Sheila's Books Read

Sheila's bookshelf: read

The Best Intentions
Scotland's Melody
The Secret Society of Salzburg
Secret of the Sonnets
20-40-60-Minute Dinners: Meals to Match the Time You Have
Through the Wilderness: My Journey of Redemption and Healing in the American Wild
Secret Santa Claus Club: A Tool to Help Parents Unwrap the Secret of Santa
Mr. Pudgins
Revenge Never Rests
The Best Mistake
Meriden Park
More Inspirational Stories for Young Women
The Great Tree: A Christmas Fable
To Capture His Heart
The Call of the Sea
Livvy and the Enchanted Woodland
Come, Gentle Night
The Bad Boy Theory
Guide To Smart Wedding Planning: What You want to know and everything you haven't thought of yet.

Sheila's favorite books »

2024 Goodreads Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge
Sheila has read 4 books toward her goal of 100 books.

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Secret Life of Daydreams by Lucinda Whitney-Review and Excerpt

Product Details:
Title: The Secret Life of Daydreams
Author: Lucinda Whitney
Publisher: Lange House Press
ISBN13: 9781944137038
Paperback: 256 pages
FTC FYI: I received an ebook copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 Book Description:

Sometimes the dream you never planned for is the one 
you can't live without.
Six years after a painful divorce, Josh Conrad is happy traveling the world as a photographer. When he arrives in Portugal, he plans to complete the assignment as quickly as possible. What he doesn’t plan for is Sofia, the girl he baptized eleven years earlier on an LDS mission, and soon he’s making excuses to prolong his trip. Sofia Monteiro leads a structured life in Braga, Portugal, teaching high school by day and caring for her mother by night. After she reconnects with Josh through mutual friends, the memory of a failed relationship and her new graduate program are enough reasons to stay away from him.
As they collaborate on a project, Josh is wary of repeating his old mistakes and Sofia hesitates to spend time with an American who’s only passing through.
Can two people with wounded hearts bring themselves to trust their dreams to each other?
Sofia walked back to meet Josh and they strolled together past the deck at the reception center and the start of the trail. She unfolded the map and held it up between them. She pointed at the spots of interest. “This is the suggested route. The main road goes up the hill to the western fortification wall. At the acropolis, there’s another wide road that intersects in the opposite direction.”
She circled several areas. “These areas are the residential nucleus and along the way we can see the remains of the round dwellings and the more common rectangular ones.” There was more but she looked up to Josh. “Are you okay with following this route?”
“I’m here to follow you.” He swept his right arm in front of her. “Just lead the way.”
Sofia straightened and pocketed the map. Josh carried too much and she hesitated. “Wouldn’t it be easier for you to use the equipment if I carry the backpack?”
He paused for a moment and surveyed the area then chuckled. “Sneaky, aren’t you? I know what you’re trying to do here.”
Why did guys always think they had to do everything to prove their virility? Such a macho thing. She splayed her hands on her hips. “It’s the twenty first century. I can carry my share. Besides, this is more like a business outing, not a date. Which means you don’t have to carry stuff for me.” She extended her hand for the backpack.
“What if I believe in chivalry? You won’t give me a chance to practice it?”
“And what if I’m a feminist? You won’t respect my views?” She was pushing him now and enjoying the banter.
Josh eyed her and held quiet, the corner of his mouth twitching. Sofia wanted to laugh. He was probably trying to figure out how serious she was about feminism. After a few seconds, he set down the tripod and removed the backpack, but his eyes crinkled with a lack of seriousness belied by his actions.
Sofia took the backpack from him and put it on. It wasn’t even as heavy as she’d expected. “See? That wasn’t so hard, was it?” She started up the trail then turned back to Josh. “And you still have your man card intact,” she added with a smile.
Josh laughed. “Sassy, aren’t you?”
“Come on, we don’t have all day,” she pressed in a teasing tone.
My Review:
I was intrigued with this book ever since I first saw the cover. I love the cover and think it's beautiful, but also mysterious with the key in the middle. Funny thing is, you don't find out about the key until the end.

This first published novel by Author Lucinda Whitney covers a lot of topics and gets into some deep subjects. This romance novel has LDS characters and touches on the religion, but never takes a preachy turn. This novel is one of hopes, daydreams, self-forgiveness, heartache, friendship, and reunion. 

The bulk of the story takes place in Portugal where main character Sophia lives and where she is reunited with Josh, the missionary who baptized her into the LDS church. Things have changed in both of their lives and 11 years later they meet and try to figure things out. Both Sophia and Josh have been heartbroken by past relationships and find it hard letting someone new in again. We as readers go along on their journey as they work through their feelings, past history, current life struggles and fears of the future. 

There are some slow moments in the story as the plot is building and it could have used some more action. The pace in the second half of the novel picks up more. The only thing I would have wanted more of, is Josh's background story and what happened that led him leaving the church he loved. It was never explored and he's such a wonderful character and I felt I wanted to get to know him better.

The setting is beautifully written as the author is from Portugal and gives wonderful descriptions of the country.  There is a lot of Portuguese spoken in the book and I wish that there had been a guide/glossary in the book for those of us that don't speak the language. I guessed a lot, but this is still something she could add to the e-book.

Overall, this is a nice romance with a slow build, but a sweet story of second chances and overcoming obstacles in life.  

amazon buy
Meet the Author:
Lucinda Whitney was born and raised in Portugal, where she received a master’s degree from the University of Minho in Braga in Portuguese/English teaching. She’s a cancer survivor, and served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Salt Lake Temple Square Visitors Center mission in Utah. She lives in northern Utah with her husband and four children. When she’s not reading and writing, she can be found with a pair of knitting needles in winter, or tending her herb garden in the summer. She also works part-time as a substitute teacher.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Caribbean Crossroads by Connie Sokol :Blog Tour & $25 Blog Tour Giveaway

Caribbean Crossroads Product Details

  • Title: Caribbean Crossing
  • Author: Connie E. Sokol
  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Sokol Publishing (June 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615651860
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615651866
  • FTC, FYI: I received a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review

Book Description:  
 New college grad Megan McCormick just got dumped. Hard. Swearing off men and relationships, Megan is coaxed into performing on a cruise ship where she meets the star performer, Bryant Johnson. Handsome and charismatic, he looks like trouble, but she can't deny the intense attraction between them. Urged to find a wife and run the family lumber business, Bryant is torn between his family's expectations for his life and his own. However, when he meets spunky, but love-skittish Megan McCormick, settling down doesn't look so bad. Just when Megan begins to trust again, and Bryant makes some big decisions regarding his future, her former fiance returns with a malicious surprise, taking Megan and Bryant to their own CARIBBEAN CROSSROADS.

My Review:
Caribbean Crossroads is another book that I'm classifying as a fun summer read. I loved how the book begins, with Megan as a performer with a talented group of young people on a cruise ship. There she meets the good-looking and charming Bryant, whom she is desperately trying NOT to fall in love with him. I liked the feeling and fun atmosphere that the reader feels on the cruise ship. I also liked their experiences together as they visit different stops in the Caribbean. There is excitement on the ship as Megan and Bryant are falling in love. It fits the beauty found on the front cover of the book.

After the cruise ends, a different feeling is found in the story. It is almost like the let down after you come home from a vacation. Megan and Bryant go back to their "real" lives and the family drama and pressures awaiting them. This is also the part where Megan and Bryant falter in their relationship. Talk about romantic angst! I was very frustrated with both of them as they tried to work out things in their relationship. This is where the novel shows realism as Megan is scared about getting hurt again. Readers may think she is being stubborn or stupid for not falling for this talented and handsome man. The thing that really works here though, is that the superficiality of the characters found at the beginning is wiped away. The author deepens the characters,and what is really going on inside of them. Even though you get fed up with Megan and her resistance to Bryant, you can relate if you have ever been hurt in a relationship. At the end of the book I wanted to scream as I read about the Thanksgiving dinner. I also wanted to string a few people up by their necks, namely Megan's Mother, sister Kara and her husband Jackson. After reading the book you will know why I say this.

Overall, this book is recommended to fans who like a quick, romantic read. It will bring out many feelings,in you the reader, as you cheer on Megan and Bryant as they cruise towards love. (Review originally published on June 28th,2012)

Get a Kindle copy for $1.99.

About the Author:  Connie Sokol is a mother of seven, a national and local presenter, and a regular speaker at Education Week. She is a contributor on KSL TV’s top-rated afternoon show “Studio 5” and is a regular blogger for KSL’s “Motherhood Matters.” She is a former columnist for Deseret News and Utah Valley Magazine, and former TV and radio host. Mrs. Sokol is the author of  the Life is Too Short for One Hair Color Trilogy, Create a Powerful Life Plan, Motherhood Matters, and the award-nominated romance, Caribbean Crossroads.  Mrs. Sokol marinates in time spent with her family and eating decadent treats.

  Blog Tour Stops

Make Sure to: Enter the Tour Giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 19, 2016

Pimpernel by Sheralyn Pratt-Blog Tour Review and $25 Giveaway


Product Details

  • Title: Pimpernel
  • Author: Sheralyn Pratt
  • File Size: 3191 KB
  • Print Length: 280 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Wicked Sassy (January 18, 2016)
  • Publication Date: January 18, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B019DPEL0W
  • FTC, FYI: I received a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Book Description:
They seek him here; they seek him there. For centuries, the elite of the world have sought the Pimpernel everywhere. Some want to kill him, others want to hire him, but Jack Cavanaugh knows that the love/hate relationship comes with the job title. At present, Jack is trying to dismantle an investment scheme centered in Las Vegas, but "trying" is the operative word. It's been a month since he put the face of the scheme behind bars, yet the scam is still going strong. As Jack tries to uncover who has stepped in as the new head, what miniscule evidence there is all seems to point him back to Claire Ramsey, an introverted PhD student studying at UNLV. If ever there as an unlikely head of a investment scheme, Claire's it. She has a genius IQ, but from all Jack has seen, Claire’s intelligence is as much a blessing as a curse when paired up with her acute OCD. Claire can barely make conversation with the cute guy down the hall, which makes it hard to believe she could be the charismatic salesperson who is getting international businessmen to invest $5—50 million a pop. So what is Jack missing? What is the real story behind Claire Ramsey? And once Jack learns it, will he be able to walk away?

My Review: 
This book was not was I was expecting. It is not a story to read when you are tired, you need to be awake and alert or you will be lost. There is a lot to take in during the first half of the book. The set-up of characters and what is going on can be confusing at first, but soon you are piecing things together. At the middle point of the book is where the surprises start popping up and then you can't read fast enough.

You have PhD student Claire who is a genius and also happens to have OCD. Right from the first, you know that she is involved in something where she is in over her head. Claire is a character where you really feel for her because of her strange family and her infatuation with her professor who is in jail. You never know what is going to throw Claire into a tail spin and a mental breakdown. With wealthy parents that have always been so cold, and she's never been kissed, you want something good to happen to Claire.

Jack is the Pimpernel. He is a mystery and Claire isn't sure if she can trust him. I wasn't sure about him either as the story unfolded. It was hard to know who to trust at all. It's crazy to read a book where you have no clue who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. I was stumped for quite awhile. Jack is in neck deep with the organization trying to get to the bottom of the scam that Claire is in the middle of. 

It's really hard to describe what happens in this story without giving too much away. Let's just say it is intense, exciting and edgy. As the romance starts blooming, you can't help but wonder if it is real, or part of the scheme. Now that we have been introduced to the characters, main and minor, I hope that the author writes more of this series. I think now that you know them and what they do, the story would move more smoothly along. I liked this book, but felt like I should have been taking notes to try and figure things out. Author Sheralyn Pratt is a great writer, so she is able to pull this off and make you hungry for more of Jack, Claire, Margot, Nate and Ren. If you like to be challenged as a reader in figuring out a mystery, you will love this book and be happy that you read it.

amazon get itExcerpt:
The high-pitched scream from the other side of her apartment door shattered Claire’s thoughts. “Daniel?” That shriek had been way too high to come out of a man. “Help!” Daniel’s voice cried out from the other side of the door. Claire unlocked the door and pushed it open, finding Daniel cowering on the couch in sailor-themed boxer briefs. Classical music played from his bedroom, indicating Daniel had been sewing before he ended up on the couch. On the ground between them lay the lounge robe Daniel had made in his fashion design class along with his house slippers. They looked like they’d been flung at random. “Move!” he shrieked at her, stabbing his finger at the ground like a mad man. “Take the high ground and leave the door open. Maybe it will go back to the gates of hell, where it belongs!” Claire followed the direction of his manic gesturing, freezing when her eyes locked on something the size of her fist with eight hairy legs. “Daniel? Please tell me that is a toy.” “That. Is. NOT. A. Toy!” The spider chose that moment to make its move—which happened to be sprinting her way. Claire shrieked as Daniel motioned for her to join him on the couch. “High ground!” Was he insane? She would have to leap over the tarantula to get to him. Why in the world would she do that when she could just run away and go to a hotel for the night? “Voldemort?” a man’s voice said from behind her a split second before Claire backed into a male body blocking her retreat. Not only did Claire scream, but her body was suddenly possessed by an Olympic hurdler as she scampered across the living room and flung herself into Daniel’s arms on the couch. “You found her!” a flagpole of a man from the doorway said as Claire latched onto Daniel, hiding her face against his shoulder. If she didn’t see the spider, maybe it would cease to exist. “Found it?” Daniel scoffed. “That thing tried to duel me for my sandwich before I batted him off my kitchen table.” Claire shuttered, only vaguely realizing that the shoulder she was hiding her face in was bare. I’ve never hugged a guy who was only wearing underwear before, she thought a moment before Daniel pulled her keys out of her hand and flung them at the ground to join his slippers and robe. “Don’t chase it this way!” Daniel yelled at the other guy. “Come on, Voldemort,” the spider guy cooed. “Let’s get you back into your habitat—Don’t run!” Wait, it was running? Claire didn’t want to see that, yet something compelled her to turn and look anyway. People always said that horrible things seemed to happen in slow motion, but Claire could have sworn the giant arachnid was coming at her in fast-forward mode. In a heartbeat, she had climbed up to ride piggyback on Daniel while he responded by flapping his hands in panic as if he could fan the thing away with a light breeze. Not only did the spider keep running, it was sprinting like an arachnid with a plan—heading straight for the couch. When Daniel backed away, Claire felt her back thump into the wall. Before he could move again, she pushed off his back to stand on the back of the couch, dropping her purse when it threatened her balance. On the way down, it ended up in Daniel’s hands and he wasted no time finding items inside and tossing them at the spider while its owner moved in to act like a human shield. “No!” the tall guy cried as he tried to corral the beast. “Don’t throw things at her. You might hurt her.” Just then, Claire’s favorite lip gloss bounced off the hairy spider, stunning it. That lip gloss was dead to her—not just the tube, the actual brand. She’d never be able to look at it the same again.
add to goodreads     Meet: Author Sheralyn Pratt
SheralynSome describe Sheralyn as a girl who's been around the block and worked at every shop. This isn't far from the truth. Writing is what she loves most, however. There's a magical power in stepping into new perspectives time and again, and seeing the world through different eyes. Few things increase empathy more than walking in another's shoes for 100,000 words or so. At least that seems to be the trend so far.
Some random things to know about Sheralyn: * She's a wanderer (geographically) * She can write a novel, but doesn't have the attention span for one page in a journal * She vehemently disagrees with Stephen King's stance that authors should not watch TV * She is pretty much incapable of sleeping before midnight
 Blog Tour Giveaway 
 $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/28/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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 and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Courting Cassandry by Joyce DiPastena-Book Review and Excerpt

Product Description:
  • Title: Courting Cassandry
  • Author: Joyce DiPastena
  • File Size: 1436 KB
  • Print Length: 348 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Sable Tyger Books (February 17, 2016)
  • Publication Date: February 17, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01AU2TK6W
  • FTC, FYI: I received a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Description:

Is it too late for second chances when the girl you loved in your youth comes back into your life?

Gerolt de Warenne became guardian to a child-heiress named Cassandry when he was only nineteen-years old. As he watched her grow into a lovely young woman, he found himself falling in love with her, but Cassandry viewed him as an older brother. So, burying his feelings, he gave permission for her to marry another.

Twenty-four years later Gerolt and Cassandry meet again. With the loss of their respective spouses, Gerolt hopes to finally court Cassandry, but she desires to remain a widow. Instead, they agree to a betrothal of their children.
Matters become complicated as their friendship begins to evolve into the romance Gerolt has always wanted. But by the law of the medieval Church, Cassandry and Gerolt can’t marry if their children do. Can they find a way to be together? Or must they sacrifice their future for the love of their children?

“Courting Cassandry” is a “Hearts in Autumn” romance, medieval romances revolving around heroes and heroines “in the autumn of their years.” Because love isn’t only for the young!

Excerpt from: Courting Cassandry

            “You wish me to marry one of your knights?” She rose so swiftly she knocked over the embroidery basket next to her chair. Her laced hands began to wring one another. “My lord, I beg you, I am quite content as a widow. Do not—Of course, if you command me I must obey . . . but I pray you will not—”

            “Command you? When did I ever command you to do anything, Cassandry? And when did you cease to call me Gerolt?”

