Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Fractured Beauty: The Fairy Tale Five by Adrienne Monson, Lehua Parker, Angela Corbett, Angela Brimhall, and Angela Hartley

I am thrilled to be a stop on the book tour for Fractured Beauty: The Fairy Tale Five by Adrienne Monson, Lehua Parker, Angela Corbett, Angela Brimhall, and Angela Hartley, hosted by JeanBookNerd! Be sure to click the banner above for more!
Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Title: Fractured Beauty: The Fairy Tale Five
Author: Adrienne Monson, Lehua Parker, Angela Corbett, Angela Brimhall, and Angela Hartley
Release Date: June 1, 2017
Publisher: Tork Media
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo
Beauty and the Beast may be a tale as old as time, but in this collection by the Fairy Tale Five you’ll meet five newly imagined Belles and the Beasts they love.

Angela Brimhall’s beast is a terrifying sea monster cursed by a scorned gypsy. He must risk all to save the strong-willed princess before losing his last chance at love and redemption, becoming forever damned to the briny deep.

Lehua Parker’s Nani is trapped by Indian and Hawaiian traditions and a fianc├ę locked in stasis in a medi-mod. Cultures and expectations collide in this sci-fi futuristic world where nano-bot tattoos and dreams reveal the secret of Nani’s heart.

Angela Corbett’s Ledger is determined to find out more about the mysterious woman who saved him from certain death and uncover the secrets of Withering Woods, but some beasts are better left caged.

Adrienne Monson’s Arabella rushes to an enchanted castle to pay her father’s debt, but is met with a burly beast with a mysterious past. It’s a howling paranormal regency romp that will keep you turning pages well past your bedtime.

Angela Hartley’s Porta Bella discovers there’s more to Oregon life than taking care of her father when she finds herself rescued by Bigfoot. It’s up to Porta Bella to unravel the faery’s curse and discover who’s the real monster.

Photo Credit: Kevin Parker
Lehua Parker is the award-winning author of the MG/YA Pacific literature magic realism series, The Niuhi Shark Saga: One Boy, No Water; One Shark, No Swim; and One Truth, No Lie.

Originally from Hawaii and a graduate of The Kamehameha Schools, Lehua is an author, educator, and public speaker. Trained in literary criticism and an advocate of indigenous cultural narratives, Lehua is a frequent speaker at conferences and symposiums.

Now living in exile in the high desert mountains of Utah, during snowy winters she dreams about the beach.

Lehua is a pen name for Michelle C. Parker, a mediated message design and research professional. As Michelle she works as an editor, book consultant, and literary critic. In addition to her Lehua writings, she also publishes speculative fiction, short stories, personal essays, plays, and poetry.

Photo Credit: Brett Monson
Adrienne Monson has always had a voracious appetite for books. When she became a stay at home mom, she finally listened to her muse and began writing.

She enjoys Zumba, kickboxing and weightlifting. She also loves delicious foods, which is why she has to work out so often.

Dissension and Defiance is available where books are sold. Deliverance, the final installment of the Blood Inheritance trilogy is slated for release April 2016.

Eyes of Persuasion is a mashup of paranormal and historical romance, found exclusively on Amazon.

Photo Credit: Heather Zahn Gardner
Angela Corbett graduated from Westminster College with a double major in
communication and sociology. She started working as a reporter for her local newspaper when she was sixteen and won awards for feature, news, and editorial writing. She has also done freelance writing. In addition to being an author, she works as a director of communications and marketing. She loves classic cars, traveling, and listening to U2. She lives in Utah with her extremely supportive husband and their five-pound Pomeranian, Pippin, whose following of fangirls could rival Justin Bieber's.

Photo Credit: Angela Hartley
Angela Hartley spent much of her childhood being shuffled from house to house with only a book for companionship. The magic she found in the written word saved her in many ways, transporting her into worlds far happier than the one she resided in. Literature became her passion and the idea of someday writing carried her through years of uncertainty.

Long ago, Angela left the disease of poverty behind. Through all of life’s ups and downs, her desire to make her own magic never waned. With a strong support system, she set out to create worlds, and publish books. Along with perusing her lifetime goal, she’s built and managed several writing organizations, been a life coach, and project manager. She has also entertained and educated at schools, symposiums, and conventions. In her down time, she studies religion theory, psychic abilities, and psychology to gain a better understanding of the human condition.

Photo Credit: Angela Brimhall
Angela Brimhall grew up trying to decide whether she liked romance or horror novels
best. She graduated college with a BS degree in health, but decided she'd much rather experience the drama of life through her characters. She received an MFA in English and creative writing from Southern New Hampshire University and is a member of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society, Romance Writers of America and Horror Writers Association. She lives in the heart of a city between two mountains with her husband, son and four dogs where spired castles dot every hill and fairy tales really do come true.

Mishibox - March Box Review | Korean Beauty Subscription Box

Today, I am back with yet another Mishibox review! I got the March box a while back, but didn't get a chance to post about it before.  Here's a look at the products that were included in March!

MSHIBOX is a brand new monthly beauty subscription box that delivers hand-picked, top-quality Korean beauty products straight to your door! Every (adorable) box comes with a combination of 4-6 sample-size and full-size products. It can be anything from skincare to makeup and all the amazing things in-between. 

The cost of this monthly subscription box is simply unbeatable - $19.95!!! And, amazingly, you can choose to subscribe for the entire year (and save $12), or buy one box at a time. And they now offer FREE world wide shipping. 

I would highly recommend giving this awesome subscription box a try. The products you get are pretty high-end and very popular in Asia, plus you won't be able to get some of them anywhere else in the USA or Canada. 

MISHIBOX folks also opened up an online store where you can buy any of the products previously included in the box. Personally, I love that option, as I love one of the products included in the past boxes (The Ceramizing Cream from Skin Watchers) and was super happy that I was able to order a second batch of it!

What's in the box?!

* Featured in this photo are two more products that weren't included in the box, but which I bough on the Mishibox website in addition to the box (The Aloe skin toner, Ceramizing Cream), Blueberry mask, Skymilk and two cream samples were included as a bonus.

The June 2015 box included:

  Enzyme Powder Wash from @skin_watchers_shop
 | full size

        My thoughts: I really like using it. It's something I've never used before and it took a couple of times to get used to it, but I love the deep clean and almost scrub-feeling it offers. It leaves my face feeling very fresh and clean. It's a product I would buy again for sure!

  Graymelin Foot butter | full size

     My thoughts: Living in high desert can take its toll on your skin, especially your feet and elbows, so this was just the perfect product for me. I actually ordered one of those from the Mishibox store, not knowing it would be included in the box, but no regrets there. It's a thick cream that moisturizes amazingly and smells divinely (like butterscotch candy). I definitely recommend it!

  Fascy Moisture Bomb Hand Cream | full size
     My thoughts: I don't use hand cream very often, as I work on my computer a lot and just don't like the greasy feeling of them, so I haven't been using this one a whole lot, but it smells really nice and seems to moisturize well. If you're into hand creams, I think this line might be worth giving a try!

  Monthly New Feet socks pack | full size

     My thoughts: Haven't used it yet, but I love the concept! These are socks that you sleep in, that exfoliate and regenerate your skin. I am waiting for some colder days to try these out, but they sound awesome!

  Pure Green Tea Whitening Mask | full size

     My thoughts: I love Korean sheet masks. That is all. 

  Package Melt Me Softly Blackheads Nose Pack

     My thoughts: Haven't used this one yet, either, but from my experience, all the products designed to help remove the black heads are wonderful. I've tried a couple of them, and while I don't have blackheads myself, they do help clear your skin a lot and exfoliate any sort of gunky stuff that might be hiding in your pores. 

Find out more:
Check out MISHIBOX Website and follow these amazing guys on Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date with their shenanigans :)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Book Review: Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Adult, Historical Fiction
Publication Date:April 5, 2016
Pages:487 (Hardcover)
Published By:  Ballantine Books
Website:Martha Hall Kelly

Lilac Girls on Goodreads
My review copy:
Received in Once Upon a Bookcase Club Box

Where to get:


Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this debut novel reveals a story of love, redemption, and secrets that were hidden for decades.
New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.
An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.
For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.
The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbr├╝ck, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.


Somewhere in a corner of our hearts, we are always twenty.
If I’d known I was about to meet the man who’d shatter me like bone china on terra-cotta, I would have slept in.
Turning oneself to the misfortunes of others is the best way to dispense with personal troubles. Hadn’t Lord Byron himself said, “The busy have no time for tears”
It’s just a thing, Kasia. Don’t waste your energy on the hate. That will kill you sure as anything. Focus on keeping your strength. You’re resourceful. Find a way to outsmart them.

      Written with compassion, but also unflinching objectivity, Lilac Girls is an absolutely riveting and haunting WWII story about brutality of war, courage, love and survival. Boasting a diverse, incredibly well drawn cast of characters, it's a profoundly affecting, often-times completely devastating and heart-breaking look at Holocaust through the eyes of three very different women - a Polish girl named Kasia, an ambitious German doctor, and an American philanthropist working for French embassy in New York.

     This book was... Everything and more! I am so thankful to Michelle from @onceuponabookclubbox for choosing it for her first adult box, otherwise it's likely I would've missed it! Or I would've at least put off reading it. Once I started reading, I couldn't put this book down. The writing style was incredibly compelling and heartfelt, and the alternating points of view offered a great deal of insight, not only into the minds of people trying to survive the concentration camps, but also into those on the other side of "the fence", like Herta, or even people across the ocean, observing the events from afar, trying to help those affected. All three women had fascinating, breath-taking stories to tell, and they all invoked many feelings in me. I despised Herta, despite the rare glimpses of her humanity, she was not a very positive character. I liked Caroline and admired her for the work she did during and after the War. And most of all, I connected on more than one level with Kasia. As someone who grew up in Poland and had grandparents directly affected by the War, I sympathized with Kasia, I understood her struggles and fears, I respected her strength and defiance. I loved her. I loved everything about her. She was an absolutely marvelous character - one that is an inspiration to me, now and forever. 

     Not only is Lilac Girls a beautifully written, engaging, often times shocking and heartbreaking story, it's also - or most of all - very powerful and important, and so relevant to our times! I loved the the different perspectives and how the characters' lives intertwine with one another, I loved Martha's absorbing and evocative writing style, and I loved that the story continued beyond the War years, to show us the consequences and how everyone was affected by the War events in the years after. It was a phenomenal reading experience and Martha is one ️immensely talented writer that I will be following closely from now on!

Once Upon a Bookcase Box:

I received the book in the very first Once Upon a Book Club box, and if you don't know what that is, let me enlighten you: it's the most fabulous subscription box ever. Michelle, the lady-boss behind this box, picks a book every month and then adds 3-5 special gifts that come beautifully wrapped and numbered with certain pages. Once you reach a certain page, you get to open the gift. All the gifts are related to the story, too! They're super meaningful and make the reading experience so much more amazing!

Take a look at the photos of the book box I got and if you're interested in subscribing, Michelle now offers the adult version and the young adult version of this box, and you can use code EVIEBOOKISH for 10% off!!!

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