24 April 2018

I'm Not Okay by Renee Antonia [Book Review]

 I'm excited to be part of the latest blog tour with WOW! Women on Writing with this new author Renee Antonia. The book is called I'm Not Okay and I think it's an incredibly important book for our time. Before I get into what I thought about the book, here's a bit more about it:

When she wakes up in the morning, the first thing that goes through Alejandra's head is whether or not she will be forced into another anxiety inducing situation. The struggles of being a young adult living with an anxiety ridden brain becomes too much for Alejandra to deal with. So, with the help of her friends, she forces herself out of the bubble her anxiety has placed her in. She learns to conquer the fears she once thought would destroy her and learns to rely on herself more than she ever has.

Print Length: 203 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: BookBaby (June 24, 2017)
ISBN-13: 9781483598062


I'm Not Okay is available as an eBook at Amazon.comBarnes and Noble,  and Apple iTunes

What I Thought:

I deal with anxiety issues occasionally myself and I thought the author did a fantastic job of describing how it feels. The character also deals with some really deep issues surrounding her anxiety and other mental health problems. And it's a very realistic look into how someone feels dealing with these issues. 

The way the book addresses the issues of mental health was very well done. Alejandra also dealt with some major family issues that led to even greater problems and that conflict was portrayed very well. I was upset, when the character was upset. And this was a major point to conquer for the character. How could she tell her family exactly what she was going through? Would they understand? That's the question the author helps answer. 

One thing that I did notice in the book are occasional spelling and grammar issues in some spots, but it certainly didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book. And to me, doesn't take away from the important message of the book.

So be sure you check this one and follow the author along her journey by visiting her social media links mentioned below. I can't wait to see what else she has up her sleeve!


 About the Author

Renee Antonia grew up in the Los Angeles area with four siblings and two wonderful parents. Having such a strong support system enabled her to decide who and what she wanted to be. However, this question haunted her for years, because she couldn't quite pinpoint what exactly she saw herself doing for the rest of her life. She began to read a lot, hoping to find inspiration between the pages of a book. It was at this time that  she realized one thing. She loved sharing, reading, and writing. Renee decided that she wanted to be a writer, and since that day, she has taken any steps necessary to achieve that goal.

You can find Renee Antonia at:





This is part of the WOW! Women on Writing book tour. I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. Be sure to check out WOW!'s blog The Muffin to check out other stops on the tour.

17 April 2018

A Book to Read If You Love Young Adult Paranormal Books [Book Review]

 I love when a book takes me by surprise! I tend to read the most during my hour commute home. Lately, it's been especially nice for reading because of the chilly and rainy weather which really makes me want to stay inside.

Anyways, I had the chance to review the book Crossing the Line by Ellen Wolfson Valladares as part of the WOW! Women on Writing Blog Tour (by the way, if you are interested in taking part in future blog tours send me an email at nicole@wow-womenonwriting.com; better yet, if you want your book in a blog tour, email me about that too!)

So, before I tell you what I thought, here's a little bit about the book:

Laura, who died thirty years ago, enlists the help of a tenacious high school reporter named Rebecca, who is very much alive. Rebecca, although skeptical and conflicted by her supposed encounters with a spirit, determines to learn the truth about Laura’s tragic death. As the clues unravel and their worlds collide, Rebecca finds herself at a dangerous crossroads.
Laura, now pulled back into everything she left behind when she died – her old high school and memories of her life and death—has been in training for this exact moment. And nothing means more to her than succeeding at her assignment.
It is her one chance to make sure that what happened to her does not happen to anyone else, and especially not to her new friend, Rebecca.

Paperback: 300 pages
Genre: Fiction / Young Adult Novel
Publisher: WiDO (March 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-1-937178-99-4

What I Thought

Like I said earlier in this post, this book took me by total surprise! I read it over this past weekend and it captivated me right away. I couldn't put the book down. It's one of those books that I would love to see as a series as well.

I loved the main characters in the book, especially Laura and Rebecca's relationship. They both represented similar personalities but also very different. Each chapter gave deeper insight to the character's journey and this was so well done. The paranormal aspect was also well written! It wasn't overdone or "too much" which I appreciated.

While this book dealt with paranormal and the "other side" it also really portrayed how much harm can come from gossip, mean girl tactics, and bullying. It really shows you how much you can do by just reaching out and being a friend to someone. I think it's a fantastic book for teens and adults to read and I think you will enjoy it. 

Purchase a copy of the book now at Amazon.com!

About the Author:
Ellen Wolfson Valladares is an award-winning writer/author, workshop facilitator, community volunteer, and mother. A native Floridian, she grew up in St. Petersburg and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Florida. She has worked as an editor, public relations professional, and freelance writer. Her first book, a children’s novel entitled Jonathan's Journey to Mount Miapu, received several awards, including a Mom’s Choice Gold Award and the 2009 Coalition of Visionary Resources Visionary Awards Book of the Year award. She also has a meditation CD, entitled “Healing and Manifestation with the Archangels.”
Today, Valladares continues to work as a freelance writer. She also enjoys coaching high school students working on their college essays and helping other writers realize their dreams. She has been married to her husband, Manny, for 30 years and they have two sons, Gabriel and Michael, two dogs, Flash and Chili Pepper, and a crazy cat named Zelda. They live in Weston, Fla.
Find Ellen Online:

Website: http://www.ellenvalladares.com

Twitter: @ValladaresEllen

FB: @EllenValladares444 (link: https://fb.me/EllenValladares444)

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3023698.Ellen_Wolfson_Valladares

Make sure to check out all the stops on the tour by visiting the links below! Visit the Muffin (first link to win a copy of the book!).

----------Blog Tour Dates

Monday, April 16th @ The Muffin

Join us at the Muffin for an author interview and book giveaway for the fictional young adult novel by Ellen Valladares, Crossing the Line.

http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

Tuesday, April 17th @ World of My Imagination

Nicole Pyles reads and reviews “Crossing the Line” by Ellen Valladares. This is a fun young adult novel that readers will be sure to delight in!

http://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 18th @ Beverley Baird

Beverley Baird reviews "Crossing the Line" by Ellen Valladares. Readers won't want to miss this fast paced young adult novel!

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

Thursday, April 19th @ Memoir Writer’s Journey

Ellen Valladares pens today's guest post at Kathleen Pooler's Memoir Writer's Journey. Don't miss this great post titled "Your Writer's Purpose -- how creating your purpose/vision can keep you on target" and learn more about Valladares latest novel "Crossing the Line".

https://krpooler.com/

Thursday, April 19th @ Write Like Crazy

Mary Jo reads Ellen Valladares "Crossing the Line" and shares her thoughts with readers at Write Like Crazy.

writelikecrazy.com

Friday, April 20th @ BookWorm

Anjanette Potter delights readers at Bookworm with her review of the YA Novel "Crossingthe Line" by Ellen Valladares.

https://bookworm66.wordpress.com/

Saturday, April 21st @ Spark the Wizard

Brandi at Spark the Wizard shares her thoughts in a review of Ellen Valladares novel"Crossing the Line".

http://sparkthewizarduprising.com/

Monday, April 23rd @ Bring on Lemons with Cathy Hansen

Wisconsin entrepreneur and school teacher reviews the latest novel by Ellen Valladares. Don't miss this opportunity to find out more about the YA Novel "Crossing the Line".

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 24th @ Finished Pages

Today, at Finished Pages, readers have an opportunity to learn more about "Crossing theLine" the latest novel by Ellen Valladares. Don't miss Renee's review of this YA Novel!

http://finishedpages.com/

Wednesday, April 25th @ Reviews by Deb

Deborah Blanchard shares her thoughts after reading "Crossing the Line" by accomplished author and journalist Ellen Valladares.

https://www.facebook.com/Reviews-by-Deb-1737715249887520/

Thursday, April 26th @ Digging with the Worms

Eric Trant reviews the latest novel by Ellen Valladares. See what Eric thinks of "Crossingthe Line" and find out more about this great book and accomplished author.

http://diggingwiththeworms.blogspot.com/

Thursday, April 26th @ Phy Tallic

Phy reviews the delightful YA Novel "Crossing the Line" by Ellen Valladares.

https://phytallic.wordpress.com/

Friday, April 27th @ Write Happy

Today at Write Happy, Cathy Brown will be interviewing Ellen Valladares about her latest novel "Crossing the Line". Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about this YA Novel as well as hear some tips from the accomplished journalist and author Ellen Valladares.

https://www.writehappy.net/blog

Monday, April 30th @ Ellen Valladares

Crystal J. Casavant-Otto from WOW! Women on Writing reviews "Crossing the Line" by Ellen Valladares and shares her thoughts with readers at Valladares blog.

http://ellenvalladares.com/ellens-blog/

Tuesday, May 1st @ I Just Want to Finish My…

Brittany shares her thoughts after reading "Crossing the Line" by Ellen Valladares. Don't miss this insightful blog stop for this delightful Young Adult Novel!

http://www.ijustwannafinishmy.com/

Wednesday, May 2nd @ Hott Books

Don't miss today's guest post at Hott Books! Distinguished author Ellen Valladares shares her post titled: 'The Inspiration Behind Crossing the Line'. You'll want to learn more about this delightful YA Novel!

http://www.hottbooks.com/

Friday, May 4th @ Frasers Fun House

Melanie at Frasers Fun House reviews "Crossing the Line" by Ellen Valladares.

https://frasersfunhouse.com/

Monday, May 7th @ Word Nerd Media

Elizabeth at Word Nerd reviews the latest novel by Ellen Valladares. You won't want to miss a minute of this captivating YA Novel "Crossing the Line".

https://www.wordnerdmedia.com/

14 April 2018

5 Things on a Saturday Night


I can't even begin to tell you how weird it is to try and blog again.So, I was wandering Reddit.com and came across a post on the "Ask Reddit" forum that asked what are things that you have no interest in that everyone else loves. So, in my attempts to make blogging cool and fun for me again, I thought I'd respond to this.

5 Things I Have No Interest In That Everyone Else Loves

1) Instagram.

Okay, so I have an Instagram account and sometimes will post, but in all honesty, I don't really find it all that interesting. For time wasting social media outlets, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook are far more fun.

2) Salad shakers.

I work with someone who will violently shake their salad so the whole floor hears. You know, in a way it grosses me out. I get that it distributes the dressing but still....cool it, I say.

3) Yoga.

Alright I think I'm way unpopular on this one, but in reality, that's not something that seems all that fun to me. If I'm exercising, I like moving.  I like the music to push me forward and to help me get lost in the exercise. Yoga just doesn't seem all that fun to me.

4) Game of Thrones

Not something I really can embrace. I think I'm more of a Lord of the Rings type of girl.

5) Award Ceremonies for Actors and Actresses

I used to be into this, but over the last several years, I've lost complete interest in these award ceremonies.

Can you relate to any of these? What are things you have no interest in that other people seem to love? 

05 April 2018

Ashes in the Ocean by Sebastian Slovin [Book Review]



I am such a strong believer that the more we talk about our personal mental health struggles and the mental illnesses that impact our society the more that things can change. Mental illness has directly impacted my life by having a brother with schizophrenia. And so I definitely wanted to take part in this blog tour for Sebastian Slovin's book Ashes in the Ocean.

Here's a bit about the book:

Vernon Slovin was a legend. He was one of the best swimmers in his home country of South Africa, and for a time in the world. He prided himself on being the best. The best in sports, business, and life. He had it all, a big home, athletic prestige, fancy clothes and cars, and a beautiful wife and family. Everything was going his way until it all came tumbling down. He lost everything, including his own life. In the wake of his suicide he left his wife and two young children. In this riveting memoir, Vernon’s son, Sebastian Slovin chronicles his experience of living in the shadow of a suicide, and his journey out of the darkness and into the light. Slovin shares his quest to uncover why his father took his own life. A pilgrimage that led him around the world and eventually back to himself. Ashes in the Ocean is a powerful story about facing one’s fears and choosing a different path.

Check out this incredible book trailer -

Ashes in the Ocean Book Trailer from Nature Unplugged on Vimeo.


What I Thought:

Ashes in the Ocean was moving and eye opening. It takes you on the journey when the author first realized his father committed suicide to healing. I was incredibly captivated and touched by the author's honesty. Throughout the book, I felt the anger the author felt, his sadness and soon his peace. I really connected to the book, especially when he realized he needed to learn more about his father in order to really live and move on.

On a technical level, the writing was well done too. The vivid descriptions of emotions and the setting of the beach as a regular backdrop shaped the book to be a powerful read.

This is an important book to read if you have ever lost a loved one to suicide or experienced mental health struggles yourself. It is a difficult read at times but inspiring all the while. I'm glad I read it and hope you will too. 

About the Author
Since he can remember, nature has been a central part of Sebastian’s life. He was fortunate to grow up in the beach community of La Jolla, California, and spent his childhood mixing it up in the ocean. As a young boy, he lost his father to suicide, which would later deeply inspire his path in life. As a young adult, he had the opportunity to travel extensively and experience many of the world’s great surf spots as a professional bodyboarder. Through his travel, Sebastian developed a deep love and appreciation for our natural world, and at the same time was drawn to the practice of yoga.

His love for yoga led him to study at Prana Yoga Center in La Jolla, California, and his passion for nature eventually led him to pursue a BA in Environment and Natural Resource Conservation at San Diego State University. He also holds an MA in Leadership Studies from the University of San Diego.

He lives with his wife Sonya in Encinitas, California. He and Sonya have a business called Nature Unplugged, which focuses on cultivating wellness through healthier relationships with technology and a deeper connection to nature. When he is not writing or working on Nature Unplugged, Sebastian enjoys swimming, bodysurfing, surfing, and stand-up paddling (pretty much all things) in the wild Pacific Ocean.

Find Sebastian Online:





Be sure to buy the book now on Amazon by visiting this page and add this book to your must-read list on GoodReads

Be sure to check out WOW! Women on Writing blog for other stops on this tour.  Also if you would like to take part in WOW! Blog Tours and review incredible books like this, send me an email at npyles86 at gmail dot com. 

I received this book in exchange for my honest review. 
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