Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My 2016 Reading Resolutions


  • To read at least 50 books
    • I know that this number may seem a bit low.  Especially for someone who is running a
      book blog.  But remember that I also have 4 kids & my husbands a truck driver.  haha...  In 2016, I was only able to read 16/25 for my Goodreads Reading Challenge.  Personally though, I write this up as a personal challenge.  This coming year though- I'm gonna ROCK it! 
       
  • Finally read Catcher in the Rye & the Harry Potter series
    • Yes, you read that right...  I have never read Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger or any of the Harry Potter books.  It pangs me to admit these short comings but I am truly hoping to redeem myself this coming year.  2016 will be the year that I join the rest of humanity by finally checking out these highly raved about books.

  • Participate in the 2016 Popsugar Reading Challenge
    • I have never participated in any sort of reading challenge.  Then again, I just started back to reading earlier this year.  There have been many different kinds of challenges that I have come across recently but the one that I have decided to dedicate myself to trying is the 2016 Popsugar Reading Challenge.  It covers 40 different "topics" & I'm looking forward to giving some of the less popular ones a try.
       
  • Review all books I read on the following outlets: this blog, Amazon, & Goodreads
    • I know that this should be a given since I am a book blogger.  However, it's not always easy to remember to share with all of these outlets.  This new year is going to be more organized & I've already created a new system to insure that I'm able to share my reviews more efficiently.

  • Interview at least 5 authors
    • This 2016 Goal appeals to both the writer side & the reader side of me.  I'd love to be able to share something as awesome as an author interview with y'all!  If anyone knows any new up & coming authors who are interested in doing an email interview, please let me know in the comments below.
  • Read a little every day
    • Yet another resolution that should be a given...  But I'll be the first to admit that I often put other things before reading.  & I'm not talking about the important things.  I'm talking about the endless time sucks that are Facebook, Big Farm, & any of the numerous games that are installed on my phone.  I always plan on reading before bed but once I am down for the night, I can hardly hold my eyes open.  So, I'm not sure if I'm going to set a certain amount of time aside each day or what.  I just know that I need to start reading DAILY.  No matter what!
  • Finally finish writing MY novel, What the Heart Wants
    • Things are finally starting to come together for me where my novel is concerned.  I'm not going to go too far into detail but feel free to swing by Wattpad to check out the first two chapters.  I'll be adding a new chapter about every couple weeks until it's done.  Then I start the editing/revising phase.

      What are some of your 2016 Resolutions?? 
      Bookish or other?? I wanna know!
       
       

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas to You & Yours


Just wanted to touch base to let everyone that I have decided to take the rest of this year off.  I will, however, be returning in the new year re-energized & ready to rock 2016!  While you await my return, feel free to check out some of the older book reviews & book lists.

I hope each & every one of you have a great Christmas holiday.  As well as bring in the New Year however you wish!  I plan on spending my holiday season with my family.  Especially my 'Bonus Son' because this is our first Christmas with him <3

Also, be sure to check out my new novel that's in the works... 



 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Frankie Liked to Sing by John Seven & Jana Christy: Book Review

 Frankie Liked to Sing
 Words by: John Seven
Pictures by: Jana Christy

Genre: Biography
Print Length: 32 pages
Publishers:  Harry N. Abrams
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Age Level: 4 - 8 years
Format Read: Hardcover
Received Copy via: via Author/Publisher
Connect with the author(s):
Website  // Twitter // Facebook




Frankie Liked to Sing celebrates the life of Frank Sinatra, whose iconic voice changed popular music forever and influenced generations of listeners all over the world. From his early days in Hoboken, New Jersey, to making it big in New York City, Sinatra was determined to follow his dream of being a singer and moving people with his voice. And now, one hundred years after his birth, his legacy lives on with this spirited and loving tribute.
- Courtesy of Amazon


I want to start out by saying that I am a HUGE fan of the late Frank Sinatra... When I saw that this book existed, I was so excited!  It truly is one of a kind.  Add the fact that this year (today to be exact) marks what would have been the crooner's 100th birthday and I knew I had to have a copy.

After contacting the author, I was delighted when he replied that he'd have the publisher send over a copy for me.  And when the package arrived in the mail, it was like Christmas had come early this year.  This book is both beautiful to look at & wonderful to read.

I am impressed with all that this book entails.  Not only does it tell about Frank Sinatra's love for music throughout his life but it also teaches that it is okay to be different.  Not everyone is going to agree with your style and/or passions but that is alright.  Frankie Liked to Sing is also inspirational in the fact that it tells how Frank went from living in small town Hoboken, New Jersey to making it big all over the world.  Because he loved to sing & wanted everyone to hear him.

This book has certainly earned a 5 Cups of Tea rating from me.  I will continue to recommend it to anyone & everyone willing to listen.  It has been added to my ever-growing collection of Ole' Blue Eyes memorabilia & items.  John & Jana have certainly made my year with this one!



{5 Cups of Tea: One of the Best!!}
 PURCHASE HERE


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Death Wish by Megan Tayte: Book Review

                 
Death Wish
by Megan Tayte

Series: The Ceruleans (Book #1)
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Print Length: 305 pages
Publishers:  Heaven Afire
Publication Date: February 7, 2015
Age Level: 13+
Format Read: E-book
Received Copy via: Megan Tayte (author)
Connect with the author:
Website  // Twitter // Facebook





IN SEARCH OF THE MEANING OF DEATH, SHE’LL FIND THE MEANING OF LIFE.

The Ceruleans: mere mortals infused with power over life and death. Five books; one question: If the might of the heavens were in your hands, would you be sinner or saint?

Seventeen-year-old Scarlett Blake is haunted by death. Her estranged sister has made the ultimate dramatic exit. Running away from school, joining a surfing fraternity, partying hard: that sounds like Sienna. But suicide? It makes no sense.

Following in her sister’s footsteps, Scarlett comes to an isolated English cove with grand plans to uncover the truth. Alone. But she hasn’t reckoned on meeting two boys who are determined to help her. Luke: the blue-eyed surfer who’ll see the real Scarlett, who’ll challenge her, who’ll save her. And Jude: the elusive drifter with a knack for turning up whenever Scarlett’s in need.

As Scarlett’s quest for the truth unravels, so too does her grip on reality as she’s always known it. Because there’s something strange going on in this little cove. A dead magpie circles the skies. A dead deer watches from the undergrowth. Hands glow with light. Warmth. Power.

What transpires is a summer of discovery. Of what it means to conquer fear. To fall in love. To choose life. To choose death.

To believe the impossible.
- Courtesy of Amazon



I can say that I went into this book completely blind.  I had never heard of Death Wish or the rest of the Ceruleans series.  After being contacted by the author, and reading the synopsis, I decided to give the book a try anyways.  It sounded quite interesting.  Unlike anything else I've ever read, in fact.

Once I started reading, I was quickly pulled under & caught up in the waves of the story line.  The story that Megan Tayte tells is nothing short of stunning.  I laughed.  I cried.  I was overwhelmed by a flood of emotions as I followed the main character, Scarlett, through her journey of coming to terms with her sister's death.

Death Wish is full of mystery & amazing characters.  I may not have known what to expect before submerging myself into this book but I was honestly blown away by what I read.  Especially the end!  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good Young Adult Paranormal Romance that's not like any other out there.



 

Purchase Now On: Amazon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Fooling Around with Cinderella: Book Tour, Review, & Giveaway


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Custom Pink-Beaded Cinderella Charm Bracelet


FOOLING AROUND WITH CINDERELLA
Storybook Valley #1
Stacy Juba
Released November 9th, 2015
Self Published



What happens when the glass slippers pinch Cinderella's toes?

When Jaine Andersen proposes a new marketing role to the local amusement park, general manager Dylan Callahan charms her into filling Cinderella’s glass slippers for the summer. Her reign transforms Jaine’s ordinary life into chaos that would bewilder a fairy godmother. Secretly dating her bad boy boss, running wedding errands for her ungrateful sisters, and defending herself from the park’s resident villain means Jaine needs lots more than a comfy pair of shoes to restore order in her kingdom.

First in the Storybook Valley series, a blend of sweet romance, chick lit, and fairy tale fun.



Fooling Around with Cinderella is a wonderfully cute read. I wish it would have been a bit longer but despite its short length, it was still enough to tell a lovely story. 

Jaine is a character that the reader can relate to on so many levels. And even if you can't find a way to relate to her, you can at least see things from her perspective. She is the perfect example of a real life Cinderella. Dylan seems, to me, to be the All-American type of guy. A perfect Prince Charming if he wasn't too busy running the entire kingdom & trying to prove himself. After finishing this first book, I look forward to getting to know more about the other characters in the books to follow.

I'd recommend Fooling Around with Cinderella to anyone looking for a quick read full of love, laughs, & a wonderful amusement park that will remind you of the one you attended as a child. And oh yeah- Gnomes! We can't forget the gnomes <3

{4 Cups of Tea: Recommendable Brew}









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Stacy Juba got engaged at Epcot Theme Park and spent part of her honeymoon at Disneyland Paris, where she ate a burger, went on fast rides, and threw up on the train ride to the hotel. In addition to working on her new Storybook Valley chick lit/sweet romance series, Stacy has written books about ice hockey, teen psychics, U.S. flag etiquette for kids, and determined women sleuths. She has had a novel ranked as #5 in the Nook Store and #30 on the Amazon Kindle Paid List. 

When she’s not visiting theme parks with her family, (avoiding rides that spin and exotic hamburgers), or writing about them, Stacy helps authors to strengthen their manuscripts through her Crossroads Editing Service. She is currently writing the next book in the Storybook Valley Series, Prancing Around with Sleeping Beauty.



Friday, December 4, 2015

The Ruby Iyers Diaries (.5) by Laxmi Hariharan: Book Review


 
The Ruby Iyer Diaries (Ruby Iyer #0.5)

"This novelette is a companion book to The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer. A peek into the soul of an angry, young girl, who will come of age in a city on the verge of total annihilation. Ruby kept a diary from the age of ten till she ran away from home at sixteen. It is from here that I picked out a few diary entries for The Ruby Iyer Diaries. This short series of vignettes from Ruby's life, tells you more a little more about the origins of Ruby Iyer."




This is the first novelette that I have reviewed.  I was nervous that I wouldn't have enough to share as far as opinions because of the length.  Boy was I mistaken!

Laxmi Hariharan has a wonderful style of writing.  I would even call it powerful.  In a short number of pages, she managed to draw me in completely.  By the end of the novelette, I was left yearning for more to read.

My interest has been awakened in this series.  Immediately after finishing the novelette, I had already added the entire series to my "to be read" shelf on Goodreads.  I know that this is only going off of a short part of these books but I would still recommend this series by Laxmi Hariharan.

Read for FREE via Amazon

{4 cups of tea: Recommendable Brew}
Could possibly even be a 5 cup rating if I had reviewed an entire novel.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

I Was a Teenage Ghost Hunter: Book Review

I Was a Teenage Ghost Hunter
by Brian K. Henry



Print Length: 250 pages
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
Age Level: 13 and Up
Format Read: epub from Smashwords
Received Copy via: Author
Brian K. Henry's Goodreads




Moody sixteen-year-old barista Devin Mulwray is doing his best to ignore bizarre manifestations at his job in the chilly Northern California town of Arcata. Already teased about his recurrent ‘phase-outs’, the last thing he needs is to get pegged as a guy who sees ghosts. It doesn’t help his state of mind that his boss is a sarcastic slacker, his single dad is always on the road with clients and local occult fan girl Nayra is spreading ‘ghost boy’ rumors about him online.

But when violent paranormal activity badly spooks teens at an abandoned estate, Devin’s pushed into investigating by his eccentric friends Clive, a budding composer, and Rex, a tech head excited by ghost hunting gadgetry. At first reluctant to get involved, Devin’s encouraged when Emily, one of the more empathetic girls at Grey Bluff High, is impressed with his daring.

Together the friends explore the creepy Rousten manor. But as the only person able to perceive the manifestations, Devin soon finds himself going one-on-one against a powerful spirit who attacks the locals and infiltrates Devin’s own dreams.

Devin must face his fear of confronting the spirit world and get to the bottom of the hauntings before the specter unleashes more havoc on him and his friends.




I'm very appreciative for Mr. Henry allowing me to review this book.  In my opinion, the story line is both enjoyable & entertaining.  Everything seemed to flow smoothly.  Each character is written well & I found it simple to follow each one through the story.

The only real issue I had with this book is that the first chapter seemed a bit too wordy for me.  Also, some of the words throughout seemed too difficult.  Especially since the target audience is 13 and up.  I mean, there were quite a few words that I had no clue what they meant.  More than I am comfortable with.

Despite my issues with the difficult words, I still found the book to be interesting.  The suspense & mystery kept me intrigued.  I pushed through the tough words because I had to know what was going to happen next.  I would recommend this read to anyone interested in a supernatural aimed for those in their teens and older.



{4 cups of tea: Recommendable Brew}