Thursday, June 28, 2012

Winner of What I Didn't Say

Congratulations to Leanne for winning the Kindle edition of What I Didn't Say. I will pass your email on to Keary. Thanks to everyone who entered. I hope you are finding some great books to read this summer!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

One More Day to Enter the What I Didn't Say Giveaway

The What I Didn't Say Giveaway ends soon. Don't forget to enter if you are interested in a chance to win this YA eBook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 25, 2012

Veil of Pearls

Veil of PearlsVeil of Pearls by M.L. Tyndall

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Veil of Pearls is about a runaway slave that flees Barbados to Charleston, South Carolina. Adalia is a quarter negro, and her light skin is part of what allows her to remain free when she escapes. Before her parents died and she was enslaved, her mother taught her how to heal with herbs, and she is able to find work in Charleston healing slaves and assisting a doctor.

Adalia's beauty catches the eye of a Morgan Rutledge, son of a wealthy Charleston plantation owner. She initially spurns his advances, but eventually gets caught up in his alluring high society lifestyle all the while telling herself that she's going to teach Morgan about God and how slavery is wrong.

This was an enjoyable story complete with suspense and romance that depicted the importance of honesty, both with others and yourself.

This was my first M.L. Tyndall novel. I am happy to have discovered her, and look forward to reading more of her work.

Veil of Pearls's publication date is July 1, 2012. Thank you to NetGalley and Barbour Publishing for the opportunity to read this ARC.

30 copies of Veil of Pearls are up for grabs on Goodreads if you are interested in entering.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

What I Didn't Say Giveaway

Last week I reviewed the YA novel What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor.

Keary has generously offered a Kindle copy of What I Didn't Say to one of my followers. If you haven't taken the eBook plunge yet, this would be a great book to start with. The giveaway will be open through June 27th. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Keary Taylor grew up along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where she started creating imaginary worlds and daring characters who always fell in love. She now resides on a tiny island in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their two young children. She continues to have an overactive imagination that frequently keeps her up at night.

She is the bestselling, Wall Street Journal featured author of BRANDED, FORSAKEN, VINDICATED, AFTERLIFE (Fall of Angels series), EDEN, and WHAT I DIDN'T SAY.

You can follow Keary on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. If you can't wait on the giveaway, you can purchase What I Didn't Say through the following links:



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

LDSWBR Countdown to Summer

The awesome reviewers over at LDSWBR have started their Countdown to Summer where they are featuring several authors and books until the end of June. In addition to learning about some great reads, you can comment on any of the Countdown posts in order to win some fabulous prizes. Head on over!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Prank Wars

Prank WarsPrank Wars by Stephanie Fowers

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I didn't know anything about this book before I started it. When I realized it was about BYU students and girl vs. guy apartment prank wars I was a little skeptical, but it was actually quite entertaining. I started it late one evening, and didn't want to stop reading (although sleep did eventually win).

I liked how it was more than silly prank wars-that it had a serious side to it. And, on the non-serious side, I had to smile every time I read Provocity (think Megamind and Metrocity).

It was kind of fun picturing some of the locations that were used in the novel. And, having gone to a church school, I could also visualize things like ward prayer.

If you are looking for some light entertainment, and a fast read with some mystery and romance, check out Prank Wars.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Uneasy Fortunes Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Loni for winning the copy of Uneasy Fortunes. I'll send Mandi your contact info.

Thanks to those of you who entered.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Clockwise (Clockwise, #1)Clockwise by Elle Strauss

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I heard about Clockwise on Susan Kaye Quinn's blog, and I was very happy for the heads up. It is a fun story about a high school sophomore who travels through time. The unique thing is that Casey doesn't get to choose when she gets yanked back and forth between now and the 1860s. No time passes while she's gone, and only her best friend knows about her trips because she accidentally came along on one of them (that's what happens if you happen to touch a traveler when they're on their way out).

Casey is an enjoyable character. There is some of the expected high school drama (crushes, teasing, etc.), but she isn't one of your stereotypical whinny teenagers. Her height and very curly hair make her stand out, but she does her best to be inconspicuous. And her time travel has made her self sufficient (I loved it when she showed up a certain male with the sling shot).

Clockwise is a fast and enjoyable read. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


EdenbrookeEdenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a fabulous book! Julianne Donaldson is definitely an author to keep your eye on. Her debut novel was so entertaining. I literally laughed out loud and cried. My heart even raced a time or two! It was such an enjoyable story.

I love novels with a strong female character who doesn't quite fit in with the time. Marianne longs for the opposite of everything proper ladies desire. She wants to run free in the countryside and twirl if the desire arises, not spend hours visiting stuffy ladies over tea. But, when her grandmother tells her she must become a proper lady in order to receive her inheritance, she decides she will make an effort (since she's certain no man would ever want to marry her).

Phillip was also wonderful. Yes, I doubted him a time or two, but when all was said and done, he was perfect.

The romance is excellent without crossing any lines. I loved Marianne's naivete-it made the small gestures (brushing of hands or a look) mean so much more. There was even some action (duel anyone?).

Donaldson really painted a picture with words. You see this right from the first page when you meet Mr. Whittle. The description of Mr. Whittle's "repulsive" mouth was so detailed it gave me the willies.

Your life probably won't be changed by reading this book. But, it will probably make you smile. And sometimes, don't we just need to smile?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Uneasy Fortunes Giveaway

Today is the official release date for Uneasy Fortunes. I reviewed Mandi Ellsworth's debut novel last week, and was very interested to learn from Mandi that June's past was inspired by Mandi's grandmother. Amazing!

In celebration of the release, Mandi is offering a copy of her book to one of my followers (hard copy for a national winner, eBook for an international winner). If you are interested in winning, use the following form:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 11, 2012

What I Didn't Say

What I Didn't SayWhat I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This Young Adult novel tells the story of Jake, a high school senior who loses his voice box after a drunken homecoming football celebration. He has many regrets, but the top of his list is that he never told Samantha how he felt about her.

Becoming mute is hard to imagine, but I thought Taylor did an excellent job portraying Jake's emotions (along with those of his family and friends).

The description of Jake's little island town was very well done. Jake's family was also great. I love their support and how his mom had drilled it into his mind that he shouldn't swear.

The lack of parental reprimands after the accident (and with a few other instances in the book) were surprising. It really made me think about how I would react though. Would the injury and becoming mute be more than enough of a punishment?

I work with a bunch of young women in my church, and as much as I enjoyed this story, I wouldn't feel comfortable recommending What I Didn't Say to them. There are a few scenes were Jake and his girlfriend go a bit far (not sex, but why give impressionable young women intimate ideas?).

I've had the opportunity to read several of Keary Taylor's self published books. Her stories are very creative, and the presentation (fewer typos) improves with each novel.

Thank you to NetGalley and Keary Taylor for the opportunity to read What I Didn't Say. If you are interested in winning a copy of What I Didn't Say, enter the giveaway on Goodreads.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


I read a post over at Write Stuff that made me think about why people read. Although some of my reading is out of obligation, or as a challenge, most of my reading is for pleasure. Many people read for pleasure, but our versions of pleasure are probably very different. I guess it's the "one's man's trash is another man's treasure" idea.

Have you thought about why you read?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Uneasy Fortunes

Uneasy FortunesUneasy Fortunes by Mandi Ellsworth

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Historical fiction + romance + likeable characters = an entertaining story.

"Battered by his past, Pete knows he has no business falling for anyone. But when time can't heal a wound, love steps in to make it right. Inspired by a true story of the post Civil War South, this gentle rustic romance will pull you in from the first page and leave you with a renewed hope in the power of real love."

Mandi Ellsworth's debut novel was a very enjoyable read. Pete was such a likeable character. It was crazy to believe that certain crimes were brushed over back then (I won't spoil it, but I'm referring to what happened to June). She and Pete both had a lot of hardship from their pasts to overcome, and their journeys were heartwarming.

Mandi and I had a chance to email back and forth, and she told me that her grandmother was the inspiration for June's backstory. Learning that was a bit shocking and somewhat heartbreaking. Mandi says her grandmother has an amazing life story. I'm sure you'll agree once you've read Uneasy Fortunes.

I am excited to announce that Mandi is offering a copy of her book to one of my followers (hard copy for a national winner, eBook for an international winner). If you are interested in winning, use the following form:

a Rafflecopter giveaway I received a copy of Uneasy Fortunes via NetGalley. Its publication date is June 12th, and can be purchased through Amazon and Deseret Book. You can follow Mandi on Goodreads and her blog, Story Rabbits.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Bid for Love

A Bid for LoveA Bid for Love by Rachel Ann Nunes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I got a heads up the other day that the Kindle version of A Bid for Love was going to be free on Amazon (sorry I didn't share the news . . . it's summer and life is busy). I've read a few of the author's other novels, and knew this would be a safe (clean) read.

Cassi and Jared, art buyers for different galleries, meet at an auction and are bidding on the same odd Buddha. When they discover that the Buddha isn't what it appears to be, they have to run for safety.

I was drawn in to the story right away, but it didn't hold my attention very well as the story went on. This happened with the last book I read too. That makes me think it might not be the stories, but I'm just distracted by life or something.

It was a clean story with romance and suspense. I'm not dying to read the sequel, but might if I happen to come across it (the name of the series, Love Series, isn't calling my name).

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Of Grace and Chocolate

Of Grace and ChocolateOf Grace and Chocolate by Krista Lynne Jensen

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Jillian's difficult childhood made her reach for success and build a wall around herself. If she doesn't let people in, they can't hurt her. Life seems to be going fairly well, but then an old flame (who doesn't recognize her) moves in and tries getting her attention. Then her runaway little sister shows up on her doorstep with a baby in tow, and then takes off leaving her baby in Jillian's care, and danger in her wake.

I was pulled into Of Grace and Chocolate right away, but my interest waned somewhat as it went along. I can't put my finger on why, because I liked the characters and thought the ending was good. I would recommend the book though. It was clean, with a good romance and suspense.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Heaven is Here

Heaven Is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph, and Everyday JoyHeaven Is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph, and Everyday Joy by Stephanie Nielson

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Like several other readers, I'm torn on my rating for Heaven Is Here. Stephanie Nielson's story is in fact "an incredible story of hope, triumph, and everyday joy". The overall message is great, even though the presentation left me with some questions and feeling a little conflicted.

Stephanie and her husband (along with his flight instructor) were in a small plane crash. Her body was burned over 80%, her husband 30%, and the instructor died from his injuries. Stephanie was in a medically induced coma for four months, and her recovery has been extremely painful. Not only physically, but emotionally as she didn't want to see herself, and was initially rejected by two of her children.

I can't even imagine how hard this situation would be. Stephanie is a popular blogger, and through her fans and the tremendous support of family and friends, her life has been extremely blessed. She had many down days, but I really loved what she wrote at the end:

"Happiness was my choice, and though it is hard won, I am the only person who can stand in the way of it. As I gradually accepted my responsibility to choose happiness every day, I rediscovered the beautiful life I had always wanted. I still have to remind myself to choose happiness almost every morning when I wake up in pain, and I expect I will need reminding throughout my life, but the amazing thing is the more I make the choice to see and feel joy, the more joy there is to see and to feel."

Such a great thought that can apply to every person in any situation.