Saturday, July 13, 2019

Book Review - The Furies by Katie Lowe

Photo Credit - Amazon
Violet is nervous on her first day at the all-girls Elm Hollow Academy boarding school. It's her second chance to have a fresh start in the midst of a family tragedy.  Desperate to fit in, Violet finds herself joining a group of girls who are considered outsiders. She soon finds herself in an advanced study group with the other girls, leads by her mysterious art teacher, Annabel.

The group studies mythology and Greek and Celtic legends but, also the school's own gruesome history.  Annabel tries to teach the girls that class is about learning history and mythology and not about magic. However, this doesn't stop the girls from trying to get their hands on some spells. 

Together, they try to harness the power of magic for themselves. They find themselves wrapped up in power they never had before. When a violent incident occurs, Violet finds herself feeling defenseless. When her friends' actions take a turn for the darker, Violet finds herself conflicted.

I thought this novel was going to be about a group of girls who were using magic to get their way. Instead, I am not sure what this novel is. I have a few mixed feelings about it and I am still not entirely sure if I enjoyed the novel. I was reminded of Emma Cline's "The Girls" (which I was also in-between with). I didn't really feel like the book came together in a cohesive and enjoyable way for me. I didn't really care for any of the main characters and thought they didn't really face any consequences. While I didn't really love this novel, I am open to reading other books by the author.

 **Disclosure -  This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.**

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Book Review - Mother Knows Best by Kira Peikoff

Photo Credit - Amazon

Claire Abram's is lived through every mother's worst nightmare. She passed on a genetic mutation that killed her son. Claire wants a second chance to be a mother but, she is afraid of passing on the gene mutation again. She finds hope when she meets Robert Nash who is a well-known fertility doctor. Robert Nash with his research assistant, Jillian Hendricks, is working on an experiment that can change the world; if it wasn't illegal.

Desperate for another child, Claire works with Nash and Jillian to create the world's first baby with three genetic parents. This will help erase Claire's fear of passing her gene mutation to her unborn child. However, their experiment is illegal and when word leaks to the wrong person, their lives are turned upside down. Claire, who is pregnant decides to run with Robert.  They left Jillian to serve a prison sentence alone that ruins her career and future.

Ten years later, Abigail realizes that her parents are keeping secrets from her. Her mother and father are reclusive and tend to keep to themselves unless it comes to their yearly tradition. When she tries to dig into a family's history, she realizes that not everything is what it seems.

I was really excited to read this novel as the premise is really interesting. However, I was a bit annoyed that this novel billed itself as a novel of suspense. I felt like there were a few twists but, many were very predictable. The novel wasn't a complete waste of time but, I wish it could have more suspense.

 **Disclosure - I received a free unedited copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion. This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.**

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Book Review - Reunited with the Cowboy by Claire McEwen + Giveaway

Photo Credit - Amazon

Maya Burton is finally returning home at her grandmother's behest. While tracking local wildlife, she runs into Caleb Dunne, the last person she wanted to see. She blames herself for surviving the car crashed that killed his sister. Given their troubled past, she has to convince Caleb that he needs her help to save his ranch. Will Maya be able to earn his trust and his heart without running away again?

I thought the novel was a nice cozy read. I love the Old Biddies and felt that they were the best part of the book. I like the themes of redemption and how Maya used a bad experience to become a better person. She used all the "bad energy" to do something with her life.

 **Disclosure - I received a free  copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion. This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.**

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Reunited with the Cowboy
(Heroes of Shelter Creek #1)
By Claire McEwen
Adult Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 368 Pages
July 1st 2019 by Harlequin Heartwarming

She can save his ranch…

But can he forgive her?

Maya Burton knows she’s the last person rancher Caleb Dunne wants to see. After all, she survived the crash that killed his sister, and then left town. Now she has to convince the stubborn cowboy that she can help him save his ranch. But once she earns his trust—and his heart—will she be able to walk away?


About the Author

Claire McEwen writes stories about strong heroes and heroines who take big, emotional journeys to find their happily-ever-after. She lives by the ocean in Northern California with her family and a scruffy, mischievous terrier. When she’s not writing, Claire enjoys gardening, reading and discovering flea-market treasures. She loves to hear from readers! You can find her on most social media and at

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card
Open internationally
Ends July 24, 2019

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Book Review - Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton + Giveaway

Photo Credit - Amazon

A long time ago, dragons once rule the lands and there was heavy demand for brave dragonslayers. However, the dragons have long died out and the need for dragonslayers died with them.  Guillot dal Villevauvais was once an illustrious famous knight of the King's personal guard and now, he a drunken disgrace.

