Thursday, September 29, 2016

Journey Out of Fat, Dumb, and Ugly

Book Description:

Are you tired of living your life according to the labels that have been slapped onto you? Do you feel you are always pressured to conform to other people’s ideas of who they believe you are? Do you feel destined to live a life of mediocrity and unhappiness, despite the fact that you know you are meant for something bigger?

Journey Out of Fat, Dumb, and Ugly by Cherie EstevesIf you answered yes to any of these questions, then you will easily identify with journey.Journey is a lost and tortured soul on a personal quest to escape the physical, mental and emotional servitude of the unfair labels, invisible barriers, and dire consequences of a lifetime of decisions made out of fear and feelings of inferiority. Journey’s Path to freedom is a dramatic, tear-jerking, yet funny roller-coaster ride that beautifully demonstrates how to:
  • Change the directions of your thoughts and life.
  • Use the power of your pain to discover and serve your life purpose.
  • Eliminate toxic relationships and self-sabotaging behavioral patterns.

​You have the power to remove whatever labels have been placed on you. If you know there’s more to you than meets the eye, and you’re determined to break free of a lifetime of painful stereotypes and a mediocre, dissatisfied existence, then this book is our key to opening the door to the exceptional life that you always imagined.

Buy the Book:  Author's Website

Author's Bio:

headshotCherie Esteves was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, the city she so affectionately calls her first love. There she was deeply rooted and heavily influenced by the rich, diverse crosspollination of the European American culture that makes New Orleans one of the most unique and intriguing cities in the world. Cherie moved to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1989, where she raised her two beautiful children and has continued to live for over twenty years. Her production company’s name, Creole Peach Productions, was born out of her alliance to both cities.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~ Facebook

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fabricated by Megan Jacobs

 Fabricated by Megan Jacobs is a young adult science fiction novel with some fantasy elements mixed in. Fabricated by Megan Jacobs is a book that will appeal most to an audience made up of a mix of young adult females and adult females. Fabricated by Megan Jacobs follows high school student Evelynn as she lives her daily life until she begins to notice discrepancies that inferring with her life. Enter fixers Liam and Isaac who are tasked with making sure people don’t realized that their entire lives are constructed from code and they have actually been in a state of unconsciousness.

Move over Matrix and make room for Fabricated by Megan Jacobs! Fabricated by Megan Jacobs is really a lot like the Matrix series in that the people are living is a state of unconsciousness and their lives are actually code. However from there the two plot lines split entirely as the fixers are real people and not machines and the main character is a strong female character. Evelynn life used to just be a constant annoyance with how her parents have become tired of her and her own peers feel intimidated by her; all this is caused by her desire to live her life the way she wants no matter what. I really liked the fact that I got to understand the perspectives of both Evelynn and the fixers (Liam and Isaac); this is what really set Fabricated by Megan Jacobs both apart and above the Matrix series. I am very glad I decided to read Fabricated by Megan Jacobs and I really hope Megan continues to write more book set in this universe!

"Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite"

The Indian by Barry Kienzle

The Indian by Barry Kienzle is a young adult coming of age novel with elements of spirituality and religion mixed in. The Indian by Barry Kienzle is a book that will appeal most to an audience made up of primarily young adult boys as well as some adults who enjoy coming of age novels with a younger cast of characters. The Indian by Barry Kienzle follows George and Schmitty during the time between the Great Depression and World War two. George and Schmitty meet an older gentleman who owns an antique 1915 Indian Big Twin motorcycle that is attached to the spirit of its last owner; its last owner happened to be a World War one soldier who was killed during the war.  

The Indian by Barry Kienzle was a well written novel that has some elements of mystery and supernatural mixed in its pages. The very first mystery that pulled me in was how the antique 1915 Indian Big Twin motorcycle could be in pristine running condition after not having been touched in over five years. That one scene is really what pulled me in to The Indian by Barry Kienzle. I really enjoyed the characters of George and Schmitty they both had their own unique personalities that were perfectly crafted for their age and background. The dialogue was written perfectly and it all flowed naturally it didi not sound scripted instead it sounded realistic for both the characters and the time period. I have to say that I really enjoyed reading The Indian by Barry Kienzle and I hope Barry decides to write a sequel.

