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Friday, August 18, 2017

Book Review: The World's Greatest Adventure Machine by Frank Cole

The World's Greatest Adventure Machine
Book Description:

An adventure novel about four lucky kids and a mysterious, but thrilling ride for fans of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Jurassic Park!
 
    CastleCorp and the famous Castleton brothers are unveiling the World’s Greatest Adventure Machine! The roller coaster is an experience like no other, and four lucky kids have won the chance to be the first to ride it.
    There’s Trevor, whose latest stunt got him in trouble at school again. There’s Devin, whose father is pushing him to be the next Internet sensation. Nika’s wealthy grandfather isn’t too pleased about her participation. And Cameron, he’ll be the first to tell you, is a certified genius.
    The whole world is watching. But as the kids set off on their journey, they begin to realize that there is perhaps more to their fellow contest winners than meets the eye. And the Adventure Machine? It might just have a mind of its own.
    Join the contestants on their wild ride if you dare. Your adventure starts now!


Tarah's Review: 

What a fun book! I've already recommended it to my nephew and he's already read it and finished it. I wasn't sure when I first started the book because I normally like to classify my characters and put them in neat tidy boxes. "I like you, I don't like you, etc." These four kids were just that. Kids. You couldn't put them in neat tidy boxes. They were just real and kids and somethings I liked about them, and somethings I didn't like about them. I was interested to find out what each participant had unique about them. I liked how they bonded together, and came to understand each others quirks and shortcomings, but were friends anyway.

I liked the mystery and the turns and about-faces. It kept me reading, and if your kid likes this kind of story, it will keep them turning the pages too. I'd recommend it to any of my friends that like middle grade fiction.

Tour Schedule:
August 17: Peggy Urry, Literary Time Out Rorie


The World's Greatest Adventure Machine
Title: The World's Greatest Adventure Machine
Author: Frank Cole
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Published: August 2017
ISBN: 0399552820
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Blog tour: The World's Greatest Adventure Machine by Frank L. Cole

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51NfVd3PmWL.jpg

Book Description:

CastleCorp and the famous Castleton brothers are unveiling the World’s Greatest Adventure Machine! The roller coaster is an experience like no other, and four lucky kids have won the chance to be the first to ride it.
    There’s Trevor, whose latest stunt got him in trouble at school again. There’s Devin, whose father is pushing him to be the next Internet sensation. Nika’s wealthy grandfather isn’t too pleased about her participation. And Cameron, he’ll be the first to tell you, is a certified genius.
    The whole world is watching. But as the kids set off on their journey, they begin to realize that there is perhaps more to their fellow contest winners than meets the eye. And the Adventure Machine? It might just have a mind of its own.
    Join the contestants on their wild ride if you dare. Your adventure starts now!



Rorie's Review:

As soon as I got this book in the mail, it disappeared into the hands of my 9-year-old and I didn't see it again for over a month. (I had to go dig it out of the depths of his room so I could read it!) He had it finished within a day or two, a sure sign that he really, really likes a book.  I wasn't sure how I would enjoy the book, simply because it's not what I typically read. I started it a little hesitantly, but it didn't take more than a few pages for me to become hooked. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect from this story, but I got way more than I bargained for! I laughed, I was on the edge of my seat, I didn't want it to end. This book might be marketed for middle graders, but this is a story that I think any age group would love. Now I just need to get the rest of the author's books and read those too...after I can get them away from my son, that is.

Braden's Review:


I like the World's Greatest Adventure machine. I like how it is very futuristic and has very futuristic technology. My favorite character was Cameron. I like how he is scared of rides like fast roller coasters like me and is very smart. My favorite part of the book is when they find out that it only lasted barely three minutes when it felt like four hours. Really want to know what happens next will the lawyer get the real Drive or did Terry make the mistake like they wanted him to. I really hope the author makes another book that tells me what happens next. I want to know I hope you make another book on this.


Tour Schedule:


August 17: Peggy Urry, Literary Time Out Rorie
 

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51NfVd3PmWL.jpg Title: The World's Greatest Adventure Machine
Author: Frank L. Cole
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Published: August 2017
ISBN: 0399552820
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Deseret Book

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Romance Awareness Month Giveaway and Review: The Secret of the India Orchid by Nancy Campbell Allen

Reviews * Giveaway
It's National Relaxation Day, and we have a triple review and another Proper Romance Giveaway for you! What better way to celebrate than to curl up with an entertaining Proper Romance. Be swept away to new places and meet memorable characters all from the comfort of your own home. What’s your favorite way to relax?

Book Description:

Anthony Blake is in love with his best friend's sister, Sophia Elliot. But his plans to court her are put on hold when he is forced to resume his role as an undercover spy for the Crown. A secret document listing the names of the entire network of British spies-including his own-has been stolen. To protect Sophia, Anthony cuts off all ties to her and exchanges his life as an honorable earl for the facade of a flirtatious playboy.

Heartbroken and confused, Sophia travels to India, hoping to find healing in one of the most exotic regions of the British Empire. But the exotic land isn't as restful as she had hoped. Instead, she finds herself embroiled in a mystery of a missing sea captain, a possible murder, and a plot that could involve the prince of India. And when Anthony appears at the British Residency, asking questions and keeping his distance from her, she is stunned.

She still loves him, and, in her heart, she knows he loves her too. But how can she rebuild her relationship with him if he won't confide in her? Does she dare offer her heart to him a second time, or will their love be lost under the India sun?


Rorie's Review:

I know from history classes and reading how vast the British Empire was back in the day, but it still kind of amazes me how people just up and left England and traveled on a ship for months at a time to go live in a foreign land that they really didn't know much about..and then once they were there, they did whatever they could to make it seem like they were back in England. I enjoyed reading about the markets and especially the ruins. I'd love to explore places like that.

I quickly fell in love with little Charlie and his ayah.We get to know several other characters and some of them I would love to be friends with. Some of them just made me roll my eyes. :)

I felt for both Sophia and Anthony. He was unwillingly thrust into a situation where he had to sever ties with her, and not be able to tell her why. She was left heartbroken and confused. I did get a kick out of her way of "getting back" at him for the heartache he put her through.

The part about the royal funeral seemed like it didn't really have a purpose in the book. It didn't fit in the with the plot, and nothing good seemed to come of what the ladies did. I'm not sure why it was included in the story, other than maybe showing what used to be done back then.

Other than that part, I really enjoyed this story, and look forward to reading more from this author.

Andrea's Review:

The Indian setting in Nancy Campbell Allen's latest book was a nice addition for the Proper Romance Line. I really like the variety in these books.

I was intrigued right away by the story, and really liked the main characters, Sophia and Anthony. Two years seemed an excessive amount of time for Anthony to be searching for the document, but I suppose the time added a lot to the feelings our main characters had. The bad guy wasn't a total surprise, but I was kept guessing for a lot of the story. The ending was satisfying, albeit a bit busy with so many unlikely heroes stepping up.

If you are looking for a clean read, with action and a first love, second chances aspect, this could be the book for you.

Tarah's Review:

This is the second time I've read this, so I was entertained enough with the characters and the plot to read it again. I love that this took place away from England. I don't know anything about India, especially during that time period so I can't tell you if it was realistic or not, and honestly, since the British tried to make everything British there wasn't much to the setting being in India.

Since Anthony and Sophia already fell in love, this book isn't really, I felt, about their relationship. It's about making circumstances happen so they can get back together. I didn't have any problems with that. I didn't mind that their relationship was already established. It made sense in my brain and I ran with it.

It's a mind candy mystery. If you are looking for something deep you probably aren't going to get it. But if you are looking for a quick "proper romance" to escape into, this would do the trick.

Giveaway:

Enter to win a paperback copy of The Secret of the India Orchid. Ends 8/31/17. Entrants must have a mailing address in the continental United States. Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as notified by the entrant's contact information, 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 Literary Time Out and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51ACKXB7cfL.jpg
Title: The Secret of the India Orchid
Author: Nancy Campbell Allen
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Published: August 2017
ISBN: 1629722936
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book

Friday, August 11, 2017

Blog Tour: Havencross by Julie Daines

Reviews * Giveaway
Havencross by Julie Daines

Book Description:

When a shocking scandal involving her father spreads through London society, Elaine Cardinham and her parents are forced to retreat to their country home in Cornwall for refuge. But Havencross is no sanctuary for Elaine. She is haunted by the mysterious disappearance of her brother—and the heartbreak she left in her wake all those years ago. It has been five long years since Gareth Kemp last saw Elaine—when she rejected his marriage proposal. Her reappearance convinces him of one thing: he has never stopped loving her. To put his feelings for her aside, he focuses his attention on the dangerous smuggling plaguing the Cornish coast. As Elaine attempts to run from her past, she ventures ever closer to a dangerous truth—and Gareth may be the only one who can save her from a deadly finish.

Andrea's Review:

Havencross was a perfect summer read. I was initially drawn in by the cover (it would definitely catch my attention at a bookstore or library), but my attention was held by the details that unfolded about the past.

The story was fast paced and very intriguing. Elaine's family flees London in shame, and hopes they've gone far enough to avoid the scandal. But being back at Havencross has its own challenges.

I really liked Elaine. We don’t get to know her parents well, but what we learn isn’t very favorable. It seems that the heartbreaking loss of Elaine’s brother years before really changed the family dynamic. And then there’s the lack of communication that drags the family down.

Gareth was a great character. He and his family seemed so down to earth and pretty much the opposite of Elaine’s family.

This was a very enjoyable, clean story that I would read again.

Rorie's Review:

I absolutely loved Eleanor and the Iron King, so I was excited to review the newest book by Julie Daines. 
 
Starting off, I am always amazed when I read about how much an entire family's social standing can be affected by one person's actions during this time period. I mean, maybe we do that to a small extent these days, but I don't think it's anything like it was back then. (At least I hope it isn't!)
 
This was a good book, but there wasn't anything that really jumped out at me as something that I loved. I was able to put this book down and not be anxious to get back to it and continue the story. That being said, I was completely surprised by who some of the bad guys turned out to be. 
 
This was the second book in a few week's time that involved smuggling along the coast. I didn't realize how big of an issue it was back then. It was pretty interesting learning more about it from both stories. 
 
While I didn't absolutely love this book, I still really enjoy this author's writing, and can't wait to read what she comes up with next.

Tarah's Review:

This book really hit the spot for me. I was thoroughly entertained the whole read, and will definitely be reading it again. I think it was probably because of the story. It was just a good story. The writing wasn't the best I have ever read, but the story makes up for anything that may be lacking.

I wasn't super surprised by the bad guy, but I loved the two main characters. Gareth is a keeper in my book :) I was surprised by the different mysteries that popped up, and I loved the mythological/supernatural (?) element to this book.

I'll be passing this book around to my reading friends, and I'll be reading it again pretty soon.

Tour Schedule:
 


*August 11thhttp://www.singinglibrarianbooks.com/http://whynotbecauseisaidso.blogspot.com/http://literarytimeout.blogspot.com/,
 https://atransparentmom.com/, http://reviewsfromtheheart.blogspot.com/

Tour Giveaway:

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Title: Havencross
Author: Julie Daines
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Published: August 2017
ISBN: 1524403326
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Deseret Book

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Romance Awareness Month Giveaway: Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

It is National Book Lovers Day today, and I'm very excited to share my favorite Proper Romance with you, Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson.  


Edenbrooke is the first book in the Proper Romance Line, and I'm re-reading it right now (for the fourth or fifth time). Here is my original review from just over five years ago:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Giveaway:

Enter to win a paperback copy of Edenbrooke. Ends 8/31/17. Entrants must have a mailing address in the continental United States. Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as notified by the entrant's contact information, 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 Literary Time Out and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Romance Awareness Month Giveaway: The Vicar's Daughter by Josi S. Kilpack

Did you know that today is National Sisters Day? I didn't realize there was such a thing until recently, but it goes perfectly with the first book we are giving away from the Proper Romance Line, The Vicar's Daughter by Josi S. Kilpack.


 Celebrate National Sisters Day with a book
about Cassie, whose attempts to play
matchmaker go awry when she falls in love
with her sister’s potential suitor. 

Have you ever played matchmaker for your sister? How did it turn out?

Giveaway:

Enter to win a paperback copy of The Vicar's Daughter. Ends 8/31/17. Entrants must have a mailing address in the continental United States. Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as notified by the entrant's contact information, 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 Literary Time Out and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 4, 2017

A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White

 A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England #1)
Book Description:

Edwardian Romance and History Gains a Twist of Suspense

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family's history, their very name?

Peter Holstein, given his family's German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered.

But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors' scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he's more than his name?

 
Tarah's Review:

It's been awhile since I've read a book that I've really really liked, and I've got to say, even though I haven't read all her books, A Name Unknown is my favorite book by this author. I can't wait till she writes the next in the series!

Peter is my favorite character is this novel. I love his quite unassuming kind nature. His stutter is endearing and his kindness is swoon-worthy.  I love how he writes under a different name. That was an interesting part of the book for me...to see how an author can tune everything out when they are on a roll.

Rosemary is just what Peter needs, and I love the interactions between the two of them. My favorite being when he shushes her and she gets back at him later :) Her family warms your heart, and her figuring out who she really wants to be is awesome.

The suspense is well written and the ending wasn't rushed. I really appreciate that. Like I said earlier, I can't wait for the other books to come out in the series.

Rorie's Review:

Peter completely won me over. He was strong, but at the same time, vulnerable. I liked him even before we really got to know him well. And the more we got to know him, the more I liked him. He was truly a good man, the kind we need a whole lot more of these days. 
 
Rosemary may have been a thief, but we quickly saw that she was a good person too. Fiercely protective of her family, doing whatever she could to help them survive and stay safe. 
 
The story drew me in almost immediately. I kept wishing I could put those necessary life chores on hold for a few days so I could just sit and read this book. As the unread pages in the book dwindled, and the story still had so much to be resolved, I began to worry that this would be a cliffhanger, where I'd have to wait way too long for my tastes to find out what happens with Peter and Rosemary. Thankfully, the author is not that cruel, and the story did have an ending. I'm looking forward to reading the other books in the series when they come out. I enjoyed the author's writing, and plan on finding her other books so I can read them too.


A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England #1)
Title: A Name Unknown
Author: Roseanna M. White
Publisher: Bethany House
Published: July 2017
ISBN: 1462120261
Source: We received copies from LitFuse and the publisher in exchange for honest reviews.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Romance Awareness Month

You may have notice that we like to read books that fall into the Romance category. So it should be no surprise that we jumped at the opportunity to spread the love during Romance Awareness Month!
We hope you'll join us throughout the month as we host several giveaways from the Proper Romance line. This is a wonderful line with very talented authors. The books are all clean and they fit into a variety of genres-everything from Regency to Western to Steam Punk.


First off, we want to wish a Happy Book Birthday to The Secret of the India Orchid by Nancy Campbell Allen. This is the latest release in the Proper Romance line, and is available today! Watch for our triple review and giveaway on Tuesday, August 15th.

Also, for those who love a good Facebook party, don't miss the Proper Romance Anniversary Facebook Party this Friday, August 4th, from 12:00 PM to 2:45 PM. This is the 5-year anniversary of the Proper Romance line, and Sarah M. Eden, Julianne Donaldson, Josi S. Kilpack, and Nancy Campbell Allen will be chatting with fans. Plus, there will be several giveaways during the party.

Other dates to remember:
  • August 6th: National Sisters Day-we'll be opening the giveaway for a copy of The Vicar's Daughter by Josi S. Kilpack
  • August 9th: National Book Lovers Day-we'll be opening the giveaway for a copy of Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
  • August 15th: National Relaxation Day-we'll be opening the giveaway for a copy of The Secret of the India Orchid by Nancy Campbell Allen
  • August 21st: Solar Eclipse-have your eclipse glasses ready
  • August 25th: National Kiss and Make Up Day-we'll be opening the giveaway for a copy of The Sheriffs of Savage Wells
  • August 27th: National Just Because Day-we'll be opening the giveaway for a copy of Beauty and the Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen.
  • August 31st: National Matchmaker Day
One way to earn entries to the giveaways will be to comment on the blog posts and social media posts that we share for Romance Awareness Month. Get ready to win some awesome books!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Blog Tour: Beyond by Catina Haverlock & Angela Larkin

Reviews * Giveaway
Beyond by Catina Haverlock & Angela Larkin

Book Description:

“Dangerous. Wrong. She could be so close to finding out who I really am, and I don’t want to think about how badly that could damage her. If I have any conscience,
I’ll turn and run. But I can’t let her go.”

Presley Hale has no idea the guy she just told off in the school parking lot died in a drowning accident four months ago. Why would she? It’s not like she knows she can see the dead. Stunned by Presley’s sixth sense, Landon Blackwood rethinks his planned departure and begins tracking her to find answers to their mysterious connection.

When their complicated relationship turns dangerous, they learn that tampering with the boundaries of death comes with consequences. Can Landon save Presley from the insidious spirits who have marked her for death, or was their love doomed from the beginning?


Andrea's Review:

Ghost stories aren't something I've ever craved. I think that's because I don't like to scare myself, and I have it in my mind that ghost stories are scary. However, I've read several books that involved ghosts and their aim hasn't been horror at all-those I really like. Beyond is that type of ghost story. It is intriguing, and has some great characters that you can't help but root for.

Landon can't quite let go and move on in the afterlife. He's been struggling for months, and just when he's finally decided to proceed, he is seen by Presley. She's a complete stranger, but he can't progress in his journey without finding out why she can see him when no one else can.

Presley is a senior in high school, and her mom just moved her and her autistic brother to a new town. As if her life wasn't hard enough with her unattentive mother, and high needs brother, now she's the new kid for her last year of high school. Most of the students at Truckee High are less than welcoming and Presley has to deal with one mean prank after another. She notices a guy watching her from a distance after a prank, and she can't get him out of her mind. Was he the one who did the prank? Then he disappears, but she sees him here and there, and wants to find out his story.

Beyond was a very enjoyable story that I would read again. I read it quickly, and was captivated by how it would turn out because I was pulling for an impossible relationship to happen. I wanted more at the end, but it left a reader to imagine the best.

Content: A few swear words, mention of teenage drinking, kissing.

Tarah's Review:

Paranormal love stories are always tricky, because...well, one of them is dead. That generally doesn't work so well.  And as a random side note, has anyone noticed that YA novels portrayal of love is generally obsessive? Like, I can't go a minute without seeing you or my life is going to be over? What's with that? I really hope our young women aren't thinking that that is how true love really is. Does that worry anyone else? I mean, it makes for a fun story, but...my mother bear comes out afterward and it makes me a little nervous. My oldest still thinks boys have cooties, so I'm good for a while, but still...OK, I'm getting off my soapbox.

I liked Presley. She was kind and caring and had a good head on her shoulders. The boys in the story left a little to be desired for me. Maybe it's that momma bear coming out, but I didn't really dig the rebellious pranksters and stuff. I liked both Landon and Reese when they were with Presley, but before she moved there they kind of sounded...well...not my type.

I read the story really quickly and was pulled in and left multiple things undone to finish. I will admit that I was really disappointed with the ending. Granted, there aren't many ways a dead person and a living person can find a happily every after, but I felt like there were too many plot holes in the way this ended, and another way would have made me a lot happier. 

Rorie's Review:

Umm...wow...I just don't even know what to say about this book. It was good...like, finish it in a day sort of good...I was kept wondering through the whole story just how this was going to end up. How can a living person and a dead person make a relationship work? There are so many reasons why it can't (and shouldn't) work. So while I loved the connection that Presley and Landon had, I read the whole story knowing that there was no way it could last.

I was hoping that Presley could work things out with Reese. I liked him, even though he was quite the mischief-maker. 

I loved reading about Presley's relationship with her brother, Chase. The love she had for him and the way she knew how to calm him down was so sweet.

To be honest, a good part of the book was kind of depressing. Presley had a rough life, although she was handling it like a champ. I was so happy when she met her new friends. They are the kind of friends everyone needs to have (and the kind I hope I am.)

So, back to the whole dead/alive relationship issue. I have to say, with all the pondering I did, trying to figure out how this book could be a happily ever after type, I was taken by surprise at what ended up happening.

Definitely a well-written story. I think the authors went a little comma-crazy a few times, but that's a very minor issue. This book will go on my "keeper" shelf.


About the Authors:

Catina worked her way through college as a newspaper and television journalist. Itching to stretch her creative muscles, she convinced her university to create a dating game show, which she hosted. After spending most of her adult life in Las Vegas, Catina traded in tumbleweeds for earthquakes and now lives with her husband and four children near San Diego, California. If she’s not home, chances are you can find her at the beach, Disneyland, or In-N-Out.

Angela Larkin spent much of her childhood under a blanket with a flashlight, secretly reading past bedtime. She’s been a gold miner, a pool cleaner, a mannequin dresser, and a teacher. She's lived a true romance: meeting her husband in a case of mistaken identity. They recently moved with their four children from the sparkling city of Las Vegas to the shade of the North Carolina Pines.

Giveaway:

Enter to win one of 5 signed copies of Beyond. Ends 8/3/17. Entrants must have a mailing address in the continental United States. Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as notified by the entrant's contact information, and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Copies will be mailed to the winners from the author. 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 Literary Time Out and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


Title: Beyond
Author: Catina Haverlock & Angela Larkin
Publisher: Sweetwater Books, an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc.
Published: June 2017
ISBN: 1462120261
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Purchase:  Amazon | Kindle | Deseret Book | Target

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Blog Tour: Lies & Letters by Ashtyn Newbold

Triple Review
 Lies & Letters by Ashtyn Newbold

Book Description:

After a season in London, Charlotte Lyons is still regrettably unattached. With her family’s finances in peril, she is sent away with her sister to a bleak coastal town where she is expected to pursue a wealthy earl. Beautiful and talented, how could she possibly fail? But when her heart is captured by someone entirely unexpected, Charlotte finds herself caught up in a web of lies and intrigue. Between hardship and sorrow, she finds more than she bargained for, forced to choose between the life she once wanted and a new love she never imagined.

Andrea's Review:

Ashtyn Newbold has another great book available in Lies & Letters.

I was intrigued by the description, and the cover caught my eye. Then, I cracked the book open, and I have to admit that I was immediately put off by the main character, Charlotte. That worried me because I prefer stories with a likeable main character. Someone who isn't perfect, but has good qualities that you want to root for. Charlotte was . . . horrible. I mean, really, really, horrible. I was worried about liking the book because of her, but thankfully the story is about Charlotte's transformation. Her mother was a piece of work, but Charlotte was able to learn from her mistakes and grow a lot throughout the story.

There is an accident at one point in the story that felt a little abrupt. Yes, accidents typically happen quickly, but I would have loved some more detail after it happened. Otherwise, I really enjoyed the story. Lies & Letters is a very good, clean story with a sweet romance. I would recommend it, and can see myself reading it again.

Rorie's Review:

I did NOT like Charlotte at all in the beginning of the book. What a horrible, unlikable person. But as I read, my dislike grew to pity, and even some sympathy. Charlotte was who she was because her mother trained her to be that way. She didn't know any other way to be. And that is so sad to me. 
 
It was interesting to read how Charlotte and Clara learned how to live on their own after they were sent away. It must have been a complete shock, going from doing pretty much nothing for yourself to having to do everything. 
 
We get to see glimpses of a different side of Charlotte each time she plays the pianoforte. She shows that she actually does have emotions and feelings, and isn't just the cold, calculating person she was raised to be.
 
The relationship between James and Charlotte was so frustrating to me...mostly because Charlotte seemed to be letting down her defenses, but then all of a sudden, she'd remind herself how she "should" be (according to her mother) and she'd pull away again. I have to give James props for not giving up on her at the beginning. He was probably my favorite character.
 
This book does a really good job of showing just how much emotional abuse can damage a person. After getting over the initial dislike of the main character, I really enjoyed this story.

Tarah's Review:

Oh my heavens! I just barely realized that the Charlotte in this book is the same Charlotte in Mischief and Manors (love that title by the way...super clever). Ha, I really didn't make that connection, even after I went back and reread the first book.  Well, not that it's part of a series, but that just goes to show that you don't have to read them in any order to enjoy them! :)

So, like everyone else, Charlotte was not my favorite character to start with. And normally for me that would have stopped me reading before she changed. I like to like my main characters. However, with the positive reviews from people I trust I kept reading, and it kept getting better and better.

James is awesome. Even though we didn't get to see a lot of his and Charlotte's relationship develop I didn't really feel gypped or at a loss. It was well written and it totally worked for this story. My favorite character though is Mrs. Abbot. I really enjoyed her warmth and acceptance. She is the type of person I hope to be one day. Maybe because everyone else in the story was rather extreme in their personalities, I felt that Mrs. Abbot was rather relaxing and peaceful.

I wasn't sure how the ending was going work out, but I was totally satisfied with the way Newbold puts everything together at the end. I can't wait to read what she comes out with next.

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About the Author:


Ashtyn Newbold discovered a love of writing early in high school. Inspired by regency period romance, she wrote her first novel at the age of sixteen. Because she can’t vacation in her favorite historical time periods, she writes about them instead. When not crafting handsome historical heroes, she enjoys baking, sewing, music, and spoiling her dog. She dreams of traveling to England and Ireland. Ashtyn is currently studying English and creative writing at Utah Valley University. She lives in Lehi, Utah with her family.

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Title: Lies & Letters
Author: Ashtyn Newbold
Publisher: Sweetwater Books, an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc.
Published: July 2017
ISBN: 1462119840
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Deseret Book

Friday, July 14, 2017

Blog Tour: The Song of Copper Creek by Kristen McKendry

Reviews * Giveaway
The Song of Copper Creek by Kristen McKendry

Book Description:

It's been more than a year since she lost her family - a tragedy that has left Grace Whitaker a shadow of her former self. Unable to move on surrounded by so many memories, she makes the desperate decision to return to her childhood home in Port Dover, Ontario, Canada. There she hopes to salvage the broken pieces of her life - but what she finds is the promise of peace and healing in an unlikely place.

Copper Creek Farm is part of a Canadian historical museum, offering glimpses into 19th-century pioneer life. Yet the farm offers much more than that - it is a place of second chances. For Grace, the opportunity to work the land alongside the loving Whelan family is the first step toward healing. But she isn't the only broken soul seeking hope on the farm. Grace is joined by a young man in trouble with the law, as well as the Whelans' son and grandchildren, who are struggling through their own heartbreak. Together, these survivors discover the strength that can be found in friendship. But when faced with the uncertainty of the future, will they have the courage to move beyond the past to forge new lives for themselves?


Andrea's Review:

The Song of Copper Creek is a good, albeit slow, story about healing and moving on after tragedy. It was the type of book I could put down and come back a day or so later to pick up where I left off.

I thought it was a sweet story. Grace had been through a big loss (although it takes quite awhile to get to the details in the book), and has left her home and everything behind to try to heal for the summer. She ends up at a working farm near Port Dover, Ontario, Canada, where she hopes to learn some new skills in exchange for room and board. She quickly bonds with Laura, Martin, their grandchildren, and their neighbor, Toby. I really liked Toby. His personality was just what Grace needed to start opening up and be a shoulder to cry on when she was ready.

Not a lot happens in the story, but a lot happens inside Grace being able to move forward with her life. The story showed the importance of family (even adopted family) in order to move on in life.

I don’t see myself reading this again, but I don’t regret reading it. It was clean.

Rorie's Review:

I'm torn on how to review this book. It had all the makings of a good story, but it was just missing the plot. This was more like someone's memoirs rather than a novel. There was a lot of description about the farm life and the different things they grew and the work they did, which was interesting in a way, but I don't think we needed that much detail for a novel.
 
It was interesting learning the backstory of each of the characters...Grace, Mason, Toby and Matt, but even with all of these different stories going on, the book moved really slowly. 

Tarah's Review:

I really need to stop expecting different things when I read Kristen McKendry. I keep expecting her books to be like her Garden Plot, which was funny and quick. The Song of Copper Creek was poignant and healing, but it was also slow and something that I could put down for days before I picked it up again. Don't get me wrong, I liked it. The characters were extremely well written and the process that Grace went through was touching. I suppose I just kept expecting something to happen. Some form of climax, and instead it was just a nice sweet story.

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Title: The Song of Copper Creek
Author: Kristen McKendry
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Published: June 2017
ISBN: 1524403024
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Deseret Book