Sunday, August 20, 2017

Smugglers and Scones by Morgan C. Talbot




Summary

Pippa Winterbourne runs Moorehaven, the Oregon Coast’s quirkiest bed-and-breakfast and former home of world-famous mystery writer A. Raymond Moore. Guests come there to write their own crime novels. When a real-life murder takes a local’s life and washes a handsome boat pilot into her arms, Pippa is yanked into a deadly plot of her own. A tangle of secrets crashes past into present, and Pippa must uncover clues dating back to Seacrest’s Prohibition days, including a secret Moore himself hid from the world.

Juggling her book-writing guests, small-town intrigues, secret club agendas, and a possibly fatal attraction, Pippa must sort fact from fiction to know who to trust before a desperate killer claims a final revenge nearly a century in the making.



My Thoughts

There are some books that, to me, are cozy books.  I'm not sure if that makes any sense to anyone else, but for me, that is how I describe certain books.  It doesn't mean that the book was sweet, warm, or a fuzzy feeling kind of book.  It just means that there's something about it that makes me want to curl up under a blanket with a cup of hot chocolate or hot tea and read it.  I said all that to say this... Smugglers and Scones is a cozy mystery book.

When Morgan C. Talbot sent me an email with the review request for Smugglers and Scones, I was pretty excited.  The synopsis sounded really good and I couldn't wait to get started.  Unfortunately, it did take a little while before I could get to it because I had so many on my list to get through first.  When I finally got to it I jumped right in!

I absolutely love the way Morgan C. Talbot writes!  Her style just flows and brings your imagination right into the story.  I wanted to visit the bed and breakfast and meet all of the quirky authors that were staying there.  I love Pippa and Lake so much!  When I finished the book and looked at the cover, I was so excited to see the words "Moorehaven Mysteries: Book 1."  That means there will be more!!!!  I hope to see the progression of Pippa and Lake's relationship!

Anyways, in case you haven't figured it out, I loved this book and I definitely recommend it!  It has humor, a bit of romance, mystery, danger, and suspense.  Pick up a copy and see for yourself!  Thank you, Morgan C. Talbot, for sending this book to me!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Love at the Fluff and Fold by Kitty Bucholtz



Summary

ALL’S FAIR IN THE WAR FOR LOVE

Cassie Lane and Danny Kessler have been best friends for as long as they can remember. Then he up and married Bright Shiny, the new girl in town, and all of Cassie’s hopes were dashed.

But now Danny is long divorced, and Cassie barely escaped getting hitched last Christmas. Cassie’s uncle, Willie Larson, loves these kids and he’s tired of watching them dance around their attraction to each other. It’s time to push them back together.

So he tells them he’s dying. Simple plan. He needs them to work together to help him prepare his estate and plan his funeral. Secretly.

But the quirky, lovable folks of Loon Lake find out and believe the ruse. Soon Uncle Willie is hiding in the bathroom and his great plan is falling apart. Can true love win out over well-meant deception?

This sweet, small town romantic comedy follows the short story, “Welcome to Loon Lake,” in The Strays of Loon Lake series.



My Thoughts

Love at the Fluff and Fold is the second book that I have read written by Kitty Bucholtz.  I loved the first one and I loved this one just as much!  Kitty has become a dear friend of mine since I reviewed her book, Little Miss Lovesick.  She invited me to do a monthly guest post on her blog and I gladly accepted!  We have been friends since then!

With that being said, it's a bit scary to read a book that a friend wrote!  What if I don't like it?!  What if I feel the need to write a negative review?!  Well, there was no need to worry at all with Love at the Fluff and Fold!  I loved it!  Kitty's books are so good!

Cassie is such a sweet character.  I loved ho loving she is.  She wears her heart on her sleeve and I adore that about her.  Danny, though he has his frustrating moments, is perfect for Cassie!  He just needed to figure it out!

This is such a good book and I am so blessed to have been a part of Kitty's Beta readers group!  Thank you, Kitty!  I loved it and I'll gladly read your books any time!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Molly Bell and the Wishing Well by Bridget Geraghty



Summary

Molly Bell is an eleven-year old girl who used to be a whimsical, sporty type of a child with a zest for living. All that has been turned upside down by the untimely death of her mother two years ago. To make matters worse, her father is getting remarried to a high-maintenance beauty that Molly seemingly has nothing in common with, and she comes with an annoying six-year old son, Henry, who finds a way to wreck everything in his path. Molly can't find anything about her new circumstances to be excited about, until her Aunt Joan tells her about the wishing well at Molly's grandparents' farm. According to Aunt Joan, every wish she ever made there came true. And it just so happens that Molly and Henry will be staying at the farm for a week while their parents are on their honeymoon. Molly is convinced if she could just find that wishing well, she could wish for her mom to come back to life and everything will be okay again. But Molly is in for a few surprises, and more than a few hard lessons about being careful what you wish for when the consequences of Molly's selfish desires wreak havoc on her entire family. Can Molly make things right again through the wishing well? Or will she need to find it within herself to bring back the joy in her life that has been missing all this time?


