Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Way You Look Tonight by Bella Andre, Book Review

General Information:
Genre: Romance
Pages:194
Publisher:Oak Press, LLC
Book Summary (Per the author's webpage)
As a very successful private investigator who has caught most of the cheaters in Seattle with their pants down, Rafe Sullivan believes true, lasting love only happens once in a blue moon. Needing to get away from the city to clear his head, he finds the lake house where he spent the best summers of his life is now a wreck…but the sweet girl next door is all grown up and prettier than anything he’s ever seen.
While Brooke Jansen is happy making and selling chocolate truffles in her small Pacific Northwest lake town, she secretly longs to experience something wild. So when her favorite “Wild Sullivan” moves in again next door after more than a decade away, and sparks fly between them, she can’t stop wondering if being bad is really as good as it always seemed…and just how long it will be before she can find out.
But when their summer fling quickly spirals into deeper emotions than either of them were expecting, can they survive the heat between them? Or will Rafe make the biggest mistake of his life and end up losing the best thing that’s ever happened to him?

My Thoughts:
Sweet but sexy, hot but wary, old friends but new lovers...yowza this book has it all!  I immensely enjoyed this story.  It was a romance with great relationships between family, friends, business colleagues and more.  The steamy scenes were great, but my favorite parts of the book were how the siblings interacted, the great presents given to the parents later on, how the business partners all worked together and the true examples of trust and love that were amply demonstrated and displayed in this well -written book.

This was my first book regarding the Sullivan's and now, well now I am excited because there is a new series that I want to read and read now!  BA wrote a very quick and enjoyable read that still conveyed an honest look at emotions and how people/family relationships can quickly change, not be as expected and how sometimes taking a break or taking a chance can change your entire life.  I enjoyed the appearance of the other Sullivan's, the tie in with her other books (hello partly why I am ready to read more now!!), and how no detail seemed irrelevant regardless of the section of book or character involved. 

Important Links:
Author
Goodreads
Twitter

Links to Purchase:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer:  I purchased this book on my own.  All thought and opinions are my own.

Jack Templar Monster Hunter: The Templar Chronicles Book One by Jeff Gunhus, Book Review

General Information
Genre:Young Adult Fiction
Pages: 204 Pages
Publisher: Seven Guns Press

Book Summary (Per ebooksforreview.com)
If you’re not a monster hunter, don’t read this book!
Seriously, this book is not meant for you. By reading it, you run the risk of attracting monsters to your position and being attacked. So, unless you are willing to join the fight…just walk away.
Still here? OK, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Let me introduce myself. I’m Jack Templar and I’m an orphan.
Recently, I discovered that I came from a long line of monster hunters. You know, vampires, werewolves, zombies, you name it. Turns out there was some kind of truce between monsters and the hunters that kids under fourteen were off-limits. I didn’t find out about all this until the day before my birthday. Yeah, you guessed it, my fourteenth birthday. So, all bets were off. The monsters were coming to get me.
Not only that, but I also found out that if monsters around the world could choose one human to kill, it would be me. Why? I haven’t a clue, but the hunters I’ve met talk about a prophecy and that they think I’m the One…whatever that means. I’d like to find out some day, but for right now, I’m just trying to stay alive.
If you want to hear a story that will scare you, gross you out and forever change the way you look at the world around you, then you came to the right place.
But, if you want to keep the illusion that the world is a safe and orderly place, then get out of here and stop wasting my time.
Do your duty, come what may.
JT
My Thoughts:
Except for one thing I am an avid new fan of this series.  The one thing, and thankfully I kept reading beyond it, was the rules and beginning warnings of putting the book down if not a monster hunter.  I felt it was a bit silly, redundant and not true to the great adventures, emotions, escapades, etc. of this first book to what I imagine is and will continue to be a fantastic series.

I do not have any children or reason such as that for wanting to try this book.  The only reason I tried it, is that the book summary sounded AMAZING.  I mean adventure, paranormal antics, and a large  imagination is clear immediately and stays front and center throughout the book.  I read this in one sitting and imagine many others will or do as well.  Each page sent us to a new place, emotion, situation where I was rooting for JT, feeling his pain, laughing at the antics of him and his team or just slack jawed at the pure and detailed imagery that Jeff Gunhus liberally provides us his readers.

This book is well written, gripping and I personally feel (as I am not a YA) that it is something that all ages, regardless of genre preference, would enjoy.  I say regardless of genre preference because this book touches on family relationship (blood and self-made), courage, adventure, a wee bit of romance, looking beyond the surface of people and events and more.  I expected a fun and entertaining read (which it was), but I did not expect to find another series that I wanted to dive into and enjoy along with JT and his friends.

Book Trailer (enjoy!!)
Important Links:

Links to Purchase:

Disclaimer:  I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Me Tarzan, You Jane by Camelia Miron Skiba, Book Review


Book Summary (Per Author's Website)
Moving on doesn’t always have to mean goodbye.
Widowed makeup artist Jane Sullivan is more comfortable keeping her husband’s memory alive than dating a pool full of sharks. Ella, her 4 year-old daughter, is her whole world. 
When Jane meets Lucas Oliver, famous cover model, it’s hate at first sight. His playboy persona rubs her the wrong way. 
Accustomed to every woman fawning over him, Lucas is drawn to the shy, uncompromising single mom and completely melts at the sight of Ella. He is determined to convince Jane that sometimes a second chance can mend a broken heart.
My Thoughts:
I absolutely adored this book.  I read the blurb and was snagged, but honestly thought while I enjoyed it, it would not be a book that I enjoyed as much as I did.  If you read romance books you are expecting a happy ending and so many times it may not be the most shocking of endings:)-  When I first started I was hesitent because it is clear immediately that Jane will not like Lucas initially and seems somewhat irate/bitter, but if you stick with the book the depth of both characters starts emerging (Jane's quicker b/c I was not liking Lucas for a bit!) I like to keep getting the unexpected and this book did have that in sections...which I LOVED! This is a quick read, but still there are so many interesting lessons one can take from it and enjoy while learning about the complex characters that the author introduces to us. The depth of the characters, the sparks between several characters in differing relationships, the family dynamic built between relatives, colleagues, etc. all kept me enthralled.  If you like a clean but still romantic story this is a must read!
This book showed how people can make assumptions based on looks, how people have hidden depths and the extremes that others may go to try and protect or take advantage of those in their life.  It was these extremes that made this not just another romance read to me.  I enjoyed, and think you will too,  the events that unfold between the two main characters as well as several secondary characters that I hope get a book of their own (or at least show up in more of Camelia's work!)
Important Links:


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Disclaimer:  I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own:)


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas- Daily Cuteness Style

Merry Christmas my lovelies!  Thank you for stopping by, enjoying me reviews and sending love to my furbabies and me:)

I will not be working on my blog for the next 3 days because my sister and fiance are in town, but no worries 1)I will still be reading for more reviews (so send some suggestions!!) and 2) I am going to leave you with my Christmas card and some daily cuteness from my little bugs:)

TayTay wants some more snacks!!
My girls waiting for their Aunt Izzy to get here!!
From my family to yours...Merry Christmas!  I hope y'all have a blessed time with loved ones:)



Thursday, December 18, 2014

Subscription Services- Ipsy December Review

Merry Christmas!!! I kept hearing/reading/seeing that this month's Ipsy was going to be great because it was the Christmas edition/selection.  I have to say I agree!  My items came in the mail this week and I am loving them!
I am not a huge fan, but I do like the bag this month.  I like the larger bags just because I find it hard to fit all my products in it that I like to carry in my purse when it is this small.  I loved the teal and gun metal size bags b/c they fit my items perfectly!  Other than the bag though I am loving all my items.
The Tarte mascara does NOT disappoint.  I mean I am ready to go buy a full size as soon as I finish this sample size.  I am enjoying the length, fullness, hold and lack of fallout from this mascara.  Most importantly though I am enjoying that it does not aggravate my sensitive baby blues and is from a great and healthy vision company!

I love NYX products and this balm is no exception.  I had previously only tried glosses, lipstick and lipliner, but this balm is very moisturizing and actually has a great lip color to go along with it.  Now that being said, mine is a bright red so I can't really use my balm if I have any other type of color on my lips that day:(
The brush is great.  It does not shed, is very soft and picks up the product very easily.  I do not really like dual ended brushes just because it is hard to keep it organized without messing up one of the ends, but I do like what I am able to do with both ends in terms of detail, precision, etc. on my face.
I have not used the last two products (a shimmer eye product from Pixie and a face wash from BWC, but I am excited to try them due to the reviews I have read, the swatch I did on my hand of the eye product, and that BWC is (beauty without cruelty)

One of my favorite parts this month was the card that came with it.  I found it immensely sweet and fun! So I had to post it to my IG acocunt immediately:)

As always if you are interested in getting your own bag to try out new and fun products please check out Ipsy here!

In Deep (2 book series) by Kella McKinnon, Book Review

Book Summary (per Goodreads)

Brielle

What would you do if you met a man that made you burn like wildfire from the inside out? Burn so hot that with one touch you forgot to breathe?

And if you knew that he had dangerous secrets? Would you be able to walk away? 

I couldn’t. As strong as I know I am, I kept going back for more of him. That body… those eyes…

I saw him for the first time on my very first day in Vegas, and even then I think a part of me knew, because I couldn’t look away. It was like that moment when you see something flying towards you and you know it’s going to hit you before you can ever move out of the way, so you just watch, transfixed, as it crashes into you. Cristos Vicario: owner of the illustrious Adagio hotel and casino and reputed billionaire playboy. He sure as hell wasn’t what he seemed on the surface. That man had secrets. No one knew what a dark and dangerous world he lived in, and when I finally saw him for what he was, it was already far too late. I found myself inextricably tied to him forever. The course of my life altered. My entire world changed forever as he took away my freedom and gave me the key to my dreams in one fell swoop.

How could I have known that the one man who should have been my greatest nightmare would become the one thing I couldn’t live without? And all I had to do was forgive him…

Cristos

I was only living for one thing, one goal, one endgame… until I saw Brielle. And when I touched her, it was all over for me… I just didn’t know it yet. Not until I broke all of my rules for her, one after another, and that still wasn’t enough. I wanted more. 

I wanted it all. Yeah, what I did to her was pretty much unforgivable. I know that now. Some small part of me might have known it then, too, but it didn’t matter. I had to hold on to her. I would have done anything to keep her… and I did.
Now I’ve put her in danger, dragged her into my world, and I don’t know whether to push her away or hold her tighter. Letting her go would be the right thing to do… but every time I try to do the right thing… I can’t. 

When I take her, it’s always hard and desperate, as if she’ll disappear if I can’t make her feel the same things I feel... if I can’t force her to care about me enough that she’ll look past everything else and see into my heart.
Last night, after she fell asleep, still wrapped in my arms, I rested my lips against the top of her head and inhaled the scent of her as she slept. Trusting me, even though she shouldn’t. “I don’t deserve you”, I whispered. “But I want you. God, I want you so badly.”

My Thoughts:
I normally do not love books that are a series, just b/c I hate having to wait and see what happens!  I know I know who doesn't have the want/need for immediate gratification, but it is true.  Now that said, some of my favorite stories are those involved in a series...and this series is now part of that list!  I first read the description and thought it would be similar to quite a few of the romantic billionaire stories on the market now, but it is not...I was wrong.  This takes a twist on the story for both the female and male roles!  Quite simply this book is delicious and engaging all the way through.  At times I disliked both characters (really disliked Cristos even when I loved him!), but overall loved both of them and can see them staying as some of my top favorite literary characters!

**This is not a book for young readers**

In Deep~
I love the way both books are written, but as this is the first in the two part series I will bring it up here.  Often as readers we wonder, or at least I do, what the other character is thinking of the actions or events taking place, here Kella gives us that gift!  Every few scenes it changes to the other main character and we see what they saw, felt, did, etc.  

During the book I fell in love with how strong the characters were all developed.  I felt like Brielle's big brother was the one we all wanted to have, that the new best friend was the ideal best friend (Welcoming, invited her to events, gave her advice about guys, etc.)  I also found my love/hate for Cristos was almost immediate.  I mean good looking billionaire, yes please, but then when his character starts developing and we see some of his activities and behavior..ehhh not so much.  Now with that being said though, I adored the interactions and by-plays between Brielle and Cristos.  You can see through Kella's writing how intense they both are, how strong and independent they both are, but how much they both care (even if they don't want to) about each other.

The ending of this book will leave you screaming either outloud for those of us who emote externally or internally with a big NO, which also answers a question that is alluded to throughout the book.   It also left me on a love note with Cristos. (I am a sap what can I say) It also left me immediately turning to the next book in the series (need for immediate gratification remember?)

In Deeper~
We pick up in this book (immediately if you are like me) knowing some of what makes Cristos who he is and why he is doing what he is.  But still having the love/hate of why oh why does he treat Brielle that way!  In this book their relationship continues to evolve and epitomizes the idea of on/off again relationships.  Interestingly enough it is here that I do not enjoy Brielle at times b/c with her not knowing all of his demons, but knowing her background I was shocked that she kept coming back to him.

Obviously the story would not work if she did not keep going back/accepting him back, but I was thrown b/c in everything else she is so independent and strong-willed, but in regards to Cristos she seems to back down or give him A LOT of leeway.  Partly that could be due to the intense nature of their attraction and relationship, which again Kella does a superb job of conveying and bringing to life to us readers.  Brielle's brother becomes more of the storyline here and he is fantastic.  Gruff, loving big brother and law enforcement.  The way he is depicted I could visualize the struggles on his face and life over Brielle, Cristos, the background issues, etc.

Cristos does a HUGE no no in this book, but it leads to some interesting discoveries.  I was not surprised by the result (in fact it was the one time I was like well this is what will happen), but the story telling of it was descriptive and well timed.  Then we get to the ending and it is just what we want (though somewhat cheesy on the last page:)-!)  

~~
So if you can't tell from how much I wrote on this book, I am a fan of it.  I know I will be checking more works from Kella McKinnon and I do recommend this 2 part series for those of you who like romance with a bit of an action/thriller background.
Important Links:

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Disclaimer: I was given this book for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

How Pretty...I love it

I am a HUGE fan of JD Robb books...aka the fantastic In Death series.  I also am a huge fan of hardcover books or ebooks.

I have her entire series in ebook form, but currently the entire series is not available in Hard Cover.  Well that my lovelies is changing!  A while ago I saw where they will be releasing one by one the books that were never published in Hard Cover and we can order them from her bookstore, Turn the Page Bookstore!

The first one came available on December 9 and I ordered it back I think in July (what can I say..I love these books!)  It came in the mail today and just look at how gorgeous it is!


Do you have a book series or author that you just look for all the new releases and want immediately?  Who?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Persuaded by Misty Dawn Pulsipher, Book Review

Book Summary (Per Author's Goodreads page)
What's worse than never getting over your first love?
How about watching him fall for someone else...

Hanna Elliot had worn the ring faithfully at first. Some part of her still clung to the hope that all was not lost. As the days turned into weeks, she finally took it off and set it atop her dresser. When weeks gave way to months, the ring finally went back into its box, where it gathered dust until it was moved to Hanna’s unmentionables drawer. For the first few years, she had taken it out on the anniversary of the day she’d received it, allowing herself to wallow in what might have been. 

She had been all but stamped out of Derick Wentworth’s mind.  Sure, he thought about her occasionally, especially on cloudless nights when he lay on the bow of the Laconia looking up at the stars. But as time went on, Derick began to feel grateful that it hadn’t worked out, for one thing was certain: if he ever did settle down, it would be with someone who knew her own mind. Someone who went after the thing she wanted without hesitation. Someone who would never allow herself to be persuaded otherwise. 

Persuaded, a modern adaptation of Jane Austen's Persuasion.

My Thoughts:
So I have never read Jane Austen's Persuasion, but when I read this description I was sold and knew that I had to read Misty's book!

At first I was frustrated by the quotations at the beginning of each book from Jane Austen, but after reading the entire book I reflected back to those quotations and actually enjoyed the type of intro they gave to the chapter.  Hanna was extremely likable.  I enjoyed her character the most when she had more of a backbone, but I loved how she handled situations, found joy in what she did have, etc.  I also was excited to see how expertly the author wrote the story to not give away why the engagement events happened as they did right away.  As I was reading I was like did someone lie, did someone get cold feet, did someone interfere, what happened!!

Until the very end of the book I was not sure how I felt about Derick.  Some sections I wanted to cheer and say Yes he is a fantastic hero for our lady...but other times I was like he is a schmuck.  The entire aspect of hooking up with Hanna's sister in law, knowing that Hanna would be at all these events AND not telling the sister in law either is just wrong.  Now I loved how protective he felt towards Hanna in different scenes and stood up for her.  I also melted over how he wrote the captions and emotions into his proposal near the end.  When he was waiting for her and then at the very end of the book I did realize that I was a fan of Derick and how he evolved in the story, but like I said at times I just was not sure.

At the end of this book I knew I was a fan of the book and as I have reflected on it the last few days that has not changed, nor has my emotions on any of the other characters (aka Hanna's sister needed a kick in the butt... I mean seriously what a stick in the mud).  I do not know if I will read Jane Austen's Persuasion after this to see how they compare, but I do know I will read more books from Misty!

Important Links
Author
Goodreads-Book
Goodreads-Author
Amazon-Author's Page
Facebook

Links where you can Purchase
Amazon

Disclaimer:  I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Victoria Secret 5 candle collection review


As you unwrap this box the most heavenly scent starts to permeate the air around you. The more you unwrap the more pervasive it becomes. This is in a delicious way and not cloyingly at all. In fact while the box is gorgeous, the way the scent is tempting my senses was my favorite part of the box and initial opening!  The box itself is solid and can be kept if you enjoy using/keeping boxes for yourself and for recycling/upcycling needs.  There is a light gloss to the top, but it is more of a sheen that highlights the attractiveness of the box.

Once you open the box completely you see the lovely candles inside.  They have a dark outside with elegant script on each on displaying the name of the scent.  As I pulled each one out I was able to smell it and enjoy its own unique scent makeup.

In order of my preference, the scents are:
Pink musk
Sparkling woods
Vanilla noir
Luminous Amber
Midnight sky

All in all, with the packaging, smell, display potential and just luxuriousness of this item I find it something that would be great to spoil yourself with or to pamper a family member or friend with if they enjoy candles.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Lumpy Duckling, Book Review

Book Summary: (Per I Am A Reader website)
Lumpy may be hefty with a misshapen mouth, but he’s funny and the most loyal friend Wheezy could ask for. When she meets Unwanted, she casts a wish for people to be able to see her best friend like she does. Her wish nearly kills him.
All the Weaver Tales are set in the same fictional village of The Tales. The villagers are called Word Weavers, because they speak in story. The same little gnome-elf, Unwanted, grants a wish in each book that makes the main character’s problem worse. The books do not have to be read in any order.

Excerpt 
Isn’t seventh grade too young to worry about boys? In that way at least. She always worried about her very closest friend, Lumpy. She and Lawrence Nightingale had been inseparable since she tripped over him in the sandbox almost nine years ago. Well, inseparable might be a bit strong, since they couldn’t even go to school together, Lumpy being a year older than
her and all.
     Being picked on wasn’t the only thing they had in common. Wheezy smiled. They both liked…um…they preferred…um. Her smile fell away when she stared out the window picturing herself and Lumpy together.
     They had nothing in common. He liked to watch sports and whittle wood; she liked to create sand art and find shapes in the clouds. He chowed down steak and pan fried potatoes, or liverwurst and ketchup sandwiches, while she nibbled pickled zucchini spears and rye crisps. He spit into a pennywhistle, calling it music, while she sang like a songbird.
     Even their Word Weaving was different. She weaved reports and updates of current events while he …um…whatever his weavings were classified as, they made people laugh. Gnawing the inside of her cheek, she searched for a
commonality in their personalities, hobbies or interests. A reason they were friends.
     An image of Lumpy, a dirt stained baseball cap slightly askew, round face, red from laughing, an ever present lumpy grin on his lips which sparked in his bright blue eyes, formed in her mind, and a smile brightened her face again. It didn’t matter that they had nothing in common. He was her best friend. That was enough for her.
My Thoughts:
When I read the book description I immediately wanted to read it, let alone review it! It sounded fantastic.  Then I got the pdf and I got a bit concerned because I was not a fan of the cover....at all.  Now several things came to mind..was I really judging a book by its cover & could this actually play into a real world lesson from this book about outside looks?

Well yes it could and did because this book is fantastic.  I know it is set for middle school to YA readers, but I was completely enthralled with the characters, story line and emotions of the book.  I was laughing at some parts, relating to and being sad at other parts on how kids treat each other, groaning over some of the mishaps that Lumpy and Wheezy got into, and enjoying the end, though I wanted more of the story to keep reading to see what happened next!!(there are other books in the The Tales!)

This is a quick read and has a depth to the characters and storyline that I do not typically see in a children or YA book.  I remember starting the book one night before bed thinking I would read for a few minutes....well the next thing I remember I was finishing the book and thinking but wait what happens with them next!! I went to put my Ipad down, saw the time and was like ooppsie!  After reading it, and even now a few days later, I am still thinking of this story between friends, the town, the wish giving little creature and wondering what other wonderful stories and adventures are taking place in The Tales.
Important Links:
Author
Facebook
Twitter

Where to Purchase:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble



Disclaimer:  I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions of this book are my own.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Newsworthy

What news caught your eye this week?


Fox News
Native Americans allowed to sell, grow marijuana, DOJ says
Budget bill in Senate's court now; House narrowly approves spending bill 3 hours shy of deadline
NYC's SantaCon kicks off with First Amendment lesson and hopes of less naughty, more nice

CNN
Cleveland police's fatal shooting of Tamir Rice ruled a homicide
Scalia on torture morality: "I don't think it's so clear at all"
Do Animals go to Heaven? Pope Francis may not have weighed in after all.

Salisbury Post
Salisbury Police Officer Fired for 'Inflammatory' Facebook comments
Spencer recognizes employees

The New York Times
Our Unrealistic Homes for Presidents

The Christmas Women by Elyse Douglas, Book Review

Book Summary:(Per Amazon summary)
When 38-year old Trudie Parks learns that her high school drama teacher is seriously ill, she immediately contacts her two best friends in high school, Kristen and Mary Ann. Together, they’d been known as “The Christmas Girls.” They’d produced and starred in the annual high school Christmas show, which their teacher, Mrs. Childs, had directed. Determined to show their love for Mrs. Childs, they plan a 20-year reunion to recreate the Christmas show for her. What they don’t anticipate is the complicated emotions this provokes, as former sweethearts appear and rekindle romance, painful memories and the sting of unrealized dreams. All three women must reassess their lives and their friendships, while struggling to produce the show, even while Mrs. Childs seems to grow weaker by the day. As Christmas Eve approaches, The Christmas Women prepare for an event that will take them and the audience to the farthest reaches of the human heart and resonate throughout the rest of their lives.

My Thoughts:
I loved this book.  I waited a bit to read it because I wanted to read it during the Christmas time and I am so glad I did!  While this would be a great read anytime of the year it was fantastic to read it and enjoy the bits about Christmas plays, carols, the spirit moving everyone to help others, etc.

The three women were extremely easy to relate to.  They all had regrets or thoughts that I think all women reflect on, even men perhaps, as they reach different parts of their life.  What ifs, if onlys, etc. as we see our life go one way or the other.  I loved the struggle that each character faced within family, friends and their past as they worked to move past it to get to where they wanted to be and to help someone they admired and loved from their past.  Mrs. Childs..oh my goodness what a wonderful character and fully developed part of the story.  Everyone should be so lucky to have a teacher who has that type of impact on during and after school.

My least favorite woman was Kristen and the reason is because the writing and development of her character was so on point that I just wanted to kick her.  I mean not making up her mind, being selfish, etc. seemed to be her mo the ENTIRE story...not just high school, but then she finds a way to make me like even her at the end of the story.  Seriously though the route she takes in this story is so convoluted and I loved it. I went from not liking her to liking her to hating her to loving her to only liking her!  No other character had me so torn about my opinion on them.

The men of this story..oh the men...how fantastic was it that these men were realistic and not over the top.  They helped make this story feel like it could happen and that the everyday romance and love could exist.  My favorite was how all the men found a way to address what went wrong or where everyone veered in high school to fix the relationships.  Jon and his role in this story was complex and made him one of my favorites.  At times I laughed at his audacity, gasped at his callousness, cringed when I thought he responded a certain way to Trudie near the end and wanted to applaud when he helped make the ending of this book so fantastic.

This was an easy and immensely enjoyable read.  I did read it in one night, but it also has impressed me with how often I have thought about the main story, the side stories and its characters since I finished it a few days ago.  I would recommend this book and author to anyone looking for a light holiday read.

Important Links:
Author
Amazon
Facebook
Twitter

Links where to Purchase:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Sunday Scripture, Christmas Edition


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Hercules, Movie Review


I was not sure what to think about this movie.  I always watch Dwayne Johnson movies (The Game is my favorite..closely followed by his character in the Fast and Furious series.)  However, the trailor for this movie was just a bit to ehh for me.  I didn't think some of it looked feasible let alone something from mythology...or it might just be my reflection from watching the Hercules TV show as child..who knows.

Pros~
*The Character Autolycus...I adored him.  The dialogue, his delivery of his lines, he was my favorite character in the whole movie.  In the part where he said he saw his time coming, I was devastated (just for a bit though!)
*Dwayne Johnson does a fantastic job.  Every time I see him in a movie I am very impressed with how well he embodies his character.  He is always believable in his roles and owns his roles.  I will admit I did not find it a stretch to see him as Hercules because of his physical size and strength, but watching the movie, especially when chained I was in awe of the extent of his acting chops.
*The battle scenes and their details were very cinematic.  At times I had to look away because of the animals being "harmed" (I say it b/c only harmed in appearance), but even then that was essential to show the strength and ability of the troop and its leader Hercules.
*The female role was exquisite.  She was feminine but showed her strength in a role where usually women were seen as wrenches or as ladies/royals to only be seen and not heard.  The scene where she turns and shoots the items from the guards arms was one of my favorite!
*I enjoyed seeing the whole team work together to enhance the legend of Hercules, have each others backs,etc.  I loved the humor given rather than the respect to the story-teller/nephew.
Cons~
*I did not think the trailer really showed what this movie was about.  I was expecting more a mythological twist/take on the movie.  Not using mythology as a marketing ploy for mercenaries to earn money?
*It would have been nice to understand more of the side relationships between Hercules and his "sidekicks".  I  know a little bit was given when they were asked if Hercules had killed his family, but it would have been nice for more detail since later we have lines where they are saying they would die for/with him.
Memorable Quotations
Hercules: Do we die in this battle?
Autolycus: My time’s not come yet. Not sure about yours.


Amphiaraus: No matter how far you go, man cannot escape his fate. Who are you? Are you a murderer? Are you a mercenary who turns his back on the innocent? We believe in you! We have faith in you! Remember the deeds you have performed, the labors you have overcome! Are you only the legend, or are you truth behind the legend? Now, tell me, WHO ARE YOU?
Hercules: I AM HERCULES!

Overall I enjoyed this movie a lot more than expected.  I should have known it would be entertaining since it was starting Dwayne Johnson!
Have you watched it? Other Hercules movies or shows?  How did you think it compared?  Do you have a listing of your favorite Hercules actors?




AM Wake up Call

Good morning!  Hope you enjoy:)  Felt like some fast tempo songs this am:)
Taylor Swift~ Blank Spaces
Katy Perry~ Dark Horse
Iggy Azalea~ Fancy
Imagine Dragons~ Radio Active

Friday, December 12, 2014

Shadow Spell by Nora Robert, Book Review

Book Summary: (per the author's webpage)
With the legends and lore of Ireland running through his blood, falconer Connor O'Dwyer is proud to call County Mayo home.  It's where his sister, Branna, lives and works, where his cousin, Iona, has found true love, and where his childhood friends forma  circle that can't be broken...

A circle that is about to be stretched out of shape--by a long-awaited kiss.

Meara Quinn is Branna's best friend, a sister in all but blood.  Her and Connor's paths cross almost daily, as Conoor takes tourists on hawk walks and Meara guides them on horseback across the lush countryside. She has the eyes of a gypsy and the body of a goddess...things Connor has always taken for granted--until his brush with death propels them into a gquick, hot tangle.

Plenty of women have found their way into Connor's bed, but none to his heart until now.  Frustratingly, Meara is okay with just the head, afraid to loser herself--and their friendship--to something more.  But soon, Connor will see the full force and fury of what runs in his blood.  And he will need his family and friends around him when his past rolls in like the fog, threatening an end to all he loves...

My Thoughts:
This is a book that you could read as a stand alone, but there would be quite a few questions or potential confusion from references to the first book in the trilogy and actions that took place between the characters.  Other than knowing that, this book is superb.  I enjoy Nora Roberts books, but they are not my favorite because many times I feel what is the point as we know there will be a lady, there will be distress and there will be a man..somehow the three will intertwine, the distress will go away and the lady and man will remain happy ever after.  But this trilogy has a bit of a spin on that!

Yes there is obviously a lady, distress and a man..hello world of romance stories, but there is also intrigue, thrills, friendships, family dynamics, history, culture references, a wee bit of the sci-fi all mashed together to create a fun new trilogy world where readers can get immersed.  By the end of the book I want to go ride horses, try to talk to animals, learn more about hawking, go visit Ireland, know more about my family history, etc.  I loved that this book takes on the idea of a friendship expanding from being platonic and kind of sibling ideas to realizing their true emotions toward each other, but fighting that and then showing how adversity affects the idea of love and loss.

After reading this book I immediately wanted the next one to see how and if they triumph (I do believe they will because it is a romance...but I still want to see how!)  I also enjoy the entwining of the characters in all the books.  Yes the focus is on the main couple for the story, but there still is information and anecdotes regarding the other characters and their relationships that have already been told fully or are still only being hinted at.

Important Links:

Links where you can purchase book:
Turn the Page Bookstore
Barnes & Noble
Amazon

Disclaimer:  I am an avid reader and borrowed this from the library.  I did not receive any book for this review.  As always though all opinions and thoughts are my own.

Friday Funnies

Enjoy the weekend lovelies!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Shiver of Light by Laurell K Hamilton, book review


Book Summary (Per Barnes & Noble)
I am Princess Meredith NicEssus. Legal name Meredith Gentry, because “Princess” looks so pretentious on a driver’s license. I was the first faerie princess born on American soil, but I wouldn’t be the only one for much longer...

Merry Gentry, ex–private detective, now full-time princess, knew she was descended from fertility goddesses, but when she learned she was about to have triplets, she began to understand what that might mean. Infertility has plagued the high ranks of faerie for centuries. Now nobles of both courts of faerie are coming to court Merry and her men, at their home in exile in the Western Lands of Los Angeles, because they will do anything to have babies of their own.

Taranis, King of Light and Illusion, is a more dangerous problem. He tried to seduce Merry and, failing that, raped her. He’s using the human courts to sue for visitation rights, claiming that one of the babies is his. And though Merry knows she was already pregnant when he took her, she can’t prove it.

