Reading Challenge for 2014

I know I am a bit late on posting my reading challenge but it has been a pretty busy couple months. Last year I made a reading challenge to read 50 books but I came in just under at 47. This year I have decided to lower the goal as I have been trying to find time to get back into knitting and also learning to crochet. It is very hard to read and knit something at the same time. I haven't yet figured out how to do it. I have figured out how to read and walk the treadmill at the same time! 

Here are my goals/challenges for 2014: 

* Read different genres that I don't normally pick up as of late ~ paranormal/scifi/urban fantasy/religion/self-help/documentaries/memoirs. I think at least 1 in each category to start.

* Read 5 indie authors I have not read before. 

* Start 2 new series and finish at least 4 series that I have started last year (as long as the author has the books available of course)

* Read at least 2 Canadian authors that I haven't read before. 

* Read more cookbooks! I have fallen off the cooking/baking band wagon and need to get back on it. I am hoping to find some new favorite recipes for the family this year, along with trying things we may not have tried otherwise. 

I love to read a lot as you can see from all the book reviews. It really is a great feeling to get lost in a title that has you feeling what the characters feel. I find sometimes you can get very attached that it is hard when the book or series ends. 

Now that I have actually put down some thoughts into my reading challenge I realize I may need to up my goal. Originally I was aiming for 35 books this year but I can see I will be aiming higher especially since my books read already are 11. I guess 50 might be a better goal again this year.
I have found some great e-book sites and will be making a list of my favorites to share with everyone soon. I am heading over to eBooks by Sainsbury's to add more books to my to be read pile. They have some great prices and so many titles and authors I have never heard of before.  It is time to load up the e-reader and get working on these challenges!

I plan to update my post often with the goals I have reached or new ones I think of so keep an eye out for those posts. I hope to make them month as I add to my list of books read and to be read. 

What is your reading goal for 2014? Do you keep track on Goodreads or another place?

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

March 1st is National Peanut Butter Lover's Day! Celebrate with the new Kraft Peanut Butter with Chocolate

Can it really be true? 

Kraft recently released a new flavor of peanut butter! PB with Chocolate!! I have been dreaming of this for years and I am super excited. 

I was super excited when Kraft sent me a little gift just before Valentine's Day.  It included the new peanut butter to try.

Now you will know I was just first to jump into this new peanut butter. How couldn't I? My favorite snack is peanut butter cup ice cream with a huge scoop of peanut butter on it! I have also been known to just dig into the jar with a spoon.......

This tasty new treat can be added to shakes, toast, crepes, peanut butter cookies and so many more ideas. We had it on pancakes one nice as my daughter loves Breakfast for dinner. It was so good warm. My new favorite way to use it is on toast with my homemade strawberry jam! SOOO TASTY! 

We have run out of our jar already and will be picking up more soon to try making some chocolate peanut butter cookies. It takes like chocolate but also with a nice hint of peanut butter. I love this stuff and I know it will be on our shelf all the time.  Head over to Kraft Canada to find some fun recipes to use the new Peanut Butter with Chocolate. You can also find some great ideas on Kraft Peanut Butter (Facebook).

Thanks @KraftCanada for another tasty Peanut Butter treat!

Celebrate on March 1st with the new Peanut Butter with Chocolate for National Peanut Butter Lover's Day! 
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~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. I received a gift basket from Kraft. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

New Paranormal Romance 99¢ Flash Sale

What if your destiny lay on the other side of death?

The annual Culling ceremony is a day every coming-of-age novice looks forward to within the Primeval Coven. It’s the start to being initiated into the Night Watchmen, humankind’s protectors, and it’s the long-awaited day when novices discover if they’re a Hunter or a Witch.

But this day is not a happy one for Faye Middleton. Not when she’s known her whole life that she’s a Defect and is about to face banishment in front of her fellow novices. She’s forced to attend the Culling with little hope for her future, but what she discovers about herself is far worse than she could’ve imagined. And far more dangerous.

Thrown into training and separated from her friends, Faye must learn to adjust. She struggles to find her place within the Coven, and with Jaxen Gramm, the darkly handsome and extremely unnerving man assigned to watch and protect her. Emotions run high, and when she discovers a deadly secret about him, her struggles deepen. As corruption within the Coven begins to unravel, Faye pieces together her role in saving the future of her people, and within Jaxen’s life...but will the truth save her, or be her undoing?

The sale is running now until Sunday March 2nd, 2014.

