Showing posts from April, 2013

The Apple Orchard is as good as taking a bite out of a nice, crisp apple!

Tess Delaney makes finding old artifacts and turning them into treasures her job. Tess receives a shock when she finds out she has a grandfather. Not only a grandfather but also a half sister. In addition that she is has just inherited half of Bella Vista.

Tess takes time off work to visit her half sister and Bella Vista. Tess meets Dominic in the process. Tess and her half sister find some old letters. They uncover their family history.

The Apple Orchard is a charming, fast read. All the apple recipes in this book were a nice surprise as well. They had my mouth watering. However I could not spend too much time reading them as I wanted to get back to the story. Now that I am done with this book I can go back and try them out.

In the beginning I was not feeling Tess. I thought she needed to loosen up. However as the story progressed I did warm up to her and thought she and Dominic made a nice couple. The romance between them was on the sweet side. As I got closer to the end of the …

Dark Days is a kicking butt good time of a read!

Jack and Pete have welcomed their daughter, Lily into the world. Jack is called upon by Belial. He has a job for Jack. Someone is trying to take over and Belial wants him stopped. Belial’s nemesis is not going down without a huge battle.

Dark Days is the latest book in the Black London series. I can not get enough of Pete and Jack. Pete and Jack are one of my favorite couples. They are both sarcastic and bullheaded but yet they just belong together like salt and pepper. I thought that after pregnancy that Pete would have calmed down some but she is still not going down without a fight. This is a good thing as she and Jack had to fight a new demon that even Belial would not get near. Speaking of Belial. He is growing on me as much as any demon can. Belial and Jack’s banter with each other has me smiling every moment of it.

The ending kind of hinted at the end of this series but than again the world is in shambles so I don’t think I have seen the last of Pete and Jack. Which I will m…

Rage is worth a second look.

A police officer’s wife has been murdered and beheaded. Who would want her dead? Also, it seems that the killer was not the only one in the house. An eight year old autistic boy named Devon was there. He holds a clue as to who the killer is.

Jess Harris is on the case along with her romantic interest, Chief of Police Dan Burnett.

Rage is my first introduction to the Faces of Evil series. I must have been hiding under a rock to have not known about this series. This is right up my reading alley. Rage can be read as a stand alone novel. The only thing I would warn about is having not read the prior three novels, I had to get caught up to speed some on Jess and Dan’s relationship.

My only disappointment is that I thought from the back of the book that Devon would play a bigger part in helping to capture the killer. I only comment on this factor because I found Devon to be intriguing and wanted to see him interact more in the book.

Jess is a good female lead. She has a good solid hea…


Among the many unforgettable heroines in Jennifer Weiner’s stories, Ruth Saunders stands out as a reader’s favorite. Originally the subject of Weiner’s 2006 short story “Swim,” fans found the irrepressible heart of this young woman who was scarred by a car accident as a child uniquely inspiring. Years later, Weiner decided to return to her story in THE NEXT BEST THING (Washington Square Press; $16.00; April 30, 2013) to explore what would happen if Ruth’s dreams came true.

Ruth and her grandmother have been a family of two ever since a car crash killed her parents when she was just three years old and left her with permanent facial scars. After college, Ruth pursued her dream of writing to Hollywood, heading west with her grandmother in tow, hoping to make it big in the world of TV. After years of failure and surviving a badly broken heart, Ruth gets The Call – her show has been green-lit.

Working alongside her boss, the subject of her unrequited love, Ruth attempts to create and cas…

Five Days

Laura is an x-ray technician. She runs the machine when the doctor is looking for something. Usually it is for possible oncology patients. Ones that might have cancer. This does not make Laura’s job easy. Her patients range from children to adults. For those few minutes life is suspended until Laura sees the “all clear”.

Laura has a family with a husband, son and daughter. Her husband is unemployed, her daughter doesn’t listen and her son is going through some things. Laura gets a chance to go away for five days to a conference. It is at the conference that she meets Richard. Richard is a salesman. Soon Laura and Richard are spending time together. What happens when their time together is up?

