Sheila's Books Read

Sheila's bookshelf: read

What Would the Founding Fathers Think: A Young American's guide to understanding the mess our country is in and how we get out
Isabelle Webb: Legend of the Jewel
Captive Heart
Cobble Cavern
Caller ID
Promises
Protected,
Summer of Secrets
On Little Wings
We Lived in Heaven: Spiritual Accounts of Souls Coming to Earth
Christ's gifts to women
A Woman's power: threads that bind us to god
Scary School
Hope's journey
Blue
Targets in Ties
Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island
Venom
With a Name like Love
Sean Griswold's head


Sheila's favorite books »

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2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Sheila has read 4 books toward her goal of 100 books.
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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Review of, Murder By The Way, by Betsy Brannon Green



Product Details:

  • Title:Murder By The Way
  • Author: Betsy Brannon Green
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Covenant Communications Inc.; 1st edition (June 1, 2012)
  • Genre: Mystery/Suspense
  • ISBN-10: 1621081230
  • ISBN-13: 978-1621081234




 

Book Description:

June 1, 2012
 
As Kennedy Killingsworth prepares to step into the next phase of her life alongside her soon-to-be husband, Luke, the past reemerges and interrupts with full force. Luke is suddenly called away to testify at a Marine Corps trial and is forced to leave Kennedy soon after they are declared husband and wife. Then an old business associate, Drake Langston, announces he is returning to Midway to finish renovating the town and needs Kennedy's help to smooth things over with the locals. Kennedy jumps on board to distract herself from Luke's absence. Little does she know that there will soon be plenty to distract her. After an unexplainable prison van accident leaves a woman dead and three prisoners missing, the town feels rattled and worried. As Kennedy (and her ex-husband, Cade) gets involved in investigating the crash, more and more mysterious events unfold, and if she's not careful, she could be the next murder by the way.
 
My Review: Murder By the Way is the third book in the Kennedy Killingsworth series. It is just as good as the first two books in the series. I love the inclusion of the familiar and comfortable characters that Betsy Brannon Green's readers have come to know and love. Some examples are Miss Eugena, Miss Ida Jean, Winston, Mark and Kate. These are characters from The Haggerty Series that I absolutely love!

Once again Betsy's books are full of mystery, intrigue, humor, and of course a lot of good food that the characters are cooking and eating. Recipes are always included at the end of the book. One that I want to try the most is, Miss Eugenia's S'More Cookies. In the book she deep fries them, but I think I will bake them the normal way. I also want to try, Miss Iris's Lemon Chicken, which is a little bit healthier than the cookies.

I really like Kennedy in this book, but I wish that there had been more of her new husband, Luke. He has become one of my favorite characters. There wasn't as much action as there had been in book two, but there was plenty of "interaction" with the characters. The characters had more opportunities to figure out things mentally this time around. The ending played out almost how I had been figuring it would, but with some added twists and turns. I wasn't disappointed in the end, and it just made me look forward to the next book in the series. At least I hope that there is more to come. I am adding this book to my list of quick, summer reads. You can read this alone, but I highly suggest that you read book one and two in the series first. I give this book 4 stars.



About the Author: 

Betsy Brannon Green currently lives in Bessemer, AL, which is a suburb of Birmingham. She has been married to her husband, Butch, for thirty-two wonderful years, and they have eight children, one dauther-in-law, three sons-in-law, and eight grandchildren. She is a Sunday School teacher in the Bessemer Ward and works for Hueytown Elementary School. She loves to read, when she can find the time, and watch sporting events, especially if they involve her children. Although born in Salt Lake City, Betsy has spent most of her life in the South. Her writing and her life have been strongly influenced by the town of Headland, AL. and the many generous gracious people who live there. Her first book, Hearts in Hiding was published in 2001, followed by Never Look Back, 2002, Until Proven Guilty, 2002, Don't Close you eyes, 2003, Above Suspicion, 2003, Foul Play, 2004, Silenced, 2004, Copycat, 2005, Poison, 2005, Doublecross, 2006, Christmas in Haggerty,2006, Backtrack 2007, Hazardous Duty, 2007, Above and Beyond, 2008, The Spirit of Christmas, 2008, Code of Honor, 2009, Murder by the Book, 2009, and Murder by Design 2010.

***I was given a review copy of this book. In no way did this influence the honest review that was given.***
 

 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to the Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop! 
Thanks so much to Laura from Colorimetry
for hosting this great summer giveaway!

I have so many memories of spending my whole summer just laying around and reading. Up for grabs is your choice of one of these paperback Summer Reads from the Book Depository.

  • The Giver by Lois Lowry 
  •  The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare 
  • Anna Karenina by L.N. Tolstov
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

  •  Ascend by Amanda Hocking
  •  The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks












Enter down below on the Rafflecoptor form!
Then leave a comment telling me what book
you would like to win and why?



Happy Summer Reading!
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Go visit other blogs on the hop!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Review of Olivia: Book One of The Newport Ladies Book Club by Julie Wright.Also, an Interview with the Author!






Product Details:

  • Title: Olivia
  • Author: Julie Wright
  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Covenant Communications Inc.; 1st edition (January 30, 2012)
  • Genre: Women's Fiction
  • ISBN-10: 1608618439
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608618439





Book Description:

January 30, 2012
The Robbins household looks perfect from the outside: no dust, no stains, no wrinkles. Yet a glimpse into its heart reveals no laughter, no closeness, no joy. Olivia thinks that if she keeps everything tidy and serves delicious meals on time, family life is bound to get better. But when her husband, Nick, misses their anniversary, she realizes no amount of domestic success will compensate for failure in their marriage, or for her own failure to develop her identity, always busy as a mother, wife, and neighbor, she has forgotten how to be a unique and vibrant individual. Determined to make a change, Olivia joins a local book club, where she nurtures new friendships and explores new ideas. But her growing confidence falters when Nick declares his independence, and while her new friends lovingly encircle her with support, only Olivia can reach into the depths of her fledgling self to find the faith, hope, and love her troubled family needs.
My Review:
I was so excited, and intrigued, when I first heard about this series called, "The Newport Ladies Book Club". What a genius idea! Here is what it is about...

"The Newport Ladies Book Club series is unique in that each Newport book is written from the point of view of a different woman in the book club. The first 4 books cover the same time period and the same book club meetings. But only with reading all 4 books, will you learn the whole story of each of the women and her full character journey. Think of it as a parallel series, not as a forward-moving series."

This series is being written by four very talented authors, Josi Kilpack, Annette Lyon, Julie Wright, and Heather Moore. 
The first two books in the series have been released. I am reviewing Olivia today, and will be reviewing Daisy in a few weeks.

Reading Olivia was a very emotional experience for me. Olivia told the story of a woman who has always given her all to her husband and children.Along the way she has become lost and doesn't know who she is anymore. The novel starts where Olivia and her husband, Nick, are having marital problems. All of a sudden she realizes that she needs to do something to find herself.This is when she joins a local book club, all strangers. This is a scary prospect for some people.

I loved the whole idea of this book club bringing this group of women together.It was delightful to see friendships grow, along with Olivia's confidence. I have read most of the books written by Julie Wright. This book, so far, is her best and most well-written book. The character development is so well done, the reader will  be able to relate to all of the women in the book club on some level. The emotions are so real, and there is a lot of angst filled moments. Julie truly pegs a marriage in trouble; which is amazing since I know Julie has a fantastic marriage. I'm not telling you what happens with Olivia, but I will say that she  changes and grows a lot. As she changes, so do the people around her.

Olivia will make you think and ponder. It will make you cry and search your own feelings. If you are looking for a heartfelt book, with real-life characters, that tell an enlightening story, then Olivia is for you.

I was thrilled that Julie Wright was willing to be interviewed. Enjoy what she had to share with all of you. 

1.How did the four of you, writing The Newport Ladies Book Club, decide which characters story you would write?
We actually almost knew from the very first meeting when Josi and I met Heather and Annette for breakfast to pitch the idea of writing together. Right there at the table we each came up with the character and character struggle we wanted to deal with. A few things changed but nothing major. it was a lot of fun and a great honor to work with women I love so much.

2.What process did you go through to write the character Olivia? I'm sure that it was an emotional thing.
Olivia was very hard for me because I have a pretty open relationship with my husband. Not that I'm saying every day is rosy and perfect, but that every day--even the bad ones--he is there for me. So to write a character who feels she can't communicate with her husband was extremely difficult. And there were days when I went to bed mad at my own husband because of something my fictional character did in the book. Mr Wright finally said, "Look! You cannot hold me accountable for the things your crazy characters do!" But I felt like I understood Olivia's plight. I've talked to so many women who live in silent bubbles where they can't communicate with their spouses for one reason or another. I told one such woman that she should just talk to her husband. She looked horrified that I'd suggested such a thing and shook her head immediately telling me I just didn't understand because that wasn't the life I lived. it made me really stop and think. What if that was a life in which I lived? What if I decided to break the silence one day with the words inside in my head? What would happen? That was when I knew that Olivia had to TALK. She had to at least try to communicate with her husband and let the consequences be whatever they were. That was a real changing point for me in the story.

3.How did you grow as a writer working on this novel?


This was the first genuinely adult book I've written. All my other books are shelved in the YA section of the bookstores. This one is firmly meant for adult women. It was nice to know I could communicate to grown ups too. It also gave me insight into understanding that not all bad guys are bad. Nick wasn't all bad. And not all good guys are good. Olivia had her moments of being downright awful. Their characters made me grow because of their beautiful complexities.


4.What did you "learn" from Olivia? What did you hope the reader learned or went away with after reading Olivia? 

What I learned and what I hope others walk away with is the need to be more connected to other women in the world. To be kinder to the people you meet, even just in passing, to not judge, to feel real compassion. The other ladies in the book club never really know Olivia's plight. They never know her marriage is crumbling or that she is dying a little more every day. And even without knowing, their very presence sustains Olivia through some major trials--all while they had no idea.
None of us know what our one word of encouragement or kindness might mean to another.



5.What character will you be writing next in the series? 

 I am writing Victoria (Tori) who works in the film industry. The tone of this next book for me will be much lighter and has a far more romantic feel to it. One thing I love about the series is that each book has its own tone and voice--a voice that completely personifies the character the story is about.


6.You did amazing work with Olivia. What do you hope to accomplish next as a writer?  
Wow. What do I hope next? It wouldn't hurt my feelings any to win a Newbery...:)
 
Thank you so much Julie for the interview!


Links you may be interested in:

Website

Blog:

Facebook


About Julie:

Julie Wright (1972-still breathing) was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. She’s lived in LA, Boston, and the literal middle of nowhere (don’t ask). She wrote her first book when she was fifteen and actually got the thing published. Thirteen novels later, she thinks she’s finally getting the hang of this writing gig.

She currently has eight published novels:
  • Olivia
  • Hazzardous Universe: The Magician’s Last Words
  • Hazzardous Universe
  • Cross My Heart (2010 Whitney Award winner for Best Romance)
  • Eyes Like Mine (2009 Whitney Award Nominee)
  • My Not-So-Fairy-Tale Life
  • Loved Like That
  • To Catch a Falling Star
She has one husband, three kids, one dog, and a varying amount of fish (depending on attrition).
She loves writing, reading, traveling, hiking, playing with her kids, and watching her husband make dinner.
She used to speak fluent Swedish, but now speaks only well enough to cuss out her children in public.
She hates mayonnaise, but has a healthy respect for ice cream.


**I was given a review copy of Olivia. In no way did this influence the honest review that was given.**


Blog Tour Review of, Reality Check by Karen Tuft: Reminder...Enter to Win Your Own Copy!

Product Details:

  • Title: Reality Check
  • Author: Karen Tuft
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Covenant Communications Inc.; 1st edition (June 1, 2012
  • Genre: Romance
  • ISBN-10: 1608613976
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608613977







Book Description:

June 1, 2012
 
After college graduation, Lucy Kendrick heads home with big plans for work, travel, and relishing her freedom which means no romantic entanglements. But her two best friends have other ideas. Lucy is seriously steamed when she realizes they've signed her up to be a contestant on the reality dating show Soulmates, but she decides not to renege and soon finds herself in Los Angeles a small-town Mormon girl vying for the love of millionaire bachelor Ethan Glass. At first this cute, smart, fun young woman, who would rather pray than party, bewilders Ethan. But his interest and admiration grow with every encounter. However, the conniving associate producer is determined to stir up some made-for-TV drama and takes strides to make this reality television show anything but real. When the show finally airs, Lucy has been recast as someone she unquestionably is not. Lucy is left humiliated in front of the world, and Ethan is left wondering who the Lucy is that he was falling in love with. Will the duplicities that have created this humiliation ever come to light? And will the truth emerge too late for the would-be soul-mates?

My Review:   
Reality Check is the story of an LDS young women who becomes a contestant on a reality TV dating show. As my post last Saturday showed, I do watch the Bachelor and Bachelorette. Sometimes I watch it because of liking someone on the show and wanting to see how far my favorite actually advances. Other times I watch to get a good laugh at how crazy people act when they are on a show like this. Well, Reality Check was like watching the TV show, but better. Yes, there were drama queens and wacko contestants, but the main characters added some much needed depth you usually don't get in the TV show. 

Karen Tuft's new novel is fun, fast-paced and hard to put down. This is another book that I read late into the night. Once Lucy's friends trick her into going onto the show Soulmates,  you are hooked. You really want to see what will happen. I had to LOL when Lucy told herself she probably wouldn't make it past the first night, then she would get to visit Disneyland for the first time. I laughed at this because it's truly something that I would think and plan! The biggest thing you will notice in the story, is how different Lucy is from the other girls. She stands out because of her standards and morals. The "bachelor" on the show, Ethan Glass, notices her on the first night because of how modestly she is dressed.This story would be considered an LDS romance, but it never shoves anything in your face religiously. It is all presented in a way that you cheer for Lucy as she stays true to herself and her religion. I loved the character of Ethan Glass and how he was in this contest for all of the right reasons. Females will find him "Awww"" worthy and wanting an Ethan in their own lives; or wanting their husbands to follow Ethan's lead. 

Reality Check is a great first book from Karen Tuft. This is another book, that you must tuck away in your bag, when you go on vacation. You will finish reading this book feeling like maybe, just maybe, soul-mates are truly real.
 
 You can purchase Reality Check here:
Karen Tuft
Best Price $13.00
or Buy New $16.99


Remember that Karen is hosting a giveaway in conjunction with the blog tour. Here again are the details.
Giveaway Information:
Karen is generously donating a paperback copy of Reality Check plus a starfish charm bracelet to one lucky reader. All you have to do to gain entries is to leave a comment on any of the tour stops. Each comment will gain you an entry. The more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win! Here is a full list of the tour stops . For those readers who prefer a non-LDS read, she is also giving away an ARC copy of The Selection by Kiera Cass. It is such a cute book with a reality based dating show as well.

Make sure you leave your email address and which book you are entering for in your comments (i.e. Reality Check, The Selection, or Both).


Also,go visit Karen's blog for more information.
http://kktuft.blogspot.com/2012/06/where-did-you-have-reality-check.html
Schedule:

July 9: Book Bug - Tour Kickoff + Sneak Peek + Giveaway + “Bachelorette” Polls
July 9: "Bachelorette" Episode - The Final 3
July 10: Getting Your Read On - Review
July 11: A Tuft Act to Follow - “Bachelorette” Episode Recap
July 12: Book Bug - Update and "Bachelorette" Thoughts
July 12: Getting Your Read On - “Bachelorette” Post
July 13: Fire and Ice - “Bachelorette” Post
July 14: Why Not? Because I Said So! - “Bachelorette” Post
July 16: Book Bug - “Bachelorette” Post
July 16: "Bachelorette" Episode - The Men Tell All
July 17: Bookworm Lisa - Review + Author Guest Post
July 18: A Tuft Act to Follow - “Bachelorette” Episode Recap
July 19: Fire and Ice - Review
July 20: Why Not? Because I Said So! - Review
July 22: "Bachelorette" Episode - Finale and After the Final Rose
July 23: A Tuft Act to Follow - "Bachelorette" Finale Recap
July 23: Book Bug - Review
July 24: I Am A Reader, Not A Writer - Author Interview
July 25: Book Bug - Wrap Up


About the Author:

Karen Tuft was born with a healthy dose of curiosity about pretty much everything, so as a child she taught herself to read and play the piano. She studied composition at BYU then graduated from the University of Utah in music theory as a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Kappa Lambda honor societies. In addition to being an author, Karen is a wife, mother, pianist, composer, and arranger. She as spent countless hours backstage and in orchestra pits for theater productions along the Wasatch Front. She also has a 75 percent success rate when it comes to matchmaking and is a big believer in happy endings. Among her varied interests, she likes to figure out what makes people tick, wander through museums, and travel, whether by car, plane, or paperback. 
**I was given a review copy of Reality Check. In no way did this influence the honest review that was given.**

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Winners of the Summer Lovin Giveaway Hop!

I am happy to announce the winners of the 
Summer Lovin Giveaway Hop!
The winner of the USA giveaway is Leigh Ann.
The Winner of the INT giveaway is Johanna.
The winners have been contacted through email.

Thanks everyone for entering the giveaways and
following my blog!

I also want to announce, when I reach 1000 followers
on my blog, I will be having some fun giveaways
for all of my followers. So let your friends know and
send them here to follow so I can reach 1000 followers sooner. Thanks!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Lessons from This Seasons The Bachelorette: Way to Go Emily Maynard!

I am so excited to be participating in the Reality Check blog tour this month. This new novel by Karen Tuft is based on a dating reality TV show.

About the Book:
After college graduation, Lucy Kendrick heads home with big plans for work, travel, and relishing her freedom—which means no romantic entanglements. But her two best friends have other ideas. Lucy is seriously steamed when she realizes they’ve signed her up to be a contestant on the reality dating show Soulmates, but she decides not to renege and soon finds herself in Los Angeles—a small-town Mormon girl vying for the love of millionaire bachelor, Ethan Glass. At first this cute, smart, fun young woman, who would rather pray than party, bewilders Ethan. But his interest and admiration grow with every encounter. However, the conniving associate producer is determined to stir up some made-for-TV drama and takes strides to make this reality television show anything but real. When the show finally airs, Lucy has been recast as someone she unquestionably is not. Lucy is left humiliated in front of the world, and Ethan is left wondering who the Lucy is that he was falling in love with. Will the duplicities that have created this humiliation ever come to light? And will the truth emerge too late for the would-be soulmates?

I hate to admit it, but I love to watch the Bachelor and Bachelorette because it is something I would never do. It's the same reason I love watching The Amazing Race; you know, living in someone else's shoes. A lot of reality TV watching is like the phenomenon of people slowing down to watch a car accident. But, I have been very interested in this seasons Bachelorette Emily Maynard because she is a single Mom. Her strong focus has been on not only finding a new man for herself, but on finding a good father for her six year old daughter.

 If you haven't watched this season, here is a picture of Emily: she is beautiful AND sweet! The other odd thing about Emily, is that she is a SMART and sincere person. This was never shown more  to me than what happened this past Monday night. She went on her potential overnight dates with the final three contestants. She had made up her mind before these dates to do something, or I should say, to NOT do something that is traditionally done. Let me give you the low-down, basically by this point of the 5 long weeks of dating these men...yes 5 weeks, she will soon be choosing someone to get engaged to. In my book that is total nuts, but hey, this is reality TV. Here is what Emily was thinking and what she posted on her blog:

"I swear I was anxious thinking about fantasy-suite dates even before agreeing to be on The Bachelorette. On the one hand, it's great because you get that extra time to talk with the final three guys away from the cameras.

But on the flip side I know what "fantasy" is implying, and I'm not totally comfortable with that. I also feel like my relationships have been so honest and real that there was really nothing they could have told me overnight that would've changed my mind. "



In the fantasy suite they are supposed to "spend" the night with each man, on different nights, which we take it to mean, sleeping with them. I was impressed by what happened with contestant Jef Holm. He is from Utah, like I am, and he shocked America. Here is what happened:

"Trekking with Maynard and fellow contestants Sean Lowe and Arie Luyendyk to Curacao on Monday's episode, frontrunner Holm, 27, politely declined Maynard's all-important invite to sleep over in the luxurious suite, taking Maynard, 26, by complete surprise.

"It would be awesome to forgo our original rooms, but I completely respect that your daughter and my family and your family is going to be watching this," Holm told Maynard after the couple enjoyed a boat ride and dinner. "There's a time and a place. I plan on spending every night with you in our own Fantasy Suite."

The thing was, Emily was going to do the same thing, but Jef beat her to the punch! Wow! Way to go Jef! Emily's decisions about these final dates came down to her daughter. Here is what she had to say about not taking the men to the fantasy suites for an overnighter, 

“As a role model and a mother, I just can’t,” she says to the cameras."

Emily is a Momma bear like me and I liked what she had to say in this video.
 
The "Lesson" for me and other single/married moms out there, we always need to be good examples to our kids in any and every situation thrown our way. I will never be on The Bachelorette, but I will have things thrown my way that I will need to think about my kids first. When I am driving and wanting to cuss at all of the dumb drivers out there, my kids are in the car with me, be a good example, and no cussing and getting angry. When I am talking about other people and how to handle the way they treat me or my kids, think before I speak. Show kindness to all people, even those who at times don't deserve it. You know the routine if you are a parent, kids learn from example; especially ours. Kudos to Emily and I hope that she does find happiness with a great guy and a good father for her daughter. I hope that I can find the same thing! 

Along with the blog tour for Reality Check, author Karen Tuft has a giveaway going on. Here is the info...
  
Karen is generously donating a paperback copy of Reality Check plus a starfish charm bracelet to one lucky reader. All you have to do to gain entries is to leave a comment on any of the tour stops. Each comment will gain you an entry. The more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win! Here is a full list of the tour stops . For those readers who prefer a non-LDS read, she is also giving away an ARC copy of The Selection by Kiera Cass. It is such a cute book with a reality based dating show as well.

Make sure you leave your email address and which book you are entering for in your comments (i.e. Reality Check, The Selection, or Both).


Also, check out the contest going on Karen's blog this summer at
http://kktuft.blogspot.com/2012/06/where-did-you-have-reality-check.html
Schedule

July 9: Book Bug - Tour Kickoff + Sneak Peek + Giveaway + “Bachelorette” Polls
July 9: "Bachelorette" Episode - The Final 3
July 10: Getting Your Read On - Review
July 11: A Tuft Act to Follow - “Bachelorette” Episode Recap
July 12: Book Bug - Update and "Bachelorette" Thoughts
July 12: Getting Your Read On - “Bachelorette” Post
July 13: Fire and Ice - “Bachelorette” Post
July 14: Why Not? Because I Said So! - “Bachelorette” Post
July 16: Book Bug - “Bachelorette” Post
July 16: "Bachelorette" Episode - The Men Tell All
July 17: Bookworm Lisa - Review + Author Guest Post
July 18: A Tuft Act to Follow - “Bachelorette” Episode Recap
July 19: Fire and Ice - Review
July 20: Why Not? Because I Said So! - Review(THIS IS ME! Come back on the 20th to read my review!!!!!)
July 22: "Bachelorette" Episode - Finale and After the Final Rose
July 23: A Tuft Act to Follow - "Bachelorette" Finale Recap
July 23: Book Bug - Review
July 24: I Am A Reader, Not A Writer - Author Interview
July 25: Book Bug - Wrap Up
  
About the Author:
Karen Tuft was born with a healthy dose of curiosity about pretty much everything, so as a child she taught herself to read and play the piano. She studied composition at BYU then graduated from the University of Utah in music theory as a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Kappa Lambda honor societies. In addition to being an author, Karen is a wife, mother, pianist, composer, and arranger. She as spent countless hours backstage and in orchestra pits for theater productions along the Wasatch Front. She also has a 75 percent success rate when it comes to matchmaking and is a beg believer in happy endings. Among her varied interests, she likes to figure out what makes people tick, wander through museums, and travel, whether by car, plane, or paperback.

"A Tuft Act to Follow" Blog | "Lyrics Without the Chord Change" Blog | Facebook
 


Friday, July 13, 2012

Review of, I Believe in Jesus Too, by Mark S. Nielsen and Craig Stapley

Product Details:

  • Title: I Believe in Jesus Too
  • Author: Mark S. Nielsen
  • Illustrator: Craig Stapley
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Deseret Book (February 21, 2012)
  • Genre: Childrens Book; religious
  • ISBN-10: 1609087410
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609087418






Book Description:

February 21, 2012
All over the world, children attend Primary, enjoy family home evening, sing songs, and read scriptures. Mark Nielsen s simple and engaging book will help children understand that it doesn't matter where you live in the world, Jesus loves everyone the same. Full-color illustrations will round out this inspirational book. Features beautiful, full-color illustrations Teaches children that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a worldwide church A perfect family home evening book.

My Review: 
I Believe in Jesus Too is simply a beautiful book. The words are simple and heartfelt. The Illustrations are realistic, with colors that are bright, crisp, and bold. You truly want to keep looking through the pages, over and over again, because of how striking they are.
The publisher lists this book for children ages 9-12, but I think it works for all Primary aged children 3-12. What a wonderful idea for a book that let's all LDS children know, that regardless of where you live in the world, other children are living the gospel: going to church, being baptized,praying, reading the scriptures, just like them, but in different locations and slightly different ways according to their culture. This book can be used at home for Family Home Evening, at church in the classroom,for story time and would make a fabulous present for children from parents or grandparents. 


The main thing I loved most about this book,was how happy the children in the book looked. Whether they lived in Kenya or Canada,Tonga or Bolivia, they all had a peaceful look about them as they are taught that Jesus loves them, as they learn to believe in him. All children will be delighted to own this book. I can see them coming back, again and again, to have this book read to them. We definitely need more books like this that share the gospel message in such a simple and appealing way.

You can purchase I Believe in Jesus Too, at Deseret Book or at  Amazon.

About the Author:
Mark S. Nielsen is a seminary teacher in Mesa, Arizona, where he lives with his wife, Anne, their children, Mary and Sam, and their dog, Chula. They like to go on road trips, run through the sprinklers, ride their bikes, and pet the stingrays at the zoo. Like millions of people all over the world, they believe in Jesus too. 
 
Parents can visit Mark online at marksnielsen.com
About the Illustrator:
Craig Stapley is an illustrator whose work has appeared in The Friend and Highlights, among other popular magazines. He currently lives in northern Utah with his wife, Crystal, and their four children: Ethan, Kaiden, Logan, and their newest addition, Emily Jean. As a family they enjoy traveling and any activity that they can do together.


***I was given a review copy of this book. In no way did this influence the review that was given.***

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Lovin Giveaway Hop and Review of Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

Welcome to the Summer Lovin Giveaway Hop! 
This hop is sponsered by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
and co-hosted by Tifferz Book Review

 I will be giving away some of the books that I have been lovin reading this summer and summer's in the past. I will have 2 separate giveaways: one for those of you in the USA and the other for International Readers. 


For the USA giveaway I will be giving away either:
Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
Set in nineteenth-century England, Edenbrooke is the story of Marianne Daventry, who is sent to Bath by her father after the untimely death of her mother. When an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a wealth country estate for the summer, it seems like a dream come true. But helping her sister snag the handsome heir of Edenbrooke proves to be more than Marianne bargained for, and before long, Marianne s relaxing summer in the country turns into an adventure full of romance and intrigue.

About the Author:

Julianne Donaldson grew up as the daughter of a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot. She learned how to ski in the Italian Alps, visited East Berlin before the wall came down, and spent three years living next to a 500-year-old castle. After earning a degree in English, she turned her attention to writing about distant times and places. She lives in Utah with her husband and four children. You can find her online at www.juliannedonaldson.com.

My Review:
I LOVED this book! It has one of my favorite romances I have read in a long time! The characters, Marianne and Philip's relationship, reminds me a lot of Mr.Darcy's and Elizabeth's from Pride and Prejudice; except the male protagonist is a lot nicer. His sense of humor drew me to him from the very beginning. I read this book in less than 12 hours. This is fast when you take into account I was also doing laundry, cleaning house, blogging and taking care of my kids. I love a romance with sexual tension (without the sex), intrigue, strong and well written characters, and a beautiful setting as Edenbrooke. This book is Historical Fiction at it's best! I can promise you, once you read this book, you will be recommending it to all of your friends. I am giving it 5 stars on goodreads.
 OR
Dangerous Favor by Joyce DiPastena (Read my review here)

Her father has been accused of stealing from the king, an allegation that has reduced her family to poverty. She has one chance to find and marry a man who can help her prove her father's innocence. Lord Therri, heir to a rich barony, has the wealth and connections Mathilde needs to delve into the mysteries of her father's past. Furthermore, Therri embodies all her romantic dreams.

Etienne, the younger son of a disgraced family, has neither wealth nor connections, but is smitten with Mathilde at a glance. She finds the knight intriguing, but believes he is only out to seduce her. While she seeks for a way to win Therri's attention, Etienne tricks her into granting him her favor, an embroidered white ribbon, for a tournament, setting in motion a dangerous chain reaction of events. Can Etienne save Mathilde from a nightmare from her past and prove himself the true hero of her dreams?
 


  For Internationall Readers I am offering 3 things you can
choose from at the Book Depository:
-Pride and Prejudice (One of my all time favorites!)
 -The Notebook 
-The Princess Bride

Enter using the correct Rafflecoptor form below. Thanks for coming to my blog. What good books have you been reading this Summer? I would love any recommendations.

USA Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

International Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

While you are here, go and enter another giveaway I have going on at my blog. Enter to win a copy of Two For Eternity by Carl Alves. Click here to enter.



Here is a list of all of the blogs participating in the hop. Go visit them!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Blog Tour Review and Giveaway for, Two For Eternity, by Carl Alves

Product Details:

  • Title: Two For Eternity
  • Author: Carl Alves
  •  Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Weaving Dreams Publishing (November 1, 2011)
  • Genre: Fantasy/Historical Fiction/Time Travel
  • ISBN-10: 1937148041
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937148041
  • FYI: FTC I was given a free review copy in exchange for an honest review.







Book Description:
November 1, 2011
Two for Eternity is an historical as well as a contemporary, fantasy thriller that takes many controversial interpretations of history. From ancient Egypt and Babylon, through the time of Christ in Judea, spanning the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and through World War II, Raiken and Vrag engage in inhuman battles of will. Vrag pulls the strings of malevolent leaders, and causes endless destruction and chaos. His immortal counterpart and enemy, Raiken, defends humanity and opposes him at every turn. The stakes have never been higher, as Vrag sets his sights on the destruction of society. The twin brothers battle one last time to settle their score for eternity.
My Review:
 Two For Eternity was by no means a light read. It is the ultimate battle between good and evil.  Two immortal brothers, Raiken (who is good) and Vrag (who is very evil), battle each other from 2640 B.C. through modern day 1981. For any history buff you will be fascinated by this novel and the different time periods shown. It is the ultimate book in time travel, except, they don't travel to a new time until they die and are reborn into another body. There is a lot of action and many scenes of war. You will read about the Hispanolia 1492 A.D. and Norway 984 A.D. with the Vikings. Another favorite time period was when the two brothers were in England, 1942 during World Ward II. 

Carl Alves's writing style keeps the story moving along. The chapters are broken up enough to give you time to digest what has just happened. This book is recommended for older teens and adults who like adventure, action and time travel. Carl has offered a copy of Two for Eternity to one of my lucky readers here at my blog. All that you need to do is: be a GFC follower of my blog and earn a free entry by liking my facebook page. This contest will be open for two weeks (for USA readers only...sorry) when a winner will be chosen using the Rafflecoptor form.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


About the Author:


Carl went to Boston University majoring in Biomedical Engineering. Carl graduated with a BS degree, and has since worked in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries. He later graduated from Lehigh University with an MBA degree. His debut novel "Two For Eternity" was released in 2011 by Weaving Dreams Publishing. His novel "Blood Street" will be published by True Grit Publishing in November, 2012. His short fiction has appeared in various publications such as Sinister City, Alien Skin and Glassfire Anthology. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association and has attended the Penn Writers Conference. You can visit his website at www.carlalves.com.

 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Review of, The Keeper's Calling, by Kelly Nelson




Product Details:

  • Title: The Keeper's Calling
  • Author: Kelly Nelson
  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Walnut Springs Press. (February 20, 2012)
  • Genre: YA Fantasy/romance
  • ISBN-10: 1599928442
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599928449









Book Description:

February 20, 2012 Keeper's Saga (Book 1)
 
They come from two different worlds. One fateful discovery will bring them together. Neither of their lives will ever be the same.

Chase Harper's to-do list for senior year never included fall in love and fight for your life, but things rarely go as planned. Tarnished gold and resembling a pocket watch, the counter he finds in a cave during the summer of 2011 will forever change the course of his life, leading him to the beautiful Ellie Williams and unlocking a power beyond his wildest imagination.

In 1863, Ellie Williams completes school in Boston and returns to the Utah Territory only to discover that her grandfather and his counter, a treasured family heirloom, are missing. When Ellie is abducted and told she must produce the counter or die, an unexpected rescuer comes to her aid.


My Review:
The second I read the back cover and realized that there would be time travel in this book, I was hooked! Some people are skeptical about time travel in novels, but for me it's a sure way to get me to read. Let's just say I liked the device used to time travel and how it was used. But I am getting ahead of myself...
Chase Harper is our protagonist, a normal, 17 year old boy, who plays soccer, and has a girlfriend. Life changes for him while on a camping trip when he finds an old watch in a cave. Immediately, the story moves ahead with a lot of action, as Chase is transported back to 1863 where he meets Ellie. Kelly does a fun job with her two main characters. Though they come from different time periods, they start forming a great connection. The reader picks up on this way before the characters do. 

Here are the main things I really liked about the story:
 -Kelly does an incredible job of writing the POV of a 17 year old male. 
-Very interesting story behind the time travel device and what it means to be a "keeper".
-The story keeps moving throughout without a lot of lagging moments; in other words, it was hard to put down.
-Though the main characters are teenagers, adults will be pulled into the story because of the depth of the plot.

This first book ends well, but still leaves you excited to read the next book in the series. The Keeper's Calling is full of action, angst, and romance as Chase Harper travels through the centuries on his quest of duty and love. Readers will enjoy traveling along with Chase as he forges relationships not bound by time.

**I was given a review copy of The Keeper's Calling by Walnut Springs Press. In no way did this influence the honest review that was given.**


About the Author:
Kelly Nelson was raised in Orem, Utah, and now resides in Cornelius, Oregon, in the heart of the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She enjoys life on a ten-acre horse property with her husband, four children, and, of course, lots of horses. Kelly has a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University. She worked as a certified public accountant for several years before opting to stay home and raise a family. As a young girl, she was an avid reader and had a passion for creative writing. Her travels to England, France, Egypt, Israel, West Indies, Mexico, and across the United States sparked a love of history, adventure, and exotic places. This led to the inspiration behind her debut novel, The Keeper’s Calling, the first book in The Keeper’s Saga.


What Inspired Her to Write The Keeper's Calling:
"When I tell people I wrote a book, many are interested in how the idea for the story came about. The concept for The Keeper’s Calling sprouted during the summer of 2007. I had the rough idea of someone finding a time travel device. It solidified on our trip through Zion National Park when we pulled off the side of the road to take pictures. Being an explorer at heart, I began wandering, climbing down a rocky hillside into a wash. Calling and waving, I convinced my family to abandon the car’s air conditioning to go on a hike. The rock walls rose up on both sides of us, at times so high that we were completely shaded. Kicking through the sand and dragging our fingertips across the rough sandstone, we walked through the narrow wash. When it opened up, I saw a couple of shallow caves in the red sandstone cliffs. Hot, tired, and thirst, everyone else wanted to go back. I was barely getting started; I could have hiked for another hour. We climbed into one of these caves and took a picture. While I walked I began to daydream . . . “What if?” One thing led to another. By the time I went to bed that night, I had daydreamed the events that would compose the first few chapters of my book. "


What About a Second Book?:
"The Keeper’s Quest is scheduled to be released early November 2012. I am busy editing it and look forward to everyone reading the ongoing adventures of Chase and Ellie!"

To learn more about Kelly, please visit her at her website...http://kellynelsonauthor.com/



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