Keeping It Under Wraps: Sex

An Anthology
edited by Louise Bryant, Tracy Hope & Alnaaze Nathoo

This is my post during the blog tour for Keeping it Under Wraps.

In Keeping it Under Wraps: Sex, real people from around the world share their experiences, humour and heartache about sex and sexuality.

This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours and the tour runs from 1 till 14 November. You can see the tour schedule at Lola’s Blog Tours

Some of the essays in this book include topics such as sexual violence, drug abuse, assault and other related themes. The writers of these essays come from diverse cultural and generational backgrounds. Their voices and their views are their own.

Keeping it Under Wraps: Sex
Genre: Non-fiction/ Personal Essay Anthology
Release Date: 4 May, 2021

Society tells us what is right and what is wrong based on unrealistic expectations. In the end, though, no matter how unique our experiences seem, they aren’t wrong: they simply are.

The Keeping It Under Wraps anthology series provides a safe space to change the narrative, to speak openly about individual experiences, and in the end to understand that while each experience is different, we are not so different from each other.

Let’s start the conversation.
What better place to start than with sex?

Sexual health, sexual preferences, and sexual experiences: no stigma, no shame, no more keeping it under wraps.

Not Sexy By Liam Klenk

They look deep into each other’s eyes. Something clicks. They kiss. Passion overwhelms them. Frantically, they rip off each other’s clothes, barely able to make it to a secluded corner. There, they fall into a tight embrace. Hands and tongues explore each other’s sweaty bodies. Soon, both lovers are moaning. Their limbs become ever more intertwined, and then sweat and bodily fluids start mixing. The lovers are strong, confident, and comfortable. Their satisfaction rises in tune with their heartbeats. Their bodies are almost bursting with the need for release.

Then they climax. Together. He ejaculates. She gushes. One last powerful, muscular thrust, one last moan as the glowing lovers collapse into each other’s arms.

And cut right there.

Ever since I was a child, this is what I was shown in every movie. In every romantic scene on screen where lovers are consumed by their passion and where lust and physical satisfaction are depicted as being on an equal level with love.

This is who I felt I had to be. This is what was expected of me and what I had to aspire to. I had to be strong, in control, self-confident, sexy, driven by lust, and acrobatic in bed to be truly wanted and loved.

I tried and was found wanting.

During my attempts at one-night stands, I find myself strangely unresponsive to my lover’s charms. I feel neither sexy nor excited. I am not attracted by my unknown lover’s abundant suggestiveness and even caressing her feels wrong. I feel repelled, anxious, and bored, and I keep wondering how I can gently bring this to an end without being horribly rude.

In relationships, my sexual acrobatics are never up to par. No matter how much I climb around during the act, without fail, I end up making a clumsy move.

I found this book a refreshing read – unlike anything I have read before!

This is an anthology of essays by 22 different authors discussing the subject of Sex and what that word means to them. These are sometimes very private and personal stories which I feel may never have been told to anyone in their friendship circle. Sex being a subject which many find uncomfortable. Why is this? It is something that affects everyone of us at some time in our lives….

As you would expect with a collection of over 20 people the stories cover a wide range of views and experiences, some of which are harder to read than others.

I recommend this book and I feel that anyone reading these stories would take away a new understanding. The word, Sex, has so many different meanings for those around us. Grab a copy (links above) and learn something new today! Don’t forget to let the team know what you think… Let’s get the world talking about the real life stories behind the word SEX!

Thank you to Lola and the KIUW team for gifting me a copy of this book in return for my honest review.

You can read more about this book and the contributing authors here on the website: https://www.keepingitunderwraps.com/books

Take A Chance on Me by Beth Moran

Meet Patrick Cooper – desperately down on his luck, and head-over-heels in unrequited love with his best friend Bridget.

Meet Bridget’s sister, Emma Donovan – eternally single maker-of-cakes for many a happy couple, whilst never making it down the aisle herself.

Emma has four younger sisters, all of whom are married or getting married, and an Italian mother who can’t understand what is ‘wrong’ with her eldest daughter, who seems to be stranded on the shelf. Despairing of her own ability to find a suitable husband, Emma agrees to be part of a compatibility project to get married at first sight.

