Blog Tour

#BookReview #BlogTour
Exile by James Swallow
@jmswallow @BonnierZaffre

#BookReview #BlogTour Exile by James Swallow @jmswallow @BonnierZaffreTitle: Exile

Author: James Swallow

Series: Marc Dane #2

Published by: Zaffre on June 1st 2017

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 496

Format: Hardcover

Source: Bonnier Zaffre

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A vicious Serbian gang whose profits come from fake nuclear weapons

A disgraced Russian general, with access to the real thing.

A vengeful Somali warlord, with a cause for which he’d let the world burn.

A jaded government agency, without the information to stop him.

Only one man sees what’s coming. And even he might not be able to prevent it . . .

Racing breathlessly from uncharted CIA prisons to the skyscrapers of Dubai, from stormbeaten oil rigs off the African coast to the ancient caverns beneath the city of Naples, Marc Dane returns in the explosive new thriller from the internationally bestselling author of NOMAD


Review:

Intelligent, gripping, and chillingly plausible!

Exile is an adrenaline-pumping thrill ride that immerses you in the dark, gritty underworld of arms dealing and terrorism and reminds us that corruption, greed, and revenge often has no limits.

The writing is intense and well paced. The characters are strong-willed, tenacious, and resilient. And the plot is a riveting tale full of twists, turns, action, intrigue, power, violence, duplicity, manipulation, terror, and murder.

Overall Exile is a timely, suspenseful, action-packed thriller that showcases Swallow’s exceptional knowledge of cyber warfare, military weapons, and covert operations.

Exile is the second book in the “Marc Dane” series, and even though there are some references to events from the previous novel, Nomad, it can certainly be read as a standalone.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

Thank you to Bonnier Zaffre for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About James Swallow

James Swallow is a New York Times, Sunday Times and Amazon bestselling author and scriptwriter, a BAFTA nominee, a former journalist and the award-winning writer of over forty-five books, along with numerous scripts for videogames, radio and television.

His writing includes the Marc Dane action thriller series, the Sundowners steampunk Westerns and fiction from the worlds of Star Trek, Warhammer 40,000, Doctor Who, 24, Deus Ex, Stargate, Tannhauser and 2000AD.

 

#BookReview #BlogTour
Ours is the Winter by Laurie Ellingham
@LaurieEllingham @HQDigitalUK @NeverlandBT

#BookReview #BlogTour Ours is the Winter by Laurie Ellingham @LaurieEllingham @HQDigitalUK @NeverlandBT

#BookReview #BlogTour Ours is the Winter by Laurie Ellingham @LaurieEllingham @HQDigitalUK @NeverlandBTTitle: Ours Is the Winter

Author: Laurie Ellingham

Published by: HQ Digital on November 17, 2017

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: HQ Digital, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Journeying across the Arctic, their pasts are about to catch up with them.

Erica, Molly and Noah are embarking on the challenge of a lifetime, driving Siberian huskies across the frozen wilderness of the Arctic. Cut off from the world and their loved ones and thrown together under gruelling conditions, it isn’t long before the cracks start to show.

Erica has it all. A loving husband, a successful career and the most adorable baby daughter. But Erica has been living a double life, and as she nears her fortieth birthday her lies threaten to come crashing down.

Molly was on her way to stardom. But when her brother died, so did her dreams of becoming an Olympic champion. Consumed by rage and grief, she has shut out everyone around her, but now she’s about to learn that comfort can come from the most unexpected places.

Noah has a darkness inside him and is hounded by nightmares from his past. Tortured, trapped and struggling to save his fractured relationship, he knows this journey is not going to help, but try telling his girlfriend that.

As their lives and lies become ever more entwined, it becomes clear that in the frozen wilds there is nowhere to hide.


Review:

Riveting, affecting, and atmospheric!

Ours is the Winter is an emotive, absorbing novel that takes us on a journey into the icy, cold, Arctic where friendships will be formed, love will be lost, past tragedies will haunt, and secrets will surface and bind people forever.

There are three main memorable characters in this novel. Erica, a career woman, struggling with the pressures of being a good mother, wife, and sister. Molly, a young woman, crippled with grief over the loss of her brother. And Noah, a man grappling with extreme guilt and a relationship in tatters.

The writing is eloquent and vivid. The plot is well crafted and uses a past/present style to create a little suspense and a lot of emotion as it unravels all the histories, personalities, and relationships within it. And the characterization is well done with a cast of characters that are troubled, scarred, and raw; a group of Huskies that are intelligent, athletic and lovable; and a setting, the arctic wilderness, that is a character itself with its harsh weather, isolation, and physical challenges.

Ours is the Winter is a clever, poignant novel that reminds us that survival of any form takes strength and courage and the greatest gift we can give ourselves and others is forgiveness.

 

This book is available now. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following link.

 

 

Giveaway:

 

Prize: 1 signed paperback of Laurie’s previous book, “One Endless Summer”.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Thank you to Laurie Ellingham, HQ Digital, and Neverland Blog Tours for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Laurie Ellingham

When I’m not running around after my two children, my husband, our Cockerpoo Rodney, or just plain running, I love nothing more than disappearing into the fictional world of my characters preferably with a large coffee and a Twix (or two) to hand.

When I am in the thick of a character crisis, I can often be seen walking around the village with my jumper on inside out and back to front, chatting (and occasionally laughing) away to myself.

I have a first class honours degree in psychology and a background in Public Relations, both of which help in everything I do.

#BookReview #BlogTour
The Girl I Used To Know by Faith Hogan
@GerHogan @Aria_Fiction

#BookReview #BlogTour The Girl I Used To Know by Faith Hogan @GerHogan @Aria_FictionTitle: The Girl I Used to Know

Author: Faith Hogan

Published by: Aria on December 1, 2017

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 298

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Aria, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A beautiful, emotive and spell-binding story of two women who find friendship and second chances when they least expect it. Perfect for the fans of Patricia Scanlan.

Amanda King and Tess Cuffe are strangers who share the same Georgian house, but their lives couldn’t be more different.

Amanda seems to have it all, absolute perfection. She projects all the accoutrements of a lady who lunches. Sadly, the reality is a soulless home, an unfaithful husband and a very lonely heart.

By comparison, in the basement flat, unwanted tenant Tess has spent a lifetime hiding and shutting her heart to love.

It takes a bossy doctor, a handsome gardener, a pushy teenager and an abandoned cat to show these two women that sometimes letting go is the first step to moving forward and new friendships can come from the most unlikely situations.


Review:

Uplifting, absorbing, and delightfully inspiring!

The Girl I Used To Know is a heartwarming story that immerses you in a tale about letting go of the past, embracing the future and discovering one’s true self at any age.

The prose is effortless and fluid. The plot is a wonderful blend of heart, humour, and hope. And the characterization is spot on with a memorable cast of characters, including two strong, determined, resilient women who learn through compassion and friendship how to move on, find true happiness and be unconditionally loved.

The Girl I Used To Know is, ultimately, a story about life, love, loss, dreams, heartache, infidelity, family, and romance. It is a beautifully written, beguiling novel by Hogan that highlights just how meaningful and powerful friendships can truly be.

 

This book is available now. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                    

 

 

Thank you to Faith Hogan and Aria Fiction for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Faith Hogan

Faith Hogan was born in Ireland. She gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway. She has worked as a fashion model, an event’s organiser and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector.

She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers.

 

#BookReview
Heart Note by Cassandra O’Leary
@rararesources @cass_oleary #HeartNote

#BookReview Heart Note by Cassandra O'Leary @rararesources @cass_oleary #HeartNote

#BookReview Heart Note by Cassandra O’Leary @rararesources @cass_oleary #HeartNoteTitle: Heart Note

Published by: Cassandra O'Leary on November 6, 2017

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 135

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Cassandra O'Leary

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Love is like a fine perfume. The top note draws you in, an instant attraction, but the Heart Note is the true essence. Like true love – a great perfume should be a woman’s perfect match.

At least, that’s what perfume counter manager, Lily Lucas, tells her customers in one of Australia’s largest department stores. 

It’s almost Christmas, the store is bedecked with baubles and Lily has about eleventy billion gifts to wrap and sell. She and her team of spritzer chicks are glamorous, professional and hoping they don’t have to wear the hideous red onesies and reindeer antlers the store manager has in mind.

The high point of Lily’s work life is Christos Cyriakos, ex-cop, security guard, possible Greek god. He’s a mystery box she’d love to unwrap. But can she trust him?

All Lily wants for Christmas is to kiss Christos (and more), catch a band of thieves running amok in the store, and live happily ever after. Is that too much to wish for?


Review:

Lighthearted, amusing, and delightfully festive!

Heart Note is a charming, holiday novella about department store life and all the havoc, chaos, mayhem, and hijinks that surround this busy time of year.

The characters are unique, easygoing, and engaging. The writing is fluent and smooth. And the plot is a lovely mix of budding romance, gossipy coworkers, festive preparations, attraction, chemistry, and intriguing suspense.

Overall, Heart Note is a captivating, quick, fun-filled read with a little mystery, a dab of emotion, and a lot of romance that is perfect for a wintery day.

 

Giveaway:

 Win 5 x E-copies of Heart Note by Cassandra O’Leary (Open International)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

This novella is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following link.

 

 

Thank you to Cassandra O’Leary for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Cassandra O’Leary

**Winner of the We Heart New Talent contest, HarperCollins UK. Nominated for BEST NEW AUTHOR in the 2016 AusRom Today Reader’s Choice Awards for excellence in Australian romance fiction.**

Cassandra O’Leary is a romance and women’s fiction author, communications specialist, avid reader, film and TV fangirl and admirer of pretty, shiny things.

In 2015, Cassandra won the We Heart New Talent contest run by Avon Books/HarperCollins UK. Her debut romantic comedy novel, Girl on a Plane, was published in July 2016. Cassandra was also a 2015 finalist in the Lone Star writing contest, Northwest Houston Romance Writers of America, and a 2014 finalist in the First Kiss contest, Romance Writers of Australia.

Cassandra is a mother of two gorgeous, high-energy mini ninjas and wife to a spunky superhero. Living in Melbourne, Australia, she’s also travelled the world. If you want to send her to Italy or Spain on any food or wine tasting ‘research’ trips, that would be splendiferous. You’ll find Cassandra online, drinking coffee and possibly buying shoes. Oh, yes. And writing.

 

#BlogTour #BookReview
How Not to be a Bride by Portia MacIntosh
@PortiaMacIntosh @HQDigitalUK

#BlogTour #BookReview How Not to be a Bride by Portia MacIntosh @PortiaMacIntosh @HQDigitalUK

#BlogTour #BookReview How Not to be a Bride by Portia MacIntosh @PortiaMacIntosh @HQDigitalUKTitle: How Not to be a Bride

Author: Portia MacIntosh

Published by: HQ Digital on October 17, 2017

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 384

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: HQ Digital, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Definitely, maybe…yes?

Mia Valentina gave up her high-flying life in LA to move back to Kent over four years ago. But it turns out that life in the slow lane isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!

So when her boyfriend Leo proposes, she says yes, hoping it will bring some much needed sparkle back into her life. The trouble is, Mia never wanted a big white wedding, just the happy ever after…

The laugh-out-loud, uplifting new book from Portia MacIntosh, author of It’s Not You, It’s Them. Perfect for fans of Rosie Blake and Sophie Kinsella.


Review:

Heartwarming, amusing, and positively enchanting!

How Not to be a Bride is a lighthearted rom-com full of heart and humour that reminds us that life is often full of pressures, challenges, misunderstandings, and surprises and sometimes all we need to do to find happiness is communicate, compromise and find balance.

The writing is crisp and witty. The characters are flawed, lovable, funny and sincere. And the plot sweeps you away into the lives of Mia and Leo as they learn the importance of being true to one’s self, family, friendship, trust, acceptance, and unconditional love.

Once again, MacIntosh has written a novel that I truly adore. How Not to be a Bride is wonderfully entertaining, enjoyable and has a storyline that will make you laugh, smile and most definitely leave you wanting more. 