My Thoughts

Molly Bell and the Wishing Well is a sweet little middle grade book that I found so charming.  This book teaches you to live in the now and to learn to live with the life you are given.  The message is clear to me as an adult but I'm sure that middle graders won't feel like they are earning a life lesson while reading.  They will just be entertained!

When the author, Bridget Geraghty, sent me a review request I jumped on it!  I don't read very many middle grade books but this one sounding lovely.  I was right!  It was definitely lovely.  I hope to read more from Bridget Geraghty someday soon!

*Note:  I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Cold Summer by Gwen Cole



Summary

Today, he’s a high school dropout with no future. 
Tomorrow, he’s a soldier in World War II.

Kale Jackson has spent years trying to control his time-traveling ability but hasn’t had much luck. One day he lives in 1945, fighting in the war as a sharpshooter and helplessly watching soldiers—friends—die. Then the next day, he’s back in the present, where WWII has bled into his modern life in the form of PTSD, straining his relationship with his father and the few friends he has left. Every day it becomes harder to hide his battle wounds, both physical and mental, from the past.

When the ex-girl-next-door, Harper, moves back to town, thoughts of what could be if only he had a normal life begin to haunt him. Harper reminds him of the person he was before the PTSD, which helps anchor him to the present. With practice, maybe Kale could remain in the present permanently and never step foot on a battlefield again. Maybe he can have the normal life he craves.

But then Harper finds Kale’s name in a historical article—and he’s listed as a casualty of the war. Kale knows now that he must learn to control his time-traveling ability to save himself and his chance at a life with Harper. Otherwise, he’ll be killed in a time where he doesn’t belong by a bullet that was never meant for him.



My Thoughts

I am so, very, madly in love with this book!  I seriously can't sing its praises enough to do it justice!  Cold Summer just might be my new favorite book.  It is, at the very least, in my top five!

I picked this book up because, first of all, it was on my tbr, and second of all, I was getting books ready for a read-a-thon and this book fit a challenge perfectly.  The challenge was to read a book that you bought because of the cover and, while I didn't actually buy this book, the cover took my breath away!  It is so beautiful!!!!

Ok, so I read this book and, from the moment I started reading it I didn't want to put it down!  Oh I just love it so much!  I would try to describe it but I am ridiculously horrible at summarizing a book in my own words (my July wrap-up video on youtube proves that statement) and also, you can just read the book summary for yourself!

Cold Summer is a beautiful story and I couldnt get enough of it!  You must read this book!  Thank you so much, Sky Pony Press/Skyhorse Publishing for sending this book to me!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

One Sip at a Time: Learning to Live in Province by Keith Van Sickle




Summary

Keith and Val had a dream – to live in Provence, the land of brilliant sunlight, charming hilltop villages and the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean.

But there were two problems: they weren’t French speakers and they had full-time jobs. So they came up with a plan…

Follow their adventures (and misadventures) as they quit their jobs, become consultants and split their time between two countries. Laugh along as they build a life in Provence, slowly mastering a new language and making friends with the locals over long meals and just a bit too much wine.

This light and breezy memoir is full of wry observations on France, like the power of cheese to sway elections, the right and wrong ways for men to kiss each other, and the law requiring that blood donors must speak French.

If you’ve ever dreamed of changing gears and learning what joie de vivre is really all about, you won’t want to miss this delightful book.



My Thoughts

There is something about that feeling of peeking into someone's life.  Hmmm... did that just make me sound like a creeper?! Lol!  I didn't mean it that way!  But seriously, I love reading books that let you feel like you're living the writer's life right along with them.  One Sip at a Time: Learning to Live in Province gives you that feeling.

I picked this book up for a few reasons.  First, it was coming up on my tbr anyways.  Second, I just like books like the (like I already stated).  And third, I was getting books together for a read-a-thon and this one seemed to be a good pick for the challenge.

Again, I like reading books that give you a glimpse of someone's daily life, especially when adventure is included.  This book gives you just that.  I love the thought of picking up and moving away somewhere and starting fresh with new adventures!  I don't think that I could ever do it but I love the thought of it!

This was a fun, true story of the adventures of Keith and Val as they pick up and start a life in Province.  I am so glad that I had the opportunity to read this!  Thank You, Keith Van Sickle for sending this book my way!

*Note:  I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Gravity: A Short Story by Jessica Schaub



Summary

What would you do? 

I'm Jefferson Stanhope and I'm short. Like, really short. As in bring-a-step-stool-to-drink-from-the-water-fountain short. It's not genetic or anything. My parents are tall and my older brother and sister are tall. But not me. I think God hates me. Caitlin says God doesn't hate anyone, but after what happened to her, I thought she would change her mind. She didn't. 

This is a short (pun intended) story about how I tried to help a friend but got wrapped up in a harmless lie that ended up involving the entire school. I know that sounds mysterious, but I didn't tell the lie! I just didn't tell anyone that what Mike said was a lie. What's the difference, you ask? Well, now I know the difference. Believe me, I won't let that happen again! 


"...a solid story, realistic and heart-warming." Lisa Schlegel, Reader's Favorite 

"Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy." Sir Isaac Newton



My Thoughts

Gravity: A Short Story is just that, a short little book.  However, at only a little less that 100 pages, this book found a place in my heart.  I really enjoyed it.

I loved the main character, Jefferson, and his sweet little friend, Caitlin.  My heart broke for her when her brother died.  My heart then melted when Jefferson became the friend that she really needed during that time.

I will say that I was expecting more of a funny story when I picked this book up.  Maybe it was because of the title.  I think that the title gives it a humorous vibe.  And, while there were some funny moments, this book is more of a heart-felt book.

This is a quick read, I read it in just an hour or two, and I definitely recommend it to all middle grade readers and those that just enjoy middle grade books.

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Death By Roses by Vivian R. Probst



Summary

For the first time in nearly thirty years of marriage, Art McElroy Sr. buys his headstrong, disapproving wife a dozen yellow roses. Hours later he discovers her lifeless body seated on the toilet. Mae Rose McElroy's sudden death leaves a void in her family and in the entire Midwestern farming community of Fairview. It's a void Mae Rose will attempt to fill, herself, from the hereafter by meddling directly in earthly affairs.

Mae Rose's meddling leads to her spiritual expulsion from heaven, and she winds up in the body of Mary Lee Broadmoor (Scary Mary), a crusty writer and director of exquisite horror movies. Mary Lee refuses to succumb to stage-4 pancreatic cancer until she gets one final shot at an elusive Oscar. Like Mae Rose, who argues with God for a return to earth, Mary Lee pleads, from her Hollywood deathbed, for more time to complete her work, as her hospice nurse, Gertie Morgan, looks on.

The two women's spirits work together, and Mae Rose provides her host with a new script idea: a love story, based on her life! The script earns Mary Lee her coveted Academy Award, but the movie's release shocks and disturbs Mae Rose's family. They set out to find, and confront, the woman who has somehow co-opted, and publicly revealed, their personal tragedy.

Along the way, new love emerges as the reader meets a caste of crazy, eccentric, but highly memorable characters. "Death by Roses" suggests that relationships don't end at death, but continue until their ultimate purpose is achieved. The universe has every resource at its disposal to get the job done. It also has an amazing sense of humor.



My Thoughts

Death By Roses was not quite what I thought it was going to be.  Im not sure why I assumed that it would be something else, but I just did.  Maybe it is because of my preconceived ideas that I didn't enjoy the book as much as I had hoped.

I was expecting more of a comedic book.  Possibly a funny story about a murder (I know, that sounds weird... a funny murder?!) or something along those lines.  That is not what this book is.

I was wondering if I was alone in my feelings of this book, so I read some reviews from other readers.  One reviewer said it well when they described it as more of a life after death style book with very little humor.

The way Mae Rose died, the fact that Art and Mae Rose had such a disappointing relationship with each other, and the pettiness and bitterness she had made Death By Roses just simply not that enjoyable to read.  I feel somewhat bad about writing a "not-so-great" review, but this is how I feel about it.  I don't think that I would have even finished it if I hadn't been reading it to complete a certain challenge in a read-a-thon that I was participating in.

It honestly wasn't the worst book that U have ever read, but it wasn't the best book either.  Like I stated before, I did go into this book with the wrong idea of what it was going to be about.  So, with that being said, I may have enjoyed it a little more if I wasn't expecting something else.  And, just because it wasn't my cup of tea, it doesn't mean that someone else might really enjoy it.

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Henry and the Hidden Treasure by B. C. R. Fegan




Summary

Henry and the Hidden Treasure is an imaginative adventure a young child has in defending his pocket money against his little sister. Henry constructs elaborate defensive measures that he is sure will stand up to the clever ambitions of Lucy. Little does he know, Lucy has a few tricks of her own.

With a focus on introducing children to the use of ordinal numbers, Henry and the Hidden Treasure also draws out some important qualities of being a kid – such as creativity, the value of listening to parental advice, and of course, being nice to your sister.



My Thoughts

Henry and the Hidden Treasure is a cute little children's book.  I loved the story and the illustrations are wonderful!  I teach Kindergarten, school starts back up next week, and I will definitely be taking this sweet little book to read to my class.

I don't get many requests to review children's books, and I'd say about have of the ones I do receive are just "ok", but this one is simply adorable!  I highly recommend it!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Time Bender by Debra Chapoton



Summary

Sixteen-year-old Selina can bend time, though she doesn’t realize it yet. She also has a rare disorder which makes it next to impossible to socialize and find what she wants most: a boyfriend. Of course, there’s always super-loyal family-friend Alex, who’s been by her side like a seizure alert dog every time she’s had an “incident.” He’d like very much to fill the position of boyfriend. 

When a couple of aliens arrive on Earth in search of a time-bender they awkwardly flirt their way through Selina’s defenses and try to convince her she’s their only hope to defeat their planet’s enemies, whose next target is Earth. Now Selina is avoiding the truth: she not only has fallen for one of the aliens, she also loves Alex. If she leaves Earth she’ll never see him again. If she doesn’t go, she dooms Earth.



My Thoughts

I read this book several days ago but needed time to really think about it before posting my review.  I'm not exactly sure how I feel about this book.  Was it entertaining? Yes.  Did it keep me reading and wanting to see what happens next? Yes.  So, why am I not completely sure how I feel about The Time Bender?  I'll explain.

As an adult, who has read TONS of books, I had a hard time with a few things.  I'll get to those in a minute.  If I had read this when I was about 13-14 I would have loved it and not really noticed the things that bothered me as an adult reader.  It really is an entertaining book!  I don't want anyone to think that I hated it.

Now, the things that I had issues with...
The first is that Selina had almost no problem letting a stranger into her house.  Even when he acted so super weird and his skin was an odd color for a human.  Although, I do believe the book stated that her skin was a bluish color as well.
Next, when Marcum basically told her that she had powers she didn't seem to react like a normal person would have.
And then when Alex's dad told him his secret (I don't want to give too much away) Alex was just pretty much like "Ok, cool, no big deal!"
Those things were just too unbelievable to me.  I do understand that most Scifi books are somewhat unbelievable but they're supposed to make you believe in them!

Anyways, like I said, as a young reader I probably wouldn't have noticed these things but as an adult I did.  It is a good book and I will recommend it to younger readers.  I wouldn't mind reading the others in the series when they become available.  

Thank you, Debra Chapoton for sending this book to me!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Harmless by Katherine Dell



Summary

Be careful what you wish for.

After moving from Vancouver to isolated Hazelton, BC, high school senior Rachel Barnes hopes she’ll finally find closure and a sense of direction after tragedy has torn her family apart. When she and her friends discover the old spirit box her grandmother gave her, they see it as a chance to wish their troubles away. But the Great Spirits—deer, crow, bear, and the mythical wendigo—give away nothing for free. 

So instead of worrying about fitting in and finding a boyfriend, Rachel finds herself in a race to control the malevolent spirit who’s taken up residence in Mason Allen, who she fears and craves in equal measure. What began as a harmless game forces Rachel to confront her past—and offers her a future she never imagined.



My Thoughts

So, I opened up my planner a few days ago and realized that I had written in to try to review the book Harmless this week.  I couldn't remember what it was about so I searched for the review request email and read the synopsis.  It sounded pretty good so I wasn't worried, but at the same time, I sure was hoping that it would be the kind of book that I would be so into that I would want to put it down (You know, since I didn't have much time to read it being that I'm a procrastinator).  Well... It was SO GOOD!

I seriously read it in 2 days.  It would have been 1 day if I hadn't started it late at night!  I really enjoyed it.  Even after reading the synopsis, I was still surprised and kept on the edge of my seat.

Before reading Harmless I had never even heard the word wendigo, much less knew what one was.  I really like learning about other cultures and things so I found that pretty cool.  I don't know that I would ever want to meet one but learning about them was neat! Lol!

Harmless was left somewhat open ended.  Hopefully that means there will be a sequel to this story!  I would love to hear more about what happens with Mason and Rachel!

Thank you, Katherine, for sending this book to me!  I really enjoyed it and can't wait to read more from you!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Operation: Hail Storm by Brett Arquette



Summary

Marshall Hail was a husband, a father, a Physics Nobel prize winner and industrial billionaire. But when Hail's family was killed in a terrorist attack, he became a predator and redirected his vast industrial assets toward one goal, removing every person on the FBI's Top 10 Terrorist list. With the help of his MIT colleagues, Hail designed and built a devastating arsenal of attack drones of all shapes and sizes that are flown by the nation's best young gamers. The world will come to realize that Marshall Hail possesses the capability of getting to anyone, anywhere, at any time, unleashing an operation so disturbing that the CIA has named it Operation Hail Storm.


My Thoughts

Such a great book!  It is fast-paced and certainly keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time.  I didn't want to have to put it down!  The character development was phenomenal.  My personal favorite is Kara!

Operation Hail Storm is the kind of book that somehow makes you feel a bit smarter when you've finished reading it.  I feel like I learned so much more about technology but didn't feel like I was being forced to learn.  So Good!

I honestly don't know that I would have picked this book up on my own.  It's not the genre that I usually prefer.  That is one thing that I love about reviewing books for people.  They send books that I wouldn't necessarily pick out for myself, I read them, and then I end up a happy girl with an extended book genre preference!  Love it!

*Note:  I received  copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Ten Tips For The Frazzled Parent by Birgitta Karlén



Summary

'Ten Tips for the Frazzled Parent, When You've Reached the End of Your Rope!' takes a behind the scenes look at the joys and frustrations of raising children. Most would agree there is never a dull moment with a child in the house, and several can be downright overwhelming! Having conceived and written the book in the parenting trenches, author Birgitta Karlén takes a real look at how fun, yet frustrating, demanding, challenging and sometimes silly the job of parenting can be. Illustrator Michael Pugliese brilliantly captures the nuance of the family dynamic, with his loveable characters and true-to-life depictions. Parents and caregivers alike will find these ten bits of parenting "wisdom" charming and irresistibly funny!


My Thoughts

Ten Tips For The Frazzled Parent is such a cute little book.  It would be a great baby shower gift for a new parent.  The illustrations are fun and so relevant (great job, Michael Pugliese!).
I especially loved tip #4 "Even though it may seem like they are trying to kill you...slowly...you are the light of their lives."

It's a really small, short book that is a quick and fun little read.  Thanks, Birgitta Karlén, for sending it to me!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Elephant Picture Book by Jack L. Roberts and Michael Owens



Summary

The Elephant Picture Book is a delightful picture book for children (ages 4-8) that tells about the differences (and similarities) between African elephants and Asian elephants. It also provides a special look at a group of elephants at Boon Lott's Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand, a place where overworked and abused elephants have found a safe and loving home in a natural environment. Photographer Michael Owens captures both the gentleness and the majesty of these enchanting animals in his full-color photographs that are guaranteed to delight both young readers and their parents alike.


My Thoughts

I took this book to my class (I teach First and Second grade at a private school) and they LOVED it!  I read it to them first and then they wanted to take turns looking at it at their desks.  The book stayed in my classroom for the rest of the school year and will be returning when school starts back up in August!

The Elephant Picture Book was a bit hit in my classroom!  Thank you, Jack Roberts, for sending this book to me!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Ugly Teapot (Book One: Hannah) by Fred Holmes




Summary

Fourteen-year-old Hannah Bradbury loved her father so much that she worried about him constantly. After all, he was a photographer who traveled to the most dangerous places in the world. 

To allay her fears, each time he came home he brought her silly gifts, each one with supposed magical powers: the Seal of Solomon, the Ring of Gyges, even Aladdin’s Lamp. It was that lamp Hannah found the most unbelievable, for it looked like an ugly teapot. Nevertheless, her father assured her it was real, and made her promise to save her three wishes for something very special. 

Then . . . six months later . . . the unthinkable happened. Her father was killed while on assignment to Baghdad. And so on the day of his funeral Hannah did something she never thought she would ever do. 

