Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Review: Cinderskella by Amie Borst and Bethanie Borst

Cinderskella
By Amie Borst and Bethanie Borst

Series: Scarily Ever Laughter #1
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Fairy tale retelling

Goodreads Summary:

Cindy is just a normal eleven and three-quarter year-old. At least until she wakes up one night and finds out she’s dead. Well, she isn’t technically dead – she just doesn’t have any hair…or a nose…or skin. Yep – all bones, no body.

Human by day and skeleton by night, Cindy is definitely cursed. And because her mother recently died, Cindy has no one to turn to except a father who’s now scared of her and an evil stepmother who makes her do the housecleaning with a toothbrush. To make matters worse, the Spring Fling dance is approaching, and Ethan, the cutest boy in sixth grade, doesn’t seem to know Cindy exists.

While facing such perils as pickled pig’s feet, a wacky fortune teller, and a few quick trips to the Underworld, Cindy’s determined to break the curse – even for a single night.


Links:

Cinderskella on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble
Amie Borst and Bethanie Borst – Website, Facebook

My Review:

I impulse bought Cinderskella at a book signing this weekend. I very rarely read middle grade books but I fell in instalove with the title, the cover, the sketches scattered throughout the book, and the very creative spin on the Cinderella tale! And really, they would have had me at “Human by day and skeleton by night” alone. I also thought it was great that the writing team was a mother and her 13 year old daughter! Kudos to you, Bethanie, for being published at 13!

I briefly considered rating this book 4 stars because it’s a darker subject than I was expecting but then I realized that I shouldn’t have been so surprised because it is a fairy tale retelling and fairy tales are kind of dark. The characters are relatable and I really felt for Cindy aka Cinderskella as she went through the different experiences! Cinderskella was a little heavier but the characters and the refreshing doses of humor mixed throughout helped to balance it out. The last third of the book also made me love it all the more and by the end I was fully won over and wanting more!
 
I will happily buy other books as this mother and daughter duo write them which I’m thrilled to say will be sooner rather than later. I stumbled on this beauty while hunting links for my post.




Little Dead Ridinghood
Expected Publication: October 14, 2014

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Foodie Affair...Did you know?

 
Did you know that Yuengling is now making ice cream?
 

 
My hubby has been searching ever since we heard about it and he finally stumbled on some yesterday. They make 10 flavors ranging from vanilla to espresso chocolate chip...sorry, no beer flavors folks.
 
We tried root beer float and vanilla fudge chunk with pretzels and to be honest they were good but certainly not what I was hoping for. The root beer float has a defined ginger taste and it actually reminded me of pumpkin pie more than root beer. The vanilla was overloaded with chocolate chunks and I only had one pretzel chunk in my few scoops. And lastly they both left me with a slight aftertaste.
 
All of this is, of course, personal preference so please don't let it deter you from trying it. Afterall, you may think it's the best thing since sliced bread.
 
If you have tried their ice cream, what did you think of it?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway


I'm going to keep this nice and simple. 

All you have to do is comment to enter to win.
-One entry per person
-Winner chosen via random.org
-Entries must be received by 11:59pm (EST) April 24th
-Open internationally


Winner will receive a signed copy of 
Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Don't Look Back on Goodreads


Monday, April 14, 2014

Blog Tour: Unnatural by J.A. Belfield (Review, Giveaway, Excerpt)


Title: Unnatural
Series: Holloway Pack #4
Author: J.A. Belfield
Release Date: April 7th 2014


BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Unnatural. One word to sum up werewolf Kyle Larsen—his mood swings, abnormal body, and choice of female.

The first two, he blames on the vampire venom.

The third, though? No, feline shifter Brook Nicholls was all his doing—a female of whom the pack will never approve.

As part of the Coalition, an organisation with even stricter rules than the pack and a rigidly warped sense of responsibility, Brook comes with a whole lot of opposition of her own.

No wonder the two of them keep their relationship secret for as long as they can.

Now, distanced from his family by his own indiscretions, Kyle’s left to fight battles he’s unsure how to win—some of them even against his own pack.

Is one woman really so important that he’s willing to defy his Alpha for her?

If his heart has any say in the matter, the answer will be yes.



BOOK LINKS:

Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo


REVIEW:

J.A. Belfield surely knows how to keep me on the edge of my seat and keep my eyes riveted to the pages as they fly by. The suspense surrounding Kyle and Brook was killing me and Unnatural ended up being yet another installment in the Holloway Pack series earning two thumbs up from me. I think I may say that with each book in the series but it's true, I've loved each story and the characters in them. Everyone in the pack and even some outside the pack are just so great. I mean sometimes you will want to yell at them but ultimately you always walk away loving each and every one of them. I look forward to spending more time with them in book 5!

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5


GIVEAWAY:




EXERPT:
Warm breaths hit the side of Brook Nicholls’ neck, the rise and fall of a chest pressed into her back like a heartbeat in slow motion, and the deadweight of the arm across her stomach told her he had fallen asleep.
With the heat of his body lulling her to join him, Brook’s breathing slowed, her lids lowered, and the fingers of oblivion beckoned her weary and sated mind forth.
A beat kicked in somewhere below—his, she thought with a smile.
The drumming picked up, in volume as well as in tempo.
He probably ran in his sleep. Brook did, as feline, so it stood to reason that he would as her opposite.
“Brook!” More bangs, followed with thuds. “Brook! I know you’re in there!”
Her eyes snapped open.
“Brook! If you don’t open this door, I swear I’m gonna knock it down myself!”
Clive! “Oh, no!” She spun around, fingers already reaching for her lover’s arm. “Wake up,” she whispered, shaking him. “Kyle, you have to wake up.”
“Whah?” His lids fluttered, and he rapid-blinked. “Brook?”
“We are in big trouble. You have to get up.” She thrust into a sitting position, grabbing his arm and dragging him with her. “Please, Kyle.”
“What’s going o—”
Brook!” Clive roared again.
Kyle’s eyes widened. “Shit!” He dove from the bed, fingers folding around his boxers on the floor where they’d fallen. As he bent to feed them over his feet, the door rattled beneath more blows.
“Dammit, Brook, open the door!”
“Quickly.” Brook’s attention flickered between Kyle and the relentless pounding. She knew Clive could enter any time he liked—knew only his respect for her father kept him from forcing the door from its hinges. “You have to hurry.”
“What do you think I’m doing, River?”
“Brook,” she hissed, though she couldn’t control the smile that crept in and widened at Kyle’s deep chuckle.
Rough denim slid over his hips, and he scooped up his shirt without bothering to secure any buttons on his jeans, leaving the trail of hair south of his navel exposed below his muscular, scarred torso. With his boots in his other hand, he strode back to the bed, the mattress dipping as he knelt before her.
Combing fingers into his wild red hair, Brook urged him closer, found his willing mouth with hers, and gave him a farewell that in no way compared to the one she had initially planned.
A deep crack signified the first splintering of wood, and she jerked backward. “Go!”
Brook!”

Kyle turned toward the bedroom door with a growl rumbling deep in his chest. “And leave you with that?”

“Please.” Brook’s pulse thrummed at the implication of his words. “He’ll not harm me—but he will hurt you if he finds you here.”
Kyle’s brow lifted. “A cat?”
She scowled.
He raised his palms in mock surrender. “Just kidding. I’m going.” He backed away from the bed to the window, opening it and sticking out his head.
No shouts rang out, no cries of outrage.
His head reappeared, hazel eyes finding Brook’s. “Call me when you can.”
Before she could respond, he hooked a leg over the sill, followed by the other, and he thumped down below as the unmistakable smash of the front door seemed to shake the entire guesthouse.
With a gasp, she jumped from the bed and raced from the room, closing the door on the proof of her encounter.
Brook!” Clive’s yell bounced from wall to wall in its journey up the staircase.
She bolted for the bathroom, dark hair billowing, and pushed the door closed at her rear with as little noise as possible.
Footsteps thudded up the stairs. “Quit messing around, Brook! I’m sick of your games!”
She darted across the room, flicked the tap, and dove into the shower cubicle before the water had the chance to warm through. Her heart threatened to claw its way free of her ribcage, breaths taking her to the verge of hyperventilation, as Clive trampled the length of the landing with the elegance of an ogre.
Brook grabbed the shower gel, and after squirting a liberal globule onto a washcloth, she rubbed it over as much of her body as she could to disguise any remnants of Kyle’s scent.
The door to the bathroom burst open, sending a draught swirling into the shower.
Clive’s six-foot-seven mass filled the empty frame.
She pressed the washcloth over her breasts, her free hand across her womanhood. “Do you mind?” She sent a glower across to him as she tried to control the sounds of her body’s anxiety.
His amber eyes made a track of the room from beneath white-blond hair that would have been erratic curls if he didn’t keep it cut short.
“I put up with a lot from you because my father requested I be polite.” Brook growled.
His eyes drew back to her.
“But I am certain he did not intend for me to tolerate this … invasion of my privacy.”
“I thought …” Clive scratched at his head, almost appearing vulnerable.
She raised her eyebrows. “You thought what?”
“I dunno.” He sighed. “I thought you were gonna lock yourself in for weeks and refuse to speak to me again.”
“What an excellent idea. Thank you for suggesting it.”
“You’re still mad at me. I get that. And I’m sorry for … what I did … But, damn, Brook,”—his eyes made a slow tour of her body before returning to her face—“how long do you expect me to keep waiting?”
“I do not recall ever asking you to wait to begin.” She spun away and resumed washing. “Close the door on your way out.”
For seconds, nothing happened. Brook thought he would refuse, but after another murmured ‘sorry’, the click of the door told her he had gone.
She could not contain her sigh of relief, just as she could not suppress her tremor as the washcloth passed over the parts of her body still tender from Kyle’s touch.
Her lips curved into a smile as she remembered each caress.
Under no circumstances would she be able to wait another week before she saw him again.
#
I chuckled to myself as I mounted the wall surrounding the Cheshire property belonging to Brook’s father. One of the Toms had almost caught me as I’d hit the ground beneath the guesthouse window. I’d scarcely ducked around the corner in time—though, the crash of the door opening almost had me leaping back in there to teach that inconsiderate bastard a lesson. Instead, after pausing long enough to check Brook could hold her own, I’d raced for the perimeter.
A left scan showed the exterior to be clear and a peer to the right assured me my Mitsubishi waited exactly where I’d left it farther up the road.
Shirt and boots still clutched in my hand, I broke into a jog toward the pickup.
Before I’d taken more than a handful of steps, Kings of Leon’s Closer sounded out—from my mobile where I’d left it inside the glovebox.
Shit!
I surged forward, slammed against the driver’s door, snapping at the catch to get it open, and dived across the seat to snatch up my phone. Pressing connect, I placed it to my ear. “Yo!”
“Where the hell are you?”
“Dad … um …” I glanced at the dashboard clock. Three-twenty-three. Fuck! I’d been gone the entire afternoon.
“Straight there and back, you were supposed to go …”
He meant straight to the brickyard to price up materials for the new construction project. Could I help it if Brook had worn me out?
“… this is the fourth time now you’ve volunteered for a run and taken hours over it. What the hell’s taking so long?”
“I … fell asleep?” My brows lifted as I waited for his response.
The silence on the end of the line told me, way more than any words could have, that he didn’t believe me for a minute.
“Kyle, what’s going on?” he asked.
I climbed into my seat and closed the door. “Nothing, Dad.”
More silence.
I wouldn’t have believed my lying arse, either.
Dad sighed. “Just get back here, okay? And if you don’t want Nate gunning for you, you’d better make sure you’ve actually done what he sent you out for this time.”
The disconnect tone hummed at me. I tossed my mobile down on the passenger seat and raked my fingers through my hair, closing my eyes as I leaned my head back.
I hated lying to my family.
I had no choice.
As a werewolf, the pack’d go apeshit if they found out I’d spent the last few months shagging a cat.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Foodie Affair: Chili Dip Recipe Review




Chili Dip

 

Pic Source, their recipe is a little different but generally the same concept.
 
I was going to make a batch and take my own picture but I, uuuhhhh, kind of ate the cream cheese before that happened...oopsies :-P. My pretzels just threw themselves into the cream cheese so really what could I do?!


Ingredients:

1 can Hormel Chili (with or without beans, your choice)
1 package Cream Cheese (at room temp)
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Tostitos Scoops (or whatever chip you prefer)

Directions:

-Spread cream cheese in bottom of a cake pan (I used an 8 x 8 glass baking dish).
-Cover cream cheese with the chili.
-Top with shredded cheese.
-Bake at 375 until the cheese is melted and it’s warm in the middle.

My Thoughts:

Aw man this stuff is good!! Seriously, it's the shit! Who even needs chips; I would happily eat it right out of the container. I may or may have not done just that...but I will admit to nothing!  Mmmmm, I'm drooling just thinking about it. The cheesy goodness....mmm. I also love canned chili so it was win, win, win! Plus it's very simple to make (my favorite way to cook), just layer the ingredients, bake, and tada! I definitely recommend it to any cheesy chili lovers...wait, did I just call you all cheesy?! Well you know what I mean ;-)

How I came across it:

I was searching for a quick and easy recipe back around superbowl time and Anna (Annaberry Reads) came to my rescue with this delish dish! Her version is made in the crockpot but I’m sure it ends up tasting the same. Thank you Anna!!!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Unnatural Release Day!!

UnnRDBB

UNNATURAL RELEASES TODAY!

Unnatural

Unnatural. One word to sum up werewolf Kyle Larsen—his mood swings, abnormal body, and choice of female.

The first two, he blames on the vampire venom. The third, though? No, feline shifter Brook Nicholls was all his doing—a female of whom the pack will never approve. As part of the Coalition, an organisation with even stricter rules than the pack and a rigidly warped sense of responsibility, Brook comes with a whole lot of opposition of her own. No wonder the two of them keep their relationship secret for as long as they can. Now, distanced from his family by his own indiscretions, Kyle’s left to fight battles he’s unsure how to win—some of them even against his own pack. Is one woman really so important that he’s willing to defy his Alpha for her? If his heart has any say in the matter, the answer will be yes.
 

add-to-goodreads

To celebrate Unnatural's release, CAGED, Holloway Pack 3 is on SALE!

The UNNATURAL Blog Tour begins tomorrow, and throughout the duration of the tour, CAGED will be available for just 99c.

CagedSale

AND there's a GIVEAWAY!

Up for grabs is:

UnnRDGiveaway

Enter in Rafflectopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

To grab your own copy of UNNATURAL, click on any of the purchase links below.

 



~~~~~
 
 
J.A. BelfieldBest known for her Holloway Pack Stories, J. A. Belfield lives in Solihull, England, with her husband, two children, two cats and a dog. She writes paranormal romance, with a second love for urban fantasy. Website | Blog | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Booklikes

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Foodie Affair: Frozen Yogurt Drops Recipe Review


 
 
Freezer Yogurt Drops











Ingredients:

Your favorite yogurt flavor(s)


Supplies:

Spoon
Scissors
Sandwich baggie or cake decorating bag
Plates or cookie sheet (depending on the size of your freezer)
Wax paper

 

Directions:

-Place wax paper over your plates and/or cookie sheet. I have a side by side freezer so I use plates. 1.5 plates per container of yogurt.

-Spoon or dump yogurt into your baggie. I’ve found that it’s easiest to dump what I can and then spoon out what’s left in the container.
 
 









-Twist baggie so you can avoid air pockets or shooting yogurt out of the top of your bag.

-Cut the corner of your baggie. Don’t cut too big of a corner or you’ll have quite the mess on your hands. The yogurt will start coming out right away so be close to your plate and ready to go.







-Place drops of yogurt on your plate.

-Once out of yogurt place plates in the freezer for about an hour. Once they’re formed just peel them off the wax paper and you’re all set.








Note: If you get yogurt with fruit chunks it will clog your bag over and over. It can get annoying and it’s also sometimes very messy if you decide to squeeze harder to shoot it out…not that I’ve done that at all. Nope, not at all.

My Thoughts:

Popcorn used to be my low calorie snack food but now I’m completely obsessed with yogurt drops. The drops keep me occupied longer than just about any other snack so it feels like I’m eating more than I actually am. Plus it’s good for you! Win, win!

You can do the same thing with applesauce but I end up being lazy and just throw the small cups in the freezer instead.

I have also seen that some people will dip fruit in yogurt and then freeze it. Sounds quite tasty!