Monday, June 30, 2014

The Trouble With Flying Promo Blitz! Enter to Win $20 and a Copy of the Book!

The Trouble With Flying - PROMO Blitz
By Rachel Morgan
Young Adult/New Adult
Date Published: June 24, 2014

 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
When introvert Sarah boards a plane to fly home after an overseas holiday, the last thing she expects is Aiden, the guy sitting next to her who’s never flown anywhere before and refuses to shut up. Hours of random conversation later, they part ways. Sarah can’t stop thinking about Aiden, though, and wondering if she made a terrible mistake letting him go. Should she abandon her safe, predictable life and go in search of him, or would she be chasing a happily ever after that could never exist in real life?


I don’t make friends on aeroplanes. I know there are people who like to strike up a conversation with the complete stranger sitting next to them, but that’s not me. It’s not that I’m an unfriendly person. It’s more the fact that the conversation centre of my brain seems to seize up in the presence of strangers, and I can’t for the life of me figure out what to say. And even if the other person is happy to simply babble on while I pretend to listen and be interested, I’d really rather be doing something else. Like reading. Or watching a movie. Or sleeping. Or trying to figure out how to stop crying.

Yes. Crying. Because if being shy and awkward isn’t enough, today I’m adding red eyes, tears, and suppressed sobs to the embarrassing mix.

I stare out the tiny, oval window at the patches of reflected light on the wet runway and silently ask God to leave the seat next to me empty. I can’t deal with a chatty neighbour right now. I’d rather watch the black sky and incessant rain until we reach cruising altitude. Then I’ll close my eyes and let sleep take the pain away.

Oh, STOP IT. It’s not like someone died.

I wiggle around a bit in my seat and sniff, trying to listen to my inner pep-talk voice. Think of the good things, I tell myself. I’m on my way home. I’m leaving behind the dreary, wet weather for a sunny, summer climate. That, at least, should make me happy. But thinking about home leads to thoughts ofwho I’m flying towards, and that only makes my stomach twist further.

I hear the sound of a bag being dumped onto the seat at the end of my row. There are only three seats between the window and the aisle—mine and two others—so there’s a fifty-fifty chance this person is about to plonk him or herself down right next to me.

I angle myself more towards the window and swipe my fingers beneath my eyes. I start the furious tear-banishing blinking. Stop crying, stop crying, stop crying. All I need now is for someone to see my blotchy, wet face and start asking me what’s wrong.

I hear someone settling into a seat. I don’t feel movement right beside me, so it must be the aisle seat. Fantastic. I send up a quick thank-you prayer and remind God that it would be spectacularly awesome if He could keep the seat next to me empty.

A tickle inside my left nostril alerts me to the fact that my nose is dribbling. I sniff, but it doesn’t help.Crap, where are my tissues? I lean forward and reach down by my feet for my handbag. Brown strands of hair fall in front of my face and block my vision, but if I can just get the zip open and feel past my purse to the tissues—

No. Too late. Now it’s trickling down my lip and I’m digging around in the bag and I can’t feel the stupid tissues and a drop of tear-snot just landed on my hand and yuck! I haul the ridiculous handbag—I told Jules I didn’t need something so big—onto my lap with one hand while holding the back of my other hand to my nose. And there the tissues are. Right next to my purse. Perfectly easy to find. I rip one from the packet and jam it against my nose to stop the tear-snot flood.

And that’s when I catch a glimpse of the guy sitting in the aisle seat. A quick sideways glimpse, but enough to tell me he’s cute. Excellent cheekbones, a strong jawline, and perfectly messy dark brown hair. Terrific. My nose is dripping snot in front of a cute guy. Not that I should care that he’s cute, or that he’s a guy, because it’s not like I’m going to talk to him, and it’s not like I’m even available—am I? I don’t actually know. And thinking about that makes me want to cry all over again—but STILL. I don’t want to look blotchy and snotty in front of a cute guy.

Rachel Morgan was born in South Africa and spent a large portion of her childhood living in a fantasy land of her own making. After completing a degree in genetics, she decided science wasn't for her--after all, they didn't approve of made-up facts. These days she spends much of her time immersed in fantasy land once more, writing fiction for young adults.

Author Links

Buy Link


A $20 Amazon gift card for one winner

E-copy of THE TROUBLE WITH FLYING for two winners

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 photo readingaddictionbutton_zps58fd99d6.png

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.

A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith's new novel shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.

I scored a review copy of this book on NetGalley (woot, woot).  I've been wanting to read this book!

I don't know, but to me the idea of this book was utterly romantic.  One night surviving a blackout power outage and then a couple brief encounters, one memorable kiss, almost non-existent emails and a reunion at the end, all connected together by postcards.  No undying love professed, no deep and profound thoughts, just a boy and a girl sharing a moment here and there with simple words that mostly said, "Wish You Were Here".   Those little postcards were a reminder of a brief moment in time where two people connected and shared something and they were a hope of maybe one day sharing more.

I don't know.  The postcards totally got me.  There is something about a bit of handwritten mail and a thinking of you appearing in the mail.  It hardly happens anymore with email and texts running rampant, right?  I think it should happen more.

This was a YA book, the main characters, Lucy and Owen are young- 16 and 17.  This is young love at it's best, I think.  Lucy and I share a common bond- both of our brother are named Charlie and Ben.  haha.  Only mine are real and hers are just in the book.  ;)

The writing was engaging and the minutes passed by quickly as I read.  It was a cute story and exactly what I've come to expect from Jennifer Smith.

And I totally agree.  The center of the world isn't a place.  It IS the people that I love.

Content:  I can't remember anything outstanding...

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Timeless Romance Anthology: Old West Collection

Six Award-Winning Authors have contributed new stories to A Timeless Romance Anthology: Old West Collection. Readers will love this collection of six historical western novellas, all with one thing in common: Romance.

In BREAK A LEG, a charming story by two-time Rita Award winner Carla Kelly, hospital steward Colm Callahan is ready to move away from army life at Fort Laramie. His only regret is leaving behind exotic Ozzie Washington, easily the prettiest woman on the post. As a maid to the lieutenant colonel's wife, Ozzie is no wilting flower when it comes to hard work. When the post surgeon leaves for an extended week, Colm must handle several medical emergencies on his own. He pleads for Ozzie's help at the hospital. While they spend long days and nights working together, Colm, a shy man, realizes he can't hide the truth of his feelings for Ozzie. He needs a little help, though. Enter from stage left, Lysander Locke, Shakespeare tragedian on his way to Deadwood.

THE SOLDIER'S HEART, an enchanting novella by Sarah M. Eden, follows Gregory Reeves has fallen in love with a woman he’s never met. Her brother’s dying wish is that Gregory checks on his family, and after the war, Gregory is only too happy to meet the woman he’s been dreaming about. Helene mistakes him for a hired hand and sets him to work immediately. As time passes, Gregory finds it more and more difficult to reveal his true connection to her family, fearing that a woman who loathes liars will turn her disapproval on him.

HIDDEN SPRING is an enthralling novella by Liz Adair, in which Susannah Brown is just getting her life back together after becoming a widow. She still misses Wesley with a fierce longing, but when she meets his half-brother, Douglas, she learns her heart is not completely dormant. Over the next several weeks, Douglas helps Susannah with repairs on her small ranch in exchange for supper. The exchange becomes more and more meaningful as Susannah realizes that Douglas might be the one to finally heal her heart.

THE SILVER MINE BACHELOR, by Heather B. Moore, is a sweet romance between an unlikely pair. Lydia Stone has a checklist for men who qualify as the eligible bachelors in the mining town of Leadville, Colorado. Her new boss, Mr. Erik Dawson, is about to be struck off the list when she sees him coming out of the town brothel. Lydia doesn’t know that Erik Dawson’s sister has been living the brothel lifestyle for years, and he’s set on redeeming her soul. When Lydia discovers Erik’s secrets, she learns that life is not as black and white as she thinks.

In Annette Lyon’s delightful story, THE SWEETEST TASTE, Della Stafford hates being a farm girl in the tiny town of Shelley, Idaho. She’ll do anything to live in a big city and experience real city life. Her only regret is that she’d have to leave Joseph behind, the young man who makes her heart flutter. But she's convinced that moving away is for the best; her dreams and Joseph's dreams are too dissimilar. Then Della takes a job as a maid in Los Angeles and must face the truth that what she thought would make her happy and what really will are totally different things.

In the captivating novella, FAITH AND THE FOREMAN by Marsha Ward, Faith Bannister is forced to travel west to earn a living as a school mistress in Arizona Territory. Faith soon learns that living the frontier lifestyle of a single woman has many harsh challenges. But when she meets Slim McHenry, she discovers that life doesn’t have to be so lonely. Unfortunately the dangerous Rance Hunter stands between her and Slim, and she must act with courage before everything is lost.

Yes, it's true.  I literally went begging for a review copy of this book.  I'm not ashamed to say it.  I love these ongoing Timeless Romance Anthology books.  They provide the perfect romantic getaway for me.  I can read them one at a time for a quick inbetween snack or go all out and read them all in one sitting.  Either way it is good for me.

This collection revolves around the Old West.  A little bit western is awesome.  I enjoyed reading all these books.  They are quick, easy reads.  Nothing serious.  Some I liked better than others- The Soldier's Heart, Hidden Spring and The Silver Mine Bachelor top the list for me.

I feel like I just can't go wrong when I pick up these anthology collections.  Different authors and different writing styles make it so each story feels fresh and new.  They are clean romances so I know I won't get anything that will make me feel uncomfortable.  There were a few instances of mild swearing found scattered throughout which I could have done without. I didn't think they were necessary, but that is my own personal preference.

You can find A Timeless Romance Anthology:  Old West Collection at Amazon.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Why Read for Pleasure?

Why read for pleasure?
There are a range of benefits gained from reading for pleasure:
  • it increases sense of achievement, confidence, self-esteem and self-awareness
  • it widens horizons
  • you can do it anywhere
  • it develops relationships and promotes inclusion and empathy through sharing opinions and ideas
  • it prevents boredom and promotes relaxation. (

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hope by S.J. Wilkins

A hidden crime. An urgent letter. A desperate struggle for the sake of love.

Isaac Shaw is dead. For sixteen years, his family has struggled on in shame, believing he died a criminal—responsible, in 1837, for burning down the local mill and causing the death of several villagers, including the wife of the mill owner. Since that fateful night, the family has survived due to the remarkable charity of Edward Reeve, the bereaved mill owner, who now employs Isaac Shaw’s sons, Will and Manny.

When Manny decides to run away, the decision takes him straight into the path of a traveling Mormon elder, a meeting that threatens the Shaws’ well-being. Charged with the care of a letter challenging the village’s history, Manny must find a way to reveal the true identity of Hope, the young woman he loves. It is a quest destined to change him and his family forever.

I will start out by saying that is an LDS historical fiction book, as you can tell from the blurb above.

For me this book was really slow going.  I had a hard time keeping my head in the story.  My attention was never fully engaged and I never became fully invested in the characters.  Having said that, I don't think the writing is poor, I just think it wasn't my style which made it hard for me, personally, to engage.

I do really like the cover though and the title of the book which really does reflect the overall message of the book as well as the name of the main character.

I liked how so much of the book revolved around a mysterious letter that passed hands many times and contained the truth everyone was so desperately either searching for or hiding.  The concept is a good one and I liked the actual plot, I just had a hard time getting through it.  There was just something missing for me- that heart pounding, hum through your veins connection, I guess.  It's hard to explain, but this book just didn't hit the mark for me.

It is obvious to me that the author really did his homework on this part of history.  That is something I can really appreciate.  My roots trace back to England (distant and not so distant- my grandparents were so very British) and much of my family history involves conversion to the LDS church there.  

You can check out the author and read the prologue and opening chapter HERE and decide for yourself about this book.  Opening chapters can give you a very good idea of what a book will be like so I encourage you to see for yourself and not take my word for it.  If you love LDS fiction, you may really enjoy this book.

You can purchase Hope at Amazon and Deseret Book.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Polar Opposites $100 Book Blast

Polar Opposites
Polar Opposites: Super Villain Academy #2 The supers are balanced. Academies have altered their curriculum to teach both sides of the super power spectrum. All’s well in the super world. Right? When Mystic kidnaps Oceanus, Jeff learns it isn’t all right. Turning to the newly balanced supers for assistance, he panics to find they’ve done nothing to rescue Oceanus. When no ransom request follows, he worries Mystic’s plan never included returning his girlfriend. Frustrated, he’s forced to work with the only super willing to help. Oceanus’ ex-villain, ex-boyfriend, Set. Mystic isn’t the only one hiding something. Nothing about Jeff is balanced. Temper flares result in scorched clothing or flying furniture, and his charm has become an indiscriminating people-magnet. Jeff is convinced, or maybe just hopeful, that his lack of control is directly related to Oceanus being gone. But will he and Set find her before Jeff loses control completely and will they find her alive?

They never talked about how they ended the world. Twice. Jeff glanced at Oceanus, bent over her phone in the passenger seat of his car. A curtain of black hair shielded her profile from view, but he thought he saw her smile. He reached over and tucked her hair behind an ear. Yep, she was smiling. So was he. He felt his skin heat, but not as a side-effect of his super power ability to create fire. This heat was due to thoughts of Oci running her small warm hands down his back and tilting her face up to accept his kiss. “ How about a movie?” Oceanus asked. “ Which one?” Jeff replied, scanning the traffic and then his girlfriend. Oci’s thin arms, delicate wrists, and bird-like legs that barely reached the floorboards, all gave the impression she needed protection and caring for. Whereas, with her super strength, she could lift the car they drove in onto two wheels if someone were trapped underneath. “ Oh, perfect!” Oceanus flung her hair over her shoulder and straightened in her seat. Her smile illuminated Jeff’s peripheral vision as he concentrated on traffic. “The one I want to see starts in forty-five minutes. That gives us plenty of time to get there, get popcorn and some good seats, and watch the previews. I love the previews, don’t you?” Jeff glanced at her again. The devilish glint in her eye made him frown. “What movie?” Oceanus peeked through thick black lashes. Jeff was pretty sure she even batted them a bit. “What movie, Oci?” “ Accidental Hero.” At Jeff’s groan, Oceanus chuckled. “Come on, you have to admit the storyline looks kinda familiar. Besides, the special effects look amazing. You love that crap.” Jeff stared at the traffic and said nothing. He knew it was useless. He could mount the best argument against seeing the movie, but Oceanus always got her way. Cursing his Oceanus-shaped soft spot, he turned at the next intersection and headed toward the theater. The whiny guitar tones of the heavy metal song Super Villain erupted from his cell phone. He looked at the display and saw Mother’s number. “Can you answer that?” Reaching for his phone, Oceanus said, “You know, now that we aren’t technically super villains anymore, you should consider changing your ringtone.”   King of Bad
King of Bad: Super Villain Academy #1 Jeff Mean would rather set fires than follow rules or observe curfew. He wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie; that is until he learns he has superpowers and is recruited by Super Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. In a school where one kid can evaporate all the water from your body and the girl you hang around with can perform psychic sex in your head, bad takes on a whole new meaning. Jeff wonders if he’s bad enough for SVA. He may never find out. Classmates vilify him when he develops good manners. Then he’s kidnapped by those closest to him and left to wonder who is good and who is bad. His rescue is the climactic episode that balances good and evil in the super world. The catalyst – the girl he’s crushing on. A girlfriend and balancing the Supers is good, right? Or is it…bad?  

  Author Kai Strand
Author Kai Strand When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers and short stories for the younger ones, Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults.
book blast button

        Blast Giveaway $100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 7/20/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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 and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A March Bride by Rachel Hauck (A Year of Weddings Novella)

Susanna has found her true prince, and their happily ever after is just around the corner. But when Nate asks her to give up something precious to her, Susanna can’t help but wonder if it’s a sign that their love is not meant to be.

Susanna Truitt (Once Upon A Prince) is three weeks from royalty. She’ll soon marry King Nathaniel II of Brighton Kingdom. But when the government insists she renounce her American citizenship before the wedding, coupled with the lack of involvement by family and friends, her heart begins to doubt whether this marriage is God’s plan for her.

Nathaniel would do anything for his bride-to-be. But he knows his position requires that she give up a lot to be with him. Her life will never be her own — right down to her very identity. When she travels home to St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, right before the wedding, Nathaniel fears she won’t return. Gathering his courage, he devises a plan to win his bride all over again, and together they seek out a kingdom to treasure above all.

I'm on a roll with the "Year of Weddings" series and I'm up to March!  Okay, so I'm only 3 in but I'm really enjoying this series so far.  These are all novellas, one per month, quick and fun, all by different authors.  I can count on all of these books to be clean which is dreamy to me.  :)

Nathaniel is seriously the sweetest of men.  He will literally do anything for his bride-to-be.  I love how devoted he is to Susanna.  He wants to please her and show his love.  He goes out of his way to demonstrate that devotion and love.  It melts my heart.

This novella is a sort of follow up with the characters from "Once Upon a Prince" which fortunately I have read (and loved).  I'm sure this novella is meant to be a stand alone and can be read without having read the main book, but I'm not sure as I have read them both and in the right order.  All I can say is that I'm glad that I already knew the history of Susanna and Nathaniel when I started "A March Bride".  I had that base history of the two of them that helped me understand the conflict here and made the resolution all the sweeter.  It's so nice to have a follow up of characters you already know and love.  So, if you haven't had a chance to pick up "Once Upon a Prince" by Rachel Hauck, you might want to.  It's a good, clean read.  And yes, Christian Fiction as well.

My thanks to the publisher for allowing me to read and review this title.

You can purchase this title at Amazon.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Princess Ever After by Rachel Hauck (The Royal Wedding Series)

Regina Beswick never dreamed of faraway places. She’s happy with her life as a classic car mechanic and owner of a restoration shop.

But an unexpected visitor and the discovery of a fairytale, drawn by her great-grandma, causes Regina to wonder if she might be destined for something more.

Tanner Burkhardt, Minister of Culture for the Grand Duchy of Hessenberg, must convince the strong-willed Southerner, Miss Beswick, that she is his country’s long-lost princess. Failure could destroy his reputation and change his nation forever.

As Regina and Tanner face the challenges before them, neither are prepared for love to invade their hearts and change every thing they believe about themselves.

However, when a royal opponent nearly destroys Regina’s future, she must lean into God and trust He has sovereignly brought her to her true and final destiny.

This is a series I've had my eye on for awhile.  Ever since the first book came out (Once Upon a Princess), I've been wanting to read it.  My library has the ebook of the first book so I picked that up and read it and then I came across this second book in the series on NetGalley and knew I had to read it.

What draws me to this series in the first place is that I've read books by Rachel Hauck before and I know what I going to get.  She is a Christian Fiction author so I know the book will be clean (no sex, no swearing and no profanity).  I know from the cover that I'm going to get a romantic sort of book and (fingers crossed) a happily ever after ending because you cannot put "Ever After" in the title and not make it happily, right?!

One thing I really loved about this book was that even though there was instant attraction, there wasn't an instant relationship or "love".  There is a difference between attraction and love and I really enjoyed how this relationship progressed- naturally and slowly.

Regina and Tanner were both realistic characters, each with shortcomings and weaknesses but both trying hard to make good decisions and become better.  Regina never expected to be pulled out of her dream come true of owning her own garage.  It was just getting started when she was so suddenly uprooted and thrown into a life completely foreign to her.  Regina shows courage through all the challenges.  Tanner is patient and strong.  I really liked him and his role in this book.

I think this book could easily stand alone but I was glad to have the first book in my head before I read this book.  It helped me understand other characters in this book who were prominent in the first book.

You can purchase this book at Amazon.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer Book Crush: Your Next Summer Fling is Just a Book Away!

What would you say to over 80 titles with many undeniably-hot BOOK BOYFRIENDS that leave you wanting more? Yep, we've got you covered. The second annual SUMMER BOOK CRUSH event runs this year from June 19th through June 22nd. Don't miss it, or you will have to wait a full year for the next one! main banner2
So many ways to fall in love with just a right BOOK BOYFRIEND! And the best part? You can purchase your dream Book Boyfriend for only 99¢ each, but for a limited time only.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

In Music- The Missionary Collection by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square

For the first time ever, this collection brings together four top-selling albums sure to provide inspiration to hasten the work. Featuring Called to Serve, Praise to the Man, Teach Me to Walk in the Light, and This Is the Christ, this four-disc set is the perfect gift for missionaries at home and abroad.

The Morning Breaks
Praise to the Man
Joseph Smith's First Prayer
Now We'll Sing with One Accord
This is My Beloved Son
I Saw a Mighty Angel Fly
An Angel from on High
On a Golden Springtime
Come, Listen to a Prophet's Voice
A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief
We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet

Called to Serve
Redeemer of Israel
I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go
How Firm a Foundation
I Am a Child of God
I Believe in Christ
I'm Trying to Be like Jesus
Ye Elders of Israel
I Know That My Redeemer Lives
High on the Mountain Top
He Sent His Son
Come, Come, Ye Saints
This Is the Christ
God Be with You Til We Meet Again
The Spirit of God

I Think the World Is Glorious
"Give," Said the Little Stream
If the Savior Stood Beside Me
I Think When I Read That Sweet Story
Teach Me to Walk in the Light
I Will Follow God's Plan
Mother, Tell Me the Story
Called to Serve
Love One Another
Tell Me the Stories of Jesus
I Know That My Savior Loves Me
Holding Hands around the World
When He Comes Again
I Am a Child of God

This Is the Christ
The Lord My Pasture Will Prepare
Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd
Come unto Him
Sunshine in My Soul
Where Can I Turn for Peace?
God So Loved the World
Our Savior's Love
O, Divine Redeemer
Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee
Nearer, Dear Savior, to Thee
Softly and Tenderly
Beautiful Savior
I Believe in Christ

How exciting is this- to have four of the best Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD's together in one bundle?  It's called the Missionary Collection and I have to say that it is perfect to send off to a missionary.  I should know, I have one.  After listening and loving these CD's, I sent them off to England so my son could enjoy them as well.  His mission rules limit him to listening to only the hymns and Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the one album he took with him is being well used.  He was so excited to hear I was sending him more music- a greater variety.

"This is the Christ" is my favorite CD of the four with Teach Me To Walk in the Light coming in a close second.  I have such emotional connections to so many of these songs.  They fill my heart with peace and comfort.  My family and I listened to one of these CD's in the car on the way to a Sunday meeting of more distance and I asked everyone to describe in one word the music they were hearing.  Calming, peaceful, and gentle were some of the words.

I, personally, am so grateful for music.  This isn't the music I always listen to but it's where I go if my soul is in need of peace and comfort.  It is a good, grounding reminder of what I believe and who I am.

My thanks to Deseret Book for allowing me to listen to and review these CD's for them.  They are beautiful and perfect not only for my missionary but for me as well.  

Purchase this CD collection at Deseret Book or Amazon.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Rebel Princess by Janice Sperry

Meet the upside-down fairy-tale princess! Raven Perilous is not nice because nice princesses get locked in towers. When Prince Charming shows up, Raven—who is not in distress—decides to show him who’s boss. This enchanting adventure, filled with magic forests and mystical creatures, will captivate fans of fairy tales everywhere!

Aw, this book was so cute.  A middle grade level read for sure, clean and did I mention cute?  This is a book perfectly geared for the pre-teen as the main characters are about 13 years old.

Princess Raven has been living in the "real world", trying to avoid being locked in a tower.  She is not very nice and has been cursed to spew frogs and slugs when she says unkind things.  EEWWWW!  Despite trying not to be very nice, Raven really is a good girl.  She tries to obey her parents and in the end, she does figure out the whole nice thing.  Raven isn't your typical princess (grunge is more her style) but she is endearing even when she is being a little bossy.

Raven has an evil twin brother (who really isn't so evil) and when she meets Prince Charming the three of them are sucked into fairy tale land and thus begins a magical adventure together.  

Prince Charming loves his sword, has been put under a spell to turn into a rat and isn't so very charming.  They meet all kinds of fairy tale creatures on their quest to get home- dragons, tooth fairies, princess's, the muffin man and many more.  The three young royals have to learn how to work together and get along.  Luckily they have a little bit of help along the way.

I thought this book was cute.  (I think I've said that before?)  It's fun and young readers will really enjoy this light hearted read.  My 11 year old daughter will be a perfect fit for this book.  I'm adding it to her summer reading list!

You can purchase this book at Amazon.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Counting Candles by Dustin W. Bradshaw

How much difference do we make? As James Smith approaches 40, his life is mediocre. But his actions have had a vast impact on those around him. Be touched by the extraordinary impact of an ordinary life.

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading Counting Candles.  It was a great change of pace for me, something unlike the other books I've been reading and such a breath of fresh air.  

This is the story of a man.  A husband, a father.  He goes to work every day to provide for his family.  He coaches his son's little league team.  He goes out to lunch with his friends occasionally.  He's a normal, every day guy.  But James's story is so much bigger than it seems and not because he has super powers or celebrity status, but just because of the kind of guy he is.

James Smith is kind.  He is considerate.   He works hard at the things that are most important to him.  He cares about other people.  When you are kind, you touch other people.  It is a story as simple as that.

The opening chapters follow James around a few typical days in his life.  Then, in the chapters that follow, we read about how a few moments of James life changed or helped other people from their points of view.  James doesn't even realize the impact of his choices and words at the time but it all comes together at the end of the book.

What I love about this book is the overall message that the little things do matter.  Kindness matters.  You just never know when a small gesture of kindness will change the world for someone else.  Every person has the opportunity for greatness through integrity and kindness.

This book made me feel good.  It was a good reminder that even I, in my ordinary and maybe even mediocre life can bring about good by small and simple things.  Every choice matters.  I'm so glad I was given the opportunity to read this book.

You can purchase this book at Amazon.

Being raised in a small farming community, Dustin Bradshaw thrives on adventure and challenge. Dustin lives by the theme, “If you want to accomplish something, do it!” It was with this attitude that Dustin penned his first book in third grade and, as a senior in high school, entered and won a literary scholarship that he was told no male had ever won. This same adventurous nature has helped Dustin achieve many of his life's goals, including forming that country boy into a accomplished leader. Dustin is now a Foreign Service Officer for the United States Department of State. He and his wife, Hiva, are now posted in Manila, Philippines.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Here to Stay by Melissa Tagg

Blake Hunziker has played nomad for five years and landed in his fair share of trouble too. But now he's finally returning to his hometown--the Lake Michigan tourist town of Whisper Shore. Counting on a not-so-warm welcome, he's surprised at not only a positive reception but also a job offer. Determined to settle down and prove himself responsible, he agrees to the catch that comes with the job offer--coordinating the annual Christmas festival--even though he has no idea how he'll pull it off.

Autumn Kingsley, inn owner and experienced organizer of the Christmas festival, has always dreamed of traveling the world. Now she has a job opportunity in Paris and a surprise potential investor coming to town who just might take on her family's inn and finally leave her free to go. The only problem is that she has just two weeks to whip the inn into shape.

Their families have a long history of not getting along, but when Blake comes to Autumn for help with the festival, she actually exchange for his help with the repairs to her inn. They may have struck a simple deal, but complications are quick to pile on when the guy who's had enough of running away and the woman who can't wait to leave join forces.

This is a book I requested from the Bethany House publisher on NetGalley.  I love a good, sweet romance and this looked like one I would really enjoy.  

First, I love the cover.  I think that is what drew me to this book initially.  It is playful and happy and makes me want to know what's going on inside.  :)

This is a Christian Fiction novel but I didn't find it overboard or preachy at all.  The characters in this book struggle with past hurts and pain, and dreams for the future.  The trick is knowing when to hold on and when to let go.  I felt like there was depth to the story and the characters.

Blake has been running away but is determined to now come home and face the demons of his past.  He wants to put down roots and prove to himself and everyone else that he is responsible and trustworthy.  Blake's heart is big and he loves to help people.  I loved how he overcame the struggles.  He's the guy you are rooting for the whole way through the book.

Autumn put her dreams on hold for the family inn.  She has been a loyal and dutiful daughter while her mother and sister have struggled through a difficult time emotionally but now Autumn is ready to change things up and follow her own dreams.  She is determined and focused but doesn't expect to have Blake enter her world and shake things up.

I loved the relationship between Blake and Autumn.  It started out pretty shaky but grew into a friendship along with the attraction.  I thought I would go crazy with all the near miss kisses.  The anticipation was killing me!  But all's well that ends well.  Happily ever after and all that, which this girl loves.

This book was perfect for me I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.  "Here to Stay" is the second book in the Where Love Begins series so I guess I better back track and read the first book!  I got a glimpse of the characters from that book in this one and I think it's going to be good!

You can purchase "Here to Stay" at Amazon.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Blackwood Crossing $50 Book Blast

Blackwood Crossing
Blackwood Crossing If you had to make a choice, would it be loyalty or love? Torn between loyalty to her family and refusal to marry a laird she despises, Rhona Davidson accepts a dangerous proposal from a man she knows only as Blackwood. Leaving behind a life of leisure, Charles Blackwood bravely serves his country with honor and the skill of a trained British agent. When his newest case returns him to the wild Highlands of Scotland, he is faced with a choice between killing a man and saving the only woman he has ever loved. Charles and Rhona join their lives, only to discover that their choices will result in bloodshed, unless they can uncover a truth long buried, deep in the Highland soil.  

Praise for Blackwood Crossing:
"MK McClintock has spun an enchanting tale deeply entrenched in the lands of Scotland and England that will leave you riveted to your chair until you turn the last page." - Donna McBroom-Theriot,

 “This is a wonderful book with suspense to keep me on the edge of my seat and surprises to keep me guessing . . . a feisty heroine and a strong, gentle hero . . . My poetic soul is fed by the beautiful descriptions of nature.” – Verna Mitchell, author of Somewhere Beyond the Blue

  “Ms. McClintock has written another whirlwind romance set in a historical world. I loved returning to a world with such a mesmerizing atmosphere, and I am more than eager to read Devon's romantic story in the next British Agent Novel.” – R. Harness, Amazon reviewer

“Her writing is always top notch . . . In BLACKWOOD CROSSING, her storytelling flows with a clear plot and strong characters.” – L. Townsend, Amazon reviewer 

    Excerpt #1 Charles held the silver watch in his palm, watching the seconds and minutes pass. Devon would arrive to relieve him in half an hour. Until then, his thoughts would continue to be plagued with images of Rhona in the room behind him. If she had met him, Charles Blackwood, Viscount and British agent, and not Charles Pearce, the common man who saved her life a little more than two years ago, would they have found a way to stay together? Keeping their identities secret was one of the reasons why both he and Tristan had quit the agency. Had the last assignment, which pulled them back into service, been for anyone other than a friend, they would have remained retired or at least tried to. That matter was easily solved, but then another case arose, and then another, until they found themselves once again at the top of the agency’s assignment list. They had managed for nearly two years to avoid accepting assignments, and Charles appreciated that Tristan was here for him. He also knew there wouldn’t be another woman in his lifetime, and he was prepared to make his life a solitary one, but he never imagined escorting the only woman he had ever loved to another man. Charles recalled Rhona promising him that one day he would regret his choice to leave her behind. “My father will never let me marry a commoner, but I will run away with you.” Rhona pressed her gloved hand against Charles’s face. Charles turned his face inward and kissed her palm. “Nothing would please me more, but I can’t stay.” Rhona pulled away. “I don’t understand.” Charles ignored the heavy ache in his chest. “As you said, I’m a commoner, and England is home. It’s where my work is.” “Then work here.” “Too many are leaving Scotland. You know it’s not possible.” Rhona stood from the bench they’d been sharing inside the walled garden, now left dormant with the heart of winter settling in. “It would be possible if it’s what you truly wanted.” “Rhona, it’s not a simple thing for me to stay.” “When do you leave?” Charles stood beside her and reached out, but she backed away. His hand dropped to his side. “I have to leave in the morning.” “One day, Charles, you will regret this choice.” Rhona walked quickly, frost and leaves crunching under each step as she moved farther away. “I already do.” Charles’s whisper was carried away with the wind.

 There’s also another giveaway taking place on Goodreads. Blackwood Crossing Goodreads Giveaway

  MK McClintock
Author MK McClintock MK McClintock is an author, entrepreneur, and photographer. She enjoys spending hours walking along rivers or over mountains, loves the Scottish Highlands, and likes to put her creative energy to use in the kitchen. She dreams of a time when life was simpler, the land rougher, and the journey more rewarding. With her heart deeply rooted in the past and her mind always on adventure, McClintock lives and writes in Montana.    

book blast button             

  Blast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 6/30/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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 and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Camp Boyfriend and Camp Payback by J.K. Rock

The summer of her dreams is about to get a reality check.

They said it couldn't be done, but geeky sophomore Lauren Carlson transformed herself into a popular girl after moving to a new school halfway across the country. Amazing what losing her braces and going out for cheerleading will do. Only trouble is, the popular crowd is wearing on Lauren's nerves and she can't wait to return to summer camp where she's valued for her brain instead of her handsprings. She misses her old friends and most of all, her long time camp-only boyfriend, Seth. This year she intends to upgrade their relationship to year-round status once she's broken up with her new, jock boyfriend, Matt. He doesn't even begin to know the real her, a girl fascinated by the night sky who dreams of discovering new planets and galaxies.

But Matt isn't giving her up without a fight. As he makes his case to stay together, Lauren begins to realize his feelings run deeper than she ever would have guessed. What if the guy she thought she was meant to be with forever isn't really The One? Returning to Camp Juniper Point was supposed to ground her uprooted life, but she's more adrift than ever. Everything feels different and soon Lauren's friends are turning on her and both guys question what she really wants. As summer tensions escalate, Lauren wonders if she's changed more than she thought. Will her first big discovery be herself?

Alex has big plans for camp this year, starting with making it the best summer ever. Having fun and breaking some rules will get her the payback she wants against her parents and her ex-boyfriend. Because of his disgusting texts, she's headed to a super strict all-girls school in the fall.

Then she meets Javier and revenge doesn't seem nearly as important as getting to know the troubled loner determined to keep a low profile at camp. But Alex's trouble-magnet personality and Javier's need to stay in the background don't mix nearly as well as their irresistible chemistry.

With her home life eroding under her feet and her last year of summer camp speeding to a close, Alex wants to make her mark on the world and squeeze every bit of fun out of her time with Javier. Too bad her old plans for revenge turn back on her just in time to ruin everything. Will she lose Javier too?

So, today I'm reviewing these two books. I'm doing them together because they are part of a series and I picked them both up on NetGalley (love NetGalley!) at the same time. My thanks to Spencer Hill Press for allowing me to read and review these titles for them.

I've never been to summer camp, let alone a summer camp that goes practically all summer long, so there were a lot of things in this book that I didn't necessarily relate to. Having said that, I don't think summer camp experiences are a prerequisite to enjoying these books. :)

The main characters in these books are young- 15, 16 years old. Most have been coming to this summer camp together since they were very young. There is quite a crew of characters but the authors did a good job of bringing them into the books so that I didn't feel overwhelmed with so many people to keep straight. Every character in the book has their own personality that shines through. They all felt like real people with real quirks and real (albeit young) problems. Very teenager.

Both books have the same setting and many of the same characters but the focus is on different main characters. The first book is about Lauren and her two boyfriends. In the second book, Lauren has moved on and we focus on Alex, who was also in the first book.

I originally wanted to read these books because I thought they were "clean" YA books. I'm not sure if I was just dreaming that up or if I actually read it somewhere, but I'm not sure I would classify these as "clean" reads. There is no actual sex in these books, but there is a lot of talk about sex. In both books. There is plenty of making out and steamy kissing. There is frequent profanity (using God and Jesus as exclamations) and swearing (more than just mild). There is alcohol and drug use mentioned. These aren't books I would hand off to my teenager, but I realize I am more conservative than most.

For me, it was the characters, not any definite scenes, that made these books fun. I enjoyed the journey of learning the characters take that made them better in the end.

You can find Camp Boyfriend and Camp Payback at Amazon. (titles are linked)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

7 Unconventional Reasons Why You Absolutely Should Be Reading Books

You seriously have to read this article.  As an avid reader (who thinks everyone should be reading) this is the article from the Huffington Post you must read.  I don't need convincing, and you probably don't either if you are reading my blog, but let's face it.  We all know someone who should be reading more, right?  haha

Here is the link to the article online: 7 Unconventional Reasons Why You Absolutely Should Be Reading Books

And here are the 7 reasons in a nutshell:

1.  Reading can chill you out
2.  It can help keep your brain sharp
3.  And it might even stave off Alzheimer's disease
4.  Might help strengthen your mind reading abilities
5.  Reading may help you sleep better
6.  Getting lost in a good book could also make you more empathetic
7.  Self-help books can ease depression

Cover Reveal and Excerpt: A Safe Space by E.M. Tippetts

 We are thrilled to share this gorgeous cover and excerpt for A Safe Space by E.M. Tippetts!  Let us know what you think and don't forget to add it to your TBR!

Title: A Safe Space
Author: E.M. Tippetts
Age Group: NA
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer: Okay Creations, Sarah Hansen
Release date: July 2014

Everyone needs a safe space.

For Lizzie Warner, that space has always been in front of the camera on her hit show, or on stage to a sold out concert arena. Since before she can remember, she’s been a star, but that may be about to change.

She’s nineteen. Her show has been cancelled and now she’s going to play the lead in a new prime time drama series, but is the world ready to take her seriously, or will she be typecast as the cute tween queen forever?
Her network has decided to be aggressive and has invested millions of dollars in an ad campaign for her show, money she’s not sure she can earn back. Her co-star can’t stand her, and the writing for the show turns out to be poor at best. The only reason Lizzie didn’t walk away from the job offer to begin with is because she’s broke, the victim of a decade of bad money management.

Then there’s Devon, the personal trainer at her gym. Arrogant and abrasive, he’s the last guy she should ever find attractive, but she has a hopeless crush on him anyway, and he doesn’t seem entirely disinterested either. In fact, sometimes he’s downright sweet to her. If only he weren’t an untamable bad boy who uses and dumps women like they’re nothing. Though Lizzie’s friends warn her to stay away, he’s the only person who can create what she needs: a safe space. But is there any way she can break him of his years' long habit of being a user?


As Devon swaggers through the gym, there’s a sweep of female heads turning, like the wake behind a boat in water. He ignores them, though, and comes straight to me.

My mind races, desperate to have a witty response ready for whatever obnoxious, arrogant crack he’s about to make. I avert my eyes from his toned body, flawless complexion, and those piercing hazel eyes. (I never thought of hazel as a piercing color before I met this guy.)

I stand in my designer blouse, jeans, and boots by the exit with my roommate, Kyra, who digs in her purse for her keys, oblivious to his approach. When she looks up, her mouth turns down in a scowl. “Don’t, Devon,” she says.

“Don’t what?” His eyes are wide with innocence and his mouth is curled into its usual smirk.

I draw myself up to my full height, unsure whether I should look right at him defiantly or look away, as if he’s beneath my notice. If this were scene, I think, and he were the male romantic lead… wait, do I want to think of him as the romantic lead? Does that give too much of my hand away? Suffice it to say I’m not navigating this situation with the kind of cool, collected air I aspire to.

“Have a good day, Veronica,” he says to me.

“That,” says Kyra. “Stop calling her that. Lizzie is what we call an actress. The stuff you see her do on television isn’t real. Let me know if I’m throwing too many concepts at you too fast.”

He directs his attention to her.

Now, I think, here’s my chance. I should mock him for watching children’s television (that’s where I played the “Veronica” he’s referring to), or double down on Kyra’s insult about not understanding that I’m an actress. Anything to puncture his ego.

I’ve acted on a show watched by millions of people around the world, sang whole concerts to sold out arena venues, and in front of this one guy, I choke. I cannot string together a coherent insult. My only saving grace is that he isn’t looking at me and doesn’t see my blank and no doubt embarrassed expression.

“Hey, so you said you wanted to know a good app for a pedometer,” he says to Kyra, whipping out his phone and showing her the screen.

The moment for trading insults has passed and I just stand, feeling like a third wheel while my roommate talks to her personal trainer, her silky black ponytail bobbing as he shows her some options.

“All right, bandwrecker?” he jibes.

There, another opportunity. He just insulted Kyra. I should say… something.

“That should be fine, man-whore,” she replies. “Let’s go Lizzie. Hey, you gonna wish Lizzie good luck for her first day on the set of her new show?”

“I’m still not over All About Veronica being cancelled. This is a painful moment for me,” he replies.

“Why do you watch Nickelodeon?” I blurt out.

“It’s quality programming,” he says without missing a beat. “And as your roommate here will tell you, it’s at my intellectual level.” He holds his hand horizontal to the floor, at about waist height. Then with a wink he turns away. “Ladies,” he says to a couple of women ogling him on the gym floor. “May I help you with anything?”

They both giggle and it’s clear they have him pegged for the superficial, commitment adverse player that he is. It’s also clear that he doesn’t mind. His confidence doesn’t diminish, not even a little bit, that’s how sure he is that he can have his way with any girl he wants. From what I’ve seen, he’s right.

Kyra shoots him a withering look behind his back. But that fades as soon as she turns to me. “You ready?”

I shake my head.

“You’ll kill it,” she says, leaning on the door that opens to the parking garage. “You can do this.”

I follow her out and do my best to act confident. A glance over my shoulder reveals that Devon’s paused to watch us leave. I look away fast. He’s a jerk, I tell myself. He’s a user. It doesn’t matter that he’s gorgeous; I work in Hollywood. Gorgeous is normal.

It’s as if there’s always a spotlight on Devon, though. No matter where he is in the room, I can sense him out of the corner of my eye.

Kyra holds out her hand, and we fist bump before we part ways, her to her red Jeep Liberty that she calls “Libby,” and me to the car that waits at the curb. I greet the driver as I climb in the back.

He turns to hand me the half-caff soy latte I requested he pick up on the way, and then we’re off.
I shut my eyes and pinch the bridge of my nose. I can do this. I can do this. The set is a safe space. A safe space. This is the mantra that has worked for me for over a decade. Don’t get me wrong, acting classes and coaching help a lot too, but this was the secret my mother unlocked for me at the very beginning of it all. People respect the set and the stage. There are social rules that prevent them from mocking or laughing. The more relaxed and expressive you can be, the more people respect what you do, provided you’re inside that safe space.

Author bio:

Emily Mah Tippetts writes science fiction as Emily Mah and sweet romance as E.M. Tippetts. A lifelong New Mexican, she lives with her family in Santa Fe, though she's been known to spend years at a time in the UK, her second home. Aside from being a writer, she's been a lawyer and jeweler, and is currently a stay at home mother, polymer clay artist, book designer/formatter, and owner of E.M. Tippetts Book Designs.

Mailing list:
Twitter: (@EMTippetts)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Quantum Breach by Denver Acey

Tanner Zane is a Mormon with a secret criminal past. Nobody suspects that, before his religious conversion, Tanner hacked into thousands of computer networks across the globe. He accumulated millions of dollars from his illegal activities until a sudden, life-changing event caused him to abandon hacking and give his fortune to charity. But Tanner’s guarded past is exposed when he is kidnapped by his mysterious neighbor and forced to hack into an impossible target – Los Alamos National Labs. Inside the government facility is a prototype quantum computer that is powerful enough to crack the digital safeguards of the Internet. When Tanner learns that cyber-terrorists will use the quantum computer to commit massive identify theft and corporate espionage around the world, he deliberately engages in an intellectual battle with his captors to prevent them from obtaining the device.

Do you see the sub-title under the main title of this book?  "A Mormon Hacker Novel".  That seriously cracks me up.  Oh my.  Tanner, a Mormon with a secret...  I wish they would have gone with "The Quantum Breach" and left it at that.  Yes, the main character is a Mormon (a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) but there is no religious doctrine preached within and the whole idea of him being "Mormon" is really moot point.

Tanner is a likable, smart guy.  His past misdeeds come back to haunt him when he is kidnapped and forced to use his hacking skills again.  He does what he has to do to keep his family alive and safe but all the while he is planning and plotting.  Those kidnappers underestimated Tanner and his abilities.

What I enjoyed as a reader was that while we were following the plans and execution of the kidnappers, we always knew Tanner was up to something but we didn't know exactly what.  There were little hints and I had it mostly figured out, but not entirely.  There was just enough to make me think I was smart but not enough to give it all away.

This book had that spy, espionage feel with some action and danger.  It was completely clean, which I appreciate.  There wasn't really what I would consider romance, which was totally fine with me because this wasn't really that type of book.

I don't know if I can say I loved the eye opening insight into how easy it is for people to gather my information in this digital age.  It is scary to think how easy it is.  I think I am guilty of complacency and even a bit of ignorance when it comes to identity theft and how I put information out into the digital world.  I need to be much more careful.

Overall this was a good book and I really enjoyed reading it.  It kept my attention the whole way through.  The ending left it a bit open so I'm thinking there could be a follow up book.  I would definitely pick up another book by this author.

You can purchase "The Quantum Breach" at Amazon.

Few people understand the terrifying, yet realistic threat of computer hacking like Denver Acey. Denver has spent his entire professional career in the information technology industry where he has witnessed and even thwarted actual cybercrime. From his top-secret job working for the US government to securing computer networks at Fortune 500 companies, Denver is personally familiar with hackers and their unscrupulous activities.

But over the years, Denver has become increasingly frustrated with Hollywood's inaccurate portrayal of cybercrime. Hackers are more intelligent and more sophisticated than simple teenagers, who guzzle down Mountain Dew while playing video games. Cybercrime is a billion-dollar business that encompasses organized crime and foreign governments. For these elite hackers, the fruits of success are iconic trademarks, innovative patents, and government secrets.

Because of his unique background, Denver decided to write a book to dispel hacking myths while highlighting the tenacity of cybercriminals. Utilizing actual computer hacking concepts and scenarios that he has experienced firsthand, Denver illustrates -- in a simple way for even the non-techie to understand -- how vulnerable we all are to cybercrime.