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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Appalachian Serenade by Sarah Loudin Thomas

Appalachian Serenade (Appalachian Blessings, #.5)

Book Description:

Delilah Morrissey has always wanted to be a mother, but when she becomes a young widow, that dream now seems farther away than ever. Unable to continue to live alone in Chicago, her only option is to accept her sister's offer to move in with her family back in West Virginia. Will Delilah have the faith to pursue a new dream--even if it means giving up the old?

In this charming novella, debut novelist Sarah Loudin Thomas introduces readers to Wise, West Virginia--a small town nestled in an Appalachian valley where the everyday miracles of life and faith play out in stories of healing, hope, and love.


Book Review:

I really admired Delilah's spunk in this novel. She was used to doing things for herself and even when hard times hit, she just kept plugging away. It's an interesting time period that this novel is set in, and it was not my typical novel, so that was new and fun for me to read about.

Delilah has a knack for knowing what people want before they ask her for something. I appreciated how this knack wasn't overdone and made to seem realistic.

Robert is really nice and friendly, but sometimes he just seemed a little goofy to me. He was really sweet at the end of the novella though.

All in all it's kind of a forgettable story. It was well written and a quick read, but thinking back on it I'm struggling to remember any kind of details (except the donkey she named Pauline...that was fun). I probably won't pick this up to read again.

Appalachian Serenade (Appalachian Blessings, #.5)

Title: Appalachian Serenade
Author: Sarah Loudin Thomas
Publisher: Bethany House
Published: June 2014
ASIN: B00KQSIDJ8 
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Hope at Dawn by Stacy Henrie

Hope at Dawn (Of Love and War, #1)

Book Description:

In a Time of War, Love is the Inspiration.

With her brothers away fighting the Great War overseas, Livy Campbell desperately wants to help her family. Her chance comes when she meets a handsome stranger who lands her a job as a teacher in a place far from her parents' farm. But the war casts a long shadow over the German-American town that Livy now calls home—and the darkness will test everything she thought she knew about family and love . . .

More than anything, Friedrick Wagner wants to be part of his adopted country's struggle for peace. But when the bitter animosity between Germans and Americans soon turns citizens against newcomers, friend against friend, he will do whatever it takes to protect Livy from the hysteria that grips their town. As tragedy—and dark secrets from the past—threaten their future, Friedrick and Livy have one chance to stand up for what's right . . . and one chance to fight for their love.

Book Review:

I was really excited to read this book, but with everything that has been happening it took me forever to actually read it. It was worth the wait though. I don't know if "Gripping" is the right word to describe this, but it was written in such a way to make to take a good look at myself and my own prejudices.  Livy has to do that too, and she doesn't think she has any prejudices until they are brought up right in front of her. It's horrifying to realize that people can treat others in such a horrible manner.

I think the historical part of this book was what I loved the most. Although, each character finding their own way was inspiring too. Good questions come up about when it's time to take a stand and when it's time to turn the other cheek.

Maybe, "Thought-provoking" would be the best way to describe this novel. If you like historical fiction I would definitely put this one on your list.


Hope at Dawn (Of Love and War, #1)
Title: Hope at Dawn
Author: Stacy Henrie
Publisher: Forever
Published: June 2014
ISBN: 1455598801
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Book Blast: Son of War, Daughter of Chaos by Janette Rallison

Son of War

Son of War, Daughter of Chaos

Aislynn is accustomed to watching for the enemy. Her parents instructed her from the time she was young to look for the signs: people with greater than normal strength, eyes that can glow green, and have the ability to jump long distances. Over the years, Aislynn has come to view her parents’ fears as quirks—things that get in the way of having a normal high school life. When Aislynn’s mother dies under suspicious conditions, her father doubles his restrictions. But all his precautions can’t stop the boy with glowing green eyes from finding Aislynn. She realizes too late she’s been drafted into an ancient Egyptian war, whether she’s prepared or not.  
 

Son of War Daughter of Chaos Blog Tour 


Janette RallisonAuthor Janette Rallison Janette Rallison is old. Don’t ask how old, because it isn’t polite. Let’s just say she’s older than she’d like to be and leave it at that. Janette lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, five children and enough cats to classify her as “an eccentric cat lady.” She did not do this on purpose. (The cats, that is; she had the children on purpose.) Every single one of the felines showed up on its own and refuses to leave. Not even the family’s fearless little Westie dog can drive them off. Since Janette has five children and deadlines to write books, she doesn’t have much time left over for hobbies. But since this is the internet and you can’t actually check up to see if anything on this site is true, let’s just say she enjoys dancing, scuba diving, horse back riding and long talks with Orlando Bloom. (Well, I never said he answers back.)


book blast button Blast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 8/17/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 18, 2014

Box Set CD Review: Missionary Collection by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir



Description:

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.
PRAISE TO THE MAN
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
Adam-ondi-Ahman
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
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
TEACH ME TO WALK IN THE LIGHT
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
Faith
Holding Hands around the World
When He Comes Again
I Am a Child of God
THIS IS THE CHRIST
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

Rorie's Review:

My sister gave me these CD's and I thought they would be perfect to listen to on the long drive home. I put in "Teach Me to Walk in the Light," thinking my kids would enjoy hearing songs that they know. Sadly, my kids were not in the mood to listen to music, so they complained the whole time it was on. Also, the CD seemed to be really quiet in my car - not sure if it's my sound system or what, but even after turning it up a lot, I still struggled to hear it.

I gave the CD's another try this past Sunday morning before church with much more success. We were able to listen to all 4 of them and the songs helped keep the Sabbath spirit in our home. 

My favorite CD is probably "Called to Serve" because I tend to gravitate towards the more upbeat songs, but all of the songs were enjoyable. I look forward to listening to these CD's many more times.

Purchase: Deseret Book | Amazon

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cookbook Review: One Dirty Bowl: Fast Baking, Faster Cleanup by Christina Dymock


One Dirty Bowl: Fast Baking, Faster Cleanup by Christina Dymock

Purchase: Amazon

Book Description:

One Dirty Bowl: Fast Baking, Faster Cleanup is a cookbook with a twist. Another fabulous frolic into the world of food by author Christina Dymock, One Dirty Bowl was designed to appeal to time-strapped dessert lovers (and isn't that almost all of us?) One Dirty Bowl features over 70 delightful, time-saving recipes that can be created with just one bowl. Desserts such as: Chocolate Cake to the Third Power-a three layer/three flavor cake, Cheesecake Sundaes, Turtle Bites, Inside-Out Pumpkin Smore Cupcakes, and Peanut Butter Truffle Bars can be whipped up to perfection in just minutes. Yum!

Baking doesn't have to take all day or make a mess in the kitchen. With One Dirty Bowl: Fast Baking, Faster Cleanup, you'll have the recipes and easy-to-follow instructions to help you make show-stopping from-scratch desserts in no time. All you need is a little time and one bowl! And, since you'll only have one bowl to clean, you'll use these recipes over and over again.

Rorie's Review:

I always love to try new dessert recipes, especially if they're easy. My kids and I have tried 4 recipes from this book so far and all of them have been easy and yummy. The No Bake Peanut Butter Bars were easily the favorite - we've made them two times already. Part of the reason why I don't like cooking is due to the clean up afterward, so I was very happy that these recipes did only dirty one bowl, as promised. 

About the Author:

Christina Dymock graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor's degree in public relations. She has been published in Woman's World Magazine and in several Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She is also the author of101 Things to Do with PopcornYoung Chefs: Cooking Skills & Recipes for Kids, and The Hungry Family Slow Cooker Cookbook. She resides in central Utah with her husband and four children.You can follow their cooking adventures at: TheHungryFamilyatHome.com

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Blog Tour: 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 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.

Review:

I started following Rachelle a few years ago, and when I heard she had a new romantic suspense novel coming out, I was excited to read it. The title caught my attention, and the setting is one I've visited-two aspects that always make a novel that much more enjoyable for me.

I'm not particularly crafty and found myself a bit impatient for the resolution of the mystery during some parts focused on crafts, but I think those aspects of the book (including the tips from Rachelle's real website) will appeal to a lot of people (the promotion of her site was a little odd to me, but the tips are a great fit for the crafty aspects of the story).

Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things is a good mystery that kept me guessing. Was it the jewelry store owner? The delivery man? I suspected quite a few of the characters, and appreciated the twists.

If you are looking for a clean, romantic suspense novel, be sure to check out Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things.

About the Author:

Rachelle J. Christensen 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, five cute kids, three cats and five chickens.




Title: Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things
Author: Rachelle J. Christensen
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Published: July 2014
ISBN: 1609078616
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Deseret Book


Tour Giveaway:
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Book Blast: The Husband Maker by Karey White

The Husband Maker by Karey White

The Husband Maker by Karey White 

Book Description:

Charlotte’s a girl with nicknames. She may not love being called Charles or Chuck, but the hardest nickname to take is the one she was given in college, the one that’s followed her now for too many years. They call her “the husband maker” and sadly, it fits. Every guy she’s dated since high school has become his next girlfriend’s husband. Not hers. Not three girlfriends down the road. The next. Is she doing something wrong or is she just cursed? When Kyle Aldsworth enters the picture and sweeps her off her feet, Charlotte begins to hope that maybe she's not destined to be single forever. A senator’s son with political aspirations of his own, Kyle's wealthy, handsome, and in need of a wife. Will Charlotte be disappointed yet again, or will she finally be able to make a husband for herself?

Get your copy of The Husband Maker for just $3.99!

Excerpt:

I’d always heard the view from Top of the Mark was exceptional. When San Francisco Life listed the top ten places to view the skyline at night, Top of the Mark was ranked number three, so when the invitation to Harrison’s wedding arrived, I finally had an excuse to take in the view for myself.
Stupid, stupid me. I should have taken a cab up the steep hills to 999 California Street, hopped on the elevator to the nineteenth floor, and looked out the windows. I could have come with or without makeup, and I could have worn jeans and a t-shirt. If I’d brought Mia or Aleena with me, we could have had a nice dinner or dessert. If I’d brought Angus, we could have had both. Since Top of the Mark was built at the crest of Nob Hill, I could have snapped a jaw-dropping photo or two with my iPhone and made the sparkling skyline my screen saver.

But no. I had to come see it on the night my old boyfriend was marrying a 49ers cheerleader named Nicki, who’d had more remodeling than an episode of Property Brothers. She looked like a Who’s Who of Hollywood parts—Scarlett’s nose, Angelina’s lips, and Kim’s cheekbones. Her bias-cut dress clung to her other (ahem) purchased body parts and made me feel very un-girly in comparison.
“Nicki, this is Charlotte.” Harrison looked me level in the eye, and for the first time all evening, I felt an inch of relief that things hadn’t worked out between us. Five-eleven is pretty average for a guy, and Harrison towered over Nicki, even in her stilettos. But the only way he’d ever have been able to look down at me the way he’d looked down at Nicki when they’d exchanged their vows was if he’d stood on a stool. I know it’s not important, and it makes me sound completely shallow, but I read a romance once where the leading man “gazed down at his true love with tender eyes.” Someday, I’d like a guy to gaze down at me with tender eyes. And I’d rather not have to be standing in a hole for that to happen.

“It’s fabulous to finally meet you.” Nicki’s voice was chirpy, and her lips didn’t move quite right. “I want to thank you for breaking his heart”—she puckered up and baby-talked—“so I could put it back together.” She pulled him down by his tuxedo lapel to kiss his cheek, then wiped the red smear away with her acrylic-nailed thumb.

Well, this was awkward. And I wasn’t the only one feeling it. Harrison’s eyes begged me not to set the record straight.

You see, Harrison had broken up with me. “I’m not ready for the whole settling down with one woman thing,” he’d said four short months ago. “You’re ready to get married, and I won’t be ready for that scene for years.”

Maybe he’d meant dog years.

“Congratulations, you two. You make a much better couple than we ever did,” I said, although it stung to admit it.

“Did Will come? I saw Angus a little while ago,” Harrison said. Will is my twin brother. No, his name is not Wilbur, although we’ve been asked if our parents had a thing for Charlotte’s Web more times than I can count. His name is William, and he’s the reason I ended up dating Harrison in the first place.

Our families lived on the same street in Fairfield, but I barely remembered Harrison, who was two years older than us. Nearly a year ago, Will and Harrison had been at the same concert, and Harrison had asked Will if his little sister was still available. Will wasn’t sure if he meant me or McKayla, but since McKayla was already married, he gave Harrison my number. On our first date, Harrison admitted he hadn’t been asking about me, but he was decent enough to say he was glad for the mix-up. And the rest is history.

A short and tragic history, but history nonetheless.

“Will and his wife are in D.C. right now interviewing.” I stepped on my tiptoes and scanned the room over the groom’s head. “I didn’t know Angus was here.”

“I talked to him earlier, but he might have left already,” Harrison said.

“Aaahhh!”

I nearly knocked over a waiter as I jumped away from Nicki’s scream. “Look, Kitten. It’s Baxter Kensington. I didn’t think he’d actually come.”

Kitten? Did she really call him that? Harrison’s red face confirmed that yes, she had. “He plays for the 49ers,” he explained, and I nodded.

“I’d better go and make room for the celebrities,” I said, and Harrison grinned. He’d always appreciated my sarcasm, and his cute grin jabbed at my not-quite-healed heart.

“Thanks for coming.” He pulled me into a hug while his bride arranged her dress to best flatter her cleavage and patted the sides of her platinum fauxhawk. “Are things good with us?” he said quietly in my ear.

I pulled away. “Oh sure.”

“I was worried—”

“Nothing to worry about. Go. Be happy.”

“Thanks, Charlotte.”

I turned away, my eyes stinging, and nearly barreled into one of the most stunning specimens of athleticism I’d ever seen. His pale yellow shirt and silvery gray suit contrasted beautifully with his dark skin. No wonder the bride was swooning about someone other than the groom. Poor Harrison looked like a little boy in comparison.

Ah, one of the hazards of marrying a cheerleader.

Through slightly blurred vision, I saw Harrison put his arm around Nicki. Not too long ago, I’d thought that would be me, though the venue and guest list would have been drastically different.



Husband Maker Tour


About the Author:

Karey WhiteKarey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist. She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.
 



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$75 Book Blast Giveaway:

$75 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 8/8/14
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 

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