Saturday, February 28, 2015

February Recap 2015

Gosh golly, where did the time go??All I can really remember about Februrary is my daughter's obsession with Batman and Robin. She is, of course, Robin ;) I've been designated Batman, but just today she upgraded me to Batgirl. Daddy was just 'football' until a few days ago when he became 'ManBat', which YES is a real character. And because you are so gosh darned lucky:
*kissy face!*

Friday, February 27, 2015

Both of Me {Review}

Both of Me
Both of Me by Jonathon Friesen
Visit the Author's website HERE
Publisher: Blink
Publishing Date: December 23, 2014

It was supposed to be just another flight, another escape into a foreign place where she could forget her past, forget her attachments. Until Clara found herself seated next to an alluring boy named Elias Phinn—a boy who seems to know secrets she has barely been able to admit to herself for years.

When her carry-on bag is accidentally switched with Elias’s identical pack, Clara uses the luggage tag to track down her things. At that address she discovers there is not one Elias Phinn, but two: the odd, paranoid, artistic, and often angry Elias she met on the plane, who lives in an imaginary world of his own making called Salem; and the kind, sweet, and soon irresistible Elias who greets her at the door, and who has no recollection of ever meeting Clara at all. As she learns of Elias’s dissociative identity disorder, and finds herself quickly entangled in both of Elias’s lives, Clara makes a decision that could change all of them forever. She is going to find out what the Salem Elias knows about her past, and how, even if it means playing along with his otherworldly quest. And she is going to find a way to keep the gentle Elias she’s beginning to love from ever disappearing again.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

10 Things I would Rather Do Than Read (or Watch) 50 Shades of Grey



I make no bones about the fact that I hate 50 Shades of Grey. I hate what it says about women, our culture, and literature. I just can't justify watching a woman being beaten and demoralized when thousands of women around the globe have to suffer this way against their will.

So, before I go off further on a soapbox moment, I will share 10 Things I Would Rather Do Than Read (or Watch) 50 Shades of Grey.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Crimson Cord Review

The Crimson Cord: Rahab's Story (Daughters of the Promised Land #1)
The Crimson Cord: Rahab's Story
by Jill Eileen Smith
Daughters of the Promised Land Book #1
Visit the Author's website HERE
Publisher: Revell
Publishing Date: February 17, 2015
Wife to a gambler who took one too many risks, Rahab finds herself sold as a slave to cover her husband's debt. Forced into prostitution by Dabir, counselor to the Syrian king, Rahab despairs of ever regaining her freedom and her self-respect. But when Israelite spies enter Jericho and come to lodge at her house, Rahab sees a glimmer of hope and the opportunity of a lifetime. In one risky moment, she takes a leap of faith, puts her trust in a God she does not know, and vows to protect the spies from the authorities. When the armies of Israel arrive weeks later, Rahab hopes they will keep their promise, but she has no idea what kind of challenges await her outside Jericho's walls--or if she will ever know the meaning of love.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Gathering Frost Review



Gathering Frost (Once Upon A Curse #1)
Gathering Frost (Once Upon A Curse #1)
Release Date: 02/17/15
Will his kiss be enough to revive her frozen heart?


Once Upon A Time meets La Femme Nikita in GATHERING FROST, a dystopian romance from bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis that reimagines the classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty.

Jade was only a little girl when the earthquake struck. Before her eyes, half of New York City disappeared, replaced by a village that seemed torn out of a storybook. Horses and carriages. Cobblestone streets. A towering castle. And, above all, a queen with the magical ability to strip emotions away.

Ten years later and Jade has forgotten what it is to feel, to care...even to love. Working as a member of the queen's guard, she spends most of her time on the city wall staring at the crumbling skyscrapers of old New York. But everything changes when the queen's runaway son, Prince Asher, returns. Jade is tasked with an unusual mission--to let the Prince capture her, to make him trust her, and then to betray his secrets to the crown. In return, she'll earn her freedom. But life outside the queen's realm is more than Jade bargained for. Under Asher's relentless taunts, her blood begins to boil. Under his piercing gaze, her heart begins to flutter. And the more her icy soul begins to thaw, the more Jade comes to question everything she's ever known--and, more importantly, whose side she's really on. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

2015 Usborne Titles I Can't Wait to Get My Hands On


It was extremely hard to limit myself to just ten books. So I've shared 11 :) But, in my defense, I already have two of the books I just needed to share. Thank goodness I know the book community understands my need to squeal over these cute books and won't frown on my desire to own them all!

Picture of 365 Science Activities
-A Winter 2014 mid-season title that I still haven't gotten for myself yet. Why not?! This book is awesome! Full of fun, easy activities to do with kiddos...or just for yourself :)

Picture of Big Dressing Up Sticker Book
Oh wait...I already bought this one :) I'm going to have great fun with Baby Girl as we work on our dexterity and imagination together! 

Picture of Children's Cupcake Kit
Uh, isn't it obvious?? Comes with a recipe book, cupcake wrappers, and toppers! ADORABLE!!

Picture of Dollhouse Sticker Book Country House
Okay, it would be a long time until Baby Girl could use this one. It is for older kids, probably 6 years and older. But ... I've been missing Downton Abbey and this would quench that thirst :)

Picture of Gardening for Beginners - IL
This one hasn't officially hit the Internet shelves yet, but I am actually wildly excited for it. I have a notorious black thumb. My hubby has tried a few herbs with mild success. This would do both of us good! 

Picture of Illustrated Bible Stories
Awww, that cover is SO cute! I haven't seen this one yet, so I can't confirm if it really needs to be for children 8+ as the website claims. But Baby Girl needs to grow up with this one.

Picture of Jessica's Box
This is an adorable story about a little girl who is so shy that she invents a way to make herself interesting. Slowly she learns, she only needs herself.

Picture of Magic Painting Book
Another one that isn't technically out yet. But...can I buy several copies??

Picture of Little Children's Rainy Day Activity Book
Or in Minnesota, the Snowy Day activity book. 

Picture of Very First Book of Things to Spot
Okay, another one that I already have :) But Baby Girl LOVES it. It is great for facilitating conversations, learning new words, counting, and the illustrations are adorable.

Picture of Step-by-Step Drawing Animals
I admit, this one is totally just for me. I bought 'Step-by-Step Drawing People' last summer as I was running out of ideas of things to draw on the driveway with Baby Girl. I need to complete the collection, right??

Earning free and discounted titles is easy, contact me to get started :) Which of these titles would you love to get your hands on?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Thousand Pieces of You Review

A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1)
A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
Book One in the Firebird Series
Visit the Author's website HERE
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publishing Date: November 4, 2014
Goodreads Summary:

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Return to Exile Review

Return to Exile (The Carthage Chronicles, #2)
Return to Exile by Lynne Gentry
The Carthage Chronicles #2 
Visit the author's website HERE
Publisher: Howard Books
Publishing Date: January 6, 2015
Goodreads Summary: 

Monday, February 16, 2015

TRUEST Cover Reveal

Meet Jackie Lea Sommers, MN's newest, prettiest writer:

 
Jackie Lea Sommers is a young adult author who lives in Minnesota, where the people are nice and the Os are long. She is the 2013 winner of the Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing. Her first novel Truest will be published by HarperCollins in September 2015.
Jackie grew up on a hobby farm but has made the Twin Cities her home for nearly 15 years after moving there to study creative writing at the University of Northwestern. She hates OCD, horcruxes, and Minnesota winters. She loves Jesus, Augustus Waters, and Minnesota springs.
Cover Reveal: Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers
Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers
Add to your Goodreads Shelf!! 

FINAL MEET THE CHARACTERS


--Shamelessly stealing all information from Jackie's Blog


Friday, February 13, 2015

Least Favorite Covers of 2014

Sometimes....they just don't work. Covers don't always draw you in. Or, too frequently, they depict something that doesn't fit with the story. In no particular order, these are the ones that could use a redo.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Quick Review for Mature Eyes


10 Ideas to Inspire Red Hot Sex: A Hot Mama Challenge
10 Ideas to Inspire Red Hot Sex
by Kathi Lipp and Erin MacPherson
Website and Podcast HERE
Publisher: Revell
Publishing Date: February 3, 2015
Goodreads Summary

Monday, February 9, 2015

Paper Or Plastic Review + Giveaway!


Paper or Plastic
Release Date: 2015
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:
Welcome to SmartMart, where crime pays minimum wage...

Busted. Alexis Dubois just got caught shoplifting a cheap tube of lipstick at the local SmartMart. She doesn’t know what’s worse—disappointing her overbearing beauty-pageant-obsessed mother for the zillionth time…or her punishment. Because Lex is forced to spend her summer working at the store, where the only thing stranger than the staff is the customers.

Now Lex is stuck in the bizarro world of big-box retail. Coupon cutters, jerk customers, and learning exactly what a “Code B” really is (ew). And for added awkwardness, her new supervisor is the totally cute—and completely below her social sphere—Noah Grayson. Trying to balance her out-of-control mother, her starting spot on the school softball team, and her secret crush on the school geek makes for one crazy summer. But ultimately, could the worst store in the world be the best thing that ever happened to her?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Stitching Snow Review

Stitching Snow
Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis 
Visit the author's website HERE
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publishing Date: October 14, 2014
Goodreads Summary: 
Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Last Order Book Tour + Giveaway



The Last Order
The Last Order
Release Date: 02/03/15
Rocket Circus Press

Summary from Goodreads:
Lana forms a secret order of women knights to fulfill her father’s final request: find the queen who was thought to be dead and return her to the throne.

Lana Crewe is a strong, fiercely driven seventeen year old living in a village ruled by fear. With their king and queen both dead, strife and division have taken hold. Ruthlessly attacked by an Order called Talons, Lana’s father is fatally stabbed. Before he dies, he imparts upon Lana a directive to save the statue of Saint Peter, and tells her that the queen yet lives. Now it is up to Lana to unravel the mystery of Saint Peter and bring an end to all of the war by finding the queen.

A medieval tale of hope and mystery, The Last Order is an action-packed story with one of the strongest female leads since Disney’s “Brave.” Not your average YA novel; The Last Order takes upper teenage angst and spins it on its head. You’ll be gripping this book as hard as it will be gripping you. 


Buy Links:
Amazon

EXCERPT: 
Chapter One: LANA RUBBED HER ARMS, still shivering under layers of clothing. You should have worn your cloak, her father’s voice warned, mixing within her thoughts. After years of his lectures and training, he had become a part of her—one that she assumed would eventually go away, or at least quiet down a bit. 
Under the short skirt layered over her leather pants, Lana retrieved her dagger from its custom pocket. Leaves rustled behind her and she spun around, ready for her opponent. 
"One day, I will catch you off guard," Bowen said, twisting his lips. 
 "You’re late," she teased. 
"What’s the wager, Lana?" he asked, holding up his sparring sword, ready to fight. 
"You’ll mend my sword without payment." 
"And if I win, you’ll run double errands," he answered. She swung her sword and lunged at him. "Deal." 
Their swords sliced back and forth, making for an almost equal bout. Bowen stood taller than her by a few inches and weighed double. She glided around him with ease. He turned, whipping his blade around expertly. Sweat already beaded on his face. Lana’s heart pumped and her blood warmed. She jabbed her blade. Bowen swerved unsteadily, almost escaping her weapon, but her final swing landed perfectly along his ribcage. Bowen stumbled sideways and fell to the ground, his playful expression turning bitter. 
Lana bowed her head. A smile began to creep along her face as she raised her eyes back up to meet his. 
"Next time, I will finish you more quickly," she tried to joke, attempting to ease her conscience. Bowen held his side and cringed. "You’ll do anything to win," he said. Lana offered her hand, but he refused. "I’m done," Bowen said as he stood up and walked away from her. 
 "Done? What?" Lana balked. "Bowen, wait." Lana dashed around in front of him and pushed her hand out against his chest. He stopped, seeming unsettled by her touch. His eyes turned sour and far from amused. "We've always been a team," she pressed him. "I don’t have time to play knight with you anymore," he argued, but didn’t try to push past her. 
"Oh, too good are you?" she teased again. Seeing no change, she got serious. "I suppose it’s your mother?" 
"Who else is going to mend your sword and everyone else’s? Father’s ill. You know that." She stared into his eyes, begging. "You’re the only one left who can still keep up. Who will train with me?" "There’s more to life than fighting, Lana. You need a skill," he said. 
 "I have a skill." Defending herself was an invaluable skill that few women possessed.
 "One that matters, like… I don’t know." Bowen seemed to blush a bit. 
She cut him off. "Cooking? Sewing? A skill more fit for a woman, so that your mother would approve of me?" His eyes agreed with her words and the realization sliced at Lana’s heart. She thought Bowen would stand by her, but he had stopped dreaming. She stepped out of his way. 
What do you say now, Father? she thought. You won, but not over your anger. She kicked the ground and gritted her teeth. Walking away, she struggled to listen over her footsteps, wishing that Bowen would chase after her and beg her to forgive him for his lapse in judgment. Instead, stillness affirmed her fear. He had deserted her. 

About the Author:
Angela M Caldwell is an author, photographer, and digital filmmaker. She studied video production and photography at Radford Univeristy then relocated to Los Angeles for an adventure. After seven years of city life, she moved back to Virgina.
Angela loves a good story and she has a broad range of likes when it comes to reading. Give her characters that she can root for and take her on an adventure. Angela’s journey back to the written word is a story of its own with dyslexia keeping her from writing for years.
But, she is a storyteller at heart. Through the years, she enjoyed expressing her stories through a variety of forms: photography, painting, music, film-making, and writing.

She lives with her husband and 4 kids, who are her biggest fans. They have one dog, and two cats. Perhaps one day they will have a farm. And her dream of having a horse will be realized.

Author Links:



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