Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Drifting in the Push

A memoir that reads more as fiction than reality, this adventurous trek of one young man will inspire readers to go out there and take a chance on their futures. Adventure is just around the corner if you'll only follow it! Going all the way back to his early childhood years, Dan is the kind of person you just want to be friends with. Always eager to lend a hand, hard working, fun, and a little naive, he's the kind of guy who you'd love to shoot the shit with. Whether it's summer jobs that should have been thought through, horrible living conditions (imagine the worst place you've ever seen, and then double it), partying a little too hard in college, or trying vainly to get the girl, Dan has a story to top yours. When he graduated college with no prospects he decided that something would come to him and he eventually ended up living in Alaska doing odd jobs until he fell into carpentry and finally got steady employ. Always at his side is his lovable sidekick Hank, part husky, part mutt, all around adorable and central to nearly every story. Together they battle bears, drug dealers, hypothermia, and ant-freeze, nothing is insurmountable when they are together. An enjoyable funny read that will definitely leave you wanting to know how the story continues. I'm eagerly awaiting the follow up!

Pop Manga Coloring Book

A fun and funky coloring books that fans of manga will eat up. The coloring book is on the large side so not easily frame-able but you'll want to display these pretty pages when you're done coloring them. It's filled with adorable creatures, big eyed beauties, underwater awesomeness and a little chibi that pops up on some pages and offers coloring advice. It was hard to find a page to start with because they were all begging to be colored! My only beef with this coloring book is that the pages aren't perforated so it's not easy to rip out your masterpieces when you're done. Other than that, it's really beautiful. A bonus is, that even though it's a paperback, it has a removable dust jack that has a large bonus coloring page on the inside of it. Win!

I received this coloring book for free from Blogging for Books in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Action: A Book About Sex

While I enjoyed this book I found the writing style to be a bit much. Amy Rose Spiegel uses a lot of "millennial" vernacular which isn't awful, but the prose can be very tough to read and long winded. You can open to any page and find a sentence that's just way over written. This book is a look at bedroom etiquette, hooking up, sexual dos and donts, personal stories, getting your freak on, and other sexy shenanigans. I was surprised when I discovered that the author is only 23, she has certainly, seen experienced, and done more than I probably ever will. Certain sections are laugh out loud funny and amusing and other sections dealing with consent and rape are definitely more sobering. This book will appeal to younger free spirited millennials and wasn't awful, but wasn't quite my cup of tea either.

Monday, August 29, 2016


I grew up loving the movie and when I read the book 5 years ago, I was disappointed because I kept comparing it to the movie. I'm glad I waited a few years to re-read it because I LOVED it the second time around! It made much more sense to me and I get why the movie changed several aspects of the story line. There is something so charming about small town living and this book explores that in a big way. Vianne and her daughter Anouk go wherever the wind takes them. They are outsiders, essentially gypsies, unable to stay in any place very long. When they arrive in the small charming French town, Lansquenet, they decide to stay and open a chocolate shop. The resident priest couldn't be more outraged. How dare this woman barge into their town and open a chocolate shop during lent, she will tempt and corrupt the townspeople! Vianne slowly starts to win over some of the towns more open minded residents but it remains a struggle for her to please everyone. The gypsies, the thief, the dog lover, and the crass old woman, have become her friends but some of the Bible brigade and the priest will take time. A wonderful book and fantastic movie. I had no idea that this was a series so I shall have to check out the other books as well!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Things We Knew

Five siblings, five separate paths, everyone has moved on. Everyone that is except, Lynette. As the youngest she stayed behind in Nantucket to help with the house and their father after their mother's untimely death. As her father slips farther and farther into Alzheimers and the house sinks further in to debt she knows she has to seek help. Her siblings have proven to be no help so she goes to the bank seeking a loan and instead finds her childhood crush. Nick was her older brother's best friend and just when she thought they might mutually like each other he was off to college and she hasn't seen him in 5 years. Nick is convinced that she needs to sell the huge home, but it's so full of memories that she doesn't think she can part with it. Also there is a pesky little thing in her mother's will stipulating that all 5 children have to be present and all agree on whatever happens to the estate. With no other options she resorts to assembling her far flung brothers and sister. Gray, the musician with addiction problems, the happily married dad, the too busy for family lawyer, and the missionary in Africa. With everyone together for the first time since their mother's death memories and truths start to surface. Will Lynette be able to handle it? Is it better to leave the truth buried? Who can she trust? Does Nick really care for her? While definitely classified as inspirational, it's not over the top zealous like some in the genre and will have a wide range of appeal to other audiences. I could have done with Lynette being a stronger character. She didn't want to be treated like the baby of the family but she definitely acted like it on occasion. I preferred some of the other characters a little better.

I received this book for free from Litfuse Publicity in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Friday, August 26, 2016


A fantastic rendition of the classic Cinderella tale. Years ago I took a class on fairy tales and we explored how many different cultures all across the globe have very similar stories and traditions, one of the most common is Cinderella. Last month we read Cinder which is a futuristic cyborg rendition of the Cinderella trope and this book, Bound, is a twentieth century Chinese retelling. Xing Xing lives in a cave with her stepmother and her stepsister Wei Ping and due to her feet being unbound is forced to do all the servant work. Xing Xing was educated up until her father's death so her stepmother is convinced that no one will ever want to marry an educated unbound, unattractive girl. Filled with great Chinese elements about family, traditions, calligraphy, and fish, this book compelled me from the get go. Donna Jo Napoli is  master at fairy tale re-telling.

Sex Criminals: Volume 1

Easily one of the best graphic novels I've ever read. This oddly erotic, humorous, and ridiculous comic had me hooked from page one. When Suzie was a young hormonal teenager she discovered that she could freeze time anytime she orgasmed. She thought she was alone with that odd power until she met this guy at a party and they hooked up. When they discovered that they were both alone together in the frozen orgasm time they realized that they weren't the only ones. And the next logical step of course is to use their combined powers to rob banks, which leads to sex in a lot of public places. But even that is admirable because Suzie is a librarian and the big bank is foreclosing on her library. They'll just be stealing the exact amount of money to save the library. Well that and having the best sex of their lives. It's over the top fun, I need more!! Suzie may be my new favorite fictional librarian.

The Virgin in the Ice

My pleasure was immense at finding this audiobook narrated by Brother Cadfael himself, Derek Jacobi. I grew up loving the show and have yet to read the books they are based off of. I was insanely happy to find that some of the audiobooks were narrated by the lead of the show because it takes me back, plus Jacobi is an excellent narrator. This is book six in the Brother Cadfael series but honestly you can read any of these books out of order. Brother Cadfael is a benedictine monk during the middle ages that helps solve murder mysteries. In The Virgin in the Ice two high ranking children are lost, a monk found beaten nearly to death, and a nun murdered. Cadfael and the local sheriff, Hugh Berringer work together to unravel what has happened. An excellent read and the TV shows follows the story-line to a T.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Underground Airlines

A controversial concept that only Ben Winters could have pulled off. So obscene and horrifying of an idea that it sucks you in instantly. What if the United States had never abolished slavery and the Civil War had never occurred? Winters does an amazing job of bringing that world to life in this harrowing story of a black bounty hunter whose job it is to track down escaped slaves and bring them back to the four remaining slave holding states in the South. Everything starts off as normal for "Victor" as he arrives in Indianapolis looking for his target but things quickly go off track for this bounty hunter. Something isn't right about this case, and Victor finds himself in a bad spot. This fast paced thriller will leave readers guessing as the tables keep turning. Victor likes to think of himself as one of the good guys roped into doing bad work for the government, but this case makes him rethink everything he's done. Can he really make a difference for the 3 million still enslaved? An utterly engrossing and horrifying look at how our country might have looked had their been no Civil War.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Easily one of the most powerful memoirs about addiction I have ever read. Raw, gripping, and emotional, this memoir is told from two perspectives; from the addict and the concerned girlfriend. Addiction has such a stigma, it's the elephant that's in the room and no one ever wants to talk about but Susan and Graham do a powerful job of bringing their hard journey to life. Trying to help a loved one through addiction takes more willpower and love than most people can handle. Reading this memoir brought so many memories to the surface, it was surreal to read about another woman who understood everything I went through. Her thoughts, conversations, and actions were soo familiar to me because we had lived the same nightmare. Hearing Graham's recounting of his relapses, prison experiences, and descent into darkness also really helps put the story into perspective and allows readers to understand what is actually going through an addict's mind. A profound and touching book that was a little hard for me to read because it hit so close to home, if nothing else, at least it's given me a little more hope for the future.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


When I think of modern re-tellings of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, the Bollywood classic, Bride and Prejudice is my gold standard. This satirical re-telling was definitely more raunchy and more current than I was anticipating. Liz works for a feminist magazine, Jane is a yoga instructor trying to get pregnant before she turns 41, Mary is an anti-social weirdo, and Kitty and Lydia are lazy unemployed bums. All the characters are here but there is more modern drama: mixed race couples, transgender dating, hate sex, and more. I tolerated the novel until I got to the relity tc stuff at the end and I would have given it a 3 if it had stopped there, but out of nowhere the last chapter changes characters and is told from Mary's perspective and is so weird and awful that I had to change my rating to a 2. The writing was OK but I did not care for any of the characters in this re-telling and the ending made me hate life.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Life of the Party

I am mildly obsessed with microhistories, I read a ridiculously awesome book on the "dark side of Beanie Babies" last year so when I saw that this book was about the Tupperware Party empire I knew I would have to read it. Easily readable and filled with pictures, this book hooked my interest immediately. Bob Kealing does an excellent job telling the story of Earl Tupper, his amazing invention and the woman who practically created direct selling and home shows as we know them. Brownie Wise perfected the art of home shows and empowered an entire generation of stay at home women. Her business savvy helped Tupperware grow more than Earl Tupper could have ever imagined. But as Brownie Wise got more and more positive press about being a businesswoman in the 50s so did Early Tupper's resentment of her, Brownie was seen as the figurehead of the company and basically ran things unchecked. Kealing tells the story of the rise and fall of Brownie Wise and it's one of the greatest business stories you've never heard.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in return for my honest, unbiased review.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Kings or Pawns

I haven't read an epic world building fantasy in quite some time and this one really fit the bill. As with most epic fantasies, this one took me a hot second to get into just because a few of the names were challenging and I had to get a good grasp of the characters, plot, and land. Once all that was absorbed I really got into it! There are great elements of political intrigue, pawns and puppets, spies and assassins, and you aren't really sure who is on what side. Told through the perspectives of multiple characters from the general all the way to a mute servant girl, the story is fast paced and full of intrigue. Elvorium has become corrupted by greed and profits and there is an assassin on the loose. King Hairem ascends the throne when his father is slain and he has to try and reign in all the council members to try and actually work for the people. Stopped at every turn by corrupt officials he becomes  disillusioned, that is until he meets the elf of his dreams. But what if things are even more troubled than they seem? Should the general be out fighting Centaurs when he should be trying to find and kill the rebel leader that has been attacking cities on and off again for years? Who would dare try to practice necromancy? How deep does the corruption go? Wonderfully written and plotted out, I cannot wait for the next installment! Especially with the ending of this book! If this sounds like something you want to read (and trust me, you do!) enter the contest below!!!

I received this book for free from the author in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Continental Breakfast Club

Over Easy (book 1)

A cute, breezy chick lit in the same vein as the Stephanie Plum series. Readers will laugh out loud at the antics of the affable, ditzy, and well intentioned, Allie Parker whose over active imagination can get the better of her sometimes. Allie is sick of being the baby in the family and is determined to bring a man to her parents 45th wedding anniversary. Tired of always being looked down on for being a dog groomer and being single she is determined to turn things around for once and for all.

One of her friends has a brilliant plan to meet eligible men, they will sneak into swanky hotels and go to their continental breakfasts to meet businessmen. Everything is going well; Allie meets a cute guy and they meet for drinks after work, only things aren't what they seem. He leaves in the middle of the date, sticks her with the bill, and forgets a briefcase. when she realizes whats in the briefcase she understands she's in a world of trouble. How does stuff like this keep happening to her?!? All she wanted was some nice arm candy. Now she's a... jewel thief?!?

I flew through this and am in the middle of the second in the series. With fun characters like this, I expect there will be many more books to come!

Fresh Brewed (book 2)

The second in a cute new chick lit series, turns things around by having Bree find romance this go around. Allie (the main character in Over Easy), Megan and Bree have been looking forward to their vacation getaway for months. The venue is booked, the swimsuits bought, nothing stands in their way. That is until a huge storm cancels their flight, damages their hotel, and leaves them stuck in Atlanta. While there they meet Kristin, a clever young girl also headed to the same vacation destination. Kristin is always looking to help others out so she invites the trio to come stay at her family's beach house. There's only one catch, Bree must pretend to be engaged to her older brother Ethan. Doomed to be written out of his grandmother's will if he's not married by 32, Kristin decided to step in and whip up a fiance to hopefully change their matriarchs mind. No one will ever find out the farce since Ethan is on a trip to China and won't be able to make the family vacation anyway. Or will he? Bree finds herself in over her head as she tries to keep the charade up of being madly in love with someone who she's never met. How will she ever get to enjoy the beach and all the cute boys?

A fun beach read that will have readers looking forward the third installment, Honey Glazed. Hopefully Megan will find herself a man!

Honey Glazed (book 3)

coming soon!

Author's Bio

Pamela Ford is the award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance. She grew up watching old movies, blissfully sighing over the romance; and reading sci-fi and adventure novels, vicariously living the action. The combination probably explains why the books she writes are romantic, happily-ever-afters with plenty of plot - and often lots of laughter.

After graduating from college with a degree in Advertising, Pam merrily set off to earn a living, searching for that perfect career as she became a graphic designer, print buyer, pantyhose sales rep, public relations specialist, copywriter, freelance writer - and finally author. Pam has won numerous awards including the Booksellers Best, the Laurel Wreath, and a gold medal IPPY in the Independent Book Publisher Awards. She is a Kindle Book Awards finalist and a two-time Golden Heart Finalist. She lives in Wisconsin where she is working on her next novel.


Does this seem like a series you would like to read? Of course you would! Enter below to win a set!

Five winners total:
2 winners will get a print copy of Over Easy + a $10 Starbucks gift card,
2 winners will get a print copy of Fresh Brewed + a $10 Starbucks gift card,
1 winner will get a print copy of both books + a $25 Starbucks gift card

Ends Sept 17

Monday, August 1, 2016

Outcast - Volume 1: A Darkness Surrounds Him

I wasn't sure what to expect since I had only ever read The Walking Dead series, but this was pretty awesome. It hooked me enough that I definitely want to continue reading it. It's very dark and deals with demonic possession. Kyle Barnes has had to put up with demonic possession his whole life and he's sick of it. It has taken everything good away from him. Determined to get some answers he teams up with a local priest, but little do they know the damage their meddling could do. Apparently it's also going to be a tv show. Color me intrigued!