Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Summer Giveaway Hop!

Giveaway hops are so fun.  I'm doing back to back hops with this one.  I guess I'm going for broke.  :)  Same as usual for the giveaway.  One book of your choice, $12 or less from Book Depository if you are INT and Amazon if you are US.  Or, you can choose an ebook.  Thanks for stopping by my blog.  I hope life is amazing wherever you find yourself today.

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Count Down to Love Author Event

I'm so excited to be participating a tour for Julie Ford's Whitney-nominated novel, Count Down to Love starting on August 13th!

In conjunction with the tour, Julie is extending a special invitation to all blog readers to join her and 11 other authors in an amazing book event being held on August 1st. Check out the following invitation for all the details.

Utah Author Event
Meet the authors and support a library!

Come to the Pleasant Grove City Library at 30 E. Center Street in Pleasant Grove, Utah, at 7 pm on Wednesday, August 1st for a great book event featuring Whitney-nominated author, Julie Ford. Julie will be joined by some other amazing authors including:

  • Julie Coulter Bellon
  • Nichole Giles
  • Angie Lofthouse
  • Monique Bucheger
  • H. B. Moore
  • Rachelle Christensen
  • Andrea Pearson
  • Heather Justesen
  • Loralee Evans
  • Suze Reese
  • L. L. Muir

Come meet these authors and check out their books! There will be prizes there on silent auction, books to be purchased, cookies to be eaten - and proceeds will go to the library. That's right - this is a book launch/fund-raiser/rockin' party!

Bring your family! Bring your friends! Come prepared to have a great time, support your local authors, and contribute to the library!

Pleasant Grove Library
30 E. Center, Pleasant Grove
Wednesday, August 1st
7 - 9 PM

Friday, July 27, 2012

Review: How to Break Up with an Alien by Magan Vernon

Face it, long distance relationships in high school are hard, especially when the other one in the relationship is an alien. Alex Bianchi may have survived an intergalactic battle, but that still doesn’t excuse her from her senior year of high school, or qualify her for any sort of scholarship. To make up for college tuition costs, she takes a job at a local coffee shop. If only coffee could solve all of her problems.

As Alex’s senior year progresses, everything changes and she can’t figure out if it is interstellar or if it is just time to break up with an alien.

First off, I love the new covers for this series, especially this one.  So pretty!  I'm really enjoying this alien series and I was super excited to get How to Break Up with an Alien in my mailbox.  After reading the first book, How to Date an Alien, I was anxious to see where things went with Alex and Ace.

Let's just agree that dating an alien is NOT normal.  Alex is torn.  She wants Ace but she also wants a sense of normal.  I would say that Alex is pretty smart.  Deep down she knows what she wants but it's hard to keep that focus when people all around her are telling her what they think she should do.  I love the moments when Alex stands up for herself.  On the other hand, I NEVER love the moments when Alex thinks Ace isn't for her.  Ace is the bomb.  Although he does have a thing or two to learn about dating a human.

This was a great follow up book.  The romance continues, the struggle continues.  Such a fun sci-fi romance.  This is some great summertime easy reading.

Content:  There was mild swearing (including a couple instances of the B word) and some sexual references.

Here is a link to Amazon where  you can find this book.  It's only $2.99 for the Kindle!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop

Happy Summer!  I am, as we speak taking a quick break from our summer vacation playing.  I love summer.  It makes me happy.  Lazy summer days are my favorite and reading is one of my favorite lazy summer day pastimes.  

For this giveaway hop I will be giving my usual book of your choice, $12.00 or less from Amazon if you are US and Book Depository if you are INT.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Happy Hopping!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Review: Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

Tuesdays at Castle Glower are Princess Celie's favorite days. That's because on Tuesdays the castle adds a new room, a turret, or sometimes even an entire wing. No one ever knows what the castle will do next, and no one-other than Celie, that is-takes the time to map out the new additions. But when King and Queen Glower are ambushed and their fate is unknown, it's up to Celie, with her secret knowledge of the castle's never-ending twists and turns, to protect their home and save their kingdom. This delightful book from a fan- and bookseller-favorite kicks off a brand-new series sure to become a modern classic.

If you have never read a book by Jessica Day George, you really need to.  She is such a talented writer.  I've been wanting to read this book for awhile so I'm glad I finally got around to picking it up.

I know this book is JF and meant for a younger crowd, but I loved it.  It was everything clever and magical that sparks your imagination into dreaming.  How could you not love a book about a castle that is alive?  It moves and changes and loves princess Celie.  You should read what it does to people it doesn't like!  You don't want to be on the castle's bad side.

This is such a clever book.  It's perfect for readers of all ages but especially for the younger set.  It's going to be the next book I recommend to my 9 year old.  I think she will love it.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Florence by Ciye Cho

Seventeen-year-old Florence Waverley is out of her depth.Literally. Kidnapped and taken below the waves to the mer world of Niemela, she is the ultimate gift for merman Prince Kiren: a human familiar tied to his side. But nothing is what it seems amid the beauty and danger of a dark ocean.

Every Niemelan has a role to play, from the mermaids who weave towers out of kelp to the warriors who fight sea monsters. But in trying to survive, Florence will end up in the middle of a war between the mer and the Darkness. A conflict that will push her between two brothers: Kiren, the charmer inexplicably drawn to both her and the monsters; and Rolan, the loner who has been pushing her away since the day they met. But in order to take a stand--and find out where she belongs--Florence will have to risk it all: her life, her heart... and her very soul.

Ciye Cho has created a beautiful underwater setting for her book, Florence.  It is filled with vivid scenery and underwater creatures.  I've always been fascinated by what lies beneath the oceans.  There are so many cool plants and animals.  Mermaids are what every little girl dreams about at some point or another, I think, so they make a good subject for writing.  I'm glad that this book wasn't too dark and that the mermaids (for the most part) are kind and happy creatures.  

The book started out really slow for me.  It was hard to get into and connect with the characters but about half way through things picked up a bit and I found myself enjoying the book a lot more.  By the end I was really rooting for Florence, Rolan and Kiren.  

The ending leaves things wide open for another book.  The Darkness is just beginning to wreak their havoc, I think.  There might just be more to Florence than meets the eye.  I'm going to be looking forward to reading the next book in this series.

Content:  There is some mild swearing.

Here is a book trailer for Florence:

And now for the giveaway! Ciye has generously agreed to give away one ebook copy of her book, Florence. Just fill out the rafflecopter below. Thanks, Ciye!
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Book Blitz! Taken By Storm by Angela Morrison

Synopsis: Mormon girl Leesie has life figured out until devastated Michael lands in her small town high school. He needs her like no one has before. A rare journey into a faithful LDS teen’s intimate struggle.

Meet Leesie:
from Leesie's Most Private Chapbook, Prologue, Taken by Storm, "What does it Matter?"

What does it matter if
another jock pinches me
as I walk down the hall to Physics
and high fives Troy, celebrating
like he just scored
the season’s first touchdown?

As I stalk past Troy,
architect of my torture,
I’m frozen, a block of ice—
not a single drop melts.

All hail the Mormon Ice Queen.

What does it matter?

I know the commandment,
but I don’t even consider
turning the other cheek.

And, yes, it hurts, but
life without pain
isn’t much of a test.

This feeling can’t be lonely—
I’m not alone.

I walk with His hand on my shoulder,
His voice whispering in my soul,
His love soaring in my heart,
His suffering
my salvation.

What else could possibly matter?

"[Morrison] handles the topics of religion and premarital sex gracefully without passing judgment. The message has less to do with religion than learning to respect and cherish others while staying true to one’s own beliefs.” – Publisher’s Weekly, starred review

Brand new paperback and reformatted ebook with fully scalable fonts. Includes bonus, never-before-published scene, "Airport Good-bye!"

10 Year Anniversary
Ten years ago this week, Taken by Storm's scuba-diving hero, Michael, swam out of Angela's brain and onto her page. Join the anniversary celebration! Win your own copy of the brand new paperback!  Snag Taken by Storm's Kindleebook for only $ .99Unbroken Connection (Book 2) and Cayman Summer (Book 3) are free on Kindle! Hurry. The promotion ends Friday, July 20th. Don't own a Kindle?  Download free Kindle apps for your laptop, tablet, iTouch, or phone
Angela Morrison is the award-winning YA author of Taken by Storm (Books 1-3) and Sing me to Sleep. She graduated from Brigham Young University and holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She grew up in Eastern Washington on the wheat farm where Taken by Storm is set. She's an advanced NAUI, Nitrox certified scuba diver. The hurricane that kills Michael's parents was inspired by a real-life diving accident.

After over a decade in Canada, Switzerland, and Singapore, Angela and her family are happily settled in Mesa, Arizona. She enjoys speaking to writers and readers of all ages about her craft. She has four children--mostly grown up--and the most remarkable grandson in the universe.





Contest Link


Opposite poems for younger readers

Links to Buy:

Amazon Author Page

Taken By Storm

Unbroken Connection (Book 2) Cayman Summer (Book 3)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Loving Vigil Keeping by Carla Kelly

Della's giving up all the comforts of bustling Salt Lake City to teach school in a rural coal mining camp. Little does she know, she may soon be giving up her heart as well. But when tragedy strikes in the Scofield Mine, Della's life will be changed forever. Based on true events, this thrilling new romance from award-winning and bestselling author Carla Kelly is a must-read!

I'm happy to be a part of this Cedar Fort blog tour for Carla Kelly's new book.  I've read other books by Carla Kelly and there is no doubt that she has a talent for writing.  I've enjoyed her books but I think that I liked this book even better than the rest.

There were so many little things that made this book for me.  The setting of this book is at the top of the list though.  I love books that are based on historical events because they give me a sort of education while still feeding my love of a good fictional story.  This book is set in Winter Quarters which is a mining town.  I had heard of the tragedy of the Scofield Mines before but I really didn't know very much about it or the life of people there.  Such hard working, dedicated people and such a tragedy dealt to them.  I always appreciate a bit of explanation and "real" facts at the end of historical based books.  They help solidify the real life event.  Carla Kelly did this for me (yes, just for me) in this book and I loved reading it.

Some other little things that I loved were the Welsh words and songs, the broomstick that kept getting shorter, the wooden letters and the singing.  You'll have to read the book to find out what I'm talking about.  :)

Della is a strong woman.  She has endured much heartache and we watch her step out on her own, determined to make a new life for herself.  Carla Kelly always seems to write these no nonsense, strong female leads for her book and this was no exception.

The romance is VERY slow moving but also VERY sweet.

Oh, and one of my favorite scenes from the book.  "Inside the house, she slammed the door to her room.  It wasn't loud enough so she opened it and slammed it again then threw herself on the bed."  Just a little tantrum that I MIGHT be able to relate to.  ahem.  :)

This book will be released in August.  Here is a link to Amazon where you can find pre-order information.  

Friday, July 13, 2012

NEW Cover Reveal for How To Date an Alien and How to Break Up With an Alien!

So this is the new book cover for book one, How To Date an Alien by Magan Vernon.  It's totally different than the first cover but very cool.  A little edgier.  You can find my review for this book by clicking here.
Here is the cover for book two which I really love.  I love how the girl is looking up into the stars.  I haven't read this book yet, but I've got it now (thanks, Magan) so look for that review to come soon!

You can buy these books at Amazon or B&N.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Bachelorette, books and MY pick!


I swear I didn't do that on purpose.  Those pictures totally downloaded that way!  BUT, if I'm going to give away my pick based on those pictures, um, yeah.  Hello, Arie.  You are my pick for Emily.  :)  I really hope it all works out grandly for you and Emily.

Don't get me wrong at all.  I think Jef is a great guy.  Yup, I do.

I was actually surprised just a bit to see Sean go.  I wanted to cry right along with Emily about telling him goodbye.  I think he would make a great Bachelor for a future season.  Don't you?

Are you a fan of the Bachelor/Bachelorette?  Sometimes I have no idea why I'm watching this show.  Especially during the Bachelor seasons.  I think I like watching the Bachelorette better.  I wish there were more happily ever after's though.  :)  I'm really hoping that Emily can find hers.  Fingers crossed!

This reality dating show has sure led to a few books coming out lately based on the same ideas.  I've read a few and I bet you have too.  I know there are more out there than just the ones I've read.  Let me if you've read one I haven't because I'd love to check them out.  Here are a few I have read and reviewed:

The Selection
You can read my review for this book HERE.

Count Down to Love
You can find my review of this book HERE.

First Date
You can find my review of this book HERE.

and my most recent reality dating show review
Reality Check
You can find my review for this book HERE.
There is also a giveaway running for this book if you want to check it out.  Instructions are with the review.  :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review: Reality Check by Karen Tuft + a giveaway!

After college graduation, Lucy Kendrick heads home with big plans for work, travel, and relishing her freedom—which means no romantic entanglements. But her two best friends have other ideas. Lucy is seriously steamed when she realizes they’ve signed her up to be a contestant on the reality dating show Soulmates, but she decides not to renege and soon finds herself in Los Angeles—a small-town Mormon girl vying for the love of millionaire bachelor, Ethan Glass. At first this cute, smart, fun young woman, who would rather pray than party, bewilders Ethan. But his interest and admiration grow with every encounter. However, the conniving associate producer is determined to stir up some made-for-TV drama and takes strides to make this reality television show anything but real. When the show finally airs, Lucy has been recast as someone she unquestionably is not. Lucy is left humiliated in front of the world, and Ethan is left wondering who the Lucy is that he was falling in love with. Will the duplicities that have created this humiliation ever come to light? And will the truth emerge too late for the would-be soulmates?

I love to be a part of blog tours for books.  My thanks to Lexi over at The Book Bug for putting this tour together and allowing me to be a part of it.

As you might guess from the blurb above, this is an LDS fiction book as the main character is a Mormon.  :)  A Mormon girl on a reality dating show?  Just the idea of it is amusing to me.  

Okay, so this reality dating stuff is big right now.  This is the third book in the last year that I've read based on a kind of reality dating kind of idea.  I will admit that I do watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette.  I'm really not sure exactly why I do that.  My husband thinks I'm crazy.  He might be on to something there.  In conjunction with this review, I will be doing a Bachelorette post on Thursday so look for that.  I will be giving you MY pick for the season finale.  ;)

Reality Check was a fun, easy reading kind of book.  I enjoyed Lucy.  Her friends (if you can really call them that) were something else all together.  I think Lucy needs new friends.  Just wait until you read the book.  I think you will agree.

Ethan is awesome.  I love the whole charm bracelet idea instead of roses at the ceremony. The whole charm thing was completely sweet and romantic.  I want one of those.  I think it was Ethan who stole the show for me.  I loved his flirty banter and his desire to please and defend Lucy.  

Was this book a bit unrealistic?  Yes.  But so is every princess fairy tale you read.  I happen to like dreaming and I especially like happily ever after endings.  

Here are the places you can find Reality Check because you really should check it out for yourself:
Deseret Book:
Seagull Book
Barnes & Noble
Karen is generously donating a paperback copy of Reality Check plus a starfish charm bracelet to one lucky reader. All you have to do to gain entries is to leave a comment on any of the tour stops. Each comment will gain you an entry. The more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win!

For those readers who prefer a non-LDS read, I am also giving away an ARC copy of The Selection by Kiera Cass. It is such a cute book with a reality based dating show as well.

Make sure you leave your email address and which book you are entering for in your comments (i.e. Reality Check, The Selection, or Both).

Click here for a full list of the tour stops.

Check out the contest going on Karen's blog this summer at http://kktuft.blogspot.com/2012/06/where-did-you-have-reality-check.html

Karen Tuft was born with a healthy dose of curiosity about pretty much everything, so as a child she taught herself to read and play the piano. She studied composition at BYU then graduated from the University of Utah in music theory as a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Kappa Lambda honor societies. In addition to being an author, Karen is a wife, mother, pianist, composer, and arranger. She as spent countless hours backstage and in orchestra pits for theater productions. She also has a 75 percent success rate when it comes to matchmaking and is a big believer in happy endings. Among her varied interests, she likes to figure out what makes people tick, wander through museums, and travel, whether by car, plane, or paperback.
Blogs: "A Tuft Act to Follow": http://karentuft.blogspot.com/, "Lyrics Without the Chord Changes": http://kktuft.blogspot.com/  Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorKarenTuft

Friday, July 6, 2012

Review: Caribbean Crossroads by Connie Sokol

New college grad Megan McCormick just got dumped. Hard.

Swearing off men and relationships, Megan is coaxed into performing on a cruise ship where she meets the star performer, Bryant Johnson. Handsome and charismatic, he looks like trouble, but she can't deny the intense attraction between them.

Urged to find a wife and run the family lumber business, Bryant is torn between his family's expectations for his life and his own. However, when he meets spunky, but love-skittish Megan McCormick, settling down doesn't look so bad.

Just when Megan begins to trust again, and Bryant makes some big decisions regarding his future, her former fiance returns with a malicious surprise, taking Megan and Bryant to their own CARIBBEAN CROSSROADS.

Honestly, I can't help but be happy I had the chance to read this book.  I'm excited to be a part of this blog tour.  I knew just from looking at the cover that I would like this book.  The title, the blue colors, the beach and the cruise ship in the background?  Perfect!

This was a great "summer reading and the going is easy" kind of read.  Not just because I wish it were me cruising the ocean waters and visiting island beaches, well, yes it is.  I wish it were me.

Megan has been hurt.  She carries just a teensy bit of resentment and anger around with her.  It helps protect her bruised heart.  Yeah, sometimes I got a bit frustrated with Megan, especially toward the end when Bryant was trying SO hard.  I just wanted to throttle Megan.  But I didn't.  Because she is pretend.  But I always like when books can evoke real emotions in me.  I did feel for Megan and her horrible experience.  It was nice to feel her empowering moment when she finally clicked it all into place.

I might have a tiny crush on Bryant.  Oh, wait.  He's pretend.  Well, I still might have that crush going on.  I really liked him.

I think the whole time I was reading this book I had The Love Boat theme playing in my head.  :)  If you are too young to know The Love Boat show or it's theme song, that is so sad.  Here it is for your watching pleasure...
This was a fun read.  I really enjoyed it.  It was a clean, romantic read perfect for summer. You can find it at Amazon in paperback and kindle format.

About the author: Connie Sokol is a mother of seven—a national and local presenter, and a regular speaker at Education Week. She is a monthly TV contributor on KSL’s “Studio 5” and regular blogger for LDSLiving online. She is a former TV and radio host for Bonneville Communications, and columnist for Deseret News and Utah Valley Magazine. Mrs. Sokol is also the author of Motherhood Matters, Faithful, Fit & Fabulous, and Life is Too Short for One Hair Color, as well as talk CDs and podcasts. Mrs. Sokol marinates in time spent with her family and eating decadent treats. Visit her website at www.8basics.com/ or find her on Facebook.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cover Reveal: Witch Born by Amber Argyle

Amber Argyle
Witch Born
Brusenna thought it was finished.

She defeated the Dark Witch, saving the Haven Witches from imprisonment and death. She found love and a place to belong.

She was wrong.

Haven is not the sanctuary it appears to be. Even love is in danger of slipping away like water through cupped hands.

Some things can't be saved.

A new threat merges with the old as the Witches’ dark history begins to catch up with them. Only Brusenna knows the extent of the danger and how to stop it, though doing so might cost her everything.

Including her life.

Will Brusenna be required to make the ultimate sacrifice?

I am really looking forward to reading Witch Born!  Don't you love the pretty cover?  I think it is just gorgeous!  You can add this book to your Goodreads list by clicking here.

To vote for Witch Born on Goodread's lists, follow this link:http://www.goodreads.com/list/book/13496452-witch-born

Monday, July 2, 2012

Glamorous Illusions by Lisa T. Bergren

It’s the summer of 1913 and Cora Kensington’s life on the family farm has taken a dark turn. Not only are the crops failing, but someone dear to Cora is failing as well.

In one fateful afternoon, a stranger comes to call, and Cora discovers a terrible secret about her past…a secret that will radically change her future.

Cora is invited to take the “Grand Tour” of Europe, a journey intended to finish a person’s eduction, to solidify an understanding of ancient culture and contemporary refinement. As she travels from England to France, with kin she’s never known, Cora encounters the blessings of a family name, as well as the curses. But when an unbidden love begins to form, she realizes the journey is only beginning….

The first book in the Grand Tour series will take readers on a journey of cultural refinement, but moreover, explores what truly informs a person’s sense of identity.

There is no doubt that Lisa Bergren is a talented writer.  I'll have to admit that for me, this book didn't compare to her River of Time series (which is one of my all time favorites).  This book was in a completely different genre though.  Christian Historical Fiction is what I would describe it as.

I did like Glamorous Illusions.  Bergren has the ability to create such pretty pictures in my mind.  I love being transported to new places in my reading.  

Cora is such a likable character.  She handles herself with dignity and grace no matter the circumstances.  I admire her kindness.  

It was kind of weird to me to jump from a first person point of view with Cora to a third person point of view with Will.  I didn't really like that.  

Overall this was a good read.  I enjoyed it.  Not my favorite, but I will probably pick up the next book because I'm interested in seeing where Cora's next adventure takes her.  We were kind of left hanging a bit.