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It’s been a while since I have posted anything but it’s for a good reason.  As I said in a previous post, I have a new website that is geared to my Author platform.

http://erinvmoore.blogspot.com/

For those who have not subscribed to my new website, please go to the above link and do so.  My first book is now on Amazon.com available for electronic purchase for ONLY $2.99!!!  I’m so excited about this milestone.  It has been a long and rough (the editing part for sure) road.  That is the reason I haven’t done much reading, movie or travel reviews.  I do want to continue to do the reviews but my writing is taking up a lot of my time.

Here’s the link to purchase my book:

http://www.amazon.com/Connections-Book-1-Erin-Moore-ebook/dp/B00SYV2LD6/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1423069476&sr=1-3&keywords=Connections

I hope you enjoy the book and please leave a review on Amazon after you have finished.  The more reviews (good ones, of course) the better!!!  Happy reading!

If you have been following me, you know I have been writing for some time now.  Novels!!  That I hoped to one day publish.  Well……that time is very close!  I have already started the process!  So, I have created a FB author page for myself: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Erin-V-Moore/1528407677413145?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

And a brand new website for my official author site: http://erinvmoore.blogspot.com/

On my new website, I have started a contest.  For those individuals who sign up for my new author website between now and 11:59 Central Time on Dec 16, 2014, they will get the chance to win my first ever book reveal ONE WHOLE DAY before I reveal it on my website and FaceBook page!!!

Wow!  Exciting right?

It definitely is for me.  It’s been a long road to this point and to see the end so close it’s almost overwhelming!

So here’s the deal, go to my FaceBook page, like it.  Then go to my website and subscribe.  Simple as that 🙂

Come by my new author website. Follow my journey of self-publishing and eventually my published books.

Subscribe and you will get updates on my books when they become available for purchase.
Thank you for following my personal blog and I hope to see you as a follower on my professional website.

http://erinvmoore.blogspot.com/

 

Official Author Website!!!

For awhile now, I have been writing books.  None has been published yet, but I am very close to self-publishing my first book.  With that being said, I have set up an official website just for me as an author.  No reviews, just me writing about me and my experiences writing books.  Eventually, the website will have my books that have been published as well.

But for right now, it is my experiences of self publishing and just my life in general.  So, I might not be posting very much on this page.  So I am inviting you as my subscribers to follow me on my Official Author website.

http://erinvmoore.blogspot.com/

I am hoping to have my first book self published on e-books (Amazon more than likely) by the end of 2014 or first part of 2015.

If you enjoy my writing, check out the above website and subscribe.  Hopefully sooner rather than later, you will see a post on that website stating my first book is PUBLISHED!  Soon…..  I hope.

Thank you for being a subscriber to this page and I hope to see you on my official page.  There might be times I do post to this page on books I have read or places I travel, so be looking for those updates as well.

Thank You Again!!!

Altered Cover

My Rating-Top Shelf

Summary:

“Enoch is tested.

His brother is human, the thing he hates. He watches as the brother he knew is stripped away by his love for Clara. He’s never hated someone as much as he hated her…but the bond forced him to not only want to protect her, but feel things he never had before.

When a girl needs his help, that split second decision changes his whole world in one instant.

A Devourer’s Fate…”

My Review:

WOW!!!  Shelly stepped up her game in this book.  It was so much better than the 1st two books put together.  I loved the characters in this book.  It is about Eli’s brother Enoch instead of Clara and Eli.  However, the couple are in this book as well.  Especially since Enoch’s love interest is Clara’s sister. ~GASP~   But I feel as if the writing of the characters in this third and final installment is so much better.

At the end of the second book (Consume), I really thought that Enoch could possibly have feelings for Clara, due to his anger towards Eli and Clara as a couple.  I was so wrong!  Or should I say he DID have feelings, but not what I was thinking.  He absolutely HATED her for taking his brother from his true nature as a Devourer.  Enoch blames Clara but Eli was changed before he even met Clara.  But I think Enoch just had to have someone else to blame besides his brother.

As for Fay, Clara’s sister, I positively love her!!!  Her attitude and outlook on the whole Devourer world is amazing.  It seems as if her personality in the 1st two books was more of an exception than the norm.

Enoch and Clara’s relationship kept me guessing.  Will they or won’t they give in to their feelings?  But the story and flow didn’t get me frustrated.  It made sense through out.

So my recommendation is to read the whole series because Book 3 is a definite must read!!!

Book Cover 2

Book Cover 2

Book cover 1

Book cover 1

 

My Rating-Middle Shelf

Again, the first cover wasn’t a whole lot to go on.  I didn’t like it at all (that’s not why I gave it a middle shelf rating).  The second is much better.  Although it is much better, it really doesn’t give you a hint of what the book is about.  Yes, a girl and a guy who looks like they are consumed with each other.  But that could be any YA book nowadays.  I like covers that give a glimpse of the actual story.

Summary:

“Eli and Clara’s story continues as she tries to finish high school. Eli is as over protective as ever and Tate and his group of friends are no help. They wait for the Horde, always looking over their shoulder. But the ever annoying but strangely prophetic bird begins to become more of a chatter box and Eli learns something that could change some things. Not just for him and Clara, but Devourers everywhere.

Then an unexpectedness guest comes forcing Eli to flee with Clara, leaving her temporary family behind. She is thrown into his world of underground ‘traitors’ and learns much of his past. They meet many new people and creatures along the way to freedom. But when tragedy strikes the two, will Clara see the monster in Eli? Can she handle his strange world and awful past? Will one of them lose their life forever…”

My Review:
I want to start out by saying, this book is better than the first.  Even though it feels as if the 2nd half of the 1st book and this one should have been one book by itself.  I liked the dynamics between Eli and his twin brother, Enoch.  It really seems as if they are two sides to the same coin.  (Spoiler alert).  By the end, it appeared that Enoch might have had some feelings for Clara.
As for Clara, she comes into her own more.  Her personality really shows more in this book.  Her story shines through a little more.
The Horde is after them….again.  They have to run, along with Enoch and Eli’s “kind of” friend Finn.  The Wall is the one place for paranormals to find sanctuary.  The bond that was created between Clara and Eli has also linked Eli’s family to Clara.  Which really makes them mad, especially Enoch who is the closest to Eli.  Both Enoch and Finn want the bond broken.  Clara becomes sick on the journey and Eli wants a cure for the sickness.  The Wall is their only hope for answers.
I want to like Finn, but by the end, I can’t stand him.  But Enoch, well, like I said he’s the other side to the Eli coin.  He definitely grows on you.
Eli and Clara’s relationship deepens and their connection grows stronger.   I only gave this a Middle Shelf rating due to the series as a whole.  This book was way better than the first.  Now there is a 3rd book, Altered-Enoch’s story.  Can’t wait!

Wide Open cover

My Rating-High Middle Shelf

Summary:

“Milo is trouble.

He lives it, breathes it. He embraces anything that numbs and takes his mind somewhere else, a world where his mother is herself and not just a shell, and his brother didn’t almost kill her, severing any relationship they had. But more importantly, Milo drowns out the guilt for leaving his mother and not being able to forgive his brother. He drowns his pride and moves on to another girl and another party, pretending that life isn’t moving on around him and he’s stuck in the same place. He’s stuck in the past and doesn’t know how to let go.

Maya is trouble.

She’s done the party scene and has had her fair share of close calls and handcuffs. Not the kinky kind. She’s so over it all and fought like hell for that life to let go so she could move on. She now works as a teen counselor. Her life is better, but her life is empty. She has no one but her brother in the whole world left and he’s sick with a disease that no medicine can cure.

When they meet, a romance that scares them both emerges, but the love you fight for is the love that can mend bridges, heal scars, and open closed hearts. They’ll need each other, they’ll want each other, they’ll have each other. But will it all come too late?”

My Review:

Ok, so this is not a continuation of Emma and Mason’s story. It is actually the story of Mason’s brother, Milo and a new girl, Maya. And this may surprise you since the first two books really had something lacking, I actually liked this book. The characters were more well-rounded and had back story’s that gripped your heart. Of course, Emma and Mason are in this book but not consistently. This book is jam-packed with real-life “issues”. Drugs, illnesses, gangs, etc… If you can’t handle those type of issues, you might want to read another book. With that said, I was gritting my teeth in places and vocally swooning in others. This one is a bit of a roller-coaster, so hang on and grab your tissues.

After years of running from his brother, Milo finds something, or should I say someone, to stop running for (finally). Milo and Maya are so similar that it’s scary sometimes, but then Shelly shows differences in their stories that helps tear it away from the typical bad boy/bad girl love story.

The way Maya sees herself sheds a new light on people, real-life stories, who have come from a shady background and just wants to make a new start. The only thing really holding them back are themselves. Milo has this attitude to an extent, but Maya dwells in the misery a lot more. Of course, her brother being terminally ill doesn’t help her confidence in life much. Milo insists on chasing her and showing her that life, she, is worth it.

Milo-the wayward brother that would rather run from his problems them face them head on, (for lack of better words) starts to grow up. The moment he meets Maya, something changes. Of course Maya desperately tries to keep it clearly professional, since they did meet in an Anonymous Meeting. But that doesn’t last very long. Yes, Milo has ghosts in his past. Particularly his brother and mom drama but also drama that could end up a tragedy.

Reminder, I warned you to grab tissues and warning: prepare to stay up late finishing this book.

 

Wide Spaces Cover

My Rating-Middle Shelf

Summary:

“Emma knows better than most that life can change from one second to the next. Mason knows that guilt can make you change so much, that you don’t even recognize yourself in the mirror. When they found each other, they knew that life had given them a second chance.
But can one night, one second, one misunderstanding change everything?

A life together that saved them will become a life they think is lost forever. “

My Review:

This is the 2nd book in this series.  You know how you read the first book in the series, you really aren’t very impressed, but you just HAVE TO read the next book to see what happens?  Yeah, that’s why I read this one.

So I’ll begin with SPOILER ALERTS-Emma and Mason are trying to start their lives together.  Emma’s parents are finally realizing the old Emma, pre-comma is never coming back.  Mason is the gallant boyfriend who wants to do things right, so what does he do, he asks Emma’s dad for her hand in marriage.  Awwwww…. But, the happily ever after doesn’t start there.  (if it did, the book would be over pretty fast).  Another part of the past creeps up, this time it’s Mason’s.  It puts an extreme strain on the relationship, but not in the usual way.  A girl Mason had dated a long time ago, has a serious stalker crush on Mason that leads to….duh, duh, duh….Emma getting in a car accident.

I could go on, but all that will do is tell you the entire story.  So if you are interested, then check out the rest of the story.

Pros-I enjoyed the casual way Mason and Emma interact with each other.  As if they had been married for years, but with the spark of a new love.

Cons-I really can’t put my finger on it.  I just felt this book could have been more but it was just lacking something.  All through out it, I was waiting for it to get better.  The writing is ok, but the story seemed too strained.

Orlando Trip-Part 2

 

This article is about the actual planning for Orlando. Which in itself is probably the BIGGEST part of the entire vacation. If you don’t get this right, then the whole trip will suffer. Ok, now that I have scared you to death, let’s have some fun!

I will break this down into 4 parts. Accommodations, travel (flying or driving), if you fly-rental car, and attractions. More than likely (depending on where you are traveling from and how many is in your party) the accommodations will take the largest chunk out of your budget. In my planning, it was just 3 of us-2 adults and 1 child. You can also go to https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/ to purchase a package that can include everything.

  • ACCOMMODATIONS-The very first decision you need to make is WHERE??? Do you want to stay on the Disney Resort, off the resort nearby or in a more central location of all the attractions? Obviously if you stay at one of the Disney properties, it will cost more. We stayed half of our trip in Kissimmee (since we also included other attractions besides Disney) and then stayed the rest of our trip in our timeshare on the Disney property. But if your main focus are the Disney Parks, it is the most convenient. On the Disney property, there is 6 categories of accommodations. Ranging from low budget hotels and campgrounds to Deluxe Villas. The lowest price is the campground where you bring your own camper/RV starting at around $49 per night. The most expensive is around $2,000 per night.
  • TRAVEL- Depending on where you are coming from and how many is in your party, will determine if flying or driving is better.   If it will take more than 15 hours to drive, I would suggest flying. However, if you have a lot of people in your party, you might want to drive no matter where you are coming from. For us 3, it was easier to fly and rent a car when we arrived in Orlando. If you decide to drive, make sure you have plenty of things to do for the small (and big) kids in your party. Anytime we do a road trip, I normally put together a scavenger hunt. First, it keeps the children interested in the trip instead of stuck in an electronic of some sort. Second, the competition of the hunt gives an incentive at the end. It could be the winner gets to pick the place to eat once at the final destination. Or the winner can get a prize at one of the theme parks (which can be a souvenir you would probably have bought anyway). Third, the adults actually get into it as well. It gives the whole family some bonding time. Even if it’s a competition, make it fun. Also, you can play the license plate game. That’s always a great one. I usually put all the states on the same page as the scavenger hunt so I can keep up with the plates as well.
  • RENTAL CAR-This is a no brainer, I’m sure. But make sure you rent a vehicle that is large enough for your entire party AND still have enough space for luggage and room for comfort. No matter if you are only using the vehicle to go from the hotel to the theme parks, you don’t want everyone to be cramped in and start the days out on a sour note. If you are planning on staying on the Disney property and only doing the Disney Theme parks, I wouldn’t bother renting a vehicle. There are shuttle buses, trams, and ferries to whisk you from your hotel to the parks. There is also a shuttle from the airport to the Disney resorts. But if you are planning on visiting other attractions in the area, I would suggest a rental car.
  • ATTRACTIONS- There are just too many to list. Here are the places we visited. All 4 Disney Parks, both Universal Studio Parks, LEGOLAND in Winter Haven, FL (about 47 miles from Orlando) and SeaWorld. We didn’t have enough time to do anything but the theme parks. My favorite out of all of these was Hollywood Studios at Disney. My least favorite-SeaWorld. The reason SeaWorld was my least favorite (my husbands and 9 year old sons least favorite as well) it just seemed so much smaller than the other parks and was more of a large aquarium to me. Don’t get me wrong, it was ok but I probably wouldn’t go back in place of any of the other parks. It just wasn’t worth the expense (my opinion). So before you get to Orlando, figure out the attractions you and your family want to do for sure. Leave a day or 2 open in case you want to just relax or explore the smaller attractions. After you decide which attractions, make sure you plan the days you want to go where. I know this sounds a little overboard but if you don’t plan correctly, you won’t be able to get the most out of the parks. HINT-If you stay at one of the Disney Resorts, there are days where you can either go in early or stay late. Beware though, a lot of people are in these resorts and more than likely the majority will be using those extra hours as well. What I did was try to steer clear of the days that offered these extra hours. Not every day has extra hours and not every park are on the same day. I planned more on the days that stayed open later for everyone. Yes, I know it sounds weird but it worked for us. I would suggest taking one full day for each park you visit. No Disney Park hopping. There is so much to do in each and every park. We started slow at the beginning of the week and ended with our longest day.
  1. LEGOLAND-This was probably our most laid back day. If your kiddos like LEGO’s, make sure you try this park. It was nice, not too big and not too small. We were able to get everything in and still leave early evening. That allowed us to rest up for the next day.
  2. Universal Studios-We did decide to get the park-to-park tickets for Universal. We did everything we wanted to do (and then some) in one park and then headed to the other park. These parks are a walk apart so it doesn’t take hours to go between them like it does at Disney. We ended the day doing some of the big rides at the other Universal Park. The 2nd day, we made sure to go to all of our favorite rides again and enjoyed the Cinematic Spectacular at Universal Studios. Check the website for show times. You can print off maps from the website and highlight or circle the rides/shows you want to do the most. I highly suggest this. On the back of the map, write down the show times of each of the shows you want to do so you can plan before you get there so you are not wondering around trying to figure out what to do and lose precious time.
  3. SeaWorld- Did this on the spur of the moment and was not impressed. If you decide to go, make this a half day and definitely before you go to the exciting parks so you won’t be let down.
  4. Disney Parks-There is a cool option to customize each parks map for the rides/shows and attractions your family wants to do. Go to https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/ and sign up for My Disney Experience. You can make an itinerary and customize your own maps according to your itinerary.

One activity we did in each park is look for the hidden mickeys throughout each park. Mickey’s heads are hidden all through the park. It could be in a shrub shaped as his head to lights glowing in the shape of Mikey. Check out this website to get some clues on where to find them. http://www.hiddenmickeys.org/HiddenMickey.html. There is so much to do in each park, I’m going to give you a few things that we did that some might not know about.

  • Animal Kingdom-One of the cool things we found was the Wilderness Explorers. It is based off the movie UP. A very fun adventure that includes ALL of the areas in the park. You pick up a field guide near the front of the park and it leads you to each location with fun self-guided activities. You collect badges for each group of activities. Go here to learn more about the Wilderness Explorers https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/attractions/animal-kingdom/wilderness-explorers/.
  • EPCOT-For the young ones who like the show Phineas and Ferb, there is an Agent P World Showcase Adventure to complete. You have to choose a country to play in but it takes you all over that country. It was actually pretty interesting, even for the bigger kids (aka, my husband). They give you a communication device that looks like a cell phone that you get clues from. You use those clues to find the next clues. Very interactive and it gets the kiddos excited about the country they choose for their mission. For more information, check out this link https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/attractions/epcot/agent-p-world-showcase-adventure/
  • Hollywood Studios-My son loves Star Wars and this extremely interactive activity put him right in the middle of the action. They train with a Jedi master and then get to fight Darth Vader. Jedi Academy chooses 12 guests between the ages of 4 and 12 for each show throughout the day. So if you want to participate, you must be at the ABC Sound Studio at the beginning of the park opening. This was my son’s favorite activity the whole trip so it was most definitely worth it. For more information, check out this link. https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/entertainment/hollywood-studios/star-wars-jedi-training-academy/
  • Magic Kingdom-This is probably the busiest park out of all the Disney Parks. Of course, it is probably the largest as well (my opinion). The castle alone is one of the most photographic locations out of the whole park (again, my opinion). So much to do at this park but one activity that I found out about is for both small and big kids (adults) alike. The Pirate’s League. Basically you sign up all the people in your party who wants to become a part of the Pirate’s League. At the appointed time, you go in and the resident pirates there (they really get into their characters) paint up your faces and you have the option of purchasing costumes (extra $). There are a range of pirate or fairy faces you can choose from. My husband and son got inducted into the Pirate’s League. The Pirate Characters make it very fun for all!!! We even were able to meet Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean (not the real Johnny Depp L ) but it was fun nonetheless.  To do this, I would highly recommend making reservations https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/magic-kingdom/pirates-league/

Jacob Pirate

As you can see, there is so much to plan and do in Orlando. I am a planner at heart but even if you are not, this trip is a MUST to plan. From experience, if you don’t plan your trip in Orlando, there will be a lot you overlook and it might be a little overwhelming when you get there if you don’t have a tentative itinerary. So I hope this article helps. Plus check these other sites out for more planning ideas:

http://www.visitorlando.com/plan-your-trip/

http://www.couponingtodisney.com/my-101-best-disney-world-tips/

http://www.thehandmadehome.net/2011/11/keys-to-the-kingdom-how-where-when/

 Most Importantly-HAVE A MAGICALLY FUN TRIP!!!!!!

Wide Awake by Shelly Crane cover

My Rating-Middle Shelf

The Main reason I chose this book was, again, it was by Shelly Crane.  However, it wasn’t her typical genre.  I still liked it but if it would have been an author I didn’t know, I probably wouldn’t have tried it.

Summary:

A YA LOVE story about a girl who has her life turned upside down.

A girl.
A coma.
A life she can’t remember.
When Emma Walker wakes up in the hospital with no knowledge of how she got there, she learns that she’s been in a coma for six months. Strangers show up and claim to be her parents, but she can’t remember them. She can’t remember anyone. Not her friends, not even her boyfriend. Even though she can’t remember, everyone wants her to just pick up where she left off, but what she learns about the ‘old her’ makes her start to wish she’d never woken up. Her boyfriend breaks up with the new girl he’s dating to be with her, her parents want her to start planning for college, her friends want their leader back, and her physical therapist with the hazel eyes keeps his distance to save his position at the hospital.
Will she ever feel like she recognizes the girl in the mirror?

My Review:

When I first started this book, I thought it was going to be more like Shelly Crane’s other books-fantasy. But it wasn’t. Not that it was a bad thing, just not my usual style. This one was real life drama instead.

Emma, the main character was well written. I loved her ability to move on after losing her entire life’s memories. At first, the way the summary (see above) and the first few chapters are written, I thought it would have some kind of fantasy twist. But alas, it did not ~sigh~

Mason, her physical therapist, was the perfect bad boy/good guy combination. He cared for Emma for just being her. Even when her parents wanted her to be her old self, he kept encouraging and helping her to strive to be herself (whoever that was).

Her “boyfriend” Andy, who wasn’t actually her boyfriend anymore, didn’t visit while she was in her coma. But now, he wants her back like nothing ever happened? Guys!

But with everyone wanting her to be able to remember who she was, Mason is the only one who wants her to just be who she is now. That, plus the fact that he is good-looking AND gives her goose bumps when he touches her, makes her fall for him.

SPOILER ALERT!!!  BEWAARE-DO NOT READ IF YOU WANT THE ENDING RUINED FOR YOU!!!

The end is pretty surprising. Andy confesses that he was the one who ran Emma over, causing her to lose her memory. With the weight of the guilt, Andy couldn’t take it anymore and jumps off the same bridge Emma was run over on, committing suicide. Very sad and extremely surprising.

One con I can say about this book, it just doesn’t seem to be as put together as some of Shelly Crane’s other books, especially the Significance Series and Collide Series. Probably wouldn’t read this book again. It was just…OK!

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