Archive | September 2017

Review: Sweet Potatoes: Roasted, Loaded, Fried, and Made Into Pie

Title: Sweet Potatoes: Roasted, Loaded, Fried and Made Into Pie

Author: Mary-Frances Heck

Date of Publication: September 5th, 2017

image1 (1)

Summary:

60 next-level sweet potato recipes that call on new techniques and bold flavors–like chilies, coconut milk, and chocolate–for flavorful takes on this delicious superfood.

My Review:

Let me just say… I had no idea sweet potatoes could be made into so many things. I have literally had a sweet potato casserole (which is gross) and sweet potato fries (which are good).

giphy (1)

Photo Credit

I actually like how diverse a sweet potato is, which I just found out from this book! Do you want a stew? Let me give you some sweet potatoes. You want a casserole? Let me give you some sweet potatoes. You want a soup? Let me give you some sweet potatoes! You want ice cream? Let me give you some sweet potatoes! You want enchiladas? Let me give you some freaking sweet potatoes! Anyway, you get the idea.

The author put this book together extremely well with beautiful pictures that makes me want to try every single one of these recipes—more on the curious factor of wondering what all these different sweet potato things taste like! Overall, I found this interesting and a learning tool on something I had no idea about!!!

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

name-tag2

Do you like Sweet Potatoes?

Review: The Hollow Girl

Title: The Hollow Girl

Author: Hillary Monahan

Date of Publication: October 10th, 2017

Goodreads Summary:

Five boys attacked her.
Now they must repay her with their blood and flesh.

Bethan is the apprentice to a green healer named Drina in a clan of Welsh Romanies. Her life is happy and ordered and modest, as required by Roma custom, except for one thing: Silas, the son of the chieftain, has been secretly harassing her.

One night, Silas and his friends brutally assault Bethan and a half-Roma friend, Martyn. As empty and hopeless as she feels from the attack, she asks Drina to bring Martyn back from death’s door. “There is always a price for this kind of magic,” Drina warns. The way to save him is gruesome. Bethan must collect grisly pieces to fuel the spell: an ear, some hair, an eye, a nose, and fingers.

She gives the boys who assaulted her a chance to come forward and apologize. And when they don’t, she knows exactly where to collect her ingredients to save Martyn.

My Review:

This book is one of my favorite reads this year! It was dark, different, and had revenge. It wasn’t just about revenge though, it had a great daughter/grandmother bond, potential love bond, emotional pulls, and doing something to save someone that deserves to be saved no matter how heinous it might be.

The revenge stuff was pretty awesome! It gave me vibes from Creepshow 2 (the one with the native american wooden statue), Last House on the Left (not the crappy remake), and I spit on your grave, but the thing was it was done with a purpose here.

giphy

Photo Credit

Loved the interactions between Martyn and Bethan, they were incredibly sweet. The five boys who Bethan goes to get her ingredients from, were all douche bags, so I didn’t feel sorry for them one bit.

giphy (1)

Photo Credit

I really loved the writing in this one, too. It pulled me in, and I could feel Bethan’s hard journey every step of the way, and the ending was perfect!

Note* There is a lot of violence in this, but I feel like it’s incredibly purposeful with the story

name-tag2

How does this book sound to you?

Saven Series: Bookstagram Blitz + Giveaway

Saven Series Box Set banner
This is my stop during the bookstagram blitz for Saven Series Box Set by Siobhan Davis. This bookstagram blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. This bookstagram blitz runs from 26 September till 2 October. See the tour schedule here.

The Saven box set including all 5 books in this series will be discounted for a limited time to only $0.99! That’s only $0.99 for 1,300 pages of heart-stopping adventure, intriguing mystery, and swoony romance. You can buy your copy on Amazon.

Saven Series Box SetSaven Series Box Set (Saven #1-5)
by Siobhan Davis
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 26 September, 2017

Blurb:
A girl with a hidden past. An alien prince. Their unlikely attraction could save two worlds… or doom them all…

Sadie Owens desperately needed a do-over. When she’s chosen for a six-month residency in a government-run undersea city, she willingly drops everything to participate. After all, the experiment could be a huge step forward for her overcrowded planet and her life. She also doesn’t mind living next door to a hot alien with ocean-blue eyes…

Logan Chandler has kept a lot of secrets for his species. If humans knew the real reason the Saven were on Earth, then their coexistence would be anything but peaceful. But he can’t help falling for the different and beautiful Sadie. Unfortunately, protecting the girl of his destiny could destroy his own kind…

As Logan gives Sadie mixed signals, the mystery of the Saven starts to unravel.

When she finally understands what’s at stake, is it too late for Sadie to save her heart and the human race?

Saven-Disclosure-Graphic-2

You can find the Saven Series Box Set on Goodreads

You can buy the Saven Series Box Set for only $0.99 on Amazon

Saven-Denial-teaser-Sadie

SiobhanAbout the Author:
USA Today bestselling author Siobhan Davis writes emotionally intense young adult and new adult fiction with swoon-worthy romance, complex characters, and tons of unexpected plot twists and turns that will have you flipping the pages beyond bedtime! She is the author of the international bestselling True Calling, Saven, and Kennedy Boys series.

Siobhan’s family will tell you she’s a little bit obsessive when it comes to reading and writing, and they aren’t wrong. She can rarely be found without her trusty Kindle, a paperback book, or her laptop somewhere close at hand.

Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Siobhan forged a successful corporate career in human resource management.

She resides in the Garden County of Ireland with her husband and two sons.

You can find and contact Siobhan here:
Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Google +
Instagram
Goodreads
Amazon
Bookbub
Newsletter

Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the bookstagram blitz for the Saven Series Box Set. There will be two winners. One winner will win a signed copy of Saven Deception and one winner will win a $10 Amazon gift card. Open international.

To enter this giveaway you need to make a picture of the book Saven Series Box Set by Siobhan Davis and post it on social media with the hashtag #SavenSeriesGiveaway.

name-tag2

Review: The Wicked Will Rise

Title: The Wicked Will Rise

Author: Danielle Paige

Date of Publication: March 31st, 2015

21436068_119370428725354_8708649197458423808_n

Goodreads Summary:

In this dark, high-octane sequel to the New York Timesbestselling Dorothy Must Die, Amy Gumm must do everything in her power to kill Dorothy and free Oz.

To make Oz a free land again, Amy Gumm was given a mission: remove the Tin Woodman’s heart, steal the Scarecrow’s brain, take the Lion’s courage, and then Dorothy must die…

But Dorothy still lives. Now the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked has vanished, and mysterious Princess Ozma might be Amy’s only ally. As Amy learns the truth about her mission, she realizes that she’s only just scratched the surface of Oz’s past—and that Kansas, the home she couldn’t wait to leave behind, may also be in danger. In a place where the line between good and evil shifts with just a strong gust of wind, who can Amy trust—and who is really Wicked?

My Review:

I wasn’t sure how the sequel was going to be, since I really enjoyed the first book! But… it lived up to being a great second book! Amy is also growing as a character and discovering more things about herself, her power, and Oz.

Again, this book was awesomely dark mixed with humor, which was the perfect combo. There was one absolutely sad part at the beginning where I wanted to punch the Cowardly Lion in the face. I will say that he may or may not get what he deserves.

giphy

Photo Credit

I never knew which way Amy might go in, because there seems to be a darkness growing in her when her emotions truly come out. So, I can’t wait to see how she handles this problem in the next book.

Ozma is still a basket case at the moment, Pete I loved/hated him, and Knox was great! We are also introduced to Polychrome and Bright, which I read their novella already, and they are interesting characters to say the least. Book 2 does end on a cliffhanger where I have to know what is going on!

 

name-tag2

Have you started this series?

Review: Wild Beauty

Title: Wild Beauty

Author: Anna-Marie McLemore

Date of Publication: October 3rd, 2017

33158561

Goodreads Summary:

Love grows such strange things.

For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.

The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.

My Review:

First, let me complement the writer’s beautiful and fabulous writing! But, I don’t know man. Sometimes the stuff got a little too abstract for me, and I wasn’t sure what was going on.

I didn’t really connect to the story or the characters as much as I would have liked to either. There was a whole lot of flower talk and the girls all had flower names, which if you like flowers that’s a plus.

giphy

Photo Credit

When Fel came in to the picture early on, things got very interesting, but then it quickly faded for me. Again, this probably just didn’t work for me because a lot of times with overly descriptive writing, I just wanted the story to move along a little faster. I am most likely the odd one out on this one.

name-tag2

How does this book sound to you?

Halloween Women’s Costume Rant!

I freaking love Halloween. But seriously… the last freaking however many years it has been now sucks ball sack trying to find a women’s adult costume without it being some “sexy” AKA trashy costume. I posted the other day on my Facebook page about the stupid Chucky costume that doesn’t ever seem to go away. Where the crap are the real overalls?

098bb606-a207-48f2-abdd-ec0589b4a623_1.fa468d7a12b88dcf71d6658ba42cefed

If I want to be Freddy effing Kruegar, I want to be scary AF, not whatever the heck is going on here!!! It’s bull freaking corn!

sexy-freddy-krueger

This year my goal is Pinocchio, My choices are… crappy or corny… I mean why do they have to add a skirt???? Pinochhio is not a female!!! They take these guy characters and freaking put a dress on them which is dumb as dirt! If only I could sew! Also, I attempted to look for a black vest, apparently those don’t exist these days.

 

I don’t even have words for this one, except it’s pretty skeevy and sick to sexify child characters. I am usually all about do whatever the heck you want, because obviously the Freddy Kruegar one is a grown charcter, but the Harry Potter stuff, Disney characters, etc. is just gross.

854cdb7186e538afe24475ff085e0c94

 

I get it okay, sometimes people just want to be “hot”, which I find the original Harley Quinn costume to be completely still sexy even with being completely covered up , but then you get this one on the right that screwed it up—yet again!

 

No words…. No words…

I could sit here and post crappy costume pictures all day, but you get the idea. If I want to be Michael Myers from Halloween, I want the Onesey with the face mask and a fake knife in my hand, not a short dress while licking a knife that makes zero sense and does absolutely nothing for the iconic character.

fe8aac6448edb9b5566830eb7e4870a1--sexy-adult-costumes-woman-costumes

I hate you costume makers!

 

name-tag2

Are you dressing up this Halloween? If so, as what?

Movie Review: Little Mermaid (Not Disney!)

MV5BNjQ0NTg0MzY5NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTgxOTU2NzE@._V1_SY1000_SX675_AL_

IMDB Summary: 

Based off of the tale by Hans Christian Andersen, Little Mermaid tells the story of a young mermaid leaving the sea for a human she thinks that she knows. Everything isn’t as it seemed and she must face the harsh realities of the world.

 

 

My Review:

I found this movie on Amazon Prime under popular movies, and first let me say why would they make the cover look like that? I’m sure kids are clicking this movie left and right on there, and they should not be!

Anyway, this movie was interesting… The movie literally felt like it was shot with someone’s home camera, which it probably was. I wasn’t ever sure what was going on with the main girls hair… this is a good pic, I couldn’t find a bad one, but it was very caveman the whole time!

wlpmw-2WA3XYY7J2M-Full-Image_GalleryBackground-en-US-1479495881609._RI_SX940_

Photo Credit

I was also confused at the beginning of the movie on how she came out of a pool if she was changed in the ocean from mermaid to human. I thought for a second maybe this is Lady in the Water? (Which I love that movie)

Also the first guy she meets, which I guess was a guy she saved before in the ocean from the brief flash of a clip they showed, she sleeps with him right away—even though he is a jerk face to her. Then some waitress sees how he is treating her at cafe, and lets her come stay with her. That was kind of odd: just inviting some girl you don’t know to stay at your apartment while you are going to be gone for two days.

Enter pervy roommate who sees her dancing topless and takes a pic from behind, because well… he’s a photographer, so it’s all okay. I forgot to mention, in between those two scenes, she gets a job as a stripper. Yes, you heard it—Little Mermaid is a stripper.

Then she just slept with that jerk the first day, and she is already making out with this guy and getting down to business, even though they haven’t had any real getting to know each other moments because she has no voice. But they still fall in love after like a day.

The Sea Witch comes to town with her head shaved on the side (I guess trying to be part of the whole “fashion” trend that was popular a few years back). She does some crappy stuff, a couple characters do some idiotic things, and you’ll have to see how it ends. Also the acting was very stiff, so not sure what was going on there. Even though all this stuff was pretty ridiculous, I actually kind of liked it!

name-tag2

What do you think of a mermaid turned stripper?

Movie Review: Ex Machina

MV5BMTUxNzc0OTIxMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDI3NzU2NDE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_

 

IMDB Summary:

A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking humanoid A.I.

 

 

My Review:

I had been wanting to see this movie for a while, and when I saw it hanging out in the $3.74 bin at Wal-mart, my husband snatched it!

What I liked best about this movie was the special effects, especially with Ava’s character. Next, I was all about the atmosphere in this one. Caleb heads to a secluded island to participate in this experiment with Ava, and he gets more than was planned.

I thought the bond between Ava and Caleb was well done, and I loved their moments when they would talk to each other through the glass. Another character—Nathan—is also on the island, and he is the creator of Ava. Most of the time I wanted to punch him in the face with his cocky, drunk, and weird attitude.

Throughout the movie, I was never sure whether to trust Ava or trust Caleb or trust neither. There were a couple of things I knew that were going to be revealed, but I wasn’t for sure until they happened. The movie ended on a point that left me with a feeling of not sure if I hated it or loved it, which makes me think it was awesome. I definitely recommend watching this one!

name-tag2

Have you seen this movie?

Review: Tower of Dawn

Title: Tower of Dawn

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Date of Publication: September 5th, 2017

image1

Goodreads Summary:

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent’s mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

My Review:

I have never been a fan of Chaol since day one. However, I did love the friendship bond between him and Celaena in the first book. But, I already knew up front I would love Sarah’s writing because I always do—I just wasn’t sure if I would be able to fall in love with this character since I hadn’t yet. But… I did!

Chaol’s journey had ups and downs, and there were dark reminders of his past that still tortured him. But that’s the thing… we sometimes make mistakes or make choices that you don’t know how it’s going to affect the people around you, even if you thought the choice was right to begin with.

giphy

Photo Credit

The struggle with Chaol after his accident and trying to walk again was haunting to read, because it felt real. Maas did an excellent job of depicting disability in this book, of a person’s struggle inside there own head trying to walk again or with the idea of it may not happening.

I fell in love with the other characters, Yrene, Nezryn, and Sartaq, as well as some of the other side characters. There were some parts in this book where some serious stuff went down, and I actually got pretty worried during some of the action scenes. A lot of this book didn’t go the way I assumed it would, and in fact it went in an even better direction. I can’t believe I have to wait a whole year for the next book!

name-tag2

Have you started this series?

The Divinity Bureau: Author Interview + Excerpt

Title: The Divinity Bureau

Author: Tessa Clare

Date of Publication: September 21st, 2017

35262019

Summary:

The Hunger Games meets Romeo and Juliet in a stunning debut about a forbidden romance between a young activist and a government employee for a corrupt bureau that controls the population by deciding who lives and who dies.

Roman Irvine is a disgruntled IT Technician for the Divinity Bureau, a government agency that uses random selection to decide who lives and who dies. In a world where overpopulation has lead to pollution, a crippled economy, and a world in crisis, he’s accepted the bureau’s activities as a necessity… until he meets April McIntyre.

April has every reason to be suspicious of Roman. He works for the Divinity Bureau, which sent her father to an early grave. But he’s also sweet and loyal, and unbeknownst to her, he saved her life. As Roman and April fall deeper in love, the deeper they’re thrust into the politics of deciding who lives and who dies. Someone wants April dead. And the bureau’s process of random selection may not be so random after all…

 

THE DIVINITY BUREAU – Excerpt

I take the elevator to the third floor, where April’s bedroom is. There are only two rooms on that floor, and April’s room is the one with a door that’s been slammed shut. I give it a knock. “April?”

No answer. I try again.

“April, it’s Roman.”

My only response is silence.

“Listen, I know you’re upset. I know you probably don’t want to talk about it right now…” I pause, listening for a sound from the other side of the door. “But I was hoping that I could change your mind. Or at least get you to talk to me.”

I wait for a response, but none comes.

“Could you at least open the door?”

The door doesn’t bulge. I sigh and slide to the floor. I’m ready to give up when I hear a voice from the other side of the door: “Can you answer one question for me?”

I press my ears against the door, afraid that I might miss something if I stop paying attention for a split second. “Of course,” I answer softly.

April’s voice is so soft that it sounds like a whisper. “Why didn’t you do anything to stop it?”

My mouth falls open. “What?”

“You heard me,” April says, her voice growing louder with newfound determination. “Why didn’t you stop my mother from being elected?”

I press my forehead against the door, wincing at her words.

“You work for The Divinity Bureau,” April continues on. “You have a part in deciding who lives and who dies.”

“April, there wasn’t anything that I could do to stop it.”

“You could have tried,” she hisses.

I don’t know what to say.‘She’s hurting,’ I tell myself. People say awful things when they’re upset. Still, my reasoning doesn’t heal the sting from her words.

“Trust me,” I say, pressing my brows together. “I never wanted this to happen. The last thing I ever wanted was for you – or your family – to get hurt.”

“It’s not just about my family.”

“Then what is this about?” I ask, my voice growing desperate. “Please – tell me, what do I need to do to make this better?”

“How many people have died since you started working for the bureau?”

I’m taken aback by her question. “I…”

I don’t know what to say.

Unfortunately, my silence is the only answer that April needs. “I knew it.”

“Knew what?”

“You sit behind a computer all day,” April says bitterly. “You see a name on your screen – not realizing that this is a person with a life, a family, hopes, and dreams. Then you destroy that life by electing them to die!”

Her words hurt. I wish she’d open the damn door so that she could see.

“I get it,” she continues. “There’s only so much you can do. But once the day is over, you go home, collect a paycheck, and forget about it. That’s what I can’t seem to understand.”

I slam a fist against the door. “It’s not like that! Trust me, April, there is so much that you don’t know – things that I want to tell you…”

I want to tell her everything: the election report, seeing her name on the list, coming to her work, the ruined hack job on her father’s computer, and the research that I had done on her family. I let out a breath. “I’ll tell you everything if you’ll please open the door.”

I press an ear against the door, not caring if I fall over. But I never do.

The last thing I hear from April is a solid, “No.”

 

Purchase Now: AmazonBarnes & Noble 

Add to Goodreads

 

Author Interview:

What inspired you to write The Divinity Bureau?

It’s a crazy story! When I was nineteen years old, I was in an unfortunate situation where I was homeless and living in my car. I remember thinking, “There’s no room for me in this world” and just blaming everything I could for my situation, including overpopulation.

During that time, I was also spending a lot of time in the library. The place was the perfect place to be during that period in my life. It was open late, it had heat, but most importantly, it had books to keep me entertained. I was reading a lot of dystopian books. I had also just watched An Inconvenient Truth. On top of that, I’m a hopeless romantic at heart. All of those elements came together to form The Divinity Bureau.

Who is your favorite character in the book and why?

My favorite character is April. Interestingly enough, I had a tough time connecting with her at first. When I started writing The Divinity Bureau, I would skim over writing her parts. She’s the daughter of a wealthy politician, so she’s a brat at times. I also couldn’t relate to some of the problems that she faces throughout the novel.

To make her more relatable to me, I created the storyline of her being cut off from her trust fund. I also gave her a job as a barista, because that’s the job that I was working at the time. And as I started writing more of her scenes, I began to see more of myself in her – from her stubbornness to her innate desire to make an impact on the world. So far, the feedback I’ve gotten is that people like Roman more; but April will always have a special spot in my heart.

What made you want to become a writer?

I started writing when I was seven. I think it’s just something that I was born with. I even attempted to write my first chapter book when I was nine! (I made it to three chapters)

I think I was just born with an expressive personality, and writing is my way of making sense of the world.

What book are you currently reading?

Your book, actually! Just started reading The Bride of Glass!

How many books do you plan to have in this series?

Roman and April’s story is going to be a trilogy, but I’ve had a couple of ideas swirling around for prequels. The world of The Divinity Bureau has so much history, and I’d love to explore the stories behind them.

Do you have a favorite scene in the book?

My favorite scene is Roman and April’s first fight as a couple. I don’t want to spoil it by giving away the reason for it, but April asks Roman how many people have died since he started working for the bureau. At first, he’s flabbergasted. He doesn’t know because he’s never thought about it. To him, it’s a job. He does his work and collects a paycheck at the end of the day, not thinking about the implications of his work. But people die under his watch. And you can see his mindset shift in that moment and throughout the rest of the story.

What challenges do you face while writing?

I think the biggest challenge is not letting life get in the way of my dreams. I mentioned earlier that I was living in my car when I started writing this story, but I soon began to move up in my career. By the time I was 23, I was promoted to a corporate manager. But I always came back to writing – it was my dream since I was a kid to write a novel, and I didn’t want to leave that behind.

Still, it was challenging when I’d watch people my age spend their weekends at the bar while I was holed up in my apartment working on this book. They’d come back and tell me these crazy stories that I missed out on, and I felt like I was missing out. When the book was done and I finally had time to come out with them, I started to realize that those nights, while fun, didn’t compare to the feeling of accomplishment after a period of hard work.

Favorite color.

Black. Half of my closet is black. If I could, I’d probably even make my book covers black!

What advice do you have for future writers?

As cliché as this might sound, the best advice is to keep writing and to follow your dreams. I listened to Gary Vaynerchuk give a talk about what it means to become an “overnight success.” When he started making it big, he would have friends email him and tell him that he got lucky and became an overnight success. But he spent every weekend from the time he was fifteen until he was thirty honing his craft. And I think writers need to do the same. We hear these stories about new authors debuting on the New York Times Bestseller list and think about how we’ll never get there – but there are two factors here: 1) you don’t need a movie deal and to be on the bestseller list to be a success. I have a friend with an email list of 10,000 subscribers who makes her living writing romance novels. And 2) “overnight success” doesn’t happen overnight. You still have to keep working on your craft, working on your marketing, and learn and grow along the way.

What do you like about dystopian books?

Honestly, the world is constantly evolving. New technology comes out every day. New trends emerge. Cultures shift. All of these things have an impact on the world. What I like about dystopian books is the way authors interpret the things happening today and the impact that they might have in the future – whether it’s the discovery of immortality (as in The Divinity Bureau) or an atomic war (such as in 1984).

16900628

About Tessa:

Tessa Clare is the author of The Divinity Bureau. When she’s not writing, she’s an entrepreneur, an activist, a speaker, and the Managing Director of Asset Creative House.

Born in 1992, she started her early career as a concession stand attendant, a busgirl, a barista, a player’s club representative for a casino, and an administrative assistant. She also spent years working as a corporate manager, where the groundwork for Asset Creative House was inspired.

The Divinity Bureau is Tessa’s debut novel about a forbidden love between a young activist and a government employee working for a corrupt bureau, set in a dystopian world.

Link (including Buy links): www.divinitybureau.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tessaclareofficial/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tessaclareauthor/

 

name-tag2

How does this book sound to you?