Review: Extra(Ordinary)Women: Ten Inspirational Stories by Kristin Bartzokis

About the Book: 

Extra)Ordinary Women Ten Inspirational Stories Camille. Lynn. Monique. Becky and Margaret. Jamie. Olga. Christina. Rasheera. Odalys. Danielle. These are the seemingly “everyday” women whose stories inspired (Extra)Ordinary Women—and whose resilience and strength will inspire women around the world. These women have defeated breast cancer, addiction, and homelessness. They have lived through the Boston Marathon bombing and hundreds of surgeries. They have traveled from foreign lands to create a better life. They have endured brain cancer, abuse, and poverty. They have given a home to dozens of special-needs children. They have known loss, pain, and fear. They are survivors. And they share their stories to empower other women who need something—and someone—to believe in. (Extra)Ordinary Women reminds us of the amazing stories that we find all around us when we open our eyes, hearts, and minds. And these extraordinary women remind us to never give up, never quit, and never underestimate the power of a woman. Highlights Gripping, captivating stories from all walks of life appeal to a broad range of readers. True tales of resilience are positive and uplifting. “Good news” focus is the antidote to today’s headlines. Follows up the successful first two installments of the (Extra)Ordinary series.

About the Author:

Kristin Bartzokis is herself an extraordinary woman. Born with Treacher Collins syndrome, a craniofacial abnormality, Kristin experienced a childhood marked by surgeries and medical procedures, all while she became a champion gymnast. As an adult, Kristin has proudly accepted the challenge to stand out. A marathoner, designer, author, and advocate, Kristin has been featured by Cosmopolitan and is a contributor for The Mighty. She released her memoir, Diary of a Beautiful Disaster, in 2017 and blogs at Published by KiCam Projects

If a poor, uneducated shepherd girl like me can make it, anyone can. All it takes is hard work and sacrifice, and the willingness to take a chance.”

Olga Gatzoyiannis, (Extra)Ordinary Women: Ten Inspirational Stories

“Having permanent chronic injuries forces you to make choices about what is most important to you, all day, every day. On the bright side, you learn to live very much in the moment and appreciate the little pleasures of life so much more.”

Lynn Julian Crisci, (Extra)Ordinary Women: Ten Inspirational Stories

“I’m totally in awe seeing how far I’ve come and knowing how far I will go. … Through confidence and empowerment, I can see that I am somebody and my story is worth sharing with the world.”

Rasheera Dopson, (Extra)Ordinary Women: Ten Inspirational Stories

“I speak out because addiction is happening everywhere. … I want to show people that addiction does not discriminate and that it can happen to anyone at any time. I also wanted to show those struggling that there is a way out and that they can get better.”

Jaime Smith, (Extra)Ordinary Women: Ten Inspirational Stories

“It was never a choice for me to care for the children no one else wanted; it was just something I always felt called to do.”

Camille Geraldi, (Extra)Ordinary Women: Ten Inspirational Stories

“Strength is a choice. You can choose to be strong or you can choose to buckle. Being anything other than strong was never an option for me.”

Odalys Reyna, (Extra)Ordinary Women: Ten Inspirational Stories

“Life is so precious. Don’t take things for granted. As long as you are the best person you can be and follow your heart, your life can be anything you want it to be, even after a traumatic event.”

Danielle McCarthy, (Extra)Ordinary Women: Ten Inspirational Stories

“Fostering (children) changes you. It makes you more thoughtful and grateful, more willing to

help others and see your own blessings. You may be changing the lives of these kids, but they’re also changing yours.”

Margaret Smith, (Extra)Ordinary Women: Ten Inspirational Stories

“No matter what, I claimed each day to be a good day, and typically it was, no matter what I was going through. I noticed the power I had by controlling my thoughts, and while I may not have been in control of the world around me, I could control how I reacted in it.”

