Monday, September 29, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: Chaperoning Paris - Collins Brothers Book 1 by Victoria Pinder



Gigi Dumont never forgot how she walked away from the only man she ever loved. 

She’s a teacher who has led her students to the finals of an international French competition to be help in Paris. The night before the trip, the principal tries to cancel the trip before he, in turn, loses his job to her high school boyfriend, Sean Collins. 

Sean Collins has survived cancer, a divorce, and Gigi having aborted their child back in high school. He assumed he’d hate her, if they ever crossed paths again. But he discovers she’s exactly what he wants. 

When Gigi and Sean are stuck together for a week in Paris, Gigi feels she has lost all her control. How can she survive her attraction to Sean? The man’s sexier now than he was back in the day, and once upon a time, he’d had her heart. She finds herself falling for him, even knowing forever is impossible.


About the Author: Victoria Pinder

Victoria Pinder grew up in Irish Catholic Boston before moving to the Miami sun. She’s worked in engineering, after passing many tests proving how easy Math came to her. Then hating her life at the age of twenty four, she decided to go to law school. Four years later, after passing the bar and practicing very little, she realized that she hates the practice of law. She refused to one day turn 50 and realize she had nothing but her career and hours at a desk. After realizing she needed change, she became a high school teacher. Teaching is rewarding, but writing is a passion.
During all this time, she always wrote stories to entertain herself or calm down. Her parents are practical minded people demanding a job, and Victoria spent too many years living other people’s dreams, but when she sat down to see what skill she had that matched what she enjoyed doing, writing became so obvious. The middle school year book when someone wrote in it that one day she’d be a writer made sense when she turned thirty.
Besides her full time job of teaching, in 2013 and 2014, she sold on her own sold books to three different publishers. The Zoastra Affair, Chaperoning Paris, Borrowing the Doctor, and Electing Love will be published from Soul mate Publishing. Mything the Throne will be published with Double Dragon Ebooks. Favorite Coffee, Favorite Crush will be published with Jupiter Press.
Now she is represented by Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency and she hopes to continue selling her novels that she writes. Moving up to the next level from hard work and determination is rewarding, and partnerships bring new opportunities.
Also she’s the Vice President of Progams for the Florida Romance Writers. She’s gone to multiple conferences and intends to continue. She learns and meets so many people at conferences. Her website is  here, www.victoriapinder.com, and she’ll continue to grow my web presence. She is working hard on other projects and found the time to plan her wedding this year.
Before writing, her father had taken her to many star trek conventions and on her own she grew up as the only girl in the 90s at the comic book store. Science Fiction was her first love, but contemporary romance was her second. She’s sticking with contemporaries for the near future.
Member of Florida Romance Writers, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter of RWA, Celtic Hearts and Savvy Authors.


My review: I loved Chaperoning Paris! It would be a great vacation read as it's easy reading! I enjoyed the interaction between Gigi and Sean as well the other brothers interactions with them and look forward to reading more of this series.  I empathized with Gigi's upbringing.  The romance Sean shows is a great reminder that chivalry isn't truly dead and that good things can come from a tragedy such as his ex wife was.  It is a beautiful story of young love lost and found again.  I liked the many references to sights in Paris and it is now on my bucket list of places to see someday! If you are looking for classical romance novel with a modern twist this is the book for you! I can't wait to read the next brothers book! I give this book a 4 out of 5.





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Views expressed are those of Two Children and a Migraine and not influenced in anyway.  A book was supplied for review purposes and no compensation was received for this post.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Book Review: Your Core Written by Callie Grant and Illustrated by Missi Jay




Balls have a core. Apples do, too. The Earth has a core. So do you! Everyone has an inner place made by God for welcoming Him and meeting with Him. Graham Blanchard’s newest Absorb book, inspired by Ephesians 3:14-19, appeals to the youngest readers with simple text and engaging scenes to convey an often difficult concept to grasp—even for many adults. In the Graham Blanchard book collection, Absorb books connect information about God with a child’s inner life. Children assimilate on a personal level who God is and how they are made to be with Him, trust Him and love Him. 


About the authors:  Callie Grant launched Graham Blanchard Inc. in 2013 to create children’s books for growing up in God, working with a network of artists, parents, pastors, teachers, and children. The company is the culmination of her experience in the publishing industry, working for companies like Scholastic and Dorling Kindersely, paired with a strong calling to help children know God’s love and nurture their families’ faith through reading together.

Missi Jay has been recognized nationally by Print Magazine and the Addy Awards, and in 2008 received the Big Wig Award for best illustrator by the Austin Advertising Federation. She has illustrated six children's books and designed an official Texas state license plate to benefit Texas CASA, which assists abused and neglected children. She lives in Austin with her husband and young daughter.


My Review:  This book is full of colourful pictures and paints a beautiful picture of your core and Gods love.  It would be a great gift to a family with little ones as it introduces your core in a very simplistic way.  The pictures are bright and fun which will easily capture your child's attention.  The words aren't too difficult and are thought provoking as to open dialogue with a young child about God s love or your core.  I love that the pages are hardboard and not paper...this ensures this book will likely survive past one child and can be shared for generations.

Views expressed are those of Two Children and a Migraine and not influenced in anyway.  A book was supplied for review purposes and no compensation was received for this post.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Book Review & Giveaway: What I Really Learned in College by Addison Winters #50BookPledge



Alex Rose is a 32-year-old divorced mother of two, looking for a better life for her and her sons. In search of answers, she returns to college to finally get that degree she’s always dreamed of. What she finds is something she wasn’t even looking for. 

Mason Brooks is every girl’s dream: 21 years old, tall, with dirty blond hair that curls when it’s wet, sea-blue eyes, and dimples. Hot, sexy…and deliciously na├»ve and innocent. 

Enter a tantalizing world where an average soccer mom utilizes her newfound knowledge of psychology to make life just a little more interesting. Follow along as Alex educates Mason on the art of seducing and pleasing a woman. Take notes as she introduces him to a whole new level of intensity and sexual pleasure. Study the sensual art of tantric sex as Alex creates her own style of silk and lace female dominance. 
This little tryst will never survive past college–but Alex is determined to enjoy it the fullest while it lasts.


Book Excerpt:

Chapter 1

The butterflies in my stomach had grown to the size of buzzards tearing apart my insides. My palms were sweaty and my hands were grasping the steering wheel to keep from shaking. The mid July heat was sticky, the humidity on full blast. The music blaring from my car stereo was more of an annoyance than anything else. I hastily smacked the knob turning it off. “This is stupid . . . ,” I muttered to myself.
     I turned the next corner into a parking lot full of cars. I had no clue where I was and an even lesser clue as to why I was even here in the first place. “You are so lost,” I said aloud to the empty car. I sat idling, looking for some sort of landmark that would tell me where I was. To my right was a hulking black man with an armload of books walking confidently across the lot. I slowly eased my car up beside him feeling more stalkerish than anything else.
     “Excuse me. Can you tell me where student orientation is, please?” The early morning sunlight was blinding me and I couldn’t get a clear view of his face.
     “First time on campus?” he said, rather than asked, with a full-hearted chuckle, leaning into my car.
     “Yes,” I stuttered in return.
     “And you’re lost, right? Well . . .” He stood upright and looked around. “Hell, it’d be quicker to show you.” And with that, he opened my door and climbed into my little car.
***
     Fast forward three weeks and I found myself in a similar situation except this time, it was the first day of school…my first day of college and I was scared out of my mind.
     I was thirty-two years old, a divorced mother with two sons and a victim of my own making. I had always dreamed of going to college, earning my bachelor’s degree and getting myself out of a stream of dead end jobs. I had finally convinced myself that now was the time to chase after that dream. I knew it was going to be challenging at best, but now that my youngest was in school full time I decided I could do it.
     What the hell was I thinking?
     So here I was, turning down the wrong way on a one-way street on campus, hearing a wave of horns blasting at me. My eyes searched for a place to turn off safely when my cell phone started ringing.
     “Yeah . . .” I hit the speaker button.
     “God, I hate the first day of school. Some asshole in a green car is driving down the wrong way on a one-way street. I hate freshman.” Isaac’s deep voice echoed through my car.
     “Sorry, that’s me,” I stated with frustration, pulling into a parking lot on the east side of campus.
     “Seriously? That’s you?” He laughed. “Figures.”
     “Oh, shut up!” I pulled my little car into a vacant spot. “I hate this campus.”
     “You’ll get used to it. By next week you’ll know it better than your own backyard.” A car horn blasted twice behind me. “Turn around.”
     “Oh, sorry.” I glanced into my rearview mirror and watched him pulled into the spot next to mine. I turned off my car and gathered my backpack and keys.
     Isaac was already standing beside my car before I even got my car door shut. “You’re slow.” He smiled.
     “No, I’m terrified,” I muttered.
     “Here. This will help.” He handed me a travel size bottle of orange juice.
    I was parched so I gladly accepted his offer and took a small swig. “Argh.” I almost dropped the bottle. “What is this?”
     “Orange juice,” he said innocently.
     “What’s in it?”
     “Just a little vodka.”
     “I think I need some coffee before class,” I laughed, shaking my head slowly.
     “This way.” Isaac gestured towards the building across the street.
     Isaac was a pre-med student in his fourth year of college. The day of our first meeting he had kindly showed me all around campus, walking me to each of my classes just to ease my anxiety in anticipation of this day. He was in his mid-twenties, also considered an adult returning student, and was hoping to someday become a surgeon.  He was an easy-going man who was quick to laugh, easily six-feet-six-inches tall, and he weighted at least three hundred pounds.

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About the Author:


Addison Winters graduated from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis with a BS in psychology. She loves music, can be found “dancing” around her house when no one’s home, and is notorious for blowing the speakers out on her car. She’s been known to surprise her children with Jell-O balloon fights and to pull “devious” pranks on her friends. Addison enjoys playing basketball and softball and is proud to be the team captain for the Happy Hooters in the Striking Out Cancer, annual Ladies Softball Tournament. She is also an avid reader and enjoys spending time in her gardens and with her family. She and her husband, Monte, have three children, three puppies, and an oversized cat. They reside in Indiana.


Review:

First off I have to say one look at the cover of this book and it made me want to go back to college as well.  Forget about the exams, classes and money it costs.  If College would make me smoking like the fine lady in the cover then I am all in!  All joking aside I really did enjoy this book and the new life that Alex Rose was making for herself.  I loved how she is a strong and empowering women.  Sure she has not always been that way, but really are any of us still like the person we were 10, 15, 20 years ago?  With age comes wisdom and just because you get married, have children and have your 30th birthday this does not mean that you know it all.  

Being a married mom of two who was born in the 70's (yet just turned 23 this year ;-P) there was a lot I could relate to in the book.  However,  there was still a lot that I knew absolutely nothing about.  For instance I am thankful I am not in the dating scene and this book shows clearly how hard it is to be a single mom AND be looking for love.   Everyone around you will have an opinion about how your should live your life.  Some will think you should put your own needs aside until your kids are gone and others will think you need a partner A.S.A.P.  This is a huge reason why I am thankful I could live through these characters and keep my feet planted in my life.  What I Learned in College was entertaining from start to finish and I am sooo looking forward to the next book! 


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Views expressed are those of Two Children and a Migraine and not influenced in anyway.  A book was supplied for review purposes only and no compensation was received for the post.