Friday, January 18, 2019

The Haunting of Elmwood Manor


The Haunting of Elmwood Manor
Pamela McCord
(a Pekin Dewlap Mystery)
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: March 1st 2019
Genres: Middle-Grade, Mystery
Pekin Dewlap hasn’t seen a ghost since she was twelve. But she’d do anything to get them back. Starting a ghostbusting business with her two best friends, Amber and Scout, seems like the perfect way to accomplish her goal. Of course, playing with ghosts isn’t high on their wish list, so Pekin has to do some arm-twisting to get them on board.
Once committed, Pekin and her friends find themselves in deep, trying to solve the disappearance of fourteen-year-old Miranda Talbert. Miranda went missing in 1918, and her spirit has wandered the halls of Elmwood Manor for the last hundred years.
In the midst of finding Miranda, discovering her budding feelings for Scout, and consoling a terrified Amber, Pekin is met by an angry ghost set on thwarting her plans. Will the Ghosties be able to help Miranda, or will Pekin’s business die before she solves the mystery?


Author Bio:
Pam was born in Arkansas several decades ago. She’s not sure if that makes her a Southern Girl or if moving to Southern California when she was five revokes her Southern Girl card. She started writing later in life when she was challenged by a friend to create a book out of his story idea. Reaching the first 5,000 words was a milestone, but with time and hard work she managed to finish an entire book, much to her surprise. Since then, she’s written several novels, in several genres. Romance, middle grade and paranormal comprise most of her work. Pam has spent over 40 years working as a legal secretary at a law firm in Orange County, California. Aside from writing, she follows the stock market, buying, selling and trading stocks and options. In contrast to that, she loves trips to Las Vegas where she can spend many happy hours at the Pai Gow tables. She shares a condo with her very own My Cat From Hell TV star, Allie, who manages to exude just enough affection to make her scary feral ways tolerable.

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Hating Game


Title: The Hating Game
Author: Sally Thorne
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: William Morrow 
Published: August 9, 2016
Pages: 387
My Rating: ★★

Nemesis (n.) 
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.
Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.



The perfect hate to love office story.

I was so worried this book was going to be another flop or a typical chick flick novel. All the reviews for the book have been absolutely stellar so I went into it hoping not to be disappointed like so many other times. But I am happy to report that I absolutely adored this novel. Way more even than I thought I would. Yes, it is kinda predictable but that is what makes it so delicious at the same time. I wish Joshua Templeman was real. Why can't he be real?! The book is soooooo freaking cute. It will make you giggle and squeal like a little girl rooting for the romance of Lucy and Joshua. Yes, I actually squealed out loud while reading. #Embarrassing...... good thing I live alone. I could not put down for the life of me and read the book super fast. The only reason this is not a five star for me is just because of the predictability. Plus, at times I found myself saying out loud, "Lucy, how dense can you be?!!!! Josh freaking adores you." The love to hate trope is my favorite. Banter between characters is a favorite of mine followed by intense kissing. Maybe it's the hopeless romantic in me but I could not get enough in this read. Here is a new favorite of mine.



Sally Thorne lives in Canberra, Australia, and spends her days writing funding submissions and drafting contracts (yawn!) so it's not surprising that after hours she climbs into colorful fictional worlds of her own creation. Sally believes that romance readers are always searching for intensity in their next favorite book--and it isn't always so easy to find. The Hating Game is her first novel.
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Sunday, January 13, 2019

Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)


Title: Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)
Author: Seanan McGuire
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Tor
Published: June 13, 2017
Pages: 187
My Rating: ★★

Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.

Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you've got. They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted. They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.


Two twins go on an adventure in a new and exciting land.

I was a little wary going into this second book in the Wayward Children series because I didn't know if this sequel would live up to the first book. I was happily surprised that I ended up liking this one way more even then the first one. Which almost never happens to me when reading a series. Often, there will be a first book syndrome but in this instance that was not the case. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and ended up finishing the book super fast because I needed to know what was going to happen. The book is perfection and I have no other rating for it other than being an easy five stars! I loved every single moment of this book. It had a creepy dark vibe. The backstory and learning about Jack and Jill kept me on my toes and there were times where I was so mad at their parents. McGuire's writing is stunning plain and simple. If you have not tried this series yet...... please, I urge you to pick it up. You will not be disappointed. 


Hi! I'm Seanan McGuire, author of the Toby Daye series (Rosemary and RueA Local HabitationAn Artificial NightLate Eclipses), as well as a lot of other things. I'm also Mira Grant (www.miragrant.com), author of Feed and Deadline.

Born and raised in Northern California, I fear weather and am remarkably laid-back about rattlesnakes. I watch too many horror movies, read too many comic books, and share my house with two monsters in feline form, Lilly and Alice (Siamese and Maine Coon).


