Mann Cakes (Beach Pointe 1) By Mysti Parker [Book Review]

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Book Review: Mann Cakes by Mysti Parker | Romance | eBook | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

I downloaded this book on my Kindle when it was free from BookBub.

Summary:

Two brothers. Two sisters. One sweet & sexy rivalry. 

Twin brothers and Air Force vets, Tanner and Garrett Mann, return from deployment to find their thriving business burned to the ground. Time for Plan B: Move back to their hometown of Beach Pointe to start over.

But that means running into Paige and Morgan Baxter – gorgeous, curvy, and owners of Two Sisters Cupcakes.

There’s an old diner for sale across town, Garrett’s a great cook, and Tanner has an idea. They’ll make savory cupcakes that men would like. We’re talking bacon and Cheez Whiz. Even better? They’ll call it Mann Cakes. Problem is, they end up attracting an unexpected crowd.

Paige is furious. Every man in her life has left her behind, including Tanner. She’s sacrificed everything for her shop. She won’t lose it over some egotistical ex-boyfriend, even if he does have an Air Force-chiseled body. Her younger sister, Morgan, isn’t helping matters. She’s been gaga over Garrett since high school.

To hell with that. If it’s a fight Tanner wants, it’s a fight he’ll get. But how much is Paige willing to risk to win a cupcake war?

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comNow that I’ve read the book, the cover makes a little more sense to me. I understood the baking part and yes, I know the romance part, but I couldn’t get the point of showing just one of the guys wearing an apron and holding a whisk. Now it makes more sense to me, but still. The cover is just okay to me.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comAfter reading the summary, I thought this book sounded like You’ve Got Mail or Coffee, Tea, or Me by Rich Amooi. I’m a fan of romantic comedies and this book was free on BookBub, so I decided to give it a try.

Plot | RachelPoli.comI felt this plot was all over the place. The summary is misleading to me. I thought I was going to get a light-hearted rom-com when, in fact, the book was way more romance than comedy. Honestly, I wouldn’t even classify this book as a comedy. BookBub told me it was a rom-com so I took it as such, but that was my own mistake. I should have known by reading the summary alone.

Still, there was very little baking going on in the book. Very little of the plot had to do with their cupcake shops. I definitely wanted more of the “cupcake war” that was mentioned in the summary. Instead, I got them falling in love with each other but pretending they weren’t in love with each other. There were many orgasm scenes which I skipped. I did not sign up for that when I decided to read this book. Then again, muscle-man is on the cover in nothing but an apron so, again, I guess I should have guessed.

There was also some mystery to it as well which was mentioned in the beginning and then there was a big blow-out at the end as the culprit was revealed. This wasn’t a mystery story though, so it was totally out of left field and made no sense.

Characters | RachelPoli.comPaige and Morgan are two sisters running a cupcake shop. Tanner and Garrett are twins who come back to their hometown and open a “savory” cupcake shop. I didn’t care about any of these characters and couldn’t relate to them at all. Paige had a rough life with “every man in her life [leaving] her behind” and also with an autistic 5-year-old. I think I was meant to sympathize with her due to that, but it didn’t work. Morgan gave up her art to help Paige, but there was barely any mention of her art and what she actually wanted to do in her life for me to care.

Same with Tanner and Garrett. They’re joined at the hip and complain about it. Yet they won’t leave each other’s side. They also went to war. Again, I think I was meant to sympathize with them for that fact, but it just didn’t work.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This book is written in the four POVs, which wasn’t needed. Especially since each character liked to explain everything to the reader. It was one reason I couldn’t sympathize with any of the characters. They explained everything to me so I didn’t need to feel the pain or happiness or whatever they were feeling. The dialogue was bland as well. It was almost as if they were trying to hold my hand to carry me through the story.

Overall | RachelPoli.comI changed the rating on this book three times while writing this review. I tried to come up with some positives about the book, but for me, there just aren’t any positives. The plot made no sense and was misleading from the summary, the characters were unlikeable, and the writing was bland. This could have had a lot of potential, but I just couldn’t get into it.

