Friday, October 30, 2015

kick ass giveaway!

Happy Friday! Here's your chance to win a FREE copy of Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings!

....all you have to do is email your name, address, and this book title to: to enter!
Giveaway ends on 11/5 at midnight!
Good luck :)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

for the visual gamers.

Although I am a non-gamer, I do think the Batman Arkham series is pretty cool. This gaming series began in 2009 and was significantly influenced by the DC Comics. There are storylines and everything, each ending with Batman saving the day, if you're a good enough gamer that is.

Enter Batman: Arkham Universe by Matthew Manning, a visual guide that is to work as a companion for those who enjoy the Arkham series. Manning gives fans an inside look into the Arkhamverse, with cool images and fun facts on the characters you will come across while gaming. Now when your mom kicks you off your Xbox and tells you to pick up a book, you'll have it covered.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

food and books, my favorite things.

Oh my gosh, oh my gosh. I love EVERYTHING about Cara Nicoletti's Voracious: A Hungry Reader Cooks Her Way Through Great Books. I love books more than I love pretty much every person I have ever met, and then Cara goes out and pairs delicious recipes with some of my very favorite novels. Bah, it's so magical. Especially To Kill a Mockingbird's Biscuits with Molasses butter's recipe. I mean, I named my cat Atticus, so you can image. Just think of all of the classic books you've read and enjoyed in your life. A few of them are bound to have made it into Voracious. The Secret Garden? Charlotte's Web? Anne of Green Gables (another one of my favorites) paired with a Salted Chocolate Caramels recipe. And of course stories from Cara's childhood were icing on her poppy-seed cake.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

faking it by elise lorello.

Remember that time when I was super picky and couldn't find a novel I wanted to read? Well I found one, and I'm still pretty surprised at how much I liked it considering it's about a writing Professor who trades writing lessons for sex advice from a male escort. Or maybe that's exactly why I liked it?

After a pretty harsh breakup, Andi Cutrone moved back home to Long Island and started working at a university in Brooklyn. While attending faculty events, she meets Devin, an escort who goes on dates with many of the women Andi works with. After she meets Devin, Andi just couldn't stop thinking about him. And she knows she definitely can't afford him. So she calls to make a deal. She will givev him lessons on writing rhetoric, and he will give her advice on sex because she has about zero experience on the subject. Sounds like a fair trade. Devin's beauty is a bit distracting, and Andi obviously falls for him (I expected that), but what I didn't expect is how this little arrangement turned into a pretty adorable friendship making BOTH of them more confident and ready to follow their dreams.

Monday, October 26, 2015

a book lovers book.

If you enjoy reading about romance, adventure, and mystery, but also like a laugh or two, First Impressions by Charlie Lovett is perfect for you. Take my word.

First Impressions is a novel with two storylines. Half of the book takes place in Jane Austen’s time and the other half of takes place in present day London with a book lover named Sophie Collingwood who works at an antiquarian bookshop, a job she took to solve the mystery of her uncle's death, which she does not believe was an accident since his precious book collection disappeared. The other story follows Jane Austen and her unlikely friendship with the 80-year-old Richard Mansfield in 1796. Both stories were good, I just liked Sophie's better.

Friday, October 23, 2015

a psychological thriller for kids? yes.

I am loving all of these middle grade books I've been reading recently. I love even more that they are all spooky, with amazing illustrations will make getting a book in your kid's hand that much easier. The Nest by Kenneth Oppel is a psychological thriller written for grades 5-7, and it is super haunting and a little unsettling, probably in a good way.

Steve isn't your typical hero. He's a kid with some serious anxiety and maybe some OCD thrown in there. He's definitely on the spectrum. But anyways, his baby brother is sick which begins to cause stressful dreams for Steve. Dreams about wasps, and their queen, and his only solution, their offer to save the baby. When things start going south, and with actual wasps in a nest at the house, Steven worries about what the wasps will do to his brother. The story is definitely creepy, but there are morals, so I recommend reading the book before your child to help them understand the author's message.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

a day in the life of a nurse.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE medical shows. Every one that's on television right now, I am watching weekly. Theresa Brown is a practicing nurse and a columnist, and her book, The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients' Lives is better than all of the medical shows put together. Because it's riveting AND real. Oh my goodness is it real. The Shift overs a day in the life of Theresa Brown and the four very different patients she is in charge of during her twelve hour shift as an oncology nurse. I am not going to get into too much detail, but I just love how Brown keeps her cool and advocates for her patients. I have always known how precious nurses are, and even I have more respect after reading this book.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

everyone has a voice.

When a tragic house fire takes the lives of her entire family on the day of her daughter's wedding, June is left to pick up the pieces, alone. In Did You Ever Have a Family, Bill Clegg's debut novel, the story is told by mostly secondary characters, as the main ones have almost perished entirely. With the exception of June of course, who takes off in an attempt to heal from the tragedy. The novel is a wonderful drama, but also a mystery because that fire may have not been an accident.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

an eerie expedition.

The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York by Kory Merritt is EXACTLY the kind of book that will get kids reading. It's comic-like, lots of amazing graphics, little blurbs of the story on teach page, AND it's mildly sinister. When Jonathan York finds himself lost in the woods, he is put in quite the predicament (or four) to get himself out. Merritt nails it, and this work won't overwhelm your slower reader, but is entertaining enough for your confident reader.

Monday, October 19, 2015

not the best, but still good.

I have NEVER went on this long of a hiatus from blogging, and reading. But apparently fall is the biggest time of year for us in the on-the-side photography business, so I have been neck deep in sessions and editing. Not that I'm complaining. Since my last post, I am no longer a twenty-something. I am officially 30. And while celebrating all week, and then the week after at the beach was a blast, I am now sitting here at my kitchen counter, being 30, and that's not easy. I did get to read the latest Nicholas Sparks novel the day it was released, which made things a little better. Other than the fact that the main characters were 28, and I am now officially older than Nicholas Sparks characters.

See Me was definitely more on the thrilling side of things compared to Sparks' typical plotlines, although he has become more suspenseful as of late. Colin is an ex-con, on a five year probation period that will end with him in prison if he gets into one more fight at a bar. He is in college trying to get a degree in elementary education, changing his life around. And Maria is a lawyer, daughter of Mexican immigrants, who hasn't had much luck in love. They meet by chance, and immediately realize that despite Colin's past, and how wary it makes Maria and her family, they are meant to be. While there relationship blooms, neither realizes that Maria is in fact being stalked by someone who held a serious grudge about a case Maria was on when she was assistant to the DA in Charlotte. Once the stalker reveals themselves, and the police have little they can do about it, will Colin throw his life away to protect Maria?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

defeat the undead.

Happy first if October y'all! It's that time of year when all things scary come out to play, and the perfect time for your child to begin reading the How to Banish Fears series, if they haven't already. The installment I will be reviewing today? How to Zap Zombies by Catherine Leblanc and illustrated by Roland Garrigue. Why it's important? Because the idea of zombies is terrifying, yet they are super popular right now.

With the help of this book, your child will learn how to get rid of any zombie that may cross their path, even zombie princesses, all while also enjoying fun activities. And if it keeps you from having to look under their beds for monsters every night, that is just a bonus.