Thursday, August 31

Book Review: Love at First Bark by Dana Mentink

Author: Dana Mentink
Title: Love at First Bark (Love Unleashed)
Genre: Short Stories, Fiction, & Romance
Pages: ebook
Published: April 2017
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon freebie)

When Marcy Deveraux's romance series catapults to the top of the New York Times bestseller list, no one is more surprised than Marcy herself. After all, she barely passed high school, flunked the driving test four times, and fell into a pool at her sister's wedding.

Marcy is keen to continue her literary success, but she cannot think of a single idea for her next book. Hounded by her agent, family, and friends, she decides to sequester herself in a rustic cabin in the mountains. There, she finds herself face-to-snout with a surprise visitor—a rascally black dog who must have escaped from his owner at a nearby campground.

Enter hunky cowboy Jackson Parker, who runs the stables for the campground and helps Marcy survive the antics of the ill-behaved, zany dog. There's something tender and gentle about this man, who could easily grace the cover of any romance novel. Soon Jackson has Marcy rethinking her own beliefs about what heroes are really made of...and what God intends for her life.

It's cowboys, canines, and capers galore in this charming novella for animal lovers.

What a cute short story! 

The story follows Marcy who randomly wrote a novel and it became a big hit and now her publisher is begging for a next big hit. Marcy, feeling stressed, goes out to the wilderness to try and get some inspiration to write her next big hit. A little puppy stumbles into her life and shakes things up. 

Thanks to this little pup, Marcy is forced to meet the cowboy of her dreams and learn a little about herself and what will make her happy. 

It was certainly a cute tale. I felt bad for Marcy because writer's block is the worse, especially with a deadline breathing down your neck. 

The cowboy was a hunk for sure...but he was a little too perfect. 

The dog was a cutie. I can't wait to get a dog someday!

I do think this dragged on a little bit even if this was a short story. The ending took forever, but it was still a fun journey. 

In the end, I liked this short story because it was cute. I have said that word a lot I noticed, but it certainly was true. I want to read more by this author. Out of five stars, I'll give this 4 stars. 

Wednesday, August 30

Wednesday Writing Prompt #6

Happy Wednesday everyone! It's been a while since I've shared some of my writings from this writing prompt book. I'm really liking it. I highly recommend it. :) There is a 500 one that I bought for my friend...seems a little much for me...hard enough to do these 300. 

1) List a few phobias you have. When and how did you discover you had these fears?
- The dark: I am terrified of absolute darkness. I have always been afraid, so I am not sure how or when I discovered this.

- Spiders: I discovered this when I was about 12 and I was ordered by my parents to go into the attic. Yeah. I learned the truth behind the evil of spiders that day.

2) You are a children's book writer. Write the first few lines of your new book.
Once upon a time there was a kitten. She had been left alone and she was scared. However, she had hope she would find a family to love her. It would be the best the family in the land.

3) If you had been able to choose, would you rather have been an only child or part of a very large family?
I am currently a single child. I have always dreamed of having siblings. More people to love and share a childhood with.

4) If I looked into your fridge right now, what would I find?
Not a whole bunch. I really need to go shopping. There is a bunch of miscellaneous stuff that would really make a strange feast. 

Tuesday, August 29

Time for TV Tuesday: Salem (Season 1)

Recently Finished: 
Just finished watching season 1. It took me super long to finish this season. Why? It is a lot to take in. It really isn't a binge watching type of show. Two episodes is my max. Not because it is is intense. There is a lot to soak in and think about. In a way, I think it is extremely good. 

This is extremely historically inaccurate. But I do not think they were even trying. This is super paranormal so they just went nuts with the story and just made it entertaining. I took off my historical hat and put on my paranormal hat. Doing that made this show so much better. Yes, they do drop some real people's names, but don't let that fool you. For example, Mr. Hale is a witch from an ancient can't take it serious. The show does not at all claim to be going for historical accuracy here, so one has to pretend this is all a work of fiction. 

