26 Nov 2014

Waiting on Wednesday / The Rebel Next Door by JS Cooper


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly memo that is hosted by Breaking the Spine Blog.

Expected Release Date: February 2015
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.

Sometimes the rebel next door can surprise you.

When hunky Brody Hunter moved next door, Kyla Richards knew that her quiet dreamer life was going to change. Only she never imagined just how much. Brody Hunter was the sort of guy that girls had posters of on their walls. Only Kyla sensed that there were hidden depths to his beautiful surface; depths that she would give anything to explore.
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25 Nov 2014

Book Review / The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell

Every bookshop has a story.

We’re not talking about rooms that are just full of books. We’re talking about bookshops in barns, disused factories, converted churches and underground car parks. Bookshops on boats, on buses, and in old run-down train stations. Fold-out bookshops, undercover bookshops, this-is-the-best-place-I’ve-ever-been-to-bookshops.

Meet Sarah and her Book Barge sailing across the sea to France; meet Sebastien, in Mongolia, who sells books to herders of the Altai mountains; meet the bookshop in Canada that’s invented the world’s first antiquarian book vending machine.

And that’s just the beginning.

From the oldest bookshop in the world, to the smallest you could imagine, The Bookshop Book examines the history of books, talks to authors about their favourite places, and looks at over three hundred weirdly wonderful bookshops across six continents (sadly, we’ve yet to build a bookshop down in the South Pole).

The Bookshop Book is a love letter to bookshops all around the world.


Published:     2nd October 2014
Publisher:  Constable and Robinson
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here 

Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher
Review:   5 out of 5


My Review

What I loved about this book...
Ask any book lover and they will tell you that there's nothing better than reading a book about books.  That's the ultimate reading experience.  This book took me on the ultimate book shopping experience from my own living room (and without buying any books which was the sad part lol!).   This book has introduced me to so many interesting book shops that I have definitely added to my list of 'places I want to visit'.  

What I also liked about this book is that you had interviews with authors such as Tracy Chevalier etc talking about their book experiences.  Its probably the equivalent of someone who is an organiser reading a lifestyle magazine just to see the pictures of people's living rooms to see how they decorate etc...

This book was so good I read it in one sitting, could not put it down...  There were so many places that I had to Google to find out more after I had read the book, it's definitely addicting.

About the Author
(from Goodreads)

Jen grew up in a small village by the sea in the north-east of England. After studying English Literature at Edinburgh University, she moved to north London to sell books and write stories. She works part-time at an antiquarian bookshop.

Jen's first book, Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops, was published in 2012 and was a Sunday Times Bestseller. The sequel, More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops, was released in 2013. 'Weird Things...' is available in seven different languages, and was a finalist in the Goodreads Choice Awards.

Her new non-fiction book The Bookshop Book was published October 2014 by Constable/Little, Brown, and is the official book of the 2014 Books Are My Bag campaign. www.jen-campbell.co.uk/the-bookshop-book

Jen is also an award-winning poet and short story writer. Her poetry pamphlet The Hungry Ghost Festival is published by The Rialto., and she is currently writing her first novel.

She is represented by Charlie Campbell at Kingsford Campbell.
 




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24 Nov 2014

Book Review / A Proper Farmily Christmas by Chrissie Manby

Annabel Buchanan has it all. A privileged life. Pots of cash. Looks and manners born of generations of fabulous breeding. At least, that's what she likes people to think. But Annabel's carefully created image is about to come crashing down.

With her beloved daughter Izzy in need of a kidney transplant, Annabel is desperate to find a suitable donor. That's how she comes to admit that before Annabel Buchanan there was Daisy Benson, given up for adoption by her teenage mum and dad.

Hoping her biological family will be able to help, Annabel traces the Bensons and is horrified by the embarrassing, chavvy bunch she discovers. They're definitely not her kind of people. And she is equally baffling to them.

But as Christmas approaches and Izzy's situation brings the Benson and the Buchanan families closer, will Annabel discover at last that blood is thicker than water?


Published:     6th November 2014
Publisher:  Hodder
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 2, Proper Family
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher
Review:  4 out of 5


My Review

What I loved about this story...
I really enjoyed the fact that you had two completely separate families; one 'well off' family who acted very posh and quite snobby like and one family who are more 'down to earth' and quite opinionated and loud.  Following both of these families when their worlds collide was very entertaining.  The two characters that I liked the most were Izzy and Sarah who strike up a friendship through all the rivalry and fighting between the families.  Another two characters that I found particularly funny was Jack and his grandfather.  Jack is a young boy and the grandfather is much older (obviously!) and is suffering from Alzheimer's.  When these two get together, the results are really quite funny, particularly how much fun they have.

What I was not fond of with this story...
If I was completely honest, I was a bit disappointed by the ending.  I won't spoil the story for you here but the conclusion to something that happens throughout this story was not the one I was expecting. 


About the Author

Encouraged my by English teacher, Mrs. Pocock, I published my first short story in Just Seventeen when I was fourteen years old. The story was called ‘Whatever happened to the wonderful boy I fell in love with’ and I published it under the pseudonym ‘Carolyn Lane’ because it largely consisted of a transcript of an argument I’d had with my boyfriend. I bought a black denim jacket from C & A with the proceeds.

I continued to contribute short stories to Just Seventeen to help pay my way through university. I studied Experimental Psychology at St Edmund Hall in Oxford. Alas, I devoted rather too much time to my social life and staggered away with an unimpressive 2:2. In retrospect, that 2:2 saved my life. It meant that none of the graduate training schemes I had hoped to join would have me. I wouldn’t become an accountant after all. I moved to London and took a series of temp jobs to support myself. It was while I was working at Prelude Audio Books, a company which took erotic ‘classics’ and put them on tape, that I met my first real novelist: David Garnett.

David is a very well respected science fiction writer, who once dabbled with writing erotica under the name Angelique. Prelude was recording the Angelique novels. One afternoon, David spent a couple of hours sitting on my desk, waiting for my boss to come back from a very long publishing lunch to discuss some unpaid royalties. I told David I’d always wanted to be a writer. He dared me to write a novella like Angelique’s. A few weeks later, I handed him my first full-length manuscript. David cast his experienced eye over my scribblings, helped me tweak it and then passed it on to his editor at Little Brown. Incredibly, she made an offer on it. My dream of becoming a proper writer was reborn.

That first book was called ‘Inspiration’. It centred on the sexual shenanigans of a group of artists in St Ives. Wary of embarrassing my parents, I published ‘Inspiration’ as Stephanie Ash. Four more Stephanie Ash novellas followed, helping me to pay my rent and attract the attention of a literary agent. In 1997, I published my first Chris Manby novel, ‘Flatmates’…

Thirteen novels on the single life as Chris Manby later, I’ve just published ‘Getting Over Mr. Right’ as ‘Chrissie Manby’ (apparently too many people are under the impression that I am a bloke!). 




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23 Nov 2014

Cover Reveal / The Lighthouse Pylon by Jeffrey Perren

     

   

      The Lighthouse Pylon
   

 

 
 
    
 CURL HOYER WAS A MAN WHO COULD NOT BE FOOLED… EXCEPT THIS ONCE.

1955. An unstoppable sea and an immovable tower hold the key to several lives, past, present, and future.

Approaching middle-age and desperately lonely, Lighthouse Keeper Curl Hoyer is pining to find a wife, the unique partner just right for him.

When alluring photo-journalist Henne arrives to do a story on him and the romantic coastal facility, his prayer seems answered at last. Seductive and intriguing, she soon makes him fall in love with her — all according to plan.

What is that plan?

At first blush, it appears nothing more than a desire to corral a man of unusual character: a rare blend of passion, curiosity, and tenderness. Soon, it’s revealed to be a demonic scheme for revenge, payback for wounds festering since adolescence.

Why? What is the mysterious connection between the pair reaching back 20 years? And can Curl uncover the plan in time to save himself and the vital lighthouse?

A haunting seaside tower brings them together again for one final showdown.

“The Lighthouse Pylon is dramatic suspense harkening back to the golden age of Gothic romance, when a shoreline structure could be as menacing as the villain. Jeffrey Perren’s latest is surely his finest novel yet, with a twist at the end we challenge any reader to guess!” - ClioStory Publishing


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeffrey Perren wrote his first short story at age 12 and went on to win the Bank of America Fine Arts award at age 17. Since then he has published at award-winning sites and magazines from the U.S. to New Zealand.

His debut novel was "Cossacks In Paris," an historical adventure set in Napoleonic Europe, inspired by a real soldier of the Battle of Paris in 1814. His second, “Death is Overrated,” a romantic mystery, is the story of a scientist who must prove he didn't kill himself. His third is “Clonmac's Bridge,” an archaeological thriller and historical mystery set in contemporary and 9th century Ireland. “The Lighthouse Pylon,” a novel of romantic suspense is expected to be published on December, 2014.
He was born in Independence, MO right around the corner from Harry Truman's house. But then, at the time, everything there was right around the corner from Harry Truman's house. He now lives in Sandpoint, Idaho with his wife, an economist.

Amazon profile - http://www.amazon.com/Jeffrey-Perren/e/B00B7PTTKO
Goodreads profile - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6851798.Jeffrey_Perren
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Stacking the Shelves / Book Haul - 23rd Nov 2014



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20 Nov 2014

Blog Tour / I Want to be Baptized by Annalisa Hall

Help your little ones recognize the joy, responsibility, and importance of being baptized. 

"I Want to Be Baptized"—from the same author and illustrator who brought you "The Holy Ghost Is like a Blanket"—depicts what baptism really means for children’s lives by comparing it to objects they remember and relate to. 

Turn to these heartwarming illustrations and meaningful analogies next time a child asks you about baptism.
  

GOODREADS LINK - CLICK HERE



AUTHOR INTERVIEW



1. If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why? There are plenty of authors I admire. Bob Staake, David L. Harrison, Julianne Donaldson, Kelly Milner Halls, and Merrilee Boyack to name a few. I think collaborating with Josi S. Kilpack on a children's mystery book would be fun -- cooking up something yummy in the process would be a special treat. And definitely Sheri Fink -- her whimsical world is something I'd love to be part of one day. My daughter loves her books which encourage and empower children to do good and be good. Also, when it comes to children's books, the illustrator has a big role. Corey Egbert was my pick for "The Holy Ghost is Like a Blanket" and it was only natural for him to illustrate "I Want to Be Baptized" And yet with a new children's storybook in my head, I've been conjuring a new style which has allowed me to venture into the art world again -- David Habben is currently a new favorite artist.


2. What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write? The family is up by 6am and we're out the door to school and work by 7:30am (if I haven't forgotten to feed them or read the scriptures – it’s a good start). At 5pm we're back home together for dinner, family prayer, and bedtime routines (which may or may not include eating dessert first). By 8pm the kids are tucked into bed, and that's when the real day begins -- the reading & writing routine. First, I write in my journal (it’s my data dump). Then, I edit the previous days’ work (the clean, clear & concise method) and press forward with new work. I alternate days between writing children's books and other genres. But at pumpkin time, I go to sleep (as in, I need my beauty rest & that starts at 10pm). I write in journals, on magazines, and in Google Drive. My favorite is still composition notebooks though.

3. What is the hardest part of the writing for you? Knowing when to submit the work to a publisher is the hardest part for me. Polishing work can take an eternity, but it’s important to remember that no amount of refining or editing will help if it doesn't meet the publisher's needs at that time. At some point, I realize that I've addressed all the major issues and the publisher needs to decide what happens next. Then, it just takes a lot of courage to find the right publisher -- weeding through the rejection until you sprout up and find the publisher that will help your book blossom. For these children’s books, it was Cedar Fort Inc. [Thanks to an intro by my friend, Merrilee Boyack].

4. When and why did you first start writing? I daydream. I write snail mail. I write short stories. I write poetry. I write more. I read. And I write again. My 8th birthday, with a children's illustrated dictionary and an "About Me" journal, launched me into the writing world. Words and stories have filled my mind ever since and I continue to see the world for what I imagine it should be not necessarily what it is. My friend, Julianne Donaldson, author of "Edenbrooke" and "Blackmoore" suggested I submit one of my true stories to the Friend magazine. I did and it was published in Sept 2010 - "Garbage Can Graffiti". It was an exciting event that propelled me to continue writing and submitting to publishers my fiction and non-fiction works.

5. How did you come up with the idea for your book? "I Want to Be Baptized" is the prequel to "The Holy Ghost is Like a Blanket" and both are the result of a parent's need to teach their young children about Gospel principles and ordinances. It took a lot of prayer and patience to decide what are the main goals were - what do children need to know and feel while reading the book - and I'm grateful these LDS Non-fiction children's books came together so well.

6. Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now? Yes, reading books is a huge part of perfecting the storytelling craft and I read multiple styles (YA, Picture Books, Love Inspired, Comics…) at the same time. I just finished "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green. My nightstand currently has the series of Latter-day tales by Rebecca H. Jamison, "Green Eggs and Ham" by Dr. Suess, "Math Curse" by Jon Scieszka, "Bluebird" (wordless) by Bob Staake, and "The Rancher and the Schoolteacher" by Judith Bowen. [You can see my 'shelfie' pic @helpfulannalisa with many of my favorite children's books.]

7. Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers? (A) Write and write and write, (B) Join the national book / writers’ club for your genre(s) and be a member of the corresponding local chapters [i.e. SCBWI ], and (C) Please your readers [meet their expectations] -- give them a great story.


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19 Nov 2014

Waiting on Wednesday / The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly memo that is hosted by Breaking the Spine Blog.

Expected Release Date: 10th February 2015
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.

There's death all around us.
We just don't pay attention.
Until we do.


The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn't look at her like she might break down at any moment.

Now she's just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that's all she'll ever be.

As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there's a secret she hasn't told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.

Lex's brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn't have to be real to keep you from moving on.

From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand, The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a gorgeous and heart-wrenching story of love, loss, and letting go.
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17 Nov 2014

Book Review / I'll be Watching You by Beverly Barton

Ella, sweet Ella, you were meant to be mine. You can’t begin to imagine all the things I want to do to you. When the time is right, I will come for you . . .

A series of hand-delivered letters leaves Ella scared for her life. Someone is watching her. Wanting her. Someone promising revenge.

Desperate for the nightmare to end, Ella will do anything to discover the truth. Even join forces with a man who comes with his own danger warning . . .


Published:     9th October 2014
Publisher:  Avon
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher
Review:   4 out of 5

 


My Review

What I loved about this book...
I have to admit that crime style stories have not been my favourite genre in the past but this year I had decided to push my reading limits and read outside my comfort zone and crime style stories is one of those that I wanted to read more of.  I am so glad that I picked up this story and I will definitely look into the other books that are out from this author.  I really enjoyed the vast array of characters in this story and trying to figure out who was good and who was bad. 

What I was not fond of with this story...
There was a point near the middle of this story where I felt it did drag along a little bit but I am really glad that I pushed through that because the ending was well worth the wait!

About the Author
(from Goodreads)


Beverly Marie Inman was born on 23 December 1946 in Tuscumbia, Alabama, USA. Daughter of Doris Marie and Walter D. Inman Jr. A born romantic, she fell in love with The Beauty and the Beast epic at an early age, when her grandfather bought her an illustrated copy of the famous fairy tale. Even before she learned to read and write, her vivid imagination created magical words and fabulous characters inside her mind. Movies fascinated her, and by the time she was seven she was rewriting the movies she saw on television and at the local theater to give them all happy endings. By the age of nine she'd penned her first novel. She wrote short stories, TV scripts, poetry, and novels throughout high school and into college.

After her marriage to Billy Ray Beaver, the "love of her life", and the births of her two children, Beverly continued to be a voracious reader and a devoted moviegoer, but she put her writing aspirations on hold until her children were teenagers. At every age of their lives, from infancy to adulthood, the children had been a true joy to her. She devoted herself to her husband and children and considered herself one of the many selfless "supermoms" who put their family's needs first. She believed she had had it all, just not all at the same time.

In her mid-30s, Beverly returned to her former passion — writing — as a hobby, but before 40, she decided that she wanted to make writing a full-time career. And when she rediscovered an old dream — of becoming a published writer — no one was more supportive of her aspirations than her family. Her children were her greatest cheerleaders and her husband was her biggest supporter. After writing over 40 books and receiving numerous awards and nominations, as well as having books on the USA Today list and consistently on the Waldenbooks bestseller list, her career was indeed a dream come true. Having a fantastic family and fabulous friends, as well as making a living doing the one thing she had loved doing since childhood, she considered herself truly blessed. Beverly died suddenly of heart failure on 21 April 2011.
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14 Nov 2014

Book Review / The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare


Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.

Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.

All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.

So he tries his best to do his worst - and fails at failing.

Now the Magisterium awaits him. It's a place that's both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.

The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .


Published:     7th September 2014
Publisher:  Scholastic Press
Author Website:  Cassandra Clare: Click here & Holly Black:  Click Here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 1, Magisterium

Source:  Review Copy from Publisher
Review:   3 out of 5

 


My Review

What I loved about this story...
I really enjoyed the mystery and history of this story.  At the beginning of the story, you have a flashback to a 'great war' and out of that survives a baby.  Flash forward and you have the main character Callum who finds himself  going through the Iron Trial go get into the Magisterium and wanting to fail.  I really enjoyed him trying to fail at the different tests he is given and the way he chooses to try and fail, I found it so funny.  The unknown in this story was the big pull for me in this story, I  am definitely intrigued to find out more about Callum's past and also the history of the Magisterium.

What I was not fond of with this story...
Although I enjoyed reading this story, I did find it very predictable and there were very few things in the story that surprised me.  


 About the Authors     

Cassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. 

Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. 

 She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts.


Holly Black is a best-selling author of contemporary fantasy novels for kids, teens, and adults. She is the author of the Modern Faerie Tale series (Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside), The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), and The Good Neighbors graphic novels (with Ted Naifeh) The Poison Eaters and Other Stories, a collection of short fiction, and The Curse Worker series (White Cat, Red Glove, and Black Heart). She is also the co-editor of three anthologies, Geektastic (with Cecil Castellucci), Zombies vs. Unicorns (with Justine Larbalestier), and Welcome to Bordertown (with Ellen Kushner). Her most recent works are the middle grade novel, Doll Bones, and the dark fantasy stand-alone, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.

She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Theo, in a house with a secret library.



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11 Nov 2014

Waiting on Wednesday / The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly memo that is hosted by Breaking the Spine Blog.

Expected Release Date: 10th March 2015
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.

Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.
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Book Review / The Witch of Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper

You don't know what you must give up to become a witch.

Avery Roe wants only to claim her birthright as the witch of Prince Island and to make the charms that have kept the island's sailors safe at sea for generations, but instead she is held prisoner by her mother in a magic-free life of proper manners and respectability.

Avery thinks escape is just a matter of time, but when she has a harrowing nightmare, she can see what it means: She will be killed. She will be murdered. And she's never been wrong before.

Desperate to change her future, Avery finds a surprising ally in Tane—a tattooed harpoon boy with magic of his own, who moves her in ways she never expected. But as time runs out to unlock her magic and save herself, Avery discovers that becoming a witch requires unimaginable sacrifice.

Avery walks the knife's edge between choice and destiny in Kendall Kulper's sweeping debut: the story of one girl's fight to survive the rising storm of first love and family secrets.


Published:     4th September 2014
Publisher:  Orchard Books
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 1,
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher
Review:   3 out of 5


My Review

What I loved about this story...
What I loved the most about this story was the history of the island and the history of the Roe witches.  I liked the fact that there is one 'main' Roe witch and when the time is right its the daughter who takes over next.  I liked the fact that in this story it is the witch who 'holds all the cards' in the island and controls a lot of aspects of the island.  Most stories that I have read with witches in it they are usually the victim and are being hunted so it was nice to see witches in a different light with this book...       

What I was not fond of with this story... 
For me, this book was very slow paced and I had a hard time keeping my concentration on this story because of that.  There was also a particular character (Avery's mother) that I really took a dislike to for the entirety of the story and whenever she was part of the story I really got annoyed with her views and how she tries to control Avery.


About the Author
(From Goodreads)

Kendall Kulper is the author of SALT & STORM, a Young Adult historical fantasy to be published by Little, Brown in September 2014. 

She grew up in the wilds of New Jersey and currently lives in Boston with her economist husband, Dave, and Abby, her chronically-anxious Australian Shepherd.




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6 Nov 2014

Blog Tour / Christmas in Snow Valley Anthology













Christmas in Snow Valley is only $.99 until November 8th.







Snow Valley, Montana, is a small community with the tradition of doing Christmas big. Festivities begin with tree lighting in the town square the day after Thanksgiving and continue until the culminating romantic Christmas Ball. From the Polar Express to a Winter Carnival, there’s something for every wonder-filled  child—and every couple who’s in love—or about to be.



An Unexpected Kiss by Cindy Roland Anderson

Lucy Phillips doesn’t want to spend her Christmas vacation dodging her ex-boyfriend, so when he turns up at the airport to give her a ride home, Lucy panics and asks a complete stranger to kiss her. Although the kiss is incredible, Lucy never expects to see the guy again. Is it bad luck or destiny when Lucy comes down with a sore throat and the new doctor in Snow Valley is none other than the guy she kissed at the airport?



Feels Like Love by Jeanette Lewis

Christmas in Snow Valley is the perfect way for April Winston to introduce her city slicker fiancĂ©, Scott Mecham, to life on a farm. If only Wade Hadley, hometown boy and high school sweetheart, will cooperate! But Wade has no intention of letting April go without a fight. This Christmas, Wade is determined to overcome their painful past and show April that she already has what she’s been seeking all along.



Full Court Devotion by Cami Checketts

Kazlyn is too busy with her schooling and future plans to enjoy life, let alone fall in love with a man who has heartbreak written all over him. Tyrese Hamilton, a college basketball star and major heartthrob, is intrigued when Kazlyn doesn't pursue him or even seem interested. Ty's career is in jeopardy, and he needs a miracle and Kazlyn to save him.



The Christmas Eve Kiss by Taylor Hart

When Molly O’Hare gets a prediction that she will kiss her true love on Christmas Eve, she thinks it’s utterly ridiculous. But when she gets teamed up with Kevin Snow, aka her ex-boyfriend, to decorate a Christmas tree, things start to change. Too bad getting over the past is hard and seeing him kiss another girl is even harder. Now Molly is left with a choice—run away from home and heartbreak or let Christmas work out a miracle all of its own.



Risking it all for Love by Award-Winning author, Kimberley Montpetit

Ever since her high school boyfriend's death from a car accident three years earlier, Jessica Mason and her hometown of Snow Valley, Montana with all its awful memories have NOT been compatible. Running away to New Orleans on a ballet scholarship, Jessica cringes when she thinks about confronting Pastor John and the community church--she doesn't want to talk about God, not after He took Michael, the boy she was going to marry ever since third grade.

In the local scene of funky New Orleans, Jessica seeks out Madame LaBlanc, hoping Michael will absolve her of her guilt the night of the car accident in a seance, but the spirit world is silent and she fears the grief will drown her.

Finally succumbing to family pressure, Jessica reluctantly returns for Christmas - and the little town of Snow Valley does Christmas BIG. When she visits Michael’s grave in the church yard, Jessica is shocked to meet handsome James Douglas, Pastor John’s nephew, who’s studying for the ministry. No, she is NOT going to be attracted to someone who wants to be a preacher! Definitely not compatible! But James Douglas is unlike any minister-in-training she's ever met. James can not only dish back Jessica’s finely-tuned sarcasm but understands grief all too well, turning Jessica’s world upside down.

Can Jessica forgive herself for that terrible, fateful night? Can she take another risk on love?



Blue Christmas by Lucy McConnell

As head of Snow Valley hospital's fundraising effort, Paisley Hackett barely has time to organize the craft show, cookie decorating party, and the annual Christmas Ball. What she doesn't have time for is falling in love with Clay Jett, the incredibly handsome bass player who sweeps into town. She's been burned by a tourist romance before and, with everything going on, Paisley will have to work overtime to protect her heart from Clay and his swoon-worthy ballads.



Click here to enter to win a reader's choice of any of the author's books.


MY REVIEW        5 out of 5 for each story.

I have decided to do one review that combines my feelings about each and every book mentioned above. The reason for this is that after reading each story I had pretty much the same feelings even though they were different stories and different characters.  

What I loved about these stories...
What I loved the most about each and every story mentioned above was the romance part of it.  All the relationships and built up of romance between characters, to me, felt so real and I thoroughly enjoyed following each and every story.  I loved the fact that all these stories were based around a place called Snow Valley and even some of the characters in one story make a fleeting appearance in another.  I loved the writing style of each of these authors.  I read each of these stories straight after each other and to be honest I could not really tell that they had been written by different authors and that is a good thing as it kept my interest in the overall stories surrounding Snow Valley and kept the stories flowing. 

What I was not fond of with these stories...
I loved these stories and could not put them down.  There was nothing that I didn't like about them.


Best wishes

Debs :-)  

 




    

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5 Nov 2014

Waiting on Wednesday / An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly memo that is hosted by Breaking the Spine Blog.

Expected Release Date: 28th April 2015
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.


Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier— and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

Vow your blood and body to the empire.

Keep your heart for yourself.
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29 Oct 2014

Waiting on Wednesday / Frostfire by Amanda Hocking


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly memo that is hosted by Breaking the Spine Blog.

Expected Release Date: 6th January 2015
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.

Bryn Aven is an outcast among the Kanin, the most powerful of the troll tribes. Set apart by her heritage and her past, Brynn is a tracker who's determined to become a respected part of her world. She has just one goal: become a member of the elite King’s Guard to protect the royalty. She's not going to let anything stand in her way, not even a forbidden romance with her boss Ridley Dresden. But all her plans for the future are put on hold when Konstantin– a fallen hero who she once loved – appears to be up to something dangerous, kidnapping changelings. Bryn is sent in to help stop him, but will she lose her heart in the process?
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22 Oct 2014

Waiting on Wednesday / The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly memo that is hosted by Breaking the Spine Blog.

Expected Release Date: 10th February 2015
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.


The Handmaid’s Tale meets Blood Red Road in Glass Arrow, the story of Aya, who lives with a small group of women on the run from the men who hunt them, men who want to auction off breeding rights to the highest bidder.

In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning.

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20 Oct 2014

Book Review / A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink

Even angels make mistakes in this page-turning epic romance

When her parents are murdered before her eyes, sixteen-year-old Helen Cartwright finds herself launched into an underground London where a mysterious organization called the Dictata controls the balance of good and evil. Helen learns that she is one of three remaining angelic descendants charged with protecting the world's past, present, and future. 


Unbeknownst to her, she has been trained her whole life to accept this responsibility. Now, as she finds herself torn between the angelic brothers protecting her and the devastatingly handsome childhood friend who wants to destroy her, she must prepare to be brave, to be hunted, and above all to be strong, because temptation will be hard to resist, even for an angel.

Michelle Zink masterfully weaves historical fantasy with paranormal romance to create a gripping tale of love and betrayal.


Published:     20th March 2012
Publisher:  Dial Books
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Bought
Review:   5 out of 5


My Review

What I loved about this story...
This is one of those books that I have had on my shelf for ages now, it might have even been since the date of publication!  I can't believe it has taken me so long to read this, I LOVED it!!!  I loved that as soon as open the book and get reading you are straight into the action of the story.  I was completely sucked into this story right from the very first page.  This story has great suspense so combine that with the addiction action in this story, I was just sucked in for the entire story.  The pace of the story was very fast which helped in keeping the momentum - in fact I read this book in one sitting (probably about 2 to 3 hours ish).  There is a bit of romance in this book, which I felt was realistic and had great 'build up'.      
 
What I was not fond of with this story... 
Absolutely nothing!  The only thing I am sad about with this story is the fact that it is a stand alone and not part of a series.  I would have loved to read more about the story and the characters.   

About the Author
(from Author Website)

Michelle Zink lives in New York with her four children. 

Prophecy of the Sisters was her first novel, and was chosen as one of Booklist’s Top Ten Debut Novels of 2009 and as one of the Chicago Public Library’s Best Books for Young Readers. It has also been listed on the New York Public Library’s Stuff for the Teen Age and the Lone Star Reading List.
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19 Oct 2014

Book Review / A Place of Yes by Bethenny Frankel

The New York Times bestselling author of Naturally Thin and The Skinnygirl Dish, Bethenny Frankel takes us on an empowering journey to A PLACE OF YES.


BETHENNY FRANKEL’S no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is personality won over countless fans, and made her a nationally bestselling author and the star of her own hit Bravo show Bethenny Getting Married? Now Bethenny opens up and shares the obstacles she overcame and the great success she has enjoyed while discovering how to approach life from “A Place of Yes.” Bethenny’s path was not always clear as she overcame a difficult childhood, failed relationships, entrepreneurial efforts that never quite got off the ground, and lifelong money struggles. To deal with these challenges, Bethenny developed ten rules for pursuing her goals with authenticity and drive, including:

FIND YOUR TRUTH: Dig deep inside and figure out what is authentic for you, not anybody else. 

ACT ON IT: You don’t have to have a master plan. But unless you do something, you’ve done nothing. 

EVERYTHING’S YOUR BUSINESS: Treat every job, person, and experience as if it could lead to your next big opportunity. 

OWN IT: If you do it, say it, think it—then own it. Stand up for yourself and fully acknowledge who you really are. Each rule is illustrated with compelling, sometimes funny, sometimes outrageous examples that are pure Bethenny. It’s easy to say no, to say “I can’t,” to expect the worst, and to doubt yourself. But your life can be better than “not bad” or “good enough.” It can be amazing. And by putting Bethenny’s rules together, you can use them to be more successful, more fulfilled, healthier, and happier than ever before. 

Published:     22nd March 2011
Publisher:  Touchstone
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Bought

Review:   4 out of 5

My Review

What I loved about this book...
Its that time of year that I tend to look for a really good inspirational read that boosts me from Summer into the Autumn/Winter months.  I didn't know who Bethenny was before reading this book and hadn't realised that she was a celebrity.  I found this book to be so inspiring both with following Bethenney and her particular story as well as the tips and helpful advice along the way.  I found her to be very upfront and honest and liked the way she got her message across in this book using aspects of her life. 

What I was not fond of with this book...
I really did enjoy this book and got a lot out of it.  I am definitely going to check out any other books/shows that she is in/wrote.  

About the Author
(from Goodreads)

Bethenny Frankel has a knack for making healthy food taste delicious. That knack, which started out as a hobby and was enhanced with formal training, has elevated her to national prominence as a celebrated natural food chef, the creator of the phenomenal new Skinnygirl Margarita, and The New York Times best selling author of Naturally Thin.

Frankel, who calls herself a "health foodie” and attended the National Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, focuses on sharing with others her knowledge and passion for healthy living. In addition to her monthly column in Health Magazine, she is regularly featured in national publications from The New York Times to the weekly entertainment magazines. She’s also a sought-after guest on national news and entertainment television, where she brings her expertise and irresistibly candid and funny take not only to food segments but to any conversation about living healthy and living well.

Frankel’s wit, wisdom and humor came to national attention when she was named first runner-up on NBC’s “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart.” Network executives saw a personality they couldn’t ignore and put her center stage weekly on Bravo’s hit series “The Real Housewives of New York,” now in its third season. Though technically not a “wife,” she has emerged as the star of the series, with a huge network of fans, a job as national spokesperson for Pepperidge Farm's Baked Naturals® and Deli Flats(trademark), and her own spin-off series now in production.

Naturally Thin: Unleash Your Skinnygirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting debuted this year on The New York Times Best Sellers list and stayed for an astonishing for 18 consecutive weeks. Frankel’s second book, The Skinnygirl Dish: Easy Recipes for Your Naturally Thin Life will be released January 5, 2010, just in time to support “new year, new me” resolutions with delicious, practical, effective recipes and lifestyle tweaks. Skinnygirl Dish showcases Frankel’s renowned “fix-ology” . . . her ability to take calorie-rich foods and revamp them to create healthier versions without compromising flavor.

Her skill as a fixologist applies to cocktails too . . . she has just this fall launched The Skinnygirl Margarita, a bottled, pre-mixed beverage made with clear tequila, lime juice and only a splash of citrus liqueur, which drastically reduces the calories of the traditional cocktail. All natural and lightly sweetened with agave nectar, it has only 100 calories in a full 4 oz. serving.

As the go-to blogger for all things reality and lifestyle, Frankel wields her pen like a sword, ensuring that readers will get the unvarnished truth along with common sense, expertise and a healthy – always healthy – dose of humor. She is on a mission to democratize healthy living, making information available to everyone she can reach through her appearances, books, columns and blogs.

Frankel lives in Manhattan with her dog Cookie. She will be marrying her other love, Jason Hoppy, this spring and they will welcome their first child in early summer.









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17 Oct 2014

Book Review / 7 Souls by Barnabas Miller and Jordan Orlando

Mary expected her seventeenth birthday to be a blowout to remember, courtesy of her best friends, fellow New York City prepsters Amy and Joon, and her doting boyfriend, Trick.

Instead, the day starts badly and gets worse. After waking up in a mortifying place with a massive, unexplainable hangover, Mary soon discovers that nobody at school is even aware that it's her birthday. As evening approaches, paranoia sets in. Mary just can't shake the feeling that someone is out to get her—and, as it turns out, she's right. Before the night is over, she's been killed in cold blood.


But murder is just the beginning of Mary's ordeal. Her soul gets trapped in a strange limbo, and she must relive the day of her death through the eyes of seven people—each of whom, she finds, had plenty of reasons to hate her. As Mary explores the mysteries of her world, discovering secrets that were hidden in plain sight while she was alive, she clings desperately to the hope that she can solve her own murder, change the past, and—just maybe—save her own life.


With its blend of suspense, horror, fantasy, and realism, 7 Souls is an adrenaline rush of a thriller.


Published:     13th July 2010
Publisher:  Delacorte Books
Author Website:  Barnabas Miller and Jordan Orlando
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Bought
Review:   5 out of 5  *** Fantastic Read ***


My Review

What I loved about this story...
Where do I start?!  I LOVED this story.  This was another one of those books that I had purchased a while ago, was really excited about reading it but just hadn't got around to it yet.  I am so glad I decided to read it now.  Starting the month of October off with this type of book was perfect.  I was absolutey hooked from the first page and read this book in one sitting (a few hours but still read in one day).    What I loved the most about this story is the mystery.  You have the main character, Mary, who we follow mostly throughout the story and we know that something happens but I liked how the little secrets of the story don't really get revealed until nearer the end of the story.  I especially loved the ending and how there were a few twists that I really was not expecting but explained more.  If you haven't checked out this book yet, you definately need to pick this up and give it a go.  


What I was not fond of with this story... 
Absolutely nothing!

About the Authors

Barnabas Miller has written many books for children and young adults. 

He also composes and produces music for film and network television. 

He lives in New York City with his wife, Heidi; their cat, Ted; and their dog, Zooey.


 ___________________________________________________________

Jordan Orlando sold his first novel before his twenty-first birthday. In addition to writing books, he creates websites and works in graphic design and digital cinema. He lives in New York City.




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