Tuesday, December 26, 2017
Saturday, December 23, 2017
At thirty-two Kimberly Rossi, a finance officer at a Lexus car dealership, has had her heart broken more times than she wants to remember. With two failed engagements, a divorce and again alone with no prospects, she hardly seems the type to dream of being a published romance author.
The theme of The Mistletoe Inn is that like literature, relationships must be lived with passion and vulnerability to succeed.
When I picked up this book I was sure it would be somewhat romantic in nature as that who the writer is. I also figured it to be placed at Christmas. All of this was true. It is also true that the book is essentially about romance writers who write romance books.
I enjoyed that Kimberly, the aspiring romance author,goes to a conference at the Mistletoe Inn which is described as a beautiful place but not much more. A mysterious man by the name of Zeke enters the conference and wins over Kimberly but her hesitations and constant crying made me cringe. Get a grip! It annoyed me such a whiny character could not see her own strengths.
Most of the book talked about the conference itself and took awhile to get to the romance side of the book, of which Kimberly nearly ruined due to trust issues. Ugh!
Overall, things turned out just right with a few interesting twist and turns. Little jokes the author writes to himself were also present too. It just took me awhile to get there as the book took awhile to develop.
I still give the book three stars as I did like it. I need to pick up some of the authors previous books to read.
Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book for my own collections. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~MM Hudson aka Naila Moon
Where to find the author:
Friday, December 22, 2017
#Review: The Christmas Spirit: Memories of Family, Friends, and Faith by Joel Osteen #Christmas #Memoir
His first holiday book, Joel Osteen offers uplifting and inspiring stories of family and friends celebrating Christmas traditions that will help readers return to the essence of the holiday by practicing the principles taught by our Savior, Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate that day. With these stories, Joel reminds us all of what is truly important in life. Filled with humorous and compelling holiday memories from Joel’s family and friends, this heartwarming collection will inspire and amuse readers while enhancing their faith in God’s goodness and eternal wisdom.
In true Joel Osteen fashion, he tells tales of growing up at Christmas with his family and friends. Although the stories at times seemed a bit sappy, they were also heart felt as I would expect from this preacher and author. He includes tales told by friends as well.
Each story relates to some facet of the Bible and how he has always grown up with faith that all is good and life is how it should be.
I gave the book 3 stars as I did like the memoir of good feelings but at times felt disjointed and repetitive.
Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book for my own collections. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours.
Where to find the author:
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
#BookBlast & #Giveaway: Murder She Slopes by Rachael Stapleton #Christmas #CozyMysteries #ChristmasSpirit
Sirens ring. Are you listening? Near Candy Cane Lane. A Body is glistening. A murderous sight. Trubble's investigating tonight. Walking through this winter wonderland.It's the week before Christmas and Investigative Journalist Penelope Trubble has reluctantly agreed to investigate the death of a woman at the Sleighs & Slopes Adventure Resort in the hopes of exonerating her her husband—who just happens to be Penny’s ex. But with so many suspicious characters lurking in the trees, Penelope risks being strangled by clues, Christmas lights, conjecture, and catastrophe. It doesn’t help that Penny's still a little frosty with the man accused of icing his bride, and she must prove he's no cold-blooded killer. At least there’s candy-cane cocoa, a roaring fire, and the Laurentian Mountains to savor—not to mention the hunky detective dashing through the snow after her. Helping an ex is a slippery slope, and things are going downhill fast for Penelope Trubble.
About The AuthorRachael Stapleton lives in a Second Empire Victorian home with her husband and two children in Ontario, Canada and enjoys writing in the comforts of aged wood and arched dormers.
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Sunday, December 10, 2017
#Review and #Giveaway: Ghost Owl by Nancy Schoellkopf @nanschoellkopf @iReadBookTours #GhostOwl #NancySchoellkopf #fantasy
Mariah Easter wakes up in the middle of the night to discover the world is as bright as noon--but for her eyes only. Urged by her godfather, she embarks on a mission to peer into the dark spaces normally hidden from view, leading her to confront the sinister nature of power, the vulnerability of the ill, and the hidden life of a homeless man: a journey that will bring healing to herself and the man she loves.
I discovered this book is the third in a series but apparently a stand-alone.I think it might have served me well to read the first two books. It took me awhile to get into this book as I felt it started off a bit slow. However, once it got to the heart of what the book was really about, it took off.
Although the summary says the main character embarks on a mission, this was more another dimension that is thrust upon her almost unwillingly, She has to move through the fantasy elements to not only find her "tribe" but to come back to where she began.
I loved that through it all, she discovers more about life than she would have by not having her powers to "see." The twist throughout was just enough to keep me reading.
This book gets 4 stars from me.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in order to facilitate my review. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Michelle aka Naila Moon
Would you like to win a copy? See below for details.
Where to find the author:
Nancy Schoellkopf has been creating stories and writing poems for many lifetimes. She is the author of the Avian Series, a collection of novels with elements of magical realism.
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Monday, December 4, 2017
For the last few years, I have taken upon the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge. Even though this particular challenge started on November 20th, I got a little behind in my start. Even so, I have already read four books that are Christmas related and just bought another today to read.
It is not too late to start, you don't even need a blog. Just click on the picture above and go for it!
Here is my list thus far:
- Operation Christmas Child-Franklin Graham & Donna Lee
- Christmas Sweater-Glenn Beck
- Ghost Tale for Christmas-Pope Osborne
- The Mistletoe Inn-Richard Paul Evans
- Christmas Spirit Memories-Joel Osteen
- Snowman Maker-Barbara Briggs Ward (reread)
- Reindeer Keeper, Believe Again!-Barbara Briggs Ward (reread)
- Christmas Magic-Michael Garland
- Grumpy Santa-Greg & Evan Spiridellis
- Christmas Prayers Collection-various authors
- Christmas, Present-Jacqueline Mitchard
- The Christmas Thief-Mary & Carol Higgins Clark
~Happy Reading, Michelle
This reading challenge is strictly to read a set number of mystery cozies for the year 2018. I have set my goal for 12. For more information and sign up, go HERE.
I will update you on other challenges as I apply to them.
Enjoy the rest of the year.
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
#SPOTLIGHT: Cookies, Corpses and the Deadly Haunt by Rachael Stapleton #CryptKeeper #Mysteries #Halloween
Cookies, Corpses & the Deadly Haunt (Haunted House Flippers Inc.) by Rachael Stapleton
House flippers Jack & Juniper agree to lend and help prep their latest purchase—The Doctors House—an old Victorian mansion to act as the eerie setting for the town’s Halloween bash, they’re expecting to find missing floor boards, and pesky bats, not the ghostly specter of the murdered Doctors Wife. But when the head of the council is found stuffed in a trunk in the attic, it appears history is repeating.
As June and the team, carry on with party preparations, they unravel a century of family secrets, whispers of lunacy—and the number one suspect goes on the run. But the victim’s family insists that the ball must go on, even with a killer on the loose. With Halloween fast approaching, June sees the woman in white and wonders if keeping the killer out was ever really a possibility. Now she’s desperate to unmask the killer before the Annual Halloween Bash turns into even more of a deadly haunt…
Rachael Stapleton lives in a Second Empire Victorian home with her husband and two children in Ontario, Canada and enjoys writing in the comforts of aged wood and arched dormers.
TOUR PARTICIPANTS October 10 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW October 10 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT October 11 – Socrates' Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT October 11 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW October 12 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW October 12 – Valerie's Musings – REVIEW, INTERVIEW October 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW, INTERVIEW October 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT October 15 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW October 16 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW October 17 – Reading Authors – REVIEW October 18 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST October 19 – Sapphyria's Books – REVIEW October 20 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST October 21 - The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW October 22 – Readeropolis – INTERVIEW October 23 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST October 23 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows –
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Haunted Halloween Facebook Party Wednesday October 25 10am-10pm EST
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11 Authors, 12 Books, and a whole lot of Halloween fun- read spooky flash fiction, read true tales of ghostly encounters, get ideas for Halloween party planning with music playlists and DIY fun...and enter to win one of the many prizes including a $50 Powell’s City of Books Gift Card from Night Owl Reviews, Amazon Gift Cards, Books, Swag, Prize Packs and more.
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Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Deep in the Hollow
Publisher: Brandy Nacole
Date of Publication: September 15, 2016
Number of pages: 232
Word Count: 80,000
Cover Artist: The Book Cover Machine
Tagline: Greed has a price, and the dead do not always rest.
Let me share some wisdom with you. There is evil in this world we cannot see, not because it is hidden from us, but because our minds refuse to accept its existence. But once we are able to get past what everyone says should not be, it becomes our responsibility to stop the evil we now see.
This insight wasn’t given to me until a year after I lost the most important person in my life: Bryce Rowan. Now, after another death at the same spot where he died—the overlook, where the mysterious lights dance amongst the trees—I begin to wonder if they were accidents after all.
Lucky for me, I’m not the only curious one in town. Cooper, a ghost hunter (aka chaser), and his sister Jada have moved to town and are starting to ask questions.
But the more we find out about this town and the people who live here, people who I have known my whole life, the more I begin to think there are those who would rather keep the evil secret, even if it means we will never be safe, and that more will die.
July 11, 1972
Once again I’ve fallen prey to MaryAnn’s pleading, and I follow her out the window, my stomach churning with dread, a contrast to her excitement. I don’t know why I let her talk me into these things. She’s always getting us into trouble, has been since we were little. Yet, here I am, still following her after seven years of mistake after mistake. There’s something about her I can’t say no to. I’ve always thought of her as my sister, not my cousin, and considering we were born only two days apart, we are more like sisters—look like it too. But still, even sisters tell each other no every once in a while. Not me. This time though, I should have.
Our tiny flashlights give off little light in the dark forest, mine unsteady as it shakes in my hand. Thorns scrape at my skin and I look back, hoping to see a light in the cabin on and my grandfather coming out to see where us girls have run off to. No such luck. The small, two-bedroom cedar cabin is dark, its frame nothing but an outline against the trees around it.
“I think we should go back,” I whisper, my voice trembling.
“Will you quit whining, Ester? This is no different than walking through the woods during the daylight.”
I beg to differ. During the day, the green leaves look welcoming, not over-powering and creepy like now. I don’t feel trapped and afraid when walking these familiar woods when the sun is shining bright, but now I do.
“But, MaryAnn, grandpa said—”
“He was just trying to scare you,” she hisses, as she shines her light on a raccoon scavenging for food. It rushes off to hide from what he perceives as danger and we continue on through the thicket.
No matter what MaryAnn says, I know she’s wrong. I saw the fear in our grandfather’s eyes as he told us the story of the thing that haunts these woods. MaryAnn had been enthralled as she sat by the fire, her eyes bright, her body unmoving as she absorbed every word. I had been terrified. Our grandfather has never been a skeptical man, always saying rumors and legends are nonsense. “What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t witness with your mouth.” So to see the fear in his eyes as he witnessed the story he told us tonight is enough to convince me he was telling the truth, and not just some tale to scare his grandchildren.
An owl hoots overhead and a chill slowly creeps up my back, making me shiver.
“I think we should wait. I don’t have a good feeling about this.”
MaryAnn ignores my pleas, knowing I won’t go back alone.
The leaves rustle as a slight wind picks up. I can no longer see the outline of the cabin. I don’t know if it’s from my fear, but our lights seem to grow dimmer, making the darkness feel as if it is weighing down on us.
A small clearing comes into view, with timber laying hazardously along the ground.
“We are almost there,” MaryAnn whispers. “This is where grandpa and his workers have been logging close to the overlook.”
Good. Once we reach the overlook and she sees it is the same during the night as it is during the day, we can go back to the safety of the cabin. I can already feel the relief of being back under my blankets, eagerly waiting for morning, with the fresh smell of biscuits baking in the oven and bacon frying in the pan filling the air.
“What was that?” I ask, panicked, and spin around in a circle, my flashlight shaking with more force.
“Ester, please stop this nonsense. I’m sure it was nothing.”
Once on the other side of the clearing, we start the mile hike up the incline and once again I wish we had stuck to the main road instead of taking the shorter path through the woods. The ground is slick from the rain we had yesterday, and with every step I take, I lose two as I slide back down.
MaryAnn grabs my hand, steadying me, as we both use our weight to climb the impossible hill.
“Did you hear that?” she asks, her voice a bit higher than before.
I close my eyes, my stomach tensing. She better not be playing any games with me. I will rat her out in a heartbeat if she is.
“Yes. What do you think it is?”
Before she can answer, a strange mist builds in front of us. I examine it closely and point it out to MaryAnn, but before it takes on a shape, it’s gone.
Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.
A strong wind spins around us, and not caring about what MaryAnn thinks, I let go of her hand and tumble back down the hill, scared for my life. My feet are unsteady as the land levels out again and I fall over a log. Seconds later, MaryAnn lands on top of me.
“Come on!” she screams, terror in her voice. “We have to get back to the cabin.”
“What did you see?” I demand, as I race after her, dodging fallen limbs. But she doesn’t answer. She keeps running, looking back to make sure that I am close behind her.
A strong force comes from behind me and I’m shoved into MaryAnn’s back, making us both lose our footing.
Tears pour down my face as we scramble to our feet, our flashlights lost in the darkness. We try our hardest to run through the darkness with no light to guide our way. MaryAnn grabs my hand, our sweaty fingers clinging as tightly as they can while we try to make out where we are.
When MaryAnn screams, her body jerked away from me, I feel as if I can’t breathe. Something is trying to take her from me. My grip on her hand tightens, my small twelve year old frame pulling as hard as possible against whatever is trying to tug her away.
A movement behind her catches my eye as we struggle, but I can’t make out who or what it is. It’s shrouded in a black cloak, practically invisible under the blanket of night. I do make out the grey mist behind it, as if it’s drifting and waiting for its prey.
My heart thrums, feeling as if it’s trying to escape out of my chest, and my throat grows tight as I choke on my tears. MaryAnn screams, begging me not to let go of her, as our fingers begin to slip.
Why can no one hear us? We have to be close to the cabin.
A sharp pain explodes in the back of my head, and I pitch forward, disoriented. My legs slip out from beneath me, and I can feel myself losing consciousness. MaryAnn’s fingers slip out of mine as I land against the damp leaves on the ground. The last thing I hear is her pleading for me to save her.
About the Author:
Gemini Brandy Nacole is a writer of urban fantasy and paranormal books published by Ponahakeola Press. A reader from a young age, Brandy has always loved folklore and stories of beings that go bump in the night.
Whenever she’s not reading or writing, Brandy is spending time with her family and friends, throwing around crazy ideas, teaching, and singing like a rock star at a concert for no one else but herself. She loves plants, but unfortunately is a killer of anything that requires water but can’t voice (scream) their needs.
Saturday, October 7, 2017
Each spread of this Halloween-themed activity book features two spooky photographs that appear identical. Eagle-eyed readers, however, will spot seven things that have changed from one photo to the other. Perfect for fans of the I Spy or Where's Waldo series, the popular Spot 7 books offer benefits the other series don t: Comparing the two photos helps develop important reading skills, such as differentiation and visual memory. With a riddle on each spread and extra things to look for throughout the book, Chronicle's latest search-and-find activity book is sure to provide hours of spooky fun.
As the summary states, this book is along the lines of the "I Spy" books and has that feel. However, in this case, the two-page spreads are very similar and it takes a keen eye to find what the reader is looking for. Each section has a riddle to solve which is pretty simple in nature. That to me was a nice touch but still does not hold up to the original "I Spy" books which I like.
Overall, the book is cute and tries to follow along a Halloween theme but in my mind, falls a bit short. Although I am reviewing it for Halloween books, it could easily follow for any day as it is certainly not spooky enough but kids will like it none-the-less.
Disclosure: I obtained a copy of this book from my local library.
WHERE TO FIND THE AUTHOR:
Monday, October 2, 2017
Day 2 #Review: Skeleton Meets the Mummy by Steve Metzger #Halloween #CryptKeeper2017 #ScholasticBooks
On Halloween night, Sammy has to make a quick trip through the dark woods before he can go trick-or-treating. But someone--or something--is following him. Scritch! Scratch! What could it be?
I wish I could say that I was overly enthralled with the story line of this book, I wasn't. The story is so-so in my mind and could have been something a bit better. However, that does not mean it is a completely terrible book.
The illustrations are bold and a bit fun. It is fun to see a skeleton be scared.
Like the story line, the illustrations could have added more but still cute none-the-less.
The twist at the end was actually not predictable as I would have expected and truly was surprised.
I would probably say this book is good for the early reader who likes something a little spooky but not too scary.
I give it three pumpkins.
Disclosure: I obtained a copy of this book from my local library. The views here are 100% my own. ~Michelle aka Naila Moon, Crypt Keeper
Where to find the author:
When the sun goes down and everything is wonderfully cold and dark, a vampire boy and a little witch go searching for children in the night.
But this is no ordinary night. It is Halloween, and what they find may surprise them. . . .
This is an adorable book that I could see myself reading over and over. Bela and Morgan are "real" vampires and witches who want to know about real children. Their adventure takes them to a local Halloween party. What happens there will tickle the reader just a bit.
What I liked most about this book is the subtle insertions in the illustrations. Children who read the book may not be aware of them and I felt it was more for adults reading to children. For example, the raven in the window sill or the pictures of scattered books with popular titles like, "Dracula" by Bram Stoker. There are many to be found and quite clever.
This is a sure win to have on the Halloween shelves and gets five pumpkins from me!
Disclosure: I obtained a copy of this book from my local library. The views expressed here are 100% my own. ~Michelle aka Naila Moon, Crypt Keeper
Where to find the author:
Saturday, September 30, 2017
This year, as in the past, I will present books with a "Halloween-ish" theme to them. Most of the books will be children's books that I review but some will be for adults as well. There will be some giveaways attached to some spotlighted or book blast books.
This year, I have decided to also give a $10 Amazon gift card away at the end of October. You will be asked to follow along with a "skeletal keyword" to put into the giveaway tools for each book. In essence, it will give you 31 chances to win if you come back every day. There will be other entries too.
Of course, you do not have to enter at all and that is ok but I would love, as all Crypt Keepers do, for you to leave me a comment on my pages. That makes my bones happy!
Michelle aka Naila Moon
Friday, September 22, 2017
I. Am. Elizabeth by Kathi Haacke MoreheadI. Am. Elizabeth is a story of medieval intrigue based on the life of Elizabeth Plantagenet. Set both contemporaneously and in the 16th century, the reader will be invited to weigh for themselves the truth of Elizabeth's life, including the disappearance of Elizabeth's brothers, the Lost Princes in the Tower, the ascension of her uncle, Richard III, to the throne of England, and her marriage to Henry Tudor. Elizabeth Plantagenet was a daughter, niece, sister, wife, and mother to five Kings of England, and grandmother of the first and second Queens Regnant: Mary I and Elizabeth I. You may have met The White Princess, but prepare for your introduction to the real Elizabeth of York. Description: Elizabeth of York died in 1503. Annie Campbell lives today. Can they reach through time to heal one another's soul, or will their secrets be impossible to overcome? ... Why can't I sleep? It is not as though tonight is any different from last night, or the night before, or even the night before that. It's hot, and not a breath of air moves through the window. I feel like I will go mad from this anxiety, this fear. But of what? It's so very dark tonight. No moon, no light from the windows. Just dark... Damn you, darkness. You've not been kind the past few nights. What horror do you hold for me tonight?
Purchase the book:
$1.00 of all sales proceeds of paperback and hardback editions of this book will go to the fundraising campaign of Mt. Blanc for MS on behalf of Neely Worldwide Publishing and Kathi Haacke Morehead. For more information please visit https://theroyalmarinescharity.org.uk/news/ascent-of-mt-blanc/
About the author:
Kathi Haacke Morehead made her fictional debut with WHITE NIGHT followed by the sequel Eternal Night. She is the author of HEART BLEED: Letting go and stanching the flow, and THE BEST FROM THE CHEAP SEATS. Her fiction has tackled questions of morality, spirituality, life after death, love, and integrity. She is not a conventional author, writes in a conversational style to better interact with her readers. If you're looking for high style, you won't find it in her work. Kathi believes in the value of tightly crafted story - everything else will fall into place. To quote Kathi: "I guess that makes me a bit of a bohemian. And I'm good with that." Kathi lives in Brunswick, Maryland with her husband, Dave, and four finicky felines. They have a blended family of 4 children and 3 grandchildren.
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