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Recommended Summer Reads: ‘Fat Girl Fairy Boy’ by Debut Author Carol McConkie

     A darkly humorous tale of family, friendship, and personal discovery . . .

     Frieda Kunkelheimer knew she wasn’t welcome in the world from her earliest stirrings. She also knew she was big and ugly, as proclaimed by her grandmother on the day of her birth. Though Frieda Kunkelheimer later blossoms into a beautiful and successful Hollywood film star, it had been determined, even before birth, that she was unwanted and unloved.

En route to a film shoot, the embittered, aging actress known as Frie, and Robin, her phobic, gay makeup artist, survive a plane crash in the jungles of Central America only to be held hostage by El Salvadoran guerrillas. Their self-absorbed lives take a backseat to the events of their capture as a bizarre set of circumstances unfold and kindle courage, compassion, and forgiveness they never thought possible.

‘Fat Girl Fairy Boy’ is written in masterful prose, and filled with rich characters, McConkie mixes irony, humor, and pathos while weaving multifaceted storylines into a wildly entertaining adventure. Few experienced novelists fare as well as McConkie in this debut literary event.

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“I’m no professional literary critic but I know what I like and I truly enjoyed this contemporary fiction novel. Each night I looked forward to jumping into bed to read another chapter and follow the thrilling story about the two main characters, Robin and Frie. I’d love to see a movie version soon.”     -Steve R.

“A very original book that I highly enjoyed…4 out of 5 stars.”        – Erica H.

“I wish it was longer! I wanted to continue reading on and on. Nonetheless, Carol McConkie achieves so much, educating us on decades of US history, through the Great Depression, WWII, 60s counter-culture and Americo-Latin American political relations. In ‘Fat Girl Fairy Boy’ she has produced an absolute gem.”               – Nathan S.

“An amazing portrayal of human fortitude and strength and how people can find salvation in purpose in the wake of difficulty. ‘Fat Girl, Fairy Boy’ isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you like strong storytelling, I say give it a shot.”

-Poindextrix Book Reviews

Summer eBook Sale! 35% Off All Book Hub Titles!

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To kick off the summer season, Book Hub is partnering
with All Romance eBooks and OmniLit

to bring you new and exciting summer reads!

All Book Hub eBooks are now 35% off this week only at OmniLit and All Romance eBooks!
Check out our ebooks below! You’ll find new and exciting titles from a wide variety of genres, including romance, non-fiction, cooking, self-help, and more!

 

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BESTSELLING ROMANCE

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FICTION

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COOKING / DIET & NUTRITION

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SELF-HELP / MOTIVATIONAL & INSPIRATIONAL

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RELIGION & SPIRITUALITY

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Hot New Romance!

Available at Amazon’s Kindle Store!

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Join us on GoodReads, Facebook, and Twitter to receive exclusive access to new releases!

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NEW FICTION: “Family Secrets” by Candice Kohl

Esther Brown’s family is falling apart around her. Widowed and re-married with two daughters, Esther is unable to control her eldest daughter Geneva’s wayward ways and sends her to live in Ivy Glen with her sister Prudence and her husband, Brock Langtry. Esther’s attempt to find salvation for her child sets in motion a series of dramatic events that tests the bonds of one family as they discover ‘Family Secrets.’
Based-in-fact, Candice Kohl’s novel is set in a 1920’s Chicago suburb and told from the perspectives of multiple family members. This dramatic tale has it all: passion, betrayal, deception, forgiveness and a glimpse into the unconditional ties that bind a family together.

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“Family Secrets is a very well written story, thoroughly describing the internal struggle of each character, how each wishes for their own desires, dreams and love . . . This story is one of manipulation, of family, of the ties that bind . . . Once picked up this book was near impossible to put away.  Each page left you craving for more.”

– Lara Girdler, NCReaderGirl Book Reviews

“It had its fair share of, ahem, romance, but it was so much more than that. The story is full of heartbreak and, as you may have guessed, family secrets . . . The storyline definitely kept my attention, I connected with the characters.”

– Carissa A.

Available as an eBook and in trade paperback from these retailers:
AMAZON, NOOK, KOBO, SONY, iTUNES, and ALL ROMANCE

HOT NEW RELEASE: Exciting, Steamy Contemporary Romance from JoAnn DeLazzari – “Addicted”

          Renowned investigative journalist Nikki Bradley is at the height of her career. When she tenaciously braves the remote jungles of Columbia on an assignment with personal motives, her profession seems to become less important. After her brother dies of an expected cocaine overdose, Nikki has one thing on her mind: to find the man responsible for her brother’s death, expose him, and ruin him. Her dangerous traipse through the jungle on a quest to avenge her brother’s death brings her face to face with one of Columbia’s biggest cocaine operations. When she is caught taking pictures on the outskirts of the camp, she is taken prisoner by one of the leaders, a menacing drug trafficker determined to claim her as his own. An innocent pawn in a deadly game at the mercy of her captor, a mysterious and impossibly handsome man named King, Nikki must decide whether to abort her mission and surrender, or risk her life to expose her brother’s killer.
‘Addicted’ is a thrilling, suspenseful story of political conspiracy, drama, and passion set in both the steamy tropics of South America and the urban worlds of Puerto Rico and Los Angeles.

