Nightmares! by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller (Audiobook)

October 30th, 2014

nightmaresJust in time for Halloween we are treated to Nightmares! by Jason Segel, actor, writer, and musician, and best selling author Kirsten Miller and it is fabulous!  I listened to the audiobook which is narrated by Jason Segel and he does such a great job.  It is a great audio production and I’ll tell you I couldn’t stand putting this one aside for nothing.  Thank goodness with audiobooks you can do all your work while still listening!  This is a middle grade book rated for ages 8-12 but I’m a whole lot older than that and I thoroughly enjoyed it although I have to say that I think it would be such a great book to sit and listen to with your children.  It would be great fun!

Charlie hasn’t had an easy go of things so far in his life.  He lost his mother and now has an evil stepmother Charlotte who he is sure is a witch  and he’s having a hard time dealing with it all.   To top it off he keeps having these horrible nightmares; nightmares so bad that Charlie has resorted to drinking lots of coffee just to stay awake.  His nightmares are so real… could it be that they actually are real?  Between living in Charlotte’s scary purple mansion and the new principle that has just arrived at Charlie’s school his nightmares become worse – so much so that they begin to invade his daylight hours as well and it’s not only Charlie having issues but many of his schoolmates as well.  Charlie and his friends are thrust into a world of nightmares complete with all kinds of monsters and things become even scarier when their nightmares begin to become a reality.

Even though this book is called Nightmares! it’s not all about being so scary that it will be disturbing for your kids.  Not at all actually.  It’s laced with a lot of humor and many good life lessons that will be great for the kids.  Nightmares! is about facing your fears and overcoming them.  It’s also about loyalty to your friends and family.  These are invaluable lessons for kids and especially for kids who may be having issues facing their own fears. Nightmares! is the first in a planned trilogy and I can’t wait to see what the next book will hold for all of us fans of this one!

As for the audiobook of Nightmares! I have to say that Jason Segel really brought this story alive for me.  He is such a terrific narrator and all of the different voices and emotions that he puts into his reading make it all the better.  This truly is a great audio to enjoy with your kids and really the whole family at any time but Halloween is really the perfect time to put a little creepiness into your reading!

Highly, highly recommended!

 

Listen to an excerpt
Visit the Nightmares website
Buy at: Random House, Audible

 

 

Source:  Audiobook received from the publisher for an honest review.  No compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are that of the blog owner.

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Slave and Sister by Sabra Waldfogel – Review & Giveaway (US/UK)

October 29th, 2014

slaveSlave and Sister by Sabra Waldfogel is a sweeping saga that takes you back to the time of the Civil War. This is a story of plantations, slavery, war, love, family, survival, and the bonds we share with those we love. It is a story I loved and will not soon forget.

One is black and one is white but they share a secret and that is that they have the same father, a Jewish plantation owner. Rachel becomes Adelaide’s maid at a young age and the two bond instantly. Adelaide, defying the laws of the times, teaches Rachel how to do figures and to read and Rachel yearning to learn, lets her even though she could be beaten for it. Even when the two learn they are sisters they are still close but only in secret. In public they are maid and mistress.

When Adelaide marries Henry she takes Rachel with her to her new home. Henry, Jewish as well, has many issues with slavery. Henry realizes that to make his cotton plantation successful he needs slaves but the difference is that he believes they should be treated as he would anyone else with the respect they deserve. As Henry and Adelaide’s marriage is one of convenience and with war looming Henry and Rachel finally succumb to the love they feel for each other. Adelaide, hurt, feels anger and hatred towards her sister and it tears them apart. When Henry goes off to war and the sisters are forced together for survival they find that the bond of sisterhood is still strong within them.

This is one fantastic story. I’ve always been partial to stories of slavery and plantations and the author brings this time period vividly alive for the reader. I felt so many emotions especially anger that people had to endure what they did during the time when slavery was allowed. It truly disgusts me that a human being could be considered to be essentially nothing and could be traded or beaten on a whim.  The characters in this story are all well developed and although I didn’t live in the times of struggle that they did I still felt connected to them and all they had to go through.  It is the mark of a really good book when it touches your heart and that is what Slave and Sister did for me.

Above all this is a beautiful story of survival, hope, and love. Highly recommended!

 

Other tour stops with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Add to your Goodreads List
Author Links: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads
Buy at: Amazon, Amazon Canada, B&N

 

GIVEAWAY – OPEN TO US & UK RESIDENTS

1 paperback copy up for giveaway

*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter

Draw Date November 15/14

Good luck!

(comments are welcome but do not count as an entry)

 

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Source: Digital copy received for review from publisher.  Giveaway copy sponsored by the publisher.  No compensation was received for this post and all opinions are that of the blog owner.

Shadow of a Smile by Valerie Joan Connors – Spotlight & Giveaway (US/Canada)

October 28th, 2014

Today’s spotlight is on Shadow of a Smile by Valerie Joan Connors.  This sounds like a wonderful read and one I’ve added to my ever growing list of books I can’t live without.  Enjoy the post and be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy for yourself.

 

smile
 

In 1960, at twenty years old, Anastasia left her parents and the cold mid-western winter behind in Milwaukee and drove her powder blue Ford Fairlane down Route 66 all the way to Los Angeles, certain that’s where all her dreams would come true. Just two years later, she’s forced to retrace her steps, traveling back home with her dreams shattered, a broken heart, and a daughter she would have to raise alone.

Thirty years later, following her mother’s untimely death, that daughter, Meredith, learns the shocking truth about her origins, the father she never knew, and the mother whose life was very different than it appeared. When the attorney who prepared her mother’s will delivers Anastasia’s personal journals along with the keys to a trust fund Meredith never suspected she had, she and her boyfriend Derek retrace Anastasia’s path west, in search of answers.

SHADOW OF A SMILE is a powerful and thought-provoking story about family secrets, the choices we let our hearts make, and living with the consequences.

Read an excerpt
Buy: Amazon, Amazon Canada, B&N

 

Praise for Shadow of a Smile

“…Valerie Joan Connor’s writing is so vivid, so intimate, that Meredith’s travails and triumphs become your own. I miss her already, now that she’s gone on with her life and I must go back to my own…”—Linda Hughes, author of Becoming Jessie Belle and What We Talk About

“Shadow of a Smile examines the large price paid for secrets and cover-ups, not just by the perpetrators but also by generations before and after them. Ms. Connors has written a novel for anyone who likes family and relationship stories that are emotional, complex, and altogether satisfying.”—George Weinstein, author of Hardscrabble Road and The Five Destinies of Carlos Moreno

With extraordinary deft, Valerie Joan Connors explores how we take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.”—Rona Simmons, author of The Quiet Room

“Valerie Connors has a distinctive voice. Each scene is filled with secrets and longing. Each character is brave and steady and real.”—Nicki Salcedo, author of All Beautiful Things

 

About the Author

valerieValerie Joan Connors is the author of Shadow of a Smile (Deeds Publishing, June 2014), In Her Keeping (Bell Bridge Books, 2013) and Give Me Liberty, which she self-published in 2010. She is the current President of the Atlanta Writers Club, an organization with more than 600 active members and a 100-year history in the Atlanta area. During business hours, she’s the CFO of an architecture, engineering and interior design firm. Valerie lives in Atlanta with her husband and two dogs.

Author Links: Website, Facebook, Twitter

 

 

GIVEAWAY – OPEN TO US & CANADIAN RESIDENTS

1 copy up for giveaway!

*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter

Draw Date November 14/14

Good luck!

(comments are welcome but do not count as an entry)

 

Source: Post material and giveaway provided by the publicist.  No compensation was received.

How to Bake a Man by Jessica Barksdale Inclan & Giveaway (International)

October 27th, 2014

bakeHow to Bake a Man by Jessica Barksdale Inclan is a deliciously fun read with great characters and yummy recipes!

Becca is in one of the oldest students in her grad school class and very uncomfortable with it when she realizes that going back to school really isn’t what she wants.  She wants to bake.  She’s loved to bake since she was a young girl learning from her mother.  So she makes a life changing decision to drop out of school and follow her dream of eventually owning her own bakery.

Becca gets all the paperwork in order and even manages to land herself a job delivering up her baked treats to an office building.  Her hope is that she will soon be delivering to even more businesses and word of her phenomenal baking will spread.  With the help of her mother and her neighbor Sal she begins her venture. What she doesn’t plan on is meeting Jennifer, her look-a-like at the office.  The two of them are polar opposites in personality though as Jennifer is evil to everyone  and Becca can’t believe how she treats people.  She also doesn’t plan on meeting Jeff, a man she feels an instant connection to.  The problem – he is Jennifer’s boyfriend but when he shows an interest in Becca she is over the moon and can’t resist seeing where it will go.  Yet is Jeff really everything she’s ever wanted or is she missing out on a true love that may be sitting right under her nose.

I really liked Becca.  She’s funny and vulnerable and just the kind of person you could picture being good friends with.  Then there are those wonderful mouth watering recipes she’s always whipping up.  Who wouldn’t want a friend like that?  One that would invite you for coffee and serve up some Sugar Cookies, Sand Tarts, Snickerdoodles, or Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese glaze.  Yummo!  The other characters were great as well and even though Jennifer was so evil to everyone I didn’t even hate her.  Actually I found her quite amusing at times.  If I had one complaint it would have been that I would have liked to find out more about the connection that Becca and Jennifer may or may not have had.  That’s a minor detail though as the story itself is just delightful and a wonderful way to spend a snowy afternoon.

For fans of sweet romances and even sweeter recipes How to Bake a Man is certainly one to add to your reading list!

 

Other tour stops with TLC Book Tours
Add to your Goodreads List
Buy at: Amazon, Amazon Canada, Amazon UK, Ghostwoods Books
Author Links: Website, Facebook, Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY – OPEN INTERNATIONALLY

1 paperback copy up for grabs!

*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter

Draw Date November 12/14

Good luck!

(comments are welcome but do not count as an entry)

 

Source: Digital review copy and giveaway copy provided by the publisher.  No compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are that of the blog owner.
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