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Hey, Everyone! I am sorry I have been so scarce this month! I got so overloaded with life and other various things. I am back. Today I am drinking fresh roasted Papua New Guinea with cream. What are you drinking?

So when I first started blogging I read everything I could on the subject matter. I came across several articles on how not to get burnt out. I read other articles where blogging slumps were inevitable. It took me over a year of blogging to hit it but people I hit the wall. Like a smart car to a stack of bricks!

I would say the number one cause of the slump was taking on too much. I was doing a blog tour a week and two reviews and then took on some professional review jobs. It was more than I could keep up with. That is what caused my burn out taking on too much. This is my MO in life usually I take more than I can handle then scale back.

Another thing I learned is what was realistic for one season of your life might not be for another. Reading 4-8 books a week worked for me when I started the blog but now I have other things going on. So my advice would be this 1 – try not to take on too much. 2 – Be flexible!!! Don’t give up on the whole enchilada just because you missed a post or three!

So this post today is not so much about how to avoid a slump but how to deal with them. With all the blogs I follow I have not seen one that hasn’t hit this proverbial wall at one point or another.

How do you suggest dealing with slumps?

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Review – The Secret of Isian Isian #3 by Serena ClarkeThe Secret of Isian by Serena Clarke
Series: Isian #3
Published by Smashwords Edition on January 15th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 239
Source: Author

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

Goodreads
Amazon

Many prophecies have been uttered about the impending war and those who will seek to stop it. With the war finally upon them, Rimelda, a talented seer, has heard the prophecies and believes she can help. Prince Ander, doubtful of her abilities and her true intensions, but determined to save his kingdom accepts her help and they proceed on a quest to end the war.Hindered by enemies as well as their own doubts, Ander and Rimelda must search for guidance in unlikely places and unravel the mysteries of the prophecies.
With the world shrouded in darkness, will Ander accept his destiny in time to save the kingdoms and will he admit his true feelings for Rimelda?

Prince Ander is on a quest to end the darkness of the war that is open the world. He seeks the help of seeyer Rimelda who he feels has led him astray. As peril seeks to destroy everything they know they proceed. Will they find the one who can save them from imminent destruction?

In An Oyster Shell – An astounding conclusion to the Isian Series.

The Pearls – Prince Ander was a strong supporting character in the first book and made a small appearance in the second book. You get a great peek at his character in those two roles. It is just expanded upon in this book. I am glad Prince Ander got his own book he is a really great character. Character development is one of Clarkes big strengths.

The world-building phenomenon continued. It was nice to have continuity set from the previous books. I felt like you still got to see a new side to the world. More magical creatures!

Each book in the series works well as a stand-alone but shines brightly as a series. I like this authors talent for great plot. The plot was strong in this book and a series. Serena Clarke is a very talented writer. Can’t wait to read more from her!

The Sand –  The pacing of this book was a little slower than the previous ones.

4 pearls!

4 Stars

About Serena Clarke

Serena Clarke is from sunny Southern Utah and has taken several writing classes in college. She loves fantasy with a hint of romance. Serena has a Bachelors Degree in Graphic Design and is a member of the Red Mountain Shadows Publishing team. She not only is an author, but also creates book covers for authors. She is passionate about learning and education, art and design. The fantasy/romance novels she has written are The Treasure of Isian, The Alliance of Isian, and The Secret of Isian.

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Review – Alliance of Isian by Serena Clarke Isian #2The Alliance of Isian by Serena Clarke
Series: Isian #2
Published by Red Mountain Shadows Publishing on November 4th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 344
Source: Author

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

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Amazon

War is coming and all the kingdoms must choose a side. Isian decides to make an alliance with their long time enemies in order to defeat a common enemy. So Isian sends a proposal, offering their daughter to the prince, in order to ensure an alliance. Princess Gabrielle and her new husband, Prince Alec must learn to work together and trust each other in order to triumph in the approaching war. With a mysterious beast attacking the kingdom, their lives in danger, and overcoming their vast cultural differences, will love grow despite their trials or tear them apart?
Enjoy the fantasy, danger, mystery, and romance!

To keep war from dooming their world Prince Alec and Princess Gabrielle unite their kingdoms with marriage. Neither expect to fall in love, resigned to the necessity of their marriage. They learn a lot about each other and possible misconceptions of each others culture. Can the learn to work together and possibly find love too?

