“The Woods of Silver and Light” Review

I came late to the party for Victoria McCombs, and reading the second book of her series, “The Woods of Silver and Light.” However, the interesting part was that although it is a series, each book can work as a stand alone and doesn’t require you to read the previous ones in order to get caught up in the story. (Although, if you are like me and loved the story as much as I did, you will go back regardless!)

I was not sure what to expect when I first started this book. I was intrigued to find out how one could retell a fable we all know by heart having grown up with them. Although the Disney version of Robin Hood and of course the Kevin Costner version will always be dearest to my hearts, you never quite think what would happen if Robin Hood was ever to take thieving from the nobles a step to far….

Honestly, I was impressed and not expecting what I received. Although Lady Anika is quite the brave one, I did struggle at times. I found myself rooting for Christopher to be more of a bad guy, and Ronin to have more wits about him then he does most of the time. However, once I accepted that this wasn’t going to be like the story I grew up loving, it was easier to accept the storyline provided. So, definitely keep your mind open as you read it. It makes for a more enjoyable read.

The magicians are truly my favorite, and wished they had more of a presence than they did. I loved the concept of the evil sorceress, and could easily envision her with the description provided. There’s so much about the drawl of the forrest, but I wish there had been more background of how they came to be. The description of it makes you want to know so much more so you can decide if you can live there and survive! I also wish that if Lady Anika’s magic held more promise then playing the violin amazingly. But these are more personal preferences, then the author’s ability to get me caught up in the story. In fact, it was her descriptions and telling of the tale that made me keep being able to see the scene unfold before me so easily. But don’t we all end up putting some personal desires into each book we read? LOL!

So, here’s the honest truth. It’s a great read! It’s something you can easily pick up and get caught up in without feeling left out for not starting at the beginning. The descriptions in this book make you see everything so clearly in your head! (An attribute I love!!) The love triangle wraps up beautifully in the end, and everyone is given a proper ending. The ending does encourage you to pick up the next one for sure!

This is a solid 4.8/5 stars for me personally. Although I desired a bit more explanation in parts, it wasn’t enough to make me not enjoy it. Thank you Victoria! You are on my radar! And I look forward to seeing what all you provide us in the future! You dare us to step outside of our acceptance of stories that have already been told, and shine them in a new fascinating light! Keep it up!

“A Soul as Cold as Frost” Review

This was a slow starter for me personally, which is why I give this book a 3.5/5⭐️ . There were even a couple of times that I considered just quitting, but I’m so glad that I kept going! Although the interjections don’t seem to really add much to the story, it’s only once you get past the halfway mark that A Soul as Cold as Frost by Jennifer Kropf went from a book I had little desire to read to one I couldn’t put down!

I realize that Helen is a sixteen year old teenager, but I struggled with the fact that the very first thing she’s told to do is to hide the globe and not be reckless and that’s all she seems to do for the first five to six chapters. Luckily the world and Zane held my interest enough to keep going, and I didn’t regret finishing it.

I would have liked to have gotten more information about the grandmother and her seeming to know all about what was taking place. However, the fight scene is epic and Jennifer really gets her writing grove once you give her a chance. Even the interjections fit nicely with the story past the halfway mark. So even though it was a slow read to get into, it quickly became one I couldn’t wait to finish once I got over half way in. I realize it’s not ideal for most, but there is another book coming and I think it shows much promise to be great out of the gate. I look forward to seeing how the story ends.

“The Twelve Dates of Christmas” Review

When it comes to dating, thirty-four-year-old Kate Turner hasn’t had much luck. She lives in the sleepy town of Blexford, Englad, that doesn’t exactly have a large pool of eligible men to choose from to begin with. However, Kate has found plenty of fulfillment in her career as a designer, and helping out her friends and family whenever they’re in need. Which tends to be often. Somewhere along the way, one of her best friends and father convince her to participate in the Twelve Dates of Christmas before she ends up with a house full of cats.

Twelve dates with twelve different men. Surely, she would be able to find true love with those numbers, right?…Only poor Kate seems to have my same luck with dating, and each one becomes more disastrous than the one before. Despite all the horrible dates, and one best date ever (if only he hadn’t been gay), they’re the least of her problems. Unfortunately, not even Kate figures out that her heart is already in love with someone else until it’s too late, and they’re already in a relationship with someone else!

If you love Hallmark Christmas movies, then this is yet another delight about the journey to find true love during a season that inspires miracles. The characters are well developed, although I think Kate is extremely laid back for the most part. I’m very jealous at her ability to let each disaster hardly phase her at all. Another small town read where everyone knows your business before it even leaves your own lips, lol! But it definitely leaves you with the feels of hopeful romance and Christmas miracles. It’s a feel good read during the cold winter.

“Jed Hat to Die” Reivew

I’m not sure murder has ever been quite so funny since Clue! If you’re a fan of the Dixie Chick’s “Earl Had to Die” than you will definitely love this book! You find out early on that Jed is the mayor of Bald Knob, who happens to secretly beat his wife. Although Payton has absolutely no desire to go back to the town that she ran away from 12 years ago, she leaves her coffee shop, Liquid Crack, when she’s called as an emergency contact for an estranged childhood friend, Emma Jo. (Jed’s wife)

It’s bad enough that she’s forced to go to a town she despises, but the hot guy turns out to be the scrawny boy that always had a crush on her growing up, and is now the sheriff to solve a murder that she may or may not have done. And constantly picturing him naked and having his way with her isn’t helping her to keep her secrets safe. How is falling in love going to keep her friend safe? From poisoned blue berry pies, to a dead mayor in the back yard, being tased by the cops, sacrificial raccoons, a yippy dog peeing all over you, and a town already declaring you the murderer, it will be hard convincing everyone that…Jed had to die.

The character development was great. Although the police interviews being interjected throughout the book sometimes preluding to future contents took some getting used it, it did give great insight into the characters and what everyone assumed happened verses what actually did. The curse of living in such a small town. Everyone is all about being up in your business! Whether is’t true or not.

I found myself laughing out loud often throughout this book. And the hot sheriff is definitely a highlight for any woman! I absolutely loved the strength that Emma Jo finds being surrounded by great friends, how blunt and “helpful” Bettie is, and that Payton is as bad at babbling as I am! But there’s no problem some good friends and wine that can’t be solved!

I highly recommend this book as a great comedic mystery mixed with some great hot love scenes mixed in. And who can’t relate to that nosey neighbor and the mother that declares you a horrible daughter for trying to live your own life?

“Fear is Not the Boss of You” Review

I loved how real and true this book was! It really had me looking at my choices in a new light. When I was struggling to find my way, it was Jennifer’s suggestion to get off of social media for a bit that had me finding my way. Between COVID and everything else going on, I was becoming very anxious and almost couldn’t get out of bed. In an early chapter Jennifer discusses how easy it is to spend all of your time trying to chase and follow others and do what they do. But you were uniquely designed with unique ideas, and sometimes you just have to take a break to make sure that you’re on the path you should be. Now I know that I have been called to do something greater than me, and I was paralyzed by fear until I read this!

You don’t have to be a business owner to appreciate the messages that are shared in this book. When I was struggling the most and trying to find my way of what I wanted to do “when I grew up” a friend shared this book with me and said I absolutely had to read it. Now, I have always battled with anxiety my entire life. It’s a part of the bipolar package along with my ADHD. However, when I was forced into pure isolation my anxiety took over and I couldn’t function to even survive. So I figured that I had nothing to lose.

When I started this book, it was in March when Stay at Home orders were in place and you weren’t allowed to leave minus the essentials. I followed Jennifer’s advice to help me take the baby steps I needed to start functioning again and on my own terms. This even lead me to write my first fiction novel. A passion I had always had, but never felt quite “good enough” to give myself the title of Author, and I talked myself out of it time and time again. However, after writing, publishing, and finding my own voice I picked this up yet again to finish it. Now I see a clearer path as to what I want to do and inspire others to do.

It really felt like this book came to me when I needed it most. And I read as far as I needed to push me onto my destined path. Then, after picking it up again, it’s clear that I was meant to absorb the beginning and got the final pushes I needed to keep going and make sure I stayed on track of the path that I had started.

You will absolutely fall in love with Jennifer’s honesty, fun loving, and exceptionally large truthful heart. She tells you exactly what you need to hear, how to apply it, and how to overcome the thing that had me crying almost nightly. Thank you Jennifer! You were the push I needed to find my voice, find my feet, and find my purpose!

“Pearl in the Darkness” Review

When I first volunteered to read “Pearl in the Darkness” by Santana Saunders, I didn’t know what I had signed up for quite frankly. I just knew I had not been able to read a book for pure enjoyment since I had started going back to school to get my AAS and BS in marketing starting in 2011. I had missed books for so long, but never had the time to read between working full-time, part-time, and being a full-time student just to get by. I was eager to escape the reality of today with COVID19 and the world in complete unrest. So when Santana asked for ARC readers, I jumped at the chance. I’ve never been so thankful that I did!

It’s 2056 and the world is a disaster, much like today, only worse…because the end of the world is coming in just 1 year and no one is aware of it. Religion has been abolished which ignited the end of mankind as we know it. The world was scheduled to be destroyed with oceans full of blood, beaches full of black sand, the ground scorched, and only a few hand selected people to survive to the end.

Lenora (Leo) is chosen by Abba (along with her friend Hollis, some arch angels, and some other selected few) to scout for the people that will be assisting in starting the new world. The task may sound easy, but it’s more than just asking people to join the new world. Leo must first help them believe that the world is ending, and they must profess their belief in Abba before they are allowed to find out where the safe haven is located. Not to mention all of the demons that are roaming the earth taking souls and trying to rule the world!

Although the story includes a religious storyline, it is the story of surviving the apocalypse that has you on the edge of your seat, yelling into the pages, and rooting for good to triumph evil. The characters are so well written that you can’t help but cheer for the good, and even feel sorry for some of the bad. And just when the sky turns blue again and you think it’s going to be okay, the ending had me screaming, “WHAT?!” at the top of my lungs and contacting her pleading for her to finish the next one asap!

I had to keep asking her when she wrote it, (before COVID19) because it’s very easily relatable to today sadly. But if Leo can find the good in a world even worse than ours, then there’s no excuse for us to do the same. I’m absolutely in LOVE with this story! It has ignited my passion for reading within seconds, and was impossible to put down even from the beginning. You do not want to miss out on purchasing this gem on November 10th on Amazon!

The Key

Welcome to Book One of the Sophie Lee Trilogy, The Key. It’s a story that I started in middle school and was encouraged by a friend to bring back to life….

From an early age, Sophie Lee Harris was chosen to be the keeper of the key without any choice. Designed to survive anything thrown at her, it’s a challenge she’s able to keep. The only problem is, she can’t remember where she hid it after a traumatic car accident leaves her with amnesia..

James Moore loves his best friends, Tina and Ben, like family. It’s time for their yearly trip to his parent’s house. Despite Tina’s determination to get him to settle down with a woman, it is the chance meeting with a strange girl running from a group of thugs with guns that is about to change his life forever.

Will they be able to recover her memories before the man with the cane closes in? Is the key to her survival lost forever? Together, they scramble to put the pieces in place, but time is running out, and lives are being taken. Who will be sacrificed next?.. 

I’m very excited to be on this journey. It is my first time writing a published fiction book AND even a trilogy! Although it has been a challenging and completely different process then writing a nonfiction book, it is a great learning experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world! I have completely bawled when killing off some characters, and dancing in my living room for others. I’ve been exhausted after each epic fight Sophie encounters as if I fight it myself! And I have warned my father which pages to skip for a love scene that I think would make us both uncomfortable to have him read it…HA! But I wanted to share the cover with you. So stay tuned for more sneak peeks on GoodReads and follow me on Instagram!

5 Ways to Beat the “Funk”….

Help! I’ve been kidnapped! Not literally, but my badassary definitely feels like it gets kidnapped from time to time. Yes, I’m talking about the dreaded “Funk”

When you are single and in your forties, it becomes a lot harder to call your girlfriends for an emergency get together. Long gone are the days where we could drop whatever we were doing to go to our girlfriend’s need. Now there’s kids, significant others, and the list of adult responsibilities that forever multiplies every time you blink! But being stuck in the “Funk” helps no one especially you, so here’s some of my favorite tips and tricks to get yourself out.

1. Charcoal mask. Yep, the best place to start is detoxing the “Funk” out is your skin. Follow up with a moisturizing mask. Give yourself some TLC.

2. Badassary playlist. Play those songs that put the fire back in your soul. A few of my current ones are You Can’t Stop The Girl, The Comeback, Good As Hell, Sit Still Look Pretty, etc.

3. Phone a friend. Just because you can’t get together in person doesn’t mean reaching out to check in on your bff won’t lift your spirits.

4. Get out of the house. Go for a walk if the weather permits. Or go to the mall and take a couple of laps. Exercise releases those feel good chemicals from our brains and help rid us the doom and gloom brought on by the “Funk”.

5. End the day doing something you love. Whether you’re curling up to read a good book while petting a needy fur baby, or dancing around your livingroom rocking to your favorite 80s soundtracks, end the day giving yourself some much needed self love.

So even though people have more responsibilities as we age like fine wine, know that doesn’t mean that the “Funk” has to win. It just means that we have to help rescue our own badassary selves a little more often so we can continue to conquer those personal storms.

If you enjoyed this free advice, you’ll LOVE my original book Surviving the Storm.

My Biggest “A Ha” Moment…

Before, I was so addicted to making other people happy thinking it would bring me true happiness. After all, helping others brought me so much joy! However, that quickly became an addiction as I struggled to find the thing that I wanted most. A love that I truly deserved….the ability to love myself for who I was, weaknesses and all. I didn’t even realize what I had spent my whole life chasing until 3 years into my journey of breaking my People Pleasing Addiction. I thought I was just trying to get “uncomfortable” and “expand my comfort zone”. But what I was really looking for was to find myself before all of the toxic relationship marathon began, and learn to love her for all that she was, strengths and weaknesses alike.

I bought Groupon after Groupon as I struggled to find out what I liked and what I didn’t like. I started taking myself out on date nights to do things I actually enjoyed like treating myself to dinner and a movie. Although, now I’m super picky about who I let go to the movies with me, because I actually prefer to go alone now…ha! With each adventure, and each blog post, my confidence, empowerment, and self-worth began to grow.

But the adventures didn’t matter if I didn’t hold myself accountable. That’s why I started the blog in the first place. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to stick to even a 5 step program if there wasn’t a way to hold myself accountable. By writing about the adventures and my life experiences as I continued to grow on this journey, I was able to not only change my own life for the better, but I began changing other women’s mindset to be more positive and provided motivation to expand their own comfort zones.

But the blog didn’t seem to be enough. Mostly because I was only sharing part of my journey in reality. I was only telling part of my story, which was no better than all of the lying I had done for the last several years on Facebook and being in the “best relationship ever!”….So it was time to get honest with myself. It was time to tell the truth. So the last 1/3rd of Surviving the Storm was the first time I admitted to the world that I had been in a toxic and abusive relationship. I put it at the end because I didn’t want to be labeled as a victim and gain pity. I simply wanted to let people know that it was a part of my journey, but not an event that defined me. No one could truly define me but myself.

After I put those words into the universe, I was eager to see what the response would be. After the first person through my job at the time had finished reading it, I eagerly asked if it encouraged her to step outside of her comfort zone. Her response initially broke my heart after hearing her say, “No”. But it didn’t stop there. “It actually showed me how negative I have been view life lately, and that I’m not in a relationship worthy of myself. I’m in a relationship that I know understand I need to leave. A relationship I will be walking away from later today after I get off work.”

“Whoa”, was about all I could muster as she threw her arms around me, hugged me tightly, then walked away. I was completely blown away by this! It was not expected at all, but then and there I knew that my mission of Chasing Stormi LLC would change forever. It was time to help other women like myself find self love and gratitude after leaving toxic relationships for good. It was time to do what I was clearly destined to do…share my story and inspire others to do the same.

Now I do just that! So if you’re wanting to break your people pleasing habits, find inner peace, and leave toxic relationships behind you for good simply go to www.chasingstormi.com and book a call today!

How I Ended Up on a Couple’s Trip Completely Single…

Chasing Stormi LLC originally started as a blog that was meant to help hold me accountable while I worked to break my people pleasing addiction. However, shortly after I started I realized that it was going to be something so much more….

I started by getting some coupons off of Groupon to try new things without committing to year long contracts that I knew I wouldn’t complete. I wrote about my success and failures as I learned what I liked and didn’t like. I also found a few things that I was better at than expecting, and certain things that should never be done again. One thing I did was a yoga class. The instructor, Sue, said she was going to Belize and I needed to come with her to write for the blog. After three days of it weighing heavily on my heart and mind, I decided to jump. I didn’t plan anything, I threw caution to the wind for the first time, and I packed my new knapsack and got on a plane to go to a country I had never visited, with a group of people I didn’t know. Only, she left out one tiny detail….it was a couple’s trip.

Yep. I was the only person not in a relationship, in a country I knew nothing about, with 15 strangers, alone. So I had a choice…I could try to figure out how to crawl back to the safety of the USA or I could take advantage, and REALLY hold myself accountable about breaking my people pleasing habit and facing my fears. I had World War III within me as I fought the “Flight” of “Fight or Flight” and had to remove myself to stop hyperventilating. I dug deep, told myself that I was drawn to this experience for a reason, and it was time to find out what that reason was.

I was proud of myself for seeing what happened, because those 15 strangers became a second family. Sue had told everyone about my blog and purpose which led to me hearing, “Stormi! You’ve got to try this for your blog! I’ll take your picture!” Before I knew it I had bear crawled and butt scooted down the tallest Mayan temple, faced my fear of water by going snorkeling, and even ate a termite in the middle of the jungle. (It taste like a peppermint breath mint if you were wondering…)

When I went snorkeling, I actually had a full one panic attack that included hysterical, ugly crying, and hyperventilating. It was the girl that told me that it was my writing and my bravery that was keeping her going while she, too, stepped outside of her comfort zone during that trip that reminded me of my purpose and why I had to push through. It’s the trip that changed my life personally and professionally, and was the inspiration to share my abusive relationship with my ex-husband in my book that came out later that year, Surviving the Storm.

But if I hadn’t made the choice to take the leap, Chasing Stormi LLC wouldn’t be what it is today…an inspiration to help women leave their toxic relationships for good. There also wouldn’t have ever been the original spark for Camp Storm Stompers Inc. to help our youth stomp out bullying. So sometimes we have to have a leap of faith that the Universal Intelligence (UI) has our back and knows what’s best for us. And if you’re needing help taking your first leap then simply go to http://www.chasingstormi.com and book a call today!

%d bloggers like this: