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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Blog Tour: Heartbeat of the Bitterroot by Janice Mineer

Heartbeat of the Bitterroot by Janice Mineer

Book Description:

Jenna Clark always tried to bury her bleak beginnings in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley, but a newfound secret about her father’s identity forces Jenna to dig up her past. While there, mysterious threats and dangers suddenly enter her life that bring about an unexpected man of her dreams–Michael Callahan. After a lifetime of running away from family and love will Jenna find the courage to confront her past and step forward into the future?

Review:

I wasn't sure what to expect from The Heartbeat of the Bitterroot, but as I started reading I was impressed. I was pulling for Jenna, and intrigued by the conflict and potential romance. The message seemed to be about Jenna finding herself and happiness even though she felt somewhat damaged by her upbringing.

As the story progressed I was somewhat overwhelmed by everything that was going on. The search for her real father, in addition to the disgruntled former employee, the threatening texts and situations, trying to decide where she wanted to be, plus a potential romance felt a bit like a soap opera. I wasn't sure which aspect I really wanted to follow, but all of it together was a bit too much for me.

The Heartbeat of the Bitterroot is a clean story with a good message.

Tour Schedule:

Title: Heartbeat of the Bitterroot
Author: Janice Mineer
Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.
Published: June 2017
ISBN: 1462120296
Source: I received an eCopy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Friday, June 23, 2017

Blog Tour: Mormon Girl: Incognito by Kari Iroz


Book Description:

Hilarious heroine Jacklyn Wyatt is back—this time in a dicey Vegas adventure! Jacklyn “Jack” Wyatt is just your average Mormon girl—other than her brief stint with the FBI, her subsequent brush with death, and her dreamy boyfriend, Special Agent Damon Wade. But in the eight months since she helped save a kidnapping victim, Jack’s life has returned to its mostly stagnant state. She’s still trapped in a dead-end job, and even her relationship seems to be stuck in a rut. These days, adventures are few and far between. So when Damon heads to Las Vegas on assignment, Jack sees the perfect opportunity to surprise her boyfriend and rekindle the spark in their relationship. But the surprise is on her: she has just landed herself in the middle of a high-stakes operation involving Russian criminals. Unwittingly drawn undercover once more, Jack is all too aware that the survival of Damon and his associates depends on the success of her charade. In the unfamiliar world of luxurious limos, exclusive nightclubs, and gambling, Jack must convince the high-rolling hustlers that she is a terrifying international arms dealer. If only she knew anything about poker. Or guns . . .

Andrea's Review:

I absolutely loved Kari Iroz's book, A Date with Danger, so I jumped at the opportunity to review her new book, Mormon Girl: Incognito. It's a sequel to A Date with Danger, but I think you could probably enjoy it on its own (but, really, A Date with Danger is so hilarious that you should definitely read it if you haven't).

Jack (short for Jacklyn-her name bugged me in the first book, but eventually I got over the girl going by a guy's name) seems to be a bit lost. She's taking her time with school and works in retail. She has dreams of a future with her boyfriend, but he doesn't seem like he's ready for the next step. She steps out of her comfort zone to surprise him, and it really backfires on her when she steps in the middle of an op. But, her true colors really come out when she's willing to help even though her life could be at risk.

There is  a lot of humor in this book, and while I wasn't laughing out loud nearly as often in this book as I did with A Date with Danger, I still thought it made for an entertaining story. It kept the serious aspects from being too heavy.

I liked the characters and the overall story. The romance was clean and felt realistic. This is a fun story that I can see myself reading again. I'm also looking forward to reading A Date within Danger again.

Tarah's Review:

There is just something about these books that just pulls me in right away. Both A Date with Danger and this one I wasn't even going to start reading yet, but I opened to the first page to skim and didn't end up putting it down until I was finished. Which is awesome for a book, but not so awesome for my house and my children :)

My one complaint with this book was Damon's use of "Babe." Now I don't really mind the use of this word as a term of endearment. I occasionally use "babe" myself, but his use of it was completely over the top. It wasn't a once or twice thing, it was ALL THE TIME and it made me want to gag.

If you are looking for a clean suspense/funny novel, then I would recommend Mormon Girl: Incognito. That being said, I think you probably need to read A Date with Danger first to really understand the dynamic between Damon and Jack. There are lots of references to the first book. It actually made me want to go back and reread that one, which I did.

This is an LDS specific novel (if you couldn't tell from the title :) ) Content wise the setting is in Vegas (which the author had a whole different view of that city than I do) and there is alcohol, gun dealers, hit men, kissing and mild violence. It looks like a lot, but it is woven into the storyline as Jack goes undercover to stop these bad people and I would still consider it clean.

Another winner for Kari Iroz! Can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

Rorie's Review:

I absolutely loved the first book with Jack and Damon when I reviewed it. Kari's tongue-in-cheek humor made me laugh out loud over and over again. This book was no exception. 
 
Before I get to the good though, let me get a few petty annoyances out of the way. 1) Damon's use of the word "babe." It didn't fit his personality from the first book, and it kind of grated on me every time he used it. 2) The description of how long it took to get from the airport to the casino. I lived in Vegas for five years, and while I avoided the Strip whenever possible, I do know that you don't have to drive through the ghetto part of the Strip to get from the airport to the Bellagio, and it's not that far from the airport to that part of the Strip anyway. If Jack really did take that long of a drive to get there, her cab driver was seriously scamming her. 
 
All that aside, I really enjoyed the story. Jack has quite a knack at getting herself into crazy trouble. And I loved her inner dialogue. While I liked Damon's character in the first book better, I liked seeing a more vulnerable side of him in this story. And I was happy to get to "meet" his mom and sister for the first time too. They were such likeable people, I hope they show up in future stories (I'm hoping there are future stories with Jack and Damon. There really should be.)
 
I like how the author intertwines spiritual things, such as praying, in the story - not making a big production out of it, but just having it be an important part of Jack's life. Kind of a good lesson for all of us, I think. 
 
Like I said above, I love Kari's style of writing, and can't wait to see what she comes up with next.


Tour Schedule:

*June 23rdhttp://minreadsandreviews.blogspot.com/http://www.singinglibrarianbooks.com/http://literarytimeout.blogspot.com/http://booksaresanity.blogspot.com/http://www.blogginboutbooks.com/

Tour Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Book Blast: Indigo Bay Sweet Romance Series

Escape to Indigo Bay…
Six authors. Six Sweet Romances. One small South Carolina beach town.
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Sweet Dreams by Stacy Claflin Ever since her twin became a singing sensation, Sky Hampton has struggled to be appreciated for who she is—apart from her sister. She wards off Aspen’s fans, who beg for autographs and selfies everywhere Sky goes. She can’t even find a guy who likes her for her. Sky flees to the small coastal town of Indigo Bay in hopes of blending in and building her blossoming career. Jace Fisher is the textbook definition of the strong silent type—nobody can break through his tough exterior. He has suffered more than his fair share of tragedies, and to protect his shattered heart, he pushes everyone away. Jace spends his days fixing the Indigo Bay cottages, and his nights… nobody really knows. He keeps to himself. When Jace shows up to fix Sky’s AC, he barely notices her and she’s distracted with settling in. It takes an emergency situation to get them talking, and when they do, the two find they have more in common than first appeared. As their attraction grows, defenses soar. Will they be able to risk love when they’ve both been burned in the past?
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Sweet Matchmaker by Jean Oram Ginger McGinty hates liars. And she just married a spy. Bridal shop owner Ginger McGinty excels at matchmaking unless it’s for herself. That is, until she meets the dreamy Aussie who helps her get into an event meant for engaged couples. Logan Stone is sweet, caring, thoughtful and fun—everything she desires in a man. But it turns out, her new fake fiancé could use a bit more than just a pretend engagement to get him into parties—he needs a quick marriage keep him in the country so he can be with his adopted special needs daughter. With a marriage of convenience pro-con list longer than the average wedding veil, Ginger puts her faith in romance and offers Logan her hand in return for one thing—no lies. But little does she know, almost everything she knows about her new husband is based on a lie. Everything except his kisses and the way he accidentally spills his soul whenever they meet. And that’s quickly becoming a problem for Logan Stone who depends on distance and deceit to keep civilians such as Ginger safe from his enemy’s clutches. Will the two find love in their marriage of convenience, or will everything break apart when the truth rises to the surface, shattering everything, including their trust?
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Sweet Sunrise by Kay Correll Sometimes life has a way of teaching lessons whether you’re ready to learn them or not… The last place on earth Will Layton wants to be is Indigo Bay, but his younger sister needs him and he’s never been able to say no to her. But she left out a few details… like their father staying with her and the girl who dumped him years ago is living right next door. The last person Dr. Ashley Harden thought she’d see in Indigo Bay is Will Layton, but he’s back in town and just as irresistible as when they were young. Seeing Will again is a complication that isn’t on her carefully mapped out life plan. In spite of Ashley’s best intentions, she starts falling for Will again, but nothing has changed. She’s still focused on getting the townspeople to accept her and see her as more than the girl from the wrong side of town, while Will is determined to guard his heart at any cost. Not the easiest road to true love… especially when secrets from the past are revealed and history threatens to repeat itself.
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Sweet Illusions by Jeanette Lewis Eva Malone was very young when her mother forced the family to join a violent doomsday cult, but she remembers a little about how normal life used to be. As a young woman, she escapes the cult and relocates to Indigo Bay, South Carolina to pursue her dream of peaceful anonymity. After several tumultuous years as a policeman in Atlanta, Ben Andrews has had enough. He returns home to Indigo Bay and joins the Indigo Bay PD, where the most exciting part of the job is getting a kitten out of a tree or rescuing tourists who lose their keys at the beach. Eva and Ben are immediately drawn to each other. But as the prophesied date of the apocalypse draws near and the cult steps up its efforts to find her, Eva realizes she can’t maintain her sweet illusion forever.
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Sweet Regrets by Jennifer Peel Melanie Dixon never thought she would find herself divorced, pregnant, and living back with her parents in Indigo Bay. Not one to let misfortune get the best of her, she picks up the broken pieces of her life and bit by bit puts them back together. She’s determined to go it alone, but her loving and equally determined family and friends have another idea. Enter Declan Shaw, the boy next door from long ago. The boy she wasn’t quite ready to commit forever to at eighteen. Back in Indigo Bay due to a recent job promotion, Declan sees this as a second chance to reunite with the girl who has owned his heart since the day they met in their junior year of high school. But Melanie is a tougher sell on the idea than he thought she would be. Now it’s up to him to prove to Melanie that she can trust him with her heart and that he’s the man she and her baby deserve. Will the regret and hurt of the past win out? Or will love prevail?
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 Sweet Rendezvous by Danielle Stewart On her last tank of gas Elaine Mathews drives South. Spontaneity had never been her strength, but there was something about being publicly fired that had a way of changing things. An empty bank account, broken heart, and enough humiliation to last a life time was all Elaine could claim as her own. Her car choked to a stop in the quiet beach town of Indigo Bay and all she could do was sit on the curb and wait for the sun to set on her misery. Davis Mills has a routine. Wake. Work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. It hadn’t always been that way. He’d left indigo bay once and returned a broken man. Now he kept his dreams small and his schedule tight. If there was no room in his life for anything new then he’d never repeat his mistakes. When fate has them, quite literally colliding Elaine and Davis are faced with an important question. Can you live a full life if you never take a risk? Or is life made up of every mistake, miracle and chance that comes with being in love?
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amazon or paypal 
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway Ends 7/17/17 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. a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

CD Review: Mormon Tabernacle Choir & Friends

Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book

CD Description:

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has collaborated with some of the most legendary vocalists and performers over the years. For this album, the Choir has assembled an unprecedented collection of recordings taken from standout performances over the past 15 years. Most of these performances were recorded live at the 20,000+ seat Conference Center in Salt Lake City. In addition, some real gems were uncovered or created specifically for this album, including a performance recorded live before millions of viewers at the start of the 2002 Winter Olympics (Sting & Yo-Yo Ma performing "Fragile") and new recordings such as Amy Grant's "Thy Word," The King's Singers' "I'm Running On," and Santino Fontana's "He Lives in You."

Album includes 11 tracks:
  • Fragile, feat. Sting & Yo-Yo Ma
  • The Prayer (from Quest for Camelot, feat. David Foster
  • Thy Word, feat. Amy Grant
  • That Lonesome Road, feat. James Taylor
  • He Lives in You (from The Lion King), feat. Santino Fontana
  • How Can I Keep from Singing?, feat. Renee Fleming
  • Through Heaven's Eyes (from The Prince of Egypt), feat. Brian Stokes Mitchell
  • Vitae Lux, feat. Sissel
  • Homeward Bound, feat. Bryn Terfel
  • Beauty and the Beast (from Beauty and the Beast), feat. Angela Lansbury
  • I'm Runnin' On, feat. The King's Singers


Review:

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir & Friends CD is a great collection that has something for everyone. Each track is a powerful performance, and I enjoyed having it play on repeat while I worked on the computer.

My favorite song is "Through Heaven's Eyes" featuring Brian Stokes Mitchell, followed closely by "That Lonesome Road" featuring James Taylor. While I didn't love every song, I really liked most of them, and I listened to the CD over and over. I'm happy to add this to my collection.

About the Mormon Tabernacle Choir:

The 360 members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir represent men and women from many different backgrounds and professions and range in age from 25 to 60. They reflect a medley of unique lives and experiences and are brought together by their love for singing and their faith. Their incomparable voices are the common chord that unites to form the choral group known all over the world as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir originated in the mid-19th century in Salt Lake City. As the Latter-day Saints moved west, Church President Brigham Young included musicians among members of the advance parties. Consequently, a small choir first sang for a conference of the Church in the Salt Lake Valley on August 22, 1847, just 29 days after the first group arrived. The origins of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir may be found in the desire and commitment of early converts to include appropriate music in both sacred and secular events.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has appeared at 13 world's fairs and expositions, performed at the inaugurations of five U.S. presidents, and sung for numerous worldwide telecasts and special events. Five of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's recordings have achieved "gold record" and two have achieved "platinum record" status. The most popular was the Grammy-Award-winning 1959 release of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" with the Philadelphia Orchestra. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Cover Reveal: Yesterday's Promise by Michele Paige Holmes

I am excited to show you the new cover in the Hearthfire Series by Michele Paige Holmes.

YESTERDAY'S PROMISE
Release date: July 5, 2017
Goodreads link
Amazon Pre-order link

Book description:

New from Michele Paige Holmes, Amazon’s bestselling historical romance author and Whitney Award Winner, comes the newest Hearthfire Historical Romance, YESTERDAY’S PROMISE.

In the Scottish Highlands, 1746:
Nineteen-year-old artist Katherine Mercer dreams of selling her paintings to help support her struggling family. Before she has the opportunity, Katherine learns she is to be sold—or practically so—given in marriage to a lord she has never met or even heard of. In return, a much-needed settlement will be made upon her mother. 

Katherine’s situation goes from frightening to surreal when her husband-to-be Laird Collin MacDonald arrives with an entourage of men, each heavily armed and speaking with a thick brogue. As if leaving all she knows behind and traveling to another country with strangers isn’t bad enough, Katherine soon discovers a Scottish heritage she knew nothing of, a brother-in-law who wants her dead, and far more at stake with her paintings than she had ever imagined. Forced to turn to her reclusive husband for answers, comfort, and even her very survival, Katherine begins to unravel the mysteries of her past and what it is to love and be loved.



Other Hearthfire Romances: 

SAVING GRACE
LOVING HELEN 
MARRYING CHRISTOPHER 
TWELVE DAYS IN DECEMBER
YESTERDAY’S PROMISE (Scottish Historical)
HEARTHFIRE ROMANCE COLLECTION, VOLUME 1 (box set)

Friday, June 16, 2017

Blog Tour: Love on Pointe by Tiffany Odekrik

Reviews * Giveaway
Love on Pointe by Tiffany Odekirk

Book Description:

Rhys Solario has a secret—one he plans to keep: he's a non-Mormon attending Brigham Young University. With only two semesters left before graduation, he just wants to keep flying under the radar. Then he meets Emmy in a Book of Mormon class, and for the first time, the idea of keeping to himself doesn't sound so appealing.

Emmy Jennings feels confident only when she's dancing ballet. With every plié and chassé, all her worries fade away. But when she fails to earn a coveted solo, her confidence on the dance floor disintegrates, and the future she's worked so hard to earn stands in jeopardy.

Assigned to be study partners, both Rhys and Emmy face initial anxieties regarding who they really are. But slowly, their tentative friendship evolves into something more. Yet even as love deepens, the pair is faced with a disheartening truth: Rhys can't take Emmy to the temple, and the promise of eternity is not something Emmy's willing to give up. With everything on the line, the couple must decide if they're prepared to reshape their hearts—and their lives—for the promise of forever. 

Andrea's Review:

Love on Pointe was an unexpected hit for me. This was the first I've heard about Tiffany Odekirk, and I have to say that she's an author to watch for. The story was really, really good! I started it late one afternoon, and only put it down when I had to. I stayed up way too late, and finished around 2 AM.

I really liked the main characters, Rhys and Emmy. Between the two of them, they dealt with some difficult issues that pulled me in. I couldn't help but get emotionally involved in their happiness and success. Their alternating points of view added a lot to the story, and the definitions/pronunciations at the beginning of each chapter were also a great addition.

The description made me think that Rhys was at the school with no one knowing he wasn't a member of the LDS Church, but it wasn't that the school admitted him not knowing (it doesn't work that way). He was just keeping it from his fellow students because he'd been burned a few times when the information came out. That was one of several things that endeared him to me. He was just trying to get through without pain-not trying to be dishonest.

I was a little bothered by the cheaper tuition reason given for Rhys choosing BYU (tuition is based on member or non-member, comparable to other universities that offer resident and non-resident tuition rates), but it was just a little detail that probably wouldn't stand out to most readers.

I will definitely read this again, and I highly recommend Love on Pointe.

Rorie's Review:

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I know nothing about ballet, other than it takes way more flexibility and balance than I will ever have. The description of the book kind of had me scratching my head. Why would Rhys feel the need to hide the fact that he's not LDS? But that question was answered pretty quickly. 
Let's talk about Rhys' name...I'm very glad the author put in the correct pronunciation, because I want to pronounce it "Reese." Even still, I stumbled over his name through must of the story. It went from "Reese" to "rice." My brain seemed incapable of remembering "rise."

Aside from difficult name pronunciation, I was drawn into this story right away. Both Rhys and Emmy were such likeable characters. I was rooting for them from the get-go, but, like Emmy, I was torn. Giving up eternity, even when you really love someone, is a hard pill to swallow. I was really wondering how the author would resolve that issue, and I was really hoping it would be done in a non-cheesy sort of way. Without going into any detail, I was really happy with the ending.:-)

Supe was probably my favorite supporting character of them all (but really, they were all good.) He reminded me of Fred from Big Hero 6 for some reason.

Definitely a story I would recommend.:-)

Tarah's Review:

Get ready for a book that will keep you reading once you've started it, and remember to keep those tissues handy. Sigh, I love a good book. Really, there isn't much better. Not only do we start the book with a beautiful cover, but we then we get fun little definition thingies for each chapter. I loved the switching points of view. It wasn't distracting at all, partly because it was expected. I think it switches back and forth every chapter.  It isn't one of those that just when you get to the good part does it switch and you have to wait, and then you forget where you were...nope, it really worked for this book. I love getting to know my characters this way.

Rhys (besides me wanting to call him Reece, not Rise...totally threw me to whole book) was awesome. He is the kind of guy you hope your daughter will bring home. Emmy I was able to connect with, and I just understood her. I loved her thought processes, and well, just her. Oh, and the secondary characters? Check. They only add awesomeness to the story.

Did I mention this book is about dance too? Oh, I love that. Not that I have any talent in that area, but it speaks to me and brings back memories of times I thought I had talent :)

I will definitely be looking for more books from this author, and I will be rereading this one again really soon.

About the Author:

Tiffany Odekirk believes cooking should take less than thirty minutes, frosting is better than ice cream, and all books should end with happily ever after. After graduating from Brigham Young University with a degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development, Tiffany completed an internship with LDS Family Services in adoption and then went on to work with homeless women and children in the non-profit sector. Married to a Broadway star, Tiffany’s days are filled with music, and her nights are spent writing the types of characters she hopes her children will one day marry.

Tour Schedule:


Tour Giveaway:

Title: Love on Pointe
Author: Tiffany Odekirk
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Published: June 2017
ISBN: 1524402001
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Deseret Book

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Book Review: Sandpiper Cove by Irene Hannon

Sandpiper Cove (Hope Harbor, #3)
Book Description:

Hope Harbor police chief Lexie Graham has plenty on her plate raising her son alone and dealing with a sudden rash of petty theft and vandalism in her coastal Oregon hometown. As a result, she has zero time for extracurricular activities--including romance. Ex-con Adam Stone isn't looking for love either--but how ironic is it that the first woman to catch his eye is a police chief? Yet wishing for things that can never be is foolish.

Nevertheless, when Lexie enlists Adam's help to keep a young man from falling into a life of crime, sparks begin to fly. And as they work together, it soon becomes apparent that God may have a different--and better--future planned for them than either could imagine.


Book Review:

I'm not sure where I can across this, but I just finished reading another book and you know how they have a chapter of another book at the back? Well, I read it and was quite taken in with the little teaser, so I had to find it to finish it.

I instantly liked Adam, and I hope that I would give him the benefit of the doubt in real life that I wanted everyone to give him in this book. I felt for his loneliness and his not thinking anyone should give him a second chance, even if he believed that God had given him one.

This is a Christian novel, and the two clergy men are a hoot. I love their banter back and forth. They make for amusing secondary characters. That reminds me. This is the third book in the Hope Harbor series. I haven't read the previous two, and I didn't know this was the third when I started. You could tell that there were some backstories to secondary characters that I wasn't getting a full story on, but it didn't stop me from enjoying the novel at all. I'm curious now, so I'll probably go look up the first two.

I did think that the end just sort of...ended. The resolution was too complete with a pretty little bow with nothing really to show for it. Everything was kind of built up in the novel, and then .... oh, we are done and everything is happy now. But I was left feeling like it wasn't as polished, or finished as it should have been.
Sandpiper Cove (Hope Harbor, #3) 
Title: Sandpiper Cove
Author: Irene Hannon
Publisher: Revell
Published: April 2017
ISBN: 
0800727681
Source: I received an eCopy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.