Summer Bucket List 2021

I hear the beach calling for me! Summer is near. I usually enjoy winter, but this one was rough and I’m definitely ready for a new season. 

Summers in Manitoba are hot and humid. sometimes temperatures reach up to 35 C. We go through many fire watch’s, intense storm warnings and even the odd terrifying tornado. But, summers in Manitoba bring the most amazing waves at the beach, and the most beautiful gardens that seem to dance in the suns rays.

My summers are usually very laid back and filled with a lot of time at my parents house swimming. I find my days fly by so fast and I’m not left with as many intentional memories as I’d want. I’m really trying this year to be intentional and purposeful. So, here are 10 things I want to do, visit, see, or experience!

1. Take a walk in a different town.

2. Tie dye some shirts with the kids.

3. Paint and hide rocks.

4. See a waterfall.

5. Paint my toe nails.

6. Watch a sunset.

7. Read in a park.

8. Try swimming in the beach.

9. Take A LOT of photos.

10. Laugh every single day. The uncontrollable kind.

I want this summer to fuel my soul. It’s been a tough year. It’s time for a different season.

What’s on your summer bucket list?

Love Always,



My Blog – Thoughts with N | Twitter | Instagram

Book Feature: The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel




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About the Book
A modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, where a young woman comes face-to-face with a

love, proving that the one that got away is sometimes the one you get back.

Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day
they suddenly weren’t.

Ten years later, Ruby’s single, having spent the last decade focusing on her
demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan. There’s barely time for a trip
to England for her little sister’s wedding. And there’s certainly not time to
think about seeing Ethan there for the first time in years.

But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can’t help but
wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago. Because

nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past…




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MELISSA PIMENTEL grew up in a small town in Massachusetts in
a house without cable and therefore much of her childhood was spent watching
1970s British comedy on public television. These days, she spends much of her
time reading in the various pubs of Stoke Newington and engaging in a
long-standing emotional feud with their disgruntled cat, Welles. She works in
publishing and is also the author of Love
by the Book


Book Review: The Merciless I


A book that will shake your core both spiritually and emotionally. The Merciless by Danielle Vega has been on my list since the very first time I laid my eyes on it. Cover wise is very simple yet it will give you the curiosity of why was it covered with an inverted pentagram on a pink background. This is especially for people who love anything associated with horror and spookiness. I, myself is a huge fan of creepy books which is why The Merciless caught my attention and I can tell you, it did not disappoint me.

The story revolves around Sofia Flores who herself has things going on in her life. She mirrors that usual high school life, being alone in a new environment, bullies, weird things, and cannot fit in. Most of us can surely relate to this kind of scenario. A pretty face in the crowd of the unknown lies a story that you either want to hear or not at all. This book reminded me of couple of horror movies I have seen. The first book reminded me of Jennifer’s body and Cabin in the Woods. The gore and horror are well balanced that you wanted to find out more about it as you read. It twists your mind with who is who and which is which. It got me reading the book in half day because I just cannot stop reading at all.

The Merciless shows someone’s deepest desires and ugliness. It shows how a person can be so bad with their intentions. It gives the impression of not all good are good and not all bad are bad. Some good things turn out to be bad and vice versa. It shows that people can sometimes unconsciously bring the bad out of them and manifest it on others leaving them completely satisfied to see a person suffer. Don’t we all get satisfied when someone we hate so much got punished by something or someone? Well, this mirrors that trait perfectly. No matter how hard Sofia tried to tell herself that she doesn’t want to hurt anybody but deep inside her, she gets satisfied to see someone pay for what they have done. That is her demon.

We all have demons inside of us. It could be jealousy, pride, lust, greed, etc. The Merciless talks about the seven deadly sins in a way that we can mirror ourselves even with just the smallest details or intention we have for somebody. It also discusses how someone can be deceived or us simply to deceive others. Friends can be enemies and enemies can also be our friends but the nature won’t come easy unless something triggers it to come out.

