Sunday, May 15, 2016

Review of: "A Discovery of Witches" by Deborah Harkness

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell. 

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.

I tell you what....haters are gonna hate. ALL the reviewers that are hating on the book just don't appreciate a good NOVEL. They just want it fast and hot and over. All "wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am". YOU DON'T GET THAT WITH THIS BOOK! You get details, you get history, you get anticipation, you get explanations, you get CONNECTION WITH THE CHARACTERS! 

This book has been on my TBR list for quite a while and finally got my opportunity to read it! It was so very different than what I expected. Because...wait for it....I was expecting it to be the "wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am" type book that I've grown accustomed to. THANK ZEUS that didn't happen with this book. I adored learning so much about Diana and Matthew. I'm excited for their story to continue and to read on to the second book!

Check it out on Goodreads:

Review: How to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffanie DeBartolo

Written in her wonderfully honest, edgy, passionate and often hilarious voice, Tiffanie DeBartolo tells the story of Eliza Caelum, a young music journalist, and Paul Hudson, a talented songwriter and lead singer of the band Bananafish. Eliza's reverence for rock is equaled only by Paul's, and the two fall wildly in love. 

When Bananafish is signed by a big corporate label, and Paul is on his way to becoming a major rock star, Eliza must make a heartbreaking decision that leads to Paul's sudden disappearance and a surprise knock-your-socks-off ending.

One of those fantastic love connections that you are just in complete envy of. From the moment these two lay eyes on each other their connection is pure and honest. They see the world through different eyes than someone like myself does, and that is so refreshing to read. It really makes me appreciate the small moments and the connections I have with my loved ones.
How to Kill a Rock Star was so very amazing. Though I did feel that I knew what was going to happen, and foresaw the big moments, I still think it was well written and a fun story to read. I think there are the clues that were given that gave me the "Oh, so that's where this is going" moments and I'm not 100% certain if that was purposeful of the author or not but it really doesn't even matter. It was worth reading and I'd recommend it to anyone wanting a good TRUE love story and not just cheesy romance.

Check it out on Goodreads:

I'm BACK!!

After taking a leave of absence for about nine months, I'm back at it!!

I tried taking a break and just reading books. Though it was a nice break, I found myself in that same place I did before I made this blog where all the "reviews" I read about the book were just another DESCRIPTION of what the book was about and not about how they felt reading the book.

So, I decided to come back and try this again :)

Hope you enjoy!

Monday, August 31, 2015

SPOTLIGHT -- "To Be Yours Forever" by: Elliot Richard Dorfman

Since a child, drama teacher Norma Feinstein, has been infatuated with the 1940s after seeing a musical film made during that era. Her life begins to fall apart when at twenty-three years old she discovers she has the ability to travel back in time. To her shock, Norma learns she was Kathryn Murrow, the budding Hollywood star of “Sky’s The Limit”, the film which began her fascination with the past.

Unable to deal with the pressures of living two lives, one in the present time and one in the 1940’s, Norma seeks help from Dr. Darryl Costner, an eminent psychiatrist interested in reincarnation. Darryl becomes worried that Norma will negatively affect the time continuum when he learns she wants to save her former fiancĂ© Trent Taylor, crooner, and costar of “Sky’s The Limit,” from a so-called accidental death.

With this case becoming too complex for him to handle, Costner gets his friend, Shawn Nolan, a scientist from a governmental agency that has discovered how to time travel, to help him with Norma. Assisted by Gary Hertzman, Costner’s young associate, Shawn takes Norma to his secret lab in Arizona where he searches to find a way to prevent Norma from saving her former lover from sixty-six years ago. If he fails in his task, the very future of the country could be extremely bleak. Will he succeed? The story’s conclusion will captivate the readers of this multilevel novel full of suspense, surprises, and twists.

*** Excerpt****

A crowd of people gathered in front of a well-maintained cottage on a corner near Main Street. They gawked as a disheveled young woman kept turning round and round senselessly while mumbling something incoherently. Finally, a police car arrived. “Get away from me,” the woman screamed wildly when the two police officers tried to approach her. The police immediately phoned in for an ambulance. When it arrived, the medics spoke cautiously to her. The woman quieted down and stared at them in utter confusion. For her protection, she was carefully strapped to a stretcher and then taken to a nearby hospital for an examination and observation. It was the spring of 1996. Word quickly spread throughout Northington—a small picturesque town in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York—that Norma Feinstein, the popular young Drama teacher at Andrew Jackson high school, had a nervous breakdown. Intelligent, pretty, and talented, she was the only child of Ken and Mildred Feinstein. The Feinsteins were the richest family in town. Many jumped to the conclusion that Norma’s breakdown was the result of becoming too high strung, most likely stemming from her “artistic” temperament and over active imagination. If you had refuted them and tried explaining her breakdown was the result of not being able to handle the uncanny ability of traveling back and forth from her present life to one of forty-eight years ago, they would have laughed in your face and called you a weirdo. Yet, who could really blame them for reacting like that? After all, our vain species finds it difficult to accept that we have such little understanding about the universe or life itself.

Monday, August 24, 2015

SPOTLIGHT -- "Determined & Derailed" by: Gracie Wilson

What happens when you stumble upon something you can’t turn a blind eye to? In one blinding instant my life is turned upside down.

During all the chaos that has become my life, I find friendships are tested, loyalties are betrayed and those left whom I love are put in danger or killed.

I can only count on me. Three men are in my life, but they each have their own motives. My only motive is to make it out of this alive. I don’t even know if that is possible.

My name is Alexis Storm and my answer to the storm which my life has become is to fight back at all costs – to survive.


I began to stir and heard the sirens. “We have something over here.” I heard a man yell and I felt like I weighed a thousand pounds. I could barely keep my eyes open. “Cohen.” I cried. “Don’t let anyone back here until I assess the scene.” I heard screaming and vaguely remembered my name being called, but it wasn’t enough to make me move. “Lexi.” My brain began to kick in and I knew it was Jax. “Alexis. Stop, let me through. Get your hands off of me, she’s my daughter. I need to see her. Alexis.” My eyes broke open and I was groggy, but one word passed through. “Tory?” There was a man checking me over to make sure I was okay and he smiled down at me. “Just hang in there, sweetie, we are going to get you to a hospital.” I could still hear screaming and scuffling. “I want my dad. Tory…” He nodded his head. “You need to relax and conserve your energy.” He stood up and waved over some people. “Let her dad through, name’s Tory.” I heard footsteps running and in an instant I felt hands brush against my head. “Alexis” I opened my eyes and saw Tory looking down at me with tears in his eyes. “Thank God you’re okay. But where’s Cohen, Lexi?” I felt my heart drop and I didn’t know what to say. “Tory, I’m sorry… I couldn’t…I tried…” I was in shambles and the wails that came from me spoke of my heartbreak. “Shhh, sweetheart. I’m going to take care of everything, just relax.” I was now being picked up and put onto a stretcher when I heard another man talking. “We have three dead, two men and a woman.” I looked to Tory and he now understood about Cohen. I felt like the darkness was coming back to take me under. Something didn’t feel right. “Tory, you’ve been the best dad anyone could ask for, I love…you.” I began to fade into the darkness and the last thing I heard was the EMT yelling. “We’re losing her.”

Friday, August 21, 2015

SPOTLIGHT -- "Trouble Looming" by: Natalie Alder


Cole Becker helped his father raise his younger siblings after their mother died.
He helped his father take care of his aging parents until they passed away.
Now it’s time for Cole to have the life he deserves.

When he meets Sara, all of his dreams seem to finally be within reach…until things begin to fall apart. Their perfect romance soon becomes complicated, scary, even life-threatening. Will happiness ever be theirs? Will Cole and Sara get their ‘someday’ together? Continue Tapestry, the Becker’s family saga in Trouble Looming, sequel to Crewel Work.


“I’m sorry, I like to cook but not baking. Desserts are not my thing. I do have some ice cream in the freezer if you want to satisfy your sweet tooth.”

Cole was leaning against the kitchen counter with one ankle crossed over the other and his arms folded across his chest. He was sex incarnate wearing a lightweight camel sweater that brought out the gold flecks in his brown eyes, dark blue jeans that fit perfectly and butter-soft leather driving shoes, no socks.

“I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. Not for desserts at least.”

With a hungry stare and sultry movement, Sara walked toward Cole from across the room. She dropped her eyes as she moved past him, then picked up his gaze again from over her shoulder as she walked toward the bedroom. The potency of her eroticism hung in the air. He unfolded his arms, uncrossed his ankles, pushed off the counter with his hip, and followed her into the bedroom. Her top lay on the floor at her feet, and she had shimmied out of her capri pants. He sat in the chair in the corner of her room to watch her finish undressing. Sara looked at him sitting relaxed in her reading chair with one ankle crossed over his other knee, his eyes heavily hooded and wearing a grin.

“Aren’t you going to play also?” she asked.

“Keep going. I’ll join you in a minute.”

A sexy smile crept across her face. She reached back, unhooked her bra and let it fall. Leaning forward she hooked her thumbs in the strings of her bikini underwear and pushed them down to step out of them. She pulled the sheets on her bed back.

“Wait,” Cole said and let his eyes move over her body completely. He stood and took the few steps across her room to her. He hadn’t imagined that she’d be as gorgeous as she was and her body took his breath away. With one finger he lifted her chin to look into her eyes.

“You are absolutely the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met.” He reached around with his hand on her lower back and pulled her to him. With his other hand he cupped the back of her head to bring her mouth to his. They kissed, tasting each other and exploring.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

SPOTLIGHT -- "No Backward Glances" by Kat Schuessler


When Lorelai Todd has her heart shattered by her boyfriend, she vows to never trust a man again. Six months later, she’s called to the hospital where she works to help with an emergency. She speeds to get there and is pulled over by Jay, a handsome cop who will eventually threaten to break down the walls she’s built around her heart.

After giving the sexy woman a warning and sending her quickly on her way, Jay regrets not asking her out. Fate seems to intervene when he’s called to the hospital to identify a potential kidnap victim and finds the nurse in charge is Lorelai, the beauty he pulled over for speeding.

He wastes no time in asking her for a date and she accepts, but hesitantly.
They learn they have much in common – from music to movies. But the most incredible thing they share is an amazing chemistry. The sex is red hot, they can’t keep their hands off one another.

Jay is falling for Lorelai fast, but he’s worried if she’ll ever be able to let her guard down and trust him. While he's wooing Lorelai, Jay is caught up in the investigation to find the kidnapper who shot the young victim who brought them together. Lorelai finds herself involved, in more ways than one.

Their relationship is complicated by a mystery, danger and ghosts from their past.
But one thing is clear, their hearts are involved.

Can they beat the odds and find a future together?

Because there’s one thing for certain –

In the game of love – there should be NO BACKWARD GLANCES.


“So...I'm sorry if this seems a little forward, but I've been wanting to talk to you about something,” Jay said, sounding nervous.

“What's up?”

“Well, we've known each other a while now and we've been hanging out a lot, but I'm still not really sure what we are. Relationship-wise.”

Rory immediately felt her stomach plummet to the ground. She wasn't ready for this talk yet; in fact, she'd been dreading it.

“Oh, really?” She replied. She hoped he wasn't going to push the issue, but knowing Jay, he would. She didn't want to hurt him, but she was absolutely terrified to agree to any kind of commitment.

“Yeah. And I was just wondering what you thought, because I'd really like us to become kind of an exclusive thing.”

Rory felt her throat go dry, and she swallowed and forced herself to speak evenly. “I'm not really sure, either. I mean, we're great together. I'm just not sure if we should put a label on it quite yet. I know it feels like we've been doing this forever,” she said, trying to do this the right way, “but really, it's only been like, two weeks. Maybe we should just see where we're going first. For right now, I'd just call us friends with benefits.

“To be honest,” she continued, “That doesn't even feel like the right term. We seem like we're more than that, which is why I say we should avoid labels, just for now. For now, we're” Rory refused to look at Jay. She wasn't sure what his expression was, and if it was sadness or disappointment, then she would feel awful. So she just kept her eyes on the road and made the turns that the GPS told her to make.

“Okay,” Jay replied.

The rest of the ride was silent.

Rory pulled into the parking lot and parked next to Jay's car, they got out of the car, and they walked up the stairs and into Jay's apartment, all without saying a word. Guilt was worming its way through Rory's body, and a momentary thought flashed in her mind; was this how Matt felt when he broke up with her? Did he feel as awful about hurting her as she felt about hurting Jay?

She sure as hell hoped so.

Rory took off her coat and shoes as Jay set up the movie and popped popcorn, even though they just ate and they each agreed that they couldn't eat another bite. Now she looked at his face, and it didn't tell her much. There were no emotions, just simple focus on the task at hand. It was almost like he was on auto-pilot, going through the motions but not really focusing on them. That worried her a little bit; Jay didn't do auto-pilot, not with her. He always talked to her while he did everything, no matter what it was. This was bothering him, and she knew it.

She wanted to say something, do something to fix this, but she wasn't sure what that was, so she just sat on the couch and waited for him to finish. He split the popcorn into two bowls, as he always did, brought them over, sat down on the couch and pressed “play” on the remote control. They sat through the first ten minutes before he paused the movie and turned toward her.

“Lorelai...are you seeing somebody else?”

“What?” She gasped, putting her bowl on the table in front of her. “Of course not. Why would you think that?”

“Then why won't you commit to me? I know that's what this is about; you don't want labels because you don't want to commit. Well, I do. I want to be able to be with you and say, 'Hey, this is Lorelai, my girlfriend, and for you to be proud to introduce me as your boyfriend. I want this to be something real, and possibly permanent. Why don't you?”

Rory sighed. “Jay...I don't want to go too deep into it, but the last guy that I really committed to broke my heart. It nearly killed me, and I'll be perfectly honest; I'm terrified. Just that first dinner with you scared me, let alone the idea of fully committing to you and opening myself up to you completely. Please understand that it isn't anything wrong with you; you're amazing. I just can't shake the fear that it's going to happen again.”

Jay took a minute, and then met Rory's eyes with his own. “Lorelai, you mean the world to me. There is nothing I would ever do to hurt you, not in a thousand years. If it will take a little longer to prove that to you, then that's okay; I'll do it. But even if I can't consider you my girlfriend, I want you to consider me your boyfriend, because I'm not going anywhere. Understand?”

Rory's heart melted, and she nodded, unable to speak. She leaned forward and kissed him, and he put his arm around her waist and pulled her closer to him.

“Now that we're speaking again,” he said, picking up the remote, “Let's watch this movie and actually enjoy it. Deal?”


"Kat Schuessler has been an aspiring writer since she was a child, beginning with short stories starring herself as a superhero, hopping from sad stories to horror as she grew older, and finally landing on romance with her first published novel, “No Backward Glances”. She reads ceaselessly, plays the flute, and takes care of her two hamsters in her apartment in Ohio."