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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Book Review: Girls Who Choose God by McArthur Krishna and Bethany Brady Spalding

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Book Description:

Shining light on strong women from the Book of Mormon, this groundbreaking book shares well-known stories alongside others that may be less familiar. Come to better know and love Sariah, the heroic daughters from Zeniff, Nephi s wife, the maidservant spy, and other women from the Book of Mormon who chose God with all their might. These faith-filled women defended their families, protected their husbands, and risked their lives for others providing powerful role models for us all. With stunning illustrations, ten compelling narratives, and thought-provoking family discussion questions, this follow-up to the Bible volume of Girls Who Choose God will give you a new perspective on the Book of Mormon. Reading and reflecting on these brave women s stories, girls and boys will learn that they too can be strong and choose God. 

Rorie's Review:

At first glance, one wouldn't think that I would be very interested in reading this book. I have four sons after all, and no daughters. But I reminded myself that these sons of mine will one day grow up and marry girls, so it would be good for them to learn about strong women in the scriptures too.

This book is divided up into sections describing several different Book of Mormon women and the challenges that they faced. At the end of each section, the reader is asked a question, such as "When have you been brave for your beliefs?" I really like how this gives the reader a chance to ponder their own lives and see if there are any areas they can work on (and lets be honest, we all have areas we can work on.)

I can see using this book for Family Home Evenings, as well as day-to-day teaching moments with each of my kids. I've read this with my younger two kids and look forward to reading it with my older two as well.

Tarah's Review:

I was excited about this book for my daughters (I know, I know...I'm being sexist here) so I was extremely surprised when my eight year old son read the book and said, "This is really good!" So, there you have it, it isn't just for girls :)

This isn't a sit down and read it all in one setting (unless your kids are really really great at sitting still and listening to non-fiction stories). This is more of pick a couple and talk about them.

I can't wait to use it for FHE and or other lessons for my whole family. 

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/91HE7at4QcL.jpg Title: Girls Who Choose God
Author: McArthur Krishna and Bethany Brady Spalding
Illustrator: Kathleen Peterson
Publisher: Deseret Book Company
Published: October 2015
ISBN: 1629721018
Source: We received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review.  

Purchase: Deseret Book Amazon



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Blast: My Book Cave

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My Book Cave is the company behind this ingenious idea. The concept is simple. Just sign up for the genres and ratings you want to see, choose your heat, violence, and swearing comfort level, then My Book Cave delivers ebook deals to your inbox. Rating include All Audiences, Mild, Mild+, Moderate, Moderate+, and Adult. And right now, My Book Cave is having a huge giveaway with two ereaders and three cash gift cards. Just for signing up, you’re entered to win one of the ereaders. Visit My Book Cave to sign up or check out their blog for the rest of the prizes.  

Happy reading!

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P.S. If you’re an author and have a fantastic book you’d like to feature for free on My Book Cave, come on over. They’re always looking for great books.

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$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 11/18/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Blog Tour: Papa's Book of Mormon Christmas by Emma Rae Parker

Papa's Book of Mormon Christmas

Book Description:

Six-year-old Alice would rather get toys than a book any day. But when her grandfather explains that this book is different, Alice begins to see why their first-edition Book of Mormon is so special to her family. Set in the early 1900s, this charming story is the perfect picture book to read with your family as you gather round the Christmas tree.

Tarah's Review:

I read this to my two youngest children, and I've seen my older children reading it as well. When I asked my 4 year old what her favorite part was she said, "The cookies!" Not really the point of the story, but she really did love the illustrations. They were very cute and very well done.

The author did a great job with little Alice. Just like my children, she was here, there, and everywhere. Eventually the story got told and little Alice was able to understand and get excited about this wonderful book.  Coming from an adult perspective, there seemed to be a lot missing and the story was very simple. However, like I said, my two littlest didn't seem to have any trouble following what the story was about.

Rorie's Review:

I sat down and read this book with my two youngest. The book has cute illustrations and my kids seemed to enjoy the story. I had grand intentions of reading it with my two older kids as well, but that hasn't happened yet. I am happy to add this to my kids' library though. 


Papa's Book of Mormon ChristmasTitle: Papa's Book of Mormon Christmas
Author: Emma Rae Parker
Illustrator: Alexa Terry Hanson
Publisher: Bonneville Books
Published: October 2015
ISBN: 1462117414
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Book Review: My Home Can Be a Holy Place by Kristen M. Oaks Illustrated by Dan Burr

My Home Can Be a Holy Place

Book Description:

Our homes can become holy places that prepare children to grow up in the Lord (D&C 109:15). This children s picture book tells the story of Lily, a young girl who is helping to make her home a holy place by the things she does each day. The engaging illustrations by LDS artist Dan Burr depict Lily s family in various settings that show how children can contribute to the spiritual environment in their home as they say their prayers, work together, read the scriptures, eat dinner as a family, make good decisions, observe the Sabbath day, participate in family home evening, share the gospel, and learn to love one another. Parents will find additional helps and resources to reinforce these concepts on the author s website. These resources are designed specifically to complement the themes presented in the book.

Tarah's Book Review:

I was expecting a bed time book for my children, I think. I would consider this more of a study guide for the entire family. Maybe not study guide, maybe a lesson book, or a discussion starter anyway.  I can see how this book could be used for Family Home Evenings and for Family Council. If used correctly I could see it generating some good conversation, and a way to involve your children's ideas into your family.

While I love the idea of this book, and the quotations like, "No other work transcends that of righteous, intentional parenting" by Russell M. Nelson, I really don't see my children picking this up to read just because.  Just to sit down and read with my children my younger ones attention spans would be gone quite quickly if we were to just read it with no discussion. My older children might sit through the whole thing, but I doubt they would pick it up again and again.

One thing I loved was at the end of the book they gave a website for more helps and ideas. I just quickly browsed through it, but it looks like it could be really useful.

So if you are looking for ways to be more intentional with your family, and need some ideas, you might want to take a look at this book.

Rorie's Book Review:

I sat down with my 4-year-olds and read this book to them, and while they sat and listened to the whole thing, I think their attention started to wander before we finished. I like this book, but it is something that you would read one or two pages at a time and then discuss, rather than reading it as a story from start to finish.

I like the artwork and also like how each page has a little blurb at the top, giving a different way to make our home a holy place. I can see my kids using topics in this book to give a Family Home Evening lesson.

My Home Can Be a Holy Place
Title: My Home Can Be a Holy Place
Author: Kristen M. Oaks
Illustrator: Dan Burr
Publisher: Deseret Book Company
Published: September 2015
ISBN: 9781629720999
Source: We received a copies from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Book Review: Truths Most Worth Knowing: An Apostle's Witness by Boyd K. Packer

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Book Description:

All truth is worth discovering, but some truths are most worth knowing. In this timely and significant book, President Boyd K. Packer shares vital, eternal truths that he has learned in ninety years of life and over fifty years as a General Authority truths that can help guide us through our own mortal journey. Chapters entitled Prayer and Promptings, How to Survive in Enemy Territory, and The Key to Spiritual Protection address issues that are essential to our faith and well-being in the perilous and turbulent times in which we live. President Packer writes of this final witness, After all the years that I have lived and taught and served, after the millions of miles I have traveled around the world, and with all that I have experienced, I wish to share with you those truths which are the most worth knowing.

Review:

This is a book full of some of President Packer's talks, divided up by subject. A few of the talks I remember hearing in Conference, most of the talks were new to me, but I enjoyed reading all of them. There were several phrases or sections throughout the book that I wanted to mark so I could come back to them again and again. This is one that will be going up on my "to-keep" shelf.

About the Author: 

President Boyd K. Packer, former President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was set apart to this position on 3 February 2008. Previously, he was Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles beginning 5 June 1994. prior to becoming Acting President, he served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, having been ordained an Apostle on 9 April 1970. He earlier served for almost nine years as an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostle. President Packer Passed away on July 3, 2015 at the age of 90.

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Title: Truths Most Worth Knowing: An Apostle's Witness
Authors: Boyd K. Packer
Publisher: Deseret Book Company
Published: July 2015
ISBN: 1629720968
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Deseret Book Amazon



 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Blog Tour: Spotlight by Traci Hunter Abramson


Spotlight by Traci Hunter Abramson

Book Description:

Navy SEAL Craig Simmons has pledged his life to serve and protect, so when this newest member of the Saint Squad observes a stunning young woman on the beach being shadowed by an armed man, he leaps into action. It doesn’t take long to realize his mistake, but it also puts him in a position to meet a very well—known actress, Sienna Blake. For Sienna, the timing couldn’t be more perfect—she’s preparing for a role as a CIA agent, and who better to help her prepare than a Navy SEAL? Craig and Sienna develop a lighthearted friendship, though both are aware of their growing attraction. Neither realizes, however, that a treacherous enemy is setting in motion a terrifying plan to destroy Sienna . . .
 

A series of near-fatal accidents on set are too close for comfort, and Sienna has been lucky to escape with her life—so far. Despite the rising danger behind the scenes, the show must go on. When the Saint Squad is enlisted by the FBI to safeguard Sienna on the ill-fated film set, Craig is driven to protect the woman he is quickly growing to love. As the list of suspects and motives grows, Craig and the Saint Squad will do whatever it takes to track down the perpetrator-before things turn deadly. 

Review:

Just a quick note, if you like the Saint Squad series you will like this book. If they aren't your favorite then this book isn't for you. If you haven't read any of the series, while this is a stand alone, I'd really recommend reading the others first so you understand the dynamics of the people in the story.

Now...to the fun stuff...

This book was such a fun little treat for me :) I love this series and I was glad to see a new member of the squad, although I was confused why they needed someone new. This is explained in one sentence in the last book, so if you are curious go look it up. In fact, that's something I loved about this series. Each book makes me want to go back and reread the previous one, and this book was no exception.

The team banter is fun, and the main characters are well written. The mystery behind it is not quite what I was expecting, and that made it great too.

If you are looking for a quick entertaining clean read them make sure you check this book out. It's another winner for this author!

Tour Schedule:

*Oct. 12th: http://www.wishfulendings.com/, http://mybookaday.blogspot.com/
*Oct. 13th: http://ldsandlovinit.blogspot.com/, http://gettingyourreadonaimeebrown.blogspot.com/, http://littlelightdesigncollective.com/
*Oct. 14th: http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/, http://www.rockinbookreviews.com/, http://literarytimeout.blogspot.com/
*Oct. 15th: http://katiescleanbookcollection.blogspot.com/, http://www.singinglibrarianbooks.com/index.html
*Oct. 16th: http://ilovetoreadandreviewbooks.blogspot.com/, http://www.iamareader.com/, http://www.bonnieharris.blogspot.com/, http://melsshelves.blogspot.com/, http://minreadsandreviews.blogspot.com/, http://www.ldswomensbookreview.com/wordpress/

Tour Giveaway:

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Blog Tour: Timeless Regency Collection: Autumn Masquerade

 Timeless Regency Collection: Autumn Masquerade
 
 **Amazon Top 100 in Regency Romance**
**Amazon Top 50 in Victorian Romance**

Book Description:

From the publisher of the #1 Amazon bestselling A Timeless Romance Anthology series in Clean Romance.

Join three bestselling Regency romance authors, Josi S. Kilpack, Donna Hatch, and Nancy Allen, for three new Regency romance novellas in AUTUMN MASQUERADE.

A MERRY DANCE by Josi S. Kilpack. When Lila overhears her uncle talking about a man coming to look for property in the county, she doesn’t think twice, until her uncle says he hopes Lila will find enough interest to marry the man. How can she marry someone named Mortimer Luthford, not to mention that his advanced age of thirty-three, and especially since she’s already in love with her absent cousin Neville? But when Mortimer arrives, Lila has to try every trick known to women to act not interested in the rather fascinating man, which proves a very difficult fa├žade to maintain.

UNMASKING THE DUKE by Donna Hatch. The last thing Hannah Palmer wants to do is flirt with men in a crowded ballroom, but when her sister throws a Masquerade Ball, Hannah can’t say no to the invitation and takes comfort behind a mask. She dances with a charming masked man, matching him wit for wit. When the glorious evening culminates in a kiss, and the two remove their masks, Hannah is horrified to discover the man she’s been flirting with all night is her most despised neighbor, the Duke of Suttenberg. No matter how charming the duke was at the ball, and how wonderful the kiss, he is the last man she’d ever accept.

WHAT’S IN A NAME by Nancy Campbell Allen. Penelope Timely has a terrible secret. She’s been writing letters to the Duke of Wilmington, pretending to be her ever-proper twin sister, Persephone. Now, the duke has written that he’ll be coming for the Autumn Masquerade Ball and Festival. Penelope will have to continue the charade while the duke is in town in order to protect her sister. The Duke of Wilmington isn’t fooled for a moment, but instead of confessing that he knows about the deception, he finds himself utterly charmed by Penelope and jumps into the game of deception to see how far the twin sisters will take it.

Andrea's Review:

I really enjoyed all of the novellas in Autumn Masquerade. I read them quickly and since it's an eBook, it's been nice having it handy to pull up on my phone when I've found myself waiting in a carpool pickup line or other places.

In A Merry Dance I couldn't help but like Lila. I'm a sucker for characters that don't fit the mold of their time or social standing, and that definitely describes Lila. Her quest to make Mortimer not like her was very entertaining. Her relationships with her uncle and her best friend were also endearing.

In Unmasking the Duke it was interesting how Hannah was truly able to be herself when she had a mask on in a social setting where she normally struggled. I think that might be the case for many of us. We worry about what others think and don't show our true selves due to social fears. I liked how both main characters were able to be their true selves at different times.

I've always liked stories where twins swap places, and found Penelope and Persephone's story in What's In a Name to be very entertaining. The Duke was perfect for Penelope in many ways, and he was so kind where she wasn't finding that with her aunt.

I would label the romances in these stories as clean with an *. The language is clean, and there's not sex, although the kissing scenes are more sensual than you'd find in squeaky-clean stories.

Tarah's Review:

I love a good clean Regency read! These were such fun stories that instead of reading them in pieces when I had time, I stayed up way too late to finish everything (although, with them being shorter, it wasn't as late as I have been known to stay up...so that was good!)

Normally when books are grouped together there are ones that I don't care much for, and ones I really liked. I happened to like all three of these stories, and have already re-read Unmasking the Duke while I was waiting in the pick-up line for my kiddos :)

I agree with Andrea's take on the cleanliness of the stories. I'd rate them as clean but would want it known that some of the kissing and feelings are quite descriptive.


Other Timeless Regency Collections:

A Midwinter Ball (Coming December 2015)
Spring in Hyde Park (Coming March 2016)
Summer House Party (Coming June 2016)
A Country Christmas (Coming October 2016)

Title: Timeless Regency Collection: Autumn Masquerade
Authors: Josi S. Kilpack, Donna Hatch, Nancy Campbell Allen
Publisher: Mirror Press
Published: October 2015
ASIN: B010W9QSKY
Source: We received an eCopy from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Amazon

Friday, October 9, 2015

Movie Review: Highway to Dhampus


About the Movie:

This beautifully shot, contemplative film transports the viewer to the stunning countryside of Nepal. An inspiring story written and directed by Utah native Rick McFarland, and filmed almost entirely in Nepal, Highway to Dhampus follows the headmistress of a small orphanage in Nepal who is visited by a rich British socialite attempting to fix her public image through charitable acts. A providential chain of events is set in motion that affects everyone involved, and ultimately, each character discovers their own reasons to change for the better.

Trailer:


Review:

Highway to Dhampus is a touching movie that keeps you thinking well after the credits have finished rolling. It's not like most movies out there that are jam packed with attention grabbing scenes. The pace is slow, and viewers need to be somewhat invested to follow the story as portions of it are subtitled. I didn't mind that though. It kept me engaged and I was able to appreciate the messages that serving others helps you come to love them, and even the seemingly small things we do can make a difference and touch hearts.

I didn't recognize any of the actors, but I thought they did a good job. I also appreciated the cinematography.

This is a clean film that I would recommend.

Highway to Dhampus Awards:

Best Dramatic Feature at the Heartland Film Festival
Best Feature Film and Best Lead Actress at the Madrid International Film Festival
Best World Showcase at the SoHo International Film Festival.

Opening on October 9th in select theaters
 
Website

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Blog Tour: Always Will by Melanie Jacobson

Reviews * Giveaway


Always Will by Melanie Jacobson

Book Description:

Handsome twenty-eight-year-old Will Hallerman has finally had enough of the dating world—he's ready to find a wife and settle down. This announcement is catastrophic in Hannah Becker's world. After knowing Will her entire life and adoring him from afar since junior high school, she realizes her chance at love with him is in grave danger. Hannah's problem? To Will, she will never be more than his best friend's little sister. Determined to open his eyes to her charms, Hannah sets out to sabotage Will's wife hunt by placing nightmare dates in his path and taking his search on a wild goose chase. Her plan is risky, but she's willing to take a chance to catch the eye of her soul mate.

Despite her crazy schemes, nothing seems to be working. Hannah can't help but wonder if it's time to set aside this childhood crush—to move on and settle down herself. She's ready for a fresh start with a great guy. If only Will weren't suddenly changing the rules of the game... And how can Hannah move on when Will just won't let her forget.


Tarah's Review:

Yes, this is what I want when I read a book by Melanie Jacobson. A light-hearted, fun, easy, quick read. I will admit that I stayed up too late reading last night, and I'm totally dragging today because of this book :)

I'm a sucker for the falling in love with your best friend type book, but this was slightly different in that it was her brother's best friend.

While I loved it, and will totally read it again, I was disappointed a little with the end and Will's "confession". I wanted it to be more about Hannah, but instead it was just about Will.  He feels like she really sees him, and gets him, and on and on, and I just felt like, "Wow, can you get a bigger ego?" Hannah told us the whole book how great he is, and he never really tells us how she is. Sure he sends a couple texts, but really...it was all just about him.

If you are a Melanie Jacobson fan this has all her trademark writing style, and you won't be disappointed.

Andrea's Review:

Always Will is a very entertaining, quick and clean read by Melanie Jacobson. It's not mind blowing, or even a new type of story, but it's definitely one that held my attention, and has a romance you couldn't help but root for. I stayed up well past midnight reading.

I really enjoy how Jacobson includes Internet dating in a lot of her stories, especially because that's how she met her husband and knows that it can work. Don't get me wrong, it's not for everyone (I never tried it when I was dating), but it's a fun aspect to her stories. And, even though the romance you can't help but push for in this story isn't an online connection, it's just what our lovebirds need to get things rolling.

The friend crush was also a great aspect. Really, this is just a fun read that is very Melanie Jacobson. If you are a fan, you should definitely check this out. And, if you haven't read any of Melanie's books yet, this would be a great place to start.

Rorie's Review:

This. This is my kind of book. The kind of book where you sit on the couch all day in your pajamas and just devour the book, only stopping when absolutely necessary (because I am a mom and at some point the minions do need sustenance.)

I was able to get totally lost in this story - I felt like I was going through every emotion that Hannah was going through (what, not everyone does that when they read a book?) The ending did seem a bit rushed to me, but boy, the buildup was perfect. Plus, Hannah is a runner, so I could really relate to her in that way...too bad I can't relate to her in the healthy eating bit too. ;)

Tour Schedule:

*October 5th: http://heidi-reads.blogspot.com/, https://joyinthemoments.wordpress.com/, http://www.iamareader.com/
*October 6th: http://fireandicereads.com/, http://www.blogginboutbooks.com/, http://ldsandlovinit.blogspot.com/
*October 7th: http://ilovetoreadandreviewbooks.blogspot.com/, http://www.wishfulendings.com/, http://literarytimeout.blogspot.com/, http://mybookaday.blogspot.com/
*October 8th: http://www.bonnieharris.blogspot.com/, http://littlelightdesigncollective.com/, http://www.rockinbookreviews.com/, http://melsshelves.blogspot.com/
*October 9th: http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/, http://katiescleanbookcollection.blogspot.com/, http://www.singinglibrarianbooks.com/index.html, http://gettingyourreadonaimeebrown.blogspot.com/, http://booksaresanity.blogspot.com/

Tour Giveaway:

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Always Will Title: Always Will
Author: Melanie Jacobson
Publisher: Covenant
Published: October 2015
ISBN: 1680476157
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Deseret Book

Monday, October 5, 2015

CD Review: Hold on: A Modern Tribute to the Music of Michael McLean

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CD Description:

Eric Robertson, a popular producer in Provo, has brought together an impressive list of talented vocalists to sing on new, fresh productions of classic Michael McLean songs. The vocalists include some of the top names from the burgeoning Provo music scene, including Elaine Bradley, from Neon Trees, and Ryan Innes, one of the top contestants on NBC's The Voice. Eric grew up listening to Michael McLean songs and still feels a strong connection to them. This album is an effort to pay tribute to those songs and produce them in a way that will speak to a younger generation of LDS youth. 


Track List:
  1. Hold On, the Light Will Come feat. Scott Shepard
  2. Give a Little Bit of Yourself feat. Catherine Leavy
  3. You're Not Alone feat. Andrew Langdon
  4. Gentle feat. Drew Danburry
  5. I Can't Do Everything feat. Brooke White of American Idol
  6. Homeless feat. Ryan Innes of The Voice
  7. You've Always Been There for Me feat. Elaine Bradley of Neon Trees
  8. Share the Joy feat. Severin Bozung
  9. Be the Joy feat. Eric Robertson
  10. Promise of Light feat. Adam and Darcie Sanders
Tarah's Review:

Back in the day when I dreamed about becoming a singer and being discovered one day (before I realized I can't sing...sad day...sad sad day), I would listen to Michael McLean's music and sing it over and over again. Good memories there :)

So, this CD you can't really tell what any of the song are, in relation to what Michael McLean wrote. However, I really enjoyed the techno feel to it. My kids were dancing around the living room, and since it is McLean music I don't have to worry about it being inappropriate (some of the lyrics are hard to understand). It's upbeat and happy. I don't know that I'd classify any of it as Modern, but just don't go into it expecting the old school stuff, and maybe appreciate some techno, and it's a fun CD. 
 
Andrea's Review:

I recently saw an interview with Michael McLean and Eric Robertson about this new album. I can't tell you the number of hours I spent as a teenager listening to Michael's music, so when I saw that he was flattered by this tribute, I was excited to listen to it. The first listen was a bit of a shocker with the techno feel and a few songs that were hard to recognize. Listening to the album more than once helps, but if you really liked the original songs, this modern tribute might not be for you.

Rorie's Review:

I have always love Michael McLean's music, so I was excited to get this CD and listen to it. Sadly, this modern tribute just doesn't compare to the original. I found the synthesizer-type music off-putting and definitely not modern. I think I will stick to the actual piano music done by Michael McLean himself.


http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71hP9mLwFvL._SL1500_.jpgTitle: Hold on: A Modern Tribute to the Music of Michael McLean
Label: Shadow Mountain
Released: August 2015
ASIN: B00YXRPTC0
Source: We received CDs in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book

 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Blog Tour: Lord Fenton's Folly by Josi Kilpack

Lord Fenton's Folly (1)
Blog Tour Schedule
 Lord Fenton's Folly by Josi Kilpack

Book Description:

Lord Fenton is a gambler, a dandy, and a flirt-and he must marry or else he will be disinherited, stripped of his wealth and his position. He chooses Alice Stanbridge for two simple reasons: he once knew her as a young girl, and she is the least objectionable option available to him. However, Alice has harbored feelings for Fenton since their first meeting ten years ago, and she believes his proposal is real. When she discovers it is not, she is embarrassed and hurt. However, a match with the most-eligible bachelor in London would secure not only her future but that of her family as well. Determined to protect herself from making a fool of herself a second time, Alice matches Lord Fenton wit for wit and insult for insult as they move toward a marriage of convenience that is anything but a happy union. Only when faced with family secrets that have shaped Fenton's life does he let down his guard enough to find room in his heart for Alice.

Review:

I've been really impressed with Shadow Mountain's Proper Romance line, and Lord Fenton's Folly is a great addition-I've already read it twice. There's plenty of romantic tension without the sex common in many romance novels.

Alice's story tugs at your heartstrings. When she discovers that Lord Fenton's proposal is without love, you can't help but feel sorry for her. The fact that she sticks with it to help her family is courageous. Her interactions with him really make for an entertaining story. Many of those interactions are also sad. The idea of marriage purely for convenience with one or both partners going elsewhere for love (or lust) sounds like it was fairly common.

Lord Fenton was a bit hard to take at times, but it was easier knowing that it was all a reaction due to his father's actions and there is much more to him inside. I enjoyed reading about his growth throughout the story.

If you like clean romance set in the Regency period, be sure to check out Lord Fenton's Folly and the other books in the Proper Romance line.
   
Excerpt:

Fenton groaned and put his saucer back on the tray, making an instantaneous decision that eased his mind quite a lot. To look at every woman he met as a potential wife was irritating, and after only two weeks he was quite tired of it. Perhaps the solution was to orchestrate a match that would not lay all aspects of matrimony at his feet all at once. Perhaps treating it as a business arrangement would help it to be exactly that, thereby freeing him from all the discomfiting realities he was not yet prepared to face.

"I leave for Fentonview on Tuesday and shan't be back for a week. Courting is such a boring prospect, and you yourself said that to become infatuated with anyone might become a complication." He paused, considered one last time what he was going to say next, and decided he felt as good about it as could be expected. "You like Alice Stanbridge and feel she would make a good wife for me?"

Lady Chariton looked confused and perhaps a bit concerned. "I do, but-"

"Then that is good enough for me," Fenton said, rising to his feet and smiling broadly at his mother, who stared back at him in surprise. "I do find her appealing and what's more she is not a silly little thing without a practical thought in her head."

His mother's eyes widened and her eyebrows rose upon her forehead. Fenton struck a pose of consternation, with his thumb and forefinger on his chin as he looked toward the window a moment, then nodded crisply and turned back to his mother who still looked shocked by his pronouncement.

"Yes, I think that Alice Stanbridge is exactly what I should like in a wife, and so I shall see to it before I leave for Hampshire-I see no reason to wait until Michaelmas and might as well get it over with." He leaned in and kissed his mother's hand. "Thank you for your help, Mama. I shall let you know how she responds to my proposal."


About the Author:
 
JosiJosi S. Kilpack hated to read until her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond when she was 13. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and credits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began writing her first novel in 1998 and never stopped. Sheep's Clothing won the Whitney award for Mystery/Suspense in 207 and Wedding Cake, book twelve in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery series won in 2014. Josi was also the Best of State winner in Fiction for 2012. Josi currently lives in Willard, Utah, with her husband, children and super-cute - but not very friendly - cat.


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Lord Fenton's FollyTitle: Lord Fenton's Folly
Author: Josi S. Kilpack
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Published: October 2015
ISBN: 1629720666
Source: I received an eCopy from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Deseret Book
 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Book Review: Played for a Fool by Stephanie Black

Played for a Fool by Stephanie Black

Book Description: 

Three years ago, the small town of Britteridge was rocked by the senseless murder of Gail Ludlum. Now the people most affected by the tragedy have returned to the place where it all began, and the scene is set for the perfect revenge . . .

Megan O’Connor’s life was shattered when she was unwittingly drawn into a kidnapping plot that ultimately led to the murder of an innocent woman. Though the road to redemption has been long, she’s finally found happiness with her recent engagement to a wonderful man, a pillar of the community. But amid the chaos of wedding planning, the return of Gail Ludlum’s son to Britteridge sets in motion a disturbing sequence of events. Soon Megan finds herself the victim of a series of cruel deceptions that indicate one thing: her past mistakes have not been forgiven or forgotten. As the mischief escalates to dangerous levels, it becomes clear that someone is determined to avenge Gail’s death. And he won’t rest until he’s taken a life for a life.

Review:

This was one of those books that I didn't want to put down, and frequently found the extra time to sneak in just a bit more reading. I wasn't aware that this was the second book in a series, but for the most part this book stands on its own well. The only time I felt like I was missing something was when the murder was brought up and it seemed like I should know what happened but missed it somehow. My curiosity is piqued though, so now I need to go read the first book, "Fool Me Twice."

The author brings all of the characters to life really well - boy, I would not want to get on the bad side of the main bad guy! I even felt just a little bit bad for one of the other bad guys, but not enough to want him to get away. :)

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 Title: Played for a Fool
Author: Stephanie Black
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Published: Sept 2015
ISBN: 1680476505
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review.  Purchase: Amazon Deseret Book

Thursday, October 1, 2015

CD Review: My Home Can Be a Holy Place by Jenny Oaks Baker



My Home Can Be a Holy Place by Jenny Oaks Baker

CD Description:

From one of the world's premier violinists comes a new collection of beautiful songs celebrating family and motherhood. The album features classic hymns, such as "Love at Home" and "I Am a Child of God," stunning classical arrangements, including Brahms's "Cradle Song," and beloved children's tunes. The gorgeous track "Love Is Spoken Here" features Jenny performing with all four of her children, ages eleven and younger.

Track list:


  • Love at Home
  • Jesus Once Was a Little Child
  • Songs My Mother Taught Me
  • I Feel My Savior's Love
  • Brahms's Cradle Song
  • I Am a Child of God
  • Love Is Spoken Here


  • Rorie's Review:

    I have heard of Jenny Oaks Baker before, but for some reason, I thought she was a vocalist, so I was really surprised when I started listening to the CD and found that she is a violinist instead. Not that I minded, because I really, really enjoyed this CD. I don't even think I can pick a favorite song, because they were all really good. Definitely one that will go into my music rotation. 

    Tarah's Review:

    This is a really calming music CD. In fact, just last night my kids were extremely wound up and crazy right before bed. I decided to put on this CD, and the kids calmed down and were able to go to bed without much fuss.  I'd recommend it for some easy listening Sunday music, or calm the kids down and put them to bed music. I kind of see it as a lullaby CD.

    Andrea's Review:

    This instrumental CD is great background music, especially on a Sunday. I'll admit I was expecting singing to accompany most of the familiar songs (I suppose because I've rarely heard most of these songs without the lyrics), and the violin gives the songs a different feel than the piano (somewhat melancholy), so it was a different sound than I was expecting. But, it didn't take long to enjoy the songs. The CD is a little over 30 minutes long, so shuffle and repeat is a good way to listen to it.

    About Jenny Oaks Baker:

    Grammy Nominated Artist Jenny Oaks Baker is one of America's most accomplished violinists. She received her Master of Music degree from the renowned Juilliard School in New York City and her bachelor's degree in violin performance from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

    She has released twelve albums since 1998. They consistently chart on Billboard, including the #1 spot on the Top Classical Albums chart. Her album Wish Upon a Star earned a nomination for the 54th GRAMMY Awards for Best Pop Instrumental Album.

    Jenny Oaks Baker has performed as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and with the Jerusalem Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Utah Symphony, and the internationally acclaimed Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Jenny performed as a first violinist with the National Symphony Orchestra for seven years before resigning to devote more time to her young family. Jenny and her husband Matthew have four children.


    Title: My Home Can Be a Holy Place
    Music Performed By: Jenny Oaks Baker
    Label: Shadow Mountain Records
    Released: September 2015
    ASIN: B00YJ1GZF0
    Source: We received CDs in exchange for a review.

    Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book