If you haven’t had a chance to read my reviews for Portia MacIntosh’s other novels, The Accidental Honeymoon, It’s Not You, It’s Them, or Truth or Date, you can check them out here:

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following links.

                                 

 

 

Thank you to Portia MacIntosh and HQ Digital for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Portia MacIntosh

Portia MacIntosh has been 'making stuff up' for as long as she can remember - or so she says. Whether it was blaming her siblings for that broken vase when she was growing up, blagging her way backstage during her rock chick phase or, most recently, whatever justification she can fabricate to explain away those lunchtime cocktails, Portia just loves telling tales. After years working as a music journalist, Portia decided it was time to use her powers for good and started writing novels. Taking inspiration from her experiences on tour with bands, the real struggle of dating in your twenties and just trying to survive as an adult human female generally, Portia writes about what it's really like for women who don't find this life stuff as easy as it seems.

#BookReview & #BlogTour
The Watcher by Monika Jephcott Thomas
@Authoright

#BookReview & #BlogTour The Watcher by Monika Jephcott Thomas @AuthorightTitle: The Watcher

Author: Monika Jephcott Thomas

Published by: Clink Street Publishing on October 10, 2017

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 214

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Authoright

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

It’s 1949 when Netta’s father Max is released from a Siberian POW camp and returns to his home in occupied Germany. But he is not the man the little girl is expecting – the brave, handsome doctor her mother Erika told her stories of. Erika too struggles to reconcile this withdrawn, volatile figure with the husband she knew and loved before, and, as she strives to break through the wall Max has built around himself, Netta is both frightened and jealous of this interloper in the previously cosy household she shared with her mother and doting grandparents. Now, if family life isn’t tough enough, it is about to get even tougher, when a murder sparks a police investigation, which begins to unearth dark secrets they all hoped had been forgotten.


Review:

Tragic, mysterious, and heartbreaking!

The Watcher is a moving tale that picks up where “Fifteen Words” left off, taking us back into the Portner household where the physical and psychological horrors of war still resonate, and the process of survival and healing remains a daily struggle.

The prose is somber and descriptive. The characters are wounded, secretive, and raw. And the plot is a poignant ride about life, loss, family dynamics, PTSD, suspicion, desperation, deception, jealousy, grief, and murder.

Overall, The Watcher is a well-written followup for Jephcott Thomas that does an exceptional job of highlighting the importance of trust, honesty, support, and intimacy in moving forward and rebuilding what’s been lost.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

 Thank you to Authoright for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Monika Jephcott Thomas

Monika Jephcott Thomas grew up in Dortmund Mengede, north-west Germany. She moved to the UK in 1966, enjoying a thirty year career in education before retraining as a therapist. Along with her partner Jeff she established the Academy of Play & Child Psychotherapy in order to support the twenty per cent of children who have emotional, behavioural, social and mental health problems by using play and the creative Arts. A founder member of Play Therapy UK, Jephcott Thomas was elected President of Play Therapy International in 2002. In 2016 her first book Fifteen Words was published.

 

 

#BlogTour & #BookReview
The Divine Heart by Danielle R. Mani
@DanielleRMani @YABoundToursPR

#BlogTour & #BookReview The Divine Heart by Danielle R. Mani @DanielleRMani @YABoundToursPR

#BlogTour & #BookReview The Divine Heart by Danielle R. Mani @DanielleRMani @YABoundToursPRTitle: The Divine Heart

Author: Danielle R. Mani

Published by: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on July 21, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 178

Format: Paperback

Source: Danielle R. Mani

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Elle Collins has spent most her life waiting for someone else to die…

When a heart donor is found, Elle awakes from surgery gifted with more than just a new heart. Clairaudient messages and spiritual apparitions haunt her until she is convinced that she must be insane. Either that, or her donor is sending a message.

Desperate for answers the medical community can’t provide, Elle’s divination leads her to the family of her donor, a young girl named Cas. With the help of her best friend, Rob, the guy who’s proof that her new heart is capable of love, Elle must make sense of the clues Cas is sending. As pieces of Cas’s life and death emerge, Elle will discover that she and Cas share more than just a heart.


Review:

Mystical, heartwarming, and deliciously suspenseful!

The Divine Heart is a compelling, coming-of-age mystery about friendship, family, transplants, mental illness, first loves, and teen drama all interwoven with a thread of the paranormal.

The characters are young, strong, and adventurous. The prose is clear, crisp and precise. And the plot has just the right amount of tension, angst, danger, emotion, and excitement to keep you intrigued right until the very end.

Overall, I think The Divine Heart will really appeal to teens and young adults, and even though I think I’m a little older than the target demographic, I found it unique, heartfelt, and completely satisfying.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                        

 

 

 

Thank you to Danielle R. Mani and YA Bound Book Tours for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Danielle R. Mani

Danielle R. Mani (Danielle Rodriguez-Cinquemani) is a fan of the paranormal in both print and film. Her books combine supernatural fiction with the everyday dramas of young adulthood. Ms. Mani holds a Bachelor of Arts in education and a Master of Science in communications. She is currently a teacher at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, and hopes to earn her doctoral degree in parapsychology. She resides in Westchester, New York, with her husband, four children, two dogs, and three rescue cats.

 

#BlogTour & #BookReview
One Day in December by Shari Low
@sharilow @Aria_Fiction

#BlogTour & #BookReview One Day in December by Shari Low @sharilow @Aria_FictionTitle: One Day in December

Author: Shari Low

Published by: Aria on September 1, 2017

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 366

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Aria, NetGalley

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

By the stroke of midnight, a heart would be broken, a cruel truth revealed, a devastating secret shared, and a love betrayed. Four lives would be changed forever, One Day in December.

One morning in December…

Caro set off on a quest to find out if her relationship with her father had been based on a lifetime of lies.

Lila decided today would be the day that she told her lover’s wife of their secret affair.

Cammy was on the way to pick up the ring for the surprise proposal to the woman he loved.

And Bernadette vowed that this was the day she would walk away from her controlling husband of 30 years and never look back.

One day, four lives on a collision course with destiny…


Review:

Positively addictive, delightfully mesmerizing, and absolutely brilliant!

One Day in December takes us on a moving journey into the lives of four strangers for one day and introduces us to their thoughts, feelings, motivations, fears, and dreams and highlights just how small the world truly is and how quickly strangers can become friends and friends can become strangers.

The writing is expressive, amusing, and effortless. The characterization is spot on with a whole slew of characters that are genuine, multi-layered, intriguing and unique. And the plot is a series of compelling subplots that are skillfully unravelled and intertwined to create an unforgettable, heartfelt, humorous story about life, love, loss, family, adultery, deception, lies, friendship, romance, and happiness.

I have to admit that Shari Low has the amazing ability to sweep me away to a place I don’t want to leave and immerses me into the lives of characters I can’t get enough of and One Day in December is no exception, and Shari Low one day is definitely not enough. I can’t tell you how excited and honoured I was to be asked to read, review, and kick off this blog tour, and as most of you may already know there are a few authors I love, Karen Swan, Lucinda Riley and Shari Low you’re one of them.

If you haven’t already had a chance to read my review for some of Shari Low’s other novels be sure to check them out here:

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Aria for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Shari Low

Shari Low has published twenty novels over the last two decades. She also writes for newspapers, magazines and television. Once upon a time, she got engaged to a guy she’d known for a week, and twenty-something years later, they live in Glasgow with their two teenage sons and a labradoodle.

 

#BlogTour & #BookReview
The Wright Mistake by K.A. Linde
@AuthorKALinde @InkSlingerPR

#BlogTour & #BookReview The Wright Mistake by K.A. Linde @AuthorKALinde @InkSlingerPR

#BlogTour & #BookReview The Wright Mistake by K.A. Linde @AuthorKALinde @InkSlingerPRTitle: The Wright Mistake

Author: K.A. Linde

Series: Wright Series #3

Published by: K.A. Linde Inc. on August 8, 2017

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 340

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: K.A. Linde, InkSlingerPR

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

A new stand alone enemies-to-lovers romance by USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde…

I spent six weeks screwing Austin Wright’s brains out and all I got was this broken heart.

He can’t be trusted. Not with my body or my heart. Yet, two years have passed and I still crave him like an addict needing a fix.

The last time we tried this, it nearly ruined me. I know I should run and never look back. But his dark haunted eyes and razor blade smile speak to my soul. His touch sets my body on fire. And we all know what happens when you light gasoline. Someone is bound to get burned.

A second chance might destroy us both.

Because everyone knows two wrongs don’t make a Wright.


Review:

Passionate, angsty, and emotive!

The Wright Mistake is a heartwarming tale about the quirky, fun-loving Julia who has a weakness for bad boys and a past riddled with heartbreak, and Austin the sexy, charismatic playboy who masks his deep-rooted sadness and prefers the numbness and oblivion he finds in a bottle.

The writing is fluid and sultry. The characters are amusing, supportive, and entertaining. And the plot takes us on a whirlwind through the highs and lows of alcohol addiction and the explosive and spicy chemistry of falling in love.

Once again, Linde has proven that when it comes to writing contemporary romance stories that are emotionally compelling, bursting with sexual tension, and full of characters we can’t help but root for, she’s certainly one of the best.

The Wright Mistake is the third novel in the Wright series. If you haven’t had a chance to read my reviews for the first two books in the series The Wright Brother and The Wright Boss be sure to check them out here:

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

Amazon USAmazon UKiBooksB&NKoboGoogle Play

 

 

Thank you to InkSlingerPR and K.A. Linde for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About K.A. Linde

K.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of more than fifteen novels including the Avoiding series and the Record series. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, geeking out over Star Wars, binge-watching Supernatural, and dancing in her spare time.

She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super adorable puppies.

#BlogTour & #GuestPost
Rock Hard by Jozie Di Maria
@JoZieRockFit @Authoright

Synopsis:

If there’s one woman who rocks harder than anyone it’s JoZie Di Maria. Gorgeous, outrageously fit and heavily tattooed, Di Maria has worked as a dancer with — and a trainer for — some of the biggest names in rock music. Having toured with legendary bands like Mötley Crüe, Papa Roach and Jane’s Addiction, she has lived a life that most people could only dream of. 

But Di Maria soon found that staying in top shape on the road was tough; performing long shows at packed stadiums late into the night, combined with endless hotel stays, poor nutrition and constant partying was gruelling. So Di Maria decided to take control and develop her own fierce fitness routine so that she could rock hard and train hard at the same time. 

Rock Hard: A Backstage Pass to Staying Fit on the Road the Rockstar Way is both an outstanding fitness guide and a nostalgic behind the scenes account of JoZie Di Maria’s incredible life on the road, training rockstars from Tommy Lee (Mötley Crüe) to Billy Morrison (Billy Idol) and Josh Todd (Buckcherry). Her easy to follow routines prove that you can work out anytime, any place — airports, offices, hotels, no excuses! — building a strong and healthy physique, inside and out, while developing a positive approach to body image. Beautiful paintings of her rockstar gym buddies accompany hand-drawn illustrations of work out moves, making it easy and lots of fun to train along with her, Di Maria’s Rock Hard is a fitness book worthy of any rock God.

And Now JoZie Di Maria on Mötley Crüe:

 

TOMMY LEE

MÖTLEY CRÜE – DRUMMER/DJ

WORKOUT: DRUMMING, DANCING, SEX

Tommy Lee is a man of many talents though known best as the drummer for Mötley Crüe. I’ve been blessed with the fortune to have been part of the Mötley Crüe legacy, as well as experiencing this super-hyper man’s energy and light. In an almost child-like way, Tommy finds excitement in just about everything. Everyday is truly a new day for him. His tall, fit frame is no doubt stamped Body by rock’n’roll, is covered in tattoos and piercings, and kept lean from intense drumming. I was always awe-struck when I’d watch him sweat buckets during shows. Tommy always plays his drums shirtless, driving the girls to want him and the guys to be like him. He is the epitome of cool.

Not one to work out at a gym, Tommy Lee is clearly keeping fit in a non-conventional fashion. Along with his drumming, he DJs around the world. Dancing and moving the entire set while he spins (which lasts anywhere from 90 minutes to three hours), he burns hundreds of calories without even trying. I would have to say, Tommy Lee has the “non-workout” workout. Would you believe he would most likely top a professional football player in fitness and condition? Well, believe it.

Research conducted in Britain by Chichester University used Blondie drummer Clem Burke to prove such a point. Clem, along with other drummers, were connected to equipment measuring their heart rates, oxygen up-take, and the levels of lactic acid in their blood as they played. The stress caused to their bodies while drumming was then compared to football players. Drummers’ heart rates were raised up to 190 beats per minute and burning anywhere from 400 to 600 calories in a 90-minute performance. Drummers need to have high stamina in order to play shows. The average working drummer plays a 90-minute set, five days a week for up to three months during an average touring schedule. The breaks in between legs of a tour range from two weeks to a month. That’s a whole lot of increased heart rates and calorie burning going on! The rock star lifestyle seems so unhealthy, but drummers counteract a lot of the toxicity without realizing it since they’re perpetually sweating toxins out. Tommy loves to beat on those skins unapologetically and is keeping fit at the same time.

 

VINCE NEIL

MÖTLEY CRÜE – LEAD VOCALS

LEATHER PANTS WORKOUT: ADJUSTABLE DUMBBELLS, ON-STAGE ACTIVITY

The first moment I met Vince back in 1998, we literally giggled and hugged as if two old friends were reuniting. He had the most infectious laugh that kept me giggling and we instantly hit it off. When we began touring together, we’d often go to hotel gyms by day or hang at a Hooter’s, then hit the local strip club at night. We were having fun! But those little hotel gyms were definitely NOT where Vince was burning calories.

SHOWTIME!

During an average Mötley Crüe show, Vince stays extremely active, running from one side of the stage to the other, using his upper body to swing his arm up and punch, psyching up the crowd for the majority of the 90-minute show. Mix that with adrenaline and it’s a perfect cocktail for calorie burning. The average concert stage is approximately 60’ in length. Between songs when Vince has a quick break, he runs into his private tent and pumps up with portable resistance bands before he runs back to continue rocking out! Amazing! It’s an impressive two-hour workout burning an estimated 1,100-1,500 calories per show! Multiply that by five shows a week and it comes to 5,500-7,500 calories burned every week on tour. At the end of each show, Vince’s stage clothes would be completely drenched in sweat as if dowsed with a bucket of water. Peeling off the sweat-soaked, heavy leather pants is a bit of workout in itself, probably adding extra muscle-toning resistance to his already active stage routine. Wet leather is no joke.

THE KISS

I was so often asked about my nightly kisses with Vince on stage. They were so passionate that many thought we were an item. Vince is an amazing kisser. He is a non-smoker with soft, supple lips and knows exactly how to use them. Often times I found myself flushed and a bit heated by a really good kiss. With blood rushing to certain areas and my heart pounding, I wondered about kissing and calorie burning. Apparently, you do burn calories during kissing. When I say kiss, I mean a deep-throat, make-out session. Unfortunately, mine and Vince’s make-out sessions did not last long enough to make any real dent, but we can add an extra 3-5 calories burned on Vince’s part and maybe two for me.

Remember being in high school and having the long, drawn out, sweaty, dry-humping make-out sessions that seemed to last hours? Too lazy to workout? Rediscover that delicious way to burn some bulge.

About the Author:

Originally from Roselle, New Jersey, JoZie “LoveStar” Di Maria is a certified personal trainer who has travelled the world as a make-up artist, stylist and back-up dancer to some of the biggest bands in rock. Just fifteen years after she first went to her first ever concert – Mötley Crüe at Madison Square Garden – she was invited by the band to perform with them on tour. She has worked as a make-up artist for MTV, VH1, TLC and Discovery.

Thank you JoZie Di Maria. It was an honour to have you guest post on my blog today!

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