Review of Dumplin'

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

I have never been the skinny girl. I have always felt like my body was never good enough. I don’t love the muffin top or the fact that I hold my weight in my belly area. I have stretch marks and imperfections. I love being at the beach, but being in a swimsuit is not fun. There are so many worldly perceptions of having to be a size 2 or people will stare. Dumplin’ was so refreshing to read and realize there is good YA literature out there to help us all feel a bit better being exactly who we are.

  • Willowdean’s wit was probably my favorite part of the book. I love a good comeback, sarcasm and “wise wit”
  • I have skinny friends. I was always a tank-ini girl and my some of my besties are bikinis. It is hard to feel confident when you think you should be able to wear a bikini and that everyone is looking at you. I know exactly how Willowdean had to feel with Ellen. She loves her and hates her a bit at the same time.
  • Oh, Bo. Him and his red suckers had me. I was definitely book crushing on him. But, I can also relate to Willow feeling self-conscious when Bo touched her. It is hard even with my husband touching my belly, since I am sensitive to having a belly.
  • I love beauty pageants in books. I think they are a fun backdrop and always cause interesting reading.
  • The whole Dolly Parton influence in the book is so cute, especially when the girls take the secret little trip to the bar to listen to some performers.
  • I almost felt like the girls that joined Willowdean were kinda drug through the mud. I thought they didn’t get enough development and a chance to really shine and go through the transformation Willow did.
  • Willowdean’s mom made my heart hurt a little. I know that she was trying, but it was just not coming off the right way.

Witch or Wizard?

Holy potatoes! Baby Schumaier is 21 weeks old already. I cannot believe that we are over halfway done with pregnancy. I have lots of boxes with furniture and baby stuff all over the house, but haven't started the actual baby room yet. I am sure nesting will kick in soon.

Here is the official gender reveal! Watch to see if Baby S is a Witch or a Wizard (boy or girl)

Wizard or Witch? Baby Schumaier Gender Reveal from Missie Schumaier on Vimeo.

Waiting on Wednesday with A Gathering of Shadows

Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift, and into Black London.

In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games—an extravagant international competition of magic, meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries—a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again—meaning that another London must fall.

 I really enjoyed the first book, A Darker Shade of Magic. I am so excited to dive into A Gathering of Shadows. I am so glad we don't have to wait very long!

Waiting on Wednesday with Reign of Shadows

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, Reign of Shadows is Sophie Jordan at her best.

Expected release February 9th!

Top Ten Tuesday with Top Ten Books I've Recently Added To My TBR

My TBR is OUT OF CONTROL! I have over 1000 books on the list and it grows daily! I am doomed to never finish my TBR, such is the life of an avid reader!

Check out my TBR for links to these reads and SO many more amazing books I need to get reading NOW!

Review of Killer Instinct

Seventeen-year-old Cassie Hobbes has a gift for profiling people. Her talent has landed her a spot in an elite FBI program for teens with innate crime-solving abilities, and into some harrowing situations. After barely escaping a confrontation with an unbalanced killer obsessed with her mother’s murder, Cassie hopes she and the rest of the team can stick to solving cold cases from a distance.

But when victims of a brutal new serial killer start turning up, the Naturals are pulled into an active case that strikes too close to home: the killer is a perfect copycat of Dean’s incarcerated father—a man he’d do anything to forget. Forced deeper into a murderer’s psyche than ever before, will the Naturals be able to outsmart the enigmatic killer’s brutal mind games before this copycat twists them into his web for good?

With her trademark wit, brilliant plotting, and twists that no one will see coming, Jennifer Lynn Barnes will keep readers on the edge of their seats (and looking over their shoulders) as they race through the pages of this thrilling novel.

I read book one, The Naturals, quite a while ago and, honestly, I am not sure why it took me so long to continue with the series. I love anything that is like Criminal Minds (I feel like that might not be the best thing to say!)

  • The gang is back in the action, Cassie, Dean, Michael, Lia and Sloan are all back in the book and ready to solve cases. There are some new characters that help shape and change the story from the last book. 
  • I don't normally enjoy love triangles, but I think that between the childhood backgrounds, the skills and the current situation, the tepid romances between Dean, Michael and Cassie work well in the book. 
  • Once the action got rolling, it really read quickly. I think that the case in the first book was more absorbing than this one, but it was still a good read. 
  •  I really enjoyed the ending and the set up for the next book in the series, All In
  • The beginning of the book was really slow for me. We focused on the new FBI agent in the story and some of Dean's past. I just felt like I had to muddle through it more than I expected.

Review of The Heir and The Spare

Family can be complicated. Especially when skeletons from the past pop up unexpectedly. For American Evie Gray, finding out her deceased mother had a secret identity, and not one of the caped crusader variety, was quite the surprise. Evie’s mom had a secret life before she was even born, one that involved tiaras.

In this modern day fairytale, Evie is on a path to figure out who her mom really was, while discovering for herself what the future will hold. Charged with her late mother’s letters, Evie embarks on a quest into her past. The first item on the list is to attend Oxford, her mom’s alma mater. There, Evie stumbles upon a real life prince charming, Edmund Stuart the second Prince of England, who is all too happy to be the counterpart to her damsel in distress.

Evie can’t resist her growing attraction to Edmund as they spend more time together trying to unravel the clues her mother left behind. But, when doubts arise as to whether or not Edmund could ever be with an untitled American, what really ends up unraveling is Evie’s heart. When Evie uncovers all the facts about her mom’s former life, she realizes her mom’s past can open doors she never dreamed possible, doors that can help her be with Edmund. But, with everything now unveiled, Evie starts to crack under the pressure of new family responsibilities and the realization that her perfect prince may want her for all the wrong reasons.

I received The Heir and The Spare for an honest review and I was so excited I did. It was one of my 2016 anticipated, so it felt like Christmas when I received the book. I was in need of a cute, little contemporary after binging on some fantasy!

  • The part of the story with Evie's mother was my favorite. I loved the letters and the secret quest. I wish that part of the story was a lot more detailed and had taken a bit more time to come to fruition. 
  • Edmund, dreamy Edmund. I was sucked into a book crush the minute he started talking. He was witty, HOT and cultured. Yes please! 
  • The girls were so fun! I wish that their friendship was surface that it almost seemed odd when they would serious about life situation. I wanted more of Suzy and Caroline. 
  • I love fresh, slow burn romances. The first time Edmund and Evie went into the city had to be one of my favorite parts of the book. 
  • Fairy tale romances are always fun, this one was definitely modernized. It was a fun, easy going read. It would be perfect if you are in a book slump or are a sucker for cute contemporaries. 
  • There were a few times when Evie drove me insane. She really liked Edmund but would do or say such stupid things instead of saying the truth. I know she was trying to protect herself, but sometimes it just seemed so whiny. 
  • The story was so rushed toward the end. Once Evie figures out the secret, it just goes rocketing toward the end of the book and I wish that there was so much more.

Waiting on Wednesday with The Shadow Queen

Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.

Expected release date is February 2016!

Top Ten Tuesday with Ten 2015 Releases I Meant To Get To But Didn't

2015 came and went so quickly, and seriously, there are so many books and so little time! Here are some 2015 releases I wanted to get to last year, but I sadly, didn't!

I better get reading if I want to finish these and get to all the AMAZING releases coming out in 2016!

My Daily Posh Pamering Routine

I have been using Perfectly Posh since I became a consultant in July of 2015. I am absolutely in love with the company! The products are all based on natural, good for you ingredients and some contain essentials oils! These are the six I use daily and they are a great place to start, if you are unsure of what products to get out of the awesome catalog!

My Daily Six: 

No matter where life takes you, make sure you take along soft, beautiful hands. Lil Snarky is the perfect size for lovely hands on the go. Vitamin-rich apricot kernel oil gives you a big, juicy dose of hydration without an annoying, greasy residue. Imagine: pure moisture with the scent of exotic flowers, sandalwood, and a serious attitude! $9

Natural and gentle daily face wash for a perfect complexion. Free of dyes and fragranced only with deep-cleansing peppermint essential oil. Gently massages with finely ground Persian walnut shells. $14

Tired skin? Quick, call Moisturize 911! Wake that complexion up with a blast of natural glycerin moisture and a caffeine kick that tightens and brightens. Apply as often as needed for skin that is awake and absolutely radiant! $16

Charcoal D•Tox: Clean that doesn’t discriminate. The Gender Bender invites all to wash, get clean, and be Posh. Activated charcoal powder, silt, and carbon absorb over 1000 times their weight in offensive pollution and free radicals. Then natural shea butter calms, soothes, and enriches skin. Tie that all together with a clean, crisp fragrance and you get the perfect clean that anyone can enjoy. $9

Hydrate from head to toe with natural coconut oil, rosemary extract, and marshmallow root extract. Perfect for moisturizing hair and skin with a kiss of sweet Poshymallow scent. Life is a joy. Cover yourself in it! $15

A dark pink lip gloss that will have you cheering. The scent of rich, ripe, raspberries is sure to attract the right kind of attention, and you won’t be wishin’ you were kissin’ for long! $8

These are just a few of my favorites! Make sure to check out the whole catalog, there are AMAZING products, and Posh makes sure to list every ingredient so you know you are using products you can trust! Everything is under $25 and shipping is only $5! Plus, it is always buy 5, get the 6th free!

Interested in joining my team? Perfectly Posh is an awesome sisterhood. The starter kit is only $99 and comes with over $200 in product and $100 in business tools. We get weekly commission deposits, Facebook groups for support and images to use to promote your business, free products and fun rewards! I absoutely love the company and the products sell themselves! If you join in January, you also get a FREE Sweatshirt and New Years Cheer's Sparkling Bubble Bath! Find out more and join my team today!