I am in love with this new series. (Well new to me, as this is the third book in the series) If you are looking for an escape into a great romance story, then this is for you. What is great about this series, is while they all relate to each other and you can certainly read them in order, they can stand alone. Each one having a full story in and of itself. While I love a long series, with a continuing story line; sometimes it is just nice to pick up any where and be off.
From the back of the book:
“She’s spent her whole life acting. But is she good enough to make him believe she doesn’t love him?
Three years ago, a terrified girl named Emma fled a world of crime and abuse in Chicago and bought a one-way ticket to New York. She reinvented herself as an actress, enrolled at the prestigious Fenbrook Academy and buried her pain beneath a vivacious new persona. Her new name was Jasmine.
Now she has to pull off the performance of her career.
Landing her dream part in a police show, she finds herself falling for her co-star, Ryan, a real-life cop. If she lets him get too close, he’ll awaken memories she doesn’t want to face and uncover secrets that could endanger them both. But how can she keep a guy at arm’s length when she has to kiss him on camera?
The last place Ryan imagined himself was on a TV show. Blaming himself for the death of his partner, he’s on a downward spiral of rage and guilt. The show is his last chance…but how can he keep it professional when his co-star is a woman he’s crazy about?
As their on-screen and off-screen relationships merge, things go from hot to blistering. But when Jasmine’s old life catches up with her, will a cop be the one person she can’t be around…or the only person who can save her?”
Acting Brave is one of those stories that starts off slow. It gently pulls you into the story, you won’t even notice that it has gripped you until you try to put it down and can’t. The characters are so well developed that you feel that you know them, that they become full people in your life. If you want a contemporary romance then this will be a book for you. But be sure to check out the other books in this series as well.
What are your favorite types of book to read? Does it depend on your mood? Who is your favorite author?
From the back of the book:
“When twenty-three year old Tala Velsik appears in a last minute performance art piece, she has no idea that public nudity will be the least of her worries. Wearing nothing but silver paint and a pair of antlers, her body is bared to hundreds of eyes, but one penetrating stare simmers through the others, Adrian Caro.
Adrian Caro is one of the world’s most famous directors and photographers, but with striking features and a body made for sin, most would guess he belonged in front of the camera.
Of course, the last thing Tala needs is romance, even with a walking Adonis. Mounting bills, a dead end job and a set of childhood memories most therapists would pale at; love is low on her list. Assuming, of course, her new admirer allows her to have a say in the matter.
Shocked yet thrilled by Adrian’s passionate domination, Tala can’t help but feel she’s standing on quicksand. For all his wealth, fame and talent, Adrian is tormented by his own demons; hiding secrets big enough to destroy them both.”
I was captivated right from the beginning. Little Wolf had my attention right from the start. Then I was so lucky, not only to read this book, but get to hear from the author!!!
Amelie S. Duncan
Q- When did you begin writing?
A- All my life I have been a storyteller. My younger years consisted of making up stories and skits to share with my family. When I was a teenager, I wrote more poetry and short stories than anyone else I knew. As I got older, my stories became darker and I drew from experiences surrounding a tough patch in my life.
In college, writing was academic and I put aside my personal stories. But a few years ago, I began writing again; only it didn’t come as easily as I remembered. I spent a lot of time studying and developing stories. I was always a lover of paranormal romances, but I progressed to erotica, and erotic romances. I shared my writing with my husband and friends. Friends were a bit more reserved about what I was creating, but my husband loved how alive I was when I was writing and encouraged me to pursue this dream. I am forever thankful for his support.
Q- What genre do you write and why?
A- I write contemporary erotic romance stories, but I also include darker elements in my writing. I’m an avid reader of dark erotica, erotica, erotic romances, paranormal romances and new adult stories. They all inspire me creatively. So, I write what I truly love and enjoy reading and hope those stories will resonate with like-minded readers.
Q- Can you tell us a little about your book?
A- Little Wolf is truly, at its heart, the love story of my heroine, Tala Velsik. She has a had a tough life growing up with her unmediated, paranoid schizophrenic mother and an absentee father. In her teen years, she was adopted by the family of Jax Molsom, her best and only friend.
She faced her haunted pass and challenging life with strength and resilience, managing to take care of herself and all those around her. In her pursuit to do just that, and pressing forward in her chaotic and difficult life, she helps her brother with his dreams and ends up crossing the path of famed photographer and director Adrian Caro.
Adrian’s life is quite a contrast of Tala’s, but he is also personally unfulfilled. So he makes a deal with the devil in his pursuit of happiness. As their worlds collide, the secret he is hiding becomes his biggest challenge of the story. Ultimately, this secret threatens everything.
I am long-winded, but purposely being vague to avoid spoiling the story. Ultimately, it is a story about finding love, care and family. These things come at a price, and it isn’t always perfect or easy, but even the most damaged among us can find it.
Q- What is the inspiration behind your book Little Wolf?
A- Little Wolf was first and foremost inspired by my work in the mental health field. My experience is with children, teens and women like my heroine, Tala Velsik. Their lives are often tragic and chaotic at times, but many of them remain strong and resilient. They are also extremely tough on the outside, but their hearts are so beautiful. Their loyalty a wonder. So this book was inspired by all the Tala’s I fell in love with over the years.
The location where the majority of the novel takes place also has a special spot in my heart, as I studied there and always wanted to write about the beauty and kindness of the people I met while abroad. Overall, the family and community there are so unique that I felt this was the perfect setting for Tala and Adrian’s story.
Q- How did you come up with the idea for the cover?
A- Actually, my cover designer found the photo, as I was indecisive. I loved the picture, and the way it turned out is beautiful. I am very happy with it.
Q- Name your all-time favorite book?
A- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Q- If your book was made into a movie who would you cast and why?
A- If you’ve ever viewed my Pinterest account, you know I have a healthy obsession with David Gandy, so Adrian Caro would be him. Although, I always think of Adrian with a deep sultry voice, but I like his accent. A wonderful blogger brought my attention to Emilia Clarke for Tala Velsik. Blythe Danner for Sophie Caro. For the rest, I’m not as certain.
Q- When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
A- I don’t really believe I ever thought I could be a writer. My friends and family always told me I was a great storyteller, but it seemed like a dream so far out of reach. I did well in story writing throughout my educational life, but it was only recent and through the encouragement of my husband that I began to really develop stories. It didn’t all come together at once, but I found wonderful people to help me and I’m continuously working to be better. So I hope to one day truly consider myself a writer.
Q- How long does it take you to write a book?
A- Writing a book doesn’t take nearly as long as developing, editing and publishing it. I find the first draft is pretty quick, but I would never publish that because it’s always awful! I would say for Little Wolf, it took a few months to write it, but much more time to develop the story with my development editor and beta readers.
Q- Do you have a sequel or new books coming out in 2015?
A- Yes. I have a series entitled Tiger Lily which I plan to release soon. As for a sequel to Little Wolf, I haven’t written one yet, but I may consider doing so in the future.
For only $0.99 (yes that is correct…. 99 CENTS) you can’t go wrong with this quick, steamy read!!! Click below to download, you won’t want to miss this..
This House Needs A Mouse has to be one of the cutest books out there. It starts:
“This is the story of a house. An ordinary house with ordinary windows and ordinary doors. Ordinary ceilings and ordinary floors…. and three families.”
But even before we started to read it, they loved it. When I got it out of the mail I placed it on our coffee table, before I could go get my cup of tea, the girls were fascinated with the illustrations. Every page was full of color, and more then that… life. There is not an inch ANYWHERE in this book that is dull, or not filled with amazing drawings of what is going on. It immediately sparked the interest and imagination of my little girls. They were making up stories to go along with each page before I was back with my cup of tea.
