Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Olivia Twisted

Olivia Twisted
By: Vivi Barnes
Kindle: 352 pages
Publisher: Entangled Teen (Nov 5th 2013)
Rating: 4 stars

What Goodreads has to say:  Olivia

He tilts my chin up so my eyes meet his, his thumb brushing lightly across my lips. I close my eyes. I know Z is trouble. I know that being with him is going to get me into trouble. I don’t care.

At least at this moment, I don’t care.

Tossed from foster home to foster home, Olivia’s seen a lot in her sixteen years. She’s hardened, sure, though mostly just wants to fly under the radar until graduation. But her natural ability with computers catches the eye of Z, a mysterious guy at her new school. Soon, Z has brought Liv into his team of hacker elite—break into a few bank accounts, and voila, he drives a motorcycle. Follow his lead, and Olivia might even be able to escape from her oppressive foster parents. As Olivia and Z grow closer, though, so does the watchful eye of Bill Sykes, Z’s boss. And he’s got bigger plans for Liv…


I can picture Liv’s face: wide-eyed, trusting. Her smooth lips that taste like strawberry Fanta.

It was just a kiss. That’s all. She’s just like any other girl.

Except that she’s not.

Thanks to Z, Olivia’s about to get twisted.

My Review: Olivia Twisted took me by surprise in the best way possible. After reading the blurb I was interested but not sure how much I would really end up liking the book. I started to read and by the end of the day I was only a few chapters from the end! After I finished all the things that typically get in the way of my reading aka work, school, etc I jumped right back to reading so that I could finally find out the well waited for ending. I think what really kept me hooked was the different approach the author took to a slightly common idea. The girl meets bad boy and gets drawn in thing is not something new, however, the way things play out and the stuff Olivia gets drawn into are certainly not like anything else I have ever read in any book.  Z is an interesting male character as well, at times it is hard to see where tough Z ends and the real Z underneath begins. Throughout the story Z is shrouded in mystery and I kept reading wanting to learn as much as I could about this mysterious past of his and how he ended up like he did. The book also touches on some of the more unfortunate parts of children's lives who are stuck in the foster care system. I felt this brought an added bit of realness to the book and reminded the reader how gritty life can be, this helps gain a sense of why these kids would turn to hacking for money. I love the inspiration the author drew from the story Oliver Twist and I would suggest this book to anyone looking for an interesting new read that breaks away from the usual love stories. Find Olivia Twisted on Amazon and Barnes&Nobel.

About the Author: 

Vivi Barnes was raised on a farm in East Texas where her theater-loving mom and cowboy dad gave her a unique perspective on life. Now living in the magic and sunshine of Orlando, Florida, she divides her time writing, working, goofing off with her husband and three kids, and avoiding dirty dishes. You can fine her on her blog, facebook, and book website!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop!

The picture pretty much sums up the point of this post! I am happy to be participating in the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. This is my first time participating in this blog hop and let me tell ya this thing is HUGE! There are over 300 blogs participating each giving away a prize worth at least $10. I looked around at my options and finally decided to make my prize 1 kindle copy of Stephen King's new book entitled Sleep Doctor! Enter to win. a Rafflecopter giveaway
And when you are done entering my contest go here to enter a whole lot more!  *Note: I does not seem to be showing up on my Rafflecopter but the book will be an E Book that I will be purchasing and gifting to you from Amazon.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Good Publicity

  Press releases are something that I never considered when thinking of the bloggerverse in general. I always thought of them as fancy packets that big companies send out in order to get publicity for their business. If you don't know what a press release is check out this helpful wiki page. As it turns out press releases can be used to bring publicity to your blog as well! There are a few things you should know when considering a press release, call it press release etiquette, and you can find 5 really helpful tips here.  I found one of the most helpful tips to be that you shouldn't be discouraged if you send one out and it is not picked up by anyone in the media or reported on, there is always a chance that someone in the media will find your blog interesting enough to subscribe to and that could really open some doors for you. I am excited to research this new method of blog promotion and I recommend anyone with a blog to do the same!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Buyer Beware!

Recently I decided to check out a popular sale site named KarmaLoop. I watched the site for a few weeks and eventually saw a pair of shoes that I fell in love with. The price on the shoes where decent and they had them in my size, so I placed my order and waited excitedly for them to arrive. They arrived about a week later and I eagerly tore into the box only to find that the size 8 I ordered was way too big. I was extremely disappointed and began the process of returning the shoes. At this point I had spent $19.21 on the shoes and the shipping. KarmaLoop does not pay return shipping so I had to pay an additional $8.75 to ship them back. I waited for a while and eventually got an email saying that they would not be sending me a replacement pair and instead would be giving me a $10.46 store credit which is the cost of the shoes originally. I was frustrated that I lost out on so much money with shipping but figured I would just use my store credit and be done with the company. I went to the site and with such a small credit and not intending to spend anymore money with them chose to purchase a small ring. The ring was priced at about $4.00 and with the shipping my credit would cover the full cost. As I tried to check out however I was informed that I would not be able to use the regular shipping and would be forced to use a more expensive shipping that would ensure that the credit would not cover the full price and not only would I be spending more money but the shipping would cost more than the ring its self. I was pretty angry with the company at this point and decided to email them to express my feelings. This is the email I sent and the one I received in reply:
Tonight I attempted to use up my store credit and was met with more disappointment. I figured with only $10 there was not much I could buy and decided on "The Early Bird" ring in gold. I went through the process of checking out and added my credit which brought the total down to 0.00 which I found reasonable considering how much I have already spent. When I attempted to place my order however I received an error message saying that the shipping method I chose could not be used in this scenario. The only other shipping option is one that would have me paying more in shipping than the ring even costs.  I do not think that I should be required to pay even though my credit covers all costs, at this point I am beyond frustrated with this whole thing and will certainly not be recommending this site to anyone in the future. If there is no possible way for me to actually receive my refund or use my store credit I intend to contact paypal to see what can be done about getting some of my money back. My intentions are not to be rude, but, surely someone must understand how I could become so frustrated, with my first purchase I lost $16.75 in shipping fees, and now I'm being told that I cannot even use my store credit unless I intend to spend another $4.69. In the end I spend $21.44 and all I get in return is a lot of hassle and a $3 ring. I really hope we can find a suitable solution to this issue and I do appreciate that you are speedy in your reply emails. 
Thank You.
The Reply:
Hello Crystal,
Thank you for contacting us. The problem is that store credit can not cover the shipping fee for that item. I apologize for the inconvience. If you have any more questions please let me know.
Thank you.

As you can see I did not receive any help or understanding from the customer service people. At this point I have decided to forget about the credit and be done with the company all together. I have certainly learned my lesson and while I am not suggesting that every interaction with this company by every person would be the same I wanted to share my story in the hopes that others can be more aware of what could happen if your purchase does not turn out the way you would hope it would. In this case the discounted price was just not enough to make up for all of the hassle and in the end money that I lost.

Monday, September 23, 2013

A blogging how to


 In my last post about blogging I discussed reasons for starting blogs and what I like to see in blogs that I decide to read. This time I want to talk a little about how to go about starting a blog. I know when I first decided I wanted my own blog I felt overwhelmed, I took things one step at a time and was lucky enough to have a friend who already had a blog around to help me. The first thing you are going to want to decide is what platform you want your blog on, obviously I use blogger, and if you are considering using blogger as well this page will be immensely helpful in getting you started. That page discusses everything from creating posts to customizing your blog. Speaking of customizing you can find all sorts of free things online to really make your blog personal to you. I love leelou blogs and have used some of her freebies on my own site. Once you have picked your platform and your design you are ready to choose the main focus for your blog. It is fine to blog about more than one thing, however, I would suggest you make sure your blog has a general theme or focus so that your readers know what kind of material to expect. At the very least try to ensure there is some sort of order to your blog, make sure people can easily find posts and don't have to search a million different areas to find what they are looking for. At this point you are ready to blog! Go out and make your first post, and don't forget to spread the word about your new blog to friends and family and anyone else you can through social media!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Blogging..Are you doing it right?


