Archives for May 2015

DNF: Chronicles from Chateau Moinesby evelyne Holingue

Chronicles From Chateau MoinesChronicles of Chateau Moines
written by Evelyne Holingue
published by Burel Press

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

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

Where I stopped reading: About 26% on my Kindle.

Why I stopped reading: This is one of those books that I should have finished. That I should have liked. That I wanted to read. But it just didn’t grab me. It didn’t interest me. It was slow, and I didn’t feel any connection to any of the characters. Nothing made me want to keep reading this book. chrissysig
What others have rated this book: According to Goodreads, the average rating for Chronicles from Chateau Moines is 4.21. It looks like a majority of readers gave this book 4 stars. There were 7 5-star reviews on Amazon. At Barnes & Noble, the majority of the reviews were 4 stars. Just because I didn’t finish this book doesn’t mean you won’t.

About the book – from Goodreads: September 1970: Scott’s mother has recently died and his father gets the crazy idea to move his family from California to Normandy. Now Scott has to learn to live without his mom while adjusting to France. In his seventh grade class there is only Ibrahim who comes from another country. Scott doesn’t even want to play his guitar anymore. Why does his father think that life will be better so far from home?

Scott has no idea that his arrival is also a challenge to Sylvie. While her best friend is excited to have an American boy at school, Sylvie cannot say one word to Scott. She can’t even write good songs in her notebook anymore. Why is life so different since Scott moved to Château Moines?

Set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War protest era and told from the perspectives of twelve-year old Scott and Sylvie, this is a story about loss and friendship, music and peace, and also about secrets.

Although this is a work of fiction, the cultural, social, and historical background of the early 1970s in France and the United States inspired the writing. At the end of the book the reader will find a list of the songs, the names of singers, and bands mentioned through the novel as well as some elements about fashion, immigration in France, the Vietnam War, and other cultural, social, and historical facts relevant to the period of time.


Blog Tour: The Sons of Old Trilogy by Annabell Cadiz (spotlight, giveaway)

SOT Tour Banner

LuciferLucifer (Sons of Old #1)
written by Annabell Cadiz
published by Annabell Cadiz, 2013

find it here: (affiliate links) ** On Sale for $0.99 ** Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads

About the book: Have you ever wondered what could be hiding in the shadows?

Well, for eighteen-year-old Zahara Faraday, she doesn’t have to wonder. You see she comes from a lineage of Light Witches, those who have chosen to help protect and serve between the supernatural world and the human world. The only problem is Zahara, like her father Solomon, is as human as a human being can be whereas her mother, Mia, and her Aunt Catalina, were born as Light Witches. As a family they hunt down rogue supernaturals—creatures who harm humans or who have committed an act against their kingdom.

Zahara’s hunting skills are usually kept dormant since her parents would prefer she live life as a normal human girl without knowledge of the supernatural world. She plans on doing just that—except when she finds a couple being attacked by fairies, she has no choice but to step in. Before she can return to pretending to be blissfully ignorant, Zahara encounters a problem she isn’t the least equip to handle: Bryan Hamilton, the good looking new co-worker she has to help train. In a heartbeat, her best friend, Becca King, has set her up on a double date with herself and her new crush, Rekesh Saint-Louis, who happens to be the most powerful leader of the biggest Imago Coven in South Florida –supernatural creatures with the ability to control water . . . and suck out human souls.

Zahara has no time to focus on how she’s going to explain her double date with her best friend and the enemy they have a tentative truce with to her parents because soon one of the members of Mia and Catalina’s coven is found murdered with a strange tattoo of a snake with wings carved into his arm.

Zahara is then thrown into a whirlwind battle with an angel determined to have revenge against God, an Imago coven she doesn’t think they should trust, and slew of dream-eating fairies and powerful Nephilims, hybrid children of angels and humans, more than happy to rip her to shreds.

Normal just got a deadlier definition.

MichaelMichael (Sons of Old #2)
written by Annabell Cadiz
published by Annabell Cadiz, 2014

find it here: (affiliate links) ** On Sale for $0.99 ** Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads

About the book:  Zahara Faraday looks like a normal eighteen-year-old and lives in a quiet neighborhood with her overprotective parents. She works at a bookstore and hangs out with her best friend Becca King on a daily basis. But underneath the normal lies a secret life filled with dangerous supernaturals. Zahara belongs to a world made of Light Witches, rogue Imagoes (supernatural creatures with super strength, speed, and silver skin when the moon is out), fallen angels, and Nephilim (hybrid children born half-human, half-angel). Where her father Solomon Faraday is human, her mother Mia and her Aunt Catalina are Light Witches. They help protect the human world by hunting down rogue supernaturals who commit heinous acts against humans. What they never expected was the possibility of having to hunt down the one rogue coven they had befriended and come to trust in their battle against Lucifer. Rekesh Saint-Louis is the leader of the most powerful Imago coven in Florida and now he’s the most suspected. Supernatural bodies are starting to pile up with an ancient ritual long forbade being used to murder them and the symbol, one large cross with four smaller crosses around it—which represents Rekesh’s coven— being left behind. Rekesh and the Elders of his coven set out to find who is behind the murders and clearing his name before a war between the covens begins. To make matters more difficult, Rekesh also has to deal with the return of someone he has been keeping a secret.

Meanwhile, Zahara and Becca are spending more time brushing up on their training, knowing an attack from Lucifer can come at any moment. Between patrolling neighborhoods and hanging at the boarding school created by Charles Stephens—a fallen angel who created the school to protect the children of rogue supernaturals—they are thrown into one battle after another. Zahara begins to develop a closer bond with Jason as they train and chase down clues to clear Rekesh’s name. What she doesn’t know is the very powerful secret Jason is keeping; a secret that will change the course of the fight with Lucifer.

But Rekesh’s coven being set up isn’t the only danger. A new powerful and lethal drug has emerged from the shadows of the supernatural world called Inferi. The drug has two deadly side effects: it leaves the supernatural hungering for blood—both human and supernatural—and grants them the elemental power they had once possessed.

Lucifer is on the move and he will stop at nothing to get his hands on Zahara and complete the first act of his plan.

A battle is about to begin.

One that may cost the Faraday family everything they hold dear.

Nephilim Banner

Nephilim (Sons of Old #3)
written by Annabell Cadiz
published by Annabell Cadiz, August 2015


About the book: After the loss of Dustin, Zahara throws herself into taking care of the Howling Café—the café he left to her in his will and fights to keep a rhythm of normalcy with the others. It’s the best they can do since Lucifer has gone underground and any attempts to find him have rendered no leads.

Endymion, Prince of the Angel Kingdom, isn’t exactly helping though. Thanks to his brash and arrogant attitude, Zahara finds she would rather stab him with her dagger than hang out with him for any period of time. But she has no choice. Endymion is the only who can help her learn to control the magic threatening to take over her body thanks to his connection to the soul lying dormant inside of her. Nevaeh was once the most powerful Nephilim in the Supernatural Kingdoms and engaged to the Prince himself. She also happened to be Lucifer’s daughter who was killed in the first Supernatural War. Her soul is key to Lucifer creating war again—not just with the Supernatural Kingdoms but with Heaven itself. Endymion is determined to keep that from happening, even if that means destroying the soul of the only woman he’s ever loved so Zahara can live.

Complicating things even more—as if they could get any more complicated—is the revelation of an ancient Grimoire once held by Margaret. The Grimorie contains powerful spells passed down through the generations of coven members within the Light Witch community. But Margaret hid it away before she helped take Lucifer down the first time. The Grimoire not only holds the two dark spells Lucifer needs to complete the final phase of his plan and but a secret Lucifer never knew about.

Zahara and company are in a race to find the Grimoire before Lucifer can but Margaret didn’t exactly make it easy. Seven keys have to be found in order to discover the location where the Grimoire had been hidden. Making matters worse is a new coven that has suddenly appeared in town. A coven made of a variety of supernaturals, all under Lucifer’s command.

The clock is ticking.

Battles will be waged.

Life changing secrets will be revealed.

The stage for the epic battle is set and not everyone will make it out alive.


About the author: Born and raised in the sweltering suburbs of South Florida, Annabell Cadiz grew up fine-tuned to the cuisine of various Spanish cultures, learned to master the art of Puerto Rican cooking thanks to her parents, and learned to converse crazy thanks to her band of siblings. She is now working toward attaining a B.A. in Psychology at Trinity International University to better understand how to converse with the weirdoes and crazies of the world. (After all, she is one of them.) A self-proclaimed nerd and a book-a-holic (her room holds dozens of shelves with much evidence to prove that her claims are indeed true), she created TeamNerd Reviews along with her best friend, Bridget Strahin, to showcase their EXTREME love for all things book related.

She published her debut novel, Lucifer (Sons of Old Trilogy #1), in January 2013. The second novel, Michael (Sons of Old Trilogy #2) was released on May 28, 2014. And the final installment in the Sons of Old Trilogy, Nephilim, will be out in Summer 2015.

Find Ms. Cadiz here: WebsiteGoodreadsPinterestTwitterFacebook

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Gina’s Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train
written by Paula Hawkins
published by Riverhead Books, 2015

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooksBook Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book: 
I now understand why everyone has this book on their to-read list. It’s pretty much one of the best books I’ve read this year, and so far, I’ve read a look of REALLY good books.

Usually I steer clear of books like this because, honestly, I don’t see myself as a “whodunnit” person. I don’t really like watching massive amounts of Law and Order, and I didn’t have huge piles of Nancy Drew novels growing up. It’s just not my thing. But this book may have converted me.

I love that there is always something going on with the characters. I don’t feel like any one chapter is boring, and that makes it easy to keep reading. The flow of the novel could easily make this book one you stay up all night reading . . . Oh wait. I did that! I also like the fact that at first I really hated Rachel and Anna, but in the end, I could actually understand why they did what they did. The best part for me was not knowing until the last few chapters who actually committed the murder. Usually I predict it, but this one I had no idea.

My only problem was that I felt the murder’s story was too rushed. I had to read it over a few times to get every detail. I know that Hawkins wanted us to be surprised, but I just felt like if we had the character developed a bit better things would have gone a lot more smoothly.



“It’s Friday, so I don’t have to feel guilty about drinking on the train. TGIF. The fun starts here.”

“The thing about being barren is that you’re not allowed to get away from it.”



Would I recommend it: I definitely would recommend it! Read up!




About the book – from Goodreads: Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

A compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller that draws comparisons to Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, or Before I Go to Sleep, this is an electrifying debut embraced by readers across markets and categories.



Boost It Tuesday! – May 19, 2015


Have you noticed that despite ALL of your Facebook “Likes” you are only “reaching” a very small portion of those followers? Does that bother you? It bothers us, and we want to boost each other up. Link up with Every Free ChanceCandace’s Book Blog, & If These Books Could Talk for  Boost It Tuesday!


What is Boost It Tuesday, you ask? Well, we want to help each other out. We are a great community of bloggers and authors, and we should be supporting each other. Share your Facebook address below, then visit the Facebook pages, like 3-5 posts, share or comment on 1 or 2 posts. That’s it. You don’t have to “like” the page if you don’t want to, just “like” some posts. Let’s help expand each other’s page reach. Who knows! You may find a new blog or author to follow along the away. Please be aware that any non-Facebook links will be deleted.


Here are some tips for Boosting. A big thanks to Kate at If These Books Could Talk for the image!

Boost It Poster


As an added bonus, Candace, Kate, and I will be hosting a giveaway each week just to say thanks for the boost!


For this week’s giveaway, head over to the Candace’s Book Blog Facebook page and answer the question in the Boost It post!


Remember: Like, comment, and share!  Let’s all give each other a boost!

 if these books could talk


Blog Tour: The Last Book Ever Written by Jonah Kruvant (Melissa’s review)

The Last Book Ever Written

The Last Book Ever Written
written by Jonah Kruvant
published by PanAm Books, 2014

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazonBook Depository, Goodreads

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

Did I enjoy this book: 
I devoured it.

It’s not a new twist on an old theme. It’s not full of earth-shattering, life-altering ideas. The plot isn’t even particularly unique. What it IS is a solid, beautifully written piece of dystopian fiction. I loved it.



“All I can tell you is the thought that entered my head when I first saw her: anything can happen when technology gets out of hand.”



Would I recommend it: Absolutely. It’s dystopian gold.


About the book – from Goodreads: In a society where all citizens have computerized chips in their brains and insert needles into their veins to enter a virtual reality, Victor Vale is an officer of the law with great ambitions. When he is assigned a case to go undercover and expose a community of illegal creators, Victor finds himself compelled to write, and for the first time, begins questioning the world around him. As he searches for answers, Victor slowly begins to unravel hidden truths about society, and even uncovers an astonishing secret from his own past.



Jonah KruvantAbout the author: A writer, teacher, and student of the world, Jonah Kruvant received his Bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College, his Master’s degree in Teaching from Fordham University and his MFA degree from Goddard College. After living abroad in four different countries, Jonah lives in New York.

Find Mr. Kruvant here: web, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads



tlc logoefchappy


Find Your Next Chick Lit Read / #ChickLitMay Giveaway!

May is International Chick Lit Month. Let’s be honest—it’s the best month of the year! Every year, chick lit readers and writers get together to celebrate, share, discuss, and gush about their favorite book genre. Not familiar with chick lit or Chick Lit Month? Visit for more information.


This year marks the fifth anniversary of ICLM. To celebrate, a bunch of enthusiastic authors got together and made an infographic to help readers find their next chick lit read.


We’re giving away 19 e-books to 19 lucky readers. Just enter to win the books you’d like to read!


To enter, comment on the blog post below, listing which books from the graphic you’d like to read and WHY you would like to read them. (Make sure to include your email address so we can contact you.) Entrants can only enter once per blog but can check out other blogs with this same post and comment there for extra entries! All those links are down below.


Entries close at midnight on Friday, May 22 (Pacific Daylight Time), and winners will be contacted directly on May 31.


Good luck everyone—and happy reading! 😀


(Even if you missed this giveaway, feel free to share this graphic on your blog and spread the chick lit love!)


Find the authors and books here, and enter again!

Deeper Themes

* * *

A Little Magic

* * *

Laughs Guaranteed

* * *

Light & Bright

* * *

On Distant Shores

* * *


To enter, comment on the blog post below, listing which books from the graphic you’d like to read and WHY you would like to read them. (Make sure to include your email address so we can contact you.) Entrants can only enter once per blog but can check out other blogs with this same post and comment there for extra entries! All those links are down below.

Enter one more time at these great chick lit blogs!



Chrissy’s Review: Clementine Rose and the Surprise Visitor by Jacqueline Harvey

Clementine Rose and the Surprise VisitorClementine Rose and the Surprise Visitor (Clementine Rose #1)
written by Jacqueline Harvey
published by Random House Australia, 2012

find it here: (affiliate links) Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

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

Did I enjoy this book: 
This was a super fun, cute book! I read it myself in a few hours. I can’t wait to read it to my daughter!

Clementine Rose is sweet, honest, cute, and curious. You can’t help but fall in love with her. Her life is filled with adventure. Her mom loves Clementine immensely. She is doing her best to keep the family house. Digby is a favorite character of mine. He is a great “uncle” and confidante to Clementine and her mom. Violet is mean and broke. But there is way more to her than meets the eye. Clementine wears her down a bit.


Would I recommend it: Absolutely. I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough for me to read these books to her.


About the book – from Goodreads: 
A gorgeous new series for girls from the bestselling author of the Alice-Miranda series.

Clementine Rose was delivered not in the usual way, at a hospital, but in the back of a mini-van, in a basket of dinner rolls.

So begins the story of a lovely little girl who lives in Penberthy Floss in a large ramshackle house with her mother, Lady Clarissa, Digby Pertwhistle the butler and a very sweet teacup pig called Lavender.

When her scary Aunt Violet arrives unexpectedly, the household is thrown into disarray. What is it that Aunt Violet really wants and what is she carrying in her mysterious black bag?

From the author of the best-selling Alice-Miranda series, for readers aged 5+




Story Time with Sara: Pirates Ahoy! by Hilary McKay



Pirates Ahoy

Pirates Ahoy! 
written by Hilary McKay
published by Margaret K. McElderry Books, 1999

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazonBook Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book: I enjoyed this book, but I think I may have liked it more than my kid did. Peter and Simon are both believable small children. Since my son still loves playing with his stuffed bear, Parker Bear, he did identify with Simon (who’s favorite possession is his stuffed animal, Snowtop). Peter, the older cousin tries, to act like he is too cool to play with stuffed animals, but by the end of the story we learn the truth.

The thing I adore about this book is how the two boys play pretend together at their grandma’s house. Perhaps it reminded me of the pretend games my cousins and I played at our grandma’s house as children; it was wonderful. The sunflowers are lions and grandma’s wet laundry becomes ocean creatures. Of course, Snowtop makes an appearance in every make-believe scene the boys come up with (as you would expect). In a world so saturated with video games, televisions, and apps that do the “make believing” for you, it was nice to see a story that reminds us how much fun you can have with some gardening tools, old chairs, wet laundry, and your imagination!

The illustrations are perfect for the mood of the book. They aren’t too realistic–they require some make-believe to make them come to life–but the colors pop from the page and give the story a vibrant, fun feel.

My only gripe is that the boys don’t actually play pirates until much later in the book, and it isn’t a major plot line–the book is more about two cousins playing together and realizing that you are never too old to play pretend. I’m a little confused why its title is about pirates . . . anyhoo . . . When I am picking out books at the library, I’m looking at titles and covers (who has time to preview children’s books while simultaneously trying to keep two children from destroying the entire library and/or themselves?), and I was completely misled with this one.

My toddler didn’t love it as much as I did, which is why it only got 3 stars. He was initially afraid that it was going to be about scary pirates (he forgot to tell me he decided to be afraid of pirates the night before we went to the library).  Apparently, it’s more fun to play make-believe than to read about it, but I sure enjoyed the trip down memory lane!


Would I recommend it: Yes, I would. Pick it up! It’s a quick read, and it can give you some fun ideas for make-believe games to play with your children. If you are looking for a book about pirates though, this is not it. Despite the title, there is very little pirate content. So have fun with it, and remember that you are never too old to make believe or love stuffed animals (says the grown woman who still sleeps with a stuffed penguin . . .)!


About the book – from Goodreads: Simon wants to play with Snowtop, his stuffed bear. His older cousin Peter says stuffed animals are babyish. When he sees what fun Simon and Snowtop are having, though, Peter joins in. Before long the boys are wrestling lions in the jungle and surviving a terrible storm on a pirate ship.Like Where’s Bear?, a previous book about Simon and Snowtop, Pirates Ahoy! is full of award-winner Hilary McKay’s trademark imagination and humor.



Gina’s Review: The Rearranged Life by Annika Sharma

The Rearranged Life

The Rearranged Life 
written by Annika Sharma
published by Curiosity Quills Press 2015

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

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

Did I enjoy this book: 
When I saw that this book was written by a fellow Penn Stater, I knew I had to read it. Blue and white runs through my veins, and I truly needed to get my hands on The Rearranged Life.

This is a very well-written love story. I also learned a lot about Indian culture. I felt very much like James at times when Nithya tried to explain herself and her family. Arranged marriages are not something I was familiar with, but now I understand how they can influence an Indian family. Marrying for love is not something that is seen in the best light, especially when it’s someone outside your culture. Nithya was the type of woman I could see myself hanging out with, and James is the boy-next-door type who I could see myself crushing on.

I was rooting for James and Nithya the whole time. There were so many emotional ups and downs that made it all the more real.

This is a fresh love story that I think anyone, even a non-Penn Stater, would enjoy reading.



“I turn from ‘Hot Mess Express’ to ‘Game Face On.’”


Would I recommend it: Yes! I think it’s definitely a summer read.


About the book – from Goodreads: Nithya, a vivacious, intelligent and driven college senior has always known what she has wanted: a successful career in medicine and the love of her family. She’s even come to terms with the idea of an arranged marriage, a tradition her conservative Indian family has held up for thousands of years.

When a night of partying puts her on a collision course with danger, Nithya’s entire life changes.

Enter James St. Clair, the smart, challenging and heartbreakingly handsome American.

As Nithya and James fall in love, she questions the future she and her parents have always planned. Now, Nithya has a choice to make: become a doctor and a good Indian bride, or step away from her family and centuries of culture to forge her own path.

The decision she comes to takes her on a journey that transforms how she sees her future, her relationships with loved ones, and how she learns to put herself back together when even her best-laid plans fall apart.



Sara’s Review: Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

Stranger in a Strange Land

Stranger in a Strange Land 
written by Robert A. Heinlein
published by Ace, 1961

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooksBook Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book: 
I really REALLY liked this book. Of course, it is a classic science fiction book, but I have been let down before (ahem . . . Asimov’s Foundation Series).

The concept of a human being born and raised on another world and reintroduced to Earth is not a totally unique concept (however, this may have been the first iteration of it), but it’s done so well. There was not a single time I didn’t believe Valentine Micheal Smith wasn’t raised by a race of aliens on another planet. I was fully immersed in the fictional world!

Learning about the alien species through the human-ish perspective of Smith is both interesting and eye opening. Like most “classic” extraterrestrials in literature, the aliens are enlightened beyond human comprehension, but what I enjoy about them is that the Martian race was neither a group of “little green men” nor humanoid creatures with horns. I found the physical description of the aliens quite intriguing. I also enjoyed the fact that this intelligent race had asexual reproduction. This is a concept that I have never considered before. How would a race of intelligent beings work with asexual reproduction? Perhaps a better question is, “What would they think of us?”

Much of this book feels like a statement regarding the current state of the human race in our developmental journey. From religion to politics, science to philosophy, Heinlein addresses every aspect of the human race and deconstructs it from the perspective of a man who was raised as an alien. This is just fascinating! Through the eyes of Micheal Smith we are able to see both the best and the worst of what the human race has to offer the universe, but that is not the only thing Smith sees. Heinlein also gives the human race hope and potential to become more than we are, which is all any of us could ever hope for.

Many times during this book I found myself wishing that this fictitious world were real so that I could meet these characters, talk with them, and learn more about them. I wanted to jump inside this book and never leave.

All of the characters are wonderfully developed and completely believable, but my favorite by far is Jubal. I just fell in love with Jubal, and I would love to be one of his ‘girls’ . . . (I know that sounds bad, but read the book and you will understand; Jubal is nothing if not a gentleman). He is so wise, weird, and fun at the same time–life would never be boring under his roof.


Would I recommend it: I sure would! If you are a fan of Sci Fi, you simply must read this. In my opinion, it’s up there with the Dune Chronicles and the Ender’s Game series. I would even be willing to read it again because I’m sure there are things that I missed. Happy reading, and “May you never Thirst.”


About the book – from Goodreads: Here is Heinlein’s masterpiece–the brilliant spectacular and incredibly popular novel that grew from a cult favorite to a bestseller to a classic in a few short years. It is the story of Valentine Michael Smith, the man from Mars who taught humankind grokking and water-sharing. And love.