Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Secret Surrender by Priscilla West, Book Review

General Information
Genre: New Adult/Romance
Published: September 24, 2013

Book Summary (Per NetGalley)
"What gives you a thrill Kristen?"
I knew that giving in to Vincent Sorenson was a risk, but it was one I was willing to take. I had hidden my heart for so long and for the first time in a long time, Vincent was close to breaking down the walls.
When a trip to Vincent's exclusive private island revealed the real Vincent underneath the layers of suave nonchalance, I thought we were close to the start of something special.
Just when things were looking up for us, I would discover the one secret that Vincent never intended for me to find.
My Thoughts
The story keeps moving very quickly with smooth and descriptive writing in book 2 of this trilogy.  I was amazed at how fast it read because when I reached the end I was like what...no!  However, I see that as a good thing because as I type this review I am thinking that was an excellent way to end book 2.  So many things that I thought might happen, but then were answered in a different way circled around to appear as if they have happened..and we won't find out until book 3!!   Book 2 does veer more towards the mature audience section of readers just because it has some very racy/sexy scenes.  I find it interesting as well that this far into the story I still can't tell if I am team Vincent or not.  Some scenes I am like ahh relationship goals and other scenes I am like nope, no go because it always seems as though he knows what to say and how to say it!  If you like steamy scenes, quick and enjoyable reads, series that are fast paced and characters who leave you guessing...then you definitely want to read this series, this book and then zoom onto book 3!

Important Links

Links to Purchase Book

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

Forbidden Surrender by Priscella West, Book Review

General Information
Genre: New Adult/ Romance
Published: August 7, 2013

Book Summary (per NetGalley)
“What gives you a thrill Kristen?” 

The minute I saw Vincent Sorenson, I knew he was trouble. Billionaire. Bad boy. And dangerously sexy. He was everything I craved, and nothing I needed. 

Unfortunately, I couldn’t just avoid him. The higher ups at my company decided they needed his business, and I was on the team to bring him in. Vincent Sorenson didn’t seem as interested in business as he was in me, but I knew that was a door better left unopened. If I got involved with him, it would only unearth the pain I spent years trying to bury. 

I thought I had it under control, but I seriously underestimated Vincent’s seductive charm and silver-tongue. I would soon find out how delicious it would feel to let myself fall into this forbidden surrender.

My Thoughts
This was a delightful read!  It was fast paced, sexy, funny and has the beginning of a suspense/thriller component towards the end.  I enjoyed the ending of this book because it was not much of a cliffhanger, but rather a great introduction to the next read.  If I was to offer a critique the story-line is somewhat standard in this realm of billionaire romances (man=billionaire, woman=someone trying to start their career, worried about career if dates billionaire, dates billionaire, something dramatic happens, etc.)  What was not standard though was at least as of the first book the billionaire is not some tragic hero or hurt man in need of fixing, but rather is a surfer who became billionaire due to creating what sounds somewhat like a gopro.  For those that get hung up with editing or writing styles this author has a very smooth writing style and I thought the story flowed very nicely. This easily can be a guilty pleasure read for me since it is light and leaves you ready to move onto the next book immediately.  

Important Links

Links to Purchase

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

The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward, Sampler thoughts

I am a fan of J.R. Wards writing so I am extremely excited to read her next book which is the start of a new series.  I was given the chance to receive a sampler of three chapters from the book which will come out July 28, 2015.

I think I am going to LOVE this book and series.  I am not quite understanding how it will be a series, but that is what I am loving!  Just in three chapters I already have a few favorite characters, love how the people are coming to life and really want to research bourbon and other liquors to see if there are families like this!

If you received an ARC did it continue to demonstrate such detail and emotion?  I already have so many questions of what happened, who did what, how did this happen, etc.!!  I am jealous of those with ARCs haha but I also have this date marked with excitement in my calendar!  This was my first time receiving a sampler and I must say I enjoyed it.  I was not sure if I would like it since I always am like I want to read more now..but I am so glad I got this because it peaked my interest, has this book moved to my excited to see published and top of my July/August TBR list!

Important Links

Links to Purchase Book

Reagan: The Life by H.W. Brands, Book Review

General Information
Genre: Biography
Publisher: DoubleDay Books
Published: May 12, 2015

Book Summary: (Per NetGalley)
From master storyteller and New York Times bestselling historian H. W. Brands comes the definitive biography of a visionary and transformative president. 