I had some trouble reading this book. I did finish it but I found it depressing. Laura was sad and weak. She did grow up through this whole process as most people should in the end but it was too late for me. I never fully committed to her. Also, while Richard was nice. He also was sad. He had …

Shadowed Soul

Thomas Milton is bi-polar. He and his wife, Beth along with her seeing eye dog, Bailey are about to have an addition to their family with a newborn baby.

Thomas’s world unravels when Beth and the baby temporary move in with her parents leaving Thomas and Bailey to cope on their own. Thomas gets into porn. Also he is visited by his “shadowed soul” who is nothing but trouble.

I found this book to be a very well written and thought out book. It definitely is thought provoking in a good way. Mr. Spagnoli did a nice job writing Thomas. I felt a connection with him that I almost did not care about his obsession with porn. I am not talking just “soft” but “hard-core” bondage type. Because of the graphic details as described about the pictures I did feel an uncomfortable about Thomas being into this type of obsession. However I could understand why Thomas was into this type of thing.

I loved, loved Bailey. Of course I love all dogs that are featured in books. I have a soft spot for them. …

Evidence of Life

Abby kisses her husband, Nick and daughter, Lindsey goodbye. They are going on a father/daughter camping trip. Abby did not know that this would be the last time she would see her husband and daughter again.

Abby does not believe what the cops are saying about Nick. They are saying that he planned to run away with their daughter and loads of money. Abby decides to investigate herself and find the truth. How will Abby handle the truth when she learns it?

This book is full of emotions. I can not imagine being in Abby’s shoes. I would go insane with grief and just plain insane if my husband and daughter went missing. Nonetheless I could not fully relate to Abby. I felt that Nick was not that great of a husband and so the strong need to find him I just could not figure out the reason why. I could understand Abby wanting to find her daughter, Lindsey but again not Nick.

In addition, I found that Abby got on my nerves after a while. She was weak. She kept going all over the place with …

Nowhere but Home is a charming read.

Queenie Wake is a chef. She has just been fired for yelling at a customer. Queenie has no where else to go but back home. Queenie has no intentions of staying long. That is why when she is offered a job working for the prison as their chef, she accepts. The job is short term. Queenie starts spending time with an old flame. Sparks are sure to ignite again.

Nowhere but Home is a charming read. I love Queenie. She was caring, strong, and had spunk. I would have liked to have seen this spunk more as it was these moments that I had a smile and laugh on my face. Not that I was not smiling at other points in this book. For example when Queenie was fired from her job for telling a customer that her “bangers” were bigger than his dick or when Queenie yelled at a man for wanting to put ketchup on his eggs! Which for some reason the thought of putting ketchup on my eggs does not sound very appealing to me.

This book is like a chick lit but with more depth and heart. I was generally surprised…

New Rules for Blondes: Highlights from a Fair-Haired Life

I being a brunette don’t know what it is like being a blonde. I have never been one. For me and my skin tone, I don’t think blonde would go well together. However, I have always wondered why so many want to be blonde or why people say blondes have more fun. So when I heard about Selena’s book, The New Rules for Blondes: Highlights from a Fair-Haired Life I thought this is a book worth checking out. I will gain some insight into the “light” side.

I have to comment and say that Selena is truly a dedicated blonde. This is a good thing. For this reason and all the other reasons that Selena mentions in this book is why I will leave the “light” side to her. Too much work for me to keep up with finding the perfect balance between “ashy” and “brassy” blondes.

This book did not really hit the mark with me but I still found it to be a pretty good book. I learned a lot more about being blonde than I thought I would. I did not laugh as much as I wanted or hoped to reading this book. The foot n…

Wolf Protector Book Blast + Contest

Pump Up Your Book and Milly Taiden will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card during Milly's Wolf Protector Book Blast today! This promotion starts April 15 and ends on May 17. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below and good luck!



A woman with a secret…

The Federal Paranormal Unit is an elite squad of supernaturals dedicated to solving missing persons cases. Erica’s gift allows her a special connection with the crime, but it comes at a deep personal cost… Until now, she’s kept her gift a secret, even from the other members of the team. But this case will throw her together with Agent Trent Buchanan. He’s the object of her secret desires, but he’s also a cocky womanizer. She’d rather swim in shark-infested waters with a paper cut than admit she has feelings for him.

A man with one desire…

Wolf Shifter Trent wants Erica more than he’s ever wanted any woman. He’s spent years patiently waiting for her to admit that she wants him too. Workin…

Fabio's Italian Kitchen

I wanted to check out Fabio’s Italian Kitchen cookbook because one I am familiar with who he is and two…me and my husband love to eat Italian food. Of course just like most American’s it is the “fake” Italian food that you get in the cans and off the store shelves. Then you come home throw the pasta in boiling water and heat up the pasta sauce. So after getting a copy of this cookbook, I am very excited to start learning how to make “real” Italian food. Plus, the tips and notes that Fabio gave throughout this book I found to be helpful. Some of the recipes in this book that I want to try out are:

Homemade ricotta, pesto gnocchi, butternut squash-filled roasted pork loin, grandma’s canned tuna, fried rosemary chicken (remember if you don’t have all three of the important ingredients…rosemary, garlic, and sage, then you won’t be making roasted chicken, this is Fabio’s family’s way.), fried fresh mushrooms, Fabio’s mom’s tiramisu, ricotta chocolate chip fritters, and olive bread. Best …

The Gate

Schuyler Hunt had planned a trip for him and his wife until it turned into a girl’s weekend. Now Schuyler is left wondering what to do with his free time. Schuyler sees an ad on the internet for a cottage called Angel’s Gate in God’s county. Schuyler thinks this might be the perfect place to retire in so that their grandchildren can visit. Schuyler decides to take a look at the cottage while the girls are off to play. Once at Angel’s Gate Schuyler will get an life changing event.

Right away when you read this book you will see some similarities with The Shack by Mr. William P. Young. However while each book takes a man and has him speaking with God in a shack or cottage in this case and teaches him lessons that is where the commonality ends.

In this book Schuyler also is visited by old friends that have since passed but have important lessons to teach Schuyler. The lessons are the following: Choices, Perseverance, Questions, Encouragement, Priorities, Self-examination, Forgiveness,…

What Color Is Monday?

Review by Nancy

Five children. One on the Autism Spectrum. How do you cope? You begin by reading this book, that’s how! Not putting aside the stress, reorganization of your family’s life but this book really will help you. If you do not have a child with autism but know someone who does, it will help you to help them as well.

When Carrie became pregnant with her second child, she had no idea how her life would change. When Jack didn’t act like his big brother she became concerned and, at age three they were told what they had already figured out: Jack had Pervasive Developmental Disorder. And by now, they had three boys.

This book has some excellent ideas of coping with your child and with yourself as well. Children are much more flexible than you would imagine and some of the stories told in What Color is Monday? will make you laugh out loud. Others will make you cry. All will teach you something and that something will help you understand.

I have reviewed 3 books on autism in the …

The Shuddering

Ryan and Jane are brother and sister. Before their lives get too hectic and it gets harder to keep in touch, they decide with a group of their friends to go to their family cabin in the Colorado Mountains. It is winter and snowing. Ryan, Jane and their friends don’t know what is waiting for them in the woods but they are about to find out.

I have never read anything by this author. However after reading this book, I am going to go back and check out this author’s prior novels. This book sounded intriguing but I did not realize just how much I was going to get into this book until I started reading it.

It was like reading something out of a horror movie. I can just picture it now. There was this movie about these creatures that came out from under the ground and took people. They buried them in holes until their bones got soft so that they could drag them underground. The name of the movie escapes me but this book kind of reminded me of this movie with a little mixture of the Descen…

The Lola Diaries Drama Jerk Blog Tour + Giveaway

Review by Aspen, age 8

The Lola Diaries Drama Jerk is about an 11 year old girl, Lola. Lola has a big secret and no one but her mom and best friend knows about it. But, when the word gets out, Lola has to deal with big a slumber party!

This book is one I couldn't put down! It was really fun to read. However, there were a few distracting errors. But desides that, The Lola Diaries is a great read-aloud book!

Purchase a copy here

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Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected--A Memoir (P.S.)

What a great story. Nella and Kelle both won me over with their story. Well to be honest everyone in this book was great. I flew in love with Nella and grew to love her even more as the story moved along. The strongest moments that happened in this book were the ones that took place right after Kelle gave birth to Nella and saw her for the first time. Her instant reaction to Nella, to the time when she asked for her father and he said “That’s okay, we love her”. Then there was the moment when Kelle’s friends moved the rocking chair under the blue light so that they could hold Nella as she craved human touch. Also, I can not forget the moment when Kelle was visited by another woman in the hospital who told Kelle she was lucky as she also had a baby girl who had Down syndrome but died at birth.

All of the pictures in this book are just gorgeous. Kelle is a great photographer. She really captured the story she was telling as well as the essence of who Nella is. Bloom would make the pe…

One Year Lived + Free book!

Yeah like this is really what anyone wants to hear right before they bungee jump off of a bridge. “Just in case line break and you not stop before ground, we really enjoy know you.” This is exactly what Adam heard right before he jumped. As you can tell he survived and the line did not break. Otherwise if it had then I would not have been contacted by the author himself (well I am pretty sure it is the author.) Can’t really say as I have not met him in the flesh. Well anyways if the line had broke then I would not have been made aware of this book and would not be sharing it with my readers.

Mr. Shepard has dreamed of traveling. So he saved so that he could travel for a year. A year to live. His journey starts in Guatemala City. The way Mr. Shepard writes and describes everything in detail, it was like I was with him as he went from place to place. I could hear the roar of the crowd at the soccer game, worked with poor children in Honduras, ran with the bulls in Spain and not just 1…

The After Girls

Ella, Astrid, and Sydney are the best of friends. That all changes then Astrid takes her own life. Ella is the one that finds her. Now, Ella and Sydney are trying to understand the best ways that they can on how they missed the signs that lead to Astrid’s death. Why could they not tell Astrid was depressed? They are after all her friends.

While Sydney wants to mask her pain with alcohol, Ella tries to figure out what clues she missed about Astrid. Ella receives some help in the form of Astrid herself. It seems that Astrid is communicating with Ella. What does Astrid have to say?

The After Girls is the first book from new author, Leah Konen. This book is more emotionally deeper then some of the young adult books that I have read. So at times it made it a little rough to want to stick with this book. Only because it was sad but could also come off as depressing. Ella being yelled at by Astrid’s mother because she was grieving her daughter. Then there was Sydney who was getting drunk. …

The Edge of the Earth + Giveaway

Trudy is very smart and has a bright future ahead of her. Her family can almost hear the wedding bells ringing for Trudy. There is just one problem. They did not expect Trudy to fall for a guy like Oskar.

Trudy and Oskar move away and accept a job at a lighthouse. Trudy becomes a teacher to the Crawley children. The other family that lives at the lighthouse. Whereas Oskar is fascinated by his inventions and electricity. Oskar finds a cave and a mysterious woman living in it. He finds her intriguing.

What a story. I was not in love with this book but I did like it. The first half I kind of struggled to get to the half way point. I just was not connecting with any of the characters and found the story moving at a slow pace. I admit that I even found the children annoying in the beginning. However the second half of the book told a better tale.

I got into the story better then as more was happening. The mysterious woman in the cave I really liked. What I identified the most with Chri…

The Other Side

Campsite Killer had a daughter named Sara. When the killer learned of this news, he reached out to her. Staff Sergeant Sandy McBride is on the case. While Sara is investigating she is contacted by someone who has information about her mother’s murder. Sara will finally learn the truth about her mother’s murder.

I thought this book was a nice, quick read for a short story. It was a nice tie in to Never Knowing. It is in that book where Sandy fully investigates the case of the Campsite Killer. However I would say the main focus of this short story was really Sandy and her mother’s murder. It was good to get to know the full details of the case. Also it was nice to see that Sandy finally gets closure. The only thing about this book that would have made it better is that the murder case surrounding Sandy’s mother was stronger. So for me I wanted more of the intensity that comes from a murder investigation like what was the killer’s motivation for the crime? I did learn the reason but to …

His to Command

Kate is in need of an investor for her company. The last person she ever wanted to see was Matt. She left him several years ago.

When Matt sees Kate again, he knows that he can get some pay back for the lost years he got when Kate left him. However the last thing Matt expected was to fall for Kate again. Will Kate and Matt stay with each other when a secret from their past comes back?

His to Command is a full novel comprised of a six part mini series from author, Opal Carew. I have to say that I thought this book was better. I tried to picture this book as a mini series with the different chapters that I knew made up this series and I thought that as a full length book it just read better. I just could not really picture the series being as strong.

I was however very surprised by how quickly I flew through this book. I started it by the time I put it down to go to bed, I was more then half was done with it. While the theme of this story indicates to the master/slave relationship do…

No One Else to Kill

Review by Nancy

It started out as a plan: vacation at a mountain resort with an old friend to reminisce and try to help him with some “issues” he’s having. Well, you know what they say about good intentions. Jim West’s friend bales on him and just when he has decided to leave the killing begins.

A group of corporate types has rented some of the lodge for their “teambuilding” project – something they do every year. Jim even had coffee with the owner of the company. Seemed like a nice enough guy; but someone killed him anyhow. Suspects abound in this mystery with an excellent cast and better plot.

Jim does his best but the bodies are beginning to pile up and the Lodge may have to close. Can he figure out who and why before there’s literally “No One Else to Kill?” This is book five in the Jim West series which is great except now I have to go find the other four because I need to read they whole thing! Great novel for mystery buffs.

Once Upon a Gypsy Moon

I was very excited to read about Mr. Hurley and his story sailing upon the Gypsy Moon. I was expecting to read more about sailing. Which I did get some but not a lot. Just like a memoir I do get to know all about Mr. Hurley and his life. From growing up to why his marriage to his first wife fell apart due to infidelity. Mr. Hurley did recognize that it was his fault and accepted it. This I thought was great that he did and I liked him for it.

However after a while I grew weary of the steady pace and learning all about Mr. Hurley’s life. I really craved to be on the open seas. There were just little glimpse of the open seas as Mr. Hurley sailed them. Again they were interrupted by him stopping at different ports along the way. Glad that Mr. Hurley found love again with his new wife. If you are looking for a book that is about sailing then this is not the book for you. However if you like to read about people getting second chances then you might like this book.

Meet the Author

A life…

Chronicle of the Mound Builders

Review by Nancy

A team of archaeologists finds a jar in middle Missouri, home of the Mississippian culture (aka the Mound Builders). Despite dreams that it might not be a good plan, Angela Hunter and her father, Peter, open the jar and find a talisman and a codex written primarily in pictographs.

There are many people who want to get this codex for themselves or their ancestors but only one will prevail. Two tales are told here although both endings are the same. A tale of Angela, her teams of researchers and the Native American Society dedicated to keeping the codex and talisman from the world. The other tale is of the boy who wrote the codex: Tototl, son of Chipahua the judge, and his journey far from his homeland.

This book was researched in depth and it is obvious the author knows Missouri, the many mounds to be found there and their historical significance. I enjoyed the book but had a bit of an issue with the two stories. I felt that the story of Tototl could have been shortene…

Mr. LePore makes his stance as a great writer and shows why he is here to stay!

Matt Massi comes from a very powerful family. His family is associated with the mafia. Having the mafia as your family, it means that there are some big shoes to fill. So when a deal involving some dangerous men gets to be too much for Matt and becomes personal, his father Chris comes to his aid.

The Fifth Man is the follow up to Sons and Princes. However if you have not read Sons and Princes you can still read this book. It was great to see Chris again. I really connected with him in the prior novel. He did not disappoint me again in this book. Chris if anything grew stronger and better since I last saw him. He shows what it means when you cross someone in the mafia.

Matt was another person that it was good to see. I remember when he was just a little kid in the last book. He did not jump off the pages at me as much as Chris did. The first half of the book was a little bit of a struggle for me. While it was a nice set up to what was to come in the later half of the book, I just wa…

Death, Doom, and Detention is a kaleidoscope of fun!

Lorelei and her friends are back. After barely surviving being hit by a truck and meeting the Archangel of Death, Lorelei would love to enjoy some rest and relaxation. However that is not possible when you have a demon living inside of you. There is just one positive to come out of all of this…Jared. Jared is the Archangel. He came to take Lorelei away but instead rescued her and is now her crush.

Strange things are happening around town. More then usual. To make matters worse, Jared is missing and her grandparents want to send Lorelei away. Lorelei and her friends will have a battle on their hands when they learn that Jared has joined the other side.

Death, Doom, and Detention is the second book in this young adult series, Darklight from author, Darynda Jones. I am enjoying this series. Lorelei and her friends are what make this series so much fun that I want to come back again and again. As this series progresses, I am learning more about Lorelei, her abilities and the demon she …

The Funny Adventures of Little Nani

The Funny Adventures of Little Nani by Cinta Garcia De La Rosa is a fun, charming collection of short stories. I enjoyed reading about all the mischief that Little Nani got herself into. What with the help of her friends, Skinny Nikki, Big Billy, and horse.

I do have to agree that I found Skinny Nikki and Big Billy better as ostriches then boys. Yes, the mischief I was talking about with Little Nani involves her and her magic wand. You see, Little Nani is a witch in training. Only Little Nani does not have the patience to learn how to perform spells properly. So she ends up turning her friends into ostriches, chickens into penguins, and so forth.

I loved the names of the different people that Little Nani encountered on her many adventures. They were intriguing. What I found really great about this book is that there were many blank pages through out the book. These pages were for the reader to draw with their own imagination the scene that was happening at that moment in the story.…

What Tears Us Apart

Leda hates the thought of returning to school. She does a Google search and finds a job titled Triumph Orphanage. The orphanage is located in Africa. Leda accepts the position. She gets an added bonus when she meets the man running the orphanage named Ita. Leda falls for Ita. However getting close to Ita means getting close to his friend, Chege.

I have never read anything by Deborah Cloyed. So this book is my first introduction to her work. I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked the story and the lay of the land. I could picture the war torn area country of Kenya. However I was not feeling the relationship between Leda and Ita. Not so much anyways. Not a good thing when you are half way through the book wondering about their relationship and when it is really going to pick up and this was part of the main focus of the story. Correction, I did not feel the relationship so much during the first half of the book.

I can understand having your best friend’s back but not when tha…

Search for the Lost Realm + Giveaway

Search for the Lost Realm is an epic journey in which a young man named Varan wants to find a power which has been missing from the world of Kantania for thousands of years.

Varan sets out but soon discovers his true mission is to save the worlds creator from a spiritual bond placed upon him by the powerful demon, Eldrok.

From demons to dragons and sorcerers to soldiers, battles erupt and Varan must hurry or the world could be lost to darkness forever.

This story does not consist of action alone as Varan faces dilemmas of the heart, struggles of the flesh and complex issues of the mind.

About the Book:

Search for the Lost Realm is an epic journey in which a young man named Varan wants to find a power which has been missing from the world of Kantania for thousands of years.

Varan sets out but soon discovers his true mission is to save the worlds creator from a spiritual bond placed upon him by the powerful demon, Eldrok.

From demons to dragons and sorcerers to soldiers, battles erup…