But yes...this is dark. Super dark. Mary is our main character. She is recruited to be a witch after a terrible blow when her lover, John, is sent away to fight in a war. She decides to become a witch to get her vengeance on the evil Puritans. Years go by and she has become wife to the head selectman in town and is starting her devilish plan. And like a bad love song, John comes back to shake things up. 

What I really loved about this show is the fact that there is no good or evil. Just different shades of grey. Where the witches really the evil ones? Yes and no. They did bad things, but also good things. Where the Puritans really the good ones? Yes and no. They did good things, but they did bad things. 

I think my favorite character was Isaac. Poor guy. Great actor for sure and I think he was the best written character on the show next to Mary. Mary is my second favorite so far. I did like Tituba, but she really did something bad and now I can't stand her. If I was Mary......mmm

I also REALLY love the concept that the witch trials in Salem was orchestrated by witches to kill innocents so they can attempt the dreaded Grand Rite and bring darkness to the land. Simply love it.

I can't wait to start season 2. Season 1 ended with a huge reveal which makes me hate Tituba more and feel even worse for Mary. She is just a pawn and it makes me sad. I can't say more. I need to get to my TV. 

Soooo this show is off to a great start. I recommend it so far. 

Monday, August 28

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe...

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise... 

My thoughts:
Wooo, finally :D I wanted to wait for the US pb  but could I could not stand it any longer.

I liked seeing Mercy on her own. It was a nice change for once, and yes sure I missed Adam and the pack. We still got Adam's pov as he searched for her. But yes it was nice seeing her do her own thing.

She gets kidnapped and then she escapes. All alone in Europe. Who to trust? We meet some new people, learn some new truths? Nah, not really. But she does it on her own because she is cool like that.

I do not have a lot to say. I mean it is book 10. It was a good one and I liked the new setting. I would actually have preferred more Mercy and less Adam, haha, well he was just trying to find her and she was exploring.

It did not take a long time to read,  mostly cos I wanted time to fly by, and I really wanted to finish it.

Another good Mercy book

I do not like the UK ones

Paperback, 371 pages
Published March 9th 2017 by Little, Brown Book Group
Mercy Thompson #10, Mercy Thompson World - Complete #14
Urban fantasy

Sunday, August 27

Book Review: I Still Love You by Jane Lark

Author: Jane Lark
Title: I Still Love You (Starting Out #1.5)
Genre: Romance & short stories
Pages: ebook
Published: April 30th 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon freebie)

Jason watched his new wife, Rachel, wishing he could make her laugh like she used to. She's making him up like a zombie for Halloween but she's the one acting like a zombie lately. This past year has been a rollercoaster ride for the young couple, but
now suddenly the ride's stopped and Jason isn't ready to get off. He wants his Rachel back, but seeing as his Rachel is hurting because she's sick, does it really even matter what he wants.

Rachel hates the sadness in her husband's eyes. It doesn't feel like he loves her anymore. But then who could love an emotional cripple like her? She's dragging him down, but
knowing it doesn't mean she can control her illness any more than he can

How does this always happen to me? I manage to pick up books that are not book 1. I was close this time...this was a short story that is a sequel. There is some back story that I am sure I missed, but the author does slowly fill the reader in so I didn't at all think this was a sequel. People can totally read this without the first book for sure. 

This was so very sad. However, I feel like it is very inspirational in a lot of ways. It really shows that marriage and love can make it through horrible, terrible events. 

Poor Rachel...poor Jason. The whole situation really stinks. Rachel had a mental snap (I am assuming in the first book) and is now taking mediciation to help get her back on track. Jason is trying to help her and keep his little family together. Rachel feels like she is just a burden and that Jason doesn't love her anymore. Jason is scared of losing Rachel to herself again and is exhausted. They really need to go to therapy and get it all out in the open, I think. But they decide to go to a party to just get out of the house for a little bit, which I think they should've just gone out to a fancy dinner and maybe a hotel for alone time. 

The big reveal had me angry. I wanted to throw my kindle. NOT because it was bad. I hated what the reveal was. That big ol' JERK! I can't really say what and who. But there is a jerk who is being a jerk and wants to rain on everyone's parade. I do want to continue and see Jason shove this jerk in the dirt and kick him. How dare this jerk! GAH! *picks up laptop and then thinks better of it and sets it back down* See? Just thinking about the jerk angers me. 

*does some research*

Ugh! There is a break in their story. Their story isn't until book 5. I may have to skip ahead and just read that one. Hahaha I am bad. ;)

In the end, this was a quick read, but it was a good read. It made me want to read the first book. I want to know more about Jason and Rachel before her illness. I want to know what happens next. This is totally recommended. Out of five, I'll give it 5. Nothing to complain about with this short story. 

Thursday, August 24

Book Review: Rae of Hope by WJ May

Author: WJ May
Title: Rae of Hope (The Chronicles of Kerrigan #1)
Genre: YA & Paranormal Romance
Pages: ebook
Published: Sept 2011
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon freebie)

How hard do you have to shake the family tree to find the truth about the past? 

Fifteen year-old Rae Kerrigan never really knew her family's history. Her mother and father died when she was young and it is only when she accepts a scholarship to the prestigious Guilder Boarding School in England that a mysterious family secret is revealed. 

Will the sins of the father be the sins of the daughter? 

As Rae struggles with new friends, a new school and a star-struck forbidden love, she must also face the ultimate challenge: receive a tattoo on her sixteenth birthday with specific powers that may bind her to an unspeakable darkness. It's up to Rae to undo the dark evil in her family's past and have a ray of hope for her future. 

Ugggghhhh another one bites the dust. Why is it so hard to find a good YA? And especially a YA mixed with Paranormal. I feel like they are a rare jewel and I have had limited success. I had a small bit of faith for this one, but

This is a mix between Harry Potter and Xmen. Rae is tossed into a world of people with superpowers all going to school to master their powers. Rae is a girl who was orphaned at a very young age and raised by her uncle and aunt. For some stupid reason, they don't tell her about her powers that would be coming when she turns 16 until she is 15 years and 10 months old. Like...really? SMH. Well - they still don't say anything. She is dropped off in this school and she is told by complete strangers. Because that all makes sense. 

The concept was interesting and I loved the whole tattoo and superpower idea. It was fun. I really just wanted to know what her power was so I kept reading and reading. It took forever and a half to find out.

Throughout this whole journey, I wanted to claw my eyes out The grammar was to be desired. The metaphors and similes made me want to hurl. The writing style was that of a 10-year-old girl. It reminded me of my early writings of my youth before I realized that you don't need to list every single thing that someone is wearing and spell out every single thought the main character is thinking. 

Speaking literally writing Rae's the middle of a paragraph or sentence the author would input some random thought that would pop into the character's mind. Why? It was not needed and it made the flow crappy especially at the beginning because I kept thinking she was SAYING these things out loud. Exhibit A:

"...sparklers. Cool trick! I gotta show Molls….oh wait…shoot. She didn’t know if Molly knew and the only way to find out would be to ask her. Hmmm… or maybe show her! Molly had been so nice to invite her here, and what if Molly didn’t get what the loser-dean had said and she heard it from someone when she got back from school"

The italicized parts are snip-bits of inner monologue of the main character. Sighs. 

Why did I keep going? I am not sure and I asked myself at the turn of every page and cringe-worthy moment. I think my main thing was that I wanted to find out more about her power and I oddly liked Molly. Don't ask me why, but I really liked her and her family. I think Molly deserves a story because there is a glimmer of hope in her. She was pretty 2D for the first half of the book, but there is something there. Too bad Rae is so self-centered and self-absorbed that she is stuck in her own world and doesn't care what other people think or feel. Sorry....I was not a fan of Rae. 

In the end, this was......something else. It was a good idea in theory, but the execution was poorly done. I felt like this was a 10-year-old's attempt to share an epic tale. I do not recommend this to anyone. I'll give this 1 star. 

Monday, August 21

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: Too Scot to Handle by Grace Burrowes

As a captain in the army, Colin MacHugh led men, fixed what was broken, and fought hard. Now that he's a titled gentleman, he's still fighting-this time to keep his bachelorhood safe from all the marriage-minded debutantes. Then he meets the intriguing Miss Anwen Windham, whose demure nature masks a bonfire waiting to roar to life. When she asks for his help to raise money for the local orphanage, he's happy to oblige.

Anwen is amazed at how quickly Lord Colin takes in hand a pack of rambunctious orphan boys. Amazed at how he actually listens to her ideas. Amazed at the thrill she gets from the rumble of his Scottish burr and the heat of his touch. But not everyone enjoys the success of an upstart. And Colin has enemies who will stop at nothing to ruin him and anybody he holds dear. 

My thoughts:
There are a lot of Windhams running around, and this series is about the Windham cousins. Sure people are mentioned but you do not need to have read about all those siblings finding love to enjoying this new series. Of course the more Windham the merrier and they are fun to read.

I liked Anwen. Not one thing wrong with her. A good head on her shoulder, sweet and she good with her orphans. 

Colin, well nothing wrong with Colin either. Two really nice people who fitted each other perfectly! And they knew it and they went for it.

Now I am not saying everything was trouble free. The orphanage that Anwen helps out with is in trouble. Money is needed and she wont leave them on the street.

But between that these two fall in love. There is some drama. There is this asshat. And then they live happily ever after.

I enjoyed it, and the next one looks to be really good. I am a sucker for a Duke book.


Kindle Edition, 385 pages
Expected publication: July 25th 2017 by Forever
Windham Brides #2
Historical romance

Saturday, August 19

Movie Review: A Cinderella Story (2004)

Film Title: A Cinderella Story
Length: 1 hr and 35 mins
Released: 2004
Genre: Comedy, Romance, & Family
Rating: PG
Where I Got It: Netflix

Routinely exploited by her wicked stepmother, the downtrodden Sam Montgomery is excited about the prospect of meeting her Internet beau at the school's Halloween dance.


This was a childhood favorite of mine and when it was added to Netflix I had no choice but to watch it and see if it is all that I remember. 

And it kind of does, but in some ways not so. 

The story follows Sam who loses her dad and is raised by her evil stepmother. Sam wants to get away and go to Princeton. She works her ass off at the diner to earn money and she studies away like a madman. During all this, she is talking to this boy on the computer who seems to be everything she ever dreamed of. Things happen and she finds out he is the most popular guy in High School and the Quarterback of the football team. Oh and yes...he is hot but he is secretly sensitive and wants to be a writer. Gag me. Sorry...even as a kid I thought he was too good to true. But yes...things happen and they finally end up together. Not a spoiler because this is a romance ;)

I remembering loving Hillary Duff in my youth, but after watching this again....she could not act. Okay, that is not fair...she is okay. Her voice is annoying now. She always sounds whiny and it grated on my nerves after a while. She should've just stuck with TV shows. 

I loved the step mother and the step sisters. They were hilarious. 

This is a cute film and I still liked it. It is a classic for me and it really does have a good message. Sure...look for true love, but it is not essential to better yourself. Do not rely on him (or her) to save you. Be true to yourself and happiness will follow. 

If you are looking for a sweet but meaningful little movie this is for you. I'll give this 3 stars. 

Friday, August 18

Book Review: A Fistful of Love by Om Swami

Author: Om Swami
Title: A Fistful of Love
Genre: Nonfiction, Humor, & Philosophy
Pages: ebook
Published: Feb 2016
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

Wisdom and Humour from a Monk's Bowl A man was sitting with his friends in a local inn. After a couple of drinks, he asked his friends, "Do you love me?" "Of course, we do," they replied. "So do you know what I need?" No one answered. "If you don't know what I need then how can you say you love me?" To love and to be loved is the most basic human need. No wonder we are attracted to people who give us attention, care about us, and love us. Yet, love also remains the greatest challenge in most relationships. Why? A Fistful of Love is a collection of insightful, thought-provoking nuggets of wisdom appreciated by millions around the world. This book is full of humour and narratives most beautifully woven into learnings of life that will make you stop and think. A must read. Om Swami is a mystic living in the Himalayan foothills. He has a bachelor's degree in business and an MBA from Sydney, Australia. Prior to renunciation, he founded and ran a multi-million dollar software company successfully. 

Not sure why but I really love books like this. I love looking at life through another's eyes. I love learning about other people's philosophy and view on life and everything in it. This was a no-brainer for me to pick up and read. 

I am so glad I read this. This was awesome and I loved it! Lots of wisdom, but it had humor too which made me really like the author. The author seems so wise but also so down-to-earth that the words on the page really struck a chord with me. 

I soaked this book up and all of the pages. The author was honest and made amazing points. Sure there were a couple of points where I had my own opinion and might not change my viewpoint, but it gave me a chance to see something different. 

I think the quote that really struck me was: 

"Life does not know what you want. It only sees what you do. And even if it could understand what you want from it, it is too unattached, too wise, to take you seriously. Have you ever noticed how a split second flies? This is the life we dearly hold, protect, cherish, and cling to for decades."

Life waits for no one.

The little anecdotes made the points really shine. Also, I really think the format and organization of the book made it better. 

In the end, this was a wonderful book. I really connected with this book on a lot of levels and just reading it gave me a sense of calm. The sprinkles of humor made this even better. In a way it symbolized how you should live your life....yes, take it seriously but you need to have some laughs and good stories too. Highly recommended. This gets the shiny 5 star stamp. 

Monday, August 14

Blodeuedd's Monday Review: The Strawberry Hearts Diner by Carolyn Brown

Being broke, unemployed, and stranded back in the tiny town of Pick, Texas, was not part of Jancy Wilson’s plan. Yet here she is, watching her car literally go up in smoke—along with her last-ditch hope of staying with her cousin in Louisiana. When Jancy spies a Help Wanted sign hanging in the window of the quaint Strawberry Hearts Diner, the memories of the two years she spent there as a teenager—and the lure of the diner’s beloved strawberry tarts—are enough to draw her in and plant her feet…but only temporarily.

Raised by parents who refused to settle anywhere for long, Jancy has never known what it is to have roots. Now that Jancy’s swept up by the warmth and character of this quirky little community—and by the pull of an old crush—it’s beginning to feel like home. She’s making friends and even discovering the sweetness of falling in love. But when the town is threatened, Jancy knows it will take more than its legendary tarts to save it. Can she fight for this little Texas town—knowing she might not stay forever?

My thoughts:
This book was all these tarts are awesome, the best ever and oh my I am drooling! I need to try those strawberry tarts. My mouth was watering through out the entire book.

Jancy has no one and then she gets stranded in her gran's hometown. Poor thing, she only meant to visit the grave and then she is there, no money, no car, nothing to her name. But this is a C Brown book and that means a lovely small town where people are friendly. She gets a job, she gets a place to sleep. There are some great people in this town. And Jancy is a nice woman, just unlucky in love and she has made mistakes because of that.

The diner is run by Nettie and Vicky. Two good women and one of them might find herself being sought after too ;) Then there is Vicky's daughter Emily with her own love story. But this is still Jancy's story and yes she finds romance too. Love and strawberry tarts all around.

Romance, friendship and good honest people. That is why I like Brown's books. The people and the towns they live in. Oh and that she always makes me want to eat or drink something that she mentions.


Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Expected publication: July 18th 2017 by Montlake Romance
Women's fic/contemporary romance

Sunday, August 13

Joint Discussion: Reported Missing by Sarah Wray

Happy August everyone!  Feels good to be back to discussing some books!

This month Blodeuedd and I read and discussed "Reported Missing".  Blodeuedd is in red and I am in blue. 
Author: Sarah Wray
Title: Reported Missing
Genre: Thriller & Mystery
Pages: ebook
First Published: July 2017
Where I Got It: Netgalley

Four months ago, Rebecca Pendle’s husband disappeared. So did 14-year-old Kayleigh Jackson.

Just a coincidence? Rebecca wants to believe so… But as the police start to draw parallels between Chris and Kayleigh, it’s getting harder for her to trust his innocence.

Faced with an angry town that believes Chris has abducted the teenager, Rebecca tries to discover the truth.

But what she finds shocks her more than she ever thought. How well does she really know the man she loves?

So we wanted to try a new genre or something. We had originally meant to read Gather the Daughters, and omg we could have discussed so much! Sorry Carole! But that did not work out and here we are thanks to netgalley.

Uggh! So sad I wasn’t able to get it :( Oh well..can’t win them all. However, I am kinda happy we were able to read this one.

Netgalley is a good source for books, and we did pick one we could discuss! Win! So what did you think?

I liked it overall. I was a little unsure as I was getting started but once more details and whatnot of the case(s) of the missing husband and girl was revealed I was hooked. You?

First, I liked that it was set in England, it’s just different from US counterparts. There is just something in the tone. Second,  I liked how we never knew things- Is the girl dead? Is the man dead? Did they run away separately? Did they run away together? Did he take her? Did Rebecka actually know something? So many what ifs

Yes and that is what made it good. So many many possibilities. I also really liked how unreliable Rebecca seemed even though I felt she was the most honest. Everyone else seemed to be holding something back. Especially Jeanie...I suspected her on SOMETHING. IDK what, but she was guilty of something. And btw...screw all the people in that town. JERKS!

I did always trust her. That she knew nothing, BUT, something doubts crept in, she was just sad sad and kept on drinking. She was so distraught. But most what ifs obviously came about the husband. I wanted to believe he had just left or something. Not that he was a phedophile.  Also YES omg those fuc*ing townpeople! It was not her fault. Omg it was not like she put him to like little kiddies, like if she was better looking or put out more he would have stayed. ALSO, we do not know if he did anything! Innocent until proven guilty asshats! I did hate how they looked at her like she was tainted.
As for Jeannie, no, did not wonder there. I...lost my point...wait a minute….SimoN! Yes I did give him the shifty eye a few times.

Yes, I really didn’t understand all the hatred. If anything they should’ve felt bad for her and pitied her. Jerks the lot of them. And yes, I had my doubts here and there about Reb. I think the author did that on purpose. Even though you KNOW she is innocent and miserable...there are some times when you have to give her the shifty eyes. I liked that. And yes Simon...he was a little suspect here and there.

I know that some do not like unreliable characters since there has been so many of them, But I did how the author made it here. It is not really that she is unreliable. It is more that we know nothing. Nothing at all. And the cops are sure not talking. So the entire book is her trying to know more. About the missing girl, about her husband. And I liked that since it made me question everything and everyone.

Yes. It was well done. Now, I did NOT like the ending and how everything came to light. I feel like it was too easy in a way. I’m not sure...but I didn’t like it. Did you?

I felt it was too sudden. I was seriously wondering if she was in a coma or something. It just felt like I missed something and then aha...ok good I guess? kind of just ended. I didn’t really expect the final answers. I had my guesses but I didn’t expect it. I wish we could say more without giving away any spoilers. LOL!!!

It did become clearer as we read on so yes I guessed it too, half of it at least..wink, since we can not say more. Alas spoilers. But all in all, made me mad, had me guessing. I guess it was a good book then.

Hahaha dang spoilers! But I agree. It was pretty good. Not amazing and the ending disappointed me. I loved the mystery and how everything was slowly revealed to us as the story went along. I do recommend it for those that like a good mystery.

The ending came too fast. It was more ok now I need an ending so I am gonna fast forward a bit. So that could have been done better. It was a confusing jump. But all in all good, and for those who like to keep on guessing then this is a good book for you.
And we tried something new, yay.

Yayy!! I am glad we read this. It was good to read a mystery. I really do love them.

I wonder what she should do next? I guess you turn since I did send you a bunch of Ng links this time

Good pick for our first discussion in a long time! I gotta make sure I pick a good follow up. Hahaha

And good that we kept it sort of short since baby woke up :)

Short and sweet. It’s hard to really get in depth about a mystery due to avoiding spoilers ;D Give baby some love. The end?

So true ):) The end


About the Authors
Carole and Blodeuedd have been blogging a long while now. The last couple of years the epic duo have been discussing books, watching movies, and even wetting the pen and sharing their stories with the worldwide web. They both love cats, chocolate, and a good story.