Monday, October 5, 2015

Mending Hearts, Logan's Story (Second Chances #2) by Kimbery Krey + $25 Giveaway

  mending hearts

Logan & Candice, on the verge of divorce, decide to give their marriage one last try. But will they be able to get past the issues holding them back? Candice is through with married life and all it entailed: infertility, an adoption gone wrong, and the death of her husband’s twin brother. Now that they’ve been separated for nearly a year, Candice is finally ready to set Logan free. But when he steps back into her life, Candice begins to have second thoughts. Even though she hasn’t fully healed from the heartache she endured over their married years, she can't fathom the thought of losing him a second time. Can Candice let go of past hurts and give Logan a second chance, or will her fears keep them apart? Logan has spent the months of separation giving Candice the space she needed. But when he discovers that Candice is about to file for a divorce, he decides he better take action quick. He didn’t spend the best years of his life with this woman, only to let her slip away. Yet just when the opportunity comes again – his chance to finally make things right – an entirely new force threatens to tear them apart. Will opposition keep the heart-broken couple from getting back together or will they have the strength to break through the barriers, no matter what their future might bring?

I'm always over the moon when a new book from Kimberly Krey comes out.  Usually I grab it up right away and read it no matter how far away in my review schedule it is.  I couldn't do that this time and this book sat there, taunting me, every single day.  It was such a happy day when I finally, finally got to settle in to enjoy it.

I'm loving this series because it's all about second chances.  In this book, Candice and Logan are married but have separated because Candice needed some space.  She had a lot of emotional things to work through and decided that it would be easier to do apart.  (bad choice, Candice)  Logan is ready to give things another go.  He is not letting Candice go without a fight but after a year apart, it's hard to find the common ground once again.

I loved Logan's fight.  I loved how deeply he cared and how he tried in both the big things and the little things.  Candice doesn't always give Logan any good reason to continue fighting.  In fact, even I thought Logan should walk away several times.  But, he doesn't.  He just stays and keeps trying.  How's that for a knight in shining armor?  

This book tackles many real issues that people face today.  The struggles are real and I felt like this book portrayed them well.  The emotion was there and I felt it.  Frustration, heartbreak, discouragement, loneliness, hope and happiness.  

Above all though, this is a love story.  And I love the second chance at love theme.  Kimberly Krey is one of my favorites!

Content:  Some instances of mild swearing.  Steamy clean kissing and some talk of the intimate relationship between a married couple.  Sex is behind closed doors between a married couple with no details.

I recently got to meet Kimberly at a book signing.  After a couple years of exchanging emails and working up some fun blog posts together, I finally got to meet her in person.  So fun!  Here's a picture from our meeting and then an excerpt from "Mending Hearts".  Enjoy!

The door creaked to a slow close, and Candice looked up to see their extra guest. Tall, dark, and completely unexpected, Logan stood at the entryway. Her eyes grew wide. If seeing her nephew flirt with his cousin had surprised Candice, the sight of her husband was an outright shock.
Logan offered an awkward wave and timid smile while tiny cracks formed trails into Candice’s heart. Trails that would lead her right back to places she’d already been. Spots she had chosen to leave behind.
The kids rushed over to greet him. But Candice stood rooted in place, her splintered heart picking up pace, working to piece itself back together again. When she could no longer take it, Candice darted out of the room and through the kitchen. A roomful of family caught in their own world. Completely unaware.
Mom.” The word was weak on her tongue.
Marge turned to look at her. The room stilled.
Candice’s eyes locked on her mother’s. Pale. Blue. Questioning.
She wanted to explain that she’d ruined everything Candice had worked toward over the last year. That, in one careless move, she’d ripped the healing scabs from her heart. Candice folded her arms, her hands feeling cold and numb, and forced out the only thing that would come to her lips. “What in the world are you trying to do?”

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Kimberly Krey

Writing Romance That's Clean Without Losing the Steam! I'm a reader of good, clean romance, a lover of family time and Diet Coke, and the ultimate hater of laundry. I'm not patient enough to enjoy yoga, or tall enough to be great at basketball, but I do love to run - anywhere but on a treadmill. I love the sound of a rainstorm when I have no place to go, the feel of Soft Lips chap Stick on my lips, and the first peek of blue water as we round the mountains toward our favorite getaway in Bear Lake.

    $25 Blog Tour giveaway
Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/26/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway
Mending Hearts (1)

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Impossible Dream

Sunday, October 4 at 9pm ET/PT, 8C

Williamson said, “’Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Impossible Dream’ is an unusual balance between light and dark, comedy and drama. Our lead character Oliver said it best, ’The world is a terribly complicated place, and so much of it can be ugly. That’s why what is gentle and beautiful and joyful is worth fighting to preserve. And it’s why we honor those who fight.’ She added, “That’s why we made this movie, and we are grateful for the opportunity to share it.”

“Signed, Sealed, Delivered” is a comedic drama that follows the lives of postal workers who transform themselves into an untraditional team of detectives to track down intended recipients of undeliverable mail. Their missions take them out of the office into an unpredictable world where redirected letters and packages can save lives, solve crimes, reunite old loves and change futures by arriving late but somehow on time.

The movies are produced by Muse Entertainment in association with MoonWater Productions. Executive producers are Martha Williamson (“Touched By An Angel”), Joel S. Rice (“Tut”) and Michael Prupas (“The Kennedys”). Harvey Kahn (“The Haunting Hour”) is the producer. Kevin Fair directs and serves as an executive producer of the movie. Story by Martha Williamson and Brandi Harkonen. Teleplay by Martha Williamson. Created by Martha Williamson.

I guess this is movie sharing weekend for me.  Yesterday I posted about an awesome movie, The Cokeville Miracle and today I get to tell you about another movie that I loved watching.  Signed, Sealed, Delivered:  The Impossible Dream picks up right where the last movie ended.  I love the continuation of the story and it's characters.

I love my country.  I love the freedoms that were established for us long ago.  I'm SO grateful for the many men and women who give so much for our country and for me and my family.  It takes special people to serve in our armed forces.  I give them my respect and again, my gratitude.  I do not take for granted the freedoms that I enjoy.

This movie pays a special tribute to those who serve our country.  I will admit that I cried.  I was touched and moved by this story.  I loved it.  I have loved every TV show and every movie associated with this series but I think this one was my favorite so far.  LOVE.

It airs tomorrow!  Don't miss it!

Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel Locator:

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Cokeville Miracle

On May 16, 1986, in the small, ranching community of Cokeville, Wyoming, David and Doris Young took an elementary school hostage for several hours before detonating a bomb inside a classroom that held every teacher and student in the school. In the wake of the madness, Ron Hartley, whose children were inside the classroom, must fight his skepticism and unbelief as he hears eyewitness accounts from the students about miraculous, heavenly intervention during the crisis. When tragedy strikes ... what do you see?

Region: All Regions
Format: Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
Rated: PG-13
Run Time: 94 minutes

  * Deseret BookAmazon *

Have any of you seen this movie?  I just watched it and I don't know how anyone could end this movie and not believe that God is real and miracles exist.

This movie is based on actual events that occurred in Cokeville, Wyoming 1986.  I wasn't familiar with this story before hearing about the movie coming out.  I was a young teenager in 1986 and not paying attention to the world around me much past how it effected me directly.  But this story deserves to be heard.  It is a movie that speaks of tragedy and triumph.  It is based on faith in God and the miracles that surrounded a school full of children when a terrorist took over.

As I watched this movie, I was filled with all kinds of emotions.  As a parent, one of my worst nightmares is to have something like this happen to one of my children.  I can't even imagine how scary this day must have been for all involved.  I was touched by the efforts of the teachers who were willing to sacrifice themselves to save those children and did whatever they could that day to protect them.  My heart was full of gratitude for the miracles that the people of Cokeville received that day.

It's hard to understand why some people get miracles like this and some do not.  There are so many instances of terror in schools that do not end this way.  It breaks my heart.  But while I do not know why miracles happen for some and not for others, I do know that when miracles happen, we should celebrate and acknowledge them as such.  

I didn't know this until this movie was coming out, but there is a family in my neighborhood that was involved in this.  They had two children in this school on this day.  That really brought this story closer to home for me.  It's been great to hear about their support for this movie.  

This was such a good movie.  It enlightened me, it made me feel.  I ended the movie feeling so emotional but also so grateful.

Content:  I would not let my young teenage daughter watch this.  She is very sensitive to things like this and because I know her, I know it would scare her for sure.  It is rated PG-13 for a good reason.  While there isn't anything overly graphic, the scenes are portrayed very realistically and may frighten children.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Joni, Underway by Kelly Oran and Jonathan Harrow

Nineteen year old Joni Monday is loving life as an adult—living on her own, dealing with grown-up things like jobs, hook-ups, and doing her own laundry. Best of all: after finishing her first year at ASU, she will never again be called a freshman.

But when her brother is suddenly killed in a car accident, Joni’s adult life is turned upside down. Struggling to cope with loss, guilt, and anger—not to mention the meddling of friends and family trying to “fix” her—Joni is relieved to be presented with an escape in the form of a sailing trip her brother had been planning for months before he died.

With her first step onto the sailing vessel Lady Marguerite, Joni plunges into an adventure that will mark the beginning of her real adult life—a journey across the ominous dark blue of the Atlantic Ocean with a small, eccentric crew, and the young Captain Reid, whose gorgeous looks are only outmatched by his talent for care and kindness. Unfolding through the ups and downs of life at sea is an unforgettable story reminding us that love will always be a work-in-progress and coming of age never gets old.

 * GoodreadsAmazon *

Kelly Oram is an author who knows how to write such vivid and real characters.  Her books are always witty and full of life.  In this book, she co-authors with Jonathan Harrow, her husband.  So, something new from her this go round.

This book takes on a more serious note, I think.  The vibe isn't gloom and doom but it's definitely not as light and fun as most of Kelly's other books.  The characters are still stand out though- with quirks, histories and stories of their own to tell.  I loved this sailboat full of such diverse people, each on their own journey.

The way the whole story unfolds from Joni's perspective is good.  It made me feel like I was really on the journey right along with Joni.  I became personally invested in the characters and the story.  Captain Reid is a truly a hero.  His heart is gold.  And the ending bit?  Ugh, rip my heart out!

My only hesitation with this book is the swearing and the sexual innuendo.  That's a personal thing for me though.  There are sexual situations although nothing described in detail outside of kissing.  

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Played for a Fool by Stephanie Black + $25 and Book Giveaway!

Three years ago, the small town of Britteridge was rocked by the senseless murder of Gail Ludlum. Now the people most affected by the tragedy have returned to the place where it all began, and the scene is set for the perfect revenge . . .
Megan O’Connor’s life was shattered when she was unwittingly drawn into a kidnapping plot that ultimately led to the murder of an innocent woman. Though the road to redemption has been long, she’s finally found happiness with her recent engagement to a wonderful man, a pillar of the community. But amid the chaos of wedding planning, the return of Gail Ludlum’s son to Britteridge sets in motion a disturbing sequence of events. Soon Megan finds herself the victim of a series of cruel deceptions that indicate one thing: her past mistakes have not been forgiven or forgotten. As the mischief escalates to dangerous levels, it becomes clear that someone is determined to avenge Gail’s death. And he won’t rest until he’s taken a life for a life.

Played for a Fool is the second book with these main characters.  You should really read the first book, Fool Me Twice, before reading this book.  It will help with understanding the background and characters.  It had been awhile since I read Fool Me Twice so it took me a minute to remember and find my groove with the characters.

This is a light suspense novel and a continuation of Megan's life since the last book.  She is now engaged to married and working hard as a student to get a degree.  Bad things start happening to Megan again- hate mail, cruel tricks and deceptions.  

Many times in suspense novels, you don't know who the bad guy really is but you have a list of potential suspects.  In this novel, you know exactly who the bad guys are and you know exactly what they are doing.  You get the story from both perspectives- the perp and the victim.  It's amazing to me that even though I knew who the bud guys were, and I knew what was going to happen, I was still on the edge of my seat.  Crazy stuff, that.  I found myself reading faster and faster until I had to force myself to slow down.  ha.  

I hope poor Megan gets a break now and is able to live a healthy, happy life.  Hopefully the next book, which I look forward to reading, will have new characters in a new place.  Stephanie Black is a fun author and if you love suspense with a touch of romance, you should check her out.

This is an LDS fiction book but there is nothing religious expressed in this book.  There is a mention of where the couple hopes to be married in connection with LDS temples, but that is it.  This book is clean (no swearing or sexual situations).

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Second Chance Ranch by Liz Isaacson

A new Christian western romance from bestselling author, Elana Johnson, writing as Liz Isaacson for her contemporary adult romance debut.

After his deployment, injured and discharged Major Squire Ackerman returns to Three Rivers Ranch, anxious to prove himself capable of running the cattle operation so his parents can retire. Things would be easier if the ranch wasn’t missing 1.6 million dollars, which forces Squire to hire Kelly, the girl who rejected his high school prom invitation, as his accountant.

She’s back in town with her four-year-old son, living in her parent’s basement until she can get her life back together. With fresh ink on her divorce papers and open gashes on her heart, she’s not ready for much beyond her new job on the ranch.

Squire wants to forgive Kelly for ignoring him a decade ago. He’d like to provide the stable life she needs, but with old wounds opening and a ranch on the brink of financial collapse, it will take patience and faith to make their second chance possible.

 * GoodreadsAmazon *

It's always fun when authors delve into a new genre and write something outside of what is typical for them.  Especially when they do it successfully and I think Elana Johnson (writing as Liz Isaacson) has done very well for her debut contemporary adult romance novel.

I always love a good western with horses and cowboys.  Squire is also military so that brings a few added elements into the mix.  On top of that, it's a second chance love because Kelly and Squire have known each other a long time and Squire kind of carries a torch for Kelly from high school.  There is a bit of a mystery surrounding some missing money on the ranch and Kelly has been hired to find it.  There is even a cute kid and a puppy!  What more could you ask for in a good love story?

Squire and Kelly have some great chemistry that really came through in the story.  I enjoyed their interactions and their conversations.  Even though they both fight it, that attraction could not be dismissed.

Overall and great romantic story!  I settled in and read through it quickly.  I'm looking forward to more in this genre from this author.

Content:  Clean.  No swearing or sexual content.  Christian fiction.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Jessie Belle (The Women of Merryton #1) by Jennifer Peel

Nestled in the picturesque Rocky Mountains, lies the quaint town of Merryton, Colorado. You will never find finer people or better friends. But try keeping a secret in Merryton and you will soon find that the good townspeople are better than any private investigator or undercover journalist. The men and women of Merryton are like living barometers, and when a storm is brewing in the life of one of their own, they are sure to get to the bottom of it--and forecast it on the Merryton grapevine.

Jessica and Blake Summers know a thing or two about what it’s like to be the latest and greatest news on the vine. Their thirteen year marriage has had more than its fair share of heartache and loss. Then the past comes knocking, in the form of a teenage girl, a daughter Blake never knew existed. The news sets the Merryton grapevine on fire.

In the wake of this revelation and firestorm, Blake and Jessica are forced to reevaluate their own relationship and priorities, all while learning that raising a teenage girl is not for the faint of heart. But in the midst of the chaos and uncertainty, they discover that Madeline may just be what the doctor ordered to heal their broken hearts and mend their own tattered relationship.

Will they have the courage to look forward and find a greater love than they could ever imagine? Or will past hurts and the town grapevine tear them apart?

It's always a happy day when I get a book from Jennifer Peel.  I've been looking forward to this book and this series and I'm glad I finally got to read it.  Jennifer Peel has a gift for writing characters that feel real and bring out real emotions in me.

This book is honestly like a real life drama playing out before your eyes.  Told in first person from Jessica's point of view, you really get an up close and personal look at her life and her heartache.  You also get to know all the people Jessie loves.  Her parents, her best friends, and Blake.  All these characters had definition and by the end of the book I felt like I knew them well.

Blake and Jessie have their struggles.  Blake may have made some mistakes, but honestly, his desire to keep trying and work on things makes him a hero in my eyes.  He has patience and knows how to work hard.

I could related to Jessie and all her emotions.  It was almost scary sometimes!  There is so much emotion in this book.  It is a love story but more like a rediscovering love story.  Maybe more along the lines of women's fiction.  All I know is when I finished the story I felt satisfied and hours later, I missed these characters.  

This book has some Christian elements to it but I wouldn't necessarily classify it as Christian fiction.  It is a clean romance- so swearing or described sexual situations although the couple in this book is married and their sexual relationship is mentioned.

I'm really looking forward to the next book in this series!  I got a little preview of what's to come and I'm excited!