Thursday, July 30, 2015

Review of My Sister's Secret by Tracy Buchanan

MY REVIEW

Gosh, I have so much to say about this book, I'm not sure where to start.

This book follows the story of Charity (deceased) and is told from both her POV when she was alive, playing out her story, as well as her daughter's. There is so much that happens in this book and so many twists and turns and surprises, so it's hard to say much in detail without giving anything away, but WOW. This book really hit me. It was so haunting and tragic in many ways. I would define the genre of this one as literary or women's fiction, so it is a slow, gripping and complex read. It's about so many things. Love, grief, and fear. What I pulled from it is the tragedy from holding back, keeping secrets in and the quote "let the truth set you free" really rings true in this story because had Charity and her love Niall told the truth after all those years maybe they would have had a happier ending. Charity would have been free without the burden of guilt and would have in-turn been free to love the true love of her life. But she let fear and guilt keep her secrets in, and by doing so, she ironically destroyed her relationship with the one man who loved her the most. Her one true love.\

I don't know what more to say except that if you like women's fiction, and somewhat tragic/haunting reads, get this book! It's truly great. The tragedy of it all sort of reminded me of Titanic and something about Tracy's writing reminded me of JoJo Moyes.

5 of 5 stars! Definitely recommend.

PS - I've got pics of the farmhouse. Will be posting soon ;)



SYNOPSIS
Everything you’ve built your life on is a lie
Willow’s memories of her parents are sun-drenched and full of smiles, love and laughter. But a mysterious invitation to a photographic exhibition exposes a secret that’s been buried since a tragic accident years ago.
Willow is forced to question everything she knew about Charity, her late mother, and Hope, the aunt she’s lived with since she was a child.
How was the enigmatic photographer connected to Willow’s parents? Why will Hope not break her silence?
Willow cannot move forward in her life without answers. But who can she really trust? Because no one has been telling the truth for a very long time.
ADDICTIVE, GRIPPING and EMOTIONALLY POWERFUL, this is the perfect read for your summer holiday escape.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Review of New Self-Help Overcoming Anxiety by Dr. David Berndt!




SYNOPSIS


Psychologist David Berndt, Ph.D., in Overcoming Anxiety, outlines several self-help methods for relief from anxiety and worry. In clear language and a conversational style, Dr. Berndt talks intimately with the reader like he would in a therapy session, and he shares what he learned from his peers and clients about how to make techniques for anxiety management more effective and helpful.   

You will learn:


  • A Self-hypnosis grounding technique in the Ericksonian tradition.
  • Box Breathing, Seven Eleven and similar breathing techniques for anxiety relief.
  • How to stop or interrupt toxic thoughts that keep you locked in anxiety.
  • How to harness and utilize your worries, so they work for you.
  • Relief from anxiety through desensitization and exposure therapy.
Designed to be used alone as self-help or in conjunction with professional treatment Dr. Berndt draws upon his experience as a clinician and academic researcher to give accessible help to the reader who wants to understand and manage their anxiety.



PURCHASE




REVIEW

I don't read self-help very often, but I come from a long line of women with anxiety issues, and although I find mine mild in comparison to some of my female relatives, I like to stay aware of those issues I do have and methods to diminish them because of my familial history. I thought this book was really great. In this book, the author shares numerous techniques for overcoming anxiety and related disorders. He talks about the 5-3-2-1 method, which I had never heard of. When you're feeling anxious, you're basically supposed to look around you and start by observing and focusing on five things you see, hear, etc. This takes you out of your head and gives you your surroundings to focus on instead of that sinking feeling or your rapid heartbeat. He also employs breathing exercises and addresses overcoming fears, phobias,cognitive behavior therapy to tackle negative thoughts, and dealing with thoughts that can lead to depression.

I felt the book was organized really well, making it easy for the reader to understand and use the techniques on their own. As a once-upon-a-time Psych major and grad, I enjoyed the book on an educational level, as well. And I may be no expert, as I only have a BA, but it certainly seems David Berndt is the real deal! If you have anxiety issues, or problems with panic attacks, fears, or any similar issues, this book is worth a read! If you take it seriously, absorb the information, and employ it, I think it will go a long way to helping you!

5 of 5 stars!


About the Author

David J. Berndt, Ph.D. was an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of
Chicago where he published or presented over 80 papers and articles before establishing a private practice. Dr Berndt currently lives in Charleston, S.C. where he also teaches in an adjunct capacity at the College of Charleston. He is best known for his psychological tests The Multiscore Depression Inventory, and the Multiscore Depression Inventory for Children, both from Western Psychological ServicesHe also contributes to several psychology websites including www.psychologyknowledge.com.
Praise for Dr. Berndt’s work:
About the Multiscore Depression Inventory:
 “A textbook example of how to create a psychological test.”
               -Oscar Burrows Mental Measurement Yearbook
About Overcoming Anxiety
Dr. Berndt is a creative and forward-thinking psychologist who has contributed to advancing psychology both with his research and clinical practice. He has helped countless patients with their depression and anxiety, and his conversational and accessible style of writing makes Overcoming Anxiety a book you would want for your top shelf.
                - Charles Kaiser, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the College of Charleston


Brought to you by Worldwind Virtual Book Tours


Monday, July 27, 2015

Old Farmhouse Projects, Renovations, and General Craziness!

Okay, so I might just be crazy.

Let that sink in....

In three short weeks, I will be moving out of my house, which is a great house--pretty, beautiful property, fairly easy to upkeep... Oh, and finished, like, complete. Ready to move in. With floors and stuff... Did I mention finished? Yeah, anyway, I'm moving OUT of that house and into an 1890 farmhouse that needs mostly an overhaul. It could be worse, I suppose. The plumbing is all new, the electric updated, new furnaces, and new septic, so no worries on the big things, but it needs siding and windows. The walls are old lath and plaster (not drywall), so most of them need crack repairs. The kitchen needs gutted, the old floors torn up, leveled, and replaced. The garage needs dry-walled. We have two bathrooms in disrepair and major dry wall work that needs done in portions of the upstairs, with trim that needs replaced. And half the house probably hasn't been painted since the homes' inception...say...1890, maybe?

So, yeah. In two weeks, that's what I'll be working on. And did I mention, there's a majorly yuck-o, old house smell. And anyone that knows me, knows I have thing with funky house smells...or funky smells in general... Yippie! I'm just hoping and praying that once we gut the kitchen, put new sub floor down and paint kills on every available surface that said odor fades. I mean, the floors are unsealed and probably original, so those puppies gotta be holding in the stank, right?

Anyway, my point is.. .Wait, did I have a point? Oh, yeah! Right. The point is we went over to the farmhouse the other night because we are planning on employing our neighbor and good friend to help paint, and as I walked around the house, I found myself thinking, What. The. Hell. Did I get myself into?

So, if I'm not mental yet, check back on this blog because in the coming weeks, I may just be there. And next time, I will have pictures. Yes, pictures! That will be fun. If nothing else, at least I can document our house renovation project. That will be cool. So, if you like that kind of thing, be sure to stick around. There will be plenty to document!


Friday, July 24, 2015

Review of Confessions of a Virgin Sex Columnist

SYNOPSIS

From bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis, writing as Kay Marie, comes a new adult romantic comedy about a girl who'll soon discover that some secrets can't be kept forever, especially those of the heart.

My name is Skylar Quinn. I just moved to New York with my best friend Bridget, and I have a confession. Well, more than one. Okay, quite a few really. Fine, here goes!

Confession #1: I'm a sex columnist. Hold on, that's not really the confession. You see, I'm sort of a virgin...sex columnist.

Confession #2: I'm kind of in love with Bridget's older brother, Oliver. No, I was. No, I am. Wait, was? Am? Crap.

Confession #3: I've been avoiding Oliver for four years. Or I was until today, because he just moved in. Yes, you read that correctly. He's my new roommate. So that night we've both been pretending never happened, well, we might not be able to keep it a secret any longer. 

And trust me, this is only the beginning.


MY REVIEW

This book was pure joy. I truly loved it, and it couldn't have come a better time because I had just finished two so-so book and really needed something like this. It was a super fun, light read. Oh, and hilarious. Did I mention how funny. In the first half, especially, I found myself smiling and laughing out loud. And it is not easy to get me to laugh, yet I was grinning like an idiot and chuckling at some of the ridiculous things Skye thought and did. The writing was fantastic too. Everything flowed perfectly and the author gave us the perfect amount of backstory, in just the right places. All I wanted to do was keep reading until I finished.

So, what'd this book about? It's about Skye, who was a literary major, fairly fresh out of college, living with her best friend in New York City and doing an internship at a newspaper in the review section. Finally, she gets a break and gets her own column. But...it's a sex column. And she's a virgin. Gulp. And that's where the story starts. She confesses her inocence to her best friend, but also inadvertently tells her BFF's brother, who she has been in love with since they were kids. After that, flirting, dating, jealousy,and much more ensues!

I about died when the book ended the way it did. The story wrapped up completely, but with a surprise ending that takes you into the second book. GAH! I can't wait. If you like chick-lit, romance without graphic sex, romantic comedies, or just downright cute, light, and fun books, you HAVE to buy this one. It's awesome! And I saw you can borrow if you're in KU or if you're a Prime member. How awesome is that?




What?

Umm...On a side note, have you seen this???



I was like,  o_0

Yes!! Jojo Moyes is releasing a sequel to ME BEFORE YOU.

Who's excited?!

This girl!! *Doing happy dance*

Me

So, I've had this blog awhile and have yet to post anything personal. Instead, only posting book-ish things. Hence the title. ;)  But someone recently said I should change that, so here I go...

I'm an early thirty-something woman. Mother of two. Wife. Friend to few. Sister. Daughter. Blogger. Crazed reader and caffeine addict, who fancies a bit of wine now and then. (No, I'm not from the UK, but I am reading a cute UK book at the moment.) Anyway... Half the time, I feel like I still have no idea who I really am, even after 30-some-odd years, while at other times, I know exactly the person I have become. This vacillation from one day to the next makes me a great headcase half the time. Sometimes, I wonder if I'm the only one this nuts- if maybe I'm some sort of anomaly and by now most people have it completely together, comfortable in their own skin and sure of who they are, fitting into themselves seamlessly each day like a favorite pair of worn jeans. Maybe I am an exception, unlike these secure women (and men). I was musing over this today, when I decided to write this blog. 

So, that's me in a nutshell. lol and I just realized I said basically nothing about myself. Ha!

That's it for now though.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Guest Review: Hide Me

SYNOPSIS

Sometimes it's easier to run...

Ripped apart by guilt and grief, nineteen-year-old Whit Conrad grabs her stuff and runs from her super-conservative home and family in Pennsylvania and hauls ass for sunny California. All she wants is escape. Now she has a craptastic apartment, a job at a tattoo parlour, and even a friend-who's-mostly-benefits. Then she meets a sexy, inked, surfer-dude who has the potential of capsizing everything...

Deo Beckett is adrift. Underemployed and over-boozing, Deo knows he should be doing something more with his life. Being something more. All it takes is a pin-up hottie with a smart mouth—and a bruised soul—to force Deo to start looking below the surface. To wonder if there's more to life than being a beach bum. Now he's falling for Whit...and hard.

But Whit ran from home for a reason, and she'll go to any lengths to keep Deo from learning the truth...

*previously released under Lengths in 2012


Review

First, let me say I feel a little torn and confused by this book. I think the reason for that my overall feelings on it was just--meh, it's okay--when I feel like I should've really liked it. Honestly, I had planned on writing this review by first covering the things I really liked about the book, following it up with things I disliked, but I feel like I can't even do that. I wouldn't recommend this book, necessarily, but I wouldn't not recommend it either. Does that make sense? It was an okay. The premise was decent. The  characters okay. It was a little slow for me. The two main characters meet and are instantly attracted to each other and there's a bit of that insta-love thing going on, which I can get past, but then the book just seems to stall a bit. I'm not sure what exactly was off about it, except that for me there was just something missing.

If you enjoy new adult novels, don't mind insta-love connection, or a slow moving plot (that sounds worse than I intended) then you wouldn't mind this book and may really enjoy it. 



*I was given a copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

~ 3 stars





Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Dreamer - New Adult Fantasy - Tour and Giveaway!



The Dreamer Summary


It’s night. Always night. Dreams guard against the evil forged by nightmares. Infinite shooting stars illuminate a moonless sky. A city stands alone, surrounded by a darkened field. On its fringes, a man watches one star separate from the masses and fall. What survives the crash will unveil a secret centuries long hidden.

Molly hasn’t slept well since the night of her twenty-fourth birthday. Being struck by lightning might have something to do with it, but then again, her chicken did look a little undercooked at dinner. Whatever the culprit, her life quickly catapults from mundane to insane as, night after night, Molly is transported through her once dreamless sleep to a mysterious land illuminated by shooting stars.

There she meets the captivating but frustrating Dev, and together they discover Molly possesses a power coveted by his people—the ability to conjure almost anything she desires into existence. Seduced by the possibilities of this gift, Molly shifts her attention from waking life toward the man, the magic, and the world found in her dreams.

But Molly must ask herself—does something truly exist if you only see it when you close your eyes?

Faced with the threat of losing everything—her job, best friend, boyfriend, and most importantly, that little thing called her sanity—Molly will learn just how far she’ll go to uncover what is real and what is merely a figment of her imagination.







The first in a spellbinding contemporary fantasy trilogy, The Dreamer opens doors into the subconscious and follows the journey of a young woman torn between two worlds as she questions the power of the mind and battles between fate and freewill.




BUY THE BOOK



Excerpt


I begin to dream of something familiar. I’m floating over a nearly empty field at night. A solitary elm tree rests in the distance. My body’s warm with light, as bright as a star, and I move faster and faster, racing toward the tree. A shock of penetrating, ice-cold water bursts across my skin, and I smack down to the earth. My vision goes dark.

Gradually, I hear movement around me. Feet stepping on grass. The sound of crickets chirping. A soft, cool breeze brushes across my skin. I open my eyes to the sky, my view partially blocked by the leaves of a tree. The part of the sky I can see is streaked with white lights zipping past. I’ve dreamt of this place before. I’ve seen this tree and felt this grass beneath me. I’m so at ease lying in this familiar place. No pain comes from my head here, and I want to stay like this forever.

I’m brought out of my reverie by a girl’s whispers. I chance a look around to see two figures standing at my right, looking down at me. They are both completely dressed in black with some object strapped to each of their backs. One is a girl with almost white-blonde hair and fragile features. From the dark silhouette of her body, I can tell she’s as skinny as a stick. The other figure is a man with short-cropped raven hair and two-day stubble, which, coupled with his attire, allows him to seamlessly camouflage into the dark surroundings. His pale skin is what sets him apart from the backdrop, along with the brightest blue eyes I’ve ever seen.

Those eyes.

I stare into them, trying to stir up the memory that is swimming around in my head suggesting I’ve seen them before. All I can currently deduce from the rapid beating of my heart and the tense heat in my belly is that I must find him attractive. And if anyone else were seeing what I’m seeing, I don’t think they would blame me.

The girl next to the shadowed man whispers fervently in his ear as he stands still, arms crossed over his chest, studying me intently.

“It’s a Dreamer,” he finally says, his voice deep and rich. The girl flinches at his volume used but follows suit.

“I see that it’s a Dreamer, Dev. But what is she doing here?” The light, twinkling quality of her voice contradicts the vehemence of her tone. Do they think I can’t hear them?

The girl paces to his other side while gazing at me warily, her blonde locks pushing forward to cast shadows around her face. Even with her features slightly obscured, her beauty is obvious. I begin to wonder if this dream is going to be all about supermodels, which would definitely make it a nightmare.

“I’m not sure. Something must have gotten crossed on the journey to her landscape,” he says while turning his attention to the night sky.

“That’s never happened before. It’s impossible.” The girl puts her hands on her hips in bewilderment and faces him.

Dev—I’m guessing his name—shifts his weight and scratches his stubble-filled chin, regarding me like I’m a car with a flat. “Well, it’s happened now.”

This whole time I’ve kept quiet, and I decide it’s time to say something.

“Excuse me.” I begin to sit up.

Dev stands perfectly still, his face subtly lighting up with curiosity. The girl, on the other hand, takes a step back, steadying herself like she’s about to throttle me.

“Whoa.” I put up my hands, indicating my nonviolent intent. “I’m not going to do anything but stand. Can I do that?” I fix my gaze from one to the other questioningly.

“She can hear us.” The girl tries to whisper sideways through her mouth.

Is she kidding me? “Of course I can hear you! What’s going on? Where am I? Who are you guys?” My numbness upon waking here has quickly evaporated and is replaced instead by slight hysteria.

“Inquisitive, isn’t she?” Dev arches one of his brows in amusement.

I let out a frustrated sigh. “Please stop talking like I’m not right in front of you. Like I said, I can hear you. And I have a name. It’s Molly.”


The girl is about to say something, when Dev puts his hand up to quiet her. “Hi, Molly.” He flashes a lopsided grin. “What’s going on is that you’re dreaming.” He elongates the word dreaming while wiggling his fingers as if he’s telling a spooky story. “Where you are is in your dream. Who we are… Well, we’re obviously figments of your imagination.”



ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway



E.J. MELLOW BIO

E.J. Mellow is the author behind the NA Contemporary Fantasy trilogy The Dreamland Series. When
she's not busy moonlighting in the realm of make-believe, she can be found doodling, buried in a book (usually this one), or playing video games.

Residing in Brooklyn, NY she is a member of Romance Writers of America and their Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter.









Social Links:
Website: www.ejmellow.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13651527.E_J_Mellow
Instagram: www.instagram.com/ejmellow
Twitter: www.twitter.com/ej_mellow
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ejmellow


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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Why Hate the Billionaire New-Hot Romance Release!


I’m Cassidy Delany. Bright new shiny MD. So how do I celebrate? I let myself go crazy with the hottest man I’ve ever seen. Piercing blue-gray eyes with a ripped chest and six-pack abs I could lick for a lifetime. The two of us together equals a nuclear explosion. Too bad Daniel is an arrogant billionaire prick who thinks he can just take what he wants. Sorry, buddy, but with four orphaned siblings to take care of, I don’t have the time.


Daniel Sheffield, MD. I do women; I don’t do relationships. And I always get what I want. I knew Cassidy Delany would be an amazing one-night stand with that luscious body and her smart and sassy mouth. She makes me want to buy an island where I can have her 24/7 until I get her out of my system. But I’ll never tell Cassidy she just might be the best time I ever had—in and out of bed. She may think she walked out on me, but I’m getting her back with surgical precision. As always, this will end on my terms.





Why Hate the Billionaire? (The Delanys Book I)


Cassidy Delany is resigned to a life of responsibility, hard work, and sacrifice as she struggles to support her orphaned family. She never indulges her passions so that her younger siblings can have the freedom to follow all of theirs. That is, until she encounters Daniel, a sublimely gorgeous—and arrogant—billionaire. Overwhelming mutual lust leads her to agree to a one-night stand that morphs into a fantasy weekend full of mind-blowing sex. When he acts like Cassidy is just another woman who exists for his pleasure, she runs away, hoping to never see him again. But when Daniel reappears and turns everything upside down, Cassidy knows that their unquenchable passion and the disturbing emotions it evokes, could destroy everything she’s fought so hard to achieve.


Daniel Sheffield, MD, is a typical spoiled, Beacon Hill Adonis from a Boston Brahmin family with trillions of dollars, and always gets whatever—and whoever—he wants. But the delectable and brilliant Cassidy Delany is something he’s never encountered before: a woman who sees something worth wanting beyond his money, power, and sex appeal. One taste and what he thought was just an insatiable desire for her body becomes a need for much more. But he’s shocked to discover that getting the girl can destroy what he values most—control.




PURCHASE




ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Johanna's publisher 

Johanna Bordeaux grew up loving Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Fanny Burney, Collette, Georges Sand — all the classic female writers who knew that a good romantic relationship is all about the unique personalities of the lead characters and the special spark between them. She received her degree in English Literature, specializing in Jane Austen, the early English novels, and Shakespeare, with a minor in biology. In her profession as a mental health counselor, Johanna learned and deepened her understanding of the human heart and what makes a relationship great. Her sexy romance novels are about true love and fulfilling all of her characters needs for a very satisfactory relationship.