Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Seth's review of Steel and Sorrow by Joshua P. Simon

A Warleader proves his worth, a High Mage seeks revenge, a Commander overcomes his past, and a Queen solidifies her rule.

On the continent of Hesh, Tobin has finally gained the two things that have always been out of his reach—the respect of his clan and a woman’s love. He now seeks to finish what his father began. When Tobin faces an enemy he never knew to suspect, he is left questioning not only his ability to rule, but also his sanity. 

A High Mage has been humbled, but he has not been defeated. After spending his time devouring the history of Hesh, he’s discovered a way to return home and reclaim what was once his. But before he exacts revenge on his enemies, he fulfills an obligation to his one remaining friend. 

In the aftermath of great tragedy, Kaz has taken the role of commander, and with it, a mountain of headaches. He expected threats from his enemies. He did not expect the largest headaches to come from within his own ranks. To make matters worse, the faded memories of Kaz’s previous life are returning and what he sees haunts him. 

Queen Elyse’s kingdom faces collapse at the hands of a civil war. While her army has been organizing to secure the crown against traitorous lords, she has worked at her role as queen. Suspicion of traitors among the ranks of her council threatens to undermine Elyse's authority when a chance for peace presents itself. 

A year after the events of Rise and Fall, Steel and Sorrow is the second book in the Blood and Tears Trilogy. A free three chapter excerpt of Walk Through Fire: A Blood and Tears Prequel Novella is included.

Seth's Thoughts:

First off, let me apologize to the author Joshua for how long it has taken me to getting around to typing this review. I finished it shortly after receiving it a year ago. I just get really long periods of not wanting to write anything. I thoroughly enjoyed it from front to back and read it in I want to say less than ten hours time. For me that’s speed reading. The details are a bit fuzzy about the story as I’m writing it but they are coming back to me. I’m looking through the book so I don’t get the names wrong or potentially spoil some important plot point inadvertently.

After a bit of conniving and two timing in the prologue, we pick up with Kaz once again in his band of men he now leads. I don’t know what it is but I love watching his continued transformation from brutal killer to running his mercenary group turned Queen’s guard. It’s one of the reasons that I love reading this trilogy. On the flip side, it’s also interesting reading about his brother Tobin going from the underdog to being the ruthless leader of his nation. It’s like watching white turning to black and black turning to white. Yin and Yang as it were. Watching the steady transformation of the evil man to good and the once good man to evil fascinates me. 

The story doesn’t plod along in the least. There’s one confrontation after another as the story swaps back and forth between the two brothers. Sometimes, one brother deals with politics while the other deals with war and vice versa. Never a dull moment for long. As the story progresses, the two are inexorably drawn closer and closer together via forces beyond one another’s control. I can’t wait to read the third book if Joshua is willing to be patient in me writing another review. If not I do understand. I urge anyone reading this who loves medieval action and magic to pick this book up, if not the whole trilogy, as a gift to themselves. If you own a Kindle I doubly urge you to pick it up as you’ll receive an amazing deal for this great trilogy. You can get the whole trilogy for less than the cost of a few Machiottos at Starbucks. 

Seth gives Steel and Sorrow: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Blog: http://joshuapsimon.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JoshuaPSimon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoshuaPSimon
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5254590.Joshua_P_Simon

Seth received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Neither Seth nor I were compensated in any way for this review.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren

An ambitious intern. A perfectionist executive. And a whole lot of name calling. 

Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He's exacting, blunt, inconsiderate--and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard.

Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family's massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who'd been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative--completely infuriating--creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he's never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe's so tempting he's willing to bend the rules--or outright smash them--if it means he can have her. All over the office. 

As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they're willing to lose in order to win each other.

Originally only available online as The Office by tby789--and garnering over 2 million reads on fanfiction sites--Beautiful Bastard has been extensively updated for re-release.

My Thoughts:
Beautiful Bastard was the first erotica novel that I have ever read. Normally, books with a lot of sex scenes make me uncomfortable while reading them. That wasn't the case with Beautiful Bastard. It was written very well. The words almost flowed off the page.

