Wednesday, May 28, 2014

GIVEAWAY: Hunters of Reloria Series by Kasper Beaumont

Title: Elven Jewel
Series: Hunters of Reloria #1
Author: Kasper Beaumont
Genre/Age Range: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Kasper Beaumont
Release Date: June 29, 2013

The peaceful continent of Reloria is threatened by cruel invaders from the wastelands of Vergash. Halflings Randir and Fendi leave their peaceful farm village with their bond-fairies and race against time to stop the invaders. They join forces with dwarves, elves, men and a mysterious dragon, on a quest to rescue the stolen Elven Jewel.

Title: Hunter's Quest

Series: Hunters of Reloria #2

Author: Kasper Beaumont

Genre/Age Range: Fantasy, Young Adult

Publisher: Kasper Beaumont

Release Date: November 29, 2013

Links: Goodreads + Amazon + Barnes and Noble + Smashwords

Scaly Vergai invaders have captured the Elven Jewel from Reloria.

Halfling friends, Randir and Fendi,their bond-fairies, men, dwarves, an elf and a dragon are a group of brave hunters on a quest to recover the stolen Elven Jewel. They must search for a mage who can make a portal to Vergash to rescue the princess and restore the protective forcefield.

Kasper J. Beaumont was born and raised in Australia and lives a quiet life with the family in a seaside town. Kasper has combined a love of fantasy and a penchant for travel in this trilogy. Kasper started to write on the urging of friends and family and enjoys watching readers become immersed in the magical world of Reloria.

Links: Website + Facebook + Twitter + Goodreads + Amazon + Smashwords

Enter to Win


REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY: Adorned by Georgeann Swiger

Title: Adorned

Series: Trinity of Souls #1

Author: Georgeann Swiger

Genre/Age Range: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Publisher: Georgeann Swiger

Release Date: April 2, 2014

Links: Goodreads + Amazon + Barnes and Noble + Kobo

When seventeen-year-old Anya finds out she’s actually an angel being trained to protect humanity, she discovers that becoming an angel has nothing to do with wings and halos. For Anya, becoming an angel has to do with death—her death.

Micah, the angelic soldier ordered to protect her until she transitions from human to angel, promises her death will be a glorious experience as long as she follows his rules. But getting Anya through this life and to the next isn’t as simple as Micah expects. His job becomes even more difficult after he unwittingly performs a miracle that exposes Anya’s hidden angelic light.

With her secret out, Hell’s legions begin targeting her. Unfortunately, Hell’s minions are the least of Micah’s worries. He’s more concerned about the forbidden human emotions he’s developed toward Anya. Even more troubling, is she seems to love him too. And giving in to those feelings, could mean dire consequences for them both.

Georgeann Swiger earned her degree in journalism from West Virginia University, and then spent five years as an anchor/reporter at WBOY-TV in Clarksburg, WV. After having children, she left television news to be a stay at home mom. During that time, she discovered creative writing was more fun than writing about real life tragedy. Imagining interesting character and having them come to life on the page is now her passion. When she’s not writing, she works as a substitute teacher. She lives in Reedsville, West Virginia with her husband, two kids, a beagle dog and a temperamental cat who tries to rule the house.

Links: Website + Facebook + Twitter + Pinterest + Goodreads

My Review

Adorned by Georgeann Swiger is an incredibly engaging book. Personally, I think it was too short. I felt like from the moment I picked it up, time flew by and it was over in a flash. It was really entertaining and a very fun read. I really liked the characters used, especially Eli (who I think any reader will enjoy.) The story was very complex and occasionally left you stumped, but all was answered through the course of the book.

While you might be thinking that any story about angels can’t be relatable at all, trust me on this one: it is. A teenage girl is protected by (someone who looks and acts like a) teenage boy, who has to protect her from the torment and bullying of another teenage boy. Though the main story is about angels, it’s also about high school life and the struggles everyone goes through.

I’ve become quite an avid horror novel reader, but the last thing I was expecting in a young adult novel about angels with a high level of gore. It’s definitely there. I was shocked at how gory the story was, but mostly I was shocked because Swiger makes the readers become attached to all of the characters before stuff hits the fan. I didn’t mind it as I’m growing accustomed to it, but I can imagine that teenage Me would have been sick to her stomach reading about it all. I don’t know that it had a place in young adult fiction, but it is there and there is no escaping it.

There is one scene which really bothered me. Anya has learned a method to take away her pain from Micah, who was simply trying to help protect her from her constant headaches. But the “spell” used leaves her in an almost drugged-out state where she is completely incoherent and definitely not herself. While she was acting drunk, another character assaults her. I’m getting tired of reading about girls being taken advantage of in stories, and feel like male characters are being allowed to do so. What exactly is forgiving your assailant or keeping your mouth shut going to teach our girls? I wish authors would consider this before they choose what actions will be taken against the assailants, because all they are doing is teaching young people (females and males as well) to be victims.

I really enjoyed this story, and after reading the summary of book two of the series, I’m really excited about it as well. I would have given the book five stars for an amazing story, but felt a bit offended by how certain events unfolded. I would recommend this to any fantasy or paranormal fan, but teens especially should be cautious if they are sensitive to gore.

My Rating



Enter to Win!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now it's Your Turn!

 Want a chance to read and review this great book? Click here or go to:

Let's do a GIVEAWAY!

I've been running this blog for a few years, though with raising my daughter, school, and work I've slacked off a bit. But I still have a few loyal readers, and so I want to do a giveaway to reward those loyal followers! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. The contest is open until 11:59pm June 5th and the winner will have until 11:59pm June 8th to respond before I draw another winner. Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 26, 2014

REVIEW: Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch

The Book

Summer House with Swimming Pool
by Herman Koch

Published by Hogarth

More information:

 The Review

This book is way different that most I've read. Different in a good way. Marc's story isn't told in a linear fashion, but rather through a series of flashbacks. We start and end at the end of his story, and the middle is dedicated to everything that led up to that point. It actually reminded me an awful lot of the novel We Need to Talk About Kevin (which I highly recommend if you haven't read!) which is also told in past tense as a recollection of events. Or even like Memento (a favorite movie of mine.) My point is that the format definitely kept me interested, since the book opens with the ending. I've decided that if someone was to draw a timeline of this book, it would need to be drawn by someone who builds roller coasters. 

This book was translated from Dutch and for the most part takes place overseas. Unlike other translated books I've read, there wasn't a lot of foreign words that were difficult for me to read. I had worried about that when I realized it was originally in Dutch but it was not an issue at all. 

One of the most interesting things was how Marc's thought process worked. It reminded me a lot of my own. While Koch would be writing about an event Marc was remembering, he would interweave other events and memories, including other experiences that he felt were similar. It made the scenes play like a movie in my head, and kept me engaged. 

It seems like recently, all of the books I have read included an assault on a young woman. This book is no different. And though Koch made it a major part of the storyline, I felt like it wasn't dealt with properly by the characters. In fact, I feel like the victim was wronged twice by the lack of justice she was given. I did like how Koch dealt with the aftermath of the attack and showed how the life of the victim was effected. 

Overall, I found Summer House with Swimming Pool to be a very engaging and different read. I especially enjoyed the format and felt it was a refreshing change of pace. I give this book five stars and would recommend it to anyone who might be getting burnt out on reading. 

The Rating

Five stars!

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mini-Review: The Girl's Still Got It by Liz Curtis Higgs

The Book

The Girl's Still Got It: Take a Walk with Ruth and the God Who Rocked Her World by Liz Curtis Higgs
WaterBrook Press

The Review

This is a bit of a different read for me. The Girl’s Still Got It is a story about biblical figure Ruth, and boy is it a good read. It’s been a while since I read this book, but it is still worth a review. Higgs write about the story of Ruth in a way that makes it easy to read. Not only does she include the story from the Bible, but she includes history to help you really understand what was going on back in Ruth’s time.

If you are a Christian and are looking for some guidance about your life, this is definitely the book for you. When you read about Ruth, you will quickly come to realize that God has a plan for your life. No matter who you are, where you come from, or what your situation is right now, reading Ruth’s story will help reaffirm your faith in God. I give it 5 stars for not only being an uplifting story, but for being rather enjoyable.

The Rating


 Five stars!

Disclaimer: Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Blogger Giveaway Opportunity!

Slam 'n' Curve Slide Giveaway.jpg

It’s Water Slide Time Event

Organized by: Mom to Bed by 8

Grand Prize: Little Tikes Slam ‘n’ Curve Slide

Event dates: 6/16 - 6/30

Giveaway is open to US Residents.


Be sure to tell them Nikki @ For the Love of Books sent you!

PRODUCT REVIEW: Coppertone ClearlySheer Sunscreen!

I may be an avid reader and devoted book-lover, but I’m also something else: I’m a mom. And as a mom, I’m always on the lookout for the next best product for my little Bug. Though I usually write about books, I want to take a minute to tell you about a really cool product I got to try thanks to BzzAgent. (If you haven’t heard of BzzAgent yet, you need to head to their website right away to try out and talk about some really cool products, all at a great discount or free!) As a BzzAgent, I get to try some of the coolest things. Food, insoles, health care products, and all sorts of neat things. This time, I was sent free samples of Coppertone’s  ClearlySheer sunscreen.

Now, Bug and I are very fair skinned and have to use sunscreen even on a cloudy day. For me, it’s always been easier to stay in the shade because I never could stand that greasy feeling on my skin. I’ve always battled acne, and sunscreen just makes it so much worse. Add to that the horrible stench that accompanies every sunscreen and you’ve just met my worst nightmare. So as you can imagine, I was rather hesitant to try ClearlySheer, but hey, who can pass up a free product?

The first thing I noticed when I applied ClearlySheer was the smell. It seems Coppertone has managed to break the mold and create an actually great smelling sunscreen! The scent is light and fresh, and I would recommend this product to anyone based on the smell alone. But it gets better. Not only does ClearlySheer smell great, it goes on smoothly without any greasy feeling. In fact, I put it on under my makeup and stayed as flawless as ever. 

The biggest shock I had with ClearlySheer is that even after wearing it on my face under my makeup for two days, my skin never broke out. No greasy feeling, a great smell, and a formula that doesn’t clog pores? I can’t think of a single downside to this product. If you frequently wear sunscreen, are headed outside, or are a human being, I highly suggest you Coppertone’s ClearlySheer line a try. 

Disclaimer: I am a BzzAgent ( and received free samples of Coppertone  ClearlySheer to try for myself. These are strictly my opinions, I was not forced or asked to post a positive review.

REVIEW: Destruction by Sharon Bayliss

Title: Destruction

Series: The December People #1

Author: Sharon Bayliss

Genre/Age Range: Contemporary, Fantasy, Adult

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Release Date: April 14, 2014

Links: Goodreads

David Vandergraff wants to be a good man. He goes to church every Sunday, keeps his lawn trim and green, and loves his wife and kids more than anything. Unfortunately, being a dark wizard isn't a choice.

Eleven years ago, David's secret second family went missing. When his two lost children are finally found, he learns they suffered years of unthinkable abuse. Ready to make things right, David brings the kids home even though it could mean losing the wife he can’t imagine living without.

Keeping his life together becomes harder when the new children claim to be dark wizards. David believes they use this fantasy to cope with their trauma. Until, David's wife admits a secret of her own—she is a dark wizard too, as is David, and all of their children.

Now, David must parent two hurting children from a dark world he doesn’t understand and keep his family from falling apart. All while dealing with the realization that everyone he loves, including himself, may be evil.

Sharon Bayliss is the author of The December People Series and The Charge. When she’s not writing, she enjoys living happily-ever-after with her husband and two young sons. She can be found eating Tex-Mex on patios, wearing flip-flops, and playing in the mud (which she calls gardening). She only practices magic in emergencies.

Links: Website + Goodreads + Twitter + Facebook

 My Review

I have major mixed feelings about this book. For the most part, I loved it. However, there was one major, MAJOR flaw with it that nearly ruins the entire thing for me. However, let me talk about the positives first.

I’m really happy that this book wasn’t a young adult novel. Don’t get me wrong, I love young adult fiction. But seeing more adult elements to a book dealing with teenagers was a refreshing change. I also loved how in depth Bayliss explained her characters. They were all very complex characters, but not complex enough to throw you off or confuse you. Though they were complex, they were very unique and distinct characters which were developed very well.

I also really liked how in-depth Bayliss was about explaining the magic and the use of it. For her, it wasn’t enough to simply say “then this was done.” There was a full explanation of some of the bigger uses of magic, including why, how, and where it was done. I’ve read many paranormal books that leave you guessing about how or why things were done, so it was great to get all of the details. It let me truly understand the characters’ actions.

The part that really bothered me was dealing with an assault that happened. I cannot give too many details about it without ruining the story, but let me just say that it was not dealt with in a real-life manner. As a victim of a similar type of assault, I was disgusted with how it was brushed aside and the assailant was not brought to justice. However, I will say that this character had a key role in another aspect of the story. I’m hoping that in the next book of the series, this character will get what they deserve and the victim of the assault will get their justice.

Destruction was engaging from the very first page to the very last. I would recommend it to any mature paranormal reader, though some of the more adult scenes may be too heavy for younger readers who may otherwise be interested in this book. I enjoyed this book, but must say that certain things must be addressed in the second book for this reader to continue the series.

The Rating: 4 stars!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Second Chance Grill by Christine Nolfi

Synopsis from Goodreads

 An unforgettable tale of love, loss and second chances.

Second Chance Grill is the prequel to Treasure Me, 2012 Next Generation Indie Awards Finalist, which The Midwest Book Review calls “A riveting read for those who enjoy adventure fiction, highly recommended.”

Dr. Mary Chance needs a sabbatical from medicine to grieve the loss of her closest friend. But when she inherits a struggling restaurant in Liberty, Ohio she isn’t prepared for Blossom Perini. Mary can’t resist falling for the precocious preteen—or the girl’s father. The bond they forge will transform all their lives and set in motion an outpouring of love that spreads across America.

Welcome back to Liberty, where the women surrounding the town’s only restaurant are as charming as they are eccentric

My review

What is a person to do when they need to take a break from their life, when things have become too overwhelming to go on? For Mary Chance, the answer comes in the form of a small-town diner.

Second Chance Grill is the second in Christine Nolfi's Liberty, Ohio, series which began with Treasure Me. In this story, we finally get to learn how Liberty and all of it's inhabitants came to be where they were in the first novel.

The first thing I liked about this book is that it can be read alone or as a part of the series. I had read Treasure Me a while ago, but had trouble remembering some of the finer details. I was a bit worried about how that would effect me while reading this story, but as I read on I realized that you don't need prior knowledge to enjoy this book.

Christine Nolfi is probably one of my favorite authors. She may not be a bestselling author yet, but if she keeps up the good work I know she will be. Christine has mastered the art of writing a story full of adventure, suspense, and love, while being able to leave out the overwhelmingly graphic language and violence. Now, I'm not saying that I don't like reading stories with violence, foul language, or gratuitous sex. I'm simply saying that this story was able to engage me and keep me reading without the need of any of that. And in this day, where it seems like the only way to get anyone's attention is with something over-the-top, I feel like that is a huge accomplishment.

My favorite thing about this book was how it drew me in and made me feel like Liberty was my home. Though it is in no way a utopia, Liberty is striking similar to the small town in which I grew up which is coincidentally right outside of Cincinnati (another key location in the story.) From the little locally owned diner to the neighborhood gas station/garage, Liberty could easily have been my home.

Who would I recommend this to? Well, the better question is who wouldn't I recommend it to. I don't recommend you read this if you are looking for an action-packed thriller or mystery, something erotic, or a horror novel. But if you want a book that will sometimes make you smile, sometimes make you tear up, and always make you wanting more? Check out Second Chance Grill by Christine Nolfi.

My Rating: 5 stars!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Protostar by Braxton A. Cosby

Cover from Goodreads

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

On the brink of civil war, the Torrian Alliance continues with its mission to obliterate Star-children across the universe in order to suppress an intergalactic evil. Following the recommendations of his council, King Gregorio Derry reluctantly agrees to send his only son William on a mission to restore honor to his family name. William seeks to complete his assignment, the elimination of a Star-child named Sydney on planet Earth, but when the assassination is delayed he begins to realize an emotional connection with his target. With conspiracy threatening his home planet, and a hidden menace on Earth seeking to secure a vested interest, William finds himself torn between irrevocable duty and sacrificing everything he stands for to defend Sydney. As William and Sydney struggle to overcome their impossible circumstances, they start to wonder if the connection of two Star-Crossed lovers will be enough to save them from certain doom.

 My Review

There is a disturbance in the universe, and it’s up to a bounty hunter to stop it. During his adventure, he will travel the universe with his favorite artificial intelligence sidekick to find and stop the villain. Does that sound similar to the plot of everyone’s favorite science fiction flick, who also happens to feature the world’s most beloved wookie?

Now I’m sure there are plenty of die hard star Wars fans who are in outrage right now. I’ll apologize in advance, I realize that I’m associating the two very loosely. However, I imagine that Braxton A. Cosby will be thrilled to see that I am comparing his novel Protostar to the (original) Star Wars trilogy. In this case, we have Prince William as a bounty hunter who is sent from his planet to capture and destroy the Star-child before she harnesses her full powers and begins her harsh reign over the universe. The biggest difference comes that the “villain”, in this case, is a teenage girl living here on Earth in the present time. The story is very relatable.

I think my favorite part of the story was IMPI. Sure, it might be nothing more than an advanced form of artificial intelligence. However, the story wouldn’t be the same without it. I loved the humor and wit it injected into the story. And the way it dealt with William made me often forget it wasn’t a human. But it plays a very key role in the entire book, and likely the entire series. It worries me that this is only the beginning of a series. Mr. Cosby, take this as a plea from a new fan: please don’t kill it off, or put it on the back burner!

I can’t say there is much I didn’t like about this story, but if there was one thing that confused me it was the climax of the story. I felt like the “final battle” went by rather quickly, but I can’t complain because I’ve read plenty of other novels that do the same. In fact, this story didn’t end right where you thought it would end. In fact, this story had a cliffhanger of the worst kind that nearly left you with heartache knowing it was over, but not over.

This story involved a lot of different genres, and so I can’t give you a specific group that I would recommend this to. I think that there are a lot of different types of readers who would enjoy this book, and so I recommend it to all. It gets five stars for being completely amazing, though I’d rather give it one for leaving me wanting more!

My Rating: 5 stars!