    In his magisterial new biography, H. W. Brands brilliantly establishes Ronald Reagan as one of the two great presidents of the twentieth century, a true peer to Franklin Roosevelt. Reagan conveys with sweep and vigor how the confident force of Reagan's personality and the unwavering nature of his beliefs enabled him to engineer a conservative revolution in American politics and play a crucial role in ending communism in the Soviet Union. Reagan shut down the age of liberalism, Brands shows, and ushered in the age of Reagan, whose defining principles are still powerfully felt today.
     Reagan follows young Ronald Reagan as his ambition for ever larger stages compelled him to leave behind small-town Illinois to become first a radio announcer and then that quintessential public figure of modern America, a movie star. When his acting career stalled, his reinvention as the voice of The General Electric Theater on television made him an unlikely spokesman for corporate America. Then began Reagan's improbable political ascension, starting in the 1960s, when he was first elected governor of California, and culminating in his election in 1980 as president of the United States.
     Employing archival sources not available to previous biographers and drawing on dozens of interviews with surviving members of Reagan's administration, Brands has crafted a richly detailed and fascinating narrative of the presidential years. He offers new insights into Reagan's remote management style and fractious West Wing staff, his deft handling of public sentiment to transform the tax code, and his deeply misunderstood relationship with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, on which nothing less than the fate of the world turned.
     Reagan is a storytelling triumph, an irresistible portrait of an underestimated politician whose pragmatic leadership and steadfast vision transformed the nation.

My Thoughts:
An amazing amount of information is in this book.  Anything you want to know about Reagan or the events during and surrounding his life, not just presidency exist in this work.  Now with that, this is an incredibly dense book.  Not dense in a bad way, but dense in a way that at times I felt lost in the amount of data because I would forget it was about Reagan and think it was about Roosevelt or the wars or the movie industry, etc.  I enjoyed learning about Reagan and seeing the explanation behind the few facts that I knew about him.  Prior to reading this biography I knew he was an actor and that he was a quiet man and politician, but that was about it.  

My favorite parts were the stories and notes about his family and how the campaigning worked.  I also enjoyed seeing the accomplishments and adaptability to various situations that Reagan showcased repeatedly.  I would recommend this book to those that enjoy biographies or presidential history, but I would caution that it is not a fast read nor an easy read as it is crammed full of small and large details that enrich your final understanding of this past President of the United States of America.

Important Links:

Links to Purchase Book:

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

Monday, June 29, 2015

Tea Time with My Ms. Taylor

I hope everyone is off to a great week!  Ms. Taylor and I wanted to do a quick post on a tea we are loving this evening:)
Tonight I enjoyed the Yogi Bedtme tea.  It smells delicious, is very soothing and the taste is light and very smooth.  I did not have to add sugar, honey, etc. nor did I want to.  This tea struck a perfect blend of relaxing and enjoyable for me.

It was very easy to use.  I just brewed some hot water from my Keurig machine, placed the tea packet in my hot water for about 7 minutes and then started drinking it.  Ms. Taylor and my girls were all snuggled in around me, but since I was enjoying this bedtime tea so much we wanted to quickly share about our treat!

Now I apologize for the short post, but I want to finish unwinding with my tea and chi's for the night so I must say sweet dreams and good night!

Blue Moon Vegan by Paula Marie Coomer with Jan Calvert, Book and Health Product Review

General InformationGenre: Health/Cookbook
Published: February 14, 2015
Publisher: Booktrope

Book Summary (Per Goodreads):
In Blue Moon Vegan, Paula Marie Coomer partners with baker Jan Calvert to raise the culinary bar with over one hundred original recipes, all of which are based on plant-derived ingredients and are also gluten-free. Ranging from luscious side dishes such as "Butter-Dill Salad" and staples like "Paula's Lasagna al Forno" to scrumptious breads, snacks, pastries, and innovative main courses such as "Squash Blossoms in Cashew Cream," these easy-to-follow recipes will inspire both new and experienced vegans as well as omnivores looking to add a few meatless meals to the menu. The book also includes dozens of pages of nutrition and cooking information, based on Coomer's background in nursing, Calvert's experience running her own gluten-free bakery, and their mutual struggle with gluten intolerance.

Beautifully photographed and formatted for easy use, Blue Moon Vegan is destined to become a well-used favorite for cooks of all persuasions and represents another step along the path to healthy eating which began with Coomer’s food memoir, Blue Moon Vegetarian.

My Thoughts:
I am not a vegan, but I do love this book.  I thought the layout, the pictures, the approach and rationale behind why vegan was very smartly displayed.  I enjoyed that it was not a lecture about health or ethics, but rather her stance and then the information was also provided for your own research in the back.  The dishes for the main part looked very good and I have marked quite a few down to incorporate into my meal planning as I am gluten and dairy intolerant.  I thought the discussion about the need or use of organic items was probably one of the most straight forward, well thought out and articulated I have encountered.  This was the first book to approach cost effective ways to achieve this such as co-ops, bulk markets, etc.

I really appreciated her addressing the whole must keep gluten out entirely to feel the positive effects.  It is true when I go days without slip ups, cheats, etc. I can tell a huge difference in my inflammation levels, my attention, etc..not even to mention how my stomach feels.  The array of recipes peaked my interest because there were many that I could see trying, that looked realistic and not too intense in regard to cooking skills.  I was slightly concerned by the amount of ingredients some of them required, but I appreciated the diverse amount of dishes and types of dishes this book presented to the readers.

I found this book informative (really it is like a step by step how to rather than a dry cookbook), feel that I will utilize it for recipes to try out and has me interested in looking into more vegan dishes to help with finding healthy foods that fit my nutritional boundaries!

Important Links:

Links to Purchase Book:

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

Lord John and the Private Matter by Diana Gabaldon, Book Review

General Information
Genre: romance, historical, science (ish)
Publisher: Seal
Published: October 4, 2005 (first published in 2003)

Book Summary (per Goodreads):
Now one of these characters, Major Lord John Grey, opens the door to his own part of this world — eighteenth-century London, a seething anthill of nobility and rabble peopled by soldiers and spies, whores and dukes. Great Britain is battling France for supremacy on three continents — and life is good for a soldier.

The year is 1757. On a clear morning in mid-June, Lord John Grey emerges from London’s Beefsteak Club, his mind in turmoil. A nobleman and a high-ranking officer in His Majesty’s Army, Grey has just witnessed something shocking. But his efforts to avoid a scandal that might destroy his family are interrupted by something still more urgent: the Crown appoints him to investigate the brutal murder of a comrade in arms, who may have been a traitor.

Obliged to pursue two inquiries at once, Major Grey finds himself ensnared in a web of treachery and betrayal that touches every stratum of English society — and threatens all he holds dear. From the bawdy houses of London’s night-world to the stately drawing rooms of the nobility, and from the blood of a murdered corpse to the thundering seas ruled by the majestic fleet of the East India Company, Lord John pursues the elusive trails of a vanishing footman and a woman in green velvet, who may hold the key to everything — or nothing.

The early days of the Seven Years War come brilliantly to life in this historical mystery by an author whose unique and compelling storytelling has engrossed millions of readers worldwide.

My Thoughts
I liked this book, but did not love it like I have Claire and Jamie's story thus far (remember I am reading in chronological order!).  I thought this story was much better than the first novella regarding Lord Grey as this story answers all the questions, completes the purpose of the story and opens up the path for the next adventure of Lord Grey.  As always the writing is rich, complex and very descriptive.  I felt I knew the characters, could see the locations, outfits, etc.  I appreciated the realism given the scare and horror of having the pox and thought it was a genius way of showing medicine and science in the book through the malaria approach.  I enjoyed the introduction of more characters and hope to see more of Lord Grey's mom (she cracks me up).  Also the title entertains me immensely upon completing the story!

So why did I like and not love the book..well it sounds silly, but I felt it was rushed.  There were so many descriptions and details and location and somehow it just was like fixed within a blink of the eye.  Also I, as I mentioned before, thought it was odd that so many of the men that so many people know, enjoy other men but it is all nudge nudge wink wink.  A more historical approach to addressing if this is factual, just fiction, etc. would be informative.  I do appreciate the information at the back of the book that describes where the information such as the lavender house, mollies, etc. comes, but it just seems in Lord Grey's stories that the majority of men like men and nothing else. My confusion could be that most of my reading from that era has been romance where it is the dashing lord, the strong debutante, etc., but who knows, it does add to the story line and tie Lord Grey back into the Fraser stories!

Would I recommend this book?  Most certainly I think it is well written, richly detailed and creates a more descriptive environment for us to imagine Lord Grey and the Frasers!

Important Links
Author-Book page

Links to Purchase Book:
Barnes & Noble
Disclaimer:  I borrowed this book from the library!  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Bookish Humor

Subscription Services~ Bulu Box Review

This is the top and outside appearance of this subscription service.  It is definitely a unique box that creates a sense of excitement and energy!
I decided to try this subscription service (Bulu Box) out because I found a Groupon where I could get 3 months for a super steal of a price.  I think it was $7 for all three months.  I love these services, but have not tried a weight loss one because of the price I have seen on them.  So when I saw this was a weight loss subscription service and for that price I was like YES!!   Now obviously if I keep it after 3 months it will be more than $7.
When I received the first two boxes my initial reaction was somewhat disappointment.  I mean the samples were really small, as in one days worth of supplements or one serving worth of the energy shot drink, etc.  I didn't see how I could determine if that was something that would help me with that little of an item to try out. However, I was pleasantly surprised because with the gummy vitamins, the energy drink, etc. the sample size was perfect for me to decide what I liked and what worked for me.  There are some products that I can't use due to my dairy sensitivities or just were not interested (hangover remedy), but I was pleased to see how many of the items were gluten free.
The third box was very nice.  It was my favorite by far and the samples seemed more serious and trying to showcase the product.  I will not be keeping this subscription service box, but I am extremely glad that I tried it and can see how it would be an excellent monthly box for those with more ability to try health products without allergy or sensitivity concerns!

What is your favorite health or wellness subscription service?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mail call....It's here!!

My favorite author is re-releasing her series in hardcover (well the books that weren't published in hardcover originally) and I couldn't be more excited!!!  When I first started reading the "In Death" series I emailed the publishing company asking where to find the hardcover and I was not happy when I was told they didn't exist. Silly, maybe, but true because I love her hardcovers and their designs.

So last year on Facebook I saw an update on her page saying that they would be releasing each book in order as long as there was a demand.  Hello this girl went and purchased/pre-ordered that book right then!  It came right in time for Christmas and was beautiful!  So then, naturally I start thinking when does the next one come out..hurryyyy!!  Saw the status on Facebook and it is going to be released right around my birthday in July!  It is a sign right..happy birthday to me!

So I went and purchased it and asked for the autograph to say either my name or ideally Happy Birthday Meghan...and y'all..I can't even begin to tell you how much it meant to me today to come home and find this at on my front porch...

Behold my lovely new signed hardcover "In Death" book from J.D. Robb!!!

The smile on my face is 1)huge and 2) still there oh about 4 hours later!!  I was not expecting it until mid-July and to get it today was FANTASTIC!

Whoever decided to re-print these in hardcover...Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU!!

Gluten Free Twitter Party Recap and Swag/Giveaway Reveal!!!

Last week Tiffany Hinton, Gluten Free Mom Certified, hosted a Twitter Party and giveaway as part of her Love Day events.  I hope y'all were able to take part because it was a blast!  She shared recipes, tips, tricks and answered questions that us still trying to learn about gfree might have.

I heard about this event and took part because she is by far my favorite gfree author/chef!  I have reviewed several of her cookbooks and am constantly amazed at the ease of making the dishes and richness in the flavor.  Many times with gfree food I think this isn't bad for a gfree dish, but when I make the dishes that she has shared I am thinking this is GOOD!!  You can find my review for her newest cookbook here.

The Twitter Party took place for an hour and was a blast.  I enjoyed learning more recipes to try out and hearing makeup and skin care suggestions..especially SPF lotions for the summer!  I had never thought about my sunscreen needing to be gluten free, but it makes sense:)  Not only did I learn and get to spend time chatting with other Twitter Party members, I was fortunate enough to win one of the giveaways that she hosted with her party.  I received my package in the mail Tuesday of this week and wanted to share my lovely goodies with y'all!  I can't wait to try out that cake mix and little umbrella sticks and explore so many of the summer recipes in the magazine!    This was a great giveaway package with so many good gfree products and aids!  Thank you Tiffany!

If you are interested in learning more about Tiffany, Gluten Free Mom Certified, check out her website above, her Twitter here or you can purchase her books (she has a variety of yummies!!) here

Attractive Nuisance by Jennifer Griffith, Book Review

General Information
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Published: February 11, 2015

Book Summary (Per Goodreads):
Camilla Sweeten is serious about her job in the County Attorney’s office. She’s even working up the courage to ask her boss to consider her for promotion to deputy. 

Then, into court walks the gorgeous Zane Holyoake, and disaster strikes—in the form of a total brain fog right in the middle of her closing arguments. In front of both her boss and the meanest bear of a judge in the county, Camilla hears herself saying, “Like, I totally made my point,” as though she’d flown in from 1980s California in a time machine airplane. 

Now her boss will never consider her for deputy—especially since Zane turns out to be a new lawyer, possibly brought in to steal her dream job. 

But when a notorious criminal is caught in their county, Camilla must focus on getting the thief convicted and not on Zane, who smells heavenly and is bent on distracting her with lunch offers and wacky Boy Scout stories that may melt her many resolves. 

It’s going to take incredible willpower to ignore this attractive nuisance. 

My Thoughts
This is a good book.  At first I was not sure about it, but then I took a break and thought about the story, readjusted my mind set since I had read so many YAs recently and started reading again....where I started to really enjoy the characters and their interactions!  I must say that I do not really enjoy Camilla.  I think she is really well described and that many will like her, but she is not my cup of tea.  She was a bit whinny for me and I thought it odd that she kept talking about how much she loved Prescott, but did not know the restaurant and some other locations. However, I adore Zane!  I love his story telling approach, his secrets and how he shares them with Camilla.  Another part I enjoyed of this story was the names of the criminals and cars.  I name my car so I always enjoy seeing what people name their mode of transportation.

If you are looking for a light-hearted, sweet and quick romance this will be great for you!  It has some funny interactions between many of the characters and sweet scenes.  I did not laugh out loud, but I did find this a cute love story with an interesting cast of coworkers.

Important Links

Links to Purchase Book

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

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Beyond the Fortuneteller's Tent by Kristy Tate, Book Review

General Information
Genre: YA Romance/Fiction, Time-Travel
Published: November 6, 2013

Book Summary (Per Smashwords)
When Petra Baron goes into the fortuneteller’s tent at a Renaissance fair, she expects to leave with a date to prom. Instead, she walks out into Elizabethan England, where she meets gypsies, a demon dog and a kindred spirit in Emory Ravenswood. 

Emory must thwart the plans of religious zealots. His mission is dangerous, his enemies are fanatical, and Petra Baron is a complication that Heaven only knows he does not need. Or does he? Although Emory is on Heaven’s errand, he learned long ago that Heaven does not always play fair. 

As Petra slowly falls for Emory, she wonders if he really is who he seems, or if he is just as lost as she is. How can they have a future while trapped in the past? Or is anything possible Beyond the Fortuneteller’s Tent?

My Thoughts
I think I am on some sort of fantastic reading journey because I just finished this book and it is my third in a row where I am just blown away by how AMAZING the story is/was.  Normally I love reading, but I do not find many books to be a 5 star.  This one my lovelies is most certainly 5 stars!  It has action, sci-fi, family drama, teenage drama, romance, history, humor, intrigue, religion and more.  How it has more and keeps a cohesive story I don't know, but Kristy Tate (KT) provides that in spades in this story!

I knew I enjoyed this book when I finished it, but I knew I LOVED this story when I picked my mom up from work and promptly told her about the entire storyline, characters, historical elements, aka the works.  It must have sounded amazing though because mom was like um what is the name of that book!  One of the things I liked the most about this story was the amount of detail given, but also the way each scene created more facts that still led to more questions.  At the end of this story I wanted to know more about Emory and why he is where he is and who he is.  What about Zoe..she seems to have an interesting insight into who her sister really is.  More thoughts and questions exist, but I do not want to write a book about my thoughts and things I hope to see in the next book (that's right..the next book) because while I did not know it when I started reading the book this is the first in a series.  I have a few more books to read that I promised reviews on, but you can bet your bippy that I have the second book in this series at the very top of my TBR list!  Another aspect of the story was how each of the characters evolved during the story.  Their development and growth was extremely relate-able and believable!  It created a richness to the story because it took a somewhat sci-fi component of time travel and brought it into a realm of realism because it was concerns, questions and more that I believe we would have or face if that situation did occur. Loved this story and characters!!

Important Links

Links to Purchase Book

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

Literary Festivals and Events in NC from July-December 2015

I have always loved reading.  Somehow that love never showcased itself in the idea of attending conferences, events, etc. until recently when I started learning how I could meet, learn from, attend lectures, etc. from some amazing authors!

At first I was discouraged because it seemed all the events were in major cities (NYC, LA, Miami, Atlanta, etc.) which are not near me!  However, the power and glory that is the internet brought me to quite a few events that are held in my home state so I wanted to share those with y'all as well.

Some were found via Facebook while others were found on Twitter or from this NC website. If you live in NC hopefully these work out for you (or if you are so inclined and able to travel), but if you don't then take the time to research your own state because I was astounded at the amount and diversity of events my home state has for us book fans!!

Carolina Book Fest 2015
Location~ Charlotte, NC
Date~ August 15, 2015
*I can't make this one, plans changed...but if you can you should!  I have read quite a few books from the authors who are talking and sharing on this Facebook page and they are AMAZING!

Festival of Books and Authors
Location~ Winston-Salem, NC
Date~ September 10-12, 2015
* I will be attending and can't wait!!!

Carolina Mountains Literary Festival
Location~ Burnsville, NC
Date~September 10-12, 2015

High Country Festival of the Book
Location~ Watauga County, NC
Date~ September 12, 2015

On the Same Page
Location~Ashe County, NC
Date~ September 15-19, 2015

Sexy and Sassy Signing
Location~ Greenville, NC
Date~ October 24, 2015
*Tickets are purchased and I am beyond excited! I have started looking up the authors and finding new reads that sound fantastic:)  Let me know if you are attending!

Do you have any that I should add to this NC list?  There are a plethera of events in other states..some huge..some local..but I think they sound amazing!  What a great chance to meet authors, find new authors/works, and be around others that share our passion for reading!

My one somewhat ugh is that so many are on the same day or days!  How to choose?!?!?!

What are some festivals/conferences/events that you are excited to attend?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Creepy Hollow~ Violet's Story (Books One, Two and Three) by Rachel Morgan, Book Review

General Information
Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy
Publish: April 1, 2015 (first published March 31st, 2015)

Book Summary: (Per Goodreads)
Kick-butt faerie Violet Fairdale is about to graduate as the top guardian trainee of her class, but when an assignment goes wrong and the human guy she’s meant to be protecting follows her back into the fae realm, a dangerous plot is set in motion. Enter evil faeries, long-lost family members, and inconvenient feelings of the romantic kind. The stakes are higher than Vi could ever imagine, and it'll take every bit of her training to survive the coming ordeal. 

Get Violet's story in one complete digital boxed set and find yourself swept away in the magic, intrigue, action and romance of this bestselling YA fantasy world!

Includes the following Creepy Hollow books:
The Faerie Guardian (2014 Readers' Favorite GOLD MEDAL WINNER in YA Fantasy)
The Faerie Prince
The Faerie War

My Thoughts:
I love this series.  Each individual book was strong and created a fantastic world that I enjoyed visiting, but as a whole these three books created one of my favorite stories of the month and overall enjoyable YA stories.  When I finished reading it was so amazed at how much I loved the entire series and ending.  I further enjoyed learning that there was a fourth book!!  

I started reading Rachel Morgan stories when I received another book of hers to review.  I enjoyed her writing then and after this series I love it.  I did not want to put down these stories because each page had more details that created a fantastic fantasy world, well-rounded characters that I loved, hated, cried with/over, and laughed at/with as the story continued to expand.  RM's words flowed together and everything came together as important details the further I read into the world of the fae.

One of the things I enjoyed the most about this series is how so many things were like "shut the front door" did that just happen!  I did not see many of the twists coming that happen in this story...which I LOVED.  While many of YA/Dystopian type stories have been made into a movie, I would love to see this one given a chance.  The rich descriptions of the guilds, homes in the trees, the way fairies travel, etc. gives a huge potential for a fantastic movie with outstanding graphics/settings/etc.  If you are not sure if this book is for you because of fairies or YA I would ask...do you like romance (this series has it), suspense (yup it is here), family or friend dynamics and changing relationships (yup and yup)..so I think many people would enjoy this book and learn some great lessons from it as well!

Important Links

Links to Purchase Book:

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

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Bath & Body Works Haul

It's Semi-Annual Sale time at Bath and Body works...so for any candle lover out there it is a dangerous time to be in our wallets!!  I no longer get the lotions from Bath and Body because my skin is to sensitive for them, but I still love and purchase ridiculous amounts of candles!

I stopped by to "look" the other day because I got a coupon in the mail.  Well lovelies..this is the result of that look....I need to leave my wallet in the car next time!

I love all these scents, but currently I am unable to stop smelling Oceanside and Summer Bonfire!  What are your favorite candles? Scents?

*I am interested in trying out more natural candles such as coconut or beeswax type candles, but I am not sure where to look for the best scents, candle life span, etc.  Any suggestions?  What can I say...I LOVE candles!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

A Timeless Romance Anthology: California Dreamin' Collection, Book Review

General Information
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Mirror Press
Published: April 2015

Book Summary (Per Goodreads)
Six brand new contemporary romance novellas with bestselling and award winning authors.

In the sweet novella TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE by Heather B. Moore, Gwen uses her wedding photography business to keep her life simple and focus on something other than her own broken heart. When Jack, a guy too handsome for his own good, helps her clean up after a photoshoot, then asks her out, she doesn’t know if she can handle dating again. But Jack’s charm wins her over, and she agrees to meet him for dinner. The more she gets to know Jack, the more she likes him, but everything about him seems too good to be true. 

GONE FISHING, a charming novella by Kaylee Baldwin, follows Claire as she tries to convince her dad to leave his start-up company as a boat guide and come back home to Colorado. He’s the only one who can defend Claire against her domineering mother. But when she arrives at the San Diego harbor, she’s met with more than one surprise. First, that her dad is truly living his dream and has never been happier, and second, she’s unexpectedly attracted to his business partner, Miguel.

In THE PIER CHANGES EVERYTHING, an enchanting novella by Annette Lyon, Alexandria has one last task to perform for her late husband, who died much too young: scatter his ashes in the Pacific Ocean. She goes to the Santa Monica Pier to do just that, but her plans get sidetracked after meeting Michael and feeling an immediate connection to him. They grab lunch, and the more time they spend together, the more they discover that they have in common—including past romantic hardships. As the day wears on, Alexandria begins learn that her heart just might be able to find love again.

In Jennifer Moore’s captivating novella A HERO’S SONG, AnneMarie’s career as a romance novelist is skyrocketing and her agent books her on a late night talk show. The host gets her to admit that she was in love once, with a guitar player. Moments after her segment, Lance Holden appears on the same stage, to perform his newest song. Is it a terrible coincidence? AnneMarie hasn’t seen Lance ever since he broke her heart ten years ago, and she has refused to think about him again. Their lives are worlds apart, but as Lance tries to reconcile with AnneMarie, she finds herself taking a second chance. 

In STAY WITH ME, an endearing novella by Shannon Guymon, Jolie moves to L.A. to take on a nanny position for the summer, since apparently having a degree in art doesn’t translate to getting a job as a graphic designer. When Fitz, the family’s chauffeur, picks her up at the airport, she wonders if every man in LA is model-gorgeous. When Jolie meets her two charges, she finds them adorable and needy. But it’s harder to hold onto her job than she thought with a hostile Mrs. James and her spoiled brother. Fitz becomes both the silver lining of her job and the man who just might convince her to stay in L.A.

In the delightful novella, A PLACE TO CALL HOME, by Sarah M. Eden, Ada is the best realtor around. The best. She prides herself in matching each client with the house that will fit all of their needs. She hasn’t failed yet. So when Craig hires her to find him the perfect condo for him and his son, Ada is up for the challenge. What she may not be prepared for is her unforeseen attraction to Craig, her immediate attachment to his nine-year-old son, and her heart telling her that it’s okay to take another chance.

