Thursday, September 15, 2016

Texas and Tiaras (The Book Cellar Mysteries 2)



Nobody in Herald Springs can believe that their small town served as the scene for a major criminal showdown. With the events of the annual gala behind them, they just want to get back to their normal lives, but the members of the local “drink and gossip club” know the drama is far from over.

Brooke’s got a stalker, Annabeth has a criminal mastermind bent on her destruction, and even Vi is being taken for a ride by someone she thought was her friend. If only they could turn to each other for help, things might not be so bad—but with the women at odds with one another and only Jesse in good graces with the rest of the group, that isn’t likely to happen any time soon.

Their world is going to hell in a hand basket, so why not throw a party to brighten everyone’s mood? With Ligia’s help, Brooke arranges a charity beauty pageant the town won’t soon forget, especially when the bad guys show up and attempt to finish what they started earlier that year…

My Impressions: 

Texas and Tiaras is the 2nd book of the Book Cellar Mystery collection, following Walker Texas Wife. I am hooked on this series. It took me forever to pick up and read the first book. I kept putting it off because the title really did not speak to me, but once I did I was trapped into the wonderful world created by this amazing author. The follow up book is just as amazing and wonderful as the first. I will say that without reading the first book, you really miss so much of the characters background and connecting stories that you cannot appreciate Texas and Tiaras to its full extent and potential. The authors do try and connect the stories, but having read the first one I felt so much was missing if you try and read this as a stand-alone book. I adore the way faith is worked into each of these stories in a gentle, nonjudgmental, real way. You see how faith works differently in each character and the struggles they have from adultery, domestic violence, relationships, friendship, etc. Overall the book is amazing and always leaves you with a great cliff hanger so you cannot wait for the next one to come out.

Pop Manga Coloring Book By: Camilla d’Errico



Coloring books are a great stress reliever for people of all ages. As a Social Worker, I use them for my personal self-care and recommend them to others.  I am not a real fan of Magna, but I have 3 teenagers that go crazy over it. So when I saw this book I knew I could not pass it up. The Manga coloring book is a wonderful addition for those who love animation, magna anime and the cute and bizarre. I adored the cute little animation at the bottom of the page that helped inspire the inner creative artist in each of us. I also noticed that the cover both outside and inside since all done in black and white can also be colored to add your own personal customized flare to your book.  There is so much creativity put into this coloring book that I was amazed. The book feels me a sense of curiosity, comfort, love, acceptance, pain, loneliness and acceptance. The artwork is excellent with a lot of free space to explore both inside and outside the lines J Easy book to recommend for all ages that enjoy coloring, relaxing and taking a break from life to escape to simpler enjoyments. 

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

THIS SUMMER

This Summer

Inside the Book:

Title: THIS SUMMER
Author: Katlyn Duncan
Publisher: Carina UK
Pages: 288
Genre: Upper YA/Contemporary Romance
Before college, before responsibilities, Hadley Beauman and best friend Lily are determined to have a summer to remember. There will be all the usual dramas – ex-boyfriends who don’t seem to know what ‘ex’ means, pesky younger brothers with unrequited crushes, but what Hadley didn’t anticipate was the out-of-the-blue return of the seriously hot boy-next-door, Will Carson. The boy who broke her heart when he skipped town two years ago.
Will may have shot up a foot and filled out (oh yes), but inside he carries the weight of guilt – for leaving, for coming back… Now he’s just passing through to tie up loose ends but it’s clear the old chemistry still crackles between him and Hadley. Trouble is, it’s built on two years of lies…
This summer might just be the best time of their lives, but is Hadley ready for everything to change – again?

My Impressions:
This was a great summer read book. It was pretty consistent with its pace and it had good character development with both the main and secondary characters.  Unlike some other summer books that I have read this one also dealt with some heavier topics on learning to let go of the past to move forward iwth your future. It also dealt with the issues surrounding forgiveness  and how not forgiving hurts you more than them. There were also quit a bit of relationship issues that were addressed in this book that help add to the plot  and the growth of the characters.

Will and Hadley were interesting to get to know. They were both flawed, and likeable characters. Hadley is the basic girl next door type, loving daughter, reliable friend and overall all American type of girl. She has a past like everyone else that she has to come to terms with before she can move on in life Will is the type of guy that everyone seems to love and that cannot do wrong. Will and Hadley are great except for the looming fears Will has over letting Hadley know about his past with his family.

Overall I enjoyed this book. For the most part it was a good read that I can recommend to others.
Thank you to the author for providing me with an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.
 
About the Author: 
 

Please post your review by August 27

Putting Out the Fire: Nurturing Mind, Body & Spirit in the First Week of Loss and Beyond

  • Paperback: 84 pages
  • Publisher: Helian Press Books (May 1, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0996309926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0996309929
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.

The phone rings - your breath falls away - and each moment becomes a lifetime. The death of someone significant in your world can rewrite the scope and breadth of who you are. But in this exact moment of decisions, questions, family stress, and legalities, what do you do first and how do you cope? When author Claire M. Schwartz lost her mother suddenly when she was 24, she experienced this exact thought process. But with all the misinformation out there about Grief & Loss, and without tools that actually made her feel better, she fell apart. After 20+ years on her healing journey, and over two dozen more losses, she brings you the Truths that no one will tell you and the Tools to truly bring you support and clarity in the initial hours and days following a death. In this slim and personal book, you will learn: - How to practice Self-Care during this intense emotional time - The Ten Tall Tales of Grief & Loss ™ - the things we get told that may be well-meaning, but can be so hurtful and destructive - how to respond and plus compassionate ideas that will better support you - Who to trust and who to avoid, in the near-term and the long-term - How to manage funeral arrangements, the legal bits and all those details that can make you nuts, but must be done - Ways to celebrate your loved one, as well as what to do when the deceased was not so loved..... - What to focus on after the first week, and what to expect in the longer term We all experience loss in life - but what is very difficult to find is truthful advice that makes sense, and practical tools that anyone can use. This book tackles both, with compassion and clear practicality, with heart and with wisdom. There is no other book out there that focuses solely on this first, most-intense and exhausting period. It will support you when you need it most and get your healing journey started on the right foot.

 My Impressions

As a social worker I love getting the opportunity to review books that I can use to help other with. When I saw this book by Claire Schwartz, I knew I could not pass it up. Working with hospice patients I deal with patients, families and loved one's that are dealing with accepting loss both before and after death. Even though this was a short book, it was filled with great advice and information that was practical and insightful. No one wants to read a 300 page book on this topic. They want something short, to the point and helpful. 

No one really teaches anyone to deal with loss, until you are in the midst of it. By that point you want something real, insightful and practical as you navigate through one of the toughest parts of life. Ms. Schwartz understands this.   Covering topics such as self care, taking care of legal and business needs to the different behaviors you might see from others. I really appreciated the time the author spent on making sure that each individual knows that their emotions and feels are valid. It is ok to be angry, sad, fearful, etc. There is no "right" emotion to feel when you are grieving, what is important is that you are tru to yourself and that you can grow from and understand your feelings. 

This book was written in an easy to follow format that would be a excellent resource for both families experiencing grief and those who are trying to help them walk through that grief. 

Biography

Claire M. Schwartz is from the Detroit suburbs and comes from a place she calls The Dark Ugly™. She lived in a lovely town, went to a private school for gifted kids, and had cultured and educated parents. Yet Grief & Loss have followed her as long as she can remember - trauma, violence, & neglect - loss of safety and security, loss of confidence, loss of grandparents, friends and animal companions, loss of health, opportunity and sense of place in the world. The pivot point of her life was the sudden death of her mother in 1995, which changed her world forever. Yet recovery was painstakingly slow, wrapped up in misinformation, confusion and more pain. After years of therapy, failures and mistakes, her life's goal has been to find the answers that made no sense when her healing journey began. Now more than 20 years and 30+ losses on, she is bringing all that she has learned into one slim and powerful volume, in the hope that you suffer less than she did on her healing quest.

Claire holds a BA in psychology from the University of Michigan, is a Spiritual Counselor, Reiki Master Teacher, Certified Professional Coach and Interfaith Minister. She is happily married in New Jersey, surrounded by cats, great food and the best of friends.

 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Luminis Thoughts Tour: Tangled Thoughts (The Sententia, #3)

This event takes place August 22 – 29, 2016

luminis facebook banner (2) Welcome to another exciting tour with Novel Publicity. This time with author Cara Bertrand and her series The Sententia & the release of the third book in the series, Tangled Thoughts! This tour is classic Novel Publicity event, featuring a rafflecopter with special swag, paperbacks from the author and an Amazon gift card as well as spotlight posts, reviews from bloggers and more! Since this book is a series, we’ve recruited bloggers and readers from around the web to read and review all the Sententia books & help the author celebrate the release of Book 3, Tangled Thoughts!

My Review 

 Tangled thoughts is the third book in the Sententia series and the first book I have read by author Cara Bertrand. I was pleasantly surprised by this book.  The book continues to follow Laney and Carter's life as they learn to navigate both alone and work past issues they had together. We also get a deeper look into sho the Sentenia is what role Lainey plays.  I really enjoyed getting the different points of view in the story.  It really help add a more thorough understanding of what was going on in each of the characters minds.  At first I was really disappointed in the ending of this book because I had such a huge cliffhanger, but then after reading all the reviews I realize that this is not the final book but there still is one more to come. Hopefully that book will tie everything together and answer the questions that I have after reading this one,  because I felt like there was no real resolution to the conflict that was going on within the story. Overall there's great character development the story is solidly wrote but has an element that you expect from a paranormal book along with a little bit of mystery romance. 

 Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it anyway. All opinions expressed on my own. 

lost in thoughtBook 1: Lost in Thought Lainey Young has a secret: she’s going crazy. Everyone else thinks she has severe migraines from stress and exhaustion. What she really has are visions of how people died—or are going to die. Not that she tells anyone that. At age 16, she prefers keeping her crazy to herself. When doctors insist she needs a new and stable environment to recover, Lainey’s game to spend two years at a private New England boarding school. She doesn’t really think it will cure her problem, and she’s half right. There is no cure, but as she discovers, she’s not actually crazy. Almost everyone at Northbrook Academy has a secret too. Half the students and nearly all the staff are members of the Sententia, a hidden society of the psychically gifted. A vision of another student’s impending death confirms Lainey is one of them. She’d like to return the crappy gift of divining deaths with only a touch, but enjoys spending time with Carter Penrose—recent Academy graduate and resident school crush—while learning to control it. Lainey’s finally getting comfortable with her ability, and with Carter, when they uncover her true Sententia heritage. Now she has a real secret. Once it’s spilled, she’ll be forced to forget protecting secrets and start protecting herself.

Book 2: Second Thoughts

second thoughtsThe continuing adventures of an ordinary teenage girl with extraordinary mental abilities, perfect for readers who love books and series such as Vampire Academy, Spellbound, and Sweet Peril. Secrets, lies, and looming deaths—all things Lainey Young deals with in a typical day of high school. In her senior year at Northbrook Academy—a New England boarding school where the majority of the students and nearly all the staff are members of the Sententia, a hidden society of the psychically gifted—Lainey has even more to worry about. Things like classes, college, her boyfriend, and, of course, the vision she glimpsed of her impending death. But to her surprise, Lainey finds one worry she can cross off her list, namely Senator Daniel Astor, the leader of the Sententia. After a shocking discovery when they finally meet, Lainey realizes maybe she was wrong to distrust the Senator. She relaxes even further when he seems to accept her refusal to work for him after graduation. But with her secrets mounting and the time to solve them running out, there’s a final enigma Lainey hasn’t yet encountered: Daniel Astor doesn’t take no for an answer. Ever.

Book 3: Tangled Thoughts

tangled thoughtsHigh school graduation is a time for goodbyes, new beginnings, and if you’re Lainey Young, narrowly escaping with your life. Forced to leave behind both Northbrook Academy and Carter Penrose, Lainey believes she’s earned her freedom—from the eyes of the Perceptum and Daniel Astor’s schemes. Meeting handsome and very persistent Teaching Assistant Jack Kensington the first week of college complicates everything, including her feelings. College and flirtations with Jack help Lainey put all things Sententia behind her. But when her aunt arrives for a visit, with an unexpected guest and even more unexpected news, Lainey’s tenuous control over her life snaps. Once again, she’s linked to everything she thought she left behind. And this time, there’s no escape. Growing up, Carter Penrose thought he knew a thing or two about heartbreak—namely that it sucks—but he never knew exactly how much until losing Lainey. His life moves in a totally unplanned direction and he finds himself with a new home, new job, and even a surprising new girlfriend, all thanks to Daniel Astor. But just when Carter feels settled in the DC world of politics, a visit home to Northbrook brings up unexpected questions—about what happened at graduation and everything he believed about his Uncle Dan. When tragedy brings Lainey and Carter face to face for the first time since summer, their lives have never felt more separate. Lies drove them apart. Will the truth bring them together?
 
Love the books and can’t wait for more? Did you know about these two extras? Click the book covers below to find out more!
afterhtoughtthougths yes                

About the Author

CB headshotCara is a former middle school literacy teacher who now lives in the woods outside Boston with: one awesome husband, two large dogs, one small daughter and lots of words. Lost in Thought is her first novel and was one of three finalists for the 2011 Amazon/Penguin Breakthrough Novel Award in the Young Adult category. Connect with Cara on her website and at Luminis Books.

Get all Cara’s books on Amazon by visiting her author page.

Enter the Rafflecopter for your chance at great prizes!

 http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2e77192108/?

Enlightenment by Liz Keel





GENRE: Fantasy/YA

After losing everything, all seventeen-year-old Thea wanted was to be a normal teenager. Instead, she was attacked by a mysterious creature she thought only existed in fairy tales. Now thrown into the unknown realm of Faey, Thea is forced to determine the difference between reality and fantasy, in a world ruled by a dark elite and a society wracked by intolerance and prejudice. With the support of her new friends and a mysterious dark haired, blue-eyed guardian watching her every move, Thea will discover that when it comes to Faey, nothing is what it seems. Will her courage and desire to save this new world from darkness be enough? Or will Thea be the next victim to fall to the dark whispers of fate...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Liz Keel will be awarding 2 randomly drawn commenters each a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC via rafflecopter during the tour.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
"Publisher's Giveaway"

Publisher's link to a Rafflecopter giveaway

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT:

“No!” I screamed. It had happened again. This was the fourth night in a row I had

woken up with a start, beads of sweat dampening my forehead and a sick feeling

swirling in my stomach. Rubbing my face whilst trying to sit up I thought back to the

same terrifying dream that had been haunting me for weeks now. Not that I expected it

to be any other way. I mean, watching your parents die in a car crash will have that

effect on you. The difference was that I was supposed to have died. I know it sounds

crazy but there was no way I should have survived that; yet I had, and I was sure that

the only reason I was still alive was because of the bright light that had emanated from

my body.


We were supposed to have been setting off on a three-month expedition around India,

but only got as far as our local town in Montana before it happened. One minute I was

sitting in the back of the car fiddling with my iPod and the next second I’d heard Mom

screaming. I’d looked up just in time to see a car skidding along on the road before it

hit us side-on, flipping us into a ditch. Even now the fear I’d felt at the time – the fear

of what was to come – still swallows me whole. Time had seemed to slow down as I

had watched my mom and dad being thrown around as the car had turned upside

down. Our screams had been overwhelming and I’d been reaching my breaking point,

when suddenly all went silent and I had been engulfed in a bright, orange glow that

had blinded me. Everything after that was hazy. I remember smacking my head on the

window, which had been followed by an unbearable pain that had made my skull feel

as though it would explode. I put my hand to my forehead, feeling a warm and sticky

liquid trickling down the side of my face. Putting my hand out in front of me, I saw it

was blood, but my fuzzy brain couldn’t comprehend what I was seeing. It was at that

point black spots started to creep into my vision, making everything seem blurry.

Then, however much I tried to stay awake, the darkness won and I slipped out of

consciousness.

   

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I live in Surrey, England, a short walk from the beautiful Windsor Park, with my husband Richard and our two gorgeous children Noah and Olivia. For me, writing is nothing short of an addiction and I often find myself sneaking out to my writing shed for just a few minutes, which can often turn into hours of pure, unadulterated bliss catching up with my characters and continuing their story. In-between writing, I teach in a primary school where there’s never a dull moment! I will also often be found Kindle in hand, reading a wide variety of genres but with YA fantasy and paranormal romance at the forefront of my reading list. Although I’m currently writing the second book in the Driel trilogy, other characters involving all things fantasy, paranormal and YA romance are jockeying for position, wanting me to write their story next, so watch this space! It is such a privilege to share my stories with you the reader. Thank you enough for taking the time to find out more about me.
To find out more about Liz, visit her website: www.lizkeelauthor.com

Enlightenment will be $0.99 during the tour.
Purchase Links:

Extra links: