Friday, March 25, 2016

Book Review: Like Never Before by Melissa Tagg

Like Never Before (Walker Family, #2)

Book Description:

Maple Valley became Amelia Bentley's haven after her heart and her dreams of a family were shattered. But her new life as a newspaper editor is shaken when the small-town paper is in danger of closing. Her one hope: A lead on an intriguing story that just might impress the new publisher...if only she new who he was.

After his biggest campaign success yet, widowed speechwriter Logan Walker now has the chance of a lifetime--a spot on a presidential campaign. But his plans are interrupted when he finds out he's inherited his hometown newspaper. He travels home intent on selling the paper and spending some much-needed time with his young daughter before making the leap into national politics.

But instead of a quick sale and peaceful break from his hectic career, Logan finds himself helping Amelia chase her story. She's scrappy, but wounded. He's dependable, but lost. They may butt heads more than expected, but a series of leads on Maple Valley's quirky unsolved mystery is just the start of the sparks that fly in the office and in their hearts.

Book Review: 

Sigh. I love good books. I can't tell you how happy they make me. This is one of those books. Just a good, clean, sweet romance.  And do you know what my favorite thing about is author is? She has the characters figure themselves out instead of having falling in love being enough. Because honestly, the falling in love part is fun, but what happens when the love gets hard? I love that Tagg doesn't just leave it there, but really gives the characters a firm foundation to build their relationship on.  That makes me happy :)

You know what else I love? This family. Tagg writes in such a way that you really do just want to belong to this family and be apart of it. While Like Never Before can be read as a stand alone, why not fully immerse yourself in the family by reading the two other books (well, one novel, one novella) before this? 

The characters are great. You have to love Logan for all his strengths, his love for his daughter, and his quirks (like the way he is always prepared and has a plan for everything). Amelia is great in her stubbornness and her take charge, "we are going to do this" attitude. Her humor is definitely fun too. But you know, the minor characters are fun to read about as well, and I can't wait for more books about them. 

Sign me up for her next book, and make sure you give this one a read. It's one of those you are going to want on your own bookshelf.

Like Never Before (Walker Family, #2) 
Title: Like Never Before
Author: Melissa Tagg
Publisher: Bethany House
Published: April 2016

ISBN: 0764213083
Source: I received an eCopy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Book Review: The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson

The Beautiful Pretender (Medieval Fairy Tale Romance, #2)

Book Description:

What happens when a margrave realizes he’s fallen in love with a servant?

The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble-born ladies from around the country to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.

Avelina is only responsible for two things: making sure her deception goes undetected and avoiding being selected as the margrave’s bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences. Will Avelina be able to stop the evil plot? And at what cost?

Book Review:

I was kind of surprised to see Melanie Dickerson writing another version of Beauty and the Beast (granted it was combined loosely with The Princess and the Pea). I loved her other version, The Merchants Daughter. I will say this, she really writes the beastly character both her novels :) 

The Beautiful Pretender is the next book after The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest, but it can be read without the other.  Characters cross over into this book, but it isn't necessary to have read the first one to enjoy this story.

I had a hard time with Avelina. She seemed very naive to me, and while that kind of character can work (it did in The Princess Spy), it didn't seem as realistic to me with her being a servant. Growing up pampered is one thing, but being a servant your whole life is another. I mean, I didn't want her to be all worldly or anything, but it just didn't seem to fit. Reinhart is awesome though. Which surprises me since I'm not all that into grumpy people, but he definitely had a good heart and was fun to read about.

This book didn't seem as religious as some of Dickerson's others. Religion is in it, but more as an undertone, not a main message. So definitely not preachy. 

While this wasn't my favorite of hers, I'm not sorry at all that I read it. In fact, I stayed up way too late to finish it :) I will definitely keep looking for more from this author.

The Beautiful Pretender (Medieval Fairy Tale Romance, #2)
 Title: The Beautiful Pretender
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Published: May 2016
ISBN: 0718026284
Source: I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Movie Review: Come Unto Me

Come Unto Me
A John Lyde Film

Movie Description:

Young Samuel and little Mary are intrigued by the man called John the Baptist, but they can't take the chance of staying in one place long enough to listen to his message. On the run from Roman soldiers, the brother and sister must do whatever it takes to survive. But when they meet a kind woman at a well, she introduces them to her son, Jesus—and their meeting forever changes the children's lives.


Andrea's Review:

Come Unto Me is a short film with a good message and one worth seeing, especially this time of year when we are reflecting on the Savior's life and the sacrifice He made for all of us. I can't recall seeing any Biblical depictions of Mary and Jesus when He is an adult, so I enjoyed seeing their loving relationship portrayed. I suppose I haven't thought much of Mary past His childhood, so her outgoing nature in the film wasn't something I had in mind, but she was very kind and helped children in need. She was a good example. She and Jesus brought out the best in the children.

I watched Come Unto Me with my kids, and although my son's interest wasn't held, my daughter thought it was good. The consensus was that the acting was ok.

Tarah's Review:

I actually watched this with my 5 year old and my 3 year old.  I wasn't sure what to expect from this movie, but I figured it ought to be safe for my little ones :) My 3 year old was excited every time Jesus was in a scene and she yelled out "That's Jesus!" every time. My 5 year old was actually more involved than I expected her to be, and she watched the whole thing quietly, sometimes asking a question here or there. I actually wish my 7 year old was home to watch it. I think it's a great video for young children preparing for baptism. The script was written in such a way that it's easy for children to understand and it tells lots of stories that they hear in the scriptures.  

I don't know if it's because we are preparing for Easter, or if it was watching my littles watch this, but I was really touched by this story, and will definitely be showing this to my older ones when they get home from school. It would make a great FHE :)

Rorie's Review:

This was a perfect video to watch on Easter Sunday. I sat down with my whole family to watch it. My two youngest (age 4) didn't pay a whole lot of attention, although they did comment "That's Jesus!" "That's Mary!" so they were paying a little bit of attention. My 8 year old really enjoyed the movie and said that he liked all of it, especially when the kids returned things. My husband and I agreed that we really enjoyed the simpleness of the message, and how everyone, from a young child to an adult could relate to and understand the message. We also liked how Mary, the mother of Jesus was the one giving the message.

Overall, this was a movie that I would like to keep in my library and watch over again with my kids. I think that as they watch it more often, they will get more and more out of it. 


Amazon | Deseret Book | Seagull Book

Friday, March 18, 2016

Blog Tour: Painting Rain by Annette K. Larsen

Review * Giveaway
 Painting Rain  
Painting Rain by Annette K. Larsen 

Book Description:

How do you heal your heart after tragedy leaves you broken? When the person you loved didn’t deserve it and they can’t earn your forgiveness because they’re already dead? How do you move on, and heal, and love? If you’re Princess Lorraina, you paint. A year ago Lorraina watched Tobias die, and she still doesn't know how she's supposed to heal—or forgive. How can she when she’s still running away? In an attempt to reinvent herself, she steps outside her comfortable life as princess and seeks the tutelage of a master painter—a man who is not at all impressed by her pedigree, and demands not just talent, but emotional honesty. Struggling to learn what’s being taught, she finds herself drawn to someone who not only knows her secrets, but who she once considered far below her notice. Now she is compelled to seek him out despite knowing their relationship would be forbidden if discovered. Staying away from him doesn’t seem possible when discovering him may be the key to healing her heart and rediscovering herself. 

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Andrea's Review:

Painting Rain is another winner by author Annette K. Larsen! It is packed with emotion, and although one might think a big adventure or royal threat will take place, the story mostly comes from Raina's internal struggle. She feels so many expectations and responsibilities, and happiness seems just out of her reach at times. The story really pulled me in, and I became deeply invested in Raina's happiness.

I read this very quickly and really enjoyed Raina's emotional transformation. Much of the focus is on art and how she was able to do her best work when she painted what she felt instead of what was expected. I'm not very artistic, but the descriptions of what she was learning and painting were well done, and were a great part of the story.

The characters were all great and many were so likable. Painting Rain is a great story. It is a clean read, and definitely one I'd read again.

Tarah's Review:

I was wondering how I'd like this story since Lorraina wasn't the nicest of characters in the first two books, and just broken in the otherI'm happy to say that all of her character transformations were totally believable and it made for a great story. Which is interesting because there is no big conflict in this story. It's all an inner struggle. I'd think that would be extremely boring, but it really works in this novel. 

I was also happy with the love aspect of this story, and again, how the love wasn't enough, but the main character needed to fix herself first and not rely solely on someone else to fix her. 

Painting Rain  is a fast clean read and one I'd recommend (if you've previously read at least Missing might be a little lost if you just pick this up without some background) and one I will read again.


“Now.” Master Sterrino stepped toward me, grabbing my arm and pulling me forward until I stood in front of the canvas. He jabbed a finger at the blank expanse. “This is your one chance. This is it. So I suggest you take it! If you are so convinced that I should spend my time teaching you instead of a worthier candidate, then prove it!”

My chest rose and fell as I battled my emotions. I fought for poise, for dignity. I fought for the righteous indignation I had felt only moments before.

But his words screamed through my head, over and over until all I could hear were the words Tobias had spoken to me. What’s pathetic is that you have one chance. And this is it. I—am it. I’m your one chance to choose, and you won’t take it!

It had been a long time since I’d felt this kind of burning anger, and I hated it. I hated that Sterrino had found a way to fling me back into the muck that I’d been in throughout my youth, that he could make me feel isolated and unwanted. What did he want? For me to paint something angry and disgusting? To tear open my healing heart and smear my own blood all over the canvas? I had put up with Dante’s provocations—his odd mood swings—all in the hopes of having a chance to work with this man, to show him what I could do. Now as he stood there, mocking, I couldn’t make myself move.

“That’s what I thought,” he said with grating satisfaction. “Brilliance comes from experiencing life, from true love and true loss. I didn’t expect a privileged member of the royal family to be acquainted with either.” He raised one eyebrow as a final challenge.

True loss? He wanted to know what my loss looked like? “Fine.” I stalked over to the paints. “You want me to paint something you’ll understand?” I ignored the brushes and thrust my hand directly into the bowl of deep black, scooping out a handful and slapping it onto the canvas in globs. I grabbed a rag and smeared the paint until it spread in uneven, clumsy strokes across most of the canvas. But I couldn’t leave the black uncontaminated, so I grabbed two more rags, dipping one into the gray and the other into brown, smearing them on top of the black, mixing everything into a muddy mess. If pain and angst was all he wanted to see, then I could certainly give him that. I had spent so much of my life pushing people away—afraid that any close attachments would make me weak, that having fun with my sisters would make me less worthy of my title. I knew what isolation, anger and fear would look like. I threw the rags aside and curled my hands into claws, then dragged my fingernails over the canvas, slashing through the paint, criss-crossing in jagged, broken stripes. I scrubbed my hands on my skirts, forgetting that I had abandoned my apron, and moved on to the bowl of red. The final touch would speak of blood because that had been the ending of my tragic story. The story that I would just as soon have left behind but which Sterrino seemed determined to drag out of me. I grabbed a jar of linseed oil and dumped some into the red, mixing it until it was thin and fluid; then, cupping my hands in the bowl, I filled them with crimson liquid before flinging it at the canvas. It splashed across the surface, dripping down in rivulets. I shook my hands forward, splattering the edges with the excess paint from my hands, then took two steps back, my breathing labored as I took it in. What I had created was angry, torn, and ugly. Exactly what I had wanted. Exactly what I thought Master Sterrino deserved.

I swallowed the lump in my throat, trying to tamp down the burning in my chest caused by the blatant reminder of the pain I used to cling to so desperately. I tore my gaze away, refusing to claim it as my own and spun to face Master Sterrino. He was staring at me, his eyes intent but unemotional.

I flung one paint-caked hand toward my work. “There you have it,” I declared. “Enjoy.” I sank into a mocking curtsey, but as I did, it reminded me too much of the way I used to treat people, of the way that Tobias used to taunt and humiliate, and I hated myself for stooping to such depths. I turned without meeting his eyes and stalked out of the studio.

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About Author Annette K. Larsen:

Annette LarsenI was born in Utah, but grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona and St. Louis, Missouri, the fifth of seven children. I attended Southern Virginia University and Brigham Young University, where I studied English and Theater. I now live in Idaho with my husband and four children. I have Charlotte Brontë to thank for the courage to write novels. After being bombarded with assigned reading about women who justified abandoning either their families or their principles in the name of love, I had the great fortune of reading Jane Eyre. And that was it: finally, a heroine who understood that being moral and making the right choice was hard, and sometimes it hurt, but it was still worth it. After rereading it several years later, I realized that if I wanted more books to exist with the kinds of heroines I admired, then I might as well write a few myself. My books are about women who face hard choices, who face pain and rejection and often have to face the reality of sacrificing what they want for what is right. The consequences are often difficult or unpleasant, but in the end, doing what’s right will always be worth it. I believe there is no substitute for good writing or good chocolate. Fortunately, one often leads to the other. 

