sabato 28 febbraio 2015

Review: Stellarcardia by Julie Anne Grasso

Stellarcadia by Julie Anne Grasso

About the Book

Title: Stellarcadia (Adventures of Caramel Cardamom, Book 3) | Author: Julie Anne Grasso | Publication Date: December 24, 2014 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 128 | Recommended Ages: 8 to 12 

Book Description: Caramel Cinnamon is one lucky elf. She can hardly believe she’s invited to attend the first Intergalactic Youth Summit, on-board the Stellarcadia. Her friends can’t wait to go “hyper,” but even the thought of it chills Caramel to the bone. However, nothing could compare to the icy reception she receives upon her arrival. Keen to get to the bottom of it, Caramel stumbles on a dangerous conspiracy, but no one will believe her. In the exciting conclusion to The Adventures of Caramel Cardamom Trilogy, Caramel will have to do more than outwit her enemies, she will have to convince her friends to take her seriously. For ages 8-12.

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The Early Buzz

"The book is also a perfect mix of magic, science, and technology. Don’t be surprised if readers get to use their imaginations and learn something. Julie Anne Grasso has proven herself to be an original and versatile author..." ~ 5 Stars, Ilana W., Amazon
"Couldn't put it down." ~ Jemima P., Goodreads

About the Author: Julie Anne Grasso

Julie Anne Grasso
With a background in paediatric nursing, Julie Anne Grasso spent many years literally wrapping children in cotton wool. Every day she witnessed great courage and resilience from the tiny people she cared for, which inspired her to write stories to encourage and entertain them. She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband Danny and their little girl, Giselle.

Website | Blog | Facebook

Twitter | Goodreads


My Review

It 's a story full of adventure, magic and technology, is a perfect mix of genres including fantasy,  Sci-Fi and YA.

Caramel is a lucky girl: with her friends takes part in  the inaugural flight of Stellarcardia, a dream ship, full of games and new technologies. Will stay for three days on board and participate in a summit of young people from different planets. Caramel, however, soon becomes clear that there is something strange. There are rooms prohibited, only staff can access it. With the help of her friends she will investigate and discover something shocking ........

The heroine is a princess, shy but very smart and brave. Always manages to come out of the most complicated situations despite her handicap in the leg.

It 's a quick read, written in a simple and compelling way, perfect for children 9-12 years, for the smaller ones (7-9 years), maybe it's easier to read with the help of a parent.

It's the third and final book of the adventures of Caramel Cardamom: you can read without difficulty as stand alone.

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

  Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) Contest ends: March 25, 11:59 pm, 2015 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Julie Anne Grasso and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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WHERE Are You Reading 2015 Challenge

I love this challenge..... It's hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.  Check out her site for all the details.


Minnesota: Granny Snows a Sneak by Julie Sedorf
New Hampshire:
New Mexico
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Dakota
West Virginia

Out of US…..

venerdì 27 febbraio 2015

Book Blast & Giveaway: Year of Living Blonde by Andrea Simonne

by Andrea Simonne



A funny and sizzling romp about discovering your inner pin-up girl...

Plain-Jane bakery owner Natalie Anderson has always followed the recipe for a safe life. When her husband dumps her for a seductive older woman, it’s time to throw out that recipe and start from scratch. She cooks up a plan to transform herself from mousy brown to sexy blonde. Meanwhile, she’s trying to expand her Seattle bakery, La Dolce Vita, but runs into an obstacle in the form of her irritatingly handsome landlord.

Astronomer Anthony Novello’s good looks and charm usually guarantees him a free pass with women, though that’s not the case with his new tenant, Natalie. Plain, plump, and persnickety—he’s never met a woman more annoying. But when Anthony returns from a telescope observing run, he makes a discovery of the non-celestial kind. Natalie has changed. He’s amazed to find himself attracted to her. Sparks fly as he tries to convince her there’s more to him than meets the eye.

However, when Natalie’s ex-husband decides to win her back, she’s forced to choose. Is her year of living blonde over? Or is this the start of a new and much sweeter life….



Natalie grins. “And what is this I hear about my cookies in Hawaii?”

Anthony rolls his eyes in mock exasperation. “All right, I admit it. I took a dozen with to Mauna Kea.”

“I’m honored.”

“You should be. It was right after you called me an asshole and I didn’t want go back into the bakery, so I had to ask Maya to buy them for me.”

Natalie shifts uncomfortably. “I apologized for that. Should I apologize again?”

“It can’t hurt.”

“I’m sorry.”

He doesn’t say anything, just puts new coordinates into his telescope’s keypad.

“Can I ask you something?” she asks.


She bites her lip. “Why do you like me?”

Anthony continues what he’s doing, a smile playing around the edges of his mouth. “What makes you think I like you?”

“Because you invited me here tonight. What is it you see in me, exactly?”

“I don’t know.” He attaches the keypad back to the telescope. “In truth, I’ve wondered about it myself.”

“What kind of answer is that?”

Anthony chuckles. “I’m just being honest. You’re not exactly easy to get along with.”

“I’m not sure why I’m always giving you such a hard time.”

“I am.”

“Why is that?”

“It’s because you’re into me.”

Natalie’s face grows warm. “No, I’m not.”

His hand is still on the telescope. He gazes over at her. “Yeah, you are.”

“I’m not.”

Anthony lets go and moves closer. She can smell him again, his woodsy soap. He’s taller than her and she has to look up at him.

“I’m not into you,” she insists, though her pulse quickens.

Their eyes meet. He’s so near now, she can see the dark fringe of his lashes. The stubble of his beard. She shivers with anticipation.

“Yeah, you are, but it’s okay,” he says softly, leaning close, “because I’m into you, too.”

And then he kisses her. Natalie is dizzy with shock.

Anthony is kissing me!


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Andrea Simonne grew up as an army brat and discovered she had a talent for creating personas at each new school. The most memorable was a surfer chick named "Ace" who never touched a surf board in her life, but had an impressive collection of puka shell necklaces. Eventually she turned her imagination towards writing. Andrea still enjoys creating personas, though these days they occupy her books. She currently makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons.

You can find Andrea at:

You can buy Year of Living Blonde at:

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giovedì 26 febbraio 2015

Review: Who Am I?: How My Daughter Taught Me to Let Go and Live Again by Megan Cyrulewski

Megan Cyrulewski is an ordinary person who has faced extraordinary challenges and now wants to inspire people and show them that hope gives them the power to survive anything. Who Am I? is about her journey into post-partum depression, anxiety disorder, panic attacks, visits to the psych ward, divorce, domestic violence, law school, and her courageous struggle to survive with her sanity intact—and how a beautiful little girl emerged from all this chaos.

Available to purchase at....
Barnes and Noble

"This is a tale that will tug at your heart strings and enrage you all at the same time. Written with such detail and sincerity, this story really takes hold of you and doesn’t let go." 
- review from Amazon

"More than a Survivor of this story, so very much more. Megan's unabashed, truthful and, at times, brutal account of her first-hand experience with her ex-husband should be mandatory reading for people everywhere." - review from Amazon

"This book is great and very inspirational. I wish more people had as much courage as Megan to speak up and tell others of their experience with this type of situation." - review from Amazon

Book Excerpt

On January 18, 2012, we all convened in the courthouse for the Motion for Parenting Time hearing. My dad and I arrived with my attorney, but Tyler loved an audience so he brought his dad, step-mom, and his new on-again off-again girlfriend, HeatherTyler walked in with his posse in tow, cocky as hell. It took all of two minutes for the judge to knock him off his feet.

The Judge addressed our respective attorneys. “Why are we here?”

“Your honor,” Tyler’s attorney began, “my client has clearly been denied his parenti—”

The Judge didn’t even let him finish. “How?” She turned to my attorney. “Don?”

“Your honor, as you can see in the divorce decree, there was supposed to be a review when the minor child turned twelve-months-old. The Defendant has ignored that review.”

“I—if I may, your honor,” Tyler’s attorney sputtered.

“I see the review in the decree. It’s here in black and white,” she told Tyler’s attorney. “What is the problem? Why didn’t you understand the review? Your client signed the divorce decree.”

Tyler’s attorney tried again. “But your honor—”

The judge cut him off. “There is to be a review conducted by the Friend of the Court referee assigned to the parties. Until then, the Defendant will continue his parenting time schedule as agreed upon in the divorce decree. Dismissed.”

And that was it. After eight police reports and numerous harassing text messages, phone calls, and e-mails, we won. As Don and Tyler’s attorney went to speak with the clerk to file the necessary paperwork, Don told us to wait for him outside the courtroom.

As we exited the courtroom, the hallway was so packed with people that my dad and I were only able to find enough space to lean against the wall. We were talking about the court proceedings when we looked up at saw Tyler and his new girlfriend standing right across from us.

“Why do you lie about everything?” Tyler screamed.

Heather walked up to me and stood about an inch from my face. “As a mother myself, you should be happy that Tyler is the father of your child.”

My jaw dropped. “I’m sorry but I don’t know you.”

She smirked. “Well you’re going to get to know me, bitch.”

Tyler made a big show of pulling her from me like I was going to punch her or something. By this time, everyone in the hallway was watching us. We were pure entertainment.

Heather continued her rant. “Two times in the psych ward, Megan? What a great mother you are.”

“Where is your mom, the real mother of our child?” Tyler screamed. “She’s the one who takes care of Madelyne.”

My dad and I tried to move away from Tyler and Heather but they followed us.

“Awww…” Heather mocked. “Do you have to take a Xanax because of your anxiety?”

“Go take your Xanax and sleeping pills, you drug addict,” Tyler shouted.

Finally, Don emerged from the courtroom and pulled us into a quiet corridor. He explained that I needed to call our referee to set-up a meeting to discuss a visitation schedule. I told Don about the verbal assault by Tyler and Heather. Don said he would call Tyler’s attorney to let him know that Heather would not be allowed in my house.

Upon leaving the courthouse, Heather screamed, “See you on Sunday, Megan.”

I turned toward her and said calmly, “I don’t know you, but you are not welcome in my home.”

That night, Tyler sent me multiple texts attacking my mothering skills, my supposed drug addictions, how he was going to fight for joint custody of Madelyne, how Heather would be accompanying him for his visitations, and a barrage of other insults:

“Get a life already”

“Don’t you have something better to do than wasting your parents’ money?”

“Go take your pills and relax, oh yeah, then your parents would have to watch our daughter. Oh yeah, they already do.”

“Go talk to your friends. Oh yeah, you don’t have any because of how crazy you are.”

“Interesting to know you’ve been to the hospital a couple of times. You really need to get it together.”

“Better go call your lawyer and make up some more stuff about me.”

“Don’t be mad at your sorry life.”

“I am sure living with Mom and Dad the rest of your life will be fun.”

“When you get a job, then you can pay me child support. Fun.”

I finally had to turn my phone off at midnight.

My review

Megan decided to tell her terrible story to help other people who may face the same difficulties. It 's a story touching, sad but hopeful: with the help of two wonderful parents, Megan puts at the center of her life her child and can return to live.
The story of Megan is that of many others: a girl meets a handsome guy, Tyler and falls in love. But soon discover that is a person self-centered, violent, suffers from bouts of anger and is also a former drug addict. Megan to 19 years discovers she has anxiety disorders but is perhaps a bit underestimated (another girl she meets in the hospital for the same ailment was hospitalized). Megan quickly becomes a victim of domestic violence of her husband: it is a subtle violence, which does not leave bruises but makes you feel useless, wrong .... Although Megan had always said she doesn't want children decide to have a child. Born a beautiful baby girl and Megan began to suffer from postpartum depression and deteriorating more, eventually must be hospitalized. Parents welcome it to their house to better manage the child and find the courage to ask for a divorce. Begins the legal battle and not with her ex-husband for custody and visits to small Madeline. The biggest fear of the mother is that Tyler is really a incapable father and the child terrified cries every time she sees him.
I think anyone who reads this story or tried it first hand or knows someone who found himself in the same situation: for example, I have been the victim of legal battles for my parent's divorce, thankfully that Madeline was too small and maybe not  ever remember.
Thanks to Megan for taking the courage to share her story and hope that gives strength and hope to those who are facing the same battle to get up and return to live

About the Author

Megan Cyrulewski has been writing short stories ever since she was ten-years-old. After attending Grand Valley State University, Megan eventually settled into a career in the non-profit sector for eight years. She decided to change careers and went back to school to get her law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. While in school, she documented her divorce, child custody battle and postpartum depression struggles in her memoir which is slated to be published on August 2 by Black Opal Books. Megan lives in Michigan with her 3-year-old daughter who loves to dance, run, read, and snuggle time with Mommy. Megan also enjoys her volunteer work with Troy Youth Assistance.

You can find the author on the following sites...


I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.


Two Winners will each receive a $10 Giftcard,
courtesy of author of Who Am I?, Megan Cyrulewski
Ending on Sunday 1st March at 11.59pm EST
Open Worldwide

Enter  Below & Good Luck !!
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mercoledì 25 febbraio 2015

Review & Giveaway: Eclipse Lake by Mae Clair

Eclipse Lake
by Mae Clair



Small towns hold the darkest secrets.

Fifteen years after leaving his criminal past and estranged brother behind, widower Dane Carlisle returns to his hometown on the banks of sleepy Eclipse Lake. Now, a successful businessman, he has kept his troubled past a secret from most everyone, including his seventeen-year-old son.

But memories in small towns are bitter and long.

Ellie Sullivan, a nature photographer for a national magazine, has a habit of ping-ponging across the map. Her latest assignment leads her to Eclipse Lake where she becomes caught up in the enmity between Dane, his brother Jonah, and a vengeful town sheriff. When freshly-discovered skeletal remains are linked to an unsolved murder and Dane’s past, Ellie is left questioning her growing attraction for a man who harbors long-buried secrets.


My Review:

It 's a mystery very special, different from the usual: the murder to be solved remains a bit in the background, out there are the relationships between the three Carisle and the talk and the memories of a small town.
Dane Carisle was a teenager very difficult, now is a successful entrepreneur. He's widower for just over 3 years and has a seventeen year old adopted son, Jesse. He had promised his wife that he would resume contacts with his families, are 15 who does not see his brother and his mother, who has since died. Dane is hunted constantly in trouble and it was always the big brother Jonah him out. After spending several months in a prison Dane had decided to leave  Eclipse Lake, abandoning his family. He decides to keep his promise and returns Pennsylvania just as two boys found human bones. Another reason why Jonah hates his brother so much is that Dane had seduced his ex-girlfriend Brenda, after that  she is disappeared and has not heard anything about her. Her father, who is now sheriff, is convinced that Dane was involved in her murder. While Dane tries to make amends by his brother and let him know that the guy who knew no longer exists, meets Ellie Sullivan, a photographer who is making a documentary in Eclipse Lake. They begin to attend and was born among them a good story, although Ellie will end up being in the middle of the tension between the two brothers. Jesse is likely to discover the past that his father has always wanted to be silent .....
It 's written really good, with a fast paced and engaging, the characters are very realistic and well characterized. The author is very good at engaging the reader and make him feel and share the feelings experienced by the protagonists: the anger of Jonah, the torments and the attraction of Ellie,  torment, repentance and frustration of Dane.
It 's a complete story, full of mystery, suspense and romance, in which the protagonists are the forgiveness and the chance to redeem himself in life.


Ellie stopped walking and turned to face him. “Why are you here?”

Dane picked up a flat stone. With a flick of his wrist he sent it skimming across the lake. It danced effortlessly across the surface as if he’d done the same thing a thousand times before. “You know that skeleton they found?”

She nodded.

“I’ve got more skeletons than a graveyard. I can’t pick up and go to another place…to the next photo shoot.” He turned to face her. “Half of my life is here and half’s on the west coast. I have to make them fit together.”

The revelation reminded her of the family she’d left behind in Idaho, reawakening a familiar tug of homesickness. In an effort to find more comfortable ground, she changed topics. “You told me you’re from San Diego. I did a photo op there four years ago. What do you do for a living?”

“I get by.” He took her hand and started walking again.

She sent a speculative glance in his direction, recognizing evasiveness when she heard it. He was wearing a Rolex, and though dressed casually, clearly had expensive taste. Yet he’d booked an ordinary cabin rather than one of the exclusive chalets higher up the mountain.

She liked the feel of his fingers around hers, warm and firm. The contact sent a pleasant tingle up her arm. What the hell was wrong with her, getting caught up in his touch as if it were magic? As if she’d waited her whole life for that sensation. He had skeletons in his past, a brother who couldn’t stand the sight of him and a sheriff who wanted to run him out of town. Eccentric, or just plain trouble?


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Mae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back.  Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars.

Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with mystery and romance. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about cryptozoology, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:

Website and Blog -
Twitter (@MaeClair1) -

Purchase ECLIPSE LAKE from:

Add ECLIPSE LAKE to your Goodreads List -

Mae will be awarding $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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martedì 24 febbraio 2015

Review: Flamenco, Flan and Fatalities by Mary McHugh

Flamenco, Flan and Fatalities
by Mary McHugh

Flamenco, Flan and Fatalities serves up just what it says: good entertainment, good food and good mystery! I am looking forward to reading other books in this series.
~Back Porchervations
Talk about transporting the reader – I felt as if I were in Spain for the last few days.
~Socrates Book Reviews
flamenco flanFlamenco, Flan, and Fatalities
(A Happy Hoofers Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Kensington (February 24, 2015)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1617733611

Murder is nothing to tap at. . .
The high-kicking Happy Hoofers–Tina, Janice, Pat, Mary Louise, and Gini–have been booked to flaunt their fabulous flamenco footwork on a luxury train ride through northern Spain. But when a blowhard talk show host is found deader than four-day-old flan–with Gini as suspect numero uno–the feisty friends waste no time stepping into their sleuthing shoes to protect one of their own.
The dynamite dancers will have to step up their game before a clever killer brings the curtain down on one of them . . . for good!
Includes Photo Tips And Tasty Recipes

My Review
I adored this cozy mystery, everything is wonderful: the places, the plot, the characters, the food .........
The protagonists are the Happy Hoffers: Tina, Janice, Gini, Mary Louise and Pat. They are five great dancers and great friends who travel the world to entertain people with their shows. In addition to dance, are well-versed in solving murders and mysteries. They are doing a trip in northern Spain by train and should delight the other members of the tour with Flamenco dancing. On board the train there is also Mr. Shambless, a popular talk show host. He's hateful, arrogant, really it is hard to understand how it can have so many fans. He's shooting a documentary about the journey together with a girlfriend (should be the director ....) and a cameraman. During the dinner he has a nasty altercation with one of the dancers, Gini that in anger says that she would like to see him dead. When he found dead poisoned, Gini will be the first to be suspected of murder The Happy Hoofers will try to assist in the investigation the inspector sexy Javier Cruz. But when everything seems to work is found another corpse ...... And if the next possible victim was Gini?
Set in a country caliente and passionate, there had to be some romantic adventures: as increasing the complicity of Mary Louise, mother of three children neglected by her husband, and a doctor recently widower. Or the growing attraction between the inspector and Janice ....
It 's really very well written, with a flowing and compelling rhythm, very nice idea to end chapters with recipes or photos, maybe suggestions for a little vacation. Spain, with its green landscapes, its food, its culture is the background without being intrusive or annoying. All the characters are well developed, both main that secondary.
It's the second book on Happy Hoofers: every adventure can be read as a standalone without any difficulty. Each book in the series is told in first person by one of the dancers. This touches on Gini. She's a very strong and combative woman , who can not stand the injustices and abuses, can not remain silent in front of the arrogance of Mr. Shambless
 Really to read for those who love the cozy mystery and Spain.

About This Author
Mary McHugh graduated from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, with a B.A. in English Literature and studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. She is the author of nineteen nonfiction books and two novels. She was a contributing editor for Cosmopolitan, an articles editor at Woman’s World, Travel Holiday, and Bridal Guide, and has written articles for The New York Times, Good Housekeeping and Family Circle.
She loves to tap dance and to travel -two passions that inspired her to write the Happy Hoofers series.
She lives in the New York area. Visit her at

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