Giveaway: Sarana and the Dark King by Ivy Keating and Amazon Gift Card

Hello blog friends, thanks for stopping in today. I am very excited to be hosting a giveaway here at The Bookworm blog. Author Ivy Keating is generously giving away a paperback copy of her book AND a $10.00 Amazon E-gift card to 3 lucky winners! (U.S. residents only please)
I read Sarana and the Dark King this summer and I shared my thoughts on it here.

Also of note, Sarana and the Dark King is a finalist in the Global Book Awards. The publisher is running an e-book sale from September 15-September 30 for $1.99.

Read on for more about the book as well as a post about confidence by the author. The contest details are at the end of this post.

The fearsome Dark King of Bounten, with a magical creature known as a Valomere by his side, is on a quest to find the rare metal tarilium. His brutal ways incite the powerful psychic Allani. But when news of his plans to invade the kingdom of Attaveer spread, a new opponent emerges—Sarana, the daughter of a farmer…or is she?

At birth Sarana was sentenced to death for her “cursed” white hair. The delivery nurse, Meriden, whisked the fair-haired babe to a loving home across the waters from Bounten. Her entire life she hid her appearance to avoid prejudice. Things changed when she discovered she too had a Valomere. She strived to learn the creature’s magic and master fighting skills with the hope of becoming a warrior. Her dreams came true when she was allowed to join the Attaveerian king’s network of spies–a group poised to help defend the kingdom from an invasion by the Dark King and his powerful army.

When word of the white-haired messenger reached the Dark King he vowed to stop at nothing to capture or kill his opponent.

The time for hiding is over.

Can Sarana save herself and her kingdom? Follow Sarana from death to destiny as she joins forces with psychics, Valomeres, and the power of inner strength, to defeat an evil king.

Finding Confidence by Ivy Keating

How important is having confidence? Studies have shown that having confidence can increase our ability to solve problems. We’ve also discovered that people are more likely to trust someone that appears confident. But, maybe even more important, having confidence can help us feel better when we’re faced with upsetting situations.

I believe the key to confidence is embedded in the concept of a “locus of control.” Postulated by Julian Rotter, it refers to the varying degrees we feel we have control of things versus the degree that external things have control over us.

It’s easy to see how someone could feel insecure if they constantly had to wait for someone else’s approval. Let’s say you’re a writer. If the only way you value what you created is based on how others rate it, then you’re subjected to the whim of external forces.

So, how can we develop a strong sense of being in control?

First, accept and appreciate who you are. We all have flaws. It’s ok to work on them, but it is not helpful to saddle yourself with negativity. Always acknowledge your accomplishments and use self affirmations –– positive statements about yourself –– for encouragement.

Next, remember that you’re in control of your actions. How you respond to negative news is your choice. Just as how you act when you get positive news. Build on your accomplishments, and work on the failures.

And, finally, outside forces affect us but we can dictate to what degree. Self appreciation and the knowledge that we are capable of initiating our own coping behaviors will bolster feelings of having an internal locus of control. Armed with this feeling, the power that comes with confidence is yours!

-This article was written by Ivy Keating, originally posted at her website and used here with the author’s permission.

Contest Details open to U.S. residents only please:
The giveaway starts now September 6th and ends on September 18th. The 3 winners will be notified via e-mail and here on this post on September 19th. If you do not reply with your mailing address within 48 hours of being e-mailed a runner up will be chosen.
* There will be 3 winners drawn. Each winner will get a print copy of Sarana and the Dark King by Ivy Keating AND a $10.00 Amazon E-Gift card


Disclaimer: Nothing in this post is available for download. The article titled Confidence is by Ivy Keating and shared here with her permission.

Sunday Post/Mailbox Monday 8/29/21: Goodbye August and Upcoming Giveaway

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog…
Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists….

Hello and happy weekend. I hope you are doing well. I haven’t been on blog-land as much as I would like to. I like to use up most of my vacation time during the Summer and Fall months so I end up taking 5 day extended weekends which has been nice. We’ve taken a few day trips here and there including a recent trip into NYC. It was our first time in the city since the pandemic began. I’ll include a few photos at the end of the post.
I also have some exciting bookish news to share. Author Ivy Keating has generously offered to do a giveaway here on my blog. The giveaway post will be up on Monday September 6th. Please come back for that you won’t want to miss out. There will be 2 winners. If you are a regular here at my blog you might remember I reviewed Ivy’s book Sarana and the Dark King this past June.

onto more updates….

coming soon:
I finally finished reading The Bookshop Murder by Merryn Allingham so my thoughts will be up this week.

in my mailbox:
Ivy Keating kindly sent me hard copies of both her books Camouflauge and Sarana and the Dark King, as well as bookmarks and pens. How nice is that 🙂 I’ve happily added these two to my book collection. As I mentioned, please stop in on September 6th for the upcoming giveaway details.