            She bit her lower lip before she replied. “When I became wife to your vassal, Sir Antony. Things are not what they were between us, my lord. They can never be so again. Too much time has passed. We both know that. I am your devoted servant.” She curtsied, her hands still moving with distress against her tawny gown. “And I must do as you . . . request. But I have no desire to marry again.”

            Disappointment pierced his chest. He stepped forward, ignoring the sudden urge to move within arm’s reach of her. Even as she stood rejecting him, he still felt the charge of desire for her.

            “None, Cassandry?”

            She did not look away this time but gazed with so much earnestness into his eyes that the hopeful fluttering in his stomach turned to a leaden ball.

            “I should not change my mind if you asked me to wed yourself. I am too old to be a wife again, my lord. This knight of whom you speak—no, please do not tell me his name—I wish to remember all of them fondly, without awkwardness should we meet. Whomever he is, he deserves a younger, merrier woman than I.”

            ’Twas the first time he observed it, the loss of merriment in her eyes. She had been so bright and cheerful at Lyonstoke, her spirit so warm, her nature so sweet and trusting. But she’d had a joyful future waiting to embrace her then. He supposed a woman who had loved as fervently as she had would be a woman who would mourn the loss of that love to her final days.

            He resolutely clamped down his hurt, as he had the day he had given her hand to Antony. 

My Review:
Courting Cassandry is another wonderful addition to the "Hearts in Autumn" medieval romance series. Joyce describes it this way, 
- "Hearts in Autumn” romance series, medieval romances revolving around heroes and heroines “in the autumn of their years.” Because you’re never too old to fall in love!” 

I have truly loved reading a romance where the main characters are between the ages of 40-50+! There is something about more mature characters that bring their life stories into play as they contemplate a new romance in their life. Cassandry and Gerolt's story is one of true heartache. It is one of lost-love, unhappy marriages, longing for the love that wasn't within in their reach twenty years before, but it is now that they are given a second chance if only...

Yes, it's that, "If only..." that is the main plot in the story. Neither one of the main characters comes right out and say how they feel at first so there is a lot of beating around the bush about how they're feeling and expressing themselves to each other. Cassandry and Gerolt decide to have their teens become betrothed to one another, but both Egelina, Cassandry's daughter and Rauffe, Gerolt's son, aren't liking their parents plans. Then you throw in old grudges with other characters, jealousies, blackmail and other nefarious things and you have more than a romance here. There is enough mystery, suspense and other dark things going on that you are not sure who will make it out alive, happy and/or sane. 

The dialogue is so beautiful with the language from this time period. Joyce's writing brings the beauty and mystic of medieval England alive in her books. You are always assured of a clean read and know that you will have a good story with an intriguing plot line when you read a book by Joyce DiPastena. If you are looking for something unique and different from the "normal" romance out there, you need to pick up Courting Cassandry or any of Joyce's books. She knows this time period so well and she knows how to write a satisfying book for romance readers.

***This book is for teens and adults. There is some kissing, no sex, and little violence, except for a mild knife attack.*** 

Purchase at these Locations:

Meet Author: Joyce DiPastena
Joyce DiPastena dreamed of green medieval forests while growing up in the
dusty copper mining town of Kearny, Arizona. She filled her medieval hunger by
reading the books of Thomas B. Costain (where she fell in love with King Henry II
of England), and later by attending the University of Arizona where she
graduated with a degree in history, specializing in the Middle Ages. The
university was also where she completed her first full-length novel…set, of
course, in medieval England. Later, her fascination with Henry II led her to
expand her research horizons to the far reaches of his “Angevin Empire” in
France, which became the setting of her first published novel, Loyalty’s Web (a
2007 Whitney Award Finalist).
When she’s not writing, Joyce loves to read, play the piano, and spend time
with her sister and friends. A highlight of her year is attending the annual
Arizona Renaissance Festival. She lives with her two cats, Clio and Glinka
Rimsky-Korsokov, in Mesa, Arizona.

Website:  Blog:  Facebook: Twitter:

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Cover Reveal for Proposals and Poison, Wedding Planner Mysteries book #3 Rachelle J. Christensen and $25 Giveaway

Proposals and Poison
Amazon Pre-orderRachelleProposals and Poison, Wedding Planner Mysteries book #3 Rachelle J. Christensen “Cozy mystery meets romantic comedy in this fabulous, fast-paced story.” Cami Checketts author of The Resilient One, A Billionaire Bride Pact Romance Love can be a very dangerous thing. At least it seems that way to Adri Pyper, the premier wedding planner in Sun Valley, Idaho. When one of her clients dies mysteriously, Adri takes the advice of the local detective and swears she will stay out of the investigation . . . this time. Luke Stetson's involvement in the case, along with the possibility of a kiss between the two, should be enough incentive to keep Adri out of trouble. But when a dog-themed wedding is almost ruined by a suspect, Adri and her assistant, Lorea, are thrust into private eye mode. When poison enters the picture, even a reluctant sleuth can’t steer clear of danger.

“Packed with danger and romance, intrigue and entertainment, Rachelle Christensen's Wedding Planner series is romantic suspense that will keep you turning pages late into the night!” --Maria Hoagland, Author of The ReModel Marriage (Romance Renovations series) add to goodreads Author Rachelle J. Christensen Rachelle is a mother of five who writes mystery/suspense, nonfiction, and women’s fiction. She solves the case of the missing shoe on a daily basis. She enjoys raising chickens and laughing with her husband. She graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in psychology and a minor in music. Rachelle is the award-winning author of ten books, including The Soldier’s Bride (a Kindle Scout Selection), Wrong Number, Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things, What Every 6th Grader Needs to Know, and Christmas Kisses: An Echo Ridge Anthology. Her novella, “Silver Cascade Secrets,” was included in the Rone Award–winning Timeless Romance Anthology, Fall Collection. Rachelle has a VIP mailing list where all subscribers get access to free books, guides, and other resources. Sign up now to hear what exciting news Rachelle has to share.
Diamond ringsVeils and Vengeance
Series endorsements “Mystery, suspense, murder and romance all intriguingly tied together in one very fun walk-down-the-aisle cozy mystery!”—Shauna Wheelwright, reviewer

 “I love a great mystery that keeps my interest and keeps the pages turning. I loved the Hawaiian setting, that was a character on its own. As the story progressed, I enjoyed where the author went with the mystery, doing a perfect job of planting the right amount of seeds to try to throw me off the trail of who the killer was.”—Mindy Holt, reviewer    

Giveaway Details $25 cash giveaway plus an ebook bundle of the Wedding Planner Mystery Books 1 & 2. (gifted via Amazon) Ends 3/3/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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 and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Valentine's Day Book Blitz Count Down: 12 Days of Romance Day 12-The Captive by Julie Coulter Bellon


Former Navy SEAL Jake Williams is the newly appointed head of a task force assigned to rescue a kidnapped American diplomat. Their only hope is Mya Amari, the daughter of a notorious Algerian hostage negotiator, but she is full of secrets and complications–something Jake takes as a personal challenge. As they grow closer, the threat to the mission escalates and time runs out for the hostages. Can Jake unravel the web of deception to save them all without getting caught in the crossfire?

Mya Amari has been in hiding nearly her entire life to escape her father’s enemies. But when her sister is kidnapped along with an American diplomat, she’ll do anything to bring her home–including walking into the enemy’s lair. She doesn’t trust anyone, especially the too-handsome-for-his-own-good Commander Williams, but when all her careful plans explode out of control, he’s the only one she can turn to with the truth about her family. Is it too little, too late? 


Julie Coulter Bellon is the author of more than a dozen romantic suspense novels. Her book All Fall Down won the RONE award for Best Suspense and Pocket Full of Posies won a RONE Honorable Mention for Best Suspense.

Julie loves to travel and her favorite cities she's visited so far are probably Athens, Paris, Ottawa, and London. She loves to read, write, teach, watch Castle, Hawaii Five-O, and eat Canadian chocolate. Not necessarily in that order.

Julie offers writing and publishing tips as well as her take on life on her blog You can also find out about all her upcoming projects at her website 

Author Newsletter

Facts About the Author:
  1. When I am not writing I like to read, play board games with the family, (our new favorite is Sheriff of Nottingham), or watch Castle.

    2. I am working on the second book in my Griffin Force series called The Captain and it should be released in May 2016.
Connect with the Author:



Snippet #2

He was looking out the kitchen window when Mya came in. He could see her out of the corner of his eye, standing in the doorway, watching him. She looked undecided, as if she wanted to come in, but didn’t know if she should. “Is everything okay?” he asked finally, turning his face toward her.
“Yeah.” But she still didn’t sound sure.
He moved to the table and motioned her toward it. “Looks like a pretty quiet neighborhood. I don’t think we have anything to worry about.”
“That’s what I thought about the last place.” She shuddered slightly. “Watching those gunmen through that camera made me feel so helpless. I thought they were going to kill them, then come for us.” Her voice trailed off.  “I’ve lost so many people in my life.”
The vulnerability in her voice was unmistakable, the longing for connection. Jake saw himself in her statement, their similar losses forging an emotional bond he’d never felt with anyone else.  He put his hand on hers, needing to touch her. “You won’t lose me.” The attraction that had been simmering between them flared to life. He lifted her hand, letting his thumb run over her knuckles. “I promise.”  She sucked in a breath, unable to keep her eyes off him as he flipped her hand over palm up and pulled it to his mouth, kissing the inside of her wrist. 
“Jake,” she whispered, leaning close. 
He lifted his hand to cup her face and she nestled her cheek against it. 

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Friday, February 12, 2016

Not Always Happenstance by Rachael Anderson-Blog Tour Review and $50 Giveaway

Not Always (1)
Not Always Happenstance Product Description:
  • Title:Not Always Happenstance (Power of the Matchmaker Series)
  • Author: Rachael Anderson
  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: HEA Publishing (February 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1941363156
  • FTC, FYI: I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Description: Not Always Happenstance 
by Rachael Anderson
Lani has lived in Hana, Hawaii for five years. She’s learned to surf, fish, dive, and manage her grandmother’s bed and breakfast. She’s also learned to take one day at a time the way it should be taken—relaxed and unrushed, savoring every moment.
But, like a large wave on the brink of breaking, her life is about to crash out of control. A proposal of marriage, a conniving grandmother, a cryptic Asian woman, and a handsome guest, and suddenly everything calm begins to churn, everything clear becomes confused, and all that was normal segues into peculiar.
As Lani struggles against the current to hold her ground, she realizes that she can either continue to fight and eventually lose, or take a take a leap of faith, hold her breath, and ride the wave wherever it takes her.

My Review:
 Not Always Happenstance is the second full novel in the Power of the Matchmaker series. If you've read my other reviews so far of this series you know how much I love the character of Pearl, the matchmaker. I truly loved in this novel how she played a much bigger role. She was there throughout the book guiding the couple, Lani and Easton. Her words of wisdom and life experiences were told often to both of them.Her guidance was a moving force in Easton and Lani coming together.

Lani lives on Maui with her Grandmother where they run a Bed and Breakfast. Her life revolves around the B&B and kind of being engaged to a man from California who she has dated for many years. Easton is a  world wide traveler who writes about his experiences on his blog. When the two of them meet, they both are so closed off from the possibilities of true love that it takes some huge pushes from Pearl and Puna, Lani's grandmother. The thing I liked the most about this clean romance was the slow buildup. It was all very realistic in the way they met, interacted and slowly opened up to one another. By the time they are getting closer you are so ready to see this happen. Lani and Easton both have secrets and insecurities like all people, and that seems to step into their way quite often. But with the fun things that happen and the wonderful banter between the two characters you fall in love with this story, the people of Maui, Puna, Lani and Easton. 

I truly love the way that Rachael Anderson writes a romance. Her descriptive writing pulls you into the world of her characters and their inner most feelings. I felt that she gave equal coverage to both characters which helped you grow to understand them and their idiosyncrasies. You are pulling for them to get together as much as Pearl and Puna were. 

I've never been to Hawaii, but I hope to go someday. If it is as beautiful and wonderful as it was written in this novel I know I will love it, and it's people. This romance as I said is a slow burn, but don't give up on it. Things really pick up about half way in and then you are totally hooked. This book has some wonderful tender moments with some great kisses by beautiful waterfalls and glorious beaches.  

Not Always Happenstance is a wonderful ride in an exotic location, where you will be swept away with this romance and enlightened by the words of wisdom given by Pearl. My favorite thing she said was this, "Every experience-good and bad-has the power to mold and change us into something greater than we were before." 
***This book is recommended for older teen and adults who love
 a sweet, clean romance.***

***This book is part of the Power of the Matchmaker series that features one recurring character—the match maker—but it is a STAND-ALONE novel.***
amazon get it

add to goodreads

RachaelMeet Author Rachael Anderson
A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

Blog Tour $50 Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 2/29/16
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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 and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway --