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Friday, June 5, 2015

With No Regrets Promo and Giveaway

With No Regrets
 
 
With No Regrets Cover
 
With No Regrets by Julie N. Ford Living With No Regrets Is Harder Than It Seems Finley isn’t exactly sure when her life began to feel unfamiliar. She suspects the transformation started long before she caught her husband and fellow garden club member doing the white-trash-two-step on her new Bernhardt sofa. Now free from the shackles of a loveless marriage, and with her children off to college, she’s finally able to go searching for the missing pieces of her heart. Finley’s best friend, Cathyanne, is already working hard to ensure that Finley finds true love this time around. But when Finley is unwittingly tossed into the arms of two men—their sexy trainer and her neighbor, a popular country star—Cathyanne fears finding the right guy will be more complicated than she ever could have imagined. For Finley, building a new life feels as impossible as flying a paper airplane to the moon. But maybe, just maybe, with the right help, she will find her whole heart—even if it’s in the
very last place she thinks to look.

add to goodreads

 
Praise for With No Regrets “The imagery is beautiful, the romance very well done and realistic.” Rachel Ann Nunes. Finley is a spunky and snarky Southern woman with a lot of sass! The romance is swoon-worthy and satisfying. And underneath it all, it's got a great message. Definitely worth a read!




Julie

Author Julie N. Ford A graduate from San Diego State University with a BA in Political Science, Julie N. Ford also earned a Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama, which has only made her better able to recognize the unhealthy, codependent relationship she has with writing. Professionally, she has worked in teaching and as a marriage and family counselor. She is the author of six women’s fiction novels, including Count Down to Love, a 2011 Whitney Award finalist. When she’s not writing, she entertains delusions of being a master gardener, that is, when she’s not killing the unsuspecting plants in her yard with her good intentions. She lives outside of Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, two daughters, and the cutest Scottish fold cat you’ve ever seen. She loves to chat with readers.


 
 
25_Amazon_Paypal

Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 6/28/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway



Excerpt 1:
“All right, I think we’ve given Finley enough food for thought on her first day.” Careen waved her arms in a settle-down motion. “As I explained earlier, each week we focus on one step, and then at the following meeting report on the progress we’ve made toward completing that step,” she explained. “So for the benefit of our newest member, how ’bout we recite the ‘Five Steps to a New Beginning’ before moving on.” She pointed to a rolling chalkboard. “All together now.”
“Number one: Subjugate fear,” she started, and the rest of the group joined in. “Take chances. Learn from and consent to the unexpected.”
“Number two: Defy the rules, embrace the guidelines. Rules emphasize the result. Guidelines focus on the journey.
“Number three: Smash the box. Look outside your comfort zone for the best answers and the greatest opportunity for growth.
“Number four: Brimful heart. If one’s heart is hollow, one’s actions are hollow.
“Number five: Letitgo. Leave the past, live the future.”
Following along with the words scrawled onto the powder-smeared chalkboard, Finley felt a cool sweat breaking out on her forehead. Only five goals, but each one felt like one gaping pit of quicksand after another.
Take chances and defy rules? Smash the box? Letitgo? What did any of that even mean? Brimful heart. Finley pressed the heel of her palm to the center of her chest and felt nothing, nothing but an empty hole where her heart should be. Just because she hadn’t been particularly sad to see Roy pack his things and go, didn’t mean his absence hadn’t left a gap in her life. His leaving had been like pulling a random peg from a Jenga tower, only to find that it was the last piece still holding the structure together.
Careen said, “I know these goals can seem overwhelming at first, but taking the first step is the hardest part.”
“Amen to that,” Burlie-Jean agreed.
“Though some of us are further along than others, we’re all on the same path,” Careen went on. “Everyone progresses at his or her own pace. One step at a time, one week at a time until we find our new normal,” she said, then zeroed in on Finley. “So start with number one, only number one . . .”
Finley watched Careen’s lips spill words of hope and encouragement. If only she could bathe in the completeness each syllable offered until the possibility adhered to her skin, remolding her, body and soul, into the kind of woman who knew what it meant to be happy, one who refused to settle for anything less—
“Finley?” Careen said, causing Finley to start. “This coming week, your first task is to identify a fear and then make an attempt to overcome that fear. Do you think you can do that?”
Having already put too much of herself on display for these strangers’ entertainment, what Finley really wanted to do was leave and never set foot inside this circle again. “I’ll surely give it a try,” she promised, though, obviously, she had no intention of doing any such thing.
“Good.” Careen appeared cautiously optimistic. “Okay, who wants to share next?”

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Grimm Legacy by Janna Jennings



January 20, 2014

Amazon Book Description: 
Enchanted castles and charming princes thought to exist only in stories come to life in this classically twisted fairy tale that combines the timeless quality of folktales with the challenges of the modern world.

The woods of Elorium appear ordinary to Andi… until the birds start to talk and elves answer doors. Whisked out of her world along with three strangers, Andi finds herself the reluctant guest of Mr. Jackson, a perplexing millionaire who claims to be able to help them get home. The secrets he harbors, however, make it difficult to know just who to trust.

When the group of teenagers discover that in this new world, fiction is anything but, and that they all have unexpected family ties to this fairy tale land, they must learn to rely on each other. The only way to survive evil fairies and giants intent on keeping them in Elorium is to rely on each other.

Faced with characters short on whimsy and bent toward treachery, Andi, Quinn, Fredrick, and Dylan are forced to play their parts in unfinished fairy tales. But in Elorium, happily ever after is never guaranteed.



My Review:
I received a copy of this book for free on Netgalley. 

I very much enjoy all the modern takes on fairy tales that have come out over the last year.  A Grimm Legacy is one such retelling.  A Grimm Legacy tells the story of Andi, Quinn, Fredrick and Dylan, four teenagers going about their day, when they are unexpectedly sucked into Elorium, another world, where fairy tales are real life. 

The plot was very different from all of the other fairy telling retellings that I've read.  The lead characters are all unique individuals with their own quirks and interests, without being too contrived.  They band together to try to get home from Elorium to their real lives and along the way become fast friends.  Their is mild romantic interest but it doesn't make up the bulk of the book and isn't insta-love, so I like that.

I like that the book focuses on some of the more obscure Grimm's fairy tales as well as the ones most people are familiar with.  This made the book very interesting to me.  The book was also a very fast read.  It was over 300 pages but I devoured it in day or so. 

I've already started the second book and I find it just as interesting as this one.  This book is only $3.99 for Amazon Kindle but you can also get it in paper back.  If you love fairytale retellings, be sure to check this one out.


About the Author:
Janna is a Colorado based YA author who loves a good fairy tale. She’s married to her own real life Prince Charming, and will usually admit to being mom of three, including her incorrigible middle child, Benny. Besides wrangling her kids she can be found doing some therapeutic baking, dreaming of the ocean, and of course, curling up with a good book.


Monday, September 22, 2014

September Birch Box Reveal & Giveaway

Birchbox is a monthly subscription box of deluxe beauty samples.  It costs $10 a month, and  contains five deluxe samples of up and coming as well as long time favorite beauty products.  You take a quiz and answer some questions about your hair and skin type and your beauty preferences so that Birchbox can curate boxes geared towards your tastes.  Below is what I received in my Birchbox in September.
 
The first look:  This month there is a new box style.  I love the geometric pattern.
 
 
View of the inside:  Each month Birchbox comes with a card describing the products that were chosen for you.
 

 
Inside the box, a first look.
 
 
 
This month included more than five items.  I got to choose one of my products, the Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate.  I've used it for about a week now, and there is still a ton left. It's a very generous sample.  It smells and feels great.
 
There was also a bonus sample in this months box - 2 of each R+Co BEL AIR Smoothing Shampoo & Conditioner packets.  I haven't tried it yet put plan to tonight.
 
I also got a very large sample of TOCCA Crema da Mano Luxe - Hand Cream, which I gave to a friend because it's green tea and lemon, and I have a lemon allergy. 
 
There was a regular size sample of Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensée Cologne Absolue.  It's smells really good.  It's a strong vanilla scent, that's mure sultry than sweet. 
 

My last two items are my favorite in this months box, which overall, I think is a great box. 

Harvey Prince Ageless Liquid Loofah, which is a good sized sample.  It smells really good.  It feels nice on the skin.  It's for sure something that I would purchase in the future.

