Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Penni reviews All the Finer Things by Stephanie Connelley Worlton

All the Finer Things
by Stephanie Connelley Worlton
Genre:  YA, suspense, romance
Content:  clean
Publisher: Spring Canyon Media
Release date: 2014
Pages: 276
Book Blurb:
Married to one of the most lucrative and sought after plastic surgeons in SoCal, Megan Hamilton has it all. Her posh life, designer clothes, and stunning penthouse leave her wanting for nothing… or do they? Controlled by his obsessive pursuit of perfection, Doctor Matthew Hamilton will stop nothing short of breaking his young, spirited bride into a subservient trophy wife. But when parenthood enters their picture, the entire game changes. How far will Megan have to go to escape Matt's obsessive control and abuse? And how much will she have to lose before she gets there?
What I liked about this book:
The thing that kept popping in my head while I was reading this book was “You can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl”.   It was so much fun reading all the details the author gave about Megan’s designer clothes, and don’t forget all of her different shoes. 
Carter is a charming and loving man.  He knew exactly how Megan needed to be treated. 
I loved the small town atmosphere that this book told about, the close knit community and the fun festivals that they had.  Worlton did a wonderful job describing the feeling and smells that all the different places had.  The book is a great story of a woman put in a difficult situation and she chose to make the most of it!.  
It was a wonderful romance with just a little touch of suspense.
Rating: **** (4.5)  



 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Kim reviews Moonless by Crystal Collier

Moonless by Crystal Collier

Book 1 in The Maiden of Time Series, Book 2, Soulless, coming Summer 2014

Genre: YA Historical (rated PG)
Some mild violence and PG romance scenes
Publisher: Raybourne Publishing
321 pages
Release date: November 2013

Summary: Alexia’s nightmares become reality: a dead baron, red-eyed wraiths, and forbidden love with a man hunted by these creatures. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with her beloved and risk becoming one of the Soulless.

My Thoughts:
From the beginning of this book the author has you wondering what in the world is going on with Alexia. She has always been awkward and homely but finds that suddenly, she seemingly has become an extraordinary beauty overnight.  Stranger than this, is that nobody but her seems to have noticed any change, at least they refuse to acknowledge it.  Alexia has dreamt many strange things, like the exact details of people's deaths, including her own, and the stranger with the blue eyes.  When her dreams begin to become reality she seeks the one person she believes holds the answers; the stranger with the blue eyes.

This book was a good read and the mysteries unravel to you, the reader, right along with Alexia, giving you a sense that you are in this together.  You find yourself cheering her along to take on the world, and be with her true love despite what may come next. I would recommend this book to others and await the second book in this series.

I give it ****

This book available on Amazon

Moonless (Maiden of Time) by Crystal Collier

Link: http://amzn.com/B00FADL0A6


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mary or Martha: Who are you more like?

Mary versus Martha

It's easy to categorize myself as either a Mary or a Martha. In reality, they both struggle inside me, like little imps on my shoulder enticing me one way or the other.

It's more like a tug-of-war. For the majority of the time, I'd have to say Martha has the upper hand. She's a list maker, very organized and sees to the needs of others. I think she was the oldest sister who had to grow up fast with a lot of responsibilities.

Sometimes Mary takes charge. She reminds me that people are always more important, that I need to stop what I'm doing when a child wants to tell me something.

I know that Mary has won when I take a few moments to sit on my front porch and count how many different bird songs I hear, or breathe in the lavender and apple blossoms.

Martha is the one who keeps the house up and the clutter down. She remembers friends' birthdays and can manage making an extra dinner for a neighbor in need.

Mary is the one who makes time to be creative, the one who is truly grateful for what she has. She makes time to ponder, she's more positive by nature, and rarely complains.

Martha is a hard worker. She may be a little more negative at times, but if something really bothers her she will do whatever is necessary to change her situation.

Mary is content to sit and listen while Martha's contentment comes from accomplishing tasks.

Currently, Martha is trying to convince me that working full time hours would be more practical than writing. My work hours are worth a lot and so far I haven't earned anything from my writing. I've only incurred expenses and self-imposed deadlines.

Mary argues that life is short. She even pulled out a calculator to show me that it would take almost as many years to get completely out of debt as it would if I stayed part time.

I think Mary won this one.

So are you more Mary or more Martha?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Penni reviews Sweet Confections by Danyelle Ferguson




Sweet Confections by Danyelle Ferguson

Genre: Romance, tiny bit of suspense
Content: Clean, a couple cuss words, but nothing big.
Publisher: Wonderstruck Books
Released: March 29, 2014
Pages: paperback 262
Book Blurb:
According to Rachel Marconi chocolate heals all wounds. That and throwing darts at pictures of her ex-boyfriend. Burned by yet another bad relationship, Rachel decides to reprioritize her life, putting her dream to compete on a Food Network Challenge on the top of her list and dating at the bottom crossed out in red sharpie. But what's a girl to do when a certain sexy guy keeps asking her out? Cue in Graydon Green, a former pro hockey player turned restaurant owner. After a lot of persistent and humorous teasing, he finally convinces Rachel to commit to a date. Just when things begin to warm up, threatening notes directed at Rachel arrive. When her bakery is vandalized, Graydon's protective streak goes on red alert. Is it her obsessive ex-boyfriend stalking her? Or maybe a challenger trying to sabotage the competition? Either way, Rachel is definitely going to need more chocolate - perhaps drizzled over ice cream and devil's food cake.
What I liked about this book:
I was hooked to this book at the first chapter!  The way the author wrote expressions made me feel like I was talking with an old buddy.  Rachel told things as they were, she didn’t hold much back.  I enjoyed how even though Graydon was a star athlete, he didn’t like the famous spotlight.  So he did everything he could to avoid that role. 
My most favorite detail about the book is how family friendly all of the characters are.  Their lives revolved around their family.  All Rachel was looking for was someone who could love her for the rest of her life like the love her parents had for each other and not just a few years.  Her friend Kristen had a family of her own, and still was able to run a successful business, and not be consumed with work.
Oh, and to top off a great story, she added the mouth-watering recipes at the end of the book!!! I can’t wait to try them.
Rating: **** (4.75)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Wendy reviews 39 Clues Series


 

39 Clues Series by Rick Riordan and various authors

Title: Maze of Bones
Series: 39 Clues
Genre: Children’s Chapter books (age 8-12)
Content:  grades 3-12
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release date: September  2008

Book Blurb:

The first book in this groundbreaking multimedia series sends readers around the world on the hunt for the 39 Clues. Written by #1 NYT bestseller Rick Riordan, and backed by $100,000 in prizes!

Minutes before she died Grace Cahill changed her will, leaving her decendants an impossible decision: "You have a choice - one million dollars or a clue."

Grace is the last matriarch of the Cahills, the world's most powerful family. Everyone from Napoleon to Houdini is related to the Cahills, yet the source of the family power is lost. 39 Clues hidden around the world will reveal the family's secret, but no one has been able to assemble them. Now the clues race is on, and young Amy and Dan must decide what's important: hunting clues or uncovering what REALLY happened to their parents.

What I liked:

I read the entire series (11 books) with my son, I enjoyed being able to talk to him about it.   The main characters are a brother and sister, appealing to both genders.  The kids travel around the world figuring out clues to the ultimate treasure hunt.  Besides being a fun mystery I learned interesting things about the places they traveled and interesting facts about important people throughout history like Benjamin Franklin, Mozart, and Shakespeare.  I highly recommend reading it with your kids either aloud or book club style.   (note: the books are written by different authors, if you are looking for them in the library they will be in the “series” section)


Where to purchase: http:   //www.amazon.com/Complete-Collection-Digital-Emperors-Gauntlet/dp/B00865BU0A/ref=pd_sim_b_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=11Q1GQX38DW0MXM0WC6H

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Wendy's Review of Porcelain Keys by Sarah Beard


Porcelain Keys by Sarah Beard

Genre: YA drama
Content: some mild violence
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Release date: February 2014

Book Summary/jacket blurb:

Aria's life is full of secrets--secrets about her mother's death, her father's cruelty, and her dream to go to Juilliard. When Aria meets Thomas, he draws out her secrets, captures her heart, and gives her the courage to defy her father. But when tragedy strikes and Thomas disappears, Aria is left alone to transform her broken heart's melody into something beautiful. Porcelain Keys is a captivating love story that will resonate long after the last page is turned.

My thoughts:
I really liked this book.  The main character Aria learns to put her emotions and heartbreak into her music.  I think the author did much the same with her writing.  There is a lot of emotion in this book.  Most amazing is that the author wrote this story while struggling with cancer.   It is a great story of choices and forgiveness and powerful love.   Read it!

 Rating: ****

Where to purchase:   http://www.amazon.com/Porcelain-Keys-Sarah-Beard/dp/1462113966

Sarah Beard

Sarah Beard graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in communications, and splits her time between writing and raising three energetic boys. She enjoys reading, composing music, and traveling with her family. She lives with her husband and children in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her website is
.
A work of love

Four years ago, Sarah Beard didn't know if she would live long enough to finish her novel. Having been diagnosed with an aggressive type of cancer, she lost her hair and appetite from the effects of chemotherapy, but not her desire to finish writing the love story that lived on in her heart. Overcoming remarkable odds, she beat cancer and finished her debut novel, "Porcelain Keys,"which was released today.
The book is targeted at young women, but the story's complexity will also appeal to a wider audience. It takes readers on an emotional journey with ups and downs, twists and turns, and a satisfying end that resonates long after the last word.
"The book is an exploration of the different ways people deal with grief and how the ultimate act of courage is when we allow ourselves to feel and love after being hurt," said Beard.
"Porcelain Keys" is available in bookstores and from online retailers.