Friday, October 31, 2014

Book Review: Deceived by Irene Hannon

Book Description:

For three years, Kate Marshall has been grieving the loss of her husband and their four-year-old son in a boating accident. But when she spots a familiar-looking child on an escalator in the mall, she is convinced it is the son she thought was dead. With police skeptical of her story, she turns to private investigator Connor Sullivan. The former Secret Service agent is dubious but agrees to investigate. Digging into the case he discovers that the incident may have been no accident at all. But if Kate's son is alive, someone is intent on keeping him hidden--and may be willing to go to lethal lengths to protect a sinister secret.

Book Review:

Here's the thing with this book. I'm sitting here trying to think of something to review, and I can't think of one thing to say. I liked it. It was good. But it wasn't great. It wasn't anything that was amazing that I was like, "Oh, remember this part that was just really good!!" and the same with the characters. I liked them all. I just don't know that anything was so amazing that it stuck out to me. I don't think this is a bad thing. Not every book I read needs to be unforgettable. I did enjoy it, and I will read more from this author. I think she does a great job at writing a clean suspense novel.

Title: Deceived
Author: Irene Hannon
Publisher: Revell
Published: October 2014
ISBN:  080072125X
Source: I received an eCopy from Netgalley in exchange for a review.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Book Review: The Brickmaker's Bride by Judith Miller

The Brickmaker's Bride (Refined by Love, #1)
Book Description:

Yearning for a fresh start, Ewan McKay travels with his aunt and uncle from northern Scotland to West Virginia, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial assistance from his uncle Hugh. Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, but it's Ewan who gets the business up and running again. Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner's daughter, and he feels a connection with her, but she's being courted by another man--a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Besides, Ewan has resolved he'll focus on making the brickmaking operation enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business
and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Scotland.

But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan's hard work may come to naught. As his plans begin to crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. She and her mother may have a way to save the brickworks, and in turn Ewan may have another shot at winning Laura's heart.

Book Review:

It has been awhile since I've read a book where the romance, and general storyline actually took time to develop....and I loved it. Not only was it realistic, but it fit in with the book perfectly. " and bricks both need a slow, steady burn in order to become strong and withstand the test of time." I will admit that sometimes it was slow in the first half of the book and I did get impatient for part of the time, but that didn't deter me from reading it at all.  In fact, it picked up considerably the last half of the book. So much so that I wish that had been as developed at the first half. I would have loved more of Ewan's and Laura's courtship.  I would have liked to hear more about his uncle. And really, let's hear a little bit more about Winston. For being such an antagonist he just sort of dropped out of the picture.
It was an interesting time in history with the story. I actually learned a lot about bricks and brick making, but without the author shoving it down my throat in an, "You have to know this because I did my research", but rather it was an interesting part of the story.
The Christian element was also well done, and not shoved down my throat. All in all this was a good clean read. Especially if you like Historical Fiction.

The Brickmaker's Bride (Refined by Love, #1)
Title: The Brickmaker's Bride
Author: Judith Miller
Publisher: Bethany House
Published: October 2014
ISBN: 0764212559
Source: I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Blog Tour: Visions of Hope by Annie Henry

Book Description:

The most fundamental questions in our lives—questions about where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going—are answered when we have a true understanding of the plan of salvation. Now, our understanding is deepened and enlivened by this beautifully illustrated depiction of God's eternal plan for His children. In her unique, richly textured style, fine artist Annie Henrie offers a visual interpretations of the plan of salvation, including pre-earth life, the Creation, the Fall of Adam and Eve, life on earth, the spirit world, the Atonement and the Resurrection, and the kingdoms of glory. Accompanied by text from the scriptures, each exquisite image testifies of God's love for us and of His plan of happiness.


I really enjoyed Visions of Hope. The artwork in the book is enjoyable to look at. The book pairs these pictures with simple quotes or scriptures for each stage of the plan of salvation. I wanted to look through this book with my children, but never got the chance to do so (OK, I kept forgetting to do it.) but this will be a great resource to use as part of a Family Home Evening lesson on the plan of salvation. This is something that will be good both for kids and for someone who is just learning about the gospel. Or for those who just need a refresher, for that matter. :) As I said previously, each picture has a brief verse or quote with it, which is a good starting point if you want to search the scriptures to learn more about the plan of salvation.

About the Author:

ANNIE HENRIE graduated with a bachelor of fine arts degree from Brigham Young University in April 2012, and since the age of sixteen she has shown her work in galleries, including Bronze Coast Gallery in Cannon Beach, Oregon; Authentique Gallery in St. George, Utah; and Deseret Book stores. Annie grew up in Bountiful, Utah, and is the daughter of Cary and Sauni Henrie. Her father, also a professional artist, has taught his daughter how to paint and draw since she was in kindergarten. Annie’s work is inspired by her experiences serving as a missionary in southern England and studying Renaissance art in Italy. She currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Title: Visions of Hope
Author: Annie Henry
Publisher: Deseret Book Company
Published: September 2014
ISBN: 1609078195
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Deseret Book | Amazon

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Blog Tour: Painting Kisses by Melanie Jacobson

Dual Review * Giveaway

Book Description:

Lia Carswell is good at what she does, even if it isn't as glamorous as her old artist life in Manhattan. The popular waitress works hard in a small Salt Lake City diner, with the goal of easing her sister's financial strain. And with her witty personality and good looks, she's something of an enigma to the male customers who vie for her attention. Ever the professional, Lia keeps her distance, with one exception. Aidan is a breakfast regular, and his gentle, clever teasing draws Lia's attention and builds an easy rapport between them, though Lia would never let their relationship get serious, especially since he's not the only one trying to catch her eye. Her handsome neighbor Griff has been hinting that he wants more than a neighborly relationship.

Then her old New York artist life comes knocking, and an offer is made for a series of commissioned paintings. Lia knows it would ensure financial security for her family, but she doesn't know if she wants that life anymore. When she undertakes one final project, she reawakens her heart and soul. And as she finds herself falling in love and needing an outlet more and more, she realizes her paintings might be her saving grace.

Andrea's Review:

I've really enjoyed Melanie's books published by Covenant, so I jumped at the chance to review her latest novel, Painting Kisses. It started out in typical Melanie fashion-snarky main female character, with plenty of laughs. Some aspects were predictable, but I didn't mind.

As the story goes on it loses the usual Melanie feel and is more of a heavy story. It was a good story, but different from what I was expecting. I really wanted more at the end. There's resolution, but I came away feeling, "that's it?"

I didn't relate as well with this book as I have with Melanie's LDS fiction novels. But, I'm excited that she is branching out, and I hope that she'll continue to keep her novels clean. There were a couple of instances in this book where I thought she might be pushing the content boundaries Covenant has, but I liked the characters and the overall story. I also really enjoyed the setting since I am familiar with some of the locations she used.

 Tarah's Review:

I kind of like it when an LDS author branches out into new long as they keep it clean. Painting Kisses was an excellent job of branching out!

The beginning was really funny and I enjoyed the interaction between Lia and Aidan. The head cook was such a great secondary character, and I enjoyed Aidan's dog in the story too (although I can't think too close about it...a dog in a diner...yuck! But since it's fiction, it's cute).

I will admit I didn't like the sort of love triangle going on. I'm not a fan of those in the first place, and then when I have chosen who should belong to who and it takes a while to get there it just gets me frustrated. And this one, for me, ended up being awkward, especially since Aidan and Griff are both really great.

Like Andrea mentioned, it a different, heavier feel than Melanie's other books. So don't go into this expecting more of the same. But let's talk about the cover for a minute. Super eye catching, right? Beautifully done. Kudos to the designer there.

It's a quick read if you have some time on a weekend.

Tour Schedule:

*21st: http://ilovetoreadandreviewbooks.blogspot.com

Blog Tour Giveaway:

$25 Amazon Gift Card and a Free Painting Kisses book.

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Title: Painting Kisses
Author: Melanie Jacobson
Publisher: Covenant Communications Inc.
Published: October 2014
ISBN: 1621088510
Source: We each received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Book Review: Petticoat Detective by Margaret Brownley

Book Description:

Pinkerton detective Jennifer Layne is no stranger to undercover work. But posing as a lady companion named Amy at Miss Lillian’s Parlor House and Boots is a first for her. She’s finally landed a high-profile case and is on the trail of the notorious Gunnysack Bandit, when one of Miss Lillian’s girls essential to her investigation meets an untimely demise. Only a handful of people are in the house at the time of her death, including handsome Tom Colton, a former Texas Ranger determined to clear his brother’s name. Amy has many reasons to suspect Tom of murder—and one very personal reason to hope that she’s wrong about him.

Book Review:

Nothing about this book screamed, "This is different!" but it was an entertaining read never-the-less. It was predicable, but sometimes that isn't necessarily a bad thing. If you like Old West novels, this would be right up your alley. The heroine is spunky and fun (although I never am really convinced that she's all that great of a detective), and the hero is just what he should be. Throw in funny store names that sell multiple things (seriously, they were funny) and ladies of the night who learn to shoot guns and throw shoes, you are in for a good time. The ending was a little cheesy, but it makes you smile anyway.

Title: Petticoat Detective
Author: Margaret Brownley
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Published: December 2014
ISBN: 9781628366266
Source: I received an eCopy from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Book Review: The Heart's Pursuit by Robin Lee Hatcher

The Heart's Pursuit

Book Description:

A jilted bride desperate to save her family from ruin.
A bounty hunter seeking vengeance for a ravaged past.
An arduous trek toward justice—or redemption.

Silver Matlock and Jared Newman know traveling together is a bad idea. Bad for Silver’s already tarnished reputation in her small Colorado town. Bad for bounty hunter Jared’s secret, single-minded mission for revenge. But Silver is determined to track down the rogue who left her at the altar and stole the last remnant of her father’s fortune. And Jared’s in a hurry to hunt down the murderer who destroyed his family—even if Silver is too distractingly beautiful for comfort.

The pair takes off over mountain and desert, past bleak homesteads and raw mining towns, hot on the trail of the two villains who took what wasn’t theirs to take. Soon supplies dwindle, secrets emerge, and suspicion leave Silver and Jared at odds when they need each other most. To confront an enemy deadlier than desert rattlesnakes and rocky cliffs, Silver and Jared must learn to forgive and trust and face the question they haven’t dared voice: What happens next?

Book Review:

I'll was the cover that caught my attention. What? That sounds like a broken record? Well, it's totally true. Then I apparently have a thing for the Wild West (although, I'm soooo glad I didn't live back wouldn't have been a good time period for me). Anyway, I was immediately caught up in this book. I enjoyed Silver and Jared immensely. They seemed very real to me. Their actions, their thoughts, their behavior....all of it was well written and captivating.  I even enjoyed the last cheesy line in the book :) Oooo, and you know how I have a weird thing about names? I really really liked Silver's name, which is odd for me, but it just fit her personality and the book and everything.

There were a few things that I would have liked more of an explanation about. One was the bit with the hair (you'll know immediately when you read the book) Why? And what did he do with it? It wasn't a big thing, but it got me curious and then that curiosity wasn't satisfied. I think I also wanted more with the step mom. Maybe for her to realize she was wrong? I don't know. It definitely wasn't needed in the story, but I do like my happy endings :) The biggest thing for me was that Jared kept referring to his horse, "breaking down". I don't know, that seems like a car to me, not a horse. But I did ask my husband about it (seeing how he has more horse experience than I do) and he said that it was a proper was to say that. Go figure. I still would have like "foundered" or "wore out" better, but now I'm just getting nit picky.

I would definitely recommend this book to my friends and complete strangers (if I happened to be talking to a complete stranger about books...Hello Complete Stranger!). It was clean, funny, moving, and well written. I would buy a copy, reread it again, and look for more from this author.

The Heart's Pursuit
Title: The Heart's Pursuit
Author: Robin Lee Hatcher
Publisher: Zondervan
Published: May 2014
ISBN:  0310259274
Source: I received an eCopy from Netgalley in exchange for a review.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Book Review: Nowhere to Turn by Lynette Eason

Book Description:

The day Danielle Harding takes her 11-year-old son, Simon, and flees from her abusive husband, is the same day Kurt Harding dies. A relieved Dani believes she and her son are finally safe--but in reality, the danger has just begun. When Kurt was alive, he took something important to a mysterious person. That person wants the item back and believes Dani now has it. As she and her son run for their lives, they have nowhere to turn, until she hires Adam Buchanan of Operation Refuge and goes into hiding. Unfortunately, she won't be able to hide for long . . .

From the first breathless scene, this tension-laced story will hold readers in its iron grip. Bestselling author Lynette Eason propels readers along at a breakneck pace in a race to discover the truth and a better future.

Book Review:

This is a book two and the first I've read in this particular series. The good news is that it didn't make a huge difference, and could be read as stand-alone title. The bad news is that I thought it was part of a different series and I was completely confused until I realized the series I thought it belonged to is from a different author. So, as long as you don't make that mistake (trying to put books together that really don't go together) you will be fine :)

I appreciated the suspense of the novel. I got half the bad guys right :) It seemed a little over kill that there were so many bad guys, but it didn't keep me from enjoying the book. I also appreciated a good clean novel. There is violence, but not graphic. There is no swearing (that I can recall off the top of my head, and swearing usually really bugs me so I remember it), and the romance that took place was believable. It may not be Eason's best novel, but it was entertaining and I don't feel like I wasted my time reading it.

Title: Nowhere to Turn
Author: Lynette Eason
Publisher: Revell
Published: September 2014
ISBN: 9780800722098
Source: I received an eCopy from NetGalley in exchange for a review.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

DVD Spotlight: Saints and Soliders: The Void

Spotlight * Giveaway

 Saints and Soldiers: The Void
Now Available on DVD

Amazon | Deseret Book

Plot Summary:

Germany, May 1945, the twilight of WWII. On a final mission deep in the Harz mountains a U.S. tank crew discovers a platoon of Germans, including three infamous Panzer tanks, preparing to ambush allied supply trucks.

Before the war, Sergeant Jesse Owens, was a product of segregation and racial discrimination. Forced by law to ride in the back of the bus and disenfranchised from the political process. As the Germans bear down on the Americans, Owens fights the Axis powers for a freedom he and his fellow African American soldiers have never felt.

With a deadly game of cat and mouse quickly unfolding, Owens and his predominantly white tank crew find themselves out-gunned and out-manned by the German Panzer tanks. Several in Owens’ crew are reluctant to put their faith in a black tank driver despite their dire circumstances. With tension and fear beginning to manifest Owens knows they must put aside their differences to stop the enemy from their deadly plan. Knowing that a victory over the Nazis means a victory for racial justice, Owens and his men find a way to work together to save hundreds of lives in a desperate battle against the greatest odds they have ever faced.



One Literary Time Out follower will win Saints and Soliders: The Void on DVD. Enter to win via the Rafflecopter below.
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Blog Tour: Remake by Ilima Todd


Remake by Ilima Todd

Book Description:

Nine is the ninth female born in her batch of ten females and ten males. By design, her life in Freedom Province is without complications or consequences. However, such freedom comes with a price. The Prime Maker is determined to keep that price a secret from the new batches of citizens that are born, nurtured, and raised androgynously.

But Nine isn’t like every other batcher. She harbors indecision and worries about her upcoming Remake Day—her seventeenth birthday, the age when batchers fly to the Remake facility and have the freedom to choose who and what they’ll be.

When Nine discovers the truth about life outside of Freedom Province, including the secret plan of the Prime Maker, she is pulled between two worlds and two lives. Her decisions will test her courage, her heart, and her beliefs. Who can she trust? Who does she love? And most importantly, who will she decide to be?


Remake by Ilima Todd is a very intriguing story. The way of life depicted in this futuristic setting was insane! I had a hard time with the idea of gender not meaning anything-in fact, the idea sort of had me hung up for awhile. But, there is so much more to the story.

I really enjoyed following Nine on her journey. Experiencing so many things for the first time was almost magical. I love how her character developed, and what came to really matter to her. Especially the true idea of freedom, and the huge importance of family-something that was foreign to her being raised in Freedom Province.

The ending was well done. Of course, I wanted more, but it didn't leave me totally hanging, and I felt like it set up the next book quite well.

Ilima Todd did an excellent job with this debut novel. She's definitely an author to watch for.

About the Author: 

Ilima Todd was born and raised on the north shore of Oahu and currently resides in the Rocky Mountains. She never wanted to be a writer even though she loves books and reading. She earned a degree in physics instead. But the characters in her head refused to be ignored, and now she spends her time writing science fiction for teens. When she is not writing, Ilima loves to spend time with her husband and four children.

Tour Giveaway:

Publisher Shadow Mountain has four signed copies of Remake up for grabs. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

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Title: Remake
Author: Ilima Todd
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Published: October 2014
ISBN: 1609079248
Source: I received an advanced reader's edition from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble

Monday, October 13, 2014

Book Reveiw: Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door by Denette Fretz, illustrated by Gene Barretta

Book Description:

I hear that becoming a cowboy can be dangerous. Especially if you don't know the rules.
I don’t know the rules.”
It’s a good thing Conrad brought his Mega Ultimate Extreme First Aid Kit to Uncle Clint’s ranch because learning how to be a cowboy turns out to be a lot harder—and more painful—than he thought. Conrad has a lot to learn – including don’t squat with spurs on and never wave your red sweatshirt at a bull. But the biggest challenge of all is dealing with Imogene Louise Lathrup, the know-it-all-cowgirl next door. When Imogene shows up, she is all too happy to point out Conrad’s shortcomings. In this follow-up to their debut hit Pirates on the Farm, author Denette Fretz and illustrator Gene Barretta team up once again to tell a humorous tale about what it means to love your neighbor.


Book Review:

I love a good children's book. Especially one that all of my children (from 9-1) will sit down and listen to (okay, not necessarily the 1 yr. old...but she sits for a little while). Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door is one of those books.  It has bright colorful pictures that are fun to look at, and they tell half the story. The language is fun and entertaining. Some of my kids favorite parts of the story were Conrads "Mega Ultimate Extreme First Aid Kid" and the part about not squatting with your spurs on :) As a parent, I liked the message about forgiveness, especially to those people who bug/hurt us the most. I'm not entirely sure that my children got that message though. They said that the most important thing was learning what the rules were and following them so you didn't get hurt...which, as a parent I approve of that too.  I guess this book is part of a series, but you can definitely read it as a stand alone. Knowing there are more to these books, it definitely makes me want to check out the rest and see if I liked them as much as I liked this one.
I think this is a book my kids will read again and again. I'm even thinking of reading it to the kids who come to story time at the library when we do our Cowboy theme.

Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door
Title: Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door
Author: Denette Fretz, illustrated by Gene Barretta
Publisher: Zonderkids
Published: September 2014
ISBN: 0310723493
Source: I received a copy from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for a review.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Blog Tour: Sophia by Paula Kremser


Book Description:

Small-town Sophia Spencer can’t believe her luck when an unexpected inheritance allows her to experience London’s social scene. But her happiness disappears when she is caught napping in a grumpy gentleman’s room—and forced into an engagement to protect her reputation! Personalities collide and love blooms in this stunning debut novel.

Book Review:

I was pulled into this book right away, but oddly enough, not because I liked Sophia. I kind of found her spoiled, selfish, and immature. However, by the end of the book I liked her a lot better. She grew a lot in this novel.  I enjoyed Alex a lot in this novel. His actions made sense, even if I didn't agree with all of them.

No matter how many regency books I read it just kills me how strict they were with certain things (and all with the problems for the men).

This book was interesting to me because even though the "bad guy" isn't hard to figure out, it's the "why" that gets you. I spend a lot of energy trying to figure out why in the world this was set up the way it was :)

If you are looking for a quick (it was only about 200 pages) light, clean, regency era romance, Sophia is worth the few hours it will take you to read it.

Title: Sophia
Author: Paula Kermser
Publisher: Cedar Fort Publishing
Published: October 2014
ISBN: 1462114822
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Book Review: A Cowboy for Katie: A Four Weddings and a Kiss Novella by Debra Clopton

A Cowboy for Katie: A Four Weddings and a Kiss Novella

Book Description:

It's 1885 and five preachers sit around a campfire out West, trading stories of unlikely couples they've seen God bring together. This is one of those stories . . .

In which Katie, who has chased off half a dozen suitors with her shotgun, hires a rambling ranch hand who's finding Katie may change his wandering ways.

Everyone in town knows Katie Pearl has no interest in getting hitched. She likes living on her own out on her departed Pa's big ranch, turning down suitors left and right with a pistol by her side.

But when she needs a strong hand to help with rebuilding her house, Katie hires wandering cowboy Treb Rayburn, knowing he's just in town to make a quick buck and then he'll be off for parts unknown. But Treb's got a heart big as Texas. Their blossoming friendship may change her loner status and his wandering ways for good

Book Review:

I was reading along and looked down at the bottom of my Kindle and was shocked to discover that I was over half done with this Novella. Now, don't get me wrong, I understand that Novellas are short :) Really, I do. But some Novella's feel like one, and some feel more fleshed out and...complete. This felt like a Novella.

It left me wanting more. More of what I'm not exactly sure. More conflict from a bad guy maybe? The romance aspect was fine. I was okay with how it moved along, although the decision at the end seemed really sudden to me. Like all of a sudden things were fixed and okay, when they weren't hours before.

It was cute, and I liked the premise of the story, but it probably isn't one I will read again. I am curious enough that if I come across the other Novellas that make up the rest of the series I would read them.

A Cowboy for Katie: A Four Weddings and a Kiss Novella
Title: A Cowboy for Katie: A Four Weddings and a Kiss Novella
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishing
Published: September 2014
ISBN: 9780529102010
Source: I received an eCopy from Netgalley in exchange for a review.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Blog Tour: It Is Better to Look Up: Life Experiences Shared from the Pulpit

Review * Giveaway

Book Description:

We all love to be taught with stories. The Savior shared many in his ministry, and His prophets and other Church leaders have often emulated that great example. Gospel lessons come alive when they are presented in this way.

It Is Better to Look Up gathers more than fifty of the most memorable personal experiences shared in general conference over the years and pairs them with stunning photographic images. The result is an irresistible volume filled with remarkable true accounts of God's hand in our lives.

You'll love browsing through such gems as "In Harm's Way," by President Thomas S. Monson; "Man Down!" by President Henry B. Eyring; "Lift Where You Stand," by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf; "You Stupid Cow!" by Elder Mervyn B. Arnold; "Worldly Promises," by Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson; and dozens more. These short pieces are perfect for a quick moment of inspiration in a class, a home evening, or personal devotional time. Each one is presented with a scripture to complement the gospel message.

Featuring stories from every member of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve, plus many additional leaders past and present, this beautifully illustrated book will soon become a family favorite and a precious keepsake.


