Friday, May 31

Book Review: Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock

Me & Emma
Author:  Elizabeth Flock 
Title: Me & Emma
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 296 
Published:  2005
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by a friend)

8-year-old Carrie, the raven-haired narrator, is timid and introverted, while her little sister Emma is a tow-headed powerhouse with no sense of fear. The girls live in a terrible situation: they depend on an unstable mother that has never recovered from her husband's murder, their stepfather beats them regularly, and they must forage on their own for food.

This was a random pick up. At first, I thought my friend was just loaning it to me, but she had an extra copy and she figured I'd want to try this. Why not!

The story follows Carrie who is 8 years old. She is timid and shy and just trying to make it through her life. Her father was killed and her mother never really recovered and is taken advantage of a lunatic and marries him. The man is a monster...abuses them and more. The only way Carrie is making is because of her sister, Emma. 

Poor Carrie and Emma. Poor mom. Yes, I want to be mad at the mom for bringing a monster into the house, but she is blinded by love and she is unstable herself. The man is a true monster and has taken advantage of her. Such a sad story all around.
Even amongst the sadness, we get to see some happy times. Emma and Carrie being kids and trying to make the best out of it. It was nice to see happy times too. Doesn't erase the bad things happening to them.  How can no one else see this?????

Kids suck though. Grrr. So mean. Kids are bullies and I just wanted them to move away to give Carrie another chance. A fresh start. 

Now, there is a big twist near the end that didn't shock me...but shocked me at the same time. I guessed at it, but I didn't want to believe it. Alas...I was right and I cried. Yes, yes, I cried at the reveal. I am going to spoil it. SO BE WARNED!

*SPOILER START* I am so upset, but it all makes sense. Emma was not real. Carrie's mind created this imaginary sister to cope after seeing her father be murdered. The whole town was in on it. They were told that they had to pretend Emma was real to keep Carrie from going insane. The mom was pissed because it wasn't working. But listen here, WOMAN. The reason why Emma got more and more real was because Carrie was being abused by the man YOU brought in. Yes, you were taken advantage of, but get it through your thick is partially your fault Emma took on a life of her own. Carrie needed her to survive the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse that MONSTER inflicted upon her. *END OF SPOILER*

There are subtle clues and hints, but your mind doesn't want to believe it. So shocking but not in a normal sense for me. But it really made the story at the end there. 

Overall, I really liked this story. It was quick but very profound at the same time. It is very, very dark, but there is some light there too. I highly recommend it for sure. I'll give this 5 stars. 

Tuesday, May 28

TMST: Favorite Authors

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings where Rainy discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

I have sooo many different authors I adore. I'll just name a few just to save space and time!

Jane Austen
Jane Austen
Kate Quinn
Kate Quinn
Tricia O'Malley
Tricia O'Malley

J.R.R. Tolkien
J.R.R. Tolkien
Lauren Willig
Lauren Willig
Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe

Sandra Schwab
Sandra Schwab
Haruki Murakami
Haruki Murakami
Cecy Robson
Cecy Robson

Courtney Milan
Courtney Milan
Hannah Fielding
Hannah Fielding

Monday, May 27

B's Monday Review: The Summer Cottage by Viola Shipman

Narrated by: Tanya Eby
Length: 8 hrs and 56 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 04-23-19
Language: English
Publisher: Harlequin Audio
Womens fic
To review

My Thoughts
I remember seeing something about 50+ people finding love, and no, this is not a romance, but maybe she finds love (she totally does!). And it felt nice to see someone mature find love too.

Adie Lou has been through a divorce (her hubbie left her for a college student, that asshat!). And even though she has a well paid job, she wants more. She wants something new. She is tired of her jo, tired of seeing men pass her for promotions. She needs to find herself again.

So she decides to make her grandparents summer cottage into a b&b. Of course I at once thought of a Finnish one and was all how?!? But it seems this one has over 8 bedrooms, so that is bloody palace. But it will not be easy. She knows nothing about that kind of life. There is so much work to be done. She has doubts. She finds friends, and yes she does get a chance of some romance too.

