Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Review: Random Acts of Greed by Christy Barritt

Random Acts of Greed by Christy Barritt

Book Description:

Help me. Don’t trust anyone.

Do-gooder Holly Anna Paladin can’t believe her eyes when a healthy baby boy is left on her doorstep. What seems like good fortune quickly turns into concern when blood spatter is found on the bottom of the baby carrier. Something tragic—maybe deadly—happened in connection with the infant. The note left only adds to the confusion. What does it mean by “Don’t trust anyone”?

Holly is determined to figure out the identity of the baby. Is his mom someone from the inner-city youth center where she volunteers? Or maybe the connection is through Holly’s former job as a social worker? Even worse—what if the blood belongs to the baby’s mom?

Every answer Holly uncovers only leads to more questions. A sticky web of intrigue captures her imagination until she’s sure of only one thing: she must protect the baby at all cost. 


This was a very enjoyable story. Holly is a fun character and I was pulled into her situation right away.

This had a lot of emotion. Having a baby left on her doorstep didn't seemed far fetched at all given Holly's background with Child Services. Her detective work definitely isn't something your average person would do, but she and her best friend, Jamie, (who is a reporter) really make a great team.

I was uncertain about how her relationship with Chase was going to turn out, but I was happy with how things came about. It seems like Holly has made some good decisions for her future.

I did suspect one of the main bad guys early on, but new info kept being discovered that kept things exciting. 

About the Author:

Christy Barritt is an author, freelance writer and speaker who lives in Virginia. She’s married to her Prince Charming, a man who thinks she’s hilarious—but only when she’s not trying to be. Christy’s a self-proclaimed klutz, an avid music lover who’s known for spontaneously bursting into song, and a road trip aficionado. She’s only won one contest in her life—and her prize was kissing a pig (okay, okay… actually she did win the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Suspense and Mystery also). Her current claim to fame is showing off her mother, who looks just like former First Lady Barbara Bush.

When she’s not working or spending time with her family, she enjoys singing, playing the guitar, and exploring small, unsuspecting towns where people have no idea how accident prone she is.

Title: Random Acts of Greed
Author: Christy Barritt
Publisher: Create Space
Published: June 30, 2016
ISBN: 1535021497
Source: I received an eCopy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Blog Tour: Dear Jane by Rachel Ward

 Dear Jane by Rachel Ward

Book Description:

 “Dear Quinn,

This is a hard letter to write. I have been thinking a lot about us for the past few weeks, and I can’t shake the feeling that we just aren’t meant to be…”

Quinn had her life perfectly planned out when she left on her mission: come home in eighteen months, marry her stunningly handsome boyfriend, and live happily ever after. But all of that changed when Quinn got a Dear Jane email from the man she thought she was meant to be with. Now she’s stuck at home with no boyfriend, no job, no major, and absolutely no social life.

As Quinn struggles to find her path forward, she begins to learn that life is not perfect and happily-ever-afters don’t always turn out how we expect them to. Will Quinn ever find the path that leads to her eternal happiness?


Rachel Ward did a good job with her first published novel, Dear Jane. It's LDS fiction (aka Mormon fiction), so if you aren't familiar with the LDS culture it's possible you'll be a bit lost. However, I think it's worth checking out even if you might not understand missions and "Dear Jane" letters.

Dear Jane is an enjoyable and well-written story, and was surprisingly deep at times. I'll admit I was just expecting fluff/mind candy (which I like), so the inclusion of some deep family/emotional issues was unexpected but added a lot to the story.

Part of the story dragged a bit for me in the middle, but otherwise it was entertaining. I liked the balance between serious emotions and humor throughout the book, and I really appreciated the sweet ending.

About the Author:

Rachel Turner Ward graduated from Hillcrest High School after spending two years writing for the yearbook and the creative writing magazine. She then studied English at Brigham Young University­—Idaho, graduating with an emphasis in Literary Studies. She has contributed to several online publications, including Mormon Mommy Blogs and SheSteals. She has written a personal blog since 2009, Trapped Between a Scream and a Hug.  Rachel lives in Salt Lake with her six children and husband of 15 years.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter & Instagram: @rachelsueward

Title: Dear Jane
Author: Rachel Ward
Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.
Published: August, 2016
ISBN: 1462118933
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Blog Tour: Undercover Target by Frank

Book Description:

When Matt Knight left his career as a spy to marry the woman of his dreams, he thought he was in for a life of domestic bliss. But after adopting a baby girl and her teenage brother from China, he finds that being a father comes with its own set of challenges—problems that his work as an antiterrorism agent did nothing to prepare him for. Or so he thought. When a Scout campout with his son takes a terrifying turn, Matt realizes his past and present have just collided, with devastating consequences. Deep in the rugged mountains of Utah, a band of mercenaries lies in wait. The target: Matt Knight. Their orders come from a dangerous enemy from the former agent’s past, one who is bent on destroying everything Matt holds dear. While struggling to protect his son and the other Scouts, Matt is horrified to learn the full extent of the plan: his wife and baby have been taken too. Now the agent-turned-family man must draw on his years of combat training in an explosive battle to save those he loves—or die trying.

Rorie's Review:

I was kind of put off by Matt, the main character, for the first few chapters of this book. He just seemed so...disconnected from his life. Didn't know what to do with his son, didn't know what to do with his Sunday School class, it kind of seemed like he was walking around in a fog all the time. But once the action started, Matt's true colors shone through, and he became a much more likeable character.

It kind of seemed like this was a sequel, even though nothing about the book description gives you a hint about that. After looking it up, I found that there is another book, "Undercover Saint" that came first. This book does stand alone well on its own, but there were several times in the story where I felt like I was missing some backstory. I have been wanting to read "Undercover Saint" anyway, so now this is a good excuse to go and do it so I can find out why Matt is the way he is.

I really, really like how the relationship between Matt and Peng develops. It's amazing what a little communication can do for people. This is an enjoyable story and I look forward to reading more from this author.

Tarah's Review:

This book was not what I was expecting at all, and it was actually a breath of fresh air that it wasn't :) The main character, Matt, really doesn't fit what I typically think of as an undercover spy, but I found his personality and struggles refreshing. I liked that there was some family struggles, that everything wasn't perfect after the adoption. I liked that he kept trying. I didn't like all his decisions, but I did love his humor.  If the author was trying to write a suspense novel that was all serious and...suspensy (it's totally a word...ask my 9 year old) then he didn't do it. But if he was trying to write a suspense novel that had humor and was a fast read, then yes, he nailed it. Sure, if you really think about it somethings totally didn't seem believable, but I was so caught up in the entertainment value of it that I didn't care about that at all.

And as weird as it is to write this, I actually really liked that it wasn't a romance novel. Looks like I need to start expanding my genres again :) 

Book Tour:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Undercover Target  
Title: Undercover Target
Author: Frank Holdaway
Publisher: Covenant
Published: August 2016
Source: We received a copy from the publisher in exchange for honest reviews.  

Release Day Blitz: The Fall of Lord Drayson by Rachael Anderson

The Fall of Lord Drayson  
The Fall of Lord Drayson by Rachael Anderson 

Book Description:

Who is he really? A high and mighty lord or a lowly servant? When Colin Cavendish, the new earl of Drayson, informs Lucy Beresford that she and her mother need to vacate the house they've called home for the past two years, Lucy is fit to be tied. They have no money, no relations they can turn to for help, and nowhere to go. How dare the earl break the promise his father had made to the Beresfords without so much as a twinge of conscience? Fate plays her hand when Lucy discovers the earl unconscious and injured in the middle of the road. When he awakens with no recollection of who he is, Lucy seizes the opportunity to teach the earl a much-needed lesson in humility and tells him that he is nothing more than a mere servant. Her servant, in fact. And thus begins the charming tale of a pompous lord and an impetuous young woman, caught together in a web so tangled that it begs the question: Will they ever get out?



He stared at her incredulously, as though she had escaped Bedlam. “Are you in your right mind, woman?” 

Lucy leaned forward and planted her palms on his bed so that her eyes were level with his. “My name is Lucy Beresford. I have lived in Askern all my life. I’m the sole daughter of a vicar and a seamstress who lived most happily despite their differences in station. When my father passed away, I came here, to this dower house. So yes, I am in my right mind. It is you who are not.” 

The earl’s jaw clenched, and Lucy took some pleasure at the sight. Perhaps he would come down off his high horse and show at least a small amount of kindness or respect. 

“I may not know who I am or where I came from,” he finally said, “but at least I do not feel the need to tell tales.” 

“Tell tales?” Lucy gaped at him. Was he accusing her of telling untruths? Her, of all people? What untruths? How dare he! 

Lord Drayson glanced down at his fingers, frowning when he spotted grime under his nails. He began to scrape it out as he spoke. “Claiming to be the daughter of a vicar and seamstress is all very romantic, but it cannot possibly be the truth.” 

“And why not?” she asked. 

His gaze returned to hers. “In my experience, the daughter of a vicar would behave with more decorum, would know how to make a palatable broth, and would never allow herself to be alone in a room with a man who is not her relative. If there is one thing I know with absolute certainty, it is that you are no relation of mine.” 

Lucy’s jaw clenched as she fought to control the rage building inside her. Ever so slowly, she pushed herself up to standing and glared down at the earl. “You are correct in thinking I am no ordinary vicar’s daughter. I do not love unconditionally. I show decorum only when I wish to. And I despise those who care for no one but themselves. But I do not tell tales.” 

He actually chuckled, but it was more of a scoff than a show of humor. “Did you learn those traits from your father?” 

“Do not speak of my father.” 

“I would prefer to speak of myself, but you do not seem to share that preference, so perhaps we should speak of your father instead. Where is he, by the by? I would very much like to meet him.” 

Lucy’s fingers became fists while her conscience became a battleground between all that was good and evil inside her. It was a short battle, with evil making a quick triumph. 

Ever so slowly, her body still trembling with anger, she lifted her chin. If he was going to accuse her of telling tales, then tell them she would. “Very well, Collins. If you must know, I am your employer. And though you may not remember me, or this house, or your position in it, or the fact that you are perfectly susceptible to coming off a horse, just like any other human, I still expect some kindness and respect from you.” 

“What on earth are you talking about? What position?” 

There was not a hint of hesitation in her voice when she answered. “You are a servant in this house.” 
add to goodreads new    

About the Author:

RachaelA USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

  amazon or paypal  

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway:
Ends 9/18/16
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 and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Friday, August 26, 2016

Blog Tour: The Beautiful Balance by Michelle Wilson

Book Description:

Whether in your family, your ward, or your community, you’ve observed them: those noble individuals who are strong, patient, and stalwart in the face of adversity. When times are tough, how do they manage the challenging shift from victim to victor? Chances are they have figured out the balance of control—what they have charge of and what is in the Lord’s hands.

Trying to manage the ups and downs of life can feel overwhelming, but fortunately we’re not alone on this journey. With inspiring doctrinal insights and a healthy dose of humor, author Michelle Wilson inspires readers to let go of fear and find peace, even in the midst of lost jobs, health challenges, or everyday chaos at home. In a world that seems so tempestuous, The Beautiful Balance is a sweet reminder of exactly what we can control—ourselves—and what God controls—all the rest.

Book Review:

I had just gone to Stake Conference where the talks were about balance, and then the next day this book showed up in my mailbox. I figured that was pretty serendipitous, or really a tender mercy from the Lord.

Who couldn't use more balance in their lives? You know, put first things first, and letting go of the rest. Wilson explains this beautifully, and fills one with hope. We hear often in the church about perfection, but I loved this that she says, "We mustn't feel bad that we can't do it all on our own, because we are not meant to. It is His desire and plan that our lives not be solo endeavors but team endeavors...". Teaming up with the Lord? Yep, sign me up.

I especially loved the chapters about faith and hope, and acting on those things. That was a message I needed to hear, and hopefully a kick start for me this new school year. I mean, I'll have tons of time with four of my five kids in school, right? Right.

It's a pretty small book, so it shouldn't take too long to read. Non-fiction always takes me way longer than fiction, but Wilson keeps it entertaining and moving. Plus, it's a beautiful cover. I wasn't sure about it at first, but it has grown on me with it's simplicity (and that the title isn't capitalized. I'm not sure why I like that, but I do...I really do).

Blog Tour Schedule:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Beautiful Balance by Michelle  Wilson
Title: The Beautiful Balance
Author: Michelle Wilson
Publisher: Covenant
Published: August 2016
ISBN: 978-1-52440-090-3
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Book Review: From This Moment by Elizabeth Camden

 From This Moment
Book Description:

Stella West's artistic talent made her the toast of London, but when her beloved sister dies under mysterious circumstances she abandons everything and heads for Boston. With single-minded determination she fights to pierce the ring of secrecy surrounding her sister's death. Upon meeting Romulus White, a publisher with connections into every important power circle in the city, she quickly realizes he could be a valuable ally in navigating Boston society.

Romulus has been pursuing Stella for years to create art for his magazine. Her luminous illustrations are the missing piece he needs to propel his magazine to the forefront of the industry, and he will stop at nothing to get her on board.

Sparks fly the instant they join forces, but Romulus is unsettled by the unwelcome attraction he feels toward Stella, fearing she might be the one woman who could disrupt his hard-won independence. He may have finally met his match in Stella, but is helping her solve the mystery of her sister's death worth the risk to his publishing empire?

Book Review:

I wasn't sure what to think about this one when I first picked it up. I'll admit, Romulus' name threw me. But I quickly came to appreciate his character...for the most part :) I really did love that he loved colorful clothing and was proud of it. Along that same line, his pride kind of bugged me too, but hey, if you aren't willing to toot your own horn, why should anyone else? Plus, it fit really well with Stella. This girl knows what she's about. Again, her pride was kind of off-putting, but it takes all kinds :) And it fit well into the story.

Normally when a story has too many points of view it throws me, but I really liked Evelyn and hubby. In fact, I think this was the most beautiful part of the story.

Overall, I enjoyed the story, but that being said, it was kind of forgettable for me. Not Camden's best, but definitely worth the read. Plus there is a free Novella that goes before this. Gotta love that!

From This Moment
Title: From This Moment
Author: Elizabeth Camden
Publisher: Bethany House
Published: June 2016
ISBN: 0764217216
Source: I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Blog Tour: Exodus by H.B. Moore


Book Description:

Let my people go . . .
A plea has been made in behalf of the children of Israel. Now comes the epic climax years in the making—the final showdown between two of the most powerful men in history—one fueled by pride, the other guided by the word of God. Moses has received an extraordinary call from the Lord: he is to lead the exodus of the Hebrew people out of Egypt, ending generations of bondage. And he must return to the land of his birth to boldly petition a man he does not want to challenge. . . or lose to: Ramses—pharaoh of Egypt. Ramses, harboring years of feeling betrayed by his best friend, is determined to stop Moses no matter the cost. He will not yield, even as a dark veil of plagues and pestilence descends over the land of Egypt.
What follows is a powerful chronicle of the struggles of the children of Israel as they traverse uncharted territory, both physically and spiritually. Amid the horrific catastrophes devastating their land and through the dramatic events that follow, the Hebrews must face their fears and their faltering faith. For even in the darkest of times, there are manifestations of the Lord's constant care to inspire their hope for a bright future.

Book Review:

This was a very well-done conclusion to The Moses Chronicles. (I'm assuming it's the last book in the series. I could be wrong.) Once again, the author does a great job bringing all of the characters to life.

Some of the things that stuck out to me the most were when the author described all of the suffering that the Egyptians went through with each plague. Yes, I've always assumed the plagues were all pretty miserable, but I've never humanized the Egyptians. They were wrong to keep the Hebrews enslaved, but they were people just going about their daily lives, and due in large part to the hard-heartedness of their Pharaoh, they suffered through so much.

Something that always leaves me shaking my head in amazement was the lack of faith that the Hebrews continued to have, even after witnessing so many marvelous miracles. I'm sure that Moses was incredibly frustrated by this!

I expected that the novel would end after they all made it through the Red Sea, but the story continues through several other miracles that happened after that, which was nice.

Book Tour:

Aug. 19th:

 a Rafflecopter giveaway
Title: The Moses Chronicles: Exodus
Author: H.B. Moore
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Published: August 2016
ISBN: 1524400343
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon Deseret Book

Monday, August 15, 2016

Blog Tour: The Loyal Heart: A Lone Star Hero's Love Story by Shelley Shepard Gray

The Loyal Heart (Lone Star Hero #1)
Book Description:

Robert came to Galveston to fulfill his promise to a dying man and look after his widow. He didn’t expect to find love in the unlikeliest of places.

Robert Truax, former Second Lieutenant and Confederate officer in the Civil War, made a promise to his comrade Phillip Markham. If anything happened to Phillip, Robert would look after his beloved wife, Miranda. She was his life, his world, his everything.

After the war, Robert is left to pick up the pieces and fulfill his pact. When he arrives at Miranda's home in Galveston, Texas, things are worse than he imagined. Phillip's name has been dragged through the mud, everyone in town believes him to be a traitor, and his widow is treated as an outcast. Even more disturbing is her emotional well-being. Miranda seems hopeless, lost, and so very alone.

Robert had thought his duty would be simple. He would help Miranda as quickly as possible in order to honor a promise. But the moment Robert laid eyes on her, his plans changed. He's mesmerized by her beauty and yearns to help her in any way he can.

He makes it his duty to protect Miranda, turn her reputation around, and to find some way to help her smile again. But it doesn't prove to be an easy task—Robert knows something about Phillip that could shake Miranda to the core and alter her view of the man she thought she knew so well.

Book Review:

Let's start with the cover. Initially I didn't like it. Looking at it closer, it's not bad, so that made me wonder why on first glance I didn't like it. I decided it was the flag and all the words. It makes it cluttered and hard to focus on. Is it the flag that is supposed to catch your attention? The Title? Or is it the girl on the cover? I'm not sure as they are all right there in your face. But that is neither here nor there in relation to the book.

I was actually surprised to find that I'd read this author before. Her name sounded familiar, but the writing didn't. At the end of the book I realized that I've read this author's "Chicago" Series, and honestly, I was more impressed with those.

I think my biggest thing with this book was the pacing. All of a sudden everything happens. Nothing takes a lot of time (except setting up the scenes and giving us back-story). I enjoyed the story, and I am even looking forward to more books from different characters in this story, but I was disappointed in the romance between the main characters. Honestly, they don't get to know each other very well.  Robert seems to be basing his view of Miranda all off of Phillip's view, and Miranda seems to only like Robert because he stood up for her. Actually, when another character stood up for her (and better than Robert) she seemed to like him too. So we never actually see where they fall in love. We are just told that they did.

I would read more from this series because I really liked the supporting characters, but the main characters in this novel fell flat for me.

Book Tour:
Sydney | Singing Librarian Books
Cheryl | cherylbbookblog
Jalynn | A Simple Life, really?!


Amada | ASC Book Reviews
Alison | Nova frugal family
Megan | Pursuing Intentional Living


Victor | Vic's Media Room
Angela | A Holland Reads
Annie | Just Commonly


Tarah | Literary Time Out
Cristi | Cristi's Reviews
Margaret | Frugal Shopping and More
Kasey | Four Seasons of Blessings
Kav | Best Reads
Carrie | Reading Is My SuperPower
Carla | Working Mommy Journal


Kristi | Two Girls and a Book


Carole | The Power of Words
Pamela | Daysong Reflections
Michaela | Baker Kella


Charity | aTransParentMom
Rachel | Smiling Book Reviews


Kim | Window To My World
Amanda | With a Joyful Noise
Bonnie | The Koala Mom


Renee | Black 'n Gold Girl's Book Spot
Barbara | Fic Gal
Dianna | Savings in Seconds
Amanda | Inklings and Notions
Carol | centraleast2
Stacey | Books,Dreams,Life


Julie | More Of Him
Kristie | Moments
Barb | I'm Hooked on Books
Marissa | The Review Stew
Laura | Memawsstuff


Rachel | EmpowerMoms
Mackenzie | Spreading His Grace
Lisa | Seeking with all yur heart
Missica | Through the Open Window
Erin | For Him and My Family
Amy | Pause for Tales
Amanda | The Talbert Report


Mindy | A room without books is empty
Nicki | Confessions of a Teenage Bookworm
Sarah | Running Through The Storms


April | Dixie n Dottie
Kristin | A Simply Enchanted Life
Amelia | Rejoice Evermore
Beth | For the Love of Books
Tammy | Tammy Is Blessed
Wendy | Life at Rossmont
Margaret | The World As I See It
Julia | Christian Bookaholic
Shecki | Greatly Blessed

The Loyal Heart (Lone Star Hero #1)
Title: The Loyal Heart: A Lone Star Hero's Love Story
Author: Shelley Shepard Gray
Publisher: Zondervan
Published: July 2016
ISBN: 0310345391
Source: I received a copy from LitFuse in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Book Review: An Elegant Facade by Kristi Ann Hunter

An Elegant Façade (Hawthorne House, #2)
Book Description:

Lady Georgina Hawthorne has worked tirelessly to seal her place as the Incomparable for her debut season. At her first London ball, she hopes to snag the attention of an earl.

With money and business connections, but without impeccable bloodlines, Colin McCrae is invited everywhere but accepted nowhere. When he first encounters the fashionable Lady Georgina, he's irritated by his attraction to a woman who concerns herself only with status and appearance.
What Colin doesn't know is that Georgina's desperate social aspirations are driven by the shameful secret she harbors. Association with Colin McCrae is not part of Georgina's plan, but as their paths continue to cross, they both must decide if the realization of their dreams is worth the sacrifices they must make.

Book Review:

So many mixed emotions before starting this book. I have really enjoyed Kristi Ann Hunters A Noble Masquerade and the novella before it. They are some of my favorite novels. So when I saw she had a new novel out I was really excited....but then I realized it was about Georgina, and well, I didn't like the other books. excitement dimmed a little, but Hunter is such a great author I figured it would be worth the read. Plus, it's a really lovely cover :)

So, was it worth the read? Yes...yes it was. But, it did take me a little to get into the novel because it took a while for me to to warm up to Georgina. In fact, since this novel parallels A Noble Masquerade I went and reread that before I got too far into this one :) Once I started to see that Georgina wasn't the spoiled brat that she tried to make herself appear it got more interesting. I really loved Colin though. Especially the scene when Marsh gets punched :)

Is this really a stand alone novel? Probably not. I think it would be too confusing to not have the whole background. But if you've read A Noble Masquerade I would definitely read this story to get the full picture. Plus, it is just really satisfying.

An Elegant Façade (Hawthorne House, #2) 
Title: An Elegant Facade
Kristi Ann Hunter
Bethany House
July 2016

ISBN:  0764218255
Source: I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Blog Tour: Accidentally Me by Kim Karras

Accidentally Me by Kim Karras

Book Description:

WANTED: Pretend stalker. No experience required. Tall, dark, and quirky preferred. Sabrina is desperate to go to her dream college, but her parents want her to stay close to home. If she wants to maintain her perfect child image, Sabrina must break rules that even her rebel sister keeps . . .

Andrea's Review:

This is a cute story. On the outside it seems like it will just be a funny read-what with the whole premise of hiring a stalker to let your parents approve of leaving the state for college. But, as you read you get some deep and emotional moments about Sabrina's lack of self worth. I enjoyed her journey to finding value in herself. 

If you are looking for a clean, fast and entertaining read, give Accidentally Me a try.

Tarah's Review:

So, this book was a cute fast read....but it fell flat for me, and my inner teenager is sad. I'm not sure if I just didn't relate to Sabrina, or if I'm just not enjoying teen lit anymore. But Sabrina was not a character that I was able to rally behind. However, the writing was solid, and Sabrina as a character was well written, even if she didn't do anything for me.

Rorie's Review:

This book has an interesting theme. Hire a pretend stalker so your parents will allow you to go away to college. Sabrina has some serious issues with feeling wanted, and as a result, is always trying to be perfect, never allowing herself to fail at anything. The whole hiring a stalker thing is a comedy of errors, while still managing to be somewhat disturbing.

I did NOT like Calvin. Not even a little bit. He was creepy personified and it made me cringe more than a little bit any time Sabrina had any contact with him.

Her family life was very interesting...we see most of the story thorough Sabrina's pretty judgemental eyes. I did like how after everything fell apart for her, she was able to finally see her family for the good people that they really were.

Tour Schedule:

August 10: Singing Librarian Books | Literary Time Out
August 11: Inklings and Notions | Geo Librarian
August 12: Write, Writing, Written
August 13: Live to Read
August 14:
August 15: My Book a Day
August 16: Emily King | Getting Your Read On
August 17: Katie’s Clean Book Collection | Robyn Echols
August 18: Nicki Elson
August 19: Min Reads and Reviews | Mel’s Shelves
August 20: Writing Worm
August 21:
August 22: Novel-ties | My Little Sunshines
August 23: Emmy Mom | Wishful Endings
August 24: The Nice Thing About Strangers
August 25: Lisa Swinton
August 26: Mylissa’s Reviews and Book Thoughts
August 27: Blooming with Books
August 28:
August 29: Perfecting the Craft | Bookworm Lisa
August 30: Heidi Reads
August 31: Rockin’ Book Reviews | Totally Obsessed

Title: Accidentally Me
Author: Kim Karras
Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.
Published: August 2016
ISBN: 1462118674
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Review: She Stood for Freedom by Loki Mulholland

She Stood for Freedom:
The Untold Story of a Cilvil Rights Hero, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland
by Loki Mulholland

Book Description:

Joan Trumpauer Mulholland grew up in Virginia in the 1950s and witnessed the injustice of segregation firsthand. As a teenager, she joined the Civil Rights Movement, attending demonstrations and sit-ins. Because of her passionate belief in the cause, she was involved in several important and historically significant events, including
  • The Freedom Rides of 1961
  • The Woolworth's lunch counter sit-ins in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1963
  • The March on Washington with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963
  • The Selma to Montgomery March in 1965
Joan says, "Anyone can make a difference. It doesn't matter how old or young you are. Find a problem, get some friends together, and go fix it. Remember, you don't have to change the world ... just change your world."

Filled with original photography, images of historical documents, and breathtaking artwork, She Stood for Freedom is a celebration of the effect a single life can have on the world.


When I heard about a civil rights book that was written for middle grade readers, I was intrigued on behalf of my children. I wasn't sure how well the points would come across being written for ages 8-12, but I thought it was well done. I don't recall having heard about Joan Trumpauer Mulholland before, but her story is very interesting.

I can't imagine taking a stand like Joan took (especially back then). Her life was in danger by fighting for civil rights. I would like to think that if I saw such an injustice that I'd do something about it, but I'm such a rule keeper that doing anything that could put me in jail is just hard to imagine.

My nine-year-old thought this was a good book and very interesting. He doesn't usually read this type of book, but thought he'd probably try to read more like this.

My almost thirteen-year-old thought it was a good story to talk about, although she thought it was written for a younger audience than what she usually reads. She liked the artwork (both the memorabilia and the illustrations).

About the Author:

Loki Mulholland is an award-winning filmmaker. His film, An Ordinary Hero, tells his mother's story and is featured at the National Civil Rights Museum and at He is the Execute Director of the Joan Trumpauer Mulholland Foundation.

About the Artist:

CHARLOTTA JANSSEN was born in Maine to German parents. She studied art at the University of the Arts in Berlin, Germany. Her art has been showcased in more than forty gallery exhibitions worldwide, and she has been featured in American Art Collector magazine, The New Yorker, New York Daily News, The Tennessean,, and

Title: She Stood for Freedom: The Untold Story of a Cilvil Rights Hero, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland
Author: Loki Mulholland
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Published: August 2016
ISBN: 1629721778
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book

Monday, August 8, 2016

Book Review: Fetching Sweetness by Dana Mentink plus a Giveaway!

Fetching Sweetness

Book Description:

                                         Standing Between Stephanie and Her Dream
                                         Is One Hundred Pounds of Lovable Trouble

It should have been so simple for Stephanie Pink: Meet up with Agnes Wharton in a small town in California, retrieve the reclusive author’s valuable new manuscript, and be promoted to a full-fledged literary agent.

But Agnes’s canine companion, Sweetness, decides to make a break for it before Stephanie can claim her prize. Until Agnes has Sweetness safely back at home in Eagle Cliff, Washington, Stephanie will never set eyes on the manuscript she needs to make her dreams come true.

When Stephanie tracks the runaway mutt to a campground, she meets Rhett Hastings—a man also on the run from a different life and a costly mistake. Rhett agrees to help Stephanie search for the missing dog…thus launching a surprising string of adventures and misadventures.

Once Sweetness gets added to the mix, it’s a recipe for love and loss, merriment and mayhem, fun and faith in the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest.

Book Review:

I don't know what it is about me and animal books, but for some reason, I love 'em :) I won't let my family get a dog, but reading about one is just fine. Anyway, Fetching Sweetness is a cute fast read.

I thought it was an interesting angle to write the story having Rhett trying to find God in his life, and fully convinced that he is following His plan for him. Normally Christian books are about people who don't believe at all and somehow find God, or people who are strong in their belief and hold on. It was interesting to read about Rhett who was right in the middle there and was struggling to find his way to a belief that was new to him. I found it really refreshing.

It was a fun story line, with believable characters (ok, maybe some were over the top, but they were fun anyway) and a cute dog thrown in who has a penchant for spatulas. Plus, I really appreciated the ending :)

Celebrate the release of Fetching Sweetness with Dana by entering to win the Sweetness Unleashed Prize Pack!

fetching sweetness - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
fetching sweetness - collage 

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 24. The winner will be announced August 25 on Dana's blog.

fetching sweetness - enterbanner

Fetching Sweetness

Title: Fetching Sweetness
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Published: August 2016
ISBN:  0736966234
Source: I received a copy in exchange for a review.

Blog Tour: I Can Forgive With God by Ganel-Lyn Condie

Book Description:

Are unresolved feelings of anger, resentment, and guilt keeping you from living your best life? It's time to let go of the pain and make the life-changing decision to forgive. A stirring new work from best-selling author Ganel-Lyn Condie, I Can Forgive with God features the personal accounts of an incredible group of women who have harnessed the power of forgiveness after enduring the furnace of affliction. From divorce and death to addiction and abuse, these sisters' experiences are linked by one common truth: the power of absolution is available to all through hard work and faithful reliance on our loving Heavenly Father.


All of the stories in this book are so heart-breaking. The first one nearly had me sobbing and I was wondering just what I was getting into by reading this book. I am in awe and amazed at the strength of each and every one of the women in these stories. The fact that they were able to forgive and move on from the various trials that they went through is a true testament to how we can do anything with the Lord's help. I wonder if I would be as strong as they were if I were to go through the same trials. I'd like to think that I would be strong enough - and humble enough to rely on the Lord's help.

A few of the things that really stood out to me in this book are that I can always choose not to take offense, no matter what the circumstances are. Also, when we are unable to forgive all on our own, we can receive help from above so that we can forgive. And one more - being angry and full of hate towards someone who has wronged us only hurts us in the end. (That one I have personally experienced. It was amazing the difference in my life once I finally decided to let go of the hurt and stop thinking negatively towards that person.)

I began this review saying that this book was heartbreaking. And it is. But it is also heartwarming and faith-building and so many other good things. Whether you have need of forgiving someone or not (and is there anyone out there that doesn't?) this is a good book to read.

Tour Schedule:

*August 8th:
*August 11th:
Tour Giveaway:

  a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Title: I Can Forgive With God
Author: Ganel-Lyn Condie
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Published: August 2016
ISBN: 1524400459
Source: I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Blog Tour: $5 Family Fun: 50 Craft Activities That Won't Break Your Budget by Meggan Spicer

$5 Family Fun
50 Craft Activities That Won't Break Your Budget 
by Meggan Spicer

Book Description:

Doing fun activities with the family gets expensive, but now with Meggan’s $5 Family Fun, you can make, bake, and do incredibly fun things with your young family for under $5. Using dollar store finds, free local services, generic bands, and common household items, you can make every day an adventure. Gather your whole family together for inexpensive family fun activities and memories that last forever.

Book Review:

I love doing fun creative things with my kids for holiday and special days, and you know....whatever days. The only problem is, is that I'm not creative at all. Anything we end up doing I can guarantee you it probably came from Pinterest.  Enter $5 Family Fun. Here are some things I liked about this e-book:

One- It's actually doable. I can't tell you how many things I have pinned that I know I'm really never going to do because of the time and effort involved (or it's over my skill level). Or how many things have I pinned and tried, and then looked at my results and the Pinterest results and they look nothing all. All of these activities are easily done, and will turn out similar.

Two- Most of them my kids can do/help with. A lot of time my inner OCD person comes out with my Pinterest crafts and I just can't handle letting the kids help, or honestly, they can't help because it's over their skill level. Plus, when you have five kids and you try to do a craft with everyone there...there is only one of me and I hear a chorus of "Mom!" "I need help!" "Can you....?" But these crafts I could let everyone go wild. Sure my 3 and 5-year-olds will still need some help, but two is much easier to help than all five.

Three- They really are five dollars. The inner frugal person living inside me is cheering right now. I love cheap crafts. I find that I let me kids help more with cheap stuff too. I know....I know...but being a mom is a work in progress, and I'm working on it.

Four- It's all in one place. Yes, I have seen most of these crafts in some form or other on Pinterest. However, it's kind of nice to have it all in one handy little place.

So If any of these sound good to you, why don't you give this book a try.

Title: $5 Family Fun: 50 Craft Activities That Won't Break Your Budget
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Published: June 2016
Source: I received an eCopy in exchange for a review.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Book Review: Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen

Book Description:

Jane Eyre meets Beauty and the Beast.

When Lucy Pickett arrives at Blackwell Manor to tend to her ailing cousin, Kate, she finds more than she bargained for. A restless ghost roams the hallways, werewolves have been reported in the area, and vampires lurk across the Scottish border. 

Lord Miles himself is clearly hiding a secret. He is brash and inhospitable, and does not take kindly to visitors—even one as smart and attractive as Miss Pickett. He is unsettled by the mysterious deaths of his new wife, Clara, and his sister, Marie. 

Working together, Miles and Lucy attempt to restore peace to Blackwell Manor. But can Lucy solve the mystery of Miles? Can she love the man—beast and all?

Rorie's Review:

I was a bit thrown off for the first few chapters with the Steampunk stuff, not being familiar with that genre at all. After I got used to that though, the book really drew me in.

This is the type of romance novel that I really like - where the main characters don't get along at first, and really have to work at developing their relationship. It seems stronger to me than when I read books where they fall in love almost immediately and everything's always hunky-dory between them.

I had my guesses at who the bad guy was throughout the book, but the author did a really good job of keeping the true identity hidden until the climax of the story.

I definitely enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from this author.

Andrea's Review:

Steampunk isn't a genre I'm very familiar with, so I will admit to being a bit . . . confused at the inclusion of modern-ish things in an olden day setting. I kept having visions of the movie "Wild, Wild, West" (gadget-wise, not Western setting-wise). And then there were vampires and werewolves. The practical part of my brain got hung up a bit here and there throughout the story, but I really did enjoy the book. It was well written and entertaining.

The main characters were quite likable, especially Lucy. She had such a strong personality, and was brave. I enjoyed her interactions with Miles, and the mystery involved kept me on my toes. I had my suspicions, but not too far ahead of the reveal. And how it was all going to go down was definitely a surprise.

I can see myself reading this book again (partially for enjoyment, and partially to get more comfortable with the steampunk genre). It didn't convert me to steampunk fandom, but it was a great way to dip my toes into the genre.

Tarah's Review:

What a fun addition to the Proper Romance line that Shadow Mountain is doing! I've only read a couple steam punk novels, but I find them fun and entertaining. Beauty and the Clockwork Beast is no exception. I'm a fan of fairy tale retellings, but I'm really really a fan when things get changed up from the same 'ol, same 'ol. You don't get much different than a Victorian novel with ray guns and vampires :) (Although, since I've admitted to not having read many steam-punk novels, are vampires and werewolves common in them? That did throw me a little bit.)

Both of the main characters are great, and a friend of mine mentioned that they may be too perfect. Lucy is good at everything, and Mile's only hang up is that he is, well, beastly, which in a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, that's kind of important :) I didn't mind the perfection though.

This was a quick read that I devoured the moment I got it, and have already started to reread it. The ending was satisfying and I'm actually hoping for another book for Miles' friends.

If you are wondering or curious about steampunk novels, give this one a try.

Title: Beauty and the Clockwork Beast
Author: Nancy Campbell Allen
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Published: August 2016
ISBN: 1629721751
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book