Thursday, March 26, 2015

Book Review: Jump, Jive, and Wail by Kathryn R. Biel

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3326 KB
  • Print Length: 230 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Kathryn R. Biel (Jan. 29 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English

Kaitlin Reynolds is used to fearlessly flying off mountains. But nearly two years after a devastating injury has ended her ski jumping career, Kaitlin is still struggling to put one foot in front of the other and find her new life. A chance meeting with a handsome stranger begins to put life into perspective. Dashing figure skater, Declan McLoughlin has just returned from the Olympics amid a swirl of publicity and fan fare. Just as Kaitlin begins to have hope again, her charming savior turns out to represent everything she has lost. If Kaitlin can just let go of the past and take a leap of faith, will she find herself soaring into Declan's arms?

About the Author: Kathryn R. Biel

Telling stories of resilient women, Kathryn Biel hails from upstate New York and is a spouse and mother of two wonderful and energetic kids. In between being Chief Home Officer and Director of Child Development of the Biel household, she works as a school-based physical therapist. She attended Boston University and received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The Sage Colleges. After years of writing countless letters of medical necessity for wheelchairs, finding increasingly creative ways to encourage the government and insurance companies to fund her clients' needs, and writing entertaining annual Christmas letters, she decided to take a shot at writing the kind of novel that she likes to read. Her musings and rants can be found on her personal blog, Biel Blather. She is the author of Good Intentions (2013), Hold Her Down (2014), I'm Still Here (2014), and the short story, Fly Robin Fly (Part of Cupid on the Loose: A Valentine's Anthology 2015).

My Review: I found this book to be thoroughly enjoyable.  I was intrigued by the references to many current events.  This book is a lovely read.  The raw emotions I felt while watching star crossed lovers continue to cross paths, but not quite working out.  I also saw the raw love of a different kind for a friend in true need of help (Nat) and how others can easily misunderstand this for passion.  The story mainly sticks to the two lead characters.  It follows the real-like struggle one athlete who has fallen from her grace and into a pit of despair and shows her slow climb out of this hole into the real world again.  It isn't just a story of a happy ending, but the story of the struggle with ups and downs.  I can easily relate to some of this story.  Kathryn has a nice writing style that is easy to follow.  I give this book a 3 out of 5.

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 this post. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Movie Review: Disney's Cinderella written by Chris Weitz directed by Kenneth Branagh

The story of “Cinderella” follows the fortunes of young Ella (Lily James) whose merchant father remarries following the death of her mother. Eager to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new Stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and her daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera) into the family home. But, when Ella’s father unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family. 

Soon, she is forced to become their servant, disrespected, covered in ashes and spitefully renamed Cinderella. Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella will not give in to despair nor despise those who mistreat her, and she continues to remain positive, determined to honour her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.” 

When Ella meets a dashing stranger in the woods, unaware that he is really the Prince (Richard Madden) and not merely Kit, an apprentice at the palace, she believes she has finally found a kindred soul. It appears her fortunes may be about to change when the King (Derek Jacobi) summons all maidens in the kingdom to attend a royal ball at the palace, raising Ella’s hopes of once again encountering the charming Kit. Alas, her Stepmother forbids her to attend and callously destroys her dress. 

Meanwhile, the calculating Grand Duke (Stellan Skarsgård) devises a plan to thwart the Prince’s hopes of reuniting with Ella and enlists the support of the devious Stepmother. But, as in all good fairy tales, help is at hand. Soon, a kindly beggar woman (Helena Bonham Carter) steps forward and, armed with a pumpkin, a few mice and a magic wand, changes Cinderella’s life forever.
Images and press notes are available at and

My Review: I have seen almost every version of Cinderella out there and always love the idea of the story however far fetched it may seem.  I went to this expecting to feel the same way.  I love the classic original Disney animated version the best as Cinderella's friends are all animals thus lending to the sweet factor of her.  This film was spectacular!   From the amazing images of the kingdom to the magic that was in the made me want to believe.  I saw this with an eight year old girl and her review was speechless....this is not common for her.  She loved it and decided to sleep in her Cinderella gown tonight as she felt the magic so much.  I also love the clear message that was pumped into kids and parents alike at this film: Have courage and be kind.  I was delighted to also see that Lily James attended this  Toronto Premier in all her grace and poise and excited the little ones with her presence.  Richard Madden and Lily James were excellently cast as Prince Charming and Ella.  Richard portrayed the goodness of his kingdom well and I was honestly astonished when he curled up on the kings lap...what a moving moment in the movie for me!  I intend to purchase the blue-ray of this movie when it comes out to add to our family collection of classics.
I easily give this film a rating of 5 out of 5 and may even see it in the theatres again.  Well done!!

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

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Book Review: Perception (Eve Series book 3) by A.L. Waddington

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1126 KB
  • Print Length: 264 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Booktrope (Oct. 20 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00OPT3PV8

My hopes, my dreams, and most of all me…we will finally be, set free. 

Questions, questions, and more questions . . . they consume Jocelyn Timmons’ life—both of them. Questions that never seem to have an answer. They haunt her, eat at her, and dreams of a normal senior year of high school have finally floated away into nothingness. 

Inheriting the gift of EVE (Essence Voyager Era) has become both a gift and a curse. One that Jocelyn doesn’t know if she wants or can accept. The world she once knew and thrived in has all but disappeared in the last two months. And now she wonders if she can ever find her way home again. 

Her fiancé, Jackson Chandler, and his family seem to be the only ones who understand what she’s going through besides her uncles, both of which she’s grown very close to. But even they do not fully grasp how turbulent the situation at home has become. Will Jocelyn survive the torments from her mother and brother? Or will she find a hidden key to finally unlock her golden cage? 

Find out in Perception, the griping third installment in the EVE series.

About the Author: A. L. Waddington

I grew up in a small town in Indiana and always had a vivid and overactive imagination. I have a strong passion for music and can be found “dancing” around my house when no one’s home. I am notorious for blowing the speakers out on my car. I’ve been known to surprise my children with Jell-O balloon fights and to pull “devious” pranks on my close friends. I have a slight addiction to coffee and gummy bears and am firm believer in the theory of organized chaos. 
I also write two drastically different series. My EVE series is YA fiction with a cross over into time travel, paranormal mysticism, and romance. The first book, Essence re-released last January and the second book, Enlightened released in April. The third book, Perception is due to release in October. My With Honors series is a sultry psychological erotica series. The first book, What I Really Learned in College, released in July and the second, Making the Dean’s List, in currently slated for release in December. 
I love playing sports; mainly basketball, volleyball, and softball. Also, I am extremely proud to be the team captain for the Happy Hooters in the Striking Out Cancer, annual Ladies Softball Tournament hosted by the Sweet Melissa Foundation.
When I’m not hiding behind my laptop or buried in a book, I can be found working in my gardens, cheering on my favorite team, the Indianapolis Colts, or trying to lose that last stubborn ten pounds. I graduated with my BS in psychology from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis with a dual concentration in the Psychobiology of Addictions and Clinical Rehabilitation. My son is an NCO in the Army and currently deployed in Kuwait. I have one daughter in college and one in her last year of high school. I also have a very spoiled miniature Eskimo Spitz named DaVinci and an over-sized cat aptly named Chubbies.

My Review: 

I was fortunate enough to get to read the first two installments in this series first. When I first came upon this series the idea of living on two planes of existence was thought provoking and I had many questions in my mind. Amazingly, Jocelyn seems to have all the same questions in her head and I found that funny.  As always the play by play love story of Jocelyn and Chandler is a feel good.  I found the depth of this book enthralling and the introduction of new characters such as Uncle Nick to be fascinating.  

However, I do have to say as a parent I can't fathom my beliefs being strong enough to estrange me from my daughters life.  I feel that positive support and guidance will lead to us both being happier.  Another thing I noticed is that in this series time doesn't go by fast in either time period, actually it goes fairly slow in comparison to other books.  In result of time going slower the author is able to bring a rare depth of the scene to life with such vivid colours and sounds as well as the characters.  I am intrigued as to where this series is leading next.  I give this book a 5 of 5.

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 this post. 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Book Review: Absinthe Doesn't Make the Heart Grow Fonder by Holly Kerr

About the Book:

What would you do for your friends?
What could be more fun than celebrating your fortieth with your three BFF's?
Josie sets off with Lana, Poppy and Meredith for an evening celebrating her birthday with the best intentions. Dinner, dancing and a little drinking.
A little more drinking, in a few questionable locations. It's good to catch up with the girls. But then...
Josie realizes her husband isn’t cheating on her, but Poppy won’t talk about the fact that her husband is. Lana won’t talk about her ex, Ted and Meredith is trying to hide something.
The secrets start to come out.
And then something bad happens.
Secrets can really ruin a friendship.

About the Author

Holly Kerr writes contemporary women's fiction/chick-lit/romance and doesn't particularly enjoy talking about herself in third person.

Her books include Coming Home, Unexpecting and Absinthe Doesn't Make the Heart Grow Fonder. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three kids.  She doesn't consider herself a typical chick-lit writer since loves everything about Star Wars, Harry Potter, Joss Whedon and has a thing for superheroes; however a story about falling for a superhero might be interesting for her to write. When she's not writing, she likes to play in the dirt in her garden and enjoy a glass of wine while cooking, although she's trying to cut back while she's training for a marathon.

If you require more information about Holly and her books feel free to visit her website or follow her Blog. At times she discusses the craft of writing but usually she muses about her life and what's she reading, writing or watching. Holly hopes you enjoy her books and she welcomes a chance to interact with her readers, but not in any creepy way. A simple comment "Hey, I really like/don't like..." would be a lovely way to begin a conversation.
Amazon Author page:

Review of the book:

This was such a great fun read.  Although I have to admit I have been missing out on some girls night out lately, I am thankful that I have not ran into the drama that these ladies went through.  Without a doubt this is a great reminder of what can happen when some cocktails are included.  Sometimes it may be good, but more often then not that is not the case!  Those it is a great reminder that secrets will always come out so it is really better not to keep them.

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