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Sunday Post – July 24th

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The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

This Week In Review – Click on image for review.

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On Tour – 

Loreena's Gift

Discussion – Are book Blurbs Relevant?

Giveaway – Jamie Quinn Mystery Box Set

Question of the Week – Do you wear leggings? What’s your favorite print? I do and my favorite ones I have are parachute men.

Have a great week!

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friday-coffee-bookish-speaks

I’m still drinking my fresh-roasted coffee with cream. I don’t really deviate until the holidays. Then it is on like donkey-kong. Exciting news. I will be starting a coffee club with my friend next week.

What are you drinking?

So never in my wildest dreams (and I have some crazy ones). Would I ever think that this topic would even come up. Your book blurb should match your story right? Well, that wasn’t the case with a book that I read recently. The blurb said something about what seemed like would be a likeable character though she would meet dire circumstances sound like a great story, right? Someone you could cheer for regardless of the circumstances.

Well, I get to page 100 out of this 222-page book and that’s the first I am seeing of this character that took resident in the back of the book. She was an orphan looking for her family instead I end up in the minds of two psychopathic killers. NOT WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR!

I honestly was outraged. I take a lot of pride in being able to pick good stories from covers and book blurbs. What can you do when the blurb doesn’t match the book. I could go into all sorts of details on how unprofessional this author ended up being. That’s not the point. The point is don’t we count on books accurately representing themselves from the blurb? I know I do.

I hope that this doesn’t become an issue. It shouldn’t in my year and a half of book blogging this is the first time I’ve dealt with it. Though now I count it fodder for my discussions. On a personal note. This author was a big jerk about it. I am leaving out names and titles for a reason. I’m not here to cause trouble, I just want to find the pearls of writing and be on my merry way. Is it too much to ask to let your book blurb be indicative of what you are going to find in the story from the beginning?

What are your thoughts? How would you feel if the book blurb didn’t match the book?

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giphy (11)

Ha ha! Guess it’s not hard to figure out what my first choice is. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was one of my favorite movies when I was a toddler. When I got older (third grade) I was thrilled to find out that my favorite movie came from a book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.

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My second one is Where the Heart Is by Billie Lets

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Review – Love Blooms on Main Street by Olivia MilesLove Blooms on Main Street by Olivia Miles
Series: ,
Published by Forever on July 26th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Clean
Pages: 352
Source: Author, Netgalley

I received this book for free from Author, Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Goodreads
Amazon

Love is always in season . . .
Florist Ivy Birch fantasizes about the day a man will surprise her with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Especially if that man happens to be Brett Hastings. One stolen kiss at her best friend's wedding and Ivy can't get the sexy ER doctor out of her head.
In the small town of Briar Creek, you can't avoid anyone for very long. Not that Brett has been trying to avoid Ivy. He just can't afford to let anything distract him from his work-not again. So when a hospital fundraiser throws them together, love is the last thing on his mind. But with her quick wit and sweet laugh, soon the one woman he's tried to keep at arm's length is capturing his heart...

Ivy Birch has been daydreaming about Brett Hastings since they kissed at a wedding a few months before. She hasn’t heard from him since and is surprised when he returns to Briar Creek. Brett never wanted to go back to Briar Creek but having to take a necessary hiatus from inner-city emergency rooms, he has to adjust to the slower pace of the small town he grew up on. Ivy is set to not let Brett commandeer her attention when he’s made it clear he’s not ready for commitment. Will their inner-most secrets end up bringing them together?

In an Oyster Shell – This author knocked this romance right out of the park. It was a great enduring read and I liked it much better than previous books in the series.

The Pearls – I reviewed book #2 of this series, I wasn’t overly thrilled with it. I feel the author more than made up with it this book. This book had a lot of substance for a romance. It touched on some deep issues but still had the feel of a great romance.

The romance was off the charts. I had to take a break the tension and anticipation was more than I could handle. People! I had to get a drink and calm down and come back. The promise of what could be got overwhelming. I’ve never had a romance that was clean that made you feel like you needed a cigarette, and nothing had even happened yet! It was so exciting.

I really fell in love with Ivy. She was a great heroine and really gave Brett a run for his money. The character of this small town were enduring. It was nice to come back to them and it will be nice to see them again in the next book.

I would like to say the author really impressed me with this book. I wasn’t expecting to read another book in this series and she insisted (very nicely). I am glad she did. I can’t wait for the next one!

4.5 Pearls!

4.5 Stars

About Olivia Miles

Olivia Miles is a bestselling author of contemporary romance. A city girl with a fondness for small town charm, Olivia enjoys highlighting both ways of life in her stories. She currently resides just outside Chicago with her husband, young daughter, and two ridiculously pampered pups.

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Blog Tour With Review – Loreena’s Gift by Colleen M. StoryLoreena's Gift by Colleen M. Story
Published by Dzanc Books on April 12th 2016
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 350

I received this book for free from IBook Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Goodreads
AmazonB&N

A BLIND GIRL'S TERRIFYING "GIFT" ALLOWS HER TO REGAIN HER EYESIGHT--BUT ONLY AS SHE FERRIES THE RECENTLY DECEASED INTO THE AFTERLIFE.
Loreena Picket thinks she knows herself. A blind young woman who lives with her uncle, a reverend at a small-town church, she's a dutiful niece and talented pianist for the congregation.
But they're both hiding a terrible secret. Loreena can kill people with the touch of her hand.
While her uncle sees her as an angel of mercy, helping usher the terminally ill members of his flock into the afterlife, Loreena has her doubts.
Torn between doing her uncle's bidding and the allure of the fleeting moments when her eyesight returns on the journey to the other side, Loreena cooperates with her uncle until her troubled older brother returns to town. When she reveals her power by saving him from a local drug dealer, she is drawn into a sinister and dangerous world that will test the true nature of her talent and force her to consider how far she is willing to go to survive.
An exciting debut that crosses fantasy and literary fiction, Loreena's Gift is a thought-provoking meditation on life and death and what ultimately lies beyond this world.

Loreena spends just about all of her life at the church with her Uncle. She leads a quiet life playing music fo the congregation on Sunday and taking the rest of the week being in a routine with her Uncle. Every once in a while, he takes her out to a parishioner’s house with one who is dying and Loreena imparts her gift to them to relieve them of their suffering. Her uncle says it’s all a part of G-d’s plan. On one of these visit’s her brother saul finds her. He wants to take her away from the church and have fun so they go out one Friday night. It turns into a sinister turn of events when Loreena has to use her gift to protect her brother. The wrong people find out and Loreena gets taken. Now bad people have say over how she uses her gift. Will she survive the Biker gangs misuse of her gift. Will she lose her mind before she loses her life?

The Pearls – This book was well done. It had all the elements of good craft. Strong- plotline, great characters, good pacing. It was really good.

Loreena was a highlight for me in this book. She comes off as mousey at first but she quickly grows into her role the circumstances forces her in. I don’t think I have ever seen a character grow in a story with such strength and finesse as Loreena did. It was incredible to see her endure though many times she wanted to give up. It was inspiring.

The supporting characters were well done as well. There were characters you wanted to love or really  hate there was not many characters that fell in between that. Just overall a healthy offering of characters of all kinds to make for a well-developed story full of depth.

The setting of this book small-town Idaho. Was perfect for this story. Sinister things can happen with people who get bored with small town life and look for something elsewhere. The setting was ironic at the same time fitting to the story.

It was a good book.

The Sand – There were some disturbing scenes in the book that could not be helped given the nature of some of the characters and what they did.

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July 18 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – review / author interview / giveaway

July 18 – Bound 4 Escape – review

July 19 – Writing Pearls – review

July 19 – Jayne’s Books – review

July 20Young In Rome – review

July 20And the Buck Starts Here – review

July 21Book reviews nature photos and everything in between – review

July 21Writers and Authors – book spotlight / guest post

July 22Corinne Rodrigues – review

July 223 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – review / giveaway

July 25A Bookaholic Blog – review

July 25Nighttime Reading Center – review / author interview / giveaway

July 26JBronder Book Reviews – review / guest post

July 27T’s Stuff – review / guest post / giveaway

July 28Sahar’s Blog – review

July 29Life as Leels – review

July 29The Autistic Gamer – review

Aug 1 –    Bookishly Devoted – review

Aug 1 –    Olio By Marilyn – review / author interview

Aug 2 –    Heidi’s Wanderings – review / giveaway

Aug 2 –    Bookaholic Banter  – review / author interview / giveaway

Aug 3 –    Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – review

Aug 4 –   The Travelogue of a Book Addict – The Book Drealms – review / giveaway

Aug 4 –    bookmyopia – review / giveaway

Aug 5 –    Svetlana’s Reads and Views – review

Aug 5 –    Jessica Cassidy – review / author interview / giveaway

iRead Website new logo

4.5 Stars

About Colleen M. Story

Colleen M. Story writes imaginative fiction and is also a freelance writer, instructor, and motivational speaker specializing in creativity, productivity, and personal wellness. Her latest novel, “Loreena’s Gift,” was released with Dzanc Books April 12 2016. Her fantasy novel, “Rise of the Sidenah,” is a North American Book Awards winner, and New Apple Book Awards Official Selection (Young Adult). She is the founder of Writing and Wellness (writingandwellness.com) a motivational site for writers and other creatives.

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Review – Valley of the Moon by Bronwyn ArcherValley of the Moon by Bronwyn Archer
Published by Bronarch Books on April 13th 2016
Genres: Mystery, YA
Pages: 282

I received this book for free from YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Goodreads
Amazon

There’s just one semester left at the Briar School for Girls in Sonoma, CA. But it will take more than straight As for Lana Goodwin to survive . . .
***Senior year is not going well for 17-year-old Lana Goodwin. Her father’s vintage car business is about to crash and burn, the nicest (and cutest) teacher at school was fired under a cloud of scandal, and her hot sort-of boyfriend may or may not have something big to hide.
She’s also totally over being the class pauper. It’s bad enough her dad was briefly married to the head of the board—the rich, cruel, impeccably groomed Ramona Crawford. What’s worse is going to school with her vindictive ex-stepsister, who never misses an opportunity to make her life hell. Not ever.
It also happens to be the tenth anniversary of her mother’s suicide. No one knows why Annie Goodwin jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge the day after Christmas. She didn’t leave a note. She wasn’t sick. Even Lana’s father can’t explain it. Ten years later, someone—or something—starts sending her clues about her mother’s past.
Before Lana can escape to college, she finds herself in a life-or-death race to uncover her mother’s long-buried secrets.
Can she claim her birthright before her future and her life are snatched away?
Valley of the Moon is a modern-day fairy tale with some intense themes.
A contemporary YA romantic mystery for ages 16 and up.

Lana is counting down the day until graduation. Not much is going for her. Her family is poor. She works as much as she can to figure out how she will pay for her  college. One of the rare moments of having fun she meets Caleb who seems great and is a pleasant addition to her life. Strange things start happening. Weird men start associating with her dad which seems bad news. These men seem intent on getting Lana as part of it. As things start to escalate Lana finds out that thing she believed about her life might be different. She finds out her mother had a different name, and somehow all of the craziness ties into that somehow. Will she figure it out before she or someone she cares about gets hurt?

In an Oyster Shell –  A very riveting tale that will keep you reading just to unravel the mystery. There are some intense scenes in this book and would not recommend it to younger readers.

The Pearls – The title encompasses the story well. They live in a valley that is thought to cradle the moon. There were a lot of metaphors to the moon and it was nice and gave a unique edge to this story.

I really liked the heroine. She was smart, hardworking, yet open to more. She stays focused but allows herself to be curious. She is very aware which helps the story take on some of the paranormal elements that it does. Lana makes this story work because she is in it going through it. This book as many supporting characters but Lana is the star and makes me want to keep on reading just to see where she ends up.

I don’t often comment about the mystery of the book but this one warrants it. The mystery in this story is a tangible element. In this story, there almost seems to be a few mysteries but in the end, they seem interconnected.  By the end of the book some mysteries are cleared but the one that kept you going through the book was not. Yet, be of good cheer – Book two is on it’s way!

The Sand –  The pacing could be awkward at times. There was some tough subject matter in this book which I think was handled really well but need to be mentioned.  The end was clear but you are left with a lot of question. In the end, this was a good book but it lacked sustenance for me somehow.

3.5 Stars

About Bronwyn Archer

Bronwyn Archer is a young-adult author, digital media copywriter, and mother to several children, last time she counted.

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Sunday Post – July 17th

sunday-post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

This Week In Review – Click on image for review.

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On Tour – 

CaughtBreadHanded_BlogTour (2)

Discussion – Is my rating system fair?

Question of the Week – Are you counting down the days until school starts? I know I am!

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friday-coffee-bookish-speaks

It just occurred to me, for the first time today, that my rating system might not be fair! What!  The reason being is that my system doesn’t allow for different levels of author’s craftsmanship. I was reading and reviewing a book today and realized that I am pretty hard on this author because I expect more out of her.

The reason being is that my system doesn’t allow for different levels of author’s craftsmanship. I was reading and reviewing a book today and realized that I am pretty hard on this author because I expect more out of her. Then it got me to thinking, Hey! that’s not fair.

Some authors I take their writing with a grain of salt and thoroughly enjoy the story. I’m not so critical of them because I don’t expect much. I often don’t read more of their stuff either. This particular author I’ve read more of than most. This author is really good at what she does, yet she hasn’t gotten higher than a 4 from me.

I realize now that my rating system might not be fair to every author. Yet, I can’t make a perfect system that will allow for every intricate facet. So I need to go down the middle road. At least that won’t miss as much.

 

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Welcome to my tour stop for Caught Bread Handed by Ellie Alexander! This is the fourth book in the Bakeshop Mystery series and released June 28 by St. Martin’s Press. The tour will have reviews and excerpts as well as a fabulous giveaway! You can find more information and the tour schedule on the tour page.

About the Book:
Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bakeshop where the oven is heating up as high as the body count…

Jules Capshaw is still chewing over her husband Carlos’s return to Ashland, Oregon. Could there be too many cooks in the kitchen? Whatever is stirring between those two will have to wait. Despite the Oregon Shakespeare Festival being dark for the winter, the bakeshop is bustling, the dough is rolling, and there’s no rest for the weary… especially when murder is thrown into the mix.

When Mindy Nolan, the owner of a new restaurant in town, turns up dead, the batter at hand thickens. Jules knows that there was bad blood between Mindy and others in town, and tracking the killer could prove to be an unwelcome treat. And to top it all off, there’s Carlos, who is pleading—with those delicious dark eyes and sexy Spanish accent—for Jules to take him back. Is home where the heart is or will she make a fresh start… and risk getting burned?

Goodreads | Amazon | Vintage Books (for signed copies!)
Jules is back in the dead of winter in Ashland, Oregon. Though it’s the slow season for this tourist town, business is picking up by way of wholesale orders. One particular morning, Jules is doing her delivery she discovers that an unwelcomed newbie in town murdered in her controversial restaurant. Why would anybody want Mindy dead? Is it the person who doesn’t want the Shakesburger chain expanding into Ashland? Could it be one of her employees? A disgruntled business associate? The possibilities are endless in that it could be anyone of the above. Will Jules be able to figure out who the killer is?
 In an Oyster Shell – Another great installment of the Bakeshop mysteries, though this one seems to take a little slower pace than the others.
The Pearls – 
You can’t really talk about this book and not have a lengthy discussion about the romance. There are quite a few romances going on in this book aside from the love triangle the main character finds herself in. I like how the author intertwines them all. At least one person in the romance works in the bakery. This particular book Jules husband Carlos is helping young protege Sterling woo the girl of his dreams. For being a story that revolves around murder there really is a lot of love. I was planning on talking about the love triangle in depth but I could go on all day. The author is definitely toying with us… Will Jules end up with Carlos or Thomas?  It’s still anybody’s game, though I am rooting for Carlos. If you have kept up with my reviews in this series you will know I was on team Thomas.
The attention to details in this book is impeccable. The author is wanting to create an experience with you, just like her characters like to do with baking and cooking. It draws you in and sometimes you want to stay there. Though my advice would be not to read this book hungry. It’s painful. I know from experience. You will be salivating and rushing towards the end of the book to find out what delightful recipes the author has left for us.
I really like the concept of this series. A mother and daughter team running a bakery together. I feel like this book did a good spotlight on that. The last book Jules was out of town, so you didn’t see that as much, I really enjoyed that back in this book.
I’ve said so much already, but I leave you with this. The characters are to die for! The quirky characters you find in this town just move the story along. One of my favorite Ashlanders is Lance the over the top theater coordinator.  Of course, there is Richard Lord who is a big jerk and I hope he dies or better yet ends up committing a murder.  The point I’m trying to make is these characters are easy to love or hate. The main characters remain well developed and complex.
The Sand –  I’m not sure what happened whether it was me or the pace of this book was slower than the others have been. I feel like there was an acute focus on the baking and Jules inner dialogue that one could forget this story is really about solving a murder.
4Pearls!
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About the Author:
Ellie Alexander is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter to learn more.

 
 

GIVEAWAY:

 

 

Signed copies of all 4 books in the Bakeshop Mysteries, Cupcake tea towel and pot holder, Love cake topper, Bakeshop page flags, Assortment of gourmet lemonade and Triple Chocolate Chunk cookie mix.
US only.
Ends July 20th
Must be 13 or older to enter and have parental permission if under 18. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.
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Review – Rose Petal Graves by Olivia WildensteinRose Petal Graves by Olivia Wildenstein
Published by Olivia Wildenstein on May 15th 2016
Genres: Clean, New Adult, Paranormal
Pages: 182

I received this book for free from YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Goodreads
Amazon

Ancient secrets cannot remain buried forever.
Founded two centuries ago by an aloof and powerful tribe of Gottwa Indians, Rowan was a quiet town, so quiet that I fled after graduation. Staying away was the plan, but Mom died suddenly, so I rushed home.
Dad said she suffered a stroke after she dug up one of the ancient graves in our backyard, which happens to be the town cemetery. Creepy, I know. Creepier still, there was no corpse inside the old coffin, only fresh rose petals.
As we made preparations for Mom’s burial, Cruz, the new medical examiner, arrived. I should have felt relieved, but how could I? He was unnervingly handsome, glowed like a human firefly, and knew absolutely nothing about examining dead bodies.
But, he did know what killed my mother…or rather who.

Cat is on her way home from college due to the sudden death of her mother. On her return to the small town of Rowan, a strange medical examiner shoes up. Cat starts discovering that her mother was looking into their heritage when she died. She starts to find strange things like empty graves with rose petals. She is quickly drawn into the world of hunters and faes. How will she make sense of it all and how will she figure out who’s telling the truth to which side she should be on?

In an Oyster Shell – It was a quick provocative read that will keep you turning the pages.

The Pearls – The plot was full of twists and turns and in the end you still didn’t know which way was up.  It was an exciting introduction to the series. I can’t wait to read more. I keep stalking the author’s page for updates on the next book. The story was riveting. A young lady is going to her mother’s funeral but that’s only the beginning.

I really liked the characters in this book. Cat was straight forward. Yet, the faes and the hunters, you couldn’t tell if they were bad or good. It makes for a really great read. There are some really solid supporting characters it was well done.

The romance in this book was complicated with a slight double love triangle going on. It was fun and just added to the suspense that kept me captive throughout the whole book.

The Sand – The book was a little on the short side. Though it was super impressive how much the author fit into so little pages.

3.5 Pearls!

3.5 Stars

About Olivia Wildenstein

Olivia Wildenstein grew up in New York City, the daughter of a French father with a great sense of humor, and a Swedish mother whom she speaks to at least three times a day. She chose Brown University to complete her undergraduate studies and earned a bachelor’s in comparative literature. After designing jewelry for a few years, Wildenstein traded in her tools for a laptop computer and a very comfortable chair. This line of work made more sense, considering her college degree.

When she’s not writing, she’s psychoanalyzing everyone she meets (Yes. Everyone), eavesdropping on conversations to gather material for her next book, baking up a storm (that she actually eats), going to the gym (because she eats), and attempting not to be late at her children’s school (like she is 4 out of 5 mornings, on good weeks).

Wildenstein lives with her husband and three children in Geneva, Switzerland, where she’s an active member of the writing community.

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