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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Blog Tour: I'm Possible by Jeff Griffin

Review
I'm Possible: Desire, Dream, Do 
by Jeff Griffin

Book Description:

The sun’s rays filtered in from the partially opened shades of the plane. They lit up the world in front of me and warmed my soul, knowing I was almost to my destination. The beautiful golden light replaced the grey and hazy cobwebs from my eyes, revealing the most spectacular scene I had ever seen in my entire life. I looked out the small seven-inch window and witnessed something that I’ll never forget! I beheld something in this magnificent world that the majority of people never get to see. I was looking out at Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak!

I was at the tail end of a three-flight journey with two layovers in between, nearly logging twenty-four hours of flight time. I hadn’t gotten any real sleep in the last thirty-six hours. My bloodshot eyes were heavy, my mind was slow and sluggish, and my body was even slower in response. How did I get here? I thought to myself. Am I d-r-e-a-m-i-n-g?

As Lao and Confucius once said, “A journey of one-thousand miles begins with one step.” My story is about inspiring you to take your own journey one step at a time. It’s about dreaming and accomplishing the impossible. It’s not only about aiming for the sky and reaching for the stars but enjoying the journey along the way.

Begin your personal journey today, press forward to the top, and don’t you ever stop. As you move toward your dreams, there will be obstacles and setbacks along the way; don’t be afraid. You can get to the top of your world by following the signs and guide posts within these pages. You can do it with others! You can do it with me! We can do it together, one step at a time!

I'mpossible! - Jeff Griffin

Review:

I don't read a lot of non-fiction, but I decided to read I'mPossible because Jeff's story sounded interesting. The book isn't very long, and is a fairly fast read. I appreciated that it was written in an engaging manner. Jeff doesn't shy from sharing his emotions about every step of his story. He does a good job of showing how important our attitudes are. It would have been so easy to let himself give up on his dreams after his accident, and he definitely had some hard and very discouraging times, but he was able to look at what he could do instead of what he couldn't. I was a bit distracted by the need for proofing in my review copy, but if you can overlook that and focus on the message, I think you'll find it to be an inspiring read.

About the Author:

Jeff Griffin is a wheelchair athlete who earned his Master’s degree in Education and knows how to win. He played in the 2004 Athens Olympics, holds a Guinness Book of World Records, and is a four time NWBA All-Star MVP. He enjoys mentoring youth , distributing wheelchairs, and providing Peer Training Materials through his humanitarian efforts with LDS Charities, which he currently sits on the board.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Book Review: A Treasure Concealed by Tracie Peterson

A Treasure Concealed (Sapphire Brides #1)

Book Description:

Emily Carver wants a home where she can put down roots instead of following her gold-hungry father from one mining camp to another. She also longs for tenderness and love, both of which are missing in her life. Yet when she realizes she's losing her heart to the intriguing new man in camp, she fiercely fights her feelings, afraid that love will only result in disappointment and heartache.

Caeden Thibault, a young geologist, comes to Montana to catalog minerals indigenous to the state. He's a serious and guarded young man trying to escape the pain of his past. He has avoided all romantic entanglements, fearing he might become like his abusive father. But something about Emily Carver has caught his attention, something he never expected. . . .
Will these two broken souls allow God to bring healing and hope to their hurting hearts?


Book Review:

It has been a long time since I've picked up a Tracie Peterson novel. A Treasure Concealed helped me to remember that I've enjoyed what I have read of hers.

My immediate reaction after finishing this 336 page novel was one of contentment. I like it when I read a story and at the end I'm satisfied with what I've read. There were no unanswered questions. There were no cliffhanger endings, and everything was resolved in a way that made me happy to have invested time into reading it.

Some people are going to complain about Emily's father and his choices. I'll admit I had some negative thoughts about him of my own, but thinking about him further I realized that he really (in a fictional way of course :) ) believed that he was doing what God had planned for him to do. It didn't make sense to most people, even those he loved, but he was trying to follow God's plan for him, and hey, you got to admire him for that. That's a minor part of the story, but that's where I got the most hung-up, and since I resolved it in my mind, I thought I'd share.

So in conclusion, A Treasure Concealed has a beautiful cover, was well written and engaging, and was a clean Christian Historical Fiction. 

A Treasure Concealed (Sapphire Brides #1)
Title: A Treasure Concealed
Author: Tracie Peterson
Publisher: Bethany House
Published: March 2016
ISBN: 0764213245
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Book Review: Sister Dear by Laura McNeill

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Book Description:


All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start.  But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever?

Convicted of a crime she didn’t commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish – time that can never be recovered. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name, rebuild her life, and reconnect with the daughter she barely knows.

But Allie’s return home shatters the quaint, coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia. Even her own daughter Caroline, now a teenager, bristles at Allie’s claims of innocence. Refusing defeat, a stronger, smarter Allie launches a battle for the truth, digging deeply into the past even if it threatens her parole status, personal safety, and the already-fragile bond with family.

As her commitment to finding the truth intensifies, what Allie ultimately uncovers is far worse than she imagined. Her own sister has been hiding a dark secret—one that holds the key to Allie’s freedom.


Review:

I can't even imagine going back to the town you used to live in after getting out of prison, especially if you know you're innocent, but no one else believes that you are. It would be so difficult to get back to a semi-normal life with all of the hatred and judgement thrown your way. But Allie is a strong person, and she decides to do whatever she can to clear her name, and regain her relationship with her estranged daughter, instead of just running away and starting a new life somewhere else.

As this book goes on, you come to find out that there are a few people in town who are not only bad, but downright psychotic. It becomes a game of cat and mouse to see who can win in the end. Can the real murderer hide the evidence and turn everyone completely against Allie, or will Allie persevere and uncover the real story in the end?

This book does have some sex scenes in it, so I don't know that I would classify it as clean fiction.

About the Author:

Laura McNeil is a writer, web geek, travel enthusiast, and coffee drinker. In her former life, she was a television news anchor for CBS News affiliates in New York and Alabama. Laura holds a master’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and is completing a graduate program in interactive technology at the University of Alabama. When she’s not writing and doing homework, she enjoys running, yoga, and spending time at the beach. She lives in Mobile, AL with her family. 

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/91ZxmeiOT3L.jpg 
Title: Sister Dear
Author: Laura McNeill
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Published: April 2016
ISBN: 0718030923
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review.


 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Blog Tour: Loving Leah by Lynne Larson

Reviews * Giveaway
 Loving Leah by Lynne Larson

Book Description:

“Promise me, Ethan, no matter what, you must stay here! You can’t make a sound! Promise me you won’t!”
 
Caught in the middle of a massacre in Lawrence, Kansas, during the Civil War, Leah Donaldson, a twenty-year-old Mormon governess, must risk everything to save two children in her care—and she lives to pay dearly for the decision. Young Ethan Pace loves Leah and can hardly stay still as she is taken away by the enemy for refusing to reveal where he and his sister are hiding.

Five years later, Ethan desperately searches for her, trying to reconcile all that has happened and grappling with his feelings for her. Still idealizing Leah, he hopes she has survived and that he can help her get to Zion and her people. But after everything she’s been through since they last met, will Leah overcome her regrets and allow love into her life? Will she come to see Ethan as the caring man he has become rather than the lovesick boy she once knew?

Rorie's Review:

This book started out a bit choppy and slow for me. It took a few chapters, but eventually I found myself drawn in to the story. I really came to like Ethan, Toe and Leah. The massacre in Lawrence was heartbreaking, even more so when I found out that it really happened. I could really understand Ethan's need for vengeance and his strong desire to find out what happened to Leah. It was interesting to see how Ethan changed and matured after the massacre and even more so during his journey to find and help Leah.

The ending didn't happen the way I was hoping it would, but even so, I felt that the story was nicely resolved.

Andrea's Review:

I wasn't sure what to think about Loving Leah when I read the book description, but I enjoy historical fiction so I decided to accept the opportunity to review it.

I was pulled in right away by the characters and the intriguing historical aspects. Leah was such a great person, and you couldn't help but like her as seen through Ethan's adoring eyes. It is hard to imagine living during the Civil War, but I thought the author did a good job portraying the attitudes abounding during that time.

I was expecting a bit more to the story (the bulk of the book is given away in the description). I thought it was well written, but the ending wasn't what I expected (or hoped for). That isn't necessarily a bad thing-often it makes for an excellent story. However, I really like a solid resolution, and I felt that I'd become quite invested in the main character's life, but was left hanging about him and his future.

Tarah's Review:

This book starts out with Ethan as a child, and introduces the premise of the story. It was good, and interesting (especially the historical aspect of it), but honestly, it lasted way too long. It would have been better had it been a few chapters.  I kept feeling like I was waiting for the story to really start, and I was more than half-way through the book.  And I can't say anything about the end without spoilers, but I felt like it would have made for a more interesting middle of the book instead of an ending. I was left unsatisfied after finishing this book, mostly because I still can't decide on what the purpose of it was supposed to be. Is it a romance? Is it historical fiction? I know those can go together (they are some of my favorite novels) but this book really had me questioning what the author was trying to accomplish with this one. The characters and the writing and the descriptions are all solid, it was just the main idea that had me floundering.

Tour Schedule:


Tour Giveaway:

 
Loving Leah
Title: Loving Leah
Author: Lynne Larson
Publisher: Covenant
Published: April 2016
ASIN: B01DMY9DSA

Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Purchase: Amazon Deseret Book

Friday, April 22, 2016

Join Becky Wade for a Facebook Party May 5

wade event promo - fb 

A female bodyguard plus her star NFL client plus danger equals a great recipe for romance! Her One and Only, book four in Becky Wade's Porter Family novels, releases May 3. To celebrate, Becky is hosting an author chat party on her Facebook page on May 5 at 5 PM PDT/8 PM EDT. Join Becky for an evening of book chat with other bookworms and prizes.

Plus a portion of all pre-sales and sales the release week of Her One and Only will be donated to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. For more details on how to purchase a copy, click here.

wade 400 - fallen heroes

About the Book

After ten years in the NFL, super star Gray Fowler is accustomed to obsessive fans. But when Gray starts receiving death threats from a stalker, his team hires an executive protection agency to guard him until the culprit is caught. Dealing with bodyguards 24/7 is a headache, especially when one of them is a young, beautiful woman. How can a female half his size possibly protect him better than he can protect himself?

Dru Porter is a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt–none of which saved her from disaster on her last assignment. In order to rebuild her tarnished reputation, she’s determined to find Gray’s stalker and, since relationships between agents and clients are forbidden, avoid a romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past.

Yet every secret that leads Dru closer to the stalker also draws her closer to Gray. As the danger escalates, they’ll survive only if they can learn to trust their lives — and their hearts — to one another.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Blog Tour: Royal Brides by Traci Hunter Abramson


Book Description:

In this eagerly anticipated companion novel to Royal Target and Royal Secrets, readers are invited back to the shimmering Mediterranean paradise of Meridia, where two royal weddings in a year are more than stressful—they’re deadly . . .

Lovely Meridian native Noelle Saldera yearns for adventure, but as the daughter of palace servants, working at Prince Stefano’s royal wedding may be as exciting as her life will get. But her options change drastically when she finds herself in the unlikely position of diffusing a bomb at the ceremony and being enlisted as the newest member of Meridian Intelligence—another wedding is in the works, and there can be no more close calls when Prince Stefano’s brother, Garrett, walks down the aisle.

The bombing attempt at the first royal wedding leaves few clues as to the assailant’s identity. Desperate for answers, Meridian officials enlist CIA agent Jeremy Rogers to prevent a repeat occurrence at the upcoming nuptials. The beauty of the plan: the bride is Jeremy’s sister, so his cover is foolproof. What no one could anticipate is the instant connection between Jeremy and Noelle. Now, with their hearts on the line, the pair must work together to stop a seemingly unstoppable enemy before time runs out.


Book Review:

I'm the type of person that doesn't mind reading the same book again and again. I also like my series books to continue on with other characters so I feel like I'm part of the "family". I think because of those reasons I really enjoyed Abramson's newest novel Royal Brides.  If you are familiar at all with her work, you are getting what you will expect to get. And if you like it, that's not a bad thing. If you are expecting something different this might not be the book for you.  Because of past characters playing a huge role in this book, I'm not sure I would classify it as a stand alone novel. It would be best to be familiar with the other two novels in the series before starting this one.

Those disclaimers aside, it was a fun book to read, and the mystery portion wasn't obvious and made for a "oh!" moment. Noelle and Jeremy are great, but the secondary characters really made this book for me. They are the ones that make it feel like family, and I love that when I read my books :)

If you are a fan of Traci Hunter Abramson you will like this book, and I'd recommend you give it a try. It was a fast, clean, enjoyable read.

Blog Tour Schedule:



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Royal Brides
Title: Royal Brides
Author: Trace Hunter Abramson
Publisher: Covenant
Published: April 2016
ISBN:  1524400076
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  

Monday, April 18, 2016

Blog Tour: Change of Heart by Jennifer Moore

Change of Heart  
Change of Heart by Jennifer Moore 

Book Description:

This summer, Nathaniel Cavanaugh vacations in Lobster Cove to spend quality time with his kids after his estranged wife’s tragic death. Successful and well-connected, he is on the fast-track to the highest legal positions in the country, but his family life suffers. After an accident throws Val nearly into his lap and costs her a job opportunity, Nathaniel surprises himself by overlooking her outlandish appearance and lack of qualifications to offer her a job as his nanny for the summer. Valdosta McKinley wishes for an internship at a Paris Art Institute to use her newly acquired art-history skills. She knows Nathaniel could never develop feelings for a girl from a trailer in a rural West Virginia holler—a lesson she learned the hard way years earlier. Will pursuit of their professional goals require Nathaniel and Val to give up the dream of being a family?

 amazon add to goodreads 

Review:

I've read and enjoyed several books by Jennifer Moore, so I jumped at the chance to review her latest novel, Change of Heart. The modern setting is different from most of what I've read from Moore, but she did a great job with likable characters and an intriguing story. Lobster Cove was also a great setting for Nathaniel and Val to meet.

I really enjoyed Val's character. She didn't fit the mold (either in Lobster Cove and with Nathaniel's people or with the stereotypical West Virginian trailer born and raised people). She was very interested in art and got a degree. She had goals and dreams, and also a very good heart.

This was a Cinderella, rags to riches type story. It was clean and an enjoyable, fast read. I'll definitely read more by this author.

About the Author:

JenniferJennifer Moore is a passionate reader and writer of all things romance due to the need to balance the rest of her world that includes a perpetually traveling husband and four active sons, who create heaps of laundry that is anything but romantic. She suffers from an unhealthy addiction to 18th and 19th century military history and literature. Jennifer has a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Utah and is a Guitar Hero champion. She lives in northern Utah with her family, but most of the time wishes she was on board a frigate during the Age of Sail.


 
$25 Blog Tour giveaway 

Blog Tour Giveaway:

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 5/1/16
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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Blog Tour Schedule:

April 18th:
I Am A Reader - Spotlight
Julie Coulter Bellon - Review
Literary Time Out - Review
Cuzinlogic - Spotlight
Literary Chanteuse - Spotlight
Susan Heim on Writing - Spotlight

April 19th:
Getting Your Read On - Review
Tifferz and her Sisterz - Review
Heidi Reads... - Spotlight
Why Not? Because I Said So! - Spotlight
beck valley books - Spotlight
Coffee Books & Art - Spotlight

April 20th:
My Book a Day - Review
Reading List - Review
Katie's Clean Book Collection - Review
Bunny's Review - Spotlight
LeahSay's Views - Spotlight

April 21st:

Wishful Endings - Review
Simple Wyrdings - Review
Kindle and Me - Spotlight
My Creatively Random Life - Spotlight
Queen Of All She Reads - Spotlight

April 22nd:

Books Are Sanity!!! - Review
Bookworm Lisa - Spotlight
Hearts & Scribbles - Spotlight
Mel's Shelves - Spotlight
BookHounds - Spotlight

April 26th: 

Singing Librarian Books - Review
Rockin' Book Reviews - Spotlight
Min Reads and Reviews - Spotlight
Rebecca Belliston - Spotlight
Diana's Book Reviews - Spotlight