Review: Hollywood Said No

Hollywood Said No by Bob Odenkirk, David Cross, Brian Posehn
Genre: TV Script
ISBN: 9781455526307
Published: September 10th 2013 by Grand Central Publishing
Rating: 3 stars

This was a funny, wacky, light read (listen). Great for a car trip! Some scripts were better (or more ridiculous) than others, but all in all I enjoyed it (though I probably won’t listen to it again.) The narration and production was excellent though! It felt like I was listening to a radio show.

Review: Mistress by James Patterson

Mistress by James Patterson
ISBN: 9781611130430
Genre: Adult, Murder Mystery
Published: August 5th 2013 by Little, Brown & Company
Rating: DNF


I just haven’t had good luck with James Patterson lately! Some of his stuff has been great, while others just make my head hurt. This was one of those books. I got to chapter 6 (which, for a JP book, is like halfway through chapter 1 in a normal person book, because his chapters are pretty short). After that I couldn’t take it anymore. Oh the sappiness. The main character was really eccentric, which normally would make me love him! But he was just a little too… overly-attached and dramatic. Granted his idol just fell to her death and he’s grieving, but it was written in a way that made me wince. Sadly this one will not be finished. It will instead be donated to my local library where hopefully someone else will enjoy it.

Waiting on Wednesday

Project Cain by Geoffrey Girard
ISBN 9781442476967 | Expected publication: September 3rd 2013 | amazon | goodreads
Fifteen-year-old Jeff Jacobson had never heard of Jeffrey Dahmer, the infamous serial killer who brutally murdered seventeen people more than twenty years ago. But Jeff’s life changes forever when the man he’d thought was his father hands him a government file telling him he was constructed in a laboratory only seven years ago, part of a top-secret government cloning experiment called ‘Project CAIN’.
There, he was created entirely from Jeffrey Dahmer’s DNA. There are others like Jeff—those genetically engineered directly from the most notorious murderers of all time: The Son of Sam, The Boston Strangler, Ted Bundy . . . even other Jeffrey Dahmer clones. Some raised, like Jeff, in caring family environments; others within homes that mimicked the horrific early lives of the men they were created from.
hen the most dangerous boys are set free by the geneticist who created them, the summer of killing begins. Worse, these same teens now hold a secret weapon even more dangerous than the terrible evil they carry within. Only Jeff can help track the clones down before it’s too late. But will he catch the ‘monsters’ before becoming one himself?


so tomorrow is my last day of college.



I have like four projects I need to finish today that are due tomorrow. Then I’m packing everything I own up into a little car and driving away. So that’s why I haven’t posted in a while.

Also. I’m writing a novel. But you knew that. I’m writing a different one right now. High fantasy, chose your own adventure story.

here’s a picture to make you happy.

that's how writing a novel works

Until we meet again (probably mid August)


All About Book Tours

“Any way you can do a lowdown on tours and giveaways?” ~ Jessica

Well sure I can! Let’s do this one piece at a time, for organization’s sake. Tomorrow the Giveaway post will go up, so watch for that!

What is a “Book Tour?”

A book tor is a series of dates and events set up by an author, publicist, promo group, or various hosting locations. Authors go to one book store or venue after another, read from their book, answer questions, sign copies, etc. in hopes of promoting their book and gaining new readers. Tours can last from a few weeks to several months, depending on the publicity plan.

What is a “VBT?”

In a VBT, instead of stopping at a physical location at a set date and time, authors virtually stop at a blog, focusing their attention on that post for one specific day. The nice thing about VBTs is even after the tour is over, the post stays online!

How does a VBT work?

The blogger, usually referred to as the host, prepares a blog post (the content pre-decided upon by the host, the organizer, and the author) and all the parties involved promote the post. The author gets publicity, the host gets page views, and the organizer gets paid (or gains popularity as a tour organizer).

I’ve hosted quite a few tours, especially starting out as a blogger. Tours are a great way for new book bloggers to get their blog out there! The tour group usually provides you with a copy of the book, an option of interviewing the author, all the post information, and sometimes a code or quote for a giveaway. All you have to do is write up a nice post and make sure it’s the first thing a new reader will see upon going to your page.

Some tips for tour hosts

  • Always confirm that you’ve received your information and date for the tour.
  • Write your posts ahead of time, and schedule them to publish at midnight of the date of the tour (a great program to use for this is Windows Live Writer—easy to set up, posts are easy to edit, and it lets you schedule the post to go live at whatever time you want).
  • Spread your link around! Promoting the author means promoting your blog as well!
  • If you are an awesome host, the tour group will usually ask you to participate in every tour they can get you scheduled for, so do your best, especially for those first few posts. Look around at other people’s tours and see what you like, what you don’t like, and what is best for all three parties.
  • Don’t sign up for more than you can handle! one or two tours a week is everyone’s max—don’t try to do one every day just because it’s exciting. Trust me on this one, you’ll regret it later!
  • Never be afraid to ask questions. Nobody minds answering them!


Hope this helps! Below are a few tour groups that are always looking for hosts.

Goddess Fish VBT

Reading Addiction Blog Tours

Pump Up Your Book

TLC Book Tours

The Cuckoo’s Calling by… J.K. Rowling?

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (penname of J.K. Rowling)
Genre: Detective
ISBN: 9780316206846
Published: Published April 30th 2013 by Mulholland Books (first published April 18th 2013)

Rating: 4.5

A brilliant debut mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide. After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this.

I read (listened to) The Cuckoo’s Calling before I knew who the real author was. Here I was so excited about finding a new author for my author watch page, and it turns out it’s J.K. Rowling! I mean, I guess I can’t complain, as long as she keeps writing books like this one.

I really liked The Cuckoo’s Calling. There were so many little details and hints that brought the whole thing together in the end (typical of Rowling, and I see that now) and it made for a wonderful detective novel. It wasn’t very “gripping,” though. It was “put-down-able.” At any given time I could stop and move on to something else. It kept me interested while I was reading, but when I needed to stop, it didn’t drag me back to my chair for another chapter. I feel like that gripping aspect is needed in a detective novel, and that’s the only thing that was missing. That being said, I still really loved the book. I loved Strike, the main character, and the supporting character he hires as his P.A. (unwillingly at first, but then he realizes how totally awesome she is). I really hope “Galbraith” continues with another book with these characters!

Content/Recommendation: Little language, no sex. Ages 15-adult

Book Blast!

I’ve hosted the Blood Destiny series before, but I’m participating in the big book blast today as well!


About the Books

blood destiny series

Bloodfire | Bloodmagic | Bloodrage | Blood Politics (book 4) | Author

About the Author

Helen Harper is an English teacher currently living abroad in Malaysia. As a long time reader of urban fantasy, she finally bit the bullet and began to develop her own series of novels. Helen has always been a book lover, devouring science fiction and fantasy tales when she was a child growing up in Scotland. "I always loved the escapism provided by those genres," states Helen. "No matter how bad life gets, you can always find a route out, even if only temporarily, in the pages of a good book."

The growth of urban fantasy fascinated her - the mix of reality and fantasy along with strong heroic female characters appealed from the very beginning, and inspired her to write her own.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Let’s Discuss Diabetes With Owls

Let’s Discuss Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris
Genre: Humor, Non-fiction Essays
ISBN 9781619696990 | Published April 23rd 2013 by Little, Brown & Company | Amazon | Goodreads | Audible

Rating: 4.5

I’ve listened to three or four David Sedaris audiobooks now. This one wasn’t my favorite, but it wasn’t my least favorite either. That being said, it was very funny and entertaining as always. This collection of stories made me think more than others have in the past, so that was nice.

Sedaris has an uncanny way of making the every day boring stuff sound hilarious because of the way he interprets it in his mind and because of the way he says things the people. You know how stuff sounds better in your head, but you say it anyway and then people look at you like you have a third eye and webbed feet? That’s half of his humor. I love it. Added to the fact that he narrates his own stuff, because he’s fantastic, trust me,  you’re in for a treat. My favorite thing to do is listen to his work while I’m on a 10-hour car ride.

I recommend Diabetes with Owls to any Sedaris fan, new or old. If you’ve never listened to him before, I recommend Live for your Listening Pleasure to get an overview of his best.

Content/Recommendation: language, sexual and homosexual references. Caution: some stories are funny enough to make you laugh hard enough to wet your pants and make people in the cars next to you look at you in confusion. Ages 17+

About the Author

With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, David Sedaris has become one of America’s pre-eminent humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today.

David Sedaris is the author Barrel Fever and Holidays on Ice, as well as collections of personal essays, Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and When You Are Engulfed in Flames, each of which became a bestseller. There are a total of seven million copies of his books in print and they have been translated into 25 languages. He was the editor ofChildren Playing Before a Statue of Hercules: An Anthology of Outstanding Stories. Sedaris’s pieces appear regularly in The New Yorker and have twice been included in “The Best American Essays.” His newest book, a collection of fables entitled Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary (with illustrations by Ian Falconer), was published in September 2010 and immediately hit the NYT Bestseller Fiction List. His next book is entitled Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls  and was published late spring 2013.

He and his sister, Amy Sedaris, have collaborated under the name “The Talent Family” and have written half-a-dozen plays which have been produced at La Mama, Lincoln Center, and The Drama Department in New York City. These plays include Stump the Host, Stitches, One Woman Shoe, which received an Obie Award, Incident at Cobbler’s Knob, and The Book of Liz, which was published in book form by Dramatists Play Service. David Sedaris’s original radio pieces can often be heard on This American Life, distributed nationally by Public Radio International and produced by WBEZ. David Sedaris has been nominated for three Grammy Awards for Best Spoken Word and Best Comedy Album.  His most recent live album is David Sedaris: Live For Your Listening Pleasure (November 2009). A feature film adaptation of his story C.O.G. premiered at the Sundance Film Festival (2013).



Exploring Etsy and DIY: Altered clothing

Guys, I’m totally obsessed with altered clothing latey. In fact I’ve made a ton of my own stuff and I’ll have it in a craft fair. I’m excited.

So without further adiew, here are lots of pretty things and some tutorials.

cropped cardigan by Garage Coture clothes

Boho wrap skirt by Bohemian Koture


Charcoal cardigan by MegbyDesign


Lace blouse by SisterRoseandRuby


Tattered bridesmaid dress by cutrag


Romantic Corset by LD Michelle

And a few pictures/tutorials for you today, including one of my own pieces. (Images are linked to source)



Have you done any upcycled clothing? link pictures! I want to see! Also check out my inspiration board on Pinterest, where I have TONS of cool stuff to inspire you!

Help! I’m new to the blogging world! Where do I start?

I see a lot of posts like this, and I know you probably don’t want to read one more. Or maybe you’re new and looking for advice, but you’re receiving conflicting advice. That’s why I’m writing this post: because I’ve learned a lot about blogging, and I’m going to share a secret with you about a successful blog:

Make it yours.

I could make a blog similar to other people’s blogs, or I could make it my own. I could follow a bunch of rules other people suggest to me, or I could follow my own.

So here is a simple list to get you started:

  • Make your own rules. Decide how you’re going to do things. Pull up a word document and write a policy: how many reviews per week? Or will you just post as you can? Which memes will you do? Will you make your won memes? Will you actively leave links on your subscriptions' pages? Will you email publishers, or wait for them to email you? What genres will you accept? What genres will you absolutely not accept under any condition? Will you use labels on your posts? these are just a few questions to get you started.
  • Start with a really simple template and a really simple header. As you go on, you will learn what kind of blogger you are, and what your blog atmosphere is. Then you can invest some time in making a really nice template and header. (More on that another time!)
  • Every Sunday or Saturday or Friday (or whatever day) make a list of things you want to that week on the blog. Post titles, books you want to review, etc.
  • Participate in some tours and get people to your page. If you’re just staring, I recommend Goddess Fish, Pump Up Your Book, and Reading Addiction VBT.
  • Find a spot that you do your blogging. Make it your “blog spot.” haha, see what I did there? No? okay… I like to blog at the library, but when I was in High School, I did my blogging at my desk (and my homework on my bed, because that makes perfect sense).
  • Host a giveaway to get followers.

Here are some tips I would suggest that helped me. They might help you. But don’t feel pressured!

  • I make blogging one of the first things I do in the morning, but reading and commenting on other people’s blogs something I do in the evening, so I don’t accidently read blogs all.day.long.
  • Download Windows Live Writer. It works like Microsoft word, is super easy to use, has lots of cool features that make your life easier, and you don’t have to be connected to the internet to write the posts (only to publish them).
  • At one point I had a lot of books coming in, and I didn’t know where any of them were coming from. So I made this form, printed them out, filled them out as the books came in, and then checked them off and filed them away as I finished. It really helped me stay organized. (Title of the book, Rec means date I received it, Tour is for the tour date, Posted is the day it went up, Source is where it came from, Giveaway I would put “1, USA/Canada” or “3, USA only” or NONE. Then I’d check off that I emailed the supplier, linked it to my Reviews page, and then check off where else I posted the review.)


Good luck! Ask questions in the comments if you have them!

Teaser Tuesday

I haven’t done this in a while… I’m trying to get back into it! They’re fun!

And this book is hilarious.


“Ms. Byczykowski has this weird habit of overenunciating when she reads and accompanies that with exaggerated facial expressions. I guess she’s trying to make sure we all understand what she’s saying, but instead we get all distracted by watching the afternoon sun reflect off her gold crowns whenever she says “The Battle of Antietam.” When she gets to the Emancipation Proclamation I’m going to have to wear sunglasses.” Zits Chillax, page 2


Zits: Chillax by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman

Comic god Stan Lee says Zits is a “comedic masterpiece!” Fans of funny illustrated YA novels such as Drama by Raina Telgemeier and Teen Angst? Naaah… by Ned Vizzini will definitely want to read Zits: Chillax.

In Zits: Chillax, Jeremy Duncan, high school sophomore and future rock god, offers up a comedic outlook on teenage life, including school, parents, chores, bands, and friends.

Jeremy and his best friend, Hector Garcia, are planning to achieve a lifelong dream…going to a rock concert! Without parental supervision. But the Gingivitis concert falls on the same night their friend Tim is donating bone marrow for his mom, a cancer patient. Not a problem: Jeremy and Hector are determined to go to the show…for Tim.

Written and illustrated by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, Zits: Chillax is based on their comic strip, Zits. The book features 300 illustrations—including hilarious full-page comics.

ISBN 9780062228512 | Published May 21st 2013 by HarperTeen | Amazon | Goodreads


You by Austin Grossman, narrated by
Genre: No clue (geek, contemporary, humor, almost fantasy)
ISBN 9781478978565 | Published March 26th 2013 by Hachette Audio (first published March 1st 2013)| Amazon | Goodreads | Audible

Rating: 3.5


When Russell joins Black Arts games, brainchild of two visionary designers who were once his closest friends, he reunites with an eccentric crew of nerds hacking the frontiers of both technology and entertainment. In part, he's finally given up chasing the conventional path that has always seemed just out of reach. But mostly, he needs to know what happened to Simon, the strangest and most gifted friend he ever lost, who died under mysterious circumstances soon after Black Arts' breakout hit.

Then Black Arts' revolutionary next-gen game is threatened by a mysterious software glitch, and Russell finds himself in a race to save his job, Black Arts' legacy, and the people he has grown to care about. The bug is the first clue in a mystery leading back twenty years, through real and virtual worlds, corporate boardrooms and high school computer camp, to a secret that changed a friendship and the history of gaming. The deeper Russell digs, the more dangerous the glitch appears--and soon, Russell comes to realize there's much more is at stake than just one software company's bottom line.

While reading—and after finishing—You, I really had no idea what to say about it. I let it sit in my brain for a while, and I think I’ve decided how I feel. It’s a funny book though, because honestly, you have to be the right kind of reader for it. I’m not yet sure what that kind of reader is.

First, as you can see above, I can’t really say what genre it was. It wasn’t really young adult, though I’m sure some young people will enjoy it. It’s not really adult either though, because it’s about a group of people who play videogames for a living. So I wasn’t sure what category to put it into for my brain.

There was some fantasy aspects, because the videogame they made was fantasy. The videogame characters would come to visit Russell, the main character, in his dreams or daydreams. Once he took one of them on a date. That was kind of weird.

Then there was the plot. They’re making this game, another game in the series, and there’s a bug that’s causing all sorts of problems. They have to play the game to get rid of the bug. Now I’m not a game designer but that doesn’t seem very probable to me personally. I’d do a control search for the line of problem code, and just take it the hell out. But like I said, I’m not a designer. 

The subplot to the bug mystery had something to do with the past, the founder of the company, a mysterious death, and an “ultimate game.” It was all very vague, and not a lot of it was wrapped up.

Finally, I didn’t particularly like the conclusion. Suffice to say I thought the whole novel would take a different turn than it did, and it wasn’t what I wanted.

But the good parts were good! The writing was funny and descriptive, the characters were well developed—I loved Lisa so much!—and it was fast paced.

Personally, I liked it. I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it, but I probably wouldn’t read (or listen to) it again.

Content/recommendation: some language, no sex. Ages 16+


Vanished by Christina Holt

Cover_VanishedTen years ago, Emily Miller went missing when she was only five years old. Everyone in town thought she had either drowned in the lake near her house, or had been kidnapped. Some even whispered that her father, Frank Miller was responsible.

No one suspected the old boathouse behind the Miller property, except Emily’s father. Frank Miller knew what had happened to his little girl. He knew the boathouse had her.

Ten years later, thirteen-year-old George Morgan wanders into the same boathouse and discovers a magical secret. At first he’s thrilled. He reveals his secret to his fifteen-year-old brother Eddie, thinking it will bring them closer together. After all, George and Eddie used to be best friends, before they moved to town, and before Eddie started hanging out with a bunch of older boys—the same boys who make it their mission to bully George on a daily basis. But, when Eddie tells his friends about the boathouse, everything starts to go wrong.

Suddenly the cool, magical secret of the boathouse isn’t a secret anymore, and the mysteries of the past come back to haunt them, putting their lives in great danger.

ASIN B00CHGNLBK| Published April 22nd 2013 by Lachesis Publishing Inc| Amazon | Goodreads


About the Author

Christina Holt is a writer of Young Adult Science Fiction. She loves to create original stories that capture the young reader from the first page and give them a reason to love reading. Christina’s first published novel was Second Chance (LBF Books, 2007). Christina Holt currently lives in Memphis, TN with her husband, daughter, and the family pug, Pete. You can find her online at her website, www.christinaholt.net, or her facebook page.


VBRT Vanished Banner

Christina will be awarding loose teas and chip nuts (Chips nuts are peanuts coated with potato chips) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US/CANADA ONLY). Check out the other tour stops for more about the book, and more chances to win.

June 24:  Book Bling Blog
June 25:  Andi's Young Adult Books
June 26:  The Muse Unleashed
June 27:  Reading In Twilight
June 27:   The Life (and lies) of an inanimate flying object
June 28:  The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl

Review: The Secret of Ella and Micha

The Secret of Ella and Micah by Jennifer Sorrensen
Genre: New Adult, Romance
ISBN: 9781455574858
March 26th 2013 by Forever (first published October 2nd 2012)
Amazon | Goodreads | Audible
Rating: DNF, 1

I got maybe three or four chapters into this novel. Ella seemed like a strong character with potential, and the basic plot seemed like it could have been really good. Sadly, I couldn’t get past chapter 4. There are a few reasons why.

1. Drama. Drama, drama, drama! Really that’s what most fiction boils down to, but what makes a book good is that the drama is realistic. This drama was a little overdone. Ella goes to college (running away without telling anyone where she went, which technically is impossible: trust me, I know. My university sends my parents stuff all the time with their logo on it). when she comes back, Micah is a mess, and has been looking for her everywhere.

2. Physicalities. I felt like this book was an excuse to write steamy romance… bad steamy romance at that. When Ella comes home, she still wants Micah, but she won’t admit it. And he knows it. Then he starts flirting with her, touching her, kissing her on the ear, etc. Really? The girl won’t even look you in the eye, doesn’t want to talk to you, and you can’t even rekindle your friendship before getting touchy-feely? Talk about being a douche bag. After she tells him off and leaves, he climbs into her room through the window and climbs in bed with her. C’mon. Really? Does this girl have no self respect? Then there was the factor that it wasn’t even hot. I mean, if you want to write erotica, fine. Write erotica. don’t disguise it as a New Adult novel… and at least make it good. It was just sappy and corny. Trust me, writing emotional and physical scenes is really hard: I’ve written a few now since I’ve gotten through some of my own books. But if you suck at writing love scenes, don’t make your whole book a drawn out love scene.

3. The sorority best friend. Every time this b!tch opened her mouth, I had flashbacks to this video. That was one thing the narrator did really well: She nailed the rich kid! And I couldn’t stand her. Maybe that was the point… but it was just the nail in the coffin for me.

So yeah, that’s why I didn’t like the book. Also, the female narrator sounded like she was fourteen, and the male narrator sounded twenty eight… So that was awkward.

Maybe if I read the book instead of listened to it, I would like it more… but as of now, I can’t recommend it.

Review: Icons

Icons by Margaret Stohl
Genre: YA Post Apocalyptic
ISBN 9780316205184
Published May 7th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Amazon | Goodreads | Audible

Rating: 3.5, DNF

Your heart beats only with their permission.

Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol's family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn't know it was fighting.

Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside -- safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can't avoid.
She's different. She survived. Why?

When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador's privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn't a coincidence. It's a conspiracy.

Within the Icon's reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions -- which they've always thought to be their greatest weaknesses -- may actually be their greatest strengths.

Bestselling author Margaret Stohl delivers the first book in a heart-pounding series set in a haunting new world where four teens must piece together the mysteries of their pasts -- in order to save the future.

This book had a lot of potential, and I was really getting into it… before I just got too out of it to keep going. Maybe one day I’ll read it again but I stopped at chapter 8.

There are only two reasons why. Which is really too bad because like I said, there was A LOT of potential here.

1. Emotionally sappy. Sap city, guys. "It was like “Our wrists touched and I felt it tingling down my arm and into my toes to the depths of my soul” kind of sappy. Overdramatic is another way to say it. I’ve talked about this before, and I’m sure I’ll talk about it again… romantic scenes are hard to write. But if you suck at them, find a way to tell the romantic story without writing sucky scenes.

2. The story itself was almost a repeat of The Hunger Games. Now I know, there are a lot of major differences, but let’s look at the similarities: An evil all-powerful and all-controlling government, a creepy government leader, a boy and a girl who are totally in love with each other but won’t admit it are trying to bring it down and just get back to the way things are supposed to be, they get brought to the main city and forced to participate in something they don’t want to do but don’t have a choice in… etc. Also, love triangle. Yeah. It’s The Hunger Games but more sci-fi technically advanced.

It just wasn’t for me. That being said, there were a lot of good things about it! It was exciting, it drew you in right away, the characters were distinct, the setting and descriptions were excellent. It was just those two things that kept coming back to me, and I knew there was no way I was going to be able to finish listening to it.

Content/Recommendation: occasional use of light language. Ages 13+

The Disappearing Girl

The Disappearing Girl by Heather Topham Wood

Kayla Marlowe is slowly vanishing…

Last year, Kayla’s world imploded. Her beloved father died, leaving her alone with a narcissistic mother who is quick to criticize her daughter’s appearance. During her winter break from college, Kayla’s dangerous obsession with losing weight begins.

Kayla feels like her world changes for the better overnight. Being skinny seems to be the key to the happiness she has desperately been seeking. Her mother and friends shower her with compliments, telling her how fantastic she looks. Kayla is starving, but no one knows it.

Cameron Bennett explodes into Kayla’s life. He’s sexy and kind—he has every quality she has been looking for in a guy. As Cameron grows closer to Kayla and learns of how far she’s willing to go to stay thin, he becomes desperate to save her.

Kayla’s struggles with anorexia and bulimia reach a breaking point and she is forced to confront her body image issues in order to survive. She wonders if Cameron could be the one to help heal her from the pain of her past.

New Adult Contemporary-Ages 17+ due to language and sexual situations.

ISBN 9781483906775 | Published May 7 2013 | Amazon | Goodreads


About the Author

Heather Topham Wood’s obsession with novels began in childhood while growing up in a shore town in New Jersey. Writing since her teens, she recently returned to penning novels after a successful career as a freelance writer. She’s the author of the Second Sight series and the standalone The Disappearing Girl.

Heather graduated from the College of New Jersey in 2005 and holds a bachelor's degree in English. Her freelance work has appeared in publications such as USA Today, Livestrong.com, Outlook by the Bay and Step in Style magazine. She resides in Trenton, New Jersey with her husband and two sons. Besides writing, Heather is a pop culture fanatic and has an obsession with supernatural novels and TV shows.



Thanks for stopping by, Heather!

Book Blitz: A Moment

Cover _ a Moment by Marie HallToday I’ve got Marie Hall visiting The Life and Lies for her virtual book tour of A Moment.

About the Book

Ryan Cosgrove and Liliana Delgado are on a collision course with destiny. They don't know it yet, but before the night is over their lives will be forever changed.

Spending Valentine's Day at a burlesque bar, hadn't been Liliana's ideal way of spending a Friday night. She'd much rather be back at campus, doing homework... until she meets Ryan. Tall, athletic, and gorgeous, Lili can't keep her eyes off him, and despite his gruff manners and drunken disposition she's intrigued.

Ryan's got demons, and they're deep, dark, and eating him alive. Regardless of his attraction to the petite brunette he's tired of fighting, of pretending the last fifteen years haven't been a daily struggle just to get out of bed every morning. That night he decides to end his pain, to leave it all behind and float away into the blessed darkness of oblivion. But fate has other plans for him, Lily finds and rescues Ryan, determined she'll not only save his body, but his soul too.

This is their moment...

ASIN B00BTN2DSY| Published March 12th 2013 by Marie Hall Publishing| Amazon | Goodreads


About the Author

Marie Hall has always had a dangerous fascination for creatures that go bump in the night. And mermaids. And of course fairies. Trolls. Unicorns. Shapeshifters. Vampires. Scottish brogues. Kilts. Beefy arms. Ummm... Bad boys! Especially the sexy ones. Which is probably why she married one.

On top of that she's a confirmed foodie, she nearly went to culinary school and then figured out she could save a ton of money if she just watched food shows religiously! She's a self-proclaimed master chef, certified deep sea dolphin trainer, finder of leprechaun's gold at the end of the rainbow, and rumor has it she keeps the Troll King locked away in her basement. All of which is untrue, however, she does have an incredibly active imagination and loves to share her crazy thoughts with the world!

If you want to see what new creations she's got up her sleeves check out her blog:

www.MarieHallWrites.blogspot.com and sign up for her newsletter!

(Above: Marie taking a picture of herself only because someone forced her—at least, I’m assuming that, because of the comment she made on her website.)



Marie will be awarding an E-book at every stop from her fairy tales series to a randomly drawn commenter, and a Grand Prize of a $50.00 Amazon or Barnes & Noble GC (Winner's Choice) to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

To enter: Leave a comment below! Tell Marie anything. Ask questions. I don’t know about you guys, but I think she sounds fun!

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DIY: Shadow Box Flowers

So I have no money. That should be obvious by now. But on May 19th, I had a performance with my students, and one of my girls gave me some beautiful flowers! well since I’m so sentimental, when they started to die, I didn’t want to throw them out, so I dried them.

By the way, if you don’t know, the best way to dry flowers is upside down. they don’t droop that way.

Anyway I had all these dried flowers and I’ve been looking for something to do with them… and then I saw this in a craft book:

flower shadowbox

And I was like “DUDE THAT’S PERFECT.”

So this is what I made and how I made it:


Gathered my supplies!



Started by locating a large cardboard box and cutting it so it was a little over 2 inches deep. If I did this again, I’d use a cereal box (they’re bigger) or I’d make a box out of heavier cardboard. This one ended up a little floppy near the end.



the outside fabric I used was green. Very cute. I cut it to about 5 inches…


then started glueing on the back and folding it over.



Finished decorating the box, and placed one of the flowers inside to see how it would look.




Glued in three flowers (the box was small). Isn’t it pretty?! :D I love it.


I’m adopting a kitty! There’s a shelter out here that I love to support and volunteer for as often as possible called Catman2. As a graduation present, one of my friends is paying my adoption fee for a kitty! So I decided to make a kitty bed because every kitty needs a box to sleep in, right?


Rounding up my supplies



Wasn’t sur ehow much cardboard I’d need… turns out I only needed one box!



I used a clorox box and cut it down the middle…


and then opened it up. If you have more than one cat, you could make an extra-large kitty bed!


But I’m only getting one. So I cut it in half.


Hot-glued the flaps down so it was a tray of sorts


using the other half of the box, I made a template for the head/foot board.



Painted them white


Except for the part that would be glued to the tray! because the paint would peel off and the head board would fall off. So I left that part blank.


Cut 16 small 3-inch squares, and hot-glued them together in sets of 4


Covered them in fabric, as if I were wrapping them



Everything glued together



Hypothetically you could paint the inside too, but I doubt my cat will care.



The bottom looks like this.


Made a really fast quilt (I’m talking four hours and this thing was done)


ta-da! isn’t it cute!?


So now you know how to make a kitty bed.

Or a doll bed, or a teddy-bear bed, or even a guinea pig bed or rabbit bed. If you feel so inclined.


Copyright 2016 Haley Mathiot. All reviews are 100% honest and unbiased. One or more items featured in the blog post may have been free or discounted. Receiving free or discounted product does not affect review. For more please see my disclaimer page.