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Book Review: Playing the Part by Jen Turano

Playing the Part (A Class of Their Own #3)
Book Description:

Lucetta Plum is an actress on the rise in New York City, but is forced to abandon her starring role when a fan's interest turns threatening. Lucinda's widowed friend, Abigail Hart, is delighted at the opportunity to meddle in Lucetta's life and promptly whisks her away to her grandson's estate to hide out.

Bram Haverstein may appear to simply be a somewhat eccentric gentleman of means, but a mysterious career and a secret fascination with a certain actress mean there's much more to him than society knows.

Lucetta, who has no interest in Abigail's matchmaking machinations, has the best intentions of remaining cordial but coolly distant to Bram. But when she can't ignore the strange and mysterious things going on in his house, it'll take more than good intentions to keep her from trying to discover who Bram is behind the part he plays.

Book Review:

This was a classic Jen Turano novel. The thing I liked about this one, though, was that the gentlemen was eccentric as well. It was fun to get to know Bram and all his craziness/sweetness. 

This is the third book in the A Class of Their Own series. Honestly, I'm not sure if it can be a stand-alone novel or not. I've read the others before this, so while off the top of my head I would say you could, really thinking about it, all the characters and their character traits might get really confusing if you don't have any background for them. So...maybe read the other ones first :)

While I loved all the characters (seriously, I get a goofy smile on my face and my family looks at me like I'm crazy) something fell a little flat, but I can't put my finger on what it was. Lucetta was a good strong practical character, and I've already said how much I liked Bram, but for some reason they never really meshed well for me.  Maybe it was because of his original opinion of her, but since I enjoyed that aspect of his really getting to know the real her, I'm not sure.

This wasn't my favorite from this author, but I did enjoy it, and I will reread it. If you've read and enjoyed Jen Turano before, I'd recommend reading this one. If you are looking for a quick funny read with a light mystery, I'd recommend this one. 

Playing the Part (A Class of Their Own #3) 

Title: Playing the Part
Author: Jen Turano
Publisher: Bethany House
Published: March 2016
Source: I received an eCopy from NetGalley in exchange for a review.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Book Review: God is Watching Over You by P.J. Lyons illustrated by Tim Warnes

God is Watching Over You
Book Description:

As a follow up to their bestselling Thank You, Lord, for Everything, P.J. Lyons and Tim Warnes have created a sweet and relaxing padded cover board book that tells the story of God’s constant presence around you. Meant to be read at night, when a child is warm and snug in their bed, the rhyming text and adorable illustrations in God Is Watching Over You gently remind us that God is constantly watching over us, protecting us, and caring for us

Book Review:

My two youngest were excited to get this book in the mail today, and insisted that we read it right away. We actually read it completely through twice, and then my youngest kept picking certain parts and saying, "Read that!" I asked them (5 and 3 year olds) what they liked about the book and my five year old said, "God is watching over you." I asked if she liked saying that over and over, but she said, "No...the words." So I think it was pretty meaningful to her to hear that Heavenly Father is watching out for her. Gotta love that connection as a parent. I also loved the rhymes. I'm a sucker for those, and these were done well. I appreciated that it came in a padded board book format. I was also watching a one year old and another five year old at the time, and I wasn't worried at all when the one year old grabbed it and started playing with it. I think it's important for kids, but especially young ones, to look at and play with books as much as possible, but when pages or ripped or torn it makes me cringe inside, so I'm a huge fan of padded board books.

The description says that this book is meant to be read at night, but honestly, why wait? It's a cute story, and if you're kids are bringing it to you, have at it :)

God is Watching Over You
Title: God is Watching Over You
Author: P.J. Lyons
Illustrator: Tim Warnes
Publisher: Zonderkidz
Published: March 2016
ISBN:  031074881X
Source: I received a copy from BookLook Bloggers for an honest review

Blog Tour: Solstice by Jane Redd

Reviews * Giveaway
Solstice by Jane Redd

Book Description:

Four ways to get Banished from the last surviving city on earth are: 1. Cut out your emotion tracker, 2. Join a religious cult, 3. Create a rebellion against the Legislature, 4. Fall in love.

Jezebel James does all four.

Jez is on the fast-track to becoming a brilliant scientist, with one goal—to save her city from total extinction. Her caretakers have entrusted her with a secret plan to stop the rain from flooding the rest of the earth and start civilization anew. But the more Jez learns about the price of a fresh beginning, the more she realizes that carrying out the plan will lead to few survivors, and among the dead will be those she cares about the most.

Andrea's Review:

I was intrigued by this story right from the beginning. The lack of family combined with a society that doesn't want its citizens to have emotion tugged at my heartstrings. Jez is fighting an uphill battle to suppress her emotions and excel in school so she can follow through with her caretaker's plan to save society. She was under so much pressure, and I really felt for her.

The story has quite a few unknowns, and my interest was held throughout trying to get answers. I hadn't realized that this is the first book in a series, and the ending seemed abrupt (not knowing you're almost done with a book is an ebook problem). I hate to be left hanging, but it was a sign of great writing that I am so interested in what will happen next. I hope book two will be published soon!

I really liked the characters. The reader is kept guessing quite a bit about everyone Jez interacts with. Are they part of the government or not? Who can she trust? This Dystopian society is very intriguing.

As far as content there is some passionate kissing and one swear word.

Title: Solstice
Author: Jane Redd
Publisher: Mirror Press
Published: March 2016
ISBN: 1941145698
Source: I received an eCopy via Kindle Scout
Purchase: Amazon | Kindle

Monday, March 14, 2016

Blog Tour: Love at First Note by Jenny Proctor

Review * Giveaway
Love at First Note by Jenny Proctor 

Book Description:

Emma Hill was practically born with a violin in her hands. She lives for the life of the piece, for each song's story, for the perfect stillness after the endnotes when the vibrations of sound are still humming through her body.

If only her love life were that harmonic. But she knew her chances at love would take a hit when she decided to leave her prestigious concertmaster position in the Cleveland Orchestra and move back home to Asheville, North Carolina. She justifies her actions with the fact that being concertmaster for the Asheville Symphony is better than no dates and no job.

But when Emma's world collides with piano-playing YouTube sensation Elliott Hart, she finds herself falling for the way he plucks at her heartstrings. Despite a, ahem, not-so-good first impression, the two soon develop the beginnings of a rhythmic relationship. But when Elliott insists they can't be together, it's up to Emma to strike up a little romance. Will she be able to bring their two worlds into harmony, or will she only manage to get herself in trouble?

Tarah's Review:

Let's start with the cover. Isn't it cute? I really enjoy the simplicity of it. The background color makes it pop, and it definitely is something that would catch my eye to pick it up to look at.

I enjoy music. I always have. I like listening to it, singing it, playing it, etc. I've never been passionate about it though. In fact, I can't tell you the name or artist of most songs :) But who hasn't had an experience of some music moving you to tears, or if not to tears, touching something deep down? Music is powerful, so when I read or hear about people (like in this book) who music is a need it really strikes me because while I can't relate to the passion, I can relate to the power.

Emma's character was great. It amused me how tongue tied she got when trying to speak to other people, unless she was really comfortable with them. That, I can definitely relate to.  Sometimes she's stubborn to the point of everyone else must be wrong if they don't agree, and a little judgmental.  However, I loved how she was willing to rethink her positions and really listen to what others were saying (after she had calmed down).

I was taken along Elliot's and Emma's romance, and thoroughly enjoyed the ride. I read at the beginning how this was originally going to be a novella, and boy am I glad that the author changed her mind about that :)

For an almost 300 page book, it is a really quick read. Definitely entertaining, and one of those books where everything (like dishes and laundry) gets put to the side so you can read one more chapter, that turns into the whole book :) While there is kissing in the book, it wasn't anything that when my daughter grows up I would have a problem with her reading it. Highly recommended.

Andrea's Review:

Love at First Note is a clean, sweet, and fast read. I was annoyed that I had to take a break from reading to sleep and go to work. 😉 It is a little different from many in the genre in that the relationship really went through a lot before it worked out. But that is definitely a compliment to the book-it helps connect the reader emotionally and makes the story more realistic.

I really liked the characters. Emma was so awkward at times it was hilarious. And although the reader isn't given a great first impression of Elliott, his attitude is understandable and he and Emma both have so much goodness in them that is shown many times throughout the story. The secondary characters (Lilly and her boyfriend Trav) were also a fun addition.

I'm not very musically inclined but I really enjoyed the musical aspects of the story. The talent the main characters had and their hard work to get far in the music world was very interesting.

This is well written and I would definitely read more by this author.

Rorie's Review:

This was one of those "started yesterday, finished today" books. Granted, part of that is because I'm sick and don't have the energy to do much more than read, but most of it was because this is such a good book!

I love the author's style of writing. Emma's inner dialogue was very entertaining, and kind of similar to my own inner dialogue. And I can totally relate to Emma's "talent" with speaking to people. ;)

I could also relate to the feelings that Emma got when she played music or when she was listening to Elliot play his music. Not that I have anywhere near that talent in playing music...or any talent really...but I completely understand getting lost in the music and just feeling the power of every note.

Wouldn't it be great if we could all have a best friend like Lilly? She was such a wonderful addition to the story. Actually, I really enjoyed all of the supporting characters. Lilly and Trav, and all of Emma's family all sound like people I would like to get to know.

I love how there was conflict and deep soul-searching moments in this book - it makes a romance book so much more believable and realistic when those things are included. Definitely a book I would recommend.

Tour Schedule:

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Love at First NoteTitle: Love at First Note
Author: Jenny Proctor
Publisher: Covenant
Published: March 2016
ISBN: 1680479431
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for a review

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Deseret Book

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Movie Review: Singing with Angels

Singing with Angels
In Theaters March 11, 2016

Press Release:

Mormon Tabernacle Choir give exclusive access to “Singing with Angels” movie

Salt Lake City (February 18, 2016) The world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir immediately recognized by their familiar sight and angelic sound are starring in the upcoming full length movie, Singing with Angels. Although the choir has been featured in documentaries and concert DVDs this is the first time they have participated in a story-driven movie. The full choir is shown in multiple scenes depicting rehearsals and performances. Several choir members fill important roles within the movie.

“This is epic,” said Brian Brough, the film’s director and producer. “Working with the choir has been amazing. We spent weeks reading through true stories that choir members sent us, evaluated each story, and found the ones that could be told on screen and would best fit the story we wanted to share.”

On March 11th, 2016, be among the first to see the production from Candlelight Media, Singing with Angels, on the Silver Screen. The film opens in Utah first and will then expand to other areas. Filmed on location at the Tabernacle on Temple Square and in conjunction with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the movie masterfully unites the true and inspiring stories of the choir with the fictional character of Aubrey.

Through a great collaboration between Candlelight Media, filmmakers, and the choir led by president Ron Jarrett, Singing with Angels is entertainment wrapped in the universal language of music from the iconic Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Along with beautifully woven storytelling and directing, “Singing with Angels is about the journey of one woman who dreams of joining the choir and finding strength through trials and challenges in life,” explains writer Brittany Wiscombe.

The film is much more than discovering what it is like to be in the choir, “Singing with Angels is a wonderful, inspirational movie. Good for the soul, and uplifting entertainment,” shared one viewer after a special pre-screening in Orlando, FL. For entertainment that can be shared and enjoyed by the whole family, don’t miss Singing with Angels, in theaters March 11.

Movie Trailer:

Cameron & Julie's Review:

Going into this movie, we had very little idea of what to expect. We knew that it was about the experience of a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, but other than that, we did not have much more expectation.

We both left the movie very inspired and more than ready to recommend it to others. While her participation in the choir was what the movie is centered around, the real message of the story turned out to be how she deals with difficult life situations that many of us go through. We found ourselves laughing, crying, and ready to cheer at times.

It jumps back-and-forth in time and at the beginning of the movie if you're not prepared for that and miss the signals of what time they are in, it can be a little bit confusing. But when you know that you need to watch for that, it isn't any problem at all.

We would also recommend this for anyone that is familiar with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It's interesting to learn of the process that it takes to be a part of the choir and also to get a little insight of what they do.

In summary, this is a movie that will leave you feeling inspired by one who realized her dreams, had to overcome very difficult challenges, and kept an eternal perspective throughout the entire process.

To learn more about the movie or to find locations to watch Singing with Angels visit the official website

Monday, March 7, 2016

Blog Tour: The Moses Chronicles: Deliverance by H.B. Moore

Review * Giveaway
The Moses Chronicles: Deliverance by H.B. Moore

Book Description:

Experience the life of Moses as never before, following his journey from fugitive of Egypt to prophet of God. In this exhilarating follow-up to H.B. Moore’s biblical drama The Moses Chronicles: Bondage, the account of Moses’s flight from Egypt continues. Moses’s life as he knew it is over. He has chosen to stand for his beliefs at the cost of being cast out of his royal home and family. He is free of the wickedness of Egypt, but peace is not to be found, for Moses is as much an aimless wanderer as those in the nomadic tribe he encounters in the wilderness. Exhausted by long weeks of travel, he nevertheless jumps to action when he observes a group of young women accosted by a band of Bedrayan men at a communal well. These lovely daughters of Jethro are grateful for his help, and their Midianite tribe welcomes Moses with open arms. As he learns the ways of the Midianites, his kinship with Jethro grows—as does his admiration of one of Jethro’s daughters, Zipporah. But when Moses suddenly receives a burning call to free the very people he has long oppressed, will he have the courage to return to the land from which he has been exiled?

Rorie's Review:

I really enjoyed the first book, so I was excited to have a chance to review this book. It did not disappoint. This novel was full of rich characters, all of whom the author brings to life really well.

When you hear the story of Moses, you hear some about his upbringing and then a lot more about when he returns to Egypt to free the Hebrews, but you don't really hear much at all about his time in the desert as a fugitive. Of course, we don't know a whole lot about what really happened at that time, but the author does an excellent good job at telling this part of the story.

I'm looking forward to reading the third book in the series.

Andrea's Review:

H.B. Moore has a talent for bringing scriptural characters to life, and I enjoyed Volume 1 of The Moses Chronicles so I looked forward to reading Volume 2: Deliverance. Although it has been awhile since I read Volume 1, I remember liking it more than this one. As usual, Moore's writing is good, but I wasn't as interested as I wanted to be. Maybe it was because it felt like a part of Moses' life that we don't know much about, and the artistic license didn't sit well with me.

That said, it made me want to pull out the scriptures and see how closely Moore portrayed his story. I was actually pleasantly surprised to find how close the major details were (obviously quite a bit of filler had to be added since his young life in the Bible is a few short chapters). I guess my memories of Moses' story are of the big events (being found in a basket in the river as a baby and raised in Egypt, fleeing, the burning bush, returning to Egypt, freeing the Hebrews, etc.). There are a few things that Moore included that I didn't remember (like the reason he fled Egypt, how he got his wife, the circumcision of his son, etc.), and that actually helped me appreciate the story more.

When I put the book down I wasn't thinking I'd want to continue with this version of Moses' story, but after a few days of reflection and reading in Exodus, I am curious about future books in the series.

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Tour Giveaway:

Title: The Moses Chronicles: Deliverance
Author: H.B. Moore
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Published: March 2016
ISBN: 1680479350
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Deseret Book

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Book Review: Goodnight, Manger by Laura Sassi Illustrated by Jane Chapman

Goodnight, Manger
Book Description:

Goodnight, Manger, written by Laura Sassi and illustrated by New York Times bestselling artist Jane Chapman, tells the story of Mary and Joseph as they try to lull Jesus to sleep in the noisy stable after his birth. It's bedtime for Baby Jesus, but who knew a manger could be so loud? Mama, Papa, and all of the animals try to lull the baby to sleep, but between itchy hay, angels' joyful hosanas, and three kings bearing noisy gifts, it's just too loud. Until Mama finds a way for everyone to work together to shepherd Baby into peaceful dreams under the twinkling stars.

Book Review:

When I first read Goodnight, Ark I loved it, so I jumped at the change to read Goodnight, Manger.  While it's a cute little story, it fell a little flat for me. Probably because I was thinking it was going to be a Christmas story, but while it uses aspects from the Christmas story, likes angels and wise men and shepherds, it just didn't proclaim the divinity of the Savior like I was expecting and hoping (although, I should have expected that since Goodnight, Ark was the same...just using aspects of the Noah story, but not telling the story).  I'm sure if you go into this story just wanting a cute bedtime book, you will love it. The illustrations are colorful, the words are fun and rhythmic, and my kids really enjoyed it.  I think they really loved the talking animals. I was also a little sad that it wasn't a padded board book like the last time as well. Those are sure a lot more sturdier with my little ones :)

Goodnight, Manger
Title: Goodnight, Manger
Author: Laura Sassi
Illustrator: Jane Chapman
Publisher: Zonderkidz
Published: October 2015
ISBN: 031074556X
Source: I received a copy from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for a review