Reading Goals 2018

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This year I have fewer goals than in the past as I am trying to get back to my regular reading and reviewing.

This year I have made a Goodreads Reading Challenge of 35 books. I am hoping to read more than that. I am actually hoping to read 50 but I didn't want to overwhelm myself with reading this year. To stay on track this year I am going to make a monthly post about where I am with my reading goals. Do you want to follow along with your own reading challenge? Comment below and join me every month to let me know how you are doing with your own reading.

2018 Reading Goals

Personal Development - This year I would like to read 6 books in this category. They can be ebooks, paperbacks (my fave as I like to highlight passages), or audiobooks (great for my commute to work).
These books can also include fitness & cookbooks as I feel they better my personal life.

Health, Fitness & Diet - I have a few titles already on my to-be-read list and will get them reviewed asap as I know lots of people would be interested in hearing about them. Some are just recipe books for healthy eats, others are fitness & nutrition books. My daughter and I also hope to review a few treat books because you need to have a treat here and there to continue your healthy journey.

Fiction - This section I will break down as it is HUGE in my eyes. I read pretty much everything but right now I am really into psychological thrillers & crime novels. I will try to read a few other genres this year and also try some I don't normally read.

* Graphic Novels - I have only read one of these last year and enjoyed it (review coming). I hope to read at least one more this year or maybe even two!

* Crime, Thriller, Suspense - I am sure I will read lots in this genre as it is my go to. I have a few to read and a few that are read and just need a review posted.

* YA, Sci-fi, Fantasy & paranormal - I am going to try to read five of these. I like YA and paranormal but don't usually read a lot of Sci-fi fantasy type books. I will try to find a few I like.

* Women's, Chick lit - I will aim to read a few of these over the summer as I love beach reads especially when relaxing at the beach or in the yard.

What are you favourite genres? How many books are you aiming to read this year? Do you read ebooks or just paperbacks?

I know I am missing stuff so I will add to it as I go. Are you up for a reading challenge this year?

The Other Twin by L V. Hay ~ Book Review

Book Description: 

When India falls to her death from a bridge over a railway, her sister Poppy returns home to Brighton for the first time in years. Unconvinced by official explanations, Poppy begins her own investigation into India’s death. But the deeper she digs, the closer she comes to uncovering deeply buried secrets. Could Matthew Temple, the boyfriend she abandoned, be involved? And what of his powerful and wealthy parents, and his twin sister, Ana?

Enter the mysterious and ethereal Jenny: the girl Poppy discovers after hacking into India’s laptop. What is exactly is she hiding, and what did India find out about her? Taking the reader on a breathless ride through the winding lanes of Brighton, into its vibrant party scene and inside the homes of its well-heeled families, The Other Twin is a startling and up-to-the-minute thriller about the social-media world, where resentments and accusations are played out online, where identities are made and remade, and where there is no such thing as truth.

Purchase a copy on Amazon

About the Author: 

Lucy V. Hay script editor and blogger who helps writers via her Bang2write consultancy. She is the associate producer of Brit Thrillers DEVIATION (2012) and ASSASSIN (2015), both starring Danny Dyer. Lucy is also head reader for The London Screenwriters' Festival. Lucy is also an author, writing both screenwriting books and crime fiction.

Connect: Website | Twitter | Goodreads


I liked this book but I wasn't blown away with it. I think I was hoping it would be more adult than YA-Teen. I found myself thinking that the main character Poppy was very immature for her age and some of the things she did showed this. For the most part this novel the story flowed well expect for a few parts where I struggled to stay reading. I did like how it touched on a few of today's topics that kids are dealing with - suicide, depression and the LGBTQ community. Using blog posts and comments online to trace India's final days alive, who she was with and what must have been going through her mind. The characters in this story were well developed and had you trying to figure out who has what secrets and what really did happen to India. 

I feel I should give this book a 3.5 out of 5 stars as I don't think I would read it again but I would recommend it to others to read.

~*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*~

Vespers by Meghan McDonnell - Book Review

Book Description:
In Vespers: Volume Six of this addictive and vicarious real-life series, Meghan McDonnell contends with a boyfriend in spiritual crisis, college, working in a bar, a trip to New York, and reflections on relationships with family and friends.
For 30 years, McDonnell has intimately chronicled her life beginning at age eight through present day. With searing candor and tenderness, her musings on daily experiences and observations of family, social and romantic relationships, and the interior life coalesce in a commentary on facing passion and fear, embracing the light and dark, and American life in the 21st century. Wide in scope and vivid and provocative in detail, her journals are her confessional love letter to the world. Join her on a fearless, vulnerable, profoundly surprising, sometimes painful and quixotic, but always honest journey, also known as the human experience. Readers who love Joan Didion or Cheryl Strayed will enjoy this author.

Where to Purchase:

Australia: Australia Link
Brazil: Brazil Link
Canada: Canada Link
France: France Link
Germany: Germany Link
India: India Link
Italy: Italy Link
Japan: Japan Link
Mexico: Mexico Link
Netherlands: Netherlands Link
Spain: Spain Link
UK: UK Link

Connect with the Author:
Twitter: Twitter Link

Author Bio:
Meghan McDonnell was born and raised in Seattle, majored in English at Western Washington University, and lived in Los Angeles for four years. She has held countless day jobs and recorded her experiences in her journals. When she’s not writing or reading, she spends time outdoors, solves crossword puzzles, cleans her house, does yoga, skis, watches vapid and extraordinary TV and movies, pretends to garden, obsesses over true crime podcasts, and imagines what it would be like to be an FBI agent. She lives in Walla Walla with her husband and two cats.

Book Review by Carmen:
The author is pretty intense at times in this novel and has a lot of thoughts going around in her head. At first Charlie seemed a bit dodgy, but as you read on in the book he seems to get a little bit better. I gave this book a four star review and got a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

*Please be sure to support the author by buying their books and connecting with them on social media.

Memphis by Ginger Scott ~ Book Excerpt

Memphis by Ginger Scott
A Contemporary New Adult Romance
Release day: February 23

Check out the amazing excerpt of Memphis by Ginger Scott! We are so excited about this release!


My mom always said it was just something about the way he moved.
The same swagger Archie Valentine wore in the ring when he took his opponents down followed him like a halo everywhere he went. But make no mistake about it—he was no angel. He was like a drug. My mother was his addict.

I never understood love could make you blind and convince you to drink the poison. Not until I met Memphis Delaney.

At first, itwas the familiar form. He’s a fighter, built like a god from the past, the kind of man the universe doesn’t make anymore. His eyes hide a story, and every time I’m in his presence I want to keep reading him until I get to the end. And then...there’s the wayhe moves. His boxing is violent but beautiful, and his body is a seductive weapon. When he’s in the ring, he wears the stare of a man committed to the battle until his very last breath.

He could end me; turn me into her. Too much of him will leave me as a shadow, and I’ve lost so much of myself already.

But I have discipline. It came the hard way. Lessons learned, scars left behind, and trust stripped away from life.

I will breathe his air, but I won’t fall for a man like him. The only boxer who’s ever going to break my heart is the one who gave me my name.


“Come here,” he says, calling me with a finger.

I wait a second before giving in, letting my arms fall to my sides as I take the few steps from where I am to where he is. His hands wrap around my biceps as soon as I’m near enough and I breathe in fast, just once. His eyes widen a little.

“You’re stronger than you look,” he smirks.

My gaze is held by his when he speaks. He holds it hostage and when I start to look away, his hands slide down to my wrists and he shakes them lightly until I look at him again. His head tilts, and he waits until I get it.

I’m stronger than I look.
“Thank you,” I say, pulling my lip in tight, so afraid I’m not. I’m stubborn for certain. I’m hardened and jaded. I’m not sure if any of that makes me strong.

My muscles bend to Memphis’s will as hethreads his fingers through my right ones and lifts my arm, his other hand holding my elbow into my side. He lets go of my fingers and wraps his palm over my knuckles forming a fist and then moves my entire arm forward slowly, stopping when my body lungeswith it.

“Here. You lose everything...right here,” he says, stopping my fist where it is then placing the tips of his fingers on my hips.

Memphis’s eyes are intent on where his hand rests at my waist, and he pauses to take a breath, his tongue pinched by his teeth, his lips twitching up at the corners, his eyes blinking fast—all in a second.

I think about kissing him again right now.

“Your weight is already spent, and you haven’t even made impact with something yet. Think about it,” he says, eyes flitting up to mine.

I shake my head a little from the brief stare and silence we share.

“Okay,” I say, following his lead as he brings my arm back and steps behind me.

“You hit me hard, but that was without everything you have behind it. Imagine,” he begins, adjusting his hold on me, his right hand sliding down my arm and covering my hand, feet straddling one of mine from behind, his chest against my back, his breath at my neck and a thousand beads of nerves dotting my skin.

“You’re here,” he says, his voice low and right at my ear.

My eyes flutter when his left hand runs down the side of my body to my hip, and my breath hitches when he grips it more forcefully.

“Your opponent is standing right there. Do you see him?”

I nod.

“Yes,” I say, my voice barely audible.

“He’s cocking,” he says, and I giggle at the word while his nose moves closer to my skin, tickling againstmy ear. “You’re such a child.”

I clear my throat and wriggle my hips and roll my shoulders, all under his touch.

“You’re right, I’m sorry,” I say, still smiling.

A short breath escapes him in laughter.

“He’s about to swing, okay?” he says, coaxing me to focus.

“Trust me.” His voice falls to a whisper, and my eyes fall closed.

Memphis drives my body, the space between us gone so much that I am lying against him while standing. His hand brings mine up, tucking it close to our bodies. His fingers splay on my thigh, and my leg feels strong. He leans with me, our bodies in sync as we twist to the left, our right shoulders stretching backward, necks rolling until we’re nearly back where we started.

“His balance is off,” he says at my neck. There are no areas of my body that aren’t affected by the vibration of his voice. “You have him. He’s yours. You have balance. His is gone. This is where you win.”

His hand holds my left side still, and his right hand brings me back to swing with a tighter form than I had before. He takes me through the motion once slowly, almost like we’re just part of some intimate ballet performance, then he brings my fist back in and tucks his chin into the side of my neck.

“Again,” he says, this time leading me through the motion faster as his hand slides from its hold on my hip to my diaphragm.

“Breathe out,” he says, and I do slowly at first, but with each swing we repeat, the motion is faster.

My air escapes with my thrust, my body something mechanical now, parts working in unison until I’m able to do it all on my own.

“Keep going,” Memphis says as he steps away. My eyes flit open, and I imagine everything that has ever hurt me. I see their faces—my parents, Enoch, the angry crowds at trials, reporters.

Memphis picks up one of the pads and steps closer as I swing, bending down to hand lift one of my abandoned gloves, eventually holding his palmout for me to pause.

“Put it on, and I want you to hit me now...not like before. Hit me with what you know. Hit me with what you feel, but always there is balance. You can’t give that away. It’s not theirs to have.”

My eyes lock on hisas he slides the glove over my knuckles and I form a raw fist with my other hand. He takes two small steps back and readies himself before nodding.

I clear my lungs and consider his words and everything he just led my body through. I was so strong. I’m stronger than I think I am.

My feet shift to find the perfect fit against the mat, and I bring my hands in, fists raised and ready.

“He’s going to swing now,” Memphis says, and I react just as he taught me.

I dodge. The motion so swift and natural I barely remember doing it before my legs steady themselves, my middle twists and my arm swings forward, fist landing in the same spot as it did before only this time my body doesn’t stumble. Memphis does. Inches, but there is reaction to my action.

“Ha,” I breathe out in disbelief. My eyes lift from the fist-­‐shaped dent in the pad to Memphis, and my lips part in awe.

“Yeah,” he says, glancing around to the front of the pad. “You did that by yourself.”

Giddiness takes over my face, my mouth stretching wide with parted lips. Memphis lets the pad fall again, and the physical proof from my force disappears as the padding evens out. It was there, though. I fought back, and left a mark. More than seeing it, I felt it. I still feel it.

“I want to do that again,” I say, blinking as my vision slides from the pad to Memphis’s proud smile.

“Baby steps, Champ. Let me show you a few drills, and then maybe you can punch me one more time before we’re done,” he says, chuckling.

“I wasn’t hitting you,” I say, handing him the glove.

He holds it in both of his hands before bending down to pick up the other glove, pairing them together. His gaze hits mine.

“I know who you were hitting.” Silence settles in for a long second. I don’t have to respond; Memphis doesn’t expect it.

About the Author:

Ginger Scott is an Amazon-­‐bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-­‐nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, Hold My Breath, A Boy Like You and A Girl Like Me.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard...the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at

When she's not writing, the odds are high that she's somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork 'em, Devils).

Social Media Links:
Facebook Page:
Twitter: @TheGingerScott

Reading Quote #2

Just One of the Boys by Leah Rooper; Kate Rooper ~ Book Review

Book Description: 

Alice Bell has one goal: to play for the elite junior hockey team the Chicago Falcons. But when she’s passed over at tryouts for being a girl, she’ll do anything to make her dream a reality…even disguising herself as her twin brother. With her amazing skills on the ice, Alice is sure she’ll fit in easily. That is, until she starts falling for one of her teammates…

Hayden Tremblay, star of the Falcons, can’t keep himself out of the penalty box. Constantly living in the shadow of his older brother, Hayden’s losing his passion for hockey. But when he gets shown up on the ice by the Falcons’ new rookie, Hayden’s determined to teach the kid a thing or two. Little does he guess that “Al’s” surprises on the ice are just the beginning...

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush title proves that wonderful things can happen when you’re brave enough to go after your dream. Dream hockey player, that is! Warning--a few locker room scenes are included...

Purchase a copy on Amazon

About the Authors: 

Leah and Kate Rooper are sisters from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Growing up beside the Pacific Ocean and inside a temperate rainforest fed their sense of adventure as children, and nourished a curiosity for strange and distant lands. They fed this curiosity with books - lots and lots of books. After experiencing the magic of Middle-earth, they began creating their own worlds. When they're not writing, Leah and Kate spend their time blogging and vlogging about their travel adventures and their writing journey.

Connect: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook |


I really enjoyed this book. Yes, there were moments when I was thinking "How does Alice get away with no one finding out she is a girl?" but I pushed that aside and just enjoyed the story. Alice or "Al" just wants to play hockey and be part of the Falcon team. Little did she realize all the other things that could happen when she is living a double life and hanging with the boys. The authors have us follow sweet, innocent Alice while she and her twin brother come up with a fantastic plan for Xander to keep his spot on the team after breaking his leg and for Alice to be on the ice. Living a double life I really felt for Alice when she started to fall for the bad boy on the team but couldn't take it further than being just "friends" because Hayden only knows her as a boy.

The character development was well done. I enjoyed learning about all the characters and found I grew to love them when I didn't at the beginning, Hayden wasn't a nice guy but once you start to get to know him and understand him, he grows on you. I also really enjoyed the alternate points of view. There are a lot of characters but the authors did a great job of keeping the story easy to follow.

I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars and look forward to reading more from this duo team of authors! 

~* Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*~

Release Day ~ Until You're Mine by Cindi Madsen

We're celebrating the release of UNTIL YOU'RE MINE by Cindi Madsen! One-Click your copy today!

Title: Until You're Mine
Author: Cindi Madsen 
Age: NA
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Entangled
Google Play:

This fighter is about to meet his match...

You might’ve heard of me, Shane Knox, the guy who rose quickly through the MMA fighter ranks, only to crash just as fast. No one cares about personal reasons when it comes to losing fights and money. I’m determined to get back to where I was. For you to hear my name again. I’ve finally convinced the owner of Team Domination to take a chance and get me back in fighting—and winning—shape. What I didn’t bargain for is the guy’s spitfire of a daughter. Factor in her two professional-fighter brothers who are acting as my coaches and the fact that my career hangs in the balance, and Brooklyn’s the last girl I should be fantasizing about.

The closer we get, the more I want Brooklyn. The stakes are high, and I know there’s a big chance of both of us getting hurt, but I won’t stop until she’s mine.

About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling author Cindi Madsen sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she'd be even crazier. She has way too many shoes but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they're sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.

Visit her at, where you can sign up for her newsletter and learn about upcoming releases.

Cindi is the author of YA books All the Broken Pieces, Cipher, Rift, Resolution, and Demons of the Sun, and adult romances Falling for Her Fiancé, Act Like You Love Me, Resisting the Hero, Cinderella Screwed Me Over and Ready to Wed.

Reading Quote

Found this over at Busy Kids Happy Mom and just thought it was great! I am huge into fitness especially for my mental health and I also feel that reading is amazing for your mental health. 

Life Update + A Few Goals for 2018!

I am super excited to get back into my reading this year! 

I don't really know where to start with this post as I would like to let everyone know what has happened over the years to myself and this blog. Trying to keep some things personal I want to let everyone know that I was in a terrible personal relationship for years. It got worse the last few years and I put up with it until I just couldn't handle it anymore. I totally lost myself from it all. I stopped enjoying the things that I have always loved - reading, baking, cooking, doing really anything. I went to work, tried to take care of the household, kids and spouse only to be taken advantage of by him. Emotionally abused, gas lighted, cheated on and so on. Fast forward just about two years to 2018, I am free and I am happy. It is still a journey I will be on for sometime but I am finding peace and loving life. I started picking up hobbies that I used to enjoy and find I am fully enjoying them again not just going through the motions because I think this will help me feel better. 

I am working towards catching up on reviewing books that are on my to-be-read shelf and returning emails to those who have sent me emails over the last couple of years. I want to get back into blogging full time again! I used to take great joy in it and loved spending time with my children reviewing products and books with them.  

For the next couple months I will start slowly back to blogging. I will aim for 2-3 posts each week and work on cleaning out my email inbox. I will be working on sharing personal life posts again, maybe a couple a month along with food and fitness posts. I have been working towards some personal goals the last few years and keep adding to them as time goes on. This year I would really like to pursue jornaling of some sort - gratitude likely being what I will start with.  Also would like to add in Meditation and mindfulness. Keeping quotes has been something I have enjoyed over the last year. I will post some on my blog that I think you may enjoy too. 

That's it for now. Next week I will post my reading goals as I am working on them right now. 

Have a fantastic rest of the week & weekend! 

Façade (Games #2) by Nyrae Dawn ~ Book Review

Book Description:

Can love save them?

After her father commits a crime that shatters her family, eighteen-year-old Delaney Cross is tired of pretending everything is all right. Packing up her car, she sets out to find the people her father hurt. Her search leads her to places she’s never been—and into the arms of Adrian Westfall.

To the outside world, Adrian is a sexy, charming ladies’ man. But his playboy persona is just an act. Secretly his soul is tortured by a memory too painful to share. Only Delaney seems to see through his façade to the real man underneath. And for the first time in his life, Adrian feels he can begin to open up about his past.

Together, Adrian and Delaney share a passionate love they never expected to find. Yet both still harbor their own secrets. When the dark truth is finally revealed, will it bring them closer together—or tear them apart forever?

Purchase a copy on Amazon

About the Author: 

Nyrae Dawn is a compulsive reader and writer who loves YA fiction.

Nyrae Dawn loves nothing more than writing about young adults. There is something so fresh and fun about it. You can pretty much always find Nyrae with a book in her hand or open document in front of her.

Nyrae lives in Southern California with my husband and two children.

Connect: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads |


I waited way to long to pick this book up and read it. When I first got it for review I didn't realize it was book #2, then I decided to wait on reading it because I thought it would be hard to follow without the first book being read. Well I was totally wrong and I don't know why I wait so long to read this. I fell in love with the characters and story right away and was roped into the book. I likely could have read it in one sitting if I didn't have other "life" things to do, darn life gets in the way of reading all the time.

The story flows pretty well without leaving too many lulls that get the reader bored. I found that the characters could have had more depth but I really could feel for them and really liked the characters. Both Dalaney and Adrian lived with some very dark secrets that haunt them daily. I was getting upset with Dalaney for leading Adrian on and not coming clean about what she knew about him. Little did she know that Adrian had more secrets that she didn't know. I didn't actually see it coming until closer to the end of the story. I found myself wiping tears away from my eyes at the end.

I give this a 4.5 out of 5 stars and I look forward to reading more by Nyrea Dawn. 

~*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*~

The Black Notebook by Isabelle Snow - Book Review

Book Description:
Trust is a funny thing, isn’t it? It’s great to be trusted by your friends, but when practically the entire school - even the popular kids - are sharing their deepest, darkest secrets with you...that’s when things get messy.
Seven Warrilow has been keeping everybody’s secrets for as long as she can remember. She knows who likes who, who hates who, and all the hot gossip. But you know what? She’s sick of it! With all that classified info jumbling around in her head it’s hard to think straight, so Seven decides to write down every secret she’s ever been told into a small black notebook that she carries around for safekeeping. There, now she can breath a little. 
OR NOT!? Things take a turn to Disasterville when her notebook goes missing, and when it finds it’s way into the hands of notorious prankster, Colin Stillman, the trouble really begins. Seven’s going to have to use everything she’s got to keep her classmates secrets safe, but Colin isn’t going to make that easy. Afterall...where would the fun be in that? 

Where to Purchase:

Australia: Australia Link
Brazil: Brazil Link
Canada: Canada Link
France: France Link
Germany: Germany Link
India: India Link
Italy: Italy Link
Japan: Japan Link
Mexico: Mexico Link
Netherlands: Netherlands Link
Spain: Spain Link
UK: UK Link

Connect with the Author:
Facebook: Facebook Link
Twitter: Twitter Link

Author Bio:
Isabelle Snow is a 20-year-old artist residing in the Philippines. Through her love of art and telling stories, she became a writer and has been writing since 2012. She is also an artist who specializes in graphic design and illustration, occasionally dabbling in animation. It was through her love of art and telling stories that she became a writer in 2012.

Book Review by Carmen:
This book had quite a light tone at times, and the second half of this book really caught my attention with the subtle romance. The romance wasn't the focus of the story, and the romance pieces that were done was done quite well in my opinion. I ended up giving this book a four star rating and got a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

*Please be sure to support the author by buying their books and connecting with them on social media.

Alone by Cyn Balog ~ Book Review

Book Description: 

When her mom inherits an old, crumbling mansion, Seda’s almost excited to spend the summer there. The grounds are beautiful and it’s fun to explore the sprawling house with its creepy rooms and secret passages. Except now her mom wants to renovate, rather than sell the estate—which means they're not going back to the city…or Seda's friends and school. 

As the days grow shorter, Seda is filled with dread. They’re about to be cut off from the outside world, and she’s not sure she can handle the solitude or the darkness it brings out in her.

Then a group of teens get stranded near the mansion during a blizzard. Seda has no choice but to offer them shelter, even though she knows danger lurks in the dilapidated mansion—and in herself. And as the snow continues to fall, what Seda fears most is about to become her reality…

Purchase a copy on Amazon.

About the Author: 

Cyn Balog is a normal, everyday Jersey Girl who always believed magical things can happen to us when we least expect them. She is author of young adult paranormals FAIRY TALE (2009), SLEEPLESS(2010), STARSTRUCK (2011), TOUCHED (2012), and her most recent release: DEAD RIVER (2013).e. She lives outside Allentown, Pennsylvania with her husband and daughters.

She also writes under the pen name Nichola Reilly. Nichola Reilly is Cyn Balog's post-apocalyptic fantasy-writing alter-ego. The first book in her series, DROWNED, will be releasing from Harlequin TEEN sometime in 2014, followed by a sequel, BURIED, in 2015.

Connect: Website | Twitter | Goodreads


OMG this book was good. I was hooked right from the beginning as the author jumps right into the story giving us a little background into the main characters family. Seda is one of five children, two sets of twins and Seda. Seda was told she was a twin but consumed her twin while in the womb. Seda feels that she has a connection with her brother, Sawyer, who doesn't play nicely. The whole story takes place in a huge mansion that was turned into a murder-mystery B&B in the middle of nowhere. A snowstorm hits and a group of teens have an accident on their way to the ski lodge. They are invited to stay until the storm passes. This is where the fun really starts. All the while the author has us feeling that there is something up with Seda. The teens are put through a murder-mystery to solve for Seda's sweet sixteen birthday.

If you are not into horror or murder type novels you will not like this book. I am still unsure of the ending. I would have given this book a 5 out of 5 stars but I found the ending weird. Other than that I loved this book and can't wait to read more from Cyn Balog. I find Balog's writing well established, hooking the reading in and feeding them the right amount of suspense to keep them reading to the very end. This is a quick book and I am sure I could have read the whole thing in one sitting if I had the time.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Twerp by Mark Goldblatt ~ Middle Grade Book Review

Book Description: 

It's not like I meant for Danley to get hurt. . . .

Julian Twerski isn't a bully. He's just made a big mistake. So when he returns to school after a weeklong suspension, his English teacher offers him a deal: if he keeps a journal and writes about the incident that got him and his friends suspended, he can get out of writing a report on Shakespeare. Julian jumps at the chance. And so begins his account of life in sixth grade--blowing up homemade fireworks, writing a love letter for his best friend (with disastrous results), and worrying whether he's still the fastest kid in school. Lurking in the background, though, is the one story he can't bring himself to tell, the one story his teacher most wants to hear.

Inspired by Mark Goldblatt's own childhood growing up in 1960s Queens, Twerp shines with powerful writing that will have readers laughing and crying right along with these flawed but unforgettable characters.

Purchase a copy on Amazon

About the Author: 

Mark Goldblatt is a novelist, columnist and book reviewer as well as a college professor at Fashion Institute of Technology of the State University of New York.

His controversial first novel, Africa Speaks, a satire of black urban culture, was published in 2002 by The Permanent Press. His second novel, Sloth, a comedic take on postmodernism, was published in June 2010 by Greenpoint Press.

Goldblatt is perhaps best known as a political commentator. He has written hundreds of opinion pieces for a combination of the New York Post, the New York Times, USA Today, the Daily News, Newsday, National Review Online and the American Spectator Online. He has been a guest on the Catherine Crier Show on Court TV and done dozens of radio interviews for stations across the country and in England. His integrity has been called into question by the Village Voice - which should count for something.

Goldblatt's book reviews have appeared in The Common Review, Commentary, Reason Magazine, and the Webzine Ducts. His academic articles have appeared in Philosophy Now, Academic Questions, Sewanee Theological Review, English Renaissance Prose, Issues in Developmental Education 1999, the Encyclopedia of Tudor England and the Dictionary of Literary Biography.

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I picked this book for my son to review a long time ago (I feel horrible that it has been sitting on my kindle for so long) but at the time my son decided he didn't want to read ebooks. So there the book sat until now. I picked up the book on December 30th in the evening, finishing it on Jan 1st after dinner. I would have finished it in one sitting I am sure if I didn't have other things that had to get done.

The author writes this novel in a journal format of a young sixth grader named Julian. Julian has done something with his friends that had gotten him suspended from school for a week. His English teacher wants Julian to write about what happened and why it happened, if he does this he will get out of his English assignments. At the start Julian says what happened wasn't that horrible, that he has done worse things and goes into depth about some of the things he has done. We follow Julian through the ups and downs of sixth grade - love, friendship and running. Julian isn't a bully but we know that something terrible has happened to another student and Julian was part of it.

The author did a great job hooking the reader into Julian's life. There were moments of laughter, shock and tears. Finally getting Julian to admit to his part of what happened to a boy who lives in the neighborhood, who has a hearing impairment. Learning about going along with the group and getting carried away even when you know you shouldn't be doing it.

I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars and would love to read more from Mark Goldblatt. I know my son will love this book and he has showed interest in reading it now.

~*Disclaimer: I reaceived a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*~

Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp ~ Book Review

Book Description: 

Best friends Corey and Kyra were inseparable in their snow-covered town of Lost Creek, Alaska. When Corey moves away, she makes Kyra promise to stay strong during the long, dark winter, and wait for her return.

Just days before Corey is to return home to visit, Kyra dies. Corey is devastated―and confused. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones about the town's lost daughter, saying her death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she's a stranger.

Corey knows something is wrong. With every hour, her suspicion grows. Lost is keeping secrets―chilling secrets. But piecing together the truth about what happened to her best friend may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter...

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About the Author: 

Marieke Nijkamp a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, geek. She's the author of THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS and the forthcoming BEFORE I LET GO. 


TWITTER: @Mariekeyn @FIREreads 
INSTAGRAM: @Mariekeyn @FIREreads 

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This is the second book I have read by Marieke Nijkamp, This is Where it Ends. I really ended this book. The story is about Corey and her best friend Kyra. Corey returns to her childhood town after hearing that her best friend committed suicide. Kyra has been battling mental illness for sometime and Corey promised to come back for her. Kyra has always been an outsider to the town of Lost until Corey leaves and then becomes the towns prophet through her paintings. This is a sad book, Corey tries to find out what really happened to her best friend, if she was murdered or actually committed suicide. The towns people want Corey gone, they will do anything to run her out of town instead of her learning their secrets. I did find Corey to be naive for her age especially with her years of Kyra's illness. She keeps trying to dig into what happened instead of seeing that Kyra was depressed and exhausted. This is a good YA novel on mental health. The author keeps this novel going at a steady peace throughout it. I found the characters to be a little flat but you can understand the sadness that both Corey and Kyra feel. The author jumps around from the past to the present in a way to show Kyra's life with Corey before Corey went off to school.

I would give this a 4 stars out of 5 and look forward to the next book by Marieke Nijkamp.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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