Archives for August 2016

Melissa’s Review: Light of a Thousand Stars by Siobhan Davis

Light Of A Thousand Stars (True Calling #2.5)

Light of a Thousand Stars (True Calling #4)
written by Siobhan Davis
published by Siobhan Davis, 2015

find it here: (affiliate links) AmazonGoodreads

Did I enjoy this book: 
It’s like porn for teenage girls. Who doesn’t want a lovestruck older man, especially when he plans epic birthday presents and tattoos your name on his arm? I like being able to fill in some of Ari and Zane’s backstory, but as with Davis’s first True Calling short story, Lovestruck, this novella was too cheesy to be believable.

2.5 stars


Would I recommend it: Nah. Skip to Beyond Reach. 



About the book – from Goodreads: 
Ariana Skyee has been the center of Zane Anders’ world for years. They got together as a couple ten months ago, so Zane finally has the girl of his dreams. Life should be peachy.

But it isn’t.

Haunted by a shared secret that threatens to destroy their relationship and claim their sanity, Zane is on a one-man mission to prevent Ari from falling apart.

Then Commander Skyee drops the biggest bombshell of all, and everything Zane has taken for granted about the future is shattered overnight.

Always and Forever: That’s what Zane has promised Ari.
Keeping that promise is about to become the hardest thing he will ever do.


Special Note from the author:

This Novella is narrated solely from Zane Anders’ point of view, and it depicts the events leading up to Ari’s move to Planet Novo. This is NOT a follow on from where Beyond Reach, Book 2 in the series, left off. This relays events prior to True Calling, Book 1. In order to ensure consistency and maximise reading enjoyment, I recommend that the stories within this series are read in the following sequence:

True Calling – Book 1
Lovestruck – Short Story
Beyond Reach – Book 2
Light of a Thousand Stars – Novella
Destiny Rising – Book 3. (less)


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Boost It Tuesday! – Returning Next Week!


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Guess what? We will be back next week with Boost It Tuesday! I know I’m looking forward to it. We have a few changes for the upcoming BIT! Every Free Chance BooksIf These Books Could Talk, and Between My Lines will be hosting the weekly boost. We will miss Candace, but we are excited to welcome Trish! This time, we will be featuring one blogger or author on the Boost It Tuesday post. We hope that you will visit that blogger or author and give their page a bit of extra BIT attention!


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!

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If you would like to be featured one week, please fill out the form below.

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



    if these books could talk   Between My Lines

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Melissa’s Review: Beyond Reach by Siobhan Davis

Beyond Reach (True Calling #2)Beyond Reach (True Calling #3)
written by Siobhan Davis
published by Createspace, 2015

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

Did I enjoy this book: I love the title of this book because, frankly, accepting all the twists, turns, and surprises it packs is nearly, um, beyond reach (yeah. I’m sorry. I had to). I really want to help Davis with her grammar; there are errors in punctuation EVERYWHERE. I’m still enjoying the story, though, and I’m excited to keep reading.

3 stars

Read my reviews of the other book in the series HERE.

Would I recommend it: Yep. Try not to let the excessive comma use bother you.



About the book – from Goodreads: 

Back on Earth, Ariana is caught in a dangerous crossfire between clandestine rebel organization Clementia and the power-hungry government. Refusing to divulge the location of the secret information entrusted to her by her late father, she desperately tries to bargain for her Mom, Lily, and Cal’s rescue. She’s fighting a losing battle, and the clock is ticking.

Presented with evidence of her fiancé Cal’s apparent betrayal, she loyally defends him despite her concerns. With her emotions in turmoil, matters become even more complicated as she grows closer to her ex-boyfriend Zane.

When the stakes are raised, a succession of shocking revelations rocks her world, setting her on a path that will not only change her destiny but the fate of humanity.

Confronted by a memory so abhorrent comes a truth she would do anything to forget.

But some things just can’t be undone.


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In the Kitchen: Home Chef Subscription: Umami Burger with Miso-Marinated Beef

In theKitchen


Hi, Everyone!

In an effort to spend less time meal planning and more time reading, I decided to give Home Chef a try. It costs less than taking the whole family to a restaurant, and it seemed like a fun way to add some new recipes to my repertoire.

Tonight: Umami Burger with Miso-Marinated Beef

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These burgers were really tasty. I changed a few things. I did not like the mayo packets that were included, so I substituted my Hellman’s Light for that. Also, if you put the mayo mix in the fridge while you wait, it became very liquidy. I’m not sure why. I just added a bit more mayo to thicken it up. Next time, I won’t put it in the fridge.


The sweet potato fries were very good. I overdid them a bit . . . burned some. But they were still tasty. Just not the burned bits.


Because of the burned fries, I whipped up favorite side dish of ours. Broccoli slaw! I usually have a bag of the slaw on hand. Throw it in a bowl with salt, celery seeds, a tiny bit of Splenda (or sugar), a splash or two of apple cider vinegar, and some of that delicious Hellman’s Light Mayo! Mix and serve. So easy and good.





If I make it again: I won’t put the mayo in the fridge after I mix it. I won’t burn the fries. Oh . . . and I’ll remember to put the cheese on the burgers. Oops!

Did my kids eat it: We made them regular burgers. They would probably like the miso burgers, though. They love the broccoli slaw.



Chrissy kitchen


Gina’s Review: Fairest of All by Serena Valentino

Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen

Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen 
written by Serena Valentino
published by Disney Press, 2009

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

Did I enjoy this book: 
I did enjoy this book, but I will say it is a dark read. It’s not a fluffy retelling of Snow White by any means. It gets into the deep, dark poison apple core of the story. I loved how the wicked queen is portrayed. She’s a woman who has gone through a lot of family drama and trauma. There were a lot of times I sympathized with her and even empathized. I found myself lying in bed hoping she would fight the darkness and become a good queen. However, we all know that the wicked queen in Snow White doesn’t get her happy ending. It’s a short but powerful story that makes me have a newfound respect for the Wicked Queen.


“After all, she had chosen her path long ago.”

5 stars

Would I recommend it: Definitely!



About the book – from Goodreads: The tale of the young princess and her evil stepmother, the Wicked Queen, is widely known. Despite a few variations from telling to telling, the story remains the same—the Queen was jealous of the girl’s beauty, and this jealousy culminated in the Queen’s attempt on the sweet, naive girl’s life.

Another tale far less often spoken of is the one that explains what caused the Queen to become so contemptuously vile. Still, some have attempted to guess at the reason. Perhaps the Queen’s true nature was that of a wicked hag and her beautiful, regal appearance a disguise used to fool the King. Others claim that the Queen might have hated the girl for her resemblance to the King’s first wife. Mostly, the Queen is painted as a morally abhorrent woman who never loved another being during the course of her miserable life.

In fact, the theories about exactly what cause the Queen’s obsessive vanity and jealous rage are too numerous to catalog. This book recounts a version of the story that has remained untold until now. It is a tragic tale of love and loss, and it contains a bit of magic. It is a tale of the Wicked Queen…


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Summer Reading Challenge: A House for Happy Mothers by Amulya Malladi (spotlight, giveaway)

Summer Reading Challenge


A House for Happy MothersA House for Happy Mothers
written by Amulya Malladi
published by Brilliance Audio, 2016

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

About the book – from Goodreads: A stunning new novel—full of wit and warmth—from the bestselling author of The Mango Season.

In trendy Silicon Valley, Priya has everything she needs—a loving husband, a career, and a home—but the one thing she wants most is the child she’s unable to have. In a Southern Indian village, Asha doesn’t have much—raising two children in a tiny hut, she and her husband can barely keep a tin roof over their heads—but she wants a better education for her gifted son. Pressured by her family, Asha reluctantly checks into the Happy Mothers House: a baby farm where she can rent her only asset—her womb—to a childless couple overseas. To the dismay of friends and family, Priya places her faith in a woman she’s never met to make her dreams of motherhood come true.

Together, the two women discover the best and the worst that India’s rising surrogacy industry has to offer, bridging continents and cultures to bring a new life into the world—and renewed hope to each other.




About the author: Amulya Malladi is the author of six novels, including The Sound of Language and The Mango Season. Her books have been translated into several languages, including Dutch, German, Spanish, Danish, Romanian, Serbian, and Tamil. She has a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree in journalism. When she’s not writing, she works as a marketing executive for a global medical device company. She lives in Copenhagen with her husband and two children. 

Amulya’s latest novel: A House for Happy Mothers will be released in June 2016.

I love meeting with book clubs, even when it’s 3 a.m. here – so please contact me at if you want me to call into your meeting.

Find Ms. Malladi here: webTwitter, Goodreads


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Gina’s Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, et al

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8)Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 
written by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne
published by Little Brown UK, 2016

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

Did I enjoy this book: I did because I can’t seem to deny myself the magic of Harry Potter. I love that this is a look into the next generation of witches and wizards. I love feeling like I could relate to Harry, Ron, Ginny, and Hermione as parents, and I would truly love to wave my magic wand and have the house cleaned and dinner made. However, magic doesn’t solve all the problems of the world, and it doesn’t make raising teenagers any easier either. So to see the struggle and to hear their thoughts on raising children and loving their children really touched me. Speaking of being touched, Scorpius Malfoy was probably the best character in the whole play. He made me laugh more times than I can count. He played my heartstrings in a way that his father Draco Malfoy could never do in the books. I was just sad that the book wasn’t longer.


“Harry, there is never a perfect answer in this messy, emotional world. Perfection is beyond the reach of humankind, beyond the reach of magic. In every shining moment of happiness is that drop of poison: the knowledge that pain will come again. Be honest to those you love, show your pain. To suffer is as human as to breathe.”


5 stars


Would I recommend it: If you are a fan of Harry Potter then you should give this one a read.



About the book – from Goodreads: Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.


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Melissa’s Review: Lovestruck by Siobhan Davis

Lovestruck (True Calling, #1.5)Lovestruck: A True Calling Short Story (True Calling #2)
written by Siobhan Davis
published by Siobhan Davis, 2015

find it here: (affiliate links) AmazonGoodreads

Did I enjoy this book: 
Not so much, no.

I’m not old enough to forget what teenagers are like, and let me tell you–the vast majority of male high schoolers aren’t looking for “forever love” between classes. Even though I enjoyed Cal and Ari’s relationship dynamic in True Calling (you can read my review HERE),  I can’t say the same after reading this. I know part of Cal’s draw is that he’s not like the other boys, but I think Davis overshot the mark this time with all the lovey-dovey stuff.

2 stars

Would I recommend it: Nah. Skip ahead to the next book in the series, Beyond Reach. 



About the book – from Goodreads:

Everything changed the moment he found her…

Cal Remus is in love.

But the object of his affection barely acknowledges his existence. Worse: She acts like he’s the dirt sticking to the bottom of her shoe. Weaker men might give up. But not Cal. Hell no, he loves a good challenge and Ariana Skyee has made this the most intriguing challenge of all.

Having read his father’s confidential military files, Cal should be concerned about the seemingly fragile new world order on Planet Novo and the events back on Earth. But he’s distracted.

Securing Arianas love is his number one priority.

He’s going to win her heart, or die trying.

Special note from the author:

This short story is narrated solely from Cal Remus’ point of view, and it depicts the events leading up to the introduction of ‘The Calling.’ That is; the events that pre-date True Calling, Book 1 in the series. This can be read as a stand-alone story. However, if you are planning on reading the True Calling series, I recommend that you read the titles in the following sequence:

True Calling – Book 1
Lovestruck – Short Story
Beyond Reach – Book 2
Light of a Thousand Stars – Novella
Destiny Rising – Book 3. (less)


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Summer Reading Challenge: Perfectly Good Crime by Dete Meserve (spotlight, giveaway)

Summer Reading Challenge


Perfectly Good Crime (A Kate Bradley Mystery)Perfectly Good Crime
written by Dete Meserve
published by Melrose Hill Publishing, 2016

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

About the book – from Goodreads: From the bestselling author of Good Sam comes a taut and thought-provoking follow-up, Perfectly Good Crime.

When the estates of the 100 wealthiest Americans are targeted in a series of sophisticated, high tech heists, Los Angeles TV news reporter Kate Bradley must venture inside the world of the super rich to investigate the biggest story of the year.

As the heists escalate, Kate’s search is thwarted when the Los Angeles police detective she’s been working with mysteriously disappears, her senator father demands that she stop reporting on the heists, and the billionaire victims refuse to talk to the media. Kate uncovers clues that those behind the robberies have shocking, yet uplifting, motives—it just may be a perfectly good crime that brings about powerful change.

Further complicating her life is a dream job awaiting her in New York, a choice that could shatter from her deepening relationship with Fire Captain Eric Hayes. Kate must trust her instincts—and her heart—in a high stakes search that will test everything she believes and force her to decide where she belongs.




About the author: Dete Meserve is an award-winning author who is searching for Good. Like Kate Bradley in the novel ‘Good Sam’ and ‘Perfectly Good Crime,’ Meserve is looking for people who are doing extraordinary good for others, sometimes at great personal sacrifice. While most mysteries focus on finding the killer or kidnapper, Meserve focuses our attention on finding the helpers, the rescuers, and the people who inspire us with their selfless acts of kindness. When she’s not writing, she is a film and television producer in Los Angeles and partner of Wind Dancer Films. Meserve lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children—and a very good cat that rules them all.

Find Ms. Meserve here: web, blogTwitter, Goodreads


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EFC Promotions Blog Tour Sign-Up: Emily’s Choice by Heather McCoubrey

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Emily's Choice

Emily’s Choice
written by Heather McCoubrey
published by Heather McCoubrey, 2016


About the book – from Goodreads: Emily Camancho walks in on her fiancé with her hated cousin, Lila, the night before their wedding, giving truth to the years of rumors and whispers that have plagued their relationship. Pregnant and devastated she flees across the country and settles in Boston with her stepsister.

Waking alone and oblivious to the events of the previous night, Jason Vaughn is panicked when he finds out Emily has left and isn’t coming back. Determined to prove his innocence and win Emily back, he tricks Lila into confessing and works to woo Emily. Regardless of Jason’s efforts, Emily cannot trust him and moves on with her life.

Eighteen months later, Emily’s beloved stepmother is in a car accident, and she rushes home to say her goodbyes. When Emily disappears after the funeral, held captive by her psychotic cousin, her life is put in danger unless she can convince Jason to cease his efforts and marry Lila. But the only man she’s ever loved will risk his own life to bring her home safe and prove, once and for all, that she’s always been the only love of his life.


Heather McCoubreyAbout the author: Heather McCoubrey is a native of Maine but having moved all over the U.S. as a child, she doesn’t sound like one. She’s been writing since middle school when a teacher taught her she could create her own stories instead of just reading them. That year she had some of her first poems published in the school magazine and from there she graduated to writing a full-length novel in high school (which has been collecting dust on her shelf ever since!). She is the self-published author of To Love Twice and Back to December. The novel that’s been collecting dust on the shelf, Emily’s Choice, is scheduled to be released in 2016, along with her fourth novel The Red Light, scheduled for publication in summer 2016. Heather resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, two children, Rex the chihuahua and Fatty the goldfish. When she’s not being super-mom and wife, she ekes out time to write, watch football, practice her British accent and dream of living on an island where it’s eighty degrees year-round.

Find Ms. McCoubrey here: webTwitter, FacebookGoodreads


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