When a quest to look forgotten power awakes a dragon, Gill is called upon to help slay the dragon.  He is astonished and worried when he called upon by Prince Bishop to kill the dragon  He is no longer the heroic person and must call upon his past experience to help guide him.  

On his way to the Capital, Gill comes across a young barmaid, Solene who is about to be burned as a witch by an angry mob. He had seen enough innocent people being punished wrongly and decides to save her. He soon discovers that Solene is a powerful mage but lacks experience and control. However, magic is considered to be forbidden but, Prince Bishop believes magic will help destroy the dragon and better the lives of the people. Together will Gill and Solene be able to defeat the dragon?

I love reading the "Lord of the Rings" novels. While this book has elements of a great fantasy novel, I felt like something was missing.  felt like there was a lack of explaining the world the characters lived in. There was no story behind the different cities and villages that would have helped add to the story. I did enjoy that the novel included the perspective of both the dragon and the human characters.  The novel did include a lot of gore, sword fighting, and adventure but, overall the novel wasn't for me.

 **Disclosure - I received a free unedited copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion. This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.**

Print Length: 304 pages
Publisher: Tor Books (July 2, 2019)
Publication Date: July 2, 2019
Sold by: Macmillan
Language: English

Author of one of BuzzFeed 's Greatest Fantasy Books of 2013

Do you have what it takes to be a Dragonslayer? In this epic, adventure fantasy series, an unlikely hero, Guillot dal Villevauvais, must overcome his disgraced past as a failed member of the King’s guard and hunt down a ferocious beast thought long extinct. A dangerous quest, led by the swordsmanship of Gill, the magical powers of Solène, a barmaid nearly burned to the stake, and the goodness of Prince Bishop. From the critically acclaim fantasy author Duncan M. Hamilton, this fast-moving series is a must-read for fans of epic, sword-and-sorcery adventures.

In his magnificent, heroic, adventure fantasy, Dragonslayer, Duncan M. Hamilton debuts the first book in a fast-moving trilogy: a dangerous tale of lost magics, unlikely heroes, and reawakened dragons.

Once a member of the King's personal guard, Guillot dal Villevauvais spends most days drinking and mourning his wife and child. He’s astonished—and wary—when the Prince Bishop orders him to find and destroy a dragon. He and the Prince Bishop have never exactly been friends and Gill left the capital in disgrace five years ago. So why him? And, more importantly, how is there a dragon to fight when the beasts were hunted to extinction centuries ago by the ancient Chevaliers of the Silver Circle?

On the way to the capitol city, Gill rescues Solène, a young barmaid, who is about to be burned as a witch. He believes her innocent…but she soon proves that she has plenty of raw, untrained power, a problem in this land, where magic is forbidden. Yet the Prince Bishop believes magic will be the key to both destroying the dragon and replacingthe young, untried King he pretends to serve with a more pliable figurehead.
Between Gill’s rusty swordsmanship and Solene’s unstable magic, what could go wrong?

You can purchase Dragonslayer at the following Retailers:

Photo Credit: Jason Clarke

Duncan M. Hamilton is the Amazon best selling writer of fantasy novels and short stories, including The Wolf of the North and the Society of the Sword trilogy. He has Master’s Degrees in History and Law, and practised as a barrister before writing full time. Duncan is particularly interested in the Medieval and Renaissance periods, from which he draws inspiration for his stories.

He lives in Ireland, near the sea, and when not writing he enjoys sailing, scuba diving, windsurfing, cycling, and skiing.

His debut novel, ‘The Tattered Banner (Society of the Sword Volume 1)’ was featured on Buzzfeed’s 12 Greatest Fantasy Books Of The Year, 2013.

Duncan is a member of The Society of Authors, and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). He is represented by DongWon Song of Howard Morhaim Literary.

JULY 2nd TUESDAY Insane About Books REVIEW
JULY 3rd WEDNESDAY Stephanie's Life of Determination REVIEW
JULY 4th THURSDAY Lauren's Bookshelf REVIEW
JULY 5th FRIDAY Crossroad Reviews REVIEW

JULY 8th MONDAY Nay's Pink Bookshelf REVIEW
JULY 9th TUESDAY Sabrina's Paranormal Palace REVIEW 
JULY 9th TUESDAY Rose's Book Corner EXCERPT
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JULY 10th WEDNESDAY A Dream Within A Dream EXCERPT
JULY 11th THURSDAY Gwendalyn's Books REVIEW
JULY 12th FRIDAY Movies, Shows, & Books REVIEW
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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Book Review - Sea Sirens by Amy Chu

Photo Credit - Amazon

Trot is a Vietnamese American girl who is an avid surfer that loves the ocean. She is usually accompanied by her grumpy one-eyed cat, Cap'n Bill. While surfing one day, Trot wipes out on a big wave and is transported to a magical underwater kingdom. She realizes that she is in the middle of ancient deep-sea battle. The Sea Sirens are being invaded by the Serpent King and his minions. When someone gets kidnap, Trot must risk everything to rescue someone she loves dearly.

The beautifully drawn graphic novel is colorful and easy to read. The book weaves mythology, mystical ocean creatures, and quirky characters together. While I enjoyed reading the book, I felt that there wasn't much of a plot and it was mostly fluff. I thought there was going to be a great big battle or an epic surprise at the end. The novel does leave an opening for more books but, I am hoping the next graphic novel has more going on.

**Disclosure - This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no any extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.**

Friday, July 5, 2019

Tocca Sapone - Stella

The creamy soap is enriched with vitamin E, algae extract, and kukui nut oil. The sweet-scented soap has a scent of blood orange. The beautifully decorated soap gave a luxurious lather but, didn't leave skin feeling hydrated. Overall, a beautiful looking and scented soap but, subpar on hydrating skin.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Book Review - Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis + Giveaway

Photo Credit - Amazon

Queen Eleanor of Albion is exiled to a small coastal island when her sister seizes the throne from her. The only inhabitants of the islands are nuns of a convent who spend their days peacefully trying to survive. However, the island is home to a mysterious orphan named Margaret. Margaret's life is turned upside down when the new visitor arrives.

As time passes, Eleanor and Margaret grow closer until Margaret finds out about the true purpose of the island and the truth of her own past. When Eleanor's safety is threatened, Margaret is faced with helping Eleanor or protecting herself. Will Margaret help Eleanor if it means risking her own life?

The beautifully drawn novel is a fictionalized history of  Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary. I found the book to be an entertaining read but, I was a bit disappointed that the novel left off on a cliffhanger. I felt that the book had a lot of filler and could have fit more of the story. However, I am looking forward to reading the continuation of the series.

 **Disclosure - I received a free  copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion. This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.**

Age Range: 10 - 14 years
Grade Level: 5 - 9
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Walker Books US (June 25, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1536204986
ISBN-13: 978-1536204988


The art, reminiscent of Raina Telgemeier’s style, creates levity during perilous situations. The book is dense with dialogue, often feeling more like a work of prose than a graphic novel. As a result, this complex work will be more accessible to those familiar with graphic novels…Certain to charm sophisticated graphic novel devotees. —School Library Journal (starred review)

Meconis offers an atmospheric alternate history inspired by the childhood and succession of Queen Elizabeth I in this quietly ambitious graphic novel…Art in soft, earthy colors brings this singular story to life in styles ranging from simple line drawings to elaborately styled text illuminations. The island world is richly developed, both in its physical particulars and its close-knit community (fascinating digressions into topics such as convent time, hand gestures used at table, and chess and embroidery flesh out daily life), and Margaret proves herself an endearing heroine with a strong voice full of humor and wonder. Her perspective transforms a storm-wracked rock into a vibrant world of hidden treasures. —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Meconis’ humor and storytelling gifts here wed seamlessly with her evocative pen-and-ink and gouache illustrations, which are rendered in warm earth and sea tones and brim with movement, expressively capturing even Margaret’s interior monologues. With its compelling, complex characters and intrigue-laden plot, this will have readers hoping it’s only the first of many adventures for Meconis’ savvy heroine. —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Weaving faith, love, statecraft, and self-discovery into a tale of palace intrigue relocated to the halls of a convent on a remote island at sea, Dylan Meconis uses the trappings of the history we know to create a high-stakes adventure in an alternate past that feels so detailed and so familiar, you’ll find yourself wondering why you never read about it in school. This beautiful book swept me away from the first page.” —Kate Milford, author of the Greenglass House series

“Dylan Meconis is at the absolute top of her game. A gorgeously rendered, lovingly realized alternate history, full of personal revelations in the midst of political intrigue. A tale of growing up, and of understanding that the world is larger and stranger than it once seemed. (Plus it has a Terrible Recipe for Terrible Gruel.)” —Ben Hatke, author-illustrator of the Zita the Spacegirl series

“This is the book I was always trying to get my hands on in high school that never seemed to materialize. An adventure to lose yourself in, with an attention to historical detail to please the nerdiest among us. I fell easily and completely into this world and its characters, knowing I was safe in Dylan Meconis’s hands, and I’m really excited for more people to find out what I’ve known for a long time—that she is one of a kind.” —Kate Beaton, author-illustrator of Hark! A Vagrant

Cult graphic novelist Dylan Meconis offers a rich reimagining of history in this hybrid novel loosely based on the exile of Queen Elizabeth I by her sister, Queen Mary.

When her sister seizes the throne, Queen Eleanor of Albion is banished to a tiny island off the coast of her kingdom, where the nuns of the convent spend their days peacefully praying, sewing, and gardening. But the island is also home to Margaret, a mysterious young orphan girl whose life is upturned when the cold, regal stranger arrives. As Margaret grows closer to Eleanor, she grapples with the revelation of the island’s sinister true purpose as well as the truth of her own past. When Eleanor’s life is threatened, Margaret is faced with a perilous choice between helping Eleanor and protecting herself.

You can purchase Queen of the Sea at the following Retailers:

Photo Content from Dylan Meconis

I’ve been writing and illustrating my own stories since the first grade, and I’ve been making comic books since middle school (no, really! Seventh grade was a tough year for me socially, so I had a lot of time to draw). I started my first book-length comic (graphic novel) in high school.

Unlike a lot of people who become professional artists and authors, I didn’t go to art school or a creative writing program in college. Instead, I mostly studied history, literature, philosophy, and French in the College of Letters at Wesleyan University. This means I have a brain full of weird facts, old books, strange art, and the extremely useful ability to read The Tales of Canterbury in the original Middle English. Except for the Middle English bit, it’s all come in very handy for writing and drawing historical fiction and fantasy.

I first started to get paid for making comics when I was still in college, when my first graphic novel was published online. After college, I worked as a graphic designer and visual communications consultant (which means “person who helps teach adults complicated stuff in cool new ways using pictures”). I’ve worked with Fortune 500 companies, global charities, technology companies, libraries, and a lot of other interesting organizations. I’ve made illustrations, animations, information graphics and cool presentations, explaining everything from how microchips work to the ways that clean drinking water can help communities in the third world.

For the last ten years, though, I mostly work as a writer, comic book creator and illustrator! Sometimes I make books totally by myself, and sometimes I get to team up with other writers or artists. It can be lots of fun, but it can also be very hard work. Luckily, I never get tired of making new stories.

JUNE 25th TUESDAY A Dream Within A Dream TENS LIST
JUNE 26th WEDNESDAY Triquetra Reviews EXCERPT
JUNE 29th FRIDAY Movies, Shows, & Books EXCERPT 

JULY 1st MONDAY Nay's Pink Bookshelf REVIEW
JULY 2nd TUESDAY Book Queen Reviews REVIEW 
JULY 3rd WEDNESDAY Sabrina's Paranormal Palace REVIEW
JULY 3rd WEDNESDAY Two Points of Interest REVIEW
JULY 5th FRIDAY Bri's Book Nook REVIEW
JULY 5th FRIDAY Crossroad Reviews REVIEW

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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Monday, July 1, 2019

Mayfair Soap Foundry Body Crème in Sea Lily Jasmine

The rich body cream is enriched with shea butter, cocoa seed butter, safflower oil, and sunflower oil. The sweet-scented lotion had scents of white lily, jasmine, and rose. The luxurious body cream left my skin feeling soft and delicately scent. A definite treat for anyone who loves the floral scent.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

CoverGirl Trublend Blush - 200 Medium Rose

The marbled baked blush is dermatologically and clinically tested. It's oil-free and ultra blendable due to the multi-tone shades to give the perfect "glowy" look. I wear blush daily as part of my makeup routine but, I find it hard to get the perfect "glowy, dewy" blushed look. I find either blush are too dark or light for my skin tone. Unfortunately, this blush had a bit of a chalky look and wasn't very noticeable. I might have to try another color because this makeup line did get good reviews.