Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring Fling Giveaway Hop!

It is time for another giveaway hop!  I know it's spring here at my house because it was 80 degrees last week and then we had snow this week.  The mountains are covered.  I sure hope my blossoming trees didn't freeze.  Spring is crazy here.

For this hop, I am do my standard giveaway.  One book of your choice, $12.00 or less, from Amazon if you are US and Book Depository if you are INT (and the book depository ships to you).  Just enter on the rafflecopter below.  Thanks for stopping by!

Cover Reveal for Closed Hearts!

Coming May 23rd. . .
Closed Hearts (Book Two of the Mindjack Trilogy)

Eight months ago, Kira Moore revealed to the mindreading world that mindjackers like herself were hidden in their midst. Now she wonders if telling the truth was the right choice after all. As wild rumors spread, a powerful anti-jacker politician capitalizes on mindreaders’ fears and strips jackers of their rights. While some jackers flee to Jackertown—a slum rife with jackworkers who trade mind control favors for cash—Kira and her family hide from the readers who fear her and jackers who hate her. But when a jacker Clan member makes Kira’s boyfriend Raf collapse in her arms, Kira is forced to save the people she loves by facing the thing she fears most: FBI agent Kestrel and his experimental torture chamber for jackers.

I am SO looking forward to reading Closed Hearts!  My review will be coming May 29th so watch for that.  There will be a giveaway included in the review!  <smile and small dance>  If you want to check out my review for Open Minds you can find it here.

Click Here to sign up for the Virtual Launch Party on May 23rd! There will be prizes, reviews, bonus content, did I mention prizes? Come join the fun!

Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy)

"Being a fan of dystopian and sci-fi in young adult books this was exactly the type of book I was hoping to fall in love with and absolutely did ...YA readers who love authors like Ally Condie, Veronica Roth, Lauren Oliver and others would be missing out if they failed to pick up Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn. Join Kira on her journey to save her fellow mindjackers and potentially change the landscape of her world forever.” — Danielle Smith, book blogger at There’s a Book

“Susan plunges readers into a compelling and frightening world where nearly everyone can read minds when they come of age. The very idea makes me shudder. This is easily one of the best books I've read not only this year, but in recent years.” — Heather McCorkle, author of The Secret of Spruce Knoll
"Susan Kaye Quinn's Open Minds is an edge-of-the-seat YA sci-fi, where 16 year-old Kira dodges psychological bullets from all sides." — Catherine Stine, author of Fireseed One

Open Minds $2.99 on Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes&Noble, and iTunes

Susan Kaye Quinn, Author
Susan Kaye Quinn grew up in California, where she wrote snippets of stories and passed them to her friends during class. She pursued a bunch of engineering degrees and worked a lot of geeky jobs, including turns at GE Aircraft Engines, NASA, and NCAR. Now that she writes novels, her business card says "Author and Rocket Scientist" and she doesn't have to sneak her notes anymore. All that engineering comes in handy when dreaming up paranormal powers in future worlds or mixing science with fantasy to conjure slightly plausible inventions. Susan writes from the Chicago suburbs with her three boys, two cats, and one husband. Which, it turns out, is exactly as much as she can handle.

Way too often, you can find Susan on her blog, facebook, and twitter.

Susan’s Other Works:

In His Eyes Anthology (includes Mind Games, a short prequel to Open Minds)
Life, Liberty, and Pursuit (a teen love story)
Full Speed Ahead (short afterstory to Life, Liberty, and Pursuit)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Review: Motherhood Matters

In these hectic days where life's demands can quickly become a heavy burden, Motherhood Matters helps you find more memorable moments and take the stress out of the to-do lists. Written with clarity, concision, and wit, this short, yet indispensable handbook is better than flowers, more guilt-free than chocolate, and gives back to the woman who sacrifices so much of herself every single day.

What a lovely little read!  Being a mother can be tough and challenging, right?  It takes all our creative resources and most of our energy.  <big sigh>  This book acknowledges that and provides the encouragement and reminders of how worthwhile motherhood is.

I especially enjoyed the reminders that each of us mother differently.  And that is okay.  We can be ourselves and laugh at our mistakes.  Love is the most important ingredient in the recipe of being a great mother.  Sometimes I think I forget that.  It's so easy to get caught up in the "stuff", which my kids will probably not even remember.  But, they will remember the love.  That is the constant I can provide.

"Some mothers sew their children’s costumes—some buy
them online with shopper savvy discounts. What matters is that
we love and nurture and raise our children in the best ways they
need it. That we deeply and fully love our children, apologize for
mistakes, and do better tomorrow."

I especially liked this quote~
You are the trip I did not take;
You are the pearls I cannot buy;
You are my blue Italian lake;
You are my piece of foreign sky.

This book was a sweet reminder of the wonderful blessings of motherhood.  A book that can be read in bits and pieces as you have time or all at once if you have a little more time.  It leaves you feeling like you aren't alone in this big world and the work we do as mothers does indeed matter.  A whole lot.

This book was written with the LDS woman in mind.  It is based on the doctrines of the LDS faith.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Blog Tour for Espionage + a Giveaway!

France, 1944: Nobody expects Peter Eddy to survive his first commando mission—to retrieve a code book stolen by the Nazis—so when he does come back alive, his success is rewarded with an even more daunting assignment. Partnered with French Resistance leader Jacques Olivier, Eddy must identify which of three Allied contacts in Calais is a double agent and use the traitor to help implement a strategic Allied diversion that might win the war. Eddy and Olivier secretly cross the English Channel to confront their suspects one at a time, but what appears to be a clean assignment soon turns disastrous, and a shocking betrayal leaves Eddy in the grip of the Gestapo. With the courageous aid of Olivier and his sister, Genevieve, Eddy evades his captors with a dangerous escape plan. But as the Allied invasion approaches, treachery in the least likely places leads to fresh graves in the bloodied European soil—and only the power of loyalty and love can transform tragic endings into new beginnings.

First off, I'm so happy to be a part of this blog tour! My thanks to Lexi over at The Book Bug for putting it together and allowing me to participate. Also, a thanks to A.L. Sowards who actually sent me a signed copy of the book to review along with a thank you note. How nice is that?

Second, before I get to my review, I just have to say something about this cover. It's good, right? A bit unnerving. The longer I look at it the more I feel like I have to look away. It sort of gives me shivers. It's a good representation of what is to come in this book.

Yeah, so, Espionage.  This book falls into a category which is one of my favorite.  Historical fiction.  I really love reading books set during important times in history.  This book is LDS fiction.

Espionage was not light, easy reading.  It was intense and filled with the realities of war.  The scenes with the Gestapo were especially hard to read.  It just makes my heart so sad that people are capable of treating other people so awfully.  It's just sickening.  It happened then, it happens now.  

I think Sowards has done a great job of painting pictures of characters and places in my head.  I could visualize things so vividly.  I felt so many emotions as I read.  I was anxious, scared, sad, hopeful and even angry.  In the end, I'm grateful.  Grateful to the many, many people that most of us will never know about who did what they could and gave what they had to end that war.  I'm grateful for where I am today.  I know it is because of courageous people then and courageous people now.

Here is a list of places you can purchase Espionage:
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Deseret Book and Seagull Book.

And a bit about the author:
Sowards is a graduate of Moses Lake High School and Brigham Young University. She swam competitively for sixteen years, including while she was in college. She found it more entertaining to think of plot ideas while following the black line up and down the bottom of the pool than having a song in her head that restarted with every flip-turn. Sowards currently lives along the Wasatch front with her amazing husband and her adorable twin toddlers. She loves hearing from readers and can be found on, Facebook, or Goodreads.
Yipee for me because I get to host a GIVEAWAY for Espionage here today.  The giveaway is for one print copy of Espionage, open to US residents only.  Giveaway ends May 8th. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Review: A Long Walk To Water

From Goodreads:  A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about a girl in Sudan in 2008 and a boy in Sudan in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the "lost boys" of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

Whenever I read books like this, my heart just swells in gratitude for the plentiful, good life that I have.  I have never had to walk all day to fetch the water my family will depend on to live.  I have never had to run for my life or live in a refugee camp.  I have not been separated from my family nor have I come close to death by dehydration, starvation or animal attack.

This book will remind you how much you have.  This book will make you want to do more with what you have.

A Long Walk to Water is written with middle grade readers in mind.  While the story follows the life of Salva through the war in Sudan and touches on many heart wrenching and tragic events, it does not become bogged down with depressing details.  Hope prevails.  I loved the ending.

I'm going to have my kids read this book.  Not only is this a good introduction to the conflict in Africa, it has a powerful message.  As an adult, this was a fast read.  It only took me a little while to finish it.  I kind of wish this was an adult book, with a few more details and more like a biography or autobiography.   

Salva Dut is an amazing man doing amazing things.  In real life.  At the end of the book is a message from Salva.  He says, "To young people, I would like to say:  Stay calm when things are hard and not going right with you.  You will get through it when you persevere instead of quitting.  Quitting leads to much less happiness in life than perseverance and hope."

Take a minute or two to read this book.  You won't be sorry.  :)

And check out this website.  It tells all about Salva Dut and his efforts to change lives in Sudan with water.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Review: Banana Split by Josi Kilpack

From Goodreads:  Sadie Hoffmiller has survived eighteen months of nonstop adventures filled with murder, deceit, and danger. She could really use some rest—and maybe even some time to heal—relaxing in the tropical paradise of Kaua'i. However, palm trees and sunshine are not as effective a medication as Sadie had hoped. And when she finds herself entangled—literally—with a dead body, she is forced to face the compounding fears and anxieties that are making her life so difficult to live.

Her determination to stay out of danger and to focus on overcoming her anxieties soon takes a backseat when she meets eleven-year-old Charlie, the son of the woman whose body she discovered near Anahola Beach. Charlies has some questions of his own about what happened to his mother, and he is convinced that only Sadie can help him. If only Sadie were as confident in her abilities as Charlie is.

With the help of her best friend and a local social worker, Sadie dives into another mystery with the hope that, at the end, she'll be able to find the peace and closure that has eluded her.

Have you guys been reading this series?  

Josi Kilpack is a very talented author.  I've been reading her books for a long time and I really do think her books just keep getting better and better.  This culinary mystery series has so many great things going for it.  I always love the covers.  I mean, come ON!  Books with amazing desserts on the front?  Yum.  The books are also filled with recipes.  This book is set in Hawaii and some of the recipes sound dee-lish!  (If only I were a cook at heart.  Alas, I am not.  But, there are still a couple recipes that I really want to make)

So, Sadie.  Let me just say that I kind of enjoyed seeing Sadie a bit vulnerable.  She has been through some crazy stuff and I think the struggle she faces in this book will be one that many people can relate to.  Some days are so dark it takes courage just to live them.  Sadie slowly but surely found her courage to start living again.

I have to say that I missed Pete.  He seemed so far away.  (sad face) 

But, I love Hawaii.  The setting was perfect.  

Easy reading.  Clean.  A great book.  If you haven't read any of the books in this series, start at the beginning.  You have a great ride ahead of you.  :)

You can purchase Banana Split here.
You can find out more about the author, Josi Kilpack, here.

I am so happy to be a part of the blog tour for Banana Split.  My thanks to Tristi Pinkston for allowing me to participate and my thanks to Josi Kilpack for sending me an autographed copy!  It will hold a place of honor right next to all the other books in this series on my bookshelf.  :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Review: Intangible by J. Meyers

From Goodreads:  Twins Sera and Luke Raine have a well-kept secret—she heals with a touch of her hand, he sees the future. All their lives they’ve helped those in need on the sly. They’ve always thought of their abilities as being a gift.

Then Luke has a vision that Sera is killed. That gift they’ve always cherished begins to feel an awful lot like a curse. Because the thing about Luke’s ability? He’s always right. And he can’t do anything about it.

If you love the paranormal with some romance and tension that leads to action, you will love this book.  I don't know about you, but I've read quite a bit of paranormal.  It's big.  It's everywhere.  And sometimes it feels a bit the same.  I'm telling you though, this one is good.  It has vampires, and some other fey creatures, but it's more than that.  

I loved the twin connection thing.  Sera and Luke are great characters, easy to imagine and relate to.  The bond they have is unique and melds them together.  I love that they are kind and generous.

Before I read this book, the author directed me to her short story, Intuition, which sort of gave me a good idea about where the book was going and it gave me a great glimpse into the characters of Sera and Luke.  You can pick it up free on Amazon or Smashwords and check it out for yourself.
As for content, the was frequent mild swearing and profanity which for me, personally, was a bit bothersome.  I think it would have been just as good without it, but that's my own personal preference.  There were a few violent scenes and one particular scene that made my stomach clench a bit.  <shudder>

I'm usually not a real fan of cliff hanger sort of endings or unresolved issues that keep me wondering, but I thought this cliff hanger-unresolved issues ending was well done and I'm really looking forward to reading the next book.  My thanks to J. Meyer for sending me her book for review.

You can buy Intangible at Amazon and B&N.

j. meyers grew up in Vermont and now lives in Central New York. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s chasing her four kids around, exploring the outdoors with them, relishing the few quiet moments she gets with her husband, baking sweet treats, and forgetting to make dinner. Though she cannot actually see the future nor heal with a touch of her hand, she likes to think her children believe she can. Intangible is her first novel.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop

It's that time again!  Time for another fun blog hop to celebrate spring.  For this hop, I will be giving away one book of your choice, $12 or less, from Amazon if you are US or Book Depository if you are INT.  There are so many blogs participating in this hop!  So fun.  Happy Hop-Hop-Hopping!

Take a look at the sidebar for other giveaways I'm hosting right now.  Both are INT as they are ebooks.  :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Shayla Witherwood: A Half-Faerie Tale

From Goodreads:  A brief moment of disappointment washed over me as I approached Jace’s lifeless body. Here I was, about to kiss a boy on the lips for the very first time, and he was completely comatose—possibly paralyzed—and would never even know or remember the experience. This was not how I’d envisioned my first kiss—me invisible, him unconscious.

Shayla Witherwood is not exactly normal. First of all, she’s spent her entire life being homeschooled, traveling in an RV around the country with her grandparents. And second, there’s the kind of inescapable fact that her mom was a genuine faerie.

But now that she’s starting a real life in a regular high school, Shayla desperately needs to stay out of trouble in both worlds because even her faerie powers might not be enough to protect her from what’s coming.

There were lots of things to like about this book.  Here's my run-down:
1.  It was clean.  No swearing, no sex.  
2.  Shayla knows she is a half faerie even if she doesn't know exactly all that entails.  
3.  The invisible/unconscious kiss.  (that is just fabulous and so funny)
4.  The hunky popular crush is also a very nice guy.
5.  Faerie powers are awesome.  Especially when used to do good.  Like free poor bugs.
6.  The chess playing, shoe finding janitor
7.  Green grapes
8.  Friends and compromise

It was a bit slower paced than many other books in this genre.  I felt like it was more about friends and relationships than any "good VS evil" stuff.  There was some of that, of course, but I felt like it was more about Shayla figuring out for the first time how to be a faerie and how deal with others.  I liked it.  :)

This book will be released May 8th, 2012.
You can find it on Amazon.

My thanks to Cedar Fort  for the preview copy as well as the e-book provided for the giveaway.  The giveaway is INT because it is an e-book.  Giveaway ends 4/18/12.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hope's Journey Tour and Giveaway

From Goodreads:  Sydney is a straight-A student heading to college on a scholarship, and Alex is a quiet jock preparing to serve an LDS mission. But their dreams are shattered on the eve of their high school graduation when they find out that Sydney is pregnant. Separated, they must both trust in God as they search for the worth they once found in each other.

As read in the above summary, Hope's Journey is an LDS novel.  It is based on real life events which gives it even more power, I think.

Sydney and Alex could be any teenage high school students, anywhere.  Their story isn't a new one, but you will find yourself caught up in their world of first love, mistakes and consequences.  The struggle they face with the knowledge of an unwanted pregnancy pulled at my heartstrings.  As a reader, I loved seeing the journey turn from despair to hope.  Especially with Sydney.  As she drew closer to her family and God, her determination and self-confidence grew.  She found forgiveness, peace and hope.

If you are interested in reading the first couple chapters of Hope's Journey, you can find it by heading over to

The author, Stephanie Worlton, is holding a giveaway for one autographed print copy and two ebook copies of her book on her blog.  Just click here.  You can find out more about Hope's Journey there, along with purchase links.

Author of Hope's Journey. Stephanie was born with a pen in her hand and a pencil behind her ear. Whether it's writing a novel, painting a mural, designing furniture, or building sometimes just for the sake of building, Stephanie's always got a project in the works. She lives in a quiet Utah suburb with one patient husband, two adorable dogs, three hours of sleep, and four amazing (and equally crazy) children.