Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review: The Chance by Karen Kingsbury

Title: The Chance

Author: Karen Kingsbury

Pages: 315

ISBN: 978-1-4516-4703-7

Rating: 4 Book Marks

The day before a teenage Ellie moved from Georgia to California, she and her best friend Nolan sat beneath the Spanish moss of an ancient oak tree where they wrote letters to each other and buried them in a rusty old metal box. The plan was to return eleven years later, dig the box up, and read the letters. But now, as that date approaches, much as changed. Ellie has abandoned the faith she grew up with, her days consumed with loving her little girl and trying to make ends meet. Sometimes she watches TV to catch a glimpse of her old friend Nolan, now an NBA star, whose faith is known by the entire nation. But few know that Nolan's own personal tragedies have fueled both his faith and athletic drive. Despite his success, Nolan is isolated and lonely, plagued by a void in his heart that has remained since that night beneath the old oak tree with Ellie. For both Ellie and Nolan, the coming date is more than just a childhood promise. It's the chance to make sense of it all--the chance to find out if it's ever too late to find love again.
Karen Kingsbury weave a moving tale of heart-wrenching loss, the power of faith, and the wounds that only a forever kind of love can heal. She delves deeply into a theme that resonates within us all: Hope lives for those willing to take a chance. [[ Blurb taken from inside flap of the book. ]] 

First, can I say that sometimes I feel like the blurbs on the inside flap of the book or the blurb on the back of the book gives too much away? I had a hard time adding the information on the inside flap of this book, simply because it gave so much away. Are you one to read what a book is about before reading the book? I more than likely will not read about the book before reading it.

Anyway. Back to the review.

I am a huge Karen Kingsbury fan. I have read all of her books, with an exception on the last few that have come out. I am a Christian and believe in the power of God himself, as well as Prayer, so reading her books always makes me warm and fuzzy inside.

While reading the book, I debated back and forth on the rating I was going to give it. In the beginning, I thought about 4 stars, then it quickly started to go down to about 2 stars. Honestly, the only reason I thought about giving it such a low rating is because it got super slow for a while. Not much was happening, there was not a lot of answers to things, etc. However, as I kept reading, the overall rating started to go up quite a bit.

Karen writes in the way that you can FEEL what her charterers are feeling. Ellie was broken, alone and confused. That is how I felt. I felt like it was me who was moved to California from the only place I had known. I felt like it was me who had the child out of wedlock. I felt like it was me who was in love with Nolan Cook.

In this book, you felt for every character. Ellie. Nolan. Ellie's parents, Nolan's dad. Ellie's daughter, Kinzie. There was so much passion, loving, caring, laughter, heartache, etc. in this story, that you felt like you were on a roller coaster ride full of emotion.

When you read this book (and you better ALL read it!) you find yourself routing for all of the characters. For Ellie to find herself again. For Nolan to win at some sort of basketball championship. You will find yourself routing for Ellie's mom within the first few pages, hoping something good happens with her and her family.

Most of all, and probably what I enjoyed most about the book... I had no idea where the story was going, nor how it was going to end. This was probably the less predictable book I have read in a while. With each page, I had no idea what was coming next.

Even if you aren't a believer in God, Prayer, religion, etc. I still suggest you read this book. Karen's books aren't overpowering. There is just enough of all of this in it for those who believe, and just enough for those who do not.

As I mentioned above, I really am only giving it 4 out of 5 stars instead of 5 out of 5 simply based on the slow part of the book. But that is no way a deal breaker on whether or not you should read it, because YES YOU SHOULD!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Book Giveaway!!! Contest to Win Finding Me by Michelle Knight

It's time for a contest!!! After reading and writing my review on Michelle Knight's book, Finding Me, I was asked if I would like to do a contest and have someone win a free copy of her book. I am very excited to do this, and hope you are all excited to enter yourselves to win!

There will be ONE winner chosen at random by using the Google random counter widget. I will keep track of everyone who is entering themselves. The contest begins TODAY and will end at 11:59pm EST on July 30th. On July 31st, I will announce the winner via a post on here, as well as email them. The winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize. If I do not hear from them, a second winner will be chosen.

The winner will receive a free copy of Finding Me, as well as a few other book-ish type things.

You get ONE entry just by entering your name and email. If you would like additional entries added for a greater chance to win, you can go and follow Michelle's Facebook, Goodreads, etc. I will provide links below. For reach social media that you follow, you get another entry. For example, you will get ONE entry for adding your name, then if you follow Michelle on Facebook, you will get an entry for that, giving you two entries. You can also gain entries by following my blog, and/or my Facebook page. Again, gaining one additional entry per social media. If possible, please provide the links proving you followed these areas.

Michelle's Goodreads 

Michelle's Facebook

Stuck Between the Pages Facebook

Use the form below to enter the contest. Have fun, and good luck!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Author Spotlight: Laura dion-Jones Author of Commit to get Fit

Laura Dion-Jones is a pro-health activist, Corporate Wellness Coach (CCWC), Certified Wellness Coach (CWC), radio show host, and motivational weight loss and
lifestyle speaker/writer.

Laura’s weight loss success story speaks for itself. She shed 150 pounds in 2-1/2 years by cutting white starch and sugary carbs from her diet and by making walking her daily cardio of choice. Serious walking! Since January 1st, 2003, Laura has walked over 35,000 miles. That’s all the way around the earth at the equator. And she’s still walking daily -- for the health of it. Today, she’s considered an “Elite Walker” averaging over 50 miles per week.

Laura brings expertise and vast experience in fitness, fashion, and beauty to her coaching
career. This background has helped her become one of the country’s top experts and
motivational coaches in the fields of weight loss, fitness walking, improved personal
appearance and increased self-esteem.

Think of Laura as a catalyst, a one-of-a-kind motivator who provides effective,
accountability-based fitness programs and motivational seminars for healthy weight loss
and maintenance – custom-tailored to the needs of the individual or corporate wellness
program. Her coaching touches on the physical, emotional and environmental aspects of
each person’s life.

With her straightforward and encouraging “if I can do it, YOU can do it” approach, Laura
will give you, your employees, or your organization the jump start needed for increased,
sustainable wellness.

It’s a win-win. Balancing personal health and on-the-job, professional performance will
help your employees lead productive, happy and well-balanced lives. And what company
doesn't want happy, more productive employees? See

Author Spotlight information above was provided by BreakThrough Promotions

If you are interested in reading Laura's Commit to Get Fit, I highly suggest you do so. You can hear her entire story about her journey from an plus sized model from the 60s to who she is today. Visit her website at: to inquire about the possibility of interviews and/or review copies of her book.

Check back in the next couple of weeks for my honest review of Laura's book!

Review: Finding Me; A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed by Michelle Knight with Michelle Burford

Title: Finding Me - A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings

Author: Michelle Knight with Michelle Burford

Where I Got It: I was contacted to read and review it.

Why I Read It: Because I wanted to know the honest story that Michelle and the other two girls went through with the kidnappings.

Rating: 5 book marks

Michelle Knight was kidnapped in 2002 by a Cleveland school bus driver named Ariel Castro. For more than a decade afterward she endured unimaginable torture at the hand of her abductor. In 2003 Amanda Berry joined her in captivity, followed by Gina DeJesus in 2004. Their escape on May 6, 2013, made headlines around the world. Millions of well-wishers now wonder: What really happened in that house, and how did Michelle find the strength to go on?
Barely out of her own tumultuous childhood, Michelle was estranged from her family and fighting for custody of her young son when she disappeared. Local police believed she had run away, so they removed her from the missing persons lists fifteen months after she vanished. Castro tormented her with these facts, reminding her that no one was looking for her, that the outside world had forgotten her. But Michelle would be be broken.
Heartbreaking, shocking, and ultimately triumphant, Finding Me reveals the details of Michelle's story, including the thoughts and prayers that helped her find her courage to endure her unimaginable circumstances and now build a life worth living. In sharing both her past and her efforts to create a future, Michelle becomes a  voice for the voiceless and powerful symbol of hope for the thousands of children and young adults who go missing every year. [[ Blurb from the inside flap of the book. ]]

WOW! Where do I even begin with this book!? It is the most heart breaking, heart wrenching, saddest, shocking, powerful book I have ever read. 100 percent hands down. I kept going back and forth with thinking about just how good this book was, because it is a true story. All of these terrible, awful things happened to this person, to Michelle, and here I am, reading her story and thinking, "This book is amazing". I sort of felt like a bad person for thinking that. This book is a page turner that you will not be able to put down. And again, being a true story, I feel/felt bad for saying that. This poor girl, who turned into a woman and missed out on SO MUCH of her life, was tortured, raped, beat, and here I am, thinking it's a good story.

However, I also decided that it is very well written. The book isn't just about when she was kidnapped. It is written from the beginning of her life. From when she was young, and with her family, with events leading up to when she was kidnapped. It was so well written, that I FORGOT sometimes, that is WAS a true story. Does that make any sense?

The way she wrote her story, made me feel like I knew her. Like I was living it with her, just not getting the physical, emotional and sexual abuse. When she was crying and heartbroken, I could feel it in my heart. I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. I wanted to jump into the pages of that book and hold her. Hug her. Take her out of that prison she knew for 11 years.

I have always felt weird, or indifferent about reading a Memoir. I feel like all of the ones I've written (besides this one, of course) isn't written well. But this one... Wow. Just, wow.

I encourage you to go out in buy this book. Put your entire self inside of it. Read it. Cry. Read it again. In fact, I would be willing to BUY this book FOR some of you, it is just that good.

Michelle, if you ever read this review, please know you are my hero. You are by far the strongest, most courageous woman I have ever known. I hope one day to meet you, to give you a hug and tell you how amazing you are. Keep going strong, girl. Keep making that new life for yourself!!!


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Book Review: Ondine by Ebony McKenna

Title: Ondine

Author: Ebony McKenna 

Where I Got It: Ebony found me on the website Book Blogger List and contacted me about a book review.

Why I Read It: A few reasons, actually. Ebony's passion for this book and her writing made me want to read it, and the book sounded like something I would like.

Rating: 3 book marks 

Ondine had the strangest sensation of having had a particularly awful dream. Shambles had become a real man, and a stunningly handsome one at that, but then some force took it all away and he was back to being.... a ferret.

But what if Ondine's dream came true? What if Shambles is the man of her dreams, trapped by a witch's spell? 

Ondine can't get the idea out of her head, or her heart. After all, love is blind, and sometimes it's hiding in the most unexpected of places... [[ Blurb used from the back of the book. ]]

Okay, I know what you're thinking. Someone fell in love with their pet? A pet ferret? That was kind of my thought at first too, but really, how many of us have never really thought about that? I remember when I had my dog, I had multiple dreams that she was an actual person in dog form. So really, it isn't all that far fetched to think like that, right? 

First, I have to tell you that I loved Ondine as a character. She was quirky, and upbeat, and awkward all at the same time. The way Ebony wrote her in the book, makes you feel like she isn't JUST a character. Ebony made her feel like a real person to me. As if I was friends with her in real life. 

Also, have you ever wondered what a pet's voice would sound like if they could really talk? For example, my roommate and I think our cat would sound like Eeyore. HA! Well, when I first started reading this book, I was thinking, "What does a Ferret sound like?" I loved how Ebony made up the voice. I can't think of the right word to explain the language... other than, perfect. In my mind, reading the words, I pictured an old man with proper English and then added that to what a ferret looks like. Like I said, perfect. 

Honestly, the only thing I didn't necessarily like is the foot notes through out the book. I don't like having to read a novel and see there is a number and having to look at the bottom of the page to see either an explanation, or sometimes, something that had absolutely nothing to do with the book/story. A lot of them were side thoughts, which I feel like could have either been left out, or just added into the actual pages of the book and not as foot notes. Eventually I just stopped reading the foot notes because they weren't important to the story, and I still understood what was going on. This is the biggest reason that I gave this book 3 stars. When I first started reading it, and saw the foot notes, I felt like I was reading a high school report. However, once I did stop paying attention to that, I enjoyed the book and think it is definitely worth the read. 

Overall, it's a good book and worth the read. Enjoy! 


New Blog

Hello followers! First, let me say sorry yet again that I have not been very active on my blog site. The reason for that is because I have...