Sunday, January 31, 2016


pic and description taken from Goodreads


Emerson May is "the good girl." She's the perfect daughter, the caring friend, the animal shelter volunteer. But when her best friend's brother breaks into her room, his hands covered in blood, she doesn't scream or call the cops. Because when Deacon smiles at her, Emmie doesn't want to be good.

The whole town believes notorious troublemaker Deacon is guilty of assaulting his father. Only Emmie knows a secret that could set him free. But if she follows her heart, she could be trusting a killer...


I read Richards, Six Months Later a while back and enjoyed it so much I had to go buy another one. 

I enjoy Richards writing so much.  This story was really good as well.  Emerson May  aka Emmie is the "fixer" for everyone.  She is such a good girl, and hates to see others hurting, sad, or in any other situation that causes anguish.  Chelsea her best friend's dad is found beat up and bloody in his office in his own home.  

Earlier that evening Chelsea's brother Deacon aka Deke found his way into Emmie's room covered in blood and in shock.

Life spirals from that point.  Everyone is assuming Deke is responsible for the stat his father is in.  Deke and his father were not seeing eye to eye on their business and it came to blows.  Deke isn't always doing what is right and has been in trouble in the past.  Emmie seems to be the only one who believes that Deacon is innocent.

Deacon knowing he will probably go down for what has happened to his father, decides to do some investigating on his own.  Which requires him to hide from the Police.

This is an exciting book.  Emmie is determined to help Deke prove his innocence and in the process her life is turned upside down as well.   

There is smuggling, conspiracy, family, love, disappointment, and excitement in this book.  It's full of twists and turns.  It was fun to read, and figure out who the good guys were and who the bad guys were.  

Richards has drawn me in twice with her books and I look forward to reading more of her work!

Source:  I bought this book for myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.





Natalie Richards
pic and bio taken from

Natalie D. Richards won her first writing competition in the second grade with her short story about Barbara Frances Bizzlefishes (who wouldn't dare do the dishes.) She later misplaced her writing dreams in a maze of cubicles and general office drudgery. Natalie never forgot about Barbara or those dishes, and eventually she found her way back to storytelling, following the genre of her heart, teen fiction. When she's not writing or shopping her manuscripts, you can probably find her wading through the towers of dog-eared paperbacks that have taken over her bedroom. Natalie lives in Ohio with her amazing husband and their three children, who inspire her every day to stick with her dreams.

Saturday, January 30, 2016


pic and description taken from Goodreads


In this Regency twist of My Fair Lady, Jack would rather be at sea than fixing the mistakes of his grandfather, the late Earl of Stansworth. Instead, he finds that inheriting his grandfather's wealth and title—and securing the welfare of his sister and mother—means joining the ranks of high society and living with the aristocracy. Luckily, Ivy Carlisle, the granddaughter of a dear friend of Jack's late grandmother, is willing to teach him etiquette and properly introduce him into society. Jack soon learns that his challenge isn't surviving his new lifestyle but surviving the conspiracies against him—as well as keeping himself from falling madly in love with his new tutor. 


When I was contacted by Shadow Mountain and asked if I wanted to review the new Proper Romance that was released I of course jumped at the chance.  I LOVE Proper Romances.  Love them.  This book did not disappoint!

Jack is happy with his life on the sea.  It allows him to send money to his mom and sister.  His dad had passed away and he was forced to go to sea at a young age to help pay for his family.  His father grew up privileged but when he married Jack's mother he was disinherited by his father.  Jack has always hated his grandfather for this.

He never wanted any association with his Grandfather.  The Earl of Stansworth.  One day while at port he is approached by an employee of the Earl that insisted that Jack meet with his grandfather before he died. 

The Earl offers Jack the earldom on his deathbed.  Jack tried to refuse by his grandfather tells him that if he takes the earldom he will make sure his mother and sister are moved into society right away.  Jack finds he cannot refuse this offer.  He will do anything to make his mother's and his sisters lives better.  

Jack has been at sea for so long and never imagined he would ever be Earl of anything.  Having been blackmailed into this "new" calling of his he meets the one and only Lady Ivy Carlisle.

This story is so much fun.  Jack is such a great character.  He is snarky and funny, and knows how to ruffle Ivy's feathers.  Ivy is sweet, kind and beautiful.  She is proper and is insistent that Jack learn etiquette worthy of launching him into the society.

The banter between Ivy and Jack is fabulous.  I laughed so hard during this book.  There are a few twists and turns in the book that I wasn't expecting and it was such a fun ride.

I loved the writing, the world, and characters.  Besides Ivy and Jack, there are other characters that made this book so much more fun.  Ivy's Nana is probably my favorite.  She is high class and doesn't care if she is outspoken or not.  It's awesome.

The love story is of course fabulous.  I love how clean and fun these stories are.  It's nice when an author can pull me into a world that is beautiful and full of life and be able to keep it clean.  

If your like historical romances this is such a great book to pick up.  

Source:  I was given this book in return for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any way for this book.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.





Friday, January 29, 2016


pic and description taken from


The story that began with Unwind continues.
Connor and Lev are on the run after the destruction of the Graveyard, the last safe haven for AWOL Unwinds. But for the first time, they're not just running away from something. This time, they're running toward answers, in the form of a woman Proactive Citizenry has tried to erase from history itself. If they can find her, and learn why the shadowy figures behind unwinding are so afraid of her, they may discover the key to bringing down unwinding forever.
Cam, the rewound boy, is plotting to take down the organization that created him. Because he knows that if he can bring Proactive Citizenry to its knees, it will show Risa how he truly feels about her. And without Risa, Cam is having trouble remembering what it feels like to be human.
With the Juvenile Authority and vindictive parts pirates hunting them, the paths of Connor, Lev, Cam, and Risa will converge explosively - and everyone will be changed.

Let me start by saying that I have been on hiatus from the blogging world for a while.  I was getting overwhelmed with how many reviews I had coming up, so I decided it was time to change priorities.  I don't want reading to ever become a "chore", so I have decided to cut way back this year and read books that have been sitting on my shelves, kindle, and audible.  It has been so much fun.

Now onto the one and only Neal Shusterman.  I love his books.  I had taken a long break from this series and decided now was a great time to finish it.  Plus I know if it is a Neal Shusterman book it is going to be fabulous.
I have been very fortunate in my pick of books lately.  I loved the first two books in this series, and yet again I find this series getting better and better.  The thought that went into writing a book about "unwinding" is brilliant.  Okay, maybe a little crazy, but I think the two (brilliance and crazy) often work together :).
I was so excited to be reunited with Connor, Risa, Cam, Lev, and now Grace.  So many wonderful characters.
After the Graveyard is destroyed Connor and Lev run from the Juvenile Authority and the Proactive Citizenry.  While on the run we find that the people they encounter and the people from their pasts are often inter connected.  It's amazing how Shusterman finds a way to make all the characters connect.  Either though knowing them, or having them be "part" of them.

While Cam, Lev, Grace, and Risa makes plans to take down Proactive Citizenry, they find safe haven in a woman's basement.  There is far more to this woman than anyone knows.  Conner had previously found sanctuary in this particular safe haven....but this time there is information there that they desperately need to bring down the Proactive Citizenry.

We are introduced to new characters in this book as well, and they are of course fabulous.  While Connor and his gang are trying to avoid being unwound, there is a parts pirate that has it out for Connor.  Connor may have taken him down when he was a cop....but now that he is a parts pirate he no longer follows the law, which makes him dangerous.

One of the new characters, Grace, had turned out to be one of my favorites.  She cannot be unwound because she is considered "low cortical".  If Grace is "low cortical", then I must be "critically low cortical"..hehe.  She is such a great character.  I love how her brain works, and how she comes off as "not smart" she is probably smarter than any other character.

This book left with a cliffhanger, but thankfully they are all out so I was able to move right on to the next book in the series.  i don't think you will be disappointed in this series at all.  Its a little twisted, but a lot fantastic. :).  Get yourselves involved with the Unwind series.  You will be happy you did :).

Source:  I bought this audio book for myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.





Neal Shusterman

Award-winning author Neal Shusterman grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he began writing at an early age. After spending his junior and senior years of high school at the American School of Mexico City, Neal went on to UC Irvine, where he made his mark on the UCI swim team, and wrote a successful humor column. Within a year of graduating, he had his first book deal, and was hired to write a movie script.

In the years since, Neal has made his mark as a successful novelist, screenwriter, and television writer. As a full-time writer, he claims to be his own hardest task-master, always at work creating new stories to tell. His books have received many awards from organizations such as the International Reading Association, and the American Library Association, as well as garnering a myriad of state and local awards across the country. Neal's talents range from film directing (two short films he directed won him the coveted CINE Golden Eagle Awards) to writing music and stage plays – including book and lyrical contributions to “American Twistory,” which is currently playing in Boston. He has even tried his hand at creating Games, having developed three successful "How to Host a Mystery" game for teens, as well as seven "How to Host a Murder" games.

As a screen and TV writer, Neal has written for the "Goosebumps" and “Animorphs” TV series, and wrote the Disney Channel Original Movie “Pixel Perfect”. Currently Neal is adapting his novel Everlost as a feature film for Universal Studios.

Wherever Neal goes, he quickly earns a reputation as a storyteller and dynamic speaker. Much of his fiction is traceable back to stories he tells to large audiences of children and teenagers -- such as his novel The Eyes of Kid Midas. As a speaker, Neal is in constant demand at schools and conferences. Degrees in both psychology and drama give Neal a unique approach to writing. Neal's novels always deal with topics that appeal to adults as well as teens, weaving true-to-life characters into sensitive and riveting issues, and binding it all together with a unique and entertaining sense of humor.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


pic and description taken from Goodreads


Rebels, royals, and monsters wage war over the Mytican throne in the shocking fourth book of the Falling Kingdoms series, from New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes.

CLEO: Reeling after a bloody showdown in Limeros ending with Amara’s abduction of the water crystal, and a vacancy in the Mytican throne, Princess Cleo must cast aside her feelings and look toward her kingdom with the eyes of a Queen.

MAGNUS: With the kingdom in chaos, Princess Lucia still missing and quite possibly in danger, and a shocking realization about Cleo, the steely prince is once again torn between love and duty, leaving him wondering whether he’s strong enough to rule his people.

LUCIA: The young sorcercess has had her vengeance after the cruel death of her first and only love. Heartbroken and unable to trust anyone, she allies with the awoken Fire god, who also seeks revenge.

JONAS: After escaping death by the skin of his teeth, the defeated rebel—along with a mysterious stranger–leader reunites with Princess Cleo, only to find himself a mere pawn in a dangerous hunt for the elusive Kindred.

KING GAIUS: Abandoned by Melenia and betrayed by his own children, Gaius flees Mytica and sails to Kraeshia, where he attempts to ally with the famously brutal emperor across the Silver Sea.


*** may be spoilers if you haven't read the first three ***
I LOVE this series.  Love it.  This is another example of a series that just keeps getting better with each book.    I felt like I was settling in with old friends, and old enemies.

I am seriously attached to some of these, yet some just keep disappointing me.  I can never tell which one is good and which one is evil.  Ones I want to hate, I find myself not hating them as much as I use to....Oh this story is so AMAZING!!! 

Cleo:  I don't even know what to think of her right now.  She is so frustrating!   Being married to Magnus has not made her less frustrating but more.  hehe.  Magnus and Cleo may have to face death when King Gaius returns to Mytica, for treason.  I cannot wait to see how this story continues!

Magnus:  Gosh!  He is such a great character to have a love/hate relationship with.  He is evil, then kind, then evil.  He just cannot make up his bi-polar mind on what type of man he wants to be.  But he is such a fascinating character.  He is so complex.  Which is why I don't know whether to love or hate him. :).

Lucia:  Let just say she puts a whole new spin on the word CRAZY.  There may even need to be a new category for her crazy.  She makes me mad on so many levels, which I think makes for some great writing.  When an author can bring so many feeling out of me, it just brings the character more to life for me.  Rhodes definitely knows how to write crazy character :).  

Jonas:  I still love him.  I loved him from the very beginning.  I have wanted to smack him on the side of his head several times, for being so oblivious to the people, and feeling around him.  BUT, he is such a great character.  He may be the only "good" guy in this whole series....BUT #2 the series is not over, and he has time to be a love/hate character as well.  No one is safe in Rhodes books :).  I mean that in the best possible way!  Every character fascinates me because I never know where their choices are going to take them.

King Gaius:  EVIL.  Evil....Evil.  There is absolutely no question what this so called King is.  Evil might be even too kind a word to use for him.  I loathe this character.  Which again makes for some awesome writing!  I mean Rhodes did such an amazing job with all of her characters.  I, don't even know how to put my feeling for this character into words other than EVIL!

There are some awesome side characters in this book as well.  The whole series is full of them.  I love the world that Rhodes has built in these novels.  I love the struggles.  I love the triumphs.  I love everything about this series, and this book especially.  I am anxiously awaiting the next novel in the series.   I hope it keeps up it's momentum, and finishes strong.

Well done Rhodes.....Well done!

Source:  I bought this audio book for myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.




Morgan Rhodes

Morgan Rhodes lives in Ontario, Canada. As a child, she always wanted to be a princess -- the kind that knows how to wield a sharp sword to help save both kingdoms and princes from fire-breathing dragons and dark wizards. Instead, she became a writer, which is just as good and much less dangerous. Along with writing, Morgan enjoys photography, travel, reality TV, and is an extremely picky, yet voracious reader of all kinds of books. Under another pen name, she’s a national bestselling author of many paranormal novels. Falling Kingdoms is her first high fantasy.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


pic and description taken from


It's been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can't move on. His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live - not walk around half dead, pining for her. He knows they're right, but in Cas's eyes, no living girl he meets can compare with the dead girl he fell in love with. Now he's seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he's asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong....
These aren't just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears. Cas doesn't know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn't deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it's time for him to return the favor.


Welcome to the second installment of of Anna Dressed in Blood.  Girl of Nightmares does not disappoint as a second installment.  This book was so good.  I listened to this book as well.  It was so hard to quit listening to!

We get to join Cas and his gang of friends as they search for Anna again.  Cas sees Anna everywhere, and cannot seem to get her out of his mind.

Cas is determined to find a way back to Anna and save her from the same spirit that took Cas's father.  The Obia Man (sp?).  The evil that lays in Hell with all the people Cas has sent to where he thought was back to where they came from.

Cas, and his gang embark in a very dangerous journey to get Anna back from the Obia Man.  It is full of danger, suspense, humor and love.  Yup an unlikely love.  It's so fantastic all around.

I love what the author has done with these books.  They are so fun to listen to.  The narrator is awesome, and kept me engaged the whole time.  The story line is so interesting.  I am sure we have all thought about what it would be like to bring someone back from the dead.  (okay, maybe just me...I might be a little crazy ;)!).  This story took me in so many directions and I loved every minute of the ride.

If you like creepy, suspenseful book with a love story.....then this is the series for you.  This book was so much better than the first, in my opinion.  I really enjoy when a series keeps getting better, and doesn't disappoint.

Source:  I bought this book for myself on Audible.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.

Content:  There is language in this book....the "f" bomb is dropped quite a few times, but having said that it did not deter me in any way from loving this series as much as I do.




Kendare Blake
pic and bio taken from Goodreads

So, I write books. Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares are horror, The Goddess War books are mythology, and Sleepwalk Society is contemporary. Different genres, because the world don't move to the beat of just one drum. Love to read, too. Fiction, philosophy, good books, bad books, because you take the good you take the bad you take them both and there you have a stack of books and stuff. I mean, you've got to be adventurous. There's more to life that what you're living, so take a chance and face the wind.

There's more coming soon like Slasher Girls and Monster Boys and Ungodly in 2015, so don't waste another minute on your cryin. We're nowhere near the end.

My likes include animals, food, and nostalgia. I mean, whatever happened to predictability? The milkman, the paperboy, the evening TV? Used to be everywhere you look, there's a heart, a hand to hold on to.

Anyway, I love to hear from readers so drop me a line here or at my website and we'll talk about friends to know, and ways to grow, and great authors to be in charge of our days, and our nights.

We can also talk about all the sitcom theme songs in this bio. Sha la la la.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


pic and description taken from Goodreads


Spending an entire summer in the company of her estranged father is the last thing Ashley Delgado is interested in. But what self-respecting twenty one year old can resist the promise of a vacation in Mexico? She should have known it was too good to be true. Her dreams of exotic adventure come crashing down when she and her father arrive at their destination: the Madera Hacienda. Once a proud symbol of wealth and success, the ramshackle estate is falling apart, and the Madera family has hired Ashley's lawyer father to help save the family home. A dusty derelict ranch is not the vacation she had in mind-but Ashley can't deny a thrilling shiver of premonition. When she hears rumors of a tragic eighteenth-century death and a long hidden treasure, Ashley joins the centuries-long search of the mysterious trove in the company of a group of American archaeological students. But as the shocking clues lead Ashley closer to the hidden riches, it becomes clear that someone is willing to kill to keep the secret of the treasure--and the next tragic death may well be her own... 


I listened to this book in my van while driving kids around.  I am finding that kids, and all that I have going on it is far easier to buy a book on CD and put it in my car or audio book and listen to it in the car.  I can listen while driving, working in my home, etc.  I just don't have the time to sit and read like I would like to.  Hence the hiatus in December and most of January.  I am slowing way down this year, so that I can read more of my own books :).  Anywho, back to the book.....heheh

I found the beginning of this book to be a little slow.   I liked the location of the book and the idea of a haunted hacienda.  I just wish it would have grabbed me a little faster than it did.  If I had been reading it I would have quit, but I give it more of a chance when listening.  I am glad I continued to listen though.  I picked up and, by then I was invested and had to see where the book was going to take me.

Ashley spends some time in Mexico with her estranged father....who I really, really did not like.  She finds this family they are staying with to be very interesting, and hears about the legend that goes along with the hacienda.  

As we learn more about the legend things begin to happen.  Stuff goes missing, and then there is a murder.  Everyone is on edge, people are not who them seem to be.  

Although the beginning was slow, it did pick and up and I enjoyed listening to this book.
This book was clean, and exciting.  I like reading books that can keep my attention without so much language.

Source:  I bought this CD for myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.




Sunday, January 10, 2016


pic and description taken from Goodreads


Some books are about a single wish. Some books are about three wishes. The infallible team of Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld have combined their extraordinary talents to create this exuberant book of endless good wishes. Wishes for curiosity and wonder, for friendship and strength, laughter and peace. Whether celebrating life's joyous milestones, sharing words of encouragement, or observing the wonder of everyday moments, this sweet and uplifting book is perfect for wishers of every age.


Again, another wonderful children's book.  Who hasn't wished for an unlimited amount of wishes.  

This is a book about just that ....wishes.  Endless wishes.  Not wishes for things, but wishes about being.  Wishes about laughter.  Wishes about words of encouragement.  Wishes for just about any good thing you can think of.

What a wonderful world this would be if we all wished for great things to happen to others.  I know that when I am having a bad day, doing something for others always makes me feel better.  

This is book just makes you happy.  It makes you wish for the world to be a better place.  Such a great book for kids :)!

Source:  I read this book while at Barnes & Noble (umm...been doing a lot of that lately...hehe).  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.





Amy Krouse Rosenthal
pic and bio taken from Goodreads


Amy Krouse Rosenthal is. 
She divides her time. 


Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a person who likes to make things.
Some things she likes to make include:

Children's books. (Little Pea, Spoon, DuckRabbit)
Grown-up books. (Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life)
Short films. (The Beckoning of Lovely, The Money Tree)
Guided journals. (The Belly Book)
Something out of nothing. (see above)

A longtime contributor to WBEZ and to the TED conference, 
Amy lives with her family in Chicago and online at

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


pic and description taken from Goodreads


I'm not sure what it is about this kid Duncan, but his crayons sure are a colorful bunch of characters! Having soothed the hurt feelings of one group who threatened to quit, Duncan now faces a whole new group of crayons asking to be rescued. From Maroon Crayon, who was lost beneath the sofa cushions and then broken in two after Dad sat on him; to poor Turquoise, whose head is now stuck to one of Duncan's stinky socks after they both ended up in the dryer together; to Pea Green, who knows darn well that no kid likes peas and who ran away—each and every crayon has a woeful tale to tell and a plea to be brought home to the crayon box.


I read the first book a little while back, and when I found out there was a second book I had to go read it.  

This book is filled with post cards written to Duncan from the crayons  telling him that they want to come home now,  after they had told him why they didn't want to color anymore.

Orange and yellow decide they both don't want to be the Sun anymore and they want to come back if he will just use them again.

The post cards are so cute, and the crayons each tell Duncan what they did while they were gone, and tell him they need to be rescued and used again.

I really enjoyed this.  It is so funny, and so super cute.  I love how clever this book is.

Source:  I read this book while browsing at Barnes & Noble.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.





Drew Daywalt
pic and bio taken from Goodreads

Ever since his childhood in one of Ohio’s most haunted houses, writer director Drew Daywalt has been writing escapist fantasy and building worlds of his own. With a degree in Creative Writing, and a concentration in Children’s Literature from Emerson College in Boston, Daywalt set off to Hollywood where he spent years writing for Disney and Universal on such beloved shows as Timon & Pumba, Buzz Lightyear, and Woody Woodpecker, and where his animated series The Wacky World of Tex Avery garnered an Emmy nomination. 

His first trip into live action landed him studio screenwriting and feature film directing work with such Hollywood luminaries as Quentin Tarrantino, Lawrence Bender, Tony Scott, Brett Ratner and Jerry Bruckheimer. 

With an eye toward picture book writing, Daywalt’s first book THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, debuted on the New York Times Best Seller’s List in June 2013, and has since become a Number One Best Seller.