Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Prince Of Wolves Review

Oh save me now, Book 1 and I am totally addicted.

Prince of Wolves is the first book in the Grey Wolves Series by Quinn Loftis. She starts off by introducing us to Jacque Pierce, your normal 17 year-old girl with a hot new neighbor. Little does she know when 6’ heaven Fane Lupei steps out of the limo her whole world will change. Fane instantly feels the pull towards Jacque and when he reaches her mind he know the truth. She is his soul mate. Fane is the Prince of Wolves of the Romanian Grey Wolves pack. He is an alpha and a werewolf. When he finally meets Jacque he vows to explain their mental bond and why they are so attracted to each other. Jacque enlists the help of her two BFF’s Sally and Jen to make sure she stays sane and helps watch the new Romanian Hottie. Fane gets word of an unregistered pack in this small Texas town, and finds out their Alpha has claimed Jacque. Fane must now protect his true mate from this unregistered Alpha. Will he win the challenge, and will Jacque accept him? You’ll just have to read it to find out!

Way to start off steamy Quinn. 5 points! From the very beginning of this book you are instantly pulled into the bonds between the Canis Lupis. Quinn has the amazing ability to make you feel like a pack member and friend to these characters. The character dynamic between Jen, Jacque and Sally is truly a piece of Grade A comedy. You instantly root for the young couple and can’t help but want to reach through the pages and give all the girls high fives. No detail was overlooked and that is truly a feat when you are talking about a book based on werewolves. I absolutely loved the way Quinn was able to change the story of the werewolf from raging carnivore to a passionate lover to be desired.

I cannot say thank you enough to all the people who read this book before me and posted reviews about its amazingness. I don’t think any of us could really do it justice but I will try. Stay tuned for my reviews on the rest of the Grey Wolves Series!

Here are the links to Amazon and B&N, guess what BOOK 1 IS FREE (on E-readers)!!!! See, even more incentive to get addicted. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Branded Review

This book had me hooked from the first sentence!!!!!

“When you go 108 hours, four and a half day without sleep, your body starts to do strange things.”

Branded is a story about Jessica Bailey, a 20 year-old girl cursed to be judged and damned every time she falls asleep. She lives alone acting as caretaker of the Wright’s home on Lake Samish. It is good for her, no one can hear her scream as she is branded and condemned every time the sleep overtakes her. One day Alex shows up and informs Jessica his grandparents, the Wright’s, have passed and her world begins to change. Suddenly she seeks out the company of others and begins to have feelings for Alex. That is when things start changing… her nightmares change and a mysterious new man moves in 2 houses over. She doesn’t know why, but she tells Alex everything and he believes her. Will she find a way to stop the nightmares, will she find out why Cole is so familiar and yet so terrifying, will she finally accept the love Alex offers? Read Branded, the first book in the Fall of Angels Series to find out.

This book had me from the very beginning. Keary’s ability to create a situation so horrifying and yet beautiful is a gift to behold! The way she was able to portray the change in emotions between Jessica and Alex help me up all night reading. Even the secondary characters like Sal and Emily were as realistic ans well thought out. About half way through the book I thought I knew the ending and I am SO glad I was wrong. The worst part about tis book was that I reached the acknowledgments way before I wanted to finish reading, but the silver linins is that it is a series and I don’t have to wait for the next book!

So, if you will please excuse me, I am diving straight into Forsaken: Book 2 in the Fall of Angels series.  

Check out Branded on Amazon its FREE!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Leibster Award

I would love to thank Tiffany Perry from Sweet Treats Reading Reviews for nominating me for the Liebster Award. It is an honor to be recognized and have the ability to recognize other blogs I love. Thank you again!

To participate:

1.Thank and link back to the nominator
2.Answer questions from award giver
3.Nominate 5 other bloggers with fewer than 200 followers
4.Ask questions for nominee's to answer
5.Post Liebster Award on your blog

Tiffany's Questions:
1.How did you come up with the name of your blog?
I wanted the blog name to represent what people would be reading about. Obviously they mostly   read book reviews, but I also LOVE baking and wanted to be able to share the great recipes I stumble on and finally my little barkers. I have a very soft spot for my furry kids and my newest addition Sirius is entertaining enough to warrant a show on MTV so why not feature him too?

2.Who are your top 5 favorite Author's?
Its so hard to pick just 5!!!! So I guess... Ann Rice, Jessica Sorensen, Quinn Loftis, Melissa De la Cruz, Ally Carter... and JK Rowling and Jamie Loeak, and Katherine Polillo and Rashelle Workman

3.How many books do you read in an week?

 At least 2 usually I try to read at least 3-4

4.What book would you like to see made into an movie?
Any of Jessica Sorensen's books or Rashelle Workman's Immortal Essence Series

5.How long have you been blogging for?

Only a few months but I should have started a lot sooner. I read so many books I finally decided one day in August I should share everything I read so other people can discover amazing indie authors.

My Nominee's:

1. Sassie Cassie's Reviews
2. Book Nerd 101
3. The Hidden Reader
4. Bubblechip
5. Smardy Pants Book Reviews

1. Why did you start Blogging?
2. If you could meet and interview one author dead or alive who would it be?
3. What is your favorite book genre?
4. If you could be any character from a book who would you be?
5. How long have you been blogging?

A Heart for the Ocean

“Thus all art is propaganda and ever must be.”- W.E.B. Du Bois

Heart for the Ocean by Taylor Lakke is just that, a propaganda piece. Do not get me wrong, propaganda is not always bad. This book carries a strong message wrapped in mermaid paper.

It starts by following the seemingly mundane life of Madison McKinsey. Madison is your normal 15 year-old girl with a paper route and dreams of a supped up golf cart. One day on her paper route she decides to give a free paper to the new family that just moved in. When she puts her hand in the paper round her life changes. She feels a peace and calm and hears beautiful harp music, then she sets eyes on a pure dreamboat, Landon. As she speeds off to avoid embarrassment he is hot on her tail to find out who she is. When he finds her on Facebook he welcomes her into a world she never knew existed, the world of mermaids. With Landon being half mer-dude (ok ok merman) he has accepted a life quest from his mother: let the world know of the pollution and death in the oceans because of the humans. As Landon takes Madison around the world to show her the beautiful ocean they come upon the horrible sights of destruction the humans have caused. Landon and Madison both feel a special connection to each other and know that they are meant to take on this challenge together.

If you are interested in reading a book with a message, this would be the series for you. It is a call to action wrapped in fiction to keep you reading what is truly a sad story. All of the things this book speaks about are true, our oceans are dying and it is our fault. Whether or not mermaids are trying to solve the problem is yet to be discovered as fact.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Waffles and Pancakes: A Lesson in Bullying

Nope still not blogging about food. This is the 2nd book in the Waffles and Pancakes series by Cindy Springsteen and is just at thoughtful as the first.

In A Lesson in Bullying Griffin and Danny start to worry when their hamsters, Waffles and Pancakes, start to act funny. They take them to the vet and he suggests it may be something environmental since they are both healthy hamsters. When the boys think about when their behavior changed, they realize it was after they met Tommy and his guinea pig Oscar. When the boys go to Tommy's house he is a bully to the boys and Waffles and Pancakes talk with Oscar about why he was so mean to them at the vet.

This book is an amazing tool to get students talking about bullying. It is a written for an age group a little bit older that the first Waffles and Pancakes and would make a good book for a circle talk (wow we can tell I've worked in schools before) with K-2nd graders. This book brings to light bullying from both perspectives, the bullies and the bullied. One thing I really enjoyed about this book is how she was able to show how to overcome bullying by talking with each other and getting to know the reasons behind the bullying.

This is definitely another must have for elementary teachers and families alike. Keep them coming Cindy! I know they are going in my child's bookshelf (as soon as I have one)!

Waffles and Pancakes

No... Nope this is not a post about food. This is a review of Waffles and Pancakes, a childrens book written by Cindy Springsteen.

Waffles and Pancakes are 2 hampsters that live together in the pet store until 2 little boys come in and pick them out. Griffin took home Pancakes and gave him an awesome house with tons of toys and Danny took home Waffles. Waffles didn't have a fancy home but Danny did play with him every day.

When the boys find out they both have hampsters Danny and Waffles go over to Griffin and Pancakes house and Waffles is embarrased by his house. Pancakes explains that its not what you have but who you have that is important and you see a change for the better in the lives of all four.

This book is an amazing story about the important things in life. It is an awesome read-aloud for children ages pre-K - 2nd grade. It has wonderful illustrations with bright colors and thick lines for early readers and finicky kids. It teaches lessons about sharing and the importance of material things in a life. 

I would definitely recommend this book to any teachers or parents with young children. It is a book that will easily grow with the child when they go from looking at pictures to sounding out the words. I would say it is a must have for any Kindergarden bookshelf and a great read at home as well.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dear Monday

Dear Monday,

Throughout the years I have always been able to count on you to be there for me. You have been with me through all the milestones in my life. You have been with me through high points and low points, smiles and tears. I will never forget the times we have spent together and all that we have learned knowing each other. Lately though, things have changed between us. We don’t sleep in anymore and lay in bed watching Harry Potter, we don’t relax with our friends and reminisce the weekend. Now it seems that all I feel when we are together is tension. When I’m with Sunday all I feel is dread in my heart knowing that the fun will end and I will have to see you tomorrow. I hate to say it but after all of the years of being one of my treasured 7 I cannot look at you the same anymore. Now, you make me wake up early and always make sure the phone never stops ringing. I’m truly sorry but I just cannot live like this anymore… It’s not you, it’s me.  I  just can’t see myself with you anymore. Please don’t take this the wrong way. There will always be a place in my heart just for you, but unfortunately I have found solace in another. His name is Friday. He makes me laugh and smile and always gets my blood flowing. There’s no other way to say this Monday. I think we need to break up. I don’t ever want to see you again. It will just be easier that way, OK?


Friday, October 19, 2012

Stop the Bullying!

You may have noticed a lot of posts on the internet about bullying this week. We are trying to spread awareness about bullying and it is working so far. If you head over to the Sparring Stepsisters blog you can pledge to stop the bullying. Bullying effects millions of people, not just children, every year and the more we talk about it the closer we get to solving the problem. If you want to know what effects bullying can have check out the book Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. It is a truely sad and touching story and brings to light the true price of bullying.
I pledged to stop the bullying. Will you?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wolf Pact part 1

No, you aren’t dreaming, Blue Bloods is back!!!

Wolf Pact is a 4 part novella chronicling the life of Bliss Llewellyn after leaving the clave in NYC, at her mother Allegra’s request, to find the hounds of hell.

Part 1 of the novella introduces us to the wolf pack and how they were able to escape to Earth. Lawson becomes the wolf in charge when they get to earth and they instantly begin to realize they have a lot to earn. Thankfully this becomes easier when they meet the warlock, Arthur Beauchamp. He teaches them about the history of the world from the perspectives of both the red and blue bloods. After moving around for a while, the wolves settle in Hunting Valley. When the Hell Hounds find them it is up to Lawson to save the rest of his pack.

Did Bliss and Jane (Pistis Sophia) find the pack before the Hell Hounds or will Bliss have to continue her search and pray she finds them before Lucifer and his hounds do?

After what feels like years, I finally got another glimpse into the world of the Blue Bloods. This novella takes an amazing turn with all new characters to fall in love with. Melissa does a wonderful job creating a back-story and history for these creatures and uses amazing details to tie into the Blue Bloods story we already know. She creates a wonderfully dysfunctional family dynamic within the pack that just makes you root for them even more. My only complaint about this book is that it ended too early. Now I have to wait for the second one (Releasing Oct. 23). Be sure you check out the entire 4 part series and the rest of the Blue Bloods novels before Gates of Paradise is released this January :insert fangirl moment here:. 

Here is the link for Wolf Pact Part 1
                               Wolf Pact Part 2 (pre-order)
Here is the link to her author page on Amazon where you can find the entire Blue Bloods series and The Witches of East End (currently being turned into a TV show)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Cookie Dough Cake!!!!

Here is an awesome Cookie Dough Cake recipe care of Godiva and the Ace of Cakes, Duff Goldman.

Recipe by Chef Duff Goldman

Yield: (2) 9" Round Cakes
Difficulty: Intermediate

Cookie Dough

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup sugar
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate chips
1. In a stand mixer on medium high speed, cream butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
2. On low speed, slowly add the flour and salt to the creamed mixture. Mix until well combined. Scrape bowl with a rubber spatula.
3. Add vanilla extract and chocolate chips on low speed until just incorporated.
4. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour.

Cookie Dough Filling

1 cup of the remaining cookie dough recipe, softened
1-2 tablespoons milk
1. Place cookie dough into stand mixer and gradually add tablespoons of milk on medium speed, just until the cookie dough is shiny and spreadable.
2. Assemble cake by spreading a layer of Duff’s buttercream using an offset spatula followed by another layer of cookie dough filling at your desired thickness onto one cake layer. Place the second cake layer on top of the filling-covered first.
3. Ice the entire assembled cake with Duff’s buttercream.


1 recipe of cookie dough, divided
3 cups all purpose flour
2.5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1. Prepare cookie dough recipe at least 1 hour before mixing the cake, as it needs to chill in the refrigerator.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Prepare the cake pans with baking spray and line with parchment paper rounds.
4. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl.
5. Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer on high until light and fluffy. Scrape bowl using a rubber spatula.
6. On medium speed, add eggs one at a time. Be sure to wait until each egg is completely incorporated before adding the next. Scrape bowl with a rubber spatula.
7. On low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until smooth. Scrape bowl with a rubber spatula.
8. Pour ¼ of batter into each of the two prepared cake pans with a rubber spatula. Evenly distribute tablespoon portions of cookie dough across the batter surface. Space portions approximately 1-2” apart to ensure that each slice of cake is embedded with cookie dough. Pour remaining batter evenly between the two pans, making sure that the cookie dough is evenly covered. Spread batter with an offset spatula so that it is evenly in pan.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. The cake will slightly shrink away from the sides of the pans.
10. Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes. Run a small offset spatula around the outside of the cake to loosen from the pan, then carefully flip the cake out of the pan onto the wire rack. Place the cake right side up on rack and let it cool completely before icing.

Duff's Buttercream

Makes roughly 4 pounds (enough to ice a 3-tier cake)
10 large egg whites, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 ½ pounds unsalted butter, room temperature
1. Make sure to have a completely clean and dry bowl when you start your process, any fat or liquid at all in the bowl will stunt the protein development of the albumen (egg white protein) and you will not have a proper meringue at the end.
2. Start whipping egg whites on medium low speed in the mixer by themselves (no sugar or butter yet) until the whites are foamy and opaque. It should look like the head of beer.
3. Increase to medium speed and slowly start adding the sugar until all the sugar is incorporated.
4. Once all the sugar is in, increase the speed of the mixer to high and whip until the mixture is shiny and stiff. You now have a meringue. You know when your meringue is done when you pull out the whip, hold it horizontal, and if you have what looks a “sparrow’s beak” on the end of the whip.
5. Replace the whip, turn the mixer on medium and start adding the butter a bit at a time. Once all the butter is incorporated, turn the mixer on medium speed and let it whip until the butter has completely emulsified into the meringue. When you first add the butter, your meringue will break down and look like cottage cheese, but will continue to emulsify into a smooth buttercream. Depending on the weather, the buttercream could take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to form. When the buttercream is ready, the mixture will be homogeneous and smooth…and tasty.
6. Remove the buttercream from the bowl and place in an airtight container. Buttercream can be kept at room temperature for a few days or in the fridge for a week or two, but always use soft buttercream when icing a cake. To warm up the buttercream, put it back in the mixer using a rubber spatula. Begin remixing the buttercream using the whip attachment on high speed while applying direct heat to the outside of the bowl with a propane torch that can be found at any hardware store.
Note: Don’t worry about using raw egg whites in your buttercream, the sugar cooks the egg whites and makes them perfectly safe to eat. If you are still uneasy about this, use pasteurized egg whites.

Copied from Godiva.com

The Man Painter Review


Can I have a Theo please?!?!

The Man Painter is the 2nd book in “The Painter Series” by Melissa Turner Lee and starts off 2 years after Holly’s high school graduation. We find Holly in a completely different place than where we left her, still working for Martha and living in her painted room. Her parents are gone, they’ve moved to Ashville, NC for her father’s new job and she remained in Chesnee for college. It is Thanksgiving weekend, when for the first time in over a year Holly has one thought… Theo. When she gets into her car for the drive to Ashville to be with her family she hears something startling on the radio, a set of paintings older than time of jewel colored dinosaurs are going up for auction in Charleston. She feigns fighting the urge and inevitably makes the turn to Charleston instead of Ashville to see the paintings that can only belong to Theo. When she arrives at the gallery she finds it closed and almost gives up until a young girl named Cynthia walks up. She recognizes Holly immediately as the girl from all Theo’s sketches. Cynthia takes Holly to Theo’s apartment and reunites them and their bond is instantly renewed. A lot has changed about Holly’s painter, he’s buff and has a 5 o’ clock shadow, but that doesn’t change the way she feels about him. He is elated to see her, but the sciences not so much. Holly and Theo have a lot of catching up to do and they decide to go on a date the next morning to catch up. The next day when Theo gets sick at the diner Holly starts to realize something really is different. When she speaks to Bio, he tells her that her breath made Theo human that day 2 years ago and it has been a battle for his life ever since.

Holly slowly but surely learns the truth that Theo is human but missing some parts and that the fountain of youth that was gifted to Fritz could save his life but the sciences and other painters cannot find it. She also learns that Fritz is torturing Theo to try and find out how to become human. When Theo gets the flu and nearly dies, Holly is forced to make a decision barter for the water with Fritz or loose the man she just recently found again. She has Khai-Ree take her to Fritz and makes the bargain with the stipulation that when Theo is healed she will give Fritz the breath of life, or die by Fritz’ hand.

With this realization that she may have a lifespan shorter than she ever expected she is ready to live her life fully with Theo. Wedding bells ring and her fears come to fruition when Fritz sends Shelly to collect on their deal. Will Holly die so soon after finding happiness or will the Sciences come through to save her life. Check out the Man Painter to find out!

Click Here to buy on Amazon!
Click Here to buy on B&N!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Earth Painter Review

In a book that did so much right, where can you start?

The Earth Painter by Melissa Turner Lee is a story about a girl named Holly Scruggs who is forced to leave her home in Charleston, SC for the small town of Chesnee after her father is laid off from her job. She suffers all of your normal teenaged problems: overbearing mom who wants her daughter to be perfect in every way, senior year of high school in a brand new city, and the worst (in her eyes, so not mine but I will get into that later) Drama Class. On her first day at Chesnee High, Holly’s main goal is to remain invisible. When she walks into her drama class she is no longer the invisible one, the boy sitting on stage is. No one seems to notice him but her, until she points him out. How does he do this and why does he look at her like that? That is not the last time she sees Theo. He keeps popping up and she always sees him. When she is given a monologue to perform for her drama class, she takes a drink from the fountain by the auditorium and suddenly she knows her purpose and how to achieve her goals. When the water turns red, her friend Wayne sends a sample to Clemson University to have it tested and that is when the story gets interesting. Theo explains why no one else seems to notice him and why he thinks the water is different. Holly is then thrown into a battle between the Painters; who painted the Earth into existence, and Fritz a rouge painter who believes he should rule over humans. Will Holly and Theo be able to save the Mai Dae and the high school or will Fritz and his whispering ruin it for all future students of Chesnee High. 

Honestly, it is hard for me to find a place to begin to rave about this book. First, the author’s knowledge, use and understanding of the play The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds came as a thrilling revelation for me. It was an absolutely perfect choice for the story and one of my favorite monologues of all times (BA in Theatre, right here)! Second, her ability to bring words into pictures puts her in a place all her own. She was not only able to turn words into a picture but a picture in words into something truly tangible. Also, I love her new look at science and the world in a way you do not usually hear about it. Her ability to turn them into people you could sit around a card table with really gives a new outlook on the world and all of its never ending possibilities. 

This has been a hard week for me and I can honestly say reading The Earth Painter this week painted me a world to escape from it all with jewel colored dinosaurs and for that I will always be grateful.