Friday, February 28, 2014

Longing For Home: Hope Springs by Sarah M. Eden



All is not well in Wyoming. Katie Macauley gave up her life-long dream of returning to Ireland in order to make a home for herself in Hope Springs, but her future has never been so uncertain. The town is more divided than ever, with both the Irish and the Reds stealing property, burning buildings, and endangering lives.

Katie’s heart remains sharply divided between her love for playful Tavish and steady Joseph, a decision she feels ill-prepared to make. In the midst of the growing unrest, temperatures drop quickly, too quickly, and Irish nightmares of famine and cold resurface as the little Wyoming town struggles to beat the harsh winter.

Katie makes one sacrifice after another to keep the peace and help see her loved ones through the difficult days ahead, but will it be enough? Can the town make amends before their hatred consumes them all? And will Katie find the love she has been searching for as well as a home to call her own?

I am in love with Hope Springs.  The whole of it.  I swear Sarah Eden weaves magic into her books.  This book is the second in the Longing for Home series.

The characters in this story are well developed.  They feel like real people and it makes me feel as if I know them personally.  I became emotionally invested and I love when my emotions become part of a book.  

Katie is still Katie.  It would seem she still feels as though she has something to prove and she continues to yearn for the validation and love from her parents she feels she has never received.  Ghosts of the past still haunt her as she struggles to overcome and move on.  Katie is full of goodness and sacrifice.  The sacrifices she makes in this book will leave you breathless.  It was an ending I didn't see coming.  Just wow.  

I'm glad we have resolution in the love triangle department.  By the end of the book, Katie finally decides.  Phew!  I love both Tavish and Joseph.  (Although Tavish wins in the name department.  I love the name Tavish!)

The division between the Irish and the Reds is so tragic.  Eden captures the feud so well.  It's so senseless how we as people throughout time have shunned and hurt other people because they are different, because we don't take the time to care and understand.  It really is awful.  I loved reading about the Irish in this book- their speech, their customs, their music.  :)  

I love reading anything by Sarah Eden and this series is one of my favorites.  I jumped on the review request right away!  My thanks to Shadow Mountain for allowing me to read and review books for them.  They are a great publisher.

You can buy Longing for Home:  Hope Springs at Amazon.



Thursday, February 27, 2014

Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop


It's hippity hop, hop time again!  I LOVE giveaway hops!

Today you can enter to win one book of your choice, $12 or less, from Amazon if you are US or The Book Depository if you are INT (and they ship to you for free).  Ebooks are also allowed through Amazon or B&N.  (This is for a book, not a giftcard or anything else)

Thanks for hopping by and have a grand day!


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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Solving for Ex blog tour and GIVEAWAY!

Solving for Ex
300 pages
Release Date: February 11th 2014
COVER DESIGNED By Hafsah Laziaf of Icey Designs http://www.iceydesigns.com/
Synopsis:

1 crush on your best friend +
1 gorgeous, scheming new girl +
1 Mathletics competition =
1 big mess

SIMPLIFY.


Ashley Price doesn’t have much in life after being bullied so hard she had to leave her old school to live with her aunt and uncle in Pittsburgh. But the camera she borrowed from her best friend and secret crush Brendan, and her off the charts math abilities, make things a lot more bearable. Plus, since Brendan is the captain, making the school Mathletes team should be easy.

But when gorgeous new girl Sofia rolls in and steals Brendan, Ashley's place on the team, and her fragile foothold on the Mansfield Park Prep social totem pole, it’s on. Sofia is everything Ashley left her old school to escape. The only thing Ashley didn’t count on is Sofia’s sexy twin brother Vincent.

Vincent is not only the hottest boy in school, he’s charming, sweet, and he’s got his eye on Ashley. He’s also not taking no for an answer. There's no real reason Ashley shouldn't like Vincent, but with the
battle lines being drawn between her and Sofia, Ashley’s not sure which side he’s on. Or which side she wants him to be on.

She does know Sofia is trouble with a capital T, and she’s determined to make Brendan see it.

SOLVING FOR EX is a YA contemporary romance that remixes Mansfield Park as Clueless meets Mean Girls in a crazy mix of high school society, mathletic competition, and teenage romance.

This review is sort of a mixed bag for me.  So, I'm going to break it down into like and dislike.

Like:
Characters you can visualize and feel
Forward moving plot that keeps you interested and engaged, good flow
Camera loving, picture taking, math geek!
Scene on the water tower
little math notes at the end of some chapters- so cute!
The cover!

Dislike:
all the swearing.  So much of it- including the F word, many times
party scene- crude and vile- drinking, sex, vomit, teenage stupidity

If I could take out all the swearing and the disgusting party scene, this would be a book I could enjoy.  I loved the whole modern concept of an old story, but I'm a firm believer that a book doesn't have to have the above mentioned dislikes to be a good book- especially for teenagers.

Solving for Ex on Goodreads

Raised on comic books and classic novels, Leigh Ann developed an early love of science fiction and literature. As an adult, she rediscovered her love for not only reading, but also writing the types of fiction that enchanted her as a teen. Solving for Ex was born of her love for Jane Austen’s classics, and how they taught her that love stories could be funny and wickedly smart.

Leigh Ann, her husband, and four children live in Columbus, Ohio. When she’s not immersed in the world of fiction, you can find her obsessing over the latest superhero movie or using her kids as an excuse to go out for ice cream (again.)

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/LeighAnnKopans
Website: http://www.leighannkopans.com/index2.php
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeighAnnKopansbooks
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6439443.LeighAnn_Kopans
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/leighannkopans/
Blog: http://leighannkopans.blogspot.com.es

GIVEAWAY:

Win (1) "Mathlete" Tee (US Only)
Win (1) "Maths" Tee from Threadless (US Only)
Win (1) "I <3 u" equation coffee mug (US Only)
Win (1) signed paperback of Solving For Ex by LeighAnn Kopans (US Only)
Win (1) of (3) e-copies of Solving For Ex by LeighAnn Kopans (INT)
Win (1) "Reading Is Sexy" Tee (US Only)


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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ungifted by Kelly Oram

Even though her father is running for President of the United States, Grace St. Claire is as normal a girl as they come. She’s clumsy, shy, and an outcast among her peers. She even manages to nearly die in a freak accident in front of the entire school. But when Grace survives a vampire attack she quickly learns that she is anything but ordinary.

There’s something about human Grace that has all the supernaturals around her going crazy. Her best friend’s brother suddenly wants to date her. Her worst enemy has sworn to protect her even against her wishes. Someone with very powerful magic wants her dead, and the vampire that attacked her has developed an obsession with making her his eternal mate.

In order to survive—and not as Count Dracula’s undead bride—Grace dives head first into the terrifying world of the supernatural. She teams up with a charming but mysterious warlock who strolled into town causing trouble and spouting stories of a Prophesy and Chosen One that looks exactly like Grace. Together they must figure out why Grace is different, who wants her dead, how she’s connected to the Chosen One, and who they can really trust.

There is just something about Kelly Oram's books.  No matter what genre she is writing in, she has a way of making characters seem real.  The conversations flow easily and the plot moves forward constantly, literally dragging you behind if you don't keep up.  I love it.

Ungifted is the second book in the Supernaturals Series.  I was lucky enough to read the first book, Chameleon right before reading this book so I didn't have to wait at all.  Phew!  Ungifted, to me, had a different vibe than Chameleon.  Rightly so though because Grace has a totally different vibe than Dani.  Ungifted wasn't quite as intense as Chameleon but it suited Grace's personality and I liked that.

Grace is more gentle and unassuming than Dani.  She is less snarky for sure.  But don't let that fool you into thinking that Grace is weak because she isn't.

I felt like there was more emotion in this book.  Poor Grace has to deal with a lot of confusing things and lots of things really just don't go her way.  At one point in the book, I was so, so sad.  (and maybe a little angry because I had to be so sad)  I'm not giving anything away but man, I didn't like how that part went down.  boo hoo

I'm really looking forward to the next book.  It will bring Grace and Dani together and I'm thinking explosive things are in store.  I'm excited.

I can't rightly report on content because I got really involved in the book.  oops.  There wasn't anything overly offensive though or I would have remembered that.  (how lame is that?!)

You can purchase Ungifted on Amazon.

You can find out more about the Supernatural Series and Kelly Oram at the following places:

Facebook Goodreads
Twitter and Website

My thanks to Kelly for allowing me to read and review her books.  :)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

An Event NOT To Be Missed- Tyler Whitesides and the Jammin' Janitors Show!


Tyler Whitesides, author of the Janitors book series, has created an amazing, live show that will be entertaining, educational, and fun for the entire family.

And, it’s FREE.

With help from the “Jammin’ Janitors,” this show includes exciting music, and guest appearances by Chad Morris, and Brandon Dorman. (Morris is the author of the Cragbridge Hall series, and Dorman is the illustrator for Janitors, Cragbridge Hall, and Fablehaven).

Whitesides will also be revealing the cover of his upcoming book, JANITORS 4, and he also plans to do a book signing following this event.

Where: Cottonwood High School - 5715 S 1300 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84121
When: Satuday, March 1, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.
Tickets: Free. Seating is first-come, first-served.

Check out this youtube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acEVhxKTtDo

I can't tell you how excited I am that Tyler Whitesides is doing another one of these events.  I took my daughters to his last event and I can't even explain how much fun we had.  The whole show was amazing and funny- so, so entertaining.  We are fans of Tyler and his Janitors Series.  Janitors is a fantastic MG series that this adult loved too.  If you are anywhere near Salt Lake City, you just have to attend this gig.  You will not be disappointed.  It's fun, it's family friendly and it's FREE!  :)

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen

Finding himself the man of the family, London dancing master Alec Valcourt moves his mother and sister to remote Devonshire, hoping to start over. But he is stunned to learn the village matriarch has prohibited all dancing, for reasons buried deep in her past.

Alec finds an unlikely ally in the matriarch's daughter. Though he's initially wary of Julia Midwinter's reckless flirtation, he comes to realize her bold exterior disguises a vulnerable soul--and hidden sorrows of her own.

Julia is quickly attracted to the handsome dancing master--a man her mother would never approve of--but she cannot imagine why Mr. Valcourt would leave London, or why he evades questions about his past. With Alec's help, can Julia uncover old secrets and restore life to her somber village. . .and to her mother's tattered heart?

Filled with mystery and romance, The Dancing Master brings to life the intriguing profession of those who taught essential social graces for ladies and gentlemen hoping to make a "good match" in Regency England.

First of all, I have to say that I love this cover.  I think it's utterly charming.  This story is like a sedate and quiet version of Footloose.  Honestly.  Think very slow build up with much of the same elements.  

Dancing is banned after a "situation" where young people get into trouble and dancing just happened to be around at the time.  Daughter of the woman who banned the dancing rebels in any form she can.  Of course she wants to dance.  Boy moves into town, knows how to dance, teaches dance as a living and things start to get interesting.

I didn't really get Julia and I didn't really like her until more of the mystery started unfolding- which was toward the end of the book.  I wasn't sure exactly what Alec saw in her except her beauty.

I did, however, really like Alec.  He has a gentle manner and he thinks about things.  He cares about people.  Alec was the character that made this book for me.

I do love the movie Footloose and I love dancing.  So, the story held much appeal to me but it was just so slow moving.  This is a Christian Fiction book, but I didn't find the Christian part of it to amount to much.  It wasn't overbearing or the focal point.

You can purchase The Dancing Master at Amazon.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Deviations Book Blast


Book Title: Deviations Author: Crystal C. Johnson
Series: Deviations (Book One).
Price: $0.99 USD.
Category: Fiction
  • Paperback: 460 pages

"People don’t just create diseases to wipe out nations,” I argue. “The bubonic plague, typhoid fever, smallpox, the bird flu—would you like me to continue?” His voice rises as if he’s determined to make me understand, “They’re created in labs, then given to people to see who is strong enough to survive them. They’re trying to limit the amount of people in the world.” I watch him stand and turn for the door. “There’s a lot about your parents that you don’t know and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you can start doing something about it.” About Deviations From the day we’re born, we’re introduced to the marvels of modern medicine. It is amazing how a simple vaccine can prevent polio, hepatitis B, rotavirus—the list is almost endless. But, what if that were no longer the case? What if the government unleashed each virus for the sole purpose of controlling the population? Henly Sawyer finds herself discovering this truth for the first time, and as she does, the world that she thought she knew shatters. She wakes in Aurora, a quarantine miles from home, and is forced into a grueling reality. Henly strives to piece together the truth about her parents and their involvement in the unfolding chaos. With the help of her new friends, Renner and Dex, Henly sets out to understand a world that is now filled with Deviations—an infected group of violent, murderous humans.

What readers have said about the book:

"The novel Deviations by Crystal C. Johnson is an unpredictable journey that brings you through very relatable experiences. Through the excitement and comedy found throughout, it is impossible to put down. Through the characters Crystal has been able to relate to her readers with the realistic feelings and actions that they portray. Throughout the entire novel there are countless ingenious surprises that you never see coming. Deviations is the amazing combination of the novels Divergent by Veronica Roth, Maze Runner by James Dashner, Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Matched by Allie Condie."
--Carmen, 15
"I love the story line, the characters, the love story and the twist. I stayed up reading and couldn't put it down."
--Steffeni, 26
I fell in love with the characters and was fighting for their survival right along with them!

About The Author:

Crystal Johnson is an avid pinner, impatient reader, determined writer, and currently trying to survive motherhood. She has a strange addiction to Root Beer and Spanish Soaps. Born in a small town in Northern Nevada, she grew to love and appreciate the written word. She could spend her entire day locked in a closet with a flashlight if that meant she could read a book from start to finish. But lets get serious...
Crystal graduated from BYU-I with a BA Degree in Political Science and a minor in English. Along the way she acquired a pretty amazing husband who has helped me create and realize so many dreams. Who knows how many times he's reminded her that she needs to sleep to continue living. Crystal also has a baby boy who fits perfectly with his name - Cash. Right now she resides in Canada and besides the rainy months she loves it.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate: Review, Interview and Giveaway!


There is a mystery in Wildwood Creek's history, a mystery that affects Allie's present...


Wildwood CreekWildwood Creek
by Lisa Wingate
Christian Romance
Paperback, 384 pages
February 4th 2014 by Bethany House Publishers

Allie Kirkland has never been one to take wild risks. But when she’s offered a costuming assistant’s job on a docudrama in the hills near Moses Lake, she jumps at the chance. She’s always dreamed of following in her director-father’s footsteps, and the reenactment of the legendary frontier settlement of Wildwood is a first step. The family expectations will have to wait.

But in 1861, the real Wildwood held dangerous realities. Town founder Harland Delevan held helpless residents, including young Irish schoolteacher Bonnie Rose, in an iron grip. Mysterious disappearances led to myths and legends still retold in the folk songs of Chinquapin Peaks. Eventually, the entire site was found abandoned.

When strange connections surface between Allie and the teacher who disappeared over a century ago, everyone in Wildwood, including Allie’s handsome neighbor on the film set, Blake Fulton, seems to be hiding secrets, and Allie doesn’t know who she can trust. If she can’t find the answers in time, history may repeat itself . . . with the most unthinkable results.

Bethany House

Bethany HouseAmazon * Barnes & Noble * Book Depository

This was an interesting book.  It had a mysterious feel to it - sort of like standing in a moving fog.  I always enjoy books that have a historical feel to them and this book bounces back and forth between the present time and the past.

This is labeled as a Christian Romance and while there were Christian elements to it, I felt like it was really light.  The romance part was also very light.  The story unfolded slowly, I sometimes had a hard time staying invested but I always wanted to know more and would push through because of that.  The last third of the book picked up tension and speed and it was the part I enjoyed the most.

The plot of this book was good- the stories, the mysterious element.  I actually liked the bounce back in history part of the book the best because I felt more of an emotional connection there.  The changes in time were sort of a mixed bag for me because I felt like I got a bit of both worlds but not enough of either to be completely satisfied.

Bonnie Rose had to be my favorite character and I wished through the whole book that it was her story being told in more detail.  She was the person I was most interested in and the person I was rooting for.

Like I said, the ending was my favorite part.  The mystery climaxed, the action picked up, the romance finally entered and I got a Happily Ever After.  It was a good way to end the book.

Next up is an interview with author Lisa Wingate followed by the giveaway so be sure to get to the end!  :)



Lisa, the Writer

Part I of IV:

What were your first writing efforts?

I’ve loved to write for as long as I can remember. My older brother was a good writer, and when you’re the youngest in the family, you want to do what the older kids do. When he won a school award for his poem, “The Bee Went Under the Sea,” I was so impressed by his literary brilliance (and the blue ribbon) that I immediately went to my bedroom and created my first book, The Story of a Dog Named Frisky. Frisky’s tale was cleverly illustrated and published on manila paper in multiple editions which sold very well in the grandparent market.

Who have been your favorite authors and how have they influenced you?

In terms of classics, I have so many favorites. I love the rhythm of the prose and the wisdom of Eudora Welty and Zora Neal Hurston. I love the sense of place and the intermingling of both the humorous and the profound that is so present in Mark Twain's works. What I have learned, sitting at the knee of these and other timeless writers, is exactly this – the stories that drive deepest into us are those that tell us things we already knew, that crystallize truths we’ve felt but not yet framed into words in our own minds. When a story pulls something from within the reader, it is a kidnapping, in a way. A piece of personal truth is forever tied to that story.

I think that's what we all want as writers. It’s what we seek to create on the deepest levels beyond just entertainment. The best stories both draw on life experience and expand it to deliver meaning.

Have you had help along the way?

A special first grade teacher, Mrs. Krackhardt, put the idea of being a real writer into my head. She found me writing a story one day at indoor recess, and she took the time to stop and read it. When she was finished, she tapped the pages on the desk to straighten them, looked at me over the top and said, “You are a wonderful writer!” From that moment on, in my mind, I was a writer.

The strange thing is that I was only in her class for a few months before we moved again, but during that time, she left an indelible mark on my life. It’s funny how we have defining moments in our lives, and that time in Mrs. Krackhardt’s class was one of mine. For years, I couldn’t have told you what she looked like, or whether she was a young teacher or an old teacher, but I could have told you that she said I was a wonderful writer. When I left her class, she wrote on my report card, “Keep that pencil working with that wonderful imagination, Lisa!” and “I expect to open a magazine and see you listed among the contributors.” I still have that report card, and I never forgot those words, or the way her confidence in me gave me confidence. Publishing is a difficult business, but I always believed I could do it, because my first grade teacher told me so.

I was also fortunate to grow up in a family of great storytellers. I classify them among my writing mentors, as well. Nights gathered around the outdoor fire on my grandparents’ farm were backyard lessons in weaving together stories in a way that could hold an audience breathless until the final line. Some of those stories were funny, and some were sentimental, but the older folks in our family could hold court with a tale about going to the grocery store or getting a haircut. Even from a very young age, I remember being not only enamored with their stories, but fascinated by their skill. Reality and fiction were seamlessly intertwined to create a weave that was flawless. They never let the truth get in the way of a good story, and it was impossible to tell which was which. Both were equally enthralling.


Lisa Wingate Author PictureLisa Wingate is a journalist, inspirational speaker, reviewer for the New York Journal of Books, and the author of over twenty novels.  Her novels combine elements of history, romance, mystery, and women's fiction with nuggets of Southern culture, from the sublime to the humorous. She is a seven-time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol award nominee, a Christy Award nominee, an Oklahoma Book Award finalist, a Christianity Today Book Award nominee, an Inspy Award nominee, and a two-time Carol Award winner. Her works have been selected for Booklist’s Top Ten List in 2012 and in 2013. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others, as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life.


Bethany House

Tour-Wide Giveaway
February 10 - March 2nd  US Only
See Rafflecopter for restrictions.

1 Winner, 1 Amazing Prize Pack:
   $50 Amazon Gift Card
   Print copy of Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate
   Handmade-by-author Prayer Box with notepads


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Monday, February 17, 2014

Fire on Ice by Jeremy C. Holm

The thrill of bobsledding combines with spiritual insight in this inspiring book by Jeremy C. Holm. Through sharing his unforgettable experiences as a bobsledder and coach, his message will broaden and enlighten your understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

"Bobsledders are thrill-seeking lunatics. I mean, who in their right mind throws themselves down an icy chute at faster-than-freeway speeds in a fiberglass or carbon fiber sled?

Racing down an icy track at 80 miles per hour makes you think of many things. Jeremy C. Holm thought of God. While racing professionally as a bobsled pilot, he learned valuable lessons that transformed his bobsledding experience from something worldly into a journey of faith in God.

Now as a head coach, Jeremy shares his personal experiences from a competitive life on the ice and the spiritual fire he gained while coping with the temptations and trials of life.

This message of faith and personal courage will inspire you to come closer to Jesus Christ and reach for eternal life."

I really enjoy reading books about ordinary people doing extraordinary things.  Professional athletes are interesting- and bobsledders?  Especially interesting.  The Olympics are on right now so my fascination with all things winter sports related is especially high.  I am going to watch the bobsledders this next week and I'm going to be remembering some of the cool lessons I learned from this book.

Fire on Ice is an LDS based religious inspirational book.  Author Jeremy Holm has taken his years of experience as a professional athlete and coach and related it to things of a spiritual nature.  Not only was it cool to learn more about the sport of bobsledding, it was cool to see how Jeremy took his knowledge of bobsledding and the gospel and weaved them together.  There is a wealth of knowledge and experience in this book.

Some of the chapter headings are:
Hope:  The Substance of Gold Medals Unseen
Talk to the Coach; There's No Data Limit on Prayer
Disobedience Leaves Us to Compete Alone
Trials are Training Camps for the Eternities
Your Team Believes in You

There are A LOT of chapters in this book.  The book is pretty thick and it wasn't one I could sit down and read all the way through.  Some of the ideas were a bit repetitive and I thought they could have been combined and condensed into less but overall this was a good read with important reminders of what we are trying to accomplish here on this earth.  The cross over between gospel themes and sports really helped this book move along.  There are a few pages of pictures in the middle which brought a lot of the personal experiences in the book to life.

My thanks to Cedar Fort for allowing me to read and review this book for them.  You can purchase this book at Cedar Fort and Amazon.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Kelly Oram Books are on SALE!! Only .99 cents!!

In celebration of the paperback release of Amazon Best-seller The Avery Shaw Experiment, YA author Kelly Oram is having a special Valentines Day sale and Giveaway. 
From science geeks & serial killers to warlocks & rockstars, no matter your flavor, Kelly Oram has a fictional boyfriend for you! Make the most of this holiday of love and cuddle up with a boy who's sure to make you swoon, will never talk back, and will never ever break your heart!
Visit KELLYORAM.COM to see which boy is right for you and enter the giveaway.
Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and loves to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and four children. Connect with Kelly on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, & her Blog.

Playing Cupid by Christine S. Feldman

Much as she loves her meddling matchmaker of a grandmother, free-spirited Aimee Beasley is tired of dodging the dull and downright tiresome dates the older woman keeps trying to arrange for her.  So when she notices her beloved Gran preening in the presence of a distinguished elderly gentleman who’s been visiting their apartment building, Aimee is delighted at the prospect of turning the tables on her.

But her plans to match her grandmother up with the gentleman in time for Valentine’s Day hit a snag when Aimee realizes he’s the uncle of their downstairs neighbor, a stodgy thirty-something history professor named Doyle with whom she butts heads on a regular basis.  She’ll need to find a way to make nice and enlist his help, or her plan to see her long-widowed Gran happily matched again will never work.

For Gran’s sake, she’s determined to find a way.  In the process, she starts to realize that her cranky downstairs neighbor has a softer side she never suspected existed. 


And when it comes to romantic heroes, history professors may not have gotten a fair shake…

Happy Valentines Day!  I have the perfect book to tell you about today!  Playing Cupid is a short, sweet, romantic novella that is sure to put a smile on your face.  Christine Feldman's Heavenly Bites Series is so fun and I've loved all of them.  I'm so happy she lets me read and review for her.  I always look forward to reading her books.

I particularly love the main character's first name.  It has a sort of awesomeness about it. . .  haha  This is actually the second book I've read this week with my name (spelled exactly right) in it.  Cool beans.

This book is all about pre-judging people.  Doyle and Aimee are experts at it.  It's a shame, really.  So much time wasted.  But somehow Aimee and Doyle find their way through the muddled mess of judging someone wrongly.  Aimee is spirited and loving.  She has no problem going for what she wants.  She knows how to live and love.  She's fun and I loved her.

And then there was the sweet romance of Gran and Uncle.  So, so sweet.  It made me smile.  So, all in all, a perfectly sweet, clean romance for the holiday of LOVE.

Find this book at B&N and Amazon.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Claiming the Cowboy's Heart by Linda Ford

After witnessing her fiancĂ©'s murder, Jayne Gardiner won't let herself be caught on the wrong side of a gun again. But a disastrous first lesson in self-defense has left her with a wounded cowboy. She insists on nursing the handsome stranger back to health—whether he wants it or not!

Getting waylaid by a wild shot has definitely put a hitch in Seth Collins's step—and plans. Duty may call him home, but Seth can't resist lingering on Eden Valley Ranch to teach the English beauty to shoot. And when a shadowy figure from Jayne's past resurfaces, Seth's sudden urge to protect her has nothing to do with duty.

Cowboys of Eden Valley: Forging a future in Canada's west country.

You gotta love when an inspirational romance novel starts out with the girl accidentally shooting the guy.  Ha!  Luckily Seth is pretty forgiving considering the hole in his leg.  

Jayne sure does feel sorry about shooting poor, unsuspecting Seth.  All she really wants is to learn to shoot so she doesn't feel so helpless ever again.  Watching her fiance die was tough.  Lucky for her if she had to shoot someone, it was a handsome cowboy with a very strong sense of duty.  So strong it kind of gets in the way a bit.  But better that than an old, ugly stranger with half his teeth missing, right?  I'm such a sucker for handsome cowboy novels.

Some of my favorite things in the book were the frolicking deer, the mysterious key and the friends and family of Jayne.

I liked both Jayne and Seth a lot.  The friendship that grew between them was real and they helped each other work through the tough stuff.  This was a sweet story of growing love and softening hearts.  Harlequin's Inspirations line is a good one and I'm glad they let me read and review for them.

You can find Claiming the Cowboy's Heart at Amazon or the Harlequin site.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Touching Sky- An LDS Music Review


With a fresh and energizing sound, Stephanie Boyd’s debut album Touching Sky will put a smile on your face and a skip in your step. Unique lyrics, heartfelt vocals and top quality production will inspire and uplift you. With brand new original songs and a novel take on some favorite hymns, this CD will stay with you every day of the week.

I just have to say right up front that this is one of my new favorite albums.  I'm in love with it.  I've been making a lot of long car rides lately and this album is the one I always pop in first and listen to at least twice.  It's love.

Stephanie Boyd's voice is rich and easy to listen to.  I love the lyrics to her songs.  They are meaningful and uplifting.  You just can't go wrong with messages and music that makes you feel good and remind you of the things that are the most important.  

While I really like all the songs on this album, my favorites are Good for the Soul, Enlisted and Waiting for my Rainbow.  Just talking about it makes me want to listen to it right now!  I hope you will check out the music sampler below and get a feel for the album.  Links for purchase are above.  :)  Music makes me happy.  


Growing up in New York, Stephanie was drawn to the power of music from a young age. While she was originally trained in classical singing, Stephanie always gravitated towards more upbeat and modern music. With her debut album, Touching Sky, Stephanie combines her love of traditional messages with fresh music. Since moving to Utah, Stephanie has worked closely with well-known artists including Jenny Phillips, Tyler Castleton, and Michael McLean. She was also featured soloist with Sally DeFord. She has a master’s degree in environmental science she and her husband have enjoyed building and selling businesses together. Stephanie is married with four children (and one on the way!) and likes to read, garden, run and bake fun birthday cakes.

Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 3/9/14 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, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Porcelain Keys by Sarah Beard + a Giveaway!

Title: Porcelain Keys
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Pages: 352
Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc. (February 11, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1462113966
ISBN-13: 978-1462113965

Aria's life is full of secrets--secrets about her mother's death, her father's cruelty, and her dream to go to Juilliard. When Aria meets Thomas, he draws out her secrets, captures her heart, and gives her the courage to defy her father. But when tragedy strikes and Thomas disappears, Aria is left alone to transform her broken heart's melody into something beautiful. Porcelain Keys is a captivating love story that will resonate long after the last page is turned.

Porcelain Keys was such a pleasure to read.  It wasn't quite what I was expecting going into it but don't ask me what I was expecting because I don't really know. ha.  Actually, I think I was expecting the usual YA book but what I got was something deeper and more substantial.  This was a tender and emotional story of a girl trying to escape the hurt to find hope, healing and love.

I loved the music aspect of this book.  Music has always been a part of my world and my emotions.  Music has the power to sway your emotions and take you to faraway places.  Aria has a gift within her for music.  She feels the pull to play and when she does, her emotions feed into the music and make it come alive.

Aria is a character you will feel connected to.  She is both vulnerable and strong.  Her tragedies will have you wishing for a happily ever after ending.  There was real depth to Aria and to this whole story.  She has to fight her way out of the darkness that threatens to consume her.  There is something admirable in that.

I walked away from this book feeling satisfied and happy.  Aria's story stayed in my mind well after I had read it.  I love when that happens.

You can purchase Porcelain Keys on Amazon or at Cedar Fort.

SARAH BEARD is the author of Porcelain Keys, a YA contemporary romance. She has a degree in communications from the University of Utah and splits her time between writing and raising three energetic boys. She is a cancer survivor and a hopeless romantic. She enjoys reading and composing music, and lives with her husband and children in Salt Lake City, Utah. You can follow Sarah on twitter at @authorsarahb, or at facebook.com/authorsarahbeard. Her website is www.sarahbeard.com.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, February 10, 2014

Cover Reveal for Fractured Truth by Rachel McClellan (book 3 in the Fractured Light Series)


It's finally time to reveal the cover for the much anticipated YA novel Fractured Soul, book three in the Fractured Light series.





“You guys don’t get it, do you?” I said. “You think Cyrus is done with us? You think he’s making more Vykens because it’s fun?”

I let my questions sink in before I added, “Cyrus is coming back, and he’s going to finish what he started. This isn’t just about saving the others; it’s about saving our race. The time is now. Are you ready?” 


**********************

Llona is determined to end the fight with the Vykens once and for all. All she needs is to find and destroy the Shadow—the ultimate source of dark power. But when she makes a startling discovery about someone she loves, Llona has to fight the toughest battle yet in this exciting conclusion to the Fractured Light series.

Pre order your copy on Amazon now! 

Find out more about Rachel McClellan and her books here: