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Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Grimm Legacy by Janna Jennings



January 20, 2014

Amazon Book Description: 
Enchanted castles and charming princes thought to exist only in stories come to life in this classically twisted fairy tale that combines the timeless quality of folktales with the challenges of the modern world.

The woods of Elorium appear ordinary to Andi… until the birds start to talk and elves answer doors. Whisked out of her world along with three strangers, Andi finds herself the reluctant guest of Mr. Jackson, a perplexing millionaire who claims to be able to help them get home. The secrets he harbors, however, make it difficult to know just who to trust.

When the group of teenagers discover that in this new world, fiction is anything but, and that they all have unexpected family ties to this fairy tale land, they must learn to rely on each other. The only way to survive evil fairies and giants intent on keeping them in Elorium is to rely on each other.

Faced with characters short on whimsy and bent toward treachery, Andi, Quinn, Fredrick, and Dylan are forced to play their parts in unfinished fairy tales. But in Elorium, happily ever after is never guaranteed.



My Review:
I received a copy of this book for free on Netgalley. 

I very much enjoy all the modern takes on fairy tales that have come out over the last year.  A Grimm Legacy is one such retelling.  A Grimm Legacy tells the story of Andi, Quinn, Fredrick and Dylan, four teenagers going about their day, when they are unexpectedly sucked into Elorium, another world, where fairy tales are real life. 

The plot was very different from all of the other fairy telling retellings that I've read.  The lead characters are all unique individuals with their own quirks and interests, without being too contrived.  They band together to try to get home from Elorium to their real lives and along the way become fast friends.  Their is mild romantic interest but it doesn't make up the bulk of the book and isn't insta-love, so I like that.

I like that the book focuses on some of the more obscure Grimm's fairy tales as well as the ones most people are familiar with.  This made the book very interesting to me.  The book was also a very fast read.  It was over 300 pages but I devoured it in day or so. 

I've already started the second book and I find it just as interesting as this one.  This book is only $3.99 for Amazon Kindle but you can also get it in paper back.  If you love fairytale retellings, be sure to check this one out.


About the Author:
Janna is a Colorado based YA author who loves a good fairy tale. She’s married to her own real life Prince Charming, and will usually admit to being mom of three, including her incorrigible middle child, Benny. Besides wrangling her kids she can be found doing some therapeutic baking, dreaming of the ocean, and of course, curling up with a good book.


Monday, September 22, 2014

September Birch Box Reveal & Giveaway

Birchbox is a monthly subscription box of deluxe beauty samples.  It costs $10 a month, and  contains five deluxe samples of up and coming as well as long time favorite beauty products.  You take a quiz and answer some questions about your hair and skin type and your beauty preferences so that Birchbox can curate boxes geared towards your tastes.  Below is what I received in my Birchbox in September.
 
The first look:  This month there is a new box style.  I love the geometric pattern.
 
 
View of the inside:  Each month Birchbox comes with a card describing the products that were chosen for you.
 

 
Inside the box, a first look.
 
 
 
This month included more than five items.  I got to choose one of my products, the Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate.  I've used it for about a week now, and there is still a ton left. It's a very generous sample.  It smells and feels great.
 
There was also a bonus sample in this months box - 2 of each R+Co BEL AIR Smoothing Shampoo & Conditioner packets.  I haven't tried it yet put plan to tonight.
 
I also got a very large sample of TOCCA Crema da Mano Luxe - Hand Cream, which I gave to a friend because it's green tea and lemon, and I have a lemon allergy. 
 
There was a regular size sample of Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensée Cologne Absolue.  It's smells really good.  It's a strong vanilla scent, that's mure sultry than sweet. 
 

My last two items are my favorite in this months box, which overall, I think is a great box. 

Harvey Prince Ageless Liquid Loofah, which is a good sized sample.  It smells really good.  It feels nice on the skin.  It's for sure something that I would purchase in the future.

Finally, I received a Pixi by Petra Breath of Fresh Air lip balm in the nectar color which I love, and was hoping I would get in my box.



I was sent two of the same Birchbox this month.  As a result I am sharing the wealth and giving away my second box to a lucky Waiting on Sunday to Drown reader.  The box contains the same samples described above, however the box is made of different colors, same pattern.  Please enter below using the rafflecopter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 15, 2014

August 2014 Glossybox

Glossybox is a monthly subscription box that costs $21 including shipping.  You answer some questions about your skin, hair, eyes and makeup preferences and they send you a very nice keepsake box (I store makeup in mine).
 
Right out of the box:
 

First view after removing the lid:

 
 
After removing the pretty paper, this is what I got this month:

 
 
I received deluxe samples of Uberliss hydrating shampoo and conditioner.  They are very generous sized samples, smell great, and the shampoo is a pretty pink color.  The full size bottles retail for $23.90 each.  I've been using the samples for the last two weeks, and I don't find them to be all that moisturizing.  I like them, by I like my Biologe better.
 
 
The next sample is a deluxe sample of Kryolan highlighter in Cashmere.  The full size product retails for $18.95.  I thought it was a nice color, and I've enjoyed using it so far.
 
 
Next up is a full size Precision Nail Lacquer by Lamoon Beauty.  This product retails for $5.95.  I love the deep wine color I received.
 
 
Then there is Eyeko London skinny liquid liner, which retails for $16 in the full size.  I am not so great with eye liners, and usually use eye crayons, and then smudge, but this liner has a tip that isn't too hard, and with practice, I think I could master the liquid liner.
 
Finally, is a deluxe sample of Eslor Firming Collagen Day Cream which retails for $85 in the full size.  So far, it smells good, genuinely does firm the skin and has been helping with puffy eyes.

 
 
Overall, I feel I got a great August box.  Did you get a Glossybox this month?  What was in yours?

Monday, September 8, 2014

August Birch Box Reveal

 
In August, I signed up to receive Birch Box.  Birchbox is a monthly sampler box that contains 5 generous samples and possibly full size items.  I've been seeing Birchbox ads for a while, and decided to give it a try...because I love beauty products (I'm a bit of a hoarder if I'm being honest).
 
 
Birchbox sends the samples in a nice reusable box.  This is what the box looks like once you take it out of the shipping package.
 
 
 
The first peek inside my August Birchbox

 
The box comes with a card, that tells you about the items that you received in your box.  There is some personalization involved in Birchbox.  You tell them whether you like perfume samples, about your hair, your skin, your skin concern, your beauty style, how proficient you are with makeup, and what kinds of products you would like samples of.




When I removed the lid, this is what was inside.

 
Whish Shaving Cream  - it's huge for a sample - bigger than deluxe.  It's about the size of the hand creams from Bath and Body Works.

 
Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris fragrance sample.  It's your typical size fragrance sample.  It smells amazing.  Very rich and lush.  I had to pass this sample on though as my husband has bad perfume allergies and this one just set him off.  I was sad to part with it though.

 
LAQA & CO Lip Lube - this one was also a huge sample - about half the size of a normal lip crayon.  It's a really pretty color. 

 
K6 Cleanser - a deluxe sample.  I haven't tried it yet, because I don't want to switch cleansers while I'm using another one.  But the one I'm using is almost out, and I'll use this one next.
 
Benefit's new "they're Real" push-up eye-liner.  It's the size that comes in Benefit's sample packs (you know the ones - 4 or 5 deluxe sample size Benefit products for $34).  I gave this one away too because I'm not big on eyeliner.  My eyes twitch anytime anything is within inches of them so I can only use soft eye-crayons unless I want the railroad track effect on my eyes.
 
 
Overall, I think that this Birchbox was worth the $10.  I got some great products, and very generous sizes at that.  Have you ever tried Birchbox?  What did you get in your box, and how did you like it?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Cruisin' Thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2014



I'm arriving to this party a little late to the game, but I've been into Cozy Mysteries lately, so I thought I'd sign up. 

I'm aiming for level 4- Sleuth Extraordinaire.

If you are interested in joining this challenge, it's hosted by Books Are Life - Vita Libri

My Books:

1. Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich.  It's technically considered a cozy, though it's not one that I would consider a cozy.  I do love these stories though.  Stephanie and Lula crack me up.  Finished 1/14/14




2.  Candy Apple Dead by Sammi Carter.  I liked this story pretty well.  It was about average in predictability.  The characters were so-so on likeability.  I'd read more in the series, to see how it develops.  Finished 3/5/2014.



3. Cooking Up Murder by Miranda Bliss.  The story was ok in this one, but I have trouble liking the main character.  Her thoughts about her best friend are pretty unkind, and the author tries to make her come across as insecure and going through a rough time but she comes across as thinking she's better than others, and just kind of a know-it-all.  I did give the series another chance, which you will see later in my list.  It's not my favorite.  Finished 3/9/14.



4.  Mum's The Word by Kate Collins.  I really like this series so far.  The characters are fun and likeable, and it's interesting to learn things about florist shops.  This is one I definitely will be reading the rest of.  Finished 3/14/14.



5. Mind Over Murder by Allison Kingsley.  Finished 3/26/14

6.  Organized for Murder by Ritter Ames.  Finished 3/30/14

7.  On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle.  Finished 4/3/14

8.  Who Do, Voodoo? by Rochelle Staab.  Finished 4/5/14

9. Slay It With Flowers by Kate Collins.  Finished 4/6/14

10. Bruja Brouhaha by Rochelle Staab.  Finished 4/12/14

11. Murder on the Menu by Miranda Bliss.  Finished 4/14/14

12. Delicious and Suspicious by Riley Adams.  Finished 4/15/14

13. Blackberry Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke.  Finished 4/16/14

14.  Dearly Depotted by Kate Collins.  Finished 4/19/14

15.  Hex on the Ex by Rochelle Staab.  Finished 4/30/14

16. Through the Grinder by Cleo Coyle. Finished 5/3/14

17.  Murder Buys a T-Shirt by Christy Fifield.  Finished 5/7/14

18. Murder and Marinara by Rosie Genova.  Finished 5/9/14

19. At Wicks End by Tim Myers.  Finished 5/11/14

20. A Killer Plot by Ellery Adams.  Finished 5/15/14

21. Witch Way to Murder by Shirley Damsgaard.  Finished 5/25/15

22. The Proof is in the Pudding by Melinda Wells.  Finished 6/4/14

23.  Finger-lickin Dead by Riley Adams.  Finished 6/9/14

24. A Deadly Cliché by Ellery Adams.  Finished 6/19/14

25.  If You Can't Stand the Heat by Robin Allen.  Finished 7/14/14

26. Murder on the Rocks by Allyson K. Abbott.  Finished 7/19/14

27. Too Many Crooks Spoil the Broth by Tamar Myers.  Finished 7/20/14

28.  A Tough Nut To Kill by Elizabeth Lee.  Finished 7/27/14

29.  Snipped In the Bud by Kate Collins.  Finished 7/27/14

30. Out of the Frying Pan by Robin Allen. Finished 7/27/14

31. Target of Death by Madison Johns.  Finished 7/29/14

32.

Where I've Been....

I have been gone, from my blog, for about the last 8 months. So where have I been? I've had a lot of things going on and had three major milestones in the last 6 months. First, I graduated, finally, with my Criminal Justice Degree. Second, my company was bought out, which was a stressful time, but I stayed on with the new company and got a promotion. It's been a little bit crazy with so many changes going on, but I believe it's all worth it. Finally, the biggest change, I have a new last name! We finally got married. This is me on my big day. I can't put pictures of my husband online because of his job, so it's just me. I'm glad these milestones have passed, and I'm glad to be back to blogging.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

2014 "1001 Books To Read Before You Die" Challenge

This year, I challenged myself to read 20 books from the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list.  You can download a copy of a nifty spreadsheet where you can track your books and how long it will take you to read all the books. It's pretty cool and costs less than $7.00 to download.

Get your copy of the all new 1001 Books spreadsheet.

This year so far I've read:



I'm currently working on:


Have you heard of this list? How many books have you read from the list? Which books are your favorite?  Which did you not like so much?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Review, Promo & Giveaway: Second Verse by Jennifer Walkup

 
My Review:  Second Verse is a paranormal young adult mystery that transcends time.  The small town of Shady Springs has a torrid past.  A gruesome murder took place in the past.  The town holds a murder mystery festival every year called The Hunt.  The students at Lange's school solve a fake mystery.  This year, shortly before the festival Lange and friends hold a séance.  The séance scene is super creepy and Lange and Vaughn hear a murdered girl Ginny begging for their help.  She directs them to some clues and the two become obsessed with finding out what happened to Ginny.  In a creepy twist, Lange and Vaughn start to receive the same threats that Ginny did before she died.  Will they be able to solve the mystery before they are the next victims?
 
I thought the writing on this book was pretty good.  There were a few spots where the dialogue between the teenage characters sounded sounded unnatural, but it got better as the book progressed.  The paranormal element was pretty good and the twist at the end was very unexpected.  Overall, I enjoyed this book very much.


About the Book - About the Author - Prizes!!!

Welcome to another exciting publishing house spotlight tour from Novel Publicity. Join us as two new titles from Luminis Books--we're calling them the Luminis Dyad--tour the blogosphere in a way that just can't be ignored. And, hey, we've got prizes! About the prizes: Who doesn't love prizes? You could win either of two $25 Amazon gift cards, an autographed copy of Second Verse by Jennifer Walkup, or an autographed copy of its tour mate, The Field by Tracy Richardson. Here's what you need to do...
  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog
That's it! One random commenter during this tour will win a $25 gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win--the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE.

The other $25 gift card and the 3 autographed books will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Luminis Duo tour page via Novel Publicity.

Good luck!

 
About the book: Can love last more than a lifetime? Can Murder? Bad things come in threes. In Shady Springs, that includes murder. Lange Crawford’s move to Shady Springs, Pennsylvania, lands her a group of awesome friends, a major crush on songwriter Vaughn, and life in a haunted, 200-year-old farmhouse. It also brings The Hunt: an infamous murder mystery festival where students solve a fake, gruesome murder scheme during the week of Halloween. Well, supposedly fake. Weeks before The Hunt, Lange and her friends hold a séance in the farmhouse’s eerie barn. When a voice rushes through, whispering haunting words that only she and Vaughn can hear, Lange realizes it's begging for help. The mysterious voice leads Lange and Vaughn to uncover letters and photos left behind by a murdered girl, Ginny, and they become obsessed with her story and the horrifying threats that led to her murder. But someone doesn’t like their snooping, and Lange and Vaughn begin receiving the same threats that Ginny once did. The mysterious words from the barn become crucial to figuring out Ginny's past and discovering how their own past is connected to hers. They must work fast to uncover the truth or risk finding out if history really does repeat itself. Pick up your copy of this Young Adult/ Paranormal/ Thriller l through Amazon US, Amazon UK, or Barnes & Noble.


About the author: When Jennifer Walkup isn’t writing or reading, she’s spending time with her husband and young sons, listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers, and coming up with costume ideas for Halloween. She’s obsessed with good coffee and new recipes and likes broccoli on her pizza, flowers in her hair, flip-flops on her feet, and the number 13. A member of SCBWI, Jennifer also serves as fiction editor for The Meadowland Review and teaches creative writing at The Writers Circle. Second Verse is her first novel. Connect with Jennifer on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, or GoodReads.

Luminis Books was launched in January, 2010 by husband and wife team Tracy Richardson and Chris Katsaropoulos with a mission to publish thought-provoking literary fiction for children and adults. We publish what we love: Meaningful Books That Entertain. Our award-winning books engage and inform readers and explore a wide range of topics from love and relationships, teen sexual assault and homelessness to string theory, consciousness, and the Universal Energy Field. Luminis Books is a proudly independent publisher located in Carmel, IN. Learn more at www.luminisbooks.com.


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