Monday, October 20, 2014

Book Review: Petticoat Detective by Margaret Brownley

Book Description:

Pinkerton detective Jennifer Layne is no stranger to undercover work. But posing as a lady companion named Amy at Miss Lillian’s Parlor House and Boots is a first for her. She’s finally landed a high-profile case and is on the trail of the notorious Gunnysack Bandit, when one of Miss Lillian’s girls essential to her investigation meets an untimely demise. Only a handful of people are in the house at the time of her death, including handsome Tom Colton, a former Texas Ranger determined to clear his brother’s name. Amy has many reasons to suspect Tom of murder—and one very personal reason to hope that she’s wrong about him.

Book Review:

Nothing about this book screamed, "This is different!" but it was an entertaining read never-the-less. It was predicable, but sometimes that isn't necessarily a bad thing. If you like Old West novels, this would be right up your alley. The heroine is spunky and fun (although I never am really convinced that she's all that great of a detective), and the hero is just what he should be. Throw in funny store names that sell multiple things (seriously, they were funny) and ladies of the night who learn to shoot guns and throw shoes, you are in for a good time. The ending was a little cheesy, but it makes you smile anyway.

Title: Petticoat Detective
Author: Margaret Brownley
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Published: December 2014
ISBN: 9781628366266
Source: I received an eCopy from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Book Review: The Heart's Pursuit by Robin Lee Hatcher

The Heart's Pursuit

Book Description:

A jilted bride desperate to save her family from ruin.
A bounty hunter seeking vengeance for a ravaged past.
An arduous trek toward justice—or redemption.

Silver Matlock and Jared Newman know traveling together is a bad idea. Bad for Silver’s already tarnished reputation in her small Colorado town. Bad for bounty hunter Jared’s secret, single-minded mission for revenge. But Silver is determined to track down the rogue who left her at the altar and stole the last remnant of her father’s fortune. And Jared’s in a hurry to hunt down the murderer who destroyed his family—even if Silver is too distractingly beautiful for comfort.

The pair takes off over mountain and desert, past bleak homesteads and raw mining towns, hot on the trail of the two villains who took what wasn’t theirs to take. Soon supplies dwindle, secrets emerge, and suspicion leave Silver and Jared at odds when they need each other most. To confront an enemy deadlier than desert rattlesnakes and rocky cliffs, Silver and Jared must learn to forgive and trust and face the question they haven’t dared voice: What happens next?

Book Review:

I'll was the cover that caught my attention. What? That sounds like a broken record? Well, it's totally true. Then I apparently have a thing for the Wild West (although, I'm soooo glad I didn't live back wouldn't have been a good time period for me). Anyway, I was immediately caught up in this book. I enjoyed Silver and Jared immensely. They seemed very real to me. Their actions, their thoughts, their behavior....all of it was well written and captivating.  I even enjoyed the last cheesy line in the book :) Oooo, and you know how I have a weird thing about names? I really really liked Silver's name, which is odd for me, but it just fit her personality and the book and everything.

There were a few things that I would have liked more of an explanation about. One was the bit with the hair (you'll know immediately when you read the book) Why? And what did he do with it? It wasn't a big thing, but it got me curious and then that curiosity wasn't satisfied. I think I also wanted more with the step mom. Maybe for her to realize she was wrong? I don't know. It definitely wasn't needed in the story, but I do like my happy endings :) The biggest thing for me was that Jared kept referring to his horse, "breaking down". I don't know, that seems like a car to me, not a horse. But I did ask my husband about it (seeing how he has more horse experience than I do) and he said that it was a proper was to say that. Go figure. I still would have like "foundered" or "wore out" better, but now I'm just getting nit picky.

I would definitely recommend this book to my friends and complete strangers (if I happened to be talking to a complete stranger about books...Hello Complete Stranger!). It was clean, funny, moving, and well written. I would buy a copy, reread it again, and look for more from this author.

The Heart's Pursuit
Title: The Heart's Pursuit
Author: Robin Lee Hatcher
Publisher: Zondervan
Published: May 2014
ISBN:  0310259274
Source: I received an eCopy from Netgalley in exchange for a review.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Book Review: Nowhere to Turn by Lynette Eason

Book Description:

The day Danielle Harding takes her 11-year-old son, Simon, and flees from her abusive husband, is the same day Kurt Harding dies. A relieved Dani believes she and her son are finally safe--but in reality, the danger has just begun. When Kurt was alive, he took something important to a mysterious person. That person wants the item back and believes Dani now has it. As she and her son run for their lives, they have nowhere to turn, until she hires Adam Buchanan of Operation Refuge and goes into hiding. Unfortunately, she won't be able to hide for long . . .

From the first breathless scene, this tension-laced story will hold readers in its iron grip. Bestselling author Lynette Eason propels readers along at a breakneck pace in a race to discover the truth and a better future.

Book Review:

This is a book two and the first I've read in this particular series. The good news is that it didn't make a huge difference, and could be read as stand-alone title. The bad news is that I thought it was part of a different series and I was completely confused until I realized the series I thought it belonged to is from a different author. So, as long as you don't make that mistake (trying to put books together that really don't go together) you will be fine :)

I appreciated the suspense of the novel. I got half the bad guys right :) It seemed a little over kill that there were so many bad guys, but it didn't keep me from enjoying the book. I also appreciated a good clean novel. There is violence, but not graphic. There is no swearing (that I can recall off the top of my head, and swearing usually really bugs me so I remember it), and the romance that took place was believable. It may not be Eason's best novel, but it was entertaining and I don't feel like I wasted my time reading it.

Title: Nowhere to Turn
Author: Lynette Eason
Publisher: Revell
Published: September 2014
ISBN: 9780800722098
Source: I received an eCopy from NetGalley in exchange for a review.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

DVD Spotlight: Saints and Soliders: The Void

Spotlight * Giveaway

 Saints and Soldiers: The Void
Now Available on DVD

Amazon | Deseret Book

Plot Summary:

Germany, May 1945, the twilight of WWII. On a final mission deep in the Harz mountains a U.S. tank crew discovers a platoon of Germans, including three infamous Panzer tanks, preparing to ambush allied supply trucks.

Before the war, Sergeant Jesse Owens, was a product of segregation and racial discrimination. Forced by law to ride in the back of the bus and disenfranchised from the political process. As the Germans bear down on the Americans, Owens fights the Axis powers for a freedom he and his fellow African American soldiers have never felt.

With a deadly game of cat and mouse quickly unfolding, Owens and his predominantly white tank crew find themselves out-gunned and out-manned by the German Panzer tanks. Several in Owens’ crew are reluctant to put their faith in a black tank driver despite their dire circumstances. With tension and fear beginning to manifest Owens knows they must put aside their differences to stop the enemy from their deadly plan. Knowing that a victory over the Nazis means a victory for racial justice, Owens and his men find a way to work together to save hundreds of lives in a desperate battle against the greatest odds they have ever faced.



One Literary Time Out follower will win Saints and Soliders: The Void on DVD. Enter to win via the Rafflecopter below.
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Blog Tour: Remake by Ilima Todd


Remake by Ilima Todd

Book Description:

Nine is the ninth female born in her batch of ten females and ten males. By design, her life in Freedom Province is without complications or consequences. However, such freedom comes with a price. The Prime Maker is determined to keep that price a secret from the new batches of citizens that are born, nurtured, and raised androgynously.

But Nine isn’t like every other batcher. She harbors indecision and worries about her upcoming Remake Day—her seventeenth birthday, the age when batchers fly to the Remake facility and have the freedom to choose who and what they’ll be.

When Nine discovers the truth about life outside of Freedom Province, including the secret plan of the Prime Maker, she is pulled between two worlds and two lives. Her decisions will test her courage, her heart, and her beliefs. Who can she trust? Who does she love? And most importantly, who will she decide to be?


Remake by Ilima Todd is a very intriguing story. The way of life depicted in this futuristic setting was insane! I had a hard time with the idea of gender not meaning anything-in fact, the idea sort of had me hung up for awhile. But, there is so much more to the story.

I really enjoyed following Nine on her journey. Experiencing so many things for the first time was almost magical. I love how her character developed, and what came to really matter to her. Especially the true idea of freedom, and the huge importance of family-something that was foreign to her being raised in Freedom Province.

The ending was well done. Of course, I wanted more, but it didn't leave me totally hanging, and I felt like it set up the next book quite well.

Ilima Todd did an excellent job with this debut novel. She's definitely an author to watch for.

About the Author: 

Ilima Todd was born and raised on the north shore of Oahu and currently resides in the Rocky Mountains. She never wanted to be a writer even though she loves books and reading. She earned a degree in physics instead. But the characters in her head refused to be ignored, and now she spends her time writing science fiction for teens. When she is not writing, Ilima loves to spend time with her husband and four children.

Tour Giveaway:

Publisher Shadow Mountain has four signed copies of Remake up for grabs. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

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Title: Remake
Author: Ilima Todd
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Published: October 2014
ISBN: 1609079248
Source: I received an advanced reader's edition from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble

Monday, October 13, 2014

Book Reveiw: Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door by Denette Fretz, illustrated by Gene Barretta

Book Description:

I hear that becoming a cowboy can be dangerous. Especially if you don't know the rules.
I don’t know the rules.”
It’s a good thing Conrad brought his Mega Ultimate Extreme First Aid Kit to Uncle Clint’s ranch because learning how to be a cowboy turns out to be a lot harder—and more painful—than he thought. Conrad has a lot to learn – including don’t squat with spurs on and never wave your red sweatshirt at a bull. But the biggest challenge of all is dealing with Imogene Louise Lathrup, the know-it-all-cowgirl next door. When Imogene shows up, she is all too happy to point out Conrad’s shortcomings. In this follow-up to their debut hit Pirates on the Farm, author Denette Fretz and illustrator Gene Barretta team up once again to tell a humorous tale about what it means to love your neighbor.


Book Review:

I love a good children's book. Especially one that all of my children (from 9-1) will sit down and listen to (okay, not necessarily the 1 yr. old...but she sits for a little while). Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door is one of those books.  It has bright colorful pictures that are fun to look at, and they tell half the story. The language is fun and entertaining. Some of my kids favorite parts of the story were Conrads "Mega Ultimate Extreme First Aid Kid" and the part about not squatting with your spurs on :) As a parent, I liked the message about forgiveness, especially to those people who bug/hurt us the most. I'm not entirely sure that my children got that message though. They said that the most important thing was learning what the rules were and following them so you didn't get hurt...which, as a parent I approve of that too.  I guess this book is part of a series, but you can definitely read it as a stand alone. Knowing there are more to these books, it definitely makes me want to check out the rest and see if I liked them as much as I liked this one.
I think this is a book my kids will read again and again. I'm even thinking of reading it to the kids who come to story time at the library when we do our Cowboy theme.

Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door
Title: Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door
Author: Denette Fretz, illustrated by Gene Barretta
Publisher: Zonderkids
Published: September 2014
ISBN: 0310723493
Source: I received a copy from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for a review.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Blog Tour: Sophia by Paula Kremser


Book Description:

Small-town Sophia Spencer can’t believe her luck when an unexpected inheritance allows her to experience London’s social scene. But her happiness disappears when she is caught napping in a grumpy gentleman’s room—and forced into an engagement to protect her reputation! Personalities collide and love blooms in this stunning debut novel.

Book Review:

I was pulled into this book right away, but oddly enough, not because I liked Sophia. I kind of found her spoiled, selfish, and immature. However, by the end of the book I liked her a lot better. She grew a lot in this novel.  I enjoyed Alex a lot in this novel. His actions made sense, even if I didn't agree with all of them.

No matter how many regency books I read it just kills me how strict they were with certain things (and all with the problems for the men).

This book was interesting to me because even though the "bad guy" isn't hard to figure out, it's the "why" that gets you. I spend a lot of energy trying to figure out why in the world this was set up the way it was :)

If you are looking for a quick (it was only about 200 pages) light, clean, regency era romance, Sophia is worth the few hours it will take you to read it.

Title: Sophia
Author: Paula Kermser
Publisher: Cedar Fort Publishing
Published: October 2014
ISBN: 1462114822
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review.