Mann Cakes (Beach Pointe 1) by Mysti Parker gets…
Book Review Rating System | 1 Cup of Coffee | RachelPoli.com1 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“A pair of girls took a selfie with Garrett, whose smile was more Mona Lisa than Colgate commercial.” -Mysti Parker, Mann Cakes (Beach Pointe 1)

Buy the book:

Amazon

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Time To Write: Picture Prompt 27 [Creative Writing Prompt]

Last week’s writing prompt was a general prompt. Check out some stories from fellow writers here:

This week’s writing prompt is:

Time To Write: Picture Prompt | Creative Writing Prompt | Creative Writing | Writing Prompt | Flash Fiction | Short Story | RachelPoli.com

Write a story based on the picture above.

If you use this prompt, please leave a link to your post in the comments below and I’ll share it next week. Please be sure to link back to my blog so your readers know where you got the prompt!

Happy Writing! If you want more, check out all my other Writing Prompts here!

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March 2019 [Wrap Up]

Wrap Up March 2019 | Creative Writing | Blogging | Reading | RachelPoli.com

Reading

This was kind of a slow reading month for me. I read what I wanted to and what I had planned to, but I didn’t read a little bit each day. Most of the books I read within a day or two right before the end of the week. Still, I enjoyed most of what I read and haven’t gotten behind in my reading goal.

Writing

Slow and steady wins the race, right? I’ve been writing, I’ve been prepping and outlining. I planned out my writing for April and am in good shape for Sunday Morning and the other projects I’ll be working on. Aside from making progress on Sunday Morning, I outlined my next Wattpad novella and worked out some timeline stuff for my mystery series. Overall, it was a decent writing month. Not in terms of words but I still made progress.

Blogging

Blogging is still going strong. I’ve been slowly writing blog posts for 2019. Most of my features (with the exception of the wrap-ups and contests and such) I’m able to write in bulk. So, that’s what I’ve been doing. This will save me so much time as the months go by and I only have to worry about writing the day to day content, which I usually write at the beginning of the month. Once I’m done with all of this, I’ll be able to spend more time gabbing on social media as well as writing!

Overall

March was busy. Aside from work, I picked up some extra babysitting jobs and got a new nephew! It was a good month and I’m looking forward to April.

Posts To Remember

1. March & April 2019 Writing Submissions
2. My Diagnosis Story [Mental Health Monday]
3. How Many Drafts Does It Take?

How did March treat you? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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5 Quotes From Toni Morrison

5 Quotes from Toni Morrison | Creative Writing | Inspirational Quotes | Author | RachelPoli.com

1. “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

2. “At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint, or even remember it. It is enough.”

3. “I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.”

4. “What difference does it make if the thing you’re scared of is real or not?”

5. “A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves – a special kind of double.”

What’s your favorite quote from Toni Morrison? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Ready For Another Camp NaNoWriMo Session

Camp NaNoWriMo is so close and yet so far. I remember always being eager for NaNo in November and now, with the two Camp sessions, I feel like I’m prepping for NaNo all year round. The dates come up quickly and only stick around for just as long.

Another Session Is Here | Camp NaNoWriMo | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

I usually have the whole year of NaNo sessions planned out ahead of time. Of course, it took me a while to decide what I wanted to write for Camp NaNo in April. I’ve been working on a lot of projects, but it took me a while to figure out which ones to focus on for the month.

April is a “Finish” month for the 85K90 Writing Challenge, which worked out in my favor. I can take a break from that but still get some writing done.

I’ll talk about which projects I’ll be working on for Camp NaNo more in-depth at the beginning of April, but I’ve been doing some prepping.

Getting Ready

I created a new calendar for myself. I wrote down what I’ll be working on in April for each day and highlighted them according to what I need to do – outline, write, edit, whatever. Of course, for April this year, I’ll be writing the first draft of one project and rewriting a whatever-draft (I forget how many I’m on) of the other project.

I’ve been doing a lot of outlining and prep work these past two weeks. I’m eager to get started on something new while continuing something old.

I look forward to any NaNo session throughout the year and I’m excited April’s session is right around the corner.

Are you participating in Camp NaNo next month? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Musical Mondays: Zero By Imagine Dragons

Musical Monday: Zero by Imagine Dragons | Music Video | Mental Health | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

This is a fairly new song to me. When my sister saw the Wreck-It Ralph 2 movie, Ralph Breaks the Internet, she was addicted to this song for a little while. I heard it and was too addicted, but soon forgot about it. I saw the movie for the first time just a couple weeks ago and I had forgotten all about this song.

When I first heard it a while ago, it reminded me of me. It reminded me of when I was high school and I still feel like this at times, though not nearly as often.

This is a catchy, up-beat song but the lyrics sing a different tune. I don’t know if I’m the only one who thinks this or if the song was even meant to do this, but it reminds me on the contrast of your mind going crazy and yet you’re putting on a smile and going about your day as though nothing is wrong. The lyrics are your mind, but the catchy tune is the smile plastered on your face just getting through the day.

Overall though, it’s a good song. And I’m glad I don’t feel like this all the time anymore.

What did you think of the song? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Short Story Sunday 257: Shelf

Short Story Sunday: Shelf | Creative Writing | Flash Fiction | Short Story | RachelPoli.com

“What are you doing?” Angie asked as she stood in the doorway to the basement. She had assumed her brother was watching TV and went to join him, but she could barely get into the room for fear she’d step on a rogue nail.

Shawn looked over his shoulder. He sat on the floor in the middle of the room surrounding by pieces of finished wood, nails, screws, and the like. His toolbox sat upon the couch where he could barely reach.

“I’m building a shelf.” He replied with a confident smile.

“Like… a flat shelf?” Angie asked moving her hands side to side horizontally. “Is this going to hang up on the wall?”

Shawn shook his head. “It’s a bookshelf. It’ll stand tall in the corner and hold stuff.”

“You mean like, books?” Angie couldn’t help but smirk.

“Or movies.”

“Right,”

“It has four shelves.” Shawn continued. He reached over a couple pieces of wood and grabbed the instructions on how to build it. He stretched his arm out to hand it to Angie who took it without saying a word. The front showed the shelf completely built.

“Wow,” Angie said impressed. “This looks like a good shelf. It’s going to be pretty tall.”

“I know,” Shawn chuckled.

“Do you really think you’ll be able to build it all by yourself?” she asked.

Shawn shrugged. “I don’t see why not.”

“Why were the instructions so far away from you, then?”

“I was just getting all the pieces out and in order, that’s all.” Shawn replied.

Angie couldn’t help but laugh. “You realize building a shelf isn’t like Legos, right?”

“I know.” Shawn scoffed.

“Okay, well have fun.” Angie tossed the instructions booklet back to him. She turned back around and headed up the stairs.

“Where are you going? Do you want to help? You know, brother and sister bonding?” Shawn asked with a grin.

Angie chuckled. She knew why Shawn hadn’t started yet. She knew why he had laid the pieces out and that was it. He was afraid to get started because, even with the instructions, he had no idea what he was doing.

“No, thanks.” She answered. “I’m going to go get Dad.”

“Why Dad?” Shawn asked.

“Because I see a drill sitting on the couch and I get the feeling that won’t end well for anyone.”

Shawn sighed. “Yeah… you’re probably right.”

Words: 396

Check out the other Short Story Sundays I’ve done!

I hope you enjoyed this story! Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Warriors: River Of Fire (A Vision Of Shadows 5) By Erin Hunter [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Book Review: Warriors: River of Fire (A Vision of Shadows 5) by Erin Hunter | Fantasy | Fiction | Book Blogger | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

I got a hardcover for my birthday.

Summary:

A shadow has fallen across the warrior Clans.

The return of the long-lost SkyClan has ushered in a time of unprecedented change and upheaval, and one of the proudest warrior Clans is no more. ShadowClan has given up its territory. Its remaining warriors have joined SkyClan, and its former leader, Rowanclaw, has abandoned the name StarClan once gave him.

Some cats are content to accept this fragile new peace. But StarClan warns of a storm building on the horizon . . . and Alderheart, Violetshine, and Twigpaw must fight for not only their Clanmates and kin, but all five warrior Clans.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comThough dark, this cover is vivid at the same time. I think it’s eye catching and the cats look majestic in a way.

Plot | RachelPoli.comShadowClan is now one with SkyClan, though not for long. All the Clans are struggling as they try to get back on their feet. This was an interesting plot especially whereas they just got all five Clans back together only for ShadowClan to disband and become one with SkyClan. Overall, the plot was well done.

Characters | RachelPoli.comFollowing Violetshine, Twigpaw, and Alderheart some more, they’re all adjusting to the new Clan life in their respective Clans. They’re finding their place all the while trying to figure out what’s right for all the Clans. They work well together even though some of them aren’t supposed to be seeing each other.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This is another easy to read, page turning book. Not too much seemed to have happen in the beginning of the book, but the ending got really good and I shed a few tears at the words.

Overall | RachelPoli.comThis was another great read for the Warriors series and I’m looking forward to seeing how A Vision of Shadows ends in the next book.

Warriors: River of Fire (A Vision of Shadows 5) by Erin Hunter gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Hey, Larksong! I killed the leaf!” – Erin Hunter, Warriors: River of Fire (A Vision of Shadows 5)

Buy the book:

Amazon

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Time To Write: Animal [Creative Writing Prompt]

Last week’s writing prompt was a general prompt. Check out some stories from fellow writers here:

This week’s writing prompt is:

Time To Write: Animal | Creative Writing Prompt | Creative Writing | Writing Prompt | Flash Fiction | Short Story | RachelPoli.com

Write a story about the word above.

If you use this prompt, please leave a link to your post in the comments below and I’ll share it next week. Please be sure to link back to my blog so your readers know where you got the prompt!

Happy Writing! If you want more, check out all my other Writing Prompts here!

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How Many Drafts Does It Take?

When I first started writing, I often wondered how many drafts it would take me to “complete” my manuscript. Before I could submit it places for publication, how many drafts would I have to write, edit, rewrite, and the like? Of course, the more I wrote, the more I realized there’s no true answer to how many drafts does it take to write a novel?

How Many Drafts Does It Take | Creative Writing | Writing | Novel Writing | Writing Tips | Writing Community | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

My First Manuscript

I completed the first draft of my very first novel back in 2010. It’s been nine years and I don’t even know how long since I last touched it. I still have the manuscript and I’m on the eighth draft. It’s still not done. At this point, it will never be done.

Being the first novel I had ever written, I know it’s not going to see the light of day. I’m not even sure if I like the idea enough to ever go back to it and try to rewrite the story. Maybe someday I’ll share some bits of it, but today is not that day.

I Thought I Needed A Lot Of Drafts

Of course, that particular novel had a lot of drafts because I didn’t know much of what I was doing. I thought it needed to be perfect, which there is no such thing. I also thought that having multiple drafts and a crap ton of ink-filled paper meant that I was a “real writer.” That novel wasn’t a manuscript unless I had a handful of stacks of that same manuscript riddled with black and red ink.

But you don’t need a lot of drafts. You just need as many as you think it will take to tell the story at a polished level. When do you know it’s polished? That’s harder to tell because we all strive for the novel to be as perfect as can be.

It Depends On Style And Genre Too

I write mostly novels. I have written a couple of novellas. I have written short stories and compiled them into a collection. I’ve even written poetry and scripts. I find the longer it is, the more drafts you may have. You can’t catch everything in one sitting.

I was on my second or third draft of George Florence and the Perfect Alibi before I rewrote the whole book with a POV change. Now I’m on the third or fourth draft of that. So, you figure all together I have about six or seven drafts of that manuscript. Meanwhile, my novellas on Wattpad only took one round of edits.

It’s All Up To You

Whatever you think you’re novel needs, do it. Just don’t overdo it.

How many drafts do your novels typically take until they’re complete? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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