Book Review: Horrorstor

Posted by Katrina Roets at 10:00 AM

Friday, October 31, 2014

Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Columbus, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring wardrobes, shattered Brooka glassware, and vandalized Liripip sofa beds clearly, someone or something is up to no good.

To unravel the mystery, five young employees volunteer for a long dusk-till-dawn shift—and they encounter horrors that defy imagination. Along the way, author Grady Hendrix infuses sly social commentary on the nature of work in the new twenty-first century economy.

A traditional haunted house story in a contemporary setting (and full of current fears), Horrorstör comes conveniently packaged in the form of a retail catalog, complete with illustrations of ready-to-assemble furniture and other, more sinister accessories. We promise you’ve never seen anything quite like it!

I cannot write about this book without mentioning the book itself. As an avid Ikea fan (their catalog is better than porn to me...seriously.), when I opened up the envelope and this book fell out, I was in love. The entire thing is laid out to look just like one of the catalogs. Of course, then I had to get up the nerve to start actually reading... Those who know me, know that horror and scary things aren't my usual first choices. So, what did I think? I think it's a fun read. It's not particularly scary (though I'll never walk into an Ikea store the same way), but it can be pretty gruesome in parts. I remember at least one time that I had to put the book down, go do something else..and then ran back to the couch because I had to know what was going to happen next. I'll admit that I got pulled in just like everyone else who tells me that they read this kind of thing for the thrill...and that I'm hoping that there might be a second book which gives us a really solid resolution to the question of, "But...but...what happened after that?"  I know that sounds as if the book didn't have an ending. It did and it was a good one, but I might be hooked....


I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments and opinions are my own.
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Book Review: A February Bride

Posted by Katrina Roets at 3:47 PM

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Allie left the love of her life at the altar - to save him from a lifetime of heartbreak. When a Valentine's Day wedding brings them back together, she struggles against her family's destructive history. Can Allie ever realize that a marriage is so much more than a wedding dress?
History repeats itself when Allie Andrews escapes the church on her wedding day - in the same dress passed down for generations and worn by all the women in her family - women with a long history of failed marriages. Allie loves Marcus but fears she's destined to repeat her family's mistakes. She can't bear to hurt Marcus worse.
Marcus Hall never stopped loving Allie and can only think of one reason she left him at the altar - him. When the two are thrown together for his sister's Valentine's Day wedding, he discovers the truth and realizes their story might be far from over. Can Allie shuck expectation and discover who she is as a bride and in the Bride of Christ? And if she ever walks down the aisle, what dress will she wear?
I've read a number of the novellas in this series and still, the opening to this book had me going, "Woah..what just happened there?" At first, I loved the idea of a wedding dress being passed down through the generations, but it didn't take me long to realize just how it could make a girl feel if that dress was tied to nothing but failure and bad memories. Thank goodness for Marcus' sister and her loving nature! I'm not going to give anything away here, but let's just say that her idea of wedding preparation had me laughing and seeing how his family never stopped loving her warmed my heart. This series is almost over, but it's never too late to pick up a good book.

I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments and opinions are my own.
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Book Review: The Brickmaker's Bride

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:00 AM

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Yearning for a fresh start, Ewan McKay travels with his aunt and uncle from northern Scotland to West Virginia, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial assistance from his uncle Hugh. Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, but it's Ewan who gets the business up and running again. Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner's daughter, and he feels a connection with her, but she's being courted by another man--a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Besides, Ewan has resolved he'll focus on making the brickmaking operation enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business
and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Scotland.

But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan's hard work may come to naught. As his plans begin to crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. She and her mother may have a way to save the brickworks, and in turn Ewan may have another shot at winning Laura's heart.

Historical fiction may very well be my favorite type to read these days. It's such a great escape into a time that so many have forgotten. In some ways, it really puts things into perspective when you read about how bricks were made and how backbreaking the work must have been. I don't know how they're made now, but I'm sure that it's a far more automated process than it was back then. The very fact that I have any idea how bricks were made post-civil war is a testament to this author's research and writing. In fact, she laid things out in such a way that I wouldn't be surprised if I'm on Google some time today looking for pictures of some of the machines that were used. Another point in Judith Miller's favor? The fact that none of her characters were perfect. In fact, some of them were so flawed that you loved to hate them. Every character had their own struggle and it created a wonderful read.


I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments and opinions are my own.
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Book Blast: How to be Manly

Posted by Katrina Roets at 6:00 AM


When Fatty Matty Sullivan finds a self-help book by former football great Tad Manly at a yard sale, he secretly starts following the old pro’s advice to get in shape and get the girl. Summer goals: lose the milkshake weight, join the football team, and turn himself into the kind of guy super hot Cassie Bale will love. But between taking care of his grandfather, trying to pass remedial Algebra, and getting caught up in his friend Jester’s half-baked weed-dealing schemes, Matty’s summer isn’t quite the game-changer he’d planned. When on top of it all his dad moves back in with his own plans to get rich quick, Matty suddenly has much bigger things to worry about than football and whether or not Cassie’s going to call him back. And it turns out that there might be more to being manly than he thought. Maureen O’Leary Wanket’s debut is a sharp, comic novel about trying to do the right thing… even when you’re not sure what that is.

Buy on Amazon | B&N

Put How To Be Manly on your TBR list  

Meet the Author:

MOW author pic_cr suzanne swansonMaureen O’Leary Wanket is a writer and teacher living in Sacramento, California with her husband and two daughters. How To Be Manly is inspired by the humor and courage of the students she’s met in her classrooms over the past twenty years. She loves high school football, but only when she happens to teach at least half of the players on the field. Her short stories have appeared in Esopus, Xenith, Fiction at Work, Blood and Thunder, Musings on the Art of Medicine and Prick of the Spindle. Maureen writes articles about issues in education for local and national publications. She also muses about inspirations for a writer’s life in Friday Free Topic at How To Be Manly is her first novel. Find Maureen on: Twitter | Blog | Goodreads

The author is giving away a $15 Amazon Gift Card and a paperback. Fill out the form below to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Book Review: Becoming Bea

Posted by Katrina Roets at 8:00 AM

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Can Bea and Ben Turn Rivalry Into Romance?

Beatrice Zook knows God wants her to learn patience toward others. When assisting a family overwhelmed by triplets proves surprisingly successful, her confidence in dealing with others, both young and old, grows.

One person she'll never be able to find peace with though is Ben Rupp. They've known each other forever, and Ben understands precisely how to antagonize her. What neither she nor Ben will admit is that beneath all their bickering, attraction awaits. When friends decide to try and bring the couple together, will the pair be able to find true love? Or will they damage their relationship beyond repair?

Leslie Gould is back with the latest book, Becoming Bea, in her Shakespeare-inspired series, The Courtships of Lancaster County. Don't miss the other books in the series, Courting Cate (retelling of The Taming of the Shrew), Adoring Addie (inspired by Romeo and Juliet), and Minding Molly (inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream).

Leslie is celebrating the series with a Kindle giveaway and a Facebook party on November 11th.
One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • One copy each of the entire The Courtships of Lancaster County series: Courting CateAdoring Addie, Minding Molly, and Becoming Bea.
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 11/11. Winner will be announced at Leslie's 11/11 Becoming Bea Facebook author chat party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Leslie and Amish fiction fans, as well as for a chance to win some great prizes!

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 11th!

I want to say that I loved this book, but sadly, I just can't. I will say that I liked this book, though! For some reason, I really had a harder time than usual diving into this one. I think it was somewhere around chapter 3 before it got to the point where I was really enjoying reading it. That being said, once I got into it, I did really enjoy the book. The title fits this book perfectly. You really do watch Bea grow up and become the woman that she's meant to be. None of the characters are perfect and that makes the story feel all that more real. This is the final book in the series, but not having read any of the others, I didn't have any problems with keeping up with who was who and what their individual personalities were. Another good Amish read, but perhaps reading the other books might have made this one easier to jump into.


I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments and opinions are my own.
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Book Review: A Lady of Willowgrove Hall

Posted by Katrina Roets at 7:00 AM

Willowgrove Hall is full of secrets, but soon everything hidden is brought to light.

Cecily Faire has a secret—and she intends to keep it. But when she arrives at Willowgrove Hall to serve as a lady’s companion, she comes face-to-face with the only person who knows the truth about her past.

As the steward of Willowgrove Hall, Nathaniel Stanton is dedicated to serving those around him. Nothing escapes his notice—including the beautiful new lady’s companion. He is certain the lovely Miss Faire is hiding something, and he determines to uncover it. But Nathaniel has a secret of his own: he is the illegitimate son of Willowgrove’s former master. Falling in love was not part of his plans . . . until he meets Cecily Faire.

When Willowgrove’s mistress dies, everything changes. Fear of exposure forces Cecily to leave under the cover of darkness, embarking on a journey to finally find her long-lost sister. When the will is read, Nathaniel’s inheritance makes him question his future plans. Cecily and Nathaniel are forced to make decisions that will change the course of their lives. Is their love strong enough to survive?

Award-winning author Sarah E. Ladd examines how to escape the clutches of a tainted past in the final installment of her Whispers on the Moor series. A Regency-era novel, A Lady at Willowgrove Hall cleverly shows that even though our pasts may be shameful or painful, God can take the darkest personal histories and turn them into the brightest futures.


Celebrate with Sarah by entering her Kindle HDX giveaway!
One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • A Lady at Willowgrove Hall by Sarah E. Ladd
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 2nd. Winner will be announced November 3rd here.

Historical fiction can either be wonderful or leave you lost. In this case, I'm voting for wonderful. The story was one that could have been set in any time period, but fit perfectly right where it was. The secrets were ones that could have destroyed people during that time period, but were ones that perhaps most of us could relate to, no matter the time period. The imagery was wonderful and more than once, I wanted to curl up in that walled garden and enjoy its beauty while I curled up with a good book.


I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments and opinions are my own.
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Book Review: The Woman Code

Posted by Katrina Roets at 3:00 AM

Every woman lives by a code, whether she realizes it or not. It informs how she treats others and herself, how much she expects of herself, and how far she is willing to go in order to find success. But is the code we're living by truly helping us create the lives of purpose and fulfillment we desire? Or are we sacrificing the deeper things for mere achievement?

In this inspiring book, Sophia A. Nelson calls women to live out a powerful life code that will lead them to purposeful and successful lives. With the wisdom that comes from experience, Nelson reveals to women

· the true meaning of "having it all"
· how to take better care of their minds, bodies, and souls
· how to achieve professional excellence without compromising their values
· how to find lasting love and purpose in life beyond their accomplishments
· how to navigate the sisterhood of women, to build collaboration rather than competition
· how to heal from past hurts, rejection, and life's inevitable storms
· and much more

The Woman Code is a way of living, of navigating life's challenges, and of interacting positively with other women. It's a way of pursuing our dreams and our deepest desires. It reveals a universal and timeless set of principles of the mind, body, and spirit that help women balance the demands of work, home, family, and friendship. The Woman Code not only calls on women to practice purpose in their lives, it shows them how to do it with grace.

Right now, I'm in a rebuilding me period of my life. It's not an easy place to be, but I'm happy that I'm at a place where I want to do it. So often, as I fight the Bipolar demons, it's easy to just lay down and wait it out. This time, I'm taking babysteps to fight back and to find me in all of it. As part of that, I've been reviewing cookbooks, healthy living books and yes, self-help books. As someone with a degree in psychology, it's hard to resist that last category. This book is really meant for those of us who have come from dark places, not necessarily for those who have already found themselves. Even within the first chapter, I found myself nodding. I know that this is a book that will go up on my "self reference shelf."


I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments and opinions are my own.
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