Tag Archives: family

Dream Heist by Christina Farley (Book Review)

 

Your dreams are no longer safe…

Eighteen-year-old Aria Hale loves her job at her father’s dream therapy company where she enters dementia patients’ dreams to save their memories. But when their lab is ransacked, two technicians are murdered, and her father is kidnapped, everything changes for her.

Determined to find her father, Aria and her friends embark on a harrowing hunt across continents using the dreams of their enemies to guide them. But this dangerous journey plunges her into a world she never bargained for: deception, intrigue, and even love. As she races to save her father and hunt down her enemies, she soon realizes she’s in fact the one being hunted. And her dreams are the greatest danger of all.

In the vein of Inception meets The Bourne Identity, THE DREAM HEIST propels readers into fast-paced adventure that will have you racing to the very end.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from R&R Book Tours.
I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

A person must treat dream walking as one would time traveling, observe but don’t interact. You need to get in and get out unnoticed. Aria broke her father’s rule. She broke more than one. She knew patient 145 identity and didn’t take fade out of the Dreamscape. Her rule-breaking did, in the end, become their saving grace.

Dr. Hale created MaxLife with good intentions. He wanted to help restore the memories of dementia patients. However, others saw his technology as a way to fatten their bank accounts. 

There was a blossoming romance between two eighteen-year-old high schoolers, but they only kissed. Their connection was crucial to stopping their adversaries in their trackers. 

The methods they used to stop the “bad guys” will intrigue those in the tech world. It’ll be right up the alley of those whose favorite genre is science fiction. 

If you’re a gamer, you’ll like Jake’s private workstation and gaming ideas. Comics fans might like it too! 

Murder. Explosions. Kidnappings. Poison. Humor. Suspense. Action. Adventure. Vivid dream sequences. These ten things made Dream Heist a book I’ll want to read more than once, and hopefully, you too. It also made me rethink ever joining a sleep study test. 🙂

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 

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Meet the Author

Farley jpg

CHRISTINA FARLEY is the author of the bestselling Gilded series, THE PRINCESS AND THE PAGE, and THE DREAM HEIST. Prior to that, she worked as an international teacher and at a top secret job for Disney where she was known to scatter pixie dust before the sun rose. When not traveling the world or creating imaginary ones, she spends time with her family in Clermont, Florida with her husband and two sons where they are busy preparing for the next World Cup, baking cheesecakes, and raising a pet dragon that’s in disguise as a cockatiel. Visit her online at ChristinaFarley.com.

Christina Farley | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

 

 

 

 

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The Mayor of Mardi Gras: A Memoir by Gregory L Fischer (Book Review)

New Orleans Mardi Gras parades date back to 1857. Many people attend Mardi Gras. Fewer people participate as members of a krewe, and still fewer work year-round as artists and float builders. My cousin McKinley “Mackie” J. Cantrell, III was one of the artists and builders who worked full-time to bring Mardi Gras to life. A third-generation float builder, Mackie’s grandfather began building floats during the Great Depression. By the mid-70s, “Big Mac” Cantrell had his own company, called McKinley J. Cantrell and Son and was captain of his own parade, the Krewe of Mardi Gras. Cantrell Floats lives on today, but Mackie died suddenly two days after Christmas in 2021. He was forty-seven. He was more of a brother to me, a mentor, who took me on to work with him for an entire year of Carnival preparation in 2011-12. This book is a telling of all my great memories of Mackie. It is a rare glimpse into New Orleans life from an artist’s perspective. As Mackie would say, “It’s a true story, stab-ah.”

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy DiscoveryI voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

The Cantrell family has a long history with Madris Gras, dating back to the Great Depression. Their legacy is quite impressive. In The Mayor of Mardi Gras: A Memoir, Gregory Fischer shares fond memories and photos of Mackie Cantrell, his cousin – best friend – and honorary brother.

Every page is a tribute to the man Gregory lost just two short days after Christmas 2021. If you ever have lost someone, you know the pain Mackie’s friends and family have experienced and probably are still experiencing. I didn’t know Mackie, but I felt like I did through Gregory’s storytelling. 

Mackie was a Renaissance man, a person with many talents or areas of knowledge. He was an athlete in high school (football and wrestling), an artist, a musician, a singer, a songwriter, and loved books. His favorite was The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. He could snowboard, rode a wakeboard like a pro, and welds. His artistic ability amazed me. I was blown away by the Flintstone vehicle. I could not fathom how in the world he created it. Just WOW! 

I’ve been to New Orleans, but I have not enjoyed the thrill of the Carnival Ball. I have seen photographs and news reports on the celebration but never really thought about the time it takes to bring a design to life or the toll it takes on a person’s body to create these elaborate floats and props. At Mackie’s passing, he made hundreds of floats and props. From the photos, he loved every moment he spent sweating over constructing and final touch-ups. 

Unfortunately, all parades were canceled in 2021 due to covid. Gregory stated Mackie worried about what 2022 would look like. Would they come back? Mackie’s work will be cherished and admired for years to come. His presence will be felt every year during Mardi Gras. And Mackie will be close to those in spirit—never far from Gregory’s thoughts. 

Besides learning much about Mackie, I learned a few things about Mardi Gras floats. One, the first float rolled out in 1857. And two, the floats have a port-a-potty on them. Fascinating! 

This book is a joy for anyone to read!

I want to end my review with parting words…

“I’m here for you. Come around anytime. You know where to find me.”

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 

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Meet the Author

Author Gregory L Fischer is a former Editor-In-Chief of the Weekly Citizen, The Chief, and the Post-South newspapers in Louisiana. He is currently the owner of Make It Write, a publishing services company in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he lives with his wife and stepchildren.

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A Very Merry Margarita Mix-Up by Brittanee Nicole (Book Spotlight)

They say don’t kiss your best friend. I accidentally kissed her twin sister.

Jules and Hailey Milsom couldn’t be more different. Except they’re identical twins.

One is my best friend. The other is the new girl in town, searching for a family she never knew existed.

It’s just my luck that when I finally make a move on my best friend, I share the best kiss of my life with a stranger.

Any sane person would realize this is hopeless. But when the red-haired beauty needs a reason to stay in Bristol, I double down and try to make every one of her Christmas dreams come true.

And I kiss her…again and again.

But the one thing she really wants, a relationship with her twin, may be the one Christmas wish I can’t deliver.

And this mix-up may be nothing more than a mistake.

Authors Note: A Very Merry Margarita Mix-Up is a steamy standalone set in Bristol Bay that features a cinnamon roll firefighter, a sweet baker, small town shenanigans and all the Christmas joy your heart can handle.

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Meet the Author

Brittanee is an author who lives in New England with her husband and two children. Her town is a character in itself in all of her books. When she is not writing she enjoys spending time outdoors by the water with her children, reading at the beach or by the pool (or really anywhere), dancing with her friends, singing Karaoke, spinning, bike riding and boating. Some of her favorite authors are Sophia Kinsella, Elin Hilderbrand, Liane Moriarty, Mary Higgins Clark, Meghan Quinn, Daphne Elliott, Amy Alves, Claire Kingsley, Melanie Harlow, Christina Lauren, Sally Thorne and Sarah Adams. Clearly, she has a problem and can’t pick favorites.

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The Littlest Dinosaur’s First Christmas by Steven Kothlow and Bryce Raffle (Book Review)

The Littlest Dinosaur is excited to play in the snow for the first time. He wishes he could play in the snow forever, but Christmas is a busy time of year, and Mama Tyrannosaur has plans for those presents under the tree!

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from R&R Book Tours.
I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I don’t recall playing with dinosaurs as a child, but I am a huge dinosaur fan as an adult. They are fascinating creatures. 

The Littlest Dinosaur’s First Christmas had the most adorable illustrations. I loved the snow globe and wish it was real and for sale! Ty the Tyrannosaur was cute with his sock hat, scarf, and ice skates. He looked so relaxed, gliding across the ice. You almost forget he’s a carnivore and supposed to be feared. 

After the dinosaurs went home, they were too excited to sleep. Visions of presents under the tree kept them awake. Kids and parents will relate to this predicament. 

Christmas morning, the family went to deliver gifts to others. What a generous idea! It was then we met a Baryonyx. The name might not be familiar to some people, but if you watch Jurassic World, you’d recognize it. 

Christmas is more than just getting gifts; it’s about giving and helping those around you have a happy holiday. This sweet children’s story should inspire kids to spread Christmas cheer. 

Merry Christmas! 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤❤❤
Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

Meet the Authors

Authors with dinos

Bryce Raffle was the lead writer for the video game studio Ironclad Games. He also writes stories for young adults and designs book covers.

Steven Kothlow is making his debut as a children’s book writer. He hopes to tell many more stories that help spread a message of diversity and inclusion especially in children’s literature.

Tessa Verplancke is a sound designer by day and an illustrator by night. She lives to tell stories through as many mediums as possible.

 

 

 

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The Christmas Movie Cookbook: Recipes from Your Favorite Holiday Films by Julia Rutland (Book Spotlight)

Bring the merry festivities from the screen right to your own table with The Christmas Movie Cookbook with more than 65 scrumptious recipes inspired by scenes from your favorite Christmas films.

Do you ever yearn for roast turkey while watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation? Or, for the more cynical, do you wish you could taste the roast beast from How the Grinch Stole Christmas? Well, top up your mug of eggnog and don your coziest ugly sweater: ‘tis the season to recreate the dishes from all of your favorite holiday movies with the help of The Christmas Movie Cookbook.

This season you can indulge alongside your favorite Elf characters as they make special spaghetti and get tipsy with the Bad Moms crew while they imbibe their spiced cider. Just crack open The Christmas Movie Cookbook and discover sixty-five mouthwatering recipes to add joy to any holiday gathering.

Recipes include:
-Old Fashioned Meatloaf from A Christmas Story
-Chicken, Broccoli, and Cheddar Cheese Soup from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
-Christmas Pudding from A Christmas Carol
-Breakfast Strata from The Family Stone
-Really Rich Hot Chocolate from Polar Express
-And much more!

Complete with tips on entertaining and menu ideas for your merry gatherings, The Christmas Movie Cookbook is the perfect companion to your holiday season.

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

Meet the Author

Julia Rutland is a Washington, DC-area writer and recipe developer whose work appears regularly in publications and websites such as Southern LivingCoastal Living, and Weight Watchers books. She is the author of Discover DinnertimeThe Campfire Foodie CookbookOn a StickBlueberriesSquashFoil Pack Dinners, Apples, 101 Lasagnas & Other Layered Casseroles, Tomatoes, and Honey. Julia lives in the Washington, DC, wine country town of Hillsboro, Virginia, with her husband, two daughters, and many furred and feathered friends.

Simon and Schuster.com

 

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