In an Oyster Shell –  This was another fantastical read in the Isian series. I recommend it.

The Pearls – The story building was again, very impressive. Set in a different kingdom than the previous book, you get the fantasy world without all the usual elements of fantasy. It’s more implied than obvious. Which makes the book even more enjoyable.

The characters were well developed. You couldn’t help but be pulled into the dynamic of the arranged marriage. The stress of not marrying for love, yet still having to find a way to be a companion. It was a worthy romance and I enjoyed it very much.

The plot of the whole series really comes to life in this book. It’s great to see all the kingdoms come together in this story. I look forwad to reading the next book.

4 Pearls!

4 Stars

About Serena Clarke

Serena Clarke is from sunny Southern Utah and has taken several writing classes in college. She loves fantasy with a hint of romance. Serena has a Bachelors Degree in Graphic Design and is a member of the Red Mountain Shadows Publishing team. She not only is an author, but also creates book covers for authors. She is passionate about learning and education, art and design. The fantasy/romance novels she has written are The Treasure of Isian, The Alliance of Isian, and The Secret of Isian.

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Review – Treasure of Isian by Serena Clarke Isian #1The Treasure of Isian by Serena Clarke
Series: Isian #1
Published by Red Mountain Shadows Publishing on September 17th 2012
Genres: Romance
Pages: 256
Source: Author

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

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Amazon

Prince Garin is a brave, proud, adventure-seeking prince. Elani is his most trusted servant and she would do anything for him, even die for him. Their quest to find the mystical Treasure of Isian is immediately interrupted and they find themselves confronted by angry giants, soul-stealing elves, bewitched dragons, a vengeful water-witch, battling foes, and a mysterious kingdom.Elani must face her greatest fears to save her prince and her kingdom. Garin must decide what the most important things are in his life. Will they be able to make a great sacrifice to save the kingdom? And will Elani find true love?
Become lost in the adventure, love, loyalty, and mystery of The Treasure of Isian!

Prince Garin is off to find the elusive treasure of Isian, the one that will make princes wishes come true. Followed by a few good men and his faithful servant Elani they make their way. Little does he heed the warning that the treasure may not be what it seems. They search on in the lands where many magical creatures dwell, what they discover is most unexpected.

In an Oyster Shell –  A mind-blowing fantasy read with a sweet romance intertwined.

The Pearls –  The world building was just amazing. I love how this author took creatures that we may know from other fantasy stories and made them her own. I was over the moon as the party moved towards the land and the encountered magical creature after magical creature. She did a very good job at making each species distinctive to this story.

The story was romantic and poignant. The book read almost like a fairy tale of old. It had a moral that the reader could take with them long after they put the book down.

The characters were well defined. They played well of each other Garin and Elani. The supporting characters were helpful as well.

The Sand – This was a really good book

4.5 Pearls.

4.5 Stars

About Serena Clarke

Serena Clarke is from sunny Southern Utah and has taken several writing classes in college. She loves fantasy with a hint of romance. Serena has a Bachelors Degree in Graphic Design and is a member of the Red Mountain Shadows Publishing team. She not only is an author, but also creates book covers for authors. She is passionate about learning and education, art and design. The fantasy/romance novels she has written are The Treasure of Isian, The Alliance of Isian, and The Secret of Isian.

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La Vie en Rose {Life in Pink}
Lydia Michaels
Publication date: April 12th 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance

Emma Sanders has always dreamt of being a bride, wearing fancy gowns, pretty pearls, and—of course—falling madly in love. Then life happened. Finding herself one fiancé short of her happily ever after, she leaves the fairytales behind. Some days are simply too perilous for pink gowns and pearls.

Riley Lockhart is the sort of man who can make a woman lower her gaze with only a smile. That he doesn’t realize his charm makes him all the more enchanting. Determined to save Emma the pain of her breakup, he steps in as a friend, but soon finds himself wanting more.

She was just a girl, but she somehow winds up being the strongest woman he’s ever known. Losing her is not an option and when life can’t be tied neatly in a pretty little bow, he holds tight to all that he loves—his Emma. His hero.

Sometimes the greatest scars are worn on the inside.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

you-turned-and-smiled-at-me.-I-was-lost-in-that-moment-Em.-Between-your-smile-and-those-sweet-brown-eyes-I’m-a-goner.

He-didn’t-need-his-friends-to-understand-the-fear-but-he-wanted-them-to-appreciate-how-important-Emma-was-how-different-she-was-from-every-other-girl.-1

 

Author Bio:

Lydia Michaels is the award winning author of 23 romance novels. Her novels from the darkly compelling Surrender Trilogy were iBooks Bestsellers and her work has been featured in USA Today. In 2015 she was the winner of The Best of Bucks Award and she has been nominated as Best Author in the Happenings Magazine two years running [2015 & 2016]. She is a four time nominee for the prestigious RONE Award. Her books are intellectual, emotional, haunting, always centered around love. Lydia Michaels loves to hear from readers! She can be contacted by email at Lydia@LydiaMichaelsBooks.com

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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SilencedInTheSurf_TourBanner (1)

Welcome to my tour stop for Silenced in the Surf by Kate Dyer-Seeley! This is book three in the Pacific Northwest Mystery series and released March 29th, 2016.

The tour runs April 4-15 with reviews, interviews, guest posts and excerpts. Check out the tour page for the full schedule.

SILENCED coverAbout the Book:
Covering a windsurfing competition should have been a breeze for reporter Meg Reed, but with a killer in the curl, she’s headed for rough waters…

Hood River in the Columbia River Gorge is the windsurfing capital of the world, and Meg is stoked to cover the King of the Hook event for Portland’s Northwest Extreme magazine. Before the competition gets under way, Meg has a chance to try some windsurfing on her own. But when the current sweeps her downriver, she spots a body snagged on the rocks. The dead man is Justin Cruise, aka Cruise Control, a celebrity windsurfer and not exactly a nice guy. It’s soon clear his death was no accident, and Cruise had no shortage of enemies. As Meg dives right in to discover who wiped out the windsurfer, she’ll need to keep her balance–or she too may get blown away.

Praise For Scene Of The Climb“A splendid overview of the greater Portland and Columbia River Gorge region, perfect for travel buffs. Her protagonist shows promise with her determined attitude and moxie.” –Library Journal

“A fun, terrific adventure.” —Suspense Magazine

Includes Adventure Guides!

In An Oyster Shell – This book is a nice change from the series. A slower pace I felt like you got to spend more quality time with the characters.
The Pearls –This is a great series and represents the Pacific Northwest perfectly. Can’t help but have a little Northwest pride after reading this series. I love that it represents the culture and the food. My favorite bit from this book is that coffee is a way of life here in the NorthWest. So True! Way to represent Dyer-Seeley!
I really liked the setting of Hood River. I haven’t spent much time there myself, but it seemed fairly accurate. I liked learning more about the windsurfing culture. It was just a fun book.
The characters just become more endearing with each book. Got to love Megs grandmother Gam. She is a hoot. The love interest Matt keeps you on your toes. There are just a great cast of characters in this series.
I reccomend it. I can’t see where it goeds there were some pretty big plot twists in this book promising the books to come will be worth the wait.

 

Don’t miss out on the first two books, Scene of the Climb and Slayed on the Slopes!

Scene of the ClimbSlayedontheSlopes-Small

About the Author:

Kate Dyer-Seeley writes the Pacific Northwest Mystery Series for Kensington Publishing. The first book in the series, Scene of the Climb, features the rugged landscapes of the Columbia River Gorge and a young journalist who bills herself as an intrepidadventurer in order to land a gig writing for Northwest Extreme.

Her work has appeared in a variety of regional and international publications including: The Columbian, The Vancouver Voice, Seattle Backpacker, Portland Family Magazine, and Climbing Magazine.

Kate lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—at all three.

***
***
GIVEAWAY:
Signed copies of Scene of the Climb, Slayed on the Slopes and Silenced in the Surf, pink water bottle, Organic Clif bars, Sunscreen, Chapstick, Pink sunglasses & Gourmet lemonade.
Open to US addresses only.
Ends April 20, 2016

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This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.
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ARC Review Her Secret, His Surprise by Paula AltenburgHer Secret, His Surprise by Paula Altenburg
Published by Entangled Publishing on July 14th 2014
Pages: 166
Source: Entangled Publishing

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

Goodreads
Amazon

***This is a Red-Hot Bliss Title! As such, it contains sexual content***
Conflict of interest is an understatement…
Since being disowned by her strict father, Cass Stone has spent her adulthood trying to prove him wrong. Her drive has led to more success than her family ever thought she’d achieve, and life is looking great. Not even an incredible and mysterious one night stand that leaves her a single mom can trip her up...until the father of her baby stumbles back into her life, as sexy and unreliable as ever.
Logan Alexander hasn’t forgotten the night he spent with Cass two years ago, but he never expects to end up undercover as her assistant. His job saves lives—like it should have saved his brother—and he can’t afford complications. It’s difficult enough to maintain his cover as a carefree wanderer when he realizes his attraction to Cass hasn’t faded...and then he meets Cass’s daughter.

Cass Stone wants the night to celebrate so she picks up Logan Alexandar for a night. Neither of them could predict the faulty contraception. Two years later Logan runs into Cass again and is surprised that she has a daughter. Unable to share his real identity he has to figure out her secret and still get his job done.

In an Oyster Shell –  A fun love story, this is not a unique concept and there are a few stories out there like it. It was a bit underwhelming.

The Pearls – The characters were really fun. I don’t usually empathize with Type A characters,  but Cass was relatable enough. Logan was a great love interest. I loved the toddler Olivia. Authors don’t always think to develop children characters but this one did.

I loved the setting I have a geological crush on Canada for some reason. It’s nice to travel in a story and never leave your house.

Even though it wasn’t unique, I did like the romance. The blurb says there are sex scenes but they were not that bad. They were tasteful.

The Sand –  It was a nice enough love story, very similar to a few I have read.

3 Stars
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friday-coffee-bookish-speaks

Happy Friday Peeps! I am drinking the usual, fresh roasted coffee topped with heavy cream. It feels like forever since I’ve been able to just sit down and blog. I have been out of town off and on for the last three weeks. I am glad to be back.

I don’t know about you but in the midst of my ginormous TBR I have a few series that I am keeping up with. What sparked this discussion is the fourth book of the Water Keepers a series I started years ago came out. I am so thrilled. It was a good series and I’ve been bummed to have to wait as long. Honestly, it’s been so long I forgot about it and I got an email saying the next book was coming out! It’s like Christmas.

That happening made me think about how many series that I am in wait for. I can’t tell you how many. I don’t even keep track I just see the book around and think “Oh Yeah, I’m reading that series.” I guess I have commitment issues when it comes to books. I am a book player! The only series I was like a scavenger for was the Lunar Chronicles.

It’s hard to keep up with series when can be published so sporadically. How do you keep up with your series?

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Blog Tour and Book Review – Uneven Exchange by S.K. DerbanUneven Exchange by S.K. Derban
Published by Limitless Publishing on August 26th 2015
Pages: 344
Goodreads
Amazon

Like fire and ice, Alexandra Callet's life runs hot and cold. At the age of thirty-three, Alexandra owns a stunning home and a successful interior design company. But she is in love with her business partner, Jake Taylor, and he doesn't even seem to realize she's a woman. She should be on top of the world, but instead she feels dragged down by the void in her heart. Hoping for answers, she decides a trip to Mexico might soothe her soul. Jake Taylor only pretends to be a confirmed bachelor. Jake has been entranced by Alexandra's determination and exotic beauty since the moment they met, but she has no idea how he feels. He considers confessing his love, but fears jeopardizing their friendship and business. He's caught in a web of pretending he doesn't care, and doesn't see a way out of it. Alexandra is recruited for a dangerous mission. Following her trip to Mexico, her resemblance to a member of an assassin's family leads Alexandra to be recruited by the DEA. Her training leaves her distracted, and her business begins to suffer. Jake notices her sudden change, and feels her slipping both personally and professionally beyond his reach. Should he finally take the chance...before it's too late? After all, he has nothing to lose. However, when Alexandra returns to Mexico for her mission, things go terribly wrong. Will she be able find the strength to fight and escape the peaceful haven that has now become her prison? Or will Jake lose Alexandra forever...

Alexandra Callet almost has it all. She has a successful business with two beautiful homes. She’s in love with her partner Jake but he doesn’t know it and that seems to be the only thing that is missing. In a strange culmination of circumstances Alexandra is asked by the DEA to pose as a Mexican hitman’s sister to bring him into custody. She is a striking resemblance, could be mistaken as an Identical twin. She agrees and sets upon a dangerous adventure. In the meantime Jake starts to realize what he is missing. Will he get to her before it is too late?

In an Oyster Shell – An easy read with action and spirituality that will leave the reader feeling hopeful.

The Pearls – The premise of this story was interesting. I thought having to women that look like each other to be advantageous to the DEA’s interest was imaginative. The execution of this premise was well done and made for an interesting tale.

The main character Alexandra was intriguing. She is a woman who has it all but then risks it to help out the government. She was very surprising and a driving force behind the story.

The setting of southern California and Mexico was beautiful and well described.

The Sand – The action of the book was not consistent and severely lagged in the end.

rating-3-pearls

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3 Stars

About S.K. Derban

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, S.K. Derban moved to London within the first three months, and remained in England until the age of five. Her father, an American citizen, was a decorated veteran of the second world war. Derban’s mother, born and raised in the United Kingdom, was involved with the London Royal Ballet Company, and a great fan of the arts. Even after returning to the United States, Derban’s life was filled with a love of the theatre and a passion for British murder mysteries. S.K. Derban has always remained passionate about writing, and is thrilled to finally share her work with others.

Her personal travel and missionary adventures also help to transport readers virtually across the globe. When writing, S.K. Derban relies on all aspects of her life, from her faith in the Lord, to her love and knowledge of the arts. ​

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Review Love Me Never by Sara Wolf

Review Love Me Never by Sara WolfLove Me Never by Sara Wolf
Series: Lovely Vicious #1
on April 5th 2016
Genres: YA, Romance
Pages: 304
Format: Mobi
Source: Entangled Publishing

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

Goodreads
Amazon

Read the book that Kirkus Reviews called: "A complex, witty page-turner, ideal for YA fans of scandal and romance."
Don’t love your enemy. Declare war on him.
Seventeen-year-old Isis Blake hasn’t fallen in love in three years, nine weeks, and five days, and after what happened last time, she intends to keep it that way. Since then she’s lost eighty-five pounds, gotten four streaks of purple in her hair, and moved to Buttcrack-of-Nowhere, Ohio, to help her mom escape a bad relationship.
All the girls in her new school want one thing—Jack Hunter, the Ice Prince of East Summit High. Hot as an Armani ad, smart enough to get into Yale, and colder than the Arctic, Jack Hunter's never gone out with anyone. Sure, people have seen him downtown with beautiful women, but he's never given high school girls the time of day. Until Isis punches him in the face.
Jack’s met his match. Suddenly everything is a game.
The goal: Make the other beg for mercy.The game board: East Summit High.The reward: Something neither of them expected.
Previously published as Lovely Vicious, this fully revised and updated edition is full of romance, intrigue, and laugh-out-loud moments.

Isis Blake hasn’t fallen in love in over three years. She wants to keep it that way. Isis attends a new school in Ohio hoping to put the past behind her. She has a run-in with Jack Hunter who she deems the Ice Prince. She declares war on him after he his mean to one of her new friends. She keeps track that she doesn’t fall in love because when you do people can get hurt.

In an Oyster-Shell- An amazing story with a shocking end that will have you counting the days down to the next release.

The Pearls – Holy mother of cliff hangers batman. I was not sure if this book was a part of a series or not and about had an aneurysm at the end. I was in literary shock until I jumped on Goodreads and was assured this is a series. That was close!

The storytelling was just fantastic. This author tells a really good story. She uses great character development with laugh out loud humor to tell a tale that will keep you turning the pages.

The point of view from Jack on occasion really made the story come together. Jack’s a tough character and the only way to understand him is get inside his head. Jack Hunter is one of the better developed characters I’ve come across in a long time.

The Sand – The author needs to tighten up her writing craft. The prose was a bit on the wordy side and could stand to be condensed.

4 Stars

About Sara Wolf

Sara Wolf is a twenty-something author who adores baking, screaming at her cats, and screaming at herself while she types hilarious things. When she was a kid, she was too busy eating dirt to write her first terrible book. Twenty years later, she picked up a keyboard and started mashing her fists on it and created the monster known as the Lovely Vicious series. She lives in San Diego with two cats, a crippling-yet-refreshing sense of self-doubt, and not enough fruit tarts ever.

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