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, 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: just don't even know what to say about this book. It was, 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.


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.

Tour Schedule:

Enter the Giveaway on Goodreads for a chance to win a copy of Lies & Letters.

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.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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.

Tour Schedule:

Tour Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Friday, July 7, 2017

Book Review: The Captain's Daughter by Jennifer Delamere

The Captain's Daughter
Book Description:

When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater which is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage.

An injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he’s glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can’t wait to leave behind.

Book Review:

From my own perspective and from reading reviews on GoodReads, it seems like if you liked this book, you loved it, and if you were kind of "eh" about the book it was because of a couple of things. First, the title. While the title itself is fine, it doesn't have a lot to do with the story. I personally kept waiting for that aspect of the story to manifest itself somewhere and it never did. It's a beautiful cover though (which is neither here nor there, but it is nice).

Second, the pacing of the story. It goes from very fast paced, to pretty slow. This, for me, wasn't a book that I stayed with until it was finished. It took a number of days for me to finish and I really think it was just the pacing. The story itself was fine and entertaining. The characters, especially Nate's family, were well written and enjoyable to get to know, but it was pretty slow.

The theater portions were fun and different for me. I enjoyed that aspect of the book immensely. While I'm not in any hurry to reread this book, I will gladly read the rest of the series (I'm assuming about Rosalyn's sisters) when those books come out.

The Captain's Daughter

Title: The Captain's Daughter
Author: Jennifer Delamere
Publisher: Bethany House
Published: June 2017
Source: I received an copy from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review.