Review | Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs by Susan Schaefer Bernardo

Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs

Title: Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs
Author: Susan Schaefer Bernardo
Illustrator: Courtenay Fletcher

Genre: Children’s Fiction
Publisher: Inner Flower Child Books

Publishing date: 1st May, 2017
Pages: 32

My Rating: 3/5 stars

 

*e-copy received from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs is a beautiful new book with a simple but powerful message: love last forever.

Lyrical writing and delightful illustrations provide perfect bedtime reading for any child. The book is also ideal for supporting children through grief, separation anxiety, divorce, illness or other traumatic situations, by wrapping them in a warm and comforting emotional security blanket and opening a dialogue on the nature of love.

Even when loved ones cannot be with us, we can feel their presence through our deep connections to the natural world.


My Take:

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All that I want to say about the book is already said in the summary. I loved the lyrical writing in this and the illustrations were very colorful and detailed.

 

 

The only reason I gave it 3 stars is because of the ARC copy I received. I usually am very thankful for the ARCs I receive and ignore few grammatical errors because it’s an uncorrected copy but sending out a book which is difficult to read is obviously going to alter the reading experience and will affect the review.

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This was the case with most of the book.

I don’t know if all the ARCs sent out were like this or it was just my copy’s problem but it was surely irritating enough for me to reduce the rating. If not for the format issue, it would have easily been a 4 or even 4.5.

I was so disappointed by my copy that I couldn’t enjoy the wonderful writing.

That being said it is a beautiful little lyrical tale about how distance doesn’t mean that you don’t love someone and there are ways to remind people of how much we love them even when they are far from us.

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Why would I pick it up?

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For the beautiful writing and the illustrations. ❤

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Review | Escaping Camp Ravensbrook by R.T.Johnson

Escaping Camp Ravensbrook

Title: Escaping Camp Ravensbrook
Author: R.T. Johnson
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: CreateSpace

Publishing date: 16th October, 2015
Pages: 148

My Rating: 4/5 stars

 

*Book received from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

Katrina is a girl who is caught and captured and is sent to Camp Ravensbrook after her parents die. She’s treated terrible there, but Katrina has a secret. She has witchcraft powers she uses for good, but Katrina wants to find a way out of there. When she meets Peter, she realizes that he’s the right man for her. But she’s worried about the fact that he might not accept her witchcraft powers. Will they be able to make it out in one piece despite the horrors of a war going on? Or will they be sentenced to this camp forever?


My Take:

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a smooth ride from the start to the end. No lows, no disappointments. ❤ ❤

Katrina is 16 years old when her parents are murdered and she is captured and sent to Camp Ravensbrook with her Aunt.

“Katrina looked out the small window at the very back of the truck and saw men lighting her home on fire. The place she grew up. The place she learned to walk, talk, read, and do magic, was slowly burning. Within moments, it turned into a pile of ash. Katrina felt tears form in the corner of her eyes. She bit her lip and held them back. Weakness could get her killed.”

Camp Ravensbrook is a women’s prison, the condition of the prison is horrible and the women are treated miserably. But, Katrina is no normal girl, she has witchcraft to help her. She uses this power to ease some situations in the camp. They are touching to read. Her encounters with the guards while using the powers are thrilling as well as funny to an extent.

She falls for one of the guards, Peter. I liked his character very much. She is scared to tell him about her powers, what if he turns her in or doesn’t want to escape with her or doesn’t want to help. She thinks of all sorts of what ifs.

“… Illness didn’t matter. Death didn’t matter. Chores had to be done. And, Katrina and Alice had to work on their plan to escape.”

The emotions are very well portrayed in this book. You can feel a pretty strong connection with the characters which you don’t find in many middle grade books.

The lesson that this book teaches is of love and friendship. Some people might find the mention of rape in a book meant for middle graders uncomfortable but that was the truth of concentration camps. There’s no way to sugar coat reality. The language used is suitable for children so I don’t see any problem with the talk of rape being one of the evil things happening to women in the camp.

I liked the ending very much. I have read another book by the author, which was very good. This exceeds that book, the writing is much more gripping or maybe I enjoyed this book more than that. I would recommend this book to introduce the kids to the harsh reality in a light manner. 🙂


Why would I pick it up?

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For the well written premise spun from reality and fantasy. ❤


My review of another book by the author:

 

Review | Boyfriend for Hire by Gail Chianese

Boyfriend for Hire (West Side Romance, #2)

 

Title: Boyfriend for Hire
Series: West Side Romance (Book 2)
Author: Gail Chianese
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Lyrical Shine

Publishing date: 24th November, 2015
Pages: 278

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

 

*e-copy received from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

In this sexy new series, author Gail Chianese celebrates the heart—and the heat—of modern dating. This time, a temporary boyfriend may be the right man for a permanent position…
 
The only girl in a family of five brothers, Tawny Torres has had enough of waiting on men. She has her life and her career all mapped out, and neither includes an apron, an iron, or a husband—yet. But when a new job emphasizes a healthy balance of work and play, she needs a guy to stand in as her love interest at a company picnic. Gorgeous charmer David “King of Pleasure” Farber fits the bill perfectly—so well that Tawny is shocked to realize she’s having a hard time letting him go…

David’s a confirmed bachelor, but he can’t get enough of Tawny’s firecracker combination of tough and tender. Unfortunately, he’s overloaded with work at his construction firm and now definitely isn’t the time for distraction—he struggles enough with that already. Still, he can’t ignore his feelings for Tawny. He’ll just have to convince her that he’s more than a
boyfriend-for-hire. And she’ll have to prove he can trust her with his biggest secret…


My Take:

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What an enjoyable book! ❤

I loved reading it. The writing is good and engaging. Although the concept of the book isn’t something fresh, the writing gives it its own essence. 😀 😀

The title “Boyfriend for Hire” might be a stretch because our lead pair are already friends and David already is hot for Tawny, the title gives off the strangers-falling-in-love vibe.

I am not a fan of the cover. :/ I have already read many fake-boyfriend-for-the-sake-of-job-or-family kind of books so the plotline wasn’t that intruiguing to me but the writing, the relationship growth, the character development made up for what the plotline lacked in originality.

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It sure was an entertaining read with sass and smartass… 😛 😛

The conversations between the pair are funny and highly entertaining, I liked Tawny’s no- nonsense attitude and Dave obviously is very likable. This is the second book in the series which I didn’t know at the time of reading but it can be read as a stand-alone. The main characters of this book act as supporting characters in the first book. I think that’s how the series is going to continue. This book makes me want to read the other books in the series.

A real entertaining read. 😀 😀


Why would I pick it up?

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For a fun and light read. 😀 😀

Review | Compassion is the Key to Everything by Alexandra Chauran

Compassion Is the Key to Everything: Find Your Own Path

 

Title: Compassion is the Key to Everything
Author: Alexandra Chauran
Genre: Non Fiction, Self Help
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications

Publishing date: 8th January, 2016
Pages: 240

My Rating: 3/5 stars

 

*e-copy received from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

Transform the way you interact with the world around you using Compassion is the Key to Everything, a practical, nondenominational book on discovering and exemplifying your own idea of what it means to be a compassionate person. Alexandra Chauran provides a guide to creating your personal code of ethics and integrating compassion into your life and community.

Explore your life’s purpose, nurture a peaceful existence, and strengthen your relationships with this book’s guidance on finding your own path. And unlike other books or spiritual programs that espouse specific diets or purchasing choices, Compassion is the Key to Everything provides insights that are adaptable to any lifestyle. Through exercises, meditations, and more, you’ll learn to stop judging yourself and others and start making the world a better place.


My Take:

Look how soothing the cover is. ❤ One of the reasons why I was drawn to the book. 😛 😛

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Screenshot_2017-06-12-22-00-23-1One of the things that I liked about this book was that that it places equal importance of showing compassion to others as well as oneself. People stress over how we conduct ourselves with others but how we conduct ourselves is often overlooked. The author emphasis enough about understanding oneself, being compassionate and staying away from self harm.

This book is divided into 5 main chapters that cover all that is to cover with respect to compassion.

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Screenshot_2017-06-12-22-12-45-1This book delves into how compassion, empathy, sympathy, kindness are all important virtues. In a broader sense they are one and the same, if there’s one of these qualities in you, the other finds the way. The exact definitions make them different and that is what is talked about in the book and how to achieve is delved into.

This book talks about how to get along with others while not being hard on yourselves. It includes suggestions, exercises, helpful tips, along with the understanding of the topic.

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It talks about the importance of finding your life’s purpose and how you should find it. It takes about Karma and Will, exercises for them, their effects and meaning.

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It talks about creating your own game plan for a thoughtful lifestyle. It talks about what morality means to us and how it is defined by our culture and our upbringing. It talks about how striking a balance in life is hard and how to deal with unintentional harm.

Everyone wants peace in their lives. This book covers the steps along the path to a peaceful existence. Surrendering pride is one of the big steps. Kindness is a virtue and becoming a beacon of kindness for others is also covered in this book.

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The book covers the topic in detail with a lot of sub topics, studies, quotes, mnemonics, exercises, meditation exercises, etc. It is a good read and will keep you thinking about life and your conduct towards life. 😀


Why would I pick it up?

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For a thoughtful read. 😀

ARC Review | Via Roma by Mary Melfi

Via Roma

 

Title: Via Roma
Author: Mary Melfi
Genre: General Fiction
Publishing date: 1st November, 2015
Published by: Guernica Editions
Pages: 200 

My Rating: 2/5 stars  

 

*ARC received from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

A story of love and lust with philosophical overtones, Via Roma oscillates between joy and tragedy. Drawn to and intrigued by two men of Italian descent, both equally smart, loyal and attractive, Sophie Wolfe, a native-born Montrealer, chooses one over the other, setting into motion a series of events that culminates in the death of her husband. Part murder mystery, part road trip, this novel asks the question: “Why do people die?” Sophie journeys into the heart of the Italian mainland and discovers this country’s wondrous abilities to restore health and happiness to those who grieve. Intensely erotic, outspoken, earthy without being clinically pornographic or gushy, Via Roma is a metaphysical exploration of love, suspense, suffering and redemption.


My Take:

Part murder mystery, part road trip, this novel asks the question: “Why do people die?”

This line is what sold me on the boy. I love mysteries, I love road trips, add a little philosophy and you have me interested.

The synopsis wasn’t very promising, so I didn’t have much hope for this book and boy, was I right!

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For the life of me I couldn’t remember what the book was actually about. I had a hard time getting into the story and even harder time trying to remember what was on the page before. If I put the book down and start after some time then I couldn’t even remember reaching there.

Keeping track of the events was a task in itself. I cannot tell you much about the story because I cannot seem to remember what happened, all I remember is feeling confused and wanting the story to end.

The writing style wasn’t the most beautiful I have ever seen. It was very confusing. Either it was too rich or trying to be. It sure did have some beautiful lines but that’s about it.

It has some beautiful sentences about love and loss.

Via Roma oscillates between joy and tragedy.

This is what I got from the book, to be honest. The philosophy is also okay but the book failed to hold my attention which might have been the reason that I forgot about it as soon as I put it down. To be fair, that started while I was reading it.

I’ve marked out some beautiful lines from the book. Enjoy! ❤ 😉

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Why would I pick it up?

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To check out what I missed.

Review | Her Demigod Complex by Abigail Owen

Her Demigod Complex: In Love With Her Demigod Billionaire Boss (Legendary Consultants)

 

Title: Her Demigod Complex
Series: Legendary Consultants (Book 1)
Author: Abigail Owen
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Publishing date: 19th February, 2016
Pages: 145

My Rating: 4/5 stars

 

*ARC received from the author/publisher via Story Cartel in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

When Legendary Consultants placed Lyleia Naiad in her job as Executive Assistant to a high-powered billionaire, she was given one directive–do NOT fall in love with him. Given that he’s a demigod, a successful businessman, and handsome as sin, makes that a tall order for anyone. But as an ex-nymph, she has the unique ability to resist his god-like charms.

Or does she? More than a year later, Castor Dioskouri has managed to capture her heart, a feat no man, demigod, or god has ever managed. Given the reason she was hired, she’s kept her feelings to herself. Besides, Cas is still in love with his deceased wife from over a millennium ago, and Leia is a failed nymph who couldn’t protect her own spring.

But now, they must attend a werewolf mating ceremony together. An event where the pheromones fly, and so do clothes, inhibitions, and common sense.

Can Leia resist her heart and her boss? Or will she lose her pride, her job, and her mind trying?


My Take:

Can Leia resist her heart and her boss?

Let me answer this first. NO, obviously NOT. How could she? How could anyone?  Here’s why-

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As you can see Castor isn’t just sexy, that Leia can handle very well. He is sexy on the inside too. The type of person who is perfect to be a novel’s hero and can somethings feel like a fictional character. (Though here, he surely is. 😛 )

It’s a funny read in places where Leia’s interactions with Castor was involved before they both found out about each other’s feelings. It was sassy and hilarious. Like, kiss already man! 😛 😛

Now, Leia agrees to accompany Castor for a business purpose which actually is a personal event for Castor. (How convenient!)

screenshot_2016-11-30-16-14-13-1Now you gotta make them stay together to let their love bloom. Voila! No rooms available. Our soon-to-be couple has to share a room. (How inconvenient!) This part was the generic go-to when you have to put the leads in the same room. A little imagination here would’ve been better. This was the only part the had me like- Not again. -_-

 

screenshot_2016-11-30-16-14-21-1Another cliche- Castor’s true love, his wife, died. So, now not wanting to get his herat broken and not having gotten over his wife he dates casually. Changing girls and getting the image of a player for Leia but can she stop falling for him? Obviously not. That’s not how love works. You have to go against all your common sense, battle all your intelligence, and listen to your heart. If you don’t do this, then my friend, you are not in love. (Reality!) 😛

No main characters are without problems or issues so why should Leia be the exception? She sure has her own set of problems to deal with, which she might have left in the past but as is the rule of cliches the problems had to arrive exactly at the time of the leads’ budding romance so that their bond could get stronger before it got more romantic.

Kaios is the reason of her miserable past and the destroyer of her identity of her as a nymph. Some guys can not take rejection like a man. They have to be whiny about it, bring their ego into it, and torture the poor girl. Kaios is the perfect ambassador for such kind of idiots.

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After getting through with the convenient wedding, falling in love, attracting the enemy’s attention; Leia goes into hidding. Castor being a demigod obviously finds her.

 

 

 

 

You obviously will have to spell it out for Leia, Castor. She will still need words despite your actions showing how much you love her.

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There you have it 😛 – Happy Ending! ❤ ❤


Why would I pick it up?

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This book is a quick and light read. Perfect for when you are bored and want a little no-brainer. 😉