The Newsmakers

by Lis Wiehl and Sebastian Stuart

The Newsmakers by Lis Wiehl

 

I’m a big Lis Wiehl fan and up till now have flown through her books at lightning pace. The Newsmakers was just alright for me. While I enjoyed parts of it some of it just seemed a bit over the top. Erica’s character was very driven and focused she loved her daughter more than anything and that was all very realistic. Her alcoholism played a central role in where she was and how she got there. The cut throat world of journalism and new channels seemed real to me, I could imagine that is a pretty tough field. The Newmakers was good but not wow she knocked it out of the park like her other books I’ve read leading up to this one. This book just moved a little slower paced and just not the action packed suspense I’m use to from her. I still enjoyed it, this book just took a little bit longer for me to finish.

summary: TV reporter Erica Sparks has become a superstar overnight. Is it due to her hard work and talent, or is she at the center of a spiraling conspiracy?

Erica Sparks is a beautiful and ambitious reporter who has just landed her dream job at Global News Network in New York. And while it was hard to leave Jenny, her cherished eight-year-old daughter, in the custody of her ex-husband, Erica is determined to succeed in the cutthroat world of big-time broadcasting. She can only hope her troubled past won’t come back to sabotage her dreams.

thank you booklook bloggers and Thomas Nelson for allowing me to read and review The Newsmakers. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.

Advertisements

The Feathered Bone

by Julie Cantrell

The Feathered Bone by Julie Cantrell

 

The Feathered Bone is every parents worst nightmare and sadly this happens, it actually happened to my best friends family in 1986 in New Orleans so I might have been a hard book critic for this since I kinda lived on the outside of what this did to her family. The book was very well written and the emotions she portrayed through out were spot on. My only problem was the ending, it was not the ending my friends family got, nor the ending that the New Orleans police said would happen in 9 out of 10 cases, so I guess for this book she was the 10th case. All in all it is very much a roller coaster ride of a book to read and one that leaves you a little rattled and drained. The Feathered Bone is full of heartbreak and love, guilt and falling to pieces so that you can slowly build yourself back up again. While this is not a beach read that you breeze through it is a good book and even though the ending was not realistic I would still recommend it.

summary: In the pre-Katrina glow of New Orleans, Amanda Salassi is anxious about chaperoning her daughter’s sixth grade field trip to the Big Easy during Halloween. And then her worst fears come true. Her daughter’s best friend, Sarah, disappears amid the magic and revelry—gone, without a trace.

Unable to cope with her guilt, Amanda’s daughter sinks in depression. And Amanda’s husband turns destructive as he watches his family succumb to grief. Before long, Amanda’s whole world has collapsed.

Amanda knows she has to save herself before it’s too late. As she continues to search for Sarah, she embarks on a personal journey, seeking hope and purpose in the wake of so much tragedy and loss.

thank you booklook bloggers and Thomas Nelson for allowing me to read and review The Feathered Bone. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the book.

Curio

by Evangeline Denmark

curio

 

 

Curio is a first for me I’ve never read any Steampunk world style books. I might have to change that I really enjoyed the world that Evangeline Denmark created. The characters are well developed, ones you really get to know. I would describe the world of Curio as kinda a cross between the island of misfit toys with the Porcies and Tocks and all the magic of alchemist. Grey is a strong girl who is a bit lost and not sure what to believe or thing anymore since this world she is such a part of has been kept secret from her up until it all unravels. They had no choice but to plunge her feet first into the world of Curio, and she will have to navigate it and figure out who she can trust and what to believe. I hope the world of Curio continues it was such a great book and I hope this wasn’t the end and that it continues. Evangeline is a very descriptive storyteller and creates not only 1 world but 2 and you will be able to visualize both so well. I would love to see this on the big screen or even the small screen. Curio is a clean book with no adult situations and a handful of violent scenes that are described in detail but would not turn off the squeamish reader but needed to understand the story more. The Cover is what will grab you, I mean look at it so beautiful and the story is what will hold you it is simply stunning.

summary: In this steampunk-flavored YA novel by Evangeline Denmark, Grey has a secret the Chemists who rule her town can never know. But when her best friend is taken for punishment, Grey risks everything—and finds herself in a world hidden within a curio cabinet, where porcelain and clockwork people are real, and her secret has far-reaching consequences.

Download the prequel to Curio for FREE through the end of January 2016: Mark of Blood and Alchemy through  Barnes and Noble , Amazon or iBooks  (review coming, I got Curio before I knew about Mark of Blood and Alchemy. So I’m reading them out of order)

Mark of Blood and Alchemy

 

summary: In this novella prequel to the YA fantasy novel Curio by Evangeline Denmark, after losing his family to a devastating plague, Olan is saved by a group of “magickers” who are searching for the cure. But as he accompanies his rescuers to their alpine clinic, mysteries arise surrounding their potions and powers of alchemy. Especially after Olan notices a deep division forming between those who seek to defend the purity of the healing alchemical work and those who wish to wield it as a powerful weapon.

 

thank you Blink and Booklook Bloggers for sending me a copy of Curio. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.

 

 

 

Priceless Weddings : For Under $5,000

Your Dream Wedding For Less Money Than You Ever Thought Possible

by Kathleen Kennedy

Priceless Weddings

 

My husband and I are getting ready to celebrate 19 years of marriage, we paid for our own wedding. Also in lieu of gifts we got a lot of things “given” as gifts like my aunts and mom made all the finger foods for the reception. My sister’s boyfriend took the pictures, which Walmart proceeded to lose all the negatives and pictures (don’t get me started). I borrowed a beautiful wedding dress from a friend who had just got married, and her mom was over the moon happy since they spent $2,000. I don’t regret not having a dress to pass down to my girls since it might not have been their style. Anyway I guess what I’m saying is reasonable priced weddings are do-able, and we came in way below $5,000 and had everything we wanted (ok everything I wanted 🙂 ). Priceless Weddings  is full of information I wish I had at my finger tips when I was planning mine,, especially since that was before pinterest and fast information at the click of the button. This book has many checklist, budget sheets and even theme’s for parties, and receptions. The recipes are ones you could even use in day to day cooking just cut back the servings unless you’re using them for a holiday and will have a big crowd. You could even use many of the tips and checklist – budget sheets when planning other big celebrations like graduation, baby showers, big birthdays or anniversaries.  While some of the information is common knowledge and easy to google it is nice to have everything in one book.

summary: A priceless wedding is one that emphasizes the unique personalities of the couple getting married. Priceless Weddings for Under $5,000 proves that you can celebrate the spirit of love, hope, joy, and community — without spending a fortune.

Caterer and event planner Kathleen Kennedy offers insights on how to personalize a wedding inexpensively. She shares her savvy, insider techniques and tips to help couples save money on the many high-ticket items on their to-do list, showing where to cut corners and where to go all out.

thank you Random House for sending me Priceless Weddings. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.

Come Away With Me

by Karma Brown

Come Away With Me

 

Come Away with Me takes the reader on a journey full of all ranges of emotions. Karma Brown wrote Tegan with such raw real emotions while I’ve never had to experience the amount of pain and lose she I think Karma Brown portrayed it very well. I can’t even imagine going through what she had to experience. I was so surprised that this was a debut novel for this author, I mean she came out full force and does not disappoint. I will grab anything Karma Brown does if they are all amazing journey’s just like Tegan and Gabes. I could totally understand how both of the characters felt and wanted them to finally find their way back to each other, forgiveness, and a bit of happy. Tegan wasn’t the only one living with this massive amount of pain and emptiness, I felt like Gabe was keeping it together by a thread and trying to stay strong for Tegan. He didn’t get to grief, rant, and rage as much as Tegan. I have already recommended this book to so many, I’m so glad I picked up a copy. The cover is what grabbed me but it is just a tiny sliver of what the book is really about. I can’t wait to read more by a new author who is now on my must read list!

summary: An unexpected journey leads one woman to find hope and healing in the most unlikely places…

Tegan Lawson has everything she could hope for: an adoring husband, Gabe, and a baby on the way. But suddenly, her life is irreversibly changed when a patch of black ice causes a devastating accident.

Just when Tegan is on the verge of hitting rock bottom, Gabe reminds her of their Jar of Spontaneity, a collection of their dream destinations and experiences. And so begins an extraordinary adventure of a lifetime. From the colorful, bustling markets of Thailand to the rich flavors of Italy to the azure ocean waves in Hawaii, Tegan and Gabe embark on a journey in search of forgiveness and renewal. And as they explore the cultures and beautiful landscapes of these faraway places, they learn that acceptance often comes when we least expect it. Heartbreaking, hopeful and utterly transporting, Come Away with Me is an unforgettable debut and a luminous celebration of the strength of the human spirit.