Meanwhile Cooper is struggling to get over his crush on Bridget and seems destined to stay firmly on the shelf too. Perhaps it’s time his fate was taken out of his hands…

Is happily-ever-after just about daring to take a chance, or do you need some extra magic to make love last?

MoMoBookDiary Review

This was an exciting fun read that kept me on my toes the whole time. It was a fun book and I found the author’s depiction of the characters spot on. The plot was fun and had a strong message in there too! A truly great read which I have already recommended to friends far and wide!

Thank you Beth Moran, Boldwood Books, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this original and unforgettable novel.

Beth Moran can be found on twitter @bethcmoran, on instagram @bethmoranauthor

Last One At The Party by Bethany Clift

THE END OF EVERYTHING WAS HER BEGINNING
It’s December 2023 and the world as we know it has ended.

The human race has been wiped out by a virus called 6DM (‘Six Days Maximum’ – the longest you’ve got before your body destroys itself). But somehow, in London, one woman is still alive. A woman who has spent her whole life compromising what she wants, hiding how she feels and desperately trying to fit in. A woman who is entirely unprepared to face a future on her own. Now, with only an abandoned golden retriever for company, she must travel through burning cities, avoiding rotting corpses and ravenous rats on a final journey to discover if she really is the last surviving person on earth.

And with no one else to live for, who will she become now that she’s completely alone?

MoMoBookDiary Review

I think this was my favourite book of 2020. Despite being in the middle of a pandemic reading about the end of the world was very different. I was impressed by the way Covid-19 and Brexit were worked into the storyline. The preface at the beginning drew me in immediately.

I read it in two sittings, only because I started it at 10pm and by 3am I knew I just couldn’t keep my eyes open, no matter how much I wanted to! It is a story of survival rather than the pandemic and made me question how I would cope with waking up to find everyone else dead or dying…. what would I do? what would I think? There are funny bits, there are sad bits, there are thoughtful bits. It really does have everything.

I felt the ending left me hanging somewhat. Which I can’t talk about here as I don’t wish to give any spoilers. All I will say is I really hope there is a second book! The story and characters are so well described and

As a debut novel, this was EXCELLENT. The writing was brilliant and I can’t wait to read more from this author.

I received a proof copy of this book in December ahead of a campaign by The Book Fairies, where they hid copies around the UK on 31 December.

Thank you Bethany Clift, Hodder & Stoughton, and The Book Fairies for the opportunity to read and review this original and unforgettable debut novel.

Bethany Clift can be found on twitter @Beth_Clift, on instagram @beth_writes_stuff

The Island by C.L. Taylor

***

Welcome to The Island.

Where your worst fears are about to come true…

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday: a week-long trip for six teenage friends on a remote tropical island.

But when their guide dies of a stroke leaving them stranded, the trip of a lifetime turns into a nightmare.

Because someone on the island knows each of the group’s worst fears. And one by one, they’re becoming a reality.

Seven days in paradise. A deadly secret. Who will make it off the island alive?

MoMoBookDiary Review

Brilliant. I am reading more YA novels this year and I LOVED this one!

Set on a remote jungle island where six teenagers are on a seven-day adventure break. I found this an exciting and enjoyable read from the start. I would love to have been able to read in a single sitting but my day didn’t go to plan however I did find myself reading it at any possible opportunity (yes, imagine kindle in hand at all times!)

I had an idea who was behind the strange goings on but not enough to spoil the read – just enough to keep me reading, and to speed up the reading to see if I was on the right track. I found myself completely absorbed and could picture the setting very well thanks to the authors descriptions.

These are six teenagers who’s parents have been friends for years so they have been thrown together for an annual holiday each year. The friendships have changed as the toddlers become children and then teenagers and this history is woven into the story.

C. L. Taylor writes highly addictive books that I have enjoyed and I was so excited to find this YA Thriller when I have committed to focusing on YA/MG reads this year. As a thriller it is up there with the best of them and I will be watching out for more from this wonderfully talented author.

Many thanks to C.L. Taylor, HQ Young Adult and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Links

AUTHOR: C.L. Taylor can be found on twitter @callytaylor, on instagram @cltaylorauthor

PUBLISHER: HQ Young Adult can be found on twitter @HQStories and instagram @hqyoungadult

#MeToo and You by Halley Bondy

Everything you need to know about Consent, Boundaries and more

The #MeToo movement has changed the way many people view the world, but how well do tweens understand it? Middle-grade readers are ready to learn about consent, harassment, and abuse, as well as healthy boundaries in all their relationships.

#MeToo and You includes essential terminology, from consent to assault, from just plain yes to just plain no.

Author Halley Bondy explores the nuances of emotions, comfort, and discomfort in sexually charged and emotionally abusive situations. Detailed scenarios, both real and hypothetical, provide valuable examples of what’s acceptable and what is not, along with tools to help everyone treat others appropriately and to stand up for themselves and their peers.

MoMoBookDiary Review

#MeToo and You provides a useful introduction for teens as to what is and is not acceptable for healthy relationships.

The book begins with scenarios and definitions before going on to discuss myths surrounding sexual abuse. There is advice on how to ask for help, and how to provide help for others. It covers all types of relationships which I was impressed with due to the amount of peer-to-peer bullying around these days. I am sure this book would be very useful for adults looking to begin difficult conversations with their teens. I also feel it could be used by parents of younger children so that they learn from an early age how to respect others. I highly recommend this book. Thank you Halley Bondy, Lerner Publishing Group, Zest Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Links

AUTHOR: Halley Bondy is based in Brooklyn and has worked as a news reporter for the Newark Star Ledger, an arts journalist for Back Stage, and as an editor for MTV Iggy. A playwright, comedian, and the winner of the 2008 Fringe Festival NYC for Outstanding Playwright, she is the author of Don’t Sit on the Baby. Halley Bondy can be found at thisishalley.com and on twitter @halleybondy

PUBLISHER: Zest Books, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group, can be found on twitter @ZestBooks and on instagram @lernerbooks

#MeToo and YouEverything You Need to Know about Consent, Boundaries, and More
by Halley BondyLerner Publishing Group Zest Books ™

Children’s Nonfiction | Middle Grade | Teens & YA
Paperback 9781541581593
( Publication date: 2 February 2021)

Dizzy Lizzie by Kat E. Erikson

Dizzy Lizzie by Kat E. Erikson

Dizzy Lizzie may be the smallest kitten in her litter, but her determination is mighty. 

Born under an old house, in a dark wee den, with cobwebs in the corner and dirt underfoot, every day is a struggle for the tiny kitten, until she learns a trick or two to make sure she gets her share. 

But just as things seem to improve, Dizzy Lizzie’s home is destroyed and she is torn from her mother.

Soon, Lizzie is faced with a new set of problems, and if she wants to stick with her sister and secure a forever home, the little kitten must learn to curb her big temper. 

“No matter how teeny-tiny I am, no matter how weebly-wobbly I am,” Dizzie Lizzie vows, “I’ll find a way!” But as she tumbles from one calamity to the next, can Lizzie tame her tantrums and find her forever home? 

Based on a true story, this beautifully illustrated and uplifting picture book explores themes like loyalty, family love—whether that family is by blood or adoption—and never giving up.

Receive Dizzy Lizzie’s Coloring Book for FREE. Visit KatEErikson.com for details.

MoMoBookDiary Review

This is an adorably cute book which is well written with beautiful illustrations.

It is a lovely way to show children that whilst kittens need to be with their mother for a while, they can then go on to their new homes and live quite happily with other humans and enjoy playing just as if they were still with their mothers. This book could be used to show that adoption of kittens is similar to adoption of children and as such is a lovely way to show children that family loyalty does not have to mean a blood connection. Such a cute book.

I requested and received an electronic copy of this book from NetGalley. Thank you Kat E. Erikson, Books Go Social, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this adorable picture storybook.

Links

AUTHOR: Kat E Erikson can be found on www.kateerikson.com and on twitter @KatE_Erikson

Book Details

PUBLICATION DATE: 15 May 2020

ISBN: 9780578566245

Family by Owen Mullen

Family – might be the death of you…

The Glass family business is crime, and they’re good at what they do. Vengeance took Luke Glass behind bars – but now he’s free and he’s never going back. Luke wants out of the gangster life – all he has to do is convince his family to let him go.

His brother holds the reins of the South London underworld in his brutal hands – nobody tells Danny Glass no and expects to live – not even DCI Oliver Stanford, bent copper and one of the Met’s rising stars. The way Danny sees it, his younger brother and sister Nina owe him everything. The price he demands is loyalty, and a war with their arch enemy gives him the leverage he needs to tie Luke to the family once more.

Luke can’t see a way out, until Danny commits a crime so terrible it can’t be forgiven. Love turns to hate when secrets are unearthed which pit brother against brother. Left with no choice but to choose a side, Nina holds the fate of the family in her hands.

MoMoBookDiary Review

This is a fast paced powerful gritty thrilling read. Be prepared to read in a single sitting! Once I started I couldn’t stop reading although I also didn’t want it to end. Already desperate for part two, which I hope is coming soon.

This book had everything you would look for in a Gangland Thriller. There are murders, bent Police Officers, rival crime families who are out for revenge and unexpected twists and surprises along the way. Brilliant!

I have read everything this author has published to date and couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this new release. Thank you to Owen Mullen, Boldwood Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review.

Links

AUTHOR: Owen Mullen can be found on twitter @OwenMullen6, on instagram @OwenMullen6

PUBLISHER: Boldwood Books can be found at www.boldwoodbooks.com and on twitter @BoldwoodBooks and instagram @bookandtonic

Book Details

PUBLICATION DATE: 21 January 2021

ISBN: 9781800484122

BUY HERE: linktr.ee/OwenMullen

REVIEW IS ALSO PUBLISHED…

This review (or an edited version) is also viewable on GoodReads

Georgie Moves to Switzerland

Synopsis:
Georgie and her family have just moved to Switzerland. It doesn’t take long for Georgie to notice a funny word that keeps popping up everywhere and giving her, and her brother mike, the giggles. A brilliantly funny book for kids and adults alike.

Review:
I bought the kindle version of this book as I was looking for something fun to read. It is aimed at children aged between 4 and 8, so was quite fitting for me right now!

What a lovely short story book for children facing the life changing move away from the UK to a country they know nothing about and having to learn a whole new language.  

Highly recommend reading – no matter what age and even if you are not facing a big move abroad….. just buy it – its fun, and everyone needs some fun. I guarantee this will make you laugh!

It is brilliant. It is funny. It is a child’s view of the first impressions in a new country and very well written by this young author. Well done Ellie!

Link to buy (kindle) is here: AMAZON KINDLE

About the book:
Title: Georgie Moves to Switzerland
Author: Ellie Gooding
Illustrator: Joseph Witchall 
Publisher: self-published
Print Length: 14 pages
ASIN: B08MV4QSX8

The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon by Sarah Steele

#FollowNancyMoon

About the book:

To unravel that long-lost summer, she had to follow the thread…

Florence Connelly is broken hearted. Her marriage has collapsed under the weight of the loss she shares with her husband, and her beloved grandmother has just died. Even the joy she found in dressmaking is gone.

But things change when Flo opens a box of vintage 1960s dress patterns found inside her grandmother’s wardrobe. Inside each pattern packet is a fabric swatch, a postcard from Europe and a photograph of a mysterious young woman, Nancy Moon, wearing the hand-made dress.

Flo discovers that Nancy was a distant relation who took the boat train to Paris in 1962 and never returned. With no one to stay home for, Flo decides to follow Nancy’s thread. She unravels an untold story of love and loss in her family’s past. And begins to stitch the pieces of her own life back together.

About the Author: *taken from the Author’s Amazon Bio

I am the author of THE MISSING PIECES OF NANCY MOON, a novel inspired by my own love of vintage fashion and dressmaking, with some vicarious travel thrown in.

Although I originally trained as a classical musician, writing has always been my passion, and I am never found without a notebook on my person, in case of that unexpected moment of inspiration. I am usually found in the cafés of Stroud, my home town in beautiful Gloucestershire, or walking the local hills with my dog.

For lots of photographs charting my love of vintage fashion and all things home made, as well as the stories behind my stories, do follow my Instagram and Facebook pages @sarahsteeleauthor, or catch me procrastinating on Twitter at @sarah_l_steele.

Author: Sarah Steele
Title: The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon
Publisher: HEADLINE
Publication Date: 6 August 2020
Read Date: July 2020
ISBN-13: 978-1472270078

My Review:

I received this book after signing up to be a part of The Book Fairies’ campaign on publication day of The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon

On opening the parcel and seeing the cover image for the first time I knew I just HAD to read this book.

Whilst I would not normally choose to read a book partially set in the 1960s it was sitting on my desk just calling out to be read. I am so pleased I took the time to sit and enjoy it. I enjoyed it immensely and I highly recommend.

This is a story told over two timelines – Flo in present day and Nancy from the 1960s. The author has paced the story perfectly. 

I enjoyed the way the story focused on the dressmaking patterns and Flo re-created the dresses to help her on her quest.  The way in which the author describes the dresses and the locations is just magical.  I could picture every scene and given I was reading whilst we are in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and unable to travel I felt I had travelled across Europe with Flo.

I understand this is the author, Sarah Steele’s debut novel and it is easy to see how much she loves dressmaking and I look forward to reading more.

This book has opened up a whole new genre of novels I previously would not have considered reading and I an extremely thankful for that.

Thank you Sarah Steele, Headline and The BookFairies too!

My Review is also published on the following sites:

FLYDAY THE 13TH

Pack your bags and wing your way over to Crystal Pond, fishing, swimming, camping, decapitation and mass slaughter.
Wish you were here?

DESCRIPTION

Swampline presents their horror comic Flyday the 13th.

Jason Voorhens is terrorising campers at Crystal Pond in this one shot, full colour comic.

This book will appeal to fans of the movie and those just looking for a great read.

Flyday the 13th is created by Chris Allen and Kim Roberts.
Written by Chris Allen. Art by Denis Pacher. Colours and Letters by Chris Allen.

MOMO’S REVIEW

This is another cleverly creative ‘feathered frights’ poultry based parody. This time we have Flyday the 13th, of course based on the horror film series, Friday the 13th.

WRITTEN BY KIM ROBERTS

Kim has expertly tweaked the original story a little to create this thrilling 24 page full colour comic. Kim has woven some awesome jokes into the story whilst retaining the thrill of the original slasher movies. Did you enjoy the movies? We are sure you will love this parody comic!!

This is an excellent scripted spoof, where the main characters are replaced with birds, which I found fun and would happily recommend.

ART by Denis Pacher

The expressive artwork shows fun, friendly yet scary birds – yeah it sounds strange but it works and easily pulls the reader into the story.

COLOURS AND LETTERS BY CHRIS ALLEN

The first class art detail is expertly controlled by the use of bright colours giving the perfect tone to the comic. The lettering is scaled to ensure the readers eye is drawn to the script throughout.

OVERALL

Swampline Comics have produced a fantastic Feathered Feature comic in ‘Flyday the 13th‘ with the human characters of the films replaced with birds.

Swampline Comics have managed to get the perfect balance of parody by recognising the essential elements of the original movies and adding some fun which delivers all you need, and more!

BOOK DETAILS

TITLE: Flyday the 13th

CREATED: Chris Allen and Kim Roberts

WRITTEN: Kim Roberts

DRAWN: Denis Pacher

COLOURS AND LETTERS: Chris Allen

PUBLISHED: 2018

BUY LINKS

Flyday the 13th Digital Comic

Flyday the 13th Printed Comic

Jason Mask – mug and/or coaster

Jason – mug and/or coaster

ABOUT SWAMPLINE COMICS

Swampline Comics are a small press UK publisher created and co-owned by Chris Allen and Kim Roberts. We produce a number of comics, graphic novels and anthologies.

Chris Allen is a comic/pinup artist, writer, colourist, & letterer now based in Scotland. He is a huge comic book fan across all styles of artwork and genres of stories and a collector of comic books and memorabilia. Now Associate Editor and co creator of Disposable Fiction Comics.

Kim Roberts is an award nominated comic book writer based in the UK. She graduated from the University of Gloucestershire with a BA (hons) in English Literature and Psychology. She has experience working as an editor and colourist and also has published titles with Markosia.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Swampline Comics website www.swamplinecomics.com

Swampline Comics on Facebook /swampline

Swampline Comics on Twitter @swamplinecomics

Swampline Comics on Instagram /swamplinecomics

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