Thursday, June 22, 2017

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


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


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


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


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


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


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.