Archive | November 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

To those that are celebrating the next couple of days, I just want to wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving weekend! There is so much to be thankful in this world and it is a good idea to set aside some time and think about what you are thankful for. Think how luck you are to be with your family, enjoying an amazing meal and enjoying a few days off from work. A lot of people are less fortunate and are not able to participate in the same way.

This Thanksgiving, say thanks and help out the needy for a better future.

The Second Life of Magnolia Mae Cover Reveal

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Title: The Second Life of Magnolia Mae
Author: Angela Schroeder
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: December 2
Publisher: Blue Tulip Publishing

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Magnolia Mae has always had strange dreams, even before her parents died in a car crash leaving her older brother to raise her. Only a few weeks before Halloween and her eighteenth birthday the dreams start to come more frequently, her life seems even more chaotic than usual and the guilt that she did not stop her parents’ death is beginning to tear her apart. The only one who has never treated her like an outcast is handsome Bash, the boy whose eyes have haunted nearly all of her dreams.

As Halloween draws closer Magnolia enlists the help of her brother and Bash to try to discover what these dreams mean. Why does it feel like she has lived what she sees and why are Bash’s eyes in every dream?




If not for Magnolia, her parents would be alive. She’d known they were going to get into a car wreck. She had seen it two nights before it happened. The screams had echoed in her head, the bursts of lightning mixed with the flashes of red and blue from the emergency responders had been forever implanted in her memory even before it had happened. The dream had seemed so real — they always seemed so real — that she’d cried hysterically until her parents found her curled on the floor of her room. They had assured her that it had only been a nightmare. Two nights later, they’d gone out in a storm to pick her up from rehearsal. Trying to avoid the deer had thrown their car into a hydroplane that had connected them with a lone tree in the ditch.

Author Bio

Angela Schroeder is a single mother of three. She was born and raised in Iowa in a river town known for its pearl buttons. Having four siblings she never lacked for someone to play with, as she grew older she found herself pulled into books and writing more and more.

Her parents are her heroes, her siblings her confidants and tormentors and her children are a wonderful blessing. Church is important to her children and her. They enjoy the friendships they’ve made with the people there.

Writing has always been a passion. Her first experience was in fifth grade when she went to a one day writing conference. After that she knew it was something she wanted to pursue.

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London Adventures

Welcome to part four of 4 in my ten part travel series. Check out Part I, Part II, Part III.

Today we’re going to London, England. This part of my trip was mostly business but I had a few days where I got the chance to sight see and explore the city.

I have never been in London, but I have read plenty of books and seen a bunch of movies to go with some expectations. The city itself (what I saw of it) was a beautiful and crowded city. There were a lot of things to do and see and I spent a bunch of time just walking around and seeing the sights. I thought that buying a tour bus ticket might be a good idea, but once I walked around for a bit, I was glad that I didn’t end up getting it. If you are a fan of walking or don’t mind it, I suggest skipping the tour bus and just exploring. A lot of the sights ended up being close to each other (in clusters). The best method of transportation to use is the tube and just by re-filling your Oyster card (tube pass). The system is so easy to use and the maps are not complicated at all. The price is dependent on the distance between your stops (a few of my stops cost 0.70£ and others were 1.25£), but at the end of the day it is still cheaper than the cabs.

View from the London Eye

Westminster Abbey

London Eye

Big Ben

Outside of Buckingham Palace

I was staying at an apartment that I got through Air Bnb, and the area was in Knightsbridge. If you have never been to London or never heard of the area, it is where the Queen shops. It had a lot of high end shops and it was very expensive so naturally I stayed away from that area when it came time to go shopping.

I saw a bunch of sites including Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, London Eye, Hyde Park and much more.

 Big Ben was a spectacular sight. It was so tall that it could be seen from a really far distance. The clock striking every hour was loud too and could be heard from the distance.

The London Eye was a sight to see and be on. It is pretty tall Ferris Wheel that goes really slow (it takes about 30 minutes to make one circle), however it is worth going on. You get to see all of London from the top and into the distance.You get to see just how big London is and how much you still cannot see from the top. Being afraid of heights, I was not really a fan of the height but I tried to distract myself from the height by looking all around me and enjoy the view.

Guard at Buckingham Palace

The Buckingham Palace was not that impressive to me. I didn’t go inside (for obvious reasons) but from what I could see from the outside, there wasn’t much to see. Not even the guards were that good (there used to be more outside, but now there is only one).

 Overall, my trip was pretty good, both on the business and personal side. One thing that I didn’t like London for was the British Pound. It is so much more expensive than the Euro or even the Canadian Dollar. A regular burger with friends could cost between 12-15£. (around 20-25 CAD). The pricing is the same in terms of Canada and England, however the currency exchange is what really makes the difference and makes it really expensive.

I definitely recommend that you bring enough money and a little extra in case you love to shop and eat at expensive places or have an expensive taste. It is not going to be cheap, that is for sure.

Lastly, although it was a great trip and a I  would love to come back, next time I will be going more out of the city to explore the rest of England. I have heard a lot of great things about the country side and I would love to see that part of the country.

Have you ever been to London, England? What was your impression?

Winter and Black Friday

Although it is only late November it feels like it is already winter. This year is a bit different compared to last year because we seem to have received a lot more snow in Toronto. Usually it is just cold in November and we hope to get some snow by the time Christmas rolls around. That is not the case this year and that is good news in my book. I love the snow and around this time of the year it is still decent enough outside that we can enjoy it without freezing our bums.

With that being said there are a few things that I am looking forward to come next week. Can you guess what it is? That’s right it is Black Friday and Cyber Monday! Although I am not one  to go and wait in front of a store at 5am, I do keep track of the deals just in case there is something out there that I can get and save a bit of money.

This year I am hoping to find a decent laptop. My current one is on its last legs and when you can’t really work on it properly, you know that it is really time to get a new one. I have been procrastinating on buying a new laptop for a couple of years because I seem to always find a temporary fix where my computer functions decently for a few months before reverting to its old habits.

On top of a laptop, I am also going to keep an eye out to see if I can get some of my Christmas shopping completed. I definitely don’t want to wait til the last few days before Christmas to start. Trust me it is not a good idea (I did it a few years in a row and it is a mad house).


Now if you are like me, you probably will be scoring sites on Black Friday to see if there are any good book deals or presents for book lovers. Seems like a good idea to stock up around this time of the year as there will be plenty of time to cosy up and read while watching the snow fall outside.  Check out this website for a few gift ideas (from book marks, matches, lights and candles (old book smell!) there is something that you can get for a fellow book lover.

What are you most excited for on Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Stargazer Blitz

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Stargazer by Sunniva Dee
(Halos #2)
Publication date: November 2014
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal

I’m Luna, and I’ve been in the Twilight Zone since I moved in with my sister and her boyfriend.
I sense their secrets in every corner of the house.

Gabriel is eerily beautiful, and his personality disturbingly perfect, while Gaia’s inexplicable PTSD and mood swings bounce her between bliss and despair.

Until Gabriel’s brothers pay a visit.

He’s the night to his brother’s day. He’s sex personified and the devil in one hell of a stunning package. It’s been years since I last saw him, but this man makes me burn. He hooks me with his touch. Enthralls me with those oddly simmering eyes. He pierces my soul with his knowing smirks, and I am losing myself in him.

With pearlescent hair and spring green eyes, he crashes into my world. I thought this crazy, beautiful man could mend my bleeding heart. Make things recognizable again—normal. Instead he pulls me from the embers and feeds me to the open fire.

College life. Is this what everyone goes trough?

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I write New Adult fiction with a paranormal twist and don’t shy away from romance and heart-wrenching passion when necessary.I moved from Norway to the United States in 2001, and the first awesome five years I spent in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles. Then I read “The Book,” aka Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which spurred my husband and me to move cross country to beautiful Savannah, Georgia.

I’m currently on my seventh year in the Deep South, where I enjoy the heat and the humidity. Besides writing, I spend my time with our “petting zoo” as in an opinionated parrot, a herd of cats that are experts on keyboard shortcuts, and puppies that…uh, bark.

I hold a Master’s degree in languages, with concentrations within literature and linguistics. I taught at college level for a decade before settling in as a graduate adviser at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Writing is my passion, my joy, and my addiction. When I’m not writing, I read.
Shattering Halos is my debut novel, and its standalone sequel, Stargazer, is due out later this year.

Author links:

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Gideon Lee Book Tour

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Gideon Lee by  Lisa Orchard

Release Date: 10/21/14

Synopsis: Lark Singer’s relationship with her mother is prickly to say the least. As she enters a musical competition that could launch her career, Lark also searches for answers her mother would rather keep hidden. Throw into the mix the fact her best friend Bean has been acting strangely, and Lark finds herself launched into uncharted territory. Will her quest for answers sabotage her musical aspirations?

Blog Tour Schedule:

Personal Thoughts: This book was a pretty good read overall. I was excited to read it due to the musical aspect of it and I couldn’t wait to see how it would turn out. There’s Lark (the main character) who in my opinion was hard to relate to. She would like nothing better than to get out of her small town and go start her music career. She loves to play her guitar and  sing ( I loved that she’s in a band) and we get to see how she behaves when she enters a music contest with her band.

There is also Bean (what a funny name 🙂 ) who is Lark’s best friend and a member of the band. He has been friends with Lark for 8 years and for the first time in her life, he’s behaving strangely and keeping secrets. I loved his character throughout the book and how things developed by the end. However, I wish both Lark and Bean were more developed as the story line progressed. It felt like there was a piece missing and I was just waiting to see it show up. Maybe in the next book?

Also, I wasn’t able to really relate of how she kept pushing the issue with her mother about her father and his identity. Some times there are reasons why something is not done, but in this case it was just a bit much and it made me dislike the character a bit. Lark focuses too much on her music and finding her father, instead of the things that are happening all around her. She soon starts to clue in and things begin to fall into place.

Overall this was a fast and enjoyable read, but there were a few places where the character annoyed me or it was a bit slow. I am curious to see where the next book leads. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a good coming of age story and who loves YA fiction.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

 About the Author

I am the oldest of four children and grew up in a small town in Western Michigan. I grew up reading mysteries, starting with “The Bobbsey Twins” and “The Nancy Drew” series.
By fifth grade I was writing my own mysteries and illustrating them as well. I’ve always known that I wanted to be a writer and I tucked that little piece of information into the back of my brain; determined to take it out and use it when it was time.
After graduating from Central Michigan University with a Marketing Degree, I landed a sales job. I was on my way! After spending 13 years in the Insurance industry, I met my husband. We soon married and had two beautiful boys. I decided to stay home with my kids. A tough decision, but one I don’t regret.
I did, however, miss the hustle and bustle of work – and working toward a goal. That is when the little voice inside my brain said, “It’s time to write.”
So I did, and “The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer” was born, followed by my new book, “The Super Spies and the High School Bomber.”
I am very excited as I begin this new “chapter” in my life.

Author Links:



I want to be like Gideon Lee. My lips move as I read the title of my essay. They

twitch as I stifle a snicker. Looking around the room, I make sure no one has seen

my facial tic. My eyes light upon the Presidents’ pictures lined up on the wall.

They face me, each with a unique expression, and I wonder what they were

thinking while they posed. They are above the clock so my gaze naturally falls on

it. It’s almost time for lunch.

I settle back in my seat and my lips twitch again. A feeling of defiant exhilaration

washes over me like a tidal wave.

Montgomery’s going to freak when he reads this.

Despite my best efforts, a giggle escapes and the boy in front of me turns around

and gives me the evil eye. I return the glare. He is slumped over, and sweat beads

on his upper lip. I think this is odd — it’s rather chilly in the room — but dismiss it

before I turn back to my essay.

I bet old man Montgomery doesn’t even know who Gideon Lee is. This thought

sends another giggle to the surface, but I quickly squash it by biting my lip.

I picture him searching Gideon Lee’s name on the Internet. I see his expression

changing from confusion to disgust. I imagine him taking off his black, thick-

rimmed glasses and shaking his head. I hear him mutter, “Lark Singer, what are

you doing?” He rubs his face. I can actually hear the rough sandpapery sound as

his hand finds his day old stubble. He sighs and puts his glasses back on. “What

am I going to do with you?”

I remember when Mr. Montgomery first told us about the assignment. We were

supposed to write an essay on someone we admire, someone who has contributed

to society in some way. I know when he says this he wants us to write about an a

historical figure. After all this is history class, but I raised my hand anyway.

“Lark,” he called out as he stood at his lectern.

“Do they have to be dead?”

He cocked his head as he studied me with his piercing blue eyes. Then he ran his

hand over his military style crew cut, and I watched as his salt and pepper hair

flattened then popped back into place as if each hair was standing at attention. I

could tell he wasn’t sure where this was going. “Well… I guess not.” That’s when

he froze, as if he realized he had just opened a door for me and he wasn’t going to

like what was on the other side. He shifted his weight, and looked down at the

floor before he backpedaled. “But they have to have made a positive contribution

to society. It can’t be about a mobster or anything like that.” Pursing his lips, he

stared at me, fiddling with those glasses. “This is one half of your semester grade,

Lark. I wouldn’t pull any funny stuff.”

“Oh, I won’t. Scout’s honor,” I answered sweetly, placing my hand over my heart

and giving him the scout salute, while inside I planned my rebellion.

I have him. I’m going to write about Gideon Lee, and there’s nothing he can do

about it.


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