She took out that teapot and gave it a rub . . . 

The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes is a timeless tale, filled with magic and adventure. More importantly, it will make you believe in the overwhelming power of love.



My Thoughts

Here I am, a few days after finishing The Ugly Teapot, and I am still going back and forth on how I really feel about this book.  There were things I liked, and there were definitely things I didn't really care for.  We'll see if I can figure out my feelings by the time I finish writing this review.

The very beginning of this book had my heart twisted.  My heart hurt for Hannah.  One thing that gets me every time is the emotion of a person losing someone that they love.  So, at the start, I was all in.  It was looking good.

Then, Hannah's dog walked in and talked to her...
I was not expecting that.  At all.  Griff, the dog, talks to her subliminally so no one else hears it.  I wasn't a fan of this part of the story.

I also want to add that, for a middle grade book, The Ugly Teapot has a lot of goriness (if that's a real word) in it.  Breaking of fingers, slashing of throats, and much more.  It took me by surprise!  Another thing I wasn't exactly a fan of.

Ok, so toward the end something happened that seemed to bring it all together and made it make sense.  Kind of a WHAT?!?! moment!  I don't want to say what happened because it is a major point of the book.  Anyways, it made me feel better about some of the other things I read, with the exception of something that happens with the dog.  I didn't like that part.

However, then there was something at the very end.  Something that, I realize, needed to be there to make the book part of a series.  But, I felt like it cancelled out the part that made everything make sense to me.  It was an interesting twist though!

Overall, I think I liked the book.  I'm pretty sure I did.  I definitely didn't hate it!  Pick it up and decide how you feel about it!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Organizing For Your Lifestyle: Adaptable Inspirations from Socks to Suitcases by Jane Stoller



Summary

Organizing is a lifestyle, but it isn’t one-size-fits-all. Incorporating organizing into your life shouldn’t, ultimately, involve changing who you are, but rather maximizing it. Knowing where your favourite socks are, and having them stored correctly, means you’ll be able to wear your favourite socks more often, and look better doing it. Similarly, packing properly for a once-in-a-lifetime trip means you’ll be able to enjoy that trip even more. Remember: being organized doesn’t mean thinking about organizing all the time. Ideally, being organized means that you don’t have to think about organizing all the time—because you do it automatically, as an organic part of your everyday routine. And you can only reach this level of organizing bliss by making sure your organizing systems and routines are perfectly adapted to your goals, personality, and needs. Again: organizing is a lifestyle, but it needs to be your lifestyle. This is the mantra of the book, even though reference's to certain things that everyone should always do, such as labelling, folding, and ironing (to name a few) are included. Emphasis is placed on the basics and then adapting them your own lifestyle and goals.


My Thoughts

Oh My Word!!! This book came at just the right time!  I had been feeling a little overwhelmed by clutter and I wanted to much to organize things better.  When asked if I would like to read and review this book I jumped at the chance!

I took my time reading and I implemented some of the different ideas and suggestions.  Obviously, not everything will work for everyone but I definitely took plenty that worked for me!  I found that it wasn't as overwhelming as I thought it was going to be.

I don't want to go into too many details because, well, you need to get the book for yourself!  But, let me say that I even changed the way I fold my bath towels!  It may not seem like a very big deal but it actually is because I have been folding my towels that same way since I was about 8 years old and my mom taught me!

If you are ready to get more organized, do some decluttering, and just feel more in control of your daily habits and lifestyle then pick up this book!  You won't be sorry!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Quest of the Golden Apple by Geoffrey Angapa




Summary

The Quest of the Golden Apple is something of a fairy tale or a traditional fantasy. Having a fair share of wonders and a fair bit of travel, it follows the adventure of Geoffrey and the Dragon.


My Thoughts


I quite enjoy reading Fairy Tales, always have, so when asked to read this book I happily accepted.  I personally felt that this book is more geared toward children so it wasn't exactly my preferred choice in a book.  Normally I would hand it off to my daughter but she was already in the middle of a book :)

So, I had to get my mind set as this being a children's book so that I could write an acceptable review!  The Quest of the Golden Apple turned out to be a cute little book, less than 100 pages, with a fun storyline.  There were some editing issues that could be addressed, but not anything that would make you want to stay away from reading it.

All in all, this was a pleasant read and I definitely know of a few young people that I will recommend it to.  Thanks for sending it to me, Geoffrey Angapa!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Cardiac by Jeffrey Monaghan



Summary

What if the one thing meant to keep you alive was used to kill you? 

