Friday, November 30, 2012

The Tyrant King by Cheri Chesley

The Tyrant King

Author: Cheri Chesley

Publisher: Cheri Chesley

Published: August 13, 2012

ISBN: 9781470085575

Genre: YA speculative

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

Goodreads Summary 

Krystal's peaceful life as queen of Fayterra is shattered when a stranger arrives with a connection to Jareth that threatens to change everything. Soon her loved ones are threatened, her people are under attack, and Krystal must face a devastating loss. As the future becomes bleaker and the mystery continues to unravel, Krystal's enemies will learn just how far she will go to defend the people she loves.

Her heart paused, but Krystal remained defiant.
"You lie. You would never do such a thing to my child."
"You think not?" He laughed again and she drew back. "I've sworn an oath to annihilate my dear cousin's present and future, take over his kingdom and his crown, and fulfill my father's dreams. And you think I would hesitate to murder his offspring? Come now, Krystal. I know you are smarter than that."
Mindy's Review

I have been a fan of Cheri's for a long time. I was thrilled to be apart of the Blog Tour for The Tyrant King.  This book is full of romance, suspense, and action.  Not only is it page-turning, but you will immediately care about the characters as you read about their continuing story. Krystal and Jereth's love story remains strong, and we get to see them as caring and loving parents. Donovan is a bad guy that you will love to hate. And, for fans of The Wild Queen, there is a surprise for you at the end.

My daughter Michalla is also a huge fan of Cheri's, who is very generous with her fans. Michalla emailed Cheri telling her how much she enjoys her books, and Cheri was gracious enough to answer her back, and sent a signed book (for the both of us).  Michalla is always telling her friends about these great books.

4 out of 5 stars. Krystal is such a wonderful character, a strong woman who fits for what she wants. I"m excited for Book 3 next year.

Author Links

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

The False Prince

Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Published: April 1st, 2012

Genre: middle grade

ISBN: 978-0-545-43347-1

FTC FYI: Received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Summary:

THE FALSE PRINCE is the thrilling first book in a brand-new trilogy filled with danger and deceit and hidden identities that will have readers rushing breathlessly to the end.

In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point -- he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well.

As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.

An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.

My Review

I knew I was going to love this book right from the first page.  Jennifer has created some great characters in this book. Sage is the perfect smart-alec that you will be cheering for throughout the book. Sage is almost too clever for his own good, and he's always a step ahead of everyone. My favorite character was, of course, Sage. But Mott was a close second. Sage is a mystery. Sometimes you want to slap him, but you truly wonder what he is up to.

I loved everything about this book.  The writing is flawless and page turning. I also enjoyed how the author kept secrets from the reader, and how she subtly revealed key moments, which turn out to be HUGE!  I really can't summarize this book without giving anything away, but know that this is one of the best books I have read all year.

Since I am not going to summarize the book, I wanted to give you a sample of what is in store for you when you read this.
"If I had to do it all over again, I would not have chosen this life. Then again, I'm not sure I ever had a choice.
These were my thoughts as I raced away from the market, with a stolen roast under my arm.
I'd never attempted roast thievery before, and I was already regretting it. It happens to be very difficult to hold a chunk of raw meat while running. More slippery than I'd anticipated. If the butcher didn't catch me with his cleaver first, and literally cut off my future plans, I vowed to remember to get the meat wrapped next time. Then steal it." (The False Prince, page 1)
5 of out 5 stars.  This is an amazing book that cannot be missed. I loved it and it can be enjoyed by young readers and adults.

The False Prince has also been nominated for 2012 Whitney Award.  Congratulations Jennifer.

Author Links

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wonder by R.J. Palacio


Author: R.J. Palacio

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf

Published: February 14th, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-375-86902-0

Hardcover: 310 pages

FTC FYI: Borrowed from the libray

Goodreads Summary:  

"I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels."

My Review

I read this book for Book Club in August.  I honestly was hesitant to read it.  I had to ask my friend Marnie many times if it was painful to read.  I was worried that August would be beat up a lot, or constantly tormented by the kids at school, I was wrong.  There was teasing, and surprise looks by those seeing Auggie for the first time.  This was a wonder from start to finish.  It should be required reading for preteens, and teens, just so they are aware of what even the slightest action can do.   Auggie, Mom, and Dad, Via (his sister), Jack, Summer, even Daisy the dog were a delight.  I cried many times, but not from pity for August.  I was happy for him.  The ending, wow, get your kleenex.  Of course, any book with as many Star Wars references as this had, I was an instant fan.
I had many favorite lines from the book, but this was my favorite.  Every month Auggie's English teacher gave the kids a precept to write about.  October's was "Your Deeds are Your Monuments".  This was Auggie's reply.
This precept means that we should be remembered for the things we do.  The things we do are the most important things of all.  They are more important than what we say or what we look like.  The things we do outlast our mortality.  The things we do are like monuments that people build to honor heroes after they've died.  They're like the pyramids that the Egyptians built to honor the pharaohs.  Only instead of being made out of stone, they're made out of the memories people have of you.  That's why your deeds are like your monuments.  Built with memories instead of with stone.
Good, huh?  The whole book is like that.

5 out of 5 stars.  This is the author's first book.  She did a phenomenal job.  Wonder is also one of the best books I've read all year.  It will be in my Top 10 of 2012.  

Author Links

Friday, November 16, 2012

The 13th Day of Christmas by Jason F. Wright and Guest Post!

Guest Post and Review

The 13th Day of Christmas

Author: Jason F. Wright

Publisher: Shadow Mountain

Published: October 9th, 2012

ISBN13: 9781609071776

Hardcover: 236 pages

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

Goodreads Summary: Marva Fergusen has a very personal Christmas tradition that happens every December 26th. As an aging widow, the tradition means more to her now than it ever has.

Her newest neighbor, nine-year-old Charlee Alexander, loves Christmas too. But her family has fallen on hard times and things get worse when Charlee becomes critically ill.

Then, on December 12th, Charlee makes a wonderful Discovery. A mysterious note is delivered that promises twelve days of gifts and stories that will reveal the truth behind the beloved Christmas song "The 12 Days of Christmas." As the days go by, the gifts hint to a possible lost lyric. Was there once a thirteeth day of Christmas? And if so, could it's magic change - or save - a life?

Filled with laughter, tenderness, and hope, The 13th Day of Christmas invites us to see how an old Christmas favorite can become a true Christmas miracle.

My Review

Jason does such an amazing job of instantly pulling me into his books with his well-written plots and wonderful characters.  I immediately loved Miss Marva and Charlee.  Marva collects aprons, and she changes them a few times a day depending on her mood.  Charlee's family has come on hard times, and moves into the trailer park owned by Marva and her late husband.  Charlee is out looking for a something to do, when she see Marva hanging clothes on the line. Marva calls Charlee over, and they become fast friends. There is a lot going on at Charlee's house.  Her father recently lost his business, and her brother Zack was kicked out of school.  Life at their house is hard.  The only ray of sunshine was Charlee.  Miss Marva invites the family to Thanksgiving dinner.  It is an all day event with all the trimmings.  Then the worst happens, Charlee get dizzy, faints, and her loved ones rush to the hospital, only to hear the news no family wants to hear.

One warning, have a box of Kleenex handy when you are reading this book.  As with all of Jason's stories I've read, I cried.  A lot.  The 13th Day of Christmas is full strong characters, and lots of heart.  I loved the message that this book sends, think of others before youself.  Service is the way to bring you closer to Christ. When I was a kid, we would pick a family in our neighborhood to do the 12 Days of Christmas for. One year, my dad tried to disguise his voice and ended up scaring their young daughter.  Luckily, he apologized and all was well. :)

5 out of 5 stars. I loved this book. So full of heart and love of two friends. It is a fast read, but I wanted to know what happens to these great characters, so I couldn't put it down. Just remember what I said about the Kleenex, but also this book has a great ending that will leave you satisfied, but possibly crying happy tears. 

Best. News. Ever! Jason Wright recorded a YouTube Guest Post for me. I asked him what his biggest inspiration is when writing his books.  I loved his answer and so will you. Thank you, Jason. 

YouTube Link

Author Links

Facebook Fan Page

Purchase Links

Barnes and Noble
Deseret Book

Thursday, November 15, 2012

All Fall Down by Julie Coulter Bellon

All Fall Down

Publisher: self

Published: September 20th, 2012

ISBN13: 9781479264858

Genre: mystery/suspense

FTC FYI: Received a PDF copy in exchange for an honest review

Backcover Summary: 

Ring around the rosy, a pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes we all fall down . . .

That simple rhyme turns negotiator Claire Michaels’ current hostage situation into an international incident. Claire just wants to help get everyone out safely, but as the crisis escalates she realizes she’s dealing with an al-Qaeda operative who has the means to become another bin Laden—with the potential to attack America. Claire has her own personal reasons for wanting to stop al-Qaeda, but time is slipping away as negotiations break down. Can she overcome her scars of the past in order to get the hostage out alive and possibly stop an assault on U.S. national security?

Navy SEAL Rafe Kelly is on leave to recover from a knee injury he suffered during his tour in Afghanistan and he doesn’t expect to be fighting terrorists on his home turf. But when he is taken hostage and his brother is kidnapped, Rafe teams up with a hostage negotiator in order to stay alive and get his brother back. The terrorist is always one step ahead of them, however, and the situation quickly turns from desperate to deadly. Will Rafe be able to save himself and his country without anyone he loves getting caught in the crossfire?

My Review

Julie Bellon has written an awesome book with the perfect amount of suspense, mixed with romantic tension and great chemistry between the main characters. I was taken immediately into the story, and only out of sheer fatigue would I stop reading. I read this really fast, so luckily I only had to wait one night in between.  I loved the point of view changes. Chapters would end with such great cliffhangers, but the next chapter was a different character. I really enjoy that "author trick" as I call it, and it kept me reading, and reading, and reading ...

I really liked the main characters. I love a strong female lead, with a touch of venurablitly. Claire was perfect for that role. She was smart and knew her job well, but when it came to Rafe, she developed a soft spot. Rafe was great too. By the end of this book, he is put through the ringer. I kept thinking, what else can happen to this poor guy. They both were great characters and written well.

4 out of 5 stars. From now on, I will be forever creeped out by the nursery rhyme, "Ring Around the Rosie".  

Author Links

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Secrets of the Red Box by Vickie Hall -- Blog Tour

Secrets of the Red Box

Author: Vickie Hall

Publisher: self

Published: September 15th, 2012

ISBN13: 978-1479330546

FTC FYI: I received a PDF copy in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Summary:

Bonnie has secrets to keep - secrets with the potential to destroy lives, including her own. Running from her destructive and pain filled past, she recreates herself, believing she has escaped the damning evidence hidden in the red box. When her former life is revealed by a cruel twist of fate, Bonnie faces losing everything, including Glen, the only man she’s ever loved. But is Bonnie the woman he thinks she is? Set against the backdrop of the 1940s, Secrets of the Red Box is filled with intrigue and suspense - sure to keep you guessing to the very end!

My Review

3 out of 5 stars.  I did enjoy reading Secrets of the Red Box.  There were times, however, when I thought it was a little slow.  I thought there were some things that didn't need to be in there.  It is a clean read, which I appreciated, and the author did a great job of developing characters.  I really liked the ending, and thought it was perfect for what the secrets were in the red box.

Tour Giveaway
  • $25 Amazon Gift Card or $25 PayPal Cash from Author Vickie Hall + copy of Secrets of the Red Box (US - Paperback, Kindle ebook - International)
  • Paperback copy of Secrets of the Red Box (US only)
  • Kindle Ebook copy of Secrets of the Red Box (International)
Ends 11/25/2012

Author Vickie Hall

Vickie is a native of Utah, but growing up, lived in the states of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Nebraska. When she's not writing, she's composing music, or shopping with her sister. She loves animals of all kinds and camping with her family. Her favorite pastime is watching old movies on TCM, and unashamedly has a crush on Cary Grant.

Links: Blog * Website * Facebook * Goodreads

Secrets of the Red Box

Bonnie has secrets to keep - secrets with the potential to destroy lives, including her own. Running from her destructive and pain filled past, she recreates herself, believing she has escaped the damning evidence hidden in the red box. When her former life is revealed by a cruel twist of fate, Bonnie faces losing everything, including Glen, the only man she’s ever loved. But is Bonnie the woman he thinks she is? Set against the backdrop of the 1940s, Secrets of the Red Box is filled with intrigue and suspense - sure to keep you guessing to the very end!

Purchase Link: Amazon 

Link for the Book Blast.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Witch Born by Amber Argyle

Witch Born

Author: Amber Argyle

Publisher: Starling Publishing

Published: September 5, 2012

ISBN13: 9780985739409

Genre: YA fantasy

FTC FYI: Received an ebook copy in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Summary:

Brusenna thought it was finished. 

She defeated the Dark Witch, saving the Haven Witches from imprisonment and death. She found love and a place to belong. 

She was wrong. 

Haven is not the sanctuary it appears to be. Even love is in danger of slipping away like water through cupped hands. 

Some things can't be saved. 

A new threat merges with the old as the Witches’ dark history begins to catch up with them. Only Brusenna knows the extent of the danger and how to stop it, though doing so might cost her everything.

Including her life. 

Will Brusenna be required to make the ultimate sacrifice?

My Review

First of all, I need to start this review by apologizing to the author.  I've had this review written for a while, and last week as I was reviewing old posts, I came across this draft that I never posted. Amber, if you read this, I'm sorry for forgetting to post this review sooner.

Now, to the good stuff.  Witch Born is just as good, if not better then the first.  While I enjoyed Witch Song, Witch Born had me turning pages quickly, and kept me guessing as to what was going to happen next.  It grabs you right at the beginning, and then takes you on a magical ride.

After being Guardian touched, something is happening to Senna she doesn't understand, and no one will tell her.  The Heads, and her mother are keeping quiet.  There is a traitor among them, threatening their way of like in Haven.  Also a jealous apprentice too, that could jeopardize her relationship with Joshen.  Senna visits Espen for answers, and while doing so draws on an ancient power no one understands and is afraid of.  Senna feels that saving Tartan is the answer, others don't believe her or want to believe.  She is under constant watch.  Is it for her protection, or everyone else's?

4 out of 5 stars.  Joshen is still a favorite, but I must say there is a special place in my heart for Reden.  He's a fav.  This is a great series for all readers who like magic and fantasy.  Start with Witch Born first, of course.  Here is the review I did on Witch Song a couple months ago. 

Amber is giving away 5 copies of Witch Born on Goodreads. Check it out!

Author Links


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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Delivering Hope -- National Adoption Month

I reviewed Delivering Hope back in August.  Check out the review if you missed it.

November is National Adoption Month, and I wanted to share some exciting news from the author, Jennifer Ann Holt.  During the month of November in support of the National Adoption Month, and the National Council for Adoption (,
Jennifer is donating her royalties for books sold during November (excluding ebooks) to the 
National Council for Adoption's The Hope Challenge project.

Cedar Fort has agreed to donate $1/book sold of their profits, and with the help of several other charitable foundations who will be matching these donations, $5 will be donated to this terrific cause for every copy of Delivering Hope that sells during November!

I was so excited to help Jennifer spread the word for his great cause!



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cover Reveal for Heart of the Ocean by Heather B. Moore

Author Heather B. Moore

Heather B. Moore is the award-winning author of ten novels, two inspirational non-fiction books, and two anthologies, including The Newport Ladies Book Club Series, A Timeless Romance Anthology, and Christ's Gifts to Women (co-authored by Angela Eschler).

Her historical fiction is published under the pen name H.B. Moore. She is the two-time recipient of Best of State in Literary Fiction, two-time Whitney Award Winner, and two-time Golden Quill Winner for Best Novel. Her most recent historical novel under H.B. Moore is Daughters of Jared (2012 LUW Gold Award of Excellence & 2012 LUW Best Book Trailer).


Author Website:

Author Blog:

Timeless Romance Anthologies Blog:

Heather B. Moore Amazon Page:

H.B. Moore Amazon Page:


Facebook “Fans of H.B. Moore” page:


Book Summary:

Heart of the Ocean
by Heather B. Moore

A dark secret . . . a grieving ghost  . . . a handsome stranger  . . .
What more could Eliza Robinson want?
Except for maybe her life.

In Heather B. Moore’s enthralling 1840’s historical romance, Heart of the Ocean, Eliza Robinson has turned down the very pretentious Mr. Thomas Beesley’s marriage proposal. As a business partner of Eliza’s father, Thomas quickly discredits the family and brings disgrace to the Robinson name.

While her father scrambles to restore his good name in New York City, Eliza flees to the remote Puritan town of Maybrook to stay with her Aunt Maeve. Although relieved to be away from all- things-male and unforgiving gossip columns, odd things start to happen to Eliza, and she is plagued by a ghostly voice. Her aunt’s explanation? That Eliza is being haunted by a woman who died of a broken heart twenty years ago.

After Aunt Maeve is tragically killed, Eliza's life is put in danger as she tries to uncover the mystery of her aunt's death. She encounters Jonathan Porter in Maybrook, whose presence in the town seems suspicious, yet she finds herself drawn to him. When she discovers that Jonathan’s dark secrets may be the link between the dead woman who haunts her and her aunt’s murderer, Eliza realizes that Jonathan is the one man she should never trust.

Cover Reveal:

An Ideal Boyfriend by Mette Ivie Harrison

An Ideal Boyfriend

Author: Mette Ivie Harrison

Publisher: Self

Published: August 12, 2012


ISBN13: 9781476031552

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

Smashwords Summary:

Told from alternating points of view, Trudy and Rob are high school students at St. James Luck Academy, in a world where luck has been quantified. Trudy thinks that Rob is an ideal boyfriend, the only son of the oldest luck family in America. Yes, his parents wish that Rob would go back to his old girlfriend Laura who came from an old luck family and was more suitable. But Rob always defends her and treats her well. Rob, on the other hand, has a secret he has been keeping from his family all his life, and from Trudy, too. When Laura threatens to "out" him, Rob has to do whatever she says, including betraying his best friend Art, and handing over Art's new science project that will change the world of luck completely--for good or ill, depending on who has control of it. 

My Review

I met the author at Authorpalooza in September, and I was really taken by her description of this book. It is a retelling of the Oscar Wilde play An Ideal Husband. But, this story has luck, and lots of it.  

I really enjoyed An Ideal Boyfriend.  I enjoyed the style in which the author wrote it.  It is told from alternating points of view from Trudy and Rob.  Trudy comes from unlucky parents. She is only at St. James Academy because of her impressive luck scores. Rob's ex-girlfriend Laura, isn't happy that she is there.  When Rob's friend Art starts asking Trudy questions about luck, that starts a chain of events that could lead to someone permanently losing their luck, or becoming the luckiest person in the world. Would that be so bad?

4 ouf 5 stars. Mette Ivie Harrison has written many fabulous book. Find her on Goodreads, her WebsiteFacebook, and Twitter.

An Ideal Boyfriend is only .99 on Smashwords.

Purchase Links


Once Upon a Baby by Shari Guess -- Blog Tour

Once Upon a Baby: A Tale of Adoption

Author: Shari Guess

Publisher: Narrow Trail Publishing

Published: 2012

Paperback: 28 pages

ISBN13: 9780985859008

FTC FYI: Received a PDF copy in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Summary: A heartwarming tale of LDS adoption. Follow a child's journey from the Pre-existence to his family's home on Earth.  The divine guidance of the Savior, along with the prayers of both birth and adoptive parents are gently and lovingly portrayed in this tender story of the ultimate "happily every after".

My Review

I was very excited to be a part of this blog tour.  November is National Adoption Month.  I have many friends who have been blessed by adoption.  This book is a sweet telling of that very thing.  This story is the journey of a family starting their life together in heaven, and the way they end of together here on earth.  They soon realize that they need some help. Once Upon a Baby is also a beautifully illustrated story. It is a great story for all families.  My favorite quote from the book talked about how much our Heavenly Father loves us.
"The mommy and daddy said more than a few prayers and asked Heavenly Father and Jesus to help them keep their promise to the baby. Because Heavenly Father and Jesus loves mommies and daddies and children too, Jesus answered their prayers. He would help the child come down from Heaven as a baby to his family's home on earth."
Once Upon a Baby is a perfect book that will help a child understand where they came from, and that their "tummy mommy" loved them too.

Find out more about the Shari on her website .

Purchase Link:


Bio from her Goodreads page:

SHARI GUESS is a proud, first-time children’s book author and lives in rural North Texas where she is “Mom” to her beloved 9-year-old adopted son, Garrett. Happily married to her husband Walter for going on 13 years they share their cabin-in-the-woods with a small herd of Great Danes and farm animals. Shari is currently a part-time real estate agent and property manager and prior to marriage worked for over a decade in the music business, spanning from Los Angeles to Nashville. She wore many hats as a journalist and publicist representing multiple recording artists, magazines and music publishing companies, along with being a part-time performing artist and songwriter. Her hobbies include choral, Americana and rock music, martial arts, photography, travel and anything in the mountains.

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