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Friday, June 21, 2019

Blog Tour: Wrong Place Wrong Time by E. James Harrison


Book Description:

The first idyllic hours of Greg and Marena Walker’s Caribbean vacation are filled with turquoise water, sand as soft and white as powdered sugar, and gentle ocean breezes. But all too soon the Walkers find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now they are running for their lives . . .Scott Vaughn has made a lucrative career of secretly transporting illegal materials. Pay him enough, and he’ll move whatever you want from anywhere to anywhere. And though he has never met the Walkers, he needs them dead. His future depends on making certain they don’t have one.Wayne Hovey desperately wants Scott Vaughn—alive is best; dead is acceptable. And luck has handed him the perfect bait: Greg and Marena Walker.In a heart-pounding game of cat and mouse, each player is driven to succeed, never realizing they are all pawns in something much larger—and more dangerous—than any of them knows.

Tarah's Review:

I don't read a lot of just suspense novels. I read them as a romance, as a historical fiction, as...well, mostly anything other than just suspense, so this novel was a little new and different for me. As soon as I got into this novel I just kept thinking that I would watch this as a movie. It was that fast paced. I'm more used to a slightly slower pace and more character development. This seemed a little more like a movie where you have to cram everything into two hours so you don't have a lot development going on. We don't really get to know any of the characters. We don't get to know what makes them click, why they do what they do. We just get a surface this is what is happening now and hold on tight because it's going to change in two seconds. I would have liked to have seen more of why Vaughn did what he did. He didn't originally want to take the job in the first place, so why go to such lengths that he did? Just for the money? While sometimes that would be believable, this was set up so that doesn't feel right.

I was also taken aback by how many characters there were in this novel. I'm used to two main characters, some minor characters and the bad guys. This just had a whole bunch of people. Granted, they were all necessary to the plot, which made it more believable, but sometimes it was a little hard to follow.


It was definitely fast paced, and a really quick read. You do keep wondering what's going to happen next, and that is the point of a suspense novel, so the author ticked all the boxes there. There is no swearing, there is some violence. Mostly the violence is gun shots, but there is a scene where a pitch fork is used as a weapon...effectively.

Andrea's Review:

I was intrigued by this book immediately and then shocked with the outcome of the first chapter. I don't want to give away what happened, but I will say that throughout the story we are introduced to quite a few characters that have passing involvement. Although that is probably common for a suspense novel, most of the books I read have more character development, so I missed making connections to the characters. Even with the lack of depth, I did enjoy the story and wanted to know what would become of the bad guy.

I was surprised that Greg and Marena were so gutsy with Scott after what they witnessed him doing. I expected more fear and subservience, but their actions made for an entertaining story.

Giveaway: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Wrong Place Wrong Time
Title: Wrong Place Wrong Time
Author: E. James Harrison
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Published: June 2019
ISBN: 9781524407 Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for honest reviews.

Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book | Seagull Book

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Book Reivew: The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White

The Number of Love (Codebreakers, #1)
Book Description:

Three years into the Great War, England’s greatest asset is their intelligence network—field agents risking their lives to gather information, and codebreakers able to crack every German telegram. Margot De Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss, for the first time in her life numbers aren’t enough.

Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an enemy that just won’t give up. He’s smitten quickly by the too-intelligent Margot, but how to convince a girl who lives entirely in her mind that sometimes life’s answers lie in the heart?

Amidst biological warfare, encrypted letters, and a German spy who wants to destroy not just them, but others they love, Margot and Drake will have to work together to save them all from the very secrets that brought them together.


Book Review:

I was so happy to see Margot get her own story! Plus we get a new series out of it! It's very exciting. But the most exciting thing is that it's written well, and is a book that you would love to own. I love how White is able to write different characters and we get to feel what it's like to be like them, even if it's totally opposite of how we are. I'm sure Margot was tough to write about, given that she thought in numbers and math. While that isn't something I can relate to, I enjoyed her attitude about everything else.

While I still laugh a little over Drakes name (I think duck, not dragon) he really is a wonderful character. The part I enjoyed the most was how he learned to show love towards Margot in a way that she needed to see/feel it. It wasn't how he needed the love shown to him, which is how I think a lot of us try to share love. We try to give love the way we see/feel it.

Anyway, the bad guys are intriguing, the minor characters bring the story to life, and the plot is extremely well written. I will definitely be recommending this to my friends and I will be rereading it again soon. I can't wait for the next book in the series.


The Number of Love (Codebreakers, #1) 
 
Title: The Number of Love
Author: Roseanna M. White
Published: June 2019 ISBN: 0764234080 Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Book Review: Awake at Widmore Manor by Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee

Awake at Widmore Manor by Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee

Book Description:

A violent storm. A sleepless night. A test.

