emotions translated for us to understand, their crucial interaction with the greatest human need of all, our need to be loved, duly explained. All else flows from this.

We spend our lives intent on surviving when fulfilment comes from loving and being loved. Nature’s Protections serve to liberate us yet we allow them to inhibit our lives without realising that the majority of our many emotional problems are solvable simply by a proper understanding of the human condition. Understanding what we do not understand will be a hugely fulfilling experience significantly enhancing the quality of our lives. Am I Loved? explains how this may be done enabling us to get everything right.

Publisher: Umbria Press

My Review

Insightful and thought-provoking – 5 stars

Am I Loved? Is an insightful contribution into the human condition and how we manage the myriad of emotions which we experience and which impact on our existence. It proposes a way forward in which we can understand and channel our emotions so that we gain greater happiness and fulfilment. It left me, the reader, with the tools to begin re-examining my own emotional outlook and how I relate to others so that I do not solely survive but love and be loved in a way I had not previously contemplated in quite the same way.

The author delves into the realms of history, faith, genes and psychology and it is clear he has spent many years of research before producing his own thoughts. His book encourages us to comprehend the forces at play within ourselves and our emotions, why they exist and how they relate to our innate need to be loved. Whilst the read contained a number of concepts unfamiliar to me, the book did well in introducing them step by step so that by the end the way forward made practical sense.

I feel that this is a book I will want to return to again and again as I contemplate my relationships with others and also my own psyche.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, a copy of this book was given to me by the author in return for a fair and honest review.

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Syndicated Interview with John Bieber

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In short, what is the primary message behind Am I Loved??

The very things that make us human are those that cause us to feel ill at ease in our humanity because right back to the first human being everyone has got everything wrong. For how can we function as sophisticated emotional beings when we can neither understand nor control our emotions? This book examines the human condition establishing where and why we have gone wrong and how we can now get everything right leading to a more fulfilling and meaningful existence and the chance to feel truly comfortable in ourselves and at ease in our nature for the very first time.

What initially inspired you the write the book?

My experience as a Divorce lawyer witnessing people in huge distress who were rendered incapable of taking constructive decisions due to the onslaught of their emotions. This led me to write a book on the emotional side of divorce which in turn led to a detailed study of our emotions. which were clearly not understood at all.

What is your goal for the book following publication?

None particularly although I would love my book to be accepted as the definitive analysis of the human condition.

What was the writing process like for such an epic tome? Did the book involve a lot of research and if so, where did your research take you?

I read widely around the subject. See my bibliography. Every book seemed to miss the point but by considering them all I was able to build my theories from where theirs’ had left off.

Is Am I Loved? your first book? If not, how does it differ to your previous book(s)?

No. If Divorce is the Only Way? (Penguin) was my first published book although I have written two unpublished novels and have a play I would love to write but probably never will.

In your opinion, what one thing most defines us as humans?

Our overwhelming need to be loved.

Is it truly possible to fully control and manage our emotions?

No. Emotions come to us fully formed responding to the needs of our genes for the preservation of life, rather than to our personal needs. And so, preserving the Life within us they are beyond our control. The best we can do is to try to control our reactions to them by the suppression of anger or the masking of sadness or surprise.

Why is it so necessary to understand our emotions?

Because all personal feelings and human intercourse flows through them.

Could you tell us more about the concept of ‘The Speechless Real’?

The Speechless Real is not my term it originated with Jacques Barzun. It is the reason for our ignorance of how we function. It envelops us all blotting out a full understanding of the human condition to the extent that no one can even explain what it feels like to be alive although all of us experience that feeling all the time every day. In this way people will believe that despite its limitations the way we live is the only way there is despite the misery and sadness this may engender. It is a block on understanding inimical to a full knowledge of the human condition that my book seeks to dispel.

Why do we have such a strong need to be and feel loved?

These needs are our greatest needs, again designed for the better protection of life.

What is the link between our emotions and our need to be loved?

Very strong. Our Supreme Sense analyses our every emotion by reference to the effect that such emotions have on our need to be loved. Hence the question “Am I Loved? “A negative emotion will have a negative effect whilst a positive emotion will have a positive effect enabling us, though our Supreme Sense, to gauge how we are surviving at any one time.

Could you tell us more about the fundamental role our genes play in our existence?

Inhabiting a parallel universe to our own, feeling nothing, caring for nothing and intending nothing save for their own preservation, genes exist beyond our senses. We do not feel them, we are not aware of physically carrying them, but as the architects and builders of Creation they are the sine qua non of all existence. Life may be Nature’s most treasured and precious creation and the host bodies of Creation her greatest triumph, but ultimately both Life and Creation are wholly dependent upon genes for survival.

How can we learn to feel truly comfortable in ourselves?

Read my book! Understand the human condition as I have explained it which incidentally holds out the beguiling prospect of our being able to resolve the majority of our emotional problems with far greater facility. There is really too much to explain in a single answer. It has taken a book to set out.

Why do humans so often misunderstand, and/or misinterpret, emotions?

Because they arise unsummoned responding to the need of our genes for the preservation of Life, rather than to our personal needs as we would construe them.

How, as humans, does our nature and emotions differ to that of other species?

We have far larger brains, and the special gifts of a substantial range of emotions, the capacity to love and the great need to be loved. In addition, of course, we have the dexterity of our thumbs not given to the majority of species which makes a huge difference.

How can we live a truly fulfilled existence?

By understanding the human condition as I have explained it.

What are some of the most frequently misunderstood or misinterpreted human emotions?

The desire that everyone should conform leading to grief beginning in the playground, and, if unchecked, eventually causing some of the world’s worst atrocities.

Does Am I Loved? explore religion? Could you tell us more about the relationship between religion and human emotions?

Yes, in two chapters. We love God because we want him to love and bless us in return. We do so as we believe in him as a matter of faith. Paradoxically, the worse things become the more we turn to him to protect us. However, God cannot love us in return as he cannot requite our love. It follows that in giving him our love we may have given him something we should have given each other. Spinoza said if you really love God you should not expect him to love you in return. How many people would pass that test?  Two huge questions are also raised. What would happen if we could prove either that God did or did not exist? Why should God have emotions?

The book explores some fundamental questions; in addition to those about love, what other big questions do you look into in the book?

Emotions, genes, survival, folly of pursuing survival rather than love, heredity, religion, why so many people seek love from an invisible God, the Supreme Sense, Nature’s Morality, consciousness, Creation, ancestry, fear, happiness, ignorance, Life, Nature, Nature’s Protections, reproduction.

And finally, what would you like readers to take away from the book after reading it?

A feeling of relief in discovering that Nature never intended us to function as imperfect beings after all. That the human condition as explained offers a whole new take on life offering the opportunity of greater happiness and fulfilment and the chance to feel comfortable in ourselves and at ease in our nature for the very first time. That our emotions can be managed after all that life begins to make sense.

-Ends-

*REVIEW* Mr Whippy goes to Schaumberg, by Robin Tudge

#Humour #comingofage 

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Blurb

It’s the mid-90s. Jim, a naïve, film-obsessed student who’s suicidally in love with Elly, goes with her to Chicago where they plan to spend the summer making thousands of dollars selling ice-cream to cute kids in the shadow of the Sears Tower, and where he’ll win her over. He finds the Land of the Free is anything but, and time and again through sweltering days, bitterly cold realities trammel his dreams. But through adversity Jim grows, and grows to love himself again, while tempering his infatuation for Elly. But will a man break out of the boy, win the girl, and escape with a bound?

My Review – 5 stars

A humorous read, full of emotional highs and lows

This is a very funny read that also tugs at the heartstrings as the reader witnesses the emotional high and lows of Jim, the main character, and his attempts to win over his fellow student Elly. The story takes place in the oppressive heat of the  summer as they along with others spend their vacation selling ice cream in the US and contemplating life, love and the universe.

I enjoyed how the book delved into the boundaries separating friendship and love, and how the characters of Jim and Elly progressed throughout the read. I was also entertained by the self-depreciating internal dialogue of Jim in his quest to secure Elly’s affections, often cringing at his painful emotional journey to realise his self-worth. I found myself empathising with the situation – Elly is quite a girl and their relationship is one which many of us have either witnessed or been part of.

The supporting cast of characters is varied and colourful and make for a riotous read with the many escapades they get into individually and collectively. Indeed, the book, peppered with insightful clutural references, fully encapsulates the spirt of youth and the heady decade of the 1990s. 

Recommended if you are looking for a humorous and perceptive read.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, a copy of the book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

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*COVER REVEAL* – Stolen Love, a Diamond Magnate Novel: Beauty in the Stolen #3, by Charmaine Pauls.

Genre: Dark Romance

Cover Design: Okay Creations

Photo: Wander Aguiar Photography

Models: Cassidy & Zack

Release Date: June 22, 2021

BLURB 

Once upon a time, a thief stole me in the middle of the night. He took what he wanted, gave me an illusion, and ripped it all away to claim his ultimate trophy. My heart may be physically weak, but fighting to live made me stronger. I won’t perish as easily as that. I’m turning the tables on him. After all, I learned from the best. I’m robbing him of what he stole from me.

*Stolen Love concludes the trilogy.

Other books in the Diamond Magnate collection:

Beauty in the Broken (Standalone)

Diamonds are Forever trilogy

Diamonds in the Dust (Book 1)

Diamonds in the Rough (Book 2)

Diamonds are Forever (Book 3)

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EXCERPT

I suck in a breath. His back sports a new tattoo. An orange tree runs from his flank up to his shoulder. The roots branch out over his lower back and side. It’s so well drawn it looks as if the network of roots are grafted with his skin. A branch with orange blossoms runs up to his shoulder. The petals curl over the arch, only the tips of a flower visible on the curve as he faces me again.

Why did he get it? The answer is obvious. The truth stares me in the face. He never said it, but he declared it in permanent ink on his skin next to the values that govern his behavior, his life.

“It’s not some kind of gravestone,” he says in a quiet voice.

My gaze slips to the pendant on the leather string that hangs in the center of his breastbone. “What’s not a gravestone?” I ask, pretending not to know what he’s talking about. It’s too deep, too personal. We don’t share that kind of intimacy any longer.

“The tattoo. It doesn’t symbolize grief.”

I can’t help from asking, “What does it symbolize?” 

“Love.” His gaze intensifies. “The kind that gets under your skin.”

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AUTHOR BIO

Charmaine Pauls was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She obtained a degree in Communication at the University of Potchestroom, and followed a diverse career path in journalism, public relations, advertising, communications, photography, graphic design, and brand marketing. Her writing has always been an integral part of her professions. 

After relocating to Chile with her French husband, she fulfilled her passion to write creatively full-time. Charmaine has published over twenty novels since 2011, as well as several short stories and articles. Two of her shorts have been selected by the International Literary Society for an anthology from across the African continent.

When she is not writing, she likes to travel, read, and rescue cats. Charmaine currently lives in France with her husband and children. Their household is a linguistic mélange of Afrikaans, English, French and Spanish.

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*Review* – Shattered Throne: A Dark Mafia Romance: War of Roses Universe: (Mice and Men Book 3), by Lana Sky

Release Date: May 18, 2021

Genre: Dark Mafia Romance

Blurb

With her family’s safety in jeopardy and her heart on the line, Willow finds herself trapped in a hopeless situation—marry the man who betrayed her and trust in his plan? Or can she navigate the deadly political landscape alone and save the ones she loves? 

The question may be easier said than done when an unearthed secret from the past flips her entire perspective on its head. Is Donatello the monster she’s been led to believe?

Or is he as much a victim of past events as she is…

With a war looming and their relationship brewing, both find their loyalties tested to their breaking point—and a new threat on the horizon leaves them little time to waste.

As the past and present finally collide, will they rise above the fray… 

Or will old grudges finally tear them apart? 

Mice and Men is a new standalone series in the War of Roses Universe.

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My Review – 5 stars

A Collision Course of Lust, Hate, Secrets and Betrayal 

Lust, hate, secrets and betrayal collide in Shattered Throne, the latest instalment in Lana Sky’s Mice and Men series, set within her War of the Roses universe. The book, which I strongly recommend is read alongside others in the series, does not disappoint with its complex, larger than life characters, edgy plot and dark themes. I particularly love how the author’s words transport me right into the head and the heart of her crazy mixed-up characters and how the tangled sub plots are woven into the main narrative.

I went through a myriad of different emotions whilst reading this story, not least because it is heart breaking in so many respects, for both Don and Willow. In this book, we learn more revelations about Don’s tragic past, and whilst they do not absolve him and raise even more questions, they shed further light onto his actions. I enjoyed how Willow grows in strength when faced with Donatello’s changing moods and the many challenges thrown her way. Yet what is it she wants from him exactly, this man who betrayed her so badly in the past?

As secrets are revealed can Don and Willow reach a truce or will it all be ripped from under them and others they care about by events outside of their control? I was on pins and unsure as to what would be thrown at the couple next. There are many players with their own agendas and the sense that something big is about to go off creates a sense of danger and foreboding which impacts on their troubled relationship.

This author certainly writes anti-heroes who are borderline crazy and with Donatello I think she has excelled herself. Willow is as a moth to Donatello’s flame as he threatens to self-destruct in the wake of past and present events for which he feels responsible.  The question is will he consume Willow in the process or will she be able to save her family without being destroyed alongside him?

Highly recommended for fellow lovers of dark romance.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, a copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Release Info for other Books in the Series

Copy of Teaser Template (1)

Ruthless King: A Dark Mafia Romance: War of Roses Universe: (Mice and Men Book 1)

A new spin-off series in the War of Roses Universe. Mice and Men is a standalone series. Ruthless King ends in a cliffhanger to be continued in book two, Queen of Thorns.

Blurb

To avoid bloodshed, former crime lord Donatello plans to arrange a union between his nephew and a rival family. Instead, he’s drawn to beautiful young Willow himself — despite their dark and painful past…

Book one in a series of sinister romances.

After a decade spent claiming a throne for himself in the seething violence of the criminal underbelly, all Donatello Vanici craves now is peace.

Only a union forged between his heir and the most powerful mafiya family in existence could ever be strong enough to end the bloodshed for good, but the Stepanov head resists his overtures at every turn…

Until tragedy strikes, and forces Donatello’s hand.

Haunted by a past that dogs her every thought, Willow Stepanov will do anything for the man who adopted her—until a chance encounter with the enemy lands her right in the middle of a dangerous power struggle and a war that grows more violent and vicious each day.

But it’s not just her future her captor holds hostage.

He is a man with nothing left to lose—while she may just lose everything.

Her life, her family, and her heart…

 Mice and Men is a new standalone series in the War of Roses Universe.

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Queen of Thorns: A Dark Mafia Romance: War of Roses Universe: (Mice and Men Book 2)

Blurb

With all hope of the peace shattered beyond redemption, Donatello Vanici is waging his most violent, bloody war yet.

And caught in the heart of the carnage is Willow Stepanova, the adopted daughter of his dangerous enemy and the girl who once adored him to the depths of her soul.

Torn between her loyalty to her family and her volatile connection to Donatello, Willow quickly realizes that it’s not just her life at stake in this vicious battle…

But what will be left of her in the end?

 Mice and Men is a new standalone series in the War of Roses Universe.

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Mended Crown: A Dark Mafia Romance: War of Roses Universe: (Mice and Men Book 4)

Release Date: October 28, 2021

Genre: Dark Mafia Romance

Blurb

A broken engagement should signal the end of the feud blazing between the Stepanovs and Vanicis—barring one small hitch no one foresaw: a surprise pregnancy that could turn this petty misunderstanding into outright war.

For Donatello, this new baby is a shred of hope after nearly a decade of misery—one he won’t forfeit without a fight.

For Willow, this ordeal is a glaring reminder of her own conflicted loyalty, leading to a choice she will have to live with for the rest of her life…

Salvaging this union will be the hardest, bloodiest war Donatello has fought yet. But, as the danger looming above the city reaches a breaking point, will they outlast the violence with their lives—and hearts—intact?

Mice and Men is a new standalone series in the War of Roses Universe.

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*COVER REVEAL* – Stolen Life: A Diamond Magnate Novel. Beauty in the Stolen Trilogy #2, by Charmaine Pauls

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Stolen Life Ebook Cover

Genre: Dark Romance
Cover Design: Okay Creations
Photo: Wander Aguiar Photography
Model: Cassidy
Release Date: May 18, 2021

BLURB

Ian Hart stole a night of my life but he took so much more. His obsession pinned a label on me. His lust put me in an impossible situation. Now I have to choose sides. I have to decide between right and wrong. Only, no matter what choice I make, each comes with dreadful consequences. There’s only one way this can end—how every tragedy ends.

*Stolen Life is Book 2 of the Beauty in the Stolen trilogy and ends on a cliffhanger. Book 3 will be released on 22 June 2021.

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Other books in the Diamond Magnate collection:
Beauty in the Broken (Standalone)

Diamonds are Forever trilogy
Diamonds in the Dust (Book 1)
Diamonds in the Rough (Book 2)
Diamonds are Forever (Book 3)

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EXCERPT

His voice lowers with intent. “Know this, if you do run, I’ll slap a pair of ankle cuffs on you so fast you won’t have time to say my name. There’ll be no more playing nice. I’ll tie you to my bed if that’s what I have to do.” Cupping my jaw, he delivers the threat with a soft kiss on my lips. “The choice is yours.”
The heavy blow is dealt with tender words. They sift down like snowflakes to settle cold in my heart. I tremble as he pushes me down onto the hood and leans over me.
“What will it be, Cas?”
He’s not asking if I’m on board with this limited version of freedom. When he unbuttons my jeans, he’s asking a different question, and, as always, when he slips his hand into my underwear, he gets the truth.

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COMING SOON

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#3 Stolen Love – Releasing June 22

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AUTHOR BIO

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Charmaine Pauls was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She obtained a degree in Communication at the University of Potchestroom, and followed a diverse career path in journalism, public relations, advertising, communications, photography, graphic design, and brand marketing. Her writing has always been an integral part of her professions.

After relocating to Chile with her French husband, she fulfilled her passion to write creatively full-time. Charmaine has published over twenty novels since 2011, as well as several short stories and articles. Two of her shorts have been selected by the International Literary Society for an anthology from across the African continent.

When she is not writing, she likes to travel, read, and rescue cats. Charmaine currently lives in France with her husband and children. Their household is a linguistic mélange of Afrikaans, English, French and Spanish.

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