Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde {Review}

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde's madcap farce about mistaken identities, secret engagements, and lovers entanglements still delights readers more than a century after its 1895 publication and premiere performance. The rapid-fire wit and eccentric characters of The Importance of Being Earnest have made it a mainstay of the high school curriculum for decades.

Cecily Cardew and Gwendolen Fairfax are both in love with the same mythical suitor. Jack Worthing has wooed Gwendolen as Ernest while Algernon has also posed as Ernest to win the heart of Jack's ward, Cecily. When all four arrive at Jack's country home on the same weekend the "rivals" to fight for Ernest's undivided attention and the "Ernests" to claim their beloveds pandemonium breaks loose. Only a senile nursemaid and an old, discarded hand-bag can save the day!

This Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Edition includes a glossary and reader's notes to help the modern reader appreciate Wilde's wry wit and elaborate plot twists.
  

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My Review: 5 Stars

I chose this for a book challenge this year, as a book that I should've read in school, but didn't. I was surprised at how delightful and humorous the story was!

Both Jack and his friend, Algernon, have pretend friends (although Jack's is a cousin) that they each use to get them out of certain situations. Unfortunately, Cecily (Jack's ward) and Gwendolen (Jack's love interest), both fall in love with Ernest (Jack's "cousin"), as Algernon poses as this mythical Ernest, unbeknownst to Jack. This sounds so confusing, but I promise, it makes perfect sense in the book. All the mistaken identities and comical situations had me smiling throughout, wondering how it could possible resolve in a satisfying way. But it does work out and is such an enjoyable story. 

The pacing and characters are spot on. It's amazing that it still has life, even though this story is over 100 years old! This is definitely one to add to a list for a reader who enjoys some clean, slightly romantic comedy.

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Buy Link (I got mine for free):

http://amzn.to/25lnYqj
 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Splash into Summer Giveaway Hop

Welcome to my stop on the Splash into Summer Giveaway Hop!
I'll be giving away ONE $10 Amazon gift card.
To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below.
Good luck! Be sure to hop to the next stop!

Summer is one of my favorite seasons--I love being warm,
enjoying the family days, swimming, BBQs, etc.
 I always love to read in the summer, especially when
traveling.

Must be 18 or older to enter.
Void where prohibited by law.
Winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to respond
or a new winner will be chosen. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sun and Sizzle Cookbook by Allison Miller {Review}


Sun and Sizzle by Allison Miller
Kindle Edition, 158 pages
Published May 10th 2016 by Cedar Fort, Inc.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30151037-sun-and-sizzle?from_search=true&search_version=service

Make summer the most memorable season of the year with these sizzling dishes!

From burgers and steaks to salads and vegetable bakes, this cookbook is stuffed with yummy entrees, appetizers, drinks, and desserts to make your summer unforgettable. Enjoy the sun as you enjoy in-season summer foods such as

Aloha Burger
Mixed Berry Wedge Salad
Summer Pasta Salad
Melon Punch
Peaches and Cream Bars

With meals perfect for parties and smaller gatherings, you’ll sure to enjoy the outdoors all season long!



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My Review: 4 Stars

This is a fun cookbook, perfect for the upcoming summer season. The recipes are definitely not low-fat, but are enjoyable for those hot summer evening and to satisfy hearty appetites.

I tried several recipes and found a few new family favorites. Bacon 'n Eggs Burger and Macaroni Salad were huge hits with my family and we made these each a few different times. The relish and hard boiled eggs in the salad adds the perfect tang and creaminess. The burger reminds us of a Hawaiian favorite--Moco Locos. The combination of the bacon, eggs, and meat really fill a stomach up. 

We also enjoyed the Baked Beans, but I left the meat out, as it just seemed to be too meat heavy with what we were pairing it with for dinner. The Baked Parmesan-Herb Zucchini was good, but I either bought squash a little too big or should have cooked it a few minutes longer because they were a little crunchy. It'll be easier to work with that recipe later on this summer, as my plant starts to produce. The Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade was a huge hit and really hit the spot on the hot spring day that we tried it. The No-Bake Eclair Cake is so easy, yet comes across as a very sophisticated and delicious dessert. There are several other recipes that we can't wait to try!

