Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Cradle to Cradle - William McDonough (Spotlight)

Title: Cradle to Cradle
Author: William McDonough (and Michael Braungart)
Genre: Non-Fiction

Cradle to Cradle
Originally published in 2002, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things is now considered “the authoritative tome” on the subject of eco-effectiveness and beneficial design. This manifesto of environmentalism has turned the sustainable design industry on its head by expanding the definition of design quality to include positive effects on ecological and social health, while at the same time creating positive economic value.
The Upcycle
Building on the established principles of Cradle to Cradle, The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability–Designing for Abundance showcases decades of experience from both McDonough and Braungart as they demonstrate the efficacy of designing for positive human and environmental impact while also increasing economic value generation. Utilizing examples from McDonough’s work with organizations including Ford, Nike, and NASA, The Upcycle presents a world of possibility in the future of sustainable design.

The Hannover Principles
Written by William McDonough Architects as sustainable design guidelines for the City of Hannover, Germany, in preparation for the Expo 2000, The World’s Fair. Twenty five years later, these principles, grounded in the enduring laws of nature, continue to inform sustainable designs and dialog. The 10th anniversary edition has been updated to include an introduction by Teresa Heinz, an essay by William McDonough and Michael Braungart, and an afterword by David Rosenberg.

Cradle to Cradle is available now at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

About William McDonough
William McDonough is an award-winning architect and author recognized internationally for his groundbreaking work in sustainable design. William McDonough’s 2002 book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things is considered the seminal text of the sustainability  movement, work he has expanded on by introducing the Cradle to Cradle® Design Framework.

William McDonough has received the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development as well as the National Design Award for exemplary achievement in the field of environmental design in addition to earning the U.S. EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award. His firm William McDonough + Partners has worked with companies such as VMware and Hero MotoCorp to develop sustainable projects around the world. William recently published a new proposal on carbon management in Nature magazine titled “Carbon is not the Enemy”.

Connect with William online: Twitter | LinkedIn | C2C Certified

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Getting Off: One Women's Journey Through Sex and Porn Addiction - Erica Garza (Review)

33985321Getting Off: One Women's Journey Through Sex and Porn Addiction by Erica Garza
Genres: Nonfiction, Memoir 
Publication date: 
January 16th 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format: Hardcover, 192 pages
How I got it: Simon & Schuster Marketing for an Honest Review
Buy it: Amazon Barnes & Noble
My rating: 4/5 

A fiercely courageous account of one woman's unflinching, raw, and ultimately hopeful journey through sex and porn addiction.

For almost two decades, Erica Garza was consumed by a singular, secret, shame-fueled pursuit that threw her life into chaos: orgasm. Back-braced, isolated, and teased in adolescence, and ambivalent about her Catholic upbringing, Garza found a secret solace in masturbation and porn--first by way of the limited softcore viewing offered by late-night cable, and, later, with the booming proliferation of online porn.

In this wrenching, vivid account, Garza explores her sexual fixations and relives the series of disastrous relationships and one-night stands that haunt her as she runs from one side of the world to the other in a futile attempt to break free of her habits―from East Los Angeles to Hawaii and Southeast Asia, through the brothels of Bangkok and the yoga studios of Bali to disappointing stabs at twelve-steps, therapy, and rehab back home.

Garza's terror at digging so deeply into her history to understand her anxieties is palpable, as is her exhilaration when she begins to believe she might just be free of them. And yet there is no false hope or prepackaged sense of redemption. Even her relationship to the man she will ultimately marry is credibly rocky as it finds its legs with several false starts, making her increasing sense of self-acceptance and peace by journey's end feel utterly earned.

In exploring the cultural taboos surrounding sex and porn from a female perspective, Garza offers a brave and necessary voice to our evolving conversations about addiction and the impact that Internet culture has had on young women.


My thoughts:

This book contains adult themes.

This book follows Erica Garza on her journey to discovering her addiction of orgasm.   Erica opens up about her addiction and takes us from the beginning to present day.  We get to travel along with Erica through time to see how she got to this point in her life.

I think it is important to note, not ever path to addiction is the same and not everyone’s path to recovery will be the same.  I enjoyed getting to see the perspective of Erica’s thoughts on different events in her life and how they affected her addiction.  I also liked how honest she was when people told her she had a problem, but she didn’t think she had a problem.  I find reading memoir’s where the author feels genuinely authentic to be refreshing and makes reading more enjoyable.

Erica has traveled around a lot and meet a lot of different people along the way.  I enjoyed getting to hear the places that Erica has been and how she thinks these places also affected her mindset.   The journey that Erica took is not one that many one travel along so it was interesting to hear about the different places she got to visit and stay for periods of time.

Another great aspect of the book was getting a hard look at the relationships that she had with her family as well as friends that she crossed paths with.  I enjoyed getting to read about these relationships and hear her reflections on how they have affected her in the long run.  Erica took her time to evaluate her relationships and give the reader as much details and thoughts as possible.

I would suggest this as a weekend read.  I could sit down and read this one relatively quickly because I found the author’s voice to be honestly refreshing.   It was an easy story to follow along with and paced nicely through the author’s life.

I received a copy of this book from Simon & Schuster Marketing to provide an honest review.  This does not affect my opinion of this book. 


About the Author

Erica Garza’s essays have appeared in SalonNarrativelyBUSTGood Housekeeping, and the Los Angeles Review, among other publications. She holds an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University. Getting Off, her memoir on sex addiction, is her first book. Born in Los Angeles to a Mexican father and a Mexican-American mother, she has spent the majority of her adult life traveling and living abroad. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.
Author Links:

The Wicked Vampire - Kate Baxter (Review)

33574187The Wicked Vampire by Kate Baxter
Series: Last True Vampire #6
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Publication date: 
December 5th 2017

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Format: ebook, 384 pages
How I got it: NetGalley for an honest review
Buy it: Amazon Barnes & Noble
My rating: 4/5 

He was one of the most feared creatures in the supernatural world, and yet, she was drawn to him unlike any other. His scent ignited her thirst. The sight of him drove her mad with want...

Lovers forever--or enemies to the death? 

Sasha Ivanov was born to be wild. A vampire party girl, she stalks the L.A. clubs at night. Dancing. Drinking. Indulging her darkest appetites. Never sated, she's always looking for more: more danger, more excitement, more blood. But when she enters a supernatural fight club--and is tethered to her mortal enemy--Sasha realizes she's playing the most dangerous game of all...

Ewan Brun was born to kill vampires. A powerful berserker and unbeaten champion, he doesn't need a weapon to be deadly. He is the weapon. But when his soul becomes captive to the most beautiful vampire he's ever seen, he is all but powerless. He cannot resist Sasha--and cannot fight his desires. Is their love strong enough to defeat the gathering forces of darkness that threatens to destroy them both?

"The chemistry is electric."
--San Francisco Book Reviews on The Last True Vampire


My thoughts:
This book contains adult themes.

This book follows Sasha who is a vampire living on the edge with her nightlife habits and Ewan who is a berserker, which are vampire hunters.  Ewan has been fighting at night to make some additional money and Sasha randomly meets up with him at a fight.

The author does a great job creating the chemistry between Sasha and Ewan.  The chemistry felt almost instant from page one between the two characters.  I enjoyed that we got POV of both Sasha and Ewan during their relationship.   The big conflict is that berserkers are supposed to be killing vampires not getting into a relationship with one.   Sasha and Ewan must get past a lot of their chemistry to establish a deeper relationship.

Sasha wasn’t trying to get to invested in Ewan in the beginning and most of the book since she had her heart broken in the past.  I loved that she tried to remain as rational as possible during the relationship.  She knew her limits and what she was expecting out of the relationship.  Sasha stayed very level headed during the entire book and her insight during her chapters helped establish her as a strong character.  I loved that we got to hear about Sasha’s life in the past as well as how she became a vampire. 

Ewan was a completely different male lead.  Ewan’s temper could get the best of him in a lot of situations and it was hard for him to control what was going on.  I felt most of the book was centered around Ewan’s complicated life and the decisions that he had to make.  I enjoyed being able to get Ewan’s perspective during his chapters because it gave a lot of insight onto what was going on with him.  I enjoyed getting to learn more about Ewan’s world as I read and what he wanted to run from.

My major complaint would be that I read this as a standalone novel and felt like I was missing bigger pieces of the story.  I could follow along what was happening between Sasha and Ewan, but there are chapters in between from other perspectives that I was not understanding at all.  I get that this was building to a bigger picture so I would suggest reading this series from the beginning.   The story switched to many POV’s so it was hard to follow when a random character was introduced with little to no background information.

I would suggest this as a great nighttime read.  It was easy to get transported into this book and want to read a little bit each night.  There were portions that were harder to put down, but I did find some natural stopping points when we were switching POV’s.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley to provide an honest review.  This does not affect my review of this book. 

About the Author

Kate BaxterKate Baxter is a die-hard romantic with a thing for Shakespeare. She lives in the great northwest where she hides away to write about all things fanged, furry, and undead.

Author Links:

Monday, January 8, 2018

Bout of Books 21 - Jan 8th to 14th

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 8th and runs through Sunday, January 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 21 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Bout of Books
Time Devoted to Reading

  • I want to read at least 1 hour a day and about 2-3 hours each day of the weekend! 

My Goals

  • My goal is to read at least four complete books in the next week and write reviews. 

Books to Read

  • Ghostboy, Chameleon & the Duke of Graffiti Olivia Wildenstein


Monday 1/8
Books Started: Ghostboy, Chameleon & the Duke of Graffiti -- Olivia Wildenstein
Books Finished: None
Pages Read: GCDG - 1/31
Thoughts: I listened to an audio book at work so I wasn't to motivated to sit down and read last night.  I am hoping tonight that changes. 
Total Pages Read Total: 31
Total Pages Read for Challenge:
Challenge: Introduce yourself #insixwords

Tuesday 1/9
Books Started: None
Books Finished: None
Pages Read: GCDG  31/60
Thoughts: I didn't get a lot of reading done yesterday hopefully more tomorrow.
Total Pages Read Total: 29
Total Pages Read for Challenge: 60
Challenge: Share your 2018 reading goal(s)
Got a reading goal or two or ten for the new year? Share with us! Comment below, tweet it out, collage it on Instagram, film it on YouTube, or post it on your blog. Remember to use the hashtag #boutofbooks #2018goals if your platform of choice uses hashtags.

My Reading Goals for this year are:
Read 75 books
Catch up on past reviews and ARC's
Post My Reviews On Time

Wednesday 1/10
Books Started: In Black and White - Catherine Lavender 
Books Finished: None
Pages Read: IBW 1/42
Thoughts: I got some more reading done today, not as much as I was hoping for though.
Total Pages Read Total: 42
Total Pages Read for Challenge: 102
Challenge: Book spine rainbow

Thursday 1/11
Books Started:
Books Finished:
Pages Read:
Total Pages Read Total:
Total Pages Read for Challenge:

Friday 1/12
Books Started:
Books Finished:
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Total Pages Read Total:
Total Pages Read for Challenge:
Challenge: Newspaper headlines

Saturday 1/13
Books Started:
Books Finished:
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Total Pages Read for Challenge:
Challenge: Book spine poetry

Sunday 1/14
Books Started:
Books Finished:
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Total Pages Read for Challenge:
Challenge: Leave a book review

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Caught - Karen Fenech (Review)

25690692Caught by Karen Fenech
Series: The Protectors #4.5
Genres: Novella, Romance, Mystery
Publication date: June 9, 2015

Format: PDF, 83 pages
How I got it: For signing up for Karen Fenech's newsletter
Buy it: Amazon 
My rating: 3/5 

From USA Today Bestselling Author Karen Fenech comes another story in her bestselling Protectors Series.

CAUGHT (A Protectors Series Novella that takes place between the Protectors books)
** This novella may be read on its own and does not end on a cliffhanger.

While on her way home from work, Elle Jameson is abducted by a human trafficker. Her abductor, Sloane Devlin, is a man cloaked in secrets and contradictions. He takes her away from the traffickers he works for but will not set her free.

Sloane claims all is not as it seems and that he will see her safely home. Elle cannot separate the truth from the lie yet despite her resolve she is softening toward him and believing him, trusting him, may cost Elle her life.


My thoughts:

This book contains adult themes. 

This book follows Elle Jameson as she is abducted to be sold off via human trafficking.  Elle ends up getting rescued by her original captor Sloane and now needs to figure out how she can trust. 

Prior to being abducted Elle had a job as an architect assistant and seemed to be going well with her life.  During her abduction it becomes a little detailed and the emotions that come through bring it to life.  I felt like the author was connected to Elle when she was describing now only what was going on, but how she was feeling. 

Elle is the main character and the only POV that we get during this book.  I enjoyed learning more about Elle and also seeing the situation through her eyes. 

Although this is a short novella I would have loved to see duel POV from Elle and Sloane.  I feel like Sloane had to have a lot of emotions going on I would have loved to read about. 

After reading this novella I will be looking into reading some more Karen Fenech.  I enjoyed the short story and also enjoyed the author's writing style. 

I would suggest this as a perfect weekend read.  It was easy to sit down and read this book quickly while being cozy on the couch. 

I received a copy of this book for signing up for Karen Fenech's newsletter. This does not effect my review or opinion of this book.


About the Author

USA Today Bestselling Author Karen Fenech writes romantic suspense novels and short works of suspense. She is the author of the romantic suspense series, The Protectors. Karen's novels and short suspense fiction have received critical acclaim and have been translated into several languages. When Karen's not writing or spending time with her family, she loves to shop, watch movies, and just kick back in a comfortable chair and read.

You can reach Karen here:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KarenFenechsF...
Twitter: https://twitter.com/karenfenech
Website: http://www.karenfenech.com

Friday, January 5, 2018

Fear - Raye Wagner

Fear by Raye Wagner
Series: Sphinx Companion Novel 
Genres: Young Adult Fiction
Format: ebook
How I got it: Free from Signing up for Raye Wagner's Newsletter

Buy it: Raye Wagner Newsletter 
My rating: 5/5 

When I wrote my first draft of Curse of the Sphinx (later became Cursed by the Gods), I wrote a 55k word story of Phaidra, Leto’s mother, the original Sphinx. Since then the first part has been updated, and I’ll be updating my free offer over the weekend so you can get the first of Phaidra’s stories free by signing up for my newsletter

My thoughts:

This is a short story I got access to for signing up for Raye Wagner’s newsletter.

This story is a companion to the Sphinx series.  It follows Phaidra who was Leto’s mother the original Sphinx and Priska.  We get to consider how Phaidra handled being the Sphinx as well as what lengths she was willing to go with her life.   I enjoyed seeing how Phaidra and Priska interacted.  They had a different relationship from Priska and Hope so that was interesting to read about.   The book is focused more on Phaidra, but we do get a peek into Priska.

It is no secret I have enjoyed this series so I felt this companion novel was a very interesting read.  I liked getting to consider the past and a look into how another Sphinx dealt with being a Sphinx.  In the full series, we get to see Hope struggle with being the Sphinx so it is interesting to see a different side.  

In the short read Phaidra befriends a Pharaoh in Egypt.  Phaidra has been wary of friends in the past so it is interesting to see her build a few close friends.  The author does an amazing job bringing the time period to life as well as the characters.  When I was reading I can feel like I am there right along with the characters.

This is a perfect quick read to read while you only have a short amount of down time.  It was a great book to transport you to another time.  I would have loved to see more about Priska I think she has an interesting story to tell.

I received a copy of this book for signing up for Raye Wagner’s newsletter this does not affect my opinion of this book or my review. 


About the Author

Raye Wagner
Raye Wagner grew up just outside of Seattle, Washington. As the second of eight children, she was surrounded by chaos, and escaped the mayhem by reading. 
Raye studied the art of medicine long before she had an interest in the Gods on Mount Olympus. 
One sunny afternoon, the history of Apollo’s ancient curse and the myth of the Sphinx dropped into Raye’s consciousness. She started scribbling notes down after her sister convinced her the story was worth writing. 
She writes young adult fiction for teens and adults.
Curse of the Sphinx, a YA urban mythology, is her first novel. Demigods and Monsters, the second book in the Sphinx series, will be released April 2016.

Author Links:

Outlaw Ride - Sarah Hawthorne (Spotlight)

Today we have the excerpt reveal for OUTLAW RIDE by Sarah Hawthorne! Check it out and grab your copy February 5th!
Title: Outlaw Ride
Author: Sarah Hawthorne
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 5th, 2018
About Outlaw Ride:

A recovering gambler

Hard-living biker Clint Remmick is fiercely loyal to the boys of the Demon Horde motorcycle club. He’s worked hard to redeem himself, and there’s no risk he won’t take to help his brothers, even when rivals threaten their safety. When his grandmother’s health takes a turn for the worse, though, he moves out of the clubhouse to take care of her. With his duties for the MC, he knows he can’t do it alone, so he hires Jo, a live-in nurse.

He didn’t expect her to heal him, as well.

A dedicated nurse

Jo Smith enjoys working for sweet old Anne Remmick, and she’s especially intrigued by her tattooed bad-boy grandson. Clint's tough exterior scares her a little, but she feels a pull toward the sexy biker. Soon she’s dying to close the distance between them.

A losing bet

When Clint and his brothers have to pull a dangerous job in Reno, Jo is the perfect cover. With enemies around every corner, Clint needs to focus on keeping her safe—not the lust simmering between them. But when Clint is trapped by a rival club, Jo will have to save him…and their relationship. 

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Carina Press acknowledges the editorial services of Mackenzie Walton.

Catch up on the Series:
Enforcer’s Pride:
Rebel’s Custody:
Exclusive Excerpt:

“Would you like to dance?” He gestured toward the wide spot of linoleum in front of the piano.

Dancing with Clint meant having his arms around me, feeling his breath on my cheek. I wanted to jump up and accept his offer. I looked around and no one else was dancing. He was standing there with his tattoos showing and his leather vest, a real tough guy—he couldn’t really want to dance with me in the middle of the senior community center.

I laughed. “You’re joking, right?”

“Uh, no. I wasn’t joking.” Clint shrugged and grabbed a newspaper off the rack next to me. He sat back down. “I just thought it might be fun, something different.”

Oh shit. He really did want to dance and I had totally blown it. He opened the paper to the sports page and then skipped to the local section. I’d hurt his feelings because I was afraid to take a chance. What could I say to make this better?

“I’ll dance with you, young man.” The woman in her seventies got up and held her hand out to Clint. “My name is Alma, and I know what to do when a handsome man asks you to dance. You say yes.”

Clint was caught. He looked from Alma and then back to me, unsure of what to say.

“All right.” He got to his feet. “Foxtrot?”

About the Author:

Sarah Hawthorne lives in the Pacific Northwest where she drinks too much coffee, plans a lot of vacations and writes romance novels. Her native habitats include her garden and the local library. Please visit her website, www.sarahhawthorne.com, for upcoming books, contests, freebies, and more!


Cradle to Cradle - William McDonough (Spotlight)

Title: Cradle to Cradle Author: William McDonough (and Michael Braungart) Genre: Non-Fiction Cradle to Cradle Originally publish...