Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review - Fortunately, the Milk by: Neil Gaiman

Title: Fortunately, the Milk 
Author: Neil Gaiman
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Pages: 160
Format: Hardcover
Source: Personal purchase


You know what it’s like when your mum goes away on a business trip and Dad’s in charge. She leaves a really, really long list of what he’s got to do. And the most important thing is DON’T FORGET TO GET THE MILK. Unfortunately, Dad forgets. So the next morning, before breakfast, he has to go to the corner shop, and this is the story of why it takes him a very, very long time to get back.

Featuring: Professor Steg (a time-travelling dinosaur), some green globby things, the Queen of the Pirates, the famed jewel that is the Eye of Splod, some wumpires, and a perfectly normal but very important carton of milk.

My thoughts:

Written by one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman, Fortunately, the Milk was one of the cutest stories I've read in a very long time. The subject matter is actually a very simple one: mom goes away for a conference, two siblings are left with their dad. When he sees there's no milk for breakfast (for children's cereal, but more importantly, for his tea, and Neil himself according to the illustrations-- the resemblance is uncanny!), he goes to the shop to get some. The siblings wait and wait... No milk, no dad for a long time. When he gets back home, they question him about why he took so long. That's when the real adventure starts.

Apparently, it didn't take the dad long to get the milk, but on his way back home, the flying object he sees in the sky takes him away. While time traveling, he meets a dinosaur, wumpires, pirates and much, much more. He was lucky all the way through because fortunately, the milk was in his possession at all times.

Chris Riddell's illustrations are just as weird and colorful as Neil's story (and what a fun last name he has!). Even though it's targeted at children, I'm sure adults will get a kick out of it as well.
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Review: Always on My Mind by: Jill Shalvis

Title: Always on My Mind
Author: Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Grand Centeral Publishing
Series: Lucky Harbor #8
Pages: 352
Series: Nook ebook
Source: Purchase



After dropping out of pastry school and messing up her big break on a reality cooking show, Leah Sullivan needs to accomplish something in her life. But when she returns home to Lucky Harbor, she finds herself distracted by her best friend, Jack Harper. In an effort to cheer up Jack's ailing mother, Dee, Leah tells a little fib - that she and Jack are more than just friends. Soon pretending to be hot-and-heavy with this hunky firefighter feels too real to handle . . .

No-strings attachments suit Jack just fine - perfect for keeping the risk of heartbreak away. But as Jack and Leah break every one of their "just friends" rules, he longs to turn their pretend relationship into something permanent. Do best friends know too much about each other to risk falling in love? Or will Jack and Leah discover something new about each other in a little town called Lucky Harbor?

My Thoughts:

Leah has been running for so long that it's a surprise when she is back in Lucky Harbor due to her grandmother needing her help.  Leah has always had a thing for Jack Harper but will he realize he loves her too?  I love watching Leah grow and accept the fact that her father isn't there anymore to brow beat her with how much a failure she is, or how he created a anxiety ridden woman.

Jack Harper is taking care of his mother Dee as she recovers from Cancer, Jack is also drowning in his work and he notices Leah is around but doesn't want to get his heart broken again like that last time.  When Leah tells Dee that Jack and Leah are a couple how far will the fake couple go to make it look real?  And when does the fantasy turn into reality?

This book was great full of so much reading about firefighters and the investigation into an arson and find out who it was.  Also reading about Leah and the reality food show she was on and how that ended.  It was a fabulous story which makes me glad to go back to Lucky Harbor over and over again!
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Monday, March 24, 2014

Review: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by: Ransom Riggs

Title: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Publisher: Quirk
Pages: 348
Format: Paperback

Series: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children #1
Source: Personal purchase


A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

My thoughts:

The fact that the word "peculiar" is in the title and the cover photo ic as creepy as it is made me want to read this book right away. It was a very, very exciting start for me, but then it didn't blow my mind like I expected it to. Do I regret reading it, though? Absolutely not.

Shatter Me author Tahereh Mafi's husband Random Riggs' Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is the story of Jacob, who discovers that all the weird stories his grandfather told hiö growing up are real. Due to curiosity and regret for not believing his grandfather when he was alive, Jacob finds himself on the island he heard so much about. When he finds the orphanage (as in, the home for peculiar children), he meets the peculiar children, finds out how and why they're peculiar and also finds out that he himself is one of them. 

I must admit, however, that if it weren't for the photographs the author collected over the years, I'd just say "oh, well" and move on from this series. The photos really do add a lot to the story, which made me think of the differences between written word and visual imagery, how they differ in making you go through different emotions. Almost all the photos that are in the book are first described by Jacob, yet when I turned the page and saw the actual photographs, they were a lot more different than what I had pictured in my head. 
I really liked Ransom Riggs's imagination. I thought his storytelling could be a bit better, but that doesn't stop me from wondering what's going on in the second book of the series. I haven't much thought about what might happen next, really, but I'm very, very curious to see what other weird pictures there are in it.

P.S. Turns out Tim Burton really liked the book, and he's making it into a movie (with Johnny Depp, of course), which will come out in 2015, if IMDB is telling the truth.
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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Review: Forever and A Day by: Jill Shalvis

Title: Forever and a Day
Author: Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Grand Centeral
Series: Lucky Harbor #6
Pages: 324
Format: Nook ebook
Source: Purchase



Grace never thought she’d be starting her life over from scratch. Losing everything has landed her in Lucky Harbor, working as a dog walker for overwhelmed ER doctor Josh Scott. But the day his nanny fails to show up, Grace goes from caring for Josh’s loveable mutt to caring for his rambunctious kids. Soon Grace is playing house with the sexy single dad…

With so many people depending on him, Josh has no time for anything outside of his clinic and family–until Grace arrives in town. Now this brainy blonde is turning his life inside out and giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “good bedside manner.” Josh and Grace don’t know if what they have can last. But in a town like Lucky Harbor, a lifetime of love starts with just one day…

My Thoughts: 

This follows the story of Grace Brooks who comes from a family of achievers.  She is trying to find her passion in Lucky Harbor in the meantime she's taking part time jobs to help her crippled bank account.

Dr. Josh Scott has a full house taking care of his sister who's wheelchair bound after a horrible car accident that killed their parents.  Also taking care of his son Toby and Toby's dog Tank.  Is there room in Dr. Scott's life for Grace?

This book was a great adventure full of all sorts of things popping up.  Like Grace helping Josh's sister try to figure out what to do with her life, and helping Toby find the mom he desperatly wants.  Showing Josh how to find a way to make life work along with work!

Next up in this great series: 

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Review: At Last by: Jill Shalvis

Title: At Last
Author: Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Forever
Series: Lucky Harbor #5
Pages: 314
Format: Nook ebook
Source: Purchase



Amy Michaels loves her new life in Lucky Harbor. A waitress in the local diner, she's looking forward to her first weekend hike through the mountains. But when a wrong turn takes her off the trail, she finds herself up close and personal with forest ranger Matt Bowers. And even though she's tempted to kiss that sexy smile right off his face, she won't make the mistake of getting involved with the town heartthrob.

A former cop whose life went south, Matt doesn't let anyone get too close. But something about the feisty beauty caught his eye the moment he first saw her in the diner. After a hot night under a starry sky, Matt can't deny their attraction-or the fact that for the first time in a long time, he feels the stirrings of something more. Now it's up to Matt to help Amy see that, no matter what is in their past, together they can build a future in Lucky Harbor.

My Thoughts: 

Amy Michaels has had a hard life running away most of her teen years and trying to stay ahead of the trouble that always seems to find her.  Finally in Lucky Harbor she has found friends, and neighbors that care, when she interacts with the forest ranger will he be enough to tame her?

Matt Bowers has left his life in Chicago where it all fell apart and works in the forest in Lucky Harbor.  He finds himself attracted to Amy but will she ever give him a chance?

I love this series I can't rave enough the writing style drags you in to see where the stories are headed and what the local Facebook updates say.  I swear if Lucky Harbor Facebook page people would so check it out to see what it says.  I really liked this book and how they introduced a troubled teen who needed Matt and Amy's help to straighten her life out!  Keep up the good work!  Next in the series:

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Review: Lucky In Love by: Jill Shalvis

Title: Lucky In Love
Author: Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Forever
Series: Lucky Harbor #4
Pages: 341
Format: Nook ebook
Source: Purchase


Mallory Quinn has had enough of playing it safe. As a nurse and devoted daughter, she takes care of everyone but herself. And as the local good girl, she's expected to date Mr. Right. But for once, she'd like to take a risk on Mr. Wrong. And who could be more wrong than Ty Garrison? The mysterious new guy in town has made it clear that he's only passing through, which suits Mallory just fine. Besides, his lean, hard body and sexy smile will give her plenty to remember once he's gone . . . 

For the first time in his life, Ty can't bear to leave. Helping this sexy seductress-in-training walk on the wild side is making him desire things he shouldn?t?including leaving the military for good. As their just-for-fun fling becomes something more, Mallory and Ty wonder if they could really be this lucky in love. After all . . . anything can happen in a town called Lucky Harbor.

My Thoughts: 

This book follows Mallory Quinn who has been known as the good girl, having bad relationships with dull men.  When a snow storm brings her Ty Garrison more commonly known in Lucky Harbor as the mysterious cute guy.  Could Ty be what Mallory needs? 

Ty Garrison has lots of issues and he's recovering in Lucky Harbor hoping to leave soon, and go back to what he does work wise, but has the town of Lucky Harbor claimed him as a new resident?  Ty is adamant time and again that Lucky Harbor is only temporary, but will he keep that when Lucky Harbor has enveloped him in the warmness he's found there?

I just love Jill's writing style and her ability to weave great stories with a lovable town and characters.  I especially love the Facebook updates to Lucky Harbor they are too funny.  Almost makes you wish it was real so you could see what is being said about them.  I have been a fan since book one and with each book it gets better you get to learn more depth about the people of Lucky Harbor.

I loved watching Mallory grow from wishy washy to a strong independent woman who spoke her mind regardless of who she hurt in the process.  How she fought tooth and nail for HSC so people could have a clinic to go to unlike what happened to her sister.  It was a great read!

The next book in the series:

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Reveal: Entertaining Angels by: Emerald Barnes

I am super thrilled to show you the beautiful cover for my newest and upcoming novel, Entertaining Angels.  Again, my cover artist was Natasha Brown, and she is super talented.  She brought my disjointed vision to life, and I don't think I'll ever be able to thank her properly. 

I can't wait to publish it, which I'm hoping will be in May.  That's what I'm estimating anyway.  But, I couldn't wait any longer to show you my beautiful cover!

About Entertaining Angels:

Madison Andrews canít face her reflection in the mirror.  All she sees is a big, fat nobody.  Yet, deep inside she longs for something more, something thatís not skin deep.

Along comes Zach, the new guy in school.  Heís smoking hot and totally out of her league.  She somehow catches his eye, and he makes her feel beautiful for once.  But just as she gets close to Zach, her nerdy best friend, Chase, wonít let Madison doubt her true beauty, no matter how many meals she skips.

Even as Madison begins to realize that she is more than what she thinks, darker forces are at work, darker than the lies and mocking from her peers, stopping her from amounting to her full potential.  Can Madison find true happiness in her own skin?

Are you a book reviewer?  If so, please sign up for an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) of my novel here.

About Emerald:
Emerald Barnes graduated with a B.A. in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing at Mississippi University for Women.  She resides in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it. 

She mainly writes suspense/thrillers in the YA genre, but she dabbles in other genres and her books are enjoyed by all ages!   She's constantly working on new novels and has more ideas than she knows what to do with.  She blogs which takes up more of her time than she anticipates but loves it so very much!  She's also a volunteer at the World Literary Cafe which is amazing, and she is a crazy grammar nazi who proofreads novels!

She's an auntie to three beautiful nieces and two handsome nephews who take up the other half of her time, but she couldn't imagine spending her time in any other way! 

She's a Whovian, a little bit of a nerd, a reader, a writer, and a family-oriented person.  God is number One in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor. 

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Where am I touring?

March 17:

Rachelle's Window -- Guest Post

The Writing Realm -- Interview

March 18:

ssteinwriting -- Interview

Angel Breath Books -- Guest post

March 19:

Totally unrelated to this tour is my interview with Angie Brashear.

Sheila Deeth -- Guest post

Ever On Word -- Guest Post

March 20:

A.R. Silverberry -- Guest Post

March 21: