[Book Review] Doll House by John Hunt @JohnHuntFiction @brwpublisher #Mystery #Thrillers #Horror


Doll House by John Hunt

* I received a copy from the publishers via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion*

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Horror

Publication Date: January 19, 2017

Publisher: Black Rose Writing

Synopsis

Olivia is excited for university. She will be on her own, in a new place hopeful to meet new friends.

On the night she moves in, she is taken off the street by two masked men. She is placed in a room which is little more than a cell. A pink cell. A room made for a doll. She is now part of their collection.

Goodreads

My Thoughts

What should have been an exciting time in Olivia’s life, quickly turns into her worst nightmare.  

Olivia goes away for university and gets taken away by two masked men before she even makes it to her first day of class.

For five years, she is held prisoner in a pink room with furniture bolted to the floor where she is raped and tortured.  

This was a very gruesome and disturbing story..like something out of a horror movie.  We are quickly introduced to the Gorilla & Jackal.  The two masked men who enjoy inflicting pain by mutilating their victims and eating their body parts.

Initially I wanted to rate this book a 3 because of all the grammatical errors I found.  But the story was so intoxicating, I decided to give it a 4.  There were times I felt my adrenaline rush, but there were also times I found myself having to stop reading because it was starting to get inside my head.  This is definitely not for the light hearted.

For me, the best part was wanting to know if the Jackal would ever get caught and revealing who he was.  

The author did a great job of taking the reader through the emotional journey of Harry, Olivia and the Jackal. 

If you can handle the graphic nature of this novel, I highly recommend it.

My Rating ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Have you read Doll House? What did you think? If not, is this a book you think you would read based on the content?


[#BookReview] The Nest By Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney @CynthiaDSweeney @eccobooks

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Genre: General Fiction

Publication Date: March 22, 2016

What It’s About

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs’ joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.

Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and looming college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love? Or will everyone need to reimagine the futures they’ve envisioned? Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.

-Goodreads

My Thoughts

I had read some mixed reviews about this, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  But it was on sale on iBooks during Boxing Day, so I decided to give it a shot.  Glad I did, cause I was pleasantly surprised.

The story begins with Leo sneaking away from a wedding with a hot young waitress.  He then gets into an accident which jeopardizes his siblings’ inheritance called ‘The Nest’.  That’s when we’re introduced to the rest of the plumb siblings: Jack, Melody & Bea (Beatrice).

Each sibling has their own financial problem and secret they’re hiding from their spouse, and need that money..fast! 

The book centres around the wealthy and dysfunctional Plumb family.  All 4 siblings are spoiled and have some sort of drama in their lives which involve either lying or cheating.  

I loved how each character, even the ones outside the family circle were somehow connected.  Each person had their own story which kept things interesting.  However, because there was so much going on, I found it hard to really connect with any of the characters at first.  It was a bit predictable where Leo was concerned, but there were some events that took place that I didn’t see coming.  In the end, everything works out which is what I wanted to see.

My Rating 

❤️❤️❤️❤️


[Book Review] Talking Tales: Cricket’s Guitar by Erica Graham @EricaGrahamAuthor#kidlit #ChildrensBooks

Talking Tales: Cricket’s Guitar by Erica Graham

**I received a copy in exchange for my honest opinion**

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Publication Date: Sept 16, 2016

Synopsis

When Teri hears a small voice calling her, she never would have guessed who she would meet…a cricket! But not just any cricket. This cricket has a guitar. He is hoping that Teri can help him replace a broken string on his guitar. Will Teri’s creative thinking be able to help cricket, or will cricket never play his guitar again? 

My Thoughts

This was a cute little story about a cricket who needs a new string for his guitar.  It teaches the ‘T’ sound, which is a great way to get your little one learning different letter sounds.

One of my boys has absolutely zero interest in doing school work, unless it involves colouring or pictures of superheroes.  He will however, sit through story time.  So this was a really great way to sneak a lesson in the sound of the letter ‘T’.

My Rating

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Purchase Link: Amazon



My name is Erica Graham and I am the author of the children’s book series “Talking Tales”. I graduated from Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville with my Master of Science Degree in Speech-Language Pathology. I also hold my Certificate of Clinical Competence with the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. In addition to being a speech-language pathologist, I am married and have two very loving and energetic young children. As a mother, I understand the difficulty caregivers have finding time to work on speech with their children. This was the inspiration that began my journey as a children’s book author and illustrator. In my pursuit to create a fun and easy way for therapists, children, and their caregivers to enhance speech development while promoting literacy, I have written a series of exciting children’s books. Each book focuses on a core sound used in the English language.Outside of writing and working as a Speech Language Pathologist, I enjoy spending time outdoors with my husband and daughters, volunteering with the youth group at church, and a good cup of tea.


[Book Review] If You Were Me And Lived In Ancient Greece @caroleproman #KidLit #ChildrensBooks

If You Were Me and Lived in Ancient Greece by Carole P. Roman

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

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Publication Date: March 24, 2016

Synopsis

Join Carole P. Roman and travel through time to visit the most interesting civilizations throughout history in the first four books of her new series. 

Learn what kind of food you might eat in Ancient Greece, the clothes you wore in 15th century Renaissance Italy, what your name could be in Elizabethan England, and what Colonial American children did for fun.

My Thoughts
In this story, Roman takes you on a journey of what it was like to live in Ancient Greece.  You get to learn fun facts like Greek Gods, table manners and culture.

My daughter A has ADD and is homeschooled.  It has been quite the challenge getting her interested in world history and geography.  Like me, she LOVES to read and collect books!  So I was very excited to learn of Roman’s If You Were Me and Lived In..series. It was the perfect way to teach a history lesson without being bombarded with too much information all at once.  Even my 4 year old was able to sit through it!  We really enjoyed the illustrations and the fact that some of the more difficult words included how to pronounce it properly.  

I look forward to reading some of the other books in this series.

My Rating 

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️


Carole P. Roman is the award-winning author of the Captain No Beard series. Both Captain No Beard-An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life and Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis have received the Kirkus Star of Exceptional Merit. The first book in the series was named to Kirkus Reviews Best 2012. Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis has just been named to Kirkus Reviews Best of 2015. Each book in the series has won numerous awards including the NABE Pinnacle Award, ERIK Award for 2013, ForeWord Review Five Star and Finalist in the Book of the Year, and Reader’s Views Children’s Book of the Year 2013, Shelf Unbound Best Series, Back to School Resource Winner, IAN, National Indie Excellence Award, MoonBeam Award for If You Were Me and Lived in…Scotland. She is also the author of the award-winning non-fiction culture series If You Were Me and Lived in…exploring customs and culture around the world. She co-authored Navigating Indieworld: A Beginner’s Guide To Self-Publishing and Marketing Your Book, which earned a 5 Star ForeWord Review Clarion Review. Roman lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children and grandchildren.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

[Book Review] #TheBoneWitch by Rin Chupeco

I received an ARC from Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: YA, Sci-fi, Fantasy

Publisher: SOURCEBOOKS Fire

Publication Date: March 7, 2017

Synopsis

Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.
In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha-one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.
Goodreads

My Thoughts

*Sigh* When I read the description for this book, I had high hopes and was super excited to get a copy.

The story had a really great start.  We are introduced to Tea, who turns out to be a Bone Witch and accidentally raises her brother from the dead.  Because this is shunned upon in her village, she ends up leaving with an older bone witch who trains her to become an Asha.

After the witch takes Tea, the story becomes slow..too slow for my liking.  Nothing really happens after that (no joke), which was disappointing.  I was expecting a much faster paced book about witches and dark magic. One that would be packed with action.  Instead, I got more of a story about Geisha.  Had I known this ahead of time, I wouldn’t have chosen this particular book. I also thought it was a bit too descriptive which made me lose interest.  Unfortunately, I did not end up finishing this book, which is a shame because I really wanted to like it.

It may not have been my cuppa ‘Tea’, but it could be yours.

My Rating

❤️

Have you read this book or any others from this author? Thoughts?

[Review] The Recipe Hacker Confidential by Diana Keuilian #GlutenFree #SoyFree #DairyFree @RHealthyRecipes @BenBellaBooks

I’d like to thank Netgalley & BenBella Books.  I received a copy of this cookbook in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

I’m not perfect-not at eating healthy or anything else!

Since I live a soy free, nut free and gluten free life, it can sometimes be a challenge to prep meals or find recipes that can accommodate our food restrictions/allergies.

As soon as I saw this book, I was intrigued and knew I wanted to get my hands on it.