 "Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite"

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Dance Diaries

Book Descriptions:

Dance Diaries: Learning Ballroom Dance: What I Wish I Had Known (Book #1)

wp-1460754389615.pngWhy didn't anyone tell me? Ballroom dancing is fun, magical and, most of all, life-changing. When I first started learning ballroom though, I fumbled around awkwardly and sometimes painfully, figuring things out as I went along. Certain things weren't explained or just never came up in conversation. From what to expect in class to how to find the right teacher or dance partner to how much ballroom really costs, Dance Diaries: Learning Ballroom Dance covers the things that I wish I had known when I first started learning ballroom. This quick read is your cheat sheet to help you get the most out of your ballroom experience.

Buy the Book:  BookBaby  ~  Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble

Dance Diaries: Ballroom Budgeting: How I Afford to Dance (Book #2)

Anyone who tries ballroom dancing quickly learns how expensive it can be. From private lessons to competition fees, the monetary cost of being a ballroom student can quickly skyrocket. In my experience, the high cost is the most frequently cited reason for quitting dance. It shouldn’t be that way!
Dance Diaries - Ballroom Budgeting JPG
I live paycheck to paycheck, carry credit card debt, and still dance and compete in pro-am ballroom. In my first two years as a pro-am competitive ballroom dancer, I entered five competitions, had the money reserved for two additional events, and, at the same time, reduced my credit card debt by almost 50%!

I wrote this second book in my Dance Diaries series out of a desire to help my fellow struggling dancers do the same thing. From budgeting basics to specific tips on how to save on ballroom dancing, in Ballroom Budgeting, I share exactly how I dance and compete in ballroom while living paycheck to paycheck AND reducing debt! I even provide the tools I use to help you start organizing your own ballroom budget right away! Stop stressing over the cost and focus on what is important – the dancing!

Buy the Book: BookBaby  ~  Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  

Author's Bio:

wp-1452698249303.jpegKatie is known as the Girl with the Tree Tattoo because of the tree of life tattoo that covers her entire back. She has been taking ballroom dancing lessons since December 2012 and competing in pro-am ballroom competitions since April 2014. It was through ballroom dance that Katie started to discover who she really was and what she was capable of, despite the demons of fear, self-doubt, and anxiety that live in her head. Through sharing her own experiences, Katie hopes to lead others to experience the amazing effect ballroom dancing can have on a life.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~ Facebook


night ringing banner
  night ringingBlurb "I revel in the genius of simplicity" Laura Foley writes as she gives us in plain-spoken but deeply lyrical moments, poems that explore a life filled with twists and turns and with many transformations. Through it all is a search for a fulfilling personal and sexual identity, a way to be most fully alive in the world. From multicultural love affairs through marriage with a much older man, through raising a family, through grief, to lesbian love affairs, "Night Ringing" is the portrait of a woman willing to take risks to find her own best way. And she does this with grace and wisdom. As she says: "All my life I've been swimming, not drowning." -Patricia Fargnoli, author of "Winter, Duties of the Spirit, " and "Then, Something "I love the words and white space of poetry. I love stories even more. In this collection, Laura Foley evokes stories of crystallized moments, of quiet and overpowering emotion, of bathtubs and lemon chicken. The author grows up on the pages, comes of age, and reconciles past with present. Almost. Try to put the book down between poems to savor each experience. Try, but it won't be easy. -Joni B. Cole, author of "Toxic Feedback, Helping Writers Survive and Thrive" Plain-spoken and spare, Laura Foley's poems in "Night Ringing" trace a life story through a series of brief scenes: separate, intense moments of perception, in which the speaker's focus is arrested, when a moment opens to reveal a glimpse of the larger whole. Memories of a powerful, enigmatic father, a loving but elusive mother, a much older husband, thread Foley's stories of childhood, marriage and motherhood, finally yielding to the pressure of her attention, as she constructs a series of escapes from family expectations, and moves toward a new life. In these lucid, intense poems, Foley's quiet gaze, her concentration, and emotional accuracy of detail, render this collection real as rain. -Cynthia Huntington, author of "Heavenly Bodies" Foley's voice rings with quiet authority undercut by calamity, examining a life so extraordinary, she seems to have lived several people's lives, setting a high bar for poetic craft she meets, in great mystery perfectly expressed in the tiny, quotidian, "spent matches pressed on wet pavement," to soulful beauty, "as wind lifts/every shining wave"; in wisdom rooted in humor, from the deliciously funny "Flunking Jung," to self-deprecating wit, misreading "poetic" as "pathetic," reminding us wisdom is love, grown from self-compassion. -April Ossmann, author of "Anxious Music"  

  Author Infolaura Laura Foley is the author of five poetry collections. The Glass Tree won the Foreword Book of the Year Award, Silver, and was a Finalist for the New Hampshire Writer’s Project, Outstanding Book of Poetry. Joy Street won the Bi-Writer’s Award. Her poems have appeared in journals and magazines including Valparaiso Poetry Review, Inquiring Mind, Pulse Magazine, Poetry Nook, Lavender Review, The Mom Egg Review and in the British Aesthetica Magazine. She won Harpur Palate’s Milton Kessler Memorial Poetry Award and the Grand Prize for the Atlanta Review’s International Poetry Contest.   Author Links: Website | Goodreads        
Brought to you by Worldwind VBT

My Review
I found the book to be very well written. Each word was carefully chosen and strung together for the maximum emotional effect. I am not normally that into poems, but these were simply moving. I was sent this book for free for only my honest and unbiased review. 


We're happy to have with us today R. E. Sheahan, author of STORM OF ARRANON!  R.E. is on a virtual book tour this month and is giving away paperback copies of Book Two: Storm of Arranon: Fire and Ice and Book Three: Storm of Arranon: Allies and Enemies.  Enter below!

About the Book:

Title: Storm of Arranon
Author: R. E. Sheahan
Publisher: Rule of Three Press
Pages: 300
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Fantasy
 A forbidden birth. A remarkable young woman. A marauding alien society. The battle begins.
 A brutal alien society invades Korin and Arranon, intent on destroying the two worlds that make up Cadet Erynn Yager's home. Forced to expose her strange abilities and reveal her forbidden birth, a guarded web of secrets unravels.
Stranded on an unfamiliar planet of eternal winter and predatory wildlife, the mysterious living consciousness of Arranon intervenes, leading Erynn on a mystical journey.
Aware of Erynn's potential, the alien enemy pursues her. She struggles to gain control of her growing powers while in a constant race to elude the invaders, and join the forces preparing to fight a mounting occupation.
Erynn’s secret may be her worlds' only hope, but at the cost of her life. Swept up in a chain reaction of events, Erynn's dedication extends far beyond service and duty. She learns the true meaning of sacrifice.
Along with courage and hope, Erynn finds something unexpected on her journey of awareness and growth.

For More Information

  • Storm of Arranon is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Book Excerpt:

 TENDRILS OF BLUE STATIC POPPED and snapped around Lieutenant Erynn Yager’s fingers as she tapped the keypad. Black numbers and symbols streamed across the white screen of her monitor. She glanced up, checking the equation on the large overhead at the front of the cramped classroom and smiled, her answer correct.
Delicate blue currents reached out and wrapped around her hands with a faint tingling sensation. In a breath Erynn whispered, “Com avlash.” She brushed at dappled shadows that danced across the pool of sunlight at the edge of her desk, amused by the wispy blue filaments tracing her movements. They flowed like a lazy stream, trailing the path her fingertips traveled before the energy faded. As the static disappeared, she glanced around to make sure no one noticed.
No one ever had.
The buzz of winged centinents drifted in on a warm breeze through the open window next to her. She sighed and fingered the neck of her white uniform shirt, the stiff collar tight and irritating in the rising temperature.
From the front of the classroom the instructor, Major Kendal, his tan uniform meticulous, asked, “Does anyone need more time?” He scanned faces in the room. No one responded and he continued, “I trust you took into account gravitational pull, divided by trajectory angles, while factoring in speed given mass and friction before multiplying . . ..”
Erynn tried to listen, but his incessant droning soon matched the hum from outside.
Static crackled, and the air thickened with a sinking heaviness. The temperature plunged to an icy cold, chilling her moist skin. A sweet, spicy aroma replaced the electronic scent of computers and sour sweat of bodies pressed into a tight space for too long. She glanced out the window and frowned. What
Broad yellow, orange, and red leaves trembled in the breeze. Brown stone buildings melded with the blue sky and manicured green lawns. The colors ran, blurred, and morphed into dark oily shapes with faint outlines of long arms and legs. She stiffened and squeezed her eyes shut. Images played in her mind like a silent vid in fast-forward.
Flash—a brilliant jeweled city nestled in a deep green forest. Flash—majestic spires of trees surrounding a clearing, the woods tossed in a violent windstorm. Flash—mountain peaks covered by snow and ice.
More impressions swirled and sped by, eclipsing her thoughts, taking control.
Bright pinpoints of red and orange exploded, swarming under her closed lids. The high-pitched sound of a hundred musical instruments in discord screamed in her mind. The syrupy aroma intensified. She caught two words through the cacophony—a plea, and a warning.
“Cadjoo. Mabrath.” 
Her chest constricted, unable to expand.
Help. Death. 
The meaning of these two words, in a language she’d made up as a child, took her breath. She pushed recognition away, refusing the insistent vision that pried at the corners of her mind seeking purchase.
The word slithered across her nerves like a dry whisper.
Heart thudding, her lids flew open. At the periphery of her vision, the sparkling colors blinked out, and the heavy atmosphere in the room lifted. Erynn’s ears popped and the shrieking voices died, sudden quiet making her believe the shrill proclamation left her deaf. She jumped up, chair legs screeching backward on polished tile as the desk banged into the seat in front of her. “No!” Her shout rang out in the small, quiet room.
Floor heaving like rolling waves, she leaned against the desk on unsteady legs. Startled students in her weapons-and-tactics class stared at her, most of them shaking their heads and smirking. Ridicule and resentment came as a barrage of stinging barbs digging under her skin. Concentrated emotions of pity, anger, concern, scorn, disgust and envy bombarded against her attempt to focus, to gain control.
In a practiced technique, Erynn envisioned a wide tunnel of white brightness spiraling into a tiny point of light. This method narrowed her exposure to the emotions of others. The reactions assailing her all but disappeared. She hissed quick breaths through clamped teeth and the nauseating sensation of motion stopped.

About the Author

I have always been a reader. I love books. When I’m not able to read, I listen to audio books. I started writing while working as a Paramedic/Firefighter in Northern California. Trust me, it’s not like it appears on TV. There was plenty of time for books, mostly reading them. I didn't seriously start writing until I moved to my ranch in Oregon. While waiting for lambs to be born in the middle of the night, I would head back to the house for an hour or two and sit down at the computer. Before I knew it, I had a manuscript. Not a good one, but a start.I joined critique groups and attended writer's conferences. I was on the fast track to learning. 

In 2013, I received an honorable mention in Writer’s Digest’s Self Published book awards for MG/YA. I guess I am learning something!

Ideas from dreams follow me into warm sunny days or the quiet of falling snow. “What ifs” feed a vivid imagination. Even mistyped phrases may lead to an "aha" moment. Brain storming sessions standing in windy, dark parking lots with fellow writers release thoughts that pry at the corners of my mind, grasping for purchase. Sometimes the ideas pursue me, with persistence.

For More Information


R.E. Sheahan is giving away a paperback copy of Book Two (Storm of Arranon Fire) and Book Three (Storm of Arranon Allies and Enemies)!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive both books
  • This giveaway ends midnight October 28.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on October 29.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


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My Review
The STORM OF ARRANON was a well written novel, that pulled me in form the very first page. I found the book to be very interesting with how it combined elements of science fiction and fantasy together perfectly. The characters were all well developed with their own unique personalities. The dialogue was all realistic and well written and not too wordy. I real enjoyed how the plot line flowed together perfectly. Erynn was a strong character who I really enjoy reading about and I liked how she grew through out the book. I was sent this book for free for only my honest review.

Monday, September 26, 2016

A Drop of Water: A Spiritual Journey by Yvonne Williams Casaus

A Drop of Water: A Spiritual Journey by Yvonne Williams Casaus
Book Description:

In this extraordinary book, Yvonne reflects upon her past experiences, grief, and losses to find her way back to her spirituality and strength. She bares her soul, yet is able to use water as a lighthearted, uninhibited, and fun way to express how we are all connected. It is a spiritually inspired book about healing, grief, and personal growth.

It becomes a beautiful poetic journey as she discovers her love of water as part of what led her towards her spiritual path. Through her writing she expresses how she found her way through several tremendous losses, including the loss of her husband. In her ability to endure, she found a strength she never knew she had.

This book is for anyone that has ever struggled with depression, grief, or loss of any kind. It is for anyone interested in personal growth and healing. By sharing her personal story she is able to remind us that we are never truly alone. Water connects us all.

Buy the Book: Amazon

Author's Bio:

Yvonne Williams Casaus is a Mom, Wife, Author, Counselor, and Play Therapist. She is an independently licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LPCC), a Registered Play Therapist (RPT), and is certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. She specializes in Depression, Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She has a private practice in New Mexico and has been helping adults, children, adolescents, and families for over eleven years.

Yvonne’s areas of expertise include Depression, Anxiety, Divorce, Panic Attacks, PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), Sexual Abuse, Rape, Physical Abuse, Grief, ADHD and other issues. She also specializes in treating traumatized children with issues such as PTSD, Sexual abuse, Physical Abuse, Neglect, Adoption, and Reactive Attachment Disorder.

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Pinterest  ~ Instagram

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hybris by Don Trimble

Hybris by Don Trimble is a dystopia fiction novel that takes place in a time where the world is attempting to be governed by only one government for the entire world. Hybris by Don Trimble follows Hampton Squires  (a member of a powerful organization and a one world government advocate)who is in his sixties and is seeking a fountain of youth so that he can have his ultimate power and live long enough to truly enjoy it. Hybris by Don Trimble will appeal most to an audience made up of a mix of adults and young adults who enjoy dystopia fiction.

Hybris by Don Trimble was an interesting book to read it had a bit of a slow start, but really started to heat up when a potential fountain of youth is found in the Sahara Desert. I really began to enjoy Hybris by Don Trimble when the Mansfields become involved. I really liked how they wanted to make the “fountain” available to all people and not just one rich and powerful person. This really struck me as a sort of good vs evil kind of plot line. I really enjoyed Don Trimble’s writing style he just had a way of stinging words together to create an understandable plot line, riveting conversations and dialogue, as well as a remarkable description of both the characters and the locations. I truly enjoyed reading  Hybris by Don Trimble, and I hope that Don Trimble continues to write and I would love to see more books taking place in the same universe as Hybris by Don Trimble.

"Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite"

The Bread Baker's Apprentice

Image result for The Bread Baker's Apprentice
The recipes in The Bread Baker's Apprentice are all a bit confusing because of the huge amount of background or history information that comes before each recipe. This make it a bit of a pain to wad through each section to actually find the recipe. For instance the bagel recipe has two whole pages of unneeded information before one can reach the actual recipe. The number of tables and charts also makes it a bit confusing to find what I should be focusing on. The recipes that I tried made some very yummy bread. I just wish that they were organized and laid out better so as to make it less confusing. I was sent this book for free for only my honest and unbiased review.