 156 million...that is a lot of blogs! Imagine how many blogs have been added to that number since 2011. One might ask how on earth can I get my blog noticed among all the millions of other blogs? My advice to you is blog about what you love. When you blog about something you love you will blog often and people who subscribe to your blog will see that you have new content posted frequently. I personally prefer to read blogs that I know will have new posts often, if they don't I tend to forget about them. I would also say don't start a blog based solely on the idea that you can make money from it. Honestly it can take years, if it even happens, for your blog to catch the eye of a company or to become popular enough that people want to pay you to make posts. There has got to be something to drive you beyond the hopes of making money or it is likely you will quickly become frustrated and lose interest. Of course you don't have to take my advice there are plenty of suggestions posted online daily about how to keep your blog relevant. If you are looking for some reading material to start with I suggest checking out this page here and this page here. Remember blogging is something you should do because you love it and you love what you write about. A blog become your own personal space to share your opinions on the things you love. Good Luck!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


By: Kelly Carrero
Kindle: 146 pages
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc (2012) 
ASIN: B007YX9X18
Rating: 4 stars

What Amazon has to say
Seventeen year old Jade Sommers' life is turned upside down the moment she sees the inch long cut across her face heal right before her eyes.

Jade thinks she is going insane, but her boyfriend, Aiden Scott, knows better. He knows what she is. And like him, she was born this way.

Now if finding out that people like her shouldn't exist isn't bad enough, Jade's best friend is kidnapped by the psycho who terrorizes her dreams. With the help of Aiden, Jade has to figure out how to save her before it's to late.

But what Jade doesn't know is not everything is what it seems. She is merely a puppet in a sadistic game to find out what she is truly capable of, and that game has only just begun.

My review: I am having a few formatting issues at the moment so I apologize if this post is not pleasing to the eye format wise. Any who lets move right along to this book! I found this book for FREE.., that happens to be a favorite word of mine, however after reading it I can honestly say that had I paid for it I would have been happy with my purchase. I also found the second book in the series and purchased it shortly after finishing the first. The story centers around a girl named Jade who unexpectedly discovers that she is not what one would call normal. As if struggling to accept that she can do things like heal her own body and read minds is not enough she is pulled into one dangerous situation after another. This book has plenty of twists to keep the reader interested in the storyline. I found the characters of the Scott family to be charming and Jade holds her own as the main character. I found myself not only interested in the story but in the story's of the characters. I wanted to know their back stories and how they came to be where they are in the story currently. There are at least another two books in this series that I know of and I am excited to read each and every one.

About the Author: Unfortunately I was unable to find a bio with information on the author, however, I did find a link to her blog which contains some info on her books as well as a link to her facebook page.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Are you a visual learner?

referencevideo.net Visual learners are those who tend to comprehend and retain information better when it is accompanied by something they can see, like a photo, or a video. The majority of people you meet are probably visual learners as it is very common. I myself happen to be a visual learner, I remember things much better if I can associated them with related pictures. I once had a history teacher who did a wonderful job of making humorous picture filled power point presentations and while I have never been great at history I kept my grade at an A all semester long. This page discusses what it means to be a visual learner and gives tips for how to use this to your advantage. I tend to draw charts and use colored pens to make the important phrases or words in my notes stick out. In a page of gray pencil a red word sticks out and my eye is drawn straight to it and for me it sticks in my mind. This links to a pdf document that also discusses what it means to be a visual learner. Whatever kind of learner you may be it is important to learn how to make your study habits to work best for you. Take some time to try and to determine how you learn best and begin working it to your advantage.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

UnEnchated..A new kind of fairy tale.

UnEnchanted: An Unfortunate Fair Tale
By: Chanda Hahn
Kindle: 216 pages
Publisher: Chanda Hahn (2011)
Rating: 4 stars

What Goodreads has to sayMina Grime is unlucky, unpopular and uncoordinated, that is until she saves her crush's life on a field trip, changing her High School status from loser to hero overnight. But with her new found fame brings misfortune as an old family curse come to light. For Mina is descended from the Brothers Grimm and has inherited all of their unfinished fairy tale business. Which includes trying to outwit a powerful Story from making her its next fairytale victim.

To break the fairy tale curse on her family and stop these deadly events, Mina must finish the tales until the very Grimm end

My Review:  In all honesty when I first began reading this book I read a few pages and then sat it down and forgot about it for a few days. I picked it back up a couple of day later and I am very happy that I did. Once I got further into the story and learned about the curse that follows Mina I was totally drawn in. I personally love fairy tales of the more grim sort, I love the morbid creepy factors that play into stories like Hansel and Grethal. When I realized how integrated these elements would be in this story I was ecstatic. I thought it was rather imaginative how the author morphed the stories to work into Mina's everyday life. She uses the characters to represent those from the stories in a unique way and speaking of characters I love Mina. I find her to be such a likeable strong character. She is selfless and clever and certainly a character I want to spend more time reading about. The male characters in this story are decent, I felt myself drawn to Jared more than Brody. Brody is your typical rich boy living life according to what is expected of him, and Jared is mysterious and magical and just a little bad-ass. I cannot wait to see what Mina comes up against next and hope to get Fairest ( An Unfortunate Fairy Tale book 2) soon,

About the Author:

Pronunciation: Sh-and-uh   H-ah-n

Chanda is the  author of the popular YA Unfortunate Fairy Tale Series which includes UnEnchanted and Fairest.  Both books have topped the ebook charts in 5 countries. She also pens YA epic Fantasy.

She was born in Seattle, Washington, raised in Nebraska, has lived in MN, IL and currently lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and twin children. She's a former children's librarian and children's pastor. Currently she spends her free time penning new novels and a daytime taxi driver for her kids. Check out her site here!

Blogging, A History

Learn More

 I'll be honest I have never really had a love of learning history. That being said I do occasionally browse websites related to historical people and events, funny enough, being that I am a blogger, I never really bothered to read up on the history of blogging. During my searches on this matter I found numerous websites with the history broken down, however, I found this wiki page and this New York magazine online article to be most helpful. The New York magazine add breaks it down short and sweet with short sentences noting some of the important points of the history..or at least what the writer felt where important parts. The wiki page separates it into sections based on the year. For instance they have a section with background on the events related to blogging that happened between 1983-1993, and another for things that happened from 1994-2001..etc. If you want to brush up on your knowledge of the history of blogging don't just stop with those two links, there is plenty of information out there. I for one am so thankful that the idea of blogging came about as it is one thing that I truly enjoy doing. Even more so since I tend to spend my time blogging about books which, as I am sure you could guess, are my favorite things on this planet. So...what are you waiting for? Go out and learn some blog history!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Art portfolios...need a little help?

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Have you ever had an interest in going to an art school? One of the first steps to achieving this goal is creating a portfolio of your work.  This can be a little harder than it may seem, however, if you know where to look you can find things to help you along the way. This page here gives simple step by step suggestions on how to make your portfolio and this one here does as well, though it goes a bit more in depth with each suggestion. This site allows you to create and online portfolio for free, and here you can look at suggestions from St.Ambrose University on how to make the best portfolio you can. Also don't under estimate the quality of help you can receive from an art teacher at school or any other adult with knowledge on the subject, sometimes the people around you can be your biggest asset. If getting into an art school is your true dream I urge to do whatever possible to make that dream come true. Too many people these days give up on the things they really want for easier goals or ones that they feel are more easily achieved, Don't let that be you! Give your dreams all that you've got, and good luck!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Brands and why we blog about them!

Infographic Credit

 As bloggers we love to spread the word about brands we love. It is not something that only happens in the blog universe either, I spend much of my day conversing about brands I like or don't like. Once we have decided we like a brand and have had positive interactions with it we will consider it reputable. This site recently posted some interesting statistics about the connection between bloggers and brands. I like that the author asked other bloggers why exactly they blog and mentioned the ever known stereotype about bloggers only being in it for the money. There are so many bloggers working hard everyday to promote brands they feel are deserving of promotion and get paid nothing at all. We blog because we love to blog, it really is as simple as that. The world of blogs can really be a rather helpful place for brands to exists, these days there are so many places for us to share our opinions whether it be on our personal blogs or on Facebook, twitter, etc, which means more people see our positive or negative reviews on brands of all sorts. There are many things that play into shaping our opinions on how reputable a company is. I feel this page does a pretty great job of explaining some of those things and it also lists what companies where voted the most reputable of 2013. Almost all of those listed are very well known companies with Amazon taking the lead. I believe as bloggers it is not only important for us to blog about what we love but to also try new things often so that we are spreading the love around and not focusing on only a handful of brands. Who knows maybe something you say will lead someone to purchase from a lesser known brand and they will spread the news and then before you know it that lesser known brand is a favorite of many. Long story short, brand blogging is a great thing and while I think everyone should support their favorite brands I want to urge everyone to also give new brands a try, you never know what you might fall in love with.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Dying to Forget

Dying to Forget
By: Trish Marie Dawson
Kindle: 216 pages
Publisher: Trish Marie Dawson (August 3, 2012)
Rating: 4 stars

What Goodreads has to say: With trembling fingers, I reach up and touch the hard and chiseled contours of his chest while Ryan's large and strong hands roam over my entire body, feeling and squeezing everything. I've never been touched like this before and my insides are starting to freak out.

"I want you, Piper," he murmurs into my neck.

My mouth drops open in surprise and even though my brain seems to be telling me to jump and run out of the room, I’m unable to move, stuck firmly to the same place on the mattress. With my nerves on high alert, I glance at the door repeatedly, sure that someone will come bursting through it at any second but the steady thumping of the music downstairs reminds me that no one can hear what is happening in this room. No one cares that Ryan Burke took me, of all people, into a bedroom. That realization hits me suddenly. Oh. My. God. What am I doing here?"

Piper Willow dies the summer after her high school graduation but she doesn’t make it to Heaven or Hell…instead she finds herself in a spiritual terminal called the Station. She’s given only two choices: Return to Earth as the subconscious for a person in need of some outside assistance, or move on and spend an eternity lost in her own sorrow and pain.

Does Piper have what it takes to save a life - to be the nagging voice inside someone else’s head - or will she fail and end up lost and tormented in limbo...forever?

My Review: I found this book to have a rather interesting premise. I know that many books have approached the subject of suicide, however, I felt that this one took it in a new direction that really drew me into the book. I was drawn in by the idea that Piper's journey does not end in her dying and going to heaven or hell but rather starts with her arriving at the station and being given a choice. The characters in the story feel real and the author does a fine job of giving them all qualities that help the reader to find a reason to care about what happens to them throughout the story. That is so important in a story, for me, the fastest way to get me to lose interest in a book is to provide characters that have nothing about them that keeps me interested in them as characters. I need to be invested in the characters to want to continue reading and with this story I was hooked all the way till the end. The story does deal with some graphic and serious matters and that should be taken into consideration when deciding the appropriate age range for this book, having said that I really do feel that this book has a unique take on things as well as takes something as confusing as suicide and shows it in a light that makes it easier to understand. I am excited to continue on to the next book in the series and would certainly recommend anyone and everyone check out this first book in the series. 

About the Author:

I was born and mostly raised in San Diego, California where I live now with my  family and pets. I’ve been writing short stories and poetry since high school after an obsession with Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’. After over fifteen years of crazy dreams and an overactive imagination, I began my first book ‘I Hope You Find Me’ in December of 2011. When I’m not writing, I am homeschooling my amazing daughter and mildly autistic son, reading whatever I can get my hands on, or enjoying the Southern California sun. As a strict Vegetarian, I hold a special place in my heart for animal rights and dash into the backyard weekly to rescue lizards and mice from our mini-lab/aussie shepherd/cocker spaniel mixed dog, Zoey…who is always getting into some sort of trouble.

Check out her blog here!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Eye of the Beholder

Eye of the Beholder
By: Jackie Weger Kindle: 244 pages
Publisher: Jackie Weger (June 5, 2013)
Rating: 3 stars

What amazon has to say: Twenty-four year old Phoebe Hawley is on a quest to find a place for her homeless family. Phoebe is Alabama tough, country smart and sapling thin. On the road with two siblings, twelve year-old Maydean and five year-old Willie-Boy, Phoebe is out of money, out of gas and out of patience. Now the only things she owns in abundance are Hawley backbone and Hawley pride--neither of which she can trade for food or gas.

A collision with Gage Morgan puts Phoebe's mission in even worse jeopardy--until Phoebe discovers Gage Morgan owns the perfect place for the Hawley clan.

But Gage Morgan has a bruised ego, a tight fist on his wallet and an iron fist on his heart. Once Phoebe discovers Gage is too wily to succumb to her schemes to pilfer his wallet and claim his home, she has to try something different to win his heart.

But will Hawley backbone and Hawley pride step aside to let her do it?

My Review: Eye of the beholder is a book with plenty of southern charm and whit. Phoebe Hawley is a woman full of pride, loyalty and the owner of one heck of a smart mouth. Generally I am not a big fan of romance novels, and while that opinion still stands, I cannot deny that I found phoebe to be a breath of fresh air as far as female romance novel characters go. She stood strong throughout the story and portrayed many traits I myself have been known to have...hello stubbornness! The author was lovely in her descriptions of the area in which the characters reside in the story. I was easily able to picture in my mind the home of the Morgan's, the little church, and even the slightly too inquisitive people of the town. Overall I found this to be an enjoyable read and made it through the book in a matter of days. I would certainly recommend this book to any lovers of romance novels ( and don't worry there are plenty of steamy adult scenes), as well as people who want to give romance a try for the first time. It should be noted that this book is definitely one of an adult nature and is not recommended for younger readers. Now go out and get yourself some Hawley pride!

About the Author:

  I've traveled since I was about eleven. I spent years living abroad in Central America in little jungle villages absorbing the native culture and language. I spent months on off-islands and sailed in the Pacific with a friend until his sloop sank--not with us on it--thank goodness. I spent a New Year's in Montreal, a summer semester in the U.K and a few glorious days in Paris before returning Stateside to finish a degree in history, then it was off to Panama and Costa Rica. While my passport is always handy, I've settled down in Texas to be near my family. Since I'm sitting still, I've plugged in my laptop and started writing again. After an absence of a few years, I've jumped back into the publishing world which has changed dramatically. I love the changes. In the past, category romance novels had a shelf life between yogurt and ice cream, but with the advent of e-books they can live on the Web for years. I'm excited to be publishing my backlist. I'm working on a new novel. I live with a man, a dog, seven feral cats and go to Bingo on Friday night.

You can visit Jackie's website here and she is also on Goodreads here!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Oh, These Crazy Immigrants

51BSMpSrkgL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_Oh, These Crazy Immigrants
By: Helga Tucque
Paperback: 142 pages
Publisher: Helga Tucque (Mar 29 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0986640735
ISBN-13: 978-0986640735
It has taken me awhile to write the review for this book, not because the book wasn’t good, I just had some personal issues. Thankfully, I am back up and writing (and reading too) so this book is getting its chance in my spotlight!    

Amazon Description

They leave war ravaged Germany in search of peace and prosperity. After a long journey to, and across Canada, they arrive in the city of Edmonton, Alberta. There they start their new life with $200.00 in their pocket. With many wrong notions, their life brings surprises and problems, which they learn to overcome. For lack of money Kurt builds a car out of two wrecks. They call it: "Bonzo". With this vehicle they set out to explore the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains. Their adventurous spirit takes them to isolated areas and precarious situations such as these: - I still had my doubts, but what did I know about driving cars? Kurt backed up a few feet, then he put the car in forward gear, stepping so hard on the gas that the vehicle shot into the creek with great speed. Bonzo let out a groan, but Kurt managed to drive up on the other side with the trailer. As soon as we had crossed the creek and were safely on flat ground again, we noticed water spurting out from under Bonzo's hood. Kurt stopped and stepped out to open it. Then we saw the mess! Water gushed out with full force. The radiator had sprung a leak!!! "Oh, for heaven's sake, what are we going to do now? The next service station is hours away. There is not a single soul out here, who will help us," I lamented. - - The booth at the park gate was completely deserted. Not a single soul was anywhere to be seen. Everything was locked. "We wouldn't have to pay park fees today, if we had no sticker," Kurt laughed driving through the open gate. But I became panicky. "How much gas is there still left in the tank?" I asked. "It's almost empty. I don't think we'll reach Jasper with it," he answered looking at the gauge worriedly. "It's approximately forty miles from here, but it's no use waiting. Who knows when they will open up today, perhaps not at all." We did not speak for a while silently praying for a miracle. the little cabins at the motel in Pocahontos were buried in snow up to the windowsills. there was no sign of life anywhere.- These and other adventures will keep the reader spell-bound and entertained.

My Review

Helga Tucque is a German immigrant who relocated herself and her small family when she was very young. They moved to Edmonton and had quite the journey, hence the title of this book “Oh, These Crazy Immigrants”!

Now, the book: this is a work of nonfiction and the ability to laugh at oneself and their situation all these years later. Coming from postwar Germany and entering into Canada I was actually surprised to not read about how horrible Helga and her family were treated. Maybe they weren’t treated poorly as the year suggests and I really hope that to be the case.

This story outlines from the moment she decided that she would come to Canada and uproot her family to finding places to live, learning English, purchasing their own home, jobs, money raising their child and growing roots here in Canada.

On a personal note I have grandparents who have always refused to tell their stories as though it was some horrible event and maybe for them it was, therefore this book shows me a side that I have never heard of or known about.

The story is very interesting and a very good read. I recommended to the author, Helga, that she should contact local school boards so that the students aren’t just learning history but they are enjoying history as well! I really hope one day that my kids will take interest in history and be eager to read this book.

From what I understand Helga Tucque has several books out and they are available on amazon among other places. I will post the links below. If you are a school teacher and you are looking to purchase a book for anyone grade 6-12 or even for your own benefit I HIGHLY recommend purchasing enough copies for your class. You will easily stay within the curriculum and get to ride along through history with the vivid imagery that Helga uses to allow the reader to experience each scene.

After reading this book, every week when I shop and I purchase a loaf of rye bread I wonder if it came from German descent or if it was already here and just her family’s favorite bread. I laugh when I purchase white bread as I think back to what her family went through and her sons reaction to the only bread they could find here for so long. It is funny how all these years later the bread was such an issue that it is remembered through the years and written about with such need.

Overall, this book was funny, it was cute, it was historical, it was interesting and I plan to read it again and again, I hope that more people write about their lives like this because these stories are dying rather quickly. If nothing else, ask your family their story before it can no longer be told and write it down. These are the moments that create our families, our friends and Canada!

Helga Tucque
About the Author

Helga grew up in Silesia, Germany. After the scourge of WWII, Helga started to collect memories of events during that unfortunate time. She began writing down what she had witnessed, trying to preserve the legacy of the Giant Mountain people of Silesia, who had to leave their beloved homeland. Helga has first-hand knowledge of their customs, dialect and history. Her first book Das Krumme Kreuz was written in German, published by Triga-der-Verlag. The Crooked Cross is the translation of this book. Helga also writes short stories, seven of these have been published, one winning an award. A novel Out of the Dark Past is almost finished. The most recent publication: Giant Mountains' Tales.

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Sunday, May 12, 2013


By Richard Leverone,  66 pages
Published March 24th 2013
By: Agena Publishing
Book source: Personal Copy. Author
2 Stars

What Amazon has to say: For eighteen years a horrific family tragedy has haunted Parker Jenkins leaving him depressed, discouraged, and pondering life’s real purpose. This all changes late one night while on a routine business trip to Salt Lake City, his plane is forced to make an unscheduled landing. Stuck on the tarmac awaiting repairs, he strikes up a conversation with the elderly gentleman seated next to him. Parker soon discovers that this is no ordinary gentleman, and Salt Lake City is not their destination.

My Review: Let me start by saying that I only rated this book a two based off of my own preference in books. For myself personally this book was not of the type that I generally enjoy reading, that being said for someone with a strong religious background or spirituality I think this book could easily be a three or four star book. I feel someone of a more spiritual nature than myself would take more from this book than I did. Overall the book is well written, the book deals with a man named Parker Jenkins who has had his fair share of heartache and regrets throughout his life, the author does a fine job at keeping the character easy to relate to and real, as well as does a wonderful job of conveying the emotions and struggles of the main character. A few times during the book I felt saddened by the main characters stories about his life and yet I felt he came off as someone I could easily identify as possibly someone I could run into during my daily life.The scenery is also described in detail which is a necessity considering most of the book takes place in one area with other areas described through dreams and memories.One can easily tell the author spent adequate time in his descriptions of people and places so that the reader could get the most complete visual image of everything and everyone. Wilson for me was the standout character, as the man who talks Parker through all of his stories and gives advice or nudges Parker to realizations he previously had been unable to come to on his own, he shines as a caring and compassionate soul. The book has an interesting twist that some may guess early on, however I don't feel as if knowing what the ending would most likely be took away from any of the story. I did overall enjoy reading this book and would encourage others to check it out. 

About the Author: I have been writing for 11 years and Tarmac is my fourth book and a departure from the suspense and mystery genre I am used to writing in. My other three books include Loony Bin, a medical thriller; The Dying Season, a small town murder mystery; and my longest novel, Surrogate, a domestic terrorism thriller. Tarmac is  my first novella. All my books are available on Amazon.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fifty Shades of Grey Review

Fifty Shades of Grey
By E.L.James, 514 pages
Published May 26th 2011
By: The Writers Coffee Shop Publishing House
ASIN: B0052U59F4
Book source: Personal Copy. Kindle

What Goodreads has to say: When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time.

The unworldly, innocent Ana is shocked to realize she wants this man, and when he warns her to keep her distance it only makes her more desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her - but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey's singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success – his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving adoptive family – Grey is man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a passionate, physical and daring affair, Ana learns more about her own dark desires, as well as the Christian Grey hidden away from public scrutiny.

Can their relationship transcend physical passion? Will Ana find it in herself to submit to the self-indulgent Master? And if she does, will she still love what she finds?

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

My Review: What to say about Fifty Shades?...Before reading this book I had read many online reviews both good and bad. Honestly it was an impulse buy that occurred one day while I was craving something new to read and browsing amazon. I would say I have mixed feelings about the book, I neither hated it or absolutely fell in love with it, but instead felt comfortably pleased that I had not wasted my money. As far as characters are concerned I rather liked Grey, everyone has secrets, and I felt he was easy to empathize with and throughout the book I stayed interested in his back story and his beginnings that lead him to where he is now. Anastasia on the other hand I was not as pleased with, I often found myself rolling my eyes at her and wondering what the hell she was doing and why. She is a decent character but I have moved onto the second book and have yet to really feel any connection to her as a character, as things are now, in my mind, she is just there..nothing too significant. Let's talk about the sex! As I am sure many of you will know this book falls under the BDSM literature category so the sex involves things that some may consider violent such as; bindings, paddles, spanking, toys, etc. Personally I did not find anything in the book to be particularly violent to the point of being more than I could handle or stomach. However I would caution anyone who picks up the book to be fully aware of what kind of book they will be reading before they purchase it, if you are the kind of person that finds spanking someone to the point of tears too violent this is probably not the book for you. Any who.. While I certainly found some scenes to be "hot" I will admit that it did not knock my socks off immediately the way I thought it would. It does feel a bit repetitive at times, and lucky for Anastasia that means one "earth shattering" orgasm after another. I am quite interested to see how the sex evolves or if it even does so in the second book. Overall I would say it is a decent book, perhaps not book of the century or even the best of its kind but possibly a nice guilty pleasure to indulge in on a lazy day around the house. 

About the Author: 
 E.L.James: I’m a former TV executive, wife and mother-of-two based in the leafy suburbs of West London. Since January 2012 my life has taken an extraordinary turn with the runaway success of the Fifty Shades Trilogy. From an early age I had always dreamt of writing stories that readers would fall in love with – and my dreams have come true, thanks to you guys. Now that life seems to have settled down a little, I want to crack on and write my next novel – another adult, provocative romance. I do hope you will enjoy that too. 

You can check out her website here and follow her on twitter here as well as check out a playlist for her book here!
 Purchase here: Fifty Shades of Grey