Mindful Mornings: Daily Reflections and Meditations to Start Your Day Off Right by Rachael L. Thompson

Summary:

Mornings are said to be the most powerful part of any day. They represent a fresh start, a new beginning. Devoting just five minutes each morning to reflection and meditation will transform your days and eventually lead to a more blissful life. Carry these reflections and meditations with you through your days and watch your daily experiences transform. Stress will seem far less daunting, you will be able to enjoy each moment and appreciate those around you as your heart is filled with love and gratitude. You owe this time to yourself. Transcend any limitations brought about by negative thinking and experience true peace and deep joy. Love and light as you continue on your journey.

Overall:

There are 25 reflections covered here plus some meditation information. There are even some mantras. Some of the reflections are overlapping while others stand very much alone. I was impressed by the information under them. I thought the order was a little strange but I did like that happiness came last. There was also the idea of selflessness and positive regard for others. As a very logical person the section that I felt was woefully lacking was ‘life purpose.’ I thought this was far more important than some of the other sections and was on the shorter side. Perhaps that was because there was a chapter on goals that this seemed so short. For sure a quick read in the morning with some tea (or coffee) before leaving in the morning.

Rating

4 stars.

25 reflections that may help you become a mindful person.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

Advertisements

Mindfulness: 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge: Step-By-Step Guide to Living a Stress-Free & Happy Life (Mindfulness for Beginners) by Rachael Thompson

Summary

Who Will Benefit from this Book?

The 30 Day Mindfulness Challenge can be used alone or as a companion to the Beginner’s Guide to Mindfulness in a World of Chaos. If you have heard of mindfulness, perhaps read a bit about it, or even tried one of the popular coloring books, but have not experienced a significant change in stress level or happiness this book will help. It provides the perfect beginner’s guide to implement mindfulness every day.

What You Can Expect

The challenge is broken into four, weekly sections, with one bonus day to begin the challenge and another to end the challenge. Each week has a different focus to facilitate optimal learning at each stage of mindful skill development.

Overall

An interesting concept for sure. I went ahead and did the first week of mindfulness. It starts you out slow and lets you build throughout the weeks. I liked the introspective look it made you take. As a person who prides myself on knowing my strengths and weaknesses, I could see the benefit to those that feel their locus of control is constantly threatened by chaos. What I struggled with was the cookie cutter ideas that didn’t give alternatives to accommodate different personalities. I believe it was a little short sighted in that regard. That being said it was a great introduction to managing stress and I’d recommend this short read to those who would like a quick step by step approach.

Rating

4 Stars

A short read that doesn’t overwhelm the reader and could instill helpful stress reducing habits. If you don’t have something that helps reduce stress – this might be for you.

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Seasons of Love and War by Brenda Ashworth Barry

Summary

SEASONS OF LOVE AND WAR is a historical family saga and epic love story. Childhood sweethearts Beth Ann Rose and Kaylob Shawn O’Brien just want to get married and pursue their dream careers, but the Vietnam War changes everything when Kaylob is drafted into the Army and declared dead. Beth Ann has a complete emotional melt down and starts to have visions of him in the jungles of Vietnam. Is he alive or has she completely lost her mind?

Characters

Kaylob, Beth Ann, and Blake are the three main characters. Although I liked both Kaylob and Blake to certain extents, I couldn’t bring myself to like Beth Ann. She reminded me as a lead in a trashy soap opera. By the end of the book I absolutely loathed her – to the point that I didn’t think she deserved anyone and I wished very much that things end poorly for her. She was not what I would define as a strong woman. Her reaction when Kaylob first goes missing was absolutely over the top. Most of her actions, in one way or another, were understandable  in some regard, but it was the way she handled them that was STUPID. She was a spineless selfish little creature that I hope ends up dying in a horrible way to match her horrible little personality – very similar to my emotions toward Catherine of Wuthering Heights. The supporting characters were fine, I actually liked Jake and Carol. I won’t even mention her long term friend because I’ll just start another rant on how much I disliked Beth Ann. Plus I don’t want to ruin any of the story.

Plot

Very interesting plot. The historical aspects of this book seemed to spot on. Anything I wasn’t 100 sure of, I actually googled really quickly and was impressed that the author did their homework. A hurrah because this was presented as a more historical novel. Wanting to find out what happened to Kaylob was hands down the number one reason I went through the book. I didn’t realize when I picked this book that it couldn’t stand alone. That was very disappointing because more than once I thought “was that really necessary?” Though that may have been due more to my dislike of the main character.

The war zone pieces were great…but they were entirely centered on Kaylob’s love for Beth Ann. I get that it was their connection – but for a historical novel I thought we’d see a little more of what was happening to him and his fellow soldiers. What we did see were some of the best parts of the novel and I absolutely love Kaylob for them. Where the author failed with Beth Ann in my eyes, Kaylob was wonderful. Not perfect, but wonderful. Plus I’m not 100% sure where the author was going with the more supernatural part of the book with Beth Ann’s visions. You’ll see what I mean.

Overall

The writing was well done and easy to follow. The plot wasn’t perfect but did keep me engaged. I would point out that a few parts felt a little convenient – like when John Patterson calls Beth Ann. I also felt there were a few logical fallacies that were overlooked, but most of them were minor and had to do with Beth Ann’s decision making in general. The historical references were spot on as far as I could tell – which was a huge win in my mind. I truly thought that my general dislike of Beth Ann would fade as the author built the character up and made her stronger. Instead she kept her a pouting selfish brat, who I could never sympathize with because she always seemed to be using those who were good-natured.

Rating

2.5 stars (rounded up to 3)

If you like Wuthering Heights or soap operas you will love this book – it just wasn’t my favorite. As a historical novel this was a win, but as a romance for me it was an epic fail.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. More reviews at creatingworldswithwords.wordpress.com.

The Last Resort by Ember Leigh

Summary

Rose Delaney is a baby bounty hunter, rescuing children from fugitive ex-spouses. All she wants is to return a recovered child to its mother and get back to her regimented solitary life. But when a snow storm leaves her and baby Emmy stranded, Rose has no choice but to lean on the ruggedly handsome rescuer, who thinks the baby is hers. Holed up in their mountain resort-under-construction and unable to contact Emmy’s mother, Rose’s priority is hitting the road—even if Garrett’s erotic touch entices her to ride out the storm.

Construction boss Garrett Galo loves his job, but he never imagined a perk like being snowbound during a whiteout with the sassy brunette he just rear-ended. He’s learned to stay away from women who want a family, especially when they come with a kid in tow. When passionate nighttime encounters flare between them, Garrett begins to question what he’d risk to keep Rose.

This isn’t the time or the place for romance—but will five days on a mountain make these loners reconsider giving in to love?

Characters

The two main characters are Rose and Garrett. Rose is the baby bounty hunter who has walls around her heart and the wish for a normal but not entirely normal life. She doesn’t want kids. Ironic since she saves babies but that complication is from her past. No spoilers – you’ll have to read it. Enter Garrett: Handsome, hotel renovator, and can nail fancy dives (former swimmer with the bod to prove it). There is really only one supporting character and that is Wesley ‘Wes’ who is Garrett’s brother. Technically Emmy, the baby, is also a secondary character – wouldn’t want to forget the bundle of joy!

Plot

There are two plots. The romantic plot, which plays it safe with a nice twist of being non-conforming. Also it ends with a realistic ‘happy for now’ ending which I really appreciated. I would have not enjoyed it as much if the author would have taken that extra step. The second plot is Emmy.  Rose is mid-way to bringing Emmy back to her mother from her deadbeat dad that violated their shared custody when a white out snow storm hits. Technically Rose isn’t working outside the law – just in a ‘gray area’ but she doesn’t trust the brothers and decides to pose as Emmy’s mother. The plot continues from there and adds an extra zing to the story.

Overall

The book was easy to read and was enjoyable. Rose and Garrett are perfect for each other. They practically sizzle off the page. It is nice to get both Rose and Garrett’s point of view but there are a few POV issues where they cross over.

The plot was interesting and you really wanted Emmy to get home safe. The one things that stuck was some of the story line was just a little bit too convenient and the inner dialogue was repetitive. That were the only issues with the book though. Despite that it was a cute romance the was easy to read.

Rating

4 Stars

If you like romances that are for those that are non-confirming to societies expectations this is the right book for you! Interesting read but the inner dialogue and some of the plot was a little repetitive.

I received a copy of this in exchange of an honest review.

Beauty and the Beast: An Erotic Tale (Sensual Fairy Tales Series Book 1) by Jax Lawrence

Summary

Every year the village sacrifices a maiden to the beast. The maiden disappears, and no one knows what happens to her.
Beautiful and passionate Belle couldn’t care less, she’s more interested in catching the eye of her father’s handsome stablehand. All her fears are realized when she’s kidnapped by the villagers and left, bleeding and naked, at the mercy of the beast.
Yet the Beast does not turn out to be what she expected. For one, he’s the sexiest thing she’s ever seen. For another, he’s not interested in killing her. He’s interested in something else, something she’s always fantasized about.
Is the the one who can break his spell? Can she sexually dominate him for three days?

Characters

Belle is naughty from the first chapter. Will seems like he will be an important character but doesn’t get much of a role after Belle is taken. There were talking inanimate objects, which was surprising and nice to see. As to the Beast I felt like he didn’t really have a personality or it just paled in comparison to Belle’s.

Plot

It is an erotica. Most times when I read a book, even an erotica, I look for certain things. There were so many ways this book could have gone and been a little more creative. It was a good read, but it felt like all the other parts were RUSHED through. Weird for me to think a book went too fast but it did. The premise was a bit much for me and I was left wanting on the plot side.

Overall

It was a quick read that lived up to its genre. It is a darker erotica and gets into domination. As short as this was, it did have some steamy scenes. The explicit scenes were well detailed and left very little to the imagination – a good and bad thing in my opinion. The writing itself was satisfactory and the book contained limited errors which did not distract during the reading.

Rating

3 stars

I thought it was okay. I sort of shrugged when it was over. This needs a little more to make it a worthwhile read in my opinion That being said, if you are looking for a short read that is all about the naughty moments, not much for plot and limited characters this is a great book.

This is not a standalone book and there appears to be more to the story.

The Secret of Sinbad’s Cave (The Natnat Adventures Book 1) by Brydie Walker Bain

Summary

Nat Sheppard’s world is turned upside down on the first day of the school holidays by the discovery of a secret room containing cave maps with clues to an ancient treasure. But Nat and her friends soon discover they’re not the only ones chasing the jewels. Professional treasure hunters are on the trail – and they’re prepared to eliminate anyone in their way.

Characters

There was an array of fun loving characters in this book. Nat is hilarious. She is spunky but caring. Her siblings are great characters, though her brother, Jack, gets more spotlight then her younger sister, Kathleen. Also the Lima brothers were a nice addition – one mischievous and one serious, but both seemly good boys. Unlike most books that cut the adults out, this incorporated them enough to keep them involved but honestly this book was all about the kids.

Plot

I had thought this book was going to be a very straight forward treasure hunting book – kind of like The Goonies. Yes, it sure had treasure hunting but it also had mystery, magic, and mystical creatures. It was entertaining and I could see a younger version of me absolutely loving it. That being said the plot was very easy to figure out and left little to the imagination in the way of twists or turns, even the big final twist. Despite its lack of secrets, it was still a wonderful read with tons of adventure.

Overall

Half of the fun was the setting was in New Zealand. This made it all that more exciting. This is a perfectly fun book for the readers it was intended for – middle schoolers. My only major complaint would be the over the top ‘villains.’ The kids were great, the story was enjoyable, and it had enough adventure that even as an adult, I had fun reading it. However, the villains were very one dimensional. The author did an amazing job building the main character and the supporting characters but left me wanting on the villains.

Star Rating

4 Stars

I liked it. Despite its ‘bad guy’ pitfall and at times its tenancy to run long, it was fun! I know I keep using that word – fun – but it really was! Nat is so great and as an adult I was very proud of her throughout the story. Despite the fact that this book sets up more books you can enjoy this book alone. Overall a great book for you and/or your kiddos.

 

The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4)

Once more the three miserable children face an impossible situation. Sadly my least favorite of the books so far.

Characters:
Each child had to go a but out of their element which was new. The ‘guardian’ was a little over the top and surprisingly played a very low key role. There were two mostly useless but hopeful personalities.

Plot:
The limbermill is a sad place. Miserable and coupons. It is a business hurting the little people and a greedy ridiculous boss who thinks children should work. Not good but not surprising.

Overall:
Disappointing. I still thought it was okay but unlike the first 3 this one fell short. It did have a lighthearted ending which helped redeem much of the letdown.