(Review) The Milestone Tapes

Title: The Milestone Tapes
Author: Ashley Mackler-Paternostro
Pub Date:February 2012
Pages: 346
Publisher: Create Space

Source: I received a pdf copy of the book for my review and participation in the tour.

About the book:

Jenna Chamberland never wanted anything more than to be a wife and mother. That is, until she realized that her life was ending after a three-year battle against breast cancer. Now, all she really wants is more time.

With 4,320 hours left to live, Jenna worries for her loved ones and what she knows awaits them on the other side: Gabe will have to make the slip from husband to widower, left alone to raise their seven-year-old daughter; Mia will be forced to cope with life without her mother.

In a moment of reflection, Jenna decides to record a set of audiocassettes — The Milestone Tapes – leaving her voice behind as a legacy for her daughter. Nine years later, Mia is a precocious sixteen-year-old and her life is changing all around, all she wants is her mother. Through the tapes, Jenna’s voice returns to teach Mia the magic of life, her words showing her daughter how to spread her wings and embrace the coming challenges with humor, grace and hope. THE MILESTONE TAPES is the journey of love between a parent and child, and of the bonds that hold them when life no longer can.

I have to begin my review by saying how much I love the cover of this book. I’m not sure what it is but there is something that I just love about it.

When I first heard about this book on Bewitching Book Tours I wanted to read it because of the cover, the story sounded like something I would enjoy and the fact that this is a debut novel by an author who lives in Naperville. I love Naperville and have been there twice so far. Thankfully my sister in law lives there so it always a reason to go.

Sadly I wasn’t able to download this onto my Kobo because I can no longer download books onto so I had to read this on my computer. I am 3/4 of the way through this book and I have been reading it for a couple of hours now.

I really enjoyed the story and I have to say I wasn’t expecting it to be so sad. My heart was breaking for Jenna and her family. I couldn’t stop reading because Ashley did a fantastic job with her debut novel. I really enjoyed the book.

Jenna and Gabe are married and have worked very hard in the careers and have realized that late in  life they want to have the ideal family and the perfect home since they have accomplished what they wanted. Things fall into place and Jenna gets pregnant and has Mia. Mia is perfect and healthy.

Fast forward and Mia is three years old. Jenna gets devasting news. She is diagnosed with cancer. Its actually the same kind of cancer that her mother had and died from when Jenna was a young woman. She goes through the process and begins treatment and it goes on for four years. Sadly, Jenna gets news that its now progressed and she knows what the outcome is so she decides to stop treatment and to live what little life she has to the fullest with her Gabe and Mia.

So Jenna decides that she wants to be there for Mia when Mia needs a mother the most so she was inspired to make Milestone tapes so that when Mia needs her she can listen to her. She wants Mia to know that she is with her every step of the way ie graduation, marriage etc.

I enjoyed this story and I have to admit that I did cry in spots. This was a nice little change in my reading routine and I am happy that I got to read this and I am looking forward to other books by Ashley.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

(Review) Illicit Magic

Since I am posting all these post fairly close together you probably already know about the book so I am just goig to get into my review.


I want to thank Bewtiching Book Tours for allowing me to be a part of this tour and they were the ones we graciously provided me with an ecopy of the book to read and review. Thankfully it wasn’t a long read because I had to read it off my computer since I am having Kobo issues.

This is the first book in the Stella Mayweather series. The other books in the series are Unruly Magic and Devious Magic. They all sound really good. I am looking forward to getting them when I get a new ereader.

For me this was a different kind of paranormal romance and that was because it involved witches this time. I am trying to think if I read anything with witches lately? Hmm I don’t think so.

This book had everything I loved a little romance, a little mystery, a little action, cute guys and some humor.

I really like Stella. There was so much about Stella that you wanted to know about and she gradually let us know. It wasn’t all at once but gradually as the story progressed so did Stella which was nice because it kept you reading and wanting to find out more about her past.

For me I just wanted to reach out to Stella and be her friend because she never had the ideal life. Her parents died when she was young (5 years old) and was forced to live from foster home to foster home. She never really had a stable life like people need.

Stella is kind of a loner and sticks to herself and that is because she has magical powers. She chooses to be alone because she is afraid she will hurt someone she cares about so its easier to stick to yourself but honestly you can see that Stella just wants to have a friend who will understand what she is going through and stick by her through thick and thin. I mean who doesn’t want that?

At the age of 24, Stella is trying to live a normal life with doing the day to day things until she is attacked one night. Its basically hell on earth for her. Her attackers have set her place on fire but before anything tragic can happen a mysterious woman (Etoile) wisks her away.

Her attackers are hunters (Brotherhood) and they want her but she has no idea why (they are looking for the witches and burning them alive). She finds out that they mystery woman is actually a witch and lets Stella know she isn’t alone that there are others just like her willing to help her manage and control her powers.

Will Stella be able to control her powers or will she die trying?

I really enjoyed the book and looking forward to the other books.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

(Review) Rae of Hope

Author: W. J. May
Publisher: Mitchell Morris Publishing, Inc
Pages 248
Pub Date: November 2011

About the Book

How hard do you have to shake a family tree to find out the truth about the past?

Fifteen-year-old Rae Kerrigan never questioned her family’s history. That is until she accepted a scholarship to Guilder Boarding School in England. Guilder is an exclusive, gifted school. Rae has no idea what she is getting herself into or that her family’s past is going to come back and taunt her.

She learns she is part of an unparalleled group of individuals who become inked with a unique tattoo (tatu) on their sixteenth birthday. The tatu enables them to have supernatural powers particular to the shape of their ink-art. Both of her parents where inked, though Rae never knew, as they passed away when she was young. Learning about her family’s past, her evil father and sacrificial mother, Rae needs to decide if there is a ray of hope in her own life.


The first thing that drew me in about this book is the beautiful cover. I love it and the second thing was the author. When I discovered that she was a Canadian writer I knew I had to read this one.

I loved the book and can’t wait for the sequel,  DARK NEBULA to come out in August 2012. I will definitely be buying it and book three, HOUSE OF CARDS will come out in 2013.

I managed to read this in almost one day. It was a pretty quick read although for me it was a little longer only because I wasn’t able to download it onto my Kobo (because I am currently having issues with downloading books onto it) so I basically had to read this on the computer but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the book.

Rae is not your typical 15 year old girl. She has experienced more in her short life then anyone should. Her parents died in a horrific way leaving her an orphan at the age of 6. She is then sent to live with her aunt and uncle. For the past ten years she has been living in The United States.

Now shortly before turning 16 she is being whisked back to Britain to attend a very elite school called Guilder Boarding School. She has no idea why her aunt and uncle are sending her back but she is very apprehensive about going.

You can tell Rae is out of her element but quickly makes friends. One of them being her roommate, Molly. I have to say that I really liked Molly even though she was a little nosey for my liking. For me I kind of thought the friendship between both girls was like Anne of Green Gables, Diana and Anne. Kindred spirits.

Its not long before Molly tells Rae the real reason she is at Guilder along with everyone else. Rae will soon have special powers. Rae realizes that she was brought to the school for that reason alone. How will she handle all this when she finds out?

I would have loved to seen the tattoo that Rae got on her 16th birthday that magically appeared. It sounded amazing. Rae realizes that this tattoo holds so many secrets from her past (father). I think she was a little shocked and who could blame her.

This was were I got a little frustrated because everyone knew about Rae and her story except Rae. She had no idea what was going on and I felt for her because wouldn’t want to know this before everyone else did?

Of course no book would be complete without some love interests for Rae. I have to say that I loved Andy because I loved his interactions with Rae. He was very flirty and aggressive. I just loved him. (Its been awhile since I have gushed over a guy character.) As for Devon, I have to say he wasn’t my favorite. He reminded me of that bad boy we are warned about.

I am so happy that I got to read this book and I can’t wait to read the next one in the series. I am dying to know what happens next.

Thanks Bewitching Book Tours for allowing me to be on this tour.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

(Review) Death by Chocolate

About the book:

Back in Time by Stacey Wallace Benefiel

Nothing in Aurelia Lemon’s life is turning out how she’d planned. She’s unemployed, unattached, and her family bakery is on the verge of closing. To make matters worse, the guy she dumped in high school is doing well and getting rich off of one of her departed mother’s recipes. It would take a miracle to right everything she’s done wrong. Or maybe just a phone call and the chance to go Back in Time.

Sweet Witchery by Cheryl J. Carvajal

Catalena is only one of many dreamers in a small medieval town in Romania. When the witch Ramnusia opens her chocolate shoppe, suddenly dreams turn into reality. The chocolates are divine, but their power is greater than their sweetness. Miracles abound, dreams come true, and Ramnusia’s magic confections become the talk of the town. But if these chocolates can make dreams come true, will they win for Catalena the deepest dream of her heart?

Spellbound by Nikki Jefford

Two months after dying, Graylee Perez wakes up in her identical twin sister, Charlene’s body.

As the daughter of a witch, can anyone blame her mother for attempting to bring her back to life? Only now Gray’s stuck sharing her sister’s body 50/50 in 24 hour shifts.

The race is on for Gray to find a way back into her body before Charlene purges her from existence.

Warlock Raj McKenna is rumored to meddle in the black arts, not to mention he’s after Gray’s invisibility spell and worse – her heart. But Raj might be the only one powerful enough to save Gray from fading away forever.

Bloody Valentine by Lucy Swing

One by one the girls of Hollow High disappear and when Bailey receives a heart-shaped box filled with chocolates she might be next.

Sweet Torture by Kira Saito

Sixteen year old Claudia Bernstein is obsessed with two things: chocolate and Dante Torres. However, being an invisible minion to Upper East Side princess Beatrice Wildenbert isn’t helping her get anywhere with her dream guy.

Everything changes over Christmas break when Dante actually starts noticing her.

But are Dante’s intentions as pure as they seem? When Claudia finds herself in the middle of a cruel prank, she decides to take revenge. But is revenge enough? Or will she finally realize that her own worst enemy is herself?

The Girl with Three Heads by Suz Korb

Kate wakes up on the morning of the Death by Chocolate fundraiser event to discover she has two extra heads resting upon each of her shoulders. She is not pleased about this. She’s even more displeased when she discovers the head on her right shoulder (which looks like Santa Claus, complete with fluffy white beard) is actually Zeus, lord of lightning, or something like that. The head on her left shoulder? Yeah, it’s the head of Hera; goddess-of-looking-like-a-blonde-bombshell and getting on Kate’s nerves by shouting in her ear all the time.

Will Kate ever rid herself of these two extra heads? Will she ever get to experience an actual kiss from a boy without extra-head-situation interruptions? Join Kate as she struggles to survive being flung into the Underworld, as well as eventually landing upon Mount Olympus.

Just because she’s got two extra craniums doesn’t mean either head is an extra set of useful brains.


When I heard about this book I knew I wanted to read it. Each of the six stories were fantastic and so different. The only thing I noticed as I was reading the book was that I wanted to eat some chocolate. So be prepared because trust me you will want to have some on hand if you are going to read this.

This is an anthology of six short stories that each have a main theme/element of chocolate. I loved how each story was completely different. As you read each short story you have this feeling that hey this is the best and then you read the next one and its the same thing. There is not one short story in this book that I didn’t like. I loved them all.

So when I sat to think about a review I wondered how I was going to do it? Do you talk about the one story you absolutely love? That is impossible because I loved them all. Do you just talk about the story that author who guest post for you today? Hmm I could do that but honestly would that be fair to the other authors? I don’t think so. So instead I will talk about each one.

Bloody Valentine is written by Lucy Swing who is my guest author today so I will start with Lucy. After reading this I quickly realized that I wanted more and I could see it being a longer story. Right from the beginning the story opens up with a nightmare and it sucks you right away. Bailey is suffering from the worst nightmares but they are really a reality because what she sees in her dreams is really happening. The girls in her nightmare are girls that have been disappearing.She wonders if Jude is behind it.What will she do when she discovers the truth?

The Girl with Three Heads had to be one of the funnier stories.  Kate wakes up from her a dream and looks in the mirror to a huge surprise, she has three heads. Those heads belong to Hera and Zeus.  knows she has to get on with her daily life and sets out to do that. When things appear normal  assumes that is all in her head and she just imaged what she saw but when Jason (who she likes) gives her a funny look she begins to question if the other heads are real or not. Of course you can tell this one is centered around the Greek theme. This is another short story that I could see being made into a full lenght book.

Sweet Torture had the characters you love and you hate and for me it was Beatrice because I just hated because she came off as a real bitch. She has no problem leading guys on to get what she wants and she doesn’t care what or who she does to get there. She even makes the guys who want to date her doing all kinds of things to prove themselves to her. I was baffled at how much guys would do this. When would someone say “You know you aren’t worth it.”  Then comes Dante, her next victim so to speak. When Dante accidentally bumps into Claudia who I wonder if she happened to be at the right place at the wrong time because I was wondering if Dante was playing Claudia or not. I thought this could work out into a full novel as well.

Back In Time is the first story in the book and when I read it, I was like I love this story. I mean who doesn’t wish they had a chance to go back in time to perhaps alter one event that could change your whole life? Have you ever wondered if you had done something differently would that have made a huge difference? I have often wondered that but then realize that things happen for a reason.  Aurlie is living in LA and when she gets a text from her friend back at home telling her the bakery is up for sale  hops the next bus out of LA and heads home. During a bus switch she meets what she thinks is a homeless guy who offers her a dead phone. Little does she know that this chance encounter will lead to a life altering decision.

Sweet Witchery is about a mysterious witch who magically appears and opens a chocolate shop. In this little village people are vary cautious of strangers and are slow to approach but the witch slowly lures them in. When an old blind man is offered chocolates this begins the process because a few days later he is able to magically see and before long people are curious about this chocolate shop and the miracles it can perform. These magical chocolates can either be good or bad and thankfully they came to help out  when she need it because her father realizing that no one wanted to marry is daughter has offered her to  Dom who is an abusive landlord of the village.  Catalena wants nothing to do with him and would rather be with some from the village who is a hard working person. What will happen?

Spellbound was the third story about jealousy. Charlene and Graylee are twins and witches. Charlene gets jealous when her boyfriend breaks up with her just a few days before Valentine’s Day and quickly starts dating another girl and this doesn’t go over well with Charlene so she decides that she must act fast and sets her plan in motion to get rid of this girl with poisonous chocolates. What Charlene doesn’t know is that her sister Graylee has taken some and suddenly dies from them. The mother is upset and wants nothing more to have her daughter back so she consults some black magic to get her daughter back but the only thing is she has lied so Graylee ends up sharing the body with her sister and uncovers what her sister has done and sets out to wrong a right.

I really enjoyed these stories and like I said there was a few that I could actually see being made into full lenght novels. If your looking for something fun and different to read with a paranormal touch then I have to suggest you get this. I think its only available as an ebook though.

Thanks Bewitching Book Tours for allowing me to be a part of this tour.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.