Friday, August 31, 2012

Back to the Books Giveaway Hop

Hello all!  Time again for another fabulous giveaway hop hosted by I'm a Reader and Buried in Books.  It's back to school time!  I love back to school.  To me it means back to a schedule and routine which makes me happy.  

For this hop I'm giving away a book of your choice for $12 less.  I will be shipping from Book Depository if you are INT and Amazon if you are US.  Thanks so much for stopping by!  Enjoy the hop!

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On Tour: Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand by Carla Kelly

After her husband’s death, Roxanna Drew is faced with the daunting task of providing for her two small girls on her own. Pursued by her lecherous brother-in-law, Roxanna knows her only hope is to escape his grasp by moving into a derelict cottage, owned by Lord Winn—a man known to his tenants only by his checkered reputation.

But when fate brings Lord Winn to her door in the middle of a snowstorm, Roxanna’s not sure which to fear more: letting him into her home or into her heart.

A strong-willed heroine, perfectly paced plot, and plenty of humorous moments make this one of bestselling author Carla Kelly’s most beloved Regency romances. Discover the magic of a love story you’ll want to read again and again.

Ooh, I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this book!  It was the perfect sweet romance and it made me happy.  I've had the pleasure of reading and reviewing several books lately by Carla Kelly and I'm really loving her work.  I believe this book is a re-release so many of you might have already read this book with a different cover.

I happen to love this cover.  I think it's so pretty and it really captures the feel of the book.

It was so easy to fall in love with Roxanna and her girls.  They were characters that seemed alive from the first moments of the book.  Carla Kelly has a tendency to write very strong female characters.  Roxanna was absolutely no exception but I felt like there was more softness to her than some other characters I've read.  I liked that.

Lord Winn will make you love him.  He's strong and generous.  I love the banter between Lord Winn and Roxanna.  The tension that builds between them is fantastic.  I really loved it.  (I think I'm sounding a bit redundant with the love word.  sorry.)  

My thanks to Cedar Fort for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour.  Cedar Fort is an awesome publishing company.

You can purchase Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand at Cedar Fort or Amazon.  It will be officially released on Sept. 11th.

As far as content, we have a clean one.  Sweet and clean.  :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

On Tour: The Cinderella Project by Stan Crowe

Committed to saving his marriage before it starts, doctoral student Nick Cairn embarks on a project aimed at finding the secrets of everlasting love. But when Moire DeLanthe, a smart and sassy research assistant, enters the picture, his Happily Ever After is put to the ultimate test.

Have you read many romantic type books by a male author?  I really haven't.  Well, I can think of a few.  (Nicholas Sparks, Richard Paul Evans)  The Cinderella Project is written by a guy~ Stan Crowe.  It is also written from a guys point of view.  I actually thought that Nick sounded exactly like a guy.  (surprise, surprise)  Lots of times you read books by women authors and the guy just doesn't sound like a typical guy.  You know?  While I would definitely not rank this book up there with Nicholas Sparks, I will say that it was an enjoyable read.  I am a girl who appreciates a good, clean romance novel and this one delivered in spades.

Nick is, I think, like many men.  He is extremely focused on his project to the point of being nearly oblivious to everything else.  Ironically enough, Nick's project is based on finding the secrets of everlasting love but he seems completely dense when it comes to this part of his own life.  Although I will say that his loyalty (however blinded and misguided it is) to his fiance and that relationship is admirable.  He didn't run after the pretty new girl the first time she blinked.  I really did want to throttle Nick several times though.  

Thank goodness there was Moire.  Boy did she save the day, several times.  Her character was fun and likable.  This book would have been nothing without her.  :)

My thanks to Breezy Reads for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour.  You can read an interesting and entertaining interview with Stan Crowe on their website.  Click HERE.  It was fun to get into the mind of a male romance author.

You can find The Cinderella Project at Smashwords.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Review: Montana Dreams by Jillian Hart

Bumping into her ex-fiancé shatters Millie Wilson all over again. Now that she's back in Montana to care for her dying father, her real burden is the secret she's never divulged to Hunter McKaslin.Millie can't blame Hunter for his anger upon learning he's a father. He's never gotten over opening his heart, only to have it broken. Yet Millie senses a new goodness in Hunter. Finding their lost dreams now seems possible—if forgiveness and trust can find a place in this fresh start.

I was excited to get my hands on this book on NetGalley.  Harlequin's Love Inspired line is full of sweet books that will warm your heart.

Millie is hard working and so, so patient.  Almost TOO patient.  She puts me to shame.  The care she gives her father regardless of how undeserving he is, is touching.  I really enjoyed the tension between Millie and Hunter.  I just wished there would have been a kiss somewhere along the lines to shake it up a bit.  Alas, only a chaste kiss on the forehead for the whole book until the very, very end.  But, there was plenty of tension.  Millie and Hunter were young and in love although Hunter wouldn't admit it.  Funny how time and life experiences change how you view and feel about things.  This was especially true for Hunter.

I love the setting in Montana on a dairy farm and the sense of community there.  It reminded me of the many small country towns I've lived in. 

Overall, this was an enjoyable read.  I'll be looking forward to reading more books in the Love Inspired Line from Harlequin.

You can purchase Montana Dreams from Harlequin HERE, or Amazon HERE.

My thanks to both NetGalley and Harlequin for allowing me to read and review this book.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Count Down to Love Blog Tour, Author Guest Post and Giveaway!

Hey everyone!  I'm so excited to be a part of this blog tour for Count Down to Love.  This is a book I have previously reviewed so instead of rambling on and on about it's awesomeness, and how much I loved it (I think the word I used in my review was actually YUMMY), I will instead direct you to my previous review.  Click Here.  

Today I have a guest post from Julie N. Ford that you will love reading.  She is a funny gal and I'm so happy she took the time to share a piece of herself with us today.  Thanks, Julie!  Following the guest post is the giveaway (INT) so stay tuned for that!

Count Down to Love and Submission Anxiety Disorders

What more can I say about Count Down to Love on this tour that I haven’t already said? I’ve discussed how it’s a story about a washed up country singer who gets dumped at the alter and then ends up on a reality show akin to the Bachelor. I’ve talked about writing the song and the story behind the story. So what next?

Humm . . . I was wondering when I ran across a blog post I’d written while querying potential publishers with this very manuscript. I know many of you out there are aspiring authors and/or currently in the process of submitting your work so I thought you might enjoy—maybe even relate to—my frustration.

Warning: Content of this post contains an excessive amount of snark.

Recently, I received some feedback on my latest novel (Count Down to Love). First, the editor complemented me on my characters and dialogue, which was nice, but then she went on to categorizing me as the kind of author who tends to “tell” instead of “show.” Now I will admit that I did incorporate the occasional flashback and introspective, some of which I agree needs to be reworked, but when did it become a crime to write a novel with a nice balance of dialogue and narration. And it wasn’t as if I didn’t know what I was doing when I wrote the offensive telling. If my dialogue was “enjoyable” and my characters “interesting” then obviously I know how to “show.” I wasn’t suffering from some sort of multiple personality writing disorder that caused my writing style to shift from showing to telling and then back again without my knowledge.

But then if such a disorder did exist maybe psychotherapists could come up with a Cognitive Therapy to treat it? Something like an annoying alarm that sounds whenever an author writes a paragraph containing more than four sentences, followed by a voice reminding the writer that it’s best to dial-down the narration—more people will read the book if the author uses fewer words. The goal of the therapy being that, over time, the author is able to move past the “irrational” idea that good literature is about plot and characterization. And instead, adopt the “rational” idea that the pace in which a reader can sprint to the last page determines the value of the work.

And support groups as well?

The meetings would go something like:

“Hello, my name is Julie N. Ford . . . I’m a tell’r not a show’r.”

“Hellooo, Julie.”

“It’s been three weeks since I last info-dumped . . . and although I have the urge to describe what my character’s are feeling and/or seeing with the beautiful, flowing words of the English language, I try to resist. Instead, I put all my narration into snappy and, at times, witty dialogue instead.”

The group then claps, reciting the mantra:

“Literature is outdated, fluff sells, pacing is the only thing that matters!”

And pharmaceuticals? Maybe the drug companies could invent a pill for this disorder?

List of side effects: Possible loss of creativity, empathy, and/or ability to think outside of the box. And in rare instances, patients exhibiting editor-like behaviors have been reported. If such side effects should persist, discontinue submissions. You’re more than likely experiencing Stockholm syndrome and not multiple personality writing disorder.

Okay, maybe that was a low blow. Although criticism feels brutal at times, I will admit that much of it has made me a better writer. However, saying to a modern author that she has a tendency to “tell not show” is downright insulting. It’s criminal really; the emotional abuse literary “experts” feel entitled to bestow upon us humble authors.

In fact, the anxiety caused by querying could result in a new differential diagnosis being added to the DSMIV under Post-traumatic Stress Disorder—Submission Rejection Disorder (SRD). It would read something like:

An immediate response upon receipt of a reply to a manuscript submission from an agent and/or publisher either electronically or by snail mail. The traumatic event is re-experienced persistently by one or more of the following symptoms.

1. Uncontrollable shaking in the hands producing an inability to properly click a computer mouse and/or tear open an envelope in order to retrieve the correspondence.

2. Sweating in, but not excluded to, the upper lip, forehead, neck and/or palms of the hands.

3. Heart palpitations.

4. Unexplained onset of dyslexia and/or blurring of letters and/or words that render an otherwise literate person unable to process a message of refusal written in his/her native tongue.

5. A temporary state of hysteria that manifests in the form of impulses that may lead the individual to purge his/herself of all original manuscripts, and evidence of the aforementioned existence, from computer and relative living space including blogs, email and facebook, by way of deletion and/or shredding thereby allowing the individual to claim such works never existed.

6. A strong urge to abandon the writing profession and take up skydiving.

7. Complete and utter denial that the editor and/or agent perpetrating the onset of SRD has any idea, whatsoever, what he/she is talking about.

Why do authors and editors feel the need to persist with these dysfunctional, codependent relationships? Outside of grammar and punctuation, it’s like the powers that be came up with rules like “showing not telling,” “point of view shifts” and word count limitations just to keep us authors chasing our own tails. In fact, it was the very rule regarding word count that had me incorporating the occasional flashback and info-dump just to get the entire plot to fit within the publisher’s guidelines. If I had shown the entire story, would I have then been criticized for making the manuscript too long? Where does it end?

Currently, I’m reading a book by an author whose novels are best sellers on two continents, being made into movies . . . on two continents. But talk about “telling.” This author literally does nothing but. Even some of the dialog reads like info-dump.

With so many different tastes and preferences in literature why should there be so many “rules” when, ironically, the majority of the novels that become bestsellers don’t follow most of them. I’m almost tempted to say that agents and publishers have come up with all these “rules” because it would be too “telling” to actually say . . .

I regret to inform you that I will be unable to represent your work at this time due to the unfortunate fact that you have no important connections in the literary world and thus no significant name recognition to speak of. In other words, it doesn’t matter how well you write, we can’t make any money off you. Good luck with self-publishing.

But if I did, I might have to add paranoia to the list of SRD symptoms.

Or . . . would I?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little jaunt into the maniacal mind of a desperately-trying-to-get-published author.

Thanks to Aimee for allowing me to guest post on her blog. And to all those readers who have, or will, read Count Down to Love.

You can find out more about Julie and Count Down to Love at the following places:

Grand Prize Giveaway:

As part of the tour, Julie is generously offering a grand prize giveaway of a hard copy of Count Down to Love, a CD of the band Due West, and a copy of the single, “Who I Am”, which Julie and Due West wrote and recorded specifically for the book. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post or any of the other stops on the tour. (Visit the tour page for the full tour schedule.) The more stops you comment on, the more entries you have into the contest!

Julie is also generously allowing for an ebook giveaway here on my blog to one lucky reader!  How awesome is that?!  Enter in the rafflecopter below.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Review: Solid by Shelley Workinger

Clio Kaid may be 17 and just beginning the last summer before her senior year, but her life is anything but typical.

She's just discovered she was genetically altered before birth and is now headed to a top-secret Army campus to explore the surprising results of the experiment.

Follow Clio and the other teens as they develop fantastic super-abilities, forge new friendships, find love, and uncover a conspiracy along the way.

I love reading new books.  It's the surprise awaiting you.  What will it be like?  Will I love it?  Awaiting a new adventure, a new world is awesome.  I just thought I'd say that.  I feel that way every time I read a book.  Even if the book doesn't turn out to be the best, there is always that anticipation.  

Solid was a new book to me.  I hadn't even heard of it.  I'm so glad the author, Shelley, contacted me about reading her book because it was a great read and I really enjoyed it.

Clio is a great character.  She has a strong teenage voice.  Clio is curious, always looking for answers about herself and her situation.  Even though she is often unsure (and runs away) she always comes back and she pushes forward.  I think we call that courage.

The supporting cast of friends in Clio's world are fabulous characters.  I really enjoyed them all.  Of course Jack is a standout.  Just wait until you meet Jack.  :)  Super sweet.

I loved the scenes where the group of friends worked together.  (I'm thinking of the sneaking in the head hancho's office scene here.)  Combined abilities and personalities working together to be ever stronger than if they went to task alone.  I also love how the group is open to bringing others in.  It's not some exclusive circle.

Great start to a fun series.  There is some infrequent mild swearing.

And, just so you know, the author accidentally sent me book 2 at first and then re-sent me the first book so I had both books to read.  Settling is the second book in this series and I can't tell you how happy I was to have it there to delve into after I finished the first book.  I literally read both books in a couple days.  There were definitely some fireworks in this book, just like the cover makes you think.  Things are amping up for Clio and it's crazy!
When I finished Settling, I went right over to Amazon on my kindle to see if I could find the third book, Sound.  I was seriously needing to know what's next for Clio.  How will she get out of this mess?  What is going to happen?  How sad I was to find out that it hasn't been released yet.  <sigh>  I guess I'll have to wait but I'm really looking forward to reading it.

You can find Solid on Amazon.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Sisterhood of Strength by Diony George

Experience for yourself the pure love that inspires ordinary women to serve and accept service in a truly extraordinary manner. This inspiring collection of true stories from the lives of women just like you is told with heartwarming sincerity. Perfect for sharing, this remarkable book is sure to uplift, encourage, and cheer any woman, whether it’s her turn to serve or be served

Back Cover:  President Monson has repeatedly expressed that even in our busy, bustling lives, “it’s the service that counts.” And no one knows that better than the quiet, humble women of the Relief Society. Working together, faithful women form a sisterhood of service, selflessness, and ultimately strength to share with each other and the entire world.

On each page of this remarkable book, you’ll find words of wisdom and beauty that are sure to encourage and uplift you, whether it’s your turn to serve or be served. Told with heartwarming sincerity, A Sisterhood of Strength will have women everywhere rejoicing in the friendship of their own dear, loving sisters.

This book is the perfect pick it up and put it down, read a few pages here and there kind of book.  It is full of small stories of women in action and doing what women do best~ taking care of each other.  Any of the stories in the book could have been mine.  I could tell a story of service and love for almost every one I read.  I think that's the beauty of friendship and service.  When we serve or are served and helped, we create bonds of love and those feelings never leave us.

I know this book is an LDS based book, but I don't care what religion you are or where you live, women everywhere and of every faith do the same things as demonstrated in this book.  Taking a dinner in, being a shoulder to cry on, watching children, cleaning, running errands, listening, loving.

The stories here reminded me of the countless acts of kindness given to me.  It reminded me that I need to do better and keep paying those acts of kindness and love forward.  I am determined today to try harder.  There is always someone out there who could use an extra bit of love.

"If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain.
If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin, Unto his nest again,
I shall no live in vain."  
~Emily Dickinson

Here are a few place you can find this book:
Personalized Autographed Copy
Books n’ Things
Barnes and Noble

About the author:  Diony George is a wife, stay-at-home mom of seven, grandmother of two, a motivational speaker, and the author of three books. Through her writing and public speaking she loves helping others draw closer God. An avid reader whose favorite genre is romantic suspense, Diony also loves to travel, sew, and bake—especially pies and homemade bread. Born and raised in Alaska, she currently resides in Salt Lake City with her husband and family. Mrs. George can be reached through her personal website at

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Quick Review: Endlessly by Kiersten White

Evie's paranormal past keeps coming back to haunt her. A new director at the International Paranormal Containment Agency wants to drag her back to headquarters. The Dark Faerie Queen is torturing humans in her poisonous realm. And supernatural creatures keep insisting that Evie is the only one who can save them from a mysterious, perilous fate.

The clock is ticking on the entire paranormal world. And its fate rests solely in Evie's hands.

So much for normal.

I picked this book up on it's release day.  My daughter and I were anxiously awaiting it's arrival.  Of course, we were traveling when it came out and my daughter claimed it first so it's taken me a bit to get to a place where I could finally sit down and enjoy it.

I have loved this Supernaturally series and it's a little bit sad to see it come to an end here with this book.  I am going to miss Evie, Lend and even Reth.  Kiersten White does an amazing job of creating characters.

Speaking of Kiersten White, she is funny.  Like, thoroughly amusing to me, funny.  I follow her blog and I swear she makes me laugh every time I read something.  I love how her humor is found in Evie.   Evie amuses me too.  

Here is one of my standout quotes from the book.  "Sometimes it takes a little chaos for things to work themselves out.  When we make it through the chaos, we can use it to shape the world around into something better than it was before."  

So, love this book.  Love this series.  Find it.  Read it.  Love it too.  Super fun, super clean.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Boyfriend Bylaws FREE on Amazon!

The Boyfriend Bylaws by Susan Hatler (waves and smile) is FREE on Amazon today, tomorrow and Sunday.  If you haven't had a chance to read it and you love a good romance, you should hop over and pick it up!  Click here to be taken to the page on Amazon.  Here is a link to my review of this book in case you are interested.  :)

Review: The Lost Stones by Paul Rimmasch

1600s Mexico- The Aztec Prince Ixtililxochitl writes that the first people to inhabit his land came from the Tower of Babel at the dividing of tongues…Scholars dismiss his writings as myth.
1800s Mid Western United States- Settlers dig into ancient burial mounds and discover thousands of slate tablets covered with a strange hieroglyphic writing and drawings depicting Jesus Christ…these artifacts are denounced as a hoax.
1909 Arizona-a newspaper runs a story describing how a cave containing metal artifacts and Egyptian-type hieroglyphics was discovered in the Grand Canyon by a group of Scientists from the Smithsonian Institute…the Smithsonian categorically denies the account.
These and other amazing facts make up the world of forbidden Book of Mormon Archaeology. It is a world BYU student and Iraqi War veteran Ammon Rogers never knew existed. He is thrust headlong into this world when he asks the enigmatic adventurer John Byrd a simple question. When John is kidnapped in Mexico, Ammon joins forces with John’s beautiful daughter in a desperate attempt to not only save John, but to find his answer…an answer that will change the world…an answer one sinister foe will do anything to suppress.

As you can tell from the blurb above, this is an LDS based book that centers around the teachings found in the Book of Mormon.  Like the bible or any scriptural account of Jesus Christ, or any historical writing for that matter, there are always people looking for ways to prove and disprove that they actually happened.  You can tell by reading this book that the author has done a ton of research into this subject.  There is a passion there that was not lost on me.  I admire people who find something they are interested in and really devote time and thought into it.  Writing a book that incorporates your passion must be like a dream come true.

I will have to say that as a reader, it felt to me like this book was mostly a platform the author used to get his ideas and theories across to me and less like an actual work of fiction.  Sometimes I felt really distracted by the long dialogue explaining why this theory or that theory could be true.  

I liked a lot of the elements in this book.  I think the premise of the book~ trying to find an alternate energy solution, studying it out, having the "bad guys" wanting to stop that, action and a bit of blooming love on the side~ is awesome.  I'm not sure it all came together for me as a whole, but there were definitely parts where I was turning pages to find out what happened next.  There were lots of great moments.

If you are even remotely interested in BOM archaeology you should probably give this book a whirl.  I learned quite a few interesting things I hadn't heard before.  Oh, and check out this book trailer.  I think it's pretty cool.  :)
My thanks to the author, Paul Rimmasch for letting me read his book.  I wish him much success.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Review: Paige (The Newport Ladies Book Club) by Annette Lyon

After a bitter divorce from her unfaithful husband, Paige moves from Utah to California with her two little boys and vows to make a fresh start. She finds a job at a dental practice that helps her get back on her feet, but it's the friends she makes at her new book club who help her realize how strong she is and who give her support to carry on as she faces the challenges of being a single mom. She also meets Derryl, a wonderful, kind, attentive man who treats her right, something her ex never did. Yet Paige struggles to figure out who she is as a woman rather than a wife, how to help her boys adjust to a broken home, and whether she can ever trust a man or love again. As Paige leans on the book club ladies and Derryl's ever-present care, one thing becomes clear: healing from the past requires more than a change of address.

This is the third installment of the Newport Ladies Book Club series where we get to know Paige a little bit better.  I was really looking forward to reading about Paige based on the glimpse I had of her in the other books, Olivia and Daisy.  (titles are linked to my reviews on these books if you are interested)

When I received instructions and information on reviewing this series, I was given the caution that not every book has a happily ever after ending.  They weren't kidding about that.  This women's fiction series deals with very real life situations and we all know that real life is hard and not always happily ever after.  Even though I don't get that resolution and happily ever after ending, I always find a sense of satisfaction at the end of these books.  The characters face troubles and heartache, make mistakes of their own and struggle to find their way.  They rely on friendships to help them through.  These women find strength to continue on and face life.  That is admirable.

Another thing I love is that each book happens at exactly the same time as the other books in this series.  All these women attend the book club together, each drawn there by the idea of meeting new friends, sharing a love of books and trying something new.  They come from different religions (Catholic, Mormon, Greek Orthodox and Jewish) yet they share a bond that carries each of them through the tough spots.

Paige's story is not unique.  Unfortunately.  I know Paige (although her name isn't Paige).  She is in my family.  She is also the lady down the street.  Paige's story will resonate and you will feel her emotions.  I sure did.

If you haven't had a chance to pick up one of the Newport Ladies Book Club series, you should.  It doesn't matter where you start, each book will take you to the same place just with a different person.  This is a unique series unlike any I've read before.  It's a fantastic idea.

You can find out more about this series and the authors by heading to their blog.
Josi Kilpack, Annette Lyon, Julie Wright, & Heather Moore

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tres Leches Cupcakes Release and Giveaway

For Sadie Hoffmiller, going undercover as an informant for the Bureau of Land Management on an archeological site in Santa Fe, New Mexico, seems like the perfect way to stay safe and busy while a threat against her life remains unresolved. Sadie’s days are spent digging up artifacts in the middle of nowhere while also digging up information on her fellow “dirt geeks.” With the help of her baking prowess—no one can resist those amazing dulce de leche bars—and Pete’s cousin, Caro, who takes to the detective work wholeheartedly, Sadie is finding herself again.

But the bright Southwestern sunshine only serves to illuminate the danger that lurks in the shadows. When recent burials are found on an ancient site, Sadie finds herself in the middle of an unexpected—and unwanted—investigation. The more she digs for the truth, the more secrets she uncovers—secrets that people would kill to keep hidden.

Before Sadie knows it, she’s arrested for starting a bar fight (which was totally not her fault), her new friend is missing, and she’s worn out her welcome in Santa Fe in more ways than one. A trip to the annual hot air balloon fiesta in Albuquerque is supposed to give her a break, but before long, she learns that when you’re dealing with the black market antiquity trade, you’re not really safe anywhere you go.

I haven't read this one yet but I'm looking forward to getting my hands on it.  This is book 8 in the Sadie series by Josi Kilpack.  There are always yummy recipes in these books and cupcakes are one of my favorite treats!  Below you will find the giveaway information.

In conjunction with the release of Tres Leches Cupcakes the author, Josi S. Kilpack, and the publisher, Shadow Mountain, are sponsoring a contest for free books. To enter, leave a comment in the comment section of this blog before September 16th, 2012. Winners will be announced and notified September 17th 2012.

For additional ways to enter, go to

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Review: Obsidian by Jennifer Arementrout

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don't kill him first, that is.

Yeah, I know.  I'm the last blogging girl on earth to read this book.  I've been reading the rave reviews for a long time.  Well, now I've read it and guess what?  I don't have to wait a year to read the next book because it's already out!  :)  That's a perk.

This book is everything everyone is saying.  The words that stuck with me in most every review I read said, "I want more."  I'm here to tell you those words are so true.  I want more too.  This book really does leave you wanting more.  And more.  And more.  Why?  I think for me it was the super charged tension and the ultra witty banter.  Did I mention the super charged tension?  Yeah, that might be it.

The book is fast paced and exciting.  It had all the elements so many of us look for in books.  Friendship, romance, danger and action... I literally read it one day.  (of course I didn't do much else.  Sorry kids.  Kinda.  What!?  They got fed.)

The whole hot guy/rude guy typically isn't my favorite but it definitely works for this book.  No doubt that Daemon is that guy but he has met his match in little "kittycat".

Content:  There were some sexual situations, sexual talk and language, language, language.  Be advised. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Excerpts from Pledged by Gwynneth White

In conjunction with an upcoming review and blog tour for Pledged, I am posting some excerpts so you can get a glimpse of what's to come.  I haven't actually started reading this book yet BUT I'm really excited to get there.  I have lots of reviews ahead of it but I'm looking forward to Pledged.  Take a read below and you will see why!

This is an excerpt to introduce you to Seth and Erin:

Despite the heat, Seth felt icy. Dread could do that to him. Or so he had recently discovered. Deep breathing usually calmed him, so he sucked in a lungful of desert air and told himself to relax. It didn’t help. By the time he’d walked from the aircraft to the immigration hall he’d ripped off a jagged piece of thumbnail, already bitten raw. He handed his US passport to the Botswanan border official, and, after a frown, and a stamp, he joined the crowd at the baggage carousel. Botswana in southern Africa was the last place on earth he’d ever have picked for a holiday destination. But he wasn’t here on holiday. Not even close.
His backpack was slow in coming. Tired from his long-haul flight from New York, he leaned against the wall and closed his eyes. Almost as if to mock him, the hated vision that had brought him to Botswana burst into his mind. In an instant he was back in ancient times, watching a man he knew only as Gideon. As usual, Gideon was huddled on a windswept hill with his band of hopeless soldiers, waiting to be slaughtered by a huge army gathered in the valley below.
Seth snapped his eyes open to stop the battle from waging in his mind. It wasn’t that he was particularly squeamish; he’d watched enough movies to iron clad his stomach against gory visuals. But no movie had ever left him icy with dread the way Gideon’s battle did. And the reason for that was simple. The moment the visions had started, he had known that the war, fought so long ago in a place he’d never heard of, was far from over. And, as reluctant as he was, he too was being enlisted to fight in a cause he didn’t understand or want.
He forced himself to focus on the present: Erin, who waited for him in the arrivals hall; his brother Kyle, whom he’d come to Botswana to visit; Kyle’s expedition to find the Lost City of the Kalahari . . .
He ripped off another piece of fingernail. Thinking about the search for the Lost City was almost as bad as the war-vision. I hope Kyle never finds the damned place. He slapped his hand on his thigh. Enough! Grabbing his backpack off the carousel, he set his face into a smile and strode into the arrivals hall.
The first hurdle was finding Erin. She was due to arrive an hour earlier on a flight from Cape Town in South Africa, one of Botswana’s neighbours. He’d never met her, although they had spoken over the phone once. Then she’d described herself as “a short, seventeen-year-old (a year younger than him) with a mass of ginger hair.” She’d sounded nice. Meeting her was the one ray of brightness in this otherwise dark picture.
He stopped to scan the crowd. A petite girl with shoulder length, reddish-blonde curls, dressed in skinny jeans and a purple blouse, immediately caught his eye. It had to be Erin. Nice legs. What’s it with girls that they always under-sell themselves? He studied her face with his artist’s eye. Vermeer would’ve killed to paint her. Suddenly wishing he didn’t look so grimy after his three plane-changes, he walked over to join her. “Hi, I’m Seth. You’ve got to be Erin. My brother’s just married your sister Izzy.”
“And after only knowing each other for about a week.”
Her dimpled grin was infectious, making him crack his trademark crooked smile. “Madness.”
“Mysterious.” Erin cocked her head to one side, seemingly appraising him. He knew he had been accurate when he’d told her he was tall and dark-haired. But what he had failed to mention was what girls had often said they liked about him: his strong, angular face, softened by expressive brown eyes. He watched her eyes rove over his grey Muse: Resistance t-shirt, taking in his broad shoulders and chest. From there they darted down his black camo-pants to his boots. Amused by her blatant assessment, he cocked his head to one side, watching her. Suddenly Erin giggled – was she embarrassed? – and picked up her bag.
“We’ve yet another plane to catch. My fourth in the last twenty-four hours,” Seth said, hoping to explain away his rumpled appearance. “To a place called Maun.”
“So we do. Let the adventure begin.” 
Stay tuned for more excerpts and even a book trailer to come!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Choosing Charity Review + Giveaway!

When Kit learns that her biological mother wants to meet her, it seems her perfect life is about to come tumbling down. With a new job, a husband she adores, and friends all around her, can Kit possibly be expected to risk everything for a woman who left her in a dumpster to die?

Of course, love comes in many forms. Now Kit's about to learn that when faith and hope aren't enough, charity can make things right.

This book was a pleasure to read.  It has an emotional pull that keeps you invested and reading.  There were so many personal and stressful things happening in Kit's life yet I think they were represented in a way I could relate to.  They seemed real to me.  Well, except I can't imagine how I would deal with meeting the woman who gave birth to me and left me in a dumpster to die.  I'm pretty sure it would have taken me longer to get over the "meeting" event than it took Kit.

I think the best part of the book for me was the growing relationship between Kit and Charity.  It was easy to see how love for one person can trump anything negative about a situation.  I also love how the title can be taken literally and figuratively.  

I love the messages in this book.  Forgiveness, hope, faith, charity and love.  When the family rallied around Kit and Charity my heart just swelled.  I finished this book feeling good.

This book is the third book in a series about Kit.  I haven't read the first two books (Finding Faith and Having Hope) but I had no problem reading this as a stand alone book.  I didn't feel lost or out of the loop at all.  Having said that, I would like to go back and read the first two books.  I'm sure they are great as well.

This is an LDS fiction book.

As part of the tour, Terri is generously offering a grand prize giveaway of the Faith, Hope, and Charity trilogy, including hard copies of Finding Faith,Having Hope, and Choosing Charity. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post or any of the other stops on the tour. (Visit the tour page for the full tour schedule.) The more stops you comment on, the more entries you have into the contest!

My thanks to Lexi over at The Book Bug for allowing me to join in this blog tour.  She is awesome and does a great job setting up these tours.  I did receive a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Here are some purchase links for Choosing Charity:
Cedar Fort

Here is the info on the official launch party if you are close by and interested in joining in!

Terri Ferran grew up in a small Colorado town that offered little in the way of entertainment. She escaped through reading (and later on a Continental Trailways bus), and although the town didn't have a library, she eagerly anticipated the coming of the Bookmobile and would check out stacks of books at a time.

She moved to Utah as a high school senior where she joined the LDS Church and met her husband, Tod. She dreamed of being a writer but took the safe route of becoming a CPA. She finally got brave enough to quit working in the world of numbers to pursue her dream of writing and also to spend more time with her children. Her first book, Finding Faith was published in 2007 and she is excited to be living her dream of writing in real life.

Terri still loves to read, but she can usually be found writing, doing laundry, dishes, running errands, napping, eating chocolate, or exercising (not necessarily in that order).

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Determinant by A.M. Hargrove Blog Tour and GIVEAWAY!

January St. Davis, on her own since the age of sixteen and struggling to stay in college, thinks she’s scored in a major way when she lands a paid summer internship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. One evening, after working an especially long shift, a chance encounter with a group of mysterious men alters the course of her life.

Rykerian Yarrister, a Guardian of Vesturon with unearthly powers and impossibly gorgeous looks, finds himself at odds over the human female he recently saved from certain death. When it seems he is on the verge of winning her over, she is ripped from his hands by a strange and powerful being, threatening to destroy her if his demands are not met.

Do Rykerian and the Guardians have the ability to meet this fierce barbarian’s ultimatums, or will January suffer a horrid demise?

I signed on to be a part of this blog tour for Determinant months ago.  I knew this was book three and I also knew they said this book could be a stand alone but I really wanted to read the first two books first.  You can read my review of Survival and Resurrection HERE.  I have to say that I'm glad I read the other two books first.  It helped me feel like I knew the other characters and some history as well.

Having said that, I liked this book better than the other two.  I think I just like Rykerian and January more.  Rykerian was my preference in the other books and I was happy to see him step up as the main character in this book.  In fact I was SO happy I had this book waiting for me when I finished the other two because I knew Rykerian was the lead man.  (or, er, alien)  What is better than hot alien studs with super power abilities and the desire to protect?  

The pacing of book three was better, the characters were better and the overall feel of the book was better.  I really enjoyed reading it.  I'm looking forward to the next book as we follow another royal alien brother in his adventures.

Be sure to enter the giveaway for this book in the rafflecopter below!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway
One day, on her way home from work as a sales manager, A. M. Hargrove, realized her life was on fast forward and if she didn't do something soon, it would quickly be too late to write that work of fiction she had been dreaming of her whole life. So, she rolled down the passenger window of her fabulous (not) company car and tossed out her leather briefcase. Luckily, the pedestrian in the direct line of fire was a dodgeball pro and had über quick reflexes enabling him to avoid getting bashed in the head. Feeling a tad guilty about the near miss, A. M. made a speedy turn down a deserted side street before tossing her crummy, outdated piece-of-you-know-what lap top out the window. She breathed a liberating sigh of relief, picked up her cell phone and hit #4 on her speed dial. 

Boss: Hello

A.M.: Boss, is that you?

Boss: Why yes, A. M., who else would be answering my phone?

A.M.: Er... right. Well, I'm calling to let you know you can pick up my luxury Ford Focus at Starbucks near the interstate.

Boss: Why ever would I want to do that?

A.M.: Because I quit!

A.M. hit the end button and speed dialed her husband.

A.M.: Hi hubs, can you pick me up at Starbucks?

Hubs: Sure... Having some car trouble?

A.M.: Not at all. I don't have a car to have trouble with because I just quit my job.

Hubs: WHAT?!

A.M.: It's time for a new career and I am going to be a very famous novelist.

So began A. M. Hargrove's career as a young adult paranormal romance author of self-published ebooks. Her series, The Guardians of Vesturon, centers around a family of six siblings and is a mix of humor, mystery, suspense and of course, love. Survival and Resurrection are her first and second full length novels in the series and Beginnings is the prequel novella. Her third installment, Determinant, will be released on June 30, 2012. (It didn’t happen exactly like that, but you get the idea!)


Goodreads Fan Club

Goodreads Author Page
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Young Adult Giveaway Hop!

Howdy all!  Thanks for stopping by for this fun blog hop.  For this giveaway, I've picked a couple YA books that I've read and loved this year.  I'm going to be doing this as an Ebook giveaway so that I can make it international too.

You can enter to win one ebook of either Painted Blind or Being Jamie Baker.

Seventeen years old and agoraphobic, Psyche Middleton vows her dad will never see the risque photos she took during a summer modeling stint abroad, but one of them ends up on a billboard in her Montana hometown. Suddenly, she is a hometown celebrity.

At a street carnival she is rescued from a mob by a guy who has the ability to make himself invisible. He takes her to a palace in an idyllic kingdom, and she is swept into the beauty and culture of his world, but his affection has one condition: she may not see him.

Psyche must decide if she is brave enough to love him blindly, and if she's not, will she lose him forever?
You can read my review of Painted Blind HERE.

An accident that should end in tragedy instead gives seventeen-year-old Jamie Baker a slew of uncontrollable superhuman abilities.

To keep her secret safe Jamie socially exiles herself, earning the title of Rocklin High’s resident ice queen. But during a supercharged encounter with star quarterback Ryan Miller she literally kisses anonymity goodbye. Now the annoyingly irresistible Ryan will stop at nothing to melt the heart of the ice queen and find out what makes her so special.

Unfortunately, Ryan is not the only person on to her secret. Will Jamie learn to contain her unstable powers before being discovered by the media or turned into a government lab rat?

More importantly, can she throw Ryan Miller off her trail before falling in love with him?
You can read my review of Being Jamie Baker HERE.

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Monday, August 6, 2012

101 Gourmet Ice Cream Creations for Every Craving by Wendy Paul

101 Gourmet Ice Cream Creations for Every Craving is the latest of Wendy Paul’s cookbook collection. Wendy Paul knows exactly what goes best with cupcakes, cookies, and cake bites—it’s ice cream! And with her mouthwatering recipes and handy tips and tricks, you’ll soon be creating your very own homemade ice cream, toppings, and treats!

Bestselling author and dessert genius, Wendy Paul is back with a collection of tasty flavors and unique ice cream treats from fun-loving triple berry to exotic mango lime to scrumptious fried ice cream. Perfect for experts and novices alike, these mouthwatering creations are guaranteed to sweeten up any party and make all your friends and family scream for ice cream!

This is probably the yummiest blog tour I've been on!  What is better in the hot month of August than cool, creamy, homemade ice cream?  Nothing.  Honest.  I know because I tried it.  :)

This book came in the mail right as I was headed out to the pool with my kids.  We were meeting some friends there so I popped it in my bag and thought I'd take a look at it while the kids were swimming.  My friend saw it in my bag and asked about it so we pulled it out and drooled over it.  (well, she maybe didn't drool, but I did)  You won't believe all the yummy ice cream recipes in this book.  The pictures are fantastic.  (nice work, Marielle Hayes)

So, I picked out two ice cream flavors to try at home for this review.  Last night I made Key Lime Pie.  Ooh, was it good!  My girls and I made those "oh, I am enjoying every single bite of this" noises the whole way through.  The boys were off to the movies so they have yet to try it but I guarantee they will love it too.  Next up will be cookies and cream.  That is going to be a favorite, I already know.

There are many different sections in this book.  Ice Cream flavors (which includes a whole section on chocolate goodness!), milkshakes, holiday treats, ice cream treats and ice cream pies.  It is an awesome book.  SO YUMMY!

My thanks to Cedar Fort for including me in this blog tour.

Meet the Author:
I’m a wife and mother residing in the great state of Utah (I have never been skiing…) who decided to write a cupcake cookbook, 101 Gourmet Cupcakes in 10 Minutes. I have always loved to bake and cook, spending countless hours in the kitchen. It is cute, fun, and easy, even for the most novice baker. Your family and friends will be amazed with these delicious creations that you can bake for any occasion.

My second book, 101 Gourmet Cookies for Everyone is a wonderful collection of my best cookies for EVERYONE! From Gluten-free to low-fat, low-sugar recipes, vegan recipes….. and traditional, this book has it all! I am so proud of these books and I am so grateful for this fantastic opportunity to share my most treasured recipes with you!

101 Gourmet Cake Bites is my 3rd book- it’s full of great recipes- of cake bites and cake pops! I call them bite size pieces of heaven! Not only can your cake bites and cake pops look cute and adorable, they can now taste great.
You can find more about Wendy at

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Review: A Glimpse of Heaven by JoAnna Oblander

Within the pages of A Glimpse of Heaven, JoAnna Oblander shares true life experiences that dramatically demonstrate God’s perfect love for each of his children, his unending desire to be a daily part of our lives, and his plan for us.

Be reminded of the purpose of life and the fact that each of us, as God’s children, has been sent to earth to accomplish a mission uniquely our own. As you read this book, you’ll understand God in ways never before comprehended—your significant worth to your Creator and his significant worth to you. Appreciate your loved ones and your Heavenly Father like never before in this comforting and inspiring experience.

As you can tell from the summary above, this is a very religious book with faith in God being at the center of it's message.  JoAnna Oblander takes us on a extremely personal journey though her life.  She talks about depression and suicide, adoption, chronic pain and family.  Through it all you will feel her devotion to God.  

There are so many hard things that we all experience in life.  One thing that I think those experiences can teach us is how to be more compassionate to others who may be experiencing hard thing.  We learn to be less judgmental.  JoAnna touches on this as well on the importance of prayer.  To her, prayer is not just words to some unseen being, but a form of communication and learning with a Heavenly Father who loves his children.  Her story along with her faith and devotion will inspire you.

I love the poem she quotes in her book.  It is from William Wordsworth.

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
The Soul that rises with us, our Life's star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home.

You can find out more about A Glimpse of Heaven and JoAnna Oblander on her website.

My thanks to Cedar Fort for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour and for providing the book for review.  You can find other blogs participating in this tour by clicking here.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review: The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis

The Breadwinner brings to life an issue that has recently exploded in the international media — the reality of life under the Taliban. Young Parvana lives with her family in one room of a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul, Afghanistan. Because he has a foreign education, her father is arrested by the Taliban, the religious group that controls the country. Since women cannot appear in public unless covered head to toe, or go to school, or work outside the home, the family becomes increasingly desperate until Parvana conceives a plan. She cuts her hair and disguises herself as a boy to earn money for her family. Parvana’s determination to survive is the force that drives this novel set against the backdrop of an intolerable situation brought about by war and religious fanaticism. Deborah Ellis spent several months talking with women and girls in Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan and Russia. This suspenseful, timely novel is the result of those encounters. Royalties from the sale of The Breadwinner will go toward educating Afghan girls in Pakistani refugee camps. “...a potent portrait of life in contemporary Afghanistan, showing that powerful heroines can survive even in the most oppressive ... conditions.”

The story of Parvana and the plight of the people in Afghanisan is heart rending. Although this book is set during the horrors of war, I was touched by the courage and determination of Parvana, her family and the people around them. I thought this was an insightful introduction to the war with the Taliban in Afghanistan. It's sometimes hard for me to imagine the life women are forced to live in countries such as this.  Such oppression and control.  It makes me so grateful for what I have and what I can do.  (like writing this blog and expressing my opinions and feelings)

 The book is written with young readers in mind (ages 10 and up) but does have some violence and war situations that may warrant discussion with an adult. As is usually the case after reading books such as this, I walked away with a profound gratitude for my country, my freedoms and those people who work and sacrifice to ensure those freedoms.