I have several projects I want to share and here is one I finished up this summer, a tank top for my daughter.


That wraps up my updates for now. What have you been up to? How is your summer going? Thanks for stopping in, I’ll close with a few NYC pics.

We recently went to the new Harry Potter store in New York. There’s a virtual que you wait on and the wait was a little over 3 hours to get in but it gave us plenty of time to walk around NYC and have a nice lunch outdoors. They text you when it’s your turn to enter the store.

The empire State Building in the pic above.

This is inside the store.

Here I am. It’s me. I love this cool archway of books in the store.

My house is Slytherin, here are a few of the souvenirs I came home with. Among my souvenirs is Snape’s wand. I couldn’t help myself. Then I was inspired to crochet Otis a little blanket in Slytherin house colors.
Otis says enjoy your week and tell us what you’ve been up to.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this post is available for download. Some of these links are affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission. The photos in this post are my own and not to be removed from here.

Author Guest Post and Giveaway: Girls Like Us by Elizabeth Hazen



Good morning everyone. Please join me in welcoming Elizabeth Hazen as she stops by today to chat. There is also a link towards the end of the post to where you can enter to win a copy of her book. But first, here are the details about her latest collection, Girls Like Us….
Book Synopsis:
Girls Like Us is packed with fierce, eloquent, and deeply intelligent poetry focused on female identity and the contradictory personas women are expected to embody. The women in these poems sometimes fear and sometimes knowingly provoke the male gaze. At times, they try to reconcile themselves to the violence that such attentions may bring; at others, they actively defy it. Hazen’s insights into the conflict between desire and wholeness, between self and self-destruction, are harrowing and wise. The predicaments confronted in Girls Like Us are age-old and universal—but in our current era, Hazen’s work has a particular weight, power, and value.

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Lilian and the Irresistible Duke by Virginia Heath review and giveaway

dukesource: ARC courtesy of Rachels Random Resources
title: Lilian and the Irresistible Duke (Secrets of a Victorian Household Book 4)
author: Virginia Heath / Twitter
genre: historical romance
published: February 1, 2020
pages: 288
first line: Lilian huddled beneath her fancy new shawl, enjoying the bracing sea breeze almost as much as the soft heat of the early morning sunrise.
rated: 4 out of 5


Lilian and the Irresistible Duke

A reunion in Rome…Sparks an affair to remember!

Responsible widow Lilian Fairclough is persuaded to travel to Rome for a hard-earned break and to let down her hair! She’s surprised to be reunited with passionate, cynical Italian duke, Pietro Venturi. He reawakens her sensual side and intrigues her with glimpses of pain beneath his rakish surface. Enticed into a secret and temporary affair – what will happen once she returns home?

Purchase Link – Lilian and the Irresistible Duke

my thoughts:

Lilian and the Irresistible Duke is book 4 in Virginia Heath’s Secrets of a Victorian Household series. I have not read the previous books in this series, but this reads fine as a stand alone.

Lilian Fairclough is a 45 year old mother and widow who a few months prior in the previous book in this series shared a passionate kiss during a carriage ride with Italian duke Pietro Venturi. She is now on her way to Rome for a vacation. Her adult children are happily married and they wanted her to get a way for a while and relax. She goes to Rome with her cousin to stay with a friend for several weeks. Little does she know she will run into the tall, dark and handsome Pietro Venturi while on her vacation.

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The Journals of Octavia Hollows Blitz and Giveaway

*Happy Halloween! This is a scheduled post for the The Journals of Octavia Hollows  blitz and giveaway* I listened to this one on audio recently, my thoughts are here. Read on for details about the books and for a chance to enter to win your own signed copy…

Do you like urban fantasy and snarky heroines? Then you’ll want to meet necromancer Octavia Hollows and her sidekick Bacon.

Journals - Blitz Banner
We are celebrating the release of The Journals of Octavia Hollows by Stacey Rourke on Audio. This collection features all six journals in the series and was published by The Audio Flow.  Come fall in love with this feisty heroine, her pet pig, and the brilliant narration provided by Brenda Scott Wlazlo.
The Journals of Octavia Hollows

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