Friday, October 10, 2014

Persuaded by Misty Dawn Pulsipher (Review)

Hanna Elliot had worn the ring faithfully at first. Some part of her still clung to the hope that all was not lost. As the days turned into weeks, she finally took it off and set it atop her dresser. When weeks gave way to months, the ring finally went back into its box, where it gathered dust until it was moved to Hanna’s unmentionables drawer. For the first few years, she had taken it out on the anniversary of the day she’d received it, allowing herself to wallow in what might have been.
She had been all but stamped out of Derick Wentworth’s mind.
Sure, he thought about her occasionally, especially on cloudless nights when he lay on the bow of the Laconia looking up at the stars. But as time went on, Derick began to feel grateful that it hadn’t worked out, for one thing was certain: if he ever did settle down, it would be with someone who knew her own mind. Someone who went after the thing she wanted without hesitation. Someone who would never allow herself to be persuaded otherwise.
Misty Dawn Pulsipher
Misty Dawn Pulsipher was born and raised in Utah. She attended Snow College where she developed a love for writing. Misty served as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Washington, D.C. area. She and her husband now reside in Maryland with their three children, two dogs, and the colony of squirrels that lives in their back yard. When she's not writing or procrastinating an edit, Misty is reading, baking, sewing, playing the piano, or bribing her family to play Monopoly with her. Visit her Facebook page or author blog:
Available (Kindle) on Amazon
My Thoughts:
I absolutely loved this book. Once you read the book, you realize just how much the cover depicts the story. I sometimes miss this by reading on a Kindle. When I read an actual physical book, I look at the cover every time I pick up the book and I do miss that sometimes.
The story was sweet with a few surprises thrown in and although you think you know the ending, there are a few places in the book that will make you doubt yourself.
Spoiler alert here (which I do not normally do) but I have to say it. What about the ring? That was truly the only disappointing thing in the entire book for me; to close the book and then remember that there was nothing about the ring. I will not explain it any further.
I read other reviews that indicated this story followed along with Jane Austin's Persuasion, which I have not read so I can't compare. I did enjoy this sweet love story. It was a chance to see how two young people who didn't work out in the beginning, get a second chance, and what they do with that second chance.
The writing was great and the errors were nominal in the book which made it an enjoyable read. The characters were well developed and I enjoyed all of them, not just Hannah and Derrick.
I'm giving Persuaded by Misty Dawn Pulsipher five stars and recommending it.

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Behind the Glass by Kristen Morgen (Book Review)

by: Kristen Morgen
Publish Date: 6/30/14
Published by: Kristen Morgen
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Add to Goodreads
Rebecca Jordan’s life is simple, disciplined, and uncomplicated, at least on the surface. Then she meets a handsome stranger/secret admirer named Michael Vale one fateful late night at a bookstore café. As a focused but struggling photographer with a passion for art, her outwardly happy world is turned upside down during this life-changing encounter when she quickly realizes she has met her soul mate. The undeniable attraction between them and their intense, immediate connection seem picture perfect as they discuss the shop’s local artwork, until Rebecca abruptly ends the chance meeting with no explanation.
Betraying Brett, her loyal, loving boyfriend, is something Rebecca can never bring herself to do. Driven by a strong moral code and molded by divorced parents and a tumultuous childhood, she struggles to stay away from Michael, but fate and circumstance intervene, bringing them back together time and time again. As much as she resists, there is no denying her true feelings for him and the simple fact that Michael understands her in a way Brett never has. Michael proves to be everything she’s ever wanted, but remains just out of her reach.
Behind the Glass tells the story of Michael and Rebecca’s extraordinary love and the many unconventional stages their relationship must go through. Their morals and their faith in true love and in each other will be put to the test as they learn that meeting one’s soul mate does not come without obstacles.
Kristen Morgen
Kristen Morgen, an up and coming new adult contemporary romance author, can’t remember a time in her life when she didn’t crave designing, creating, discovering, and using her imagination in some way. Educated and trained as a licensed architect and working at her own architectural firm for many years, her true passion has always been writing. An avid reader from a very early age, the romance genre is admittedly her favorite guilty pleasure - a hopeless romantic to the end.
Kristen loves the art of shaping words and sentences into relatable stories while creating rich characters for her readers to connect with. She enjoys exploring relationships and discovering the little reasons people fall in love with each other while uncovering deeper truths. Honing her craft in her free time and choosing exactly the type of story she wanted to tell, Kristen presents Behind the Glass as her debut novel.
Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, she currently resides in Connecticut with her husband and two daughters. Never one to let her creative mind sit idle for very long, in her free time she is currently hard at work on her next novel and reads almost anything she can get her hands on.
Twitter - @kristenmorgen
Buy Behind the Glass for Kindle on Amazon
My Thoughts:
The cover to Behind the Glass is quite striking and once I began reading the book, I realized that it was a painting, which was fitting for the book and most appropriate.
I enjoyed the story, but there was something that took me a little while to put my finger on. The book was very emotionally detailed in the writing and allowed me little room for exercising my imagination. The writing was too perfect. Each emotion was described in such detail that I tended to lose track of what I was reading. I found that I didn't care for this particular style of writing.
The ending of the story was predictable, but most books are and this wasn't a problem for me. The story line is sugary and sweet with emotional turmoil thrown in throughout the book. I think that people who enjoy a good, predictable, sweet romance will love this book.
I have read a lot of books, but this is the first of its kind for me and I am a little unsure as how to rate it. Each individual sentence was a perfect sentence in its own right, but the story was too detailed for me. I enjoy exercising my imagination and this book didn't allow me to do that. The story was there, although lost in the detail, so I am going to give the book 4 stars.
My LifeOne Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Perfect Holiday by Michael Banebrook

The Problem…
At forty-eight, attorney Kori Sarcotti is taking a beating. Her husband is under investigation, the FBI is serving her warrants, and her firm is sending her on road trips just to get her out of the office. But when her grandmother, and woman who raised her, passes away, things go from bad to intolerable.
The Solution…

Not long after her grandmother’s funeral, Kori finds herself stranded in the small town of Mule Creek, where she meets unsophisticated rancher AJ Crawford. When AJ asks her a question that both shocks and delights her, she admits that her predicament had become ‘The Perfect Holiday’.
Michael Banebrook
Michael Banebrook was born in Tucson, AZ and spent most of my his in Utah. He loves to travel, and not only travel, but live over seas. According to Michael, "That's how one really learns about the country and the people. I've lived in FranceGuatemala, and Japan, each time for two years. I love to study foreign languages and Chinese is next on my list. Ni Hao ma? I'm married and have for kids. I love to hike, (not extreme, more like strolls through the woods) I like to cook and watch movies. I started writing a few years ago and I love it. I take my laptop with me everywhere and if I have even five minutes, I pull it out. It takes me a long time to read a book for two reasons, first, reading puts me to sleep. If you have that problem, then you know how frustrating it is. Second, I read analytically. I underline and take notes. I never read just for fun. I'm always learning. I love to hear from my readers, so touch base with me on twitter or on my blog."
My Thoughts:
I'm going to begin with the cover in telling you my thoughts on this book. The cover was beautiful. It had an air of mystery about it which you feel as you read the book blurb. The cover and the blurb would definitely have drawn my attention in a bookstore and would have had me skimming the first few pages and then tossing it into my buggy.
I enjoyed the history of the characters as it intertwined throughout the book. I was surprised at how poignant this information would become towards the end of the book.
I also enjoyed the how the two protagonists appeared to be at opposite ends of the spectrum. On one hand, you have Kori, a sophisticated woman lawyer holding her own in a man's world, and on the other side, you have AJ, a laid-back country cowboy with a slow drawl. As the reader, you sense that something is going to happen because of the tension sparking between them.
AJ has been widowed for a few years and dipping his toes in the dating scene via the internet. He's just not finding "the" woman out there. Kori, is taking a back road vacation on the advice of her boss, who is really just interested in keeping her out of the office. Her car breaks down and we could say the rest is history, but it's the history that keeps you riveted to the book and turning the pages.
The writing was good. The author did a great job of switching back and forth between the voices. There was great humor and teasing among the protagonists and their friends that lent an everyday conversation feel to the story.
I am giving The Perfect Holiday by Michael Banebrook five stars. It was an easy going read that I really enjoyed and I think you will too.
Purchase on Amazon
My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Trigger by Julia Derek (Book Review - 3 stars)

Sparks fly when struggling actress Nina Tyler meets hot lawyer Dylan Whitman. The chemistry between them is so intense Nina even rethinks her staunch position on relationships. Maybe they’re not a waste of time after all. But there’s something about Dylan that scares her—and she knows it has nothing to do with fear of getting close to a man, like her best friend thinks. It’s something far worse.
Preppy Dylan has had his heart broken and his uncle challenges him to move on by going on five online dates. Dylan ends up on a date with Nina. While her unabashed attitude unsettles him at first, he soon realizes that he really likes her. But as they get closer, she pulls back. It’s as if she's convinced he’d physically hurt her, which he’d never do. Still, if he doesn't figure out what's triggering her fear, she'll never be his. Little does he know her fear is directly tied to him.
Julia Derek grew up in SImage of Julia Derekweden but always knew she was meant to live in America, more specifically, in New York City. A former stand-up comic, she has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. When she doesn't write or read, she spends her time whipping people into shape as a fitness trainer. She is the author of the L.A. Girls Romance Series. The Series follows the steamy love lives of four different girls from Los Angeles. While interconnected, the four standalone novels don't have to be read in order (though Julia recommends you start with LOVE CURSED). TRIGGER, LOVE CURSED and UNDERCOVER LOVERS are currently available. The fourth installment will be out in the beginning of October, 2014.
Her YA romantic thriller, The Smiley Killer, is now available.
Julia loves to hear from her readers. You can find her on FacebookTwitter or by visiting her website: Email her at to get notices about her latest release.
Purchase Trigger in Kindle format on Amazon
My Thoughts:
The following review contains what may be considered a spoiler. Please keep this in mind as you read my review. Thank you. 

After reading the book, I felt the title, "TRIGGER", was an apt name. The book dealt with trigger memories from a prior bullying experience. As this is a topic we are seeing a lot about in the news today, I felt the author touched on a relevant subject for her book.
TRIGGER by Julia Derek is the story of a young woman who finds herself dealing, or in the beginning, not dealing with the after effects of high school bullying as well as survivor's guilt. She becomes involved with a guy and finds herself having strange reactions to the different facial expressions he uses. Through therapy, she is able to begin addressing her delayed reactions. Another twist in the story has a bully showing up in close proximity. 
I thought some of the book meandered. Then, all of a sudden the story came to a conclusion and closed up shop fairly quickly. I am not a fan of sudden endings. I feel that books need to focus as much attention on setting up the endings as the beginnings, and I felt this book was lacking in that respect.
The plus side is that the story topic was good, but I felt the actual writing was more on a 3-3.5 level. Something in the writing just didn't resonate with what I look for in a book. It was almost as though I were reading a book that fluctuated between several grade levels.
I did enjoy the point of view change with each chapter. The author pulled that aspect off quiet well.
I am going to give the book an overall 3 star rating. The book enveloped a good topic with good character development, even though I felt the writing needs some improvement.
My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book may have been provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Southern Porch...

A Southern porch
This is where life happens in the South, or at least some of it.
My porch is not a fancy porch; it is simply my go-to place, my sanctuary; a place to “catch a breeze”.
There is a swing at one end where I sit while my thoughts find form. For the hot summer days that sometimes reach into the high 90s, there’s a Southern Breeze maker – a fan. Here in the South, we make our own breeze more often than not.
A Southern breeze maker
The porch is in need of washing for as soon as the mildew has been scrubbed away, it begins to form again. The floor shows the marks of Sentry, a pet, taking a running start and flying off the end in an attempt to avoid landing in the azaleas that line the porch. More marks are noticeable from Calypso, another pet, chasing her tail. Taking up space is a plant bench that my husband made for a daughter. I’m sure she’ll be by at some point to reclaim it, but until then I’ve piled it high with plants; plants I forget to water.
Two rockers take up residence on the front porch, their red surface marred by the chew marks made by Calypso as a puppy. They sport by contrast, fading yellow putty in need of paint. Across the front steps is a double gate; installed in an attempt to keep our two German ShepherdsRyka and Calypso, off of the porch. Most days, it swings in the breeze as I am not diligent about securing it. I find it comforting to look up and see one, if not both of my dogs, napping at the front door in an attempt to be near me. Some days, all I see is a blur, as they have left their mark, nose prints on the glass, as they have sat watching my every move inside.
German Shepherds
Ryka and Calypso along with the smudges
German Shepherd
Let sleeping dogs lie
We have plans for the front porch. Much discussion flowed about the pros and cons of putting the screening on the inside or the outside of the railings. The porch railings have gone up without the screen. Louvers will eventually be built and installed at either end of the porch for privacy. Landscape will be cut back and the steps widened to accommodate the double screen doors that will be installed.
West German Shepherd
Until that time, the front porch is a place to sit and relax. It is a place to dream of the future and contemplate the mistakes of the past. It is a place to drift in time as we Southerners are known to do.
West German Shepherd

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Marriage by Design by Elley Arden (Tour, Review, Spotlight, Giveaway)

Elley Arden is back with a new sexy and emotional romance that will make you cry and swoon, all at the same time, with MARRIAGE BY DESIGN, book 2 of the Designing Love series.
When carpenter Angie Corcarelli goes steel-toe boot to high-polished loafer with her best friend’s ex, construction engineer Stuart Perrault, sparks fly in Elley Arden’s latest Designing Love novel, Marriage by Design.
Want to get to know Elley better? Check out this exclusive interview!
Rafflecopter code for tour-wide giveaway:
Marriage by DesignAbout MARRIAGE BY DESIGN:
Family first. That motto led Angie Corcarelli to become a carpenter and take over the family construction business when she was barely out of her teens. And now it’s leading her into battle against her best friend’s ex. Stuart Perrault and his swanky, family-run construction engineering firm have been tapped to oversee a highway project that includes demolishing a stretch of row homes. Over her dead body will it come to that. Stuart Perrault knows a thing or two about family allegiance. For the past fifteen years, he’s been working alongside his brother and father, dreaming about the day he’d be named CEO of the Perrault Group. But then came the bridge debacle in Paris. And now his dream seems a little further away. As he fights his way back to the top of the company, he isn’t about to watch another project fall apart just because his ex-girlfriend’s best friend is a loose cannon.
When Stuart’s father insists he take Angie out to dinner and neutralize things, he obliges. But has he bitten off more than he can chew? Angie isn’t at all what he expected, and his usual self-control doesn’t seem to work when he’s around her.
The more time Angie spends with Stuart, the harder it is to see him as the bad guy she’d believed him to be. But falling for each other would mean going against their respective families. Are they strong enough for that?
Goodreads | Amazon
Also in the Designing Love series: BABY BY DESIGN
E Arden auth picElley Arden is a born and bred Pennsylvanian who has lived as far west as Utah and as far north as Wisconsin. She drinks wine like it’s water (a slight exaggeration), prefers a night at the ballpark to a night on the town, and believes almond English toffee is the key to happiness.
Charming characters. Emotional stories. Sexy romance.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Purchase Marriage by Design in the following format (Click):
My thoughts on the book:
Due to unforeseen circumstances, my review will posted in a couple of days.