Sunday, November 30, 2014

Blog Tour - Review & Giveaway - Click Date Repeat by K.J. Farnham

Click Date Repeat banner

This is my stop during the book blitz for Click Date Repeat by K. J. Farnham. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 26 November till 1 December, you can view the complete blitz schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog ToursBe sure to enter the giveaway at the end of the post!

Click Date Repeat coverClick Date Repeat
by K. J. Farnham

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 21 August, 2014

Blurb:
These days, finding love online is as commonplace as ordering that coveted sweater. But back in 2003, the whole concept of Internet dating was still quite new, with a stigma attached to it that meant those who were willing to test the waters faced a fair amount of skepticism from friends and family.

Such is the case for Chloe Thompson, a restless 20-something tired of the typical dating scene and curious about what she might find inside her parents’ computer. With two serious but failed relationships behind her, Chloe isn’t even entirely sure what she’s looking for. She just knows that whatever it is, she wants to find it.

Based loosely on author K. J. Farnham’s real-life online dating experiences, Chloe’s foray into online dating involves a head-first dive into a world of matches, ice breakers and the occasional offer of dick pics, all while Chloe strives to shake herself of the ex who just refuses to disappear. Will she simultaneously find herself and “the one” online, or will the ever-growing pile of humorous and downright disastrous dates only prove her friends and family right? There’s only one way to find out…
Click. Date. Repeat.

You can find Click Date Repeat on Goodreads

You can buy Click Date Repeat here:
- Amazon (Kindle)
- Amazon (Paperback)


My Review
4 Stars!

This book ended up being a solid 4 star read for me.  I have to admit that when I first sat down to read this book I had a moment where I wondered what I had done by requesting this book.  I read another book earlier this year about something very similar and it really wasn't the right story for me.  Just a few pages into this book and I was hooked.  This story connected with me in a way that the other book hadn't and I found that I could relate to just about everything inside of these pages.

This story is set during the early days of online dating.  I believe I am a little bit older than the author and I remember the even earlier days of meeting people online.  I never signed up for an online dating service as the main character in this book did but I did meet a few people online.  I think I met every single one of the men that are found in this story.  It is mind boggling how authentic this book actually is.  One of the things that I really loved about this book was how it reminded me so much of some of the best (and worst) days of my life.  I never at any point in the book thought that something was far fetched or out of place.

The characters in this book are just wonderful.  I realize that most of the characters were most likely based on real people and it shows because these people are real.  They are not perfect and they have their flaws but they keep trying.  Let's just say that K.J. Farnham absolutely nailed it with these characters.  The writing style of this book was wonderful.  I felt Chloe's frustration as she navigated the dating world right along with her and I cheered for her when things went well.  All of the men, all of the dates, and all of Chloe's friends blended perfectly into a wonderful little story. 

 I would highly recommend this book to other readers.  This is a captivating story that I consumed in just two days.  This is the first book by K.J. Farnham that I have had a chance to read but I plan to watch for other books in the future.

 I received a copy of this book from the author for the purpose of providing an honest review.


Excerpt


“I can’t believe you’re finally going on a date.” Even through the phone lines, I know that my friend Jess is rolling her eyes. I can feel it in her tone.

The phone is cradled against my right shoulder as I scrutinize myself in the mirror. “I know. I think it’ll end up being worth the wait though. This guy seems pretty perfect.” I hope some of my enthusiasm rubs off on her.

So far, online dating seems like a good fit for me. It’s easy to find guys who have all of the attributes I am looking for, and I can prevent wasting time on the rest. Like everything else in my life, I am trying to make the whole process as efficient as possible. If I sift through my matches carefully enough, I am sure to find someone worthwhile. Right? That is what I keep telling myself anyway. Jess thinks I am wasting my time. If it were up to her, I would still be searching for someone in a bar where, let’s face it, prospects are slim. I have seen them all: too old, too drunk, too full of themselves, too eager, or already in a relationship. The list goes on. Heck, some do not even hide the fact that they have a wife or girlfriend.

“So, where are you meeting him? And which one is it? The dark and handsome one or the guy with no photo?”

“It’s Scott. The dark and handsome one.”

Seeing his photo for the first time brought a smile to my face. It was the day I created my account. Such a handsome face on my list of potential matches prompted me to spend nearly two hours learning how to use the Yahoo Personals site when my only intention initially had been to browse through a few profiles. It seemed urgent to send Scott a message that day though, just in case his profile was not on my list the next time I logged in. I had no idea how these things worked, after all. For all I knew, he could be matched up with someone else and stolen away from my list of possibilities before I even got the chance to say “hi.”

Unfortunately, every time I typed a line or two, the words just felt wrong. How are you supposed to start a conversation like this, I wondered. It all felt so foreign to me, and over and over I kept typing the sentences only to delete them. I finally decided to send an icebreaker, the Yahoo Personals equivalent of sending over a drink at the bar. It was a way to let him know I liked his profile without having to think of something to say. I convinced myself there was far less pressure to this option, and that if he looked at my profile and decided he was not interested, at least knowing I had not painstakingly bared my soul via e-mail would soften the blow of rejection.

I check out my backside in the mirror. “We’re meeting at Applebee’s.” I close my eyes and brace myself for Jess’s response.

“Applebee’s? Why? You hate Applebee’s!” she says.

“I know, but it’s an equal distance for both of us.” I do not want to tell her that Scott sounded pretty adamant about meeting at Applebee’s. In fact, he mentioned something about loving Applebee’s. Even though my stomach turned when he suggested it, I did not want to come across as pushy by suggesting somewhere else.

“Who suggested it?” She is not going to let it go.

I pause for a second and consider lying to her. “He did.”

I hear her laugh. “So you’ve waited this long to go on your first date, and the guy you’re meeting up with picks Applebee’s? Sounds like a sign to me.”

Uneasiness settles in the pit of my stomach. Maybe it is a sign. Or maybe Jess is just getting into my head. I am a little bit pissed at her for not being more supportive. Who cares if he likes Applebee’s? He has a good job, makes a decent amount of money, has a sense of humor, and he is really attractive. I never say anything about that controlling, weaselly, coke-sniffing, car-salesman boyfriend of hers. I take a deep breath. “Whatever, Jess.”

“Honestly, Chloe, I still don’t get why you’re spending money to meet people online when there are more than enough guys to choose from at nearly every corner bar. Remember Lily, my redheaded coworker? She said her sister tried online dating and every guy she met was a total weirdo. Think about it. There’s something fishy about a guy who sits at home on his computer looking for women.” She laughs.

“Well, I sit at home on a computer looking for men, and I’m not a weirdo.” Jess doesn’t respond.

“Hello?”

“Oh. Sorry. I was pondering what you just said.” I envision her smirk, and for a split second, I wonder why we are even friends.

“Very funny. Not everyone who attempts online dating is weird. That’s like saying that everyone on the prowl in a bar is normal. If Internet dating sites were full of crazies, there’s no way they would stay in business. Online dating is new to us, but Yahoo Personals has been around since like 1998. C’mon Jess. It’s 2003. It must be a successful way to meet people if it’s still around. And there are other sites too like eHarmony and Match.com. eHarmony even advertises on TV.”

“I don’t know, Chloe. It still seems bizarre to me. Tell you what—when I see a ring on your finger, I’ll change my tune. In the meantime though, please try not to go out with any axe murderers.”



K. J. FarnhamAbout the Author:
Born and raised in a suburb of Milwaukee, K. J. Farnham was an educator for 12 years. She holds a bachelor's degree from UW-Milwaukee and a master's degree from Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

After relocating from Milwaukee to Hudson, Wisc., in 2011, Farnham became a freelance writer and resolved to complete her first novel. The storyline for "Click Date Repeat" is a result of her experiences (and mishaps) with online dating, through which she met her husband.

Farnham lives with her husband, three young children and three cats. When she is not busy keeping up with her kids, she can be found reading or writing. A sequel to "Click Date Repeat" is in the works, and she plans to publish her next novel, "The Me I See," in the spring of 2015.

You can find and contact the author here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Goodreads

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Click Date Repeat. These are the prizes you can win:
- 2 amazon gift cards of 5$

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #1
Ilona Andrews
Publication Date:  December 2, 2013
Date Read:  November 6, 2014

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

5 Stars!

This book is absolutely fantastic.  I am convinced that the writing team of Ilona and Gordan Andrews can do no wrong.  I was immediately pulled into the story once I started reading and simply could not stop reading until I had finished the book, which was a bit of a problem since I was supposed to be keeping pace with a group of friends who were reading it with me - oops, sorry guys.  Unfortunately,  the fact that I finished so quickly has created a new problem in that I have to wait to read the next book in the series and I hate waiting.  

"I didn't have all the relevant information.  Had I known you had a haunted house, a magic broom, and a devil dog on your side, my initial response would've been different."
The cast of characters in the story are just phenomenal.  Dina is an Innkeeper.  She is a tough girl who is not afraid to act on her own.  She is spunky, stands up for herself, and more than willing to handle difficult situations when the need arises.  Beast is her small dog and maybe just a little bit more than that.  Sean is a werewolf who happens to be new in town.  He has a lot to learn and Dina is not afraid to tell him what he doesn't know.  Caldenia is the one and only guest at Dina's Inn and she is always more than willing to take troublemakers off your hands, especially if they look tasty.  Arland is a vampire who seeks refuge at Dina's inn.  Gertrude Hunt is the inn and while many would not consider the inn to be a character, it was one of my favorite characters in the story.

"It's not funny.  I've got a naked drunk vampire running around my orchard."
I love most things that fall in the paranormal category.  I really enjoyed the fact that humor found its way into this story.  I love the banter between characters that this author incorporates into the story.  The humor fit into this story naturally without being forced and it added to the story.  I love that these characters were able to laugh at each other.  I hate it when fictional characters takes themselves too seriously. 

"I suggest you give up now.  According to my research, in a vampire-werewolf love triangle, the vampire always gets the girl."
I am not usually a fan of love triangles but any romance found in this book was so minor that I didn't mind this time and to be honest I don't think that this triangle was really much of a triangle.  I think that the world this story was set in was so well done.  It was very different than any other story I have read and it was so believable.  If you think that this book is simply going to be another Kate Daniels story - you are just plain wrong.  If you have read Kate Daniels, then you should already know how amazing this writing pair is and you need to read this book.  I also think that this would be a fantastic book for anyone new to Ilona Andrews to start with because it is an excellent representation of their skills both as writers and storyteller.  I recommend this book to anyone and everyone and can't wait to read more of this series.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Woman with a Gun by Phillip Margolin

Woman with a Gun by Phillip Margolin
Harper
Publication Date:  December 2, 2014
Date Read:  November 25, 2014

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Harper via Edelweiss for the purpose of providing an honest review.

3 Stars

When I saw that I had a chance to read Phillip Margolin's newest book prior to its official release, I jumped at the chance.  I have read several books by Phillip Margolin and have really enjoyed every one of them.  I liked this book but found myself feeling somewhat underwhelmed by the story.  I think this book had an excellent mystery at its core but the manner in which it was told took away from the story.  Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed this book and 3 stars is a good rating.

I think my biggest problem with this book was the way it jumped around in time and the change in focus of the story.  The story is told in parts all focused on the photograph seen on the cover of this book - Woman with a Gun.  Parts of the book are told from the perspective of an aspiring writer who decides to write a novel based on this photo.  Then the book jumps to the time period when the photo was taken which happens to be the night the woman's husband was murdered.  Then the book jumps further back in time to show some history between the photographer and the Attorney General on the case.  The last parts of the book are set in the present when everything comes together.

I really liked the two sections of the book that were set in the past the best.  Those parts of the book focused mainly on Jack Booth's point of view, the Attorney General who I was able to connect with more than anyone else in the book.  The sections that focused mainly on Stacey Kim, the writer just did not connect with me as much until the action picked up.  To be honest, I can't remember reading a book that talks about writing a book as a focus that has ever completely pulled me in.  The writing in the book seemed somewhat awkward at times and I felt the author told me things instead of showing me.

I did really enjoy the underlying mystery in the book and felt the complexity surrounding that mystery was the major strength in the book.  I did guess some of the big reveal before the end of the story but the plotting was done you only learned a small piece at a time which kept me guessing for most of the book.  I would recommend this book to mystery lovers and I plan to continue to look for works by Phillip Margolin.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends in the United States!  

For all of my international friends - Happy Thursday!


Some of the things that I am thankful for this Thanksgiving:

  • My husband - If he wasn't around who would mow the yard or take out the trash?  Seriously, I love this guy.
  • My two daughters - They are always willing to bring me down a notch and point out all of my flaws.  I may have went through life thinking I was perfect if not for my two teenagers.  I love those girls.
  • My mom - This woman is battling breast cancer for the third time and she still tries to take care of everyone else.  And she buys me pizza AND margaritas on my birthday.  
  • My whole family and my friends - My younger sister gave me twin babies to play with this year.  My older sister, her daughters, my brother in laws, my husband's family, my grandmother, aunts, uncles, my best friend who has helped me cause trouble for almost 30 years, everyone.  
  • My dogs - They are my favorite kids.  I always know where they are after midnight.  They never have lied to me or rolled their eyes when I speak.  I could go on but the point is that I love these two.  Heck, I even love the cat but it would be going too far to say I was thankful for her.
  • My mustang - Because nobody should have to drive a minivan - Nobody!
  • My safety - Living so close yet so far from the unrest in Ferguson makes me realize how lucky I am to feel safe in my own home and everywhere else.
  • My local library - This place is one of my favorite places to visit.  They let you take things home without showing them anything but a card.  If you have an ereader, you don't even have to go there to check things out - you can do it online.  I am so lucky to live in a town with a wonderful library.
  • Everything else that I usually take for granted - my home, the fact that I have enough money to pay my bills, the fact that safe gluten free food is getting easier to find, the fact that I am healthy, and the fact that all my needs are met.  I am one lucky lady when you stop and think about it.

What are you thankful for this year?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Blog Tour Promo & Giveaway: True Calling by Siobhan Davis

True Calling banner

This is my stop during the blog tour for True Calling by Siobhan Davis. This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 15 till 30 November, you can view the complete tour schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog ToursBe sure to enter the giveaway at the end of the post!

True CallingTrue Calling (True Calling #1)
By Siobhan Davis
Genre: Dystopian/Science Fiction/Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: August 1, 2014


Blurb:
Planet Novo, nestled in space twelve hundred miles above the surface of the Earth, is the new home of 17-year-old Cadet Ariana Skyee. Confused by the government-sanctioned memory erase and distressed at her impending forced marriage and motherhood, Ariana’s plans for the future are thrown into complete disarray.

As the traumatic events within her family life enfold, Ariana grows increasingly alarmed at the authorities apparent pre-occupation with her and feels progressively more isolated and alone.

Her growing feelings for fellow Cadet Cal Remus intensify as the recently announced pageant, ‘The Calling’, gets underway. Struggling to comprehend the continuous, inexplicable dreams of the mysterious Zane, discovering the past helps shape her future, with devastating personal consequences.

You can find True Calling on Goodreads.

You can buy True Calling here:
- Amazon
- Barnes & Noble
- Kobo
- iBooks
- Ciando ebooks
- Copia books
- Bookbaby




Excerpt
The rest of Sunday passes by in a blur; I am deeply perturbed. I lock myself in my room and try to read a book, but I can’t stop my mind from recalling everything that my father has told me. I don’t understand exactly what’s going on within government circles, but I know enough to determine that the fragile fabric of society is under silent threat. I wonder if the president ever thinks that things might have been better if we’d all just stayed on Earth and tried to rebuild our lives there. While I’m afraid at this latest turn of events, I also feel somewhat invigorated; perhaps there’s hope that things could change for the better. When nightfall arrives I drift into a troubled sleep.  
Zane is walking alone in the dark. Someone grabs him from behind and pulls a black cloth bag over his head. Two pairs of arms propel him forward as he thrashes about in vain.  
I wake screaming loudly and the Medicet is there in a flash. The sedative knocks me out and I sleep right through my alarm. Damn, I could really use a run, I do my best thinking and de-stressing when I’m out on the track but there’s no time.  
I make it to the convention center with minimal time to spare.  
The conversation with my father, and my most recent dream of Zane has me completely on edge. Every part of my body feels tense and my entire upper back feels like it’s in a million knots; I shrug my shoulders in a desperate attempt to loosen up. Today is the Talent Showcase and at least this activity doesn’t require any fake expression of excitement on my part; it’s been so long since I’ve indulged in painting. I included my oils, canvases and easel in my travel allowance when we first came to Novo, but they quickly ran out and it’s been near impossible to replenish my supplies. I’ve been itching to paint ever since.  
I make my way to the fifth floor as instructed and knock on room 5314. I’m immediately welcomed into a small square room, decorated sparsely in white. A large, stout man rises to greet me from a long desk at the right-hand side of the room; he formally introduces me to his two companions. In the middle of the room is a large canvas, resting on an impressive easel, with a huge expanse of oil paints in every conceivable color. I feel like I’m eight years old again and it’s Christmas morning. I let out a squeal of delight. The assessors nod agreeably to one other. My dad’s words replay in my mind and I know this is the type of enthusiasm I must replicate at all stages of the pageant. 
I don’t need to think about what to paint: I recreate the woodland from home. The contrasting shades of green depict the different trees as I recall them. The sun shines in shafts of light through the branches, the dirty brown earth is underfoot and the birds are high up in the blue sky. I include a small stream that ran perpendicular across the expanse of the northern edge of the wood and I decide, on the spur of the moment, to paint two joggers running through the woods. I stand back to admire my work; it’s one of the best I’ve ever done. I turn and look at the panel as they rise to inspect it.  




SiobhanAbout the Author:
Siobhan Davis is the author of YA science fiction romance series True Calling.
A self-diagnosed ‘teenager forever’—at least when it comes to books, music and movies; Siobhan is totally addicted to teen fiction and superhero/blockbuster movies. Siobhan loves baking, crime novels, shoes, bags, make-up, anti-wrinkle cream, anything pink, Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, and Robert Pattinson (definitely Team Edward).
Siobhan has forged a successful corporate career, in Human Resources, over the last twenty years.
A member of the IWI writers group, Siobhan resides in the Garden County of Ireland with her husband and two sons.
Contact Siobhan at: www.siobhandavis.com

You can find and contact Siobhan here:
- Website
- Author blog
- Book website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Google +
- Goodreads

There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of True Calling. The giveaway is open international. These are the prizes you can win:
- Paperback copy True Calling
- 3 e-copies of True Calling

For a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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