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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Stay Sweet


Title: Stay Sweet
Author: Siobhan Vivian
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance 
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books 
Published: April 24, 2018
Pages: 368
My Rating: ★★

A summer read about first love, feminism, and ice cream. Summer in Sand Lake isn’t complete without a trip to Meade Creamery—the local ice cream stand founded in 1944 by Molly Meade who started making ice cream to cheer up her lovesick girlfriends while all the boys were away at war. Since then, the stand has been owned and managed exclusively by local girls, who inevitably become the best of friends. Seventeen-year-old Amelia and her best friend Cate have worked at the stand every summer for the past three years, and Amelia is “Head Girl” at the stand this summer. When Molly passes away before Amelia even has her first day in charge, Amelia isn’t sure that the stand can go on. That is, until Molly’s grandnephew Grady arrives and asks Amelia to stay on to help continue the business…but Grady’s got some changes in mind… 

A young girl working an ice cream stand in the summer that falls in love for the first time.

Going into this book, I knew it was going to be cheesy but I hoped in a good way. I was pleasantly surprised just how much I loved this book. I read it super fast and ate up every single word. It gave me small town nostalgia vibes. Not to mention it made me crave good old fashioned ice cream like no other. The whole book was very cute. That's the only way I can describe it because it gives you those butterflies you get while watching a good chick flick movie. I wasn't as much into the romance as I was with figuring out the history of the stand. I loved all the flashbacks back in time. This book is such a fun read and it's just the book I needed. Something sweet and fluffy where I did not have to think too much. The only reason the book does not get five stars from me is because at times I became annoyed with certain characters. 



Siobhan Vivian is the author of THE LAST BOY AND GIRL IN THE WORLD (April 2016), as well as THE LIST, NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL, SAME DIFFERENCE, and A LITTLE FRIENDLY ADVICE. She also co-wrote BURN FOR BURN series with her best friend JENNY HAN. She currently lives in Pittsburgh.



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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Landline Book Review



Title: Landline
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Published: July 8, 2014
Pages: 310
My Rating:  ★★

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now. Maybe that was always beside the point. Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn't expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her. When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything. That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts... Is that what she’s supposed to do? Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

A wife trying to figure out what is most important in life.

At the beginning of this book, I knew exactly what the ending was going to be like. This is the only reason why this book was an average read for me. Maybe if I didn't read books so well the rating might be higher. However, I do absolutely love Rainbow Rowell's writing style. I don't know why I love the writing so much but it's just so descriptive it's deliciously good. This book has a Winter/Christmas setting which made this so much more fun to read as it's Christmas time for me... LOVE LOVE Georgie's daughter. Like seriously, she is the absolute cutest. For sure, my favorite character. The concept was cool. How time is all interconnected. The choices you make in your past and how it can change your future without you even knowing. Overall, Landline was an average read for me and I zoomed through it pretty quickly.



Rainbow Rowell writes books. Sometimes she writes about adults (ATTACHMENTS and LANDLINE). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (ELEANOR & PARK and FANGIRL). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they're screwing up. And people who fall in love. When she's not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don't really matter in the big scheme of things. She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons. More at rainbowrowell.com.

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Saturday, October 27, 2018

Every Heart A Doorway Review


Title: Every Heart A Doorway (Wayward children #1)
Author: Seanan McGuire
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Tor
Published: April 5, 2016
Pages: 169 pages
My Rating: ★★

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests
Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere... else.
But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.
Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world. But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter. No matter the cost.
 



Did you ever wonder what happened to kids like Alice after coming back from Wonderland?

This book was different than I expected it to be but in a good way. It had all the right mystery and intrique. I was worried that it was not going to live up to it's hype but it was just as good as people had been saying it was. I cannot wait to read more of the series. The book was a short quick read and I actually wish it was longer. I loved the main character Nancy. She is such a debby downer it is actually super refreshing. I actually liked her negativity with the human world. I would have wanted to stay in my fantasy world too. I don't blame her. This was such a fun read and what an interesting topic. This book has amazing representation as far as diversity goes. AND DON'T GET ME STARTED ON THAT ENDING!!! I NEED MORE.


Seanan McGuire, author of the Toby Daye series (Rosemary and RueA Local HabitationAn Artificial NightLate Eclipses), as well as a lot of other things. I'm also Mira Grant (www.miragrant.com), author of Feed and DeadlineBorn and raised in Northern California, I fear weather and am remarkably laid-back about rattlesnakes. I watch too many horror movies, read too many comic books, and share my house with two monsters in feline form, Lilly and Alice (Siamese and Maine Coon).

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Thanksgiving Nails

I love Thanksgiving! Not to mention the food. Mashed potatoes and gravy for the win. It is for sure my favorite meal of the year. I am the pie baker of the family! My speciality is apple pie.

Put a little more spark into your holidays this year and get your Thanksgiving nails. You know your girl here is going to be rocking her turkey nails while baking up a storm. It truly is my favorite time of year.



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Monday, October 22, 2018

7 Day Acti-Lab Shred

 As some of you know, I joined a new company a couple weeks ago called Acti-Labs. I am in love with all their products. Makeup, skincare, weight loss, supplements, tooth paste, and more. One of my biggest motivations for joining is for losing weight. I have struggled with my weight my whole life and after hearing I gained 6 more pounds last week at the doctor. I began to cry. I am already a type two diabetic and I knew my lifestyle has to change. I partnered with this new and upcoming company that has many success stories because there results prove themselves. I am going to be documenting my results with you guys via facebook and here. I cannot wait to share my weight loss journey with you.

How does the shred work exactly? I thought I would do a play by play with you in case you would like to join me and hundreds of other ambassadors this 29th of October! What are your weight goals and how can we help each other?

Acti Shred Kit (what you need)

www.acti-labs.com/me/melanie-brook actilabs 7 day shred actidiet weightloss detox
Hydraslim, $18.50, 25 day supply
Your 7 day shred kit contains 250ml Hydra-Slim and 7 ActiDiet Shakes. Shakes come in all different flavors.

What to do

  • mix 10ml of Hydraslim with at least 500ml of drinking water
  • replace one meal a day with your Acti Shake. 
  • You can shred at least once a month. Don't over do it or starve yourself.
  • Take small sips spaced over several hours.
  • Drink as much water as you can. This helps flush your system during this detox.
  • water, sugar free drinks, decaf and green teas all count towards your water intake
  • You can have caffeinated drinks.
  • All drinks should also be included in your calorie count if not water.
  • NO alcohol or fizzy drinks
  • You choose which meal to replace with your Acti Shakes.
  • Your meals should be high in protein, low in fat, and low in carbohydrates 
  • Your total calorie target is 800 – 900 calories for women and 1100 – 1200 calories for men.
  • include your shakes in with those calories.

www.acti-labs.com/me/melanie-brook actilabs 7 day shred actidiet weightloss detox hydraslim
  • Do you exercise?
    If you exercise you should add on 100 – 200 calories on the days you exercise to replace the calories burnt during exercise. Do not make yourself pass out. 
  • Don’t starve yourself
    You must ensure you reach but do not exceed your calorie target.  Do not eat less than the 800 – 900 calories as your body will go into starvation mode
  • Doing a detox?
    If you are doing this for a full detox you should not consume caffeine.  If you are doing it for weight loss, caffeine is ok – but your drinks must be included in your daily calorie count.
  • Hunger struggles?
    When getting started it is likely that in the first few days of the diet you may feel hungry or be tempted to snack. Remember – it is only 7 days – you can do this!!
    If you cannot face the hunger pangs, then you can always consider adding fruit or juice to help you feel fuller.... most of the time our hunger pains are actually from not drinking enough water. Plan ahead with meals. Don't be tempted to cheat or run through a drive thru. If you don’t like the taste of your shake, you can blend the shake with fruit
  • Eat lean white meat. Diabetic diets are key!
  • Do not be tempted to weigh yourself in the first few days. You will gain water weight before your body purges the toxins.
    If you do not regularly drink 2.5L of water it is likely that you may have some water retention for a few days, feel bloated and the scales may leave you disappointed.  Do not weigh yourself after day 1 until your shred has finished.
 www.acti-labs.com/me/melanie-brook actilabs 7 day shred actidiet weightloss detox hydraslim

Want to get your 7 day shred kit at a DISCOUNT PRICE?  Just register for free as a VIP ON MY WEBSITE, and you will get a 10% discount to use straight away!    Just visit my website, register, and click on the “VIP” box to receive your voucher straight away!!! click here to order!

Need some clarification? just ask away in the comments below!  Do you want to know more about working from home? Contact me <3
Xoxo, Emily


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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The Good Daughter Book Review


Title: The Good Daughter
Author: Karin Slaughter
Genre: Adult Mystery Thriller
Publisher: William Morrow 
Published: August 8, 2017
My Rating: ★★

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind.

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn's happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father—Pikeville's notorious defense attorney—devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night. Twenty-eight years later, Charlotte has followed in her father's footsteps to become a lawyer herself—the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again, and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized, Charlotte is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it's a case that unleashes the terrible memories she's spent so long trying to suppress--because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won't stay buried forever. Packed with twists and turns, brimming with emotion and heart, The Good Daughter is fiction at its most thrilling.

A girl haunted by her past.
From a young age both sisters Charlotte and Samantha are haunted by a traumatic event. Witnessing the murder of their mother has haunted their lives. Both bring the event of that night into their adult lives. The girls have major trust issues because of it. This whole book was very intense and I felt like this family could not catch a break. Almost to the point where all the tragedies these girls went through almost seemed unrealistic. I was surprised by the plot twist so I will give the book that. Otherwise, it was an average read for me. This is a book where I am not in the majority of 4 or 5 star reads. I just am very picky with my trillers or mysteries because I can predict them pretty well. I just didn't like the main character that much in this novel so it became an average read for me. I also got mad that the two main sisters drifted apart from each other after both experiencing such a tramatic event together. I felt like the sisters should have been brought closer together because of it. Either way, I read this one pretty fast and I am glad I picked it up. I will give Karin Slaughter another chance. 
Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her eighteen novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant New York Times bestselling novels Pretty Girls and The Good Daughter. Slaughter is the founder of the Save the Libraries project—a nonprofit organization established to support libraries and library programing. A native of Georgia, Karin Slaughter lives in Atlanta. Her Will Trent series, Grant County series, and standalone novel Cop Town are all in development for film and television. 
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