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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Book Blast: Thirty-Two Going On Spinster by Becky Monson

thirty two


Thirty-Two Going on Spinster by Becky Monson

Book Description:


Julia Dorning is a spinster, or at least on the road to becoming one. She has no social life, hates her job, and lives in her parent’s basement with her cat, Charlie.

With the arrival of Jared Moody, the new hire at work, Julia’s mundane life is suddenly turned upside down. Her instant (and totally ridiculous) crush on the new guy causes Julia to finally make some long-overdue changes, in hopes to find a life that includes more than baking and hanging out with Charlie.

But when the biggest and most unexpected change comes, will the new and improved Julia be able to overcome it? Or will she go back to her spinster ways?

Purchase your copy for just $2.99!!

Praise for Thirty-Two Going on... Spinster: 

"Oh my, oh my. I have just finished wiping the tears of laughter from my eyes. This is seriously funny." ~Julie Darley (Never judge a Book by its Movie)

"This was a refreshing change of pace for me to read. Some good clean romance was found in it’s pages and that is a rare find these days. It was some great chick-lit. I would not have thought this was Becky’s debut book, it was so well done." ~Liberty Ann (SnifferWalkBooks) 

About the Author:

Becky MonsonBy day, Becky Monson is a mother of three young children, and a wife. By night, she escapes with reading books and writing. In her debut novel, Becky uses humor and true-life experiences to bring her characters to life. She loves all things chick-lit (movies, books, etc), and wishes she had a British accent. She has recently given up Diet Coke for the fiftieth time and is hopeful time will last... But it probably won't. Becky runs a large book club on Facebook called "This Chick Reads".
  
   

BookBlast Giveaway:

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 9/30/14
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 author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  
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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Book Review: Firewall by DiAnn Mills

Firewall (FBI: Houston, #1)

Book Description:

After a whirlwind romance, Taryn Young is preparing to board a plane at Houston International Airport, bound for a dream honeymoon, when a bomb decimates the terminal. Injured but still alive, she awakens to discover her husband is missing and they're both considered prime suspects in the attack. Further, the FBI is convinced her husband isn't who he appears to be. Agent Grayson Hall's number-one priority is to catch those responsible for the day's act of terror. All evidence is pointing to Taryn and her new husband. But his instinct tells him her pleas of innocence are genuine. Is her naivete just for show, or could she truly be another victim of a master scheme, possibly linked to the software she recently developed for her company? With both their lives and reputations on the line, and the media outcry for justice increasing with each passing minute, Taryn and Grayson have no choice but to trust one another . . . and pray they can uncover the truth before they become two more casualties.

Book Review:

After reading so many disappointing Christian Suspense novels I hesitated to read this one, but this is exactly what I want when I read these! There was action, and suspense, and yes, romance thrown in. But it was tasteful and realistic romance. I was worried a bit about how the romance was going to go, and I can't say much without spoiling somethings, so I'll just say that it was satisfying and believable.

Taryn is strong and smart. It was fun to go through the story with her as she learns to trust those around her, when trust isn't her first instinct.

Grayson is what the male lead should be, and paired with his uncle they make a great duo.

For as many bad guys that were in this story, it was easy to keep track of everyone and I didn't get lost, so that was nice. I will say that when the story changes to one of the "bad guys" point-of-view I didn't like the writing style with that. It didn't seem to flow well with the rest of the story.

Content wise it is a clean romance/suspense novel that has a Christian theme. There is violence and blood. I don't remember any swearing, and there is no sex either. This was a good clean novel.


Title: Firewall
Author: DiAnn Mills
Publisher: Tyndale House
Published: June 2014
ISBN: 9781414389936
Source: I received an eCpy from Netgalley in exchange for a review.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Book Review: The 2 minute Marriage Project by Heidi Poelman



The Two-Minute Marriage Project: Simple Secrets for Staying in Love

Book Description:


Marry the one you love and love the one you marry. It sounds simple enough. But staying in love turns out to be a whole lot different than falling in love. In a world of constant distraction, marriage experts agree that the little things matter a lot. "The Two-Minute Marriage Project" explores the little things couples think, say, and do to stay in love for the long haul. Supported by expert studies, interviews with happily married couples, and years of personal experience, author Heidi Poelman shares the simple secrets that keep love alive. Whether it s choosing an attitude of gratitude, leaving a love note, giving a welcome-home hug at the door, or calling just to say hello, "The Two-Minute Marriage Project" is full of simple ways to love the one you married, two minutes at a time."

Book Review:

I think by now it is commonly known that I generally avoid books that are not "mind-candy".  However, once in awhile one will catch my eye and I think, "I could probably read that." The 2-Minute Marriage Project was one of those books for me. I love this kind of stuff. My marriage is the most important relationship I have so I should do all I can to make it a good one, right? Plus, this is communication stuff, and since that was my major in college I get a little giddy about that as well.

This book did not disappoint. It was easy to read, full of good stuff, and was written in a way that was entertaining to someone like me who likes "mind-candy".  Nothing that was said in the book will come as a surprise. It is all, "Oh yeah, that makes total sense" stuff. But it is written in a way that actually makes you want to try it out or think some more about it.

One of my favorite things about the book was at the end of each chapter is quick list of thing to work on and/or try. And since the book focuses on the little things that are important and don't always take a lot of time, it's nice to have a quick and handy list to remind of those things you are learning about.

I'd recommend this for anyone in any relationship at all. If you have a great marriage, give it a try. If you aren't in a good marriage, give it a try. If you are in a dating relationship I think you'll find it eye-opening and figure out somethings that are really important to you. So yes, I would recommend this book.
 

The Two-Minute Marriage Project: Simple Secrets for Staying in LoveTitle: The 2-Minute Marriage Project
Author: Heidi Poelman
Publisher: Familius
Published: August 2014
ISBN: 1939629225
Source: I received an eCopy from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Blog Tour: Willow Springs by Carolyn Steele

Tour Schedule
Willow Springs by Carolyn Steele

Book Description:

Crissa Engleson, an immigrant from Sweden, fled Boston hoping to start a new life, unknown and unencumbered, in the West. The quiet Pony Express town of Willow Springs in the Utah desert seemed the perfect spot until the intrigue of her past and rivalries of the town’s leading families envelope her. She falls in love with an Express rider, Drake Adams, but their courtship is thwarted by blackmail and treachery. Crissa must decide which is stronger: her desire for Drake, her own safety, or her love for the two young children left in her charge.

Review:

When I heard about Willow Springs I was doubly intrigued by the historical Western setting and the inclusion of a Pony Express rider (did anyone else watch The Young Riders in the early 90's?). I also loved the cover. It would definitely catch my eye at a bookstore or library.

The author did a great job of capturing my attention with the beginning of the story. I was very interested to find out about Crissa's past, and her future. I was also pulled in by the setting, and the other characters.

Willow Springs has a lot of twists and turns. While I like suspense, and definitely don't want completely predictable stories, the drama was a bit excessive for my taste. But, if you enjoy (or don't mind) a soap opera feel to a story, give Willow Springs a try.

About the Author:

Born and raised in Utah, Carolyn Steele was introduced to western novels at a very young age by her grandfather, the son of a gold miner. She has been writing technical and marketing communications for most of her adult life. Her nonfiction articles have appeared in numerous national magazines. She earned her undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of Utah. Married and living in Salt Lake City, Utah, Carolyn loves researching obscure history then weaving it into stories. She also enjoys family dinners with her children and grandchildren, photography, travel, golf, reading, and all forms of needlework.


Title: Willow Springs
Author: Carolyn Steele
Publisher: Sweetwater Books, an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc.
Published: August 2014
ISBN: 1462114571
Source: I received an eCopy from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden

With Every Breath

Book Description:

In the shadow of the nation's capital, Kate Livingston holds a respectable position as a government statistician when she encounters a rival from her past, the insufferable Trevor McDonough. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and she's bewildered at the way he suddenly seeks her out. Surprising even herself, Kate agrees to Trevor's entirely unexpected and risky proposal to work side-by-side with him in his quest to rid the world of tuberculosis, a contagious and deadly disease. 

As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor's past, she realizes there is much more to him than she could have imagined. His hidden depths may fascinate her, but his most closely guarded secrets and a shadowy enemy lurking in the background carry a serious threat to their future. 

When the truth of the past comes out, threatening to destroy everything they hold dear, how will Trevor and Kate ever overcome all that stands in their way?

Book Review:

I really enjoyed this book. Historical Christian Romance can be a tricky genre. I find that sometimes they can be too preachy, or way too historical when all I want is the story, but With Every Breath had a good mixture of all these elements.

Trevor's character made for a good read. Yes, sometimes I wanted to slap him and say, "Be nice!" (because I'm sure slapping would be the best way to go about that). Have you ever watched House? My husband was on a House kick for awhile and Trevor's character sort of reminded me of the main doctor in that TV Show...just not as crude, or as cruel and mean.

Sometimes Kate seemed to act a little juvenile for me. I kept wanting to tell her to get over losing the competition, and get over some other things I can't tell you without spoiling the end. I understood her worries and fears, but it was killing me.  "You two are supposed to be together!" I wanted to scream.  It was a very emotional book for me, apparently :)

I would buy this and put it on my self to be read again and again.
 

Title: With Every Breath
Author: Elizabeth Camden
Publisher: Bethany House
Published: August 2014
ISBN: 9780764211744
Source: I received an eCopy from Netgalley in exchange for a review.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Blog Tour: Bonds of Loyalty by Jennifer K. Clark & Stephonie K. Williams


Book Description:

It shall be the son, the firstborn in the new monarchy, who shall quiet the fears and unite the nation again.

The infamous prophecy declaring that the firstborn would be a boy is the last thing Sarah wants to deal with. As if being newly engaged isn’t difficult enough, she’s still coming to terms with the fact that the first eighteen years of her life were a farce. The prophecy—the reason she had been secreted away from her family and her royal heritage to begin with—wasn’t supposed to disrupt her life any more than it previously had. But when unexpected events force her to leave her fiancĂ©, Prince Alexander, Sarah must return to her home country of Kyrnidan to face her destiny.

Reunited with her royal family, Sarah is thrust into the political turmoil that surrounds her ancestral home. To make things worse, her arrival has upturned the long-held prophecy.

As the voices of distension mount against her, Sarah turns to her bodyguard, Luther, for protection. But Luther’s protection comes with a price. Propelled into a plot that threatens her life and the welfare of the entire kingdom, Sarah must determine where her love and loyalty truly lie. Torn between two men, she will now have to face her fears and undertake a journey of self-discovery that will change the fate of a nation….

Review:

This was a very enjoyable sequel to Mark of Royalty. The first book had a bit of a fairy tale "happily ever after" feel, but Bonds of Loyalty lets the reader see that there's much more to Sarah's story, and it's not all roses.

The authors do a very nice job with the characters in this book. Sarah in particular is such a strong character. She has plenty of struggles, and I liked her interaction with the other characters, and her ability to face things head on and not run from her responsibilities.

There was a bit of mystery, and although I had my suspicions, I appreciated that the bad guy wasn't extremely obvious.

Although Bonds of Loyalty can be read on its own, I recommend reading Mark of Royalty first. The story and characters meant more to me having journeyed with them already. Plus, there are some twists and turns from the direction the first book left off that really kept things interesting.

About the Authors:

Jennifer K. Clark and Stephonie K. Williams are sisters by chance but became friends by choice when a year of rooming together at college taught them how to get along. Now “play”-at-home moms, separated and living in different parts of the country, they stay in touch and support each other in their individual projects.

Jennifer K. Clark lives in the small rural town of Wellington Utah, as much as her husband wishes it was Wellington New Zealand. After years of entertaining her three children with infamous made-up stories, she decided to put her imagination to good use and became an author. She likes to add a touch of romance to her novels along with a healthy dose of adventure. Fueled by Lindt Chocolate Truffles and Sour Patch Kids, she now spends a copious amount of time with the characters in her head. In her spare time she likes to create science experiments with the ingredients in her potions cupboard, debate which Doctor is her favorite (currently the 10th…or maybe the 11th), and—when she has time—watches the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice.


Stephonie K. Williams makes her home in a quaint farming town in eastern Iowa with her husband, three cats, and a budding ninja. Two of her favorite things in Iowa are the fireflies (aka lightning bugs) and cows, especially the calves. Despite having lived there for 15 years she still misses the majesty and tranquility of the mountains of Utah where she grew up. She has a vast collection of fortune cookie fortunes because she has yet to determine if it is unlucky to throw them away. She also loves to quill, the art of rolled paper, not to be confused with quilting.

Stephonie is passionate about education and enjoys visiting schools to teach classes on creative writing. She has written poetry, short stories, and dissertations, although Mark of Royalty was the first of her work that she was brave enough to submit for publication.


Giveaway:

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Title: Bonds of Loyalty
Author: Jennifer K. Clark & Stephonie K. Williams
Publisher: Covenants Communications Inc.
Published: August 2014
ISBN: 1621084191
Source: I received an eCopy from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble


Blog Tour Schedule:

*August 18th: http://literarytimeout.blogspot.com
*August 19th: http://bookgeekreviews.com/, http://www.fireandicereads.com/
*August 20th: http://www.charissastastny.com, http://www.minireadsandreviews.blogspot.com/
*August 21st: http://www.iamareader.com/, http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com
*August 22nd: http://ilovetoreadandreviewbooks.blogspot.com/, http://wishfulendings.com
*August 23rd: http://www.mybookday.blogspot.com

Friday, August 15, 2014

Book Review: The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

The Fourteenth Goldfish
Book Description:

Galileo. Newton. Salk. Oppenheimer.
Science can change the world . . . but can it go too far?

Eleven-year-old Ellie has never liked change. She misses fifth grade. She misses her old best friend. She even misses her dearly departed goldfish. Then one day a strange boy shows up. He’s bossy. He’s cranky. And weirdly enough . . . he looks a lot like Ellie’s grandfather, a scientist who’s always been slightly obsessed with immortality. Could this pimply boy really be Grandpa Melvin? Has he finally found the secret to eternal youth?


Book Review: 

I wasn't sure what to expect out of this book, and let's be honest, I downloaded it by mistake :) However, it was a happy one! Not only was this a fun, quick read, it was well written and interesting.

Ellie is an interesting character, and I thought she was portrayed in mostly an age appropriate way. Melvin is awesome in a rude, cranky, bossy, know-it-all, old guy way. Raj is awesome ( I really need to find a different adjective don't I?). I will admit to being worried that the author was going to throw some romance in there between Ellie and Raj, but thankfully she didn't. Don't get me wrong, I love romances, but Ellie turns 12 in the book. Since I have no desire to read about a 12 year old romance, I'm glad that didn't materialize. While I didn't fall in love with the mom, her character was well written believable.

My husband asked me if I was going to read this to our kids, or have them read it. Here's the thing, I think it's way over their head. I will definitely wait until they reach the Middle School stage of life (ugh...can't wait for that drama). If you have a middle grade child, or if you like middle grade fiction, this is one that I would recommend.

The Fourteenth Goldfish
Title: The Fourteenth Goldfish
Author: Jennifer L. Holm
Publisher: Random House Children's
Published: August 2014
ISBN: 9780375870644
Source: I received an eCopy from Netgalley in exchange for a review.