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 »

2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Nothing Named Silas by Steve Westover-Blog Tour Review





Product Description:
Title: NOTHING NAMED SILAS
Author:STEVE WESTOVER
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Series: Fantasy series
Source: Received a review Kindle copy in exchange for an honest review.
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc. (September 10, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1462111653
  • ISBN-13: 978-1462111657





Book Description:
"You are here because the Citizens put you here to serve them and because the Regents choose to control your lives."

In the not-so-distant future, workers are forcibly drafted into their fields. With all their choices made for them, the workers must do what they’re told or face severe consequences. When Labor chooses Silas, the tyrannical Labor Regent is determined to make him a public example of her complete control. He is humiliated, manipulated, and isolated during his first week under the Shield, and the people who show him kindness only help him because they have ulterior motives.
But the Regent is not the only one pulling Silas’s strings. The mysterious Gideon wants to mold him into a hero, a champion of the oppressed people. And a strange girl seems to be guiding him to find out more about the Citizens they serve. Through it all, no one bothers to ask Silas what he wants to do. Because, after all, he doesn’t have any rights. He doesn’t really exist.
Wade through twisted government conspiracies and deeply buried secrets alongside Silas as he learns to choose for himself—and discovers the cost of freedom.

My Review:  
This Dystopian novel is one that really shook me up. There is a lot of deep thinking going on for the reader. We first meet 16 year old Silas who is running the race of a lifetime-literally. The outcome of this race will determine "who" he becomes and what society he will live in. He was trained to be part of the "Command" society and be a leader. The race ends badly for him and he ends up in the lowest society possible, "Labor". Once there, he is in for a world of degradation and humiliation. He is constantly tested physically, mentally, and emotionally. Silas is always wondering who he should trust, and for good reasons. Two different "groups" of people want him to work for them and both have their own motives at play. There is definitely a political undertone found in this novel. There is a slight love interest here, but it has more action and suspense than some of the other dystopian novels out there today.

Though this book is listed as a YA (young adult) book, I highly recommend that only teens over the age of 16+ read this novel, along with adults.  Some of the scenes may be too harsh for anyone younger, due to some violence and methods of degradation. This book is very well written and will bring out many emotions in the reader. I know it did exactly that for me. Some of the things that happened stunned me, but also made me look at life differently. If you are looking for an action packed and thought provoking book, A Nothing Named Silas will fully satisfy you.

Purchase this book HERE.




Meet the Author:



Steve Westover lives in a small Midwestern town with his wife and four kids. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Political Science and currently works in banking.
Steve also has a middle-grade fantasy series with two books released to date: Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island (March 2012) and Crater Lake: Return of the Mystic Gray (Apr. 2013). Steve has also published two FBI thrillers: Defensive Tactics (Aug. 2010) and the sequel, Gold Clash (Dec. 2012). To learn more about Steve, visit his website, www.stevewestover.com.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rocky Road: A Culinary Mystery by Josi S. Kilpack-Blog Tour Review and Giveaway

 
rocky road

Rocky RoadProduct Details

  • Title: Rocky Road
  • Author: Josi S. Kilpack
  • Series: Culinary Mysteries
  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Shadow Mountain (September 10, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609075935
  • FTC, FYI: I was given a review PDF copy in exchange for an honest review. 

 Book Description
THE ST. GEORGE SPECTRUM: "Dr. Trenton Hendricks was last seen Friday, April 8, when he set out alone on a backpacking trip. Hendricks's Jeep Grand Cherokee was located Tuesday at the Chuckwalla Trailhead, but after six days and thousands of man-hours, the official search has been called off. He is presumed to be deceased." It was supposed to be a girls' weekend in scenic St. George, Utah, that would include shopping, trying out the local cuisine, and participating in a breast cancer fund-raiser. The fact that one of the organizers of the fund-raising event, a local doctor, had disappeared two months before was not supposed to be Sadie's problem. When Sadie learns that her friend Caro and Caro's cousin, Tess, have started a grassroots investigation into Dr. Hendricks's disappearance, Sadie graciously refused to be a part of it. With her wedding to plan and her most recent case still fresh in her mind, Sadie is determined to leave this case to the police--until she meets the ex-wife of the missing man. How could she not ask a few questions . . . that lead to more questions . . . that lead to a small town and even more questions! When the local police ask her to be their eyes and ears, Sadie can't help but jump in with both feet. Before she knows it, she is on the rocky road of another investigation, following a convoluted trail of good intentions, hidden motivations, and philanthropy turned big business.

 Excerpt from Rocky Road:

“Sadie’s been in here questioning her the whole time.” She pointed at Lori for emphasis and Sadie felt her face heating up in reaction to the accusation.

“Questioning me?” Lori looked at Sadie again.

“I was not questioning her,” Sadie explained while glancing between them, “we were just . . . talking.”

“About Dr. H,” Tess said accusingly.

“Well, yeah, and other things, but –”

“Wait.” Lori put up her hand, looking somewhat cornered. They all went quiet. “What are you talking about?”

“Sadie’s an investigator, didn’t she tell you that?”

Sadie didn’t know what to say. Tess was making Sadie look like she’d been deceptive, which she hadn’t been. The conversation had just . . . evolved of its own accord. Okay, maybe she’d guided it a little bit but there was so much more to it than that and she felt cheapened by the way Tess was pouncing on this circumstances she wasn’t even trying to understand.


 My Review
I have read the first nine books in the series, and I have really liked all of them. Main character Sadie Hoffmiller is someone I could be good friends with. After reading all of the books in the series, you do feel like you are back with an old friend.

In Rocky Road, Sadie is a more restrained Sadie than we have ever seen before. It isn't too long after her adventure in Alaska and becoming engaged. Speaking  of that, I truly missed the hunky, strong and silent type, Pete Cunningham in this story. I kept thinking he would show up, but he never did. I can't wait for the next book when he will return. Sadie was on her own, and performed her super sleuthing ways quite well. Sadie does have the help of her friend Caro(who wasn't too bad with her own investigative skills) and a new policeman, Officer Nielson, who shows a lot of faith and confidence in Sadie. I really liked this new male character. Tess, Caro's cousin, she wasn't to my liking and seemed very immature.

The action is toned down in this book, but the mind games are there aplenty. There are also twists and turns that will continually lead you astray, just when you think you have figured things out, surprise you're wrong! The recipes in this book are off the charts, including the barbacoa pork salad that I love from Cafe Rio.  

As I've said before about this series, many of these books can be read alone, but I STRONGLY suggest you read the others first in the order written. You will understand Sadie better and how she ticks. I love this series and I'm always excited when the next one will be coming out. 

This book has more Christian themes than other Sadie books, and some violence, but nothing graphic. Rocky Road will take you on another fun ride, where a more sensible and confident Sadie takes the wheel  steering the way to another exciting read.
   
 
Author Josi S. Kilpack 
Born and raised in Salt Lake City Utah, I met my husband in high-school--well, he wasn't my husband then, just the cute guy in weight training with the permed mullet--and we married in 1993. I wrote my first book while on bed rest with my third child and have gone on to publish 20 novels, the most recent being part of The Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series. I currently live in Willard, Utah with my husband, children, and cat.  
 
Read the other books in the series: 
Culinary Mysteries by Josi Kilpack
culinary mysteries
  Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/6/13   Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Wanted by Kathi Oram Peterson-Review and Guest Post from Author

Product Description:
Title: Wanted

Author: Kathi Oram Peterson

Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.

Published: May 2013

ISBN: 978-1-62108-415-0

FTC FYI: Received a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 Book Description:

Rodeo veterinarian Jo Powers is accustomed to operating under pressure—but nothing could have prepared her for the shocking discovery of the armed and bleeding escaped convict hiding in her truck. Even more disconcerting is the fact that Jo knows the man in the prison jumpsuit. Jo’s split-second decision to use her medical skill to save this man’s life is just the beginning, because now he needs her help to uncover the truth. Seven years ago, Branson Faulkner was accused of a murder he claims he didn’t commit. With the hope of finding new evidence to prove his innocence, he’s risked everything to clear his name and reclaim his life—but he can’t do it alone. Jo agrees to help, even though she isn’t completely sure Faulkner is innocent. Now, as Faulkner and Jo conduct their investigation, they discover an alarming connection between a string of homicides, and one truth is clear: there’s a murderer on the loose who will stop at nothing to cover his tracks.




 My Review:
 Wanted is another phenomenal book written by Author Kathi Oram Peterson. I have never been disappointed with anything I have read from this author. She knows how to immediately draw you into the story and never lets the storyline drag. You are hooked and trying so hard to figure out who the bad guys are. Readers will get twisted and turned into so many directions that everyone looks a little bit guilty. 

She writes such great characters whether they are the good or bad guys. I loved Jo Powers and her strong spirit and determination to do the right thing. I also couldn't help but fall for convicted murderer and Jo's ex-husband Branson Faulkner. There is something about him that makes you want to believe in his innocence. There are many characters, Lance, Denny, Edward and even the Sheriff, that the author leads you to believe could be involved in several murders. I had ideas of who could have been involved, but I was still surprised at the end by who was involved and why.

I loved the western flavor found in this book, along with veterinarian Jo's love for the many animals(A wolf, deer, and skunk to name a few) that she has saved. I also loved the rich descriptions of the gorgeous Idaho wilderness. With the unending suspense, the romantic tension and the realistic telling of Idaho country life, this book is a true winner.  


As I was visiting Kathi's blog, I was so excited to find that she had posted pictures from where her book is based in Idaho. I'm an Idaho gal myself and love the beauty that can be found in that state. I wanted to share the pictures and what Kathi had to say about visiting the places where you base your novel.

"Last week I had the good fortune to find myself standing on the north bank of the Snake River beneath Table Rock Mountain. Isn't it beautiful? This is one of my favorite spots in the world, and where I set some scenes in my novel, Wanted.

Here's another view of the mountain from across the river. In Wanted, Jo, one of the main characters, rides her horse to the top of the mountain and looks down at the river and valley below as she tries to find answers to her father's untimely death.

Standing beneath the mountain last week, I longed to be on top looking down just like Jo did.

But I wasn't there for research or to recreate my novel. I was there for a family reunion. See my mother was born across the river from Table Rock Mountain. I have visited the area many times and  know it pretty well. 

As I stood there taking in the scenery, smelling river grass and hearing tree leaves flutter in the breeze overhead, I wished that my readers could have been there with me. I tried my best to paint the scene with words, but it's not the same as being there.

The Snake River is as wild and impressive as I remembered. It looks shallow here because the water is so clear, but farther out there are sinkholes and rapids that are scary even in a boat.

(Side note: My mother and her brothers and sisters had to row across that river twice a day to go to school. When I was a kid and complained about walking a couple of blocks, Mom would remind me that it could be worse.)

There are many advantages to setting scenes in your novel in places you've been and know well.
  1. Your descriptions come alive.
  2. You're able to feel emotions your characters would have from their surroundings.
  3. And you can give attention to details that will add authenticity to your story.
I'm sure there are other reasons.

Why do you think setting a novel in places you've been can be a good thing?

Don't get me wrong. I do believe an author can write amazing stories without actually visiting where they have set their books. The reason they can do that is they have done extensive research. However, visiting the actual setting makes writing about it much easier. Take it from a writer who has done both."


 
 Such wonderful advice from such an amazing author!


Purchase Wanted @: Amazon | Deseret Book | Seagull Book




Meet the Author: Kathi Oram Peterson


Raised in southeastern Idaho, Kathi Oram Peterson developed a love for the Snake River that winds through much of the region. She spent many happy adventures with family and friends swimming, boating, and fishing on the river. Though she now resides in Salt Lake City, she returns to the Snake River Valley often for vacations. When her children finished school, Kathi finished her English degree at the University of Utah. She worked for several years, writing and editing children's books for a curriculum publisher. Upon leaving the workforce, she turned her attention to writing novels. Setting a romantic-suspense novel in Idaho with the river she loves came naturally.

Go visit Kathi here:
 
Photobucket

Friday, September 20, 2013

My Own Mr. Darcy by Karey White-Blog Tour and Giveaway

My Own Tour
   
Product Description:
Title: My Own Mr. Darcy

Author: Karey White

Publisher: self

Published: July 15th, 2013

ISBN13: 9781490537269

Paperback: 220 pages


Genre: Romantic Comedy

FTC FYI: I received an ePub copy in exchange for an honest review.
 





 Book Description:My Own Mr. Darcy 
After being dragged to the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice by her mother, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth’s life changes when Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy appears on the screen. Lizzie falls hard and makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. This ill-advised pledge threatens to ruin any chance of finding true love. During the six intervening years, she has refused to give any interested suitors a chance. They weren’t Mr. Darcy enough. Coerced by her roommate, Elizabeth agrees to give the next interested guy ten dates before she dumps him. That guy is Chad, a kind and thoughtful science teacher and swim coach. While she’s dating Chad, her dream comes true in the form of a wealthy bookstore owner named Matt Dawson, who looks and acts like her Mr. Darcy. Of course she has to follow her dream. But as Elizabeth simultaneously dates a regular guy and the dazzling Mr. Dawson, she’s forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place. 

Excerpt from My Own Mr. Darcy:

Courtney’s window became available before mine but instead of stepping up to her window, Mr. Dawson turned to the woman behind him and indicated she should go next. He was choosing my window on purpose. My heart did a clumsy somersault.


I finished with my customer and Mr. Dawson stepped forward. I unfolded the slip of paper with the pink lizard at the top and began filling his request.

“Your name is Elizabeth?” he said.


“It is.”

“Is that what people call you?”

“Some do. Some people call me Lizzie.”

“What would you prefer I call you?”

I lost track of the bills I was counting. This was a significant question and I wanted to answer it right.

What did Mr. Darcy call Elizabeth? I needed time to think. Even though I’d watched Pride and Prejudice a million times my mind was malfunctioning and I couldn’t remember if he used the more formal Elizabeth or the more casual and intimate Lizzie? I certainly couldn’t suggest he call me his pearl. We didn’t even know each other.


Since I couldn’t remember and Mr. Dawson was standing there waiting for an answer, I blurted out my best guess.

“You can call me Elizabeth.”

Great. Now he’d think I was trying to keep things more formal? I had to stop analyzing every little thing and count the money.


“Elizabeth, how long do you have for lunch?” I stopped counting again and looked at him. “Lunch, Elizabeth. I assume you take a lunch?”

“Um, yes. I do. I have an hour.”

“What time is your lunch hour?”

“I go from 12:30 to 1:30.”

“I’m planning to order sandwiches for lunch today and wondered if you’d come to the bookstore and join me.”


I gaped at him. Was he teasing me? “Sandwiches? Today? At the bookstore?” Had I really just repeated everything he’d said? He was going to think I was a moron. I was starting to think the same thing.


“Yes, I’m inviting you to lunch. Today. At the bookstore.”

“Okay, sure. That would be nice.” I finally finished counting the money and placed it in the bank bag.

“I’ll see you at 12:30,” he said. 
 My Review:
I love Pride and Prejudice anything, so I was looking forward to reading My Own Mr. Darcy. The main character, Elizabeth(Lizzie) Barrett developed an infatuation for Mr. Darcy after seeing the movie version of Pride and Prejudice. She wanted her own Mr. Darcy that looked and acted exactly like Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcyin the movie.(Personally I love Collin Firth's Mr. Darcy and the BBC 6 hour version!) From the ages of 16-22 she never became serious with anyone, not even going on a second date with a guy because of her obsession. with Mr. Darcy. 

The story moves along with her roommate "forcing" her to go on at least 10 dates with a guy Lizzie meets at a grocery store. Lizzie really isn't interested, but starts dating Chad. Now I LOVED Chad so much! I'm sure that the author wrote Chad's character so appealing to show the difference between him and the Mr. Darcy look-alike, Matt Dawson that she meets at her job as a bank teller. Matt is everything at first that Lizzie had been looking for. I didn't like Matt and his arrogant and demeaning attitude. Even with the way he treats Lizzie, she still can't give up her dream of falling in love with her own Mr. Darcy. There were many times I wanted to shake Lizzie to open up her eyes and mind.

 My favorite parts of the story are when Lizzie and Chad are doing things together. They have such a sweet love story...until Matt shows up on the scene. Without saying anything more, I can say that Lizzie learns a lot from her experience with Matt and Chad. She finds out what her heart truly wants. There are many humorous scenes and scenes that will make your blood boil (One with Matt's parents is very annoying.) Overall, this book was a cute, fast read for all lovers of the original Pride and Prejudice. 



Purchase My Own Mr. Darcy for a special price!

My-Own-Darcy-SALE-copy

Meet: Author Karey White 
karey
Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist. She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.  

  Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/8/13 a Rafflecopter giveaway Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Book Blast and $50 GIveaway for Rocky Road by Josi S. Kilpack

Rocky Road
  Book Description: Rocky Road 
It was supposed to be a girls’ weekend in scenic St. George, Utah that would include shopping, trying out the local cuisine, and participating in a breast cancer fundraiser. The fact that one of the organizers of the fundraising event, a local doctor, disappeared two months ago was not supposed to be Sadie’s problem. In fact, she refuses to participate in the grassroots investigation her friend Caro, and Caro’s cousin, Tess, have put together prior to her arrival. But then she meets the ex-wife of the missing doctor. How could she not ask a few questions . . . that lead to a few more questions . . . that lead to a small town and yet even more questions. Before she knows it, Sadie is in the middle of yet another murder investigation and trying to piece together a convoluted trail of good intentions, hidden motivations, and philanthropy turned big business.
 
Author Josi S. Kilpack 
Born and raised in Salt Lake City Utah, I met my husband in high-school--well, he wasn't my husband then, just the cute guy in weight training with the permed mullet--and we married in 1993. I wrote my first book while on bed rest with my third child and have gone on to publish 20 novels, the most recent being part of The Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series. I currently live in Willard, Utah with my husband, children, and cat.  
  rocky road
Culinary Mysteries by Josi Kilpack
culinary mysteries
   
BookBlast Giveaway 
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/6/13   Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Book Blast for Runabouts by P.J.Jenkins and $25 Amazon GC/Paypal Giveaway

380004_bt Banner Ad_L1
Join P.J. Jenkins, author of the parenting/bullying book, Runabouts, as she tours the blogosphere September 9 - September 20 on her first Book Blast with Pump Up Your Book! P.J. will be giving away a $25 Amazon GC/Paypal Cash to one lucky winner! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form on the participating blogs below and good luck! If you would like to host P.J., please email Tracee at tgleichner (at) gmail.com.
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RunaboutsABOUT RUNABOUTS

Runabouts is a story about friends having fun together, as well as dealing with unpleasant situations. Sunny is a very good friend and tries to make sure that his friends are not taken advantage of by bullies. He also shows us how we can make choices for our own behavior even if others don't want to change their behavior. Sunny could leave Sharky stuck in the mud or he could choose to help him. What would you do? Enjoy the fun of zooming through the water and feeling the water spray over your face. I hope it will make you anxious to enjoy the water and warm weather just like Sunny.

Purchase your copy:

authorhouse

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ABOUT P.J. JENKINS

I’m married and have two daughters, and seven and a half grandchildren. We enjoy spending time with our grandchildren and love to take them for rides on our boat. We are lucky to live in Michigan where lakes are plentiful as well as beautiful. I taught elementary school for over 35 years. Reading books is such a joy for children. Life often brings problems dealing with different kinds of people, and children need to now that they choose how they want to behave regardless of what others do. I hope they can see other options as well as enjoy a fun story.

Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash!

Terms and Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins September 9 - September 20.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Saturday September 21, 2013.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
book blast schedule
Monday, September 9
Tuesday, September 10
Wednesday, September 11
Thursday, September 12
Friday, September 13
Monday, September 16
Tuesday, September 17
Wednesday, September 18
Thursday, September 19
Friday, September 20
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Pump Up Your Book

Monday, September 16, 2013

Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson-Blog Tour Review and Giveaway





 Product Description:
Title: Blackmoore
Author: Julianne Donaldson
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Publication Date: September 2013
Genre: Regency Romance
Book Brand: A Proper Romance
FTC, FYI: I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.













 Book Description:
Kate Worthington knows her heart and she knows she will never marry. Her plan is to travel to India instead—if only to find peace for her restless spirit and to escape the family she abhors. But Kate’s meddlesome mother has other plans. She makes a bargain with Kate: India, yes, but only after Kate has secured—and rejected—three marriage proposals.

Kate journeys to the stately manor of Blackmoore determined to fulfill her end of the bargain and enlists the help of her dearest childhood friend, Henry Delafield. But when it comes to matters of love, bargains are meaningless and plans are changeable. There on the wild lands of Blackmoore, Kate must face the truth that has kept her heart captive. Will the proposal she is determined to reject actually be the one thing that will set her heart free?

Set in Northern England in 1820, Blackmoore is a Regency romance that tells the story of a young woman struggling to learn how to follow her heart. It is Wuthering Heights meets Little Women with a delicious must-read twist
.




My Review:
This book is part of Shadow Mountain’s Proper Romance line, which they are marketing as a clean romance line.
Julianne truly knows how to write a beautiful romance. I loved her first published book, Edenbrooke. It was at the top of my favorite reads of 2012. Blackmoore is going to be at the top of my favorite reads for 2013. One of the ways I judge a book is how I felt after reading it. Well, I felt absolute joy and fulfillment! It would be best to describe reading Blackmoore as, taking a long, emotional journey, with many twists and turns, and finally happily arriving at your destination finding all is well.

 Julianne's writing can only be described as lyrical.  So many times the words you are reading feel like a beautiful Serenade that is being played. Here is an example from one of my favorite chapters. 

( And then, a new sound, and I felt Carson go still beside me. I looked at Henry, with wide eyes, as the air was filled with a high haunting song. A piercing, downward spiral of notes that ended in melancholy before beginning again and again.
      "There he is." Carson whispered. "Woodlark."
I closed my eyes and breathed deeply and let the birdsong fill my soul with melancholy and heartache and beauty. And when it ended, I pressed a hand to my chest, making sure my heart was still in one piece, before opening my eyes. I had to blink away tears, and I turned my head to see Henry, to make sure he had heard it too.
       Henry was watching me, and I saw in his eyes the same thing I felt in my own heart. I saw the heartache and beauty.
      He leaned toward me, and his breath brushed my neck, sending a shiver down my spine as he whispered in my ear, "What do you think of your birdsong?"
      I paused, feeling my heart swell with so much emotion I wondered how I would be able to contain it all. "It was..." I shook my head. "It was the most hauntingly beautiful thing I have ever heard."
     His gaze swept over my face, his eyes looking like a reflection of my heart, all dammed emotion threatening to overflow. "Yes," he said, his voice low, only for my ears. "Hauntingly beautiful." He reached up and brushed away the hair that had fallen over my eyes, with a gentle touch and a familiarity that awakened and startled me. "That is exactly what I was thinking." )
  
It is amazing to me how she can convey so much emotion with just one touch from a character. It is this way throughout the whole book.

Kate/Kitty/Katherine is a wonderful character. She is hurting from the lack of family love. She has a horrid mother and selfish sisters and a father that is emotionally not there. Her younger brother is the only redeeming family member. Kate is searching to break free of the confinement of her situation at home. Her only beauty in life is found in her friendship with her friend, Henry. I also loved everything about Henry, especially with his choices to stand strong and firm at the end. Kate undergoes many changes in the book.
Kate's feelings and inner strength slowly unfolds like petals of a blooming rose.


Suffice it to say, but I loved Blackmoore! This is a 5 star book, with a romance that will linger with you for a long time. You must read this book and be carried away to Regency England and the ocean surrounded moors. I know I will be revisiting Blackmoore again and again.


September e-books Pricing:



Edenbrooke: $1.99

Blackmoore: $7.99


Meet the Author:

Julianne Donaldson
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.

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You have a chance to win an  e-copy of Blackmoore!! I'm so excited for Shadow Mountain to offer this to you. This is opened to all readers of my blog.



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Friday, September 13, 2013

Janitors 3: Curse of the Broomstaff by Tyler Whitesides-Blog Tour Review


Product Description
Title: Janitors, Book 3: Curse of the Broomstaff

Author: Tyler Whitesides

Page Count: 343 (quick, fun, easy read)

Genre: Mid-Grade Fantasy
ISBN-10: 1609076052
FTC, FYI: I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.


Book Description:
Janitors, Book 3: Curse of the Broomstaff

 

A secret society of Janitors with wizard-like powers continue their battle, and now, the stakes are even higher. The Bureau of Educational Maintenance is after Alan Zumbro and this time they mean business, deadly business. Spencer, Daisy, and their little team of rebels must find the source of all magical Glop and destroy it before it can destroy the world as we know it. No small task with the BEM and their monster toxites at their heels. It s a wild and dangerous ride as they follow the trail of clues all the way to the hiding place of the mysterious aurans: guardians of a secret landfill. What they discover there will change the way Spencer sees himself, not to mention the fate of the rebels.

 


If you haven't read the first two books in the Janitors series, here is a short synopsis of them.


 
Janitors, Book 1

 

No one takes Spencer Zumbro seriously when he tried to warn his classmates about the mysterious things prowling the halls and classrooms of Welcher Elementary School. But when he sees Marv, the janitor, going after one of the creatures with a vacuum, he knows he's not the only one who can see them.


With the help of his new friends, Daisy, Spencer has to find out what the janitors know. The children's search uncovers the magic taking place behind the scenes of their seemingly ordinary school, where a battle is being waged for the minds of the students. Who can be trusted – and can Spencer and Daisy protect their school and possibly the world?



Janitors, Book 2: Secrets of New Forest Academy


No one takes Spencer Zumbro seriously when he tries to warn his classmates about the mysterious things prowling the halls and classrooms of Welcher Elementary School. But when he sees Marv, the janitor, going after one of the creatures with a vacuum, he knows he's not the only one who can see them. With the help of his new friend, Daisy, Spencer has to find out what the janitors know. The children's search uncovers the magic taking place behind the scenes of their seemingly ordinary school, where a battle is being waged for the minds of the students. Who can be trusted – and can Spencer and Daisy protect their school and possibly the world?

 My Review:
Janitors has become one of my favorite Middle Grade series. As a teacher, I'm often asked by students and parents what books/series I recommend they read. Janitors is one that I highly recommend and often do. 

There is so much to love about this third book. ( I also strongly advise you read the first two books in the series because it will make your read so much more enjoyable.) The main characters, sixth-graders Spencer and Daisy, have grown into their roles as true heroes and rebel fighters. They prove over and over again how much they have learned, and save the day quite often in this book. They are awesome using their magical weapons/tools: flying brooms, Glopified mops,and plungers. The action escalates in book three and is as messy as ever. (This is in reference to the world's greatest school cafeteria food fight!)

What is truly funny is the message from the author at the beginning of the book. 

"Dear Reader,
  Here it is: the third installment in the JANITORS series. And I must admit, this is definitely the trashiest book I've ever written. No, literally. This book is full of garbage.
This time, our young heroes must venture deep into an enchanted landfill. They will battle heaps of living garbage and hike through distorted trashscapes as they discover a mysterious group of kids living among the refuse, harboring a centuries-old secret that could save the future of education. As you can see, I take garbage very seriously."

It is so true! Poor Spencer who hates germs and getting dirty has his hands full. I loved all of the new characters and creatures that were introduced. Taylor really hiked up the intensity of the action and suspense. It was also a plus to see more interaction between Spencer and his father Alan. I think they both learned a lot in this adventure about themselves and each other. 

As with the other books, the ending leaves you wanting more with Spencer's new title and mission. What is that title and new mission? I'm not saying anything, except that you need to read Janitors Book 3: Curse of the Broomstaff to find the answer.  With engaging and bright characters, beefed-up energy and action, and written especially for elementary age kids, (Even though teens and Adults will love the books too!) the Janitors series needs to be put on your children's to-read list today. Speaking of....


The digital books are on sale – yes, the ebooks! Shadow Mountain has Amazon.com specials running throughout September with the Janitors series.

Book One                   $0.99

Book Two                  $1.99

Book Three                $7.99




I hope this is exciting for you, too! These are great prices on all of the books. 




Meet the Author: Tyler Whitesides

 Tyler Whitesides worked as a janitor at an elementary school to put himself through college. He graduated from Utah State University with a degree in music. In addition to writing novels, Tyler is an avid composer and arranger of instrumental music. He and his wife, Connie, who teaches third grade, live in northern Utah. Find out more about Tyler and his books here at http://www.tylerwhitesides.com

Tyler talks here about where he got his idea for the books.


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