Friday, April 18, 2014

Blog Tour: The 7-day Christian by Brad Wilcox

The 7-Day Christian: How Living Your Beliefs Every Day Can Change the World

Book Description:

Christianity is facing great opposition. At the very least, most Christians know what it is like to end up on the “wrong” side of a “politically correct” conversation. More than ever before, we need believing and behaving disciples—men and women who are ready to stand up, stand together, and change the world one righteous choice at a time.
Filled with personal experiences and heartwarming stories, this book emphasizes the importance of living in accordance with Christian values seven days a week and offers practical suggestions for how to actually pull it off. In addition to finding personal peace and having a positive impact on others, choosing to live as a daily disciple opens the door for tremendous personal development. 

 Book Review:

I will admit that I don't generally read non-fiction books. I'm a sucker for mind candy so I was a little hesitant to read The 7-day Christian. I saw that it was written by Brad Wilcox  and thought to myself "How hard can it be to read this? Brad Wilcox is super funny. I bet it is a light quick read." While Brad Wilcox's personality shines through in this book, it isn't like when he is addressing a group of teenagers. I was really surprised by the seriousness and well...the depth. There were so many things I liked about this book. I grabbed a pen and just started underlining stuff. Stuff like, "Faith is a choice we make amid alternatives, not what is left over after all competing worldviews have been neatly eliminated" or "We would be better off trying to live by God's truth instead of trying to redefine it." Or how about, "We enjoy peace when our actions agree with our values." Boy, there are so many that I could go on and on. One of my favorite parts was when he talked about the the word sincere, and how it means without wax. You'll have to read it to understand (or have the knowledge of languages that I don't have :) but it was really really good. 
Even if non-fiction isn't you thing, you may think about giving this book a shot. 

About the Author:
BRAD WILCOX has lived in Ethiopia, Chile, and New Zealand; he and his family now make their home amid the Rocky Mountains. Brad taught sixth grade before obtaining his PhD in education from the University of Wyoming. His contributions as an author and teacher have been honored by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and his work has appeared in Guideposts magazine and Reader’s Digest. He once served as a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America and has addressed thousands of youth and adults across the United State, Europe, Australia, and Japan. He and his wife, Debi, are the parents of four children.

The 7-Day Christian: How Living Your Beliefs Every Day Can Change the World 
Title: The 7-day Christian
Author: Brad Wilcox
Publisher: Shadow Mountain 
 Published: April 2014
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cover Reveal: Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things by Rachelle J. Christensen

Diamond Rings are Deadly Things by Rachelle J. Christensen

Book Description:

Adrielle Pyper knows how to plan a wedding, and she is especially good at pleasing bridezillas. But when her biggest client and best friend is murdered just three days before the wedding, Adri’s world falls apart. She moves to the resort town of Sun Valley, Idaho, and starts from scratch. Thanks to Adri’s impeccable taste and unique style, she lands two celebrity clients, and her business seems headed for success--that is, until someone vandalizes the specialty wedding dresses she imported from overseas. The race is on to uncover a secret hidden within the yards of satin and lace before Adri becomes the next victim. With a delightful blend of mystery, toe-curling kisses, humor, and spine-tingling thrills, Diamond Rings are Deadly Things is a romantic suspense novel that will keep you turning pages long into the night.


About Author Rachelle J. Christensen:

Rachelle was born and raised in a small farming town in Idaho not far from the setting of her mystery Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things. She graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in psychology.  She enjoys singing and songwriting, playing the piano, running, motivational speaking, and of course reading., Rachelle has an amazing husband and five cute kids.

Craft Website based on Rachell's new book series


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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Blog Tour: The Fortune Cafe

Review * Giveaway

Fortune Cafe Tour

The Fortune Café
a novel in three parts

MIS-FORTUNE: Emma, a waitress at The Fortune Café will do anything to avoid opening a fortune cookie. Each fortune is rumored to somehow magically come true. Being a girl grounded in reality, she doesn’t have time for that kind of nonsense. But when trying to prevent a food fight at the café, Emma accidently cracks open a fortune cookie: “Look around, love is trying to catch you.” If there is one thing that Harrison, her former best friend in high school is good at, it’s catching her unaware.    

LOVE, NOT LUCK: Lucy has always been lucky . . . until her parents meet her fiancé’s parents at a disastrous lunch at The Fortune Café, and she breaks her lucky jade necklace. Even worse, her fortune cookie reveals that “True love is for the brave, not the lucky.” How is she supposed to read that? She’s always considered it lucky how she met her fiancé. But after breaking her necklace, Lucy’s luck takes a dive. And when her fiancé dumps her, the only person she can turn to is Carter, the unluckiest guy she knows.    

TAKEOUT: Stella is content in her new life of taking over her mom’s jewelry shop. No more boyfriend to worry about, and as long as she stays busy, she doesn’t have to dwell on her non-existent love life. When Evan comes into the shop with his young daughter, Stella is charmed. But she is reluctant to complicate her straightforward life, so when she reads her fortune after ordering takeout from The Fortune Café, she completely ignores it. After all, how can a fortune as vague as “Do the thing you fear and love is certain,” apply to her?


I've enjoyed quite a few novels by the three authors who contributed to this three-part novel, so I was excited to read The Fortune Cafe. I think I was expecting more fluff-type romances (which I typically enjoy), but was surprised with the deeper, emotional situations included. These situations touched on mental illness, divorce, parenting issues, physical illness etc., and while they added depth, they weren't too intense that the stories were downers. There were plenty of light moments and humorous situations, and I enjoyed how the stories tied together. My favorite out of the three was Mis-Fortune. It had a great mix of emotions and was a good, clean read. Love, Not Luck has some swearing and innuendos, which was too bad because they distracted from an otherwise cute story. Takeout didn't spend as much time connecting to the other two stories, but had some great, selfless characters.

About the Authors:

JulieW Julie Wright started her first book when she was fifteen. She’s written over a dozen books since then, is a Whitney Award winner, and feels she’s finally getting the hang of this writing gig. She enjoys speaking to writing groups, youth groups, and schools. She loves reading, eating writing, hiking, playing on the beach with her kids, and snuggling with her husband to watch movies. Julie’s favorite thing to do is watch her husband make dinner. She hates mayonnaise, but has a healthy respect for ice cream.
MelanieJMelanie Bennett Jacobson is an avid reader, amateur cook, and champion shopper. She consumes astonishing amounts of chocolate, chick flicks, and romance novels. After meeting her husband online, she is now living happily married in Southern California with her growing family and a series of doomed houseplants. Melanie is a former English teacher and a sometime blogger who loves to laugh and make others laugh. In her down time (ha!), she writes romantic comedies and pines after beautiful shoes.
HeatherM Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author. She writes historical thrillers under the pen name H.B. Moore, her latest is Finding Sheba. Under Heather B. Moore she writes romance and women’s fiction. She’s the co-author of The Newport Ladies Book Club series. Other women’s novels include Heart of the Ocean, The Fortune Café, the Aliso Creek Series, and the Amazon bestselling Timeless Romance Anthology Series.

Blog Tour Giveaway:
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 4/30/14
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 authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Fortune CafeTitle: The Fortune Cafe
Authors: Julie Wright, Melanie Jacobson, and Heather Moore
Publisher: Mirror Press
Published: March 2014
ISBN: 1941145140
Source: I received an eCopy via the tour host in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Blog Tour: Righting a Wrong (Ripple Effect #3)

Review * Giveaway
Righting a wrong

Righting a Wrong by Rachael Anderson

Book Description:

Seven years ago, Cambri Blaine fled her small hometown of Bridger, Colorado after her senior year ended in a fiasco. Only Jace Sutton knew the real reason why—that she was a spineless coward. Now, seven years later, her father's been in an accident and needs help, and Cambri has no choice but to return home. So with trepidation, she takes a leave of absence from the landscape architecture firm where she works and boards a plane, hoping against hope that Jace is no longer around and that the past can stay where it belongs—in the past. If only life worked that way. Jace never expected to see Cambri again. After she’d led him on, bruised his heart, and left town without a backward glance, he was forced to pick up the pieces and try not to hate her for it. Eventually, he put it behind him and moved on, creating a life for himself in his beloved hometown. But now that Cambri is back and looking more beautiful and sophisticated than ever, some of those old feelings resurface, and Jace instinctively knows, for the sake of his heart, that he needs to avoid her at all costs. If only it were that easy.

Andrea's Review:

This is a sweet and clean romance. I like the small town setting and was happy to learn the details about Jace that I hoped to know from book two. Part of me didn't like him in book two because Eden deserved so much more, but it was great to be able to understand why he was that way. He was quite likable in this book, along with the other characters. Will the next book be about his sister, Lydia? Fun series so far. I have enjoyed the character connections, and also that these can be standalone.

Tarah's Review:

This has been my favorite story so far in the Ripple Effect series. I didn't understand Jace in the last book, but he was intriguing so I was really happy to see his story in this book. I haven't found a story from Rachael Anderson that I haven't liked, and this was par for course. I liked Cambri's relationship with her father at the end, and I just really liked Jace. What a great guy! I'm the type of person that really likes to know more about each character so I've really been enjoying this series. Great clean romance. 

About the Author:

RachaelA USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

Updated Ripple Effect
The Ripple Effect Romance Novella Series  

Enjoy this exciting new series of clean novellas by six critically-acclaimed authors. "Like a pebble tossed into calm water, a simple act can ripple outward and have a far-reaching effect on those we meet, perhaps setting a life on a different course—one filled with excitement, adventure, and sometimes even love." Book 1: Home Matters by Julie N. Ford Book 2: Silver Linings by Kaylee Baldwin Book 3: Righting A Wrong by Rachael Anderson Book 4: Lost and Found by Karey White Book 5: Second Chances 101 by Donna K. Weaver Book 6: Immersed by Jennifer Griffith

Tour Giveaway:

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 4/28/14
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Title: Righting a Wrong
Author: Rachael Anderson
Publisher: HEA Publishing
Published: February 2014
Source: I received an eCopy via the tour host in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Amazon | Amazon Kindle Kobo | Barnes & Noble

Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Review: Chances Are by Traci Hunter Abramson

Chances Are

Book Description

Maya Gupta is a survivor. After escaping an impending arranged marriage in India as a teenager, she has thrived in America. But now she faces her greatest challenge yet—cancer has invaded her life, and unless she finds a way to participate in a clinical trial in Washington, DC, this may be one battle she loses. When Maya’s best friend Kari offers Maya the lifeline of a place to stay—her brother’s currently vacant DC apartment—the young woman eagerly accepts and goes to meet her fate . . .

Ben Evans’s plans have changed, and he’s heading home for some much-needed rest and relaxation during his off-season in the major leagues. Upon arriving at his DC apartment, however, Ben is shocked to find Maya—his sister’s friend, who he hardly knows—in residence. He soon finds himself trapped between protecting his above-reproach reputation and searching for a way to help a woman he is coming to admire. When Maya’s fight to survive her disease becomes more complicated than ever, she and Ben scheme an extreme solution to her predicament that tests to what lengths they’re willing to go together to save Maya’s life

Book Review

 Wow! This book was not what I was expecting, at all. I really enjoy Abramson's books, so I was excited to see a new one come out. When baseball was mentioned I really expected characters from her other books to pop up, but not one did. I also kept expecting something LDS to show up, and apart from a few references about prayer, religion wasn't apart of this book at all. While I'm a fan of her writing, and her other stories, this one was just....refreshing. If you are an established LDS author and wanting to break out into a non-LDS market, this is how it should be done. No need to add swearing or sex. This was a great story and a sweet romance. I can't wait to add it to my collection.

Chances Are 
 Title: Chances Are
Author: Traci Hunter Abramson
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Published: March 2014
FTC FYI: I received a eCopy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Cover Reveal: Missing Lily by Annette K. Larsen

Coming May 15th
missing lily 
Missing Lily by Annette K. Larsen  

“You don’t know who I am,” I whispered. He didn’t move—either away from me, or closer—and after an interminable moment, I stepped back and hurried out of the house. He didn’t follow me as I fled into the night. Lylin was not used to being alone—much less alone, hurt, and lost. So when she is separated from her guard and forced to abandon her horse, she counts herself lucky to stumble upon a manor house. Still frightened by those who chased her into the night, she keeps her identity a secret, calling herself Lily as she accepts the help of kind servants, and the compassion of Lord Fallon. When they fall into an easy friendship, she wonders if her secrecy was too hasty. However, as she gets to know the manor and its residents, Lylin discovers that she’s not the only one hiding secrets, and it may be a very good thing that her host doesn’t know her true identity as a member of the royal family.
add to goodreads  
Author Annette K. Larsen:

Annette I was born in Utah, part of a crazy, fun family of nine. I grew up in Flagstaff, AZ and St. Louis, MO before striking out on my own college adventure in Virginia. I decided to try my hand at writing novels after I was married and living in Idaho. I write clean romance because it’s my favorite genre, but often difficult to find.

I have Charlotte Brontë to thank for the courage to write novels. After being bombarded with assigned reading about women who justified abandoning either their families or their principles in the name of love, I had the great fortune of reading Jane Eyre. And that was it: finally, a heroine who understood that being moral and making the right choice was hard, and sometimes it hurt, but it was still worth it. After rereading it several years later, I realized that if I wanted more books to exist with the kinds of heroines I admired, then I might as well write a few myself. My books are about women who face hard choices, who face pain and rejection and often have to face the reality of sacrificing what they want for what is right. The consequences are often difficult or unpleasant, but in the end, doing what’s right will always be worth it. I believe there is no substitute for good writing or good chocolate. Fortunately, one often leads to the other.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Blog Tour: The Sacrament by John Bytheway

The Sacrament by John Bytheway
Illustrated by Nathan Pinnock

Book Description:

For years, John has used a poem during fireside talks to help LDS families understand the importance of the sacrament. With full-color illustrations by Nathan Pinnock, The Sacrament will help children of all ages understand what they should be thinking about during this sacred ordinance. John shares the story of a boy and his grandfather and the memory the grandfather shares with his grandson regarding the lesson he learned about the sacrament when he was a young boy.

Ideal for children from three to twelve and a perfect baptism gift.

This is an excellent children's book! John Bytheway's story is such a great reminder about why members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints take the sacrament on a weekly basis. I love the lesson the grandfather taught about focusing on what is important, and not getting distracted by everything else around us during this sacred time each week. I also really liked the section at the end that tells about the symbols of the sacrament. It is so important to understand why we do things, and this book is a great way to help teach/remind our children about what the sacrament is all about.

About the Author:

John Bytheway served a mission to the Philippines and later graduated from Brigham Young University. A favorite speaker and teacher, John holds a master’s degree in religious education and is a part-time instructor at BYU. John is the author of many bestselling books and audio products. He and his wife, Kimberly, have six children.

Title: The Sacrament
Author: John Bytheway
Publisher: Deseret Book Company
Published: April 2014
ISBN: 1609077903
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review.
Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book