Thursday, December 26, 2013

Blog Tour: The Beloved Daughter by Alana Terry

     The Beloved Daughter is an inspirational suspense novel by Alana Terry, which tells the story of a young girl sent to a North Korean prison camp for her father's faith. It has won awards from the Book Club Network and the Women of Faith writing contest. It is also currently one of the nominations for Book of the Year at

     The Beloved Daughter will be on sale for just $0.99 (regularly $3.99) from the amazon kindle store from December 26-30. As a special Christmas bonus, if you are one of the first three people to comment on this blog, you can win your own free kindle copy today! And if you're feeling especially lucky, enter this giveaway for a $25 amazon gift card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Review:
I found this to be a very emotional book. It does have adult content in it, but it didn't get too descriptive or graphic. Chung-Cha is imprisoned and forced to labor because of her father's faith. This story really gripped me and made me look at my own life and my own faith. Sometimes I wish she would have followed through with more of the story, but we don't always know the ins and outs of our own story. I would definitely recommend this book, but not if you are squeamish at all.

SAVE BIG: Get the ebook from amazon for 99 cents when you buy before Dec. 31. If you like audiobooks, you can buy the unabridged version narrated by 4-time Audie-award winner Kathy Garver from Audible, or get it from amazon for only $1.99 after you buy the ebook (save $18). Like paperbacks? Get The Beloved Daughter for less than $12 on amazon.

Flash giveaway! How to win a free copy of The Beloved Daughter ebook:

1) Be one of the first three people to leave a blog comment below. (Comments by Alana Terry or the author of this blog don't count.)

2) You must fill out this quick form so Alana knows where to send your prize ebook.

*All the prize copies claimed? No worries - get it from amazon for just 99 cents!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Book Review: Simple Sewing by Katie Lewis

Book Description:

Unleash your creativity and become the successful do-it-yourself sewer you've always wanted to be! Using the tips, techniques, and 30 assorted sewing projects in this guide, you'll be able to create custom household items and gifts in no time. From baby bibs and tote bags to Christmas decorations and children's toys, every project in this book will build your sewing skills while adding a tasteful handmade touch to your home.

Book Review:

I can't wait to use this book with my kids. When we got it in the mail they each picked a project that they wanted to do. I tried two projects first to see how it was, and I actually got excited about sewing. I'm not a patient person and so sewing and I don't get a long, but Katie Lewis had great pictures, great step-by-step directions and I actually completed two projects, instead of just starting them and never finishing. Simple Sewing is a great book for beginners. You can find all the projects she has in there online, but when you are sewing it is a lot easier to have the book right next to you then going back and forth to a computer, and then trying to understand a tutorial. This really was easy to understand, and beautifully done.

 Title: Simple Sewing: 30 Fast and Easy Projects for Beginners
Author: Katie Lewis
Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.
Published: November 2013
ISBN: 978-1462112883
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Blog Tour: The Old Testament Explained by Dan Barker

Old Testament Explained blog tour

Book Description:

Don’t let the Old Testament intimidate you! Modern revelation has provided the tools we need to understand and apply this timeless scripture. By citing prophetic revelation, Dan Barker helps you reach past strange customs and difficult descriptions to feel the power of the promises in the Old Testament. This indispensable study guide will change the way you feel about this important book of scripture.

Book Review:

I had just reached a personal goal and finished the New Testament. Being pretty proud of my accomplishment I thought, "I should try the Old Testament". I admit that the Old Testament scares me. It is big, it is intimidating, and it is filled with stuff that I don't understand. So, when I got the chance to review The Old Testament Explained Through Modern Revelation I jumped at the chance. Here is my confession.  It has been slow going...really slow. So, obviously I haven't finished The Old Testament Explained because I'm using it along with my OT reading. I've liked what I've read though. Barker says, "The goal of the book is to provide a renewed appreciation for the Old Testament, modern scripture, and in-tuned Church leaders who can state, "Thus saith the Lord..." I can't honestly say I've got that appreciation yet, but I just started, and I'm hopeful that by the end I will have gained it :)

Barker also says in the book, "Our attitude, therefore toward the Scriptures should be in harmony with the purposes for which they were written." I love this statement.

I've found through my studies that this book isn't a study guide like I need.  I need more in depth explanations about certain things.  It's more of a supplement to another study guide, but I love how he uses quotes from Prophets and Apostles. That more than anything is super helpful to me as I try to figure out how to use the Old Testament in my everyday life.

About the Author:

Born in Kalispell, Montana, Dan enjoyed a farmer’s life until he was four when his parents moved to Calgary, Alberta, and made a city slicker out of him. Dan had the privilege of spending the “best two years” of his life in the Massachusetts Boston Mission. He currently serves as the second assistant in his high priest group. (However, he occasionally skips Sunday School to be with Kate and play with the kids in the nursery.)

Dan and Kate married thirty-two years ago in the Cardston Alberta Temple and have six great children and soon-to-be fifteen grandchildren. He never forgot his country roots. Always wishing for the outdoors, Dan graduated from Utah State University with a bachelor of science and enjoyed a brief career in forestry. He is now currently employed with Nestles. Barker is the author of Leaders, Managers, and Blue Collar Perceptions; Unique Stories & Facts from LDS History; Mormon History 101; and Little- Known Stories about the Doctrine and Covenants.

Title: The Old Testament Explained Through Modern Revelation
Author: Dan Barker
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Published: Nov 2013
ISBN: 978-1462112074
Source: I received an eCopy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Books & Things

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Blog Tour: The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom

Tour Schedule
The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom

Book Description:

The First Phone Call from Heaven tells the story of a small town on Lake Michigan that gets worldwide attention when its citizens start receiving phone calls from the afterlife. Is it the greatest miracle ever or a massive hoax? Sully Harding, a grief-stricken single father, is determined to find out. An allegory about the power of belief—and a page-turner that will touch your soul—Albom's masterful storytelling has never been so moving and unexpected.

Readers of The Five People You Meet in Heaven will recognize the warmth and emotion so redolent of Albom's writing, and those who haven't yet enjoyed the power of his storytelling, will thrill at the discovery of one of the best-loved writers of our time.


I've read several of Mitch Albom's books, both fiction and non-fiction, and I've always been impressed with his ability to tell a story and keep readers interested (especially non-fiction since it's often a struggle for me to get through it). When I heard he was coming out with a new novel, I jumped at the opportunity to review it.

The First Phone Call from Heaven is a great story. The pace is a bit slow, but not in a negative, "It took me forever to get through this" type of way. There is some jumping around between characters and historical information, but it flowed well, and kept me interested.

The reader is given glimpses of several of the characters that receive phone calls from Heaven. I didn't think enough time was given to most of them to form much of a connection, but I did like the time the author spent on Sully. I really felt for him and his situation, and I was anxious to learn about what really went down with his accident.

I loved the ending! I really wasn't sure how the everything was going to play out, but the outcome was very satisfying. The whole story meant even more by reading the author's acknowledgements, particularly the last sentence.

There are several swearwords throughout the book, but it is otherwise a clean and uplifting read.

Book Trailer:

About Author Mitch Albom:

Mitchell David Albom is an author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster and musician. His books have collectively sold over 35 million copies worldwide; have been published in forty-one territories and in forty-two languages around the world; and have been made into Emmy Award-winning and critically-acclaimed television movies.

Title: The First Phone Call from Heaven
Author: Mitch Albom
Publisher: Harper
Published: November 2013
ISBN: 0062294377
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble

Monday, December 16, 2013

Blog Tour: In Love and War by Carla Kelly

In Love and War blog tour

Book Description: 

 Beloved romance writer Carla Kelly shares a treasured collection of wonderfully written stories of dashing war heroes and the sassy heroines who can’t help falling for them. From daring sea captains to genteel lords, there’s a little something for every heart’s fancy. Readers everywhere will adore these four regency romances—now available together for the first time in one must-have book!

Book Review: 
 In Love and War is a collection of four novellas. The four novellas are (and I'm stealing the synopsis from Lady Wesley on Goodreads):

* The Light Within - A Quaker widow from America is helped by the younger brother of a spendthrift marquess who has returned from Waterloo believing he has no future.

* A Hasty Marriage - While visiting a friend in Portsmouth, an upper class spinster finds herself attracted to an American sea captain from Boston, but war is breaking out and he must flee before his ship is confiscated.

* Something New - A Scots artillery major returns to England with a four-year-old French orphan, and "decent" people seem to think he should turn her over to an orphanage. The widow of a Navy captain, however, sees things differently

* The Background Man - Although he was only a clerk for the East India Company, a mild-mannered young man fought beside Wellington in India. Now he runs a high-class hotel and is content with the hum-drum nature of his life until an unusual guest arrives and shakes him up.

As with most novellas, the romances happen a little fast. In some novellas it doesn't bother me, but in these four it seemed like "instant love" (or lust in some cases), not "love at first sight" and wasn't as believable.  I felt like each story had a good premise though, and were entertaining. Also, I get that it is generally accepted by society that men had "experience", and that somehow made them better men, but when I read a romance I don't want my male leads to have had that "experience" or be bringing it up. It takes away from the romance for me.  I think my favorite story was The Light Within. The language threw me for a while (random Thee's and Thou's) but once I figured out why it didn't bug me as much. I thought it was fun that the younger brother "kidnaps" the wrong woman. I found The Background Man to be a sweet story too. The main character was a little old for my usual taste, but he was great. 
If you read any other reviews on this book you will most likely find that most people found the middle two books to be more towards their liking.  If you read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think.  

About the Author:

Award-winning author Carla Kelly is a veteran of the New York and international publishing world. The author of more than thirty novels and novellas for Donald I. Fine Co., Signet, and Harlequin, Carla is the recipient of two Rita Awards (think Oscars for romance writing) from Romance Writers of America and two Spur Awards (think Oscars for western fiction) from Western Writers of America. She is also a recipient of a Whitney Award for Borrowed Light and My Loving Vigil Keeping.
In Love and War: A Collection of Love Stories  

Title: In Love and War: A Collection of Love Stories
Carla Kelly
Cedar Fort

Source: I received an eCopy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Review: Garden Plot by Kristen McKendry

Garden Plot

Book Description:

Finding a body in the garden of her Whole-Life Wellness Center has left social worker Erin Kilpatrick more than a little annoyed. It can’t be good for business to have a dead body in the bush beans—particularly if the one who’s been killed is a paying patient—correction: guest. Even though her first thought was to hide the corpse, Erin does feel sorry for the guest who has checked out permanently from her rehab inn. But her pity turns to alarm when she and Detective Liam Harris dig a little deeper to discover that maybe the dead man isn’t who they think he is. And now she has to deal with a missing guest and a killer on the loose.
Rattled by memories of her husband’s death three years prior, Erin sets about to discover the connection between the dead man and her absent guest. But while conducting her own investigation, she’s also got to juggle a rehab center full of eccentric guests, annoyingly amorous renovators, an enigmatic staff, her struggling teenage daughter, and an orphaned dog. And her keen eye and out-of-boundaries sleuthing catch the attention of Detective Harris in more ways than one, adding the complications of romance to this delightful and dangerous case of fraud, impersonation, and, of course, murder.

Book review:

It's kind of rare for me to read a book that someone hasn't recommended, or if I am unfamiliar with the author. However, I came across Garden Plot and the cover got me interested (because I totally judge a book by its cover) and the synopsis sounded interesting. I'm glad I picked it up. Garden Plot (which I think the title is a clever play on words) was a fun LDS mystery that can be read quite quickly. I loved how Erin always had a hymn in her head. Some of the hymns she picked were just down right hilarious for the situation. I enjoyed the feel of the book. It's a mystery, but it wasn't heavy. Erin had a great personality that was a little quirky and just fun to read. I wish a little more could have been done between her an Liam, but maybe Kristen McKendry is planning on more books with the same characters. The ending left off in a good place, and even though I wanted more, I didn't get the feeling of the book just ending. It was more that I enjoyed myself and was sad to see it end.

Garden Plot

Title: Garden Plot
Author: Kristen McKendry
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Published: August 2011
ISBN: 1608612376

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Book Tour: Pop Art by Kris Galicia Brown

Tour Schedule
Book Review:

This was such a fun cookbook! Here is my confession though.  I'm not a any shape or form. I can cook okay, but baking is not my forte.  However, when I got this book (and never having tried to make cake pops before) Kris just made it look and sound so easy! I thought, "I can totally do this!" and it was fun to try.

I attempted to make the heart cake pops. I probably should have started with just a plain old circle one, but I didn't :) They actually turned out okay too! I'd show a picture, but they got eaten too fast, and I was told that they were super delicious (and they were, I had two myself). My problem was that I live in a really small town and so I don't have access to all of the things that she recommended.  The two hardest parts for me were getting the right consistency for the dough, and the right consistency for the candy coating. She highly recommended using paramount crystals (which I'd never heard of) but I couldn't find them in my small town, and didn't take the time to order them online. I'm also a wee bit impatient (which is probably why baking isn't a good fit for me) and so I had a couple balls fall off the stick when I tried to dip them. I think this was because of two reasons. First, like I said, I'm impatient and I don't think I let the candy coating set long enough, and second, I don't think my candy coating was thin enough. That was probably because I didn't use the paramount crystals. I did try oil, but didn't want to use too much because I didn't know what I was doing. 

 These were super fun, and all her pictures in the cookbook were really really cute.  Nothing is better than having pictures of what your food is supposed to look like :) Her instructions were really straight forward and easy to follow. If you haven't ever tried cake pops before, I'd definitely give this book a shot. I'd probably even recommend it if you have tried them before. She has really great recipes in there for the cake. I can't wait to try some different ones in the book.  My kids really liked the first ones.

Book Description:

You've never seen cake pops like these! Hot Air Balloons, Pineapples, Giraffes, and Easter Baskets--cake pop artist Kris Galicia Brown shows you how to shape, dip, and decorate over 40 amazing designs. Make your cake pops phenomenal with "Pop Art"!

Whether you're a beginner or a veteran, cake pop artist Kris Galicia Brown shows you how to shape, dip, and decorate over 40 amazing designs for any  holiday or event. Learn her personal techniques, tips, and tricks to create the most mouthwatering and beautiful cake pops.

Here is a quick video showing you how to shape Christmas Tree Cake Pops!

About the Author:

With a love for sweets and a passion for design, Kris Galicia Brown is a light of inspiration in the cake pop industry. Kris skillfully crafts her sweets like works of fine art.

After graduating with a degree in advertising from the Art Institute of California-San Diego, she pursued a career in graphic design and worked as lead Creative for a local advertising and PR agency. After entering motherhood, Kris founded kCreative and began work as a freelance designer and ultimately stumbled upon the world of cake  pops. Her background as a graphic designer has proved to be an excellent foundation for her newest venture.

Kris's originality, eye for detail, and addiction to precision sets her apart from other cake pop makers and has landed her a global audience. Kris lives in San Diego, California, with her husband and two daughters. In addition to running her business, Goods by kCreative, Kris also teaches cake pop classes and blogs regularly. Learn more about Kris Galicia Brown at

Title: Pop Art: Decorating and Shaping Custom Cake Pops
Author: Kris Galicia Brown
Publisher: Front Table Books
Published: 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4621-1258-6
Source: I received an eCopy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Blog Tour: The Christmas Train by Thomas S. Monson

christmas train tour

The Christmas Train by Thomas S. Monson

Book Description:

In this children’s picture book, President Thomas S. Monson recounts a Christmas memory from his childhood. As a boy, he yearned for an electric train. To his delight, on Christmas morning he got exactly that a train that operated through the miracle of electricity. Then he noticed a second train that his mother had purchased for the boy down the street whose family was struggling. Although it was only a wind-up train, it had an beautiful oil tanker car, which little Tommy wanted for his own. Soon after, Tommy s mother invited him to accompany her to the neighbor s home to deliver the gift. Young Mark was thrilled with his new train and, of course, didn't notice the missing train car. However, a remorseful Tommy did. What happened next will bring the spirit of Christmas into every heart and home. Illustrated by renowned artist Dan Burr, The Christmas Train is sure to be a classic Christmas story and a beautiful addition to every Christmas library.

Includes a QR code for a FREE download of President Monson's narration of the story! Winner of the 2012 Gold Medal Mom's Choice Award!   Download the new interactive Christmas Train app for your iPad! The pages come alive with animations, sound effects, and narration by the author, Thomas S. Monson. Kids will love listening to a true Christmas story, read by a familiar voice, while navigating trains, turning Christmas lights on and off, and experiencing the importance of giving during the Christmas season.
Click Here to Learn More

About the Author:

President Thomas S. Monson was set apart as the sixteenth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in February 2008. He had previously served for twenty-two years in the First Presidency of the Church, after having been a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles since October1963. Five years after his call to the Twelve, he was given a special assignment for the work of the Church in Europe, requiring many visits with members behind the Iron Curtain. He was instrumental in the construction of the Freiberg Germany Temple and in advancing the Lord’s work in other eastern European countries that were part of the communist bloc. He also served as chairman of the Scriptures Publication Committee and supervised the process that resulted in the new editions of the scriptures. His ministry has been characterized by his compassion for the needs of individuals and his gift for one-on-one service. President Monson and his wife, Frances, are the parents of three children, grandparents of eight, and great-grandparents of eight.    

About the Illustrator:

Dan Burr earned his bachelor of fine arts degree from Utah State University and a master’s degree in illustration from Syracuse University. He and his wife, Patti, are raising their two children in the Teton Valley of southeast Idaho, a setting that provides great artistic inspiration and fantastic fly fishing. Dan is a well-known illustrator, having been in the business for many years, most recently working as a children’s picture book illustrator. A few of the books Dan has illustrated are The Miracle of the Wooden Shoes; God Bless Your Way; A Christmas Journey; and I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.

Christmas Train by Monson

Tour Giveaway:

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 12/31/13
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Saturday, December 7, 2013

December Kindle Fire Giveaway

December Kindle Fire   

Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)   This is a joint AUTHOR & BLOGGER GIVEAWAY EVENT! Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HDX 7".

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)
  Or $229 Gift Card (International)
  Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)
      December Kindle Fire Giveaway #2 Sponsors
  1. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
  2. Feed Your Reader
  3. Darker Passions
  4. Author Talia Jager
  5. The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl
  6. Kelly P's Blog
  7. Kelly's Lucky You
  8. LeahSay's Views
  9. Author Bella Street
  10. Author Bonnie Blythe
  11. Feed Your Fiction Addiction
  12. Blogging the Beloved
  13. Fae Books
  14. Author Kelli Beck
  15. Barb's Wire - eBooks & More
  16. MumbleBee Inc.
  17. MyLadyWeb: Women's History and Women Authors
  18. I Know That Book!
  20. The Reporter and the Girl
  21. My Story That I Like Best
  22. Jessica Loves Book
  23. Author Jennie Sherwin
  24. Candace's Book Blog
  25. Attack of the Books!
  26. Author Elizabeth Seckman
  27. Author Rosanne Rivers
  28. Author Carole Lanham
  29. Author Jennifer L. Weil
  30. The Real Bookshelves of Room 918
  31. Author David Pandolfe
  32. Author Georgina Young-Ellis
  33. Author C.J. Burright
  34. Author Derek Rempfer
  35. Book Crushin
  36. Laloba Press
  37. Author Louise Caiola
  38. Author Becky Monson
  39. Write Story Editing
  40. Bookworm Lisa
  41. Author John D. Mimms
  42. Author Heidi Garrett
  43. Stanley and Katrina Pet Authors
  44. Author Carol Davis Luce
  45. Author A. Wrighton
  46. The Late Bloomer's Book Blog
  47. Immortal Ink Publishing
  48. Circus of Lost Souls
  49. Author Inger Iversen
  50. Author Tracy Jorgensen
  51. Author Christy Hayes
  52. Author Lisa C. Temple
  Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Fire Giveaway:   Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7" HDX (US Only - $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International). There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7". Ends 1/1/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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, Not A Writer and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 6, 2013

Blog Tour: I Will Lead You Along: The Life of Henry B. Eyring by Robert Eaton & Henry J. Eyring

Book Description:

In 1970, Henry B. Eyring (known to all as “Hal” because his mother didn’t care for the name “Henry”) received an impression to make a daily record of his activities. Years of his journals form the backbone of this intimate biography, a candid look at his walk through life with his beloved companion, Kathy. “The journal shows how a good-but-imperfect man works each day to win divine approval,” write the authors, and this window into his past provides unforgettable insights about the man the Lord has shaped him to become. Henry B. Eyring’s professional, academic, and personal experiences all combined to make him uniquely qualified for the responsibilities that would become his. And Kathy, always at his side, matching his intellect and spirituality, has influenced him profoundly and contributed to his life mission in unmatchable ways. Their story, told largely in his own words, vividly demonstrates the power of the Lord and the example set by one who strives to follow His commands. 


Five hundred and sixty pages of non-fiction is a bit of a daunting read for a fiction lover like myself, but I was interested to learn more about Henry B. Eyring. I've listened to him speak for years, but I only knew the basics about him.

Biographies usually take me quite awhile to read, and I Will Lead You Along: The Life of Henry B. Eyring is no exception to this. But that's not to say that I haven't enjoyed what I've learned. The book starts out with background about Henry's parents. I knew his father was a well-known scientist, but I didn't realize all that he'd done. His mother was quite amazing too, especially in regard to the higher education she received.

Quite a bit of detail is given to things Henry studied or worked on professionally. These parts didn't hold my attention as much as the more personal aspects, but you can see how they impacted his life.

The book doesn't spend a lot of time on Henry and Kathleen's courtship, but it was fun learning about both of their backgrounds, and reading about how they met and raised their children.

The journal excerpts, pictures, and sketches have been my favorite parts of I Will Lead You Along. Henry has lead an exceptional life, and is quite an accomplished person, but what has really stood out to me is his desire to be a good family man. The accounts of the activities with his kids are entertaining, and eye opening to some great parenting ideas. The book includes some of his mistakes, and really helps a reader relate to him.

Title: I Will Lead You Along: The Life of Henry B. Eyring
Authors: Robert Eaton & Henry J. Eyring
Publisher: Deseret Book Inc.
Published: 2013
ISBN: 1609077830
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book | eBook

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Blog Tour: Home for the Holidays DVD/CD


As seen and heard by more than 80,000 people in the LDS Conference Center, Home for the Holidays is the live recording of The Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s 2012 Christmas concert. This year’s release features internationally acclaimed TV personality Tom Brokaw and Tony Award–winning Les Miserables tenor Alfie Boe.

The Choir also welcomed surprise-guest Gail “Hal” Halvorsen, the renowned Candy Bomber of World War II. Together with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, these three special guests delivered an unprecedented excitement to the stage that brought all in attendance to their feet more than once during the night.

Hailed as the performance that “may have topped them all” (Catherine Reese Newton, The Salt Lake Tribune).


I've heard about what great programs the annual Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concerts are, so I jumped at the opportunity to review the DVD/CD of last year's concert. The performance was very well done. The choir and orchestra sound excellent, and the guests they had really made for a great show. I particularly enjoyed the story about the Candy Bomber. It is such a touching story, and the presentation narrated by Tom Brokaw brought tears to my eyes. It was a joy to see Hal Halvorsen, 92-years-old, sporting his original uniform and getting around so well! I also really liked Alfie Boe's performance of Bring Him Home. This presentation is definitely worth watching and/or listening to.

Tour Dates:  December 2 -13, 2013
Title: “Home for the Holidays”

Purchase: Amazon (DVD) | Amazon (CD) | Deseret Book (DVD) | Deseret Book (CD)

DVD Trailer:

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Blog Tour: Studio C, Seasons 1 & 2

Studio C

Seasons 1 and 2 of the hilarious BYUtv sketch comedy series, Studio C, featuring Whitney, Mallory, Jason, Matt, and the rest of the cast pulling out all the stops with two full seasons of enough rip-roaring hilarity to make you spit milk out of your nose. Travel back to the moment it all began and watch some of the very first Studio C sketches, plus two never-before-seen features! Includes popular episodes featuring
  • Presidential Shoulder Angel
  • Facebook Friends Song
  • Flirting Academy
  • Captain Literally
  • The Center for People That YouTube Made Infamous
  • Candy Land Character Conference
  • Bollyside
  • Dana’s Dead
  • And many more!
Special Features
  • Exclusive Feature: “Just Jeremy Date”
  • Exclusive Sketch: “Substitute Miss Frizzle”
  • Season 2 Outtakes
Studio C is a hit sketch comedy series that the whole family can enjoy. Like the popular TV show Saturday Night Live, the cast performs original sketches that parody American culture and the hilariously awkward moments of everyday life; but with a refreshingly wholesome yet hilarious spin. With their huge fan-base and increasing popularity, Studio C aims to produce clean, family-oriented comedy for a national audience.


It isn't often I'm asked to review a TV show on a book blog, but when the opportunity came to review Studio C, I jumped at the chance. Has anyone been able to check it out? It's a show on BYUtv and it's in its third season. Basically it's like Saturday Night Live, but clean (although, never having really watched SNL I'm not exactly sure that's a good comparison, but that is what I've heard it described as from family members who love it). If you ever think, "Boy, there is nothing good on TV anymore" (in which I would agree with you) then check out Studio C. It's something you can watch with your whole family. Granted, your kids may or may not understand the humor, but if they do it isn't something you have to be worried about. Some of the episodes you will find more hilarious than others. A lot of it depends on your own experiences. One of my favorites from the first season had a guy and girl's perspective about what happens on the doorstep after a date. Give two episodes a try and see if it's your type of humor.

Purchase Amazon * Deseret Book
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Monday, December 2, 2013

Review: Sons of Prophecy by Steven W. Schmutz

Sons of Prophecy: Davian's Deception (Book 1)

Book Description:

Three to be borne upon the mount
To a woman torn from hearth
One to Greatness
One to Strength
And One to serve the Dark
Divided at birth the Three will be
Not knowing of each other
Divided by Light
Divided by Faith
Divided but ever Brothers


Pregnant and desperate, Jena Bain hid in a secluded cave high in the Jaar Mountains. She hoped to escape from the vile men who wanted her unborn child. What Jena didn’t know was that she was about to give birth to not just one, but three sons, and in so doing she would bring to pass the fulfillment of a long-awaited prophecy.
The years have passed and the three sons are now men. Davian Ul’s powers have grown and he is preparing his Dedicates to take over the Realm. The leaders of the Realm discover Davian’s plans and unite in their fight against his dark and evil purposes.
Will Davian have his way, and manipulate the prophecies for his gain? Will the Alliance of kingdoms succeed in bringing peace back to the Realm? What will happen to the three sons, who although divided at birth, are ever brothers?
Book Review:
It's been awhile since I've read a fantasy novel and I'd forgotten how much I enjoy them.  Sons of Prophecy is a solid book for being a first (I'm assuming) novel and self published.  It has a great plot and an intriguing prophecy. It did take me some time to get into the book. I really struggled with Jena, and found her reactions unbelievable. Her husband and everyone she knows is slaughtered and she doesn't really do anything...doesn't feel anything. Then after she has triplets she's up and about doing loads of stuff. It just wasn't realistic. After that section I was able to enjoy the story more. However, I felt like the characters fell really flat, and that they had no dimension. All of them were either really really good or really really bad. There was no in between or realness to them. Also, while I enjoy like novels that are told from different points of view, I felt this one had too many POV's which made it distracting. It also broke up the story more than was helpful. You would get into a section and then it would switch characters and it would be a long time before you got back to what you were interested in.  By then it was almost like, "Where was I? What was happening with this character? Who is he again?"
I really appreciated that this was a clean novel that told a good story.  While there was violence, it wasn't over the top gory, the language was clean and so was the rest of the book. I appreciate authors who can write a good story and keep things clean.
Sons of Prophecy: Davian's Deception (Book 1)

Title: Sons of Prophecy: Davian's Deception (Book 1)
Publisher: Self Published
Published: July 2013
ISBN: 9781453865316
Source: I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.