reviews

GIVEAWAY WINNERS** The Pope’s Stone

Hi everyone!

Monica announced the winners today which is super exciting.  The giveaway included a paperback copy of The Pope’s Stone as well as a simple and elegant black journal. With out further a do, here are the winners!!! Congratulations to everyone and thank you for supporting this blog tour!

US WINNERS

Soo Clark

Followed Marc Kuhn’s Blog (Entry #43)

Ashley Rogers

Followed Nazninazeez’ Blog (Entry #34)

INTERNATIONAL WINNERS

Lana Khnkoyan

Followed Love of Book’s Blog (Entry #105)

Suad Yassin

Became a fan of Marc Kuhn in Goodreads (Entry #36)

Congratulations! Monica will be e-mailing the winners so make sure to check your e-mails! A quick thank you to Monica for reaching out, I really enjoyed this experience and have found a new love for history!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Book Review:The Pope’s Stone by Marc Kuhn + GIVEAWAY

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00025]Title: The Pope’s Stone

Author: Marc Kuhn

Published: October 9, 2012

Paperback: 242 pages

Kindle Edition: 229 pages

ISBN: 1479185299

Purchase links: Amazon Kindle * Amazon Paperback * Barnes and Noble

Synopsis:

THE POPE’S STONE is a fascinating historical novel that follows the lives of Nathaniel and Nicholas, descendants of the Barrington family of Virginia. Each young man keeps life-long journals which eventually reveal their parallel lives; lives that are mirrored by similar events and experiences, similar relationships and consequences. The two, however, lived a century apart. The only connections between them are their family heritage, their journals…and the Pope’s Stone.

The Pope’s Stone was a slab of engraved marble given to America in 1854 by Pope Pius IX. It was to be embedded within the walls of the Washington Monument, then under construction in the nation’s capital. John Henry Barrington, a stonemason working at the Monument site, was persuaded to assist a small party of anti-Catholic activists in stealing the Pope’s Stone, smashing it to pieces and tossing them into the Potomac River. The Pope’s Stone was never to be seen again, except for a fragment that John Henry secretly kept for himself. This small piece of the stone passes down through generations of Barringtons, leaving a path of hardship and unexpected tragedy for those who possess it. Coincidence? Bad karma, as Cousin Sarah calls it? Or is it more than that? And, what role does the stone play in the lives of Nathaniel and Nicholas? These are some of the questions you’ll be asking…discover the answers in THE POPE’S STONE.

The Pope’s Stone Website

My review

I was excited to be part of this blog tour right from the beginning. A friend of mine, Monica e-mailed me to see if I would be interested in joining the blog tour for this book, without hesitation I agreed. This is my first blog tour and this book, even though it’s not in the genre that I typically read,it  was still interesting enough to keep me flipping the pages. I have to start of by saying that I really enjoyed how the author described the characters, the way it was written made it really easy to follow and understand what they were going through during that time period. I really felt deeply for each of the characters and the issues they faced, it was definitely a emotional read. Even though they lived a century apart it was really interesting to read how similar their experiences were and how they correlated. I also really liked how each character wrote their own journal, it was a great way to truly see how they each felt about their journey.

This book took me on a  emotional ride, what each of the character went through was truly heartbreaking. I found myself holding back my emotions and reminding myself that this was just a book. I felt really bad for them and couldn’t possibly imagine the grief they endured.

Even though I don’t read books about history, I found those aspects of the book to be quite interesting. The stories that were tied in with the war were really sad to read; I liked how it answered some of the questions that I had about Nathaniel and Nicholas’ family. It’s tragic but uplifting at the same time. It truly makes you appreciate  life  and how short it can be. I enjoyed reading how everyone suffered from Henry’s mistake, I found it to be realistic; I’m sure many of you can relate to that, experiencing something similar myself , I know I can. It’s crazy how one persons greed can affect so many people.

The ending for me tied everything together. I wasn’t too happy while I was reading it, but when I look back now it all makes sense. It all came full circle. I really liked the whole concept of this book and how everything tied together. The author does a great job transitioning from chapter to chapter without confusing the reader. All the chapters had something in common and that is really apparent from the beginning.

Last thoughts- My rating: 4/5

I don’t like to give away a lot when I review books, that’s one of the things my readers appreciate the most. When writing this review, there were a lot of things I wanted to mention but didn’t because it wouldn’t be fair to you guys. I can’t describe how much I enjoyed this book. I found it a little bit slow in the first chapter but after that it really picks up. As you are reading you start noticing the direction this books is going in and you start understanding the plot. Even if you don’t read books in this genre, I highly recommend you read this one. I was hooked right from the beginning, some parts made me want to cry and some parts really frustrated because like all things, life is not fair, its up to you how you deal with what life throws at you. There was a great message behind this book, and I know it will stick with me for a very long time.

I received a copy of this book for an honest review. A a big thank you to Monica!!

A big thank you to Marc Kuhn for writing this book, you did a great job and I truly enjoyed it. To read more about this author please read his bio below. Thanks everyone for stopping by and make sure to check out the giveaway hosted by Monica at the end of this post!

 

About the Author

Marc Kuhn

Author Marc Kuhn has worked in radio broadcasting most of his life as a journalist, a program director and a marketing executive. He has held positions at major radio stations in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Miami.

Now retired, he has turned his attention to writing. His first book, NEVER GOOSE A MOOSE! is a collection of whimsical verse for young children.
ABOUT A FARM is his second children’s book. It features lessons in life beyond the barnyard.

A third book, THE POPE’S STONE, is Kuhn’s first adult novel. It is a fascinating historical novel about two descendants of the same family who live parallel lives, but a century apart!

Kuhn lives in South Florida with his wife, Rosemarie, and seven grandchildren.

Contact the Author

Website * Blog * Goodreads * Twitter

The Pope’s Stone Tour Schedule (March 8-19)

Make sure to check out all the tour dates below. Let’s show some support!

March 8 – Impressions of a Princess

March 10 – YA Big BOOKworm

March 11- Book Adoration

March 12 – For the Love of Books

March 13 – Nazninazeez

March 14 – Amidst Books

March 15 – Lollipops and Rainbows

March 16 – Emma Snow

March 17 – Prisailurophile Blog

March 18 – Pretty Little Dreamer

March 19 – Edge of Jade

The Giveaway

PrizeSM

Marc Kuhn, the author of the historical novel The Pope’s Stone, is very generous to offer a combo prize package of a signed paperback of his book plus a simple black journal. To sweeten the deal, four winners can totally get this awesome gift. Awesome? Two US residents and two international participants will be chosen by an electronic raffle after the giveaway ends. So what are you guys waiting for? Kindly check the rafflecopter links below. The first one is for International giveaway and the next is for US only.

International Giveaway – link

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/182a4e6/

US Giveaway – link

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/182a4e5/

Note: Both giveaways are open until Friday, March 22. All entries will be checked for validity. On or before March 25, two international and two US residents will be randomly chosen by Rafflecopter. These four winners will be announced in this blog and they will have 48 hours to respond/comment on the announcement post.

Guest Blogger Reviews: The Rose Petal Beach by Dorothy Koomson

Today’s guess blogger review is brought to you by Kirsty Wales s from http://kirstywales.wordpress.com

Dorothy  I have read all of Dorothy Koomsons books and I have to say they are all so beautifully written,The Rose Petal Beach is no exception to this. The story tugs at your heart from the first page and makes you think about what you would do in that same situation.

What would you do if your husband was arrested for a heinous crime that he says he didn’t commit, but the person accusing him of this crime is your best friend?

The Rose Petal Beach is about Tamia Challey who has to deal with all of these things, as the plot gets thicker and secrets and lies are revealed for what they are can Tamia deal with it all.

The main question throughout the story is what would you do for the one you loved, how far would you go? The entire story centers around the tale of The Rose Petal Beach, which is a beautiful tale about love and loss and a womans search to find her true love.

This story will make you smile, will make you think and it might even make you cry but it is definitely worth reading. Have you heard the story of the rose petal beach?

Thank you to Kirsty for submitting your review. Make sure to check out her blog by clicking here

Live Love Laugh

Another poem written late at night. It’s almost 4 am, whooppie! I hope everyone else is having a wonderful day. Thanks for stopping by!

Live, love laugh, sounds easy right?
Life is short and love can be hard to find.
That doesn’t mean you that should give up on yourself
Everyone goes through rough times, don’t be hard on yourself.
Don’t forget about laughter, we all need it in our lives.
Sometimes you have to  laugh at yourself, trust me you will survive.
Live, love, laugh, three simple words to live by.
Grab life by the horns and aim sky high.

Book Review: Beautiful Bastard

20130213-212051.jpgAuthor: Christina Lauren

Publisher: Gallery Books

Release date: February, 2013

Purchase from Amazon | Chapters/Indigo

Kobo: $8.99

 

Synopsis:

An ambitious intern. A perfectionist executive. And a whole lot of name calling.

Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He’s exacting, blunt, inconsiderate—and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard.

Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family’s massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who’d been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative—completely infuriating—creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he’s never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe’s so tempting he’s willing to bend the rules—or outright smash them—if it means he can have her. All over the office

As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they’re willing to lose in order to win each other.

Originally only available online as The Office by tby789—and garnering over 2 million reads on fanfiction sites—Beautiful Bastard has been extensively updated for re-release.

My Review

I’m planning to keep this review short because to be honest, it wasn’t that good. Because of the hype this book received, I was expecting it to be amazing. Before I even read it, I was hoping it would be similar to Sylvia Days Crossfire novels. Maybe that was my mistake? It’s never a good idea to judge a book by it’s cover. For some reason I was expecting to feel “wow-ed” but instead I found myself wanting the book to end.

I  do have to say that I was instantly intrigued by the title of this book ” Beautiful Bastard” knowing the title and nothing much else, it was obvious that the main  male character was supposed to be a arrogant and some what rude. The synopsis was interesting enough for me too pre-order the book. My Kobo alerted me the night this book became available and with no hesitation, I started reading it the same night. The first few chapters weren’t to bad, I loved how the author described both the characters. They didn’t make him seem too perfect, that is probably the only thing I liked about this book. It really didn’t do anything for me, all they did was argue and have sex over and over and over again. That basically sums up the book. The dialogue was not the best, some of the lines they used during sex made me laugh- which I was not expecting.  As for the main characters, I found Bennett to be way too aggressive and not in a sexy way but then again that’s the way the character was intended to be. I was hoping for more emotion between them. Towards the beginning of the book I had a really hard time liking his character but to be fair he does open up at the end. As much as I did not like this book, I do like what they did with Chloe’s character. They made her a powerful and intelligent woman who doesn’t take crap from anyone. I feel like this is one of the few times that they made the female character strong and capable of fighting her own battles.

To be honest, besides the sex there wasn’t anything else really going on in this book. Nothing really stood out to me. The sex was ruined by the terrible dialogue.I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, I tried not to read the reviews before I read the book myself. Looking at them now, they are mixed. I guess it depends on the type of person you are. When reading books in this category, I want them to excite me and build some kind of emotion, I did not feel this way with this book. Over all, I was disappointed, I don’t think I have ever skimmed through pages while reading a sex scene before. Final thoughts: It wasn’t terrible, it took me 4 nights to read it ( it usually takes me around 2). It was definitely not worth the price I paid.

Rating: 2.5/5

Do I recommend it? Like I mentioned before it all depends on what kind of person you are, if you have a friend who has the book, borrow it, read a couple of chapters and see if it’s worth purchasing.

Thank you for stopping by! If you have any thoughts on this book ( without spoiling it) feel free to post it below.

Guest Blogger reviews: Through The Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

20130214-004922.jpgAuthor: Veronica Rossi

Publisher: Harper Collins

Release date: January 8, 2013

Rating: 5 stars – I LOVED THIS TO PIECES!

Purchase from Amazon | Barnes & Noble

SYNOPSIS

It’s been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don’t take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe’s precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.

Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night? — Goodreads

CAUTION. SPOILERS MAY LIE AHEAD. TIS NOT TOO LATE TO TURN BACK NOW.

In the heart-pounding second installment to Under The Never Sky, Veronica Rossi delivers a beautifully written sequel in Through The Ever Night. I’ve been waiting for over a year for TTEN as I got an ARC for UTNS in 2011. I’ll try to not squeal and fan girl for the duration of this review, but I’m already having trouble doing just that. Rossi completely and utterly blew my expectations out of the water with jarring and heartbreaking revelations and the possibility of deep betrayals. Plus, the romance in this book practically seeped through the pages.

Last we left our beloved characters in UTNS, Aria had discovered the shattering revelations that she was half outsider. She had left Perry behind, but after months of being apart they are finally reunited. And oh! It. Is. So. Bittersweet! Lots of things have changed for them both, like the fact that Perry is now Blood Lord of the Tides. His tribe does not welcome Aria (and this is the part where their reunion is bittersweet) and even attempt to kill her.

Aria leaves soon after but not because of the incident. She has a mission: to go in search of information for the still blue. They all need the still blue because the aether storms – which are kind of like intense lightening storms – threatened their lives every day as it has become almost impossible to be safe from them.

Throughout the novel, I just kept stopping and telling Perry that Aria loves him whenever he doubted her love for him. Her leaving without saying a word deeply betrayed him and my heart hurt. It’s one of the many things that Veronica Rossi does exceptionally. She makes you feel for the characters, making you forget about everything else but them. I realized as I was reading that Rossi used the sequel to expand character relationships. The bond between Perry and Aria magnified, but at the same time their love was riddled with doubt on Perry’s part because he just didn’t believe ASLDKFJDL;FKJDK. Then, there is the relationship between Roar and Aria, which at times may have been interpreted as romantic. I was really scared for that possibility. Don’t get me wrong, I love Roar but I am an Perria shipper at heart. Aria as a character has grown immensely both physically and emotionally since UTNS. The same goes for Perry – as he’s trying to handle the duties that come from being a Blood Lord – and some of the other minor characters of the story.

Everything that made Under The Never Sky amazing and fresh was written with sheer brilliance in Through The Ever Night. Rossi added much more depth surrounding Aria and Perry’s world that involved past and present vital information. We got to learn about where the word “aether” came from and the marking ritual that is performed for an outsider with a heightened gift. Those were, of course, the little things.Veronica Rossi does not spare her readers with shocking and agonizing twists.

My favorite thing about Through The Ever Night had to be the development of the relationships between the characters. Aria and Perry’s romance just captured my heart. It was different, seeing Perry rendered to Aria so utterly and completely. Then there is Aria, who was self-less enough to leave Perry to protect him, to protect everything he’s ever known. Roar and Aria’s friendship could only be described as open and comfortable. They have a bond, not quite the same as what Aria has with Perry, but it’s different in it’s entirety. Aria calls Roar her best friend and I couldn’t agree more.

The last ten chapters or so were filled with heart-racing action and shocking events. My heart literally was heavy until the very end. I consumed those pages and felt sad when I realized that there was no more. I’m definitely looking forward to reading what Veronica Rossi has in store for us in the anticipated conclusion, Into The Still Blue. If you have never read this series, I urge you to go forth and read it! You won’t be disappointed and the idea for her world is unique, creative, and captivating. You’ll become utterly obsessed as I have, which is a healthy sort of obsession. Right?

A huge thank you to  Emma for submitting this review. Please check out her blog by clicking here

Guest blogger reviews: The sleepy hollow family almanac

Sarah Van Den Bosch
Review of “The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac” by Kris D’Agostino

​Cal Moretti is in a state of flux, suffering from a form of existentialism that is becoming increasingly common in the over-educated and underemployed millennial generation. While trying to figure life out post-college, the Moretti family is in the midst of a series of crises that only make Cal’s decisions more difficult. His father, a pilot, is stricken with an illness that grounds him indefinitely and his teenage sister is pregnant. Cal struggles to decide which path he’ll choose while his family tries to keep their home and themselves together.
​“The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac”, while centered mostly on around Cal, does not fail to equip secondary characters with dynamic traits and a voice all their own, serving to further enhance the story. D’Agostino debut novel pulls the reader into Cal’s world and presents his problems head-on. His struggle is relatable; I’m sure, to a broad audience. I mean, who hasn’t felt purposeless or had to make hard choices in the face of adversity?
​What’s best about Kris D’Agostino’s novel is that Cal is a severely flawed character. His motives were often selfish but there is a level of sympathy his character invokes. “The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac” is a quick read. D’Agostino favors succinct sentences over flowery prose without sacrificing the details that enrich the story. The narrative cuts from one scene to the next but time remains linear, making it an overall engaging read.
​I often found myself disagreeing with much of what Cal was doing but I sort of felt for him. I can’t really fault him for not being self-sacrificing while things fall apart around him. It’s hard to take the high road when your father is spontaneously crying in his bathrobe.
​The strong, entertaining characters push the story along and only lend to the refreshingly truthful narrative. It is truly worth the read.

Thank you to Sarah Van Den Bosch for submitting your review