My Thoughts
So good.  So, so, so good.  Each story is a very light and quick read that delves into some serious topics at a surface level which makes these characters relate-able and enjoyable.  This anthology flowed together in that every story was based in California, but was different from the last anthology I read that was all based in one town.  Even taking on the entire state I thought the stories played well together, supported each other and at the same time was independent from the others.  After reading the entire set of stories I was happy to see that each story was still in my head, the characters were still in their respective stories and I could enjoy how every story reached its conclusion.

Since these stories do not really tie into each other with character overlap or development I feel that one could read these stories separately or all at one time.  I enjoyed all of the stories, but I must say that in this anthology I enjoyed GONE FISHING the most.  Several others were close to being my favorite, but I thought this story had such clear characters, rich development of story and while I was expecting the ending, I loved seeing how the character got there!

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

Seaside Surprises by Stacy Claffin, Book Review

General Information
Genre: Romance
Published: March 15, 2015

Book Summary (per Goodreads)
Tiffany Saunders is on the run. When she winds up stranded in a seaside town, she wants nothing more than to forget her horrific past and kept moving. But a chance meeting with a handsome local changes everything. 

Jake Hunter has some deep emotional scars and is trying to cope with running the family business. The last thing he wants is a relationship—until a mysterious brunette walks into his store and complicates it all. 

Tiffany prefers to keep the painful memories of the past where they belong—in her rear view mirror. But dark secrets cannot stay hidden forever. Just as the walls around Tiffany’s heart start to come down, the past catches up with her. Will true love be able to conquer all?

My Thoughts
I enjoyed this book.  It was perfect for a quick, entertaining, sweet and fast read.  The storyline was a bit standard, not in a bad way, but in a you know what you are getting when you begin this story.  We have two characters who are trying to solve a problem in their life, they meet, something major happens in their individual dramas, they help each other with those dramas and then we have the ending.  I thought the story was very sweet.  It had me laughing, tearing up and happy at various times throughout the plot.   I wanted a quick and enjoyable read and this story and ending fit those requirements to a T.  I knew I enjoyed this story and writing when I saw at the end that each of the brothers are getting their story.  I can't wait to see what else the Hunter brothers get into, how Jake and Tiffany are doing and I hope to learn more about Dimitri!

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

Friday, June 19, 2015

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Musics on My Mind

Twenty One Pilots~ Tear in My Heart
George Ezra~ Budapest
Sia~ Chandelier
One Republic~ Counting Stars


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Bookish Humor

I see these meme's, pictures, quotations, etc. everywhere so I wanted to share one today:)  Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone, Book Review

General Information
Genre: Teen/YA Contemporary
Publisher: Disney Book Group/ Disney-Hyperion
Published: June 16, 2015

Book Summary (Per NetGalley):
Ages 12 and up
If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off. 

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to the Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

My Thoughts:
Sweet with a twist, this book should be a movie.  This book has a depth to it and several big secrets or twists that I was not expecting, but that has made this book my favorite story of 2015 thus far.  Each character plays an important role in the overarching story and in Sam's quest to be more "normal".  Normally I quickly can say who my favorite character in a book is, but I am not quite sure this time..as I type this I am literally flicking through my head between Carolina, Sam, Sue and AJ!  The introduction to OCD and the focus on the O brings a high school story of popular crowds, bullying, etc. into a new light.  I enjoyed the attention to details about the ideas of real friendship, people changing, forgiveness, the strength and dependence of a family, romance and more.  

The book summary suggests an age of 12 and up for the readers and I would agree.  I almost would say perhaps a bit older since the book does cover some very serious and deep issues regarding divorce, cancer, suicide and more.  Now I do not want you to think that means the book is nothing but deep and dark, there are quite a few humorous sections, sweet sections and areas where I just felt like cheering for the strength and character growth that Sam and a few others demonstrated as I read the story. At the end of this book  I felt in love with the characters, the story and wondering if my high school had a secret room.  However, I also left with a sense of how important it is to treat others with respect and dignity, be kind because we truly don't know what others are dealing with in their personal lives and a sense of awe over how many diverse and beautiful talents everyone has when given an arena to feel comfortable, confident and safe.  I loved this book and am extremely grateful I was given a copy to read/review.

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