Life Changing Magic: A Journal

spark joy every day

by Marie Kondo

Life Changing Magic A Journal

 

I’ve been looking for a new little journal, but so far no luck. However all that changed when I opened book mail and laid hands on this little gem. Life Changing Magic A Journal is a 3 year journal with labeled pages. This is perfect each page has 3 paragraph sized entries all you got to do is add the year. I love that 3 years of memories is at your fingertips and it’s all in this little, but thick compact book. Through out the book she has placed random joy quotes. I’m not sure if this is from her first book or the new book Spark Joy. I’m on hold for both at my library, so I guess I’ll find out soon enough. I can’t wait for January 1st so I can start this journal, so I’ve decided to start it on Christmas Eve. Who says you have to start a journal on the 1st day of a new year. I’m ready to preserve get joyful memories, funny quotes and stories from my girls and other day to day joy for the next 3 years. I think if I write in it each night that would be best but we will see.

summary: I’ve been looking for a new little journal, but so far no luck. However all that changed when I opened book mail and laid hands on this little gem. Life Changing Magic A Journal is a 3 year journal with labeled pages. This is perfect each page has 3 paragraph sized entries all you got to do is add the year. I love that 3 years of memories is at your fingertips and it’s all in this little, but thick compact book. Through out the book she has placed random joy quotes. I’m not sure if this is from her first book or the new book Spark Joy. I’m on hold for both at my library, so I guess I’ll find out soon enough. I can’t wait for January 1st so I can start this journal, so I’ve decided to start it on Christmas Eve. Who says you have to start a journal on the 1st day of a new year. I’m ready to preserve get joyful memories, funny quotes and stories from my girls and other day to day joy for the next 3 years. I think if I write in it each night that would be best but we will see.

thank you blogging for books and crown publishing for sending me Life Changing Magic A Journal. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.

I’ll Be Home For Christmas

by Lori Wilde

I'll Be Home For Christmas

 

Purchase Here:

I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS on Goodreads

A TWILIGHT, TEXAS series on Goodreads

 

I will start off by saying I have not read the Twilight Texas series prior to reading this book. However this book was such a sweet little story I will be checking out the rest of the series. I wasn’t lost or thinking I had no clue what was going on. I was looking for a great little holiday tale and I’ll Be Home For Christmas fit the bill. The town and people in it are written so well I makes  you wish you could stop by Twilight Texas. Be looking for more Twilight Texas reviews as I’m hooked now and can’t wait to read the whole series! I loved the story and  Lori Wilde gets the heart of the books message across: Family is important each and every day not just around the holidays!

summary: Nothing says Christmas like New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde and Twilight, TX, and now Lori returns to Twilight for a brand new heartwarming holiday tale. The matchmaking members of the Cookie Club are up to their old tricks again!

Christmas in Twilight, Texas, is all merriment and mistletoe. The Cookie Club is whipping up their most festive sweets, the townspeople are scrambling to get their holiday shopping done, and Joe-a hometown guy with a restless heart-is dreaming about the woman he wants to kiss most…

…And who happens to be staying at his sister’s place over the holidays, while Joe’s sister is away. But Joe isn’t quite sure he wants to be a living Christmas present to runaway law student Gabi Preston.

Joe thinks the sassy sweetheart he nicknames “Trouble” won’t inconvenience anything but his healthy sex drive. But when he discovers the reasons Gabi escaped from her life, he aches to give her everything she’s never had. As the magic of the season draws them together, the gift of love is the only one worth giving…

ExcerptThe snow flurries had stopped, but a dusting of white laced the ground. She buried her hands into her coat pockets and hunched her shoulders against the wind. Katie had warned her that weather in North Texas in December could be quite unpredictable. There might be ice and snow, or it could just as easily be warmer here than in LA, and either weather condition could turn on a dime.

A cute couple, with their arms wrapped around each other, were peering through the window of a jewelry store. Shopping for an engagement ring? They looked so happy it made Gabi’s heart hurt a little. Would she ever have a love like that?

Shake it off. No feeling sorry for yourself.

Maybe she could find a love like that now that she wasn’t consumed with law school 24/7.

She got inside the car, cranked the heater, and sat for a few minutes warming herself, taking in the Christmas hubbub. Finally, she pulled into the flow of traffic, mindful of the pedestrians packing the streets.

Programmed with Katie’s address, the GPS guided Gabi away from the town square and down a windy road that circled Lake Twilight. She enjoyed the scenic route as she passed a marina decked out with twinkling Christmas lights. Outside a nearby diner packed with cars, a red neon sign flashed: “Froggy’s: Best Fried Catfish in Texas.” On the other side of the street was a volunteer fire station with an antique fire engine parked out front, a life- sized Santa mannequin behind the wheel. A sign propped against the fire engine said: “Official Toy Drive Drop-Off Site.”

She passed some regal homes overlooking the lake, but she knew this wasn’t her destination. Katie had mentioned that her home was modest. Which was absolutely fine with Gabi. An adorable bungalow was exactly what she was looking for. Having grown up in Beverly Hills in a house so ambling that she and her parents could go days without seeing each other, modest sounded perfect. Her mind was already spinning images of Iris’s English cottage from The Holiday.

Just like in the movie, her house swap with Katie Cheek had been straightforward— my keys for yours, my car for yours, my situation for yours, no questions asked.

Swapping places, sight unseen, might sound crazy to some, and in fact she could scarcely believe she’d done it.

But that was the point, wasn’t it? Shake things up. Have an adventure. Step outside her comfort zone. Although it had taken a lot of self- control not to Google Katie’s house on the Internet.

After a few minutes, the houses began to thin and the land flattened. She drove past a golf course, a small airfield, and a Christmas tree farm.

Um . . . there was nothing much out this way. Could the GPS be programmed incorrectly?

She pulled over to the side of the road, dug around in her purse for the address and

 

house key that Katie had mailed her. She was busy double- checking the numbers with the GPS coordinates when knuckles rapped smartly against her window.

Eeek!” She startled, jumped.

About the AuthorNew York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Lori Wilde has sold seventy-eight works of fiction to four major New York Publishing houses. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Texas Christian University and a certificate in forensic nursing from Kaplan University. She is a member of the International Association of Forensic Nurses.

Her first NYT bestseller, the third book in her Twilight, Texas series, The First Love Cookie Club has been optioned for a television movie. The town of Granbury, Texas, upon which her fictional town of Twilight, Texas is loosely based, honors Lori with an annual Twilight, Texas weekend each Christmas. http://www.twilighttexas.com

A popular writing instructor, Lori is a two time RITA finalist and has four times been nominated for Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. She’s won the Colorado Award of Excellence, the Wisconsin Write Touch Award, The Golden Quill, the Lories, and The More than Magic. Her books have been translated into 27 languages and excerpted in Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Complete Woman, and Quick and Simple magazines. She lives in Texas with her husband, Bill, and her two New American Shepherds.

Connect with Lori Wilde

Website – http://loriwilde.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/loriwilde

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/LoriWildeBooks/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/38217.Lori_Wilde

 

thank you HarperCollins for allowing me to read this sweet gem of a book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book. 

Doodletopia: Cartoons

by Christopher Hart

Doodletopia Cartoons

 

Do you have or are you a doodler? Do you or someone you know love to draw? We have many artist in the house and Doodletopia Cartoons is a great book and one that would make a wonderful gift this holiday season. Add Doodletopia Cartoons, with some sketch pencils, kneaded eraser, some colored pencils and you have the gift that fosters creativity and one that can be enjoyed for a long time.

Doodletopia Cartoons teaches so much from how to draw full bodies or faces, to lettering. This book also has blank pages so you can sketch even if you don’t have a sketch pad on hand. Granted doing the sketches in a sketch pad makes the book last longer. You can still sketch in the book and in a sketch pad. Doodling helps you get better with your drawing skills and I would recommend this for all ages, and for all different levels of artistic talent.

summary: An interactive doodle book from a best-selling art instruction author and cartoon master that pairs illustrating insights with drawing, designing, and coloring activities for aspiring artists.

Welcome to Doodletopia! Your first stop in this paradise of creativity? The world of cartoons. Your tour guide Christopher Hart is ready to introduce you to the interactive, artistic possibilities of creating your own exciting, hilarious, off-the-wall cartoon characters, gags, and more.

Unlike other doodle books that leave you stranded, with no help at all, Doodletopia: Cartoons pairs fun doodle-based activities with the sort of insightful (and laugh-out-loud funny) advice and tips that countless readers have come to expect from cartooning master Christopher Hart. For the first time ever, you can pick up your pencils, pens, markers, or crayons, and draw, doodle, or color right on the same page as the author.

