Friday, November 30, 2018

Book Review: The Flight of a Butterfly by Rachel Ward 

Book Description:

Lucy Simpson just survived the worst day of her life. Rather than stick around to deal with the fallout of losing her accounting job and the betrayal of her longtime boyfriend, she makes a split-second decision to pull up roots and move to Hawaii.
She arrives with a suitcase, a reservation at a cheap hotel, and a whole lot of hope. Relieved to be an ocean away from her overbearing father, Lucy creates a list of experiences to help her explore what she really wants from life. Her new friends from the singles ward become her cheerleaders and help her cross items off the list one by one. As she does, she learns a little bit more about herself, about life and about love. But when a family emergency calls her home, will she be forced to choose between her old life and a new love?

Rorie's Review:

This book had me from the very beginning. It was one of those stories where I would start to read "just for a few minutes" while I was waiting for something or other, and then several chapters later, I would have to force myself to stop just so I could go get something productive done. Needless to say, I did a lot more reading than anything productive over the last few days. It's not like the messes are going anywhere though.

Lucy's life is kind of horrible, awful, no good at the moment. And she just needs to get away from everything, so she hops on a plane to Hawaii, determined to find a job and create a new life for herself there. The reader gets front row seats to all of the craziness that happens due to that one major decision. And there is a whole lot of craziness, with quite a bit of sweetness thrown in there too.

Lucy is a bit clueless for part of the book, mostly when it came to her relationship with Ben. I kinda wanted to smack some sense into her a few times. Ben is just such a good guy. Maybe a little too nice, because Lucy kind of used him for a bit. 

When Lucy had to fly back home, the decisions she felt that she had to make just broke my heart. I was feeling the crushing sadness right along there with her, and really hoping that something good would come of it.

Definitely a book I recommend. The Flight of a Butterfly
Author: Rachel Ward
Publisher: Self Published
Published: November 2018
Source: I received an e-copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Release Day $50 Giveaway – My Brother’s Bride by Rachael Anderson

My Brother’s Bride by Rachael Anderson 

Abigail Nash leads a lonely existence. Her mother died giving birth to her, her father’s business dealings took him away more often than not, and her ailing great-aunt, unable to provide much in the way of companionship, was a lack-luster guardian at best. So when her dear friends offered to launch her into London society, it appeared Abby’s life was taking a turn for the better, with suitors and social engagements aplenty. When she marries a proclaimed darling of the ton, it seems she will at last settle into the life of her dreams.

But appearances aren’t always what they seem, and dreams often become disappointments.

Just months into her marriage, Abby finds herself widowed, penniless, increasing, and determined to never hope again. But when her late husband’s brother, the Earl of Brigston, attempts to thaw the numbness surrounding her heart, Abby must decide if she has it in her to risk another chance at happiness, knowing the odds are not in her favor.  


When Brigston entered the kitchen, Abby’s back was partially to him, so she didn’t immediately see him. Her brow was furrowed in concentration as she whipped something in a bowl. She paused to lift the spoon, only to frown at the white liquid dripping from it.

“Are you certain this will thicken into a cream?” she asked.

A flash of irritation crossed Monsieur Roch's face until he spotted Morgan and seemed to think better of it. He managed a patient tone in his accented French. “It takes time, my lady.”

Morgan stifled a chuckle as Abby examined another spoonful of the liquid. “I’ve been whipping it for several minutes, but it doesn’t seem even a little thicker to me. Have I forgotten to add something?”

“No,” said the cook in clipped tones.

Morgan stepped forward and leaned in close. “If your arm is tired—”

Abby jumped, and what liquid remained on the spoon splattered across Morgan’s face. She spun around, her eyes growing wide with horror when she saw what she’d done.

He wiped a dab from his nose and tasted it. “A little more sugar, perhaps?”

“Brigston! I’m so dreadfully sorry.” She dropped the spoon into the bowl and grabbed a rag from a nearby wash basin, dabbing it across his face.

“Not that rag!” cried the cook. “It was only just used to mop the floors.”

Abby dropped it as though it had burned her, and Morgan tried not to cringe at the thought of filthy water coating his face.

Monsieur Roch retrieved a clean rag and held it out to him, appearing apologetic. He flicked another irritated glance at Abby before returning to his work.

As Morgan wiped the cream from his face, he wondered what Abby would do or say next. Offer another fumbled apology? Make her excuses and flee? Pretend the incident never happened and return to her labors? He never knew what to expect from her.

Her face scarlet, she cleared her throat and lifted her adorably determined chin. “You are most welcome, my lord.”

He raised a brow. “For what, my lady?”

“I have heard that cream does wonders for one’s complexion, and it seems the rumors are correct. Your skin appears much . . . creamier.”


Praise for My Brother's Bride:

I found this book to be completely unexpected. I have read all the historical novels by this author and they have all been fun and delightful reads and even though this book had those elements as well, it was definitely more emotional than I was expecting... I loved Abby’s quiet strength and Morgan’s protectiveness. These two were great together. ~Melanie  

My to-read list is long but Rachael is one author I always bump to the top and put all other books on hold for. She never disappoints so it's no surprise that this is another top-notch offering from Rachael. I loved these characters and cheered for them as they overcame obstacles and circumstances that tried to keep them apart. My Brother's Bride is an awesome and needed addition to the clean romance genre. So many authors pump out books so fast that often I find the quality of their work is lacking. Since I read for entertainment I'm able to forgive a lot and typically just overlook the shortcomings that are prevalent with so many books in this genre. Thankfully that is not the case with Rachael's books. I'm grateful for the time she takes to ensure she offers her readers quality books with original storylines that won't disappoint. ~ Kathy  


Giveaway Details: 

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash 

Ends 12/16/18 

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

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Book Review: Jesus Worked Miracles, written by Heidi Poelman, Illustrated by Jason Pruett

Book Description:

When Jesus was alive, He performed miracles to show He was the son of God. This reverent picture book introduces children to the stories of lepers healed, the dead raised, and, ultimately, the miraculous Resurrection of our Lord. Although these events took place thousands of years ago, Jesus still works miracles today in the lives of those who have faith in Him.


This book is a fun way to introduce your kids to the many miracles that Jesus Christ performed while he was here on Earth. Nearly each page has a different story about one of those miracles and the very basics about how it happened. This book could be used on its own for little kids and as a great introduction to these miracles for kids who are a bit older. One of my youngest sons said "I think it's great! I like it because it had a lot of great stories."

When I first got the book in the mail, my younger two took off with it right away, and I had to go search it out again so I could look at it. My boys love reading, and love talking about what they've learned in the books they have read, so this is a great book to add to their collection. Jesus Worked Miracles
Author: Heidi Poelman
Illustrator: Jason Pruett
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Published: November 2018
ISBN: 1462122779
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon Deseret Book

Monday, November 26, 2018

Book Review: Flower Boy Tour Guide by Shannon Kent 
Book Description:

Flower Boy: noun 1. slang for a really hot guy

Hannah Reynolds travels to Korea in search of her own drama hero come to life. What she gets instead is gorgeous, but surly tour guide, Jae Lee. He seems determined to ruin every romantic location they visit with his snarky comments, but Hannah can’t deny the crackling tension between them.

As they travel around the country with a busload of wacky K-drama and K-pop fans, their chemistry keeps drawing the two together. Hannah sees the mountain of problems standing between her and a relationship with Jae. They live in different countries. She’s flying home in five days. And he always takes an emotional step back whenever they get closer. But her heart doesn’t want to listen to reason. All it can see is the flower boy tour guide.


I hesitantly chose to review this book for a few reasons. One, I'm not generally a huge fan of novellas. They tend to leave me wanting more, and two, I know absolutely nothing about Korean dramas.

Thankfully, neither of those reasons proved to be problematic for this story. The author does a really good job of giving her characters depth and bringing them to life. The story didn't feel like it was rushed or too short for me. I not only enjoyed the relationship between Hannah and Jae, but all of the supporting characters were a hoot as well. Letty, the Dallas Drama Divas, all of them just helped to make the story so much fun.

Not knowing anything about K-dramas wasn't too much of a problem either. Granted, I couldn't relate to any of them with their obsession, but it was still fun to read about.

I would happily read other stories from this author. 

About the Author:

When Shannon Kent earned an M.A. in Journalism, she never imagined her first published work of fiction would be inspired by TV shows from a faraway land. She loves the wacky, romantic world of Korean dramas and likes to share her opinions with fellow fans under the pen name Dramarookie at the Dramas with a Side of Kimchi blog. Flower Boy Tour Guide
Author: Shannon Kent
Publisher: Independently published
Published: July 2018
ISBN: 9781717735690
Source: I received an e-copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Book Review: Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Book Description:

Chaya Lindner is a teenager living in Nazi-occupied Poland. Simply being Jewish places her in danger of being killed or sent to the camps. After her little sister is taken away, her younger brother disappears, and her parents all but give up hope, Chaya is determined to make a difference. Using forged papers and her fair features, Chaya becomes a courier and travels between the Jewish ghettos of Poland, smuggling food, papers, and even people. 

Soon Chaya joins a resistance cell that runs raids on the Nazis' supplies. But after a mission goes terribly wrong, Chaya's network shatters. She is alone and unsure of where to go, until Esther, a member of her cell, finds her and delivers a message that chills Chaya to her core, and sends her on a journey toward an even larger uprising in the works — in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Though the Jewish resistance never had much of a chance against the Nazis, they were determined to save as many lives as possible, and to live — or die — with honor.


It's been awhile since I paid full price for a book, but I was so impressed with A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen that when I heard she had a new book out, I jumped on Amazon and ordered it.

Resistance takes a different perspective than any other book I've read about Jews in Europe during World War II. As the name suggests, this book focuses on the resistance of Jews against the Nazis instead of those being hidden or those trying to survive the camps.

I wasn't familiar with couriers before-those women or girls who could pass as Aryan that helped by smuggling forged documents, supplies, and people. I was touched by the part of the book where Chaya smuggles a baby out of the ghetto in a backpack.

My eyes were opened to so many things in this book. The main characters were all so young. What courage they had to join this resistance!

I did want more at the end, but I was educated and touched by the strength portrayed in this novel. I can see myself reading this again, and hope that Nielsen writes more about WWII.

I had the opportunity to visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. a few weeks before I read Resistance. I believe this book had an even bigger impact on me due to this unforgettable experience. Words cannot express how awful this time in history was, and how important it is that we do not forget what happened so that it doesn't happen again.

Title: Resistance
Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Published: August 2018
ISBN: 1338148478
Source: Personal Copy

Purchase: Amazon

Monday, November 19, 2018

Blog Tour: The Forgotten Carols

Show Description:

The Forgotten Carols stage performance tells the story of Connie Lou, a nurse whose empty life is changed when Uncle John, a new patient she is attending, recounts the story of Christ’s birth as told by little known characters in the nativity story. The accounts from the Innkeeper, the Shepherd and others help the nurse discover what the world has forgotten about Christmas, ultimately encouraging her to open her heart to the joy of this special season.

A Message From Michael:

After the Forgotten Carols tour last year Lynne and I took our annual recoup vacation where it’s sunny and warm and there’s lots of beach. However, while there, I wasn’t having a good time. I felt awful, and said to Lynne one morning after a rough night’s sleep, “I think I’m dying!” She gets me and she’s sort of right about me and the drama thing. But, then it turns out I wouldn’t up in the hospital and stayed longer than I expected to, and we discovered that had I not arrived when I did, someone else would be playing Uncle John tonight and you all would be singing “Together Forever Someday to ME! I share this for the obvious reasons: to get your sympathy and to possibly get this response, “Well, for a dying guy, he did pretty well tonight.”

The whole health scare after our last tour has now changed the way I have rehearsed this part that I’ve been doing for 27 years. I’ve been wondering how someone like John, who’s lived for over two thousand years and never faced his own death, feels about those of us who do face it. And, of course, I’ve been thinking how lucky I am to be with you tonight, for this evening’s show that will be ours alone. I love theater because it’s something we share, in the moment, and it will never be duplicated. It’s the gift of our connection through this story, and these characters, and these “forgotten carols,” that reminds us why Christmas, at its purest, brings such tidings for great joy. And through these songs from all the different people who experienced Jesus and His message in different ways, we get to see ourselves and feel a connection that goes beyond being in the theatre tonight; we get to feel, deep down, that we are absolutely not alone. At least, that’s my hope.

Merry Christmas,
Michael McLean

Friday, November 16, 2018

Blog Tour: The Truth about Miss Ashbourne by Joanna Barker

Reviews * Giveaway
The Truth about Miss Ashbourne by Joanna Barker

Book Description:

Governess Juliana Ashbourne has dreams reaching far beyond the confines of her current position, hoping to someday establish her own school for girls. When she inherits a fortune from her late grandfather, she is shocked to learn that “someday” may soon be within reach. However, there is one condition: she must spend a month at the estate of Havenfield—with the very family who disowned her mother. Intent on securing the money she needs to start her school, Juliana accepts the invitation, vowing to guard her heart against those who shunned her all her life. But Havenfield is far from what she expects. She discovers a grandmother seeking forgiveness, a cold and disapproving aunt, and a painfully shy cousin. And then there is Mr. William Rowley. Though the heir to the estate is a merciless tease, Juliana finds in him a friend and confidant—and perhaps something more. As she struggles to make sense of her new place in the world, her stubborn independence clashes with a yearning to belong and the even more confusing desires of her heart.

Andrea's Review:

Joanna Barker's debut novel, The Truth about Miss Ashbourne, is engaging and well-written. I avoided many things this past weekend as I spent time learning about Juliana's past, present and future.

I love characters that don't fit the mold, and Juliana definitely fell into this category. She was a feminist for her time-so unlike the debutantes surrounding her. She valued education and had a passion for teaching. Her dream was to start a school for girls to give them the opportunity to learn so much more than needlepoint and how to catch a husband. She was working under less than favorable conditions as a governess to save money for this endeavor when she learned of an inheritance from her mother's estranged family. Although the strings attached weren't to her liking, the notice came at just the right time.

