Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Star of Deliverance by Mandy Madson Voisin


Cen exhaled slowly. "It doesn't matter what their rules are or what the punishment will be. We are healers, and we must continue working and doing what we can to help our people regardless of the potential punishment." He paused. "And that includes this boy."

Emi was born an outcast but raised to be a healer. So when a young boy stumbles into her village with a rare disease, she knows that it's up to her to find the cure in the one place that abhors her people—the capital. But when Emi arrives, she's unwittingly thrust into a competition to win the Crown Prince's heart.

Staying in the game will give her time to search for the cure, but is it worth risking her life?

Get swept up in this epic teen fantasy that pulls you in from the very first page. Filled with intrigue, mystery, and romance, Star of Deliverance is guaranteed to keep you guessing.
 
It took me a couple chapters to get into this book and become invested but it definitely did happen.  This book reminded me a little bit of The Selection series with the competition to win the prince's heart.  The other thing that came to mind as I read this book was the story of Esther from the bible.  As per the usual with me, I didn't read anything about this book going into it so after reading, I read the author comments and realized the connection to the story of Esther in the bible was completely on purpose.  (of course it was!)  It is a loose connection but still there.

I ended up loving Emi.  She is so loyal to those she loves.  And smart.  She is so smart.  I loved Emi's courage and her ability to make tough decisions.  She has strength inner and outer that shine through as she makes personal sacrifices to help the lives of others.

This book had emotion and purpose.  I enjoyed the adventure and was sad to see it end.  There was plenty of resolution to satisfy me.  When I got closer to the end I started expecting a cliff hanger but it didn't happen.  I actually breathed a sigh of relief.  

The other added bonus for me was that this book was clean.  No swearing or sexual content.  I've added this book to my older teenage daughter's reading list.  I hope she will enjoy it as much as I did.

Here is my favorite quote from the book:

"Grief is the worst kind of pain, because it is not the pain of anger or fear.  Grief is the pain of love."

You can purchase "Star of Deliverance" at Amazon.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Rewind to You $75 Book Blast

Rewind to You Cover
One last summer before college on beautiful Tybee Island is supposed to help Sienna forget. But how can she? This is where her family spent every summer before everything changed, before the world as she knew it was ripped away. But the past isn’t easily left behind. Especially when Sienna keeps having episodes that take her back to the night she wants to forget. Even when she meets the mysterious Austin Dobbs, the guy with the intense blue eyes, athlete’s body, and weakness for pralines who scooped her out of trouble when she blacked out on River Street. When she’s with Austin, Sienna feels a whole new world opening up to her. Austin has secrets, and she has history. But caught between the past and the future, Sienna can still choose what happens now…


Laura Rewind to You Author
Laura Johnston lives in Utah with her husband and two children. Growing up with five siblings, a few horses, peach trees, beehives and gardens, she developed an active imagination and always loved a good story. She fell in love with the young adult genre both through her experience in high school as well as her job later as a high school teacher. Laura enjoys running, playing tennis, sewing, traveling, writing, and above all, spending time with her husband and kids. REWIND TO YOU is her debut novel.

  Excerpt:
I’m increasingly aware of Austin—his shower-fresh scent, every curve of muscle and the rise and fall of his chest with every breath—as he stands behind me and wraps his arms around mine. “I’ll teach you,” he says, his hot breath against my ear seeping in. Whispering a thrill. His hand cups the back of mine. I watch as he positions my pinkie and ring fingers over the threads and slides my thumb down. “Hold the football with your fingertips.” I glance at his face above my shoulder, his blue eyes, strong jaw and his lips. And suddenly, football is the last thing on my mind.


  Rewind to You Tour

Praise for the Book “Johnston’s debut spotlights romance and familial relationships, including themes like grief and self-sacrifice. It’s an ideal story for readers looking for a deep-rooted YA love story with the emotional ups and downs and poignancy of a Nicholas Sparks contemporary. There’s also a touch of wit and a sigh-worthy hero – a definite on your TBR list.” – RT Book Reviews  

 “This is contemporary YA fiction at its best! –Kay Lynn Mangum, author of The Secret Journal of Brett Colton   “Rewind to You will steal your hear away.” –Kelly Nelson, author of The Keeper’s Saga  
   
  BookBlast Giveaway $75 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/5/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an iTunes Gift Code or River Street Sweets Gift Card. 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

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Secret Bliss of Calliope Ipswich by Marcia Lynn McClure + $25 Giveaway

secret bliss
The Secret Bliss of Calliope Ipswich by Marcia Lynn McClure “Oh! Do link arms with me, Calliope,” Blanche whispered, her brown eyes widening with apprehension. She took Calliope’s arm, tightly linking it with her own. “The old Mulholland house still gives me the willies every time I walk past it. I hate to think on what might have gone on inside. It’s truly terrifyin’!” “Oh, don’t be silly, Blanche,” Calliope said, feigning calm. “Poor Prudence’s lunacy…it’s sad. And besides, her fiendish acts were not committed inside the house. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just…it’s just a sad, empty building.” Calliope Ipswich felt the hypocrite, however, as an uncomfortable shiver of residual dread and unease shuttered down her spine, More than six months had passed since the All Hollow’s Eve when the dangerous state of Prudence Mulholland’s fracturing mind had been revealed to the townsfolk of Meadowlark Lake. And now, each time Calliope thought of poor Prudence and her family, not only did her heart ache for their family’s unhappy lot but a chill of lingering horror rippled through her being. In truth, at times Calliope wondered if it had all been simply a bad dream—a nightmare. But it hadn’t. It really had happened—all of it.
Purchase your copy on

It feels like it’s been awhile since I’ve settled in with a Marcia McClure book so I was happy to get this one in my hands and snuggle in for a romantic read. I always know exactly what I’m going to get with Marcia’s books. Predictable, yes. But sometimes a girl just needs to know what she can count on- especially when life feels so unpredictable. Today, life felt a bit overwhelming and so I picked this book to read. It wasn’t really “time” to read this book for me in my review schedule, but it’s what I wanted to read.  J

If you haven’t read any of Marcia’s books, and you love clean romance, you really need to check Marcia out. If you have read Marcia’s books, you will know exactly what to expect from this book. This is the second book in her “Three Girls Dressed In Blue” series. You probably should read the first book in the series first, but I don’t think it’s a must.

Calliope is a fun character. She has a happiness and light that just radiate from within and it makes it easy to like her. She is kind, gentle and such a good sister.

The Tom Thumb wedding added a bit of whimsy to the book. I loved the pictures at the end of the book from a Tom Thumb wedding of the past. So cute. It’s those kinds of things that really bring a story to life. I actually had no idea about the wedding of the actual Tom Thumb or even the reenactments that followed. What a fun thing.

This book is gentle and left me feeling good. It was perfect for the mood I was in when I picked it up.

Content: A handful of instances of mild swearing

  Excerpt:
Blanche’s pretty forehead puckered with a slight frown. “You don’t like Fox as much as he likes you, do you, Calliope? You’re not in love with him.” Calliope silently scolded herself for having let her countenance and words reveal her secret to Blanche. The truth was that she was not as sweet on Fox Montrose as he was on her. Yet there were secrets in her heart that could never be revealed to anyone—not even to Blanche, not even to Calliope’s own sisters. Therefore, she chose a counter maneuver with which to distract Blanche and said, “Oh, I adore Fox! I just think these things may take time, you know, for me to…to…” “To really fall in love with him, you mean,” Blanche finished. “Yes. Perhaps that is what I mean,” Calliope responded. Yet as they neared the Montrose house, trepidation welled up in Calliope’s bosom, for she knew that if she hadn’t fallen in love with Fox Montrose by now, she never would. Furthermore, she didn’t want to. A secret bliss was nestled deep inside Calliope Ipswich. It had been nestled there from nearly the moment the Ipswich family had arrived in Meadowlark Lake all those months past. And though it was a bliss she owned in knowing something about herself that even her own sisters did not know, it likewise brought her pain at times—for it was the very reason she knew she would never fall in love with Fox Montrose. Calliope’s love was already spoken for—and no one in all the wide world, save Calliope Ipswich herself, would ever know it.
  marcia
Author Marcia Lynn McClure Marcia Lynn McClure’s intoxicating succession of novels, novellas, and e-books, has established her as one of the most favored and engaging authors of true romance. Her unprecedented forte in weaving captivating stories of western, medieval, regency, and contemporary amour void of brusque intimacy has earned her the title “The Queen of Kissing.” Marcia, who was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has spent her life intrigued with people, history, love, and romance. A wife, mother, grandmother, family historian, poet, and author, Marcia Lynn McClure spins her tales of splendor for the sake of offering respite through the beauty, mirth, and delight of a worthwhile and wonderful story.  
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  Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 9/24/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com 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

Friday, September 12, 2014

On Tour with The Reckoning by Teyla Branton + a $25 Giveaway

Reckoning  


  The Reckoning 
  The Reckoning Only One Can Survive The Reckoning Erin Radkey has always known the day would come when she would have to personally confront the Triad leader of the power-hungry Emporium. But she never thought it would be with a snake in her head that feeds on her energy. Or that she’d be in the company of an uncertain ally who might turn on her at any moment. The stakes are high as new intel uncovers a startling Emporium plot that will catapult the entire world into war. Erin is determined to save not only the mortals but also her friends—even if it means sacrificing herself and her newfound love for Ritter Langton. Ritter is just as determined to save Erin and prevent what would usher in the most bloody century the world has ever known, but even he might not recognize the person she becomes. Every day the enemy grows stronger. There will be no second chance.


This has been a series I have really enjoyed reading from the beginning.  It is fast paced and charged with tension and danger.  

Erin is one super tough chick.  If we are picking teams, I go first and she is on my team.  Erin and Ritter are a powerhouse couple when they are working together.  In the very rare down time to this book, Erin and Ritter make out.  Fight the enemy or make out.  It's either one or the other.  ha ha.

Not only are Erin and friends trying to figure out the Emporiums latest plot to take over the world, but Erin is fighting against the "snake" in her head.  It feeds on her energy especially when she uses her super powers so Erin tries to reserve and conserve.  The whole book you know a face off is coming between Erin and the leader of the Emporium and you are just waiting for it.  When it comes, BAM.

I love the sense of family between Erin and her friends.  They fight together, each using their special and individual powers, but it's more than that.  They have a connection that goes beyond their work.  They are loyal to each other and they would each give their own lives to protect the others.  I like how they all know each other so well that they all just click into place.

This was another great addition to this series.  The ending left me in a good place with Erin and Ritter, which I was happy about but I sense there is more to come.  Yes, more to come for sure and I can't wait to read it.

Book #1 The Change is FREE.
Change
“Surprising plot twists” -Publishers Weekly
Grab your FREE copy today!


    teyla
Teyla Rachel Branton grew up avidly reading science fiction and fantasy and watching Star Trek reruns with her large family. They lived on a little farm where she loved to visit the solitary cow and collect (and juggle) the eggs, usually making it back to the house with most of them intact. On that same farm she once owned thirty-three gerbils and eighteen cats, not a good mix, as it turns out. Teyla always had her nose in a book and daydreamed about someday creating her own worlds. She is now married, mostly grown up, and has seven kids, including a two-year-old, so life at her house can be very interesting (and loud), but writing keeps her sane. She thrives on the energy and daily amusement offered by her children, the semi-ordered chaos giving her a constant source of writing material. Grabbing any snatch of free time from her hectic life, Teyla writes novels, often with a child on her lap. She warns her children that if they don’t behave, they just might find themselves in her next book! She’s been known to wear pajamas all day when working on a deadline, and is often distracted enough to burn dinner. (Okay, pretty much 90% of the time.) A sign on her office door reads: DANGER. WRITER AT WORK. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. She loves writing fiction and traveling, and she hopes to write and travel a lot more. She also loves shooting guns, martial arts, and belly dancing. She has worked in the publishing business for over twenty years.

    Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 9/18/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com 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 publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Changing Fate by Michelle Merrill

All Kate wants is to live. Battling cystic fibrosis is hard enough, dying from it is even harder. When her mom moves them closer to the hospital in the middle of her senior year, Kate’s determined to isolate herself—saving everyone the trouble of befriending a dying girl. It’s a difficult task when cheerful optimist Giana insists on being Kate’s friend.

Kate’s resolve falters even more when curly-haired Kyler captivates her with his sweet melodies. As her emotional walls collapse, Kate realizes the people she’s been pushing away may be the ones giving her a reason to live. But it might be too late.

I am always grateful for books that help inform and educate me on something I don't know much about.  I don't often get that sort of thing in YA fiction, but with this book, I did.  Cystic Fibrosis is something I have absolutely no first hand knowledge of.  I don't know anyone who has cystic fibrosis.  I am completely ignorant.  That must be the motivation behind the author's desire to write a book like this because by reading this book I learned many things I did not know about this disease.  Not only did my knowledge increase, but my compassion as well.

Kate has had a rough go of life.  Facing death every day and trying to protect your fragile emotions must be a difficult thing.  Kate manages well for the most part but her self imposed isolation is making her life harder, not easier.  Kate is trying to protect herself and others but I love how she gradually realizes that people are willing to help her carry tough burdens.  Friendship is one of the greatest treasures we have.  Kate finds some true friends and it makes all the difference for her.

I really liked the strong friendships in this book.  It was less of a romance and more friendship based.  It is also a story of healing within Kate's own family.  The ending was a little hard to believe, but this is a work of fiction and it made for a happily ever after ending for Kate tied up with a pretty red bow.  It was both heart wrenching and hopeful.

It must be hard to write a book like this, I think, because you want to bring out the realities of of cystic fibrosis without it becoming overwhelming to the reader.  There were plenty of hard and emotional things in this book but I felt like I walked away better for reading it.

You can purchase this book on Amazon.  Half of all proceeds will be given to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Michelle Merrill loves kissing her hubby, snuggling her kids, eating candy, reading books, and writing first drafts. She names her computers after favorite fictional characters and fictional characters after favorite names. To learn more about her, visit www.authormichellemerrill.com.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Movie Review: Believe


In the early 80’s the legendary Manchester United football manager Sir Matt Busby helps a wayward boy fulfill his dream.

Having lived with football all his life and survived the tragic 1958 Munich plane disaster in which 8 of his promising young players were killed, Matt, still haunted by the ghosts of the “Busby Babes” comes out of retirement for one last coaching challenge, to transform a young group of scallywags into a dream team to compete for the upcoming Manchester United Football League Cup.

A funny and touching family film, Believe tells the story of how Matt is finally healed, while continuing to inspire generations of dreamers and leaving the world’s greatest football team as his legacy.

RELEASE DATE: September 12th 
Website: http://www.believesoccermovie.com/

I'm excited to tell you about this new family film set to release this Friday.  I was able to preview this film this film early for review- my thanks to Deseret Book for making that possible.

Finding good movies the whole family can enjoy can sometimes be a difficult thing.  It makes me happy to be able to promote family films that leave you feeling good.  

This movie was touching and heartwarming.  It's one of those "feel good" films.  The characters were all likeable and those little kids with the British accents were absolutely adorable.  They are kids who really play football in England.  I love that. 

This movie is based on the real life story of Matt Busby, Manchester United football manager.  Movies based on true stories are some of the best.

I loved this film.  I'm a bit obsessed with soccer (or football, depending on where you live) right now so yeah, this movie hit my sweet spot.  :)  And, my son is currently living in England so it was a double sweet spot win.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Strength of Ballerinas by Nancy Lorenz + $25 Giveaway!


All Kendra wants to do is dance for the Manhattan Dance Company. So when her family’s forced to move to California, her dreams of auditioning are shattered. Still determined to dance, Kendra faces social isolation and family pressures in her new home. But when she’s diagnosed with a debilitating illness, Kendra must decide which dreams are worth fighting for.

I haven't had much exposure to the world of ballerinas but I do love watching them dance.  There is something so delicate to ballet.  Obviously, ballet takes a great deal of dedication and hard work.  That I do know but I've never experienced it first hand.

Kendra is young and growing up quickly.  Life has dealt her many challenges.  Her mother passed away, her brother is autistic, her dad gets laid off and is forced to move across the country.  Kendra faces a new home, a new school and struggles to give up her dream of dancing with the Manhattan Dance Company.  Then, on top of it all, Kendra learns she has an illness that can be quite debilitating- especially as a dancer.  

Most of the book is Kendra's journey through tough things.  It's a good story that inspires all those "don't give up" feelings.  I was rooting for Kendra, hoping she would figure things out and find a place within herself that she was at peace.

This is a gentle book.  There are no heart pounding moments, no real romance and no climactic build-up but it is still compelling and endearing.

I think young teenage girls who love dance will be especially interested in this book.  

You can purchase "The Strength of Ballerinas" at Amazon and Cedar Fort.  It releases today!

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