Review: Gluten-Free Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond by Linda J. Amendt

17572498Gluten-Free Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond
By: Linda J. Amendt
Publisher: Taunton Press
Published: Sept. 3, 2013
Genre: Cookbook
Rating:
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Breakfast is the favorite meal of the day for millions of Americans, but those with a gluten intolerance are out of luck, since many breakfast foods and baked items have been banned from their diet. They must find gluten-free alternatives or go without. For the rising number of Americans who are choosing to follow a gluten-free diet as a healthy lifestyle and for parents experimenting with gluten-free recipes for their families, they, too, are having to do without.

That disappointment will no longer be the case. In Gluten-Free Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond, home cooks will discover a variety of gluten-free recipes for their family’s favorite breakfast foods. From light quick breads, muffins, biscuits and scones to tasty pancakes, waffles, coffee cakes and sweet rolls, this collection of 100 recipes will bring breakfast back to the gluten-free table. A tantalizing array of frittatas, quiches, and breakfast casseroles are perfect for any meal of the day. The recipes in Gluten-Free Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond are quick and easy to make and yield delicious, satisfying results.
Recipes for homemade all-purpose flour, crepe batter, pancake batter, sweet roll dough, and biscuit dough will give every gluten-free cook the basics for creating delicious dishes of their own.

In addition to great recipes, Gluten-Free Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond will provide cooks with the information they need about gluten-free ingredients, including ingredients to include—and avoid–in their diet and preparing and measuring ingredients. Each recipe chapter will begin with tips to help home cooks create great-tasting gluten-free breakfast specialties to serve from morning to night.

 

1thoughts I’ve heard this craze over a gluten-free diet sweeping the nation. Not because of dietary needs but just because. So I decided to give this book a shot. I’m a huge gluten eater. Sorry, but I am. I love egg sandwiches in the morning, pb & j for lunch and rolls with my spaghetti dinner. So for me, this was the ultimate test.

I tried the ranch rolls (rolls made with ranch packet seasoning) and although they lacked the ranch flavor (the Mr. and I put ranch dressing ON the rolls themselves) the texture was that of a normal roll. Just wish that it had more of that ranch flavor to it.

Next up, I tried a banana nut muffin recipe when my mom came to visit. Now, my family is always skeptical when I come home and say I’m going to cook them a meal. They claim I always cook some “funky shit”. Granted I did once make tofu fried rice, green eggs and ham (pesto scrambled eggs), and macaroni & cheese with winter squash mashed into the cheese. So I guess I could see their hesitation considering I grew up on meat and potatoes, never casseroles, rarely soup, just meat and potatoes on a plate.  So with that being said, I figured she’d be even more judgmental than I am. That was not the case at all. We loved them. They were good fresh out of the over, I think we ate 3 each that night, they are also great the next day as well. We were eating them all day long. I even gave one to my friend before we went hiking in Joshua Tree National Park, and she couldn’t believe it was gluten-free. I guess I’m not the only one who associated gluten-free with grainy and funky textured.

And lastly I tried the basic waffle recipe. Don’t ask me why, but while I was at work I smelled maple syrup and instantly started craving waffles. Now mind you, I work at the national park visitor center. Not overly sure where the maple syrup smell came from but I’m not questioning it because man were the waffles awesome. I was a little skeptical when I mixed the batter because it was very runny. However, what came out of the waffle iron was light and airy. They had a sweet vanilla flavor to them that I could see myself just putting some butter on them and calling it a day.

This is a great recipe book containing recipes for muffins, breads, waffles and coffee cakes. I like that right in the beginning it gives you a basic recipe for gluten-free AP flour which is basically used in all of the recipes. I wish it had pictures to go with every recipe but the recipes themselves are easy to follow. I still plan on trying out a few more because what I’ve tried have all turned out well, with the exception of the non-ranch tasting ranch rolls. I thought gluten-free was supposed to be gritty and tasteless but this was spot on with the normal stuff, and in some cases, like the waffles, even better. Who knows, I may just convert over to gluten-free with this book.

 

1favepartGFBB

 

Since the banana bread was tested by three separate people and passed with flying colors, I’m gonna have to go with the banana bread recipe. It was easy to make, came out great and is a great recipe to have in your back pocket for both a breakfasts at home or to make for events.

 

 

 

 

kRISTIN

Review: Four Seconds to Lose by K.A. Tucker

17571140Four Seconds to Lose
(Ten Tiny Breaths, #3)
By: K.A. Tucker
Publisher: Atria Books
Published: Nov. 4, 2013
Genre: New Adult Romance
Rating:
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Owning a strip club isn’t the fantasy most guys expect it to be. With long hours, a staff with enough issues to keep a psych ward in business, and the police regularly on his case, twenty-nine-year-old Cain is starting to second guess his unspoken mission to save the women he employs. And then blond, brown-eyed Charlie Rourke walks through his door, and things get really complicated. Cain abides by a strict “no sleeping with the staff” rule. But being around Charlie challenges Cain’s self-control…and it’s been a long time since any woman has done that.

Twenty-two-year-old Charlie Rourke needs a lot of money, really fast, in order to vanish before it’s too late. Taking her clothes off for men makes her stomach curl but Charlie tells herself that at least she’s putting her acting and dancing skills to good use. And though her fellow dancers seem eager to nab their sexy, sophisticated, and genuinely caring boss, she’s not interested. After all, Charlie Rourke doesn’t really exist—and the girl pretending to be her can’t get distracted by romance.

Unfortunately, Charlie soon discovers that developing feelings for Cain is inevitable, and that those feelings may not be unrequited—but losing him when he finds out what she’s involved with will be more painful than any other sentence awaiting her.

 

1thoughtsI’m not going to lie, when I saw that K.A. wrote her hero as a strip club owner, I just about fell out of my chair with excitement. I’ve never read a book where the main character is a strip club owner, while still managing not to give me the creeps. I’m sorry but, you own an establishment that exploits women. However, Caine didn’t give me the heebie jeebies. I wouldn’t say that I was totally head of heels in love with him but he wasn’t a total sleazeball.

I liked that the author tied a great background story to Caine that gave him some noble qualities to his job. The fact that his sister was a stripper and was doing extra on the side to earn money was what fueled him to open his own place. He wanted a club that women in that profession could find a safe place to do their business, while he offered as much help to get them on their feet. For instance, there was a scene with a stripper and her abusive/drug dealing ex-boyfriend. Caine takes it upon himself to protect the girls who work for him, and that means keeping them clean, helping them get the education they need or helping them break free from bad relationships. The fact that Caine is a stand-up guy who is only interested in being a safe haven for those who must go into the business to support themselves was quite noble of him. However, the fact remains that he owns a strip club.

“I want to help out every woman who feels she needs to take her clothes off to survive but I’m only on man, and not every woman is strong enough to avoid the pitfalls of this industry.”

What would a good romance be without a little conflict. Charlie is everything that Caine stands against. Her stepfather forced her into a life of crime. She’s a heroine peddler, Caine lost his whole family to a drug related crime. Charlie doesn’t enjoy her job at all but anytime someone has crossed her stepfather or attempted to get out, they wound up dead. So she bides her time while in Miami with a “job” stripping in Caine’s club in the hopes of earning enough money on the side to run away and disappear. Some of the things that happen to her while at these drops definitely had me on the edge of my seat. This was definitely a gritty romance all the way around.

I liked that even though this was a romance, the author always made sure to keep the stepfather in the picture. Whether it was interactions via phone between Charlie and him, memories of her life before he had her working for him, or the drops that Charlie was doing, the suspense was always there. Sometimes the romance overrides that suspense but the author always kept the danger lurking the background the entire time.

Even though I couldn’t really get over the fact that Caine was the owner of a strip club, no matter how noble his reasons were, I still liked that he was a strip club owner. He was different from your average hero. Owning that club set him apart from every other male lead I’ve read. He wasn’t your typical alpha male with a bigwig job. No, he was an alpha male who took it upon himself to watch over women who would otherwise be prostituting to make a living.

This was a great story that was both gritty and steamy at the same time. I wasn’t able to put the book down. There were so many things going on that I just had to know what would happen next. I was slightly disappointed with the ending. I felt like it was all a little too coincidental. Maybe it’s just me but that did earn a slight eye-roll from me. However, the entire story was pretty awesome. I cannot wait to read the next story in Ten Tiny Breaths.

 

1favequote“I don’t know how the monks survive. Probably not by watching  live strip shows daily.” -Caine

kRISTIN

Character Profile from Psi Another Day by D.R. Rosensteel

psi

psiADPsi Another Day
By: D.R. Rosensteel
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Genre: YA

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When spunky teen Rinnie is forced to bust out her secret Psi Fighter moves in school in order to bring downs its drug ring, she encounters a deeper plot…and a more sinister danger.
My name is Rinnie Noelle.

By day I’m just another girl in high school who likes lip gloss. But by night I’m a Psi Fighter—a secret guardian with a decade of training in the Mental Arts. Kinda like Batman, but without the cape.
Bad guys beware.
After screwing up my first mission, I’m now supposed to fix the problems at my school. Major, fly-catching yawn. Sure, drugs are bad, but what crime fighter wants to put bullies in detention when she can save the world from nefarious villains?
’Cause I will take you out.
But things heat up fast. Now I have two guys into me—yummy new kid, Egon, and my old nemesis-turned-nice-guy, Mason. Plus, word on the street is that a Walpurgis Knight, the Psi Fighter’s worst enemy, has infiltrated the school. And everyone is a potential suspect, even Mason and Egon. Darn. Fingers crossed I find the Knight before he finds me…

ExcerptOkay so this isn’t really an excerpt. More like a character profile from the book.

picName: Kathryn Hollisburg

Age: 16

Classification: Best Friend

Special Skills: Crowd control by means of extreme coolness. Sometimes a total goof. She really ought to be a Psi Fighter.

Special Note: I can’t show you my real face. You know, secret identity and all that. Psi Fighters are usually masked.

Kathryn Hollisburg is my best friend in the entire universe. We know everything about each other.

Kathryn knows I like Elvis Presley. I know she likes 1D. I know her secret shopping hot spots. She knows my secret identity. Kathryn is the coolest, most popular girl in Greensburg High, but she doesn’t know it. She is completely genuine, totally unaware of her popularity. She’s as unsnobbish as it’s possible to be.

On the other hand, she has little patience with lower lifeforms like Mason Draudimon and his minions, Art Rubric and Chuckie Cuff.

Oh, and she’s a Whisperer in training. The Whisperers sort of manage the outside world for the Psi Fighters. They protect our identities.

Review: Unfixable by Tessa Bailey

21527270Unfixable
By: Tessa Bailey
Publisher: Entangled
Published: April 14, 2014
Genre: New Adult Romance
Rating:
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He’s the last thing she wants…but the only thing she needs.

Willa Peet isn’t interested in love. She’s been there, done that, and has the shattered heart to prove it. Ready to shake the breakup, she heads to Dublin, Ireland. But there’s a problem. A dark-haired, blue-eyed problem with a bad attitude that rivals her own. And he’s not doling out friendly Irish welcomes.

Shane Claymore just wants to race. The death of his father forced him off the Formula One circuit, but he’s only staying in Dublin long enough to sell the Claymore Inn and get things in order for his mother and younger sister. He never expected the sarcastic American girl staying at the inn to make him question everything.

But even as Willa and Shane’s fiery natures draw them together, their pasts threaten to rip them apart. Can Shane give up racing to be with the woman he loves, or will Willa’s quest to resurrect the tough-talking, no-shit-taking girl she used to be destroy any hope of a future together?

1thoughtsThis is a great spinoff of the first book from Tessa’s erotic adult romance, Line of Duty series. Willa is actually the young sister of Ginger who was the main character from Protecting What’s His. Even though Willa wasn’t a main character in the story, she made sure her presence was known. She was a loud mouthed, “I don’t give a shit” kind of girl. She had dealt with a lot growing up between her heroin addicted mother and the sleazy men she brought home. It wasn’t until her sister, Ginger, stole money from their mom and ran off with Willa, that Willa started to live a normal life.

However, even though Willa’s background is known in Tessa’s adult series, that doesn’t mean that you have to read it in order to follow this book. Tessa writes this book in a way that is both a refresher for those who’ve not “seen” Willa in a long time, as well as introducing Willa to the readers for the first time.

Even though this is a New Adult romance, Tessa still kept up some of the dirty talk that I love from her Line of Duty series. Heck, if I didn’t know any better, I’d have thought that this was part of the series. There’s not only the dirty talk but some pretty steamy scenes as well. Which, I’m not gonna lie, made the story that much better. Because, boy, does this woman know how to turn up the heat.

My one and only thing about this was Shane. How old is he supposed to be? Late 20s? He kept calling Willa, “girl”, and there was even a scene where Willa pointed out that his sister was like a year younger than her (when he flipped out over her having a boyfriend). So that always made me question his age and how I should be picturing him. Plus, I didn’t overly understand his instant attitude towards Willa. I suppose I just never understood the whole childish stance on, “I like you, therefor I must give you the stink eye until you become my girlfriend.”

Regardless, I really enjoyed this story. I loved that Willa got her own HEA and that in the end we got a little recap of Derek and Ginger. These three characters were what made me fall in love with Tessa’s books. There hasn’t been a book of hers I’ve read that I haven’t gobbled up.

 

1favequote“I understand nothing about having a controlling parent. I don’t know what it’s like to have a mom who brings you toast, even though it’s cold and rock hard. Or a father. Period. I’ll see your overprotective daddy and raise you a prostitute mother with a nasty heroin habit. You cocky mother fucker.” – Willa

kRISTIN

Excerpt & Giveaway: Thimble Down by Pete Prown

TDThimble Down
By: Pete Prown
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: Aug. 1, 2013
Genre: YA Mystery

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THIMBLE DOWN is a country village where death and malice lurk the quiet lanes. When the vile, drunken Bing Rumple acquires a gem-laden treasure, violence begins to follow him everywhere. Where did Bing find such a precious jewel, and worse, is someone willing to kill to possess it? In this fast-paced adventure, the village bookmaster, Mr. Dorro, and his young companions Wyll Underfoot and Cheeryup Tunbridge are in a desperate race to find the answer—before death comes to Thimble Down.

 

 

 

Excerpt

 
The next morning, Bing Rumple was in full stride. He’d been walking in and out of shops, a chop house, pony stables, and many of the other burrows and houses that composed the center of Thimble Down, bragging about his exploits in the east. With his brother Farroot and Bill Thistle following him like a pair of leering weasels, Bing was enjoying his moment in the sun.

“How do you kill a ferocious goblin?” A youngling had just asked him this very question, and now he was preparing a grandly entertaining response. “Why, you can do it many ways, my boy-o,” he said in a tough voice, but trying to stifle a grin. “You can stick him in the throat with an arrow at fifty paces, or sneak up from behind and garrote the bugger with a sturdy piece of rope. Me, I generally just cut ‘em to pieces with this elvish saber. Look!” he said, drawing the glimmering blade out of his scabbard, “you can even see bits of dried, black goblin blood, and burnt flesh in the crevices.” At this, the Halfling children screamed with a mix of fright and glee and ran off to tell their horrified mothers. Bing and his pals roared with laughter.

As he expected, most people in Thimble Down had never even seen a goblin or troll up close. “What do they look like? Do they have bloody fangs?” asked young Tom Talbo, quivering with delight. Bing seemed to think for a moment before replying, “Oh course they do, young sir. And they have large bulbous eyes, thick grey-green or black skin covered with festering sores, long muscled arms, and meaty hands with claws on the end. They are fearsome to be sure, and if you get too close, they can shred yer intestines in a mere flash.” Bing embellished his tale each time someone asked. He’d never been a celebrity before, and he rather liked it.

“The worst of it was when me ‘n’ the lads were trapped with an elfin hunting party, pinned down by about a hundred and fifty goblins that outnumbered us mightily,” he rambled on. “We were on the top of a small bluff with goblins and trolls all around us. The elves fought valiantly, but we saved the day. Let me tell you the whole story.”

“Ya see, goblins hate fire, and by a stroke of fortune, the top of the bluff was covered with dry, dead brambles and bushes. So I braved a rain of goblin arrows and ran over to the elf chieftain. I said, ‘Toldir’—that was his name—‘go ask yer men to gather all the brush and big rocks possible, and arrange them on rim,’ I says. Of course, Toldir got pretty steamed at me for calling his warriors Men, because of course, elves ain’t Men and Men ain’t elves, if you reckon my meaning. But in the heat o’ battle, these things happen. Anyway, the elves did as I asked, and soon the entire edge of our bluff was ringed with brush and big boulders. I’ll hand it to them elves—they are strong and can move quick-like, especially in a pinch.”

“As a further stroke of luck, the elfin hunters had leatherskin bags filled with deer and musk oil from their recent kills, which we used to drench the brush. At Toldir’s command, the oil was lit afire, creating a massive inferno around the perimeter. I gave a shout of ‘Heave-ho!’ and we used sticks and logs to push the big rocks and flaming brush over the lip and down onto the enemy, who were stricken with terror. Those goblins that weren’t killed outright by the boulders and stones were hit with the flaming brambles and verily burst into flames. And any demons that escaped this hell were soundly stuck with deadly elvish arrows or, might I modestly say, by the edge of my sword as we charged down the hill to destroy the enemy. With the goblins either dead or in complete disarray, our troop was able to escape and rejoin the larger elf forces to fight another day.”

“Huzzah! Hurrah for Bing!” applauded his audience. Bing, Farroot, and Bill tossed handfuls of pennies into the crowd to curry their favor even more, driving the children mad with joy. Still, some of the older Halflings at the edge of the crowd couldn’t put the image of the sniveling Bing Rumple of yester-year out of their minds. “How could that miserable excuse for a Halfling be such a hero?” they thought. But in general, the village folk were greatly entertained, and this was a great boon to local merchants who hadn’t seen crowds this big since the harvest festival of the previous year. Up and down the hard-packed dirt lanes in Thimble Down, sellers were bringing their wares into the open air, especially pies, cakes, and any variety of dried, candied meats on a stick, which only cost a penny or two and were gobbled down rapturously.

Many in the crowd were also ogling the gem-encrusted brooch pinned on Bing’s left breast. Indeed, more than a few secretly began to covet it. Among them was one Halfling who decided—at that very moment—to steal it.

Even if it meant someone had to die.
 


 

authorpete

Pete Prown is a noted American writer of Young Adult fantasy books, as well as a magazine and book editor, and journalist. He’s written both fiction and non-fiction books, including Thimble Down, the soon-to-be-published Devils & Demons, and a series of instructional titles about guitars. Also a talented musician and recording artist, his Guitar Garden music is available on CDBaby.com and iTunes.

Website | Facebook


 
 

1giveaway
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Review: Grimm Fairy Tales: Oz by Joe Brusha

18767261Grimm Fairy Tales: Oz
(Grimm Fairy Tales Oz, #1-6)
By: Joe Brusha
Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment
Genre: Graphic Novel
Rating:
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The world faces a gathering storm that threatens to drown it in darkness. The only hope to stop the coming evil rests on an unlikely hero: a Kansas farm girl named Dorothy Gale.

Unbeknownst to Dorothy, highborn blood flows through her veins and with it, the power to save Earth and the realms of power that surround it. But Dorothy must first learn to use her unharnessed abilities before the witches of Oz destroy her and everyone else that stands in their way.

Zenescope Entertainment presents another incredible tale of adventure and fantasy with this mesmerizing and epic re-imagining of a classic!

 

1thoughtsThis one just didn’t work for me. The cover art is beautiful but unfortunately that doesn’t carry into the story itself. Dorthy and the witches look like drag queens with horse teeth. The colors were bright and vibrant but the illustrations left little to be desired in some parts of the story. It seemed like it got worse when it came to the action scenes. I’m not sure if that was the look the illustrator was going for but it distracted me from the story.

The story itself was interesting. The author took Oz as we know it and turned it into this dark world that’s in a blood bath war. However, with that being said, the story jumped all over the place making it hard to keep track on what was happening. It would be carrying on just fine one minute and then the next we would go back in time for a page, then jump ahead while still remaining in the past, and then we’d be thrown into the present. I’m not sure if it was flashbacks or just little bursts of back story coming through but it left me a little disoriented.

I’ve read the Jungle Book from Grimm Fairy Tales and really enjoyed it. So I will definitely be looking out for more of their series but if another Oz pops up, I will be skipping it.

 

1favepartI don’t know if you could call it a favorite part but I really did like the authors take on the characters. Aside from their appearances, they were not the same characters from the story that we are all familiar with. For instance, the lion was this Alpha were-beast as opposed to being cowardly. I like that not only did the author take the story and make it their own, but he also altered the characters as well.

kRISTIN

Review: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

7514925Tiger Lily
By: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: July 3, 2012
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating:
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Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it’s the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who’s everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

 

1thoughtsThis is a great retelling of Peter Pan. Well, actually it’s not really Peter’s story. Tiger Lily is the main focus in the story. Tinker Bell is a faerie who has taken an interest in Tiger Lily’s life. Tiger Lily is unlike any of the other females from her tribe. It’s also known that Tiger Lily has cursed people who have crossed her. Leaving everyone wearing around Tiger Lily. The story is told in Tinker Bell’s point of view as she recounts her observations.

I will be honest that it took a little bit for me to get used to the narration. It’s in first person (Tink) but she focuses so much on the other characters that it’s almost like third person as well. It was very interesting and I have to give the author major props for pulling it off. After I got used to I could just imagine everything playing out.

I liked that the author showed a different side to Peter and even Wendy (who makes an appearance in the book). The only thing I have to go off of is Disney’s version of Peter Pan. So this was a very interesting retelling of a classic. The author added in so much that the only things that seemed the same in the story were the names. She really did a great job in taking a classic story and making it her own.

One thing I have to take a step back and applaud is how gritty the story was. For a YA the author touched on some interesting things. I don’t want to go into too much detail but there’s arranged marriages, village rapes, jealousy that causes malicious acts, and suicide. She doesn’t go into detail over the situations but she definitely eludes to these things happening. There were times that I was reading and my heart just felt like it stopped beating because things were so intense. I stayed up way later than I should have for a work night just so that I could finish it. And there is where my major complaint is… the end. It literally ends and goes into the acknowledgements. I seriously checked the pages to see if my library copy was missing one but nope. Maybe I need to watch Peter Pan again and the missing link will be there and everyone who’s a Pan fan will be like, “Oooooh, she’s so clever to incorporate that in her story.”, but I’m just thoroughly lost.

 

1favequote“Sometimes I think that maybe we are just stories. Like we may as well just be words on a page, because we’re only what we’ve done and what we are going to do.”

kRISTIN

Guest Post & Giveaway: The Romeo Club by Rebekah L. Purdy

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author234

Rebekah Purdy grew up in Michigan, where she spent many late nights armed with a good book and a flashlight. When not hiding at her computer and getting lost in her stories, she enjoys reading, singing, soccer, swimming, football, camping, playing video games and hanging out with her kids. She loves the unexplainable like Bigfoot, the Dogman, and the Loch Ness Monster (lots of good story material)! She admits to still having all the books she bought throughout her childhood and teen years, and she may or may not have an obsession with anything chocolate…

Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

 

guest postAs most authors can tell you, it helps to have a great playlist when writing a new book (or editing a one). It kind of sets the mood/tone for certain scenes. You have your upbeat “fun” music for your regular or funny scenes. The love songs for those moments when your characters might be sharing a first kiss, or sizzling look with their crush. We have the sad songs for when the character(s) are going through a rough time or broken heart or someone close to them has died. And we have angsty/hardcore music to help get those fight scenes just right.

Sometimes it’s the beat of the music that pushes our scenes, other times it’s the perfect lyrics that help us get into the head of our characters. Either way music inspires and enables me to really mold

For The Romeo Club, because it was such a fun, light, fluffy kind of story, I had a lot of pop music. And I have to say, that #17 on the list, was totally for C.C.’s character (LOL). So here’s my list:

The Little Things by One Direction
Hello-Goodbye by The Beatles
Stranger by Secondhand Serenade
Rumour Has It by Adele
The Last Time by Gary Lightbody & Taylor Swift
Hold You in My Arms by Ray Lamontagne
Hung Up by Hot Chelle Rae
Echo by Jason Walker
My Sharona by The Knack
I Should Go by Levi Kreis
Between the Raindrops by Lifehouse
Live While We’re Young by One Direction
Kiss You by One Direction
Say by One Republic
The Mess I Made by Parachute
Killer Queen by Queen
A Drop in the Ocean by Ron Pope
Your Call by Secondhand Serenade
Pretend by Secondhand Serenade
Goodbye by Secondhand Serenade
Check Yes Juliet by We the Kings
Romeo by Dolly Parton
Hey There Delilah by Plain White T’s

 

about the book

432

The Romeo Club
By: Rebekah L. Purdy
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Published: March 25, 2014
Genre: YA Romance

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What happens when you agree to help your brother “de-nerdify” so he can catch the attention of the popular Chloe Anders, and to everyone’s surprise, he actually lands her?

And what if his equally geeky friends come running with girl wish lists of their own, offering money for your services?

Well, if you’re sixteen-year-old, Delyla Denson, then you start The Romeo Club. A secret club where she’ll teach these guys how talk, act, and be cool around girls. It’s a win-win situation.

She’ll get enough money for the awesome prom dress she’s had her eye on, and the guys, well, they’ll get dates and maybe learn how to do something other than beat the next level on their video games.

There are only two problems with this plan. One, her quarterback/track star boyfriend is getting jealous of how much time she’s spending away from him and decides to try and figure out what’s going on. And two, Delyla is kind of falling for her brother’s BFF, Trey who she’s been hanging out with a lot more. And who thanks to her help, has caught the attention of the beautiful, perfect, and popular, Portia Rickard. With Portia and Trey heating up, Delyla realizes that maybe the person she’s meant to be with has been in front of her all this time.

But falling for Trey means she’ll have to take drastic measures including sabotage, with a capital S.

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Review: Charade by Nyrae Dawn

CharadeMockCharade
(Games, #1)
By: Nyrae Dawn
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: Oct. 22, 2012
Genre: New Adult Romance
Rating:
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Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Nineteen-year-old Cheyenne tries to portray the perfect life to mask the memories of her past. Walking in on her boyfriend with another woman her freshman year in college threatens that picture of perfection.

Twenty-one-year-old Colt never wanted college and never expected to amount to anything, but when his mom’s dying wish is for him to get his degree, he has no choice but to pretend it’s what he wants too.

Cheyenne needs a fake boyfriend to get back at her ex and Colt needs cash to take care of his mom, so they strike a deal that helps them both. But what if Cheyenne’s past isn’t what she thought? Soon they’re trading one charade for another—losing themselves in each other to forget about their pain. The more they play their game, the more it becomes the only thing they have that feels real.

Both Cheyenne and Colt know life is never easy, but neither of them expect the tragedy that threatens to end their charade and rip them apart forever.

 

1thoughtsI thought this was going to be a cute romance but there were some really heavy topics in this story. You see, Chey’s mother left her at her aunts house 10 years ago and never came back for her. So Chey’s lived her life never really needing anyone. So when her boyfriend cheats on her, she’s left to fend for herself in his world. Since after all, she came to this college to be with him. At the same time Colt is dealing with a mother who is losing the battle with cancer. He does everything he can to make sure she has everything she needs and that there’s enough money to pay for the medical bills. So when Chey comes to him with the opportunity to not only stick it to her ex-boyfriend (who he’s not fond of) as well as get paid for it, he takes her up on her offer. However, while they are playing this game, the game changes.

Like I said, I was surprised by some of the more heavier parts that take place in this story. However, it’s the heavier parts that make this story awesome. This could have easily been a bad boy meets good girl new adult romance but Colt isn’t really that bad, he’s just trying to cope with his mother’s condition. I will admit that there were a couple of parts where I got teary eyed. This is definitely not a light romance.

 

1favequote “It’s easier to hide in the dark…but easier to let go too.”

kRISTIN

Sunday Wrap-Up #31

Sunday Wrap-Up is all about sharing the books and book related items that I’ve picked up recently. I also recap what went on last week and let you in on what’s coming up. I link up my post to Sunday Post, Bought, Borrowed & Bagged, Showcase Sunday, and Stacking the Shelves.

 

Last week on BSA:
How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper (Review)
Immortal Hunter by Kait Ballenger (Review)

This week on BSA:
Charade by Nyrae Dawn (Review)
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson (Review)
Primal Possession by Katie Reuss (Review)
Grimm Fairy Tales: Oz by Joe Brusha (Review)

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Rush
By: Nyrae Dawn
Genre: M/M New Adult Romance
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

For the love of the game.

Brandon Chase has always defined himself by one thing: football. Tough and athletic, he is a great college player who enjoys the hard hits and the sweaty grind of the gridiron. But when Brandon is injured, only one person can help him get back on track-a forbidden love he’s desperately tried to put behind him.

Alec Andrews has never quite forgiven Brandon for walking away when their friendship turned into something more. But he can’t deny help to one of his closest friends. As the two spend the long, hot summer working together, their old attraction comes flooding back.

Now as Alec thinks about coming out to his conservative family and Brandon considers revealing he’s a gay football player, the two men must be strong to fight for a love that could be the greatest rush of their lives.

 

 

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Breakable
By: Tammara Webber
Genre: New Adult Romance
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

He was lost and alone. Then he found her.
And the future seemed more fragile than ever.

As a child, Landon Lucas Maxfield believed his life was perfect and looked forward to a future filled with promise — until tragedy tore his family apart and made him doubt everything he ever believed.

All he wanted was to leave the past behind. When he met Jacqueline Wallace, his desire to be everything she needed came so easy…

As easy as it could be for a man who learned that the soul is breakable and that everything you hoped for could be ripped away in a heartbeat.

 

Randomness

I’m excited to announce that this year I took part in my very first event to fight against cancer. Cancer has affected me and my family since before I was even born. My grandmother survived cancer twice (two different kinds). However, I lost my grandfather (whom I was very close to) about 5 years ago, and just recently lost my fur-baby of 17 years to cancer (I had her for more than half my life). I had always wanted to participate in an event like this before but would always manage to miss it. It wasn’t until my friend mentioned that Relay For Life was coming up and that I should do it in honor of Snickers, that I actually started to plan for it. Well, if you remember my Ramblings of a Book Sniffer: Lull in Posts, then you know how my life got turned upside down real quick.

Some of you may remember Snickers, she was featured a couple of times on the site.

SnickersbooksFeature & Follow Friday

526482_10103116895493309_204560497_n Ramblings of a Book Sniffer: Home Sweet Home

 

snicksnicks

 

 

Here’s a picture of me at Relay for Life. I even got a t-shirt made and bought matching socks for the occasion. The event was a ton of fun and even though I only walked 3 miles, I helped our team raise money at our food booth. Oh and I also found out that I’m not as young as I used to be. I wound up doing a Zumba class and a Hula dancing class during the event… which resulted in me walking around like a 100 yr old woman today at work.

 

 

 

nvm

 

This weekend was also the 22nd annual art fair at Joshua Tree National Park. I stopped into work to just go over some last minute details with my boss which turned into the two of use walking around checking out the different stuff that the artists were selling. Which ultimately led to me buying this amazingly eery statue of a raven standing over a dead desert tortoise, shell and bones scattered around, with the words “Never More” painted on the base. Yup, after going back to it 3 times throughout the 30 minutes I was there, I went back and bought it. Now the killer raven sits on my end table judging me while I put off housework and read instead.