Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Arctic Dawn - Karissa Laurel (Review)

Arctic Dawn (The Norse Chronicles, #2)Arctic Dawn by Karissa Laurel 
Series The Norse Chronicles Book 2
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery
Publication date:
July 5th 2016

Publisher: Red Adept Publishing  
Format: ebook, 276 pages
How I got it: I got the book from Karissa for a honest review.
Buy it: Amazon Barnes & Noble
My rating: 4/5

Alone and exhausted after her month-long sojourn as a shooting star, Solina Mundy flees to southern California to lie low, recuperate, and plot a survival strategy. The one person she trusts to watch her back is her best friend, Skyla Ramirez. But Skyla has been missing for weeks.

The arrival of a dangerous stranger and the discovery of a legendary weapon of mass destruction forces Solina out of hiding and back into the fight for her life. Solina knows she won’t last long on her own. She must find out what happened to Skyla and unite her contentious allies if she hopes to track down this devastating weapon before her enemies use it to burn the world to ash.


My thoughts:

I was so excited to receive a copy of Arctic Dawn! I loved the first book of the series about Solina and couldn't wait to start reading the second book! I am so glad I did get a copy because the second book is just as great as the first book in the series!! 

The second book starts off with Solina being sort of lost and not knowing what really happened to her at the cabin.  She know needs to put her life back together while regaining her strength.  Solina doesn't know if she wants to jump right back into her old life since she isn't 100% sure exactly who she can trust.  Trust does become a big issue thought out the whole book

I loved the relationship that we get to see develop between Solina and Thorin.  In the first book they had a very odd relationship I couldn't tell where it was actually going to go.  I am still unsure of where the relationship will end up, but I felt like we got a lot more insight into the Solina and Thorin.  Solina is having a hard time letting her feelings come to the surface for Thorin because she is afraid to get hurt.  I feel like in this book they both have up such high walls and they are slowly starting to come down.   We got to see how upset Solina is over Thorin's constant need to be by Baldur and help him.  Solina does seem to have strong feelings for Thorin, but also wants his undivided attention to fix the crazy predicament she is in. 

I feel like I kind of want an entire book about Skyla.  I have a zillion questions about Skyla because I feel like her character can go in so many directions going forward.  I love the loyalty that Skyla shows even after finding out some shady stuff from the Aeria.  Skyla has a lot of potential to do great things she seems like a very strong character and a great friend to Solina.

The author did a great job with all the descriptions of the what was going on in the book.   I felt like I could imagine the scenes she was describing and felt like I was part of the orchard at one point.   All of the scenes and characters really came to life in Karissa's writing. 

I really enjoyed all the twists and turns while reading this bookSo much more action happened in this book then the first oneI did sort of lose track of what we were looking for because there would be another twist when I thought I figured out what was going on.  The book was a fast read for me due to the pace being full of action and wanting to figure out exactly what was going on.   Also, the ending of this book I did NOT see coming at all.  I can't wait to see where the author goes with the next book in the series. 

I would suggest this as a weekend read. I got completely sucked into the story line again and couldn't put the book down! I had to know what was going to happen next and what was really going on! 

I was received this book from Karissa Laurel for the purpose of providing an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


About the Author

Karissa LaurelKarissa Laurel has tried her hand at many things -- cooking/catering, law, art -- but writing makes her the happiest.

When she's feeling brave, she's on the slopes or riding off-road motorcycles with her guys. When she's less adventuresome, she's on the couch with her nose buried in a book.

She lives in North Carolina with her kid, husband, occasional in-law, and a hairy husky named Bonnie.

Author Links:
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Friday, August 19, 2016

Visions of My Heart: 101 Tales Told in Verse - Garikai Nhongo (Review)

29414567Visions of My Heart: 101 Tales Told in Verse by Garikai Nhongo
Genres: Poetry
Publication date: February 20, 2016
Format: ebook, 136 pages
How I got it: From Garikai Nhongo for an honest review
Buy it: Amazon Barnes & Noble
My rating: 3/5

This book contains one hundred and one (101) poems told from the passionate heart of an ordinary man.

This body of work is a journey, so please read it as a journey. It’s a journey of the many conflicting roads my mind and heart have taken. I have been through a lot but my hope is that each piece inspires you in some way. When you laugh or cry, let it be a lesson for your tomorrow.

The poems speak of love, sorrow, loss and joy. They speak of happiness and sadness in equal turn. At the end of it all, they bring hope to all who open the pages of this text. Each of the poems are the encapsulation of an aspect of life put down in words. They speak of the journeys of a single man which are also the journeys that we will all travel at some point in our lives. Read these with an open heart and an open mind. You will find that they will speak of your journeys as well. If not the journeys that you have travelled already, then these are the journeys that you will travel one day.

Learn from them. Feel them. Enjoy them.

My thoughts:

I can't remember the last time I read a book of poetry.   This book contains 101 poems on various topics.  Each topic is broken up into a mini chapters. 

The beginning poems are very uplifting and positive.  The author does a great job to show the importance of sticking with something and achieving goals.  By far my favorite poem in the collection was Alive, I felt like it captured the sense of overcoming obstacles and really going for it.   I loved the idea of nothing that can knock you down. 

The poems continue with the idea of hoping for a better future as well as making your future brighter.  I felt like this idea of making your future what you want really stayed throughout the poems.   Other topics that where learning to move forward after something happened in your life and looking forward to another day.

I did feel like in the middle portion of the poems the tone began to change and the author was more conflicted feelings and they where no longer positive in nature.  The section on love I felt was more about love from a distance then being in love.   Also, a lot of loss of love was covered in the poems.  I felt hard to connect the darker the poetry got.   The reader does get a full range of emotions coming through the poetry. 

I felt like some poems did become somewhat repetitive in nature touching on the same themes but just said in different ways.

I would recommend this as a great read when you are looking for something different.   Even if you only read a few poems in the book it is worth the read.  It is a short quick read to break up your heavy reads!   
I was received a copy of this book from Garikai Nhongo for the purpose of providing an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


About the Author

Garikai NhongoGarikai Nhongo was born in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1983.

He is a business executive, an entrepreneur, a writer, a poet, a trainer, a speaker, a thinker, a husband, a father and an achiever. His life motto is simply, “be the best you can be” and he lives by it. He started writing poetry at the age of 14 and has thousands of personal pieces and hundreds of published pieces on his blog ( Garikai became a corporate Director at the young age of 24 in Zimbabwe and has been in Senior Management in Advertising and Media firms since.

Garikai has spoken at various business events and has been the Master of ceremonies for various business and poetry events.

He has been the MC at Awards Ceremonies, Business Competitions and other corporate events. He has spoken at events on varied topics such as Creativity, Personal Branding, eCommerce, Networking, Public Speaking, 360 Degree Leadership and various Performance Management events. He has also become a fixture at the Global Entrepreneurship Week where he inspires young entrepreneurs.

He currently lives in Pretoria, South Africa with his wife and 2 daughters.

Author Links:
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Friday, August 12, 2016

Inseparable - Claire St. Hilaire (Review)

InseparableInseparable by Claire St. Hilaire
Genres: Fiction, Family
Publication date:
July 8th 2015

Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform 
Format: ebook, 186 pages
How I got it: Claire St. Hilaire for an honest review
Buy it: Amazon  
My rating: 5/5   

In a world where nightmares are real, this is the story of a soldier's heroism and a woman's devotion.

Ryan is lost in a coma, living his own nightmare of deployment, and trying to find his way home.

While desperately fighting his family to keep him on life-support, will his fiance be able to influence his dreams and guide him home before he becomes trapped in this war forever?

   My thoughts:

This book follows the relationship of Ryan and Vela during a difficult time.  Ryan was deployed before and having difficulty getting through what happened over their and being able to move passed it.  Vela was being patient and listening when appropriate for Ryan.  At the beginning of the book we can tell that  Ryan and Vela have a very deep relationship.  The two get engaged right before Ryan goes back to be deployed again.  I love how the author gave us a small bit of their relationship before Ryan gets into an accident and falls into a coma. 

Things I loved in the book was how loyal Vela remained to Ryan after the accident.  We got more details into their relationship and also the relationship between Ryan and his mother.  Vela tried really had to stay level headed about the whole accident, but when she started to have realistic dreams of Ryan she became completely sleep deprived.   The dreams are one of my favorite parts in the book.  We get a real feel that Vela is being transported to Ryan's side, but only she is aware this is a dream.  Also, I felt like the author did a great job making it feel very realistic that Ryan and Vela where in Iraq.  The descriptions and hardships the characters faced made it feel very real.

I love that the author made a clear distinction between Ryan being in a coma versus being brain dead.  The author must have done a lot of research on what happens to coma patients prior to writing it all felt very real and made sense.  I also enjoyed reading about the struggles that Vela went through because she was only engaged to Ryan not his wife.  

I would suggest this as a weekend read or a read when you have plenty of time to digest the book.   Once I started reading the book I needed to know what was going to happen at the end.  I felt like the author did a great job with adding suspense when needed to keep the book moving along at a great pace.  The book was the perfect length in my mind.  

I was received this book from Claire St. Hilaire for the purpose of providing an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

About the Author

Claire’s love of writing began at age six when she wrote her first short story – a total of three lines. Later, in college, she almost failed Math because, instead of algebraic equations, her notes were filled with poetry and book ideas. To this day Claire is never found far from pen and paper – or a calculator.

Claire believes that to tell a story you must listen to one first. Her books and stories are fictional tales based on the emotions and experiences of individuals who have shared their own stories with her. She is passionate about giving a voice to those who are not heard by creating fictional events and then bringing them to life with true human experiences.