Embattled CEO Jack Getty is nervous. This is his final chance to save his company. He is announcing his firm's breakthrough discovery at the world’s largest annual biotech conference. A discovery that trials show will extend human life by 75%. But as Jack approaches the podium, he suffers a major heart attack and collapses onto the stage, stunning the conference attendees. 

Jack is rushed to the emergency room where surgeons implant the latest Wi-Fi enabled pacemaker, saving his life in the process. What Jack doesn’t know, however, is that an underground hacking group has its sights set on manipulating his “secure” pacemaker to get information only he can provide. Despite the hackers unrelenting terror, Jack refuses to give them what they want and soon starts to uncover the true motives of this mysterious and powerful group. 

Fast-paced and complex, this medical/techno thriller twists and turns as it stays one step ahead of the reader. Readers will find it a heart-pounding novel that dances on the fringe of the dangers lurking within today's modern technologies.



My Thoughts

Whew!  What a book!  Being in a family that has frequent heart problems, Cardiac really makes you think about how advanced modern medicine can be.  If I ever have to have a pacemaker some day I will probably be a bit of  nervous wreck!

This is a great book.  It is very action packed and it keeps you on your toes wanting more!  I had a hard time putting it down!  What is better than a book that you NEVER want to put down?!  Not much!

Cardiac is a must read!  Thanks so much, Jeff Monaghan, for sending this amazing book to me!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

American Gilt: Debut by J. D. Peterson




Summary

American Gilt Debut (Vol 1) Based on a true story of the Gilded Age Newport, R.I. 1880 - American debutante Sara Swan Whiting has been trained for one purpose: to marry well into society. Together with her friends, Carrie Astor and Edith Jones (Wharton) Sara debuts into society and is introduced to the bachelors of New York's wealthy families, hoping to find the perfect marriage. 'Ethereally beautiful' and 'the spirit of the ball', Sara garners many suitors. But none steal her heart, until destiny steps in and she is introduced to Oliver Belmont, the handsome son of financier August Belmont. Raised in the privileged style of his family's wealth, Oliver is pressured by his father to find a suitable vocation, but prefers a gentleman's life of leisure. Sent to the naval academy by his parents, he begs to resign, and then shows up at his mother's Paris suite unannounced - away without leave. Oliver begins to realize marriage will offer him freedom from his father's constant insistence on a career, and he sets his sights on the naive and beautiful Miss Whiting. Smitten with Oliver's charms, Sara begins courting the handsome Mr. Belmont. While on an afternoon outing Oliver spontaneously proposes marriage, breaking protocol by not getting his parents approval first. Sara accepts the proposal - only to discover his parents disapprove of the match. In an effort to squelch the romance, Oliver is sent to Germany for an internship with his father's banking associate, Mr. Rothschild. In an age when royal titles and large dowries were exchanged through marriage, Oliver and Sara find themselves forced to deal with the decorum of Gilded Age society while embracing their newfound love. What develops is a story that will transport you through time as 'American Gilt - Debut' unfolds. With information gathered from letters, historical newspapers and personal interviews, J. D. Peterson skillfully weaves a compelling tale based on the true account of the Belmont-Whiting Scandal of 1883. Previously published as "SWAN SONG - The Vocation of Marriage"


My Thoughts

I love reading books that make you feel like you're sneaking a peek at someone's life.  American Gilt: Debut does just that.  I used to think that Historical fiction books would be boring but I have definitely changed my mind about that.  My new found love for Historical fiction runs pretty deep!  With this book being about a real person, well it just makes it even better.

When a book can transport you to another time and place while you are reading it there's nothing better.  You know you have found a great book.  I really enjoyed reading about Sara Whiting.  I found myself cheering her on and also wanting to yell warnings to her!  

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I plan to get the next two in the series.  Thank you, J. D. Peterson for sending your book to me!  I loved it!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, June 5, 2017

A Sickness In Time by M.F. Thomas and Nicholas Thurkettle



Goodreads Summary

THE MOST DANGEROUS OPERATION

In 2038, the human race is in a death spiral, and most people do not even know it yet. Technology that was supposed to make us better and stronger instead is birthing a strange and terrible plague we may not be able to stop. When the young daughter of Josh Scribner, a wealthy tech entrepreneur, starts to succumb to the illness, he dedicates his fortune in a desperate effort to save her life. Working with a friend & celebrated physicist, Josh develops the ability to send objects back through time. Their goal to recruit an agent in the past who might change our fatal path.

In our present day, a broken and traumatized Air Force veteran finds a strange message in the woods, drawing her into an adventure spanning decades. All humanity is at stake, as she and her small group of friends become the unlikely heroes taking up the secret fight against our future doom.

MF Thomas and Nicholas Thurkettle, authors of the acclaimed sci-fi thriller Seeing by Moonlight, are back with this time-twisting adventure that asks if our own destiny can be healed.


My Thoughts

It took a little bit to get into this book, a few chapters or so, but then once I got into it I didn't want to stop.  It definitely kept my attention.  I have recently found a love for time travel books and I've always liked suspenseful type books so A Sickness In Time fell into the 'My kind of book' category!

Each chapter went back and forth from future to present and you would think that it would make it confusing, but it didn't at all.  Also, the science part of the story was very believable and not confusing for me!  I know pretty much nothing about 'science things' so there have been several times when science fiction books were a little over my head.  This book wasn't like that.  I didn't feel lost or confused.

A Sickness In Time stayed at a pretty good pace and wasn't predictable.  There were plot twists that made the story interesting and enjoyable.  Well done, Thomas and Thurkettle!  Thanks for a great book!

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

When Mountains Move by Julie Cantrell



Goodreads Summary

In a few hours, Millie will say “I do” to Bump Anderson, a man who loves her through and through. But would he love her if he knew the secret she keeps?
Millie’s mind is racing and there seems to be no clear line between right and wrong. Either path leads to pain, and she’ll do anything to protect the ones she loves. So she decides to bury the truth and begin again, helping Bump launch a ranch in the wilds of Colorado. But just when she thinks she’s left her old Mississippi life behind, the facts surface in the most challenging way.

That’s when Millie’s grandmother, Oka, arrives to help. Relying on her age-old Choctaw traditions, Oka teaches Millie the power of second chances. Millie resists, believing redemption is about as likely as moving mountains. But Oka stands strong, modeling forgiveness as the only true path to freedom.

Together, Bump, Millie, and Oka fight against all odds to create a sustainable ranch, all while learning that the important lessons of their pasts can be used to build a beautiful future.


My Thoughts

I was a little concerned that I would be lost since I didn't read the first book of this series, but I was able to jump in fairly quickly.  Not that jumping in was easy... Well, it was easy as far as catching up and all, but the dramatic beginning was... well... dramatic!  This book started out with an intense storyline where Millie is basically having a flashback/memory of her rape that happened just 6 weeks earlier.  I certainly wasn't expecting that!

When Mountains Move is a beautiful story of love, strength, trust, relationships, faith, and, while it's a historical fiction, it has the feel of a YA/Coming of age type story.  It is absolutely beautifully written and I am in love with it!  I definitely want to purchase the first book so that I can read it, of course, and also collect the series.

I love reading books that stick with you for a while after you have finished and this one certainly will stick with me.  Another time I am so thankful that I love to read and am blessed with the opportunity to have books sent to me that I might not have picked up on my own!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from BookLookBloggers in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Quantum Ghost by Jonathan Ballagh




Goodreads Summary

On a cold autumn night, twelve-year-old Remi Cobb makes a startling discovery—a mysterious object floating on the pond in her backyard. With no idea where it came from, or how it got there, Remi is compelled to unravel its secrets. Her quest for answers takes her on a perilous journey across realities, where she finds a crumbling world—and the dark forces behind its ruin. Here she learns the truth about her connection with the strange object, and of those that will stop at nothing to destroy them both. 

But even if she can find a way to survive, can she find a way home?



My Thoughts

When Jonathan Ballagh asked me if I would like to read this book I couldn't say yes fast enough!  I really enjoyed The Quantum Door so I was really excited to read The Quantum Ghost.  Even though both books are geared for middle grade readers, I really enjoyed them both.

If you haven't read The Quantum Door yet, no worries!  You can still read The Quantum Ghost and not be lost!  Remi is a whole new protagonist, I love her btw, and the story is different as well.  Brady and Felix, boys from the previous book, are mentioned and explained a bit but you won't necessarily feel the loss of the first book if you don't read it first.  Although, you really should read The Quantum Door anyways!

I actually read the first book right at a year ago while on vacation and I read this book while vacationing as well!  They seem to be great vacation reads for me.  Not too long and not too short.  Just the right amount for good world and character building.  Especially good for middle grade readers who tend to shy away from somewhat lengthier books.

Thank you, Jonathan Ballagh, for another great book!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.