Monique Gilliam, (Extra)Ordinary Women: Ten Inspirational Stories

“Yes, I struggled, and yes, I had been terrified, insecure, anxious, and afraid. … No fear is worth losing your dreams over. Nothing is impossible when you believe, and that I do. I believe.”

Christina Anston, (Extra)Ordinary Women: Ten Inspirational Stories

My Review:

As soon as I heard the title of this, I thought it would be a must for me. I’ve overcome my own challenges of being borm at 29 weeks one of twins. I live with Spastic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy and Hydrocephalus as well as. severe eyesight conditions which mean I am classified as severely sight impaired (blind). I’m also an electric wheelchair user. I’m in the process of writing my own memoir using voice dictation computer software. 
Camille. Lynn. Monique. Becky and Margaret. Jaime. Olga. Christina. Rasheera. Odalys. Danielle. Women who have a story to tell and tell it they do, in an engaging, honest and thought-provoking way. 
Extra(Ordinary) Women: Ten Inspirational Stories is written by Kristin Bartzokis who herself has a story to tell. This, I think, is what makes this book even more poignant. The fact that everyone in this book has some kind of disability or health condition or helps those in need in some way and also does their best to educate society about their realities and who they are despite them shows that there are so many interesting strong people out there whose stories need to be heard. I was so caught up in this that I listened to it in a few hours and it’s well worth staying up late for. Each story is different yet expertly told and completely absorbing.
 I came away with an enhanced knowledge of some disabilities/conditions and situations and new knowledge of others. I really enjoy stories I can learn something from and this is truly a brilliant work of nonfiction. I highly recommend it. 
Thanks to Kristin Bartzokis and KiCam Projects for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. 5 stars. 


Release Blitz: Love Blooms by Amber Root and Ellen Wilder


Congrats to Amber Root and Ellen Wilder! LOVE BLOOMS, book two in the Love Grows Wild series, is out now!

Promo Signup || Amber Root + Ellen Wilder – Love BloomsLove Blooms by Amber Root, Ellen Wilder
Series: Love Grows Wild #2
Published by Kindred Ink Press LLC on August 22, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance

Writing duo Amber Root and Ellen Wilder bring you the hope-filled sequel to Love Blossoms—a story about healing, renewal, and love that stands the test of time.

“The seeds of love grow everywhere…but it blooms best when tended daily.”

Hart Muller and Mina Vitalli were meant for each other. They thought they’d spend the rest of their lives together until Mina’s teenage addiction ends their relationship and breaks their hearts. Hart and Mina went their separate ways and chased other dreams, convinced their forever was a thing of the past.

Five years later, Hart finds himself back in his hometown building a full-sized replica of a Viking Longship to prove a theory that could make his career in cultural anthropology. Mina decides to move closer to her parents and make her dream of owning a veterinary clinic a reality.

Neither expects to see the other in the same small town.
Neither can deny the passion each still feels.
Neither wants to give up the future they’ve built for themselves on the off-chance that the past might hold a better dream.

Will they be able to rekindle romance and make their love bloom once again? Or will the time, distance, and history kill it once and for all?

About Amber Root

Amber Root is a bibliophile, author, crafter, spinner, farmer, mother of two beautiful boys, and unrepentant nerd. She lives on twenty three beautiful acres in the Cascade Mountains of Western Washington and divides her time between: her loving family, the many animals on the farm, and the characters in her head.

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About Ellen Wilder

Ellen Wilder was born and raised in Indiana. She is happily married to her husband of seven years and enjoys raising their two girls and one boy in the house where she grew up. They have a border collie/corgi mix named Loki and six extremely spoiled cats.

Her parents started reading to Ellen and her siblings at a very young age. They quickly tired of books for younger children and turned to chapter books like Tarzan, The Hobbit, and Lord of the Rings forging Ellen’s love for reading.

Ellen started writing in Junior High with an assignment from her computer writing teacher. Her first attempt at a modern day Old Yeller crossover with NYPD Blue was “awful”, but that didn’t stop the inspiration from flowing. Ellen now writes contemporary romance novels with a realistic twist to them. If you’re looking for fairy tales, you won’t find them here as her characters deal with real life issues. She loves helping people with their writing, paying forward the help that she has received allowing her to be where she is today.

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Release Blitz organized by:

Makeup from the States

I’ve been looking forward to this post, and am glad the time for it is finally here. I want to show you the makeup my parents bought me on a recent holiday to the USA. Sephora is one of my favourite all-time stores for beauty and I had these items on my birthday/ Christmas list already since about last year so, I asked if they would be going anywhere near a Sephora store on their travels. The answer was “maybe,” so I thought well, I’ll ask anyway, can’t hurt to ask. 

The products are from the Sephora Collection Lip Stories range of lipsticks. I have a lot of lipsticks, and saw these and just thought they were so cute. The packaging is designed and made in Italy. They are $8 USD each (€8.99).

I LOVE purple, and always look out for this colour in makeup. One of the first lipsticks that caught my attention was the lipstick in Desert Trip. The original packaging with the purple tones and the cactus print is just so ME.


The Next tone, Golden Gate, is also very eye-catching. I really like the Golden Gate Bridge design


The next shade, Somewhere in Spain, was a shade that is not available in Sephora in Europe so I was very glad mum found it for me in the US. I love everything Spanish-themed and do not have many nude lipsticks so wanted to give this a try.




The last product is a palette from my favourite brand- Urban Decay (or simply UD as we beauty addicts refer to it).

The palette is the Moondust Palette and it was released in 2017. There are 8 glitter shadows in this one, and I have heard that the colour payoff (contrast) is amazing compared to other glitter palettes in many ranges, both cheaper and high-end brands.  This retails  for $49 USD (€49). It costs £36 in House of Fraser.




I’m always a little reluctant to break into new makeup for the first time as it is so new and beautiful, so swatches of all these products will be coming very soon 🙂










Pure Clean Foam Purifying Cleanser by Kiko  

Kiko Pure Clean is a range that I decided to try about a year ago after having read reviews that it was good for oily and combination skin. 

My skin type  is combination,  and the areas that are drier can be sensitive.

 I was still wanting to give this a try,and so bought just one product from the range which was the Pure Clean Foam Purifying Cleanser. 

I really like the packaging,  and it lasts a long time because I find pump bottles a bit fiddly so only use a small amount. As I wanted to try the product, I thought I could give this a go.

 First off, the pump, although fiddly (for me, at least) is large, and the product itself is a white liquid which is a little on the runny side even when you shake the bottle before use. 

The smell is a very strong citrussy- zinc smell which I don’t like and which could be nicer. 
The product foams up quickly but is still a little runny. After it was washed off, my pores felt very much tighter and it was only slightly refreshing.

Overall I do not like this. It may be better for those of you who have skin that is oily and not sensitive. It’s very harsh for my skin and the smell puts me off. Another downside is the price. It cost 7,90€ for 150 ml of product I won’t be buying it again personally because I have used cheaper and better products. 

Verdict: 2/10

Dewey’s Readathon Mini Challenge: Reading Alphabet

Welcome to the  April 2018 edition of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, and this year I’m honoured to be hosting a mini challenge. This is a challenge that is all my own idea. 

Take a piece of paper, or the Notes app on your iPad or iPhone. Basically, wherever you want to record your challenge progress. Write READATHON vertically down the side. Next, choose a book that begins with R and read it, E and so on for all the letters of the word Readathon. Each book you have chosen MUST be read at some point during the 24 Hour Readathon.

When you finish, share the books you have read in the comments in this post. Different formats are allowed (print books, ebooks audiobook or ARC ). All books must be read/ listened to from beginning to end over the course of the readathon. 

Good luck and have fun! I’m looking forward to finding out what you read or listen to. 

Happpy World Book Night 2018

Tonight, 23 April, apart from being 12 years and 1 month of me and Alfredo, is also WORLD BOOK NIGHT! I have participated in it now and then over the last few years and April has been a very busy litereary-related month for me for years, ever since my first  Camp NaNoWriMo.   I’m doing that event again this year for the 9th time. 

Deciding which were going to be tonight’s books were pretty easy seeing as I have 2 book reviews due on April 26th . They are : 

The Man I Think I Know by Mike Gayle (I’m on the blog tour for this and will be doing a book review). 


The Concubine’s Child by Carol Jones. (This is part of a Blog Tour). You’ll be able to see these reviews on my Book Blog.

Have a great World Book Night! 

The next “literary event” I’ll be taking part in will be  Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon next weekend. This year is going to be very special seeing as I’ve been asked to host a MINI CHALLENGE for the event! If you’re going to be doing the Readathon, I’ll see you there! 

Release Blitz: What To  Do About Wednesday by Jennie Marts

Happy Wednesday to all my readers,  and Happy Release Day to Jennie Marts! Her newest cozy mystery in the Page Turners Mysteries series, WHAT TO DO ABOUT WEDNESDAY, is available now!

Book Information:

Title: What To Do About Wednesday

Author: Jennie Marts

Series: A Page Turners Mystery: Book 7

Standalone?: Yes

Release Date: March 14, 2018

Genres: Cozy Mystery

Publisher: Jennie Marts Books



Universal Buy Link:


What happens when hump day turns homicidal…

Finally out on her own, all college freshman, Piper Denton wants is to live a normal life. But any chance of normal is annihilated when her roommate is murdered on her first day of class. Add in the antics of a surprise new roommate, a scruffy stray dog, and the attention of three Star Wars shirt-wearing nerds who want to go out with her, and her days are now anything but ordinary. Except Piper doesn’t have time for murder—she’s trying to focus on her studies, her job, and the crush she has on Fitz, aka The Brilliant Barista, her cute, coffee-brewing coworker.

But dating can be deadly, and after another coed turns up dead—she and the Page Turners, her book-club turned amateur sleuths, go on the hunt for the murderer. Except things never go as planned when the Page Turners get involved, and suddenly they find themselves with pink and blue colored hair, dressed as bikers, and making friends with a large tattooed man named Snake when they go undercover in a dive bar.

Murder is anything but mundane when everyone becomes a suspect, and Piper’s life is on the line. Can she and the Page Turners catch the culprit before it’s too late?

I love the sound of this book and also the look of the cover! Jennie Marts’ books are new to me and I’m pleased to take part in the Release Blitz. 

Enter the Giveaway!

Want to win either a $5 Amazon Gift Card or Your Choice of ANY Jennie Marts Ebook? CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW THE PHOTO! GOOD LUCK! 

Want to be in with a chance of winning? CLICK HERE TO ENTER! 

This  Giveaway is open internationally and runs up to, and including, Friday 16 March 2017. 

Meet Jennie Marts! 

Jennie Marts is the USA TODAY Best-selling author of award-winning books filled with love, laughter, and always a happily ever after. Readers call her books “laugh out loud” funny and the “perfect mix of romance, humor, and steam.” Fic Central claimed one of her books was “the most fun I’ve had reading in years.”

She is living her own happily ever after in the mountains of Colorado with her husband, two dogs, and a parakeet that loves to tweet to the oldies. She’s addicted to Diet Coke, adores Cheetos, and believes you can’t have too many books, shoes, or friends.

Her books include the contemporary western romances of the Cowboys of Creedence and the Hearts of Montana series, the cozy mysteries of The Page Turners series, the hunky hockey-playing men in the Bannister Brothers Books, and the small-town romantic comedies in the Cotton Creek Romance series.

Jennie loves to hear from readers. Follow her on Facebook at Jennie Marts Books, or Twitter at @JennieMarts. Visit her at and sign up for her newsletter to keep up with the latest news and releases.

Where to Find Jennie





Amazon Author: