Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Things Are Looking Up For April

As another year passes me by and I look to add another number onto my age I am reflective of how lousy the last year has been in so many ways.  Yet, it has also brought me so much joy.  I have been sick for much of it, but that allows me more time to read.

Mike and I had some really rough patches but we came out stronger on the other side and are now planning our dream wedding.  Seriously, it's going to be awesome.

My arm has left me unable to write (or type) for long periods of time so I am exploring new and more awesome ways of doing things and being creative.  My knee injury left me unable to exercise properly for much of the last year...I have no upside for that one.  Sadly because I love food I am only now starting to lose the weight I put on.  Watch out for ice and love your knees people!

Tomorrow marks the start of the A to Z Challenge, I am prepared this year, I have a theme, scheduled posts and everything.  Nothing left to do but sit back and visit other people's posts.  Now that's what I am looking forward to.  Some of my favourite blogs I found originally from the Challenge.  Since I have nothing to do but read this year I will be doing a round up post on Sundays of my favourites that I found during the week.

Also, since tomorrow is my birthday I will be starting a 365 photo challenge (Yay!)  So follow me on Instagram or Twitter if you want to check out my horrible photo skills.

In the meantime here's a shot of us from Toronto Comicon:


Friday, March 27, 2015

Newbie Blog Tour



?

Newbie by Jo Noelle

The housing market is crashing, and Sophie’s life is crashing with it. At twenty-four, her successful real estate career evaporates. She’s broke, can’t find a job, or pay her bills, leaving Sophie wondering how her successful lifestyle became so fragile.

At the urging of her roommate, Sophie accepts a job in her fallback career—teaching six-year-olds. She hopes it’s temporary. After all, how long can a tanking economy last anyway? The best part of the new job is Liam, another employee at Rio Grande Elementary. The worst part of the new job is, well, teaching.

Sophie has a surprise real estate closing from a contract she wrote months ago, leading her to a niche in the real estate market and to a new partner, Kevin. Sophie must choose between Liam or Kevin and between a lucrative career or recess duty.


EXCERPT:

Lust. Someday it will be deep and abiding love, but today it’s just surfacey infatuation and need. I lust this car.

            I still feel like I’m cheating on Gustavo, my old Ford Focus. We had a good run together—college years, spring flings to St. Louis and Miami, weekend jaunts to Santa Fe, Phoenix and Vegas and struggling to start my career. Good times, but I think he’s been holding me back for the last year and a half.

            We’ve grown apart, and my goals have changed. I need a career car, and this car says success. This car says I can go as fast as I want. I feel liberated and sexy again. Maybe we could take a road trip to Seattle. I could open it up across Wyoming. No one else would know. It would be our little secret—our first secret together. Turning off Pike’s Peak Avenue into the parking lot, we park gracefully between an Escalade and Collin’s Hummer.

Review:

Sophie's journey is fascinating to behold, the choice to fallback on teaching because her career is falling to pieces around and her genuine emotion surrounding it are so well-written that I couldn't help but fall in love with her.  Her inner monologue surrounding Liam, Oh My!

Liam, oh Liam, the guy practically had me drooling over my Kobo, which probably would not have been good for it.  But hot and good with kids?  My kind of guy.  This book was a perfect ten all around for me.



Praise for Newbie

Loved this story. I thought it was crisp and funny. Sophie has a great character arch as she goes from the Real Estate world to a classroom of 1st graders. Love Liam. He is a nice breath of fresh air. He and Sophie's interactions kept me laughing and wanting more. I HIGHLY recommend this novel! ~ Author Sherry Gammon

In recent years I've become addicted to Sophie Kinsella's books. This book reminded me of hers, only cleaner, which I appreciated! It was sweet and witty. Definitely had me laughing out loud. Loved the ending :) ~Goodreads Review

I loved this book! I especially have a tender spot for books with children in them and this story about Sophie being "forced" to teach when the real estate market does so poorly captured my heart. The characters were warm and lovable, the story was fun and I enjoyed every minute of the book. ~Phyllis

I loved NEWBIE. Sophie's inner thoughts are a delight. She just makes me smile. Her journey as a newbie teacher is real and touching. ~Donna Weaver



Jo NoelleAuthor Jo Noelle

Jo Noelle grew up in Colorado and Utah but also spent time in Idaho and California. She has two adult children and three small kids. She teaches teachers and students about reading and writing, grows freakishly large tomatoes, enjoys cooking especially for desserts, builds furniture, sews beautiful dresses, and likes to go hiking in the nearby mountains. Oh, and by the way, she’s two people—

Canda Mortensen and Deanna Henderson, a mother/daughter writing team.

They began writing separately several years ago but found the process much more fun when they started collaborating. They are debut authors, with Lexi’s Pathetic Fictional Love Life as their first completed work. Other titles include Newbie and Damnation.

Deanna attended college before marrying and starting her family.

Canda received a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a Reading Specialist endorsement, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Her day job focuses on teaching teachers and children about literacy.


25_Amazon_Paypal

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/6/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Day Use Review



Book Description :

A thrilling novel spiced with erotica that represents the story of Dalia Raz, a successful ceramics artist who suddenly becomes a widow after her husband is killed by a mysteries explosion in the factory he worked in.

In her despair, she decides to change and rehabilitate her life from her disaster. She turns her life upside down and opens a business for day use renting rooms by the hour for intimacy purposes. In parallel, she begins searching for the truth regarding her husband’s death and a series of explosions in secret military facilities.

She refuses to believe that the series of explosions is random, but discovers nothing.

Her new unorthodox job exposes her to a new, intriguing world. She collects funny, tragic and dramatic stories about her guests’ *** lives in her deluxe rooms—stories about ***, cheating and forbidden relationships. She writes about her experiences and publishes a book about it

Her new fascinating life exposes the reader to amusing and even occasionally frightening stories.

The book also sheds light on Israel’s nuclear secrets
.
The ending is surprising and unpredictable.

The story is based on real life events; although names have been changed to avoid privacy invasion.

Review:

I loved this book so much that I am not even sure what to say about it.  It's definitely meant for a mature audience, it made me blush in a few spots.  It gets off to a very heartbreaking start, but has a fabulously surprising ending.

The stories that are related from the day use rooms are not told in the way one might expect, it's more funny than naughty and the book doesn't focus on them.  It's more about Dalia's life learning to cope with being a widow and it's a more interesting read because of it.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review but as always all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Health? Your Way! Review




Book Description:

It seems as if by the second a new health study brings THE answer for what is good for us. This academic-narrative fascinating book is based on the assumption that the right path for health, happiness and abundance in so personal that only you are responsible of finding and embracing the "best answer". Dr. Feldman invites you to discover what happens when "Gymnastics" meets "Mind", when they are put together as a way of life. She inspires you to "Gymind" Your way in life, to pursue health and happiness the way that suits you. She uncovers the personal empowering story of Muriel, Aida, Oliver, Maya, Irene, Barak, and many others who embrace Gymind as a way of life. Their personal growth and inner revelations (painted in grey throughout this book, along with other surprising tips and guidelines), reflect on all of us as if we experience our personal grow along with them.

Review:

The self help books littering my house are starting to reach a ridiculous number, I am really glad that I can get them in a digital format now.  I found this to be a really interesting read if not necessarily something I can imagine myself embracing wholeheartedly.

Dr. Feldman definitely makes some points that I agree with 100% and that I think could help anyone find a little more happiness and peace in their life.  I know that's what I am searching for.  That and a way to curb pre-teen attitude but I am still searching for ways to help with that. *wink*

I especially liked the personal stories that were shared throughout the book, being able to relate to the advice that is being given through someone else's experience always helps.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review but as always all opinions are my own.





Monday, March 23, 2015

A to Z Challenge Theme 2015

It's that time of year once again for the A to Z Challenge.  I didn't finish last year and for that I hang my head in shame.  This year however I prepared well in advance and I am good to go.

Without further ado my 2015 theme is:


That's right, I learned five new words for every letter of the alphabet and I am sharing them with you. It's always a good idea to expand your vocabulary, that's why word of the day calendars are so popular.  In fact, that's where I got the idea.

I hope everyone learns at least a couple new words.  See you on the other side!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Truth About Mud Review


 Book Synopsis:

“Fane, my friend . . . we have a crow to find.”

When an evil crow snatches a beloved medallion, young trolls Thistle and Fane have one more reason to venture outside the Clearing.

Enticed by the mysterious Anila Mountain, and angry at King Tasso for sheltering them for far too long, they’re driven to search for a way across Mangleblood River.

What they find . . . will change their lives for all eternity.

“When did you get so brave?” I whispered.

“When I had someone to rescue, I guess.”

 “The Truth About Mud” is the first story in the ‘Mangleblood Rose’ Miniseries.

Review:

You know when you read a short story and you get to the end and you are sad because there's nothing left to read?  That's how I felt at the end of this story.  Their story was done but I desperately wanted to go on another adventure with them.

The characters are all fantastically written, I wanted to stay in their world forever.

~ Book/Purchase Links ~

Amazon

Goodreads



Author Bio: 

Christina L. Rozelle, author of the YA Dystopian-Scifi-Romance-Adventure, "The Treemakers," is a mother of four currently residing in Dallas, Texas. She enjoys fiction that shines a light in the dark; has emotion, intensity, verve, depth, and truth. She writes what she'd love to read. Though her focus is currently YA speculative fiction, she dabbles in other genres as well, including adult speculative, fantasy, addiction/recovery fiction, and other general fiction. To find out more about her, as well as links to her other social media outposts, please visit her fan-site: http://christinalrozelle.com/ 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Treemakers Review Blast



Book Synopsis :

Sixteen-year-old Joy Montgomery, daughter of Zephyr the Magnificent, the great magician, can only reminisce of better times. Before the Superiors. Before the uprisings. Long ago. Before the dying Earth ripped the family she loved away from her. She can only dream of the adventure life must've been before their ancestors brought the apocalyptic devastation in the form of disastrous climate change.

In this desolate dystopian future, the Greenleigh orphans are “privileged” with the task of building mechanical trees for the post-apocalyptic survivors in Bygonne, so their world behind The Wall can breathe another day, and so the Superiors may continue their malevolent reign.

Lured by a yearning for freedom, tenacious curiosity, and hunger for adventure, Joy discovers hope and magic amid the misery, and power in her promise to care for those remaining, whom she loves enough to risk her life for. To save them, herself, and the boy she adores from the abuse and slavery by the Superiors, Joy must entrust the aid of an unlikely ally who harbors a dangerous secret.

With an intriguing stranger at the helm, Joy and the treemakers embark on an intense and terrifying, yet liberating quest for the truth about the existence of the forbidden paradise beyond The Wall.

Review:

There are so many great things that can be said about this book.  It was such a fun, fast read, I really got caught up in it.  The characters are so fantastic that it's a pleasure to follow along with their story.

Everything it so descriptively written that it feels like you have fallen into the world that Rozelle has created and it's almost painful to climb back out when that book has ended.  I loved it and highly recommend reading it.

~ Book/Purchase Links ~ 

Amazon: The Treemakers

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22036603-the-treemakers


Author Bio:

Christina L. Rozelle, author of the YA Dystopian-Scifi-Romance-Adventure, "The Treemakers," is a mother of four currently residing in Dallas, Texas. She enjoys fiction that shines a light in the dark; has emotion, intensity, verve, depth, and truth. She writes what she'd love to read. Though her focus is currently YA speculative fiction, she dabbles in other genres as well, including adult speculative, fantasy, addiction/recovery fiction, and other general fiction. To find out more about her, as well as links to her other social media outposts, please visit her fan-site: http://christinalrozelle.com/

Slow Cooker Recipes For Beginners Review and Giveaway




My slow cooker is probably one of the most underused appliances in my house.  I was so excited when we got it on sale when I was at home on maternity leave with Cat, it meant that we could continue to have great, home cooked meals once I went back to work.  Sadly, the prep for it seemed to take my longer than actually making a home cooked meal so it just sat on the counter collecting dust.

I did use it for Christmas though, boy can I make a great slow cooker ham.  Yummy!  Which frees up my oven to make a turkey if I want.  Anyway, fast forward to the opportunity to review this book, I want to use my slow cooker more.  The idea of coming home after working ten or twelve hours and not having to cook because it's ready is fantastic.  So I volunteered happily.

The first recipe I decided to test out was the roast because our family has a deep love of beef.


There it is all rubbed with spices and placed in the slow cooker, looks like it will be so good.


Here it is all covered in vegetables, love the tiny potatoes.  Sadly, I forgot to take a picture after it was done because it smelled so delicious that we just ate it without thinking and it was really good.

There were a lot more delicious sounding recipes in this book, I think next I am going to make a cheesecake because I had no idea that my slow cooker could even do that.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and they a giving a copy away to one of my readers as well.  You can enter below.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Humanity's Global Era Review




Book Description:

A new era is dawning. Within less than two decades a fundamental change has taken place in our lives. Humanity, which has so far existed in one defined world, now exists simultaneously in both a real and a virtual world. We have developed a parallel universe, one that exists, is significant, powerful and even threatening. We are all present in that world, and it has practical implications for all aspects of our lives.

This book deals with the Era of the Global Individual. It describes the Global Person’s formation process and addresses the ideological, educational and leadership challenges stemming from this new reality while offering practical tools for contending with them. These tools are based on innovative research dealing with the crossroads between research on emotions and technology, and the wisdom we have acquired through the ages.

Review:

I don't read a lot of non-fiction books, they just don't tend to hold my interest for very long.  The one kind of non-fiction books I do enjoy though are books on why people are the way they are or on the human condition.

This book was a fascinating look at how the world is evolving in large thanks to the internet and the powers of technology.  There was a lot that was very thought provoking.  It was great because I do tend to read a lot of fluffy stuff (by choice) and this was a nice change.  Have to work the brain every now and again.

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

Friday, March 6, 2015

Celebrate The Small Things: March 6, 2015



Celebrate the Small Things is hosted by Lexa Cain along with wonderful co- hosts Writing Off The Edge and The Cyborg Mom.

I have a lot of things I am celebrating this week both big and small, on the small side I got a start on my shoes for my Poison Ivy costume and they are working out better than I was worried that they might.

On the much bigger side, I made a decision on a wedding dress and went ahead with buying one.  It's a little more expensive (but not majorly) than I really wanted but it is everything I wanted so we will work out the budget somewhere else.  (like I will finally maybe get that Etsy store I have been talking about for five years up and running?)

This weekend we are going to check out our top choice for a wedding venue so we are all really excited about that.  I think Cat might be the most excited.  I am really happy that the kids are so happy to be involved in the whole process of helping us plan.

What are you guys celebrating today?

This is a blog hop, check out what everyone else had to celebrate this week here:

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Express Yourself: March 2 to March 6, 2015


The Express Yourself Weekly Meme is hosted Bouquet Of Books and Entertaining Interests.  This week's topic is: Who would narrate your life in a movie? (submitted by Debra @ The White Mage)

I love this question so much!  What a fun thing to think about, I would love to have a movie of my life made.  There are a few parts of it that would make for excellent story lines.

As for my choice for a narrator, it would have to be Peter Capaldi of course.  I couldn't imagine anyone better.  That accent is to die for.


Who would narrate the story of your life?

This is a blog hop, check out what everyone else has to say too:


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

One Upon A Rhyme Review



On “Once Upon A Rhyme: Lullaby Renditions Of Hip-Hop Classics”, Jammy Jams explores the melodies of old school hip-hop songs and brings them to life with calming renditions for parents to enjoy along with their babies. The parent can take a stroll down memory lane while creating brand new memories for baby. This album soothes the inner and outer soul. You will be amazed as you listen to soothing lullabies featuring the melodies of acclaimed old school hip-hop songs such as Run-D.M.C.’s “Rock Box” and Coolio’s “Gangstas’s Paradise”. The soothing sounds are what Jammy Jams is all about. Experience these popular tunes in a whole new way with baby today.

Review:

This was so much better than I thought it would be, I have heard lullaby renditions of songs I loved before and they were passably recognizable but not great.  Once Upon A Rhyme is really good, I uploaded it on my phone so that I would have it on the go as a break from the regular stuff I listen too.


Cat and Ace both thought it was excellent as well.  At first Cat was more interested in knowing where she could get a teddy bear that looks like that then anything else but she got into the music pretty fast as she is a Hip-Hop kind of girl.  Ace is actually pretty hard to please with music as he hates 90% of it, apparently though he loves lullabies.  Who knew?


The kids couldn't pick a favourite track from the album but mine was Hey Ya because I of that generation and it is one of my favourite songs. (let's just keep that between you and me)

Once Upon A Rhyme can be found here.

I received a copy of this album in exchange for an honest review.

Writing Fight Scenes Review





This is the bestselling original by Rayne Hall, published in 2011 and updated in 2015.

Learn step-by-step how to create fictional fights which leave the reader breathless with excitement.

The book gives you a six-part structure to use as blueprint for your scene. It reveals tricks how to combine fighting with dialogue, which senses to use when and how, how to create a sense of realism, and how to stir the reader's emotions.

You'll decide how much violence your scene needs, what's the best location, how your heroine can get out of trouble with self-defence and how to adapt your writing style to the fast pace of the action.

There are sections on female fighters, male fighters, animals and weres, psychological obstacles, battles, duels, brawls, riots and final showdowns.
For the requirements of your genre, there is even advice on how to build erotic tension in a fight scene, how magicians fight, how pirates capture ships and much more.

You will learn about different types of weapons, how to use them in fiction, and how to avoid embarrassing blunders.

Please note: This book assumes that you have some fiction writing experience. You'll benefit most if you've already mastered the basics of the craft and want to learn specialist techniques. It is not recommend for absolute beginners.

The book uses British English.

Review:

As many of you may know I have been having issues with my current work in progress (a modern fantasy novel) for a while, the ideas are there but getting them on to paper wasn't working for me because I was sticking in spots. Especially my combat scenes.

My main character (female) was in a situation that she needed to realistically get herself out of and no matter how well it happened in my head I just couldn't put it on paper.  Writing Fight Scenes helped me figure out where my problem was and how to work through it so the story was believable.

My favourite part of Rayne Hall's eBook though was the video links sprinkled through to illustrate the points that were made.  They really helped.

You can find Writing Fight Scenes by Rayne Hall on Amazon.

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