Thursday, December 31, 2015

He Delivered Even Me, He Will Deliver Even You by Misti Stevenson

He Delivered Even Me, He Will Deliver Even You

Author: Misti Stevenson

Published 2013

Paperback: 325 pages

ISBN: 9780989426800

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

Deseret Book Summary


Growing up, Misti thought she had a pretty normal childhood. Right up until the sixth grade. That's when she began to notice things. Like how she was constantly aware of every blink of her eyes. How any normal physical thing could become an enemy that her brain would replay over and over again. She tried talking to her parents about it, but family dysfunction and parental control issues wouldn't let them see her problem for what it was. So she did everything she could to hide it. It would take her many more years to attach a name to her tortuous condition — Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
But after many more years of struggling, praying, and counseling, Misti experienced the miracle she had been seeking — she was healed.
So she's done hiding. This is her story of suffering through — and eventually being healed of — OCD, anxiety, and depression through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. This is her story of how the Lord turned her deepest struggles into her greatest blessings.
"Misti's journey through the darkness and into the light is engrossing, filled with candid details of her pain, until her ultimate triumph over this awful affliction through her faith in Christ. Whether or not the reader suffers from OCD, Misti's heartfelt story will uplift and inspire to seek the Savior's grace in overcoming any personal trials." — Jennifer Griffith, author of Big in Japan

My Review

I struggled with the blame the author placed but I appreciated her realization throughout and was grateful for the help she received. Forgiveness and personal healing takes time. I thought it was very brave of the author to lay out her struggles and frustrations with her parents in a book but I loved what she says in the end, how the Spirit guided her to write this book. Misti also recognized how the Lord had answered her prayers in her life, and by writing her experience down, it helped her realize it even more. Misti also used her journal entries in the chapters. I appreciated how she also stated that Satan is also aware of our struggles, as the Lord is, and he tries to use them against us. Misti stresses that the difference is, Jesus is there to help us and guide us, not bring us down. We all have our own Mount Everest to climb and with the Savior's help, we can overcome all.

4 out of 5 stars

Purchase Links

Amazon / Deseret Book / Barnes and Noble

About the Author 

Misti Stevenson now enjoys her busy and joy-filled life in Kaysville with her husband, Jed, and five busy children. When not helping her kids with homework, tackling a mountain of laundry, or serving at church, she loves to do yoga, go jogging with her friends, and especially loves hiking in the beautiful Wasatch Mountains with her family. Facing her OCD was difficult. Telling her family was almost impossible. Writing about it, the supreme act of faith. She has felt supported by the Savior each step of the way. Misti knows you or someone you love may be among those who are silently suffering in a seemingly insurmountable set of circumstances and loves spreading the Savior’s message of hope and deliverance through the message of her book.




Thursday, December 24, 2015

Home and Away by Dean Hughes

Home and Away: A World War II Christmas Story

Author: Dean Hughes

Publisher: Shadow Mountain

Published: September 2015

ISBN13: 9781629720937

Hardcover: 176 pages
FTC FYI: Received a hardcover copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary

A historical fiction novel told from the perspective of a son fighting on the battlefields of Europe during World War II and his mother, struggling with worry and uncertainty about her soldier son while she tries to keep a semblenance of a normal, happy Christmas holiday back on the home front. Norma Hayes has always tried to make Christmas special for her family, but 1944 will make that more difficult with money being tight and wartime rationing making everything hard to come by. Aware of his mother's hardships and the worry from having her eldest son at war, second son, Dennis, is determined to buy his mother a special gift this Christmas, a lavender blue dress he hopes will bring her comfort as a symbol of special times gone by and the hope of a brighter future with the family reunited at war's end. Meantime, on the long campaign to free Europe, her soldier son carrys on as best he can, the horrors of war taking its heavy toll on armies and civilians alike. On a battlefield far from home in Holland with his 101st Airborne battalion, he catches a familiar scent of lavender which briefly transports him back to the home front to the perfume scent his mother wore, giving him a short respite and reuniting the family once again if only in his imagination. This historical fiction novel is a nostalgic and tender story about the power of love, the reality of war, and the hope we all have that things will turn out all right.

My Review

I truly loved this story.  It is the perfect book for Christmastime.  The story is beautifully told.  Dennis was my favorite character.  I loved how he treated his mom, with so much respect and love.  It was touching how he wanted to get her the perfect gift and I loved how he was able to obtain it for her.  That part made me cry.  I enjoyed the point of view switches between Dennis and Glen.  The author does a great job showing the hardships of war, for all involved.  How hard it is for the soldiers and those left at home worrying.  Dennis's father, at times, really frustrated me, but I appreciated him more when I understood his side.  The scenes with Glen at war were written well, one particular scene that had the tears flowing.  I loved how the family was able to come together, as they are waiting to hear Glen's fate.  The time period was a character itself.  I really enjoy stories about World War II.  Dennis and Glen's mother, Norma, was a great character.  No matter how hard things were, she always remained positive.  She sacrificed so much for her family.

5 out of 5 stars.  Merry Christmas!

Author Links


Purchase Links


Monday, December 21, 2015

Van Gogh Gone by Robin M. King

Van Gogh Gone

Author: Robin M. King

Publisher: Walnut Springs

Published: November 15th, 2015

ISBN13: 978159992982

Paperback: 242 pages

FTC FYI: Received an ebook copy and paperback copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary

“Espionage isn’t just her job, it’s a work of art.”

Seventeen-year-old Alexandra Stewart finally has a life worth remembering - a Spanish tutor who gives perfecto a new name, a roommate that could double as her sister, and a special role in a secret spy organization that exists in the basement of Brown University.

But when her colleague, Daly, returns from a recent trip to Moscow accompanied by a man she never thought she'd see again, Alex is ripped away from her life in Providence and sent across the globe in search of a stolen piece of art. In desperate need to find the Van Gogh painting, she will do anything to find it. Anything.

From Barcelona to Paris with only Daly at her side, the bonds of friendship are stretched as the duo uncover a truth neither one of them saw coming. Finding the painting could mean discovering a part of Alex she is ashamed could even exist, but without it, she could lose everything. The world around Alex threatens to corrupt the memories she holds most dear and the person she loves the most is at stake.
 

My Review

Van Gogh Gone starts right where Remembrant leaves off, and the action and suspense does not let up until the end.  I love Alex.  She is a fantastic and fascinating character.  As I read, I was thinking how cool it would be to have her memory, but as I got further in the book, I thought of what a burden it would be.  I loved how Robin showed the conflict and struggle Alex was experiencing.  I loved the realization she has about it at the end of the book though.  Alex has some hard decisions to make and I really enjoyed the end result.  Truth always wins.  I appreciated how the author used flashbacks, it didn't interfere with the pacing at all, and it was needed background information.  A character returns that has a secret, well secrets, and that part really added to the story too, but it also brings more trouble for Alex.  Alex also needed to make decisions about the men in her life, and I must say, I was happy with how that turned out as well.  I'm excited for the next book!

4 out of 5 stars.

Author Links

Goodreads / Website / Facebook / Twitter

Purchase Links

AmazonDeseret Book 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Covenant Christmas Round Up -- Gift Spotlight

I have some gift ideas that will be sure to bring a smile to those on your list this year!  From books to movies, scroll down to find the perfect gift.  My daughters especially loved the songbook.  

All About Christmas- This hard cover book is stuffed with stories, songs, poems, Christmas history, joyful traditions, recipes, and activities. This delightful book celebrates all things Christmas - from the sacred story of the Nativity to the lore of Saint Nick. 

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Words of Christmas: Savoring the True Meaning of the Season One Word at a TimeThis beautifully designed book takes a closer look at twenty-five words, like hope, faith and joy, that we hear throughout the holidays. 

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Christus Marble 3 inch statue
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A Songbook for LDS Families
A Songbook for LDS Families highlights eighteen beloved and well-known songs, as well as twenty-eight newly penned Book of Mormon hymns composed by Janice Kapp Perry with text by Bonnie Hart Murray. 

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He Knows My Name (DVD)- Rebekah is fascinated by the man her neighbors call Jesus. Her mother is not so sure. One day she brings Jesus home - a simple act that will forever change their lives. 

No Ordinary Shepherd (DVD)- The young shepherd boy, has always treasured his father's tale of that starlit night filled with wonder of angelic heralds and a tiny Bethlehem stable sheltering the chosen Messiah. The young shepherd later encounters a miracle of his own. 



It's All About Christmas 

Words of Christmas-

Christus Marble 3 in. statue-

A Songbook for LDS Families
 
No Ordinary Shepherd (DVD)
 
He Knows My Name (DVD)

I received review copies from the distributor/publisher in exchange for an honest review. 


 






Friday, December 18, 2015

It's All About Christmas --Blog Tour/Giveaway

It's All About Christmas: A Collection of Stories, Carols, Recipes, Quotes, Trivia, History, and everything you need for a wonderful holiday

Publisher: Covenant Communications

Hardcover: 231 pages

ISBN13: 978160476248

FTC FYI: I received a hardcover copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary

Like heirloom ornaments on a splendid tree, It’s All About Christmas will put you and your family in a festive frame of mind for a glorious holiday season. Stuff ed with stories, songs, poems, Christmas history, joyful traditions, recipes, and activities, this delightful book celebrates all things Christmas—from the sacred story of the Nativity to the lore of Saint Nick. Opening this book is like tearing the paper off a much–anticipated gift, offering new surprises with each turn of the page. Generously illustrated with scores of vibrant vintage images, It’s All About Christmas will remind you of Christmases past, help you appreciate Christmas present, and guide you to creating memories for the Christmases to come.

My Review

This book is an absolute treasure.  Every page is full of beauty.  I loved everything about it.  The recipes, stories, quotes, crafts, activities, songs, and I especially loved the pictures.  Each page is special and beautifully detailed.  This book will become a family heirloom in our house.  I loved the stories.  They are full of love and Christmas history.  My favorite quote is listed on the back cover from Gordon B. Hinckley:
Christmas means giving.  The Father gave His son, and the Son gave His life.  Without giving there is no true Christmas and without sacrifice there is no true worship.
Merry Christmas!

Purchase Links

Amazon / Deseret Book




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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Keeping June by Shannen Crane Camp

Keeping June (June series #4)

Author: Shannen Crane Camp

Publisher: Sugar Coated Press

Expected publish date: Dec. 21th 2015

ISBN13: 9781514769652

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

Goodreads Summary

June Laurie has spent the better part of her young adult years in the Hollywood world of fame, envy, and rumors, and has managed to come out of it mostly unscathed. Now that she’s finally followed her heart and married her true love, she knows she’s found the perfect end to her story. But at twenty-two years old, it turns out her story is only beginning — and marriage, it seems, is more of an opening act than a finale. When fans of June’s television show start spreading online rumors about her faithfulness to her new husband and fabricating an off-set romance between her and her costar, she learns that even marriage offers no immunity from the gossip that always seems to haunt her. With complications in her personal and professional lives threatening to topple them both, will June be able to hold to her beliefs and her newfound happiness, even as what she thought was her perfect ending transforms into the challenges of reality that lurk beyond the fairytale?

My Review

I have loved June for years and I was hesitant to read the last book in this series.  Not because I didn't think I wouldn't love it, it's because I knew I would love it and be sad when I turned the last page.  This last book for June wasn't all sunshine and roses.  She struggles with some real issues and I thought Shannen handled them perfectly.  June and Joseph get married and are quickly met with some challenges.  As June tries to adjust to life as a new wife while still being on her TV show, it brings up problems.  I don't want to give away what happens, but trust me, read with a box of Kleenex handy.  

Author Links

Goodreads / Website / Twitter / Facebook 

Purchase Links

Amazon

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Secret Life of Daydreams by Lucinda Whitney -- Book Blast

Secret Life of DaydreamsThe Secret Life of Daydreams by Lucinda Whitney
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?
amazon
Excerpt
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.
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Praise for the Book 
Lucinda Whitney’s The Secret Life of Daydreams whisks readers away to Braga, Portugal, a setting so vivid with color, texture, and life, they’ll want to book a flight and travel there themselves. Josh is the hero many of us dream of, and Sofia a heroine who holds out for all she deserves. Overall a delightful romance far from the ordinary in both distance and scope.” — Michele Paige Holmes
“The romance is fantastic and with enough tingle to make my heart flutter. The conflict between the characters is believable and I longed for them to work it out, even though it wouldn’t be easy.” — Laura D. Bastian
“The Secret Life of Daydreams is a story that explores the question “What if you got a second chance with the one that got away?” Readers will be rooting for Sofia and Josh to find a way to make their dreams come true despite the obstacles life puts in front of them.”– Sally Johnson
“This book was a delightful journey. I loved getting to know Josh and Sofia, cheering for them, growling at them, and sharing a happy sigh or two with them. The gorgeous setting of Portugal was an added bonus!”– Alison Woods
Amazon Pre-order
Pre-order The Secret Life of Daydreams for just 99 cents!
Cindy WhitneyAuthor Lucinda Whitney
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.

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Book Blast Giveaway – $50 Amazon Gift Card or $50 in Paypal Cash
Ends 1/3/16
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 and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Friday, December 11, 2015

Harlequin Heartwarming New Year -- Spotlight


We're sharing about the New Year giveaway that is being hosted by four Harlequin Heartwarming authors with January releases. Leave them a comment at their site HERE and check out their message and giveaway below:

The New Year is coming... We'll be sad to see 2015 end, but look forward to seeing what 2016 will bring. We know one thing it will definitely bring, more Harlequin Heartwarming releases! We'd like to start the New Year off right by sharing our January releases with you and also giving away some copies along with an Amazon gift card. Find out all about these new stories, check out our upcoming Facebook party, and enter the giveaway below...

Under the Boardwalk by Amie Denman

Everyone's counting on him

With the sudden death of his father, Jack Hamilton finds himself running the family amusement park, Starlight Point. His first job? Balance the books, and that means raising the rent for vendors like baker Augusta Murphy.

Gus won't accept the new contract…not without a fight. She rallies the other vendors and sets out to negotiate with Jack. At least, she tries. How do you play hardball with a man who's charming and kind and still grieving? Gus needs to figure it out fast, because the closer she gets to Jack, the more she risks losing everything.

GoodreadsAmazonB&NHarlequin

Find out more and connect with Amie on her website.

When Love Matters Most by Kate James

Keeping her safe at all costs

Could their backgrounds be any more different? Rick Vasquez, a K-9 unit sergeant with the San Diego Police Department, fled drug-related violence in Mexico as a boy. Madison Long, who recently became primary veterinarian to the SDPD's canines, is the privileged daughter of a judge. Rick has dedicated his life to curtailing cross-border drug trafficking and preventing other young boys from being drawn into the dark world of the cartels. But everything Rick and Madison value, and the growing love between them, is threatened by the dangers of Rick's job, and the risks he's determined to take…

GoodreadsAmazonB&NHarlequin

Find out more and connect with Kate on her website.

A Boy to Remember by Cynthia Thomason

You can't live a lie forever

One magical summer—that was all it took for Alexis Foster to fall deeply in love with Daniel Chandler. And then she gave him up to keep Daniel from sacrificing his own dreams. But the passionate bond they shared is rekindled when Alex returns to her family's farm…with a powerful secret.

Ohio's youngest state senator, Daniel's star is on the rise. He's also discovering a kindred spirit in Alex's seventeen-year-old daughter. Alex has to tell him the truth even at the risk of his political future…even if it costs her the two people she loves most.

GoodreadsAmazonB&NHarlequin

Find out more and connect with Cynthia on her website.

The Missing Twin by Pamela Tracy

The secret between them

Angela Taylor knew her sister was in trouble. For anyone but a twin, her instincts would seem crazy, and her actions crazier. Picking up and moving her and her daughter, Celia, to Scorpion Ridge, asking questions, put them all at risk. Even more risky was trusting Jake Farraday, the handsome ex-cop turned forest ranger. Years in witness protection had taught Angela to trust no one. Yet with Abigail missing, Jake was her only hope, and she found herself wanting to share more of her past with him. And more of her future. But did Jake have his own motives for helping Angela?

GoodreadsAmazonB&NHarlequin

Find out more and connect with Pamela on her website.

You can also purchase all four together at HarlequinAmazon, and B&N, and from December 1st to January 4th, readers can Buy One, Get One 50% off all Harlequin series books at Books-A-Million stores across the US!

To win more prizes and chat with all four Heartwarming authors,
come join our Facebook Party on December 29th!
(Click on the image to go to the event page.)

Giveaway

Grand Prize Winner: $40 Amazon gift card and signed print copies of all four Heartwarming books
Second Place Winner: signed print copies of all four Heartwarming books
Four - Third Place Winners: signed print copy of one Heartwarming book
US/CAN only
Ends December 22nd

We hope you will enjoy some Heartwarming this coming year!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Rump by Liesl Shurtliff

Rump

Author: Liesl Shurtliff

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Published: April 2013

ISBN13: 9780307977309

Hardcover: 272 pages

FTC FYI: Borrowed from my friend

Goodreads Summary

In a magic kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone's joke. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. Rump discovers he has a gift for spinning straw into gold. His best friend, Red Riding Hood, warns him that magic is dangerous, and she’s right. With each thread he spins, he weaves himself deeper into a curse.

To break the spell, Rump must go on a perilous quest, fighting off pixies, trolls, poison apples, and a wickedly foolish queen. The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship—and a cheeky sense of humor—he just might triumph in the end.
 

My Review

What a fun book!  I love retellings.  I really enjoyed Rump's story and his quest to find his name. His journey leads him many places as he tries to find the truth about his family and why/how he can spin straw into gold.  I loved Red, she is Rump's only friend and she was quite the mystery herself.  One thing after another kept happening to poor Rump, but I felt the pacing was perfect, in that he didn't stay down for long.  This is a book of triumphing over evil and a great example of overcoming obstacles.  Liesl wrote her characters well.  The Miller especially, although downright evil, did not disappoint.  The trolls were an enjoyable surprise, I loved the aunts, Red and her grandma were great, and the pixies were so much fun.

5 out of 5 stars.  Rump is a story full of heart and humor.

Author Links

Goodreads / Website / Twitter

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Monday, December 7, 2015

Pwned by Shannen Crane Camp

Pwned

Author: Shannen Crane Camp

Publisher: Future House Publishing

Published: Originally 2013, new publish date Dec. 3. 2015

ISBN13: 9780996619370

Paperback: 185 pages

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

Goodreads Summary

Reagan West has the perfect life. She’s gorgeous, she’s popular, and she’s at the tip-top of the high school food chain as co-captain of the cheerleading squad. She’s also best friends with the most evil girl in Albany, Tawny Perez, which means she’s never on the receiving end of Tawny’s wrath. 

The only trouble in Reagan’s perfect life comes from the constant threat of her fellow classmates discovering her dirty little secret—Reagan West is a closet gamer. 

What’s more, Reagan absolutely hates her role as the evil cheerleader. But, as any teenager knows, it’s better to suppress your own nerdy tendencies than to submit to a lifetime of being shoved into lockers. So, Reagan bravely soldiers on as a reluctant bully ... until a cute boy from her guild moves to her school and becomes Tawny’s next target. The good-looking newcomer threatens to reveal Reagan’s nerdy little secret and force her to come to terms with who she truly is. Now Reagan has to decide if she’s going to defend her fellow geeks, or if she’ll continue to be a total troll.

My Review

Pwned is a great book that brings out the inner-gamer in us all!  I loved getting to know and learn "gaming terminology".  Very fun!  I really liked Reagan and her journey to find who she really is.  Tawny was awful, sometimes a bit over the top for me (are girls really that evil?), but Shannen wrote her well.  I was pleasantly surprised with the sweet relationship between Reagan and her brother, Cannon.  I loved the scenes where they would interact, especially when they played Cannon's matching game. What a great kid.  I also liked that there was parental involvement too, and I appreciated some of the actions taken by Reagan's mom.  Actually there were lots of fun surprises in this book, one at the end, that I suspected, but when it was revealed, made complete sense.  I say this a lot, but the boy stole the show for me.  I loved Parker, he truly was a great guy and a great match for Reagan.  

4 out of 5 stars! 

Author Links

Goodreads / Website / Facebook / Twitter

Purchase Links

Amazon Currently $.99 for the re-release and enter to win a Kindle Fire!


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Heir to Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

Heir to Edenbrooke

Author: Julianne Donaldson

Publisher: Shadow Mountain

Published: November 17th, 2015

ASIN: B0182T9IBW

Kindle: 53 pages

FTC FYI: I received a MOBI file from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary

Philip Wyndham has never envied his older brother for being the heir to Edenbrooke. He would much rather carve out his own destiny than live under the constraints of that position. But when his older brother dies unexpectedly, Philip's life is turned upside down as duty requires him to give up the life he planned. Philip takes on his new role as the most sought-after bachelor in London with alternating reluctance, boredom, and resentment. But all that changes the night fate leads him to an inn, where he meets the incomparable Marianne Daventry.

My Review

I had been looking forward to reading this since I heard it was going to be released.  Julianne is an amazing author, and I was excited for even a small glimpse back to Edenbrooke.  I enjoyed getting to know the man that Phillip was before he met Marianne and what he had to put up with beforehand was frustrating.  I loved the scene at the ball, I was laughing to myself at the "mis-steps" of the young ladies.  I really appreciated seeing Marianne through his eyes, and the realization Phillip comes to when he first meets her was refreshing.  Very entertaining novelette by Julianne!

5 out of 5 stars.  

Author Links

Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook  

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Deseret Book

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen

A Night Divided

Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen

Publisher: Scholastic

Published: August 2015

ISBN13: 9780545682428

Hardcover: 317 pages

FTC FYI: I received a hardcover copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary

From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen comes a stunning thriller about a girl who must escape to freedom after the Berlin Wall divides her family between east and west.

With the rise of the Berlin Wall, twelve-year-old Gerta finds her family divided overnight. She, her mother, and her brother Fritz live on the eastern side, controlled by the Soviets. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west in search of work, cannot return home. Gerta knows it is dangerous to watch the wall, to think forbidden thoughts of freedom, yet she can't help herself. She sees the East German soldiers with their guns trained on their own citizens; she, her family, her neighbors and friends are prisoners in their own city.

But one day, while on her way to school, Gerta spots her father on a viewing platform on the western side, pantomiming a peculiar dance. Then, when she receives a mysterious drawing, Gerta puts two and two together and concludes that her father wants Gerta and Fritz to tunnel beneath the wall, out of East Berlin. However, if they are caught, the consequences will be deadly. No one can be trusted. Will Gerta and her family find their way to freedom?

My Review

My tears have finally cleared so I can write this review.  This book was probably one of the best, if not the best, book I've read all year.  I read it as fast as the pages would turn.  Every turn of the page brought a new struggle for Gerta and her family.  I couldn't imagine living life like they had to.  No one to trust, for fear of being arrested, and to be separated from your family would be heartbreaking. I can't summarize a thing for you because one sentence would give it away.  I can say this, I instantly cared for the characters and their efforts to not accept living their lives behind a wall.  Greta was amazing.  One of the strongest, most inspiring characters I've read.  Her strength was uplifting.  She was so brave.  I loved Fritz too.  He was just as strong as Gerta was.  A couple more characters, who I can't name, really shined at the end too.  At one part, I was screaming for joy!  Well, many parts, but honestly, while reading the last couple chapters, I was barely breathing thinking I was going to be heard by the Grenzers.

5 out of 5 stars.  This is the perfect book for any reader.  It truly made me appreciate the struggles the people of that time had to endure.

Author Links


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