The sex scenes were descriptive and interesting. The authors switched it up, so it wasn't the same boring position and place every time. Even though the sex scenes were fun, they didn't overshadow the story, for which I was grateful. The book still had an intriguing plot. It was great to watch Bennett and Chloe's relationship evolve and to figure out how they were going to overcome their struggles. 

At the beginning of the book, I hated both Bennett and Chloe. After the first sex scene, I just hated Bennett. I thought he was a pompous ass. However, as the story progressed, I realized why he acted the way he did, and didn't hate him as much. There was still a few points in the book where I wanted to strangle him. By the end of the book, I loved both Chloe and Bennett. I wanted more of their story. I am disappointed that they won't be main characters in the rest of the series.

I give Beautiful Bastard: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.christinalaurenbooks.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/beautifulbastard
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6556689.Christina_Lauren

I received this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sex in the Title by Zack Love excerpt

RELEASE DATE: October 21, 2013


New York City, May 2000. The Internet bubble has burst, and Evan's boss fires him with an email. The next day, his girlfriend dumps him, also via email. Afraid to check any more emails, Evan desperately seeks a rebound romance but the catastrophes that ensue go from bad to hilariously worse. Fortunately, Evan meets someone whose legendary disasters with females eclipse even his own.

To reverse their fortunes, they recruit their friends into a group of five guys who take on Manhattan in pursuit of dates, sex, and adventure. With musings about life, relationships, and human psychology, this quintessential New York story about the search for happiness follows five men on their comical paths to trouble, self-discovery, and love.


Zack Love graduated from Harvard College, where he tried to create a bachelor’s degree in Women. With the bachelor portion of that degree in hand, he settled in New York City but – to afford renting his bed-sized studio – found himself flirting mostly with a computer screen and stacks of documents. Determined not to die a corporate drone, Zack decided to sacrifice sleep for screenwriting, an active social life, and Internet startups offering temporary billion-dollar fantasies.

To feed his steady diet of NYC nightlife, he regularly crashed VIP parties in the early 2000s and twice bumped into his burgeoning crush, a Hollywood starlet. But – much to Zack’s surprise – neither of those awkward conversations led to marriage with the A-list actress. Zack eventually consoled himself by imagining fiascoes far worse than those involving his celebrity crush. In the process, he dreamed up a motley gang of five men inspired by some of his college friends and quirky work colleagues. And thus was born Sex in the Title. But the novel is not autobiographical: Zack never had his third leg attacked by any mammal (nor by any plant, for that matter). In fact, keeping his member safe has been one of Zack’s lifelong goals – and one of the few that he’s managed to accomplish.

“So what’s the body count?”
“The body count?”
“You know: how many women have you slept with in your twenty-nine years?”
Evan wasn’t sure whether to overstate the number to look sexually impressive to a soft porn star, or whether to understate the number to look less promiscuous and more like the responsible, clean cut, solid-boyfriend type. Since he still hadn’t quite figured out what Tina was looking for or who she really was, he decided just to tell the truth.
“I’ve been with about sixty-seven women.”
“What do you mean ‘about sixty-seven?’ You say ‘about sixty’ or ‘about seventy.’ But not ‘about sixty-seven.’ You’re obviously keeping track.” Tina looked amused at another opportunity to toy with Evan.
“All right. You got me,” Evan conceded. “I’ve been with precisely sixty-seven women.”
“Unless, of course, you said ‘about’ because the total depends on how you define ‘being with a woman.’ For example, if you just got a blowjob and nothing else then maybe you don’t count that.”
“OK. To be more precise, I’ve had sexual intercourse with sixty-seven women.”
“All right, so then you’ve probably been with many more women than sixty-seven?”
“Yeah. But I don’t keep track of those.” Evan suddenly wondered why he didn’t bother to keep track of anything but consummation.
“I see…So when did you get started on these sixty-seven women?”
“You mean, how old was I when I lost my virginity?”
“So you’ve slept with sixty-seven women in just nine years.”
“Well, actually I’ve had six serious relationships that together took up about two years.”
“Serious? Let’s see…Six serious relationships in two years…So each one lasted an average of four months. You call that serious?”
“Well, it was an intense four months. And I wasn’t seeing anyone else. You know, that’s kind of a big deal in New York,” he added ironically. “Dating someone exclusively for four months in New York is like four years in Anchorage.”
Tina chuckled at Evan’s joke. “All right, so not counting the serious relationships, you’ve slept with...” She crunched some numbers in her head. “You’ve slept with sixty-one women in just seven years…That’s an average of almost nine per year…A new woman every forty days.” Tina seemed impressed, which suddenly made Evan feel rather promiscuous.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What Does the Fox Say? by Ylvis