Finally, I received a Pixi by Petra Breath of Fresh Air lip balm in the nectar color which I love, and was hoping I would get in my box.



I was sent two of the same Birchbox this month.  As a result I am sharing the wealth and giving away my second box to a lucky Waiting on Sunday to Drown reader.  The box contains the same samples described above, however the box is made of different colors, same pattern.  Please enter below using the rafflecopter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 15, 2014

August 2014 Glossybox

Glossybox is a monthly subscription box that costs $21 including shipping.  You answer some questions about your skin, hair, eyes and makeup preferences and they send you a very nice keepsake box (I store makeup in mine).
 
Right out of the box:
 

First view after removing the lid:

 
 
After removing the pretty paper, this is what I got this month:

 
 
I received deluxe samples of Uberliss hydrating shampoo and conditioner.  They are very generous sized samples, smell great, and the shampoo is a pretty pink color.  The full size bottles retail for $23.90 each.  I've been using the samples for the last two weeks, and I don't find them to be all that moisturizing.  I like them, by I like my Biologe better.
 
 
The next sample is a deluxe sample of Kryolan highlighter in Cashmere.  The full size product retails for $18.95.  I thought it was a nice color, and I've enjoyed using it so far.
 
 
Next up is a full size Precision Nail Lacquer by Lamoon Beauty.  This product retails for $5.95.  I love the deep wine color I received.
 
 
Then there is Eyeko London skinny liquid liner, which retails for $16 in the full size.  I am not so great with eye liners, and usually use eye crayons, and then smudge, but this liner has a tip that isn't too hard, and with practice, I think I could master the liquid liner.
 
Finally, is a deluxe sample of Eslor Firming Collagen Day Cream which retails for $85 in the full size.  So far, it smells good, genuinely does firm the skin and has been helping with puffy eyes.

 
 
Overall, I feel I got a great August box.  Did you get a Glossybox this month?  What was in yours?

Monday, September 8, 2014

August Birch Box Reveal

 
In August, I signed up to receive Birch Box.  Birchbox is a monthly sampler box that contains 5 generous samples and possibly full size items.  I've been seeing Birchbox ads for a while, and decided to give it a try...because I love beauty products (I'm a bit of a hoarder if I'm being honest).
 
 
Birchbox sends the samples in a nice reusable box.  This is what the box looks like once you take it out of the shipping package.
 
 
 
The first peek inside my August Birchbox

 
The box comes with a card, that tells you about the items that you received in your box.  There is some personalization involved in Birchbox.  You tell them whether you like perfume samples, about your hair, your skin, your skin concern, your beauty style, how proficient you are with makeup, and what kinds of products you would like samples of.




When I removed the lid, this is what was inside.

 
Whish Shaving Cream  - it's huge for a sample - bigger than deluxe.  It's about the size of the hand creams from Bath and Body Works.

 
Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris fragrance sample.  It's your typical size fragrance sample.  It smells amazing.  Very rich and lush.  I had to pass this sample on though as my husband has bad perfume allergies and this one just set him off.  I was sad to part with it though.

 
LAQA & CO Lip Lube - this one was also a huge sample - about half the size of a normal lip crayon.  It's a really pretty color. 

 
K6 Cleanser - a deluxe sample.  I haven't tried it yet, because I don't want to switch cleansers while I'm using another one.  But the one I'm using is almost out, and I'll use this one next.
 
Benefit's new "they're Real" push-up eye-liner.  It's the size that comes in Benefit's sample packs (you know the ones - 4 or 5 deluxe sample size Benefit products for $34).  I gave this one away too because I'm not big on eyeliner.  My eyes twitch anytime anything is within inches of them so I can only use soft eye-crayons unless I want the railroad track effect on my eyes.
 
 
Overall, I think that this Birchbox was worth the $10.  I got some great products, and very generous sizes at that.  Have you ever tried Birchbox?  What did you get in your box, and how did you like it?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Cruisin' Thru the Cozies Reading Challenge 2014



I'm arriving to this party a little late to the game, but I've been into Cozy Mysteries lately, so I thought I'd sign up. 

I'm aiming for level 4- Sleuth Extraordinaire.

If you are interested in joining this challenge, it's hosted by Books Are Life - Vita Libri

My Books:

1. Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich.  It's technically considered a cozy, though it's not one that I would consider a cozy.  I do love these stories though.  Stephanie and Lula crack me up.  Finished 1/14/14




2.  Candy Apple Dead by Sammi Carter.  I liked this story pretty well.  It was about average in predictability.  The characters were so-so on likeability.  I'd read more in the series, to see how it develops.  Finished 3/5/2014.



3. Cooking Up Murder by Miranda Bliss.  The story was ok in this one, but I have trouble liking the main character.  Her thoughts about her best friend are pretty unkind, and the author tries to make her come across as insecure and going through a rough time but she comes across as thinking she's better than others, and just kind of a know-it-all.  I did give the series another chance, which you will see later in my list.  It's not my favorite.  Finished 3/9/14.



4.  Mum's The Word by Kate Collins.  I really like this series so far.  The characters are fun and likeable, and it's interesting to learn things about florist shops.  This is one I definitely will be reading the rest of.  Finished 3/14/14.



5. Mind Over Murder by Allison Kingsley.  Finished 3/26/14

6.  Organized for Murder by Ritter Ames.  Finished 3/30/14

7.  On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle.  Finished 4/3/14

8.  Who Do, Voodoo? by Rochelle Staab.  Finished 4/5/14

9. Slay It With Flowers by Kate Collins.  Finished 4/6/14

10. Bruja Brouhaha by Rochelle Staab.  Finished 4/12/14

11. Murder on the Menu by Miranda Bliss.  Finished 4/14/14

12. Delicious and Suspicious by Riley Adams.  Finished 4/15/14

13. Blackberry Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke.  Finished 4/16/14

14.  Dearly Depotted by Kate Collins.  Finished 4/19/14

15.  Hex on the Ex by Rochelle Staab.  Finished 4/30/14

16. Through the Grinder by Cleo Coyle. Finished 5/3/14

17.  Murder Buys a T-Shirt by Christy Fifield.  Finished 5/7/14

18. Murder and Marinara by Rosie Genova.  Finished 5/9/14

19. At Wicks End by Tim Myers.  Finished 5/11/14

20. A Killer Plot by Ellery Adams.  Finished 5/15/14

21. Witch Way to Murder by Shirley Damsgaard.  Finished 5/25/15

22. The Proof is in the Pudding by Melinda Wells.  Finished 6/4/14

23.  Finger-lickin Dead by Riley Adams.  Finished 6/9/14

24. A Deadly Cliché by Ellery Adams.  Finished 6/19/14

25.  If You Can't Stand the Heat by Robin Allen.  Finished 7/14/14

26. Murder on the Rocks by Allyson K. Abbott.  Finished 7/19/14

27. Too Many Crooks Spoil the Broth by Tamar Myers.  Finished 7/20/14

28.  A Tough Nut To Kill by Elizabeth Lee.  Finished 7/27/14

29.  Snipped In the Bud by Kate Collins.  Finished 7/27/14

30. Out of the Frying Pan by Robin Allen. Finished 7/27/14

31. Target of Death by Madison Johns.  Finished 7/29/14

32.

Where I've Been....

I have been gone, from my blog, for about the last 8 months. So where have I been? I've had a lot of things going on and had three major milestones in the last 6 months. First, I graduated, finally, with my Criminal Justice Degree. Second, my company was bought out, which was a stressful time, but I stayed on with the new company and got a promotion. It's been a little bit crazy with so many changes going on, but I believe it's all worth it. Finally, the biggest change, I have a new last name! We finally got married. This is me on my big day. I can't put pictures of my husband online because of his job, so it's just me. I'm glad these milestones have passed, and I'm glad to be back to blogging.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

2014 "1001 Books To Read Before You Die" Challenge

This year, I challenged myself to read 20 books from the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list.  You can download a copy of a nifty spreadsheet where you can track your books and how long it will take you to read all the books. It's pretty cool and costs less than $7.00 to download.

Get your copy of the all new 1001 Books spreadsheet.

This year so far I've read:



I'm currently working on:


Have you heard of this list? How many books have you read from the list? Which books are your favorite?  Which did you not like so much?

 
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