Friday, November 30, 2012

All I Want Review and Giveaway!


THREE STORIES. THREE COUPLES. ONE HOLIDAY.
Pretty Near Perfect
by Jolene Perry

The last thing Norah needs is to be attracted to anyone – especially in her deceased fianc√©'s parents' home. Collin’s starting a new career, and has no business getting involved – especially while staying with his roommate’s family, who very kindly offered to take him in for the holidays. Unfortunately, you just don’t always pick the most convenient time and place to fall for someone.

Six Days of Christmas
by Kaylee Baldwin

When Natalie goes home with her best friend for Christmas, she expects plenty of quiet time to work on a winning ad so she can turn her dream internship into her dream job. Instead, she gets time-consuming Christmas festivities, a house full of children, and Jimmy, her best friend’s brother - someone who makes her question everything she’s always thought she wanted.

Twist of Fate
by Rachael Anderson

When a postcard meant for Kenzie winds up in Ty's mailbox, Ty's faced with a decision. Should he tell her that her fianc√© is breaking up with her and let it ruin her favorite holiday, or should he do what he’s wanted to do since he met her - make a move and hope that he can win her over before she discovers there won’t be a wedding after all.

I was so excited when I found out about this book.  Three great romance writers all wrapped up into one book.  I've been looking forward to reading it since I signed on to be a part of this blog tour.  I read this book over the Thanksgiving holiday and it was a perfect way to spend those last minutes of the day, curled up in bed, happy as can be.

Here is an excerpt from Twist of Fate.

Kenzie scrambled for something to say, something that might redeem Ty in her students’ eyes. “Does everyone want to know something cool?”she blurted.
The kids nodded.
“Did you know that Mr. Ty and I have the same name, only flip-flopped? His name is Tyler McKenzie, and my name is Mackenzie Tyler. Isn’t that funny?”
“You’re like opposites,” Treven shouted from the front.
“Exactly.” Kenzie smiled.
“And not just your names,” Tommy said. “You’re short and he’s tall.”
“That’s right,” Kenzie said. “Nice observation, Tommy.”
“And you’re fun and he’s not,” Treven added.

If you are looking for a cozy Christmastime romance book you've got to pick this book up. I loved each one of the stories in this book.  They were just perfect.  There's nothing better than a holiday romance or two.  Or three.  :)  You can purchase All I Want on Amazon.  Image below is linked.




Jolene Perry is an enigmatic figure. She is most often seen behind her laptop, staring at the words flying onto the screen with reckless abandon.

She survived growing up in rural Alaska, driving like a lunatic, and her husband’s careers in the military, as a perpetual student, and an Alaska State Prosecutor. She also survived as a middle school math teacher using her degree of Political Science and French.

One day Jolene was playing her guitar (probably some-thing juvenile for her kids) when she wondered what it would be like to write a song for a rockstar, and her first book was born. (that book is shelved)

She now lives a very glamorous life as a stay at home mom, elbow deep in dirty dishes and peanut butter sandwiches. She doesn’t even attempt to keep up with the laundry because non-writing time is precious, and her family is sorta awesome.
Links:
Website * Twitter * Blog * Facebook




Rachael Anderson is the author of four contemporary romances: Divinely Designed, Luck of the Draw, Minor Adjustments, and The Reluctant Bachelorette. She's the mother of four, can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

Links:
Facebook * Website * Twitter




I grew up in Mesa, Arizona, and graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in English literature.

I currently live in southern Arizona with my husband, Jeremy, and our three children. When I am not writing, I enjoy reading, starting new craft projects, and spending time with my family.

Links:
Facebook * Website * Twitter

Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card
Ends 12/24/12

Open to anyone 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's permission. 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. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Athena by Heather Moore (The Newport Ladies Book Club series)

Athena is a self-proclaimed bachelorette—it’s better that way—no one gets hurt. But when tragedy strikes, Athena realizes friendship and love is the only way she can pull through, and she must, for the first time in her life, risk opening her heart.

The Newport Ladies Book Club series is unique in that each Newport book is written from the point of view of a different woman in the book club. The first 4 books cover the same time period and the same book club meetings. But only with reading all 4 books, will you learn the whole story of each of the women and her full character journey. Think of it as a parallel series, not as a forward-moving series.

I've had the opportunity to read and review this series from the very beginning and I have really loved it.  It's such a great idea to have books that cover the same period of time, yet each from a different point of view.  Each book tells the story of an individual while telling bits and pieces of the other women's stories as well.  

Being a lover of clean romance myself, this book really brought in all the elements that I love.  This book had more romantic aspects, and more kissing than the other books.  :)

Athena has some major challenges thrown at her all at once.  Like all the women in this series, she is trying to figure out how to deal with life's challenges while fixing the things in her life and character that she knows need fixing.  Life is hard.  No matter what your profession, religion, marital status or family make-up, life is hard.  I love that this series brings all those elements into the books.  These women band together, support each other and share a common love of books.  It's awesome.  Women everywhere will be able to connect with the characters in these books in some way or another.

In the end, I was proud of Athena.  She dug deep and found what she needed to get through.  She overcame her fears and let other in to help.  It was a struggle, but she did it. 

If you haven't had the chance to read these books yet (Oliva, Paige, Daisy or Athena), you should really give them a chance.  Pick one up.  You might just love them.  :)

You can read more about this series HERE.

Heather Moore (H.B. Moore) is the award-winning author of the historical series, OUT OF JERUSALEM (2007 Whitney Award winner), ABINADI (2008 Whitney Award winner & 2009 Best of State winner), ALMA (2009 Whitney Award finalist), ALMA THE YOUNGER (2011 Best of State winner & 2010 Whitney Award finalist), AMMON (2011 Gold Award of Excellence), DAUGHTERS OF JARED (2012 Golden Quill Best Novel), the non-fiction WOMEN OF THE BOOK OF MORMON and CHRIST'S GIFTS TO WOMEN (co-authored with Angela Eschler).

Newest releases include THE NEWPORT LADIES BOOK CLUB SERIES: ATHENA; A TIMELESS ROMANCE ANTHOLOGY: WINTER COLLECTION; HEART OF THE OCEAN (Jan 2013).

Heather graduated from Brigham Young University with a major in Fashion Merchandising and minor in Business Management—which has nothing to do with writing novels, but at least she can balance a mean checkbook and color-coordinate her kids’ school clothes.



Monday, November 26, 2012

Snow Whyte and the Queen of Meyhem by Melissa Lemon

Stuck in her family's apple orchards, Kat's got plenty of work to do and only pesky Jeremy to help. But when Jeremy convinces her to run away, Kat will discover that nothing---and no one---in her life is quite what it seems. Wonderfully re-imagined, this is the magical tale of Snow White as you've never read it before!

I'm happy to be a part of this blog tour for Melissa Lemon.  If you love a good re-telling of an old fairy tale, you should check this book out.  It puts a new twist on Snow White and those seven dwarfs.

In this book we see the story unfold from the magic mirror's point of view.  It was an interesting way to tell the story.  He can see anyone he wants at anytime as he has been placed in the mirror with a spell by the evil queen of Mayhem.  

"Mirror, Mirror, in my hand.  Lock your door:  enslave this man.  Ensure his lips speak only truth; keep lies behind tongue and tooth.  Hold him there, no longer free.  Until death take him or me."

Speaking of the queen, boy is she mean!  Evil to the core.  

I loved the places named Mischief and Mayhem.  I loved the new take on the seven dwarfs.  I loved the ending.  It gave me a little surprise.  :)

Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem is an easy, gentle flowing book.  It is a book I'm happy to pass off to my daughter and recommend to any fairy tale lover.

Content:  some violence and abuse

You can catch the other stops on the tour by checking out the tour schedule here.

You can find out more about the author and purchase this book at the following places:

http://www.authormelissalemon.com/
https://www.facebook.com/authormelissalemon
https://www.amazon.com/author/melissalemon.com

Friday, November 23, 2012

Review: Blaze by Kaitlyn Davis

“Kira gulped, unable to stop the growing sense that everything in her world was about to change.”

With Aldrich’s note burning a hole in her pocket, Kira is off to England to finally reunite with her birth mother. But what begins as a dream quickly turns to a nightmare and Kira is left questioning everything she has ever known. Can she be the conduit Luke wants her to be? Can she be the rebel Tristan needs her to be? Or is she something else? Something no one, not even Aldrich, ever saw coming…

First of all, my thanks to Kaitlyn Davis for allowing me to be a part of this series from the very beginning.  It's so fun to watch indie authors find success.  Blaze is the third book in this Midnight Fire Series.

SO, Blaze.  Wow.  Crazy.  

Kira had so much going on in this book.  Dealing with Aldrich is scary.  Kira is wary but hopeful that she will be reunited with her birth mother.  Trying to juggle her relationships with Tristin and Luke is tricky to say the least.  The love triangle is full on.  I'm really enjoying the process of self discovery with Kira.  She is surprising even herself with her undiscovered talents and abilities.  Go Kira!  She's going to blow the roof off the place.  

Luke is the same as always.  I love the way he is constant and steady.  Always there.  I may be a titch in love with Luke.

And now we move on to the part where I pick my jaw up off the floor and then commence shreeking because of that ending.  Are you kidding me?  Did you just leave me hanging like that?!  Oh my.  I totally did not see that coming.  At all.

Kaitlyn Davis has done a great job creating vivid characters who evoke emotion in me.  This book has to be her best yet.  Needless to say I am anxiously awaiting the next book, Scorch.  

You can buy Blaze at Amazon for just $2.99!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Finding the Baby Jesus Book Blast! Enter to Win a $50 gift card!


Finding the Baby Jesus by Kimball Fisher

After being forced to wear lederhosen for the annual holiday card picture, twelve-year-old Chris thinks that the least his parents can do is get him the Tony Hawk skateboard he wants for Christmas. But when he recovers the hand-carved Baby Jesus that everyone thought had been destroyed in a fire the year his Grandma died, Chris realizes that some gifts are even more important than skateboards.

When the author had to discontinue a cherished tradition of reading Christmas stories out loud with his family and holiday guests each week in December, he wrote Finding the Baby Jesus. He had been unable to locate enough meaningful stories that could be read in a single sitting with wiggly children.



Praise for Finding the Baby Jesus:
“Tender and true, this warm Christmas tale brought tears to my eyes.”
–Heather Vogel Frederick, author of the much-beloved Mother-Daughter Book Club series and Oregon Book Award winner for The Voyage of Patience Goodspeed

“A touching story that speaks to the importance of family, giving, and the true spirit of Christmas.”
–Matthew Kirby, author of Icefall, winner of the Edgar Allen Poe and the Pen Center USA Literary Awards for Children’s Literature

“Deeply moving. Poignant.”
–Deborah Halverson, former editor at Harcourt Children’s Books and author of Honk If You Hate Me, a Gayle McCandliss Literary Award Winner

"The perfect little book to tuck away with your Christmas things and bring out year after year to read with family. As mother to three boys, I can't imagine a better protagonist than Chris. His typical teenage attitude followed by the softening of his heart towards a friend teaches a poignant and very relatable lesson on the true meaning of Christmas."
–Amazon review

"After I read this short story I felt like I had read a novel--every sentence is packed with action and imagery. I was emotionally connected to the characters, and the story is touching. I didn't see the plot twist at the end coming! A great story to read every Christmas."
–Amazon review


Purchase


Author Kimball Fisher


Kimball Fisher writes novels for young readers. He is also a best-selling business author, professional speaker, and management consultant. Some of his past jobs include: sailboat builder, ghost writer (not as scary as it sounds), illustrator, and factory manager (more scary than it sounds). For fun he builds furniture, stained-glass windows, and writing pens.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities (with minors in English, Asian Studies, and Japanese), and a Master of Organizational Behavior degree from Brigham Young University. He and his amazing wife Reenie live in Portland, Oregon, where they have seen pheasants, coyotes, and a bobcat in their own backyard.

Links



Blog Tour
November 23rd to December 21st
Tour Schedule

Blast Giveaway:
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 12/21/12




Open to anyone 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's permission. 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. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Infraction Blog Tour + Giveaway!

YA Dystopian
Title: Infraction (Sequel to The Burn)
Author: Annie Oldham
Date Published: 11/1/12
Violent nomads. The coming winter. Jack's unspoken feelings. Leaving the relative peace of the settlement is more difficult than Terra ever imagined. But what she should fear most is the government that professes to protect its citizens. Imprisoned in a labor camp, Terra learns just how much the corrupt regime wants absolute control. Never has she felt more powerless to act. But there's always the call of the ocean, and her captors just might underestimate how powerful that call can be.

I'm so excited to be a part of this blog tour for Infraction.  I've been wanting to read this series, which starts with The Burn, for awhile.  Luckily for this tour I got to read BOTH The Burn and Infraction.  Awesome!

The Dystopian genre is big right now.  I've read quite a few books in this category and this one is one of my favorites.

The main character, Terra, is one courageous chick.  When she lost her ability to speak, I was worried that the book would suffer.  How does a girl that cannot speak communicate effectively with others push a book plot along?  Especially a dystopian book which are usually known for their action and uprising.  Somehow Annie Oldham does it though.  You'll be surprised.  Terra has heart.  That is what draws the reader in and that is what connects her to the other characters in this book.

Like any great dystopian, the government corruption is believable and scary.  You know it could be real someday.  That's the freaky good thing about dystopians.  The idea in this book about the methods of control are good.  Yikers!  

There are great supporting characters in this book as well as two worlds, one on land and one under the ocean, brought together.  I really like the ocean colonies and I'm excited to see how those two worlds mesh together in the next book.  I'm anxious to know where this story is going.  I know there is more to this- an even bigger picture that I haven't gotten yet.  Infraction sure ended abruptly.  I thought for a minute that I was missing part of the book, but no.  It just ended that abruptly.  I guess I was just ready for the book to go on and on.  :)

Here is an excerpt from Infraction:
We burrow down in the hollow and scrape the bracken around us. I pile the leaves down against our legs and shiver as the dampness seeps into my pants. I'm pressed up against Jack, and his arm wraps around me protectively, before he can even stop to question—like he has on so many other nights—if I'd even want him to. There's no time for thinking, and when there's no time to over think this, I realize I never want him to move his arm. But I can't follow that train of thought through to its conclusion because I hear footsteps coming toward us.

I reach my hand up to Jack's arm and squeeze it so tightly I'm sure he'll gasp, but he's silent and still as a tomb. I'm trembling, and even Jack's arms around me can't stop it. Nomads were one thing. They might kill us, but it would be quick. But agents? They would torture us to find out where we've been, how many other illegals we've come across, and what unauthorized settlements we've seen. They would probably kill us eventually, and there would be nothing quick about it. I look down and see the small thread of a tracker scar on Jack's arm next to the unblemished flesh on my own. Very few people have never had a tracker. What would the agents think of me, and what would they do about it?

Content:  violence, mild swearing

Purchase Links

Amazon

Smashwords
Annie Oldham adores writing and reading YA novels. She grew up in a house full of books and developed an insatiable desire to read, which led to the insatiable desire to write. Away from her writing, she's the mother of the three most adorable girls in the world, has the best husband in the world, and lives in the hottest place in the world (not really, but Phoenix sure feels like it). She loves to cook, sing, and play the piano. She is the author of Infraction, The Burn, Bound, and Dragon Sister.
CONTACT
Website
Twitter: @annie_oldham
Facebook

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Once Upon A Baby Blog Tour and Giveaway




Once Upon a Baby: A Tale of Adoption by Shari Guess

A heartwarming tale of LDS Adoption. Follow a child's journey from the Pre-existence to his family's home on Earth. The divine guidance of the Savior, along with the love and prayers of both birth and adoptive parents are gently and lovingly portrayed in this tender story of the ultimate "Happily ever after".

Even though adoption hasn't been a part of my life directly, I have many friends who have adopted.  I love how this book incorporates the birth mother's love, the adoptive parent's love and Heavenly Father's love.  It definitely comes from an LDS viewpoint.  It creates a beautiful portrayal of the miracle of adoption in a way a young child can understand.  This will be a book I will share with anyone in the LDS faith I know that is adopting.

Purchase:

Praise:
"Shari Guess has written a "must read" for every LDS family. She made a relevant issue for our time seem simple, yet to the heart."
~Brenton G. Yorgason, PhD

"I cried grateful tears to finally find a book for our children that explains their unique place within our family in a spiritual way."
~Nancy Reynolds, CA



Author Shari Guess

SHARI GUESS is a proud, first-time children’s book author and lives in rural North Texas where she is “Mom” to her beloved 9-year-old adopted son, Garrett. Happily married to her husband Walter for going on 13 years they share their cabin-in-the-woods with a small herd of Great Danes and farm animals. Shari is currently a part-time real estate agent and property manager and prior to marriage worked for over a decade in the music business, spanning from Los Angeles to Nashville. She wore many hats as a journalist and publicist representing multiple recording artists, magazines and music publishing companies, along with being a part-time performing artist and songwriter. Her hobbies include choral, Americana and rock music, martial arts, photography, travel and anything in the mountains.


Links:


Tour Giveaway:
$25 Amazon Gift Card + copy of Once Upon a Baby
Copy of Once Upon a Baby
(Book available to US & Canada only)
Ends 11/30/12

Open to anyone 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's permission. 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. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Loving Summer by Kailin Gow Blog Tour!

After not having seen childhood family friends, Rachel and her brothers Nathaniel and Drew in three years, sixteen year old Summer Jones, who has always spent her summers with the Donovans at her Aunt Sookie's Malibu beach house, discovers there is more to her long-time crush on one of the Donovan brothers this summer than meets the eye, especially when Astor Fairway, the handsome television star taking her aunt's acting coaching sessions, notices her. This summer, the summer she is noticed, would be the summer no one could forget.

Loving Summer has the perfect (for me) setting.  <big sigh>  The ocean side.  I swear just reading that the beach is nearby takes me to a happy place.  Summer often runs along the beach and I can picture it, I can smell it and I can even feel it.  :)  I want a beach house just like her aunt's.

If you are looking for a young love, coming of age kind of romance this book just might be your ticket.  It is full of Summer dealing with her childhood crush, the hot new boy, and a frustrating friend who may be more.  Summer definitely has her hands full of boys.

I liked how the book brought real life situations above and beyond the romance stuff.  Divorce, life changing illnesses, death and so forth.  It helped me as a reader connect on a deeper level.

I think the one major drawback for me was all the casual sex.  It isn't described in detail or anything, it's just that all these teenagers (around 16 or so) are having such casual sexual relationships.  It was a bit disconcerting to me. 

Content:  Sex (as noted above) and some swearing.

LINKS TO BUY
Amazon
Kailin Gow has appeared on top national syndicated talk shows such as ABC Radio, Barbara Dooley show, Chat with Women on KKNW Seattle, Broadminded on Sirius Radio XM, and more as a leading authority on YA and women's issues including self-esteem, body image, dating and sexual relationships, abuse, and bullying. Kailin has been a published author for over 10 years with over 100 titles published under her name and under pen names.

She is the founder of the community social site, The Saving You Saving Me Project, http://www.savingyousavingme.com which helps teens, young adults, and women deal with social issues like sexual abuse, self-esteem, body image, bullying, cutting, relationships, and more in a positive community environment. The Saving You Saving Me Project is an extention of her YA-mature fiction Saving You Saving Me.

Kailin Gow began writing books for tween girls to help them with self-confidence and self-esteem. Her book, Gifted Girls Activities Guide to 365 Days of the Week, became a reference book used in girls organizations across the U.S. As her tween fans grew to become teens and young adults, Kailin began writing engaging and entertaining young adult book series for them. The results are book series like the Frost Series, PULSE Series, Wicked Woods Series, Stoker Sisters, Phantom Diaries, The Fire Wars, FADE, DESIRE, and more.

All her books are inspired by personal experiences. Saving You Saving Me was inspired by her experience as a peer counselor for young women during college and from her psychology major college roommate's experience being in a relationship similar to the one portrayed by Sam and Collins in the book. Loving Summer was inspired by Kailin's experience growing up with a family consisting of a mother, two sons, and a daughter who went through a similar experience of tragedy in the book. Aunt Sookie is based on herself and some actor friends she knows. The Frost Series, Circus of Curiosities Series, and FADE Series came about through vivid dreams. Never Say Never was inspired by Kailin's experience as a radio host and working with and interviewing bands, as well as having college friends who were in bands. Kailin also played the drums and keyboard for a band she once started. A classically-trained musician, she was once led her school orchestra, playing first chair violin. Her experience in the music world and her love of Phantom of the Opera, inspired the Phantom Diaries. PULSE was inspired when Kailin was in the hospital suffering from heavy blood loss post surgery and needed several bags of blood to survive (like a vampire). Beautiful Beings was inspired by her college encounter with a young demon exorcist. A pastor once told her she had the gift of sight and that she was destined to become a prolific author, many times over.

She began taking her writing seriously when her daughter was diagnosed as being on the spectrum and her mother was fighting three types of cancer. Four years later, her daughter was no longer on the spectrum, and her mother became cancer free. Kailin believes in hope and miracles, after having been through several struggles and experiences herself. This is why she writes.
When not busy inhaling chocolate and drinking coffee by the gallon, Kailin makes time for writing fantasy books, blogging as an expert blogger for Fast Company, volunteering as an Emergency Responder and volunteering for battered women's shelters. For fun, she plays the electric violin, and puts together a music playlist for her radio and web shows.
Her Frost Series consisting of the Bitter Frost Series, The Wolf Fey Series, and the Fairy Rose Chronicles along with her other book series are being developed into worldwide MMORPG Games by SEE GLOBAL ENTERTAINMENT, which is the world's leading game developer known for developing the top blockbuster films into games.

Contact Links
Facebook
Website
To sign up for news on new releases, contests, events, and more, join theEDGEbooks.com.
Twitter - @kailingow

My thanks to Reading Addiction Blog Tours for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

All Fall Down by Julie Coulter Bellon: Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Ring around the rosy, a pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes we all fall down . . . That simple rhyme turns negotiator Claire Michaels’ current hostage situation into an international incident. Claire just wants to help get everyone out safely, but as the crisis escalates she realizes she’s dealing with an al-Qaeda operative who has the means to become another bin Laden---with the potential to attack America.

Claire has her own personal reasons for wanting to stop al-Qaeda, but time is slipping away as negotiations break down. Can she overcome her scars of the past in order to get the hostage out alive and possibly stop an assault on U.S. national security? Navy SEAL Rafe Kelly is on leave to recover from a knee injury he suffered during his tour in Afghanistan and he doesn’t expect to be fighting terrorists on his home turf. But when he is taken hostage and his brother is kidnapped, Rafe teams up with a hostage negotiator in order to stay alive and get his brother back. The terrorist is always one step ahead of them, however, and the situation quickly turns from desperate to deadly. Will Rafe be able to save himself and his country without anyone he loves getting caught in the crossfire?

Wow, this book jumps right into the action and suspense right away and honestly doesn't let up the whole book.  It was full on.  I loved it.  

Claire is a smart, strong woman.  She knows what she wants and she just jumps in with both feet and works until she gets it.  The hurts of her past motivate her to be the very best she can be in her job.  I love her fierce sense of loyalty.

Rafe is everything heroic and awesome.  Steady, calm and strong.  He is a protector and he takes his role very seriously.  His loyalty and devotion to his morals, his family and his country just make him the best kind of hero.

I loved this book.  In the front of my review copy, the author, Julie Coulter Bellon wrote, "I hope you stay up late reading this one!"  And I totally did!  It was a fast, easy reading kind of book that kept me engaged from the very beginning.  I'll never look at ring around the rosy the same way again.

Julie Coulter Bellon is the author of seven international romantic suspense novels. She loves her work partly because she gets to travel to distant lands to research and add an authentic feel to all of her books. Her favorite cities so far are Athens, Paris, Ottawa, and London. She taught journalism at BYU for fourteen years and that kept her on the cutting edge of current events and world news---which is where she gets her story ideas. Julie offers writing and publishing tips as well as her take on life on her blog ldswritermom.blogspot.com.

First Chapter: http://ldswritermom.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-first-chapter-of-all-fall-down.html

Tour Page: http://thebookbug-hogan.blogspot.com/p/all-fall-down-blog-tour.html

Social Networking Links:
Website: http://juliebellon.com/
Blog: http://ldswritermom.blogspot.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Julie-Coulter-Bellon/106497519842
Twitter: http://twitter.com/juliebellon
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/457898.Julie_Coulter_Bellon

Purchase Links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Julie is generously offering 7, yes 7 awesome giveaways for the tour!!  That means you have 7 chances at winning! (Pretty good odds, huh?!)

The prizes include:
(2) "Book Lovers'" baskets which include a copy of All Fall Down, a hand tied lap blanket, Julie's favorite hot chocolate mix, and a copy of Janice Sperry's Christmas novella, The Candy Cane Queen
(3) Print copies of All Fall Down
(2) Ebook copies of All Fall Down

To enter to win these prizes, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form provided. 

Open from November 12 to December 7.
Must be 13+ years of age to enter
US mailing addresses only

Earn entries by doing any/all of the following:
Leaving a blog post comment
Liking Julie’s Facebook page
Following Julie on Twitter
Becoming a fan of Julie on Goodreads
Tweeting about the giveaway (once per day)
Subscribing to Julie’s blog

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Secrets of the Red Box by Vickie Hall: Blog Tour and Giveaway

Bonnie has secrets to keep - secrets with the potential to destroy lives, including her own. Running from her destructive and pain filled past, she recreates herself, believing she has escaped the damning evidence hidden in the red box. When her former life is revealed by a cruel twist of fate, Bonnie faces losing everything, including Glen, the only man she’s ever loved. But is Bonnie the woman he thinks she is? Set against the backdrop of the 1940s, Secrets of the Red Box is filled with intrigue and suspense - sure to keep you guessing to the very end!

This book definitely kept me wondering and guessing.  As a reader, I was kept in the dark for most of the book, only allowed bits and pieces of the puzzle until the very end.  It was both awesome and frustrating.

Bonnie brought out such conflicting emotions in me.  I just had to feel compassion and sorrow for her horrible, ugly childhood but the adult Bonnie that was full of lies and that hurt people really bothered me.  I didn't like her at all.  At first I almost felt guilty for not liking her but as the story progressed and I knew more and understood better, I changed my mind about my feelings and Bonnie.

Secrets are destructive things and Bonnie keeps a whole box full.  I never would have guessed the ending in the beginning.  I loved how the story slowly unfolded and turned into something I wasn't expecting.  It really was well crafted.

I loved the setting too.  The 1940's.  There is this one scene where Bonnie gets dressed in a halter top dress that ties behind her neck and I had such a vivid, clear picture of the whole scene in my head.  It was awesome.  I love when that happens.

The ending wasn't my absolute favorite.  I really wanted more closure than what I got.  I can't really tell you what I wanted without giving the story and ending away and I just cannot do that.  This is a story to be experienced for your yourself.  The more I read this book, the more I enjoyed it.

Content:  Some mild swearing and some scenes of abuse & child abuse.

You can purchase Secrets of the Red Box at Amazon

Vickie is a native of Utah, but growing up, lived in the states of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Nebraska. When she's not writing, she's composing music, or shopping with her sister. She loves animals of all kinds and camping with her family. Her favorite pastime is watching old movies on TCM, and unashamedly has a crush on Cary Grant.
Links: Blog * Website * Facebook * Goodreads


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If you want to check out what other people are saying about this book you can find the whole tour schedule by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thankful for Books Giveaway Hop

What a great title for this giveaway hop.  I love that we have a time of the year set aside to remember all the things we are grateful for.  Books are definitely one of the things I'm am most thankful for.  I just finished a book where the people of a country were not allowed to learn to read or write.  They were mostly illiterate and all books had been destroyed.  It made me so sad for them and also so grateful for what I have.  I can read.  I can write.  I can choose what books I want to read.  Freedom and literacy are wonderful gifts.

For this hop I am giving a book of your choice, $12.00 or less, from Amazon if you are US and the Book Depository if you are INT (as long as they ship to you for free).

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Check the side bar for other giveaways going on right now and Happy Thanksgiving!  Enjoy the hop!

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A Candlelight Courting: A Short Christmas Romance by Joyce DiPastena

When Burthred comes courting on Christmas Eve, Meg rejects his advances. She has her heart set on becoming a nun and insists that he call her Christina, the spiritual name she has chosen for herself. She tries to make him swear on her box of holy relics that he will not pursue her, but he carefully words his oath to allow him to stay in her candlelit chamber and try to change her mind.

What Meg does not confess is that her reliquary box holds a secret.

Burthred needs a wife, and no one will satisfy him except Meg. He swore on his father’s deathbed that he would marry her. But Burthred has a secret, too. When they come together before the Yule fire, their shared revelations will either join their hearts together or tear them apart.

It is no secret that I love Joyce's writing.  There is something about her books that just resonate in my heart.  I love the way I travel back in time to places that just come alive through Joyce's words.  Joyce has a gift for writing and she is a girl that really knows her history.  Her research and love for this time period really shine through.

A Candlelight Courting is a short story.  I literally devoured it in under an hour (with distractions).  While I was utterly satisfied with the whole story and the ending, I still wanted more.  More story.  More time with these characters.  More.  

Burthred (in spite of his awful name) is so sweet, so patient and so endearing.  I just love him.  He slowly breaks down Meg's walls and earns her trust by trusting her with his secrets.  

Writing this review has made me want to go back and read this short story again.  I think I will.  It is the perfect story to cuddle up with as the holidays approach.

You can find Candlelight Courting at Amazon for just $1.99.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Nightingale by David Farland

Grand Prize Winner of the Hollywood Book Festival, placed first in all genres, all categories.

Winner of the 2012 International Book Award for Best Young Adult Novel of the Year!

Finalist in the Global Ebook Awards.

The multi-award winning novel, Nightingale by best-selling author, David Farland is available in hardback, ebook, and now in a special iPad enhanced version. This young-adult fantasy novel has already been turning heads.

The enhanced version creates an amazing reading experience complete with illustrations from several talented artists and a sample of a soundtrack that coincides with the story. Published byEast India Press a publishing company that takes e-books in a whole new direction with enhanced multimedia--soundtracks, movie clips, author interviews and more. From the site: "East India embraces emerging technologies and new distribution methods, producing every novel in three forms: as an enhanced multimedia experience, as a standard e-book, and as a limited edition hardcover."
Farland has plans for three more books in the series: Dream Assassin, Draghoul, and Shadow Lord.

Some people sing at night to drive back the darkness. Others sing to summon it. . . .

Bron Jones was abandoned at birth. Thrown into foster care, he was rejected by one family after another, until he met Olivia, a gifted and devoted high-school teacher who recognized him for what he really was--what her people call a "nightingale."

But Bron isn't ready to learn the truth. There are secrets that have been hidden from mankind for hundreds of thousands of years, secrets that should remain hidden. Some things are too dangerous to know. Bron's secret may be the most dangerous of all.

In his remarkable young adult fantasy debut, David Farland shows why critics have called his work "compelling," "engrossing," "powerful," "profound," and "ultimately life-changing."

"Superb worldbuilding, strong characters, and Dave's characteristic excellent prose. --Brandon Sanderson, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

"A wonderful tale of a young man trying to find his humanity, even though he's not quite human. One of Farland's very best!"--#1 International Bestseller Kevin J. Anderson

I just have to say first that this whole multi media enhanced book idea is awesome.  I love it.  The animations, the links, the author tidbits, and the music along with the book just moves this into a whole new world.  Wowza.  I wish I could have read the whole book in this enhanced version but alas, I don't have an Ipad.  Yet.  

As for the actual book, I really enjoyed it.  It was fast paced and kept my attention throughout the book.  The characters are interesting and I could easily picture them in my mind.  I didn't really form a connection with the characters although Bron's story and history as a young child really tugged at my heartstrings.  The mother in me wanted to take Bron in myself and show him the love he was missing his whole life. 

The whole idea of creatures who can take memories and write new ones as part of their powers is freaky.  Seriously?  Can you imagine not ever knowing if what you are remembering is real or just put there by someone else?  The idea of people being able to mess with my brain and take away the memories that I love is just scary.

I love the setting in Southern Utah and then in Louisiana.  Farland does and excellent job of painting vivid pictures in my mind.  I could see everything so clearly.  I love that.

I'm really looking forward to following this book series.  Maybe by the next book I'll have an Ipad and I'll be able to get the fully enhanced version.

It was my pleasure to be a part of this blog tour put together by Rachelle Christensen.  You can find a list of all participating blogs HERE.

There is some mild swearing and some violence.

Link to listing and sample of the enhanced iPad version of Nightingale: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/nightingale/id560309064?mt=11

About the author:
David Farland has written and edited fifty published books. These include novels for adults, young adults, anthologies, middle-grade readers, and picture books. He often teaches writing workshops, and has trained a number of people who went on to become international bestselling authors—people like Brandon Sanderson in fantasy, Brandon Mull in middle-grade fiction, and Stephenie Meyer in young adult fiction.

As part of his dedication to helping other writers, David writes the David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants, an email bulletin for writers or those who would be writers. Many authors rave about how it has helped them. Out of devotion, he provides the Daily Kick free. You can register to receive it at http://www.davidfarland.com/.

http://www.facebook.com/david.farland1

Twitter handle @DavidFarland

www.nightingalenovel.com

Saturday, November 3, 2012

On Tour with Grace Doll by Jennifer Laurens + Giveaway

Grace Doll had everything a girl could want: Fame. Fortune. Beauty.

Everything except, of course, her freedom. So when a powerful movie producer forces an experimental treatment on Grace--one that's purported to make beauty immortal--she stages her own death to escape him.

With the help of trusted friends, Grace slips into hiding. She's forever flawless, forever young and forever pursued by her past.

But when a stranger arrives on her doorstep, holding the key to a life she thought she'd left behind, Grace must decide between the safety she's known... and embracing the role she was born to play.

Here is an excerpt from Grace Doll:
     I sit, dig into my backpack and pull out my sketchpad. Racing through my blood is a need that slides like captured fire desperate to explode out. My pencil touches paper and that fire brands the first curve of her face onto the page. Second. Chin. Right cheek. Left. Forehead. I can’t draw fast enough. Light, full strokes create a blazing image of her head, hair pulled back in a knot. Face. Eyes. Feathered brow. My hand slows, so does my pulse. With care I sketch her gaze, shading the inexplicable guardedness simmering there. She’s watching me, I feel it. I hunger for it.
     I need.
     Her.
     I spend excessive time on her mouth. As if drawing it will bring me the satisfaction of tasting her.
     It doesn’t.
     Skimming a half-dozen more strokes over her face, I taper down to her long elegant neck before vanishing into the white paper.
     Finished.
     I examine my work. Sweat coats my skin. I have her. My fingertips skim her lips, smudging lines into shadow and light, mystery and completion.
     She clears her throat.
     My likeness is more accurate than Dad’s impression hanging in her bathroom. I understand now why he’d done the drawing—he’d had to.
     Like me.
     “It’s…” Her voice is tentative. ”It’s…” She looks away.
     ”You,” I say.
     Though her face is averted, she nods. When she finally faces me again, I see the track of a tear down her cheek. Why? I set the drawing aside, ready to reach out. But I don’t.

Grace Doll is a story filled with haunting emotions.  I was pulled into Grace's world of heartache and sadness.  Her life under the control of the sick and demented mind of Rufus is so disheartening that I was ready to bust.  But, thankfully, there is a glimmer of hope and I held onto that hope as much as Grace, I think.

You will love to hate Rufus.  He is perverted, sick and obsessed.  All the way around.

You will love Oscar and Jonathan.  They are heroes.

Brenden will grow on you.  I didn't love him out of the gate.  It took some time but by the end it was there.

I love the setting in the first part of the book all 1940's Hollywood movie style.  It's a fun era to picture in my mind.  I also enjoyed the pictures in the book.  It really helped bring the story to life.  

The ending left me with questions.  I'm not sure everything could have worked out quite so pat for Grace in the end but it was a good ending and my heart's desire for a happily ever after ending came true.  At the end of the book is a link to a YouTube video that really gave a real feel to the happy ending for Grace.  Fun, that.

My cautions as far as content would be some language and some instances of rape (although nothing described in detail).


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My thanks to Kathy over at I Am a Reader, Not a Writer for setting up the tour and allowing me to be a part of it.  You can find the full tour schedule for Grace Doll here.




Buy Links:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/grace-doll-jennifer-laurens/1111580775
I write YA books. Whatever my heart desires, I write. I don't have someone over my shoulder, in some office somewhere telling me what I can and cannot write. Or should and shouldn't write. I listen to my heart, the center of my muse, and trust my instincts.

I've written since junior high school. An only child, I grew up writing big stories about big families. I also write YA under the name of JM Warwick. My hometown of Palos Verdes, California figures in much of my work, as does my current home of Pleasant Grove, Utah and other favorite places. I love to travel.

They say "write what you know" and I do. I am a mother, I have six children, five cats and a huge doberman/dane dog. I have a supportive husband and we've been married 25 years. Our lives, though challenging with a handicapped child who has autism, are centered in our family.

My life experiences have worked into all of my novels. Some more heavily than others, but parts of me are in each story. I love stories rich in family drama, where family members overcome obstacles through love and miracles.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Love at First Date by Susan Hatler ~ My New Favorite Short Romance

Ellen’s figured out that finding the right guy is all about compatibility. That’s why she’s signed up for Detailed Dating—the local online dating scene in Sacramento. Learning men’s preferences up front, plus a few weeks of email correspondence, has resulted in two candidates she’s excited to meet in person.

When Ellen’s best friend asks her to baby-sit her beloved pooch, dog-sitting leads to disaster and Ellen ends up at the local vet where she meets a man she can’t stop thinking about. Henry isn’t a logical choice, but Ellen suddenly finds herself signing up for a week-long doggy class to spend more time with him.

Now, Ellen has a choice: Go with one of the logical choices or let herself fall for the one man her heart seems to want.

Here it is!  My new, favorite, hot off the press, short romance.  Usually with short stories I am left wanting more but Love at First Date left me completely satisfied.  Well, I maybe could have used a smooch more kissing (wink, wink), but honestly this book was awesome.  I loved it.  It was full of happy smiles.

This book goes along with My Last Blind Date (which I also loved) .  It was fun to catch a glimpse of Rachel from that book as well as get to know Ellen more in this book.  I love the setting in Sacramento.  (hello, Sacramento!)  That's my home stomping grounds.  Now a days, when I get to Sacramento, I know I'm almost home.

One of the things I love about Susan's writing is that it just feels real.  The character's dialogue and interactions are easy and comfortable reading.  There is humor and there is sizzle.  Perfect, right?  If you want an short evening read to curl up with, look no further.  

You can find Love at First Date on Amazon for just $1.99.  Go ahead.  Indulge.

Content:  Clean (no swearing, no sex)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

On Tour: Texting Tyler by Rebecca Rembish + Giveaway

Christopher Clarke is the nicest guy Amy Fallon has ever met. He is handsome, smart, funny, an all-around great guy. Tyler Clarke is hot. So why is Amy, one of the smartest girls in school, so clueless when it comes to realizing who she is truly falling in love with? Or better yet, who’s falling in love with her.

Amy is forced to spend the week at her grandmother’s house in Arizona. She returns home to New York with a closer bond to her grandmother, with a best friend who she adores and with a boyfriend who she believes is everything she has ever dreamed of. After months of communication with the two new men in her life, things finally seem to be falling in to place for Amy. That is, until she starts to realize whom her heart is truly longing for. When she returns to Arizona almost a year later, things don’t go quite as planned when she is blindsided not only by the death of her grandmother, but learns the truth behind the text messages from Tyler. With time, and a little help from her grandmother’s memory we are able to see if her broken heart can heal and get Amy back on the course she was destined for.

This is definitely a young YA contemporary book.  It was fun and flirty.  So much of it took me right back to those early teenage years between boys and girls.

Of course, the whole book I am literally wanting to yank Amy back and forth willing her to get that it's all about Chris not the loser brother, Tyler.  How can she not get that?!  That's the luxury of being the reader who knows everything about everyone in the book, right?  Still, Amy is a ton naive (having or showing a lack of experience, judgment, or information;).  It was nice to see her grow up a bit through the book.  

I love Chris.  How you could you NOT love Chris?  He is so sweet.  Even when he is messing things up he is sweet.  The roses he sent Amy?  Swoon.  SO SWEET.  I feel like I may be over using the word sweet here.  Just a tad.  I can't help it though.  Chris is sweet like your favorite candy.  That he is handsome and smart and funny too is just icing on the cake.  (holy cow I just can't stop with the sweet stuff...)

I thought the book had great secondary characters that added just the right stuff to the book to keep it real and believable.  Overall, I enjoyed the book and I had fun reading it.  My only complaint would be the language.  Which is always my complaint because I personally prefer my books with no swearing.  This book contained swearing, including the F word twice.  Take or leave that caution as  you will.  :)

The following in an excerpt from Texting Tyler.  Enjoy!

“I can’t wait.” Amy was genuinely excited.  They walked out to the parking lot and said their goodbyes.

“See ya tomorrow!” Dana shouted to them as they were walking away.

“Okay!” Amy yelled back. They had just left and she already couldn’t wait to see them again the next day.

“They’re cool, right?” Chris asked.

“Very,” Amy answered right away.

Chris puffed his chest out. “I knew you’d like them. I could tell they really liked you too.”

They waited by the car for Tyler, who took his time walking over to join them. He moved slowly, clicking the doors open with his key chain. They were all about to get in the car when Tyler turned to Chris.


“Hey man chuck this for me.” Tyler held out the soda cup he was slurping on during the movie.

“Chuck it yourself,” Chris said.

“Then walk home,” Tyler said matter-of-factly.

“Just give it to me.” Chris huffed as he took the soda cup from his brother and walked over to the trashcan.

Amy and Tyler got in to the car shutting the doors. She heard a click and looked over at Tyler who was laughing. 

“Watch this,” he said to her.

A moment later Chris came back and opened the door to the car. Clunk, it wouldn’t open.

“Unlock the door,” Chris said through the window.  Tyler ignored him.

“Open the door,” Chris said impatiently.

Tyler clicked the button back and forth quickly.  Chris went to open the door. Clunk, it wouldn’t open.

Amy shifted uncomfortably in her seat. Tyler looked over at her and lifted his eyebrows at her as he continued to laugh.

“Tyler, I swear to God man. Why you doing this?” Chris asked shaking his head.

Amy felt bad for him. Tyler continued to ignore him and started the car. Amy looked out the window at Chris giving him a sympathetic look. Tyler put the car in drive and drove forward a few feet. Chris walked forward a few feet and knocked on the window.

“Come on man please,” Chris begged.

Tyler clicked the door and this time Chris was able to get in. “You’re such a puss Chris. I shoulda made you walk home.” Tyler laughed at him before turning the volume of the music up high so that no one was able to talk the entire ride home.

Amy felt her phone vibrate in her pocket and she slid the phone out to see a text from Chris.

About the Author:
Rebecca Rembish is a stay at home mom to a mini super-hero. To help balance out her adventurous days with a pre-schooler and grown-up married life, she escapes by writing Young Adult Romantic Fiction.

She is a compulsive nail biter, who makes daily trips to 7-11 for blueberry coffee. Rebecca grew up in Rockland County, New York, and now resides in New Jersey with her husband and son. Although Rebecca loves to text, amazingly, she and her husband of ten years have never once sent each other a text message.
twitter is @justsendatext

You can purchase Texting Tyler at Amazon.

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