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What readers are saying…

“‘Addicted’ is addictive! An amazing passionate romance, suspense and thriller that definitely keeps the reader on their toes throughout. JoAnn DeLazzari has completely filled this novel with excitement, adventure, fear, fun and action . . .. I was gripped throughout and did not want to put the book down.”

“A steamy romantic suspense that delves into the dark and dangerous world of drug trafficking and corruption at the highest level. At its heart is a passionate love affair between two people who are unexpectedly thrown together in their quest for justice. I found this to be a much hotter read than many others in this genre . . . The complex plot includes violence and action, subterfuge, kidnap and many nail-biting scenes . . . The reader is kept guessing as . . . the plot goes through many unexpected twists and turns before the tale reaches its climax . . . I recommend this book to readers who like to read an action packed and sensual romantic suspense, with an alpha hero and a feisty heroine.”

“YEEEESSSS!!! I don’t know what to say! I truly didn’t expect this when I started reading this book, but once I started it was hard to put it down.  JoAnn DeLazzari really did it when she wrote this book!  Addicted was exciting, suspenseful, and an overall good book to read!! JoAnne Delazzari has outdone herself in this page-turning story.”

eBOOK AVAILABLE NOW AT AMAZON, KOBO, BARNES & NOBLE, ALL ROMANCE, iTUNES, GARDNERS BOOKS, SONY, and GOOGLE BOOKS!

NEW CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE: “Charades” by Ann Logan

Mercedes Fuentes, or Mousy Mercy as she often refers to herself, has buried herself in academia in order to avoid those frightening creatures that make up the other half of the human population: MEN! When an opportunity to pay off the majority of her student debt is offered to her by a family friend, Mercy has her doubts. But how can she refuse a weeklong date with a handsome man, at the end of which she will be nearly free of all debt?

Enter the seemingly innocuous, over-worked oil tycoon Wulf Rheinhart, a man in need of a fake fiancée for a week in order to close a business deal with a family-oriented Texan. One charade leads to another in this fast paced car chase of a romance where no one is who they seem to be.

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Blue Star Books’ newest release, “Charades” by Ann Logan,
is an exciting, dangerous romance.

See what others are saying:

Exciting adventures, escapes, twists and turns kept me glued to the pages.
-Tanya Klarer

A fast paced global jaunt filled with danger, romance, and a hero to die for. Five stars!
– Nan Doporto, A Romance Review

I felt drawn to Mercy and just couldn’t wait until the real woman in her was exposed.
– Donna Simpson

‘Charades’ is a good book that reminds me of a weekend thriller movie. The reader should grab a soda, sit back, hang on and enjoy the ride.
– Jan Crow, The World on Romance

Available at Amazon, All Romance eBooks, Nook, and Kobo.
Coming soon to Sony, iTunes, Google Books, and Gardners Books!

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Fat Girl Fairy Boy’ by Debut Author Carol McConkie

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Fat Girl Fairy Boy tells the story of Frieda Kunkelheimer, an aging Hollywood actress and her make-up artist/closest friend, Robin Morris. Carol McConkie’s skilful biographical narration takes us individually through the lives of each protagonist, from birth, to the start of their endearing friendship and later on a trip destined for South America; a journey which will change their lives forever.

Frieda was always pretty, despite being labelled as ‘ugly’ by Ursula, the stern German grandmother by whom she was raised. A social recluse, Frieda is more content with the company of her animal friends, who return her affection and do not call her nasty names like the bullies at school. But her negligent childhood and further traumatic experiences cause psychological damage, a theme handled excellently by McConkie; Frieda bottles up her feelings leading to emotional detachment, she develops a hatred for mirrors and discovers that the only way to deal with these problems is to run…

Robin finds his love for fashion when dressing up with the leftover materials from his mother’s job. He is mollycoddled by his mother and this pampering leads to a fear of flying, driving and most importantly of illness, with which he is plagued from an early age. Robin’s homosexuality and lower social standing make him feel inferior in the world, until some bittersweet good fortune emerges from a heartbreak, which helps him to achieve his dreams: to become a make-up artist.

McConkie, with her expert characterisation, helps to maintain our closeness with Frieda and Robin throughout their personal journeys and struggles, as if we were part of the story; you will find yourself hoping for happy outcomes to two lives riddled with pain, shedding tears of sadness, joy and laughter along the way.

The author’s versatility as a writer is made evident as she increases the pace, injecting adventure and excitement into the second half of the novel, where a planned plane journey to Brazil goes horribly wrong.

Although this section of the novel contains the darkest parts of Fat Girl Fairy Boy, it is in this disaster that the two friends forget the superficial world of showbiz and consequently find the answer to their problems in the most unlikely place: an El Salvadoran jungle. Frieda finally fills the hole left in her heart by a neglected childhood and Robin discovers strength and boldness from a past-life.

My only complaint about the novel is that I wish it was longer! I wanted to continue reading on and on. Nonetheless, Carol McConkie achieves so much, educating us on decades of US history, through the Great Depression, WWII, 60s counter-culture and Americo-Latin American political relations. In Fat Girl Fairy Boy she has produced an absolute gem – an emotional, well-written novel of friendship and self-discovery – and I look forward to reading more from her!

  ****

– Nathan Sherratt, Twenty-First Century Classics Book Reviews  

Available at Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, iTunes,
Google Books, and coming soon to SONY!

5-Star Book: New Release from Debut Author Carol McConkie – “Fat Girl Fairy Boy”!

Blue Star Books is excited to announce the long-awaited release
of debut author Carol McConkie’s Fat Girl Fairy Boy!

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Frieda Kunkelheimer knew she wasn’t welcome in the world from her earliest stirrings. She also knew she was big and ugly, as proclaimed by her grandmother on the day of her birth. Though Frieda Kunkelheimer later blossoms into a beautiful and successful Hollywood film star, it had been determined, even before birth, that she was unwanted and unloved.

En route to a film shoot, the embittered, aging actress known as Frie, and Robin, her fearful, phobic gay makeup artist, survive a plane crash in the jungles of Central America only to be held hostage by El Salvadoran guerrillas. Their self-absorbed lives take a backseat to the events of their capture as a bizarre set of circumstances unfold and kindle courage, compassion, and forgiveness they never thought possible.

Fat Girl Fairy Boy is a darkly humorous tale of family, friendship, and personal discovery. Written in masterful prose, and filled with rich characters, McConkie mixes irony, humor, and pathos while weaving multifaceted storylines into a wildly entertaining adventure. Few experienced novelists fare as well as McConkie in this debut literary event.

Now available at Amazon, Nook, Kobo, and other eBook retailers!
Coming soon to Sony, iTunes, and Google Books.

Join us on Facebook and see the latest and greatest!

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Review of Marti Healy’s ‘The Secret Child’

ImageThe Secret Child by Marti Healy
Review by Sinead F.

The Secret Child, coming in at 196 pages, should not be dismissed as lacking in content. This was another one of those books where I had never heard of the author or the book beforehand, so it was a little bit of a risk but I am so glad I took a chance on it!

Set in South Carolina in 1855, The Secret Child follows the escapades of Marika, a young girl who is a member of the Irish Travelling Community. The book opens with Marika and her brother’s journey to another clan within the community, as Marika has been promised in marriage to the clan’s leader. However, things soon go awry as her brother falls ill and is taken in by some villagers near to where Marika’s new clan resides. Marika then makes the decision to abandon her arranged marriage, at least temporarily, and takes refuge in a nearby forest. She soon finds herself drawn into a mystical world, which she had previously only heard of in stories.

With regards to the story as a whole, I enjoyed it. Oddly enough, the simplistic story didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book as a whole. The reason this book still stands up as a whole is a result of the beautiful, lyrical descriptions that are peppered throughout every chapter. Something as simple as winter changing to spring was imagined as a symphony of growth and color that really drew you into the setting of the book and added a feeling of magic to otherwise ordinary happenings.

Despite how much I loved the descriptions in this book, they never took over. I remember when reading Homer’s Odyssey, another book with wonderful descriptions, there would be pages and pages of descriptions of one particular setting or key object before anything would actually happen, which turned it from a thing of beauty to tedium. The Secret Child manages to avoid this pitfall and uses the descriptions to either draw you in at the start of a chapter or enhance the events within the chapter.

An interesting aspect of The Secret Child is, naturally, Marika’s Irish heritage. At times throughout the book, Marika slips into speaking Gaeilge [in Irish], which I felt was a particularly nice touch. However, understanding Irish is not necessary anyway as all her phrases are translated on the page!

Due to the setting of The Secret Child, it is impossible for the story to be told without reference to slavery or the upcoming civil war. Again, these themes do not take over the story, but they are present throughout. Marika struggles to understand the motivations of slave owners, as her clan did not partake in slavery so she had never experienced it before. The book briefly touches on the cruelty of some slave owners, as well as some of the laws regarding slavery. This stood as a good contrast to the magical world Marika inhabited, as it brought a stark view of reality to the forefront.

In general, I really enjoyed reading The Secret Child. It’s a great book for immersing yourself into another world. The Secret Child shows you a world that exists just out of reach, and then drags you right into the middle of it. All in all, a beautiful read.