Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Book Review - Shadow Girl by Gerry Schmitt

 


Leland Odin is rich and has made his fortune off of a home shopping network. However, his money can't help him save his life. Leland is on the donor list for a transplant and he loses all hope when the helicopter carrying his donor heart is shot out of the sky.

The two pilots from the helicopter are dead and many are injured. Afton Tangler is a family liaison officer with the Minneapolis Police Department and has been called on to assist. She and her partner, Max, will investigate family members, business associates of Leland and anyone else who may hold a grudge against him. As the team looks into the clues, someone sneaks into the hospital to finish off Leland. It seems Leland has crossed the wrong person and she will stop at nothing to get her revenge. Will the duo be able to stop her before they get caught in her cross hairs?

This was my first book by the author and it seems like it could be read as a standalone. However, I felt like there were some character and story nuances I may have missed. I found the book to be a boring read. The characters were dull and the story barely held my attention. The book was lackluster and had no excitement or surprise twists.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Book Review - The Okay Witch and the Hungry Shadow by Emma Steinkellner + Giveaway

 


Moth Hush is getting used to her heritage and magical power but, she is still struggling at school. Her best friend, Charlie, doesn't even understand how it feels to be constantly picked on. To make matters worse, her mother decided to date her dorkiest teacher in the school. Moth pockets a mysterious charm from her grandmother as it will unleash a more confident and popular version of herself.

The comic was a funny and interesting read. This was my first time being expose to the characters but, I was able to follow along without any issue. However, the author does give a brief summary in the beginning but, I would recommend reading the first book in the series. I am looking forward to reading Moth's next adventure.

 

 

 

About the Book

Title: THE OKAY WITCH AND THE HUNGRY SHADOW (The Okay Witch #2)

Author: Emma Steinkellner

Pub. Date: July 6, 2019

Publisher: Aladdin

Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook

Pages: 256

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonKindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Bookshop.org

In this hilarious and heartwarming sequel to the bestselling and critically acclaimed graphic novel, The Okay Witch, half-witch Moth Hush uses magic to boost her confidence with disastrous results—perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Molly Ostertag!

Moth Hush is starting to settle into her newfound witch heritage and powers, but life at school continues to be rough. Even her best friend, Charlie, doesn’t entirely understand what it’s like for her to always be the one who gets mocked, and things only get worse when Moth’s mom starts dating one of the dorkiest teachers in the school! Then Moth gets hold of a mysterious charm that can unleash another version of herself—one who is confident, cool, and extremely popular. What could possibly go wrong?

 PRAISE FOR THE OKAY WITCH:

“Lighthearted and cheeky.” The New York Times

“Steinkellner’s debut graphic novel is a tour de force of middle grade storytelling.” – School Library Journal, starred review

The Okay Witch is the perfect read for kids who love Hocus Pocus.” – A.V. Club

 GRAB THE OKAY WITCH NOW!

 

About Emma:


Emma Steinkellner is an illustrator, writer, and cartoonist living in Los Angeles, California. She is a graduate of Stanford University and the illustrator of the Eisner-nominated comic Quince. She is the author and illustrator of The Okay Witch graphic novel series.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon






Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE OKAY WITCH AND THE HUNGRY SHADOW, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

6/28/2021

A Dream Within A Dream

Excerpt

6/28/2021

Rajiv's Reviews

Review

6/29/2021

Kait Plus Books

Interview

6/29/2021

Two Points of Interest

Review

6/30/2021

cindysloveofbooks

Review

6/30/2021

laura's bookish corner

Review

7/1/2021

Hurn Publications

Excerpt

7/1/2021

celiamcmahonreads

Review

7/2/2021

@drewsim12

Review

7/2/2021

The Momma Spot

Review

Week Two:

7/5/2021

brittreadsalattebooks

Review

7/5/2021

Lady Hawkeye

Excerpt

7/6/2021

Fictitiouswonderland

Review

7/6/2021

Pandora's Books

Review

7/7/2021

hauntedbybooks

Review

7/7/2021

Curlygrannylovestoread

IG Spotlight

7/8/2021

Confessions of a YA Reader

Review

7/8/2021

Nerdophiles

Review

7/9/2021

Eli to the nth

Review

7/9/2021

Simply Daniel Radcliffe

Review


Friday, June 25, 2021

Book Review - The Anatomy of Desire by L.R. Dorn

 

Claire Griffith has it all. She rebranded herself as Cleo Ray and has a thriving influencer business, a successful boyfriend, and glamorous friends. Cleo knew she was meant for more than her super-strict religious parents preached to her. She arrives to Los Angeles and is completely broke. She climbs her way up to being a popular fitness coach and social media influencer. She is on her way to realizing her biggest dreams and getting everything she ever wanted.

Beck Alden and Cleo went on a canoe trip on a serene mountain lake one summer day. An hour later, Beck is found dead in the water Cleo is missing. The police suspect foul play and concentrate on locating Cleo because someone matching her description was found running away from the lake.  The news of Cleo's involvement goes viral and people are feverishly following the case.

I was a bit torn on this book. The format was interesting and I felt like it added a bit of "drama" to the story and that we were reading an actual court transcript. However, I found it annoying to keep track of who was talking at times. Sometimes, that broke the flow for me. I felt like sometimes, the story felt off-kilter because they had Chloe's perspective when they were describing the crime. I felt that there wasn't much of a plot but a constant rehash of the same bits of story.

 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Book Spotlight - Kyle's Little Sister by BonHyung Jeong + Giveaway

 


About the Book:

Title: KYLE'S LITTLE SISTER

Author: BonHyung Jeong

Pub. Date: June 22, 2021

Publisher: JY

Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

Pages: 240

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Bookshop.org

My name is Grace, not "Kyle's little sister!"

Having a good-looking, friendly, outgoing older brother sucks—especially when you're the total opposite, someone who likes staying home and playing video games. Your parents like him better (even if they deny it!), and everyone calls you "Kyle's little sister" while looking disappointed that you're not more like him. I was really hoping I'd get to go to a different middle school, but no such luck. At least I have my friends...until he finds a way to ruin that, too...! Argh! What do I have to do to get out of his shadow?!

 

 

About BonHyung Jeong:

BonHyung Jeong (Bon) studied Cartooning at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and Kyle's Little Sister is her debut graphic novel, made possible with the help of numerous people. She hopes to make connections with others through relatable stories. Currently living in Korea, she's always busy playing console games - exactly like someone in the book!

Instagram | Goodreads





Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of KYLE'S LITTLE SISTER, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

6/14/2021

Unconventional Quirky Bibliophile

Review

6/15/2021

cindysloveofbooks

Review

6/16/2021

A Dream Within A Dream

Excerpt

6/17/2021

@pagesofyellow

Review

6/18/2021

Rajiv's Reviews

Review

6/19/2021

Jazzy Book Reviews

Excerpt

Week Two:

6/20/2021

Hurn Publications

Guest Post

6/21/2021

Two Points of Interest

Review

6/22/2021

celiamcmahonreads

Review

6/23/2021

Fyrekatz Blog

Review

6/24/2021

@drewsim12

Review

6/25/2021

The Momma Spot

Review

6/26/2021

Lady Hawkeye

Excerpt

Week Three:

6/27/2021

Curlygrannylovestoread

Spotlight

6/28/2021

Nerdophiles

Review

6/29/2021

Simply Daniel Radcliffe

Review

6/30/2021

YA Books Central

Guest Post

7/1/2021

Sandra's Book Club

Excerpt

7/2/2021

amandainpa

Review

7/3/2021

Two Chicks on Books

Guest Post

Week Four:

7/4/2021

TLC Book Nook

Excerpt

7/5/2021

hauntedbybooks

Review

7/6/2021

@bookshelfmomma

Review

7/7/2021

@lexijava_bookish

Excerpt

7/8/2021

The Obsessed Reader

Guest Post

7/9/2021

Brittreadsalattebooks

Review


Monday, June 21, 2021

June 2021 Haul Part 2!

 



 

Oh boy, the heat is on! I just want to stay near an AC and not move. I would like to say that the heat has helped me curb my spending and I been using more things but, that would be a lie. Unfortunately, I haven't finished as many things as I did in the last few weeks....one day..

I got a few new lip products that I am excited to try. I got my first Bobbi Brown lipstick in Brocade. It's such a lovely color. I got another KVD lippie in K-Dub. I feel like I had this color already. I went into this new (to me) organic beauty store and got two new lip products - Tower 28 (I already own stuff from the brand but, a new shade - Chill) and Lip Whip in Peppermint Tinted. I go through lip balm like a crazy person so, I am excited to add a few new ones to my lineup. 

I have a few lip products from Dose of Colors so, I decided to try one of their eyeshadow singles - Nightsky. It's a gorgeous dark green shimmery color -- it would make the perfect smokey eye. I have tried a few of Dennis Gross's products and I am excited to the new Meltaway Cleanser. The name alone makes it sound creamy and it would remove even the toughest makeup looks.

Regardless of the season, I suffer from dry skin. I saw that Mudmasky had a winter leave on mask and I decided to try it. It's supposed to help with super dry skin and I get that year round. I hoping it shows results after one use. I have heard good things about the brand, Bloomeffects that I got their cult favorite product - the Royal Tulip Nectar. The name sounds awesome and it sounds super hydrating.

Is there anything you got new this month that you are excited to try?

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Book Review - Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson

 


Amy Whey is happy with her easy going life and the simple things that come with it. She enjoys teaching people how to dive, helping her best friend, Charlotte, run a local book club, and even baking cookies for her neighbors. She adores her family. She has a husband who is a professor, a fifteen year stepdaughter, and an infant son. She lives near her most trusted and reliable friend, Charlotte. However, Amy's perfect life might unravel when a new neighbor, Angelica Roux, arrives on her doorstep.

Roux has a magnetic charm that cause all the neighbor women to surround her. She plies the woman with wine to lure them into a game of spilling secrets to each other. They all think its a game for fun but Amy knows that Roux is up to something.  Roux seems to know a secret that Amy has kept buried in her past.

Roux has a proposition for Amy. She wants Amy to pay her to keep her mouth shut, otherwise, Roux will make Amy pay for her sins. Amy is desperate to keep her secret safe and she is willing to do anything. She decides that the best thing she can do is to beat Roux at her own game.

This book was recommended by someone in my book club. I was excited to read it but, I quickly realized this may not be the book for me. The book starts off okay but, then quickly dissolved into a hot mess. I didn't really care for any of the characters as some of them felt over the top. I had hard time believing Roux and the plot even felt far-fetched. I felt like a few times Amy could have ended this whole cat and mouse thing sooner. The book did have a few surprise twists but, I am not even sure they were worth it.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Book Review - This House Is Haunted by John Boyne


Its a cold winter day in 1867 and Eliza Caine decides that she is ready for a new challenge. She reads an ad for a governess position at Gaudlin Hall and she decides its the change she needs. When she traveling to her new home, she is shaken by an accident that occurs during her trip. However, she tries to move on from the occurrence when she meets her new wards, Isabella and Eustace. 

Upon her arrival and meeting the children, she realizes that there is no adult present with the children or any sign of her mysterious employer. The children are hesitant to speak about their parents and she is met with an similar experience with the townspeople. Eliza tries to get some sleep and decides to tackle the issue tomorrow but, she feels a foreboding presence in her room. She knows that something is very wrong at Gaudlin Hall.

Eliza tries to discount her experience from the previous night. However, she keeps feeling that something is following her. Eliza realizes that if is she and the children are to survive the violent ghost, that she will need to uncover the history behind the evil presence. Will Eliza be able to uncover the truth before it's too late?

The book was an interesting tale but, was poorly executed. While reading the novel, it reminded me of older Gothic stories I have read and I was surprised that the book was published in 2013. I thought the novel moved a bit slowly for my taste.I felt like details were used to draw out the novel in place of actual story details. Eliza is portrayed as a smart woman but, I felt like she did some questionable things. Perhaps, I should be more understanding as she seems to be grieving and the job seems to be something out of her realm of experience. The ending and "secret" was predictable and I was able to figure it out quickly.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Book Review - The Bone Code (Temperance Brennan, #20) by Kathy Reichs

 

Tempe receives a call from the Charleston coroner about a medical waste container that was tossed ashore.  When the container was opened, they found two decomposed bodies wrapped up in plastic sheeting and bound with electrical wire. Tempe realizes that these details are identical to an unsolved case she handled in Quebec years earlier. She feels that the two cases are connected and she travels to Montreal to gather more evidence.

In South Carolina, the state is chaos because a human flesh-eating contagion is spreading. Tempe is so focused on the container victims that she doesn't register that the murders and the disease may be related. As Tempe continues to investigate the murders, she realizes someone is keeping a dark secret and will is do anything to protect their secret.

I was excited to read this book because my mom loves the TV show. However, this book was a complete and utter bore. I didn't care for the writing style and I felt like the book was dragging along. This is the first book for me in the series, so I am guessing I am missing nuances between the characters but, I don't really have an interest in reading the other books in the series.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Book Review - The Perfect Nanny by Leïla Slimani

 

Myriam wants more out of life than just being the primary caretaker of her children. They decided that they will look for a nanny for their son and daughter so, that Myriam can return to work as a lawyer. They ecstatic when they find Louise who is the perfect nanny. She is quiet, polite, and devoted to the children. As the months pass by,  the family finds themselves more dependent on each other which leads to jealousy, resentment, and tensions.

I was excited to read this book as it sounded so promising. Unfortunately, this book was a complete and utter fail. The book kept switching point of views and had so many random details that added nothing to the story. I am still struggling to understand if there was even a story. This book felt like a jumbled mess of random and pointless details.

Friday, June 11, 2021

June 2021 Empties!

 

 



I can't believe how many things I finished this month! Wow, usually I am struggling to finish five full size things but, this time I had to take two separate photos to get all the empties. I hope I can keep this up and eventually actually finish more than I buy! So far, I finished 36 things but, bought 76 things this month.

Quite a few of these items are re-buys such as the Nivea in-shower cream. I love that I can apply and wash it off in the tub. It's great for days when I am in a rush or don't want that tacky lotion feel on my skin. The Juara shower gel, Sol de Janiero, and Stila lip glazes are favorites that I usually buy when my skin is fussy or if they are on sale.

I am surprised how much I liked the Ole Henriksen Phat Facial. My skin felt noticeably different after one usage. I might get this again if its on sale. I usually have problems sleeping and I used their sleeping sprays, so I thought I would get the ThisWorks Bath salts. Honestly, I thought it was completely overpriced. The scent was strong but, for the amount of product you get, there are better options. The tub last for 3 baths and that was with me being stingy with the salts. That's almost $11+ per a bath depending on how much you paid. You can get Epsom salts and scent them with lavender oils to get a similar effect. I would not buy again unless it was less than $10 a tub.

I bought the entire line from Earth Harbors. I really like this cleansing oil as it removed tough eye makeup without rubbing or tugging.  However, unlike other cleansing oils I have used this didn't provide a lather or foaming action. I also tried the Kopari coconut cleansing oil and after trying the one from Earth Harbors, I would not get the Kopari one again. Yes, the bottle is bigger but, the Kopari one barely removed my makeup. Honestly, it was quite a disappointment.

Here is everything I finished this month -

Aquaphor Healing Ointment
Lush Happy Body Wash
Grown Alchemist Detox Night Cream
Milk Makeup Sunshine Oil
Eau Thermale Avene RetrinAL .01 Intensice Cream
Tarte Sugar Rush Peony Lip Balm
Dr. Dennis Gross Stress Rescue Super Serum
Simply When Cosmic Calm Soothe
Simply When Future Fresh Smooth Out
Bonvivant Botanical Mask Pack Chamomile + Tea Tree
Jayjun Cosmetics Rose Blossom Mask
Project Beauty Hairgurt Hair Masque
BBW Amber and Argan Body Oil
Kopari Coconut Cleansing Oil
Tocca Guiletta Body Scrub
Coola Daydream Mineral Primer SPF 30
Coola Dawn Patrol Classic Primer SPF 30
Nivea In-Shower Body Lotion
Ariul 7 Days Plus Trea Tree Pore Tightening Mask
Bonvivant Botanical Mask Pack Chamomile + Tea Tree
BioBelle Exfoliate and Brightens #RoseAllDay
Sandawha Camellia Intensive Essence
ThisWorks Deep Sleep Bath Soak
Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream
Facetory Collection Moon Velvet Sleeping Mask with Shea Butter + Azulene
Juara Candlenut Hydrating Shower Gel
Earth Harbor Sunshine Dew Antioxidant Cleansing Oil
Stila Stargazer Lip Glaze
Glamglow Berry Glow Probiotic Recovery Mask
Sanitas Brightening Peel Pads
Ole Henriksen PHAT Glow Facial
Feel Balanced Moisture Balancing Cream
Feel Harmony Rose Petal Facial Mask
Lollia Shea Butter Handcream Wander

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Book Review - Three Perfect Liars by Heidi Perks

 

Laura is excited to return back to work after her maternity leave. Upon her return, she discovers the woman she hired to cover for her temporarily has been offered a permanent position. Laura feels betrayed and blindsided even though she has a close relationship with the CEO. As she pushed aside, she finds herself struggling with managing the demands of work and motherhood.

Mia was supposed to be a temporary hire but, she made herself indispensable to keep herself at the agency. Everyone loves Mia, except Laura. Janie gave up her dreams to support her husband and his company. However, she has a dark secret she is hiding.

I am very disappointed how boring and predictable this book was. There was nothing thrilling about this novel. The characters were dull and seemed wooden. I can't believe I wasted so much time reading this book because I kept hoping something would happen that would not make me not regret reading this book.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Book Spotlight - Dusk's Darkest Shores by Carolyn Miller + Giveaway

About the series:
 
While most stories set in Regency England focus on the rich, the young, and the beautiful, award-winning author Carolyn Miller decided she wanted to give readers something different for a change. Her new Regency Wallflowers series follows the commoners, away from the hustle and bustle of 1810s London, out in the Lake District of England. She tells the stories of women who are slightly older and have few prospects for marriage, women who might be considered “wallflowers.”
 
About the book:
 
How can a meek wallflower help a returning war hero whose dreams are plunged into darkness?
 
Mary Bloomfield has no illusions. Her chances for matrimony have long since passed her by. Still, her circumstances are pleasant enough, especially now that she has found purpose in assisting her father with his medical practice in England's beautiful Lake District. Even without love, it's a peaceful life.
 
That is until Adam Edgerton returns to the sleepy district. This decorated war hero did not arrive home to acclaim and rest, but to a new battle against the repercussions of an insidious disease. Mary's caring nature cannot stand to see someone suffer--but how can she help this man see any brightness in his future when he's plunged into melancholic darkness, his dreams laid waste by his condition?
 
Adam wants no charity, but he's also no coward. If this gentle woman can work hard, how can he do less? Together they struggle to find a way forward for him. Frustration and antipathy slowly develop into friendship and esteem. Then a summer storm atop a mountain peak leads to scandal--and both Mary and Adam must search the depths of their closed hearts for answers if they hope to find any future path with happiness at its end.
 
Best-selling author Carolyn Miller is back with a fresh series that will not only thrill readers eager for more of her work, but bring in new fans looking for beautiful writing, fascinating research, deftly woven love stories, and real faith lived out in the Regency period.
 
Click here to read an excerpt.

About the Author


Carolyn Miller is an inspirational romance author who lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children.
 
A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English literature and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. She enjoys music, films, gardens, art, travel, and food.

Miller’s novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers. 
 
Learn more about Carolyn at www.carolynmillerauthor.com, or find her on Facebook (Carolyn Miller Author)Instagram (@CarolynMillerAuthor), and Twitter (@CarolynMAuthor)



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