This is a beautiful book packed with excellent experiences. I really enjoyed the format, and found it to be a great book to grab for a quick inspirational story (or five) in a sitting.

I was drawn to the book by the title, as the talk (of the same name) given by Elder Carl B. Cook in the October 2011 General Conference is one that has stuck with me. I assumed that all of the experiences would be from recent General Conferences; however it was a nice surprise to have them from a variety of years (and people).

I enjoyed both the experiences that were familiar to me, and those I hadn't heard before. The index would make this a great book to have on hand when you are looking for an experience to add to a lesson.


Title: It Is Better to Look Up: Life Experiences Shared from the Pulpit
Publisher: Deseret Book Company
Published: October 2014
ISBN: 1609079477
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book


Publisher Deseret Book has graciously offered a copy of Dining with the Prophets: Historic Recipes from the Lion House to one Literary Time Out follower. To enter, leave a comment on this post, and then mark on the Rafflecopter form that you've commented. A winner will be selected and announced on Monday, October 13th. Good luck!
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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Blog Tour: Citizens of Logan Pond: Life by Rebecca Belliston

Review * Author Interview

Tour Schedule and Giveaway

Citizens of Logan Pond: Life by Rebecca Belliston

Book Description:

Her home. Her parents. Her freedom. Gone.
His dreams. His sister. Himself. Lost.
Two people.
One future.

The economy crashed, the country is floundering, and Carrie Ashworth struggles to keep her siblings alive. She has two jobs in her newly-formed, newly-outlawed clan: grow crops to feed thirty-six people, and keep Oliver Simmons, their local patrolman, happy. Carrie’s life is almost content when Greg Pierce shows up. A man with the ambition to help them survive. A man determined to hate her.

When a government raid nearly wipes out their clan, Greg realizes the true reason behind their safety. Patrolman Simmons has fallen for Carrie. Greg takes it upon himself to give the socially-awkward patrolman what he wants. Only Carrie doesn’t like Greg throwing her in Simmon's path, especially when Greg’s brusque exterior melts, and she catches a glimpse of the real man underneath. Carrie is forced to choose: follow her heart or save her clan.

Life won’t let her choose both.


Wow! If you like dystopian novels, you should definitely check out LifeIt is very well written, and I was pulled into the story right away. 

I really enjoyed the characters. Carrie is amazing in so many ways. She's mother to her orphaned siblings, and she does so much for her clan. She's quite selfless, and I really felt for her when some of the other clan members didn't seem to appreciate all she constantly did for everyone. I was drawn to her for her goodness, and her flaws.

The interaction between Carrie and Greg was very enjoyable. There were times when I wanted to punch Greg, but when you saw through the walls he'd built up, he could be quite likeable.

I loved the roller coaster of emotions throughout the story, and the way the situation made me think about our country, and our future.

One bonus of this book is the ending. Enough was resolved that I didn't feel ripped off that the next book isn't out yet. I definitely want to read the next book in the series, but I was content with the ending, and I will wait as patiently as possible for the next book.

Other than a couple of mild swear words, this is a clean read. There were a few typos in the review copy I read, but nothing that took away from the story. I am so happy to have been approached by the author about reviewing Life, and I look forward to book two in the Citizens of Logan Pond trilogy.

Interview with Author Rebecca Belliston:

When is the next book coming out? 

Book 2, LIBERTY, is 2/3 written, and it's due to the publisher by Thanksgiving. So assuming all goes well, late spring or early summer of next year.

*What inspired you to write Citizen of Logan Pond? 

Six years ago, I got stuck on a single question. “What if the end of civilization as we know it doesn’t come from some huge war or catastrophe? What if it comes from the absence of one small thing: the dollar?” This question wouldn’t leave me alone and has grown into this series. Along with that, I wanted to explore what kinds of things would survive if everything else was taken from a person, namely how would family, friendships, and love be affected.

*Who is your favorite character in your books, and why?  

Greg. Hands down. He’s just so angry, and I’m not sure why I enjoy writing a character like that, but I adore him in the way a mother adores her misbehaving toddler. I can see so much potential in him, and I love trying to help him reach it.

*What are your hopes/goals as an author, and what other projects do you have in mind? 

Well, NYT Bestseller would be nice. ;)  Actually, I'm on a mission to expand the clean book genre. I know several readers (myself included) who almost exclusively read YA because it usually has less content. But honestly, and no offense to the younger population, I get tired of reading about teenagers all the time. I have three teens of my own, and that's fun and all, but I read books to escape my life, you know? But there are so few adult books out there without 'adult' content, so I've made it a personal mission to not only supply the world with a few more, but also help promote any I come across. (Which is how I found your blog. Sounds like we have some of the same thoughts in this area).

*Do you have any unusual habits while you write? 

I listen to music. All types. Not sure if that's weird, but some people wonder how I can write with a constant stream of lyrics in the background. I'm not sure either, but I love it.

*What do you like to do when you're not writing? 

Sleep. :) I also teach piano, compose music, and chase my five kids. Technically, I don't like to chase them, but that's usually how my days go. So...yeah.

*What is your favorite book, and why? 

Wow. This is tough. I have so, so many favorite books, and it usually depends on my mood. Can I just say Jane Austen? I love all of her books equally. Oh, but I also really love The Ascendancy trilogy by Jennifer Nielsen. I'm rereading it now. Oh, and The Hunger Games series has amazing writing, Matched by Ally Condie, and all of Gerald Lund books (he's my dad, but I'd love even without the personal bias).

*Do you like having books you enjoy made into movies? What is the best/worst adaptation you've seen? 

Yes, although I insist on reading the book first. But I love seeing how other people interpret the book. The best books made into movies are the ones where they allow the author to be involved in the movie-making process. I just recently saw The Maze Runner by James Dashner and thought they did a great job of that adaptation.

*If money were no object, where would you like to go, and what would you like to do while you are there? 

Israel. I've been there twice and love it for so many reasons. I'd go back in a heartbeat, spend a spring there (summer is too hot), and maybe even research enough to write a book there.

About the Author:

Rebecca Lund Belliston is the author of the romantic suspense novel, Sadie, it's sequel, Augustina, and a new trilogy entitled Citizens of Logan Pond. Rebecca also composes piano and vocal music. When she's not writing fiction, music, or chasing her five kids, she can be found cuddled up with a good book. She and her family live in Michigan.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Title: Citizens of Logan Pond: Life
Author: Rebecca Belliston
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Published: September 2014
ISBN: 099062742X
Source: I received an eCopy from the author in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle

Monday, October 6, 2014

Book Review: A Lady at Willowgrove Hall by Sarah E. Ladd

A Lady at Willowgrove Hall (Whispers on the Moors, #3)

Book Description:

Willowgrove Hall is full of secrets, but soon everything hidden is brought to light.
Cecily Faire has a secret—and she intends to keep it. But when she arrives at Willowgrove Hall to serve as a lady’s companion, she comes face-to-face with the only person who knows the truth about her past.

As the steward of Willowgrove Hall, Nathaniel Stanton is dedicated to serving those around him. Nothing escapes his notice—including the beautiful new lady’s companion. He is certain the lovely Miss Faire is hiding something, and he determines to uncover it. But Nathaniel has a secret of his own: he is the illegitimate son of Willowgrove’s former master. Falling in love was not part of his plans . . . until he meets Cecily Faire.

When Willowgrove’s mistress dies, everything changes. Fear of exposure forces Cecily to leave under the cover of darkness, embarking on a journey to finally find her long-lost sister. When the will is read, Nathaniel’s inheritance makes him question his future plans. Cecily and Nathaniel are forced to make decisions that will change the course of their lives. Is their love strong enough to survive?

Book Review:

Let's start with the cover of this book, shall we? Isn't it beautiful? I would totally pick this up in the library if I saw it. I don't know who comes up with Sarah E. Ladd's covers, but they are all beautiful and well done.

This is the third book of the Whispers on the Moor's series, but it doesn't need to be read with the other two to make sense of things.  Actually having read the other two books (and in order, totally unusual for me :) This was probably my second favorite. Her first book The Heiress of Winterwood was probably my favorite.

Most of what happened in the novel is internal struggles for the two main characters. So there isn't a lot of action, and I did get slowed down by that a little bit. Not enough to stop reading it or even put it down and read something else for a while though.

The ending didn't make me super happy, but that is only because of one thing that Cecily said, and I liked my version of events better :)

If you like Historical Christian Romances I would give Sarah E. Ladd's books a try.

A Lady at Willowgrove Hall (Whispers on the Moors, #3)
 Title: A Lady at Willowgrove Hall
Author: Sarah E. Ladd
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Published: October 2014
ISBN: 1401688373
Source: I received an eCopy from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Spotlight: The Amelia Moore Detective Series by Linda Weaver Clark

Amelia Moore, the founder of the Moore Detective Agency, specializes in missing persons. Her cases have taken her to some very interesting places and put her in some dangerous situations, but she always solves the case. With the help of her partner, Rick Bonito, the business is flourishing.

The Bali Mystery: Amelia Moore Detective Series
ISBN-13: 978-1497327153

When Mrs. Brody hires Amelia and Rick to find her missing brother, they find themselves in Bali, Indonesia. They are mystified why her brother quit his job, put his home up for sale, and ran off to this mysterious and exotic island without telling a soul.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle

The Shamrock Case: Amelia Moore Detective Series
ISBN-13: 978-1499537574

When Amelia is hired to search for her client’s grandparents, the case takes them to Ireland. Kate must learn about her heritage. Who are her grandparents and could they still be alive after all these years? Why did her parents leave Ireland suddenly and move to America? Is there more to this case than meets the eye?

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle

The Missing Heir: Amelia Moore Detective Series
ISBN-13: 978-1500114596

Dell Murphy has passed on and left a fortune to his nephew. He wants his nephew to continue his work at the orphanage in Mexico, but there is one problem. Neal Woods is missing! If Amelia and Rick can’t find him soon, the fortune will be turned over to Dell’s brother and sister who intend to close down “Uncle Dell’s Orphanage.” If that happens, where will the children go?

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle

Author Bio:

Linda Weaver Clarke travels throughout the United States, teaching people to write their family history and autobiography. She has traveled to seventeen states and given over 450 workshops. Clarke is the author of several historical sweet romances, a mystery/adventure series, a children’s book, and a cozy mystery series. She is also the author of an award-winning sweet romance, Melinda and the Wild West, for the “Reviewers Choice Award.” All her books are family friendly. Visit her website at

Family Friendly Blog:

Linda's Website:

Purchase an ebook at

Friday, October 3, 2014

Blog Tour: The James Miracle by Jason F. Wright


The James Miracle by Jason F. Wright

Book Description:

Sam and Holly Foster seemed to enjoy near-perfect lives. Each claimed a successful career and a legacy of goals set and achieved. Held above their possessions and accomplishments was their only child, James. He was the son they promised to raise together and the reason they came home each night. But when a series of events jolts the Fosters from their comfortable routine, it will take the miracle of their young son's toy boat and a mysterious stranger to remind them that heaven is not far and that love is never lost.


The James Miracle is an excellent book! It was perfect for a quick Sunday afternoon read. I really enjoyed the writing style, and was very touched by the story.

Wright creates relatable characters-people striving for the best in what they do, and sometimes losing focus on the most important things in life. People who have their shortcomings, but thankfully come to realize what matters most.

I loved the inclusion of the "mysterious stranger". I think we all have angels in our lives, and this Heavenly help is manifest in many ways.

This book is great from the inside out. I loved the cover design and the size of this 10th Anniversary Edition. The 5X7 hardcover is just 104 pages, and I think it would be a great gift (don't forget to include a box of tissues too).

About the Author:

Jason F. Wright is the New York Times bestselling author of Christmas Jars and The Wednesday Letters. He writes a weekly column for the Deseret News and Northern Virginia Daily. His articles have appeared in over fifty newspapers and magazines across the United States including The Washington Times, The Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. A popular speaker, Jason has been seen on CNN, FoxNews, C-SPAN, and on local television affiliates around the country. Jason and his wife, Kodi, live in Virginia with their four children.

Title: The James Miracle
Author: Jason F. Wright
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Published: September 2014
ISBN: 1609079310
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Deseret Book

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Book Review: A Perfect Fit by Heather Tullis

A Perfect Fit (DiCarlo Brides #1)

Book Description:
Cami DiCarlo has always known what she wanted and where she belonged, but when her father dies, his will reveals huge secrets—four of them in the form of half sisters she never knew about—and his plans for her future, which aren’t at all what she had in mind.

She finds herself working alongside her sisters as they get ready to open the hotel for business, dealing with personality conflicts, and trying to find out who is trying to destroy the family name and ruin the hotel’s reputation before it even gets started.

Vince Talmadge, local landscape architect, seems miles away from the kind of man she usually dates, but the attraction flares between them from word one. Learning her father picked him out to be her future husband, she is not amused, but neither can she back off the path they’ve begun together. But can two people miles apart in so many ways really make things work?

Book Review: 

I wasn't actually even going to post this, because it isn't a book I would recommend to anyone, but I posted on Facebook a chance to buy this book as a boxed set with Working it Out by Rachael Anderson and Loved Like That by Julie Wright.  I erroneously thought that because it was paired with these two authors it would be an enjoyable clean read. The whole premise of the book is based on infidelity, and while none of the sisters condone it, they are looking for ways to rationalize it. There is some minor swearing in the book, and sex in it. The sex isn't explicit, but it was way more than I wanted to read about. The main character, Cami, isn't likeable at all. She is mean and angry and any time she does think about doing something nice for someone else, or think of someone else, she puts it aside because she is too busy to be nice. I will admit I am curious as to what happens with the other sisters, but not enough to read any more from this author.

So basically, I regret buying it (sad that I wasted my .99). I wouldn't recommend it, and I wouldn't read anything else from this author.