Monday, October 31, 2016

CRAFTY: "Creepy Crawly Crochet" by Megan Kreiner (Craft Book: Crochet)

Creepy Crawly Crochet: 17 Creatures That Go Bump in the Night
by Megan Kreiner

Publisher: Dover Publications
Genre: Craft, Crochet
Publication Date: September 21st 2016

Other Books by Megan Kreiner
Description from Publisher:
They're creepy but they're cute and cuddly, too! Inspired by classic literature, film, and folklore, these 17 crochet monsters will delight everyone with a taste for old-fashioned thrillers and modern tales of horror. Detailed instructions include assembly diagrams for ease of construction along with full-color photos. The patterns are suitable for beginners, but advanced crocheters will find them irresistible as well.

These fetching fiends include Boo Boo the Voodoo Doll; Jack, the Headless Horseman, and his horse, Nightmare; Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Carl of the Dead and Daisy, his Zombie Dog; and other sinister characters. In addition to their value as handmade keepsake treasures, these characters also make great gifts for fans of horror and science fiction.
My Rating:
My Musings:
The moment I saw the Cthulhu on the cover of this, I knew I had to have it! And it did not disappoint!

I've been crocheting for almost 8 years now and consider myself to be fairly advanced and to have seen my fair share of books and patterns. So when I say that this book has some well-written and obviously well-tested patterns, I mean it! That said, this is a book that is probably best suited for someone who is at least moderately skilled at making amigurumi, considering some of the stitches and techniques used.

The photos in this were also pretty darn fantastic and were accurate representations of what the creatures would look like when finished! (Nothing worse than an AmigurumiFail! right? ;) ).

The variety in this was also nice, with a good sprinkling of "creepy" creatures, most of which weren't overly "cute" and would be nice gifts for older kids (or, y'know, "kids" ;) ).

My Source: I received a digital ARC from the publisher to voluntarily review. This in no way influenced my review. My opinion is unbiased and my 100% own.

Friday, October 28, 2016

REVIEW: "Like Fresh Fallen Snow" by Tara Wyatt (Contemporary Romance)

Like Fresh Fallen Snow
by Tara Wyatt

Publisher: Swerve
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: October 25th 2016

Series: The Graysons, #2
Standalone: Yes

Other Books by Tara Wyatt

The Graysons


#2 Goodreads

#3 Goodreads

Description from Publisher:
Everyone needs a New Years’ kiss.

Ellie Richards’ New Year’s Resolution: this will be her year, no men necessary. Who needs them when she has a successful website, a great apartment, and plans to ring in the New Year at a ski lodge with her best friend. That’s until Ellie gets stuck in a snowbank and a gorgeous, blue-eyed cop throws a wrench in her plans.

Matt Grayson intended to spend his last day of the year getting everything ready for his move across the country. But when he helps dig Ellie’s car out from the side of the road, something about this cute blonde who spews out pop culture references makes Matt wish he didn’t have to leave the next day.

When fate brings Ellie and Matt together that same night at a party, the sizzling tension between them bubbles like a bottle of champagne. As midnight looms closer, their time together grows shorter. Is their budding romance doomed to be nothing but a night of memories, or can it survive the changes the new year will bring?
My Rating:
Heat Rating:

My Musings:
This story flew by for me! It was a whirlwind romance in more ways than one and had a bit of everything you could want: charming, sweet, dorky characters, New Years Eve winter magic, and some wonderful chemistry.

Ellie is looking forward to the self-proclaimed "Year of Ellie" where she won't get wrapped up in a guy who is lacking in some way. She is an adorkable character and I was endeared to her from the first nerdy reference. Mark is a divorced cop who is on his way to a promotion that will get him away from Cheyenne and the ghosts there, to the rainy Pacific Northwest. He's sweet and seriously charming and will make you melt!

These two find themselves brought together by snow not just once, but twice and it was a pleasure to watch their relationship develop. This story is a bit light & fluffy, and it's a perfect read for a cool Autumn or Winter day with a cup of tea!

My Source: I received a digital ARC from the publisher to voluntarily review. This in no way influenced my review. My opinion is unbiased and my 100% own.

About the Author: Tara Wyatt
Tara Wyatt is a romance author who’s been making up love stories ever since she fell head over heels for the Backstreet Boys and Hanson almost twenty years ago. Not content with merely daydreaming about Nick Carter and Taylor Hanson, she grabbed a notebook and wrote countless fan fiction stories.

After outgrowing her boy band obsession and obtaining an Honours B.A. in English Literature and Philosophy from McMaster University, her love of books and reading led her to pursue a Masters’ degree in Library and Information Science at the University of Western Ontario. Currently, she works for a large public library system, where she has the arduous task of selecting books for children and young adults for the library’s collection.
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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

REVIEW: "Lessons in Gravity" by Megan Westfield (New Adult Romance)

Lessons in Gravity
by Megan Westfield

Publisher: Entangled - Embrace
Genre: New Adult Romance
Publication Date: October 24th 2016

(Affiliate links)
Description from Publisher:
All eyes are on Josh Knox…

Fearless. Guarded. Cut-to-perfection. Daredevil rock climber. The best in the world.

This time he’s poised to scale Yosemite’s notoriously treacherous Sorcerer Spire, with Walkabout Media & Productions filming every move.

April Stephens’s dream to be a documentary filmmaker rests on her acing her internship with Walkabout, and that means getting the abrasive Josh to give her more than one-word answers in his interviews.

The problem is, with every step forward professionally, she and Josh are also taking a step forward personally, and after watching her stunt pilot father die in a fiery crash, a guy who risks his life for a living is the last person she should be falling for. Especially because in one month her internship will have them dangling three thousand feet in the air from the side of the Sorcerer. She’ll be filming. He’ll be climbing without a rope.
My Rating:
Heat Rating:

My Musings:
How gorgeous is this cover?!

From the first page, I got sucked into this wonderful world of rock climbing, documentary filmmaking, and the beauty of Yosemite National Park. I liked both April and Josh immediately, though I definitely wondered exactly what Josh's deal was. He didn't hide that adorable vulnerability very well, so I just knew that I would love him.

April is a just-about-graduated filmmaker who wants to make documentaries for a living and was given the opportunity to intern with a renowned documentary filmmaker in Yosemite National Park. She is pushing herself outside of her comfort zone, especially after a tragic stunt plane accident changed her life forever (and left her with some baggage) a few years before. Josh is the Muhammad Ali of rock climbing and notoriously difficult and terse during interviews... and is the center of the documentary. It's basically April's job to get him to open up... And I'd say that she does. ;)

This was a really sweet romance, though not lacking in sizzle. It's New Adult, but the heat level is pretty tame, just above a Young Adult romance level (lots of hot kisses and embraces!). I think that this worked really well with this story and absolutely adored the way that their relationship was built up. It all felt very genuine (which is pretty big for me, personally).

As much as I loved this (and I did!), I do have to say that I felt that it dragged a bit at about 75% in. The part in particular I'm referring to is definitely necessary and significant, but I feel like it was maybe thrice as long as it needed to be (or maybe I was just impatient?).

You can definitely tell that Megan Westfield did her research for this one, too, making the passions of her characters come to life for those of us who may not be as familiar with them. I don't climb, nor have I visited Yosemite (yet!), but had no problem following along and picturing everything as it was happening. Megan's writing style is immersive and everything flows really well!

I would be remiss if I didn't also mention the supporting characters here - Madigan and Theo, in particular, were just awesome! I can't say that I would mind reading their stories. ;)

My Source: I received a digital ARC from the publisher to voluntarily review. This in no way influenced my review. My opinion is unbiased and my 100% own.

About the Author: Megan Westfield
Megan Westfield has dabbled in many hobbies and pastimes over the years, ranging from playing the cello to cake decorating (i.e., icing-eating) to a dozen different outdoor adventure sports. Eventually, she discovered the only way to do it all was though writing—her first and strongest passion. She writes new adult fiction because she loves exploring the powerful and formative years between high school and the quarter-life crisis. As a reader, her favorite books are those with a truly unique, real-world setting, and, of course, a love story.

Megan grew up in Washington state, attended college in Oregon, and lived in Virginia, California, and Rhode Island during her five years as a navy officer. She is now a permanent resident of San Diego where she and her husband count family beach time with their two young kids as an adventure sport. Megan was formerly the editor of a small weekly newspaper in Southern California and is represented by Melissa Edwards of Stonesong Priest Literary Agency.
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