From finishing cartoon faces to selecting costumes to completing wacky cartoon scenes,  the opportunities for creative expression are endless. So what are you waiting for? Open up and start doodling!

thank you blogging for books and Waston Guptill for allowing us to review this great resource. We have learned so much and our drawing is improving. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.

Whitney Miller’s New Southern Table

My Favorite Family Recipes with a Modern Twist

by Whitney Miller

Whitney Miller's New Southern Table

 

I love good old fashioned southern food and this book delivers. She takes classics and make a few swaps and switches and makes them healthier for the at home cook to eat. Her cookbook is full of easy to use recipes that don’t have ingredients that are hard to find or expensive and makes them simple and fast so any one can be a New Southern Table cook. The pictures are so pretty and she writes in such a manner that it’s like your old friends and she is sharing her families recipes with you. Whitney Miller’s New Southern Table is a cookbook that will never make it my bookshelf it will be on my kitchen counter since I know I’ll be using it so much why put it up. Her red beans and rice recipe is different from any recipe I’ve seen and since I make it weekly that was the first one I knew I’d try. All her recipes are good not just on paper but when you make them also. You know what I mean you get a cookbook, try a recipe and it doesn’t come anywhere near what the book says. Not Whitney Miller’s book all the recipes come out great and with such ease! Grab a copy and try out some good down home southern cooking with a twist.

summary: MasterChef winner Whitney Miller shares her favorite family recipes with her own unique flair, making them lighter and infusing them with global flavors.

Following her great-grandmothers’ examples of creatively stretching meals during the Great Depression, Whitney Miller transforms recipes from her Southern roots, preserving flavors of traditional family dishes while offering the excitement of her own special touches. She offers a taste of her family table with dishes like Southern Horchata, PB&J Chicken Satay, Dehydrated Okra Chips, Sweet Corn Grit Tamales, Peach Bread Pudding with Sweet Tea Rum Sauce, and much more. Using new techniques and cooking methods, Miller reimagines classic recipes and experiments with flavors from around the world, inspired by her travels since winning MasterChef.

thank you Whitney Miller, Booklook Bloggers, and Thomas Nelson for sending me a copy of Whitney Miller’s New Southern Table. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.

The Homemade Kitchen

by Alana Chernila

The Homemade Kitchen

The Homemade Kitchen is a good cookbook and made perfect for the seasoned at home cook or the brand new to cooking person looking for info. Really this cookbook would be the perfect gift for a person that is new to cooking. The author has divided the book into chapters that as simple as Be A Beginner which is all so full of so much information it is one of my favorite chapters. I know how to cook eggs, veggies and such but she breaks it down into all kinds from how to steam and roast veggies to transforming milk or cooking grains. This is good for all levels of cooking and I learned a few things and have several post-its in this chapter. The other chapters are about making meals and while I won’t use a lot of them due to picky eaters I do have some post -its. My favorite book of hers will always be The Homemade Pantry but this one is good and I’m glad to have it in my kitchen cookbook library.

summary:  Written as much for the reader as the cook, The Homemade Kitchen covers a globe’s worth of flavors and includes new staples (what Alana is known for) such as chèvre, tofu, kefir, kimchi, preserved lemons, along with recipes and ideas for using them. Here, too, are dishes you’ll be inspired to try and that you will make again and again until they become your own family recipes, such as Broccoli Raab with Cheddar Polenta, a flavor-forward lunch for one; Roasted Red Pepper Corn Chowder, “late summer in a bowl”; Stuffed Winter Squash, rich with leeks, chorizo, apples, and grains; Braised Lamb Shanks that are tucked into the oven in the late afternoon and not touched again until dinner; Corn and Nectarine Salad showered with torn basil; perfect share-fare Sesame Noodles; Asparagus Carbonara, the easiest weeknight dinner ever; and sweet and savory treats such as Popovers, Cinnamon Swirl Bread, Summer Trifle made with homemade pound cake and whatever berries are ripest, and Rhubarb Snacking Cake.

In this follow-up to Alana’s wildly successful debut, The Homemade Pantry, she once again proves herself to be the truest and least judgmental friend a home cook could want

thank you blogging for books, Alana Chernila and Crown Publishing for allowing me to read, and review The Homemade Kitchen. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.