Review – Betting Off Dead

I’m beyond excited to share that I am officially part of the Kappes Krew Blogging Team! Today I’m going to share my review of her latest release, Betting Off Dead, and some fun ways to stay involved on social media and how to enter the giveaway. Look forward to more awesome reviews and fun guest posts from Tonya in the coming months!🙂

Betting Off Dead by Tonya Kappes

BETTING OFF DEAD MINI BANNERPublished: August 29, 2016

Book Blurb:
And they’re off!
Gambling on horse racing is Kentucky’s number one sport but when Kentucky Derby Thoroughbred picked to win the Derby, Rails and Nails, ends up poisoned, SKUL special agent Mick Jasper and rookie witch Maggie Park, who keeps her witch powers a secret, are called in to investigate a world of illegal gambling where a run for the roses can prove to be deadly.

Book Links: Amazon | Amazon UK | Goodreads

My Review

Although Maggie Parks may seem like an ordinary girl to the people in her town, she’s anything but… she’s a witch! Maggie’s family is a bit on the strange side, but Maggie is not your average witch. While everyone else has an animal for their familiar, she has a special car named Vinnie.  And though she works at the family diner, The Brew, Maggie is destined for greater things.

What is she meant to do with her life? Her life’s journey dictates what she’s meant to do and she’s beginning to get a feeling that it has something to do with SKUL and Mick Jasper. Or could that feeling just be her attraction to the latter rather than a necessary driving force to help the former?

There was a lot of witchy info about her witchy hour and all things witchy that were brought up during this book. I assume you pick up the full background and history on those things while reading the first novel. This novel was so much fun that I wish I had read the first book before picking this one up.

I loved this novel! It was filled with fun, chaos and a little bit of mystery; the perfect combo for a cozy mystery! I wish I had read spies and spells before this one, but it can be read alone, as Tonya does a good job of catching you up a bit. I loved Maggie’s character and all of the fiercely odd women in her family completely cracked me up. I can’t wait to see where Maggie’s life journey takes her next, and as long as Vinnie’s in the driving seat, it’s sure to be filled with lots of laughter!
5/5 stars

I received a complimentary Advanced Review Copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Connect with the Author -Tonya Kappes

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | YouTube | Pinterest | Instagram

Tonya KappesAuthor Bio from her website:


I know it sounds crazy, but I love a good mystery and a good happily ever after. All my novels are set in small towns where humor and charm are a must. I grew up in a small town in Kentucky and cherish every memory.

I want to transport my readers to my small towns where they are wrapped around in a blanket of comfort whether it’s a mystery or romance. When you read one of my books my goal is to tickle your funny bone, drain your tear ducts, and steal your heart.

I live in Kentucky with my happily ever after husband, four grown sons and two schnauzers.


For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been publishing numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plot lines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.

betting off dead blog banner

Enter the Giveaway for your chance to win…

a $50 Amazon gift card, Kappes Tote, and signed Kappes novel!giveaway temp
 Arielle Joy

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Review – Catch a Falling Star

Catch a Falling Star by Geralyn Corcillo

catch a falling starPublished: August 26, 2016

Book Blurb: When TV star Wendy Hunter is about to have her most closely guarded secret viciously exposed by the paparazzi, she desperately throws them a delectable bone to distract them: she announces her engagement to southern high school football coach Colin Scott. One problem. She’s not really engaged to Colin Scott. She barely knows him. Um … barely. But will one steamy night between them at a wedding last year be enough to get him to go along with her charade?

She goes to Louisiana to see him and find out. But once she gets there, she discovers that Colin’s not so thrilled to discover he’s “engaged” to America’s Sweetheart, and he has a few demands of his own. And some secrets of his own …

Wendy’s got three weeks with Colin in his small town, playing the part of his one true love. And when their time together is up, will either of them be able to … or want to … go back to the way things were?

Book Links: Amazon | Amazon UK | Goodreads

My Review

I’ll be honest, I loved this novel so much that I forgot to take notes while reading. (Being a bit of a book blogger, I take notes while reading novels to help me write a well thought-out and honest review.) Catch a falling star follows the same characters from Corcillio’s previous novel, Queen of the Universe. This time the main characters are Wendy and Colin. Their story is sweet and funny with a whole lot of wrong turns along the ride. I highly recommend this novel to anyone that loves chick-lit. Catch a Falling Star is the perfect example of what a romantic comedy should look like!

Wendy Hunter, at first glance, seems like a typical Hollywood actress. She seems to only care about herself and her fame, but she’s actually one of the sweetest, kindest, most thoughtful and selfless individuals someone can imagine. She donates a huge portion of the money she makes to charities that she personally funded. She spends hours of her own time helping those who are less fortunate and she goes out of her way to do things that she wouldn’t normally do, but in an efforts to protect those she loves and cares about.

Colin Scott is a high school football coach that has worked hard to make his dreams of helping young men in his community a reality. When he meets Wendy Hunter, he unfairly judges her character and thinks she’s all about her and is selfish beyond belief. He slowly begins to get to know the real woman underneath the public persona and he begins to fall hard. But can these two work things out and overcome their differences when they’re both from two completely different worlds?

Themes; love, family, first impressions, hard-work, diligence, loyalty, selflessness

5/5 stars – romantic comedy perfection

I received a complimentary Advanced Review Copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Connect with the Author – Geralyn Corcillo

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads 

geralyn corcilloAuthor Bio

First and foremost, Geralyn Corcillo loves reader reviews! In other news…When she was a kid growing up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Geralyn Vivian Ruane Corcillo dreamed of one day becoming the superhero Dyna Girl. So, she did her best and grew up to constantly pick up litter and rescue animals. At home, she loves watching old movies, British mysteries and the NY Giants.These days, she lives in Hollywood with her husband Ron, a guy who’s even cooler than Kip Dynamite.

Visit Geralyn and even leave her a note at She loves to connect with readers!

Personal Bookish Brag

When I read Geralyn’s novel Queen of the Universe, I absolutely loved it and wrote a glowing review. Not only did Geralyn connect with me on social media to tell me how much she appreciated my review, but…. she quoted my review! She quoted it on the back cover of the novel, in the image header on her author Facebook page, and at the top of her review quotes on her website! If you’re a book lover like me (and I suspect you are if you’re sitting there reading this review post) then you’ll understand how exciting it is for your favorite authors to notice and appreciate you!!!!🙂 Check out my review of Queen of the Universe to find out more!

Geralyn Corcillo FB Header

Queen paperback cover picJPG

Geralyn Corcillo Website

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Arielle Joy

Beauty Samples Review Round-Up

Today I’m sharing my reviews on beauty and skin care product samples I’ve tried over the past two weeks. I didn’t care for a few of the samples I tried, but there were a few winners in the bunch!

Beauty Sample Review Round-Up 8.2

I’ve listed my reviews below in order of my favorite to my least favorite.

Laneige - water bank serum (1)

1. Laneige Water Bank Serum 5/5

Deluxe sample from Target beauty box

This was a great product to be sampled. It has no scent and has a soft gel-like serum consistency which left my skin feeling soft and wonderful.


2. Algenist Sublime Defense – anti-aging blurring moisturizer SPF 30 4/5

Deluxe sample from the Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit

I liked this product. It has a fun whipped consistency that went on soft and smooth. I mainly used it on my neck, and it felt good but I don’t know if it really had anti-aging effect for me. I liked that it had no scent though, and overall I liked this product.


3. Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser with orange extract; 4/5

Deluxe sample from Ulta online gift with purchase

This product had a good consistency & results for an exfoliator. It left my skin feeling clean. It didn’t foam well though, and I didn’t love the orange scent. Not something I would buy, but if you like orange, you might love this one.


4. Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel 4/5

Single use sample from Sephora

I liked this sample. It had a decent lather and left my skin feeling soft and clean. Not sure if it’s better than anything I currently use, but I liked the sample I tried.

living proof frizz

5. Living Proof Frizz Shampoo & Conditioner 3/5

Single use samples from recent Birchbox

This was a bit of a disappointment for me because I’ve heard so many good things about this brand. I didn’t particularly care for this product at all. The shampoo lathered well and I liked the scent and it didn’t leave that bad rubbery clean feeling but it also didn’t leave it fully fresh and clean either. The conditioner smelled good but didn’t work well on detangling my hair. I suppose you could say I’m indifferent on this set; I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it. I don’t think it did much for giving my hair a smooth anti-frizz look though, so I’d have to say the results were just fair.


6. Caudalie – Premier Cru- La Creme 3/5

Deluxe sample from Sephora VIB Rouge gift with purchase

The first thing I noticed about this product was that I didn’t like the scent. It smells like something an older woman might wear, classy, but similar to a French perfume, which I don’t care for. I liked the consistency and feel of the product, but the scent made me ditch this one. I put it aside to give my mom because she doesn’t mind various scents the way I do. She also didn’t love the scent, but she did like the consistency of the product.

mario badescu

7. Mario Badescu skincare – enzyme cleansing gel; 2/5

Deluxe sample from Ulta online gift with purchase

Not a fan of this product and since it’s the first product that I’ve tried from this brand, I can’t tell you if all their products are just okay, or if it was just this one in particular. It didn’t leave my skin feeling very clean. It had no scent, so that was good. Unless it’s supposed to be a soap-free cleanser, I don’t like when facial cleansers don’t lather well.

Fresh Soy cleanser

8. Fresh – soy face cleanser; 2/5

Single use sample from Sephora

Not a fan of this one. I didn’t like the scent, it didn’t lather well and it didn’t leave my skin feeling clean. Although I wouldn’t recommend this particular product, I do tend to love most of the products by this brand. As you can see, the sample also came with a sample of the soy conditioning eye makeup remover. I also tried that sample but forgot to include it here, so you’ll see my review of that one in my next samples review round-up. (Hint, I liked that one)

estee edit

9. The Estee Edit – Dissolve the Drama 3 in 1 Makeup Remover + Cleanser 2/5

Single use sample from Sephora

This product mostly got off my makeup but it was oily and super messy to use. I liked that it had no scent, so that was good, but overall I’m not a fan. Again, this one was a disappointment because I’ve heard such fantastic things about this line of skincare and beauty products. Right now on this item has 118 reviews averging 4/5 stars. Maybe it’s better when used from the regular size bottle than the small single-use packet? Perhaps it would’ve gotten a 4 from me if it wasn’t so messy to use.


10. Ouai hair care – wave spray 1/5

Deluxe sample in July Sephora Play!

I strongly disliked the scent, which for me is a huge determining factor when I use and purchase a product. If I love the scent of something, I often don’t care much if it works super well or not. If I don’t like the scent, it doesn’t matter how well it works. For me, this was a total loss because it smells like an old French perfume and it actually gave me  bit of a headache.


What products have you tried recently that you’re loving or loathing? I want to know! Share in the comments or connect with me on social media!


Care to share? Use the short-link or social media buttons below!

Arielle Joy

Review – Shore House Slumming

Shore House Slumming by Carli Palmer

shore house slummingPublished: June 23, 2016

Book Blurb: Working as an editor in Seattle, Dana Kline led a happy life. She had great friends, a career she adored, and her health couldn’t be better. But everything about it was mundane and safe. EVERYTHING. No gamble would have made her change her ways, so life was going to change it for her. After an unexpected release from her job and then finding out that she would become practically homeless for the summer, Dana gathered her courage and found herself ready to try a new life in Florida. The only problem was getting herself across the nation on a tight budget, hardly any connections, and an unadventurous self. After many stops along both coast lines Dana finds out that it’s okay to let her hair down, meet new people, and try new escapades. Just as long as her sanity doesn’t fly away with the seagulls.

Book Links: Amazon | Amazon UK | Goodreads

My Review

Shore House Slumming is the second novel written by author Carli Palmer. Super cool side note, a quote from my review on her first novel, Down the Aisle with Bridezilla is in the front of her new novel! 

You know that saying that it’s not about the destination but the journey on the way? That has never been more true than when reading this novel. The bulk of the novel itself is about Dana’s journey to her new job and home in Florida. She has some of the most outrageous, ridiculous and absolutely chaotic stops along the way. There were too many stops to mention them all, but one of my favorites was when she gets tied up with a neighbor that has her little daughter in those pageants with the big princessy dresses, big hair and lots of attitude.

Sometimes when you stop planning your life out just so and live your life one day at a time, the best things can happen. This novel was an entertaining light-hearted read, perfect for those lazy summer days that are still upon us.

I received a complimentary paperback review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.


How cool is it that my review made it into her novel?!

shore house slumming

How cute is the matching bookmark?!

Author Links:  Twitter

Check out my review on Carli’s first novel Down the Aisle with Bridezilla

down the aisle with bridezilla

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Thank you in advance for supporting Living Life With Joy!

Arielle Joy

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Quote – Priyanka Chopra

Today’s quote comes from a fierce young woman named Priyanka Chopra. You may know her from her work in over 50 Indian movies, or you may be more familiar with her recent work on the American television show called Quantico. Or you may not know who I’m talking about at all, and if that’s the case, I hope to change that for you today.

priyanka chopra

Writers and musicians are the people I admire. To be able to write, to be able to come up with something from thin air and create a story, that’s the purest form of art to me. I love books. I have a library at home, and there’s an armchair and a lamp in the middle of it. My favorite thing to do is grab a glass of wine and a great book and maybe put on some old-school Cafe del Mar or something like that. I’m a Cancer, so I’m very much a homebody.

Priyanka Chopra quoted by Veronica Chambers in the August 2016 issue of InStyle Magazine.

When reading celebrity interviews in magazines, one thing that never fails to excite me is when I find a common bond or personal connection with the celebrity as an individual. I recently read an article on Priyanka in InStyle Magazine and I was thrilled to find out that we share a love of books and reading. Reading is one of my favorite pleasures in life and I love discovering that people I admire also enjoy reading books in the comfort of their homes. Priyanka is a true example of what beauty looks like, both on the inside and out.❤


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Arielle Joy

Quote – Olivia Palmero

Olivia Palmero

Olivia Palmero quoted in the August 2016 issue of Allure Magazine. 

#NoMakeupMondays have become a popular social media theme post. Women everywhere embrace their natural beauty, without makeup and share their naturally beautiful ‘selfies’. I think it’s a wonderful mindset for women to love who they are and support one another in appreciating themselves. One of the best ways to be naturally beautiful is through proper nutrition, hydration, sleep and a great skin-care regimen. I was inspired by a quote from Olivia Palmero in the August issue of Allure Magazine; “The best compliment you can receive is that you look well rested.” Who wants to be told that they look tired? Certainly not me! Being told you look well rested is one of the best compliments a woman can receive because it means you look happy, healthy and relaxed, which in turn, means you look beautiful!

Do you enjoy sharing #NoMakeupMonday selfies? I’d love to see some below!

Arielle Joy



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How to: 5 Minute Makeup

Although I may be a bit makeup obsessed, I’m also a big believer in getting my beauty sleep. When getting ready in the morning, whether it’s for work or on the weekend going out, my makeup is the last thing I do before I walk out the door. Sometimes when I hit the snooze button one too many times, I end up with only 5 or 10 minutes to do my makeup. Read on for my top 5 beauty products to get you out the door in 5 minutes.

How to- 5 minute makeup

Half the trick of doing your makeup in 5 minutes is having a skilled hand, but the other half is knowing which products to use and which ones to skip. Liquid eyeliner is a BIG HUGE NO! when you need to get out the door in just a few minutes. How many times have you messed up your liner and it’s taken almost 5 minutes just to fix it? Take it from me and save the liquid liner for those days when you have 10-20 minutes to do your makeup. These are my top 5 makeup products I grab when I’m running low on time: 1) Fast Foundation 2)Blush 3) Mascara 4) Eyebrow Tamer 5) Moisturizing Chapstick

1. Fast Foundation – Hourglass’s Vanish Foundation

Three weeks ago I would’ve never suggested foundation on my list of 5 minute makeup products. Usually foundation takes a while to apply and make sure it’s even and smooth, but since I was introduced to the new Vanish Foundation from Hourglass, I can honestly say that I can get out of the bathroom in 5 minutes (well, for the time spent doing my makeup anyway). It’s super easy to apply and blends quickly, evenly and perfectly! It’s a bit on the pricey side at $46 for the foundation stick (and $46 for a one-time purchase on the brush) but I swear it’s worth it. When you’re short on time, with this foundation you don’t even need to use concealer! [I received the foundation stick and foundation brush for free for testing purposes and I can’t tell you how happy I got it, because this product has completely transformed my morning makeup routine!]

2. Blush – Benefit’s Dandelion Box o’ Powder Blush

At first glance this blush looks a bit pale and seems like it wouldn’t be good for someone like me that has a medium complexion. However, once I started using this blush, I haven’t switched to anything else. I’ve tried a few blushes I’ve received as samples, but I keep coming back to this one for my everyday rosy healthy glowing look.

3. Mascara – Giorgio Armani’s Black Ecstasy Mascara

Almost anything you read will tell you that mascara is a must, even on days when you only have a few minutes and I am a total advocate for that! A few quick swipes of a good mascara will do wonders for waking up your entire face. Right now I’m loving the Black Ecstasy sample I got from Giorgio Armani, but there are countless amazing mascaras that you can use.

4. Eyebrow Tamer – Benefit’s Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel

Oh Em Gee! Another newbie on the market, this little brow gel is fantastic! I’ve always struggled to find a good way to tame my naturally thick eyebrows and this thing does just the trick. It’s good for adding a little volume, but I honestly use it because it’s like a good hair spray; it keeps my brows in place without making them crunchy to the touch.

5. Moisturizing Chapstick – Fresh’s Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15

Never, never, ever leave your house without a moisturizing lip product!! Sure a matte cream lip looks great, but it takes a few minutes and a steady hand, which isn’t always available when you’re running around getting ready to leave the house. Instead, grab a moisturizing chapstick with a subtle hint of color. My favorite lip treatment is the berry color from Fresh’s Sugar Lip Treatment product line. It’s super moisturizing and has just enough color to brighten up your face, but subtle enough that you don’t need a mirror to apply it. On average I’ve got at least 3 of these in different colors in my handbag but the berry is by far my favorite. At $22 a piece for the full size product, it’s a bit expensive for a chapstick, but I can’t tell you how completely worth it it is! Just don’t carry too many at once, or you’ll be likely to misplace and lose them.

Okay, so I took an extra 5 seconds to take a quick selfie this morning after I did my makeup only using the 5 products listed above. What are your go-to products when you’re short on time in the morning? Share your favorites and your own selfies below!

How to: 5 Minute Makeup

Arielle Joy




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