5/24/16

The Silent Sounds of Chaos Book Review and a Giveaway


Thrillers and suspense-filled novels are usually my favorites on my reading list.  I was interested in reading this book from the moment I read its summary!  Of course, it helped that I have read and enjoyed other books from Kristina Circelli as well.  What was my review of The Silent Sounds of Chaos?

Quick Summary of Silent Sounds of Chaos by Kristina Circelli.  A silent call for help began the friendship between two children. A bond unlike any other kept them together. Finn was just a kid when he first heard Snow’s voice inside his head, two children in need of a friend and finding one in mysterious strangers. Never meeting in person, the pair grows up as opposites – Finn the boy who loves to get in trouble and works for the toughest drug lord in town, Snow the good, sheltered girl who wants to be a doctor. The bond built upon a strange ability to hear each other’s thoughts is threatened when Snow is abducted, her screams for help consuming Finn’s mind until they disappear completely, submerging him in a terrifying silence he’s never known before. Now it’s up to Finn to save her, led only by Snow’s sporadic thoughts as she floats in and out of consciousness. But the search for Snow leads him to a truth he isn’t prepared to face, a truth that has the power to unravel his entire world. The people he thought he knew, the life he thought he’d made, the best friend he thought he could protect – all point toward a brutal reality should he fail. And as Finn struggles to find Snow before she slips away, he must fight to keep that reality out, lest he let the chaos in.

Circelli creates a wonderfully, unique storyline in The Silent Sounds of Chaos.  Many of the conversations through the bulk of the book occur inside the main character's head.  Initially, I found the dialogue a little confusing as I tried to sort out the unspoken conversations between the characters and their individual stories.  After a chapter or two, I was able to keep the flow of the story in the proper perspective and the story began to build.  Circelli's unique storyline builds, twists, turns, and intrigues the reader throughout the book.

The Silent Sounds of Chaos is a Page Turner.  I read the entire book in one sitting--staying up way too late again to finish it.  I thought I knew what going on--I thought I knew where the author was taking the story--and I was wrong.  A few times.  While I did have pieces of the story figured out--the author kept me guessing and questioning--and hooked into Finn's story to the very end.

Would I recommend The Silent Sounds of Chaos?  Initially, I found the dialogue a little "immature"--but, I soon realized that the characters "speaking" were small children.  The dialogue and the storyline grew and matured with the characters and Circelli's writing style allowed the characters, the setting, and the creative plot to flourish.   If you enjoy a suspenseful thriller, you will not be disappointed by this book.  I generally read carefully and look for little "clues" as I read--yet, I was still surprised by pieces of the book's resolution.  This story is creative and well written--and keeps readers engaged from the first page through to the last.

Purchase Amazon- http://amzn.to/1WBOF84 iBooks: http://apple.co/1TAUpNy Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1PSOdd2 B&N: http://bit.ly/1Sa9ssi


Meet the author:

Night owl, Dorito lover, and quiet eccentric – Kristina Circelli is the author of several fiction novels, including The Helping Hands series, The Whisper Legacy, The Never, and The Sour Orange Derby. Her latest series, The Whisper Legacy, features Beyond the Western Sun. This book is what all fantasy adventures must strive to be: a complex, intricate examination of human emotion set within the context of worlds known only in our imagination. Melding fantasy and legend in an epic quest, this series signals the arrival of Kristina Circelli as a master storyteller and an important voice in Native American literature.   

A descendent of the Cherokee nation and niece of a Cherokee elder, Circelli holds both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English from the University of North Florida, where she teaches creative writing. She also heads Red Road Editing, a full-service editing company for independent authors and commercial clients. She currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband, Seth, and cats, Lord Finnegin the Fierce and Mr. Malachi the Mighty.

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5/23/16

Book Blast for Schism by Britt Holewinski



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I am hoping to fit a review of this book into my schedule soon!  For now; however, I am excited to join the book blast sharing Schism by Britt Holewinski!

Quick Summary of Schism.  "Schism" is the first book in a new dystopian trilogy that tells a tale of survival, of good versus evil, and of constructing a future with only memories of childhood. A government-created virus is accidentally released before testing is complete and within weeks it kills six billion people, children are the only survivors.

Andy Christensen and her two friends travel across the country searching for a safe place to live, but nowhere, it seems, is capable of resurrection.

“SCHISM is an engrossing page turner that skillfully deals with dark subject matter in a compelling, through-provoking manner…The writing is crisp and clear, and the novel’s details are well-researched, down to the names of local roads and landmarks and the types of technology used by the survivors.” -IndieReader.com

“This apocalyptic teen drama’s character interactions may draw readers in, but its vigorous story will keep them hooked.” - Kirkus Reviews

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Meet The Author:


Born in Boston, Britt Holewinski lived in six different houses across the United States during her childhood, sparking her interest to write about characters who must continually adapt to new situations and locations. Early on, she dreamed of becoming an astronaut; however, shortly after completing her graduate degree, she was offered a job with the CIA. Her years working for the Agency opened her eyes to the world we live in and gave her rare glimpses of what living in a crumbling, post-apocalyptic world might be like. In her spare time, Britt loves to go hiking anywhere with a view, learn French, and visit historical Revolutionary and Civil War sites along the East Coast.

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5/17/16

Freedom From Fear : A Devotional by Pauline Creeden Book Review and Giveaway


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I am a huge advocate for facing and overcoming our fears.  Fear holds me back (at least a little bit) from my dreams and goals every day.  Every. Day.  I also live a faith-based life--and have read many of Pauline Creeden's fictional novels.  She is a wonderful writer--and, while I have not yet read any of her faith-based works, I was looking forward to reading her view on creating Freedom from Fears--from her faith-based, devotional perspective.  What did I think of Freedom from Fears, A Devotional by Pauline Creeden?

I received a complimentary copy of this ebook in exchange for my review.  All opinions are my own.

Quick Summary of Freedom from Fear by Pauline Creeden.  Fear is a cage. It closes us in and keeps us from living in the freedom that we should be. Some people get so overcome by fear that they cannot even leave their house. Phobias have become almost fashionable. We label our fears and hug them tight to us as if they are things we need to keep our security. We coddle them and keep them happy so that they don’t destroy us, and the last thing we want to do is provoke them. That powerlessness is what keeps us from accomplishing great things in our lives, whether personally or for God’s kingdom. In Freedom from Fear, we explore the keys to our freedom through faith and obedience to God's word. With this book, you'll learn to put your trust in God's character and turn to him when you're feeling out of control.

Faith and Scripture breathe hope into our Daily Reality.   Whether I am reading a romance novel or a fantasy book from Pauline Creeden--she keeps her stories rooted in reality.   I am a realist--and a faith-based, realist--and this is the characteristic I love most about her writing style.  This book is a Devotional.  It is the first of her faith based books I have read.  While she offers so many quotes and passages from Scripture; she tosses in real world thoughts and dilemmas along the way.   Fear is a life-altering struggle.  This book reminds us that the Bible teaches us a lot about facing our fears--and accepting our Faith....but, the author keeps a focus on applying Faith to our modern realities and "real-world" struggles.

Freedom from Fear is a little different from our "usual" daily devotional.  I would guess that 80% of the "devotionals" I have read over the past three years have been geared toward day-to-day prayers and devotional guidance.  Pauline does this a little differently--and I like it.  While she doesn't spread her book over days and months with page by page noted guidance--she offers a list of Bible readings at the end of nearly every section to further the thoughts presented in each section of the devotional.  If I read each of those passages (and studied them)....spreading them over days and then circled back to re-read them as the need arose in my life...this book would cover months of Bible study--and fear evaluation.

Would I recommend Freedom from Fear?  I have read a lot of the Scripture...and I have read many, many devotionals from many authors. However; I am probably still one of those readers reciting "some" of a given verse...and not the verse in its entirety.  I am not a Bible authoritarian--and I cannot say if something is misquoted (without research) nor can I even offer a strong opinion on whether something is misinterpreted from strict, Christian views.  I think each of us has some ability to interpret the Bible's translations for ourselves.  (Probably why I am not a traditional Conservative) And I think we should.  If we choose to follow God.  I think that is what I liked most about this devotional.  Pauline gave us her thoughts on the various realms of our fears--and dealing with fears--from her Christian perspective--but, she advised us to study Scripture for supporting evidence for ourselves as well.

Luckily, this book provides all of her Biblical sources and her thoughts upon each.  If you feel that fear is limiting your life--AND you believe that your faith may connect you to an answer--this book will certainly lift you.  If you are fearful....but, faithless...I don't think that this book would convert you to believe in Creeden's faith. While this book is loaded with Scripture--I don't feel that Pauline "beats" readers over the head with it.  Her conversational tone reminds readers that she is interpreting her meaningful Bible passages from her own perspective--and encouraging readers to face fear based on her thoughts--while considering other passages, and their own life experiences, as well.  I enjoyed Pauline's perspectives and her Biblical insights into our battle against daily fear as we seek out our goals.

Purchase Freedom from Fear Amazon / Nook / Kobo / iBooks

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 I just downloaded this book this morning!  I haven't read it yet--but I would encourage you to take advantage of the FREE download!

Pauline CreedenPauline Creeden

Pauline Creeden is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy. In her fiction, she creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.    

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Check out her other books HERE

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5/5/16

The Five Truths About Work-Life Balance Book Review and Giveaway


Work Life Balance.  Those three words are the ultimate, life goal of so many of us in our constant-on, run-run-run, busy-busy world.  I am running late on getting this post up and live today because my own home "life" has taken over during the past few weeks and tipped the scale so sharply that my "work" world has been spinning out of control!  Jae Ellard caught my attention with her latest book, The Five Truths About Work-Life Balance!  Perhaps, if I knew the truth about this elusive balancing act, I could be capable of successfully juggling it all (or even some of it!) for more than a minute!  What was my review of The Five Truths about Work-Life Balance?

I received a complimentary copy of this book for use in my review.  You may enter to win a copy in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post!

Quick Summary of The Five Truths About Work-Life Balance. Work-life balance has nothing to do with work. Really. It also doesn't matter what words you use to describe it. The fact is, most people share a similar desire to create easy joy and meaningful engagement across the roles, relationships and responsibilities that make up life.

Our current habits and perceptions often get us stuck and prevent us from creating the life we desire. Get unstuck, learn the truths about work-life balance.


The Five Truths About Work-Life Balance is not the Typical Self-Help Book. When I first opened this book, I felt a little "let-down". The book's layout was much different than I had expected. Rather than pages and pages of guidance and "do this"; I found pages and pages of thoughts, quotes, ideas and a lot of empty space. How was this book going to help me discover the answers to my Work-Life Balance dilemma? Initially, I read through half of the book--then, put it down for a few days. The ideas presented, the thoughts shared, and the quotes written were easy to read--but, they weren't really saying anything to me. 

Then. It hit me.

I wasn't really reading what the author was sharing. I was expecting her to tell me everything I was doing wrong--and tell me that there is one way to fix it. That wasn't the book I was reading--because that wasn't the book she had written. Jae Ellard was not telling me how to balance my life and my roles. She was sharing some rather universal truths to make me think about my life--and put work-life balance into my own perspective. 

Ellard offers unique guidance in this book. While many of the tried and true "work-life balance" ideas are present--they are presented in a slightly different way. Rather than simply telling us to learn to say no to some of our daily demands--she offers quotes to help us put that thought into the context of our own life habits and challenges.

Would I recommend The Five Truths About Work-Life Balance by Jae Ellard? At first, I missed the value in the book. It seemed to be a book of inspirational quotes and thoughts--which were well written and fitting to the book's topic--but, I wasn't sure how that would help me in my work-life struggles. Because this subject is so individualized and so personal--I think each page of this book will hold a slightly different meaning for each reader. That is the value of this book. How can I apply The Five Truths About Work-Life Balance to my life to improve my personal satisfaction? If you are looking for a book to guide you in a new direction toward work-life balance--this book is probably for you. The author is not writing a procedure for you in this book--she is offering you valuable points to ponder as you consider your own work-life balance situation, goals, and needs. I think this is a great tool for anyone who is overburdened, tired, stressed, or doubting his/her happy balance in life's many roles.

Buy the book:  Amazon

Meet the Author.
After years in senior communication roles crafting content for executives, Jae collapsed from stress-related adrenal fatigue. This life-altering experience propelled her to research human behavior, neuroscience, mindfulness, and organizational relationship systems.

In 2008, Jae founded Simple Intentions and developed the Mindful Life™ Program, which includes four group coaching workshops to generate reflection, awareness and action at the organizational and individual levels. Jae has taught the skill of awareness to thousands of employees at multinational corporations in more than 50 countries including China, Russia, India, Japan, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, Germany, United Kingdom, Norway, and the United States.

Jae contributes to the Awareness at Work column for Mindful Magazine, the Healthy Living section on Huffington Post as well as the Simple Intentions blog. Jae has a master’s degree in Communication Management from Colorado State University and a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Communication from Metropolitan State College of Denver. She holds certificates in co-active coaching and organizational relationship systems coaching and is the author of seven books.

Connect with the author:   Website   Twitter   Facebook

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4/29/16

Forbidden Trails by Bonnie R. Paulson Book Release Day


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I have not read this series from Bonnie R. Paulson--but, I always have a (growing) list of her books on my reading list.  I love her writing style--and, although I am not a fan of romance novels, I'm even enjoy her romance series as well!

I was not compensated for this post--and I have not received the books in this series to review.  I am simply sharing an independent author I enjoy and recommend. 

Quick Summary of Forbidden Trails (The Montana Trails series, Clearwater County Collection Book 2) by Bonnie R Paulson.   A woman with a cause falls for a man who hunts the very thing she wants to save. Working as a traveling ranch hand to keep food on the table, Jareth Darby’s wanderlust is satisfied and his fear of settling down at bay. But even Jareth can’t fight the draw of a damsel-in-distress. Cyan Burns can afford to have principles and expectations of the world with parents on the top 50 list of the richest people in America. Her current cause has been the longest running – the Gray wolves of North America. Saved by Jareth from freezing winter weather, Cyan can’t ignore her attraction to the rugged Montana cowboy. But his new employer is out for wolf pelts and Jareth doesn’t see the problem with hunting the endangered species. Can Cyan convince him the wolves – and she – are worth fighting for? Wrangle some time to read this story about struggle and survival of love against almost insurmountable odds. Sweet romance, continuing series - Check out Lonely Lace series to start out right with the Clearwater County Collection.

Only .99 thru May 1

Purchase - Amazon / iBooks / Kobo / Nook

About the Author:  

Bonnie
Bonnie R. Paulson mixes her science and medical background with reality and possibilities to make even myths seem likely and give every romance the genetic strength to survive. Bonnie has discovered a dark and twisty turn in her writing that she hopes you enjoy as much as she has enjoyed uncovering it. Dirt biking with her family in the Northwest keeps her sane.

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