Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Onyx Webb: Book One: Episodes 1, 2, & 3

From the Publisher: - It’s June, 1980 and piano prodigy, Juniper Cole is on the way to her senior prom.

- It’s January 2010, and Koda Mulvaney has blown through his 20 million dollar trust fund and is told by his father to return home and get to work.

- It’s August, 1904 and little Onyx Webb is on her way to the famous World’s Fair in St. Louis with her father, Catfish.

Two of the three will see a ghost, one will become a ghost and everyone will learn that life is hard to let go of even when you’re dead. And that's just Book One. Designed to read like a supernatural soap opera, Onyx Webb is a paranormal suspense series, with supernatural romance, as well as a dash of historical fiction. The stories may haunt you, the darkness may disturb you, but ultimately you’ll be reminded to treasure every moment of your life because… If you think life is precious now? Just wait until you’re dead.

My Review: Wow! That's an understatement, though. Onyx Webb is one of those books that you just don't want to put down because it grabs you from the beginning and keeps you wanting more. Not only do you get one story, you get three! And they are all told in different times, like the 1900s, 1970s, and in the current, 2000s. So you get three different points of view, and at first you're thinking "What does this have to do with that?" But then you see it, and it's like, WHOA! Of the three different story lines, they all connect in some way, and it's pretty cool to see how it does.

We meet Onyx in 1904 when she's just a little girl on her way to the fair with her father. Her mom died when she was born, so she never knew her. But there is a mystery to her mother that we are eluded to. So Onyx is a bit of a mystery to us from the beginning. While at the fair, she strays from her father and ends up being taken by a woman who is totally messed up in the head! I won't go into detail on that, but just know, people in this book who you think are nice and sweet, aren't. I don't want to go into too much detail with her story because it's got a lot going on. So I don't want to spoil it for you!

Fast forward a bit and we're now in the 1970s. There is a girl named Juniper, and as a young girl has her future set. She's a piano prodigy and everyone is fascinated with her! But, things go south quickly when her dad starts stealing her money and runs off with another woman. Leaving Juniper, her brother Quinn, and their mother all alone. But their mom isn't much help since she's turned to the bottle for comfort. So, Quinn is put into the role of caretaker and does everything he can to take care of his sister. That is, until she leaves for her senior prom years later, only to not return home at curfew. Quinn does everything he can to find her. The city of Savannah searches for this young star, but to no avail. What happened to her? And why would someone want to take an innocent girl?

Now we're in the 2000s. We meet Koda Mulvaney and he's the modern day heart throb for teenage girls. He was also named sexiest man alive, but his appearance and outlook on life is to be determined. He's got it all. Money, girls wanting him, a best friend to travel the world with him. He's even got a filthy rich, self-centered girlfriend. But one day Koda wakes up only to find out that he has no more money. It's gone. He's spent it all and now his father wants him home to work at his! Koda doesn't do "work" but he has no other choice.

One evening at a fundraiser that his girlfriend is throwing, Koda spots an old mirror in the hallway of the fancy hotel. Upon staring into it, he notices a young girl on the other side. She reaches her hand out and touches the mirror, and Koda is mesmerized. He has to have that mirror. So he tells a little white lie and gets it. But, the girl is gone. Day after day, Koda sits in front of it, willing the girl to show up. But little does he know, his best friend might have the key to getting him in touch with her again.

This is such a good book!! I purposefully did not go into great detail because it's one of those where you just have to read it. It goes back and forth between all of the stories above, and we are introduced to supporting characters who also play a part in these stories as well. It's really cool how authors Waltz and Fenton bring all of the story lines that span over time, together to all fit.

I highly recommend this book! And it's just Book 1, so I'm really hoping Book 2 is already in the works because I am anxious to see what happens next!!

Click here to purchase on Amazon!

                                    *****5 Stars! I Really Liked This Book!!!

**I will say that there are some typos in the book, but it didn't change my rating because I liked the story too much.**

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

My Best Friend's Brother (A Romantic Comedy Book 1)

From the Publisher: When Lilly announced that her estranged brother is coming to live with her, Adonia was shocked—she had no idea her best friend even had a brother! Adonia doesn’t have long to process this revelation before Lilly jets off to vacation in sunny Florida, leaving her alone for weeks. Adonia doesn’t know how she’s going to pass the time, but that changes one morning when she’s sitting in a local book store and spots the sexiest guy she’s ever seen. Little does she know, he’s spotted her too.

His name is Luke, and he’s smokin’ hot—probably the hottest guy west of the Mississippi! In fact, he’s so hot that Adonia has dubbed him a Greek god!

Luke sweeps her off her feet, beats the tar out of her jerky ex-boyfriend at school, and is a perfect gentleman—what’s not to love about her Greek god? He’s an award-winning skier and Olympic hopeful, and he’s fallen in love with HER! But between stolen kisses, moonlight skiing and heated whispers, Adonia has the feeling Luke is keeping secrets. When she tries to get him to share, Luke clams up. Not knowing what to do, Adonia decides to back off, but has no idea that everything is about to come crashing down around her. Her love for Luke is about to be tested beyond any relationship she’s ever had! Will their love survive the test? Or will Adonia end up with nothing, just as she was starting to think she had everything?

My Review: Adonia and Lilly are the best of friends. One day she mentions to Adonia that her brother is coming to live with her! But, Adonia had no idea a brother was even in the picture, so when Lilly said his name, she was so shocked that she missed it.

Fast forward a few days and Lilly is on a plane to Florida...a three week vacation from the frigid temps that Alaska provides. Adonia has no idea what she's going to do without her best friend, so she starts off by going to the book store. While there she spots a really good looking guy, and proceeds to peek at him from over her book. Who hasn't done that a time or two, right? ;) Well, turns out this overly-handsome guy noticed her too. He walks over, introduces himself, and this is the start of a beautiful relationship...well, almost.

They fall in love, have a wonderful three weeks and all seems to be going more than well. Until Luke starts acting a little off and she wonders what's going on. He won't open up to her, but one night she finally finds out the truth behind his odd behavior. She has no idea what to do. She loves Luke and doesn't want to lose him. She has a decision to make, but it won't just effect her life, but those of two people she cares deeply about.

I just have to say, Chrissy Favreau is an author who has a gift for writing fiction! She is so good at keeping the story going, interesting, funny and relateable. I found myself laughing for minutes at a time over something I had read. And even though this is a YA novel, it's one that will span over many different age groups! I really liked it and highly recommend! I hope to see more from Favreau in the future, especially since this is "Book 1." Should I get my hopes up for a Book 2 soon?? I sure hope so!! ;)

Click here to purchase on Amazon! Also, check out Chrissy Favreau's blog!

                                           *****5 Stars I Really Liked This Book!!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Rosa & Bella's Journal of Decline: A Psychological Horror

From the Publisher: Rosa was once a young, vibrant, intelligent woman in love. But that was before everything changed. Now, she lives a horrific existence with her daughter, baby Bella. This is her account of their decline, in journal format.

This is a UK based short story told in journal format, which focuses on the decline of a reluctant mother's world, her life, her mind, and the tragic consequences thereof.

My Review: Starting this book, I honestly didn't know what to expect. With the words "Psychological Horror" in the subtitle, my mind was going toward a crazy person who would end up killing, or toying with his victims.

Well, I didn't get that...per se.

What I did get was a story set in the year 2012 of a mother and her young daughter who are left alone in a world that has pretty much been destroyed. There are survivors, but they left a while back, leaving Rosa and Bella to fend for themselves. The only thing Rosa has are her thoughts, her daughter, Bella, a roof over their heads, a journal and a gun with one bullet in the chamber. So she journals. And with each entry you can see a steady decline, not only in her and her daughters health, but also in her mental state. Towards the end it's pretty evident she's gone a little crazy and is at her wits end...but who wouldn't given the state of life they are in. The gun has been taunting her for days, so she contemplates...

Rosa & Bella's Journal of Decline is just that, a journal. It's pretty short at only about 18 pages, but says a lot in that short time. It does make you wonder what you would do in that situation.

So as you can see, it's not your typical psychological horror, at least not what I would consider, but it's pretty interesting to read the account of what one mother's thoughts might be in a time like that.

Click here to purchase on Amazon!

                                                          ****4 Stars! I liked this book!

Welcome, Reluctant Stranger (Between Two Worlds Book 3)

From the Publisher: Frantic flight, peaceful life. Act of treason on an island country. Cauldron of warring emotions. Exotic beauty, ace with a gun. Geeky hunk with gifts for mockery and cooking.

Nine-year-old Leilani and her family mysteriously flee their country, leaving her father. Eighteen ears later, her peaceful solitary life ends when she rescues Justin Halverson from thugs and learns her father plotted to kill the murderous Costa Moran president.

With Justin, she returns to smuggle her father quietly out of Costa Mora, where she reconnects with her roots. But can she forgive her father, accept him for who he is? Can she finally be at peace with who she is?

Welcome, Reluctant Stranger (Between Two Worlds, Book 3) interweaves a love story into a tale of past political intrigue and Leilani’s inner journey, accepting her past. The book has been written so it can be read on its own.

My Review: When I was asked to read this I was excited since it involved a love story...I'm such a sucker for those! We meet Leilani when she's but a little girl at school, living what seems to be a cushy life when one day, it gets turned upside down when her mother gets her from school and takes her and her siblings to a waiting plane. Her mther gives no hint as to why they're leaving, and not just that, but her father doesn't seem to be going with them. Off they go to start another life in America. Without her father.

Fast forward 18 years and Leilani is driving home form work one night in a bad part of town. She is sitting at a red light, praying it turns green when she sees some men beating someone up. Upon closer inspection, the man is on the ground, not defending himself so she turns around, gets her gun out and rescues the would-be dead man and takes him to safety.

His name is Justin and he has his own set of problems. But through this one act of kindness, his family is very grateful and Justin's sister invites her over for dinner one night to say "thank you." As it turns out, Justin is newly single and is interested in her. Leilaini isn't really sure about dating someone who just got out of a relationship...and also feels he only wants to date her because she saved his life. But she agrees. And on the first meeting, information about her father comes out. About how he seemed to disappear when she was little, and now has found out he was in a conspiracy to kill the president of their country. Justin understands and offers to help her and her family get answers!

During this, someone from her father's past comes to visit saying he saw Leilani's father not long ago, so Leilani, along with her mother, sister, brother, and Justin form a plan to get him home.

Will this mission bring Justin and Leilani closer together? And will her father be rescued and reunited with his family? But most importantly, will Leilani be able to forgive him for what he conspired to do all those years ago? You have to get the book and find out!!

 Click here to purchase on Amazon!

                                              *****5 Stars I Really Like This Book!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

We Should Be Free (The Seacats)

From the Publisher: We Should Be Free is a heartwarming ballad about a young killer whale who is torn from his home by humans to be put on display at a marine park. A lyrical tale of loss and redemption, We Should Be Free is a children's story sure to inspire anyone who loves Orcas and the ocean they call home.

My Review: This is such a cute story about a killer whale who is separated from his family and taken to a Sea World-like environment. He is put on display in shows and cramped in a pool where he doesn't have the freedom to swim openly.

Kids and adults alike come by and "pet" him, as well as cheer when he does a trick correctly. All the while, his family back in the ocean misses him and wonders if he's even alive.

This is such a heartwarming story what it might be like for a whale family who has one of their own taken from them. No longer to be free, but to live the rest of their days, or most of their days, in an environment other than the one they should be living in. Although this story has a happy ending, it does make you wonder, if maybe not but a little, if whales might actually feel when one of their own gets taken away.

I believe this will be a book kids will want to read over and over. Not just because of the story, but the illustrations in it are so colorful and inviting.

Click here to purchase on Amazon!

                                                                        *****5 Stars!  

Village E3: Survival of the Human Spirit

From the Publisher: Imagine going to sleep in Colorado, then waking up on a beach with the ocean in front of you. That is what happened to John. With his mind flooded with questions, he is faced with the monumental task of survival in this strange place. One moment he has a life that is familiar, then without warning that life ends and a new one begins. He is angry about being there, and that anger stays with him till the end, suppressed but still lurking. He is tormented by solitude at first, but that solitude ends one day suddenly. Is it possible to find love in a place that he hates? He finds the answer to that question and more as he embarks on a journey of survival and discovery. Just when he is becoming comfortable with a complicated three way relationship and the life that he has, everything changes. Their lives aren't their own anymore, and as time goes on, the unexpected becomes expected. One day at a time, they search for answers and eventually find some.

My Review: Village E3 will get your attention from the beginning! John mysteriously wakes up at the beach, which would be awesome on any given day, but that day John was too confusing on how he got there. Seeing how John lived in Colorado, and fell asleep there, only to discover the beach when he woke up would be enough to drive anybody crazy.

As he gets accustomed to his new-found life, one day he gets a surprise: two girls!! He sees them walking on the beach, assuming they woke up in the same confused fashion as he did only months ago. But his obstacle now is getting these two women to trust him, and maybe figure a way off the island together.

Join John, Hailey, and Katie as they learn how to survive in their new home, and maybe figure out who's behind all of this.

Click here to purchase on Amazon!

                                              *****5 Stars! I really liked this book!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Bargepole Management: Minimal Input - Maximum Gain: The Art of Securing Excessive Compensation

From the Publisher: Excerpt from review in Forbes:
“As far as management books go, Bargepole Management is something of a rare gem. The premise steers clear of the cliché business management titles that attempt to inspire young hopefuls into donating their lives to the cause. It throws out the overused CEO quotes, routine back-breaking ideologies and rituals we’re told to adopt in order to be successful. Instead, it replaces them with insight into an age-old management style that we may be fully accustomed to, but without realizing. It’s one that requires minimum effort, but offers maximum gain.
Vandell says: “You don’t have to be a good footballer to be a successful football coach. Everyone can be a bargepole manager. This book just teaches you how to sustain it.”

My Review: If you've ever been in business, then this book will be one that will definitely open your eyes to how things have been, and continue to be done. While listening (I have an Audible account) to Vandell describe the different types of bargepoler's, I kept thinking, "Oh my gosh! I know someone like that!!"

It's amazing how many people sit back and take credit for other's work. He goes into how lawyers, politicians, and even designers are so good at bargepoling, that no one even seems to notice.

Vandell has clearly researched his stuff and knows the ins and outs of how to spot a bargepoler. But he doesn't stop at businesses, no, he talks about how politicians are the ultimate bargepolers, and once he describes it, there's no way you can deny that fact.

I do recommend this book to anyone who is in any type of work environment. It is an eye-opener for sure, and will it help you to see those around you who are sitting back and taking the credit. Vandell doesn't shy away from pointing the finger, and even labeling those who are lazy and use others to do the work for them. It's really quite sad once you see how so many use the seemingly weak individuals to overload on work and get no credit for it. But, that's business, I guess. Not that it makes it right, but maybe this will help you to pin-point who those are in your business and might give you an upper hand if they ever come to you for "help." ;)

You can purchase on Amazon, or!

                                                    *****5 Stars! I really liked this book!!