Monday, August 18, 2014

A Bouquet of Love

A Bouquet of Love
By Janice Thompson

About the book:
Cassia Pappas has found herself in a nearly impossible situation. She wants to spend her time immersed in her new job at a Galveston Island floral shop, arranging blooms and brightening occasions with her lovely creations. But her huge Greek family--especially her father--has other ideas. They've all relocated to Galveston to open up a new family restaurant location on the Strand--directly across the street from the Rossis' popular pizza place--and they want Cassia's full participation.

To make matters worse, as Cassia is trying to develop a strong professional relationship with Galveston's premier wedding coordinator, Bella Neeley, her own father is intent on stealing all of the Rossi family's faithful customers. Not exactly the best way to get into Bella's good graces!

Still, at least Alex, that hot delivery guy from the nursery, is always hanging around the flower shop . . .

Fan favorite Janice Thompson gives readers one more romp with Bella, Galveston, and the bustling wedding biz in the final installment of her popular series. Anyone who loves quirky families, loads of laughter, and tender romance will find themselves hooked.

My thoughts:
Bouquet of Love reminded me of My Big Fat Greek wedding, which was a fun movie so this book was very fun too.

The Pappas family has moved from California to Texas to open a Greek resteraunt that also happens to be across the a street from an Italian family's resteraunt. This makes them become instant enemies is Cassia's fathers eyes and he basically refuses them to interact with each other. But what happens when Cassia befriends members in the Italian family?

My favorite part of Janice Thompson's stories is that they have a lighthearted, easy going feel but aren't boring. She makes the characters funny without being weird and in this particular book she weakens in a lot of emotion to top it all off.

*i received this book free for review from Baker Publishing Group*

Rating: 5 carats

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Butterfly and The Violin

The Butterfly and the Violin
By Kristy Cambron

About the book:
Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl—a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.

In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover, the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul, who may be the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together, Sera and William slowly unravel the story behind the painting's subject: Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron.

A darling of the Austrian aristocracy, talented violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire.

As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds beauty in the most unlikely of places: in the grim camps of Auschwitz and in the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.

My thoughts:
Sera James feels trapped in her current life and haunted by her past.
She decides the only thing to do is to throw herself into her work as an art dealer. She behind searching out the owner of painting she saw as a child that never left her. It was a painting of a violinist during the Holucost.

Adele, is the violinist in the painting intertwined and carries a haunting take with her. The stories intertwine as Sera's search begins to impact her personal life.

Almost every chapter flips between Sera's story and the story of Adele. Even with the switching I never felt lost. Both stories were written in their own distinct voice and clarity.

"The Butterfly and the violin" is both haunting and moving. Sera realizes want is really important in her life and sees that light can come from the darkest nights when we put lives in Gods hands.

* I received this book free for review from BookLook Bloggers*

Rating: 5 carats

Monday, August 4, 2014

Debt-Proof Living

Debt-Proof Living
By Mary Hunt
About the book:
Mortgages, credit card balances, student loans, car loans, and home improvement loans have become a way of life for the majority of us. And debt is putting not only our present at risk as we live paycheck to paycheck, but our futures in jeopardy as shockingly few of us have enough put away for retirement. Personal financial expert Mary Hunt wants readers to embrace the radical but simple truth that they don't need more credit or more stuff--that they can live their lives debt-free.

In her classic book Debt-Proof Living, Mary reveals the secrets to getting out of debt and staying out of debt for the rest of your life. At no time in history has this liberating approach to a no-debt lifestyle been more desperately needed. Those who have been struggling to pay the bills or feel like they just can't make their finances work without taking on debt need this book. It can change their lives.

My thoughts:
Debt-Proof Living by Mary Hunt is filled with the basic consistent principles commonly used by most financial advisers counseling people on ways to get out of debt and better manage money. This is because those core principles of money management are the foundation for debt free living. People have to spend less money then they make, always save something and have a solid plan for paying off existing debt and preventing future debt.

Where I find Mary Hunt's approach different is in her first principle for debt proof living "Principle 1: Never keep it all. The first things you must do when money flows into your life is give some of it away." The voice of greed whispers entitlement into our lives. How can we combat the greed enemy? With giving, giving brings balance to our lives connecting us to something greater than ourselves.

Debt-Proof Living is a simple to understand, easy to apply, road map anyone can use to live a life free if debt if they choose.

*I received this book free for review from Baker Publishing Group*

Rating: 5 carats

Friday, August 1, 2014

"One Small Step..." can Create One Giant LEAP!

"One Small Step..." can Create One Giant LEAP!

That's what popular young adult authors Shannon Delany, Judith Graves, and Jen Murgia hope. The bold trio recently took on management (and in Delany's case ownership) of established small publisher Leap Books LLC.

The three women come from diverse backgrounds in publishing but have pooled their skills and resources to breathe new life into Leap.

Established in 2009 by Laurie Edwards, Leap has earned a respected place in the young adult and middle grade markets, gaining recognition from the Green Earth Books Award program, the Young Adult Library Services Association Popular Paperbacks program, and receiving recommended reading status from authoritative review sources, such as Kirkus Reviews, the Midwest Book Review, and CM Magazine.

What should readers look forward to with the relaunch of Leap? "We already have a backlist of strong stories thanks to the foundation Laurie Edwards built for Leap Books, but it seems like people have overlooked many of them while swimming in the sea of current YA and MG novels. We're going to change that and build on the existing list with our upcoming SHINE list of edgy YA and NA e-novellas and a re-branding and re-launching of both our YA novel line SURGE and our middle grade novel line."

What should authors look forward to with Leap Books? "Although Leap's SURGE line usually only accepts agented submissions, in mid-October we'll be opening our doors wide for unagented works, too. If you have a well-polished YA or MG novel that grabs us and holds us, we may have a spot in our lineup for you. Watch the Leap Books blog--no, stalk the blog--to find out when to submit. And watch for special anthologies to submit to--we have some great ones coming up!"

For now Delany suggests readers and writers alike leap into the contest running until August 8th at and if you're serious about writing for a publisher, first give a few of their books a read.

You can find Leap Books at:

Enter the Rafflecopter contest to win three Leap e-books of YOUR choice!

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Let's All Be Brave

Let's All Be Brave
By Annie F. Downs

About the book:
Annie Downs admits she’s not exactly the bravest girl in the world. She still cries sometimes when she leaves her parents’ home in Georgia, she’s never jumped out of a plane, and she only rides roller coasters to impress boys. But Annie knows that courage resides inside each and every one of us, and she’s on a mission to triumph over her own fears while encouraging the reader to do the same. As a single young woman, writer, speaker, and blogger, Annie Downs shares her journey toward bravery with honesty and humor. Using wonderful stories from her own life, contemporary real-life examples, and fascinating historical and biblical references, Annie encourages readers to grab hold of the brave life that they desperately desire. How often does fear hold us back from the very things we most want to taste, touch, and experience? The call to be brave isn’t just for one person---it’s for everyone. Let’s All Be Brave is more than a book, it’s a battle cry. Annie challenges us to live boldly, she calls us to step into those places that require courage, and she gives us the help to take the next step forward---even when it’s scary. This non-fiction, essay-driven book opens the door to many different views of courage---nudging, encouraging, and inspiring readers to be brave whenever given the chance. Let’s All Be Brave features: * Funny/interesting stories that draw readers into each chapter * God’s surprising answers to finding courage and boldness * Challenging questions and advice to help readers make real-life changes to live fully and glorify God more every day. The companion Web site ( offers more resources and an opportunity for readers to share personal stories of courage with other

My thoughts:

I've followed Annie F. Downs blog for years, I love her, and have loved each of her books.

Let's All Be Brave is Annie's first adult book and a challenge for all of us to look to The Lord and be brave in out loves where He plants us and leads us.

What I like most about "Let's All Be Brave" is how relatable it is. So often we think in order to be brave we have to do something big. Annie says differently, being brave comes from following Jesus where He leads you and sometimes that's doing everyday things.

Others may not realize it but for some of being brave is calling up an old friend of verbalizing our dream to someone we're close to.

Annoe draws from stories in her own life big and little. For those of us who have followed her blog we see a deeper look into what she went through at different times as well as what she learned from them.

She so uses a lot of stories from her real life friends.

I loved "Let's All Be Brave" as much as I have loved everyone of Annie's books. I hope that you'll be brave and grab a copy for yourself, too.

*I received this book free for review from Zondervan Publishers through*

Rating: 5 carats

Monday, July 14, 2014

It's Addicting

Its Addicting
By Laura L. Smith

About the book:
This third installment of the Status Updates series finds four college sophomore roommates finally getting comfy with the routines of dorm life. But Kat, Claire, Palmer, and Hannah soon begin to feel the nagging ache of innocent addictions pulling them away from their true selves. Still, obsessing over perfection, exercise, or a super-cute boyfriend could never be a bad thing—could it? Hang out with these four roomies to see if they can—or even want to—ditch these sneaky little hang-ups before they take over their lives.

* I received this book free for review from Playlist Fiction*

Monday, July 7, 2014

Vegan Ice Cream

Vegan Ice Cream
By Jeff Rogers

About the book:
Whether you’re vegan, lactose intolerant, or following a dairy-free diet, you don’t have to miss out on one of the world’s favorite desserts. Although ice cream substitutes are available, none of them achieves the richness of the real thing or offers the breadth of delicious flavors—until now. Vegan Ice Cream offers decadent frozen alternatives that don’t rely on milk, cream, or refined white sugar. Instead, these luscious recipes use nut milks, fresh fruit, and natural sweeteners to create simple and inventive ice cream flavors, from old favorites like Chocolate Chip and Strawberry to exotic creations such as Pecan Pie, Pomegranate, Kiwi Mandarin, Piña Colada, Chai, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Gingersnap, and many more.

This fully revised edition now features more than 90 recipes, including raw vegan ice creams and sauces, and full-color photography throughout. From the very first taste, you’ll be astonished at just how tasty and rich vegan ice cream can be. So make room in your freezer, and never miss out on the joys of ice cream again.

My thoughts:

I was really excited to read "Vegan Ice Cream". Since I am dairy free, I don't get to eat ice cream and I miss it. The book begins by listing and explaining the ingredients he uses. Most of the recipes contain nuts, usually cashews. In them he basically makes a "milk" from the nuts. I think you can use a non-dairy milk from your grocery store instead of making your own. Then he goes into the chapters of recipes complete with pictures that look just like ice cream.There's traditional ice cream flavors, non traditional ones, raw flavors, and sauces to top it all off.

I like this little book, it's exciting to think without dairy i can have ice cream. Good ice cream and also to see flavors I never even though of. Jalapeño Heaven, anyone?

*i received this book free for review from Blogging For Books*

Rating: 4 carats