Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Kings Christmas List

The King's Christmas List
Written by Eldon Johnson Illustrated by Bonnie Leick
ISBN: 978-1-4003-1645-8
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Emma and her dog Shu Shu are playing in the playhouse daddy built when and amazing event occurs! Emma opens the playhouse door and finds herself in the Kings Kingdom with an invitation to attend his birthday party! Emma brings gifts for the king, but along the way gives them to others in need as she lends a helping hand and shows compassion to others. When Emma arrives at the kings’ party she learns how valuable and treasured her gift of compassion and giving was to the king. The reader learns the reason for the season and the simple lesson of caring for others.

This was an adorable children’s book with a wonderful lesson. The book flowed easily and was very readable as a parent reading to my daughters. The illustrations were wonderful and fit well with the theme of the story. The overall moral of the story was the best part of this book and I would highly recommend it for children of all ages. Everyone needs a reminder of compassion and selflessness sometimes. The book was well received by my two and four year old daughters and left a big impression on my husband and I. I enjoyed the ideas shared in the back of the book on how to help show compassion and giving this holiday season as well as throughout the year.

**I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255**

Welcoming The Fall Giveaway Winner!!!

Drum Roll Please.... The Winner is........
Congratulations BJ!  BJ was entry #251 out of 269!  I used's random number generator to retrieve my outcome.  I have emailed BJ who has 48 hours to respond or I will pick another winner.  Due to the amazing response I have received from this giveaway, I will be participating in many more!  Stay tuned!!  Thank you so much to everyone who entered and for those of you who follow my blog!  I will be participating in a follower appreciation giveaway soon so keep watching for it!

Thanks Again Everyone!!

Just One Taste

Just One Taste (Recipe for Love)Louisa Edwards
St. Martin’s Press
To purchase click the image to the left

Have you ever wondered what it would be like for a bad boy chef and a genius chemistry expert to get together while working on an aphrodisiac experiment? That is exactly what happens in Just One Taste when Wes Murphy, a culinary student, meets Dr. Rosemary Wilkins, a substitute professor, in his final semester cooking class, Food Chemistry 101. Rosemary and Wes spark and collide as their love affair begins. Like all love affairs theirs has its ups and downs with roadblocks to overcome, but the sex is amazing, the attraction undeniable and the chemistry a perfect combination.

Just One Taste is the first novel I have read by Louisa Edwards and is the third novel in her “Recipe for Love Series”, which gives me plenty more to read while I wait in anticipation for more from Louisa! The story line had all the right elements, making this novel addicting from the beginning. I really loved how the novel focused on the culinary field and included aphrodisiacs. This aspect gave the novel a unique feel along with the characters. Wes is a bad boy turned good who is not a genius by any means, but sure knows his way around the kitchen. Rosemary is a genius, a child prodigy, making her thinking process completely opposite of Wes’s. Through him she learns to feel instead of just analyzing and processing data. Aside from a great story line the book has a few steamy scenes that are very hot and highly pleasurable to read. It is enough to make you want to run and find your own sexy chef to cook for you and then feed you. I wished there were a few extra escapades in the novel; however it was great that the novel was not overdone with the scenes and instead made it feel more realistic due to the story.

This book was a great read aside from a few odd words used by the author. Quite frequently she used the word “frak” which is just a fictional word used as a replacement for “fuck” which I found pointless. In my personal opinion the reader still knows your saying word intended to come across so just say it. I had never heard the word “frak” before and would have preferred to read the term crap or damn if she really wanted to avoid the word fuck. The author also used a few British words which I had to look up the meanings because I was unfamiliar with them. The character speaking the words was British but the reader is not aware of that at first. If you run across the work “berk” while reading this novel it means fool. Outside of these minor annoyances the novel was a great read and I look forward to reading more from this author! I would suggest Just One Taste to romance lovers everywhere. It is certain to be a deliciously seductive read.

Reviewed for Bookpleasures

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Author: Allie Larkin
ISBN: 978-0-525-95171-1
Publisher: Dutton/Penguin Publishing
To purchase this book click the book image to the left.

Savannah or “Van” for short has been madly in love with her best friend Peter since college. Fast forward six years and you arrive in Van’s current life. Peter has married Van’s best friend, since childhood, Janie. Van discovers it is very hard being Maid of Honor when you’re in love with the groom. After the wedding Van grieves with stiff drinks and a movie, shedding tears. While in her drunken state, Van orders a puppy off the internet certain that he will help her heart broken shell of a woman. Unfortunately for Van things do not happen quite as the way she thinks they will and she ends up with a large dog she is not prepared for, a cute vet she is falling for and a heart that desperately needs healing and understanding.

Allie Larkin’s novel is hilarious! I laughed out loud multiple times while reading this novel. I was completely hooked within the first couple pages and did not want to put this book down. Her writing is smart, funny, insightful and understanding of her audience. The story is about friendship, relationships, trust and healing. Upon completion of this book I could not wait to read more from Allie. I highly anticipate her next novel. Readers who enjoy Sarah Pekkanen, Julie Buxbaum, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Weiner and Sophie Kinsella will most likely enjoy Allie Larkin’s writing. She is a fresh and charming debut author.

This book was an example of why you should not judge a book by its cover, but also why covers grab the reader’s attention. I had passed over this book a few times when looking for my next read. Between the title “Stay” and only a dog on the cover, I figured the book was about a dog and wasn’t up for it. I was given the chance to review this book so I read the synopsis in order to decide if I thought I would be able to review it. The synopsis grabbed my attention and I agreed to review the book. I am SO glad I did! This book is far more than the story of a dog. The story is Savannah’s and the dog is just part of her story. I really wish the cover helped reflect this a little better. The title “Stay” has many different meaning in reference to the books content, however when it is paired with just a dog the readers mind instantly puts the word and picture together and it is harder to think there is much more to it than the dog.

I really enjoyed this book and I am so glad I gave it a chance. It would have taken me much longer to find this gem if I was not given the chance to review it. With so many book choices each reader has their own method of narrowing the field and choosing their next read. For me this is the cover and title as it attracts me and catches my eye. One or both of these can urge me to then read the synopsis to make a more informed decision. I urge the reader to do that for this book and bypass the cover. If the cover does not initially attract you, you will be glad you did.


This book was provided to me for review by PUMP UP YOUR BOOK VIRTUAL BOOK TOURS.  

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Knight Family Legacy

The Knight Family Legacy: One Family's StoryMarilyn R. Hill-Sutton
Outskirts Press Inc

Every once in awhile a human will do something so shocking and so unexpected that it takes their world by surprise, in 1886 one extraordinary event took place when John Knight Jr. Summoned five witnesses to his deathbed and left his estate to his former slaves. The plot thickens because the former slaves are his wife and children, a taboo union at this time. As a white plantation owner, attorney and decorated Confederate Civil War veteran, Knight did the unthinkable for his time period. The after math that follows is one of epic legal battles, courage, love and hope for the future as Knight’s former slaves enter their plantation, their home and their future. The past unfolds in an era of gray areas, when black and white are not easily defined. It is the amazing story of one man’s effect on generations to come.

The Knight Family Legacy is a story deep in heritage and history. The author has written a fascinating history of her husband’s bloodline. It is written from a genealogical stand point and is very insightful to the topics of the time period. The era of slavery is documented with keen insight into a family’s history, stories, love and loss. This book is 576 pages of text and graphs that fully discloses the history, the court documents, public records, ancestral information and the events that changed the Knight family and their slaves. The text can be confusing at times due to the magnitude and all the legal processes and deep history.

This story was fascinating and well documented. Major John Knight Jr. fell in love with Violet Knight, his mulatto slave, a love that was forbidden and intern so was the union. His death bed decision was to leave his estate to Violet and their children. The wish was one that his son Jacob had to fight in order to honor. The fight between the family’s heirs, lawyers and other interested parties is recorded in countless documents, court records, hearing records and more for the reader to discover. The book has multiple photos, war documents, newspaper articles and maps to help aide the reader. There is so much information that it can be overwhelming yet fascinating to read.

This book would make a wonderful read for anyone interested in the civil war time period, genealogy, history, non-fiction, law or court cases and biographies. If you are not deeply interested in one of the above genres or hobbies I do not suggest you buy this book before previewing it at your local library or bookstore. It traces the night family from the early 1800’s until its last entry in 2003. The story is one of love, heartache, battle and compromise. It is simply astounding to try and put yourself in their shoes and understand the full effect of the decision made by one man, a man who sought to be honorable and a son who would stop at nothing to see his father’s wishes carried out.

I particularly enjoyed reading the court cases and hearing proceedings in this book. They are documented in conversation style making the reader feel they are a witness to the actual event. It fascinated me to read these. It was interesting to read the tables that included monetary values. One would think the items would cost more or be appraised for more without considering the change of inflation and other monetary advancements or declines since that time.

Reviewed for Bookpleasures

Saturday, September 25, 2010

She’s Gone Country

She's Gone CountryJane Porter
Hachette Book Group, Inc

Shey Darcy seemingly has it all. As a New York City model with a sophisticated photographer husband and three boys, Shey lives a charming life until her husband announces he has fallen in love with someone else, that person being a man! Shocked by her husband homosexuality, Shey heads home to Texas for her brother Cody’s funeral and to start fresh, picking up the pieces of her life as she goes. Now back home on the family ranch, Shey’s life is not devoid of drama as she deals with her family, three teenage boys trying to find themselves and her first love, Dane Kelly, who keeps appearing in her new life. Through it all Shey sorts through the past and present, enabling her to have a future. She is left to discover herself and bring back the Shey she has loved and lost for so long.

I absolutely loved this novel! It was smart, sexy, humorous and heartbreaking. Porter creates such a fine Character in Dane Kelly that makes the reader want to run out and find their own hot bull riding cowboy. The novel was very easy to lose yourself in. I enjoyed the versatility of Shey in this novel. She portrays beauty and sophistication mixed with a down home, country loving, ranch girl. She’s a mom that juggles her career and home life while going through one of the worst shocks of her life! Seriously, you’re husband is gay?! The book is full of surprises and not everything is as it seems.

The book was a little repetitive at times but nothing to horrible. I found myself attaching to each character in different ways. There was no character that annoyed me or that I despised. The novel brought the humor of motherhood along with the pain and constant worry moms feel. It displayed Shey from all sides as a woman, a mom, a daughter, a friend, an ex-wife and a career woman. It was a very satisfying novel and left me wanting more from Jane Porter. I really enjoyed She’s Gone Country and would recommend it!


This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Interview with Elizabeth Kolodziej - Author of Vampyre Kisses!

1. What is "Vampyre Kisses" about?
Vampyre Kisses is about a young girl names Faith who discovers she is a witch after meeting a 400-year-old Irish vampire named Trent. There is a great connection between the two of them. While she goes to train to be a witch there are gems from the werewolf royalty and vampire master that are stolen. The question becomes can Faith gain enough power to help her friends and retrieve the gems?

2. Did you have any specific inspiration that contributed to writing "Vampyre Kisses"?
The inspiration for Vampyre Kisses comes from many books that I have read over the years. Such authors as Tamora Pierce and Kim Harrison have really inspired my mind to take to imagination. With this my love for Greek mythology had a big part in inspiring me. Also, music, movies, actors, the people in my life all inspire me to write as well.

3. Who was your main support system when writing this book? Did you have anyone who specifically gave you strength, courage or advice while writing "Vampyre Kisses"?
My main supporter when writing this book comes from a friend of mine, Damion Velasquez. He was there through the bad times of my writer’s block and there when I needed someone to bounce ideas off of. He is my number one cheerleader and I am lucky to have him in my life.

4. What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I would like readers to take away a love of vampire folklore and Greek mythology from reading my book. But truly if I can just inspire one other person with my book it would really make my day.

5. Do you ever see yourself writing a sequal or series?
Actually, I am over a quarter of the way done with the sequel. It is going to have a lot more to do with werewolves and their history, which I did not touch enough upon on my first book. I hope to make at least 3 or 4 books for this series.

6. What is your favorite memory in regards to writing "Vampyre Kisses"?
My favorite memory would have to be when I was near the end of the book and I got to go to Ireland. Ireland plays a big part in my book especially at the end and being able to actually see the locations I was writing about was a huge help. The country itself really inspired me and made me want to write that much more. It is a memory that will stay with me forever.

Where to buy the book:

Publisher’s Website:
Barns and Noble:
Amazon: Vampyre Kisses
Giveaway Contest:

A BIG Thank You to Elizabeth for taking the time to interview and appear on my blog as part of her blog tour!  I really the entire process!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Blog Hop

Book Blogger HopBoostMyBlogFriday

badgeSmart and Trendy Moms

I created a special page just for Blog Hop Friday!  I would love for you to look over my reviews and my blog but if you want to find my blog hop page (where my answer to this weeks question is safe and sound.....) Click HereDon't forget to stop by my giveaways!  There is a convenient link on the top right hand side of my blog above the followers!  Thanks for Hoppin!

Running Around (and Such)

Running Around (And Such) (Lizzie Searches for Love, Book 1)
Linda Byler
ISBN: 978-1-56148-688-5
Publisher: Good Books

For Lizzie Glick life is not planned or on a path like her sisters, Emma and Mandy are ready to be married, keep house and have children. They are sure about their beliefs and faith in God. Lizzie's is not sure of her beliefs and faith, nor does she understand what God’s will means or how praying will help her. When Lizzie’s family moves to a new county Lizzie is faced with the process of growing up. In a year she will be sixteen and her “running around” years will begin. Lizzie’s hot temper, stubborn will and doubtful nature will make this time in her life a little harder, but more worthwhile to Lizzie in the end.

Running Around is an Amish coming of age novel that was written based on true experiences from the author. The novel is the first book of it’s’ series and currently there are two more books ready for publication in 2010 and 2011. The novel was one of the best Amish novels I have read in regards to the language use. The author gives a glossary of Amish terms in the back of the novel that I would highly suggest reading before you start. Each term is used constantly throughout the book when it is needed. The reader is not overwhelmed by the language. It is enough to be authentic but not overbearing. Along with the authentic feel of the book due to the language, the reader is enabled to understand the Amish terms without any confusion or frustrations. I have read Amish related novels that switched back and forth between English and Amish terms for the same word, this novel did not do that and I was very glad. Running Around was a quick and easy novel to read and was a wonderful coming of age story. Lizzie is in that awkward stage of life and trying so hard to fit into her family and community. It brought back memories of that time in my life and had me rooting for Lizzie.

I really enjoyed this novel. It was well written and easy to read. I would highly suggest this book to readers ages ten to fifteen. It is definitely a young adult novel. There were a few parts of the book that felt repetitive in nature. The author frequently explained some of Lizzie's doubts and disbeliefs. After a couple of these I was ready to not read it again, because I knew how Lizzie felt seeing nothing had changed the facts. The novel left me interested in what would happen next for Lizzie as not all questions are answered in this book and there is more of the plot to be decided. The books to come will be fun to read as Lizzie's story continues. I would like to read more from Linda Byler, possibly an adult genre.

Reviewed for Bookpleasures

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Welcoming Fall Giveaway

Contest is now CLOSED.  Thanks for all who entered!  Winner to be announced soon!
It's time for the Welcoming The Fall Giveaway!
It will run for one week only.
 September 22nd - September 29th! [Wednesday - Wednesday]
I have decided to giveaway "Hollywood Savage" by Kristin McCloy!
Hollywood Savage: A Novel 
To enter use my form by clicking HERE 
For my review click HERE

This giveaway tour is hosted by Good Choice Reading! If you would like to view all the blogs involved in this giveaway you can find a linky list below!

Thanks for stopping by.......