Wednesday, December 13, 2017

HOLIDAY COUNTDOWN Blog Tour & Giveaway: Poppies for Christmas by Stacy Renee Keywell!

Title: Poppies for Christmas

Author: Stacy Renee Keywell

Publication date: November 16, 2016

Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing, LLC

About the Book:

A celebration of love without labels. It’s easy to be brave with you by my side!

Popular DJ Dexx finds himself positively smitten by the precociously pristine Poppy Paris. Too bad she’s already taken by
an older boy, Declan Davies, a beautiful model with a thriving career, and a perfect family. By a dreamful stroke of
chance, Dexx finds himself invited to spend Christmas at the Davies home by a gorgeous girl, granting him the
opportunity to pursue the precious Poppy. But in his quest to win her over, he unlocks a world of imperfection and
insecurity, where people are picked on for their disabilities, speech, appearance, and eccentricities. For Poppy and her
friends, love trumps labels, and everyone deserves a brave friend to stand by their side. What gifts will Dexx discover
this Christmas? Will he ultimately find true love, or will he discover something even greater?

You are invited to read a powerful story about living with autism, but not letting it define you, about being bullied, but
carrying on with determination and grit, and about having dreams, but not giving up in the face of adversity. Come
celebrate something beautiful with Poppies for Christmas.

Get It Here:

BAM | Chapters | IndieBound | Amazon | B&N | TBD

Follow the tour:

Click here!

About the Author:

Author Stacy Renée Keywell lives a life of fabulous clichés. She enjoys asking rhetorical questions, and speaking
redundantly. Stacy works hard at telling bad jokes, dancing oddly yet awesomely, and making up amazing new words in
hopes that they will one day find their way into the dictionary. She strives to love without labels. She vows to bravely
stand by the sides of those who need her, especially her two daughters. Stacy, her husband, and her children live in
Michigan in a quaint house in the woods.

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook


- One (1) winner will receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 11, 2017

Mini Review: Tender Wings of Desire by Harland Sanders

Title: Tender Wings of Desire
Author: Harland Sanders
Format: Kindle Edition, 96 pages
Pub. Date: May 2nd 2017
Source: Amazon

Book Description:

When Lady Madeline Parker runs away from Parker Manor and a loveless betrothal, she finally feels like she is in control of her life. But what happens when she realizes she can’t control how she feels? When she finds herself swept into the arms of Harland, a handsome sailor with a mysterious past, Madeline realizes she must choose between a life of order and a man of passion. Can love overcome lies? What happens in the embrace of destiny, on the Tender Wings of Desire?



Honestly? This wasn't as bad as I expected.

I know it's just a marketing ploy. But it's a pretty good one, and hey. It worked. It was viral, and I downloaded it.

The story is fine. The characters are pretty generic, but I liked them well enough. The writing/editing leaves a bit to be desired, but the descriptions of Lady Madeline's new life and the new man in her life are pretty well done. There's some drama, some romance, and a slow build up with a surprising amount of heat.

Less chicken than one would anticipate, but well played KFC.

All in all, I'm not mad that I read it. It was free, and I think it's like 72 pages. It's short, sweet, and to the point, but not anything you're missing out on, or anything you'll probably read again once you're done with it.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

HOLIDAY COUNTDOWN! Mini College Review: Snowpiercer: The Escape by Jacques Lob

Title: Snowpiercer: The Escape
Series: Transperceneige #1
Author: Jacques Lob
Illustrator: Jacques Lob
Format: Paperback, 110 pages
Pub. Date: June 10th 2014
Source: Amazon

Book Description:

Snowpiercer is the enthralling and thought-provoking post-apocalyptic graphic novel that inspired the critically acclaimed movie starring Chris Evans (Captain America, Fantastic Four). Originally published in French, this marks the first time that Snowpiercer will be available in English.

In a harsh, uncompromisingly cold future where Earth has succumbed to treacherously low temperatures, the last remaining members of humanity travel on a train while the outside world remains encased in ice.

The surviving community are not without a social hierarchy; those that travel at the front of the train live in relative luxury whilst those unfortunate enough to be at the rear remain clustered like cattle in claustrophobic darkness. Yet, things are about to change aboard the train as passengers become disgruntled...
The movie Snowpiercer, due for release in 2014, is directed by Joon-ho Bong (The Host) and is already causing a stir with parallels to 1984 and Animal Farm.



This is a book that I had to read for my apocalyptic fiction course in college.

One thing I liked about my literature courses is that it forced me to read books that I'd normally never pick up for myself, or that I'd never heard even heard of. This is one of those titles.

Translated from French, this is a dystopian, post-apocalyptic graphic novel. I adored the concept: the world has gone to hell in a handbasket, and the way to save humanity is thanks to the inventor of the Snowpiercer train. This train houses all of humanity and it never stops: ever. If it stops, they'll freeze and die. Like all dystopian novels, there's a hierarchy. The very front cars of the train are for the rich and the elite, and it gets worse as you go farther along. The back is terrible, full of violence, and no one really cares about them. They're not allowed to travel upward in the train.

Except for the protagonist, of course, who gets fed up with the upper crust of the train, and takes matters into his own hand.

The actual writing leaves a lot to be desired. It's awkward and choppy, and it doesn't always make the best of sense. I'm not sure how much of this is due to the author, and how much of it is caused by the translation. The characters aren't as developed as they could be, and because of the jagged nature of the writing, the pace is off. Sometimes it's boring and slow, other times it's crazy fast.

The artwork was okay, but not to my taste. It's typical "old school" style comic art, which is boring. Especially with all the white space, because, the world is full of snow.

It's worth a read though, and even if you don't decide to read it, you should check out the movie Snowpiercer. It's not without its flaws, but it was entertaining and worth a go.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Release Week Blitz & Giveaway: Sea of Strangers by Erica Cameron


Welcome to the Release Week Blitz for

Sea of Strangers (The Ryogan Chronicles #2)
by Erica Cameron

presented by Entangled Teen!

Grab your copy today!


Congratulations Erica!




Know your enemy if you want to survive…

The only way for Khya to get her brother back alive is to kill Varan—the immortal ruler who can’t be killed. But not even Varan knew what he was doing when he perverted magic and humanity to become immortal.

Khya’s leading her group of friends and rebels into the mountains that hold Varan’s secrets, but if risking all their lives is going to be worth it, she has to give up everything else—breaking the spell that holds her brother captive and jeopardizing her deepening relationship with Tessen, the boy who has been by turns her rival and refuge since her brother disappeared. Immortality itself might be her only answer, but if that’s where Khya has to go, she can’t ask Tessen or her friends to follow.

Sea of Strangers (The Ryogan Chronicles #2)
by Erica Cameron
Publication Date: December 5, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen


Amazon | Amazon Australia | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | B&N | Kobo | iBooks







Erica Cameron is the author of books for young adults including the Ryogan Chronicles, the Assassins duology, and The Dream War Saga. She also co-authored the Laguna Tides novels with Lani Woodland. An advocate for asexuality and emotional abuse awareness, Erica has also worked with teens at a residential rehabilitation facility in her hometown of Fort Lauderdale.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads


Sea of Strangers Prize Pack, including:**
* A signed copy of Sea of Strangers
* A $20 Visa gift card
* A swag pack
**For international: 1 copy from book depository and a $20 Visa gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Wednesday, December 6, 2017

HOLIDAY COUNTDOWN Review: Christmas Recipes From Five of Your Favorite Authors by Sharon Kleve, Jennifer Conner, Angela Ford, Jennifer Chambers & Elle Medler

Title: Christmas Recipes From Five of Your Favorite Authors
Authors: Sharon Kleve, Jennifer Conner, Angela Ford, Jennifer Chambers & Elle Medler
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: October 2nd 2017
Source: Author

Book Description:

5 Incredible Authors — 50 Amazing Recipes

What's better than sharing some favorite recipes for the holiday season? It brings together family traditions and love.

There is a recipe for everyone. Including: vegetarian, vegan, main courses, side dishes, drinks, and of course luscious desserts.



What I like best about this book is that it's normal recipes for normal people. And what I mean by that, is that it's all approachable with easy to find ingredients and equipment that most of us have in our homes already. I like that.

It very much feels like it's a book of recipes handed over personally by these authors. It reminds me of the ring-bound books that you can buy used from like, Girl Scouts troops or book clubs. I feel like these recipes are well loved and it makes me more excited to try them.

There's a lot of variety in the recipes here. There's everything from entrees and desserts to sides, and even how to make your own pickles. There's also some drink recipes that, if your family is like mine, will be well used during the holidays. If you have some dietary restrictions, these lovely ladies have you covered. There are vegetarian and vegan options, as well as gluten free recipes.

The steps are short and to the point, and easy to follow.

There are photos of every dish, which I appreciate. Some photos are better than others, but I appreciate them regardless.

Some of the recipes that sounded the most delicious to me include Whiskey Glazed Sweet Potatoes, Snowdrift Bliss, and Tutti Fruitti Real Fruit Cheesecake.

If you're a fan of any of these authors, or are looking for something new to cook this season, this is a good place to start. I bookmarked quite a few dishes to try out this season, and I think you'd find some you like too.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

HOLIDAY COUNTDOWN Review: North by Brontë Aurell

Title: North: How to Live Scandinavian
Author: Brontë Aurell
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: September 7th 2017
Source: Aurum Press

Book Description:

Why are Scandinavians constantly topping the happiness table? How do you get more Scandi-style in your life? Just how do you use lagom? Whether you want your apartment to look like it belongs in Copenhagen, to workout like a Norwegian or to make cinnamon buns like a Swede, this is the ultimate insider’s guide to the countries of the north.

Full of inspiration and ideas, how-tos and recipes to help you experience the very best of Scandinavian design, philosophy, cookery and culture, this honest behind-the-scenes look at the culture provides an invaluable insight into the wonderful and visually stunning world of Scandinavia. Like her viking ancestors before her, Brontë Aurell left Denmark to explore the world beyond home shores and in her travels has come to understand the fascination with her kinfolk, as well as seeing the idiosyncrasies of the Scandinavian lifestyle that locals take for granted.

With a signature wit and a keen eye for detail, she takes you on a journey through fjords and mountains, farmlands and cities to better understand these three nations and what makes each one so unique. So get outdoors, learn the life lesson that there's no such thing as bad weather (only bad clothing) and you may discover your inner Scandi sooner than you think.



I really enjoy reading cultural books. I'd like to think that they help to make the world feel just a little bit smaller, and a little more connected. Surprisingly enough, I don't think I've ever read a book on Scandinavia. This is weird, because I have a strong love of Norway. Also, because growing up around the American Northern Midwest, you grow up with some familiar Scandinavian words and customs. (I'm looking at you, Minnesota and Wisconsin!)

This book is divided into smaller sections that include: What is Scandinavia?, Style, At the Table, Life Outside, Family Life, Culture, and Celebrations.

I love the tone of this book. It's very playful. There's a lot of information here, about a lot of different places and countries and customs, but it never, even for one page, feels like a text book or a bland travel guide. The author has a fantastic sense of story telling that makes you feel like you're at the table with them, listening about their experiences. It has strong dashes of humor and there's jokes made at all of the countries' expense in turn.

This is a good crash course for the region. There's information about values and aesthetics and the differences between regions and countries. Perhaps my favorite part, this also includes recipes.

This is a lovely, quick read that will make you want to visit the area soon for yourself. The photos are gorgeous, the tone is clever, and there is just so much charm.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Mini Review: Our Love Grows by Anna Pignataro

Title: Our Love Grows
Author: Anna Pignataro
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: 2016
Source: Sourcebooks

Book Description:

In the deep green forest, Pip asked,
"Mama, when will I be big?"

Pip is an adorable, roly-poly little panda who sees the world changing and growing. But Pip is feeling a bit left behind. Luckily Mama is there to show playful and curious Pip that, like the trees in the forest and the stars in the sky, he's growing and changing too. And no matter how much Pip grows, the one thing that will never change is how much Mama loves him!



This is a very cute book.

I really liked that the book rhymed. Those were always my favorite books as a child, and the trend continues now that I'm an adult looking at children's books.

The story is a sweet one, that asks the question, "Mama, when will I be big?" Mom explains that he is growing like so many other things around him, and that as he grows so too does her love for him each and every day.

It's a simple book that's a fast read, but I think it makes for a sweet bedtime story.

The illustrations are gorgeous water color type paintings that are beautiful to look at, compliment the story well, and give the book a soothing sort of feel to it.

I think it's good for small children and it's a picture book that I don't think I'd get tired of reading on repeat.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.