Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Different Blue

This is my first read by Amy Harmon. (Look at all these new authors I'm checking out.)

I wouldn't classify this as a romance. To me, this is a great literary fiction read with a little romance on the side. It actually reminded me a bit of Sirois' On Little Wings.

This book is completely character driven. It is all about Blue and her finding her way in the world by learning about her past and determining her future. The craftsmanship is awesome. Harmon knows her characters in and out as well as when to reveal things about them at just the right moment to the reader.

The romance part doesn't kick in until the last 40 pages. So, if you're looking for a book that is a romance from the get-go, then grab another book.

But if you're looking for a book that will take you on a journey, then pick this up and walk a mile or so in Blue's skin tight jeans and kick butt boots and let your heart break, bleed and love with her's.

It's clean. Just kissing. Almost forgot to say.

Blue Echohawk doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know her real name or when she was born. Abandoned at two and raised by a drifter, she didn't attend school until she was ten years old. At nineteen, when most kids her age are attending college or moving on with life, she is just a senior in high school. With no mother, no father, no faith, and no future, Blue Echohawk is a difficult student, to say the least. Tough, hard and overtly sexy, she is the complete opposite of the young British teacher who decides he is up for the challenge, and takes the troublemaker under his wing.

This is the story of a nobody who becomes somebody. It is the story of an unlikely friendship, where hope fosters healing and redemption becomes love. But falling in love can be hard when you don't know who you are. Falling in love with someone who knows exactly who they are and exactly why they can't love you back might be impossible.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Red 2

It's nice to have the gang back together for this one. Such a great cast and I loved watching Anthony Hopkins portray a happy nutcase, as opposed to some of the darker ones he's done in the past.

As usual, we have guns, explosions, spies, double crossers, the usual suspects.

If you enjoyed the first one, you'll like this one too.

If you didn't see the first one, you can still see this one. There's nothing that carries storyline wise across the two. They can be viewed as stand alone movies. But, I would encourage you to see the first one as it's a lot of fun.

Worth a view? Yes.

Worth a buy? For the right price. But, I don't need it right away, so it's a no for now.

Did you think Red 2 was better, worse, or the same as Red?

Monday, February 24, 2014


About UNRAVELED: When sickness swept through Bronwen’s family, it took the life of her father, brother, and sister, and left her permanently crippled. On the stormy eve of her sixteenth birthday, a faerie-witch gifts her a pair of enchanted shoes. Bronwen slips them on and is healed--but only when the shoes are on her feet. Her grace and beauty catches the eye of the king’s son--Urien, a handsome young man who prides himself on having everything perfect.

When Rhys, an old acquaintance and Captain of the Guard, recognizes Bronwen, he threatens to tell Urien her secret. Desperate to keep her deformity hidden and not to lose the love of handsome Urien, Bronwen quickly finds herself tangled in a web of lies and deceit.

 Release date: February 2014

Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.

Genre: YA Fantasy/Farytale

ISBN: 9781621086277

 Buy Links:

About Julie Daines: Julie Daines was born in Concord, Massachusetts, and was raised in Utah. She spent eighteen months living in London, where she studied and fell in love with English literature, sticky toffee pudding, and the mysterious guy who ran the kebab store around the corner.

She loves reading, writing, and watching movies—anything that transports her to another world. She picks Captain Wentworth over Mr. Darcy, firmly believes in second breakfast, and never leaves home without her verveine.

Insider Scoop! 
I asked Julie to share something fun. I'd like to see all these places too, especially the last one!

Places You Would Most Want to Travel To
England (the British Isles)
Middle Earth


Social Media Links:

Twitter: @juliedaines 

Book on Goodreads: Unraveled

Author on Goodreads: Julie Daines

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Scholar

The Scholar is Book Two of The Fall series by May Nichole Abbey.

This book wasn't my cup of tea. (That's my polite way of saying, I didn't like it.) SORRY! I really don't like giving unhappy reviews because I know how much effort it takes to write a book!

I was ready to put it down after the first three chapters.

First off, the fonts kept switching randomly - mid word, mid sentence. It drove me crazy. Plus one of the fonts was really small and light and made it hard to read. I wouldn't have minded if one font was used for the main character and everything else was in the other, but it wasn't and the switching didn't make any sense. It could be that I just got a bad e-copy.

Second, the main character spends the first few chapters semi-unconscious and disoriented, which became tedious for me.

I persevered and read to the end.

The storyline was okay, but not in one sense very imaginative. And I kept wanting to smack the heroine upside the head for her choices. Her overall motivation didn't seem strong enough. The dialogue went well until the end when some of the Egyptians slipped into modern day vernacular which didn't seem to fit. And it never explains how she time traveled or expected to get back to her own time!

Things I did like: the setting. I thought being in ancient Egypt and getting a sense of that world was well done as was the research into using words of the language (although I would've liked a glossary to fill in the words I never did figure out from context.) I did think the characters were well developed and the story, once it got moving, moved along. The action sequences worked well and the chemistry between the characters was there. Great cover.

As it is part of series, I wondered if perhaps I needed to have read the first one to understand this one, but I just read the back cover blurb online and it's about a totally different person. And the third one is about someone else too.

I don't know what to say. Read it if it's your kind of thing.

A leap through time. A choice to make. A destiny to change.

Dismissed by her professors, ridiculed by her classmates, Serena Metcalfe is determined to prove the existence of the Samu Aqaru, the powerful stone of the ancient pharaohs – even if it means travelling through time. But her study of Egyptology did not prepare her for the dangers and passions of the real Egypt of 2361 BC. Crocodile attacks, kidnapping, betrayal, murder…and a pharaoh who believes she is a goddess and wants her as his queen. But Serena isn’t about to give herself to a king – not when finding the precious Stone could mean saving the man she loves.

Irresistible playboy Shepseskaf , fated for an early death, and his loyal yet ruthless cousin Pepisenkaura were once the closest of friends, but the right to the throne of Egypt and their rivalry for Serena threaten to transform them into bitter and eternal enemies. Only Serena knows the tragic destiny that awaits, and only Serena can rewrite history… by following her heart.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Croods

As kids movies go, this one is alright. You can pass an entertaining evening watching cavemen culture clash with the future of the human race more imaginative version.

Good voice casting and animation. I especially enjoyed the relationship between the father and his mother-in-law. Some good one liners in the dialogue that had us laughing.

Storyline is a bit predictable, but there are only so many ways to go with cavemen, so some allowances should be made.

An enjoyable way to pass 2 hours with a clean family film.

Worth a view? Sure.

Worth a buy? No. Not at my house anyways.

Do you think you'd have been a caveman or a more enlightened human being able to wield fire?

Thursday, February 13, 2014


This is the first book I've read by Holly Kelly and I'll definitely put her on my 'like to read this author' list.

It's a fantasy romance. I don't read too many of those. Lots of times they are too heavy on the fantasy and too light on the romance but this is just the opposite.

For a light fantasy girl like me, I appreciated being on modern day Earth with some twists on life under the ocean. This book is all about what happens when two souls from different species (?) collide and it's pretty cool.

Sara's got a leg issue which keeps her confined to a wheel chair while Xanthus is a hot Dagonian who's borrowed legs for his mission from Triton. Just see what happens when they meet and hit the water.

This book is well thought out, well written, has heart string tugs, some good chemistry and a few good twists.

My only less than lovely remarks are these: I thought the end battle was a little too short and easily wrapped up and I didn't think the epilogue added to the story as it left me hanging. Perhaps if the epilogue ended in a kiss or a baby?

Do you like romance with a little fantasy or fantasy with a little romance?

In a war between the humans and the inhabitants of the sea—humans will lose. Xanthus Dimitriou—the most lethal Dagonian to rise from the ocean—is on a mission to save mankind from annihilation. But first there’s one small thing he needs to do… kill a beautiful young woman in a wheelchair.

Killing her doesn’t start out as part of his plan. He entrenches himself deep in the human world. Aligning himself with his enemies, he prepares to send them to Triton to face their punishment. Then Sara Taylor rolls onto the scene. Xanthus knows at once she’s a criminal. And her crime? Being born. She’s a human/Dagonian half-breed, an abomination. Killing her should be an easy job. All he has to do is break into her apartment, slit her throat, and feed her body to the sharks. Simple, right? Wrong. If only she weren’t so beautiful, so innocent, so sweet...

Saving the world may have to wait. It appears Xanthus has a woman to save. But protecting her may cost him his own life.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sweet Confections Cover Reveal

I'm super excited to announce my good friend Danyelle Ferguson's book has a cover and I'm even more excited for when you can buy it (TBA)!

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.

About the Author:

Danyelle Ferguson is a thirty-something mom with the heart of a college student obsessed with chocolate and yearning for the thrill of romance. In her day job, she does a juggling act trying to cram in her writing deadlines between the never-ending laundry pile and constant calls for mom. You can find out more about Danyelle via the web:



Twitter: @DanyelleTweets

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Lone Ranger

I hadn't heard any rave reviews on this one, so I had low to no expectations. That was good.

Because it was only passable. Somehow, this movie just didn't come together. I couldn't figure out if it was the story, the acting, the predictability, or what the problem was. It wasn't a waste of two hours, but it just wasn't great. That's a lot of money to spend on a so-so film.

Worth a view? Not really.

Worth a buy? No.

Did you like it?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fallen Angel Blog Tour - Launch Day!

It's launch day!!!

I started this writing journey in June 2009 when a writer's group formed and asked me to be a member. Many words, edits and writers' conferences and nearly 5 years later, I'm publishing my first novel today! There are many who deserve my gratitude for mentoring and supporting me along this journey, especially my family. Here are my top 5: my husband, Danyelle & John Ferguson, Regina Sirois, & Karina Fuggett. I'm grateful beyond words to all of you.

Be sure to follow the links below and get in on the giveaway prizes: a $25 Amazon card, and 3 awesome e-books! You can get entries by following along the blog tour. These sites are posted on my blog and will be found on my Facebook author page. I'll announce the winners on Mar. 10th! The e-book is available now and the print book will be coming soon.

Now do a happy dance with me! Eat some Italian food and your favorite chocolate dessert! Because that's what I'm doing today!

Fallen Angel

Antonio does not believe in love at first sight until he sees her fall into a street in Milan and get hit by a motorcycle. Compelled to know if she can return his affection, he becomes Renatta’s hospital volunteer only to learn that the accident erased her memory. Together they must discover her past, present and future. In the way of happily ever after stand her opera career, tyrannical mother, and fiancé.  Antonio must win Renatta’s heart before she bends to the will of her mother and marries Marcello.  Failure means a lifetime of loneliness, for love at first sight never happens twice.
About the Author

Lisa Swinton caught the romance bug early by way of fairy tales and hasn’t been able to cure it since. Instead, she feeds her addiction with romance novels and films. In between being a doctor’s wife and mother of two, she occasionally puts her B.A. in Musical Theater to good use via community theater, church choir and teaching the art of singing. In her elusive spare time she enjoys researching her family tree and baking (especially with chocolate). She loves to travel, Jane Austen, and all things Italian. In her next life, she plans to be a professional organizer


Social Media Links:
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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Just Ella

This book is just charming. It reminds me of Shannon Hale's Goose Girl and
Jessica Day George's Dragon Slippers and that's good company to be in.

It's a lovely story of a humble princess who doesn't want all that goes with being royalty and finds an unexpected friend in a close-to-her-own-age common gardener. Of course, Gavin turns out to be more than a friend and there in lies the difficulty. Royals and commoners don't mix.

Lots of twists and turns in this book, plus kisses, villains, marriages, breaking the rules, etc.

Well told, well developed, and easy to fall right into the lives and hearts of the characters.

For a lovely tale of old that just makes you breath a delighted sigh when it's over, pick up Just Ella by Annette K. Larsen.

A Proper, Clean Romance.
Ariella was only looking for a distraction, something to break up the monotony of palace life. What she found was a young man willing to overlook her title and show her a new and vibrant way of life. But when her growing feelings for Gavin spiral out of control and clash with the expectations of her station, she will discover that the consequences of her curiosity are far more severe than she’d imagined.

"I watched in helpless horror as two guards hauled Gavin to his feet and dragged him from the room. My voice was frozen, unable to protest as another guard took hold of my arm, leading me upstairs. From the confines of my room, I stared into the darkness beyond my window, hoping to catch one more glimpse of Gavin. He was gone, and I wondered if he would have been better off if he had never met me."

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Spy Noon

We're celebrating the launch of Spy Noon, a prequel novella to I, Spy! You can also find Spy Noon at the special 99¢ launch discount through Singles Awareness Day (Feb 14) on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and!

About the Book

Canada's the last place you'd expect to find an American spy, but CIA operative Talia Reynolds has problems piling up higher than a Canadian snowbank. When Elliott Monteith, her ridiculously handsome new coworker, shows up (and shows her up), Talia decides it's game on. She'll be the first to track down a dangerous counter-spy, and she'll give Elliott an unforgettable souvenir of his time in Ottawa: some humble pie.

Her plans don't work as well as she expects, though. Elliott's over-the-top flirting dredges up too many painful memories for Talia and undermines the confidence she's worked hard to regain. To do her job and keep her integrity intact, she'll have to keep her personal feelings at bay. Now Talia must find a way to work alongside Elliott—and maybe even trust him—to outsmart the enemy.

The Spy Another Day series

I, Spy

Book One
Spy for a Spy

Book Two
Mr. Nice Spy

Prequel novella
To save her secrets and her country, CIA operative Talia Reynolds must sacrifice the man she loves.Talia's new boss is her ex-boyfriend. And that's the just beginning of her problems.Elliott Monteith must choose between his fiancée and his fellow spy. Cake.
Finalist 2013
Whitney Awards
Finalist 2013
Whitney Awards
Now free!
Chronologically, Spy Noon is the first in the series.

Praise for the series

A fast-paced, crisply written story with entertaining plot twists, told in a first person, wryly self-deprecating narrative voice. . . . I, Spy is a well-crafted romantic suspense with humor, heart, and a uniquely engaging heroine.

I knew by the first page that I was going to love [I, Spy]. I absolutely loved Talia's inner voice. . . . The plot is enjoyable and I loved the action! I really could not guess what was going to happen next. There were so many surprises at the turn of each page, especially during the climax, it didn't matter what time it was, I had to finish.

The series has this great combination of sarcasm and wit in the MC, great chemistry and dialogue between her and her love interest, and then a whole slue of spying, deception, intrigue, and danger. Especially of that last one. . . .

I thoroughly enjoyed [Spy for a Spy]! I would definitely read it again and I am highly anticipating the next book that Jordan McCollum writes! If you enjoy action-adventure, suspense, or books about characters who are spies and some romance, then I would definitely recommend this.

Three guilty pleasures

Lisa asked me (Jordan) for three of my
guilty pleasures! For anyone else, the first answer to this question is
chocolate, but . . . that would imply I feel the slightest bit guilty for
eating chocolate every. Single. Day. And I don't.

So my actual guilty pleasures are:

  • Fruit snacks. I sneak a pack of my kids' fruit snacks almost every day. Even when I don't give them their own.
  • The Facebook game Hidden Shadows.
    My husband plays many Facebook games, and he got me hooked on this one.
    (Feel free to ignore any requests you might get from me. Please.) 
  • Desserts from Sonic Drive-In. Especially shakes during the half-price summer. I never quite got up the courage to try the PB & bacon. Maybe this year!

About the author

An award-winning author, Jordan McCollum can’t resist a story where good defeats evil and true love conquers all. In her day job, she coerces people to do things they don’t want to, elicits information and generally manipulates the people she loves most—she’s a mom.

Jordan holds a degree in American Studies and Linguistics from Brigham Young University. When she catches a spare minute, her hobbies include reading, knitting and music. She lives with her husband and four children in Utah.

Website/Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Email newsletter 

Tour Stops

February 3

Readalot Rhonda

Shooting Stars Reviews


February 4

Jae Randall

Rebecca Shelley

February 5

Lisa Swinton, Queen of Random

Getting Your Read On


February 6

I Love to Read and Review Books

The Stubby Pencil

Tressa's Wishful Endings

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Saving Mr. Banks

A very interesting tale of how Mary Poppins became a movie. As it's based on a book telling the story from Mrs. Travers point of view I'd hope it was fairly accurate. Although I did hear rumors that in real life, Mrs. Travers wasn't pleased with the end result. The film skips over this point as I expected. When you have a Disney movie telling about Disney, it's going to show him in the best light possible.

The way the story is told is really imaginative. There is so much that went into the creation of Mary Poppins from Mrs. Travers childhood experiences and so much cleverness from the Disney side.

If I had to pick, I'd say Emma Thompson's performance is more deserving of an award than Tom Hanks though both turn in superb performances.

There are great side characters too. Paul Giamatti as the driver for one. The actors playing the Sherman brothers and screen writer, the secretaries are a lovely addition.

It is PG-13 which I found confusing before seeing it. And still a little after. There isn't any violence, or sex, or language. So, why? The father is an alcoholic, but isn't abusive and the mother has some issues too. Younger children might be confused or not understand, which is why I think it got the rating.

Worth a view? Yes.

Worth a buy? Not for me, despite being a Disney fan.

I wonder though if we all have a Mr. Banks in our past.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Paris Cravings Cover Reveal & Giveaway!

Can life really turn on a dime—
a missed bus—
or a stuck pastry shop door?

Chloe Dillard’s life has always been complicated. She has a mother who is a neurotic romance novelist and a boyfriend who’s been pressuring her to go all the way. After The Worst Night of Her Life Chloe escapes on a trip to the swoon-worthy city of Paris where she becomes stranded after an accident with high heels and a pastry box.

Saved by a French boy with chocolate-brown eyes, Chloe begins to wonder if being lost in Paris is the chance of a lifetime. But as attracted as she is to the gorgeous and oh-so-kind La Patisserie shop boy—even he has a girlfriend.

The police are tracking her down, Mom’s having a nervous breakdown when she goes missing, and Chloe just wants to have her dream of a happily-ever-after.

What’s a girl to do in the most romantic city in the world?

You can buy it here!


Book on Goodreads:

About Kimberley Montpetit:
Kimberley Montpetit once spent all her souvenir money at the La Patisserie shops when she was in Paris—on the arm of her adorable husband. The author grew up in San Francisco, another swoon-worthy city, loves all things Parisian and chocolate and lives in a small town along the Rio Grande with her family.
Kimberley has won many awards for her work, including the Southwest Book Award, the Whitney Award, the Arizona/New Mexico Book Award, is a Crystal Kite Finalist (SCBWI) and included in the Bank Street College Best Books of the Year.
She once stayed in a haunted castle tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland, sailed on the Seine in Paris, walked the beaches of Normandy, eaten in numerous French cafes, ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan, sunbathed on Waikiki, shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria.
She adores all baked goodies; brownies, éclairs, donuts, tarts, and pie, and makes a lot of chocolate chip cookies while revising.
Kimberley is, of course, hard at work on her next novel(s).

Social Media Links:
Website: http://www.kimberleymontpetit.comhttp://www.kimberleymontpetit.com
On Goodreads: