Monday, May 25, 2015

AMBER SMOKE BY KRISTIN CAST


The Escaped Vol 1

Summary 
There is a world that runs parallel to our own, a world in which the souls of the damned are caged, where they are looked over by the Furies, and where they spend eternity in torment, mirroring the devastation and mayhem they created when alive.

Someone has opened the cage.

The worst of terrors has crossed the barrier that separates our world from theirs, and the Furies send a great, albeit untested warrior—their only son, Alek—to try to bring those souls back. He is young and handsome, headstrong and impulsive, and he won’t be able to do it alone.

Eva has grown up, beautiful and beloved, but surrounded by secrets. First, she will be hunted in an ancient feud that will threaten her life. Then, she will become the hunter.

With the police closing in and two worlds on the verge of crumbling around them, Alek and Eva must find each other, discover the limits of their powers, and work together to save everything they hold dear, including one another.

Blending elements of mythology with the dazzling storytelling that her fans have devoured through the House of Night series, Kristin Cast weaves a spellbinding and passionate tale that starts a thrilling new series with an explosive charge.

Reactions 
In her "House of Night" series, Kristin Cast has succeeded in making me read 8 of her books with avidity as I was really attracted by her plot and twits. She has been able to hook me from the start. So, when I've read the summary of her new mythology oriented series, I've decided to give it a go.

Honestly I was even a little excited knowing this author was having a great imagination and some lovely written skills. And she still has an easy way to present the story and the characters but…there is a huge but… The more i was turning the pages, the more I was disappointed!  

I was bored by the action as the story has taken a lot of time to develop into something interesting. And at the moment, it started to get some pace something is missing. Not enough suspense, not enough paranormal stuff. Alek is arrogant, grumpy but doesn't show his potential and worse he is a mommy boy. Eva is sweet but the connexion is hard to make. She is the main character but as the same time, she is not. 

After closing the book, I really don't know if I would want to read the sequel as I'm disappointed. Sad because I really know that this author is good and great.

Source 
Arc provided by Netgalley. I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Photography as Meditation: Tap Into the Source of Your Creativity by Torsten Andreas Hoffmann


Summary
For many people, photography serves as a form of meditation; a way to separate themselves from their stressful lives.

In this book, Torsten Andreas Hoffmann explores an approach to artistic photography based on Japanese Zen-Philosophy.

Meditation and photography have much in common: both are based in the present moment, both require complete focus, and both are most successful when the mind is free from distracting thoughts.

Hoffman shows how meditation can lead to the source of inspiration.

Hoffman's impressive images of landscapes, cities, people, and nature, as well as his smart image analysis and suggestions about the artistic process, will help you understand this approach to photography without abandoning the principles of design necessary to achieve great images.

Photographing busy scenes, especially, requires an inner calm that enables you to have intuition for the right moment and compose a well-balanced image amidst the chaos.

The goal of this book is to develop your photographic expression. It provides enrichment for photographers who believe that only technical mastery produces great images and shows how important it is to engage with your own awareness to act creatively.

Reactions
A great book you will enjoy whatever you are looking for serenity through awesome pictures or advices to improve your photography skills.

Every entries began with explanations, quotes about the author, the creativity and his way into zen through his camera.
It's light, easy and goes very well with the book.

You can pick it up and reach what you need from this photography journey. Tip for improving your view of beauty, nature, people by opening yourself to what is in front of you or how you want to express it through a pic. The author is like a companion walking with you and helping you to open up.

Great feeling calming effect, I've enjoyed my time spend while turning the pages.

Quotes
"Adbhuta (wonder, magic, magnificence)
These basic elemental feelings are very important requirements for a good photograph. If you take all the beauty and greatness in the world for granted and can no longer find your way to a state of emotional wonder, it is difficult to produce good photography. Adbhuta is the emotion that makes it possible to see things with wonder, as though you are seeing them for the first time. The ability to achieve these emotions allows you to express the big and small things in life through photography."

"Creativity reveals itself every time you are profoundly touched by some external reality that compels you to capture expressive photographs. I have mentioned several times that this form of creativity occurs without effort. It is not inhibited or filled with intent; rather, it is a flow that you enter where you allow emotions and ideas to happen organically. This kind of creativity generally produces photographs that have originality; proof of a genuine enthusiasm about a specific moment and a particular location that is carried over into the image."

Source
*Arc provided by Edelweiss.
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Maya by C.W. Huntington Jr.

Summary 
A stunning debut novel on sex, loss, and redemption.

It is 1975 and India is in turmoil. American Stanley Harrington arrives to both study Sanskrit philosophy and escape his failing marriage. When he finds himself witness to a violent accident, he begins to question his grip on reality.

Maya introduces us to an entertaining cast of hippies, expats, and Indians from all walks of life. From a hermit hiding in Himalayan jungle since the days of the British Raj, to an accountant at the Bank of India with a passion for Sanskrit poetry, to the last in a line of brahman scholars, Stanley’s path ultimately leads him to a Tibetan yogi, who enlists the American’s help in translating a mysterious ancient text.

Maya, literally “illusion,” is an extended reflection on the unraveling of identity. Filled with rich observations and arresting reflections, it mines the porous border between memory and fantasy.

Reactions
Not at all what I was expected while reading the summary… And let me tell you that's a great praise!

It's a wonderful journey through words beautifully written. The reader discovers India and its culture by following Stanley adventures.
The guy is lost and try to discover the meaning of life, love and who knows what... By going in a foreign country to become a scholar, meditating and review his life.

Believe me the summary or my review will not do justice to this book as you travel by asking yourself a lot of questions, thinking the guy is high or dreaming while in really you are hooked on the prose, the scenery and the Indian history, folklore and beauty.

In parallel of this story, I was reading Mahabharata, one of the two Sanskrit epics, and it has helped me with some references.

A book that really has picked my curiosity and offer me a way to escape and to think.
Great read!

Source
*Arc provided by Netgalley.
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Daily Greens by Shauna Martin


Daily Greens 4-Day Cleanse: 
Jump Start Your Health, Reset Your Energy, and Look and Feel Better than Ever! By Shauna Martin

Summary
Are you craving junk foods? Feel sluggish and tired all the time? Fueling yourself on caffeine and sugar on a daily basis? Then it's time reset your mind and body with the < font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 19px;">Daily Greens 4-Day Cleanse.

Jump start your body and give yourself a "spring cleaning" during the week so you're refreshed and looking amazing for the weekend. The book features four key cleanses: one for each season of the year (Spring, Summer, Fall, and New Year). The vegetables and fruits in each cleanse are selected to coincide with fresh, delicious seasonal produce so that you can juice right in your own home. Try the 4-day cleanse or if it's right for your lifestyle, try the 7- or 10-day cleanse.

The best part? You don't have to eliminate food on the Daily Greens cleanse. Founder Shauna Martin recommends a raw diet while you juice, so you're not just limited to just liquid, and you'll still be able to refresh, rejuvenate, and reset as you would with other cleanses. So you get the same benefits of a cleanse without starving yourself! No more cleanse headaches or irritability, and you'll feel the results almost instantly.

You can make these yummy green recipes right in your own kitchen, anytime you want. Daily Greens juices contain easy to follow recipes that include up to 6 pounds of raw produce cold-pressed into each bottle. Each juice is the equivalent of 9 servings of fresh vegetables and fruits. They are naturally low-calorie because less than 10% fruit is used so you don't spike sugar levels. No water, sugar, or preservatives are added. The juices are naturally vegan, naturally gluten-free, naturally dairy- and soy-free, non-GMO project certified, and absolutely delicious.

So if you're ready to reset your body, lose weight, or just give yourself a much-needed energy boost, the Daily Greens 4-Day Cleanse has exactly what you need. With a foreword from Mayim Bialik, star of The Big Bang Theory.

Impressions

When I've requested this book, I was not really looking into cleansing my body or losing weight. 
As a vegetarian, I'm always curious about new association of vegetables and fruits to diversify my meals.

This book is full of great seasonal recipes, easy to cook and gorgeous pictures! I think the photos are selling you the book way better than my review! Lol! 

Honestly, I've tried the morning juice like the orange-carrot juice with greens. You add spinach, carrot, cucumber and pineapple. Delicious and tasty ! 
The summer quinoa is super yummy too. It's the first one that catch my eyes as I love quinoa. :-)

They are also a lot of explanations. The author is sharing a bit of herself through the tips and recipes. How she comes up with the dishes ideas and why it's good for your health. 

Really a great book to enjoy your vegetables and fruits whatever the reasons you have to go green.

Good cookbook!


Source
*Arc provided by Edelweiss.
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Little Vanilla Book: Creating Self Love and Stiletto Swagger by Lux Alani

Summary
Lace up your corset and embrace your stiletto swagger with this unblushing guide to personal growth using the virtues of (gasp!) S&M. 

Offering mighty insights on everything from whipping negativity into submission to breaking the bondage of bad self-body image, The Little Vanilla Book gives you the tools you need to awaken the heroine deep inside and open your life to a scintillating new world of self discovery. 

Within the pages of this loving and bawdy exploration of all things you, former dominatrix Lux Alani uses her personal experiences and research to uncover the surprising truth that some of the primary lessons and practices found in the world of kink aren't just for the kinksters with the right mindset they're for you too. 

But wait! If you're nervous that you'll need to buy a paddle and latex catsuit to get your transformation on, don't worry! This isn't about getting into the kink scene or practicing BDSM. Looking at five key aspects of every woman's life: authenticity, confidence, body image, resilience, and fear, The Little Vanilla Book is truly about taking a unique journey to self-love and empowerment one that shows you how to unchain your courage, reclaim your awesome self, and live your truth with gusto. 

Impressions

Curiosity about the tittle and the content have led me to request this book. Exactly what I needed!
It's fun, interesting and the author really talks to all women!

A great way to stop, think of your behavior and of the way you mistreat yourself even when you don't do it on purpose. This book is showing you how to correct your habits of putting ourself down by thinking you are not with it.

Of course, we are all unique and wonderful! But that's a thing to say it and another to believe it deep down.
The fact that the author shares a bit of her own history and explains how she has become a goddess, a domme and also a woman who is able to accept her vulnerability, her feminity and embrace it without fears or culpability, was very inspiring.

Also full of easy tips or exercises to follow or to try. No drastic changes or magical spells, just how to do baby steps in stilletos! ;-)

I've really enjoyed reading this book. Probably because Lux Alani is writing as if she was having a cup of coffee with you or a fun girls night out. It's full of humor, easy to read and you have the feeling you are not alone. She will catch you up and never laugh at you. She doesn't judge, she is showing you another path that can lead to a better acceptation of yourself as a woman.

As for the BDSM part, it should not scare you away. Maybe it will help you to understand that different doesn't mean bad and that we have always something to learn from others. And accepting limits, settling boundaries for ourself, accepting that life can hurt and doing a parallel with the BDSM way of life was really interesting.

A book I warmly recommend for all the women who have trouble to believe they are worth loving, or those who hide behind walls or fears.

It's just a book but words sometimes can show up at the perfect time to give you the push to change something in your life.

Great read!



Quotes
"Here's the manifesto for becoming your own heroine - the liberation from your unworthiness."

"We draw to us what we need to learn, and life gives us endless lessons - sometimes gently, sometimes by dropping a piano onto our heads - that we get to choose, thanks to our level of attention and openness."

"I was wounded, and I'm scarred. That's okay. Scars are beautiful and make people compelling. Scars remind you of your humanity. Mostly, scars are proof that there is healing."

"There's only one you, so let your freak flag fly! The people who accept your flaws and beauty now will be those you'll have history with later."

Source
*Arc provided by Netgalley.
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

TAMED BY STACEY KENNEDY


A CLUB SIN NOVEL 

Synopsis
Porter Marshall has nearly achieved his goal of becoming a Club Sin Master, but his new sub poses a much bigger challenge than he anticipated. Despite their mutual attraction and red-hot dungeon sessions, Kenzie Hart plays her own games. Her bratty, you-can’t-break-me attitude masks terrible personal hurt—pain that only the exquisite touch of a skilled Dom can release. But when Porter suggests taking their connection to the outside world, Kenzie denies him . . . which only makes him want her more. 

Kenzie can’t ignore the raw, fierce bond she has with Porter. But she can’t give in to his dangerous demands, either. Is the passion they share real, or is he using her to solidify his status at Club Sin? And yet, who else can she trust with the shattering secrets she holds within? As Porter expertly brings her to the point of no return, Kenzie surrenders her body—and, piece by piece, her heart. 

Reactions 
I like Stacey Kennedy writing skills. Her stories are intense in the emotions and always let you want more when it's over.

She always has complex character that hide something interesting.
In this case, I've followed Kenzie adventure and immediately love her fun bratty attitude. Was not a fan of Porter until he has shown more concern about Kenzie being more than just a subject he wanted to learn more about as a Dom.

This new volume of the Club Sin serie hasn't disappointed me. It was a sexy, fun read because of Kenzie as well as something more touching and bitter sweet as she decided to strip herself from her walls.
Great series!


Source
*Arc provided by Netgalley.
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dark Instincts by Suzanne Wright


The Phoenix Pack VOL 4

Summary
It happens whenever wolf shifter Roni Axton is near Marcus Fuller: a crackle of sexual awareness that’s intoxicating…and deeply annoying. Marcus is a pack enforcer who oozes power, but Roni is lethal in her own right—nothing like the flirty females who flock around him. Even still, his possessive gaze makes one thing clear. Marcus has singled her out for seduction, and he wants to make her sit up and beg.

No matter how aloof and unfazed Roni acts, Marcus can tell she wants him. When a brutal attack by a jackal pack forces them to work together, it’s the perfect opportunity for Marcus to chip away at her defenses—until he falls into his own trap, completely unprepared for the intensity of their connection. Roni is the only one who’s ever seen past his shifter charm and discovered the man hiding beneath it. And for Marcus, claiming Roni once will mean needing her forever.

Impressions
Fun, sexy and feisty!

Didn't know it was a series before I started this book. And honestly, it wasn't bothered my reading or my understanding.
The author writing is entertaining, great and the sexy sexual scene very well written.

To be honest, I was looking for something light to read because I was bored and wanted to change my mind without thinking too much. I've chosen this wolf shifter story because it has been a long time since I hadn't read paranormal romance and wanted something sexy too.

I was pleased beyond my hope. Lately, I'm often bored with the plot but it was not the case with Roni and Marcus.
I've enjoyed the characters from the start. Roni is a badass woman with a very soft side. I like her attitude, her repartee and her personality. It was a fun change to read about someone strong, intelligent and antisocial with a weird sense of humor. Lol!
I've really enjoyed my time while following her adventures. Marcus, dominant and accepting sides were hot, sweet and sexy.

I can't say anything else…I've spent a great time while discovering a very cool new author. Will check her other books!
Great story, fun moment!