I can't imagine visiting relatives I'd never met and having to stay for a month! Juliana's grandmother, aunt and cousin lived as many of the upper class did at that time, and no one worked. A few weeks of relaxation sound lovely, but doing so among strangers (even if they were related) would be quite uncomfortable.

The interactions between Juliana and William were entertaining. Quite a few misunderstandings, lots of teasing, and some tender, heartfelt moments made for a sweet romance.

Some of the truth being revealed throughout the book was predictable, but despite that I enjoyed how it was presented. The variety of emotions really made for an enjoyable read.

I'm looking forward to reading more from Joanna Barker.

Rorie's Review:

This is such a sweet story that I enjoyed getting lost in. I'm a sucker for stories like this where the main character starts out in pretty humble circumstances and then finds herself in a new foreign-to-her lifestyle.

Juliana's distrust of her new-found family is completely understandable. She only knew one side of the story growing up, and even then, didn't know a whole lot of it. Her grandmother was such a sweet character and the reader grows to love her as we get to know her better.

The relationship between Juliana and William was entertaining, especially when she first arrived at Havenfield. That part made me giggle. I was a bit disappointed when the conflict near the end was resolved so quickly - I thought, "That's it? I was hoping for more." But not to worry, that was only the teaser conflict. The real challenge was only getting started and it was a doozy.

This is a book that I plan on reading again, and I am really looking forward to reading more from this author.

Tarah's Review:

This debut author certainly has my vote for an excellent written novel. Not only because of the story line, sweet romance, and characters, but because it didn't feel at all like a first novel. But let's focus a minute on my favorite part, the sweet romance. I love a romance where you feel butterflies in your stomach and all that's happening is a look. I think it's really well written when you can feel the romance. And super huge bonus points it's all totally clean (but swoon worthy still the same). There are maybe three kisses in the entire book, and not until the last1/3. I also appreciated that that was no angst about does he like me? Self-doubt, yes, but no doubt about feelings and that was refreshing.

William is such a great leading character. Funny, helpful, loving, but not over-bearing at all. I know it wouldn't have fit with the flow of the story, but I would have loved to have read a scene where both William and Juliana were on a ship.

I'm really hoping that Barker decides to write Rebecca's story. Or really anything else. She is definitely an author I will be excited to see more coming from in the future.

About the Author:

Picture​Joanna Barker was born and raised in northern California. She discovered her love for historical fiction after visiting England as an eleven-year-old, and subsequently read every Jane Austen book she could get her hands on. After graduating Brigham Young University with a degree in English, she worked as an acquisitions editor before devoting herself full-time to writing. She enjoys music, chocolate, and reading everything from romance to science fiction. She lives in Utah and is just a little crazy about her husband and two wild-but-loveable boys. 

Tour Schedule:

Tour Giveaway:

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Title: The Truth about Miss Ashbourne
Author: Joanna Barker
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Published: November 2018
ISBN: 1524406643
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book

Friday, November 9, 2018

Blog Tour: The Gem Thief by Sian Ann Bessey

Reviews * Giveaway
The Gem Thief by Sian Ann Bessey

Book Description:

Gracie Miller is a small-town girl who has landed her dream job in New York City. As jewelry designer for one of the most prestigious jewelers in the world, she completed a particularly stunning piece, a custom setting for a large pink diamond. But when her billionaire client Mrs. Katsaros comes to repair a minor issue with the setting, Gracie is horrified to realize it is not the ring she created. Someone has forged her design, and the priceless diamond is gone.

Mrs. Katsaros has no desire to bring media attention to the jewelry heist, so she recruits her nephew, Quinn, and his FBI agent friend, Steve, to do some sleuthing off the record. When they discover that the missing ring is just one of many forgeries in the widow's collection, they look to Gracie for help. They need her to act the part of Quinn's fiancée. From the lights of New York to the shimmering islands of the Mediterranean, Gracie is swept into a thrilling hunt. But amid the search for the elusive thief, she and Quinn find themselves increasingly distracted by their growing feelings for each other. What neither realizes is how close the danger lies and how serious the vendetta is—because, apparently, it is worth killing for.

Andrea's Review:

The Gem Thief is an enjoyable suspense novel. It wasn't the "stop everything and avoid life's responsibilities" type of book for me, but I read it over the course of a few days and thought it was well written.

I had my suspicions about who the thief was, but that changed several times throughout the novel as the author threw in clues and misdirection. I enjoy that in a suspense novel-I don't want to be totally blindsided, but I don't want it to be obvious right off. The ride was an enjoyable one.

The romance was predictable, but sweet. The relationship developed fairly quickly, but it was fun that it came about after negative first impressions. Having to pose as an engaged couple was an entertaining way for Quinn and Gracie to get to know each other.

My favorite character was Aunt Dorcas. She was a wealthy widow, doting aunt, fabulous baker, and quite lovable.

Reading this book reminded me of the two cruises I've been on. I definitely wasn't cruising the high class way Quinn, Gracie and Dorcas cruised, but so many things mentioned about the ship brought fun memories to mind.

If you are looking for a clean, romantic suspense novel, The Gem Thief is worth the read.

Rorie's Review:

I've read a few of Sian's other books, but I think this is the first contemporary novel of hers that I've read. I enjoyed that this was a mystery and romance rolled into one.

Steve and Dorcas were fun characters to get to know, (Does anyone else think of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers every time they see the name Dorcas?) but Gracie and Quinn were so good together. I got a kick out of their first two meetings, especially the first one. 

I must admit, I was a little lost when it came to all the jewelry description. I'm not much of a jewelry person, and can't even imagine ever wanting to spend such an exorbitant amount on it. I'm more of a $5 costume jewelry kind of person. It was fun to see how excited Gracie got about her profession though.

The author does an amazing job of describing the different places in Greece that they visited. I especially want to go visit Santorini now.

I thought I had figured out who the bad guy was, but the author does a really good job at keeping you guessing until the climax of the story.

Tarah's Review:

Since I've been reading a lot of regency lately I was really excited to read a contemporary suspense novel. I was especially excited to read Sian's because I knew it would be clean. I recently came across two of her other suspense books, and was pleasantly surprised by them so I knew I need to read this one. I will admit that I didn't think this story was completely flushed out. It seemed a little juvenile, and I think that might be because the characters relationships weren't developed. I don't normally mind a fast paced relationship, but this one I felt that for all the time they spent together we didn't get to see them grow together as a couple. I felt like we saw Gracie and Dorcus grow together as friends. A lot of the book was with them together and Quinn seemed almost like an afterthought even though he was central to the story. It's hard for me to describe it.

All that being said, I loved the premise of the story, I loved the location the story took place (lots of good memories for me on my cruises). I loved the suspense and how it wasn't completely over the top. I read it fairly quickly and enjoyed it while I was reading.
Tour Schedule:

Tour Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Title: The Gem Thief
Author: Sian Ann Bessey
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Published: November 2018
ISBN: 1524407739
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Blog Tour: Lies, Love, and Breakfast at Tiffany's by Julie Wright

Lies, Love, and Breakfast at Tiffany's by Julie Wright

Book Description:

The Lie
Women in Hollywood are just pretty faces. But Silvia Bradshaw knows that’s a lie, and she’s ready to be treated as an equal and prove her worth as one of Hollywood’s newest film editors.

The Love
She and Ben Mason had worked together as editors before Silvia got her big break, so he’s the perfect person to ask for feedback on her first major film. But even as their friendship begins to blossom into something more, a lawsuit surfaces, jeopardizing both of their jobs—as well as their fledgling romance. Audrey Hepburn once said: “The most important things is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.” Silvia agrees. Or she used to. It’s one thing to risk her job and her heart, but can she really risk Ben’s too? Does she have the right to make decisions for her own happiness when they affect so many other people?

The Breakfast
With everything to lose, Silvia meets Ben for breakfast at his favorite diner, Tiffany’s, for one last conversation before the credits roll on true love.

Andrea's Review:

I loved Lies, Love, and Breakfast at Tiffany's! I didn't realized when I started reading it that it's a companion novel to Lies Jane Austen Told Me. That said, it can be read as a standalone, but I would highly recommend reading both. It's nice to have the background of the supporting characters from the first book.

This is the kind of book that is best to start when you've got a day to read. I really didn't want to put it down once I started.

I was fascinated by Silvia for many reasons, but her eye (or lack thereof) really made her intriguing. I was quite curious how things like driving would work being sightless on one side. I was concerned for her safety, and imagined her having a car with those blind spot indicators. The author did a great job of including Silvia's vulnerabilities when people sat on her blind side, or approached her on that side. It was really fascinating, and even more so learning at the end of the book that Silvia is based on the author's friend who has one eye. I have pretty horrible vision, but my issues are corrected by glasses or contacts. I can't imagine how difficult certain things would be only having one eye. But, I loved the banter between Silvia and her best friend, Emma. Silvia made the best of her situation and didn't complain about it. She was used to it, and knew how to adjust to succeed in her job and life.

I studied video production in college and could relate to the parts of the book that focused on video editing too. I really enjoyed having that additional connection to the book.

I'm looking forward to reading this book again, and hope it is available on audio book soon so I can listen to it while I work.

Rorie's Review:

I love the way this author writes. There are so many awesome one-liners that had me giggling out loud. This book was a read-in-one-dayer, so it's a good thing I didn't have anything pressing going on. I mean, there's cleaning, but that's not going anywhere.
Silvia and Ben were so fun to get to know. They had a chemistry that was visible to the reader from the very beginning. They helped make each other better people... Even if Silvia was a bit clueless at times.

I enjoyed the humor thrown in about Audrey-the-eye. Silvia took something challenging from her youth and grew from it. Humor always helps. I did wonder how she was able to drive with one eye. I imagine that's quite a challenge to get used to.

A good story not only has strong main characters, but strong supporting characters as well. This book definitely did. Silvia's grandma was a hoot and Emma was the kind of best friend that we should all hope to be. This is definitely a book that is a keeper.

Tarah's Review:

After I started reading Lies, Love, and Breakfast at Tiffany's I was excited to realize that the characters in this are the ones from Lies Jane Austen Told Me. Silvia is back! It can definitely be read without having read Lies Jane Austen Told Me, but honestly, do yourself a favor and read both.

This is a very quick read. I was totally taken in for a ride, and I loved it. I will admit that I enjoyed Lies Jane Austen Told Me a little bit more, but this is definitely a book that I will reread and enjoy again and again. I think I didn't like it quite as much because I don't know much about Audrey Hepburn. I've seen maybe two movies of hers, and so I wasn't really able to relate to the story in that way.

Ben is a great character, but I swear I almost throttled him at the end of the book. I can't say much without giving anything away, but grr... Serious communication needs to happen. And it does for most of the book, but the end. Oh the end. Okay, it ends well, so the last little bit before the end. Regardless, it was a great read. Loved all the characters, loved the setting, loved the story line. This was a winner.

Title: Lies, Love, and Breakfast at Tiffany's
Author: Julie Wright
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Published: November 2018
ISBN: 1629724874
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book

Monday, November 5, 2018

Review: A Convenient Engagement by Ashtyn Newbold

A Convenient Engagement by Ashtyn Newbold

Book Description:

A false engagement. A mysterious coast. Two reluctant hearts.

Much to her father’s dismay, Miss Amelia Buxton aspires to become a spinster, just like her eccentric aunt. Growing up with parents who married for every reason but love, she has never seen a joyful marriage. When Amelia requests a summer trip to the legendary waters of Brighton, her father allows her the excursion, but with one requirement: she must return engaged, or agree to the proposal of the man of his choosing.

Crawling with tourists, Brighton is not the town Adam Claridge once loved. When his sister Eleanor disappears without warning, Adam is desperate to bring her home. In his search, he happens upon Miss Amelia Buxton, a young tourist that proves vital in his search for Eleanor. But Amelia is conducting a search of her own—a search for a husband—and Adam has little choice but to offer a fair trade: he will play the role of Amelia’s betrothed in exchange for her assistance in finding Eleanor.

Convenient at first, Amelia and Adam’s arrangement quickly plummets into disarray. Falling in love had not been part of their bargain.

A Convenient Engagement is a sweet and clean regency romance novel.


A Convenient Engagement (October 2018)
Marrying Miss Milton (November 2018)
Romancing Lord Ramsbury (December 2018)
An Unexpected Bride (January 2019)

Andrea's Review:

Ashtyn Newbold is a talented author, so I jumped at the opportunity to review her latest novel, A Convenient Engagement. Although this isn't my favorite of her stories, it was an enjoyable read. Dipping was such an interesting thing to learn about. I’ve heard mention of Brighton here and there, but learned much more from this book.

The feelings between the main characters came on quite fast, although they did take awhile to let each other know how they felt. They were likable characters, and I appreciated the clean story.

I am curious about some of the other characters, and look forward to reading the other books in this series as they are released.

Rorie's Review:

I was intrigued by the idea of the cure of Brighton waters. I have read other books about about the waters in Bath, and assumed it was a similar thing, but the bathing machine and the dipper really caught my attention. I had visions of Amelia getting shut into something like a coffin and hauled out to a floating dock where the dipper was waiting. That's probably not how it happened. I should research it more, because I can't get that image out of my head.

The story itself felt a little... flat to me. I've read all of Ashtyn's other books and really enjoyed them, so I'm not quite sure why I didn't like this book as much. I just had a hard time connecting with the characters, and therefore, had a hard time losing myself in the story. 

That being said, since I have enjoyed all of the author's other books, I'm still looking forward to reading the rest of this series when it comes out.

Tarah's Review:

This story seemed to go pretty quick. Since I was reading it on the kindle I'm not sure how long the book actually was, but I would guess that it is on the smaller side. It maybe felt really quick because the characters didn't have a lot of depth. Don't get me wrong, Amelia and Adam are great. I just kept wanting more. I wanted more from them and their relationship, I wanted more from Amelia's aunt, I wanted more from...well, everyone involved in the story. I was happy to read that there is going to be more books in this series dealing with everyone, but I didn't feel like it was wrapped up. It ended, just how it should have, but I kept saying, "But what about...". Hopefully those questions get answered in more detail with the next few books.

But, all that being said, it was a fast entertaining read, and I will definitely read more from this author.

Title: A Convenient Engagement
Author: Ashtyn Newbold
Published: October 2018
Source: We received e-copies from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon

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Sunday, November 4, 2018

Movie Spotlight: Twice the Dream

Film Synopsis:

"Twice The Dream" is an inspiring family drama about two sisters following their musical dreams together. Just as the sisters begin to discover their wings and take flight, a sudden family tragedy strikes. In the aftermath of tragedy, they discover that their dreams were the only thing that held the family together. 

Movie Trailer:

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Tour Giveaway:

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Q&A with Director Savannah Ostler:

1. How was it to write and direct your first feature film, Twice the Dream?

A: It sincerely was a dream come true, in every sense. The cast and crew were all so incredible and really put on their "A" game. At the end, we all felt like family! Some of us of course, literally being family. ;P Haha and by that I mean, my husband was one of the producers, and was also the director of photography. My mom is amazing at art and making props, so she was in charge of the art and prop department. A lot of my lifelong friends helped as well, and my brother. So it truly was a dream come true making the movie I love, with the people I love. It was nothing short of magic!

2. What were some high points during the creative process?

A: There were so many high points, everything from writing the screenplay, to setting up that perfect shot. When writing the script, there seemed to be something so special about being so into the story, and so sucked into that world. But, as soon as we got on set, it was incredible to see those characters and scenes come to life. I would say that was a high point- seeing these characters come to life, living, breathing, and interact with each other. It was really fun working with the actors as well, and collaborating with them. The cast truly understood their characters- just as much as I do. Sometimes,
maybe even more. A few of the actors would come to me with some ideas, or thoughts on scenes, and their character's journey, and sometimes would suggest certain lines of dialogue. 9 times out of 10, we were always on the same page, and I let them go for it. It was soooo cool seeing this!

3. What was your favorite scene on set?

A: Every scene! Haha jk. Although I did enjoy filming every scene on set, the concert scenes were the most fun to film. Everyone was dancing, laughing, singing along. Those were my favorite scenes to film... and we had three concert scenes! :)

4. Any learning moments you want to share?

A: Making this film has been a long journey, and throughout that journey, I have learned so much. 
Ultimately, I think that one of the most important things that I have learned would have to be to just trust myself and the stories that you want to tell. Along the way, a lot of people will try to discourage you- and that's just life. Just because someone else doesn't particularly get your  vision, doesn't mean that it's not good. If you have a story that you want to tell, then you need to tell it. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.

5. What inspired you to tell this story?

A: Growing up, I realized that there weren't a lot of inspiring, feel-good coming of age movies. Movies that I really wanted to see at that age, stories that I could relate to. It was always such an underserved market. (For the record, these types of moves aren't only limited to that age group, because I still want to see these kind of movies. They are for the young at heart.
So, at the tender age of 14, I started writing my story, "Twice The Dream". Something about this particular story had set my soul on fire. The characters had absolutely consumed me, but in the best possible way. I knew it was my mission to get this story told through film. I could hardly think of anything else! 

6. How is it being a female in the film business?

A: Being a female in the film industry is definitely tough. At times, it really seems that all of the "suits" in Hollywood making the decisions are men. I sat in many meetings like that. They would be interested in my story, but they would insist on making certain changes- changes that would change the very heart of the story. Although these offers were sometimes tempting, I would resist, remaining stubborn. I've even been called a "B" word because of this. But you know what? I think it's necessary. As women in this industry, we have to stick up for ourselves. Luckily, I think this is changing. Slowly, but at least we are getting somewhere. People are starting to realize that half of the population are women. And as such, I think it's safe to say that we know what a large portion of the population can relate to in film. Together, we are changing this.

7. What advice would you give to aspiring filmmakers?

My number one piece of advice is to stick to the story that you want to tell. Don't let any "suit", or colleague, teacher, or even a family member try to convince you otherwise. You're set on the story you want to tell? Great! That's the one you need to go with. Because as we all know, making a movie is hard work. So you have to love your story so much, that you would be willing to go on this journey with it. And another thing... never give up.

8. Do you think your experience as an actress helped in directing other actors? Why?

A: I absolutely think it helped. Truthfully, I believe my experiences as an actress have helped me as a writer as well. Since I'm familiar with the actors process, and the way actors think, I found it fairly easy to convey direction to the cast. And they always took that direction so well, and would totally understand where I was coming from. We were always on the same page!

9. What is your next step with Twice the Dream?

A: We are knee deep in post production right now, finalizing the sound mix, original score, color grading, etc. It's been a fun but long process in itself, but I feel like I've learned a lot. We are currently exploring different distribution options. Looking for the right partner! Our goal is to release it theatrically first. (Even if it's a limited release) Following our theatrical run, we plan to release it on various VOD platforms such as Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, etc. 

10. Do you have any other projects on the horizon?

A: Oh, most definitely. Since I'm crazy, I'm currently writing two different scripts- both female driven like Twice The Dream, but very different genres. One is a thriller and the other is a fantasy. I also am still working on my YA fantasy novel series and re-launching that. 

11. How did you finally get to make your movie?

A: I know the reason that I was able to achieve this dream is because I have been so fortunate to have such amazing support from my family and friends. They always have kept me going, and amazingly enough, they were the same people that saw my dream to the very end. Dreams are important, but I know it's hard. There are days, sometimes months when you feel like your dream might be impossible. At times, it can feel like the whole world is against you. During the pursuit of my dream, there were times when it felt like I was going nowhere. Sometimes, it was very painful. Blood, sweat, tears, and many other losses went into this pursuit. I would then ask myself, "Is this pain really worth it?" There were many times when I felt like I had absolutely hit rock bottom, and that my dream may never come true. BUT.... Yes, that's a "but" Here is the important part: I refused to give up. No matter how long it took, or how hard it was. This dream was too important to me. And I remembered why I had been holding on for so long. Moral of the story is: NEVER, EVER, EVER GIVE UP. Period. Dreams come true, even if it takes over a decade.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Book Blast: Just a Name by Becky Monson

Just a Name by Becky Monson

Book Description:

Holly has a plan for everything. But she never could have planned for this.

If there’s one thing Holly Murphy loves, it’s a solid plan. She has her entire life figured out—or so she thinks. But when life pulls the rug out from under her, she’s left to deal with a canceled wedding—hers, to be precise. And the promotion she’s worked toward for years is now in jeopardy because the team she supervises doesn’t like her management style.

Thinking that Holly is too tightly wound and needs a break from everything, her boss demands she take a vacation. But how can she take a vacation when her promotion is on the line? Trying to help out, her best friend, Quinn, suggests she still go on her honeymoon and conduct a nationwide search to find a man with the same name as her ex-fiancé to use his plane ticket. Leaving Holly to wonder if she’s the only sane person left on the planet.

Yet when her boss gets wind of the idea and loves it, Holly finds herself in a corner she can’t get out of. And when handsome Nate Jones from Newport Beach gets picked to go with her, she wonders if this whole thing won’t be so bad after all.

Can Holly learn to let go? Or will this crazy adventure send her running right back to her safety net?

Get your copy on Amazon

Praise for Just A Name:

“Just a Name is a delicious escape! I devoured every character, every moment, and every quirk and couldn’t get enough. This book is Becky Monson at her finest!” -Author Whitney Dineen

“Becky Monson has outdone herself with Just a Name. It’s FANTASTIC! I’m still swooning.” -Author Jennifer Peel

“Fans of romantic comedies should grab a copy of Just a Name; it has the perfect balance between sweet and sassy.”-Readers’ Favorite

"Full of fun, swoon, and humor, all topped with unexpected twists. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in these pages!" -Katie's Clean Book Collection

"I loved it. Becky Monson is so good at writing humor into her books. Sarcasm and wit reign supreme right along with a slow growing romance." - Aimee Brown from Getting Your Read On



I hate today.

Which doesn’t bode well, since it’s only eight thirty in the morning.

This is par for the course with my life right now, since the past three weeks haven’t particularly been my favorite either. Before that—which feels like ages ago—I was feeling like I was on the right path. Like everything I had planned for myself was happening. And I actually remember thinking, “Life can’t get any better.” Clearly, I jinxed myself.

Because my life is not on track. Not even close.

Lately, every morning I wake up with hopes that this will be the day when things will look up for me. The day my life will take a turn for the better and I’ll get myself back on track. Apparently, today is not that day.

Right now, I’m sitting in an air-conditioned office, holding a piece of paper in my hands, staring at the words in front of me and trying to make sense of it all. The top of the paper, in bold lettering, says, “CT Anderson Bank,” and underneath it, “Holly Murphy—Supervisor Assessment.”

Under that are a whole bunch of words I can’t believe I’m reading. Words like “too controlling” and “micromanaging” and “not a team player.” It’s all there, in Times New Roman, eleven-point type. Coincidentally, these are some of the words Nathan—my ex-fiancé—used when he called off our wedding nearly three weeks ago. He even used the words “not a team player”—whatever that’s supposed to mean. And this was all only a little over two months before we were to marry.

Way to kick me when I’m down, Life.  

Author Becky Monson

By day, Becky Monson is a mother to three young children, and a wife. By night, she escapes with reading books and writing. An award-winning author, Becky uses humor and true-life experiences to bring her characters to life. She loves all things chick-lit (movies, books, etc.), and wishes she had a British accent. She has recently given up Diet Coke for the fiftieth time and is hopeful this time will last... but it probably won't.  

Giveaway Details:

$50 Amazon Gift Code or $50 in Paypal Cash

Ends 11/27/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via 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 author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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