Book Review: A Case of Serendipity by K.J. Farnham

A Case of Serendipity by K.J. Farnham

A YA Teen Drama Novel published by K. J. Farnham Publishing LLC (03/20/2018)

Summary:

Ruth never signed up for Bucky’s Beans promotional tests and if they keep spamming her with their discounts, she’s going to go nuts! After failing to stop the messages herself, she resorts to a final plea on the company’s Facebook page. The company isn’t the one to respond to her, but a lawyer trying to sue Bucky’s Beans. At her wit’s end, Ruth signs up with the lawyer, Henry Mancuso. After adding him as a Facebook friend, Ruth and Henry keep bumping into each other offline. As they create the legal case against Bucky’s, their friendship grows. They both like each other, but can their relationship be more than professional?

Keywords:

Coffee, Lawyer, Suing, Biking, Running, Farmer’s Market, Spam, Promotion, Facebook, Romance, Friendship, Exes, Flirting, Quirky, Workaholic, Unsubscribe

My Review:

Another adorable and well written novel from Farnham. Every book I read from this author is better than the last. This book’s writing style was seamless. The romance was adorable and well-built. This book was a fun and lighthearted easy read.

I absolutely loved the quirky characters. I loved seeing Ruth from Henry’s perspective and from her own. She became more quirky through Henry’s eyes and I loved that about her (and the writing).

I enjoyed the lawyer talk, and thought the balance between the plot against Bucky’s Beans and the budding romance was done well. I did think some of the plot dragged a bit through the middle of the story.

This novel was published by K. J. Farnham Publishing LLC 03/20/2018 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.50

 

Links for more information:

Goodreads

K.J. Farnham’s Website

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Book Review: The Call: A Baseball Novel by Laurie Boris

The Call: A Baseball Novel by Laurie Boris

A Women’s Fiction Sports Novel published by Amazon Digital Services LLC (9/01/07)

Summary:

Margie is the first female umpire in the minor league of baseball – but it was an uphill battle. Without support from some progressive folks, she never would have made. Every step of the way she is disrespected, insulted, and worse because some people think baseball is a man’s world.

Keywords:

Baseball, Umpire, Season, Enemies, Sexism, Major-League, History, Historical, Women, First Female Umpire, Man’s World, Resistance, Career, Male-Dominated, Learning, Personal Growth

My Review:

The baseball scenarios went right over my head, but because of the excitement of being a part of the game, I didn’t care. I could feel the tense atmosphere in the stadium when the ball connected with the bat. I could feel the sweat from the players. I could sense the emotion and love Margie felt for the game and her role in it.

I loved Margie. I loved her conviction and her love of baseball. I loved her stubborn personality and her willingness to learn from her mistakes. She was an amazingly full and rich character. She is an excellent role model. She sticks by her calls.

I absolutely loved every scene with Margie and Wes. Their friendship was awesome and I liked that Margie had a relationship with a man that was not romantic.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services LLC on 9/01/07 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.50

Links for more information:

Laurie Boris’s Website

Goodreads

Twitter

Book Review: Nocturne by Heather McKenzie with Book Blitz

Nocturne by Heather McKenzie

A YA Novel published by Clean Teen Publishing (04/20/18)

Summary:

Kaya, free from her father, is not on her own. She has Luke and part of his crew. Hiding out in a random motel, they think they’re safe but it proves much harder to disappear then to run away. Kaya must leave behind those she loves to keep them safe and truly disappear. Or so she thinks.

Keywords:

Suspense, Romance, Love Triangle, Self-Discovery, Hate, Secrets, Mystery, Loyalty, Family, Hiding, Running, Escape, Heiress, Protection, Discovery, Past, Power, Corruption, Fight, Motivation, Money

My Review:

Nocturne starts off with a bang – right where Serenade left off. Kaya is still with Luke and all the problems revealed in book one are pressing down on her. She doesn’t just want to be normal anymore. She can’t have the normal life. Not with both her parents trying to find her – and not necessarily alive.

Kaya really comes into her own with this book. She is still young and ignorant of the wide world, but she is learning. She grows so much throughout this book, accepting who she is and what she must do. She is part of a larger conspiracy between her parents. A lesser person would slink off and disappear into whatever normal life is left for her, but Kaya shines. She is stubborn to a fault, but she almost always does what’s right. Even when it puts her in danger. Especially when it puts her in danger, it would seem.

Everyone falls in love with Kaya and her do-what-she-believes-in attitude. She wears her heart on her sleeve, will dig in her heels when she needs to, and will do anything to protect those she loves. Kaya is the heroine everyone wants to be and the woman all the men fall in love with.

I couldn’t put this book down and I can’t wait for more of Kaya’s story.

This novel was published by Clean Teen Publishing on March 20th, 2018 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

Heather McKenzie’s Website

Twitter

Goodreads

Nocturne
Heather McKenzie
(Nightmusic Trilogy, #2)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: March 20th 2018
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Young Adult

I am hunted.
A pawn in a vicious game.
The only way I can protect the ones I love…
…is to disappear.

Finally free of her father, Kaya has the one thing that keeps her heart beating—Luke.

Blissfully content in his arms, everything seems perfect…until their world is shattered by a deadly invasion. When an old ally comes to the rescue, Kaya wants none of it. She is devastated to learn the identity of her attacker, and that she must do something truly heartbreaking if she wants to save the ones she loves. Sacrificing everything and sinking into bottomless sorrow, Kaya finds solace in an unlikely friend—one who shows her a different kind of love, and helps her discover an inner strength she never thought possible.

A heart-pounding journey of self-discovery, Nocturne is the transformative second installment of The Nightmusic Trilogy by Heather McKenzie.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Grab book 1 – Serenade – for FREE!
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

I flew out the door into the cool night, took four steps, then stopped—the latest enlightening news about my father had sent me over the edge. Tears burst from my eyes. The last shred of hope I’d been hanging onto that Henry wasn’t all bad had been completely obliterated; he was an actual monster.

I dropped to the curb and put my head in my hands. The rain started falling, lightly dusting my shoulders at first, then becoming a downpour just to add to my misery. I became soaked head to toe, but I didn’t care. I stayed where I was, wishing the rain would melt me into a puddle that would drain into the gutter and then just disappear into the earth…

“You left something in my truck,” said a voice from out of nowhere.

At the edge of my vision was Ben, rain coming down even harder now and pouring off his cowboy hat in rivers. He was holding out a paper bag, which was now soaked. It was the muffin I hadn’t eaten.

“I didn’t want it to go to waste,” he added, eyeing me with concern, then glancing at the café window where I could feel many sets of eyes on my back.

I dropped my gaze back to the gutter. My body didn’t want to move, and I still held out hope that the rain might just wash me away. Ben said something, and then he hauled me up and turned me to face him. He lifted my chin, and I had no choice but to meet his eyes. The rain plastered my hair to my face, mixing with the tears that were spilling out of me with blinding force.

He gave me a weak smile. “I tried to leave. Got in my truck and was ten minutes out of town, but then I realized…” He paused, fumbling for the right words. “I could really use some help at my ranch. Now, the job doesn’t pay much, but you’ll have your own room and all the food you can eat.
You’ll be dry.”

He waited patiently for an answer, but I was so grateful that all my words caught in my throat. He tossed the paper bag with the muffin into the garbage. After a quick glance at the internet café and the white-haired waiter watching from the doorway, his hand firmly latched onto mine. I had the sense I wasn’t being given a choice, I was going wherever this cowboy wanted me to.

“I’m taking you home now,” he said over the downpour.

Home. Home was in Luke’s arms….

The rain was falling in sheets. Since I wasn’t about to turn into a puddle and dissolve, I let the cowboy lead the way.

 

Author Bio:

Heather McKenzie is the Canadian author of The Nightmusic Trilogy. Also a professional singer/songwriter with five albums to date, she told stories through music for years before falling in love with novel writing. Heather pulls from her extraordinary experiences as a musician to fuel her passion for creating Young Adult fiction. She is a rocker at heart, a mom of three and an aspiring painter.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Book Review: Electric Gardens (Robot Dystopia) by M. Black

Electric Gardens (Robot Dystopia) by M. Black

A Sicence Fiction/Cyberpunk Novel published (03/15/18)

Summary:

Lexi019 has lived most of her life under the tight control of the robots known as Tins. After the apocalypse, the Tins stepped up to herd and shelter the remaining humans. Lexi019 and some of the others aren’t so sure that the world is uninhabitable outside the Tins’ compound. The Tins’ rules are so strict that Lexi019 would rather take her chances outside. Leaving isn’t an option and escaping might prove more difficult than Lexi019 and her friends can handle by themselves.

Keywords:

Science Fiction, Robotics, Apocalypse, Technology, Dystopian, Teenagers, Strict, Escape, Rules, Secrets, Control, Power, Powerless, Desperation, Friendship

My Review:

 

The world building details in this novel were interesting and full-fledged. I loved reading about this entirely different robotically-run world. Since it’s been over a decade since the ‘apocalypse,’ I wonder what life looks like outside of the Tins’ compound and how the Tins’ technology works.

Lexi019 was very young when she joined the Tins’ compound, so her memories of the world outside of the Tins are vague and mostly unknown. This reminded me of the Maze Runner series and I sense a big reveal or a twist about the world outside of the Tins.

The pacing was a bit flat in the middle of the book and the ending was somewhat abrupt (though concluding of the main action/goal of the characters). The action and Lexi019 carried the book from the beginning to the end. The subplot with Digit was also very intriguing and I wanted to see more of that develop.

The Tins confused me. They appeared to have absolute control over the humans with their very strict rules and their very strict consequences for breaking those rules. Being meshed sounds absolutely horrible! Even with this absolute control, Lexi019 and others are able to go behind the Tins back and get away with quite the number of shenanigans they shouldn’t have been able to get away with.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions shared are 100% my own.

This novel will be published on 03/15/2018.

TL;DR Star Rating: 3.50

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Foodie Fridays: Week 2 and Week 3 LEAP diet – What it Cost

Week 2: $275.61

$7.37 2/8 Trader Joe’s cereal, fruit wrap, and hot cereal

$6.98 2/9 Fred Meyer for Cashewgurt and a mango

$11.04 2/8 Amazon cake pan for Instant Pot

$40 halfvsies at Costco for Boom Chicka Kettle Corn, Kirkland Signature beef, lettuce mix, brown rice

$97.05 Fullscript supplements: Bio-Zyme, PureLean Nutrients

$10 Flying Apron Bakery loaf of gluten free bread 2/11/18

$103.17 Fullscript supplements: Support Minerals, Amino-NR, PurePaleo Protein unflavored

Week 3: $100.74

$24 halfsies at Fred Meyer 2/16 for various groceries including my favorite pickles!

$21.29 at Fred Meyer 2/19 for dented cans of pear, applesauce, avocado, soy free Earth Balance butter, etc.

$3.45 Fred Meyer 2/21 cereal and 2 teas

$52 halfsies at Costco 2/21 for peanuts, hot dogs, eggs, kettle corn, lettuce

 

Book Review: Mind Secrets: A Science Fiction Telepathy Thriller (Perceivers Book 1) by Jane Killick

Mind Secrets: A Science Fiction Telepathy Thriller (Perceivers Book 1) by Jane Killick

A Science Fiction Novel published by Amazon Digital Services LLC (01/11/16)

Summary:

Michael wakes up with amnesia, but he knows the agent in front of him is up to no good. Trusting his instincts, he flees. Getting away from the agent wasn’t too hard, but living without memories, identity, money, or a place to go prove much harder. The world he finds himself in is torn between those who can perceive emotions and those who are afraid of the Perceivers. Michael falls in with one of those groups of Perceivers and wants to help them as much as he wants to find out who he was.

Keywords:

Telepathy, Thriller, Mind Power, Sensing, Thoughts, Emotions, Sanctuary, Teenagers, Power, Memory, Friends, Destruction, Confrontation, Secrets, Deception

My Review:

This book was full of action and scenes of chase and destruction. It was a fun read about a possible science fiction future where society is split between those who have a power and those who resent and fear those with that power. Of course people would turn to laws and legislation to bind those with telepathy and to erase whatever part of their minds houses the telepathy with no regard to their identity and opinions. It made me grind my teeth at times how insensitive those in power were for trying to suppress the use and future of telepathy, even when it was ingrained into the person’s identity like another sense.

I did find it hard to believe that the teenagers would be able to oppose the government like they were able to in this book. They also seemed to be able to source whatever they needed in this opposition, such as access to a lab.

I really liked the angle this book took on ‘mind control’ as it was a very soft version of telepathy, like the beginning stages of the evolution of mind control.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services LLC 01/11/16 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 3.75

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Jane Killick’s Website

Book Review: Guild of Immortal Women by David Alan Morrison, H.L. Melvin

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Guild of Immortal Women by David Alan Morrison, H.L. Melvin

A Women’s Fiction Humor Novel published by Book Publishers Network (10/12/14)

Summary:

Abbey doesn’t remember who she was before the ‘accident’ but she does have vivid dreams of drowning as well as burning. As she tries to recover her memories in a mental hospital, her ‘aunts’ are preparing for her return to the Bastille. It is imperative that Abbey remember who she was and what she is capable of before the faire that the Guild of Immortal Woman, AKA Abby’s aunts, put on every year.

Keywords:

Humor, Satire, Fantasy, Misdirection, Immortality, Women, Detective, Power, Comedy, Home, Castle, Home, Family, Friendship, Insane Asylum, Dead Bodies, Tapestry, Secrets, Amnesia

My Review:

This story’s plot line was so different from any other fantasy/paranormal/humor book that I’ve read. There were witches. There was a guild. There was a bad guy and a deadline. But everything in between these elements was surprisingly different.

The writing style of switching POV and not tagging all the dialogue made it a bit confusing to figure out who was speaking at times.

I loved seeing Abbey from other characters’ perspectives and to see the world through her eyes.

This was a fun and interesting read.

This novel was published by Book Publishers Network on October 12th, 2014 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 3.50

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Twitter

Foodie Fridays: One Week LEAP diet – What I Ate

What I spent on a week’s worth of groceries: $182.22 (one of the trips was halfsies and I also bought some bathroom supplies from Amazon). This does not include my monthly supplements.

My new favorite gluten free/dairy free finds:

 

Without further ado – a week in meals

Bonus:2018_MyfitnessPal_FoodLog_Dec23-Jan3

 

All About the Donuts: Local Donut Shop Review – Lafeens Donuts Ice Cream And Espresso – Burlington, WA

Lafeens Donuts Ice Cream And Espresso

Burlington, WA

320 N Burlington Blvd, Burlington, WA 98233

(360) 755-0195

Review criteria:

Most popular donut at the shop: Blueberry Fritter
Signature shop donut: Bigfoot
Most popular US donut: glazed
2nd most popular US donut: Boston crème
Donut Hole: Yes

What I tried:

$7.91 total for a Glazed, Bismark, Maple Bigfoot, and Blueberry Fritter.

What to expect:

This is your stereotypical donut shop with all the classics and not much creativity. The shop even has some ice cream (they don’t make it in house).

My favorite:

I was very unimpressed with this donut shop and don’t recommend it. I would never eat another one of their donuts. They were not fresh (the donuts tasted a day old) and I bought these donuts before noon! It’s all about the donuts and theirs were underwhelming.

 

Book Review: Game of Hearts: A Geek Girl Rom Com (Fandom Hearts Series) by Cathy Yardley

Game of Hearts: A Geek Girl Rom Com (Fandom Hearts Series) by Cathy Yardley

A Romantic Comedy published by RYW Publishing (01/30/18)

Summary:

Kyla runs a mechanic shop with her brother Billy, one they inherited from their now retired parents. Billy is happy to let Kyla do the paperwork and work out in the shop as well as take over all operations when he needs to take a vacation. After he breaks his arm, though, all responsibilities fall to Kyla. She had other plans. She wanted to submit costumes for a contest that’s coming up in a few weeks. This is her dream, so she calls the only person she knows to help. Jericho Salomon hasn’t been in town for years, for good reason, but he can’t ignore his childhood best friend’s little sister.

Keywords:

Mechanic, Snoqualmie, Bookstore, Geeks, Convention, Contest, Family, Friendship, Romance, Sex, Auto-Repair, Motorcycle, Family Friend, Biker Gang, Business Owner

My Review:

I loved absolutely everything about this book. Breakout Novels don’t just happen. Not every published novel out there is a breakout novel. Breakout novels are 10/5 stars. They are books you can’t put down. They are books you read entirely in one sitting. They are books you remember and enthusiastically tell everyone about. Every single one of Cathy Yardley’s books has been a breakout novel. The plot is excellent. The characters are larger-than-life, but also endearing and realistic. The stakes are real.

I adored the relationship between Kyla and all her friends. I loved the fact that the previous books’ characters showed up in this book as well as all the other Fandom Hearts books.

I got really mad at Billy for assuming that Kyla was better suited for the business paperwork than he was and for assuming her hopes and dreams weren’t as important because they were artistic based.

I can’t wait to get the next Fandom Hearts book to read!

I received a free copy of this book. This is my honest opinion.

This novel was published by RYW Publishing on January 30, 2018 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 5.00

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Cathy Yardley’s Website