I do confess that it is really cheesy sweet. Everything works out and there are quotes everywhere. I would brand it Hallmark feel good book. Make this a Hallmark movie and it would fit right in. And I liked that, the sweet, the hopeful tone of the book.

I have listened to Tanya Eby before, and I do like her voice. She also fitted very well for this role and this sort of story. It was enjoyable listening to her and I find her different voices well done.

Adie Lou Kruger’s ex never understood her affection for what her parents called their Cozy Cottage, the charming, ramshackle summer home - complete with its own set of rules for relaxing - that she’s inherited on Lake Michigan. But despite the fact she’s facing a broken marriage and empty nest and that middle age is looming in the distance, memories of happy childhoods on the beach give her reason for hope. She’s determined not to let her husband’s affair with a grad student reduce her to a cliché or to waste one more minute in a career she doesn’t love, so it becomes clear what Adie Lou must do: rebuild her life and restore her cottage shingle by shingle, on her terms.
But converting the beloved, weather-beaten structure into a bed-and-breakfast isn’t quite the efficient home-reno experience she’s seen on TV. Pushback from Saugatuck’s contentious preservation society, costly surprises, and demanding guests were not part of the plan. But as the cottage comes back to life, Adie Lou does, too, finding support in unexpected places and a new love story on the horizon.
One cottage rule at a time, Adie Lou reclaims her own strength, history, and joy by rediscovering the magic in every sunset and sandcastle.

Sunday, May 26

Audiobook Review: Spell of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning

Spell of the Highlander (Highlander, #7)Author: Karen Marie Moning 
Narrator: Phil Gigante
Title: Spell of the Highlander
(Highlander #7)
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, SciFi, Contemporary
Pages: Audiobook
Published: August 30th 2005
Where I Got It: My shelf (Audible)

It's taken him eleven centuries to find the right woman. He's not about to lose her now.

Jessi St. James has GOT to get a life. Too many hours studying ancient artifacts has given the archaeology student a bad case of sex on the brain. So she figures she must be dreaming when she spies a gorgeous half-naked man staring out at her from inside the glass of an ancient mirror. But when a split-second decision saves her from a terrifying attempt on her life, Jessi suddenly finds herself confronting six and a half feet of smoldering INSATIABLE alpha male.

Heir to the arcane magic of his Druid ancestors, Cian MacKeltar was trapped inside the Dark Glass eleven centuries ago. And when the Dark Glass is stolen, an ancient enemy will stop at nothing to reclaim it. For Jessi, the sex god in the mirror is not only tantalizingly real, he's offering his protection—from exactly what, Jessi doesn't know. And all he wants in exchange is the exquisite pleasure of sharing her bed.... 

Been meaning to read this for a while. I honestly forgot about the series until this popped up when I was looking for an Audio to buy with my free credit. Why not? I've been delaying reading the rest of the series for a bit now. 

The story follows Cian who was tricked and trapped inside of the Dark Glass for eleven centuries. Eee gags. Finally, the glass is stolen and pretty much dropped on Jessi's lap. His only hope. Jessi is working herself to the bone to graduate and really has zero life. Well...a whole bunch of life is landed in her lap and she has to help Cian or she might die. Oh dear. 

Now, I would for sure read the three before this. There are some major references here that would be a touch confusing. You would be fine after a while, but I can see some head-scratching especially near the end when some old characters come and join the story. 

At first, I liked the cover a lot. But then it annoyed me because the girl looks nothing like the main character Jessi. Jessi has short, black hair. This chick on the cover has long and light hair. Grrr. 

Now...the story was exciting. I had zero idea of how this was going to end. WELL. I know they were to have an HEA....but HOW and WHEN? It seemed so impossible. I felt so bad for Cian. I can't imagine the hellish existence. Sure he is able to come out of the mirror for little bouts of time IF someone summons him. And sure he can see outside the mirror. But gah! I am surprised the man didn't go insane. Jessi for realz needed a life. I get wanting to graduate and etc...but lord 4 hours a sleep a day and that is on a good day???? 

The characters were okay. They did get better at the end there, but at first, they were soooo boring and didn't really have a personality. By the end, I adored them. But it was a rough road at first. I especially got SO annoyed with Jessi. WE GET IT! YOU HAVE BIG BOOBS! Stop mentioning it! GAH! *grumbles* And Cian? Be more of a horny monster you big oaf! Yes, yes, I get you haven't done the deed in eleven centuries and you haven't been in polite society in a while. But the first words are you trying to mind control Jessi to take off her top? SMH. Men. Barbaric oaf. BUUUUT like I said...I grew to adore him when he was able to calm down and realize he can't be like that. 

ooooOOOoooo that ending was SOOOO good. I am SO curious to see what the Fae Queen has up her sleeves next. ^_^

The narrator was fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loved the sound effects. I loved his accents and voice changes especially when Cian was behind the mirror. So cool. He was neat and I want to listen to more by him. 

In the end, I did like this. Cian and Jessi were rough to love at first, but I grew to like them. The narrator was fantastic!!!! Darn that cover though! I wish it actually looked like Jessi. I'll give this 3 stars. 


Saturday, May 25

Movie Review: Shin Godzilla (2016)

Shin Godzilla PosterFilm Title: Shin Godzilla
Length:  2 hr and 4 min
Released:  29 July 2016 
Genre:   Action, Adventure, Drama 
Rating: Unrated (I would say PG-13 minimum)
Where I Got It: Watched friend's copy


Japan is plunged into chaos upon the appearance of a giant monster.


I have been so lazy to watch any new movies or TV shows. Good thing I have good friends who force me to watch things especially if they know I'll like it. 

I like Godzilla movies. They are always fun to watch. I've watched my fair share over the years. I never got a chance to watch this one yet. 

The story is set in Japan in modern day. A weird "accident" happens at the bay which causes the Japanese "emergency" cabinet to assemble. They bicker and go to meetings to figure out what to do. During one of their meeting, a huge monster begins to attack the town. 

Now, I am a little salty with these humans. Normally I don't really care much about the people stories, but this one actually was interesting because they drove me insane. THERE ARE PEOPLE BEING KILLED DO SOMETHING!!!! SOMEONE MAKE A DECISION HERE! The movie creators did this on purpose to throw some big salt at the Japanese government from their lack of "emergency response" when the huge earthquake and tsunami hit Japan killing so many people. Honestly...the salt should be felt by the US and others. You need to react and make a decision. Due to them taking their sweet time the best moment to rid of Godzilla was gone and over. Sorry...try again folks. Now you have to deal with Godzilla in his final form. 

Now I LOVED, LOVED the fact that Godzilla had multiple forms. It was so unique and different. No spoilers here, but they were fun. The first one made me laugh SO hard, but it was my favorite form. HAHAHAHA. 

The action was awesome and I was worried about a couple of the humans. I liked them! It is rare when I like a human in these movies. They have to be special. The main guy character (Hiroki?) was fun. I loved how he just took matters into his own hands. Good on you man!

That Godzilla was scary and kicked ass. I hope they make a sequel. But who knows? 

Overall, this was fun. I loved it! Godzilla kicked ass. The main guy was a worthy adversary to Godzilla. I loved all the salt being thrown around. Darn governments taking their sweet time *grumbles* I'll give this 5 stars. 

Friday, May 24

Blog All About It: Bloom

This month's prompt is:  Bloom

Gunna go the lazy root this month! Sharing some poems with BLOOM mixed in. ;)

Beauty in nature
Flower blooms so succulent
Hummingbirds flutter
by: Carol Brown

by: Gutter Grimer

Dripping in and out
A framed landscape
Of seasons
Permeated on your porch
Blooming in their decay 
Sulfur would smell 
As sweet as summer 
Within these picket pillars

by: Sergio Esteban

A beautiful meadow 
Lays dormant inside 
I wished it blossom 
But it’s not its time
It’s been neglected
For such a long time
But it needs attention 
To bloom in time 

I’ll take care of you 
If you let me in 
We all have our troubles 
No one is immune to sin
I know you’re not perfect 
But neither am I 
We’re just mere mortals 
On this garden of eden 
We call life

My eyes run blood red 
Like the moon at times 
I’m always wishing 
I could be by your side
But you’re so far away
You’re my Andromeda 
You’re two seconds away 
From fading away
But don’t worry 
I’ve made it past the ISS 
And my final destination 
Is your constellation

I wouldn’t have it any other way

Let The Flowers Bloom
by: Marilyn Lott

Don’t you miss the flowers
In the midst of a frosty day? 
I can hardly wait for spring time
And I’m sure you feel that way

I have a few tiny blossoms
Peeking out their little heads
But the problem is you see
There’s snow on my flower beds

But it won’t be long now, folks
When the gorgeous blossoms bloom
And the fragrance fills our house
And wafts through every room

I know the bumble bees 
Are waiting just as we are
But where is it that they wait? 
I know they can’t be far

I’m sure it won’t be long now
Our world will change quite soon
For spring is creeping closer 

Oh, let the flowers bloom! 

Image result for flowers blooming

Thursday, May 23

Audiobook Review: 1001 Dark Nights -Tricked by Rebecca Zanetti

Tricked (Dark Protectors #7.75; 1001 Dark Nights #48)Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Narrator: Karen White
Title: 1001 Dark Nights -Tricked
(Dark Protectors #7.75)
Genre: Paranormal Romance & Mystery
Pages: Audiobook
Published: October 25th 2016 
Where I Got It: My shelf (Audible)

He Might Save Her 

Former police psychologist Ronni Alexander had it all before a poison attacked her heart and gave her a death sentence. Now, on her last leg, she has an opportunity to live if she mates a vampire. A real vampire. One night of sex and a good bite, and she’d live forever with no more weaknesses. Well, except for the vampire whose dominance is over the top, and who has no clue how to deal with a modern woman who can take care of herself. 

She Might Kill Him 

Jared Reese, who has no intention of ever mating for anything other than convenience, agrees to help out his new sister in law by saving her friend’s life with a quick tussle in bed. The plan seems so simple. They’d mate, and he move on with his life and take risks as a modern pirate should. Except after one night with Ronni, one moment of her sighing his name, and he wants more than a mating of convenience. Now all he has to do is convince Ronni she wants the same thing. Good thing he’s up for a good battle.

I keep seeing these books around so I wanted to start reading some of these. They seem to do okay as stand alone as far as I can see. So no worries starting at book 7.75. Ha! 

The story follows Ronni who was poisoned and is slowly dying. Her last hope is Jared who is a vampire and has decided to save her by mating her just so his brother's wife would be happy her friend will live. As per normal, they slowly realize they are meant for each other. 

What a unique concept to the whole vamp thing. These are not your usual vamps. They can go out in daylight. They can't die by a stake. They can eat normal food. And only males can be vamps. Super original. I liked it a lot.

Jared made me want to smack him. Too possessive for my liking. Sure, he does care for her and he IS right that she is too weak at first and needs protection. Girl, you were legit JUST dying. The immortality-bond thing takes time. SMH. But he was a touch over-dominate for my liking. 

Ronnie was fun and I loved her sassiness. Even though she was daft sometimes. Oooo the pride of that woman. 

This was fun and quick. It was a nice intro to the world. I am curious to see what is next and what has happened. I hope we get to see some of the other paranormal beings around. I would like to learn more about witches and shifters. 

The mystery was good! I was so curious to see who did it!!!

The narrator was fun! Love the voices and accents! Made it so much better. 

All-in-all, I really liked it. Jared was okay but a touch over-the-top with his possessive and over-protective tendencies and I did wanna shake Ronnie a few times. I loved the chemistry between the two and I want more of this world. I'll give this 4 stars. 

2019 Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge
Book 12 of 16/25

Monday, May 20

Blodeuedd's Monday: A Prince of Paper by Alyssa Cole

Narrated by: Karen Chilton
Series: Reluctant Royals, Book 3
Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 04-30-19
Language: English
Publisher: HarperAudio
Contemporary romance
To review

My Thoughts
I have no idea what it is this redheaded prince fascination, I mean Harry, come on, not handsome. But for you all who think so then this is a treat for you. A redheaded playboy prince who gets in trouble a lot and whose philanthropist mother is dead. And whose name is Johan.

Johan who has fancied Nya from afar. Sheltered Nya whose dad is a traitor and who told everyone that Nya is sickly and can not do anything. Yes her dad was a real piece of work.

Back to the start. Yes this is book 3 but it works perfectly as a stand alone. She attends her cousin's wedding and I guess that was book 1? And then she has this other friend there and that I do know is book 2 because I listened to a novella about that one.  I do love a good stand alone.

I liked Johan because he did not want to be a playboy prince. He does it all to keep the attention on him and not his brother. 

Nya kept playing this mobile game and as I am currently addicted to one, then hey I get that girl! I liked how she wanted to become something else, but at the same time, there was nothing wrong with being her and she had to learn that.

They meet, they flirt, there is family drama and they live happily ever after. I enjoyed it.

I liked her Nya voice and Johan's accent, but the Scottish one, even if I did not hear a lot, it was pretty bad. She had nice distinctive voices and her voice was nice listening to.
Romance always rocks in audio

Nya Jerami fled Thesolo for the glitz and glamour of NYC but discovered that her Prince Charming only exists in her virtual dating games. When Nya returns home for a royal wedding, she accidentally finds herself up close and personal-in bed-with the real-life celebrity prince who she loves to hate.

For Johan von Braustein, the red-headed step-prince of Liechtienbourg, acting as paparazzi bait is a ruse that protects his brother-the heir to the throne-and his own heart. When a royal referendum threatens his brother's future, a fake engagement is the perfect way to keep the cameras on him.

Nya and Johan both have good reasons to avoid love, but as desires are laid bare behind palace doors, they must decide if their fake romance will lead to a happily-ever-after. 

Sunday, May 19

Book Review: Rebel by Beverly Jenkins

Rebel (Women Who Dare, #1)Author:  Beverly Jenkins
Title: Rebel
(Women Who Dare #1) (The Le Veq Family #4)
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: ebook
Expected to be Published:  May 28th 2019
Where I Got It: My shelf (Netgalley)

Valinda Lacey's mission in the steamy heart of New Orleans is to help the newly emancipated community survive and flourish. But soon she discovers that here, freedom can also mean danger. When thugs destroy the school she has set up and then target her, Valinda runs for her life—and straight into the arms of Captain Drake LeVeq.

As an architect from an old New Orleans family, Drake has a deeply personal interest in rebuilding the city. Raised by strong women, he recognizes Valinda's determination. And he can't stop admiring—or wanting—her. But when Valinda's father demands she return home to marry a man she doesn't love, her daring rebellion draws Drake into an irresistible intrigue.

I was drawn in right away with this. Look at that dress! So pretty! And plus this a fresh of breath air from the atypical HRs. Unquie and different!

This is book 1 of a series, but also book 4 of another series. There are some references to the older books, but the author did well to have this be standalone. I am curious about the other ones now. 

The story follows Valinda who wants to teach the children and those adults who never had a chance to learn and read. New Orleans is beautiful, but there is also danger especially for an unmarried African American woman. This is where Drake comes in. He saves her from these jerkfaces. He is a good guy and wants to help rebuild the city from after the war. 

I loveeeddddd Drake. He was such a good guy! Sure he was a rogue, but he was such a gentleman! He was so sweet and kind. Loved him. I liked Val too even though I wanted to shake her! DRAKE IS THE ONE FOR YOU FOOL! *shakes fist*

I also loved Drake's family! I would love to be a part of his family ;) Julianna was such a wonderful role model!! Strong and not messing around, but a heart of gold. 

Honestly, the story had me hooked from page 1. The characters were so intriguing and yes I loved the romance. But I also loved the nod to the social issues of the times. Kuddos to Drake and his pals for not rolling over and taking the abuse. A certain scene made me cheer! Good! That guy was a jerk. 

Now...the last 15% was rough. It seemed to drag on and I was SO annoyed with Val still being pig-headed. C'mon woman! You know you want Drake! Fine. I'll take him if you don't want him ;) 

Overall though...I really did like the story even with the last few pages making me yawn and annoyed. I want to read more about this family. I'll stamp this with 4 stars.