Then once we started into actually reading this book, they were hooked. They simply fell in love with this little mouse. (They were very upset though, no where in the story did he get a name. So we named him Pip) They were happy when we found a house, they boo-ed when the family was mean, and cheered at the end.
It was wonderful to see my girls so excited about a book. And even last night, when we went to read a bed time story, they didn’t want the princess books, they didn’t want to re-read Frozen.. They wanted to read……. This House Needs A Mouse.. WIN!!
What are your kids favorite books? What kinds of things do they like to read?
Who doesn’t love a great pallet. Then take it a step further and not only send over the eyeshadows, but lets add the blush, eyeliner and throw in a great brush!! Plus jot down a few different ways use to use the kit. Who would LOVE and want that? I know I do.
This little box come with all those goodies. It’s from my current favorite brand Boots No7. Seriously if you have not popped over to Walgreens (I know odd place to buy makeup), to pick up some of there products; you are sorely missing out. Their makeup line is just as good, if not better, then the more expensive brands. They have a fantastic range of colors and products to choose from. To see more reviews of No7 see here and here.
In this box you are going to receive:
- Light Gray Brown Eyeshadow- This has a satin finish
- Dark Gray Brown Eyeshadow- This has more of a glitter finish. Not overly sparkly though.
- Blush in Soft Damson- This is a super soft pink matte blush
- Nude Pink Lipgloss- This has lots of shine, subtle color and NO stickiness.
- Black Pencil Eyeliner- Complete with a smudger at the end.
- Last but not Least A Directional Powder Brush- I thought that this would be way to big for a blush brush, and there was no powder that came with the set. But after giving it a try, I love it. It gives a big wash of soft color. Totally my go to brush now with my matte blushes.
So here is my favorite look with this kit. We do need to add MAC Brule eyeshadow and your favorite mascara.
- Apply MAC Brule all over eyelid, from lash to eyebrow (If you are luck enough not to have lots of veins on your eyelid you can skip this step, but I need a little help)
- Apply the No7 light gray brown shade on eyelid; from lash to the crease and corner to corner.
- Apply the No7 dark gray brown shade along the lash line.
- Use the No7 eyeliner and line upper lash line, then using the smudge side smudge the line into a soft line.
- Apply your favorite mascara to both upper and lower lashes
- Using the Directional Powder Brush apply blush to cheeks sweeping up to hairline and up to temples.
- Apply the lipgloss and you are all set
Great kit, easy to use, lots of ways to go from a simple day look to an evening out on the town. Plus the entire kit is only $25. You can’t even get two shadows at MAC for that price.
Who all has given this brand a try? What is your favorite brand? Or what is your go to look?
Where was this book a year ago? A year ago, my husband and I were scratching our heads trying to figure out how best to help his parents. We kept asking, why is there is there no book that could help guide you through this process? If you have an aging parent, then you need to read this book like yesterday.
From Back Of The Book:
“How to Care for Aging Parents is an authoritative, clear, and comforting source of advice and support for the ever-growing number of Americans—now 42 million—who care for an elderly parent, relative, or friend. And now, in its third edition, it is completely overhauled and updated, chapter-by-chapter and page-by-page, with the most recent medical findings and recommendations. It includes a whole new chapter on fraud; details on the latest “aging in place” technologies; more helpful online resources; and everything you need to know about current laws and regulations. Also new are fill-in worksheets for gathering specifics on medications; caregivers’ names, schedules, and contact info; doctors’ phone numbers and addresses; and other essential information in one handy place at the back of the book.
From having that first difficult conversation to arranging a funeral and dealing with grief—and all of the other important issues in between—How to Care for Aging Parents is the essential guide.”
How to Care for Aging Parents, does not sugar coat what you are up against, it does not make the process seem any easier then it is. However, it is extremely comforting knowing that I am not alone. That I am not horrible for feeling some of the things that I have felt throughout this process. That I am not selfish for thinking a few of the things that I have thought.
It guides you through the process, starting with having that first step. Walking you though some of the scenarios that you might be faced with. Everything with talking to your parents, to how to help financially, to when to make medical decisions. I love that it also lays out some “traps” that you might fall into. IE- now that you are taking care of your parents, how you might start to treat them more like children; rather then the adults (with more experience then you) they are now. I know that was one we fell into a lot. It was just easier to tell them what to do and make a decision, rather then trying to explain a complex issue, then answer a hundred questions, get their input and then go with what we thought in the first place. But they are adults, capable of making their own choices; and deserve the respect as your parents. This book showed us how to better talk with them, and since then our relationship is so much better with them.
If you are dealing with an aging parent, or will be, then you need to pick up a copy of this book. It really will make the process so much easier.
Has anyone else had to start dealing with this yet? What did you all do to prepare yourselves for it? Where did you go for information?
“The day I was born, a single red apple grew on a juniper tree in our castle’s garden.
A Blood Apple.
It was a rare fruit; the most sought after in Europe at the time. An apple of unmatched sweetness and unearthly ripeness. Some claimed it could cure the sick and enrich the poor, grant children to the sterile, and keep the soul guarded from demonic possessions. Its rarity and taste made it comparable with gold and diamonds, if they were edible. There was a well-known saying: “A Blood Apple a day keeps all Sorrow away.” Few people knew why the word “sorrow” had always been capitalized in this sentence. I learned why many years later.
The single, delicious Blood Apple that grew on my birthday was even rarer. This one was the first to grow in my homeland, Styria, in seven years.
A nameless witch—we did not speak her name—had cursed my homeland in Western Europe many years before. Every time a tree gave birth to an apple, it came out grey, rotten, and infested with worms. No amount of magic or prayers managed to lift up the curse. They said the witch was the mother of all witches, that she was darker than the darkest shades of night. For reasons beyond me, she had cursed us with no intention to relieve us from her wicked omen, ever.
All of this changed the day I blossomed from my mother’s womb into this life. No one knew how it was possible, or why it happened. Everyone said I was going to be a special princess who’d prosper and grow and maybe rule Styria one day.
The servants in our castle drooled at the sight of the single red and ripe apple. They stared at it as if it were the fountain of youth that could quench their thirst and wet their seven-years-long dried souls. Some of the servants sank to their knees and thanked Pomona, the Goddess of Fruits whom no one had ever seen, for her blessings.
But only fools thanked Pomona, for the rest of our land knew it was me who had saved them. I possessed the power to defy “the witch whose name we don’t speak.”
The birth of me, Carmilla Karnstein, daughter of Theodora and Philip II, was a miracle like no other in centuries. I came to this world with a revelation, a sign, and some kind of rapture: the first Blood Apple in seven years.
Little did I know then that it wasn’t a lucky coincidence, that I wasn’t just a fairy tale made up by the poor and wishful peasants of Europe. How would I have known that I was part of the universe’s plan in an eternal feud between good and evil?
The arrival of a beautiful child, the blossoming of apples, and the end of a curse were only a prelude to an epic tale of love and sorrow.”
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After reading Insanity, by Cameron Jace (you can see that review here) I knew that I had to get my hands on all the rest of his books. His has a way to twist all the classic story book characters into new stories, that will grab you from the very first page. And never let go. While you know the characters like the back of your hand, his books take on a new life of their own. They are not simply the re-telling of an old story; they are brand new ideas, new stories, that will have you guess and turning the pages till it lets you go.
If you have not yet read one of his books, I would HIGHLY recommend picking up one. Find the characters you like the most and jump on in.
To check out Blood, Milk and Chocolate, just click below and it will take you to the Amazon page for it.
Who is your favorite author? What types of books do you enjoy the most? Let me know.
Yes I realize that New Year’s was almost a month ago now. Yes I realize that most people planned their resolutions back in December, and put them in motion back on January 1. But that is just not me. At first I wasn’t going to do them this year, cause I make them all. the. time. and never fulfill them. Then feel bad that I am not putting into motion my resolutions. Bad cycle. Avoid the cycle by just not making them.
Then I asked my amazing blogging tribe which of them had resolutions and what they were. And I had an amazing response, there was no list of things to do better. Most of them actually only had one word ideas, to help make 2015 better then 2014. It was a great concept. Instead of making a list of resolutions, they picked a single word; then everything in their life helped make this one word better. So simple, and yet so powerful.
After thinking it over, and giving it quite some thought; I picked “Organization”.
For those that know me well, know that I am the most un-organized person EVER. Then the very next day, I came across Abby’s post about her new ebook: Simplify. Do you all follow Abby’s blog, Just A Girl And Her Blog? If not, you need to go over there right now and follow however you like best. Go on, we are going to wait………. All signed up? She has one of my favorite blogs ever, everything is so cute and perfect. She has an organizational printout for EVERYTHING. Her printout for meal planning and grocery shopping has totally changed my eating-shopping habit. (Found here)
Call it fate, call it a sign, call it whatever you want; to me it said that I was on the right path. That I not only need to be more organized, but there was help out there for me.
This book is quite simply amazing. It is so easy to read, so easy to follow along, so easy to actually use and make your life way more organized. Her book not only has all the printables (which I will talk about in a moment) but has full sections on HOW to use them. For me, this was the missing link. I have always loved the idea of having pretty sheets that hold all my information. But there was this block about how to actually implement them into every day life. Her book goes over each one, and the hows. It was exactly what I needed, to move past my block.
Then the printables themselves are ideal. They are pretty, they are simple, and would fit every household. She recommends laminating them, then you don’t have to cross out and re-write items. You simply erase. Keeps everything looking clean. Since I don’t have a laminator, we print and re-print every week. Here is the full list of printables that you get in this book.
I can honestly say that this ebook has changed my life in so many little ways. And all of those little ways, are shaping up for big differences this year. And all of this for only $10. How better to spend $10, then revamping your “Home Binder”? Get your copy here.
Let me know what you guys think of Abby’s book Simplify. Are there any printables that you would want her to include?
This is one for anyone that like’s Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland. All of the main Alice characters are alive and kicking here in Cameron Jace’s Insanity. And for those of you who know the story well, there are plenty of Alice references throughout the story.
We start off with like any other mad story. Just a girl in an insane asylum, who can’t remember what she did to place her here. Undergoing traditional rounds of shock therapy and where her only friend is the lily in her window.
Turns out, our main character Alice Wonder, killed all of her classmates and her boyfriend; for no apparent reason. No memory of it or any of her classmates; but would claim that Wonderland is a real place, well until the electric shocks had her forget all about that. Along with everything else. Throughout the story, we meet all the great Alice characters: Alice Wonder, Carter Piller (complete with his hookah-pipe), a pair of guards I swear are Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dumb, the White Queen, the White Rabbit is strongly hinted at. What would any Alice story be without the great Cheshire Cat?
From the back of the book:
After accidentally killing everyone in her class, Alice Wonder is now a patient in the Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum. No one doubts her insanity. Only a hookah-smoking professor believes otherwise; that he can prove her sanity by decoding Lewis Carroll’s paintings, photographs, and find Wonderland’s real whereabouts. Professor Caterpillar persuades the asylum that Alice can save lives and catch the wonderland monsters now reincarnated in modern day criminals. In order to do so, Alice leads a double life: an Oxford university student by day, a mad girl in an asylum by night. The line between sanity and insanity thins when she meets Jack Diamond, an arrogant college student who believes that nonsense is an actual science.
This is a great murder mystery, where everyone is a bad guy. Cater Piller, the professor who believes her sane, is nicknamed Piller the Killer. The wonderful White Queen wields a sword better then any soldier. Our Cheshire Cat, to no surprise, is up to no good. Even our heroine Alice is not all that innocent, after all she did kill all her classmates.
So who do you root for when everyone has murder in their closets?
Mid-Thirties…… They are interesting. You really start going from looking like a kid, to a full fledged adult. Whether you want to or not. The little lines around your eyes start to, not only appear but make a daily appearance. The “smile lines” (you know the lines from your nose to the corners of your mouth) are always there. And those dark circles that you use to only get when you got no sleep and had a bit to much wine, also start showing up on a normal basis. Ugh… no more simple flawless skin, that you forget to take care of.
It might sound totally superficial and vein, but man I hate that my skin is getting older along with me. It was hard enough leaving my 20’s and entering my 30’s. But then my face started to betray me and show the rest of the world how old I am, even though I don’t feel any older then 25.
Well, I knew how great Boots No7’s makeup was, so I was thrilled when they sent me some of their skin care line. (Okay, I may have pleaded for a sample to try after hearing so many great reviews about it). They sent it to me at no cost, but that has not in any way affected my review. All the thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.
They sent me:
- Protect & Perfect Day Cream- Intense
- Protect & Perfect Night Cream- Intense
- Youthful Eye Serum
- Protect & Perfect Anti Aging Serum- Advanced
- Beautiful Skin- Sunscreen
My skin has honestly never looked better. The little lines around my eyes, are GONE. That is right G.. O.. N.. E.. My smile lines, while not completely gone, because even as a kid I had them, are greatly reduced. And those dark circles, as long as I am drinking plenty of water, are gone as well. Even my mother has asked what I did, because I look 5 years younger.
Here is what I do in the morning:
- Wash my face and neck. No7 has great makeup wipes that do a fantastic job removing everything, if you are not big on doing a full face wash in the mornings.
- Pat dry
- Apply the Eye Serum under each eye. Just a little bit, think a tic-tac. This will be enough form both eyes.
- Apply the Anti-Aging Serum. I use about the size of a small almond, then dot it on each cheek and my forehead. Then we rub it in with circular motions.
- Last, but never least, I apply the cream. During the day, I use the Day Cream and at Night I use the Night Cream.
Just one little, simple change was all it took. Just changing my skincare product. And with it being a drugstore name brand, you are not going to dump tons of money to get it. This was by far the best change that I could have made.
What skincare product do you use? Have you started to use a serum?
I am on HUGE blush kick right now. Once I started to find the right shades and formulas for my face (skin tone, complexion, and coloring), it is like this crazy world opened up. Where I am looking younger, healthier and more awake then ever before. And it was as simple as changing the blush that I am wearing.
My favorite blush (at the moment, because we all know that my favorites change often), is Paula Dorf’s blush in Passion. You may remember that I have tried some of her other products before with amazing results. (You can find them here). This blush is simply perfect. So perfect, that most days now I skip the foundation all together, and just apply this blush. It is a bit brighter then what I normally wear, so while it is great for winter; I don’t know how it will work with my summer makeup. But even with it being brighter, it is a great natural flush. Seriously it looks like you have just enjoyed some time out in the winter air with a loved one.
For the best results, I apply it a little differently then my normal blush routine (you can see that here). Here is how I apply it:
- Tap my blush brush on the blush a few times. You want to be able to pick up some color, but you don’t need very much at all
- Look in the mirror and imagine a space about two fingers width from your nose, start stippling it there. Gently tap the blush up your cheek bones and up your hair line to your temple. The color should be less intense with each tap.
- Blend, Blend, Blend
While I am not normally one to push the blush on the apples of the cheek person, with this particular shade and for winter, it does give a great natural flushing. Seriously you look like you just enjoyed the day out in the crisp winter snow, without also having your nose and eyes all red.
Right now, they are also offering a 20% off any cheek color. Just use code CHEEK.
What about you all, do you wear heavier blush in the winter time? What is your current favorite?