Do you know what the fox says? Based on the hugely popular YouTube video with more than 200 million views, this picture book is packed full of foxy fun.

Dog goes woof. Cat goes meow. Bird goes tweet and mouse goes squeak… 

But what does the fox say?

The lyrics of Ylvis’s YouTube sensation “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” meet Svein Nyhus’s playful illustrations in this irresistibly entertaining read-aloud picture book.

My Thoughts:
If you have an internet connection, I'm sure that by now you've heard the song, "What Does the Fox Say?" by Ylvis. It was the break out song of the summer. The song has been performed on Ellen. Also, there are numerous covers and parodies of it. Well now, there's also a children's book. 

What Does the Fox Say is an interesting children's book. The book has the lyrics to the song, along with illustrations. I don't know why, but the book was slightly disappointing to me. I should have known that is all the book would be, but for some reason I was expecting more. 

Even though I was slightly disappointed, I think children will love this book. I know many children that really like the song. I recommend playing the song to your children while reading the book, or maybe after. The illustrations are adorable as well. What Does the Fox Say would make a great gift for children everywhere.

I give What Does the Fox Say?: 4/5.

I received this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Unearthed by Rachael Wade Blog Tour

Unearthed (A Resistance Trilogy Novella) $0.99 Blitz PLUS Giveaway!

Hey paranormal romance fans, have you checked out The Resistance Trilogy by author Rachael Wade? Book 1, Amaranth is FREE at all e-book retailers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, and Apple, and now through 12/19, UNEARTHED, a novella that follows the events of the trilogy, is on sale for only $0.99. If you love vampires, witches, and magic with your romance, then grab Amaranth for free today and give the series a try. Want to win a signed paperback set of the trilogy, signed bookmarks, and signed poster? Enter below!

Unearthed Buy Links:

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This is a short novella intended to be read after The Tragedy of Knowledge. It takes place after the events of The Resistance Trilogy.

For Gavin and Camille, the Amaranthian war is over. But they’ve evolved since then, and so has the realm they’ve come to know as home. Now comfortable and happy in their new life, they soon discover that something groundbreaking is brewing, threatening to disrupt the peace they’ve worked so hard to secure. And whether they’re prepared or not, it’s about to be unearthed.

Approx. 25,000 words

About the Author:

Rachael Wade is the Amazon bestselling author of THE PRESERVATION SERIES, LOVE AND RELATIVITY, and the upcoming New Adult sci-fi series, THE KEEPERS TRILOGY. When she's not writing, she's busy going to concerts, watching too many movies, and learning how to protect animals and the environment. She's an avid Brandi Carlile fan and loves all things Tim Burton. Visit her at www.RachaelWade.com and www.LightsOnLove.com, and come chat with her on Twitter @RachaelWade.

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Tipsy Release Day Launch

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Julie Preston is an artist. But her canvas isn’t paper or clay. It’s hair. She spends her days coloring, blow drying and styling her clients hair at the Razor’s Edge salon. Julie is also annoyed. She went out on a date and had a great time, gave the guy her number and the jerk never called.
So when he waltzes into the salon and sits down in her chair she briefly considers strangling him with the pink cape she fastens around his neck.
Too bad she can’t.
Blue Markson, the guy who never called, is a police officer so causing him bodily harm would be a first class ticket into the slammer. Just looking at him again makes Julie forget why she was mad in the first place, but she’s already learned that Blue is nothing but heartache. So when he starts coming around, acting like he hadn’t made her stare at the phone for days, she tries to brush him off.
Her life is about to blow up in her face, she’s about to get caught up in a sticky web of crime and the one guy who can help her is the one guy she vowed never to trust again.
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I leaned back against my padded headboard and tried to calm my rolling stomach. As I sat there, trying not to barf a light sound caught my attention.             
It was the closing of the front door.             
I perked up, forgetting all about the fact I was suffering from an attack of an unsuspecting hangover.             
Had I forgotten to lock the door? I never forgot to lock the door. But I was usually not running from my best friend.             
The one time I don’t lock the damn door is the one time a burglar decides to come a calling.             
Too bad for mister criminal I had a plan for something like this. I was the kind of girl that always had a plan.             
I crept into the bathroom, being as quiet as I could and reached into the cabinet. I pulled out my weapons (hey, all the crap that women have to do to themselves to look good definitely qualify as weapons.) and gripped them closely to my chest with both hands.             My heart was beating so hard against my ribs that it actually hurt and I had to work to not gasp for breath. Catching my intruder by surprise was key to my plan.             
Moving quickly through the dark I moved to the bedroom door, leaning against the wall and peering out into the darkened hallway. I could see the top of the stairs from where I stood, as well as the railing that ran alongside the hallway to keep someone from falling into the stairwell from upstairs.            
 Courtesy of the nightlight down in the entry way (it came in handy when I wanted a drink in the middle of the night) I saw a shadow move against the wall, the figure was large and distorted against the tall bare wall of the stairwell.             
Up until that point I hadn’t been certain someone was in the house.             But now I couldn’t deny it.             
There was a robber in my house.             
He for sure had nefarious plans.             
Too bad for him I had a really shitty night and wasn’t in the mood.             As his foot stepped on the bottom stairs I slinked out of the door and along the wall, keeping my eyes trained on the top of the stairs. He began climbing the stairs (I was very unimpressed with his quietness, or rather lack thereof.) and as he climbed I slipped along the wall, moving through the darkness until I was standing in the corner directly across from the top of the stairs.             
I saw his shoulders appear as he continued upwards. He was wearing a dark coat and a dark hat… he was nothing but a large ominous shape in the night.             
I swallowed, the sound of my saliva scraping down my dry throat made me wince and my palms were sweaty, causing me to tighten my grip on my weapons.  
Meet the Author
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Cambria Hebert is the author of the young adult paranormal Heven and Hell series, the new adult Death Escorts series, and the new adult Take it Off series. She loves a caramel latte, hates math and is afraid of chickens (yes, chickens). She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and children (both human and furry) where she is plotting her next book. You can find out more about Cambria and her work by visiting http://www.cambriahebert.com
Social Media Links
Cambria’s website: http://www.cambriahebert.com
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Walker by Chad Schimke

A hidden alien race lives secretly alongside humans. A dancer frequents hot night spots as a young model’s career rises. They are released from their ties to humanity, aligned with a horrific monster.

My Thoughts:

Walker was a strange story. I'm still not sure if I liked it or not. The beginning of the book drew me in from the start. I liked reading a book about aliens. There is one other book that I have read about aliens, but it was a YA book called Exiled by RaShelle Workman. The premise of Walker was different than anything I had ever read. I also enjoyed the vampire aspect of the book. It was almost a vampire/alien mash up. 

The only thing I didn't like about the novella is that it was confusing at times. The explanations were hard for me to understand. However, that could be because I don't read a lot of science fiction. I loved how the story ended. I thought it was a crazy plot twist. I definitely wasn't expecting it.

I give Walker: 3/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Blog: http://chadschimke.blogspot.com/
Pintrest: http://www.pinterest.com/chadschimke/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Chadschimke
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChadSchimke
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Chad-Schimke/e/B0075M1V1I
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5624972.Chad_Schimke

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell

Tilda has never given much thought to dragons, attending instead to her endless duties and wishing herself free of a princess's responsibilities.

When a greedy cousin steals Tilda's lands, the young princess goes on the run with two would-be dragon slayers. Before long she is facing down the Wild Hunt, befriending magical horses, and battling flame-spouting dragons. On the adventure of a lifetime, and caught between dreams of freedom and the people who need her, Tilda learns more about dragons—and herself—than she ever imagined.

Merrie Haskell, author of The Princess Curse, presents a magical tale of transformation, danger, and duty, starring a remarkable princess as stubborn as she is brave.

My Thoughts:
When I was starting Handbook for Dragon Slayers, I wasn't sure whether I was going to like it or not. It's a middle grade novel, and I don't usually read middle grade. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The book turned out to be enjoyable. 

The plot was fun. It kept me wondering how Tilda was going to get out of her current predicament and what she was going to get into next. It was also interesting to try to figure out how she was going to get Alder Brook back from her cousin Ivo. 

I really admired Tilda. She reminded me of Emmeline Thistle from The Sweetest Spell by Suzanne Selfors. Both of the girls have a crippled foot, but they didn't let that stop them. Tilda rose up to do things she was told were impossible, such as riding a horse. I really liked this book. I intend to read more of Merrie Haskell's books when they are released.

I give Handbook for Dragon Slayers: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.merriehaskell.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/merriehaskellauthor
Pintrest: http://www.pinterest.com/merrie/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/merriehaskell
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2922723.Merrie_Haskell

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Chaderick by Lauren D.W. Luchsinger Fox

When a mysterious new villain stumps the heroes of Hero Town, Chaderick sets out to solve the crime. Unfortunately, Chaderick has no special powers, no status, and no experience. Making matters worse, Chaderick can't seem to shake off Hole, the relentlessly chipper sister of a superhero who always wants to tag along. Will Chaderick ever become the hero he knows he can be?

My Thoughts:
Chaderick: Not A Vampire, Not A Zombie, Not A Superhero was an interesting book. I thought it was going to be a middle grade book, but it turned out to be a book for younger children. If I had to compare it to something, I would compare it to the advanced level of the learning how to read books that I used to read as a young child. For me, the plot was a bit too silly, but I could see how a child would love it. One thing that really impressed me was the author’s age. I don’t think she was even thirteen at the time she wrote this book. Yet she wrote an enjoyable book for children. The book had no spelling errors, or grammar mistakes that I caught. Several points in the book had me chuckling. For instance, when Evil-Man sent his letter to Chaderick and Chaderick began to read it, that made me chuckle. I think that children in first through third grade will definitely enjoy this book. 

I give Chaderick: Not A Vampire, Not A Zombie, Not A Superhero: 3/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5725873.Lauren_D_W_Luchsinger_Fox

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

From the author of the “real page-turner” (SeventeenSuch a Rush comes an unforgettable new drama that follows friends-turned-lovers as they navigate the passions, heartbreaks, and intrigue of country music fame.

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…

My Thoughts:
I’m not sure what I can say about Dirty Little Secret without giving away spoilers. However, I will try to make this review as spoiler free as possible. When I first read the synopsis, I was excited. A book about a fiddle player sounded original. Also, I love books about music. However, Dirty Little Secret turned out to be just okay to me. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it. It turned out to be your typical chick-lit novel. There was nothing that set it apart from the hundreds of other chick-lit novels.

I can’t really pinpoint what annoyed me about the book. I think it was a combination of Bailey, Sam, and Bailey’s parents. Bailey drove me crazy because she allowed her life to be controlled by her parents. Until Sam practically forces her to join the band, she refuses to defy her parents. 

Speaking of Sam, I didn’t care for the way he treated Bailey. He was horrible to her the first eighty percent of the book. After realizing something, he starts to treat her better. However, it doesn’t make up for him being a douche bag before. 

Bailey’s parents completely disown her and treat her horribly. They refuse to see her or talk to her. They go as far as to not let her go to any of her sister's events. If you love your child, you don’t do that to them. 

There were several good points about the book. It held my interest the whole way through. A few of the characters were funny. I really liked Ace and Charlotte. It was interesting to watch their relationship develop. Even though this wasn’t my favorite book, I will continue to read Jennifer Echols novels because I liked her previous ones. 

I give Dirty Little Secret: 3/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.jennifer-echols.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jenniferecholsbooks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jenniferechols
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/203238.Jennifer_Echols

I received this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Unusual Awakening by S.M. Knowles blog tour

Title: Unusual Awakening
Author: S.M. Knowles
Genre: Young Adult
Tour Host: Lady Amber's Tours

Book Description:
With tears and a tight hug, Rylee Everley’s dad left for Afghanistan with the Army Reserve. Since his deployment, her mom has been distant, her sisters are constantly fighting, and Rylee, at only thirteen years old, has to be the glue to keep them together. While her mother stays locked in her room, Rylee has been forced into the role of parent.
Now, two years later, a freak accident involving a bus at school promises to restore some normality to her family. In spite of not knowing how their father is, her mother is happy and her sisters don’t seem to fight as much as they used to. Rylee herself is seeing more of her friends and is even trying to sort out her own feelings about Brock Parker. However, something dark threatens to disrupt that normality for personal gain, and that darkness is willing to break every rule to get what it wants.
S.M. Knowles was born in Elmira, New York where she was swept away in a whirlwind to the Land of Oz—Independence, Kansas. Her parents were relocating for working opportunities and decided that this would be the perfect place to start new roots. Little did she know that this place would contribute to the inspiration for the first book she wrote in her Rylee Everley Series.
While growing up, S.M. would travel the roads around her house while imagining she was somewhere else. Her imagination would take her everywhere, making the long hot summer days seem shorter throughout her fantasies. 
At the age of twelve, she decided to write her first book. Filled mostly with dialog, she filled up one-hundred pages, front and back. After taking the book downstairs to show her mom, and persuading her to buy her more paper, she excitedly ran back to her room. As she barreled through the door, S.M. tripped over items left on her floor, and her papers came raining down in her room. Discouraged, she stood there in tears, picking up her papers and throwing them in the trash. Her work had no organization, no numbers on her pages, just a child fulfilling a joy that she would put down and not pick up again.
When she became older, she joined the military for something different. In that time, she was able to explore many places and even met her husband in Iraq. After coming home, she started her family in Arizona and went back to school, earning a Master’s degree in Adult Education and Training. 

Getting up, I walk over to the tree line. I don’t see anything around, so I grab a rock and throw it to scare off any animals. Walking in further, I call out, “Hello?” Everything is quiet. I wait a few more seconds. Something feels off. Walking in a little further, I hear a branch break. I know I didn’t step on anything, so something’s unquestionably out there. “Who’s out here?” I yell. A big oak tree stands directly in front of me, right next to him. “No, no, no, no,” I beg.

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Never Lie-Ever by Ritu Goyal

Adapted from an Indian folktale, Never Lie-Ever is a story about family, faith, and honesty. A mama bird makes a delicious meal to share with the family. Papa Bird could not resist to wait and finishes it all up only to get himself in trouble.Mama Bird, with her honesty and confidence, gets Papa Bird to accept his mistake and saves him from the trouble.

My Thoughts:
Never Lie-Ever was an interesting children's book. In the book, Cherya makes some rice pudding for Cheronta. Cherya tells Cheronta to wait until the rice pudding cools to eat it. Cheronta decides to eat it all that night, and then lie to his wife in the morning when she discovers the empty bowl. After that, Cheronta gets in a bad situation because he lied.

I'm still not sure how I feel about this book. It teaches kids that lying is wrong. However, Cherya lies to Billie, the cat. She lies to Billie to help get Cheronta out of the well. Even though it is a lie that helped her, lying is still lying. Also, the author tried really hard to make the book rhyme. It made the sentence structure weird at times. I had to read a couple of the sentences twice to make sense of them.

I did love that the book incorporated Hindi words. It's always fun to learn a new language. I love books that inadvertently teach you a language as you read them. The glossary in the back was helpful. I also loved the cute illustrations. My favorite was the illustration of Cherya swinging across the well.

I give Never Lie-Ever: 3/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.author-ritu.com/home
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6030315.Ritu_Goyal

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Toodles and Teeny by Gillian Neimark

When Toodles meets Teeny, they hit it off right away and are soon together all the time, to the exclusion of all Toodles' other friends. When the barnyard friends begin to feel left out, Toodles realizes that friendship can be best when it's shared. Learning to build friendships is one of the ways children develop into well-rounded, emotionally healthy human beings and Toodles and Teeny encompasses all that complexity and demonstrates the importance of friendship in the lives of children.

My Thoughts:
Toodles and Teeny was an adorable children's book. The book teaches about the importance of friendship. Toodles is a turkey. She has never felt like she belonged, even though she has a lot of friends. One day, she meets another turkey named Teeny. Teeny is so small that Toodles doesn't believe he is a turkey at first. Even though Toodles and Teeny are different, they instantly become best friends.

Toodles and Teeny teaches the importance of having a best friend. A best friend is always there for you no matter what happens. It is fun to spend time with them. However, having a best friend does not mean that you should forget about your other friends. Toodles loves spending time with Teeny so much that she forgets about her other friends. Their feelings get hurt. She finds a solution by spending time with all of her friends at once. 

Toodles and Teeny is a great children's book. It would be a perfect book to read to the children on Thanksgiving. I recommend it to children three and older.

I give Toodles and Teeny: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.jillneimark.com/
Blog: http://goldenrectangles.blogspot.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4543692.Gillian_Jill_Neimark

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Sia by Josh Grayson

When seventeen-year-old Sia wakes up on a park bench, she has no idea who or where she is. Yet after a week of being homeless, she’s reunited with her family. At school, she’s powerful and popular. At home, she’s wealthy beyond her dreams. But she quickly realizes her perfect life is a lie. Her family is falling apart and her friends are snobby, cruel and plastic. Worse yet, she discovers she was the cruelest one. Mortified by her past, she embarks on a journey of redemption and falls for Kyle, the “geek” she once tormented. Yet all the time she wonders if, when her memories return, she’ll become the bully she was before…and if she’ll lose Kyle.

My Thoughts:
Sia was one of the top ten best books that I've read this year. If I didn't know it before I started reading the book, I would have never know that it was written by a debut author. The writing style was very experienced. I loved the way the words flowed, helping to create a picture in my head of the story.

From the first page, I was captivated. When Sia woke up in the middle of the park and was panicking, I was panicking for her. I became very intrigued. I needed to know who she was and how she got there. I had to know more about this character. 

As we got to know Sia, I began to like her more and more. When the reader finds out who she is, I was a bit nervous. I wasn't sure if the author could pull the story line off. However, I had nothing to worry about. He pulled it off eloquently and made me love Sia even more because of the ways that she changed. The ending was very emotional. It made me cry and smile at the same time. It's very rare for a book to make me feel that way.

My favorite character was Carol. I loved how kind she was. She didn't have to help Sia. She could have just left her there. Carol helped Sia out of the goodness of her own heart. She was like a mother to Sia. In fact, for most of the book, she was a better mother than Sia's own mom.

I loved this book. I can't recommend it highly enough. I will definitely be buying a print copy when it comes out. Josh Grayson has just been added to my list of authors that I will buy his future books without even reading the synopsis.

I give Sia: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://joshgrayson.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joshgraysonauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/josh_grayson
Instagram: http://instagram.com/joshgraysonauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7132257.Josh_Grayson

I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley. I was in no way compensated for this review.