The Merciless truly doesn’t have any mercy. I love how it goes from Mean Girls to a total psycho creep. I am giving the book 4.8 out of 5 rating since I think that there could be a little more spice to it. There are some scenes that are a little bit predictable but it’s inevitable simply because an idea comes from another idea improved by the author. If you are into something that’s a little bit creepier than the usual then this book is for you.

Thank you guys so much for reading my review of The Merciless I, as I am guest posting here on Home of a Book Lover. I am Czyrah or you can also call me Aizy, check out my social media account @aizystyle on instagram and my very own blog, The Penguin Talk ( I will also be reviewing the two other books so stay tuned. I recommend reading the The Merciless so you guys can experience the ups and downs of the book, you never know, you might discover your demons too.

Blog Tour & Guest Post: Top Ten Tips for Aspiring Writers by Pintip Dunn

** A sequel to the NYT Bestselling and RITA Award Winning Book, Forget Tomorrow **
Book Title: Remember Yesterday (Forget Tomorrow, #2)
Author:  Pintip
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Genre: YA Sci Fi
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Purchase Links
Sixteen-year-old Jessa Stone is the most valuable citizen in
Eden City. Her psychic abilities could lead to significant scientific
discoveries, if only she’d let TechRA study her. But ten years ago, the
scientists kidnapped and experimented on her, leading to severe ramifications
for her sister, Callie. She’d much rather break into their labs and sabotage
their research—starting with Tanner Callahan, budding scientist and the boy she
loathes most at school.
The past isn’t what she assumed, though—and neither is
Tanner. He’s not the arrogant jerk she thought he was. And his research opens
the door to the possibility that Jessa can rectify a fatal mistake made ten
years earlier. She’ll do anything to change the past and save her sister—even
if it means teaming up with the enemy she swore to defeat.

1. Read. The best way to learn about writing is reading, so read everything! Read your chosen genre, read other genres, read literary works, read commercial fiction. Just read!
2. Study. Unless you are a born story-teller (and some people are!), most aspiring authors can benefit from studying the craft of writing. So read as many craft books and take as many classes/workshops as you can. Here’s some suggestions to get you started: GMC, by Debra Dixon; Story, by Robert McKee; Save the Cat, by Blake Snyder; Michael Hauge’s Story Mastery; Laura Baker’s Story Magic; Margie Lawson’s psychologically based editing systems. 
3. Find a critique partner or critique group. It may take a few tries to find a proper fit. Ideally, your critique partner or group will be at about the same skill level as you. You must respect each other’s writing, even if you don’t necessarily write in the same genre. 
4. Be open to constructive criticism. You do not have to take every suggestion that is thrown at you. However, listen carefully and try to understand the root of the criticism. Sometimes, you may not agree with the solution, but the identification of the problem is still valid. 
5. Surround yourself with people who genuinely support you. I’m not going to lie. It’s a tough industry, and there’s a lot of potential for heartbreak, as well as jealousy and competition. Spend time with people who will root for you sincerely and full-heartedly. 
6. Attend a writing conference or workshop or retreat. This is a great way to learn about the business of writing, as well as make connections with other writers and industry professionals. 
7. Enter a writing contest. This can be a great way to get your foot in the door. Some suggestions include online Twitter contests, such as Pitch Wars or #DVpit, or local RWA chapter contests. 
8. Finish the book! Of course, none of this advice does you any good until you can finish a book. Sometimes, writers are tempted to revise infinitely. Don’t. Either finish that book and put it out there, or move on to a different project. 
9. Put your work out there. This can mean putting it on submission to agents or editors, entering it in a contest, or self-publishing. This can be a scary step, as you are opening yourself up to rejection. However, if you want to be a published author, the most brilliant manuscript in the world won’t help you if it is languishing on your hard drive. 
10. Last but certainly not least: persevere. The path to publication can be a long and hard road. But the biggest difference between an unpublished and published writer is that the published writer didn’t give up. 


Imagine a world where your destiny has already been
decided…by your future self.
It’s Callie’s seventeenth birthday and, like
everyone else, she’s eagerly awaiting her vision―a memory sent back in time to
sculpt each citizen into the person they’re meant to be. A world-class swimmer.
A renowned scientist.
Or in Callie’s case, a criminal.
In her vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted
younger sister. Before she can process what it means, Callie is arrested and
placed in Limbo―a prison for those destined to break the law. With the help of
her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn’t spoken to in five years, she
escapes the hellish prison.
But on the run from her future, as well as the
government, Callie sets in motion a chain of events that she hopes will change
her fate. If not, she must figure out how to protect her sister from the
biggest threat of all.
Callie herself.
One (1) winner will receive a limited, annotated hardcover of Forget

Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from
Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and
Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of
the Yale Law Journel.
is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. Her debut novel,
Forget Tomorrow, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book. Her other novels
include The Darkest Lie and the forthcoming Remember Yesterday.
lives with her husband and children in Maryland.
Author Website:

Guest Post: Nightmares and Dreams by JamieLynn Boothe
of being raped as a teenager have haunted Christy for years. She’s
tried to run and hide from them to no avail. Over the years pain has
taken its toll, until she finally has enough and moves back to her
hometown of Moneta, Virginia to be with the woman she loves. After being
away for six years, facing her fears and being in Heather’s arms again
gives her hope for a normal life. 

she realizes that running away doesn’t really solve everything, Christy
deals with the mental fears as well, seeking professional help.
Everything begins to fall into place. Christy is with Heather and doing
what she loves most, teaching. 

has reasons to smile again…until a horrendous hate crime is committed
which specifically targets homosexuals. The roller coaster ride that
Christy and Heather will unwillingly have to experience will be like
nothing they have ever encountered before. 

who are nothing short of monsters continue their rage by kidnapping
Christy and taking her off into the hills. Being held captive in an old
hunting cabin, her earlier nightmares dwindle in comparison to what she
has to endure. Christy is faced with a life or death situation. With her
fears becoming reality, can Christy overcome the odds stacked against
her, or will the monsters kill her before she can return to Heather’s
loving embrace? 

Boothe is a Virginia native and a lover of southern style foods.
Currently living in Connecticut he writes his novels about love and
suspense, hoping to not only thrill the reader, but to also touch their
heart and soul. This is his first novel from the Nightmares and Dreams
Trilogy, although he is working on other great works for your enjoyment
as well. He is with Beau Coup Publishing. JamieLynn is currently single
and a cat lover.

Guest Post: Missing in Paradise by Larry Verstraete

Title: Missing in Paradise
Publication date: November 3, 2014
Publisher: Rebelight Publishing Inc.
Author: Larry Verstraete
Four months after Gramp’s mysterious death, Nate helps out at Gram’s garage sale. An eerie feeling, as if Gramps were reaching beyond the grave to send Nate a message, leads Nate to a box full of clues. A missing plane. A secret to keep. A map highlighting the route where Gramps died and the message, “Shipment #35-Gold.” Nate and his best friend, Simon, are convinced that Gramps was on a treasure hunt when he died. They’re just as convinced that Gram’s shifty next door neighbour, Fortier, is after the gold too. Nate and Simon sneak away on a Greyhound bus for the small town of Paradise where Nate is sure treasure awaits. Can they find the gold before Fortier gets his thieving hands on a treasure that rightfully belongs to Gramps?
Larry Verstraete is an award winning author of 13 non-fiction books for young people. This is his first work of fiction.
Spotlight on Main Character – Nate
A visit to 14 year old Nate’s room tells a lot about him.  Posters of idolized rock groups and sports figures decorate the walls. Shelves are lined with an eclectic mix of books, everything from novels, to books on the supernatural, to how-to books about stand-up comedy.  Between books, an array of model cars, planes and ships populate the shelves.  He has an extensive collection of Lego, though he rarely uses it anymore.  Tucked in one corner of the room, you’ll find a large trunk – Nate’s collection of gear from his preteen days when he set his sights on achieving fame and popularity by becoming the next David Copperfield.   
A few clothes dot the floor, but most are neatly folded in dresser drawers.  If you check his desk you’ll find a few scratch pads, most with names of hot girls he’d like to call, but hasn’t worked up the courage to do.  More a traditionalist when it comes to rock, music by Queen tops Nate’s playlist, in particular We Are the Champions – his anthem on particularly troublesome days.
As you might guess, Nate is on the quiet and shy side, and more geek than jock. He hangs around with friends who are more outgoing. Nate’s wry sense of humor, smart ass comments and deadpan delivery are popular with his group, and his way of gaining acceptance with this more boisterous crowd. These qualities are his downfall at home, however, especially with his dad – a nose-to-the-grindstone guy who expects the best from his only son and is quick to express disappointment when Nate falls short.  When one of Nate’s friends was nabbed for shoplifting at 7-11, his father imposed all kinds of restrictions on Nate even though it was clear that Nate had not been involved.  Since then tensions have been high at home.
The last thing Nate needs is to disappoint his dad again.  Yet that’s exactly one of the risks he takes when he embarks on a quest to find his grandfather’s lost treasure in Missing in Paradise.
Larry Verstraete, a retired teacher, has authored thirteen non-fiction books for young people and won multiple awards including the 2012 McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award and the 2010 Silver Birch Non-fiction Award. Missing in Paradise is his first work of fiction.
Connect with the Author:  Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Guest Post: The Sham by Ellen Allen

Title: The Sham
Author: Ellen Allen

Published: September 7, 2014

Eighteen-year-old Emily Heath would love to leave her dead-end town, known locally as “The Sham”, with her boyfriend, Jack, but he’s very, very sick; his body is failing and his brain is shutting down. He’s also in hiding, under suspicion of murder. Six months’ ago, strange signs were painted across town in a dialect no one has spoken for decades and one of Emily’s classmates washed up in the local floods. 

Emily has never trusted her instincts and now they’re pulling her towards Jack, who the police think is a sham himself, someone else entirely. As the town wakes to discover new signs plastered across its walls, Emily must decide who and what she trusts, and fast: local vigilantes are hunting Jack; the floods, the police, and her parents are blocking her path; and the town doesn’t need another dead body.

WARNING: this book is unsuitable for younger teenage readers. It depicts adult situations, murder scenes, conversations about sex and profanity.

I have 10 eBooks of The Sham to give away to 10 lucky winners (in epub, mobi or pdf format).

The Sham is a YA contemporary thriller with some scenes that are not suitable for younger readers. It’s been receiving great reviews on Goodreads.

Ellen Allen on her inspiration for The Sham

The idea for this book came to me in a nightmare. It was so vivid that I imagined I was 17 again, at school, in the same group of 4 friends that I used to hang around with. We were involved in a murder and cover-up. I started writing partly as a way to get it out of my head and then the characters turned into real people… and Emily and Jack were born.

to the playlist for The Sham

As I was writing the book, I had
these songs in my mind
at key scenes in the plot; they make
a great album:

1. Thomston, Burning out
Emily is forced to watch as four of
her classmates bully a small boy in the local playground. She meets Jack and,
together, they are able to save him. Everyone is traumatized but Jack helps her
to feel better: “I’m coming up, I’m too young to worry ‘bout burning out”.

2. Girls in Hawaii, Where do your tears come from?
This is a very moody and atmospheric
song for when Emily finds out that her classmate – one of the playground
bullies – is dead.

3. Snakehips (ft. Sinead Harnett), Days with you
After tourists claim Jack is their
long lost nephew, someone called Matthew, Jack disappears and Emily convinces
herself that she really is “better off without you”. It has a great vibe and
it’s very upbeat, even though it’s sad.

4. Ed Sheeran, Thinking out loud
This is the
music playing for Emily and Jack’s first kiss; “Take me into your loving arms.
Place your head on my beating heart.” Aaaah.

Ella Eyre,
doesn’t give away his emotions easily and this song perfectly encapsulates what
Emily thinks Jack is feeling – that
he doesn’t want to commit – and how he should “dig a little deeper”.

6. Lennie Kravitz, The Chamber
The police are trying to convince
Emily that Jack is actually Matthew and that he’s a killer. She’s angry, hurt,
upset and feels betrayed: “You killed the
love that was once so strong. With no regret to what you did wrong”.

7. Jessie Ware, Wildest moments
This song is playing over the speakers
of the supermarket café when Emily finally finds everything out – about who
Jack really is and who killed the girls. It manages to perfectly encapsulate
the complexity of Jack and Emily’s relationship and the situation she has to
deal with at the end of the book; “we could be the greatest, we could be the
worst of all”.

8. Clean Bandit (featuring Jess
Glynne), Rather Be
This song
conveys the end of the book brilliantly and leaves us on a really upbeat tone.
It’s a tip top tune!

Contact Ellen Allen

Ellen Allen on goodreads
Ellen on twitter @EllenWritesAll
Ellen’s writing blog

Guest Post: Let Us Know Ann Everett

Hi guys, here’s the first ever guest post in my blog and thank you Ann Everett for participating, it means a lot. Let us know more about this awesome author, she’s a very kind woman. She’s the first one who signed up in my “Seeking For Bloggers” tab, but instead of the topics I posted she wrote about herself and I am honored. It is great to have her in my blog so let us know more about her.





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First, let me say a big
Texas thank-you to Camelle for inviting me to guest blog. I’m honored and
always happy for the chance to talk about my books.

Before I get to them,
let me tell you a little about myself. I’m a fourth generation Texan and lived
most of my life in East Texas, except for a nine year stay in West Texas. Take
my word; the areas are like two different countries. West Texas is all flat land,
with no trees, and most days the wind blows, sometimes bringing with it dust
East Texas, on the
other hand, is hot and humid with lush trees and hay pastures. I love both
I’ve been married to
the same man since dirt and still love him with all my heart. After almost
fifty years together, I consider that quite an accomplishment! That’s not to
say some days he doesn’t drive me nuts…because he does!!
I drive an eleven year
old car, because there’s nothing wrong with it, so why spend money for a new
one? I love to shop at re-sale stores. I hate talking on the telephone. A
really sharp pencil makes me happy, and I’m glad wrinkles don’t hurt!!
Now to my books. I have
two published by a small press publisher in New Hampshire, Grey Gate Media.
available at most website retailers. 
, the first in the trilogy introduces
small town girl, Tizzy Donovan, a widow, single mother, sister to the county
sheriff and daughter to the best baker in town. She’s also known as the local
girl who talks to the dead.
When she discovers an
unburied body in the cemetery, she quickly becomes suspect number one.
Enter, Texas Ranger
Ridge Cooper, cutting his teeth on his first solo murder case.
the second book in the series begins
with Tizzy waiting for her groom on their wedding day. When she’s left at the
altar, she enlists the help of first cousin, Jinx Monroe, and best friends,
Rayann Tatum, and Synola Harper to find out what happened to the man of her
It’s not long until
they’re dealing with clowns, yard gnomes, a missing stripper, and a Baptist
Many of the characters
are based on my family members or people I’ve known. The stories take place in
the real town of Brownsboro, Texas, where I grew up.  Here’s a rundown of my two main characters.
Louise Donovan Cooper
, age 26—Nickname, Tizzy, because from
the time she was a little girl, she could lose her cool quickly. Her biggest
accomplishment is four year old daughter, Gracie. The love of her life is
second husband, Ridge Cooper. The thorn in her side is her dead husband, Boone
Donovan, and how he keeps appearing to Gracie. Her best friends are Rayann
Tatum, and Synola Harper.
Ridge Cooper
, age 34—Texas Ranger lawman. Originally
from Philadelphia, but now calls Texas home. His biggest accomplishment is
becoming a father to four year old, Gracie. The love of his life is Tizzy. The
thorn in his side is trying to keep his wife from helping with his cases. His
best friends are Jinx Monroe, and Bubba Tatum.
The books are written
with lots of Southern Sass and Texas Twang, and although, they are mystery
books, I concentrate heavily on humor with a little romance on the side.
Both books have won
awards and gotten good reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. I’m currently working
on the final installment in the series, which just placed as a runner up in The
Next Big Strongest Start Contest. I do hope you’ll check my books out.
I’d love to hear from you.
I’ve listed all the
sites below where you can find out more information about me and my books.
Thanks again, Camelle
for inviting me to guest blog!

Ann Everett
page on Amazon: 
Barnes and Noble




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