Grab your copy today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Wingspan by Samantha Combs ~ Book Review

Book Summary:

Chessa Dawning never thought she’d be on the run. Yet, she was, having left the only home she’s ever known, staying two steps ahead of the men chasing her and falling for a resourceful ex-criminal with colorful friends.

Most of the time, Charlotte Lake can’t believe her life. The reluctant leader of a rebel faction called the Ginger Nation, Charlie’s days are filled with planning surveillance, rescuing detainees, and exposing government conspiracy. Surrounded by loyal friends and soldiers, she knows she can never reveal the true nature of her quest: finding her real father.

When a sudden twist brings the two girls together, revelations about the past will make them rethink where they came from and define the future in ways they never could have imagined.
Not every scientific breakthrough is a gift.

Purchase a copy on Amazon.  

About the Author:

Samantha Combs is a multi-published, young adult/middle grade author living in Southern California. The award-winning author of nine books, five are young adult paranormals: Spellbound, Everspell, Ghostly, Waterdancer, and The Deadlies; one is a middle grade horror novel: The Detention Demon; and three are adult horror collections: Teeth and Talons, Way Past Midnight, and Helloween. Samantha has two other completed manuscripts and and so many others planned, she hopes to release in the near future. She publishes with three houses: Astraea Press, Musa Publishing and Sweet Cravings Publishing. 2013 looks even more amazing than 2012 did with three planned releases

When she is not writing or reading voraciously, Samantha enjoys bloggers, the Food Network Channel, reality television and wandering around the aisles at Target. She recently conquered Facebook and is learning how to use Twitter. She is sure she can handle any situation if she has the right shoes and has a mad passion for totally inappropriate earrings. Samantha believes the movement toward technology is the most exciting thing to happen to publishing and can’t wait to see what the industry is going to do next. Anything that makes kids want to read can’t be a bad thing.

Connect: Website | Twitter | Goodreads |

My Review:

I am now just starting to read more paranormal and enjoyed this fresh story line. This book was really different in the sense that it was all started by a scientist who injected a genre altering serum to children to grow wings. I will try not to give away anything in my review as there are many twists I didn't see coming in this story. Some kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what will happen next and how certain characters are connected.

This is a young adult book and I would think it would be a good entry level into a paranormal book. There is a love scene but it isn't graphic so I would say it would be safe for 13/14 year olds. The author has many characters on the go throughout but does a great job going from one to the other without getting the reader lost on who we are following now. We are following two different groups of characters throughout the book until closer to the end. I love how the author did a wonderful job with the mix of personalities of each character. The one thing I would change is the consistency with Dr. Dawning's name (but I did read an advanced reader copy so it may have been edited in the final book).

I give this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. I received a copy of the above title for review purpose. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

The Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom by Delaine Moore ~ Book Review & Giveaway!

I recently had the opportunity to read a book by a Canadian author (Yay Canada!), it is more a memoir of the authors life after an affair and her divorce. Here is the book summary and read down for my review and a special giveaway! 

Book Summary:

For seven years, Delaine Moore devoted herself to being the perfect wife and stay-at-home mom to her three kids. But when infidelities and betrayal plow through her life, she suddenly finds herself in a new role: 37 years old, going through a divorce, and thrown into a singlehood she has no idea how to navigate. Surprise of all surprises, her long-dormant libido rouses to show her the way.

The Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom is the raw, funny and empowering story of the physical and spiritual self-discovery that results from Moore’s sexual awakening. Connecting with a fiery, daring side of her personality that has been subsumed by motherhood and marriage, Moore gradually steps further and further outside of her confined identity and sexual boundaries. From online dating and attending a sex club to traveling out of country to explore BDSM with a Dominant, Moore tests her limits, regains ownership of her body, and takes full control of her life. More than the story of a woman’s breaking and remaking after divorce, The Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom is a humorous, thoughtful exploration of what it means to be a woman and a sexual being, be she a mom, wife, girlfriend, or divorcee. It also serves as a reminder that when life slams you down, a little fire won’t burn you — it will awaken you.

Purchase a copy on Chapters or Amazon

Book to Movie~ This book has been turned into a movie and will be aired on Lifetime channel sometime in April or May of this year.  Stay tuned for more information closer to the air date!!

About the Author:

Delaine Moore is a divorced mother of three turned author, Mars Venus Coach, journalist,and speaker.

Her memoir "The Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom” was released internationally in March 2012 through the feminist publisher Seal Press. It is now being turned into a Lifetime TV movie starring Ashley Jones (2014).

Further trained as an NLP Therapist and Mars Venus Executive Trainer & Life Coach,Delaine has worked with renown relationship expert Dr. John Gray (author of "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus") and delivered presentations and coaching to individuals and groups in the areas of gender intelligence and relationship counseling. Through her blog, I Am Divorced Not, she has coached and inspired thousands of divorced women and men to successfully shed their married skin, date with confidence, and pursue passion and success in all areas of their lives.

The former COO and Executive Editor of Divorced Women Online, Delaine’s expert articles have appeared on, The Huffington Post, The, MSN's GLO, First Wives World and The New York Time’s Her essay, “Less Than a Bump and a Grind,” won the Readers’ Choice Award in’s essay competition, and she has made other media appearances on the likes of Cosmo Radio, Calgary Breakfast Show, Alberta Primetime,Divorce Blog Radio and Financially Fit TV.

Connect: I am divorced not dead | Website | Twitter | Goodreads   

My Review

I don't read a lot of memoirs but was very intrigued by the book summary and the title. I was also excited because Delaine Mooore is Canadian! Actually at one time she lived almost in my area. This memoir was super easy to read, Delaine has a great writing style that flows well and captivates the reader. I felt like I was one of Delaine's girlfriends and she was telling me her story. This was one heck of a story. I am empowered by the confidence that Delaine put forth in moving on with her life in a hard time, while raising three young children and finding her self again along with her sexual self. I am a very independent women and always have been pretty head strong. I love that through meeting The Duke, Delaine learned about being Dominant in both the bedroom and into her life in general. Not in a whips and chains kind of dominance but in the way of letting the men she met know she was in control of her life and her body and wasn't afraid to speak for what she wanted. Delaine really did unleash her "Wild Women" within and came out on top.

I also wanted to add after speaking with Delaine through emails and reading this book that Delaine has a kind heart and is one of those women that you just want to be around as you know she is being honest and will tell you like it is. Her confidence radiates through her writing. This was a fabulous book for any women to read, not just a divorcee. I couldn't put it down, I laughed, I cried and really felt the empowerment after reading it.

Giveaway ~ One lucky reader will Win a paperback copy of The Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom by Delaine Moore. This giveaway is open Internationally!
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~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. I received a copy of the above title for review purpose. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Mani Monday ~ Flowers in Time for Spring?

This past weekend was a busy one! I spent Saturday at a Bridal show with my Jamberry booth and then on Sunday I did a vendor event. Of course my nails needed to be fitting for the events! Here is the Silver Floral on Magenta, isn't it beautiful?

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Scarlet Revenge by Ann McGinnis ~ Promo Blitz & Giveaway!

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Scarlet Revenge - PROMO Blitz
By Ann McGinnis
Date Published: January 21, 2014
Romantic Suspense

The FBI doesn’t know what to do with Analyst Caycee Scarlet. She’s brash, brilliant & brutally relentless when tracking a serial killer. But she also has a temper, problems with authority figures and recognizing the chain of command.

Things go sideways for Caycee when she uncovers a lead that saves the Omega Killer’s latest victim. Rather than working the system and making nice with her pompous boss, sparks fly and she gets into an altercation with the lead Special Agent on the case, resulting in a transfer to another assignment.

Caycee finds herself transferred to an FBI interrogation facility where she assesses the most dangerous of criminals in custody. She struggles to get over the loss of her dream job, but her new boss, handsome Special Agent Gil Graham, may soften the blow. Sparks, of a different variety, fly between the Special Agent and his new Analyst, as they work together to crack the most difficult cases.

Just when Caycee’s wounds are healing from her expulsion on the Omega Killer team, she is dragged back into the thick of it. Caycee and her new team are front and center, focused on an interview of a bombing suspect, when Omega comes looking for revenge. His attack wounds her team, leaving Caycee with only one option for help—the devastatingly handsome bombing suspect. It will take all of Caycee’s wits, and a kiss for luck, to stop Omega and save her co-worker.


Chapter One

Our steps echoed down the stark hallway. Clean. Institutional. And utterly amazing. Caycee Scarlet was finally walking along the hallowed hallways of the FBI. It was a good day for me.
"Say nothing, Scarlet," Special Agent in Charge Tony Wilkes ordered. He threw me a look over his shoulder. "Even if someone asks you a question, keep your mouth shut." He laughed to himself. "No one will ask you a question.”

Wilkes had already made it clear that I was the newest member of the Omega Killer Task Force. As such, I should listen more than talk, act fast when given orders, and let the seasoned team members guide my every move. It seemed like the equivalent of an FBI-whipping boy. Or girl, in my case. I didn’t care. Everyone started at the bottom. I was ready to put in the time needed to earn their respect.

At least, I looked good in a form-fitting black suit. It was more than I could afford, but I figured I would live in the outfit. Besides, it sent a message. I valued my appearance, even if I had to dress like a man, I'd still look like a woman.

I'd had the suit cut to fit my curves, which were on the athletic side. My auburn hair pulled into a no-nonsense ponytail. It hung past my shoulders, showing off my best feature – my eyes. As a window into my soul, they were unflinching. I did admire my own intelligence, probably a character flaw, but hopefully that wouldn’t show in my eyes. The traits I wanted to show: no nonsense, quick witted, relentless.

"You get the crap jobs," Wilkes said, acting as if his honesty was attractive. A few hours in the gym and hair implants, maybe. Not that I didn’t find bald men attractive, just not this one. "I can't lie," he continued, "we'll be throwing you every crap job that this case delivers, but you're on a big case. That don't happen to many newbies."
I wasn't that new, but I guessed he didn’t count the eight months of testing and background checks. I did. Or my training at Quantico. It all counted to me.

The agency gave us two years to prove ourselves. After that, candidates either earned their spot or were let go. I couldn't imagine putting in all that time and failing.
I had a feeling success would require long hours and serious ass-kissing. I just needed to find someone with a cute ass. It sure wasn't Wilkes.

We passed three large rooms filled with personnel. One looked to be the size of a football field filled with cubicles. “You’ll be in here,” Wilkes waved, “but first I want you to see the Dugout.”

He led me to a large conference room, its walls filled with crime photos, running news feeds and a huge whiteboard for pertinent case data. “The Omega Killer is priority number one,” Wilkes said, opening the conference room door for me. “This is where the main players are at bat.”

I slowed at the door, sensing a real sports theme to the way he liked to operate. Perhaps one day, I’d be his most valuable player. It looked competitive, though. Wilkes’s team already consisted of veteran agents and analysts. They seemed a cohesive group, working in unison to stop a psychotic killer.

Wilkes quickly ran through Omega’s deadly stats, but he didn’t need to bother. I knew the case inside and out. Killers were my hobby.

I made the mistake of saying that to a date once. I never saw a man escape faster, admonishing me by exclaiming: “You’re sick, truly sick.” Hopefully, my academic interest in killers wouldn’t repel men in the FBI.

Not that I was here to find a man, but I was twenty-eight and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shake the feeling that somewhere in this organization was my perfect match. After all, I needed a man who liked to catch killers.

“Are you listening to me?” Wilkes sounded irritated.

“Yes, sir,” I answered. “The Omega Killer marks his victims’ forehead with the sign of the Omega. All indications are that it signals the moment he’s ready to make the fatal cut, into his victim’s left breast. Such a wound, based on other serial killers, suggests Omega has mommy issues, but I personally believe that it signals a desire to find love.”

Wilkes made a face at me. Clearly he did not care for my analysis. “That’s not what I was talking about. Geez, he wants to find love? Table that thought, quickly, and get back in the game.”

He raised his arms, showing off the Dugout. "Welcome to the nerve center of our investigation. We call this the show," he said, then clapped his hands together to get the room’s attention. "Everyone, this is Intelligence Analyst Caycee Scarlet."

The agents, analysts and techs turned from their work. Some at laptops along one side of a long mahogany conference table and others working on reports across from them. Several agents were standing, talking in a small group. They barely looked over at me, too busy for someone below them on the FBI food chain. The analysts nodded an acknowledgement. Matter-of-fact. No smiles. No words of welcome.

I gave a half-hearted nod to the room, hoping I'd make a better impression later. Probably much later, if I was reading the total lack of interest correctly. It must be the pressure of catching Omega. Tension hung in the room. With twelve victims to date, catching the killer had them all wound up.

Wilkes pointed to a side table stacked with boxes. The top one filled with old cell phones, victim personal effects and police reports. "We need them properly catalogued. You know, a searchable database. I’m told you were the most anal student in your class. Go at it."

His voice trailed off, but I didn't know if he'd stopped talking or I'd stopped listening. Maybe a little of both, because I read the whiteboard. One of the hand-scribbled numbers was written incorrectly.

Without thinking, I went over to the board and used the heel of my right hand to wipe off an area code. Everyone in the room stopped working and screamed at me.

"What have you done?" Wilkes shouted louder than anyone else.

I came out of my trance and blinked at him. Whatever I said next could make or break me, so I said nothing.

"Every piece of information is vital to solving the case," he scolded. He turned to the room. "Can we fix it? What was that number?"
Blank stares.

I quickly picked up a dry erase marker and wrote the numbers back on the board. It was only three digits.

Screams went up all around me again.

"What?" I asked. "That's the number I erased. But it's wrong. It's a phone number, right? Someone transposed the area code. 3-7-1 is not an area code, but 7-3-1 is New Jersey."

No one screamed at me that time, but their looks were deadly.

"Is that right?" Wilkes asked the room. His eyes darted from the whiteboard to the closest agent. He wanted confirmation before his head exploded.

"Shit," the agent said.

Wilkes grabbed his head.

The agent couldn't look at me. "She's right, sir.”

“Okay, we’re okay, fix it and double-check everything that goes on the board, people,” Wilkes barked.

The agent took the dry erase marker from me and fixed the numbers. Wilkes waved two fingers at a petite woman with raven hair twisted into a bun. “Take care of this.” 
He pointed at me.

FBI Analyst Nina Dunbar instantly responded. She rolled her eyes and grabbed a stack of boxes, indicating with her elbow that I was to take the rest. “Follow me,” she sighed. “Consider this your first and last favor.”

I shot a glance at Wilkes, but he already had his nose in a file folder, barking orders to the closest agent. He had no time for me. No one did. I exited the conference room, utterly deflated by my welcome to the FBI.

Ann McGinnis

 photo Ann20Photo_zps844d346c.jpgAnn McGinnis started writing romantic suspense to combine two things— thrillers & foreplay! Connect with Ann and upcoming news about the Scarlet Suspense Series:

Authors Links

Buy Link



This Blitz is brought to to you by Reading Addiction Book Tours

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Release Day for Turning Home by Stephanie Nelson


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Turning Home (A Small Town Novel) by Stephanie Nelson When Brooke Kingsley finally captures the interest of her four-year crush—Dylan Crawford—her world turns upside down. Feeling alive for the first time, Brooke decides to spend her last three days of summer with Dylan and discovers there’s more to him than the rumors being whispered all over town. The problem is, Brooke’s father doesn’t want his daughter anywhere near the blue-collar bad boy. As Brooke leaves for college, she’ll realize that some boys aren’t easy to forget.

Dylan Crawford has hated the Roseville Snobs his entire life, but one particular Snob has captured his eye—Brooke Kingsley. He knows he should stay away from her, but willpower has never been his strong suit. Soon Brooke is all he can think about. When she leaves for school, Dylan tries to move on with other girls, but the memory of Brooke taunts him. There’s an undeniable pull to the very girl he’s been warned to stay away from.

When tragedy strikes the Kingsley household, secrets are uncovered. Brooke and Dylan must decide if what they feel for each other is strong enough to conquer their families’ dark past.

This is a NA (new adult) book and intended for readers 18+

Purchase on Amazon

Meet Indie Author Maria V. Snyder + Win a copy of Storm Glass!

Today I have a special guest on Genuine Jenn, Maria V. Snyder who is an Indie Author. Maria was kind enough to do an interview for my readers and also host a giveaway! Enter to win a copy of Maria's book Storm Glass! 

Tell us a little bit about your book(s) and yourself.

A: Nine of my books are what I'd like to call fantasy adventure with a touch of romance because I like a little romance in my stories.  I also call them accessible fantasy as I don't have lots of world building details like Lord of the Rings, with all those races and generations of history. I focus on the characters—especially my main protagonists who are very strong ladies who can take care of themselves.  Two of my books are a dystopian duology called the Insider series. The world of Inside is basically a big metal cube and they've forgotten what's outside their world. Again I have a strong female protagonist dealing with lots of action and intrigue.  And I've a middle-grade book for readers 8 to 14 years old and that one doesn't have any fantasy or science fiction elements – just storms and dogs. And it has a male protagonist, a 13 year old boy named Luke.

If anyone is interested, you can read the first chapter of all my books here:

I'm an ex-meteorologist turned novelist and the mother of two teens. I've been writing for the last 20 years and enjoy traveling a lot! I'm very pro girl-power and have a brown belt in Isshinryu Karate, I learned how to fence, and collect weapons—lots of sharp pointy weapons ;>.

When was your first book published?

A: Poison Study was published in October 2005.

Why did you decide to become an Author?

A: I didn't decide, it just happened. I was working as an environmental meteorologist right after college and I worked at a consulting firm so work came in waves. I was either very busy or very bored. During those bored times, I started jotting down story ideas. I've always been a big reader of mysteries, thrillers, science fiction, and fantasy and I've always been a daydreamer (especially in school) so the combination worked well for telling stories.  When my son was born, I spent his nap times writing and just kept at it, writing mostly short stories.  I started writing Poison Study after my daughter was born and when it was done, I submitted it to publishers – either the writing thing would work out or I'd have to go back to meteorology.  I'm happy I'm no longer doing air quality reports!

Are you currently working on anything?

A: Yes, I'm working on what will be my fourteenth novel!  I've returned to the characters and world I created in my Study series of books (Poison Study, Magic Study, and Fire Study), and am writing another three books.  This one is the second of the three.

Who and what inspired you to write?

A: I already explained what inspired me (boredom).  As for the who, I'd have to credit Dick Francis, the mystery author.  When I was fourteen, I picked up, Nerve, one of his many mystery novels set in the world of steeplechase racing in England and was hooked.  I loved the first person point of view and how he ended his chapters with mini-cliffhangers.  When I started writing, I also used first person and tried to keep my readers in suspense.  From the emails I've gotten at 3 and 4 a.m., I think I've been successful.

Each author has his or her own inspiring journey. How did you begin writing?

A: I started writing science fiction short stories because at the time I was reading quite a bit of SF by Ursula K. LeGuin and Marion Zimmer Bradley. I wrote one or two and discovered I didn't have a clue how to write fiction so I bought a few copies of Writer's Digest magazine and signed up for the Philadelphia Writers' Conference. The con had a short story track and one of the workshop leaders would critique stories submitted a few months before. I sent one of my stories and hoped for the best. She edited my story and gave it an overall grade of 7 out of 10. I talked to her after the class to ask if a 7 was good and should I pursue this writing thing.  She said yes. That was all I needed to hear, I went home and kept writing short stories (didn't sell any) until I sparked on the idea for Poison Study.  By then I'd found a wonderful critique group, and submitted a chapter to them each month (doable with two little kids at home).  Three years later I finished the book.  Two years after that I found a publisher, and it was another two years before the book was published.  A lesson in patience and persistence!

What is on your writing playlist for your book(s)?

A: I don't make playlists for my books, but I do listen to music while writing. I listen to mostly pop 40s songs – Maroon 5, Matchbox 20, INXS, 3 Doors Down, Plain White Ts, etc...  I've a few others like Santana and Shania Twain in there as well as some classical.

Who is your favorite character in your books?

A: This is always a hard question because I've many favorites for different reasons. My favorite overall is Valek – he's an assassin and all around cool guy.  Many of my readers agree with me – he's my most popular character.  My favorite character to write is Janco – he's quirky and just so much fun to write.  In fact, his point of view is included in the new Study book just because I enjoy writing his scenes!

What is your favorite book of all time?

A: Another tough question! I've many favorites, but the one that jumped to mind when I read the questions is, The Gate to Women's Country, by Sheri S. Tepper.  It's a SF novel written way back.  It's the ultimate girl power book and it's one I recommend to my girlfriends.

Tell us in one sentence why we should read your books.

A: If you enjoy action, adventure, magic, mystery, and a touch of romance, along with characters  you can care about, then you'll love my books!

Book Summary: 

As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowen understands trial by fire. Now it's time to test her mettle. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan's glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers—particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade—require Opal's unique talents to prevent it happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap in to a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. And the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balance—including her own—Opal must control powers she hadn't known she possessed… - powers that might lead to disaster beyond anything she's ever known.

Add to your Goodreads shelf or buy on Amazon.

About the Author:
Meteorologist turned novelist, Maria's been writing fantasy and science fiction since she was bored at work and needed something creative to do. A dozen novels and seventeen short stories later, Maria's learned a thing or three about writing. She’s been on the New York Times bestseller list, won a half-dozen awards, and has earned her MA degree in Writing from Seton Hill University where she's been happily sharing her knowledge with the current crop of MFA students. She also enjoys creating new worlds where horses and swords rule, 'cause let's face it, they're cool, although she's been known to trap her poor characters in a giant metal cube and let them figure out how to get out. Readers are welcome to check out her website for book excerpts, free short stories, maps, blog, and her schedule at

Connect: Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

Giveaway ~ Enter to win a copy of Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder! This giveaway is open International! 
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Hop around and Meet the Authors of Indie Book Fest 2014. Each stop features an author and a contest.

Literary Addicts Weekly Meme ~ February 19, 2014

Do you prefer e-books or print books and why?

When I first started reviewing books on my blog I found it really really hard to read books on a device. I can say I was only a paperback type of girl. I don't really like hard covers, never did. There is just something about holding a new book or even a used book. I love going into used book stores and finding a book that you wouldn't find in the stores at the moment. I love the smell and feel of print books. One type of book that I still don't like as an e-book is cookbooks, they really should be in print either hard cover or paperback.

Now that I have had a Kobo and a Kindle both with lights I have to say I do love reading e-books also. I still LOVE paperback especially signed by the author. They can be nicely displayed on my book shelves (Just got a new shelf with 5 shelves!)

With the amount of books I read a year and the fact that a lot of them are by Indie Authors I do not mind e-books. They are easier to read in bed at night as I can turn out the light not to disturb my hubby (not that the light would bother him) and as I found out last summer having an e-reader with a light means I can actually read by the camp fire or in the tent at night. 

Which do you prefer?

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

A January Bride by Deborah Raney ~ Book Review

Book Summary:

Who can work in a house that's overrun by contractors and carpenters? Not Madeleine Houser, a successful novelist who gladly accepts the help of her octogenarian friend, Ginny, to arrange for a temporary office in the charming bed and breakfast owned by Ginny's friend, Arthur. Maddie’s never met the innkeeper––but a friendship grows between them as Maddie and Arthur leave messages for each other each day. To Maddie’s alternate delight and chagrin, she seems to be falling for the inn’s owner––a man who's likely many years her senior––and who she’s never even met.

Purchase the book on Amazon 

About the Author:

Deborah Raney's first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title. Her books have since won the RITA Award, ACFW Carol Award, HOLT Medallion, National Readers' Choice Award, Silver Angel, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. THE FACE OF THE EARTH released in May 2013 from Howard/Simon & Schuster, and SILVER BELLS released from Guideposts in October. Deb and her husband, Ken Raney, enjoy small-town life in Kansas. They are new empty nesters with four children and a growing quiver of grandchildren, all of whom live much too far away.

Connect: Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter


This is the second book in the Bride series and another great read! I found this to be a fresh storyline for myself and I thought it was just super cute. The two leading characters form a bond through letters to one another. Each forming an idea of what the other looks like and how old they are since they have not met in person yet. Closer to the end of the book the two met and instantly fall head over heels for each other but they are both leery as both have a past that makes them want to protect their hearts from being hurt.

This is the first book I have read by Deborah Raney but I loved how she made the story flow together well without hitting a dull area in the storyline. It is a short novel and keeps you reading as you grow to know both of the main characters and hope they will finally met sooner than later. 

I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars and can't wait to read A February Bride

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. I received the above book for review purpose. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Mani Monday ~ Valentine's Day Nails

This Mani Monday is Twitterpated! I wore this mani last week for date night and Valentine's Day. I am not sure what will be next Mani Monday but I am leaning towards Gold Leopard or Safari Tips.

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Easy Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce ~ Recipe

We have had an over abundance of Apples in our house as of late for some reason or another. I decided to make homemade applesauce to get some used up before losing them. Here is a super easy recipe that wont take much time but will make your house smell so tasty and fill your belly with a just as tasty applesauce. You can make the recipe as is or remove the skin but by keeping the skin on you will keep more nutrients in your sauce. I know some people don't like the skin though so it is okay to remove it.

Easy Cinnamon Applesauce


12 apples
1 cup of white or brown sugar
1 heaping Tablespoon of Cinnamon
A splash of vanilla if you like


Wash apples (remove skin if you wish) core and chop.
Add to a big pot, cover with sugar, fill bottom of pot with water and put on medium heat on stove. Shimmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and mash apples to the consistency you like.

Serve while warm and enjoy! 

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Easy Banana Bread Recipe

One of my all time favorite baked goods is banana bread. If you have a few bananas ripping on your counter and want something super tasty for the family you will want to try out this recipe. It is one that I have had on hand for years! It was one of those passed on recipes. I have adapted it a bit to my own liking as I cut back the sugar and add more bananas plus a splash more of pure vanilla. YUM! I have also made it with maple and almond extract. You can add walnuts, pecans, raisins or chocolate chips. We have also made it with adding Strawberries in the summer.

Easy Banana Bread Recipe


1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine or shortening
3 large bananas, mashed
1 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/2 cups flour - Again you can play with this as I have made it with bean flour etc
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp pure vanilla or extract - you can add more as I do or different flavors


Preheat oven to 325F
Cream sugar and margarine
Add mashed bananas, eggs, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and salt
Add flour and milk alternately
Fold in your add ins - chocolate chips, walnuts etc
Bake in a loaf pan for 1 hour - I will usually split mix between 2 pans this just makes in not as thick

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Bee Mine? An easy Valentines craft at your fingertips!

Karyn is a lapsed social worker, work-at-home mom, and one-quarter of Team Pickles. Along with Ben (the thinker), Molly (the doer), and Ian (the Brit), she battles for truth, justice, and the Canadian way in a world where parenting and puns go hand-in-hand. Follow their adventures at PicklesINK and get daily doses of hilarity by following them on Facebook and Twitter (@karynpickles).

Ben and Molly LOVE painting and take their art very seriously. In fact, ever since I introduced them to some of the finer things, Molly is simply not content with paper: “Uh, no, mommy.  Canvases are for painting, remember? Not paper. (Canvases are worthwhile dollar store investment – they make any painting craft with kids look far more posh.)

Last year, in the throes of Molly’s fingerprint stamping obsession, we attempted this craft for daddy’s Valentine’s Day present, with mixed results:

Ben (left) and Molly (right)'s Valentine paintings from last year

I figured I would give it another shot this year, and while I was at it, how about a how-to?


Canvas(es), with or without easel
Washable liquid paint, various colours
Cotton swabs (aka Q-tips)
Markers (Sharpies, if you really like living on the edge. Ben discovered them and there’s no going back now – he LOVES that they can write on anything, like craft foam, glossy paper, or over top of paint. So far I haven’t come to regret it *too* much.)
Smocks, unless you like to live dangerously

There a gazillion ways to use your children’s fingerprints, handprints, and footprints in crafts – just ask Pinterest. (Public Service Announcement: Just say 'NO' to brown footprints though. They don't look like what you think they look like.)

This activity keeps things on a small scale, using just fingerprints, so you don’t have to set aside too much time for post-painting baths or worry about spreading drop cloths all over your floors and furniture for the inevitable fallout.

For this craft, using just a few fingerprints can create a garden scene that is just as unique as your child (and some kids are definitely more unique than others – again, see above for Molly’s example).

I’m a big fan of reusing stuff and an even bigger fan of not having to wash things, so I always put my paints out in egg cartons, which can be used over and over for this purpose. I also like to use cotton swabs in place of paintbrushes, one per colour (and spares for mixing new colours). Not having to clean brushes lets the colours stay vibrant and there’s no gross purple paint-y water to spill everywhere.

For your garden, help your little ones make any combination of:

1.       Flower stems: Paint one pointer finger and stamp.

2.       Flower leaves: Paint a pointer finger pad (for small leaves) or a whole finger (for large leaves) and stamp along the stem.
Molly showing off her stems and leaves
4.       Heart-shaped flowers: Paint a pointer finger pad and stamp twice, overlapping at the bottom to make a heart shape.

Heart-shaped flower

5.       Daisies: Paint all of the fingertips of one hand and stamp together as a cluster. Paint one fingertip a contrasting colour and stamp a dot in the centre.
Making a fingerprint daisy
6.       Butterflies: Paint a pointer fingertip and stamp four times make the wings. Draw or paint contrasting colour body and antennae.
Butterflies and Bee
7.       Bee: Paint a thumb with yellow and black stripes and stamp (very gently, or the black and yellow will smush together). Paint a fingertip white and stamp to make wings. Draw or paint antennae and stinger. Add a speech bubble saying, “Bee Mine!”

Thumbs up!!

When the masterpiece is finished, let it dry and then brush or spray with sealant or shellac if desired. “Bee” creative!

This was the finished product as I envisioned it.
Molly had other ideas!

You know what they say about best-laid plans...

~ karyn

What else can you add to your garden using fingerprints? Comment below with your ideas and follow Genuine Jenn and PicklesINK on Facebook to share your pictures!

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