To be honest, I usually skim through the introduction. Sometimes I don’t even bother reading it and jump right into the recipes.  However, this was one of the few cookbooks where I actually took an interest to the author and read the intro.  I love that Diana is an everyday mom like myself.  She’s not a health freak, doctor or someone with a list of nutrition degrees.  She’s just a regular person who happens to know and appreciate good food.  I’m a foodie, so delicious meals and desserts are a must which can be tough when it comes to gluten-free goodies.  I’ve come across quite a few unsuccessful gluten-free recipes lately, so this book was perfect! Since I also happen to have a 4 year old who’s a picky eater, he was the perfect person to put these recipes to the test.

The best part about this book is that the recipes are very easy to follow. No training necessary.  Even my 10 year old can do it!

I’m not technical and I use the least amount of precision necessary.

 Some favourites were:

• Crab Cake Eggs Benedict

• Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

• 3 Ingredient Pancakes

•Garlic Herb Chicken Tenders 

•Crispy Fish

•Vanilla pudding

Whether you have food allergies like me, or you’re looking to make a healthier change in your diet, I would recommend checking out this book!


Diana Keuilian is passionate about creating wholesome versions of your favorite foods. She removes the gluten, dairy, soy, grains and cane sugar from traditional comfort food recipes like cake, tacos, cookies, waffles, enchiladas and more. This hobby propelled her to start the popular blog, RealHealthyRecipes.com, where she shares hundreds of delicious recipes and mouthwatering photos. She lives in Southern California with her husband and two young children.

 

PNR, Urban Fantasy & Dystopian Giveaway Party

Welcome to the PNR, Urban Fantasy & Dystopian Party!

This giveaway is brought to you by 22 fabulous Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Dystopian authors!In this giveaway, EVERYONE who enters will win TWENTY-TWO FREE – EXCLUSIVE – ebooks by the sponsoring authors (to be delivered at the conclusion of the giveaway), and one GRAND PRIZE
winner will also receive a $1000 Amazon Gift Card! The Winner will be announced on April 1st at our Facebook Event. The winner will also receive an email directly.

There will ALSO be other prizes and giveaways happening at that event between now and our Grand Prize announcement! So make sure you mark yourself as attending so you don’t miss those great opportunities to win more prizes and snag more freebies!

Here’s a sneak peek from one of the sponsors: 

Numbers Game- by award-winning author Rebecca Rode

 

A citizen girl someone’s trying to kill. A hot military slave with a mysterious past. A dangerous game that changes everything. 

In futuristic America, everyone wears a number. Treena’s as ready for Rating Day as anyone can be—she’s a top contender in Level Three school and has a highly-rated boyfriend. But when her number is announced, it shocks everyone.

To get her life and boyfriend back, Treena must go undercover and expose a military spy. Doesn’t sound too hard, except that someone wants her dead. And then there’s Vance, the mysterious soldier with a haunted past and gorgeous brown eyes. Together, they discover a dark numbers conspiracy, one that shatters the nation’s future. Treena must join up with Vance if she is to survive the dangerous game of numbers—and the terrible war that rages within her heart.

From #1 bestselling (U.S.), international bestselling (UK), & award-winning author Rebecca Rode (LUW Best YA Novel). Fans who love futuristic thrillers and dystopian sci-fi adventure stories will enjoy this action-packed mystery with a dash of romance. This is book one of the bestselling Numbers Game Saga. 

“Gripping, from beginning to end . . . a tale as action-packed as Divergent yet as introspective as The Giver. . . . Sure to be an instant classic in the genre.” 

–R.J. Craddock, author of The Children of Cain series

“Best dystopian fiction I have read since Red Queen!”

-Sheri, Reader

“WOW! I loved this story. From start to finish it was fast-paced with interesting characters.”

-Tina, Amazon Reviewer

“This book was amazing! It captivated me from page one and kept me wanting more, even at the end! It’s got the deepness of The Giver, with the excitement of the Uglies series, or the Hunger Games. It has romance, but it’s not just another love story, it really digs deep . . . I would recommend this to anyone, literally anyone.”

-Kat, Amazon Reviewer

“Better than Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies.”

–Karen Pellett, Reviewer

 Magazine: “Built on a brilliant, if grim idea, the author reveals twists and turns gradually: building interests and enthusiasm with it! The idea of a number defining your worth, and then it being exposed to everyone’s eyes is horrifying, and the breakdown readers see Treena going through illuminates that perfectly. She has been stripped of respect and Numbers Game deals equally with her inner world battlefield of discovering herself again and the outer world one of surviving. It’s balanced wonderfully. . . . Offers new things to the world of YA and there is much to look forward to in the next books.”

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE!

Favourite Books To Read Growing Up

I was a geek growing up.  Reading was my favourite thing to do and obviously still is.  I was always at the library since buying books back then was expensive, and let’s face it.. Allowance back then was SO not the same as what kids get these days.  

Now that I have get to share story time with my own kids, it got me reminiscing about my childhood favourites:

1. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch


2. The Monster at the end of this book by Jon Stone


3. Freckle Juice by Judy Blume

4. The Babysitters Club by Ann M. Martin


5. Books by Christopher Pike


6. Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling

7. Archie Comics


8. Books by V.C. Andrews


9. Books by Roald Dahl


10. The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S Lewis


What was one of your favourites? What was your favourite thing to do as a kid?

Book Review: Kissing The Crisis

Middle age is when you’ve met so many people that every new person you meet reminds you of someone else

-Ogden Nash


Kissing the Crisis by Kara Martinez Bachman

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review

Genre: Humor

Publish Date: February 1, 2017

What It’s About

Ever wonder what life is like past your 40’s?  We all hear about the “mid-life crisis”.  In this book, Kara candidly shares her many adventures and stories of what it’s like to be a woman in your forties and going through that mid-life crisis we all hear about.

My Thoughts

Bring out the Bengay and glitter ladies! We’re about to embark on Kara’s adventures of being forty-something.

I’ve been in need of a good chuckle, and this was just what I needed.  So maybe I’m not quite 40 or have any use for Bengay..yet.  But I’m close enough and found myself giggling and relating to Kara at the same time.

The days with only one child underfoot were suddenly free of the complications and competitions of sibling rivalry, free of endless comparing of grilled cheese sandwiches to see whose was better melted.


Women just need to let crazy-lady loose.

We find creative ways to let loose, whether we have children or not.  We find the particular restaurant, the particular bar, dance club or the movie theatre or the park bench that makes us feel like teenagers again.

When you marry in your twenties and start a family young like myself, you find yourself in some of the same predicaments as Kara.

I loved that each chapter included a quote to match the title, and could be read as a standalone.  Even though there were times I skimmed through some of the stories, there were others that made me laugh even if I couldn’t relate to the incident like, Wonder Bread for Frenchmen, Pancho Villa and the Mexican Boat People or Screwed by Warranty

Whether you’re a woman in her forties about to experience that mid-life crisis or a mom with tween aged kids, I would recommend Kissing the Crisis.

Where To Find It:

Amazon

My Rating

Hey, y’all. I was born and raised in New Orleans and when you hear me speak, you can kinda tell (yep … I’m a yat).  
My essays have appeared in The Writer, Funny Times, and I’ve been heard on NPR’s State of the Re:Union, where they inserted blues music behind my voice in a feeble attempt to make me seem cool. I’m former staff and a current freelancer for the New Orleans Times-Picayune and NOLA.com, where I primarily cover entertainment and home and garden stories.

My essays, poetry and nonfiction reporting have been included in several anthologies, numerous parenting magazines, and a variety of regional, national and foreign publications, websites and literary journals. 

I’m a married mom to two kids. I love donuts, dogs, kahlua, laughing, complaining, sloth, nostalgia, most words, and that feeling you get the second before you sneeze. I curse more than I should and am usually antisocial. People make fun of how I drive.

Website | Twitter | Facebook






One Lovely Blogger Award

A big thank you to The Purple Almond for nominating me! She blogs about food to heal your body, mind and soul.  So head on over and check it out.

RULES:

1. Thank the person who nominated you & provide a link to their blog.

2. Post about the award.

3. Share 7 facts about yourself.

4. Nominate bloggers

7 Facts About Me

1.  I used to be a Dental Hygienist.

2. I have 4 kids & 3 Yorkies.

3. I’m addicted to junk food.

4. I married my hubby & partner in crime when I was 22.

5. I’ve experienced paranormal activity many times throughout my life.

6. I have a phobia of bugs.  Especially the ones that can fly. I scream like a girl..maybe cause I am one. Lol.

7. I went to an all girl high school.

So instead of listing my nominees, I’m going to open this up to everyone and would like to hear from all of you readers!

Tell me in my comments, one interesting fact about you. And…go!