I love how great the pictures are and how easy the instructions are to follow. There are some great tips to follow at the beginning of the book that really help make the cooking experience better. This is a great book for those who want some easy and good summer dinners and don't mind the calories.

*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*

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Buy Links:

http://amzn.to/1WolhlS

http://booksandthings.com/sun-and-sizzle-grills-to-greens-and-everything-in-between-paperback.html
https://deseretbook.com/p/sun-and-sizzle-grills-to-greens-and-everything-in-between-ppr?variant_id=134085-paperback

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Lighthouse Secret (Amelia Moore Detective Series, Book 7) by Linda Weaver Clarke {Review}

The Lighthouse Secret (Amelia Moore Detective Series, Book 7) by Linda Weaver Clarke
ebook
Published February 29th 2016 by Smashwords Edition 
 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29416774-the-lighthouse-secret
 
Rick Bonito’s uncle supposedly drowned five years ago and his body was never found, but something did not seem right about the report. Uncle Antonio was an excellent swimmer. His disappearance seems quite suspicious to Rick’s father. He never felt the complete truth had come out about his brother. It is now up to Amelia and Rick to find out the truth about his uncle.
 
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My Review: 4 Stars
 
Each book in this series can stand alone, but the reader will miss out on the relationship progression if they're read out of order and that is half the fun!
 
Amelia and Rick and newlyweds and co-workers. They squeeze in a personal case when they decide to find out what happened to Rick's uncle, who went missing five years earlier. I love the way these two work together to solve cases. Amelia thinks outside of the box and Rick livens things up. Rick takes pride in naming the cases and this one was a no-brainer when they tour different lighthouses, looking for clues. Their banter and the way they complement each other is a joy.
 
I'm sad to hear that this is the last book in the series. I always enjoy the unique settings and love getting a taste for different places. The mysteries are always cozy--no graphic violence, blood and gore, or strong language. The suspense is present, but not too gripping. The romance is sweet. This is a great series for those mystery lovers who enjoy their books gentle and easy.
 
Content: very mild romance and violence. Clean!
 
*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*
 
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Buy Links:
 
http://amzn.to/1RsfCDg
 http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-lighthouse-secret-linda-weaver-clarke/1123540887?ean=9781530107407

About the Author:

Linda Weaver ClarkeLinda Weaver Clarke travels throughout the United States, teaching a “Family Legacy Workshop,” encouraging people to write their family history and autobiography. She is the author of the historical romance series - “A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho,” a mystery suspense series - “The Adventures of John and Julia Evans," and a romantic cozy mystery series - "Amelia Moore Detective Series." 
  

The Descendant Prophecies by Mary Ting {Book Blast}


From Titans  From Titans (Book #4) by Mary Ting Everyone is searching for Mason. Zeus sent Hermes, and the Oracles have used their magic, with no success. A sparkle of hope arises when Eris, the goddess of Chaos, sends an invitation to her wedding engagement party. She’s holding Mason hostage, and Skylar and her friends only need permission to enter Eris’s world to rescue him. At the party, Eris gives them one condition: In exchange for Mason, they must travel to the Land of Reverse and bring back the bottle of gold water King Midas used to wash himself free of his gift. Further chaos follows when Eris not only sets up a hunt in the Labyrinth of Crete, but makes a bargain with the Titans she rescued. The Titans possess power more than anyone anticipated, and Cronus is hungry for revenge after his own children locked him up in Tartarus. No one is safe. Not even the humans. Summary for Book 1: Did you just see a flash of lightning across the sky on a clear sunny day? Don’t blame Mother Nature. Skylar Rome can’t wait to spend her last summer before college with her cousin, Kayla. Everything changes when they meet the Grand brothers. Skylar is sure she should stay away from Mason Grand, but their attraction is undeniable. Then Skylar’s life erupts into turmoil. She steps into a world where descendants of ancient gods have super powers, evil beings chase her, and questions arise about her own identity. She is running out of time and running for her life, while trying to unravel the mystery of what they want from her. Forced into a battle set into motion long before she was born, will Skylar find the answers she seeks, or will she die trying? 
pre order on amazon 

Praise for the Series 

"From Gods takes mythology to a whole new level of imagination with its incredible plot and amazing characters. It's full of hotness that you never want to end!" Michele, Insane About Books 

"From Gods by the AMAZING AUTHOR Mary Ting is OMGods good!! If you even LIKE Greek Mythology, set aside some time because you will DEVOUR Mary Ting's Demi Gods and Vultures!!!" Mindy, Books Complete Me 

 

Grab a FREE copy of From Gods this weekend ONLY!

From GodsFrom Gods (Book #1) by Mary Ting

Did you just see a flash of lightning across the sky on a clear sunny day? Don’t blame Mother Nature. Skylar Rome can’t wait to spend her last summer before college with her cousin, Kayla. Everything changes when they meet the Grand brothers. Skylar is sure she should stay away from Mason Grand, but their attraction is undeniable. Then Skylar’s life erupts into turmoil. She steps into a world where descendants of ancient gods have super powers, evil beings chase her, and questions arise about her own identity. She is running out of time and running for her life, while trying to unravel the mystery of what they want from her. Forced into a battle set into motion long before she was born, will Skylar find the answers she seeks, or will she die trying?

amazon  

Excerpt

“Mason, MASON, MASON!” Skylar panicked.

“I know. Skylar, hold on tight. I’m going to brake.”

“But there are cars behind us.”

“We have no choice. Don’t worry. I got this.” Mason pushed down on the brake forcefully. The car hydroplaned to the right. “Hold on.”

Skylar gripped the first thing her hand found. The water from the road jetted up into the air like in a water show, but the car kept gliding sideways, until finally it spun in a full circle and stopped. With no time to waste, Mason turned it to the right and accelerated, hoping to dodge what was coming toward them.

Out of nowhere, a long piece of ice, taking the form of a spear, darted through the trucks’ tires and punctured some of them. More ice spears came soaring out of the rain, but this time ten or more sphere-like ice balls followed, denting the sides of the trucks. One went through a windshield. With flat tires, the trucks now glided as if skating on ice, maneuvering from side to side.

“Did you do that?” Skylar asked excitedly.

“No. Must be Poseidon’s kids. Where the hell are they?” Mason spread his right arm out in front of Skylar as if to protect her. “Bend down, Sky.”

One of the trucks hit another and veered off, hitting yet another one. The crash caused the trucks to flip and tumble, heading straight for Mason’s car. With a look of shock, Skylar held her breath. There was no time to move, think, or get out of the car, so she closed her eyes and prepared for the crash.

Seconds before impact, Mason’s car flew up into the air and over the trucks. Somehow, as if by magic, the water created a liquid bridge, guiding the car safely over, and then it thumped hard onto the ground on the other side. Without looking back, Mason sped away as the sound of screeching brakes and metal hitting metal blasted behind them.
  

Mary TingAuthor Mary Ting

International Bestselling, Award-Winning, Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children's chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.  

Social Media Website Social Media Blog Social Media Facebook Social Media Twitter Social Media Pinterest Social Media Goodreads
    Blast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 6/13/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Just Claire by Jean Ann Williams {Blog Tour Review and Giveaway}


Genre: Fiction, Historical, Children's
Publisher: Clean Reads
Publication date: January 6, 2016
Number of pages: 208

ClaireLee’s life changes when she must take charge of her siblings after her mother becomes depressed from a difficult childbirth. Frightened by the way Mama sleeps too much and her crying spells during waking hours, ClaireLee just knows she’ll catch her illness like a cold or flu that hangs on through winter. ClaireLee finds comfort in the lies she tells herself and others in order to hide the truth about her erratic mother. Deciding she needs to re-invent herself, she sets out to impress a group of popular girls.
With her deception, ClaireLee weaves her way into the Lavender Girls Club, the most sophisticated girls in school. Though, her best friend Belinda will not be caught with the likes of such shallow puddles, ClaireLee ignores Belinda’s warnings the Lavenders cannot be 
​ trusted. ClaireLee drifts further from honesty, her friend, and a broken mother’s love, until one very public night at the yearly school awards ceremony. The spotlight is on her, and she finds her courage and faces the truth and then ClaireLee saves her mother’s life.

Book Trailer

Author Jean Ann Williams, the eldest in a large family, enjoys digging into her fascinating childhood to create stories for children. Having written over one hundred articles for children and adults, this is her first book. Jean Ann and her husband live on one acre where they raise a garden, goats, and chickens. Her favorite hobbies are hiking through the woods and practicing archery with her bow.
*I received a copy through Singing Librarian Tours in exchange for an honest review*
4.5 Stars

ClaireLee is thirteen years old and after a quick move to a new state for her father's new job and a traumatic birth of her baby brother, her world turns upside down. Her mother isn't the same and it's up to Claire to care for her younger siblings, run the household, keep her family together, go to school, and try and fit in with the Lavender girls and the locals. Being thirteen isn't easy, as.

I really enjoyed the way Claire is portrayed as a girl beyond her years in maturity, yet still possesses those childish impulses. Her coming-of-age is endearing and the lessons learned are mighty. Claire is very likable and it's easy to root for her along her path. I loved watching her gradually trusting those around her and found myself pitying her for her situation at times, especially when her parents with either too busy or too ignorant to do anything to ease her burdens. Her friendships were the heart of the story. Belinda reminded me of Peppermint Patty, from The Peanuts, as she's very brash, loud, and blunt, but is loyal to the core.

The flow of the story and the way the setting and characters are depicted felt very true to life in a small, transient, Northern California town in the 1960's. The pacing is gentle and realistic and I enjoyed every page.

Content: the characters are religious and often utter phrases from hymns or snippets of prayers; no language or romance; mild violent elements--not graphic, but some descriptions of blood and childbirth. Clean.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Proposals and Poison (A Wedding Planner Mystery #3) by Rachelle J. Christensen {Review}

Proposals and Poison (A Wedding Planner Mystery #3) by Rachelle J. Christensen
ebook270 pages
Published April 12th 2016 by Peachwood Press

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29081229-proposals-and-poison
Love can be a very dangerous thing.
At least it seems that way to Adri Pyper, the premier wedding planner in Sun Valley, Idaho. When one of her clients dies mysteriously, Adri takes the advice of the local detective and swears she will stay out of the investigation . . . this time. Luke Stetson's involvement in the case, along with the possibility of a kiss between the two, should be enough incentive to keep Adri out of trouble. But when a dog-themed wedding is almost ruined by a suspect, Adri and her assistant, Lorea, are thrust into private eye mode. When poison enters the picture, even a reluctant sleuth can’t steer clear of danger.
  

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My Review: 4 Stars
Each book can stand alone, but the reader will miss out on the relationship development between the main characters and her love interest if they're not read in order.
Adri is a great wedding planner in Sun Valley, Idaho. This book takes place in town and I love the quirky weddings and brides that show up throughout the story. Adri gets the couples married and Luke, her love interest, divorces them. As with the other stories in the series, a potential bride dies mysteriously and Adri finds herself semi-involved in the case, much to Luke's dismay.

Adri is a fun character. I love all the tips, crafts, and recipes that show up at the beginning of each chapter. She's a hardworking girl, determined to prove her worth in the business.She's friends with everyone. Luke is newer to town, but he's a great addition. He's smart and dedicated and I really enjoy getting to know his character bit by bit.

The build up of the chemistry between the two of them is really swoony, so of course I enjoyed that part of it. I also enjoyed the mystery elements. The way the mystery comes together is very entertaining and was hard for me to work out in my mind while reading it. I love it when that happens! This is a great series that always leaves me wondering what will happen next. There are a few loose ends that leave things open for future books, especially with characters and locations.

Content: no language or religious elements; mild romance (a few swoony kisses); mild violence (murders, attempted murders, etc--nothing graphic). Clean!

*I received a copy to review in exchange for my honest opinion*

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Buy Links:

http://amzn.to/1U7gKOj
 http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/proposals-and-poison-rachelle-christensen/1123506830?ean=9780692639702

About the Author:

Rachelle J. ChristensenRachelle J. Christensen was born and raised in a small farming town in Idaho. She graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in psychology.
She enjoys singing and songwriting, playing the piano, running, motivational speaking, and of course reading. Rachelle has an amazing husband, five cute kids, three cats, and dozens of chickens.

Visit www.rachellechristensen.com to learn more about upcoming books.