Forbidden by Kimberely Griffiths Little

>>  Friday, January 30, 2015

Forbidden by Kimberely Griffiths Little
Published Nov 4, 2014
Kindle Edition, 405 pages

When I saw this book on Bloggin' Bout Books and read how Susan raved about it, I knew I wanted to read it. The author was kind enough to gift me a Kindle copy (thank you!) and I dug into it in December. What a story!

The last time I read a YA book set in the Mesopotamian desert was The Frankincense Trail by Jody Kihara, which I loved. This novel was just as good, and I am thrilled it is the first book in a trilogy because I can't let go of the story and I want more.

Jayden lives with her tribe in the desert, living a hard but satisfying nomad life. She has the privilege of being betrothed to Horeb, the tribe leader, which will make her wealthy and restore her family's position within the tribe. But tragedy strikes in Jayden's family, and suddenly she is forced to take on great responsibility for a girl of sixteen.

Her heart is heavy when she meets Kadesh, a mysterious boy from the Southern Lands. Jayden now experiences a forbidden love and does not want to marry Horeb. But the plot thickens as raiding bands, murder, violence and shame comes upon Jayden's family. Strong of character and will, Jayden sets out to protect her loved ones and to drastically alter her life.

I couldn't put this book down. So many twists and turns, and a plot that left me wondering how Jayden was going to deal with it all. Best of all, this book had me feeling all sorts of things: sadness, indecision, the excitement of first love, fear, suspense, adventure, exotic name it, this book had it all. Jayden is such a memorable character, and I look forward to reading more about her story in the next installments. Yes, there is romance, but this book has so much more. There are sibling relationships, family traditions and lots of action adventure. I loved how the author focused on all these elements to bring us a good story. I could see this book being made into a movie.

Although not Christian fiction, this book makes reference to actual people who lived in the desert and are mentioned in the Bible. I picked up on several Biblical references, just because I've read a lot about this time period and setting. And the setting is one of the best things about this book. The author even included a note about her research for this novel. I applaud authors who write YA historical fiction and delve into settings not often explored.

If you like YA and historical fiction with great character development and plenty of action adventure, then this is the perfect book in which to escape. This book made it on my Best Books of 2014 list. If I had more time on my hands, I'd read it again.

Note: This book is rated PG for scenes of violence and temple prostitutes. No bad language or sex scenes.

Reviewed by Laura

Disclosure: Thanks to the author for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

Read more... Get Amazing Deals on e-Book Bestsellers! ($25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway too)

>>  Wednesday, January 28, 2015

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Mailbox Monday and It's Monday, What Are You Reading? Jan 26 Edition

>>  Sunday, January 25, 2015

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia who now blogs at To Be Continued. It is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.

I just noticed today that the days are getting longer. Yay! Either that or I'm just trying to channel very very positive thoughts to get past these winter days. :-)

Don't forget to check out my giveaways on left sidebar.

Two books in my mailbox:

This one is on tour in February and March with iRead Book Tours. I'm reading it with my son. This one is right up his alley.

The Monster That Ate My Socks by A.J. Cosmo

A young boy, who is about to be grounded for going through so many socks, discovers that a monster has been eating them.

Max is a young boy who is constantly getting in trouble for his socks disappearing. He doesn’t know where they go, but he does know that if he doesn’t do something quickly his mom will ground him for summer. Max soon discovers that a little green monster is sneaking into his room at night and eating his sweaty socks. His mother, of course, doesn't believe him, so Max calls on his best friend to come for a sleepover to catch the monster.
They devise a trap and capture the monster only to learn that the creature can speak. It hasn’t meant to cause any harm, it's just trying to feed its family. The monster shows them his home and his three little children and begs the boys not to turn them over to the adults. Adults, he says, want to destroy monsters.

The boys are left in a pickle. Allow the monsters to be and get grounded, or turn the monsters in knowing what will happen to them? Neither idea seems good, so they come up with a new plan!

I'm very excited about this one because I actually met this 85 year-old Holocaust survivor. She invited me to lunch at her place because she wanted to meet me to see if I could help her promote her book. She is an incredible lady. If you like memoirs and want to review this book, let me know! She is on tour with iRead Book Tours from March 2 to 13.

A Life of the Twentieth Century by Irene Even

A Life of the Twentieth Century is the story of Aya, who lived through the loss of her parents before the age of 3. At the age of twelve she was sent to a boarding school in Budapest, that closed after one year, because the Nazi army marched into the city.

Aya was left totally alone to face the Nazi occupation, and to experience all the horrors of the war. She faced many life threatening situations, such as prison, bombardment or even the possibility of being executed on the spot, without really comprehending the gravity of it all.

The end of the war was supposed to mean liberation, the return of hope and freedom for most people, however it didn't happen for Aya, who was part of a youth group on her way to Palestine. The destination of this youth group was to reach Italy and the Jewish Brigade. They crossed the Alps on foot from Austria to reach Italy.

As they reached their destination Aya met a soldier from the Jewish Brigade, who was supposed to be her Hero, her Saviour, but turned out to be the devil incarnate. From day one, this soldier of the Jewish brigade took control of Aya's life when she was only 15 years old.

After divorce, destitute and once again alone, she had no direction and almost no hope, when from deep inside her a small voice said; go back to school. It took all her courage to apply to university, where she was accepted and after 5 year was granted a B.A. and a Diploma of Teaching. She spent the rest of her life teaching, and as she contemplated her life she said to herself that if she had had all the choices in the world, she would have chosen teaching.

This meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. This is where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.  The kidlit version is hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts.

Posted this week:

The Mysterious Doll by Linda Weaver Clark (reviewed by Sandra)

The Metabolism Solution by Lisa Lynn (review, recipe and giveaway)

Currently Listening To: Almost Perfect by Diane Daniels Manning (very good so far)

Have a great reading week!



The Metabolism Solution by Lisa Lynn (Review, Recipe and Giveaway!)

>>  Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Metabolism Solution by Lisa Lynn
LynFit Nutrition (2nd edition)
ISBN: 978-1629521183
Published: October 6, 2014
Softcover, 207 pages

Last year at BEA I met Lisa Lynn. I was attracted to her book because of the word "metabolism". I've always had a fast metabolism and never had a weight problem, but I am now in my forties and I feel my body has changed. I had the possibility to talk to Lisa and I liked her immediately. There was an instant connection. She is a people person and I could see that she was passionate about her work.

The first thing I noticed about Lisa's book is that it's easy to read. It's like Lisa is talking to you and imparting all the research and experience she's gathered in her 25 years. She doesn't put on airs and flaunt her connection with Dr. OZ or Martha Stewart, but she does talk about them in her book to make her point about key things that she feels her readers should know about weight loss, like the truth about how raspberry keytones work.

I must admit that hearing Lisa's struggles with weight and emotional issues throughout her young life touched me, and although that is not my case, I can relate because of my struggle with depression. And guess what? Food and depression are related. So even though weight is not an issue with me, eating right is always something I have striven for. 

In her book, Lisa talks about the importance of lifestyle changes and I wholeheartedly embrace that notion if you want to look and feel better. She speaks of eating 10 veggies a day and drinking plenty of water, two things I've neglected to do. Her diet is gluten-free which pleased me because ever since I have been on a gluten-free diet I have less joint pain.

I paid particular attention to her section on supplements. Although I believe in eating healthy and choosing food closest to its natural state, we live in a world where water and land is polluted (not to mention genetically modified) and we no longer get all the nutrients we need from food. I do believe that taking supplements to complement (not replace) good eating habits does help. I'm anemic and it does make a difference when I take my iron supplements. Lisa's supplements are meant for weight loss, though, and unless you have a serious weight problem, I don't believe one needs to take so many supplements a day. I am convinced about her protein shake and will invest in getting it because breakfast is always a problem with me. I found my solution!

Lisa also has a good section on a metabolic workout, exercise which is encouraging and can be done at home in 20 to 30 minutes. Although I do exercise I don't like it because I always have joint pain when I do it. It's part of the fibromyalgia state, but exercise is necessary! And I liked that her exercise section didn't scare me off but motivated me even more.

The book is filled with interesting facts in boxes throughout its pages, including charts and photos. It has a nice layout that makes it easy to read and find info. Lisa also has a section on becoming spiritually fit by bringing God into your life. I agree with her. We as humans have physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs. We need to take care of all four to be truly healthy.

Finally her book ends with some good recipes. I decided to try the Slim-Quick Tuna Burgers. Here is the recipe and our impressions. I had my kids taste-test this recipe.

Slim-Quick Tuna Burgers

2 5 to 6 oz. cans chunk light tuna, drained
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 egg white
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup medium salsa
spray oil, either olive or canola

Combine tuna, 1/4 cup salsa, celery and onion in a medium bowl, breaking up any large pieces of tuna until mixture is uniform and holds together.

Combine remaining 1/4 cup pf salsa and egg white. Spray large nonstick skillet and place over medium heat. Using a generous 1/3 cup each, form tuna mixture into four 2-inch burgers. Cook until heated through and golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.

Place on top of green salad and dress with your favorite salsa or mustard dressing for a big bang. Too moist? Drain excess liquid. Too dry? Add more water or salsa. Make extra for lunch during the week or for a lean snack.

Our Impressions on the recipe:

This was an easy recipe to prepare. I had all the ingredients on hand but substituted the onion for shallots. The burger was delicious! I made it for lunch and had my 11 year-old super picky son try it. He thought it was okay but would have preferred it didn't have any other ingredient but the tuna. This is typical of him, but he ate half and I was happy with that. The burger was crumbly though and I think next time I will add two egg whites instead of one.

I ate my burger with some gluten-free sweet potato and flax seed crackers. What a great combination! I left the other two burgers for my 13 year-old daughter and my hubby to try later. But my daughter gobbled up both when she returned from school. She told me they were "surprisingly good". So I will definitely be making more of this recipe.

Note: This book is rated C = clean read.
To read more reviews, please visit Lisa's tour schedule on iRead Book Tours.

Where to buy the book:

LynFit Nutrition

About the author:

CELEBRITY FITNESS AND NUTRITION EXPERT LISA LYNN has devoted nearly three decades of her career to personal training, specializing in metabolic weight loss and performance nutrition. Coupled with her vast experience in the field of fitness and nutrition she has earned four educational certificates from the International Sports and Sciences Association’s Professional Division including: Certified Fitness Trainer, Specialist in Performance Nutrition, Fitness Therapy and Elite Trainer.

Lynn’s years of research in metabolic boosting and performance nutrition resulted in the development of herLeaner Lifestyle DVD Series, specifically designed to promote healthy fat loss by boosting the most sluggish and stubborn metabolisms. She is best known for her 13 years as MARTHA STEWART’s personal trainer who has said, “Lisa is the only trainer that made a difference.” Lynn is also a regular go-to nutrition and fitness expert on THE DR. OZ SHOW appearing in two of his highest rated episodes. Major media outlets frequently call upon her for her expertise in fitness and nutrition. Lynn maintains a diverse portfolio of clientele including professional bodybuilders, models, actors, CEOs and real-world people throughout the country.

Lisa just released her award winning book The Metabolism Solution that has helped thousands of people lose weight and reach their fitness goals. Available

Connect with Lisa: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest ~ Youtube Channel

And now for the giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Reviewed by Laura

Disclosure: Thanks to the author for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.


The Mysterious Doll by Linda Weaver Clarke

>>  Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Mysterious Doll (Amelia Moore Detective Series: Volume 4) by Linda Weaver Clarke
ISBN: 9781502929143
Published by: CreateSpace
Published: January 31, 2015
Trade paperback, 212 pages

Pauline Johnson asks Amelia’s help in finding her boyfriend, Sam Whittaker, who allegedly stole a 19th-century porcelain doll from a museum. So Amelia and her side-kick/boyfriend head to Colorado to find him.  Two mysterious men and an international thief, Nikki Wolf aka Slick Nick (I know) are also interested. So the story is basically finding Sam and retrieving the doll.

There is a beautiful description of the Rocky Mountains’ jagged cliffs, thick groves of pines trees, roaming elk, as well as the ‘elk bugling contest’ that add realism to the story.

As we have seen in the previous books in this series, there is a growing romance between Amelia and Rick. They spend wholesome romantic evenings eating brownies and popcorn, drinking hot chocolate and watching movies. There is an occasional romantic kiss. Romance is definitely in the air. And both are still working on their respective “bucket lists”.

A surprise ending rounds off this lively, cozy mystery. I enjoyed it.

Note: This book is rated C = clean read.

About the Author:

Linda Weaver Clarke grew up around the rolling hills of Idaho and now lives in southern Utah among the red mountains. She travels throughout the United States, teaching and encouraging people to write their family history and autobiography. She is the mother of six daughters and has several grandchildren. Clarke is the author of several historical romances, a mystery/adventure  series, a children’s book, and the Amelia Moore Detective Series. All her books are suitable for young adult and adults alike. Visit

Reviewed by Sandra

Disclosure: Thanks to Linda Weaver Clarke for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them."
— Mark Twain

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