Author Links:
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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Bout of Book Read-A-Thon August 2016

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 28th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 17 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

 Bout of Books 17
Time Devoted to Reading

  • I want to read at least 1 hour a day and about 2-3 hours each day of the weekend! 

My Goals

  • My goal is to read at least four complete books in the next week!

Books to Read

  • The Hating Game - Sally Thorne
  • A Cunning Plan - Astrid Arditi 


Monday 8/22/16
Books Started: The Hating Game - Sally Thorne & A Cunning Plan - Astrid Arditi 
Books Finished:  None
Pages Read:  THG 1/52 ACP 1/18
Thoughts:   I am excited to start a Bout of Books Challenge again! I really want to get through a few books this week! 
Total Pages Read Today:  70
Total Pages Read for Challenge:  70
Challenge: Bout of Books Book to Movie Challenge! hosted by Writing My Own Fairy Tale:
It’s super easy. All I need you to do is share with us your favorite book-to-movie adaptation and your least favorite book-to-movie adaptation. You can give reasons for your answers or just names, it’s really up to you how much you share. Here’s an example:

My favorite book to movie adaptation =

My absolute least favorite/most hated adaptation ever =

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)
Tuesday 8/23/16

Books Started: None
Books Finished:  None
Pages Read:  THG 52/66 ACP 18/36
Thoughts:  I need to work on dedicating a little more time to reading Wednesday once I get home from work!
Total Pages Read Today: 32
Total Pages Read for Challenge: 102

Wednesday 8/24/16
Books Started: Angel6: HOPE - J. W. Bowers
Books Finished:  None
Pages Read: A6H 1/196 & THG 66/93
Thoughts:  I really stepped up my reading today and hope to continue into tomorrow!
Total Pages Read Today: 223
Total Pages Read for Challenge: 325
Challenge:  Show Off Your Shelves Photo Challenge -- HERE at the Bout of Books blog!

Share a picture of your books/shelves/nightstand/e-library/wherever you keep your books on Twitter, Instagram, or on this post. Use the hashtags #boutofbooks and #shelfie4boutofbooks

Thursday 8/25/16 
Books Started: None
Books Finished:  Angel6: HOPE - J. W. Bowers
Pages Read: A6H 196/294 & THG 93/116
Thoughts:  I am really moving along with my reading and hope to get a lot more done this weekend!
Total Pages Read Today: 121
Total Pages Read for Challenge: 446
The Book Junkie Hosts:
We've all stood in line at the grocery store and giggled at some of the outrageous headlines we see. So, for today's challenge, I thought it would be fun to take some of our book plots and make them into fun tabloid headlines.  For example, a tabloid headline for the book Twilight might be...


Now it's your turn!
  • Think about the book you are reading or one that you finished during Bout of Books 17
  • Create a "tabloid" type headline.  Make it fun, feel free to use sarcasm liberally.  :)
  • Post your headline in the comment section below 

  • Tweet your headline using two hashtags: #boutofbooks and #tabloidtitles
Women Turns Into Sun =  Arctic Dawn by Karissa Laurel 
Friday 8/26/16
Books Started:
Books Finished:
Pages Read:
Total Pages Read Today:
Total Pages Read for Challenge: 
Challenge:  Today's challenge is hosted by: Janey Canuck

You know how sometimes, you're reading a book and it just reminds you of a particular song so much that you have to stop, put your book down and choreograph an interpretive dance reflecting your book's plot to that song?  No?  Yeah, me neither...
Seriously, though - sometimes, you can't help but connect a book and a song in some way.  After listening to Goo Goo Dolls on the bus in high school while doing my reading for English class, I can never hear Black Balloon without thinking of Orwell's 1984 (it's a good thingYouTube didn't exist when I was in high school - that video is TERRIFYING.  And very late 90s) .  And even though Anne's Theme was composed for the mini-series, whenever I see my set of Anne of Green Gables books, the song floats into my head (p.s. who else is SUPER excited to see what happens in the CBC/Netflix adaptation?!)
So, you tell me what connections you have between a book and some music.  Anything goes, really.  Some suggestions to get you thinking:
  • Rename your book with a song
  • Give a lyric that sums up the plot of your book
  • A song or album that is forever associated with a particular books in your mind
Post your song connection anywhere you are talking about Bout of Books and post the link here.  Please remember that I have to be able to see your post so make sure your account isn't private.

My song connection is:   "When We Were Young" - Adele for the book We Were Liars -- E. Lockhart

Let me photograph you in this light
In case it is the last time
That we might be exactly like we were
Before we realized
We were sad of getting old
It made us restless
It was just like a movie
It was just like a song

Saturday 8/27/16
Books Started:
Books Finished:
Pages Read:
Total Pages Read Today:
Total Pages Read for Challenge:

Sunday 8/28/16
Books Started:
Books Finished:
Pages Read: 
Total Pages Read Today:
Total Pages Read for Challenge: