Friday, March 26, 2010
"Behold the Lamb of God": An Easter Celebration (Hard Cover Book) Edited by Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, Frank F. Judd Jr., and Thomas A. Wayment
Followers of Jesus Christ since the beginning have referred to their Savior as the Lamb of God. While down by the river Jordan, John the Baptist was baptizing those who desired to follow the Savior.
When the Savior approached the Baptist, John declared, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). After John baptized Jesus, he bore record "that he had baptized the Lamb of God" (1 Nephi 10:10). The next day, when John and two of his disciples saw Jesus, the Baptist again proclaimed, "Behold the Lamb of God!" (John 1:36). Featuring beautiful artwork, this volume celebrates the life and sacrifice of the Lamb of God.
My First Story of the First Easter (Board Book) retold by Deanna Draper Buck, illustrated by Jerry Harston
Here is a wonderful way to introduce your little ones to the real meaning of Easter.
Written in language that can be understood by young readers or read aloud to preschoolers, My First Story of the First Easter tells the stories of the Last Supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, and Christ's appearance to the Nephites, explaining the Atonement and Resurrection in simple, understandable terms.
Parents, grandparents, and teachers will welcome this newest addition to their child's gospel library.
Easter Walk: A Treasure Hunt for the Real Meaning of Easter (Hard Cover Book) Written by Deborah Race Rowley, illustrated by Dan Burr
Follow Tyler and Amy as they take a much-anticipated Easter walk with their grandpa. Using clues from the scriptures, they find six objects that symbolize specific moments in the Easter story.
For example, they find something sharp to remind them of the Savior's crown of thorns and something made of wood to remind them of the cross. As they walk, they learn important lessons about Easter and its particular message for their family, and yours.
This touching story beautifully illustrates the importance of the Savior's Atonement and Resurrection as it helps us remember the true meaning of Easter. It teaches the eternal truth that families can be together forever.
The Gift of the Atonement: Favorite Writings on the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ by Various Authors
In this unique collection, some of the most important and inspirational writings from Church leaders and other beloved writer's about Christ's great atoning sacrifice have been assembled. Each chapter increases our understanding of this extraordinary and marvelous event, offering insights on the plan of salvation, grace and repentance, and resonates with gospel truth.
Presented as a beautiful gift book to share with family and friends, the pages of this small treasure are filled with hope and reassurance. The Gift of the Atonement will urge readers to embrace the Savior's invitation to follow Him and claim the wondrous blessings of exaltation.
"In the gift of his Son hath God prepared a more excellent way." -Ether 12:11
The Gift of the Atonement includes favorite writings from:
Melvin J. Ballard, Ezra Taft Benson, Tad R. Callister, J. Reuben Clark Jr., Sheri Dew, Marie Hafen, Patricia T. Holland, Howard W. Hunter, Ardeth G. Kapp, Spencer W. Kimball, Janet Lee, Gerald N. Lund, Truman G. Madsen, W. Jeffrey Marsh, Bruce R. McConkie, Joseph Fielding McConkie, David O. McKay, Robert L. Millet, Hugh Nibley, Chieko N. Okazaki, Stephen E. Robinson, Marion G. Romney, James E. Talmage, John Taylor, Brent L. Top, Wendy L. Watson, Orson F. Whitney, . . . and others.
In the Garden (Hard Cover Book) by Caralyn Buhner, Illustrated by Brandon Dorman
What happened in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross are difficult things for anyone to grasp, especially children.
Did Jesus fell a lot of pain? Was he all alone? Why did he have to go through that experience? How did he die? When was he resurrected? And why is all of this important to me?
True to the sciptural accounts, this tender and inspiring book follows Jesus in his journey from the Passover to the Garden of Gethsemane and from Golgotha to the Resurrection. Beautifully written and illustrated, it will help children better comprehend the most significant events in the history of the world - the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and his becoming the Savior of the World.
