Thursday 28 February 2013

RCC Wrap Up Post:

I would love to thank Vicky & Nyx for hosting this amazing challenge, I always seem to get way more done when I know I'm doing it with my bloggie friends. Well I had big plans for this month & I have to say it was a huge success!!

My goal for the month was 25, to either get 25 books read (yeah that was going to happen) or 25 reviews cleaned up (because I am sooo behind) and guess which one I did?? Yep I cleaned up 25 reviews, not only that I did 10 books and wrote all their reviews as well (except two) The reviews not posted yet will go live on saturday and next tuesday. they will have the RCC Blog Party tag as well.. I'm so ecstatic I could dance a jig.

The Books I read this month are:
  • Dark Knight by Donna Kauffman
  • With This Collar by Sierra Cartwright
  • Twice Shy by Patrick Freivald
  • Million Dollar Mistake by Meg Lacey
  • Lana's Lawman by Karen Leabo
  • Surrender The Dark by Donna Kauffman
  • Midnight Heat by Donna Kauffman
  • Stolen by Shiloh Walker
  • Candle & the Crossroad by Orion Foxwood
  • All a Woman Wants by Patricia Rice
Of course I have to share, so here are the books with the links to all the reviews written and cleaned up: (click on each book & it bring you to the reviews)

The Erotica Books:

Can we say productive?? Yes, this month was awesome and it's only getting better because I have signed up for Kimba's March Take Control of your TBR Pile Challenge, Check it out, see if you would love to join us.

I also want to thank Kimba for showing me how to do side by side pictures. These are awesome!!

How did you do this month?/ What are your reading goals for next month??  Share in the comments. I will see you on the flipside. Happy New Month!!

Wednesday 27 February 2013

KWW: How To Make Smoldering Paper

Welcome back to another week of Kitchen Witch Wednesday, Make sure to stop my our host blog. Mom's a Witch to see her post for today.

I was a youtube vlogger before I became a blogger. I found a great community on there that shared so many great things & gave great advice while motivating each other on our chosen paths.

One of the many great friendships I formed on there was with MsSophiaDawn (she's no longer on YT & she took her videos down).  Sophia was a Southern woman who loved to explore her faith, her magic & her garden, & boy could she craft up a storm. She shared this little recipe with us and I have been using it ever since.

1 cup boiling water
1 large glass dish
Parchment paper (as much as you want)
1 Tablespoon Saltpeter (vester)**** EXTREMELY FLAMMABALE ***** Use with caution
(optional) Essential Oils


In glass bowl pour boiling water, add in the tablespoon saltpeter. Mix well allow to dissolve, then allow to cool. ( at this point you may add essential oils if you want).  Note 1 tbsp of vester to 1 cup water, if you need more, make sure it matches this way)

Put paper in the cool water and let it soak well
Hang to dry about 1 hour.  (away from open flame) ******DO NOT PUT IN OVER******

Will burn slow as you do your spellwork.

Hope you enjoy it!! Happy Hump Day.

Tuesday 26 February 2013

ARC Book Review: A Scandal, A Secret, a Baby

Book Title: A Scandal, A Secret, a Baby
Author: Sharon Kendrick
Publisher: Harlequin Presents
Format: ebook
Cost: $3.82
Pages: 384
How I got it: NetGalley
My Rating:★★★ 1/2
Erotica Rating: N/A
One sinful night…Dante D'Arezzo is the last person famous songwriter Justina Perry wants to see at her best friend's wedding. The wickedly sexy Italian is ruthless to the core. He broke her heart once; she won't surrender to his insatiable desire again. But what Dante wants… One very big scandal! Justina's pregnancy hits the front page and Dante knows he's the father. He'll make her pay for trying to keep his child from him. His Miss Independent is about to become completely dependent…on him! This Italian will claim his heir and—if he wants her—a wife! Plus a Sharon Kendrick reader-favorite: Marriage Scandal, Showbiz Baby!

My Review:
I'm a huge murder`mystery  paranormal & erotic romance lover. I love reading book that get your adrenaline kicking, heart racing, and your mind engaged, but every once in a while i need to gear down and read something simple, for that I read simple romance like these, they are little bites that aren't too deep, too drastic or too overwhelming   It's like sniffing coffee beans after smelling lots of perfumes, it just cleanses the palate.

I liked this book, it's simple and it's actually two books in one.  I believe the male characters are related they both have the same last name anyway, but there was no real mention in the second book of relatives.  so I can't be sure.  Each book is about famous people and the rigors of that fame.  Personally it did kind of make me feel sorry for those in the spotlight but then I thought about it, you choose that life. The first story really pulled me in because these were two headstrong people who just didn't know the meaning of the word "compromise".  The situation that they found themselves in could have been prevented if they talked about it, but you know hindsight being what it is, they never realized how much they had until it was gone.  Dante' believed women should have their lives then marry and then their lives become their husbands and their children, Justina is a woman who grew up with a broken mother who found herself through the men she snagged from their wives, so Justina swung the other way trying not to be like that AT ALL.  Control became her savior and her success kept her together.  I get why she was like that, I understand her fear, but I just don't understand Dante' hard line, like did you not grow up in the 21st century?? I get it your old school but umm my man, no, just no.

As for the second book??? Once a cheater always a cheater, I don't care how or why you cheated. You made the  decision to step out on your partner, that makes you the bad guy.  As for Jennifer, she wanted to prove that she wasn't just there because of her husband's fame, and she then took her great relationship and threw it away. Just because other women are idiots and disrespect your marriage doesn't mean you have to blame your partner, he choose you, and he's here with you, so what if the waitress is giving him the eye balls?? Stop being an idiot.

I love these books because they are small and quick to read, but because they also remind of what the heck not to do. Both of these women had me rolling my eyes at their stupidity  then sympathizing because let's be real, how many of us have done the same thing?? *raises hand*  I'm not sure if I like Matteo, he was a bit of an ass, but i did like Dante' because he really strives to change when he realized he lost the woman he loved because he was archaic in his views, Matteo?? he cheated I'm not sure I can forgive that.  Although his panic at the end?? Yeah I totally liked him a little better since he wasn't so damn sure of himself.

I do however give mean O_o to the mothers of both the women in the story, lets just say broken women raise broken children. Get your stuff together and stop passing that crap on. Grrr also one to Dante's mother too but for being such a know it all.

So there you have it, I liked the book, it's a check it out when you have a chance, and if you love little romance books that are quick reads; then this is perfect.

Happy Reading
 Buy on Amazon                            Add to Goodreads
***FTC Rules require I state that I received this as a review copy from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review**** 

ARC Book Review: Lana's Lawman

Book Title: Lana's Lawman
Author: Karen Leabo
Publisher: Random House/ Loveswept Classic Romance
Format: ebook
Cost: $2.99
Pages: 320
How I got it: NetGalley
My Rating:★★★★☆
Erotica Rating: 
Though it’s been years since Sloan Bennett has seen Lana Gaston, time melts instantly when he comes to her rescue during a Texas thunderstorm. Lana was everything a teenage bad boy couldn’t have . . . but she felt like his for three magical weeks. Then she broke his heart—and Sloan walked away from Destiny, Texas. But now he’s back, wearing a badge, and wondering if fate has decided to give him another chance. A struggling single mom, Lana can’t help looking back at all the wrong choices she made. With Sloan so close again, she’s filled with old regrets and deep new longing. Could the silly souvenir of a policeman’s badge, given to her by a fortune-teller, have more meaning than she ever dared to dream? Once, Lana didn’t have the courage to tell Sloan how much she cared. So she hurt him instead. But as his sensual lips dare to kiss away yesterday’s pain, she’ll risk her heart to let him know that this time, she’s his forever.

My Review:

Ohhh boy, bad boys who become good boys & ride motorcycles, & wear uniforms. Who wouldn't love that?? I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I read it in like one day. The beginning of the story was so engaging I started adding the other books even before I started reading the rest of the book, I just knew it would be good!!

I was hooked from the prologue and the book didn't disappoint at all. I loved catching up with Lana & learning her story; a pretty good catch~up on what happens to the high school's most popular student, & it doesn't always have a happy ending.

Much like Lana I thought she was the one who delayed getting married, but nope she was the second of the three in the prophesy.  She was actually pretty good as a character, she was strong but very vulnerable, floundering in knowing who she was after a relationship that was devastating.  Finding herself means giving up all she was known and comfortable with, & going all in with everything she has to make a better life for herself and her son.

In walks her old love, her first love, the bad boy, Sloane who became a cop & man oh man do the sparks fly. I loved that their love wasn't perfect as soon as they met, they had to work at it. Lana was a woman who had a hard first marriage & isn't trying to make the same mistake. She fights hard not to dive in and give up her freedom, or her independence, but wants a relationship, she has to learn how to balance being able to lean on someone and just giving up completely to someone.  She lacked confidence in herself & her decisions & saw anyone's help as a threat to her independence (even when it wasn't)

Sloane was an amazing character, he is more comfortable relating to people as a cop than as a man, because he has never known what it is to have someone love him down to his bones. He's had a pretty tough life until a good man took an interest and gave him something to strive for.   Even though he had done everything he wanted coming home to Destiny & finding Lana there brought him back to those teenager years after she broke up with him.  He had his doubts as well but still he made the decision to go full throttle especially with Lana's son Rob.  Sloane was an amazing role model in that situation  I felt so deeply for him when his incident happened.  I'm glad it brought them together

I enjoyed the story, even though there was a moment after Rob got into trouble that I wanted to slap Lana for her reaction; eventually she got her head on straight but still it took an eight year for her to see it;  out of the mouths of babes is all I can say.  I loved Sloane as a character & Lana was pretty good as well.  the ex husband wasn't fleshed out, but then he was only a background character anyway.  I wanted more about her friends and I can't wait to read Millicent's story especially ( I mean have you seen that cover??) 

Enjoy the read my loves

 Buy on Amazon                            Add to Goodreads
***FTC Rules require I state that I received this as a review copy from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review**** 

Saturday 23 February 2013

Book Review: Million Dollar Mistake

Book Title: Million Dollar Mistake (Million Dollar Men #1)
Author: Meg Lacey
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Format: ebook
Cost: $3.44
Pages: 229
How I got it: Pump Up Blog Tours
My Rating:★★★★☆
Erotica Rating: N/A
Taking care of business may cost him his heart. Million Dollar Men, Book 1 In addition to overseeing the financial affairs of the wealthy Kristoff family, Nicholas Demetrious specializes in hauling its rambunctious members out of trouble. Especially his distant cousin, Raven Rutledge. The tabloids love her bad-girl antics, sexy pout, and body made for sin. Nicholas would love to spank the bejesus out of her, but this time the situation is too serious to entertain such a fantasy. A lucrative business deal with the Exeters is in jeopardy, and Jackson Exeter Sr.’s ultimatum is clear: Remove this man-eater from my country house, or the deal is off. Raven is in way over her head. She accepted the invitation to the Exeters’ Adirondack house party as a refreshing change from her jet-setting lifestyle—until she learns the guest list includes his entire family. His ex-girlfriend. And the junior Exeter’s intention to propose. If ever she needed suave, sophisticated Nicholas’s persuasive powers, it’s now. Then he’s there with a plan to get her out of this tangle: sweep her off her feet. But their pretend passion turns all too real. And what started out as a weekend of fun threatens to shatter into betrayal and heartbreak. **Product Warnings** Contains a tabloid sweetheart who loves to be bad, a sexy hero with little patience for mind games, and a game of strip pool that will make you rethink your weekend plans

My Review:
I was hooked from the beginning. I loved the two main characters, Raven & Nicholas.  Raven is your typical woman having fun with her life, she has no husband & no children so nothing to tether her to earth, she seeks attention by making the biggest splashes she can and her distant cousin Nicholas always comes to haul her out of it.  This time she is in way over her head and doesn't even know it yet. Asked by her father to entertain Jackson, she goes on what she thought was a fun sku trip which turned out to be a family weekend which ends up being snowed in due to a huge storm.  Luckily for her Nicholas is here to haul her out of there to save a massive business deal he had been working on.

raven is at first a ditz, she doesn't seem to have a good grasp on anything, but as the novel progressed you learnt why she was the way she was, she is the younger child who wasn't ever good enough for her mother & she was also the pudgy one; who everyone was forced to bring along on events & parties.  As  she grew up & lost weight, she transformed into the gorgeous swan instead from the ugly duckling and it went ot her head like strong wine.  Hence all the tabloid fodder.  I loved that she was looking for a way out when Nicholas came in and that moment between them at the door, had me cracking up.

The secondary characters were also well written in the story, even if they were a bit cliched. Personally I thought Loraine was a bit naive & gullible  I certainly wouldn't have waited around that long without letting him know I existed and if a man treated me the way Jackson treated her?? Yeah I would gotten over him a long time ago. Jackson was as Loraine put it acting like a child, he stubbornly refused to accept that Raven wasn't interested in marrying him or even was looking at him that way.  He really had his head up his read parts if you asked me, I get it he didn't want to do what his father wanted but instead of saying that to his father he rather act like a child.

The Grandmother was awesome, because she saw everything and knew what was going on and set about playing matchmaker, her interference helped move the story along quite nicely. I particularly loved when Jackson finally friggin came to his senses, it was of course like a typical idiot in a moment when he almost lost Loraine. Nicholas was also a little slow, he came to his conclusion around the same time as raven, but he still wanted to do his duty, he had the perfect moment to tell Raven the truth in the barn but chickened out and it lead to the best/worst moments of his life.

I enjoyed that Nicholas has a little gypsy in him and that made for a fun addition to the story. I loved Raven's boldness and her slightly crazy style of doing things, she's certainly going to be keeping Nicholas on his toes for a long time.
 Buy on Amazon                            Add to Goodreads
***FTC Rules require I state that I received this as a review copy from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review**** 

Friday 22 February 2013

Follow Up & Follow Friday (15)

Welcome back to another fun week of Follow Friday. It's a chance to share about the things I love and think you should take a quick look into, we are also looking to share some serious blogger love.

This Week's Blogger to Love is:
The Secret Life of the American Working Witch

Ahh man, if you haven't met Kallan Kennedy you are missing out. She's sharp, witty & has a deep & keen sense of humour. Her rants are legendary & awesome. She shares her insights and deep love of her path with us as well as lots of good information, whenever I need the news I turn to Kallan's Sunday Stew, where she shares the latest news for pagans to be interested in & lots of pertinent information for us for that week.  She's on Facebook as well so make sure to check her out as well.  Because of Kallan I have found many different blogs to read and many new bloggie friends.  I'm so glad the day I 'met' her.

Have a great blogger for us to check out? Please share in the comments, I'm sure we would love to all check it out. Now on with the show:

Here's a run down of the last week of reading. * indicates an ARC (advanced readers copy of the book)

What I have Read So Far: 
Million Dollar Mistake by Meg Lacey *
Lana's Lawman by Karen Leabo *
Three Musketeers: Midnight Heat by Donna Kauffman *

Recent Reviews Posted: 
What I'm Currently Reading :  
Candle & The Crossroads by Orion Foxwood *

What's Going on: 
I have recently joined the 365 Picture Challenge. It's basically a picture a day challenge, it means getting out and getting down and dirty in your surroundings. It means paying attention, being present, it's basically meditation. There is a prompt to help you find things to take pictures of & inspire you to keep going.  Here is my favorite picture of this week:
This was taking just a few days before Snow Storm Nemo came to visit.  These are the trees that line the local green at the center of town. I just love the look of the old lamp posts and the lines of trees. Simply beautiful.

As for my No Soda No fast Food Challenge, once again it's been an awesome week of not having either of them. That's a total of twenty~two days this month & a total of 52 days of no soda, no fast food!! Wooohoo Go me!!

How are you dong on your challenges?? How is your reading coming along?? Share in the comments my loves and have a blessed weekend & a great time making your goals this week!!

Thursday 21 February 2013

Black Heroes: Mother Seacole

Growing up in Jamaica I lived on an all women's college called Short Wood Teacher's College.  It's an old plantation that was turned into a school, many of the old buildings were still there, but there were a few new ones as well, one of my all time favorite buildings was the Math & Science department because my mother's best friend was in charge there, so I got to roam the halls at will. This building fascinated me because it was called the Mary Seacole Building, & it had a portrait of a larger than life woman, my mother always had an answer for who she was, she was called Mother Seacole & she was the face of modern nursing for Jamaicans, she was a hero. (Source: my mother)

Born Mary Jane Seacole in 1805, she was a mixed descent of Creole mother & Scottish soldier int he British Army. Mary's mother was a healer of the old ways and she taught her daughter man of her traditions, including those pertaining to herbs. Mary learned her nursing skills at the hands of her mother while helping her treat men who were suffering from Yellow fever in Jamaica.  Her mother owned a hotel that mostly served the soldiers & those that were ill were taken care of by her.

Later on Mary was sent away to be educated  with a older woman, then from 1821-1825 she travelled extensively to London & back to Jamaica bringing with her spices and preserves to sell.  In 1826 she returned to Jamaica & nursed her old Patroness (the woman who educated her) until the woman passed some years later, then she returned tot he family home of Blundell Hall, where she returned to her roots of helping her mother in nursing and also helping out at the local British Hospital.  With her skills she travelled the Caribbean extensively and then returns home in 1836 where she marries Edwin Seacole on November 10th.

Her husband later passed in October of 1844, and so did her mother, leaving Mary in charge of the hotel her mother had built up.  Mary sought refuge in the work of making the hotel a success and she became popular among the British soldiers who stayed on the island, due to her hospitality   During the 1850 Cholera epidemic Mary treated many patients, and it was her belief that the disease was brought to the idea by a boat coming from New Orleans, Louisiana.  (source)

Her belief about the contagion theory would later help her in the Crimean War, the same war that made Nightingale a household name.  Mary later moved to Panama, where she created an all women's hotel and continued her nursing skills, advancing her esteem among the British and the new Americans there.  Later she would return to Jamaica and with the British's urging formed a nursing corp of women to help in the hospital.  (source)  In 1854 with the help of her late husband's friend she travelled to London to volunteer with Nightingale's Nurses who were going to the aide of the soldiers who were wounded;  she was rejected as a black woman and was told they had no more need of nurses.  She applied to the British War Office & they also turned her down.  Mary poured her resources into collecting nurses who wished to go and getting resources and made the trip to the Peninsula  there she briefly met up with Nightingale; who despite needing the help rebuffed her efforts.

Mary decided to open a hotel and used scraps to do so, she ran the hotel six days a week and treated soldiers and their ailes after serving them, she also went out and sought out the wounded and helped as much as she could.  When news of her efforts made it back to Florence Nightingale, she accused Mary of running a brothel.  Many dismissed Florence's accusations due to the glowing references many of the officers and war correspondents as well as returning soldiers gave Mary including the one below:
In a dispatch written on 14 September 1855, William Howard Russell, special correspondent of The Times, wrote that she was a "warm and successful physician, who doctors and cures all manner of men with extraordinary success. She is always in attendance near the battle-field to aid the wounded and has earned many a poor fellow's blessing." Russell also wrote that she "redeemed the name of sutler", and another that she was "both a Miss Nightingale and a [chef]". Seacole made a point of wearing brightly coloured, and highly conspicuous, clothing—often bright blue, or yellow, with ribbons in contrasting colours.[69] While Lady Alicia Blackwood later recalled that Seacole had "... personally spared no pains and no exertion to visit the field of woe, and minister with her own hands such things as could comfort or alleviate the suffering of those around her; freely giving to such as could not pay ..." (Source)
Despite her success in Crimea, when the war ended Mary was left destitute  she returned to London, where a fund was created by the grateful men who survived due to her care, including the nephew of Queen Victoria.   While many grew to know and honor the name of Florence, the men who were helped by Mary never forgot her, and she wrote her autobiography (being the first black woman to do so in Britain) in it was a preface that stated:
"I have witnessed her devotion and her courage ... and I trust that England will never forget one who has nursed her sick, who sought out her wounded to aid and succour them and who performed the last offices for some of her illustrious dead."
And now you know who was my role model of a nurse ( I mean other than family members).  Mary did things other women couldn't do at the time, heck she did things Black women couldn't do at the time. She was a good woman who made up her mind that she was going to succeed with or without the establishment's help and she did it.  Black Nurses everywhere should know her name. Actually i think Nurses everywhere should know her name,
Close up of a portrait of Mary by Albert Challen
She is a hero, a role model,  a woman of substance.

Resources to Learn More

  •  Her autobiography is FREE on Amazon at the moment, so go get it!!  
  • Click here for a list of books about Mary. 
  •  If you have children you wish to teach about Mary, the BBC has a wonderful website dedicated to her here

 Happy Black History Month my loves