Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Blog Tour/Review: The Orphan's Wish by Melanie Dickerson


The Orphan's Wish, by Melanie Dickerson
2018, 352p, Christian Fiction/Fairytale retelling
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: I received a complimentary copy, which did not affect my review in any way



From the streets to an orphanage in a faraway kingdom, Aladdin has grown up alone. Until he meets Kirstyn. With a father who is the duke of Hagenheim and a mother who is the patroness of the orphanage where Aladdin lives, Kirstyn is a member of the most powerful family in the land . . . and way out of his league. Despite the difference in their stations, Aladdin quickly becomes Kirstyn’s favorite companion for taking walks in the forest, and their childhood friendship grows along with them.

Through his scrappy skills, intelligence, and hard work, Aladdin earns a position serving in the duke’s house. But he knows it isn’t enough to grant him his one desire: Kirstyn’s hand in marriage. If he hopes to change his station in life and feel worthy of marrying Kirstyn, he must leave Hagenheim to seek his fortune.

But once Aladdin leaves, no one is around to protect Kirstyn, and the greedy men desperate to take advantage of her father’s wealth take notice. Now, more than Aladdin’s background stands in the way of the future he’s worked so hard to obtain. His only hope is to rescue Kirstyn and somehow manage to win her hand as well.


I've heard a lot about Melanie Dickerson, but this is the first book of hers I've read. It definitely won't be my last! It's a fairytale retelling of Aladdin, which is a bit loose, but still a great read.

This book entertained me from beginning to end! Aladdin was an orphan who started out in a tough situation. His situation improved, but he still felt like the orphan that needed to prove himself, so he left to earn his fortune. He formed new friendships and learned multiple life lessons. I enjoyed getting to know each of these characters, whether they were good or bad.

I liked the twists and turns this story took so I didn't quite know what to expect. I was interested from the beginning, but then it got even better and I couldn't put it down until I knew how it ended. This is Christian fiction so I like that it's clean and has an inspiring message! I would recommend it to anyone, especially those that enjoy fairytale retellings!


Melanie Dickerson is a New York Times bestselling author and a Christy Award winner. Her first book, The Healer’s Apprentice, won the National Readers’ Choice Award for Best First Book in 2010, and The Merchant’s Daughter won the 2012 Carol Award. Melanie spends her time daydreaming, researching the most fascinating historical time periods, and writing stories at her home near Huntsville, Alabama, where she gathers dandelion greens for her two adorable guinea pigs between writing and editing her happily ever afters.


Melanie Dickerson’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, June 25th: @ladyofthelibrary
Tuesday, June 26th: Read Eat Repeat
Wednesday, June 27th: Write Read Life
Thursday, June 28th: @megabunnyreads
Friday, June 29th: Splashes of Joy
Monday, July 2nd: What is That Book About – author guest post
Tuesday, July 3rd: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Thursday, July 5th: Broken Teepee
Friday, July 6th: @createexploreread
Monday, July 8th: Girls in Books
Tuesday, July 10th: Here’s to Happy Endings
Tuesday, July 10th: @girlandherbooks
Tuesday, July 10th: Mel’s Shelves
Wednesday, July 11th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Thursday, July 12th: All of a Kind Mom
Friday, July 13th: @abookishpeach & A Bookish Peach – author guest post
Monday, July 16th: @bookishconnoisseur
Tuesday, July 17th: The Sketchy Reader
Wednesday, July 18th: Blooming with Books
Thursday, July 19th: Reader’s Cozy Corner

Monday, July 9, 2018

DVD Review: TREK, the Movie



TREK, the Movie, DVD, 2018
PG, 94 minutes
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: I received a complimentary copy of the DVD, which did not affect my review in any way

Trek follows a young Mormon teenager named Tom and his friends on their handcart journey. Along the way, they try to smuggle in unsanctioned food, battle sibling rivalry, encounter a "special ops" Young Men leader, match wits with a Twinkie-loving skunk, and ponder doctrinal brain teasers like, "Do General Authorities go to PG-13 movies?" But, when they encounter unexpected trouble, their faith is tested much like that of their pioneer ancestors. Whether you've been on a trek or not, your family will laugh along and ultimately be inspired as you enjoy this delightful film.

Participating in Trek wasn't an option for me when I was a youth, and I haven't had an opportunity to attend as an adult, either (and, have to admit that, since I'm not much of a camper, I'm not too sad about that). One of the things I found to be unrealistic in this movie was the lack of adults. There were six adults, which wasn't nearly enough for a group like this. There was a situation towards the end that would have been prevented if there had been more adults, but it was an important part of the plot so I guess adults would have ruined that.

All that aside, though, this movie made me laugh and kept me entertained the entire time I watched it. Some of the youth are struggling with questions, whether they are serious or on the lighter side. There are many different personality types represented which makes it easy to relate to someone.Tom was a character that grew on me as I learned more about him and the struggles he was dealing with.

I watched this with my daughter who has been on Trek and she enjoyed it, too, but she felt like they left out key parts of Trek, like the water crossing and women's pull, which would have made it more authentic. We did have a great discussion after watching this movie, and after reading the message from Alan Peterson, the Director, I feel like like this movie accomplishes what he hopes it will. The only warning I would give is that there is a couple that likes to sneak off and kiss, so if you're okay with that, then it's great for the entire family!



Message from Alan Peterson, Director of TREK The Movie

It’s exciting to anticipate the DVD/BluRay release of TREK, the movie. Being with audiences in theaters is the fulfillment of any director’s dream. But, the reality of independent film is that you can’t get a movie into enough theaters so that everyone who wants to, can see it. July 3rd is a day that lots of TREK fans have been waiting for. Now, everyone can enjoy the laughs and lessons of TREK whenever they want. One of our goals in producing the movie was to create a story that would honor the wonderful tradition of this hands-on experience unique to our faith. Trek provides a critical chance to connect with our past. Why is this important? I’ll let Elder Russell M. Ballard explain:

"I have a deep conviction that if we lose our ties to those who have gone before us, including our pioneer forefathers and mothers, we will lose a very precious treasure. I have spoken about “Faith in Every Footstep” in the past and will continue in the future because I know that rising generations must have the same kind of faith that the early Saints had in the Lord Jesus Christ and His restored gospel.” (General Conference, October 2017, The Trek Continues!)

It is too easy to forget what our pioneer ancestors sacrificed for their faith and for our good. I hope families can sit down together and share the movie and talk about how grateful we should be for the men, women and children who marched into the unknown following a prophet of God so long ago. And, I hope they will talk about the challenges they face today as members of the church as we march forward into the unknown. Do you feel like Tom and wonder where God is? How do we connect with Him? What do we do when we feel weak and alone? Hopefully, TREK helps us know that our Heavenly Father is there and that He cares.

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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Unforgettable Love: Featuring Author Elizabeth Johns





Moon and Stars by Elizabeth Johns

Lady Charlotte Stanton was officially on the shelf. Her first offer to be a chaperone had sealed her fate at the advanced age of eight-and-twenty. Yet, one magical evening a mysterious gentleman took pity on her and danced with her clandestinely under the stars. He refused to tell her who he was—other than unsuitable. It has ruined her peaceful existence as an aging spinster.

Sir David Douglas, known to many as Captain Deuce the infamous smuggler, regardless of having changed his ways and made his fortune away in the Indies. His past was destined to follow him forever. Despite helping bring down a high level smuggling ring, the King wants him to do more to earn his pardon. Reluctantly, he is forced back into the dark trade of smuggling once again.

As Sir David struggles to gain his freedom, Lady Charlotte tries to unravel his mystery and help him. But will she find her happily ever after or will she be caught up in the sins of his past?




“Sometimes I think I have more in common with the moon and the stars than Polite Society,” a deep, baritone voice said from behind her, as if the man had heard her thoughts.

Charlotte managed not to flinch. She was unused to anyone seeking her company in dark places.

“Yes, I was brought up amongst the ton, yet it is not often comfortable,” she replied, still looking at the night sky.

“That is the last word I would use for it,” he said as he came to stand next to her. He was so close she felt warmth radiating from him and smelt his scent of spice and pine. She was afraid to turn and look. She did not wish to ruin the moment with reality, yet the arm of his coat appeared to be well made, and his hands appeared to be strong.

They stood there in silent kinship, listening to the sounds of laughter and dancing coming from the ballroom.

“Would you care to dance?”

Charlotte did not answer. This man must be someone new in Town, someone who knew not who she was, or could not see her clearly in the moonlight. What did it matter? It was only a dance. One dance would change nothing.

She held her hand out to him and finally allowed herself to look up.

“Have we been introduced?” she asked, annoyed at her inanity. She had never before seen this man, of that she was certain.

His light grey eyes twinkled in the moonlight, and they were looking at her—her!—flirtatiously. Crinkles formed at the edges of his eyes, indicating an experience and maturity that made him more handsome when he smiled. It was devilish cruel that men became more striking with age.

“You know very well we have not,” he answered.

He pulled her close—too close—and began to twirl her around. The moment was too intimate for mere words. Charlotte felt light and dainty for the first time ever as this man spun her in his arms. She must be dreaming. It was a heady, delicious feeling as her pulse raced and her insides quivered.

When the music ceased, they stood there still, retaining the position of the dance as their breathing slowed. Charlotte grew self-conscious as the man studied her.

“Am I to know your name?” she whispered.

He took her hand and brought it to his lips, sending shivers through her.

“Some things are better left unspoken, my lady.”





“I loved everything about this story. Every woman needs to meet a man who wants her just the way she is. Despite the struggles and self doubt, despite the familial opposition, despite the outside forces and ever present danger from sinister forces - our dear couple finally triumphs.”

“Elizabeth Johns writes lovely, intricate Regency tales filled with angst, longing, tragedy and triumph. She does not pander with superfluous and gratuitous sex scenes. Yet her stories are romantic and satisfying. I highly recommend this series and all of Johns' books if you want to be transported and escape this time period to the land of happily ever after. I cannot wait for the next one!”







Author Elizabeth Johns

National bestselling author Elizabeth Johns was first an avid reader, though she was a reluctant convert. It was Jane Austen's clever wit and unique turn of phrase that hooked Johns when she was "forced" to read Pride and Prejudice for a school assignment. She began writing when she ran out of her favorite author's books and decided to try her hand at crafting a Regency romance novel. Her journey into publishing began with the release of Surrender the Past, book one of the Loring-Abbott Series. Johns makes no pretensions to Austen's wit but hopes readers will perhaps laugh and find some enjoyment in her writing.

Johns attributes much of her inspiration to her mother, a retired English teacher. During their last summer together, Johns would sit on the porch swing and read her stories to her mother, who encouraged her to continue writing. Busy with multiple careers, including a professional job in the medical field, author and mother of small children, Johns squeezes in time for reading whenever possible.




Through the FireMelting the IceWith the WindOut of the DarknessRay of Light: Traditional Regency Romance
After the RainSurrender the PastSeasons of ChangeSeeking RedemptionShadows of Doubt



Giveaway Details

Ends 7/15/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Amazon.com. 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. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Blog Tour/Excerpt: Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced by R.J. Garcia


BeachBoundBooks is pleased to be coordinating a Blog Tour for R.J. Garcia's young adult mystery, Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced. The tour will run June 11 - July 2, 2018.

Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced Tour

About the Book


nocturnalmeetingscover

Title: Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced

Author: R.J. Garcia

Genre: Young Adult Mystery

Number of Pages: 326

Publisher: The Parliament House

Publication Date: May 1, 2018

Summary: Mystery surrounds the town of Summertime, Indiana, where fifteen-year-old Tommy Walker and his little sister are sent to live with relatives they’ve never met. Tommy soon makes friends with Finn Wilds, a rebellious local who lives with his volatile and abusive stepfather, who also happens to be the town’s sheriff. Finn invites Tommy to late night meetings in the woods, where Tommy gets to know two girls. He forms a special and unique connection with both girls. The meetings become a place where the kids, who don’t fit in at school, or home can finally belong. As the group of friends begin to unravel clues to a cold case murder and kidnapping— they learn the truth is darker and closer than they ever imagined. Even if they live to tell, will anyone believe them?


What readers are saying about the book...

"This YA contemporary story opens with intrigue(like its cover!) and adds suspenseful layers all the way to the tumultuous end." - Christina Dwivedi
"This novel is not teen angst, but the excitement of young love—the madness and muddle of thinking the wrong thing, the shame and mortification of saying it. Words are analyzed before spoken, parsed and reconsidered and judged and considered again. The author’s brilliance is in hearing the thoughts of her characters so clearly." - Amazon Reviewer 

"RJ Garcia’s twisting tale navigates the lives of a fringe group of teens who discover some of the most sinister secrets exist in the cracks of idyllic small-town life. Reminiscent of the mood and haunting tone of VC Andrews’ greatest novels, the plot toes a line between the eerie and the downright horrific with characters that jump off the page and into your heart." - Amazon Reviewer

Excerpt:

A sense of fragility filled the air. We were in the woods late at night without any adults. It seemed a little dangerous. The kind of dangerous that makes you know you’re alive. The wind mysteriously moaned. Some of the trees remained bare and stark, still dormant from the winter. Other trees had come back to life but started shedding from the return of the cold. It would have made an ideal setting for a horror movie.

I looked at a jet-black sky through a waning awning of leaves. The crescent moon ghosted down on us, along with a few scattered stars. We stepped on dead leaves and foliage and kept walking. After about fifteen minutes we made it to a clearing. Motionless shadows from the trees showed on the frosted grass.

The beam of the flashlight whirled around wildly as Finn shot it around the surrounding trees. Stray rays of light even touched the treetops.

“Are you sure this is where we’re supposed to meet them?” I asked.

Finn leaned back, resting his arm against a majestic oak tree, near the edge of the clearing. “Yeah. I’m positive. We always meet here.” The massive tree branches spindled out like a giant fan, some of the lower branches almost touched the ground.

Although it was the first official day of spring, the temperatures had dropped. I was the dumb kid who only wore a hoodie. Now that we stopped moving, the coldness knifed its way up my feet and ankles. Before I knew it, the chill took the rest of my body. I shifted all around in a lame attempt to keep warm. “It’s really cold,” I complained.

“You don’t have to tell me. My tomatoes died,” he said gravely.

Shivering, I told him, “You know, your blood can literally freeze.”

“It’s not that cold,” Finn replied, mildly irritated. He stepped toward me, pulling off his black ski cap and gloves, which had the fingers cut out. We were a generation so obsessed with our phones that we couldn’t even wear real gloves anymore. Finn handed them to me. Once I slipped them both on, they helped a little. We heard a kind of rustling off in the foliage. Confusion registered on his face, mirroring my own. Finn shined the light toward the sound, but we didn’t see anything.

R.J. Garcia. Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced The Parliament House. Kindle Edition.

Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced Excerpt

About the Author



R.J. Garcia is a wife, and proud mom of two smart kids. She earned her MSW and worked with foster children and as a school social worker. Writing has been her other great love. She has published several non-fiction pieces. She has been writing short stories for as long as she can remember. To her amazement, those short stories became novels!


Blog Tour Giveaway


Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice Giveaway ends: July 2, 11:59 pm, 2018

Open to: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, R.J. Garcia and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to stacie@BeachBoundBooks.com.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Unforgettable Love: Featuring Author Shanna Hatfield





Rose by Shanna Hatfield

FOUND: Old-fashioned letter in a bottle on the beach…

Now what’s he supposed to do with it?

Tanner Thomas has no interest in contacting the woman who wrote a heartfelt, hopelessly romantic letter his mother found in a bottle on the beach. So why won’t thoughts of her stop tormenting him? Desperate to get her out of his mind once and for all, he makes a surprise trip to meet her, completely unprepared to fall in love with a stranger he meets on the beach.






Excerpt 1:

To the Man of My Dreams,

A crazy dare from my even crazier friends is the reason you hold this note in your hands. Under normal circumstances, I would not engage in something as undeniably foolish and utterly ridiculous as writing a letter to a man I will likely never meet. In truth, I am not convinced the man of my dreams exists.

You see, I once gave away my heart — my whole heart. The boy I gave it to (for one such as he most assuredly cannot be referred to as a man) tossed it aside one stormy winter day much as one might discard an empty latte cup from Starbucks. After thoughtful speculation, I concluded he was incapable of offering or accepting real love. He owns no respect for love or what it encompasses, what it means.

Love is one of the deepest, most essential human needs — like crisp, clean air to breathe, or cool, refreshing water to drink, or even a piece of rich, decadent chocolate. (Chocolate is a need and if you do not recognize it as such, you may as well tuck this letter back inside the bottle and forget you ever found it.)

In all seriousness, though, every human heart longs to love and be loved.

However, I am far past the desire for a run-of-the-mill sort of love. No, not just any old romance will do. What I seek, what I will wait a lifetime for, is the kind of love that will forever alter my life in a most miraculous, wondrous way. I want the love of a good man to add vibrancy to the colors in my world. His love should be a song my heart eagerly sings. Being with him should be the greatest and best adventure I ever experience. I want a man who perceives the depths of my soul, cherishes my heart, and takes delight in my smile.

I have no use for a man (or boy, because some men remain boys no matter what age they are) who lacks the key traits of loyalty, honesty, and kindness. For that matter, I also have no use for one who possesses a deep-seated fear of the very notion of love.

Therefore, Mister Dream Man, I care not a whit about how much money is in your bank account, what you look like, or the type of vehicle you drive. Your favorite sports teams (go Seahawks), your fashion sense (or lack thereof), and the ability to do such heinous things as burp the letters of the alphabet are of no consequence to me (although that last one is rather revolting. Please tell me you do not do that — at least not with any frequency).

My interest rests in the contents of your heart.

I want to know if you are kind to old women who hold up the line at the grocery store. Do children and dogs like you? Do you have a favorite charity?

By chance, if we do someday meet, I shall do my best never to measure you by anything except your capacity to love with abandon. And maybe your laughter. Laugh lines etched like glorious grooves of joy around your eyes would be an unmistakable sign that you are more than a mere acquaintance with happiness.

I suppose if I expect you to reach out to me upon finding this preposterous missive, you should know something about me beyond the fact I’ve tried falling in love and the experiment failed quite spectacularly.

The world I live in is not complex. Rather, my life is simplistic for the most part. My days are often divine, filled with sweet moments and dear friends. Assuredly, they (the days and my friends) are never, ever dull. I have never had to work at a job (at least by the definition most people attribute to that particular word) as an adult because that which I turn my hand to is something that brings me a heaping abundance of bliss.

After reading this, if you think you may hold an interest in meeting an old-fashioned girl with her share of quirks, one who enjoys sunsets, chocolate (obviously), and treasures from gentler days, please email me at OneVintageRose@...




"The chemistry was really great and I loved the beach setting. This was a really sweet, clean romance." Amazon Reviewer

"Beautifully crafted love story. Makes you believe in the power of love." Amazon Reviewer

"Charming story. Historical details mixed with romance and ocean sunsets. Just the right amount of humor tossed into the writing to keep the pages turning." Amazon Reviewer







After spending her formative years on a farm in eastern Oregon, hopeless romantic Shanna Hatfield turns her rural experiences into sweet historical and contemporary romances filled with sarcasm, humor, and hunky heroes.

When this USA Today bestselling author isn’t writing or covertly hiding decadent chocolate from the other occupants of her home, Shanna hangs out with her beloved husband, Captain Cavedweller.




The Christmas CowboyAundyCrumpets and CowpiesGarden of Her Heart
The Cowboy's Summer LoveHeart of ClayThe Christmas Bargain,The Cowboy's Christmas Plan



Giveaway Details

Ends 7/15/18

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Amazon.com. 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. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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