Though this is a very short list of Easter books that are available, these are the ones that caught my eye. If you are interested in any of them or other books about Easter, you can find them at these websites or at the actual bookstores. The most important thing is to make The Savior the center of our Easter celebration. These books are one way to help us in doing so.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
I know that this is a little late in coming, but I have a winner of the book, " Love Your Body: A Diet-Free Approach to Balanced Eating by Brooke Parker. I used "The Hat" a random way to draw a winner out of a virtual hat. The winner is...L.T. Elliot! Congratulations on being the winner of this wonderful book. I know I have been reading my copy and finding it very useful. Please e-mail me your address and I will get your copy to you! Thanks to those who participated in the drawing.
Monday, March 22, 2010
My friend Taffy has a fun challenge going on over at her blog. If you go and comment on her blog post, she will donate $1.00 to her local library.
Here is what she says:
"How easy could it be? You comment, I cough up the money, the library gets a gift! If you don’t know what to say in your comment, “I love libraries” will do. Note that my pledge is “per commenter”—so if a single person leaves 50 comments, that still only counts once! But you can do more by spreading the word ... please link to this post, tweet about it, and send your friends here so they can comment and raise more money. If you’re moved to make a flat-fee donation to your library, or to start your own challenge, you are quite welcome, and please leave that information in the comments."
So, please head on over to Taffy's Candy HERE and help her in her library challenge to raise money for her library.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Michele Ashman Bell, known for her wonderful, clean romances, has written a super young adult novel. The way that Michele describes it is, a riches to rags story. This is the first novel Michele has written for the new Valor Publishing Group.
Here is what "Summer in Paris" is about...
Feeling like she's been sentenced to three months in Hickville Prison, Kenzie arrives in Idaho feeling like a square peg, with name brand clothes, in a round, horribly podunk, hole.
Leaving everything she loves behind, Kenzie is forced to get up at the crack of dawn, do chores, and hang out with her cousin's loser friends. She feels like she's about to die until she meets Adam White, the town outcast, whose been accused of killing his best friend and is being blamed for some trouble that's been happening around town.
Not only is Adam the best-looking guy she's ever seen, but he's also the most fascinating guy she's ever met and Kenzie is determined to get to know him and find out his secret. But, the longer she stays in Paris, the more she realizes, Adam isn't the only one keeping secrets.
I really enjoyed reading "Summer in Paris". It was especially fun to read because I have been to that area several times. I know what a small and quaint community it is. To someone like Kenzie moving there from the big city, you could see how shocking it would be.
I liked Kenzie from the beginning. She may appear bratty at first to readers, but I felt like she was a product of the way that she was raised and knew nothing else. Kenzie is thrown into a situation that she had no control over, so you can see why she probably acted the way she did when first arriving in Paris, Idaho.
Another aspect that I loved about the story is how so many of the characters truly grow into better people. Surprisingly, Kenzie has a lot to do with the growth of her new friends. Not only does Kenzie develop into a caring and thoughtful young lady, but she helps others along the way.
I know that my 12 year old daughter can't wait to read this novel. She kept peeking over my shoulder when I would start laughing about something. Even though this book was mainly written for teens, as an adult,it made me think about myself. Many times in our lives we are thrown into a situation where we have no control over what has happened to us. The critical part is how we react or respond to the events in our lives. As Kenzie was going through certain "trials" in her life, I thought of how I would have responded or have reacted in my own life. Kenzie learns ultimately what is truly important in life. This idea is presented in the novel in a good way and not preachy at all. I know that you and your kids/grand kids will enjoy reading "Summer in Paris".
I had the great privilege to interview the very sweet and kind Michele Ashman Bell. I hope that you will enjoy reading the answers that she gave to me.
1. What was your inspiration for writing, "Summer in Paris"?
I got the idea when we drove through the town of Paris, Idaho. Because of the name my imagination started going crazy with possibilities. I wanted to write a "riches to rags" story and this became the perfect venue. My favorite books are ones where the main character goes through some sort of life crisis and experiences major growth as a person. This is what happens to the Kenzie, the main character. She's not someone you love at the beginning, but hopefully by the end she's won your heart because she finally realizes what's really important in life.
2. Is the main character Kenzie based on someone you know? Maybe a daughter
Kenzie is a composite of many different people, and a lot of my imagination. Her love of dance is definitely from my middle daughter, her love of name brand clothes and shoes and shopping is from my oldest daughter, and her attitude is something I picked up while working for years with young women. To be a dancer she had to have a slim build, but I wanted to make sure I promoted a healthy image.
3. I know that you have a daughter that is a wonderful dancer. Did you
consult with her on some of the scenes where Kenzie was practicing ballet?
Absolutely. She wouldn't have let me hear the end of it if I didn't get the ballet scene and references exactly right. I actually interviewed her about how a class is structured and about how it feels to dance, not just physically, but emotionally. It was cool to get inside her head and heart and feel her passion. A person doesn't achieve that level of dance if they don't love it with all of their heart.
4. Do you enjoy writing more for teenagers or for adults?
Both. I can't choose. I still feel and act like a teenager most of the time and I still vividly remember the angst and drama and excitement of being a teenager. It is not hard for me to connect with a teen character and really get inside of them. But, womens issues are very close to my heart and I love to explore emotions and motivations for people and their actions and choices. I am such an advocate of empowering women and giving them strong characters who overcome great obstacles in life. Every one of my main characters is my hero!
5. Where do you do most of your writing? How much writing do you try to get
done each day?
The majority of my writing is done in my office in the basement. I have this little room without any windows and that is where I do my work. I get distracted so easily that I find I am more focused when I shut myself in my office and get lost in my story. I am lucky if I get one to two hours a day. Between family, church callings (I have two), book reviews, and teaching aerobics, that's about all I can squeeze in.
6. Why did you choose the Bear Lake/Paris Idaho area for your book's
setting? My Dad was born in that area and I have many ancestors buried in
the cemetery there.My ancestors were some of the first white, Mormon
settlers in the area. It was fun for me to read the book.
You are so lucky to have such a strong connection to that area that
has such a wonderful history. About seven years ago our family went
to Bear Lake on a vacation. I had never been there before and was
quite surprised at how beautiful the lake and the Bear Lake Valley
was. Someone was telling me about the area and mentioned a town
called Paris. I was shocked. I'd never heard of Paris, Idaho before.
I told my family we had to drive to Paris because I had to see this
place. It is a tiny, don't-blink-or-you'll-miss-it sort of town, but
it is quaint and charming and I knew I had to use it for a setting and
take advantage of the town name.
7. Can you share the message that you hope young adults, as well as adults,
can gain from reading "Summer in Paris"?
This is such a good question! There are several themes in this story
that I hope will resonate with readers. One of the main messages is
peer pressure and having the courage to stand up for yourself and what
you believe in. Kids are bombarded with pressures from all sides and
I want them to learn to have confidence and courage to not cave into
those pressures. And to choose good friends. I also think that the
story shows that you can't always judge people based on appearance.
Some people seem harmless on the outside, then you find out they have
a dark side, and secrets. Others may look like they don't fit in and
are considered outcasts, but inside they are wonderful individuals.
Of course, one of the most tender messages is the importance of
family. Holy cow . . . is there a limit to how many themes a book can
8. What book/s are you working on now?
I have about a gazillion book ideas in my head and seriously need to find more time to write. Right now I am desperately trying to finish up the third book in my Butterfly Box series. It is the final book so I have a lot of loose ends to tie up. I'm so excited about it and have loved the characters of this series. I'm going to miss them when it's done. I have a sequel to "Summer in Paris" that is percolating and will be my next project.
9. What do you enjoy the most about writing and having your books published?
I love everything about writing. Even revisions - although for me, that is the most difficult part. The creative process is so much fun and so rewarding. I absolutely love to do research and find that I get overzealous with my research and end up with tons more material than I need. I love learning! (Too bad I didn't feel like this in high school!) When it comes to being published there really is nothing more exciting than going to the library and typing your name in and seeing your books come up. I still love doing that! But the greatest reward is when someone takes time to write to me and tell me that one of my books has touched them in some way, or even helped them in their life. Wow, that's really what it's all about.
Here is the purchase link for "Summer in Paris": http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Paris-Michele-Ashman-Bell/dp/1935546171/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268429507&sr=1-4
If you would like to know more about Michele and her books please go to her website here.
I also really love to go and visit Michele's blog here. She has done some of the best author interviews I have read.
You can follow Michele on facebook or twitter.
I also want to remind all of you, that the drawing is still open to win a copy of "Love Your Body". Please go to the post below this one to find out how to enter to win the book. The drawing will end this Saturday at midnight. Then the winner will be announced on Monday.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Here is my most recent update on my reading challenges for 2010. One challenge is moving ahead faster than the other.
Friday, March 12, 2010
I received a very beautiful childrens book to review. Not only does it have a great story, but the illustrations are realistic and so well done. Even better, this story made me cry while I read it to my kids.
Here is the premise of the book:
"A mother tells her young adopted daughter how, through the love of her birth mother and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, she came to be a part of her forever family.Filled with beautiful illustrations by Amy Hintze, it is a sweet tale of a child's journey to her forever family. Written by Ashley Bigler."
My life has always been surrounded by the miracle of adoption. My two older siblings, as well as myself, were all adopted as babies. I still remember the day that we all went to the Idaho Falls temple to be sealed together as an Eternal family. When my husband and I had trouble conceiving a child, of course the first thing that went through my mind was adoption. That was just the best and right thing to do. We were blessed by the gift of adoption when our daughter was sent to us. It was the happiest day of my life! I was finally a mom and it was because of the selfless gift of a precious birth mom.
Even though my daughter is now 12, I still wanted to sit and read it with her. As I read the book, I felt like the words were coming straight from my heart. All of the feelings that had been in my heart, as we went through each step of the adoption process, were being expressed in print. The excitement we felt when we found that we had been chosen and had to call everyone to tell them.Some of the pages that truly made me cry were about meeting the birth mother. "I was even able to feel you move in her tummy. I couldn't believe how much I loved you without even seeing you." I can still remember that moment when I met my daughter's birth mother. I couldn't believe,that my soon-to- be little girl, was moving and kicking.
Another part of the book that made the tears flow was about meeting the baby for the first time, "That was the best day of all. You were the most beautiful baby. When I held you for the first time. it felt like I had known you forever. I never wanted to let you go, but I knew I had to share you with your Daddy."
Ashley and Amy have done such an amazing job with this book. You can feel the inspiration from above as you read this book. It makes you feel, how truly blessed everyone is who is touched by the miracle of adoption.
I highly recommend this book for all families who have been blessed to adopt their precious children. I also recommend this book, to give as a gift, for someone who may be struggling whether or not to adopt. You can see and feel, the pure joy and happiness, that comes from the miracle of adoption while reading this book.
If you are on facebook you can go join the group, Once Upon a Time: An Adoption Story.
Thank you Ashley and Amy for sharing your talents. Also, thank you for all of the lives that you will bless when people read this book. I know as an adopted child, it made me feel very special.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
My rating: 4 of 5 stars I loved this sequel to Traitor; in fact I liked the sequel better than the first book. I wish that I could give this book 4 1/2 stars.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
At the same time, Kayla is given guardianship of the sapphire flute and told not to play it. The evil mage C'Tan has been searching for it for decades and the sound alone is enough to call her. For the flute to be truly safe, Kayla must f ind its birthplace in the mountains high above Javak. The girls' paths are set on a collision course...a course that C'Tan is determined to prevent at all costs."
Karen has done a wonderful job at creating this new world of Rasann and the magic system used in this world. This is always a big thing for me when I read a fantasy book. The more creative and exciting for me, the more believable it is. Magic in this world is woven together like a prism of colors. Karen writes with such wisdom, that superbly flows from her characters as they experience life. One quote that has stayed with me is something that was told to Kayla when she was doubting herself and how she had no choice with the way things happened in her life:
"There ye be wrong Kayla. Ye always have a choice. Ye just need the courage to take the chances when they come." I find that so inspiring I am going to type it up and hang it somewhere I can read it every day.
The story found in "The Sapphire Flute" is told from three different perspectives Ember, the misunderstood, young woman experiencing magic for the first time and who discovers many new things about herself along the way. Kayla, a talented young lady who only wants to be recognized for who she is,to save her family and keep The Sapphire Flute safe. Then of course there is the villain C'Tan, who wants desperately to destroy both of the girls lives on her way to ultimate power.
It is not very often to find three strong female leads in a book. I really think that women, young and old, will enjoy seeing this aspect in a fantasy book. Now, don't get me wrong, there are some wonderful male characters in this book such a Ember's Uncle Shad, who is described so deliciously, I could see him clearly in my mind from head to toe. Then there are Ember's strong and lively stepbrothers who would do anything to protect their younger sister. Truly, there are characters for all readers to relate to. The only male character that I was not sure about was Kayla's boyfriend, Brant. He appears good, but with seven books in the series, who knows what still may be revealed.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Karen on Friday night. This is one of the most fun and pleasant interviews I have ever done. I hope that you will get to know Karen better and also get more of a feeling of "The Sapphire Flute" and why it was written.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
My fellow blogger and writer, Connie Hall (C.LaRene Hall) chose me to be one of seven people to receive the "Kreativ Blogger" award. Thank you so much!
The recipient of this award (me) is challenged to list 7 things about them that readers may not know and then pass the Kreativ Blogger award on to 7 other blogs (YOU) the person enjoys reading.
Here are the seven things about me:
1. I was adopted at birth. My biological heritage is Italian.
2. My greatest "travel" destination is to someday travel to Europe,
3. I have always loved to write poetry.
4. I am more reserved and shy than most people think I am.
5. I really do enjoy quiet time by myself. This clears my head and helps me organize what I need to do.
6. I have always wanted to sky dive, just once. (Even though the thought of doing this scares me to death! Go figure.)
7. Even though reading is my favorite thing to do, I also love to go and sing and play the piano when stressed.
The lucky seven bloggers that I am choosing
to win this award next are:
I look forward to seeing what my seven chosen bloggers have to say about themselves.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
The publisher of Love Your Body is doing a blog tour giveaway. For more information, keep reading!
We will be giving away 5 copies of
Love Your Body: A
Diet-Free Approach to Balanced Eating as part of the online book book
tour. The contest starts February 17th and will close on March 5th at
Entering the contest is easy--all you have to do is blog, tweet, follow, or
comment and then fill out this little form here.
So exactly how do you blog, tweet, follow, etc. Here's how.
1. Become a follower of our reviewers
blogs. You can follow one of our reviewers or you can follow all of
them. Remember that each blog you follow gives you another chance to win, so
why wouldn't you choose to follow them all? But what if we are already
following a them ask? Well lucky you because you get an entry for that too.
Walnut Springs Press
Brooke Parker RD
Of Writerly Things
Random-ish by Nichole
Queen of the Clan
The Write Blocks Ronda
Tangled Words and Dreams
*Tristi Pinkston, LDS
Why Not? Because I Said
LDS Women's Book Review
2. Post a comment on the reviews. .
3. Blog about the contest or one of the
reviews. Spread the word. Just remember that the blog post either
needs to link to the contest or to one of the reviews.
4. Follow us on twitter. Maybe you
use twitter, maybe you don't. But if you do, you should follow us.
5. Tweet about the contest or one
(or all) of the reviews. Yep, 144 characters or less is all it takes
6. Become a fan of
updating her fanpage with articles, recipes, and helpful hints.
7. Post about the contest on
8. Anything else you can think of that will
spread the word. If you mention it on goodreads, shelfari, google
buzz, or any other social media site, or make it your status on gmail chat,
MSN or yahoo messenger let us know. We want to reward your creativity with
Also, here is the blog tour schedule, so you can find the reviews on the correct days.
February 22 Valerie Ipson
Of Writerly Things
February 23 Nichole Giles
Random-ish by Nichole
February 24 Danyelle Ferguson
Queen of the Clan
February 25 Rachelle Christensen
March 1 Ronda Hinrichsen
The Write Blocks
Tangled Words and Dreams
*Tristi Pinkston, LDS
Author Tristi Pinkston
Why Not? Because I Said
So! Sheila Staley
LDS Women's Book Review
Cami's Book Cami