Thursday, August 23, 2018

Book review: Ascenders: High School for the Recently Departed

High School for the Recently Departed (Ascenders #1)

Book Blurb from Goodreads:

Walker Callaghan doesn't know what happened to her. One minute she was living her teenage life in suburban Chicago...and the next minute, she was in a strange place and in a brand new school with absolutely no homework, no rules, and no consequences. 

Walker Callaghan, 17, is dead. 

She doesn't go to heaven or hell. She lands at The Academy, a middle realm where teenagers have one thing in common: They were the morning announcement at their high schools because they died young. 

These high school kids are now caught in a strange “in-between” zone where life hasn’t changed very much. In fact, this special teen limbo looks a lot like life in a quaint Michigan town complete with jocks, popular girls and cliques. "There are even cheerleaders in death," Walker observes. It's not a coincidence that the music teacher is a guy named Kurt who "used to have this band." The drama teacher, Heath, is crush worthy because back in his life, he starred in some superhero movie. 

Principal King explains the rules -- there are none. Why? You can't die twice. 

There is no homework. 
No tests. 
No SATS. 
You're just there to learn because the human brain isn't fully formed until you're 24. 

By the way, you can't get hurt physically, so race your Harley off that hillside. But falling in love is the most dangerous thing you can do ...because no one knows how long you'll stay in this realm or what's next. 

"Losing someone you love would be like dying twice," Walker says. 

* * * * * * 
Walker Callaghan has just arrived at the Academy after a tragic car accident. “Is this heaven or is this high school?” she asks. 

She finds out her new life is a bit of both as she falls in love with tat-covered, bad boy Daniel Reid who is about to break the only sacred rule of this place. He's looking for a portal to return back to the living realm. 

He needs just one hour to retrieve his younger brother who strangely never arrived at The Academy. Bobby is an Earth Bound Spirit, stuck at a plane crash site that took both of their lives as their rich father piloted his private jet nose-first into a cornfield on Christmas Eve. 

Walker loves Daniel and risks it all to go with him. 

Have they learned enough to outsmart dangerous forces while transporting a young child with them? Can their love survive the fragmented evil parts of themselves that are now hunting them down as they try to find a way back to the middle? 

At the Academy, you learn the lessons of an after-lifetime




Book Review:

Thank you to the author for letting me read and review your book. This is my honest opinion.

The book blurb gives a very thorough and accurate summary of the book. Doesn't it sound good? Don't you want to try it?

I wanted to after reading the blurb. This story is a YA, and sometimes I find YA adult books to be predictable. This one had some predictable parts and some unexpected twists. Overall, I enjoyed my time reading this book.

CL Gaber is a talented writer. She gets right in there and makes the reader feel what Walker is feeling. The sense of loss, confusion, and heartbreak just seep off the page when Walker finds herself in a new place to start high school. I love how she changed and developed along with the story.

I also enjoyed the little love interest between Walker and Daniel. It is so innocent and pure. She strings the reader along as they grow closer together. I mean after all they are still in high school. We don't need any explicit details, right?

What I found the most enjoyable, was the action. For being a good girl, Walker sure does seem to get herself into one pickle after another. It was fun and unexpected!

I found myself devouring this work and being disappointed when I turned the last page that there wasn't more.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Off of My Bookshelves

Welcome to Off of My Bookshelves.


This is where Tank and I pick a book off of our bookshelf or Kindle and talk about it. If you want to join in, drop your link below so we can check yours out too!

Off of My Bookshelves



So I have the best friends.  I don’t mean to brag, but I do. When I broke my leg in May, a girlfriend said that she would bring me over some books to read. I asked for something in the fantasy genre. She delivered this huge box full of books. At the bottom of the box, there were a couple of series by Liz Schulte. She was new to me, but I will tell you what she is one of my new favorite authors!

Luckily, I grabbed the first one in the series! Sometimes, I grab the second one and am totally confused by the end. J Anyway, welcome to Secrets by Liz Schulte. It is the first in the Guardian Trilogy.

Secrets (The Guardian Trilogy #1)




We are introduced to photographer Olivia Martin who is so busy living through her camera that life swirls around her. She accidently bumps into a hot stranger exiting a bar with her best friend, Juliet. As they are walking home, she feels like she is being followed but she can’t see anything. She also starts having crazy dreams where the hot stranger is within these dreams.

Holden lives a cold lonely life in the shadows. His world gets turned on its head when he bumps into a lovely lady leaving the bar. She is someone that he can’t get out of his mind, literally. She drags him into her dreams, too. He decides to get to know her a little better by showing up at one of her art shows. This changes the course of both Holden and Olivia’s lives. Certain events were set to play and their love is put to the test. Will Holden give up his current lifestyle for Olivia? Will Olivia make the choice to follow her destiny or will she put her love before everything else?

Liz Schulte writes an engaging story. I could not put this one down. My hubby couldn’t believe I had read the whole series in 2 days. Olivia is very likeable as she is just a sweetie. She is the person that gives change to homeless and goes to church with her mother. She has this natural curiosity that gets her into trouble; while, Holden is the smoldering silent type. He tries to keep his life secret to protect Olivia. But in the end, it all catches up to them.

The relationship between the two of them is a little quick, but definitely steamy. I end up rooting for their love to last. Who knows if it will?

I just love this series. I hope you check it out too!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Blog tour: A Recipe for Disaster


A recipe for diaster
Meet Lucy, master wedding cake baker, idealistic school canteen crusader, and someone whose broken heart just won’t seem to mend…

Lucy is quietly confident that she has made the right choices in life. Surrounded by friends and family in a small country town, Lucy can easily suppress the feeling that something is missing from her life.

But when a blast from the past arrives in the form of her estranged husband, international celebrity chef Oliver Murray, Lucy’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble beneath her like overbaked meringue.

Is Oliver’s return all business or is it motivated by something more?

A Recipe for Disaster starts long after most love stories would have ended, proving it is never too late to offer someone a second slice of cake or a second chance.

Perfect for fans of Carole Mathews, Mhairi McFarlane and Carrie Hope Fletcher.

Purchase Links

A recipe for disaster


Book Review:


Thank you to the author and Rachel's Random Resources for a copy of this book.

I thoroughly enjoyed *A Recipe for Disaster *. It is about a couple that separated (it wasn't mutual) so that Oliver could follow his dream. His wife, Lucy, was left behind to deal with the mess. 
We get to see the story through Lucy's eyes. The reason I can't give it a 5 star rating is that I could not connect with Lucy. I found her weak and selfish. It is mostly due to my life experiences. My hubby and I have moved across the USA several times and at one time we didn't live together for 2 years. I find moving to new places to be an adventure. But I can see how others can empathize with Lucy. I know many people who would never move from their home town. As for Lucy, I think a lot of her problems would have been relieved if she just would talk to Oliver.

He is the Aussie version of Gordon Ramsay.  FYI don't read this book hungry! The food was so delicious. I made several unnecessary trips back to the kitchen for snacks.


Anyway, I did like the love story. Oliver is swoon worthy and I absolutely adore how hard he tries to get Lucy back. There was a lot of drama, I mean alot! Somebody was sleeping with some one they shouldn't. There was lying, cheating, and spying. But in a light hearted way. Think of *The Other Woman* with Cameron Diaz. The story was cute and definitely a feel good read. It was a perfect summer read!
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Excerpt from Book:

Background


Lucy Williams has just made her first wedding cake in three years, at the hurried request of her friend Edith. When delivering the cake to the reception venue, she runs into someone from her past, which opens up a million questions – the most important one: why is he here?

Placing the cake by the bridal table soon became an early highlight of the day. The sweet relief on my arms coupled with a quick mental download. I’d made it, no dropping, no cracking, and no incidents. To celebrate, I snapped off some social-media-worthy photos, both to show off on my Facebook page and, also, in the odd event I felt spurred on to take up baking again. From above, below, side-on, and close-ups on the flowers, I took so many, I half expected the cake to make a duck-face at me and tell me to get a life.

Satisfied, I scrolled through my photos as I left. Reaching for the door handle, it swung open onto me, sending me scuttling backwards. That would teach me for having my head buried in a screen.
‘. . . and make sure the napkins are folded properly, too, not like last time.’ A man buzzed past me like an unwelcome memory, a mosquito on a summer night.

‘Yes, chef.’ Standing by a table, a teenager fiddled with silver cutlery that clattered to the ground in a display of nerves. He swore, and grabbed a fresh fork from his apron, which bore a gold ‘M’ against the black fabric.

‘We should be ready by now. You should be in the kitchen helping with prep, not going over this again.’

‘Yes, chef.’ With each answer, a small part of the boy’s soul ebbed away. I’d been in his situation before – anyone who’d worked in hospitality had. It made me want to strangle the man responsible, the one who’d almost bowled me over. My only problem was, I recognised him – too well.

I knew his voice, and every possible incarnation it could take. The happy, the sad, the surprised, and the midnight whispers. I knew the tuft of black hair on the back of his neck and how it curled slightly to the left. The rest of his hair wound around itself like Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ when it got too long or wet. Without tiptoes, he could peer across the top of my refrigerator, and had done so many times looking for lost recipe sheets or keys.

The shape of his body had been burnt into memory, useful when trying to pick someone out in a crowd. So had his eyes, a neon blue that made it look like someone had scrawled on his face with Hi-Liter. As quickly as he made his entrance, he turned and made a beeline for the kitchen door, blustering along without so much as a glance in my direction.

‘Don’t just stand there,’ he snapped. ‘Do what you need to do and go. We’re busy.’

It took me a moment to realise he was talking to me. Had he not seen me at all?

‘Is this how you operate now, Oliver?’

God, he was still so beautiful, as much as it pained me to admit. He wore a black double-breasted uniform that pinched across broad shoulders, complete with the familiar ‘M’ stitched into the breast in fine gold thread. His apron was covered in kitchen detritus. While he’d always been confident, there was added fire behind those eyes, a purpose in his soul. It was no wonder he had restaurant critics eating out of his hand. And yet, underneath it all, teenage vulnerability lapped below his concrete surface, if only you knew what to look for.

Oliver stopped, his body rigid as if on pause. He turned to me slowly, a confused frown lining his face. I felt like he’d reached into my chest and ripped out my still-beating heart. I expected that, somewhere between here and the door, he’d wave it around his head in victory, before taking a bite and spitting it out in disgust.

We hadn’t seen each other in three years. We hadn’t spoken in eighteen months.

‘Lucy.’
I swallowed. ‘Oliver.’
‘Lucy,’ he repeated nervously. ‘How . . . how are you? Are you well?’
I nodded. ‘Fine, thank you. You?’
‘I’m, yeah, I’m okay.’ He nodded.
‘This is . . . this is a surprise.’ And one I could have strangled Edith for right now.
‘You could say that, yes.’ He chuckled nervously, looking over his shoulder again. This time, at my cake. ‘One of yours?’
‘It is.’ I rubbed sweating palms on my pants. ‘Issue with the original baker, so here I am.’
‘Rough luck,’ he said quietly, looking behind him again. ‘It looks incredible, Lucy. You’re still unfairly talented. What is it?’ He walked across to the small distressed wood table. ‘Naked is the new black, isn’t it?’
‘Thank you.’ I’d be lying if I said the praise didn’t hit me in the sweet spot, even after all this time. ‘It’s citrus mud with lemon icing.’
‘It’s gorgeous.’ He leant in to look at the finer details.

I stepped forward cautiously. As proud of it as I was, I didn’t think it was overly intricate, but Oliver seemed intent on inspecting it from all angles. It felt like an hour had passed before he stood back and looked at me.

‘Are you . . . are you well?’ A nervous Oliver was like Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket. You knew there was one out there somewhere, but you’d be hard-pressed to find it without some serious legwork.
I felt my tongue brush against my lips, my mouth sandpaper dry. ‘You’ve already asked that.’

‘I have. Right. Of course.’ He looked stuck between wanting to flee and trying to think of something else to say.
As for me, flight mode had well and truly kicked in. ‘Okay. So, I’m going to go now. See you later, I guess.’
‘Luce, wait.’ He held out a hand. ‘Stay for a drink.’
I froze on the spot, hand clutching the door handle. We watched each other silently. Seconds stretched to minutes, and Oliver looked more hopeful than he had right to.
‘Why are you here?’ I asked.



Author Bio –


Belinda Missen is an award-winning and best-selling author, screenwriter, and freelance writer from Geelong, Australia.

A reader from an early age, Belinda began writing her own stories shortly after her love affair with Steven Spielberg’s film Jurassic Park began. What began as fan-fiction soon took deeper root, and she was scribbling out strange little stories in empty notebooks she found laying around the house.

With qualifications in transport and office administration, and a combined career of fifteen years in these industries, Belinda decided to uproot everything in 2013 and return to her first love of writing. She now writes full-time, between cups of coffee, binge watching television, and feeding her cats and husband.

In April 2016, she was awarded the JOLT Courthouse Youth Arts Award in the Inspire 26+ Category for her piece Obsession.

In February 2017, her book Love And Other Midnight Theories clawed its way to the top of the Amazon charts in its category of Performing Arts, beating JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. True story – she has the screenshots to prove it.

When not dabbling in the written word, Belinda can be found mentoring other writers, beta-reading, reviewing, helping others to ready books for publication, and sleeping. In the digital world, she can be found online at Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest


Monday, August 13, 2018

Off of My Bookshelf



Welcome to Off of My Bookshelves.

This is where Tank and I pick a book off of our bookshelf or Kindle and talk about it. If you want to join in, drop your link below so we can check yours out too!

This week, we are going to share with you a book that was borrowed to Allie when she was injured and spent a lot of time on the couch! This read is very different from what we normally like to read. Usually, we read funny chick lit, fantasy, or science fiction. This one is a straight fiction. It is definitely a deep, thought provoking reading, which I really enjoyed.

Here are our thoughts on Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper.

Out of My Mind



Melody is an eleven year old girl that wants more than anything to be normal. She has never been normal as she has cerebral palsy. She is unique as she has a photographic memory and loves words. The story is about her life from a little child to fifth grade. The story is in first person as we can get see everything from her point of view. We get to see how everyone avoids her gaze when she goes out, how she falls out of her wheelchair and can’t pick herself, how she wants to tell her parents that she loves them, and how she desperately wants to have normal friends.

My heart just breaks for Melody. I want for her to have a normal life. I want her to be able to talk with people. Life isn’t fair. Some people are blessed with being able to walk and talk; while, others struggle to feed themselves. Then, Melody is able to get a Medi-Talker which changes her life. She is now able to communicate with others and attend 5th grade in regular classes. She finds out that sometimes kids are not as accepting as she had hoped. I remember 5th grade for me was not easy. I can’t even imagine what how hard it would be for Melody.

Draper sure pulled at my heartstrings on this story. There were several parts where I teared up for Melody. There were also parts that were funny and caused me to laugh out loud. Melody has a great sense of humor that shows throughout her difficulties. Draper also did a great job bringing Melody’s parents and caretakers to life. They each had fully developed personalities and were very likeable.

This story was very different from what we usually read but we thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a book that is very unique and thought provoking about people with disabilities.

Tank gives this a 4 paw.

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Friday, August 10, 2018

Book Review: When Archie Met Rosie


Do you believe in second chance love stories? 

Me not so much, but I enjoyed When Archie Met Rosie so much. Lynda Renham writes a fun and lighthearted story about finding love at an older age.

When Archie Met Rosie by Lynda Renham






Rosie is a sweetheart that has been having a rough time at life. On the day she wins a huge amount at bingo, her no-good, cheating, gambling husband gets hit by a Domino’s truck. Figures right! So she has to figure out how to pay his debts and start her life over. The story shows how she dives into her new life with gusto. I admire Rosie's work ethic and tenacity especially when things don't turn out like she wants.

Meanwhile, Archie has recently became a widower, and now his son and daughter-in-law want his house. He is having to deal with the loss of his true love and make sure his "children" don't steal their inheritance before it is time. It definitely weighs on him.

When Archie and Rosie do meet, there is an instant connection between the two. I made me happy to see these two characters finally get some happiness, even if it took awhile for them to realize how cute they are together!

The secondary characters also get what they deserve throughout the story, which is satisfying after watching everything that was done to Archie. The story made me laugh out loud. It was such a carefree tale that it was nice to get a break from reality into the reality of the story.

We give this a 5 paw review.

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Thank you to the author for a copy of this book. This is my honest opinion.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Book Review: Choice by Jean Booth

Choice

Book Blurb from Goodreads:

It was chance, guided by the hands of a god, that brought them together.

Natasha didn’t believe the fairy tales she read to her niece. Having given up on love, she only read them to instill a sense of hope. But when Natasha goes scuba diving in the Bermuda Triangle, suddenly the life she’s always known is changed forever.

Thrust into a culture of people she’s only read about in books, she meets Raif, a shape-shifting Warrior Chief of Atlantis—and her soul mate. Their attraction is instant, powerful, and something she’s never experienced before.

Now Natasha must decide what she truly wants. Can she follow her heart and accept Raif without losing herself in the process? Or will she run away and doom a hidden culture to eternal isolation?


AMAZON


Book Review:

I received an ARC as part of the LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program. Thank you to the author and BHC Press for this ARC. This is my honest opinion.

Natasha is your average 30 year old woman. She has a good job as a scientist, and she lives with her sister and niece. Tasha has been in love once. But when the fiance, Kieth, broke off the engagement, she swore off men and marriage forever due to a broken heart.

For her 30th birthday, she decides to take herself on a singles cruise to Bermuda. She runs into a colorful cast of characters such as, her ex, Kieth, mysterious club owner, Stephan, and the adorable Maurice.
Tasha loves to go scuba diving, and she doesn't miss a chance to go diving in the Bermuda. It doesn't all go according to plan, though. She is swimming with Kieth when a group of sharks approach her. She panics and cuts her tether cord. Then, she is swept away by the current to begin the adventure of her life at the Lost City of Alantis. She faces danger, finds true love, and has the chance to change the world.

Jean Booth writes a captivating tale. I was sucked into the story from the very beginning. The story flows well and is easy to follow. I enjoyed the variety of characters. They made me laugh out loud in several spots.

What I really like is he Lost City of Alantis. It is described as such a beautiful and vibrant place with exotic plants, rare jewels, and gorgeous people. The magic in Atlantis is unique and enthralling.


*Choice* is the first book of An Origins of the Supernaturals. I can't wait to read the next one!

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Monday, August 6, 2018

Blog Update!


Hey Guys!


Tank!


Allie and I have been a little MIA lately. I feel it has been like the whole month of July. Thank you for hanging out with us and being patient.

Allie actually got a little burned out with all the book reading and reviewing. She made the classic beginner mistake of signing up for every single blog tour that looked exciting. LOL. She won’t be doing that again! Besides being overwhelmed with books, our July has been very busy. Allie finally got the ok from the doctor to start walking. Taking care of her with a broken leg has been very exhausting. I don’t have to keep an eye on her all the time anymore, and I can get back to doing Tank things. You know, sleeping, chewing on bones, and chasing my brother, Finn, around. Since she was walking, Mom and Dad went on a vacation to San Antonio. I went to stay with Grandma and Grandpa. It was fun and I was so tired when they finally got home, I slept for 2 whole days!

So now that you caught up with our lives, I wanted to tell you about some changes on the blog. Allie learned her lesson about blog tours. We are going to do about 2 per month. We are still taking requests for reviews, but we are going to be focusing on fantasy and sci-fi as those are Allie’s favorite genres. We have a couple good ones coming up in the next couple of months! Allie is also started writing quite a bit so we may have some new content blog posts.

Allie just loves the new look of the Ginger Mom and KindleQuest. She wants to try to do some new things with the blog. It just might take a little bit for some of those things to happen. We are pretty excited about it.

We would love any advice or tips on things to make our blog more awesome. Please comment below!

Licks and tail wags,
 🐾

Tank


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