8/28/15

Friday Top Five!

For every top 5 list you do you get an entry to win an amazon ebook worth up to 1.99, a winner chosen every month!
For rules (seriously, there aren't any) click on the tab on the top left of the blog.

Well no one responded to the last two lists  :-(  I hope this isn't something I will have to discontinue.
I'll try another booky one!


Top 5 places you get books -
1. Authors - I swear! I get more books from the authors themselves than any other place! And there are so many that I turn down. I get at least 3 emails every day from authors asking to review their books.

2. Publishing companies - I get some great books right from the publishers!

3. Book tour/review groups - I belong to quite a few of these and they offer, again, some great books!

4. Amazon - doesn't everyone?

5. Book stores - B&N and BAM etc.

Now this has all changed since moving to PA. I used to get so many books from the library. If you can believe it - I haven't even been to this library! Its big and I don't even know where to park! IKR?
And in NY I went to B&N, there are non here, so now I go to BAM. I do miss B&N tho.
There were also a couple used book stores I went to. There is suppose to be a good one here but again I haven't been yet.

What are your top places for getting books? Come on people! Do this list!

8/27/15

Little Sacrifices - Jamie Scott (aka Michele Gorman)

4.5 Stars!

ABOUT THE BOOK -
How much would you risk to stand up for your beliefs?

When Duncan and Sarah Powell move with their daughter, May, to Savannah Georgia in 1947, they hope against hope that they’ll be welcomed. But they’re Yankees and worse, they’re civil rights advocates almost a decade too early.

At first May can pretend they’re the same as everyone else. It means keeping quiet when she knows she should speak up, but it’s worth the sacrifice to win friends. Unfortunately her parents are soon putting their beliefs into action. And when they wake to find that they’re the only family on the block with a Ku Klux Klan cross blazing on their front lawn, the time comes for them to finally decide between what’s easy and what’s right.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR -
Jamie Scott is the pen name of Michele Gorman, the USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author who writes romantic comedy under her own name.
Michele Gorman is the USA TODAY bestselling author of eight romantic comedies. Born and raised in the US, Michele has lived in London for 16 years. She is very fond of naps, ice cream and Richard Curtis films but objects to spiders and the word "portion".

You can find out more about Michele by following her on twitter or Facebook and by reading her blog or website. Do chat with her online - she's always looking for an excuse to procrastinate!

Twitter:@MicheleGormanUK
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MicheleGormanBooks
Blog: www.michelegormanwriter.blogspot.com
Website: www.michelegorman.co.uk  

MY THOUGHTS -
Well this was quite an impressive, amazing book! If it weren't for the very slow beginning I would have given it 5 stars. A very serious book with a very serious subject matter, one that is dear to my heart - prejudice.  I often say that the only people that I am prejudice against is prejudice people.

I loved that this took place in Savannah! I lived in Savannah for a couple years in the 80's. And even in the 80's it was so different than living in NY! There was so much prejudice against the blacks I couldn't stand it.  I used to call my mother and cry on the phone. An activist Yankee, she could have been writing about me! Savannah is such a beautiful and historical city, its too bad there is so much hate in it. This book took place in the 40's so I am sure you can imagine. This story reminded me a little bit of The Help.

Then there is the other part of the book - a journal that takes place in the 1800's, that part is good as well! I couldn't decide which part I liked better.

Excellent character development, even in the journal. Although it was slow developing for me, but it did get there and the characters ended up wonderful! I loved them all. Even May's stuck up snobby popular friends were perfectly done. They could have been in "Mean Girls".

This book has so much - racism, scandal, suspense, warmth, acceptance, and love! Its not all just about racism either. There is an unplanned pregnancy (or two!) and a lot of teen angst. And to top it all off - a perfect ending. not necessarily a happy ending, but a believable one. In real life not all endings are happy.

I also want to say that I loved that she followed up with all the characters in the epilogue. I love when books do this - tell what happens to everyone in the future. Everything wrapped up in a bow.

Three cheers for Michele Gorman for attacking such a brave, controversial subject matter!

Thank you Michele for sending me this book for my honest review!

Get your copy from amazon - HERE

8/26/15

A Healing Spirit - Melissa A Hanson

5 Stars!

ABOUT THE BOOK -
A freak ski accident brings nineteen-year old Mia Kinney within minutes of death. Hurt and scared, Mia is calmed by the southern drawl and clear green eyes of her rescuer. Twenty-one year old Dylan Blackburn is one of the first Ski Patrol members on the scene. As his patient is airlifted to the local trauma center, he can’t shake her from his thoughts. As Mia fights for her life, Dylan, is haunted by the blonde hair beauty, and knows he needs to make sure she’s going to be okay. With a troubled past Dylan has vowed never to completely open himself up to another girl, but Mia continues to knock down every wall he’s constructed. When his past arrives at his front door and threatens once again someone that he loves, will Dylan be able to save Mia yet again? Or will he be too late this time? A story of love, friendship, and the determination to turn a horrible experience into something worthwhile.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR -
Melissa A. Hanson lives in Southern California with her husband and two sons. Growing up in Southern California, inspiration for the city of “Riverview” is based on her hometown. Melissa enjoys scrapbooking and reading when time permits.

A Healing Heart was her first completed novel, and book 1 of the Riverview Series. It is Bailey & Collin's story.

A Healing Spirit, book 2 has now been released and is book 2 of the Riverview Series. It is Mia & Dylan's story. 

Visit Melissa's website - HERE

MY THOUGHTS -
Wow! Now that's a love story! What a wonderful book! I just loved this one. The prologue alone had me in tears! This was very easy to read, it had great characters that were expertly developed, a very sweet heartwarming (sometimes tear jerking) story-line, and was very easy to fall in love with!

I never for a second got bored with this book, I just wanted to keep reading and reading. It was sweet but not overly done. It really had that just-right-love-story feel.

The point of view took turns between the characters and I love when a book does this! I think this is my favorite way to read a book. And they were all very well labeled so you know who was talking. This really gives you a chance to know all the characters. And the characters! I just loved them all! I loved Mia - such a sweetie. I could just picture her as one of my daughter's friends. And Dylan - wow, what a sweetheart he was! Every girls dream! But I also loved Quinn and felt bad for him. I really want him to have someone special too! Maybe in the third book??? hint hint (or forth?).

This book was a nice easy reading, simple romance - but what's there not to love?
I highly recommend this one! As well as her first one - A Healing Heart which I reviewed - HERE
I believe I will read anything Melissa throws at me  :-)

Thank you Melissa A Hanson for sending me this wonderful e-book for my honest review, what a gem!

Get your copy from Amazon - HERE  
And a copy of A Healing Heart - HERE

8/25/15

Love Takes the Cake - Betsy St. Amant

4 Stars!

ABOUT THE BOOK -
She’s known for her delicious cakes, but there’s no recipe for dealing with the new man in her life.

Charlotte owns the best bakery in Louisiana, and clients come from near and far for her renowned wedding cakes. And while the wedding scene is Charlotte’s place to shine, her own love life is more dull than ever. After a string of failed relationships—and men who actually were too good to be true—she has decided to throw herself into her craft and leave love and marriage to her clients.

Will is a successful entrepreneur but devotes much of his spare time to caring for his sister. He knows he doesn't have much time left with her, so he has done everything he can to guard his heart from relationships. And what girl would understand that he needs to spend all his time with his sister? But when his best friend calls in his help for his September wedding, Will can’t refuse. He's always been there for those closest to him. And when he finds out they don’t have a wedding cake yet, he knows exactly where to go—the bakery owned by the beautiful, mysterious young woman he buys treats from.

Charlotte assumes Will is just another party boy who flirts with all the bridesmaids. But is Will hiding something that explains his behavior? And despite their reservations, will they be able to deny the chemistry between them?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR -
Betsy St. Amant lives in Louisiana with her young daughter and has a heart for sharing the amazing news of God's grace through her novels. A freelance journalist, Betsy is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she’s not reading, writing, or singing along to a Disney soundtrack with her daughter, Betsy enjoys inspirational speaking and teaching on the craft of writing. despite their reservations, will they be able to deny the chemistry between them?

Visit her website - HERE

MY THOUGHTS -
Adorable story! I loved this one. As usual this was a very sweet little romance. This may be short and sweet but it wallops a big punch. I felt like this was a full book, not just a short story. It was well thought out and well written.There are a few twists in here as well. I thought both main characters personalities were nicely developed.
This was definitely one of my favorites!

Thank you Book Look Bloggers for sending me this ebook for my honest review!

Get your copy from Amazon - HERE

8/24/15

The Town Dance - Nikki Skies (Showcase!)

ABOUT THE BOOK -
Lorna Simon, has plans to diminish her resume of safe journalism and be known for reporting trendsetting stories. Certain she can persevere her impressive family lineage within her carefree lifestyle as a social butterfly, this notion is put under fire after a night of partying thrusts Lorna into being a newsmaker instead of a news writer. Lorna alleges she has become the victim of a sexual assault crime committed against her by a woman, Trista, who is a promising event planner and an associate of Lorna's mother.
Paralyzed with the humiliation of having to publicly defend her sexuality as a heterosexual, Lorna must decide to believe in her bouts of memory loss and forego the incident or rekindle her passion for journalism to protect her livelihood and uphold the integrity of her family.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR -
Nikki Skies is an accomplished poet, author, and playwright living in Atlanta, GA.  Skies is the author of the short story book, “Mississippi Window Cracks” and the published collection of poetry and  prose, “Pocket Honey, Wind & Hips”.  A firm believer in the power of education, Skies studied for her BA and MFA in Theatre and Screenplay Writing and uses her art as a teaching tool to encourage an interest in literacy.  “The Town Dance” is the dramatic debut novel from Skies.

Visit her website at - www.nikkiskies.wordpress.com.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
EXCERPT -
Lorna pulled in the driveway of her parents’ home.  She was bare faced and had her hair pulled back in a ponytail.  Her father was walking down the driveway with his workout clothes on going to take his daily three mile power walk.  He waved at her as she blew her car horn.  She pulled in front of the middle garage door because this was closer to the pathway leading to the greenhouse.  Before she could get out of the car, her mother came from the side of the house pushing a wheel barrow of compost. 
  “Well, there you are.  Kind of...,” Annette was shocked yet very happy to see Lorna had actually arrived on time!  Annette stopped in front of Lorna’s car and stared at her bare faced daughter sitting in the car who looked sullen and tired.  Now equipped with something to complain about, Annette shook her head to disapprove of her appearance.  
  “There is more to life than partying.”
  Lorna opened her car door and held her hand out to stop her mother from any further comments.
  “Mother, not now, please. I’m here, I made it.”
  While Annette pushed the barrow to the side of the garage, Trista came from the backyard with another barrel of compost.  She smiled at the sight of Lorna getting out of her car.
  “I thought I heard your voice.  Good morning,” Trista said.
  Lorna’s stomach twisted in knots at the sight of her.  Her attempts to disregard the recollection of last night now came rushing back and sat at the base of her throat and burned the ridges of her ears. 
  “Hi,” Lorna responded softly and turned her head towards her mother so the words fell to the ground.  She closed the door to her car and waited for her mother to give her instructions.
  “We’re finishing up around here.  Grab a broom and help sweep out the greenhouse.  I need everything clean so I can move on to my next project.  So, what did you think about yesterday?” Annette rattled off to Lorna.
  “Mother, everything was beautiful. You were beautiful and I heard nothing but great things from everyone.”
  Annette smiled.  She knew her daughter would say that but it always good to hear.
  “Now, that is something you should write about!  Leave your mark in this town like your grandparents.”
  Trista studied the conversation between Annette and Lorna while dumping her compost into a recycle container.  She noticed Lorna had resorted to lowering her head as her mother spoke to her. This was her demeanor when Raymond came to their table last night at the club.  She decided to interject.
  “She’s going to leave her mark on this town alright.  I heard from a mutual friend that Lorna landed a big writing assignment for her magazine,” Trista confidently said, certain that she had diffused the situation.
  Annette stopped in her tracks and put one hand on her hip while looking at Lorna.  Trista had just turned a bad situation worse!  No one was to know the business of Dennis or Lorna before Annette did! 
  Lorna tried to save whatever she could of the situation, “That’s right.  I was going to tell you about it today after the parade and all. This story could be the break I’ve been looking for and something that will set me apart from everyone else.”
  “That’s fine and dandy but there is nothing wrong with writing about your family and preserving our name and some state history too,” Annette fused back. 
  Lorna knew this conversation would continue to go left if she didn’t get her mother’s mind back to the business at hand, “Where is the push broom?”
  Annette could read on Lorna’s face she did not want to have this conversation right now so she reluctantly dropped it. 
  “In the greenhouse.”
  Trista realized she did more harm than good and figured her best move would be to stay busy and away from Annette.  She didn’t want her to become more inquisitive and begin to ask questions about the article.
  “I’ll go clear out some more compost and bring it out,” Trista followed Lorna back in the greenhouse.
  Lorna was busy pushing shrubbery into the center of the greenhouse with the broom when Trista walked in.  Her presence made Lorna nervous.
  “Does she always give you a hard time?”
  Lorna kept sweeping and didn’t look up, “Yes, but that’s a mother right?”
  “I suppose so.  Their job is to always push you harder and further.  Well, the only reason I brought that up is because Kaylynn only had great things to say about you being an amazing journalist.”
  Lorna had not stopped sweeping to acknowledge Trista was even talking.  Trista continued to try and persuade a conversation with Lorna but her reserved disposition made Trista uncomfortable. 
  Lorna and Annette’s relationship reminded Trista of her and her mother.  Trista didn’t come from a family that had a legacy to uphold but her mother was a powerful and respected woman who was the superintendent for the 3rd largest school district in the state of Kentucky.  Her mother was known for leading with a charismatic approach to engage her administrators to academic distinction.  With Trista being the oldest of three girls, and considered the trailblazer, her mother expected nothing short of excellence from her.  While Trista never purposely defied her mother, their conflict was characterized through their personalities.  Trista was an introvert and her mother was impatient with trying to understand this.  
  Her mother dictated what activities Trista would participate in and she became the best at whatever it was to make her mother proud and gratify her reputation.  But whenever Trista was asked to initiate interest in a new club and was allowed to enter with the quiet ease that was natural to her, “those” feelings always came.  The feelings of being physically attracted to the women around her.  No one had ever shown this type of affection to her so she knew it was not common.  Trista always felt different.  When this happened, Trista would retreat in her shell until her mother rescued her from her individualized failed attempt at a social life, and wait until her mother organized her next club or competition to dominate.
  This was how Lorna looked now.  Like she had gone inside of a shell and was waiting for her mother to hand her a lifeline.  Or maybe Lorna was sensitive because Trista left this morning without saying goodbye.  Trista would do anything to get Lorna to smile again and stop acting so distant. 
  “I’ve known Kaylynn for years and she is very particular with her compliments so you must really have what it takes,” Trista vouched.
  Lorna remained apathetic and continued sweeping.        
  Trista walked towards Lorna and stood in front of the broom so she would have to stop.
  “Are you okay?  You’re barely saying a word to me.”
  “I’m fine.  I’m just still a little tired and the outline for my story is due in a couple of days and I’m not good with deadlines.  So, I just have a lot on my mind, that’s all.” 
  “If this is because I left without waking you up this morning, I figured you needed the extra sleep.  I had a friend come by and pick me up.” 
  “Trista, that’s fine.  If I can just finish up here with helping my mom, I can spend the rest of the day working on my article.  So, I need to finish sweeping,” Lorna moved the broom to try and scoot Trista from in front of her.      
  “You’re going to be fine.  Like Kaylynn said at your company party the other day, experience is the best teacher so you’ll be able to write this one with ease.”
  Trista flirtatiously winked her eye at Lorna and rubbed her on the shoulder before she moved out the way.
  Lorna became numb.  She could hear her heartbeat pounding in her ears.  Her thoughts were running through her body like hot lava.  She twisted the wood handle on the push broom as if it would turn itself on and start to sweep.  When Trista’s words began to replay in her head, she would stop them by twisting at the wood handle more intensely.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am very excited to be reading and reviewing this book at the end of Sept.! So please come back to see my review. This sounds like a fantastic book and I can't wait to read it! I thank Nikki Skies in advance for this wonderful opportunity and for the excerpt in this post today.

Get your copy from Amazon - HERE 

8/21/15

Friday Top Five!

For every top 5 list you do you get an entry to win an amazon ebook worth up to 1.99, a winner chosen every month!
For rules (seriously, there aren't any) click on the tab on the top left of the blog.


Top 5 dream jobs you would have, if you didn't have the job you are doing now (get crazy with this).
1. Photographer for Nat Geo. (Can you say travel?)
2. Medical - Dr./Nurse (I love blood, what can I say)
3. Lawyer (I love arguing)
4. Writer (I need an excuse to go off and sit by the Ocean for inspiration)
5. Vic. Secrets model (well I can dream can't I?)


What are yours???

8/19/15

With No Regrets - Julie N Ford

4 Stars!

ABOUT THE BOOK -
Living With No Regrets Is Harder Than It Seems

Finley isn’t exactly sure when her life began to feel unfamiliar. She suspects the transformation started long before she caught her husband and fellow garden club member doing the white-trash-two-step on her new Bernhardt sofa. Now free from the shackles of a loveless marriage, and with her children off to college, she’s finally able to go searching for the missing pieces of her heart.

Finley’s best friend, Cathyanne, is already working hard to ensure that Finley finds true love this time around. But when Finley is unwittingly tossed into the arms of two men—their sexy trainer and her neighbor, a popular country star—Cathyanne fears finding the right guy will be more complicated than she ever could have imagined.

For Finley, building a new life feels as impossible as flying a paper airplane to the moon. But maybe, just maybe, with the right help, she will find her whole heart—even if it’s in the very last place she thinks to look.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR -
A graduate from San Diego State University with a BA in Political Science, Julie N. Ford also earned a Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama, which has only made her better able to recognize the unhealthy, codependent relationship she has with writing. Professionally, she has worked in teaching and as a marriage and family counselor. She is the author of six women’s fiction novels, including Count Down to Love, a 2011 Whitney Award finalist. When she’s not writing, she entertains delusions of being a master gardener, that is, when she’s not killing the unsuspecting plants in her yard with her good intentions. She lives outside of Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, two daughters, and the cutest Scottish fold cat you’ve ever seen. She loves to chat with readers.  
Visit her at JulieNFord.com.
 
MY THOUGHTS -
This was a cute, quirky, fairly clean, and sometimes funny romance/chick-lit. I had never read this author before and didn't even know she had so many books out there! I would like to try another one sometime.
This book was a little slow for me in the beginning and I didn't have enough of an invested interested in it, but still... I liked it! It won me over as it got better throughout the story.

I liked the fun cheekiness of the characters. They were definitely relatable. I really liked Cathyanne, the best friend, she was great! And I also really liked Quinton - great guy! I wasn't too sure about the "therapy group" in the beginning but ended up liking it and the members.
And - I liked the philosophy behind the group -
1. Subjugate fear - take chances. Learn from and consent to the unexpected.
2. Defy the rules, embrace the guidelines Rules emphasize the result. Guidelines focus on the journey.
3. Smash the box! Look outside your comfort zone for the best answers and the greatest opportunity for growth.
4. Brimful heart. If one's heart is hallow, one's actions are hollow.
5. Letitgo. Leave the past, live the future!
 I loved these! I think these are great rules to live by, and change by, and grow by! They were my favorite part of the book.

This was a nice fun summer read for me that surprised me into liking it more than I thought I would.

Thank you "Book Blasts and Blog Tours" for sending me this e-book for my honest review!

Get your copy from Amazon - HERE