This Way To Forever

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This Way to ForeverAuthor: Loren Kleinman
Publisher: Evatopia Press
Genre: romance
ISBN-13: 978-1630990602

I have received this book for a fair review from the author, this will not affect my judgement. 

The story starts with Sara Brody meeting a charming, handsome exchange student from Poland in a party. Despite knowing that Tad is not here for long, Sara insists on having a date or two. Tad Bolak becomes her first true love, and they have a whirlwind of a time together. Sara and Tad decides to continue their relationship long distance after feeling that they can make it work. The first part of the story is filled with loving notes and romantic poems, like a fairy tale romance.

When Tad and Sara bump into rough relationship waters, this part was where the story was tested the most. Sara is dramatic and emotional, while Tad is more of a background guy who is the source of her dramatic angst. There is nothing original about the plot and story, and the characters simply behave as normal people would.

Hence This Way to Forever may be a light read for those who likes a warm romance story, about a young woman learning to choose and let go. I did not find Sara to my liking, because she has borderline irrational most of the time, and somehow I cannot believe most of story. That is because I was in a long distance relationship too, so there are parts missing for me as someone who has been through it. 

Overall, This Way to Forever is good story, but it is just one of many with similar background and story. The characters did not stand out for me, so made the whole thing fall flat. I would recommend it if you like a dramatic love triangle, and you want to know who she went for in the end. 

This Way to Forever


Sara Brody thought she had met her soulmate in Tad Bolak, a charming exchange student. Their whirlwind romance includes nights staring at the stars, declarations of love, and promises to talk often when Tad must return to his native Poland to complete his Master’s Degree. But Sara’s idealistic view of Tad and plans to be together when he gets his degree come to a shattering halt when he admits to having a fiancee back home.  Heartbroken, she vows to keep her heart safe from men and and focuses on her own studies. Until she meets Ethan.  Sara discovers that no relationship is perfect, especially when one still mourns past loves. Tad never gives up on her. Ethan wants her to give their relationship a chance. And Sara wonders what will become of her sense of self if she gives in to either man.
New From: $7.25 USD In Stock

Baby Update

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So far we have passed the 5 week mark. Little Princess is doing well, she is bossy wee thing who will not hesitate to make her demands known.

We are having Wonder Week 1 and a growth spurt. 

Such a cute little thing. 

Finding Charlie

Finding Charlie


Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

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Finding Charlie
Author: Katie O’Rourke
Genre: Women’s fiction/ Family Issues
ASIN: B017RL9NPC

My Review

Finding Charlie is about family, Olivia has a younger sister Charlotte (Charlie) who failed to return home one night. With a distraught father, Olivia embarks on a journey to trace her sister’s footsteps, only to find more than what she set out to find.

A story about a broken family, Olivia has to come into terms with what she had lost. Charlie’s disappearance had a reason, which will rock the family’s peaceful life. This little mystery turns out to be quite a revelation. 

Olivia, the older sister, the responsible one who is always looking after her younger sister Charlie. She sees herself as a protector as well as a caregiver and nothing should hurt her little sister. Charlie seems to be the young and spoiled little sister who has had a sheltered life, who decided to leave her sister and father worry. But the full story turns out to be more complicated than it is.

Finding Charlie is a short read about family issues, how forgiveness can be hard to give and receive when wounds are deep. The sisters are put to the test, and the result might be surprising. A recommended light read for those who like a short read about family issues. 

In the Garden Room- Guest Post

Image provided by My Addiction is Reading 

 Historical Suspense, Gothic
Date Published: July 18, 2016
Publisher: Blunder Woman Productions

 It is Chicago. 1910. Eleven-year-old Lillian March looks over her mother’s dead body with a sense of relief.

As a poor woman, her mother, Cora, never had any real choices or happiness with her life. Cora and Lillian flee to the bustling city of Chicago, where she is certain she will have the life of opulence she deserves.

Cora and Lillian face deep hardships in turn-of-the-century Chicago as Cora’s mind continues its downward spiral. With no money and no hope for income, Cora sells Lillian to The Garden Room, a brothel, where young girls and desperate women are kept like flowers in a jar.

John March comes looking for his daughter and his wife in an attempt to rescue them, but even if he finds them alive, is rescue really possible?

IN THE GARDEN ROOM is an exploration of madness, desire and two women’s choices in a time when they weren’t really allowed to choose.

 

Tanya Eby is a writer and an award-winning audiobook narrator. She has published a variety of novels from romantic comedies to mysteries to dark historical pieces. While her writing crosses genres they all share quirky characters and complicated relationships. Visit her at tanyaeby.com or follow her on Twitter @Blunder_Woman.

 

Contact Information
Website: www.tanyaeby.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TanyaEbyNarrator
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Blunder_Woman
Blog: https://twitter.com/Blunder_Woman
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30979784-in-the-garden-room

 Purchase Links
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Garden-Room-Tanya-Eby-ebook/dp/B01I62LDB8
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/in-the-garden-room-tanya-eby/1124115482
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/in-the-garden-room
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1132906795 

 
Excerpts from IN THE GARDEN ROOM by Tanya Eby

            Cora had it all planned out. It hadn’t taken any effort, really. It unrolled like a rug…one push and it unfurled all on its own. They would escape. She would protect Lillian, the way that she had dreamed of being protected, and she would whisk her away to a safe place. A place where Lillian could grow up and meet a good man who could support her the way she deserved, maybe buying a nice home for Cora too, though Cora wasn’t quite past the courting stage, yet. If she weren’t married. It didn’t matter. This was a moment for a new start. To start the way life should: with possibility.

She took their cherry farm money. All of it. Cora moved with the speed of a crack of lightning. This was her chance, and she intended to take it.

            John’s ship had been delayed. He was not dead, of course. Not at the bottom of Lake Michigan, where, secretly, she thought he’d be better off. Happier. He was circling the Upper Peninsula where the fishing was better than expected. By the time he made it home, they’d have been gone long enough for a thin layer of dust to settle over every surface in the house, though he probably wouldn’t even notice.

            It was amazing how swiftly one could free oneself. Like throwing open the door to a cage, Cora had escaped, bringing her little bird with her.

            They took a train to Ludington, and then boarded the ferry for Chicago.

            On the train, Cora sat demurely. She folded her gloved hands in her lap and imagined she was a debutante at a ball. She should have been a debutante. She should have been swathed in white silk and passed from one fine-gloved hand to another. Instead, she was a fisherman’s wife with calluses on her knees. That could stop now. The train shook on the tracks, and Cora felt as if it was shaking off her skin, leaving her exposed and soft as a peeled hardboiled egg. For once, Lillian did not prattle on and on. Her daughter sat in a stunned sort of silence, her eyes hollow. Her shoulders seemed weighted down. She’d get over it soon. Every girl had to leave her father, at some point. Every girl was handed over to someone new and forgotten. That was the way the world worked.

            The train hummed, or maybe a song hummed within Cora’s chest. The landscape rushed by in a zoom of color. She closed her eyes to it. When she opened them again, it would be like awakening from a bad dream, and she could start the day over again. Chicago was just a boat ride away. It waited for her.

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GUEST POST

10 Things I’ve Learned About Writing From Listening to Audiobooks
by Tanya Eby

Over the years, I think that listening to and narrating audiobooks have made me a better writer. Here are a few things I’ve learned:

  • Characters should have descriptions early on. Let the reader know the age range, if there’s an accent, and any defining attributes of important characters. If characters are more fleshed out, the reader (or narrator) will see character more clearly. Make characters real!
  • Long passages sometimes make you glaze over. There has to be a reason for writing a long passage about a character’s history or the scenery. Does it propel the story forward? If there’s a reason, the reader will stay hooked. If there’s not, the reader with start thinking of other things and be pulled out of the story.
  • Dialogue helps characters become more three-dimensional and adds emotional connection. Dialogue, good natural dialogue, will make your scenes pop and add dimension to the story.
  • Dialogue tags should be used sparingly, but not disappear completely. We don’t need to have a he said/she said after every line of dialogue, but it’s important to know who’s talking. Use dialogue tags occasionally to help the reader clearly know who’s speaking.
  • You don’t have to tell the reader that someone is angry if it’s clear from the dialogue. That’s the show vs. tell thing. The words themselves, how the characters talk and what they do will let us be able to feel their emotions.
  • Listening to your own writing in audiobook form will point out some of your writing crutches, and make you stronger. Do you repeat phrases a lot? Do your characters sound all the same? You’ll learn this by listening to your own work. You’ll also learn by listening to others. Is there a phrase they use over and over?
  • Fancy words don’t make fancy writing. Sometimes the simplest sentences have the most impact, visually and emotionally.
  • No matter the genre of story, it all comes down to plot plot plot. There needs to be an energy that keeps the reader turning the next page to find out what happens next.
  • Long chapters need some kind of break in them. Super long chapters are daunting sometimes. Either have shorter chapters or at least break up a chapter with some kind of scene change.
  • And finally…A good audiobook only happens with good writing. Listening and narrating audiobooks has allowed me to inhabit a writer’s style for a while, and it’s helped me develop my own.

 

 

 

 

 

Trevelyan’s Wager

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Trevelyan’s Wager
Author: David Bassano
Genre: Speculative Fiction
ISBN 978-1-941861-19-6
Publisher: Harvard Square Editions

I was given Trevelyan’s Wager to review by the author, a special thanks for a mind opening book about life and death. The book does not have a lot of characters, mainly William Del Grappa and his counter Sophia Trevelyan. It was around year 2050 when secret to immortality was discovered, and soon it was sold to those who can afford it.

Then Elysium Corporation was founded, with it came an island where immortals live, away from prejudice and harm, so long as there are no accidents, these people will live on indefinitely. No mortal allowed in for fear that they will introduce risks like pathogens or deadly items into the island. 

It was by luck that William got invited to Elysium, I would say that it was on a whim. Sophia Trevelyan was the immortal who had invited him after meeting in an event, which to everyone’s surprise that the invitation was granted.

David Bassano presented many interesting points in Trevelyan’s wager, aside from fascinating stories from both parties. William, the war correspondent with life experiences living in the dark side of human nature; Sophia’s relatively peaceful and luxurious life living in Elysium. William’s stories are engaging, and represented what it meant by living a fulfilling life; Sophia’s story was more of an argument why being an immortal is great. 

But in the end, it is the story about William’s friend Emilio that made the most impact. The obsession of immortality is not new, we have been striving for it for a long time, hence myths like Fountain of Immortality. It is only natural to fear the unknown. but will we be truly happy if we live forever?

Trevelyan’s Wager made me think, I truly appreciate being given this book, the points presented in thoughts and conversations, are all sound arguments. Question is: would you still want to be an immortal after this?

The Reader

The Reader
Author: MK Harkins
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Genre: Fantasy/ Young Adult
ASIN: B01IM9A6KY

My Review

 I was given the book in exchange for a fair review, this will not change my honest opinion. 

Written in a first person point of view, the heroine Ann Baker woke up on the beach, with no memory of how she got there. For a moment I doubted the book, because it sounded cliche, it is how most RPG games start their story (right?). She was found by two guys: Devon and Archer. Taken to a super secret facility, Ann quickly learns that she is being hunted by an unknown enemy, and she might be the Lost One.

The setting is original, after the introduction, the hook was being shot at. I suppose the question needs to be answered, hence I continued reading. Soon it was clear that the Reader has an interesting history, a solid reason why Ann Baker could be the lost one, despite her amnesia, which is another mystery. There is a prophecy surrounding a war, and the Lost One will tilt the balance in favor of those who have her. See, another cliche right?

The author skillfully turns it into her favor by dropping bombshells, not on the ones you expect. There’s plenty of red herring to throw you off, but you will not be disappointed. Ann proves that she might have lost her memory, her subconscious retains much of things she has learned over the years. I put this in the fantasy genre because I think paranormal might be stretching it, despite its explanation. 

All in all, the Reader has a cool cover and title, and a intriguing story to back it up. Ann is a strong, courageous eighteen year old who used her wit to come out on top. It also shows that you do not necessarily need a man to save the day, although help is always accepted with gratitude, sometimes.

A great YA book and author to follow, definitely recommended!

The Reader


Hunted, shot, and without her memory, eighteen-year-old Ann Baker wakes in shallow water on a deserted Pacific Northwest island. She is soon approached by two young men claiming to be her friends. Something isn’t right, but when gunshots sound, Ann is left with little choice but to allow Devon and Archer to help her escape. Soon she finds herself in their North Bend mountain compound, where the higher evolved humans claim to be mind-readers. While Ann heals, she realizes they believe her to be one of the last and most powerful of all – The Lost One.

She’s welcomed by most with opened arms, but not everyone is happy about her arrival. A jealous adversary has plans for Ann, which spirals the entire Reader community into chaos.

As lies, murder, and betrayal threaten to rip apart the once harmonious mountain dwellers, Ann is thrust into making a decision that could save or devastate not only The Readers, but all of mankind. But there’s just one glitch: by doing so it may require her to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only
Release date August 17, 2016.

Sebamed Clear Face

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Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Foam, 5 Fluid Ounce

I got this as a sample from Retail Pharmacy, not the full bottle, but half that amount. Sebamed has been around for a long time, I still remember using the kid’s version for my scratchy skin. so I have long since associated Sebamed with good quality skin care. It was exciting to receive such a sample, I recall that they hardly do any.

Yes, it is foamy, I don’t mind foams but it has to clean well. Somehow this does not give me that clean feel after a wash. It is gentle! Don’t get me wrong, super good for sensitive skin with acne problems, but it just doesn’t give you that satisfaction of knowing that your skin is clean.

Plus, I still got a pimple, not a big one. What’s the point if this product is supposed to combat acne and blackheads, which I still have! So, no it does not clean well at all, despite claims of it being antibacterial and stuff, the only thing that is true is it is gentle. Too gentle for a good clean I think.

With so many acne products in the market, I think that Sebamed should be in touch with teenage skin; I am no longer a teenager, but I still get breakouts with this, what does it do for a teenager then? Quite unimpressed with this product overall, and luckily I did not buy this.

Sorry, but I believe other brands like Clearasil are better than this Clear Face, even though it is by Sebamed, and they can be less expensive as well. Good skin care starts with a clean face, and if my face is not clean enough, there is no point if it is pH 5.5 or balanced, because it does not work.

Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Foam, 5 Fluid Ounce


New From: $19.54 USD In Stock

Secret Crush

Secret Crush 
Author: Victoria Pinder
Series: House of Morgan Book 1
Genre: Romance

Secret Crush was given to me in exchange for a fair review.

John Morgan, the spare to the House of Morgan’s dynasty works for the FBI, trying to bring down his father: Mitch Morgan. I do not know much about family issues, but trying to put your dad in jail is a great hook to lure in readers. I was following John around, trying to figure out what happened. Soon I see that he is a man of certain honor, trying to right some wrongs in his life. 

Alice Collins is the tag- along friend of Victoria Morgan, sister of John and Peter, another mystery that needs to be solved. As Alice becomes a target of a shooter, John offers his help, despite her protest. There is a lot of history going on with House of Morgan, and I can quickly see why John is not at all interested in returning to Castle Morgan and its hidden past.

But it catches up to them, as John and Alice finds out, there are not only sharp shooters out to get them, and trying to get on top of things can be tricky. The pace is good, and the characters are well thought out, I like how alpha male John can be, and how he can get things done, without much complaint.

There is still an element of mystery in this series, since this is House of Morgan number 1, I do hope some answers surface soon. I like John and Alice’s story, and would be interested to read more about the other Morgan siblings. They seem to be interesting characters even though they are sidekicks for now, I would imagine their romance lives would be so much fun or tricky.

Girl from Everywhere

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The Girl from EverywhereAuthor: Heidi Heilig
Genre: YA, action adventure, fantasy

Borrowed this from the library, because the title sounded cool and the synopsis was intriguing. I picked it out from the shelf, thinking that it sounds promising enough.

The starting was fun, with Nix Song trying to steal a special healing bird in India. That hooked me in, although her adventures are fun and dangerous, the author had failed the book unfortunately. Instead of moving forward with her story and her characters, somehow they are stuck in this repeating loop, bogging the story down and making it boring.

Yes, Nix has issues we all know it, so are all the other crew members on board the Temptation. By the fifth time she mentioned her sob story, I was over it. The main story line is really slow and non-existent, so the author fills it up with drab. The characters give great first impression, but fell through as the Nix becomes obsessed with trying to escape her life. I am too, trying to escape her life. Some romantic interest appears, but the author is too repeat happy to actually give any of her characters to do what they want and flourish. 

Girl from Everywhere also looks like it has a continuance, which I will not be reading. Nix seems like a nice, strong and responsible girl, but it is not strong enough. The story is original enough, but wasting a reader’s time with what we already know… is not very nice. Overall, for a YA book, I would be nodding off in ten minutes if I did not skip all the paragraphs of Nix’s whining.

The good part though, is some of it is tied to Hawaiian history, that part I enjoyed best. I am sure that the author had done some historical research on events and places, but that is not enough to redeem Girl from Everywhere.  

The Girl from Everywhere


New From: $7.22 USD In Stock

White Wings Cake in the Cup

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I am not sure if you have this outside of Australia, but White Wings have released this cake in the cup sachets. This has been a lifesaver for me, as I have a massive sweet tooth. Pregnancy had made it worse, and during work hours, I can easily make a cake in a cup to satisfy my cravings. 

What’s inside: 
Wheat Flour, sugar, the cakes flavor depending which one you bought. starch, raising agents, salt, egg powder, molasses powder, milk powder and vegetable gum. 

Yes, if you were to bake your own cake, I am sure that you would not put half the things they have inside here. But I am sooo desperate and I hate to pay a $4 for a small piece of cake. Blame the pregnancy hormones!

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 A box of four individual cake in the cup sachets costed me Aud$ 3.50 when it rolled out, but it is about $5 a box retail. Which is still cheaper if you want a small piece of sweet of 95g per serve. With full cream milk, this goes to about 1010kJ with 25.7g of sugar in a serve, a whopping 29%.

This is after all, supposed to be an easy treat. Not to say that store bought cakes are any better right? 

To make, you mix the contents and 40mL (about 2 tablespoons) of milk in a microwave safe mug, mix well and microwave for a minute (more or less depending on the unit you have).

In a minute, you have cake! Let’s face it, hot cake on demand, what is not to like? 

Aside from the massive dose of sugar, sodium is about 18% or 415mg in a serve. I guess this is truly not that healthy for you after all. But until someone comes up with a healthy cake in a cup, I am sticking with this. 

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