To save herself and her babies from Taranis she will use the most dangerous powers in all of faerie: a god of death, a warrior known as the Darkness, the Killing Frost, and a king of nightmares. They are her lovers, and her dearest loves, and they will face down the might of the high courts of faerie—while trying to keep the war from spreading to innocent humans in Los Angeles, who are in danger of becoming collateral damage.

My Thoughts
I am an avid Laurell K. Hamilton reader.  My sister introduced me to her writing a few years ago and since then I have been hooked.  LKH has two main series, each are very different from the other, but they both are fantastically addicting.  In this series Merry is the main character.  She is strong, feminine, ruthless but sentimental, smart but naive...literally the character development of Merry is mindboggling, but so important to how a series can surround her and keep one intrigued.

This might be one of, if not tied for my favorite, Merry books.  In all reality, if a certain character did not have a tragedy in this book it probably would be my favorite.  As it is, this book is tied for favorite with the scene where Merry leads the hunt and finds a way to bring Frost back from death.

In this book we see Merry making changes to how she lives with her men, that some of her men are not really adapting or accepting that she loves them differently, how to handle children and we get to see the men as fathers!  I loved the descriptions of the children, the powers they were already demonstrating and the seeds of hints in future books about the adventures and problems that these children might encounter!  I mean the ability to mesmerize everyone even the FEY!! holy wow and only a few days old.

While I was upset over a certain scene (I mean really such joy and self acceptance right before!!) I was even more touched and entertained by the loyalty and ruthless following/acceptance of the The Wild Hunt.  I do think the story could have encompassed more action or information because the majority was how Merry was adapting to the children, who was the dad, etc.  But I did love seeing how the men reacted to fatherdom, how she fought back against her uncle (great writing of those scenes) and how she avenged the tragedy that took place near the end. (this was my favorite part!.well that and who was changing diapers!!)

Important Links


Links to Purchase

Disclaimer: I borrowed this book from the library.  It was not given to me for any reasons, I just am reviewing it and reading it due to the love I have of this author's work.

Makings the News, Weekly Roundup

Read all about it!

Fox News
When to Expect the Next Oil Price Spike
'Unnconscionable': Top Republicans lash out ahead of release of CIA report


CNN
Senate report: CIA misled public on torture
hina stocks are on an incredible mystery run


Salisbury Post
County's unemployment at lowest point since 2008



What stories have caught your eye this week?

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday with Shutterfly

I can't post what I got (presents my lovelies!!), but I loved me some Shutterfly today!  The amount of coupons, codes, shopping with Ebates makes Shutterfly so budget friendly and grants you a creative avenue!

Please check it out if you haven't!  It is a great way to find presents and memory keepers for yourself and loved ones:)

This link here will 101 FREE prints or a photo magnet:)

Enjoy!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Collector by Nora Roberts, Book Review

Book Summary: (per the authors webpage)
When professional house-sitter Lila Emerson witnesses a murder/suicide from her current apartment-sitting job, life as she knows it takes a dramatic turn.  Suddenly, the woman with no permanent ties finds herself almost wishing for one.
Artist Ashton Archer knows his brother isn't capable of violence--against himself or others.  He recruits Lila, the only eyewitness, to help him uncover what happened.  Ash longs to paint her as intensely as he hungers to touch her.  But their investigation draws them into a rarefied circle where priceless antiques are bought, sold, gambled away and stolen, where what you possess is who you are, and where what you desire becomes a deadly obsession.

My Thoughts:
How does she do it?  Everything I read by Nora Roberts I like (admittedly some more than others), but this one I liked on all fronts.  It has a strong female, a great cast of secondary characters, a dashing and strong male lead, action, romance, friendship, thriller, a little mystery and travel! 

The only thing I did not like is that the ending was somewhat predictable.  By the time the violent scene came at the apartment I was expecting it and just wondering when it would come.  Even that part was a bit obvious because when Lila and Ashton thought everything was over and Ashton left her alone for a few minutes is when the next drama occurred.

However, the scenes with the dogs had me going awww and laughing,  Dogs truly are amazing and heroes! I loved and enjoyed the the twist and happenings of the two best friends (did NOT see that one happening) and enjoyed the villioness in this story (though she did make me think of a character in Iris Johansens Eve Duncan series!)

Overall I enjoyed this book and was glad I borrowed it from the library.  I would recommend it for reading unless you do not enjoy books that have a somewhat predictable ending.

Important Links:

Where You Can Purchase: