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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Movie Spotlight and Giveaway: TREK - the Movie

The youth in my church will be doing a Pioneer Trek this summer. They dress in pioneer clothing and pull a handcart for a few days, along with other experiences the pioneers in the mid-1800s endured on their way out west in an attempt to be free from religious persecution. This wasn't something that was done when I was a teenager, but I've heard it's quite the faith building experience.

A movie has just been made about the modern day Trek reenactments, and I've already watched the trailer four times since I first saw it this morning. It looks funny and spiritual. I am looking forward to watching TREK - the Movie with my family.


Movie Synopsis: 

Written by Hollywood screenwriter David Howard and Jon Enos, and directed by Alan Peterson, TREK is a family comedy that follows a group of LDS teens as they stumble their way through the sagebrush looking for their pioneer heritage as well as their own testimonies. Watch as Tom, a young Mormon teenager and his friends try to smuggle in unsanctioned food, battle sibling rivalry, encounter a “special ops” Young Men's leader, ponder doctrinal brain teasers, and match wits with a Twinkie-loving skunk. Through all of the ups and downs, they are revealed to be “real” LDS youth who are struggling with real challenges—doubts, divorce, relationships. When they encounter unexpected trouble, their faith is tested much like their pioneer ancestors.

Giveaway:

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Romance is in the Air – $100 Kick Off Giveaway & Links to Spotlight Posts


– Romance is in the Air –

A Month-Long Celebration of Clean Romance

– February 2018 –




Starting February 1st and running through the entire month of February we will be showcasing 14 fabulous authors. There will be 15 different giveaways, free ebooks and lots of great deals on books.
We’re starting off with a $100 Kick-Off Giveaway. One lucky winner will receive a $100 Amazon Gift Code or $100 in Paypal Cash.
Check out this great list of authors we will be spotlighting!






Kimberley Montpetit



Be sure to stop by each week during February to learn about these amazing authors. You definitely don’t want to miss out on all the giveaways! To be sure you never miss a post subscribe to I Am A Reader’s Mailing List.









Giveaway Details

$100 in Paypal Cash or a $250 Amazon.com eGift Card

Ends 2/28/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via PayPal or gift codes via Amazon.com. 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. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Monday, January 29, 2018

1 Day 99 Cent Sale – The Ghost Groom by Jennifer Youngblood


The Ghost Groom by Jennifer Youngblood A tough football player, a devoted sister, and the most difficult choice of all … After a long, painful search that involved legions of duds, Ariana Sanchez, fitness guru and gym owner, finally meets the perfect guy when she least expects it. Not only can Rennen tear up the dance floor, but he has these adorable blonde curls and compelling green eyes, specked with gold. When Ariana’s around him she feels oh, so alive! And the best part is that he’s a perfect gentleman and easy to talk to. Their first encounter leaves Ariana floating on air, thinking there’s hope for her love life after all … until she learns that Rennen is the celebrated rookie who’s taking her brother’s position as starting running back for the Titans. Too bad she’s totally loyal to her brother and has to hate him now! Rennen Bradley, the Ghost, has worked long and hard to get the opportunity to shine as the starting running back. Sure, he feels bad that Ace Sanchez was injured and that he’s taking his place on the team, but that’s how the game rolls. Rennen never expects to fall for Ariana, and it throws him for a loop when he realizes she’s Ace’s sister. But Rennen’s not going to let a simple complication like that come between him and the woman of his dreams. He understands Ariana’s reservations—heck, even admires her loyalty to her brother. But Rennen’s used to waging uphill battles. Abandoned as a child, Rennen learned a long time ago that you have to fight tooth and nail for anything you want in this life. And he wants Ariana, heart, body, and soul! Caught between loyalty and love, will Ariana choose her family or her heart?   
 
Excerpt

This was getting ridiculous. Justin was more handsy than an octopus. “Stop touching me,” Ariana warned. He laughed. “Come on, babe. Don’t be so stiff. You know you like it.” “No, I don’t like it,” she countered. “No one likes being pawed.” Revulsion churned in her gut as his eyes went to her chest. An incredulous laugh bubbled in her throat. Was he really ogling her chest, right here in front of her? What a jerk! As soon as she got home, she was going to contact Heart to Heart and put in a complaint. They really should be more diligent in making sure people were truthful in their profiles. Justin was nothing like he’d pretended to be, and it was obvious he was only after one thing … and it wasn’t a long-term relationship. She tensed, clenching her fists. “Hey, buddy. My face is up here.” He snorted out a chortle. “Yeah, but you’ve got something else going on down there. For a little girl, you’ve got a nice rack.” She froze amidst the dancing couples surrounding them. “What did you just say to me?” He laughed. “You heard me. Lighten up.” He grabbed her waist with an iron grip. “I thought Latin girls were supposed to be loose.” Her hand balled into a fist, and she thought about how it would feel to knock him across the floor. “I’m going to give you a half a second to let go of me.” He grunted in amusement. “Make me.” Heat splintered up her neck, making her feel like her head would split in two. Then cool precision took over as she calculated Justin’s height and weight. The bigger they are … the harder they fall. From the corner of her eye, she saw the blonde guy from earlier approach. “Is everything okay here?” he asked, his body taut, like he was ready to pounce. “Buzz off,” Justin grumbled. Letting loose a string of curse words. “Strike three,” Ariana muttered. She shot her arm straight up in a swift motion where it connected with Justin’s neck, right under his jaw line. Then she brought her arm back down, using her weight to knock him off his feet where he landed on his back with a heavy thud. Murmurs rippled through the couples surrounding them as they backed away. Justin gurgled, clutching his neck, a dazed look in his eyes. Ariana’s hands flew to her hips. “Just because I’m Latin does not make me easy!” Claps broke out around her. “That’s right,” a few of the women agreed. “Dirt bag,” one woman muttered, shooting Justin a death glare. As Justin stumbled to his feet, Ariana planted herself in a battle stance, ready to do more damage if necessary. Her adrenaline was going, and she’d make short work of him, putting her training to good use. But luckily for Justin, he ducked his head and scuttled away. “That has got to be the most awesome thing I’ve ever seen.” She turned to the blonde guy who was looking at her in astonishment, admiration shining in his eyes. “Thanks. I appreciate you trying to help.” He shoved his hands in his pockets, rocking forward on the balls of his feet. “Yeah, I was trying to rescue you from that creep … not that you needed my help.” Ariana’s blood was pumping so ferociously that she felt dizzy. He gave her a concerned look. “Are you okay?” A wan smile tipped her lips as she ran a hand through her hair. “Yeah, I guess that date didn’t go as planned.” He chuckled. “Life rarely does.” He held her gaze, and she felt the same buzz she’d experienced earlier. Everything around them slowed, and it was just the two of them. His voice was deeper than she imagined, with a husky edge. Her eyes traced the definition of the muscles underneath his form-fitting t-shirt. Heat fanned her face when she saw the flicker of amusement that turned his hazel-green eyes a honey-gold. He’d caught her checking him out. She jerked her eyes to his face, making a mental note to keep her focus there. He had a fine layer of scruff, emphasizing the lean line of his jaw. She swallowed, feeling she was staring at the real-life version of Thor and Captain America, all rolled into one. Captain Thor. Or Goldie Locks because of his thick tangles of beautiful curls. People around them resumed dancing, but the two of them just stood there. Ariana knew she should start dancing … or do something to break the tension, but she couldn’t get her body to cooperate. He cleared his throat, a grin washing over his face. “Um, maybe we should get off the dance floor.” “Oh, yeah.” She propelled her feet into action. Her mind whirled, going through all that had just happened. She could hardly believe he’d been the one to offer help. When they got to the side, he motioned to an empty table. “Would you like to sit down?” Her voice sounded unnaturally high and screechy in her ears. “Sure.” He pulled out a chair for her and helped her get seated. Wow. Captain Thor was a gentleman to the nth degree. A startling contrast to Justin. As they sat there, staring across the table at each other, Ariana scrambled for something halfway intelligent to say. “Thanks again. You’re a great dancer,” she blurted. Sheesh. She was making an idiot out of herself. Normally she was calm and cool around men, always knowing the right thing to say. But it seemed her mouth had disconnected from her brain. His lips curved into a radiant smile, causing the edges of his eyes to crease. “Thanks. You’re pretty good yourself.” The compliment caught her off guard, sending warm ripples cascading through her. He’d been watching her too. It was good to know the attraction went both ways. He leaned forward. “Was that guy your boyfriend?” She wrinkled her nose. “Heck no!” She laughed. “We’d never met in person before tonight. We were matched on a dating app.” His eyebrows shot up in surprise. “Really?” She felt foolish and a little desperate for resorting to a dating app. Her explanation gushed out. “It’s an app where people in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area can connect. You know, people with similar interests.” She shrugged. “It seemed like a good idea … in theory.” She scowled, darkness gathering inside her. “Of course, I should’ve known better than to go out with a football coach. Note to self … don’t date anymore coaches or football players. Their egos are the size of a whale, their brains the size of a pea, from one too many hits on the field.” He laughed. “That’s a bit of a blanket statement.” Her face fell. “Don’t tell me, you’re a football player.” Of course he was. That would be just her luck. An easy grin stole over his lips. “Well, if I were, I certainly wouldn’t admit it now.” She pursed her lips together, assessing him. He didn’t seem bothered by her scrutiny. He just sat there, patiently enduring it. “No, you’re not a football player,” she finally said. “I don’t know what you are, but you’re far too intelligent to play football.” He cocked his head. “So, all football players are stupid? Is that what you’re saying?” “Nope. Not all of them. Just about ninety percent.” “So only ten percent are intelligent.” He grinned. “See, I can do math.” The teasing tone of his voice caused her to smile. “That’s good to know.” He tsked his tongue. “What turned you against football players?” “Aside from Justin?” She lifted an eyebrow, waiting for him to respond. “Yep, aside from him. I mean, he was a douche bag, but the bite in your voice tells me there’s more.” When her brother Ace first started playing pro ball, Ariana went out with a few players on the team. After about the sixth disaster, she swore off football players altogether. “Experience,” she finally said. Interest lit his eyes. “Care to elaborate?” “Not really,” she said loudly, then felt like she was yelling when the music suddenly stopped. They turned their attention to the guy on stage holding the microphone. “Folks, we’ve got a fun evening lined up, it’s karaoke night!” He pumped a fist in the air as the crowd cheered. Ariana’s heart dropped. Oh, no! The emcee looked down at the sheet of paper in his hand. “To start, we have a duet by Ariana and Justin.” Captain Thor looked at her. “Is everything okay?” “Not really.” She groaned. “I’m Ariana.”  

Alternate Ending - After reading The Ghost Groom be sure to download and read the FREE alternate ending written by Cami Checketts & Taylor Hart. 
 
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Book Review: The Gospel at 30,000 Feet by Dieter F. Uchtdorf

 The Gospel at 30,000 Feet
Book Description:

This new book brings together many of the stories of flight that President Uchtdorf has used in his ministry. In this colorful, inviting format, more than 20 of his best-loved stories come together under five major themes: Principles of Flight, Lift, Guidance on the Journey, Weathering the Turbulence, and Our Eternal Destination.

Book Review:

Do you know my favorite thing about this book? Yes, it has great messages in it that I've marked and plan to use later, but my favorite thing is seeing pictures of Elder Uchtdorf when he's younger. There aren't many in there, but I was looking at this with my 12 year old and said, "Look at Elder Uchtdorf!" She didn't believe that it was him. I think I like seeing pictures of the apostles while they are growing up because it makes them more real to me. It makes me realize that they grew up and had struggles and problems and had to learn to over come those.

But back to the book. I don't think it was meant to be read in one sitting. I think the way it was set up is to be enjoyed in little snatches when you need a pick-me-up. And pick-me-up it does. Doesn't Elder Uchtdorf have a way with words?

This was one of my favorite quotes from the book, "The more we incline our hearts and minds toward God, the more heavenly light distills upon our souls. And each time we willingly and earnestly seek that light, we indicate to God our readiness to receive more light. Gradually, things that before seemed hazy, dark and remote become clear, bright, and familiar to us."

The Gospel at 30,000 Feet

Title: The Gospel at 30,000 Feet
Author: Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Publisher: Deseret Book
Published: November 2017
ISBN: 9781629739
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Blog Tour: Six Days to Live by

Reviews * Giveaway
Six Days to Live by Kenneth M. Page

Book Description:

Sometimes disaster is simply a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Take Addison Roberts, for example: it is a deadly coincidence that in a crowded parking lot one day, she catches the eye of a dangerous criminal on the run. In his desperation to evade the police, what he needs is a way out—and Addison and her car are his ticket to escape.

Lieutenant Chase Roberts, on leave from his military assignment, is anxious to be reunited with his wife. Yet as night falls and Addison fails to appear, Chase feels a rising sense of foreboding. Hours quickly become days as he desperately works with authorities to find the woman he loves. But after being named a person of interest, Chase is warned away from the investigation—a mandate he ignores. Chase will stop at nothing to find his wife, and what he ultimately discovers is terrifying: Addison has been carjacked by a man who has killed before and has no scruples about killing again . . .


Rorie's Review:

I thought the book description sounded really interesting and was looking forward to reading this story. Unfortunately, I just wasn't able to lose myself in the story. It started out alright, but by the end of the book, I realized that the reason I couldn't get into it was because I felt like I didn't ever get to know the characters. I don't feel like we got to know them more than surface-deep. Because of this, I wasn't emotionally invested in the story, and ended up skimming for the last few chapters. Kind of sad, because the book had so much potential, if only there had been more character development.

Andrea's Review:

Most of what I've read lately would fall into the Clean Romance category, so I was really excited to read Six Days to Live and spend some time in another genre. The cover drew me in, and the first couple of chapters were quite intriguing.

I had high expectations for this suspense novel, but sadly the writing just didn't do it for me. I didn't feel a connection to the characters and the dialogue didn't seem natural. It took me much longer to finish it than I expected, and I wondered if it was just my mood. I'm really curious to see what my reader friends think of this novel.

Tarah's Review:

Six Days to Live has a great premise, and I was really looking forward to reading it. I don't know...maybe more editing would have helped. It normally doesn't bother me if I find spelling errors, but these seemed to jump out at me. Maybe it was because the dialogue didn't seem to flow or follow normal speech patterns. Everyone was really polite to each other, until they blew up, and then they went back to being super nice.

I also struggled with the end a little bit, and this is probably a spoiler, so be aware of that if you keep reading. All through the investigation we are told that if Chase gets anywhere near it there will be severe consequences. Understandable. Also understandable for a good story, Chase ignores these mandates and goes to find his wife anyway. However, after he almost gets his father-in-law killed, finds himself shot, and other not so great things, there is never, never any consequences for him. He is even asked to join a special task force at the end of the book (I'm not even sure why, because he didn't really do anything but get shot). Why bring it up and make a big deal out of it if nothing is going to happen about it? Plus, I was super confused when he got shot. The first time it says he got hit in the gut at close range. That's bad. But then he says it's just a flesh wound that went all the way through, and then says it got him in the side. What? Since when is a gut shot in the side?

 I'm probably just being too picky. It takes a lot of publish a book, and heaven knows it isn't a talent that I posses to write one, so take it all with a grain of salt.


Tour Schedule:

*Jan. 26th: http://literarytimeout.blogspot.com/, http://booksaresanity.blogspot.com/
Tour Giveaway:

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Title: Six Days to Live
Author: Kenneth M. Page
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Published: January 2018
ISBN: 1524403385
Source: I received an eCopy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Deseret Book
 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Blog Tour: Potion Masters by Frank L. Cole



Book Description:

Twelve-year-old Gordy Stitser is one of the few people who knows the truth about the secret society of potion masters, because not only is Gordy's mom on the Board of Ruling Elixirists Worldwide (B.R.E.W.), but she has also been training Gordy in the art of potion-making.

Gordy is a natural, and every day he sneaks down to the basement lab to invent new potions using exotic ingredients like fire ant eggs, porcupine quills, and Bosnian tickling juice.

One afternoon, Gordy receives a mysterious package containing an extremely rare potion known as ''The Eternity Elixir.'' In the right hands, the Elixir continues to protect society. But in the wrong hands, it could destroy the world as we know it.

Now, sinister potion masters are on the hunt to steal the Eternity Elixir. It's up to Gordy, his parents, and his best friends, Max and Adeline, to prevent an all-out potion war.


Rorie's Review:

As soon as I got this book in the mail, my kids absconded with it and I eventually had to go hunt it down so I could read it. I'm not complaining though, because I love how excited they get when a review book comes that they can read. 
 
Gordy and his friends were fun to get to know, although Max could be a little on the annoying side at times.  
 
Potion Masters has an interesting story line, sort of reminiscent of Harry Potter, although the similarities end with the whole "secret magical society" part. In future books, I would like to see more of Gordy balancing his life as a regular kid and a potion master. In this story, we don't see much outside of his home life. 
 
This is a quick read, and something that is enjoyable for everyone from Elementary school through adulthood. 

Tarah's Review:

Honestly I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. Middle grade fiction is either hit or miss with me, but since I'm a cover snob I thought this one looked interesting.  It was a fun read. I like delving into a whole different world. That being said I would have liked a little more information about this world. Mixing potions wasn't at all like I was thinking, and we just get thrown into it. I'm not sure an elementary student or middle grade student would care though. They would probably just enjoy the ride that we get to go on with Max and Gordy.

One more minor thing. I hate when the parents of these kids are portrayed as stupid. And while that wasn't necessarily the case in this book, I wish the dad would have been a little more....less out of it. I mean, I know he wasn't in the whole potion thing, but when everything goes down he kind passes responsibility onto Gordy.

This ended well, but was nicely set up for a sequel, which I will happily read. While I was reading it my kids took a look at it and asked me if I liked it because it looked good. I can't wait to have them read it and tell me what they think.


Book Trailer:
https://youtu.be/8wv5q7VOKCU


https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51acxl6gCQL.jpgTitle: Potion Masters
Author: Frank L. Cole
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Published: January 2018
ISBN: 1629723584
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

VOD Release: Love, Kennedy

‘LOVE, KENNEDY’ is now available on

CABLE ON DEMAND & DIGITAL PLATFORMS


“We are beyond excited to bring LOVE, KENNEDY into people’s homes and lives.,” said T.C. Christensen, writer and director. “It’s so great that people will now be able to own and watch this powerful story that bring encouragement into their lives. Kennedy’s story, and how her short life affected all those around her, is truly a miracle. It’s a miracle that will continue to bless more and more people as they see her story presented in the film.”

Film Synopsis: LOVE, KENNEDY tells the inspirational true story of Kennedy Hansen, a funny, loving young woman whose health suddenly begins to fail. It takes years to find the cause – Juvenile Batten Disease – an extremely rare, horrible and inevitably terminal diagnosis. After living only 16 short years, Kennedy leaves behind an incredible legacy of love and friendship. But her story doesn’t end with her passing, it’s only then the true miracles really begin. LOVE, KENNEDY stars Jasen Wade (17 MIRACLES, THE COKEVILLE MIRACLE) as Jason Hansen, Heather Beers (CHARLY) as Heather Hansen, and Tatum Chiniquy as Kennedy.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Blog Tour: Finding Beauty in the Beast by Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee

 
 Finding Beauty in the Beast by Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee

Book Description:

Princess Rose's fiery temper has kept every potential suitor away...until now. After being spurned and humiliated for the last time, the princes forces every eligible man to present a gift to her under pain of death. The man who brings her the best gift will be chosen as her husband.

When Corbin presents his gift, he hopes that his simple offering will keep him safely overlooked. All he wants is to return to his quiet life as a blacksmith away from forbidding castles and beastly princesses. But love works in mysterious ways, and it all starts with a rose...


Andrea's Review:

Finding Beauty in the Beast is an excellent re-telling that I can see myself reading again. It was a wonderful traveling companion, and I really enjoyed the overall story. It was well-written and has great characters.

I loved the twist on Beauty and the Beast, and enjoyed that it was more than just a simple story. It was thought provoking-we have a choice in how we become after tragedies. We can become beasts, and drive everyone away. Or, we can make the best out of our situations and live a fulfilling life.

I don't often find passages in non-fiction that I mark, but I especially liked this:

"It doesn't do any good to compare tragedies or hardships, or even joys or triumphs. We are all a part of each other's stories. That's what marriage does. That's what friendship does. That's what death and birth do. We are all weaved together . . ."

I really enjoyed how Finding Beauty in the Beast was connected to Peaslee's other books (Ella & Ella's Will). At the same time, this can be read as a stand alone novel and you shouldn't be lost. You just won't know the backstory of some of the supporting characters, and those stories are both very well done, so I'd read them all if you can.

There were some surprises in this story, which I enjoyed, and some predictability, which wasn't so overt that I was put off by it. Finding Beauty in the Beast is a clean, fast read, with a good message. I look forward to reading more by this author.

Tarah's Review:

After Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast is one of the most over-done fairy tales, and yet, I find myself really enjoying the retellings. I'm a sucker for them. And this one! Oh, this one was fun. I love how Jessilyn switched characters and made the Beast the female lead. I guess you really couldn't (or shouldn't maybe) call Corbin Beauty, but the point is made.

I also loved that Corbin gets a story. I felt so bad for him in Ella's Will. I love my happy endings, even for minor characters, and it just didn't sit right with me that his story, I thought, ended crappy. So happy day for me that he gets his own book!

This was a little slower book. Corbin had to figure things out, and honestly, that seemed to take a little while. I kept hoping for him and Rose to figure things out a little sooner so we could see more from them together.

While the bad guy wasn't a surprise, I love that he was there and his role in everything. I love that we get to see Ella and Will again. I even loved the baker. Finishing this book made me want to go back and reread both Ella and Ella's Will, so I think that says good things about all the books. 

Rorie's Review:

I absolutely loved Ella and Ella's Will, so I jumped at the chance to read Jessilyn's new book. While this book didn't have the same heartache that Ella did, I still really enjoyed the story.

I had to refresh my memory on who exactly Corbin was, but the beginning of this story does a very good job of explaining why he leaves his home, so it's not necessary to read the previously mentioned books before reading this one (although if you haven't, you totally should, because they're awesome!)

The reader sees almost right away how honest and good Corbin is, and because of that goodness, he is punished (it seems) and has to marry Princess Rose. He flounders for quite awhile after the wedding, and has basically given up on life, but once he starts getting to know the princess, both of their lives take a turn for the better. 

While I will say that this story didn't completely captivate me as much as Ella did, I still highly recommend it, and really enjoyed the clever retelling of the Beauty and the Beast story. I'm happy to add this to my bookshelf and look forward to the next book by this author.

Title: Finding Beauty in the Beast
Author: Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee
Publisher: Sweetwater Books
Published: January 2018
ISBN: 1462121551
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle

1 Day 99 Cent Sale - The Trustworthy Groom by Cami Checketts

 
 

The Trustworthy Groom by Cami Checketts 

Hailey Knight has two choices: fall prey to a predator who is out to own her and destroy her football team, or marry a man she’s just met. True, her fake husband can make her quiver with a touch, gets her jokes, and is patience personified, but she knows better than anyone how quickly charm can turn ugly. Brady Giles has dealt with a sweetheart stalker for two years and has no hope of shaking the annoyance. He steps in to rescue the beautiful and feisty Hailey Knight from a leering idiot and somehow ends up engaged to her. The marriage is supposed to help them both out of sticky situations, but instead turns into a media hailstorm with lies and attacks coming from all sides. When Hailey falls in love with her fake husband and danger lurks around every corner, she knows it’s time to run, but Brady has never given up on an impossible battle. 
 

Excerpt

Hailey’s brain scrambled for an out, any out. She put on a fake smile and said, “You don’t know how much I wish I could have dinner with you tonight, but you must not have heard … I’m recently engaged.” She kept a straight face when she wanted to gasp in shock. Where had that come from, and who was she going to claim she was engaged to? 

William released her hair and actually took a step back, the scowl on his face ruining all his supposed good looks. “You are?” His eyes strayed to her left hand. She clasped it with her right to hide her naked finger. “To whom?” 

A dark-haired man appeared at her table. Hailey dealt with burly football players every day of her life, but this guy’s shape still gave her pause. He was probably around six three and two hundred and fifty pounds. Every inch was muscle, not bodybuilder muscle but lean and functional and covered by smooth, tanned skin. He definitely had some Italian heritage in him as dark and good-looking as he was. Hailey had a strict policy of not checking out her own team’s football players, but she knew every single one of them. This guy wasn’t on her roster. 

“Excuse me.” The man’s deep voice washed over her as his dark eyes looked at her with concern then flashed to William with annoyance. “Do you need some help?” 

Yes, yes she did. Hailey grasped his arm and cuddled into his side, wrapping her other arm around his waist. “Thank you for coming to check on me, sweetheart.” His body tightened at the way she was trying to manhandle him, impossible to really do as she was almost a foot shorter and less than half his bodyweight, but she needed help, and she needed it now. The solution was so clear. William would back off if she were engaged. He would have to. Then there would be no repercussions on her football team and no coercion to date, and especially not to stay the night with, the slime ball VP. 

“Um, sure … anything for you, honey.” The man wrapped his arm around her shoulder, and Hailey had never felt so safe as he gently pulled her close. Safety and reassurance were amazing and unexpected feelings to have at the moment, especially after the fear of William clogging her throat mere seconds ago and the fact that she naturally shied away from well-built men. The emotion of it all made her weak, and she found herself leaning against his muscular chest. 

The dark-haired guy glanced down at her and winked. Ooh, he was quick too. She ticked off his positive qualities in her mind—not one of her football brothers, handsome with strong facial features, brown eyes framed with dark lashes, and smart. She might even give this guy a date to prove they were engaged. 

“This is my fiancé,” she said to William, inclining her chin with pride. 

The man kind of started, but he stayed close to her side as he released her from his hold and stuck his hand out to William. “Brady Giles. Pleasure to meet you …” 

Brady Giles? Oh, crap, he was one of her players! He’d recently transferred from New England. He was one of the top cornerbacks in the nation, and they were extremely blessed to get him, but the Brady Giles she’d seen from the sidelines had long, dark wavy hair and a full beard. This guy with the cropped hair and clean shaven model-gorgeous face was a Brady Giles she’d never expected—sharp and way too appealing. What had she done?
      

$50 Release Day Giveaway 
Ends 1/29/18 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Blog Tour: My God Hath Been My Support by David T. Morgan, PhD



Book Description:

Nephi, that great hero of the Book of Mormon, is often viewed as a pinnacle of devotion: steadfastly faithful, profoundly spiritual, and unwaveringly obedient. But the beautiful passage of scripture often referred to as Nephi’s Psalm reveals that, like all of us, Nephi faced his own inner struggles in this mortal existence. His heartfelt introspection demonstrates that amid the trials of life, discouragement can burden us all—but it can also be overcome.

In My God Hath Been My Support: Seven Keys to Understanding and Enduring Personal Trials, author David T. Morgan looks to the words of Nephi’s Psalm to offer an inspiring message of hope and a loving call to action. Featuring tools and ideas on how to overcome adversity, increase feelings of self-worth, and endure the ups and downs of mortality, this scripture-based roadmap to a more fulfilling life is a joyous invitation to learn from Nephi how to transform sorrow into joy.

Review:

This is a pretty short book (less than 100 pages) but it is not a quick read. I mean, I guess you could read it in a few hours, but I don't know how much you would get out of it if you did it like that. Instead, I think this book is meant to be read one chapter at a time, giving yourself time to ponder and honestly answer each of the questions that are given at the end of each chapter. The author uses a lot of scripture references - usually about Nephi - to show the reader examples of how we can get through our own personal trials, no matter how big or small they are. This book would be a great addition to your daily scripture study as you read the scriptures referenced in each chapter and study them more in depth.

Like most of the non-fiction books that I've read in the last few years, this book now has several pages marked so I can go back and reference areas that really jumped out at me, such as "Hatred is such a damaging emotion, and it usually harms the person who feels it more than the object of his hatred." This book is filled with information on prayer, anger, forgiveness, and being humble, to name a few. I found so many good ideas in this book, and plan on adding this to my "come back to over and over again" shelf.

Tour Dates:

*Jan. 19th: http://literarytimeout.blogspot.com

Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51w7sDJgv3L.jpg
Title: My God Hath Been My Support
Author: David T. Morgan, PhD
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Published: January 2018
ISBN: 1524404926
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Deseret Book Amazon

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Book Blast: #starstruck by Sariah Wilson

#Starstruck by Sariah Wilson

“You’ve done better.”

With one uncharacteristically sassy tweet to her longtime celebrity crush, Zoe Miller’s life turns upside down. Ultrahot A-lister Chase Covington doesn’t just respond to Zoe’s tweet, he does the unthinkable: he messages Zoe directly. Now she must decide between walking away or meeting her crush in person.

Chase knows better than to trust anyone from the Internet, but Zoe’s saucy challenge has totally caught his interest—and her girl-next-door personality is keeping it. He’s been burned enough to know he needs to keep his heart close. But his feelings for Zoe might be a lot more than just an online flirtation. He just has to convince her…

When the press gets wind of Zoe and Chase’s secret relationship, their romance turns into tabloid headlines. Will they be able to hold on to their Hollywood love story?

   
 

Excerpt:

“You must be Zoe Miller. I’m Chase. Covington.”

He added on his last name like I wouldn’t know who he was. It was kind of endearing. I stared at his hand until the girl on my right nudged me and I gave him mine. A zap of raw electricity sparked at his touch, his hand warm and strong and big. It shot up my arm and spread all throughout my body making every part of me tingle.

“Hi Chase Covington.” I don’t know how I was able to form words. Or how I hadn’t dissolved into an incoherent, blubbering pile of Zoe goo.

“Hi Zoe Miller.” We were still shaking hands, which was basically holding hands at this point as it had gone on for so long. He was just grinning at me, like I was some long-lost friend he was excited to catch up with.

I didn’t want to imagine what my slack-jawed, overwhelmed face looked like. He would probably think I was an idiot.

A guy with dark brown hair and wearing a Bluetooth device in one ear came over. “Chase, Marty wants a word.”

Chase finally let go of my hand. “Thanks, One-F. Stick around Zoe Miller. There’s more to say.” He walked backwards a few steps, like he didn’t want to stop looking at me. With a wink he finally turned and headed over to the director.




Author Sariah Wilson 

Bestselling author Sariah Wilson has never jumped out of an airplane or climbed Mount Everest, and she is not a former CIA operative. She has, however, been madly, passionately in love with her soul mate and is a fervent believer in happily ever afters—which is why she writes romances like The Royals of Monterra series. After growing up in Southern California as the oldest of nine (yes, nine) children, she graduated from Brigham Young University with a semiuseless degree in history. She currently lives with the aforementioned soul mate and their four children in Utah, along with three tiger barb fish, a cat named Tiger, and a recently departed hamster who is buried in the backyard (and has nothing at all to do with tigers).


 

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway:

Ends 2/5/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Blog Tour: #starstruck by Sariah Wilson

Review * Giveaway
 #starstruck by Sariah Wilson

Book Description:

“You’ve done better.”

With one uncharacteristically sassy tweet to her longtime celebrity crush, Zoe Miller’s life turns upside down. Ultra hot A-lister Chase Covington doesn’t just respond to Zoe’s tweet, he does the unthinkable: he messages Zoe directly. Now she must decide between walking away or meeting her crush in person.

Chase knows better than to trust anyone from the Internet, but Zoe’s saucy challenge has totally caught his interest—and her girl-next-door personality is keeping it. He’s been burned enough to know he needs to keep his heart close. But his feelings for Zoe might be a lot more than just an online flirtation. He just has to convince her…

When the press gets wind of Zoe and Chase’s secret relationship, their romance turns into tabloid headlines. Will they be able to hold on to their Hollywood love story?

Review:

Sariah Wilson does it again! She writes such entertaining stories that suck you in and keep you engaged to the last page.

As unlikely as this story is to happen in real life, Wilson writes it in such a way that seems so believable. And who doesn't like a Cinderella-type story? It must be human nature to root for the underdog, and I couldn't help but do that for Zoe. Due to life experiences she’s decided to wait until she’s married to have sex and that usually ends relationships before they even get a chance to start. She doesn’t trust many people and doesn’t think much of herself. But she falls in love with a famous actor and he falls in love with her and everything is going well until their trust is breached.

#starstruck is a very quick and enjoyable read that I can see myself reading again.

Content-wise there are some very passionate kissing scenes, along with talk of physical temptations and then fade to black marital sex.

Tour Schedule:

January 15 - Bookworm Nation / KJ’s Book Nook
January 16 - Literary Time Out / Getting Your Read On / Katie’s Clean Book Collection 
January 17 - My Book a Day / Wishful Endings / LDS Writer Mom
January 18 - Empower Moms / Why Not? Because I Said So
January 19 - Bookworm Lisa / Min Reads and Reviews

Tour Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Title: #starstruck
Author: Sariah Wilson
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Published: January 2018
ISBN: 1503949362
Source: I received an eCopy from the tour host in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle

Cover Reveal: Veins of Gold by Charlie N. Holmberg


Release date: July 17, 2018

A new historical fantasy novel from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Charlie N. Holmberg:

VEINS OF GOLD

Desperate to save her siblings from poverty, a young woman discovers magic fueled by gold . . . and a love for the man who wields it.

Abandoned by their father for the gold rush, Gentry and her siblings labor to survive alone in the inhospitable west. When bizarre natural disasters begin wreaking havoc on the land, Gentry discovers a world of magic. Desperate for help, she accepts aid from a mysterious stranger.

Winn not only sees the magic, but controls its hunger by feeding it gold—the very thing Gentry’s father left to acquire. But the earth’s unrest only grows worse, and Gentry’s fear leads her to a terrible choice: marry a wealthy man she does not love, or trust in Winn’s unpredictable power to save her family.

Other Books by Charlie N. Holmberg:

The Paper Magician
The Glass Magician
The Master Magician
The Plastic Magician
Followed by Frost
Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet
The Fifth Doll


Friday, January 12, 2018

Book Review: Holding the Fort by Regina Jennings

Holding the Fort (Fort Reno #1)
Book Description:

Louisa Bell never wanted to be a dance-hall singer, but dire circumstances force her hand. With a little help from her brother in the cavalry, she's able to make ends meet, but lately he's run afoul of his commanding officer, so she undertakes a visit to straighten him out.

Major Daniel Adams has his hands full at Fort Reno. He can barely control his rowdy troops, much less his two adolescent daughters. If Daniel doesn't find someone respectable to guide his children, his mother-in-law insists she'll take them.

When Louisa arrives with some reading materials, she's mistaken for the governess who never appeared. Major Adams is skeptical. She bears little resemblance to his idea of a governess--they're not supposed to be so blamed pretty--but he's left without recourse. His mother-in-law must be satisfied, which leaves him turning a blind eye to his unconventional governess's methods. Louisa's never faced so important a performance. Can she keep her act together long enough?


Book Review:

I was reading other people's reviews on this book and I came across someone who called this a "Beach Read." I like that. This book certainly isn't life changing or super deep, or even causes you to think hard, but it's a light, fun read that would be perfect for relaxing and letting go. In fact, once I got into it I stayed up entirely too late finishing it.  It did take me a little bit of time to actually get into the book, but once she gets to the fort and starts teaching I got hooked.

Daniel takes a little time to appreciate. He is very strict and military. His friend Lieutenant Hennessey was a great addition and a little more laid back and fun to read about. It was fun to see Louisa try to keep up with the girls' studies. I would have liked a little more on that front, but overall I was fine with it. I'm pretty sure one of the next books is going to deal with Louisa's brother Bradley, and honestly I'm not sure how I feel about him. He generally isn't the type of character that I love, but I guess we'll see when his story comes out.

Holding the Fort (Fort Reno #1)
Title: Holding the Fort
Author: Regina Jennings
Publisher: Bethany House
Published: December 2017
ISBN: 076421893X
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Blog Tour: Heart of the West by Carolyn Twede Frank

Reviews * Giveaway
Heart of the West by Carolyn Twede Frank

Book Description:

Independent-minded women are considered highly unsuitable in Kate Donahue’s wealthy Long Island society. Yes, Kate would lead a proper life should she marry, but her dream of practicing medicine would surely be thwarted by her domineering fiancé. To follow her dream, she must take dramatic measures. So when she reads a newspaper ad seeking a qualified small-town physician, Kate embarks on a new life in the Wild West.

Upon her arrival in the rugged settlement of Craig, Colorado, Kate is disappointed to discover that even in the West, no one wants a woman doctor. As she struggles to establish her practice, she is kept busy fending off the unwanted attentions of a local rancher, a man unnervingly reminiscent of the ex-fiancé she left behind in New York. Romantic entanglements are the last thing on Kate’s mind. That is, until she meets Lucas McCurdy, an Irish immigrant with whom she feels an undeniable connection. But when their relationship inflames a dangerous land battle, Kate and Lucas find themselves defenseless in a lawless town—a perilous position that may cost them.

Andrea's Review:

Heart of the West is a very enjoyable, fast read, with a spunky main character.  My favorite leading ladies are those that don't fit the mold, and Kate was exactly that. She's a well-bred Eastern lady who longed to be a doctor. Her socialite parents were financially supportive through her schooling, but when the time came for her to setup a practice, they were very much against it. Her fiance also wasn't supportive, and she came to realize that he was only marrying her for her family's wealth and social standing. She emptied her savings and fled Long Island for Craig, Colorado, with hopes of becoming the growing town's doctor. She quickly discovered that most Westerners weren't open to the idea of a female doctor, and becoming accepted was a huge uphill battle.

Lots of minds were changed in this story, and it was refreshing (especially in quite a few townspeople once they were given a different option).

I also really enjoyed how several characters gave nearly all they had to help others. And how small acts of kindness made a huge difference in people's outlook.

I was curious about how things ended up with Kate's family (they were mentioned several times throughout the story, but we didn't get closure with them).  

Heart of the West was very entertaining, and I can see myself reading it again.

Rorie's Review:

I admit, I was kind of turned off at first by the initial "every man (except one) in this book is a horrible person" vibe that I was getting. Granted, some of them were downright awful, but not all of them. Thankfully, as Kate established herself in town, a lot of that disappeared, and the story became much better. 
 
Kate came to Craig, Colorado, with several demons, and a bit of a chip on her shoulder towards men in general. But she also came with a fierce determination to succeed, and she fought through each stumbling block placed in her path in order to do that. 
 
I was enamored with Lucas' character right away, and enjoyed all of his interactions with Kate. There were so many great supporting characters as well, something that really helps make a story for me. 
 
I admit, I kept waiting for a final showdown between Stanley, Kate and Lucas, but it never happened. It made it feel like something was missing at the end. Other than that minor issue though, I really enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more from this author.

Tarah's Review:

I think it's a good sign that I'm hoping there will be another book. Heart of the West is a super quick read and left me feeling happy. I will admit that the cover (or rather the hues of the cover) didn't do much for me. It is kind of brown and dull, and I was thinking that the book would be the same, but the blurb on the back sounded good. Well, it was good. Kathrine was a good, strong character full of heart, and the women she gets to know in town are fun to watch. I'm really hoping that Rosie gets her own book. That would be a lot of fun to read.

I will admit that I would have liked more with her family, and I actually would have liked a little more with her relationship with Lucas. Don't get me wrong, I like him, he's great, but it didn't seem like they had a lot of interaction before he's confessing love for her, and well...I wanted more. But I appreciate that the author kept everything clean.

I'd read this again, and I'd recommend it to my friends.

Tour Schedule:

*Jan 12th: http://reviewsfromtheheart.blogspot.com, http://www.wishfulendings.com, http://www.kindleandme.com, http://booksaresanity.blogspot.com, http://fireandicereads.com

Tour Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Title: Heart of the West
Author: Carolyn Twede Frank
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Published: January 2018
ISBN: 1524404950
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Deseret Book

Monday, January 8, 2018

Blog Tour: Christmas at Carnton

Christmas at Carnton (Carnton, #0.5) 

Book Description:

Recently widowed, Aletta Prescott struggles to hold life together for herself and her six-year old son. With the bank threatening to evict them, she discovers an advertisement for the Women's Relief Society auction and applies for a position—only to discover it's been filled. Then a chance meeting with a wounded soldier offers another opportunity-- and friendship. But can Aletta trust this man?

Captain Jake Winston, a revered Confederate sharpshooter, suffered a head wound at the Battle of Chickamauga. When doctors deliver their diagnosis, Jake fears losing not only his greatest skill but his very identity. As he heals, Jake is ordered to assist with a local Women's Relief Society auction. He respectfully objects. Kowtowing to a bunch of "crinolines" isn't his idea of soldiering. But orders are orders, and he soon discovers this group of ladies—one, in particular—is far more than he bargained for.

Set against the backdrop of the real history of Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee, Christmas at Carnton is a story of hope renewed and faith restored at Christmas.


Book Review:

I don't know how I missed this, but this book is a novella, which if I had realized that at the time of reading I think I would have felt much differently about this book. I mean, come on, look at that cover. It's beautiful and Christmasy. I love Christmas stories, and I have no problem reading them throughout the year. There is nothing better than a Christmas story in July (decorations are a different matter, but stories...those are year round). But because I didn't do my research, the whole time I just felt like the book was rushed and not super developed. Conflict almost happened, and then very quickly it was solved. The romance felt fast to me, especially with her being a widow of about a month. And then the book ended. And then I realized it was a novella, and maybe had I been expecting that I wouldn't have been bothered by the quickness of it all. I mean, novella's have to be quick, right? So honestly I'm not sure how to review it since my perception was skewed from the start. I don't see myself reading it again, but there wasn't anything overly wrong with it...

Christmas at Carnton (Carnton, #0.5) 
 Title: Christmas at Carnton
Author: Tamara Alexander

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Published: October 2017
ISBN:
0310293243 
Source: I received an eCopy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.