Emma Widmore has longed to return to her childhood home since the day she was forced to leave it after her father’s death. Widmore Manor represents every hope Emma has ever had and every person she has ever loved. When she feels drawn back to Widmore Manor on a stormy night, she is granted refuge by the one person she is sure would still know her after all these years. But when James Atwood—heir of Widmore Manor and Emma’s childhood friend—shows nothing but suspicion, Emma’s hope falters. After hearing rumors of a test—a standard—that other young women have failed, Emma worries that she, too, will fail. As Emma seeks to understand this test, she must be reconciled with her past and learn what being home truly means.

Readers have fallen in love with this unique and moving regency retelling of The Princess and the Pea.

Tarah's Review:

How fun is this cute little novella? It isn't very often that you get a retelling of the Princess and the Pea, and Peaslee does an excellent job at keeping the main components of the fairy-tale and fiddling with the rest to give us an entertaining sweet romance.

It's a super quick read, but it's one that will keep you engaged throughout the whole story. I will admit that the romance at the end was a little sudden for my liking, but it was set up that it wasn't unrealistic.

The story had a great flow, great characters, and if you are looking for something uplifting to read while you are out and about and waiting, definitely give this book a try.

Rorie's Review:

My favorite book from this author is Ella, so I was excited to have a chance to read this new book from her. 

I was drawn in to the story right away, and was excited to read about the development of James and Emma's relationship, but sadly, there really wasn't one. After Emma went to James' house, it seemed like the story just... got lost. She was there with him, they were starting to get to know each other again and then all of a sudden she has to leave and then the book ends only a few chapters later. I mean, it did have a happy ending, but it just seemed really rushed. I enjoyed most of the story, I just wish there had been a lot more between Emma and James.

While this wasn't my favorite book from this author, I still think she's a great writer and plan on reading more of what she writes.


Andrea's Review:

I was quite excited to read the latest novel from author Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee. Sadly I didn't get to give it my full attention as I've been swamped since it arrived (seriously, I had to have my phone read it to me while I was working on other things and Siri isn't the ideal reader). That said, what I was able to focus on was enjoyable.


This is definitely a unique version of The Princess and the Pea, and by unique I mean totally different. ;) I was a little thrown at first waiting to see how the pea and the mattress would come into play, but there were peas of a sort in the story.

It didn't have as much detail as I would have liked, but it was sweet and clean. I hope to have a chance to read it again with full focus later.


 
Title: Awake at Widmore Manor
Author: Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee
Published: June 2019 ASIN: B07SGC3KZ8 Source: We received e-copies from the author in exchange for an honest review. Purchase: Amazon

Friday, June 14, 2019

Blog Tour: Love in Disguise by Anneka R. Walker

Love in Disguise by Anneka R. Walker

Book Description:

Marion Watt is set to embark on her first London Season, and her parents have spared no expense to help her secure a suitable husband. Unlike most of the social-climbing women in her position, Marion has no desire to marry hastily or for anything less than love. But when she learns of her mother's declining health, she knows she must keep an open mind and allow herself to be courted. What she does not anticipate, however, is that the attentions of the insufferable Lord William Everton will be placed squarely on her. He might be the most sought-after bachelor of the Season, but she sees in him nothing but a frivolous cad.


Until William inherits his father's title and seat in parliament, he must rely on his own devices to change the world. Dressing like a ridiculous dandy serves its purposes, but he is certain his newest disguise will help him find a wife to please his parents and further his own agenda. From among the glittering group of debutantes, William finds only one woman who passes his test. Unfortunately, the perfect choice is the only woman in all of London who despises him.

Tarah's Review:



I was charmed by Walker's book Love in Disguise. I found the premise to be good, and the story to be entertaining. It was a quick read for me. Although I will say that since everything is slightly predictable it is a little forgettable once you are done reading it. However, the overwhelming feeling after I read it was enjoyable. I found it sweet and it definitely kept my interest. I'm kind of a sucker for stories where the two parties aren't quite fond of each other at the beginning and then discover that they make a great match after all. And while William moves quite quickly at the courtship area, even when he just thinks they are compatible, I found it refreshing that Marion held out a little longer for the love that her parents had.

The secondary characters are a fun to get to know, and add quite a bit to the story. Williams dressing as a dandy was a fun aspect of the story, but I was left wondering what it really had to do with anything. It's mentioned why he does what he does, but really I'm not sure that it had any bearing on the story.

I would read another book from Walker, and I will enjoy reading this one again.

Andrea's Review:

I read a lot of clean Regency romance novels--there's just something about the time period that appeals to me. When I was given the opportunity to review Love in Disguise by Anneka R. Walker I couldn't pass it up even though I wasn't familiar with the author.

Walker captured my attention right off and made me feel for Marion with her performance at the musicale. Her shattered confidence was so sad, yet understandable. And, I think most people can relate to holding a grudge against someone for at least a small amount of time.

I wasn't drawn to William initially. I would have appreciated deeper character development for him to more fully understand his facade, but he did grow on me as the story progressed.

On the whole I liked the idea of the story, but would have loved more attention to the latter half. Some of the resolutions came on very quickly and needed more hashing out.

While I don't see myself reading this story again, I would give the author another try.

Rorie's Review:

The premise of this story was good, but the execution was a bit lacking. I was able to finish the book quickly, but the story just wasn't very memorable. I found myself getting so frustrated with Marion and Lord Everton, because all of their misgivings could have been solved if they would have just taken a few minutes to actually talk with each other. I know that would have completely ruined the story if they did that, but it was very frustrating to read.

I'm not sure if this is the author's first book or not, but I do think the story had promise, it just needs some polishing, maybe less angst and more character development. Even though I wasn't a fan of this story, I would read more from this author.

Tour Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Title: Love in Disguise
Author: Anneka R. Walker
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Published: June 2019
ISBN: 1524409863
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Spotlight: Invisible Heroes of World War II by Jerry Borrowman

Invisible Heroes of World War II: Extraordinary Wartime Stories of Ordinary People
by Jerry Borrowman

Book Description:

Invisible Heroes of World War II, documents ten fascinating true stories of a diverse group of soldiers and noncombatants from all over the world, including African Americans, women, and Native Americans who worked and fought to keep the world safe from tyranny and oppression. Some were frontline soldiers and spies, while others were engineers, industry workers, or war correspondents and photographers. Without much fanfare, these heroes made noteworthy contributions to the war effort. Some even gave their lives for freedom and liberty. All served with valor and distinction, and their names should never be forgotten.

CONTENTS

  • Pat Patton: Abandoned at Bataan
  • Nancy Wake: The White Mouse of the French Resistance
  • Joseph Hyalmar Anderson: Missing in Action
  • Joseph Medicine Crow: The Last War Chief
  • Dickey Chapelle: American Journalist
  • Navajo Code Talkers: Heroes of the Pacific War
  • The Purple Heart Battalion: Rescuing the Texas 1st
  • Combat Engineers: Builders and Soldiers
  • African Americans at War: Heroes Despite Prejudice
  • Rosie the Riveter: Women in the War Industries

About the Author:

Jerry is the author of 18 published books, including five World War I and World War II biography and non-fiction. He also has five historical fiction books from the period. An experienced researcher, he has studied Operation Overlord (the Normandy landings) in detail and has led two World War II Battlefields tours that followed the path of Allied Expeditionary Force as they fought to liberate Europe, with ops in England, France, Belgium, and Germany.

Title: Invisible Heroes of World War II: Extraordinary Wartime Stories of Ordinary People
Author: Jerry Borrowman
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Published: May 2019
ISBN: 1629724173

Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book | Seagull Book

Friday, June 7, 2019

Blog Tour: The Heart of a Vicar by Sarah M. Eden

The Heart of a Vicar by Sarah M. Eden

Book Description:

Young love is all too fleeting, as Harold Jonquil painfully discovered years ago when Sarah Sarvol, the niece of a neighboring landowner, captured his heart. After an idyllic few weeks in the throes of blossoming love, reality intervened. They could have no future. Following their disastrous parting, Harold attempted to push aside thoughts of love and regret, but Sarah has never left his heart. Now, years later, he has achieved his lifelong aspiration of becoming the local vicar. However, the role proves more difficult than he imagined. He feels hollow and uninspired—until the most important person in his past returns, challenging him as no one ever has.

When Sarah’s ailing uncle summons her back to the family estate in England, there is only one person from her past she is reluctant to see again: Harold Jonquil, the only man who has ever claimed her heart. But when she comes face-to-face with her former beau, she hardly recognizes the aloof and dull man before her. She is determined to help Harold rediscover the passion he once felt toward his chosen profession. Soon, despite their exasperation with each other, they cannot deny the stirring of feelings long buried—but is it too late for second chances?

Andrea's Review:

I love Sarah M. Eden's books and was so excited for the opportunity to read the story about "Holy Harry". Right away the reader is able to see so much more about Harold than we've ever seen in the other Jonquil books. I couldn't help but feel a bit upset with his brothers for all the teasing they'd done and how hurtful it was. No one really seemed to know Harold. A lot of that was due to him holding back, but he felt like being a vicar was his calling, and his father (whom he loved and respected) had made it seem like that's what he thought he should do with his life. He was trying so hard to live up to what he felt was the way a vicar should be, and it was slowly stifling him.

I was very surprised by Harold's hidden interests-they totally caught me off guard. His relationship with his housekeeper was a breath of fresh air, as she was the one person he could be himself around. It was sad that he didn't feel that way around his family, and I was happy that that situation improved throughout the story.

Sarah had heartache of her own, but in spite of that, she still worked hard to improve the lives of those around her (especially helping Harold see the good he could do).

The Heart of a Vicar is a winner, and one that I will read again (and again).

Rorie's Review:

I need the Jonquil family to live in my neighborhood. I'm pretty sure I say that every time I read one of their stories, but it's just as true this time as it has been every other time I've written it. I'm really going to be sad when all of their stories have been told.

I was really interested to see how "Holy Harry's" story would go. He's always come across as very self-righteous and holier-than-thou in every other story he's made an appearance in. In this book, we get to know the real Harry, the one he keeps hidden. Turns out, I kinda really like the guy. I don't want to spoil it, but the things he does that make him "human" were very entertaining, to say the least. I could relate to him with the feelings of not being good enough, and my heart just went out to him.

It took me awhile before I realized that Sarah's uncle was Bridget's father. What a horrible, sour, -insert all the other adjectives about being unkind here-man. I don't know if he was always that horrible, or if Bridget's death made him so much worse, but wow. Sarah was a saint to have put up with as much from him as she did.

I enjoyed watching the relationship between Sarah and Harold grow. Actually, I enjoyed watching all of Harold's relationships grow. You'll definitely need to read the story to find out what I mean. I was also happy to see Crispin make an appearance again. He should show up more often. :)

Sarah Eden is by far my favorite author, and I am always sad when I finish one of her Jonquil family stories, because that means it's over and I have to wait until the next one comes out. Thankfully, they're such good stories that I don't mind reading them over and over again. I would absolutely love it if she wrote a book where the Jonquils and the Lancasters all got together for some reason or another. (Hint, hint!)

Tarah's Review:

This is a great coming into your own story! It's also a sweet story about finding the person that will help you become the best you possible. Throughout the series I haven't really thought much about Harry, except when his brothers teased him. I only really got interested in his side of the story when Layton, Philip, Stanley and Harry were showing each other their scars. Such a great scene! I still laugh over that one.


I loved how we got to know the real Harry during his interactions with his housekeeper. She's a great woman. It saddened me to see the impact Harry's family had on him because I love this family and you want them to be better than they are. And they figure it out eventually, along with Harry. Good thing they have Mater. Philip and Sorrel make another appearance (as do all the brothers, but Philips role is bigger) and it's heart-rending. Whew, there were a lot of emotions in this book.

I also enjoyed Sarah's character. Her role in coming back was interesting and it was heartbreaking to see her stifled by her uncle when she just wanted to help people.

I will definitely be reading this one again and again, but it makes me sad that only Charlie has a story left now. I'm already mourning the end of the series and it isn't even over yet.

Tour Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Title: The Heart of a Vicar
Author: Sarah M. Eden
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Published: June 2019
ISBN: 1524408611
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book

Thursday, June 6, 2019

DVD Blog Tour: The Trial of Porter Rockwell

The Trial of Porter Rockwell

Now Available on DVD

Movie Description:

Based on the True Story

When former Missouri Governor Lilburn Boggs is shot by an unknown assailant, rumors quickly spread that the Mormons are responsible for the attempted assassination of the controversial politician. Never a friend of the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Boggs had four years earlier issued the infamous extermination order that pronounced, "Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State."

Rumors gain new momentum when recently excommunicated member John C. Bennett implicates the Prophet Joseph Smith and Porter Rockwell in the crime. Though these accusations are vehemently denied by Joseph and his supporters, arrest warrants are issued for the Prophet and his protector. Joseph's warrant is dismissed; however, Porter Rockwell, not yet thirty, is arrested. After spending nine months in jail, Porter is finally brought to court for a grand-jury hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to indict him—a hurdle the state of Missouri must clear to proceed with a full criminal trial. This taut courtroom drama brings to life the friendship of Joseph and Porter and the original story behind the larger-than-life, legendary Porter Rockwell.

Review:

My husband likes to tell us that he's related to Orrin Porter Rockwell-early "Mormon" bad boy, so I couldn't resist the opportunity to review a film about him. Sadly, my husband was out of town when the chance to watch came up, but my daughter watched it with me and we will watch it as a family soon.

I knew that Porter and Joseph were close, but I just thought of Porter as a rough character who was the prophet's bodyguard. The film included a little bit of backstory that explained when and how they met. This shed light on the friendship that the two had.

The bulk of the film is about the trial against Porter Rockwell for the attempted murder of former Missouri Governor Lilburn W. Boggs (don't go into it thinking it will be about much more of Porter's life). There was a lot of hatred against those associated with Joseph Smith, and it was fascinating to see witness after witness discredited.

I thought the film was well done and the acting was good. It was just under 43 minutes, and worth watching.

Oh, and my daughter pulled up the family tree and verified that my husband is, in fact, related to Porter Rockwell.

Trailer:



Tour Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway