Monday, September 30, 2013

Book Review: The Inventor's Secret by Chad Morris

Cragbridge Hall, Book 1: The Inventor's Secret
Cragbridge Hall, Book One: The Inventor's Secret, by Chad Morris
2013, 336p, Middle-Grade Fantasy
My Rating=5 stars
Source: Own a copy

Imagine a school in the year 2074 where students don’t read history, but watch it happen around them; where running in gym class isn’t around a track, but up a virtual mountain; and where learning about animals means becoming one through an avatar.

Welcome to Cragbridge Hall, the most advanced and prestigious school in the world. Twin siblings Abby and Derick Cragbridge are excited as new students to use their famed grandfather’s inventions that make Cragbridge Hall so incredible. But when their grandfather and parents go missing, the twins begin following a trail of clues left by their grandfather. They must find out where their family is, learn who they can trust, and discover what secrets are hidden within Cragbridge Hall.

Abby and Derick soon realize they are caught in a race with a fierce adversary to discover their grandfather’s greatest secret–a dangerous discovery that could alter both history and reality.

This is one of those books that I picked up one day while looking at the selection of books at Costco. I felt compelled to start reading it and halfway through, remembered my rule about waiting for an entire series to come out before I start reading it with my kids. By that time, though, it was too good to stop reading. We all absolutely loved it! Towards the end, we all wanted one more chapter, then one more chapter, until we ran out of time to read. When we got close to the end, we kept reading because we just had to know how it ended.

We enjoyed Abby and Derick and loved how down-to-earth they are, but Abby's friend, Carol, cracked us up. She gets distracted while talking and goes off on tangents. She also thinks Derick is hunky so she's always embarrassing him. Then there's Jacqueline, Abby's nemesis. They were roommates until Jacqueline decided that Abby didn't deserve to be there and she started making life miserable for Abby. There's the T.A., Rafa, and some teachers that they get to know and need to determine who will be helpful to them and who will try to stop them from saving their grandfather and parents. There are some twists and turns and surprises and it's lots of fun!

I loved how the author brought stories from history (and made them interesting) to show that, when given proper motivation, people will do whatever they need to in order to survive and keep pushing through obstacles because they really have no other choice. He also does a great job of explaining what we can learn from history and tragedies. As much as we don't want tragedies to occur, there are lessons to be learned from them and they will change the course of some people's lives for the better. We had so many great discussions while reading this book! I'm glad it didn't end on a cliffhanger, but it definitely left all of us looking forward to more. This is a series I highly recommend reading!

Book Blast: Someone to Listen by A.T. Douglas

Book Synopsis:

Abby wanted a fresh start, a new life thousands of miles away from her four difficult years of high school and the rumors that followed her. As she begins her college experience in Boston, she finds friendship and love she didn’t expect, people who show her that she doesn’t have to be alone.

She is torn between two paths, inexplicably drawn to two completely different guys. One understands her and reminds her of who she used to be, the broken shadow of a person wandering through life but not truly living. The other is the key to her future, the guiding hand that she waited for years to pull her out of the darkness and into the light.

When Abby’s newfound happiness and renewed existence are threatened, everything changes. She can fall back to that dark place within her or fight to save her future.

She faces the same struggle she has all along: getting someone to hear her, finding someone to believe her.

All she ever needed was someone to listen.


After growing up in the Pacific Northwest, A.T. Douglas ventured away from her quiet hometown for the bustle of college in the city of Boston. Though she studied astronomy and was a science geek at heart, she always had a love for the written word and a story swirling in her head.

It wasn't until she became addicted to the Young Adult/New Adult Contemporary Romance genres that she embraced her renewed passion for reading by self-publishing her debut novel, Someone to Listen. Fueled by coffee and her love of music, she strives to turn daydreams and the realities of life into words the world can read. Her writing is inspired by personal experiences and memories from her past. She hopes to inspire others to break the silence and get their stories out into the world.

A.T. Douglas lives in New Hampshire with her husband and son and wishes desperately that there were more hours in the day for family, reading, and writing.

Buy Link (exclusively on Amazon):

Find out more about A.T. Douglas and follow her at the following social media links

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Blog Tour: The King's Ransom by Cheryl Carpinello

Young Knights of the Round Table Blog Tour Button

About the Book

The King's Ransom by Cheryl Carpinello Title: Young Knights of the Round Table: The King's Ransom

Author: Cheryl Carpinello

Publication Date (Kindle): May, 2012

Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing

Number of pages: 84

Recommended age: 9+

Summary (Amazon):
In medieval Wales, eleven-year-old Prince Gavin, thirteen-year-old orphan Philip, and fifteen-year-old blacksmith's apprentice Bryan are brought together in friendship by one they call the Wild Man. When an advisor to the king is killed and a jewelled medallion is stolen from the king’s treasury, the Wild Man is accused of the theft and murder. Filled with disbelief at the arrest of the Wild Man, the three friends embark upon a knight’s quest to save their friend’s life. To succeed, the three must confront their fears and insecurities, and one of them will have to disclose the biggest secret of all. Join Gavin, Philip, and Bryan on their quest and share the adventures that await them in the land of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.
I'm mixed on short stories because I usually feel like I want more but I like that it doesn't take me long to read a book. This book felt complete to me! We meet the characters, Prince Gavin, the orphan Philip and the blacksmith's apprentice, Bryan, and they are upset that their friend, the Wild Man, has been accused of murder and theft. They decide to do whatever they have to in order to save him. They each set out to do their part and face their fears.

Gavin is a young prince training to become a squire and is afraid that he won't be able to do it. Philip came to Pembroke a year ago, after tragically losing his family and still hasn't told his friends what happened. Bryan wanted to be a knight but lacked money and stature to make that happen, so his family sent him away to learn a trade. He's been the blacksmith's apprentice for the last five years and still has two years left. 

This is a fast-paced story that children and adults will both enjoy! It's well-written and exciting as we read about the fears each boy faces and how they are able to triumph. It's a great story about loyalty, friendship and overcoming obstacles. Because of the length, it doesn't drag or slow down at all, so it's fun to read and hard to put down. And the ending is full of surprises! I highly recommend reading this book!

My Rating=5 stars


Amazon * Muse it Up * Barnes and Noble

The Buzz

"The King's Ransom is a fast-moving story, a tale of knights and castles and villains. As Gavin, Phillip, and Bryan set about to save their friend, the reader is brought vividly into the medieval world of King Arthur. There is just the right balance of action and character development to entice young readers and reluctant readers to pick this book up, as was the author's intent. I recommend it to all middle grade readers." ~ Laurie C., Amazon, 5 Stars

"The adventures these future Young Knights of the Round Table experience in their quest to save their friend are filled with the fantasy and adventure story elements that children love to read. There's a villain, secret passages in castles, swordplay, and even a witch. And with King Arthur's appearance, astonishing secret identities being revealed, and a happy ending, what more could anyone want in a good read?" ~ Tyler T., Amazon, 5 Stars

"This was a great book! I liked all of the action and excitement in it. Ms. Carpinello wrote this book really well and it was very appropriate for kids even though it deals with fighting and a wrongfully accused person. Ms. Carpinello described the time period really well, I felt like I was a knight in medieval times! I really love that the story features a bit of King Arthur legends in it! The ending had a couple of great twists that had me totally surprised!." ~ Erik @ This Kid Reviews Books, 5 Stars.


2013 EVVY Finalist and EVVY Merit Award for Juvenile/Young Adult from Colorado Independent Publishers Assoc.
2013 Ariana Cover Finalist
2012 Silver Award Recipient for YA Fiction from Children's Literary Classics and the CLC's 2012 Seal of Approval.
2012 Finalist E-Book Children from USA 2012 Best Book Awards

About the Author: Cheryl Carpinello
Cheryl Carpinello, Author
Cheryl Carpinello

Although a retired teacher, Cheryl Carpinello still has a passion for working with kids. She regularly conducts Medieval Writing Workshops for local elementary/middle schools and the Colorado Girl Scouts. She is not the only one who loves Medieval Times and the King Arthur Legend. The kids thoroughly enjoy writing their own medieval stories complete with dragons, wizards, unicorns and knights!

She loves to travel and her other job is with a major airline. Her favorite trip was a two week visit to Egypt with her husband that included traveling by local train from one end of Egypt to the other. Some of her favorite books include The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Once and Future King, and any by the duo Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

Author Site:

Author Blog:

Facebook page: Author Cheryl Carpinello

Goodreads author page: Cheryl Carpinello

Twitter: @CCarpinello

Google+: Cheryl Carpinello

Young Knights of the Round Table Blog Tour Schedule (2013)

September 9
September 10
September 11
September 12
September 13
September 14
September 15
September 16
September 17
September 18
September 19
September 20
September 21
September 22
September 23
September 24
September 25
September 26
September 27
September 28
September 29
September 30

** Young Knights of the Round Table Blog Tour Giveaway **

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Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash

Contest runs: September 9 to October 6, 11:59 pm, 2013

Open: WW

How to enter: Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: 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. If you have any additional questions - feel free to contact Renee at Mother Daughter Book Reviews.

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Book Blast: The Emerald Ring by Dorine White

I'm excited to share this Book Blast since it's a book I've already read and enjoyed! You can read my review on it here.

The Emerald Ring

Sara Bogus’s life turns upside down when she discovers an emerald ring that once belonged to Cleopatra. The fun of discovering the ring’s unique abilities turns to fear when she finds out a dangerous cult bent on restoring Rome to power is after the ring. Forced to choose between keeping the ring and saving her friends, Sara learns the price of bravery in this electrifying read!
The Emerald Ring is a middle grade fantasy novel.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble


“Filled with fun, magic, mystery, and history, The Emerald Ring and spunky sleuth Sara will have you racing on a pulse-pounding trail that reaches all the way to Ancient Egypt.”- Kevin Emerson, author of The Oliver Nocturne series, and The Fellowship for Alien Detection.

“The Emerald Ring is a whirlwind adventure that transports the reader into the mysterious world of Ancient Egypt. A great choice for those who love mythology and magic. ” – Suzanne Selfors, author of The Sweetest Spell, Smells Like Dog series, and many more.

“The Emerald Ring is an exciting and mysterious fantasy featuring fast-paced action, a scary villain, and a spunky young heroine.” – Suzanne Williams co-author of The Goddess Girls Series.

“The Emerald Ring is a not-so-run-of-the-mill middle grade fantasy novel laced with mystery and intrigue. It has just enough surprises to keep kids turning the page to see what happens next. The author has a real knack with “kid lingo” and has used diverse cultures to her advantage. Definitely a book I can recommend with confidence.”- Laurisa White Reyes author of The Rock of Ivanore & The Last Enchanter

Author Dorine White

I graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Humanitites. I am a member of the SCBWI and the PNWA. I write middle grade and YA fantasy. My first book, The Emerald Ring, will be published in 2013 by Cedar Fort Books.


Blog * Facebook * Twitter

BookBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 10/15/13

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, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Grand Finale: Cassie's Cowboy Crave by Kimberly Krey

Cassie's Cowboy Crave (Sweet Montana Bride, #1)Cassie's Cowboy Crave

Sweet Montana Bride Series

by Kimberly Krey

Published July 12, 2013

Twenty-four-year-old Cassie Lovell has a great job, good friends, and an apartment with a killer view. That is, until life is turned upside down. Without the chance to say goodbye, Cassie is forced into a witness protection program on Emerson Ranch. Just when she fears life is doomed, Cassie meets Shane Emerson, the stunningly handsome cowboy who’ll be posing as her newlywed groom. 

Shane Emerson is determined not to fall for the woman he’s agreed to harbor. Especially since the whole thing was his family’s way of trying to get him hitched. So why is it when he takes Cassie into his home, Shane wants nothing more than to turn their make-believe marriage into more than just a sham? 

In a moment of weakness, Shane steals a kiss. 
In return, Cassie steals his heart. 
Yet before they confess their undying love,a hidden danger threatens to tear them apart. 

*Although this novel is considered clean romance, it does contain passionate kissing and a few mild curse words.

The Kissin' Tour

The delights of Romantic Tension!

Sept. 16 – Launch
17 – TheReading Diaries - Review
After learning about Cassie’s story I wanted to adopt her as my own sister and give her the life she always wanted but never had.
recipe image-         
Pieces of Whimsy - Excerpt and Recipe

    Chef John's Easy Apple Pie
        “He always said my pies put him under a spell, and I’m looking forward to the affects of it already.”
Cassie gulped down the lump forming in her throat. She couldn’t remember disliking a person so much in all her life.

18 – TheWonderings of One Person - Review
 Even amid the desire, Shane’s main focus was on getting to know her heart because he intended this to be forever. That melted my heart more than any steamy kiss they shared.
19 – I Am a Reader, Not a Writer  - Kissing Quiz?
Are You A Good Kisser?

Go ahead... take the QUIZ!!!  :-D

20 –
Mommasez… - Initial Sparks I, A Teaser

I got it,” Shane offered, coming up from behind. He was quick to move, and none too subtle as he nudged up against her, reaching high overhead to open the cupboard. "
Mel’s Shelves - Review

What a fun, clean read! 
I felt like I could relate to his family which is why I enjoyed them so much and look forward to learning more about them in future books!
21 – BookwormLisa - Review
I was pulled into the book from the beginning.  There are kissing scenes, but the book doesn't go farther than the kiss.  This is the kind of romance book that I really enjoy. Sweet with a bit of spice that doesn't make me blush!
22 – A Tiffyfit’s Reading Corner - Excerpt
Though he was certain her cup of cocoa had been as cool as his, all he could taste was the heat.  
Sun Mountain Reviews - Frozen Hot Chocolate

23 – GettingYour Read On - Favorite Kissing Scenes
 Today Kimberly and I are going to dish some of our top, favorite kissing moments from movies, TV and books...
"One of my favorite Movie Kisses would have to be from A Walk In The Clouds..."
Cassie's Cowboy Crave was a fantastic diversion.  I loved it....  A perfect way to spend a few hours by the pool while your kids swim.  :)  (yes, that's exactly how it went for me)
Christy’s Cozy Corner - Initial Sparks Excerpt

“A kiss goodbye?” The laughing stopped, and he could swear Cassie’s gaze had landed solidly on his mouth. Shane moistened his lips, suddenly hungry for a taste of hers...  He had to get out of there. And fast.
24 – Tressa’sWishful Endings 
Top Ten Things That Make a Great Romance Novel
I want to get a good grip on the attraction right away. Even if there’s a bit of a love-hate thing going on, I like knowing there’s something brewing, an undeniable attraction no matter how maddening the opposite is.
- The Wonderings of One Person - Inteview!
 It was actually Shane who came to me first, and I loved his story: Two older brothers who’d met their wives through this witness protection thing – I loved the expectations that came along with it, and knew I needed to write his story.
I also loved the setting on the ranch. The horses and hard labor, the group meals and gatherings, the camaraderie and the way Shane's family adopts everyone who works there or marries into the family. 
I loved the times when Cassie and Shane went off on walks, rides, or on a picnic. Just the simple things they did to develop their friendship.
- What’s Beyond Forks?

This was an addictive little story. I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning reading this book. 
I just couldn't put it down.
Sept. 27-30  Grand

Writing Romance That’s Clean Without Losing the Steam!

Kimberly Krey

I'm a writer of contemporary clean romance, a lover of home, family, & friends, & the ultimate hater of laundry.

A few of my favorite things: Diet Coke, Cafe Rio, and novels by Marcia Lynn McClure.

I do not go anywhere without: SoftLips Chapstick and Altoids Smalls. 


$100 Amazon Gift Card + Signed Paperback + Recipes!  (Int'l.)

Sept 16 - Oct 11

See the rafflecopter for restrictions. Must be 18 to enter and able to receive winnings, etc.

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Blog Tour: Rocky Road by Josi S. Kilpack

Tour Schedule

Rocky Road

It was supposed to be a girls’ weekend in scenic St. George, Utah that would include shopping, trying out the local cuisine, and participating in a breast cancer fundraiser. The fact that one of the organizers of the fundraising event, a local doctor, disappeared two months ago was not supposed to be Sadie’s problem. In fact, she refuses to participate in the grassroots investigation her friend Caro, and Caro’s cousin, Tess, have put together prior to her arrival. But then she meets the ex-wife of the missing doctor. How could she not ask a few questions . . . that lead to a few more questions . . . that lead to a small town and yet even more questions. Before she knows it, Sadie is in the middle of yet another murder investigation and trying to piece together a convoluted trail of good intentions, hidden motivations, and philanthropy turned big business.

Years ago, I borrowed the first book in this series, Lemon Tart, from my sister and I enjoyed it, but life got busy and I wasn't reading too much so I didn't keep up with this series. And now here's the 10th book! I have a bit of catching up to do but what I enjoyed about this book was that I didn't feel like I was lost because I hadn't read books 2-9. There's obviously some history with Pete and it will be fun to go back and learn more about their story. 

Apparently, Sadie is usually inserting herself into investigations and this time, she was avoiding it. Sadie and Pete recently got engaged and Sadie just wants time to relax and plan her wedding, but the disappearance of Dr. Hendricks put a kink in her plans. Dr. Hendricks set out a backpacking trip by himself and when he didn't return home, Search and Rescue searched for him for 6 days and when they couldn't find any sign of him, he was presumed dead. A memorial service was scheduled a couple of days before the cancer walk that Sadie was coming to town to participate in. Her friend Caro, and Caro's cousin, Tess, had done some work before she got to town and wanted to continue investigating his disappearance and when Sadie refused to help, Tess turned cold toward her.

The three women go to help with the memorial luncheon and Lori Hendricks, the ex-wife, is there helping, too. Sadie gets talking with her and decides to become involved. During the memorial service, Sadie's interest is peaked even more and she and Caro set out to find answers. 

This is a great mystery! I like Sadie--she has a lot of spunk and determination. She seems easy to get along with so it's kind of surprising that Tess doesn't warm up to her. I didn't care for Tess. She seemed like a hindrance and for someone that pushed for them to investigate, she wasn't focused on the task at hand. Caro was caught in the middle between a cousin and good friend. It was an interesting dynamic which created some tension. There are some twists and turns and the ending wasn't what I was expecting!

I love St. George, Utah, so it was fun to read a story that took place there. I also now want to explore some of the smaller towns nearby next time I head down that way. In her Author's Note at the end, Ms. Kilpack mentions that there is a real city named Pine Valley in southern Utah but she took a few liberties in describing it. And then, of course, there are the recipes! There's a Cafe Rio-Style Barbacoa Pork recipe (which is yummy with salad fixings in a tortilla) with the Tomatillo dressing and a Rocky Road Fudge recipe at the end. There are also some other ones that look yummy! You can download recipes from the author's books on her website.

There's also a sneak peek at the next book, Fortune Cookie, coming in February 2014 (and there just might be yet another recipe included). 

My Rating=4.5 stars

Author Josi S. Kilpack

Born and raised in Salt Lake City Utah, I met my husband in high-school–well, he wasn’t my husband then, just the cute guy in weight training with the permed mullet–and we married in 1993. I wrote my first book while on bed rest with my third child and have gone on to publish 20 novels, the most recent being part of The Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series.

I currently live in Willard, Utah with my husband, children, and cat.

Culinary Mysteries by Josi Kilpack

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 10/6/13

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Cover Reveal: The Ripple Effect Romance Novella Series

The Ripple Effect Romance Novella Series 

Enjoy this exciting new series of clean novellas by six critically-acclaimed authors.

“Like a pebble tossed into calm water, a simple act can ripple outward and have a far-reaching effect on those we meet, perhaps setting a life on a different course—one filled with excitement, adventure, and sometimes even love.”

Book 1: Home Matters by Julie N. Ford

Book 2: Silver Linings by Kaylee Baldwin

Book 3: Righting A Wrong by Rachael Anderson

Book 4: Lost and Found by Karey White

Book 5: Second Chances 101 by Donna K. Weaver

Book 6: Immersed in Love by Jennifer Griffith

Home Matters by Julie N. Ford

According to her mother, Olivia Pembroke was born to be a star. But how is she supposed to be famous when she can’t even get a decent acting gig? Her lucky break comes when she lands an audition for a wildly popular home improvement show. Even though she has no design training and has never even held a power tool, she refuses to let that stop her. She’s confident that her destiny is finally within reach.

When her affections are torn between her heartthrob co-host and the irritating, yet somehow endearing lead contractor, does she continue to reach for the stars? Or does she design a new happily ever after? One that leads not to the fading lights of fame and fortune, but to a love that will burn forever.

Silver Linings by Kaylee Baldwin

Drew Westfall wants nothing more than to forget what he had to do in the name of “smart” business. Cutting off all ties with his parents—including handing over the entire contents of his trust fund to a charity—he takes off for Bridger, Colorado where his best friend has an extra room for him. It doesn’t take long for him to realize that his business degree won’t do him much good in a town as small as Bridger, but he’s broke and has nowhere else to go.

Eden Torresi has every reason to wallow. Not only did she lose her mother, but she had to drop out of nursing school and is in a relationship with a guy unwilling to commit. But Eden isn’t the wallowing type. Instead, she chooses to spend most of her time taking care of the seniors at Silver Linings Nursing home. When she learns that her boyfriend’s new roommate is down on his luck, her caring nature makes her want to reach out to him and offer what help she can. But the more time they spend together, the more complicated things get, especially when the seniors of Silver Linings decide to play matchmaker.

Righting a Wrong by Rachael Anderson

Seven years ago, Cambri Blaine fled her small hometown of Bridger, Colorado after her senior year ended in a fiasco. Only Jace Sutton knew the real reason why—that she was a spineless coward. Now, seven years later, her father’s been in an accident and needs help, and Cambr has no choice but to return home. So with trepidation, she takes a leave of absence from the landscape architecture firm where she works and boards a plane, hoping against hope that Jace is no longer around and that the past can stay where it belongs—in the past.

If only life worked that way.

Jace never expected to see Cambri again. After she’d led him on, bruised his heart, and left town without a backward glance, he was forced to pick up the pieces and try not to hate her for it. Eventually, he put it behind him and moved on, creating a life for himself in his beloved hometown. But now that Cambri is back and looking more beautiful and sophisticated than ever, some of those old feelings resurface, and Jake instinctively knows, for the sake of his heart, that he needs to avoid her at all costs.

If only it were that easy.

Lost and Found by Karey White

Lydia was supposed to have an adventurous and exciting summer. Instead she’s done nothing more than read and eat takeout. Now it’s time to go home, and what does she have to show for it? A big fat nothing. Unless, of course, her trip to the airport somehow turns into something more than just a flight home.

Blake feels like he’s been sent on a wild goose chase. While work is piling up back in Denver, he’s on the other side of the country, hunting for some mysterious box that his grandfather left him. Well, no more. Nothing inside that box could possibly be more important than the opportunity to make it as the youngest partner at his firm. So he’s going home, and that’s that. But that’s before he discovers his flight has been cancelled.

When these two strangers meet at the airport, they make a split-second decision to search for the box together. Maybe with both of them on the hunt, Lydia can have her adventure and Blake can find the box. And maybe, if they’re lucky, they’ll even find some romance.

Second Chances 101 by Donna K. Weaver

Thirty seven year old Francie Davis, a recent widow and empty nester, gets to attend college at last. She’s sure her luck has changed when she also lands a job on campus that will pay her tuition, as administrative assistant to a history professor. When her handsome new boss yells at her on the first day of work, Francie worries she will never be good enough.

For Professor Alex Diederik, life is going downhill fast. Not only is his bitter ex-wife trying to poison their only daughter against him, but now his one place of solace—his work environment—is being complicated by his attractive new administrative assistant. She drives home his feelings of failure as a husband and father, and Alex wonders if hiring her was the right thing to do.

Francie will have to put aside her hurt and insecurities or risk her dreams, while Alex must look outside himself if he’s to mend the breach with his daughter. And, perhaps, find someone who can help heal his pain.

Immersed in Love by Jennifer Griffith

Lisette Pannebaker speaks five languages and has a brilliant business plan—personal language immersion. Clients can hire her to shadow them and speak all day in any language they need to learn for business or travel—whatever.

But there’s a major hitch: she’s far too pretty. Clients with less than honorable intentions sign up just have Lisette at their side. Solution? A make-under. Way under.It works like a charm. None of her male clients show her the least bit of interest.

Until… Erik.

Erik Gunnarsson is charming, kind, and smart—everything she’s ever looked for. Even though he seems to have a secret and she swore she’d never date a client, Lisette is tempted to shed her disguise—even if it means jeopardizing her career.

Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 10/31/13

Bloggers who put up a spotlight post about these books on their blog can enter to win an additional $25 gift card or paypal cash.  See details in the Rafflecopter.

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, Not A Writer and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Book Review: A Nothing Named Silas by Steve Westover

A Nothing Named Silas
A Nothing Named Silas, by Steve Westover
2013, 304p, Dystopia
My Rating=5 stars
Source: Received copy from publisher for an honest review

You are here because the Citizens put you here to serve them and because the Regents choose to control your lives.

In the not-so-distant future, workers are forcibly drafted into their fields. With all their choices made for them, the workers must do what they’re told or face severe consequences. When Labor chooses Silas, the tyrannical Labor Regent is determined to make him a public example of her complete control. He is humiliated, manipulated, and isolated during his first week under the Shield, and the people who show him kindness only help him because they have ulterior motives.

But the Regent is not the only one pulling Silas’s strings. The mysterious Gideon wants to mold him into a hero, a champion of the oppressed people. And a strange girl seems to be guiding him to find out more about the Citizens they serve. Through it all, no one bothers to ask Silas what he wants to do. Because, after all, he doesn’t have any rights. He doesn’t really exist.

Wade through twisted government conspiracies and deeply buried secrets alongside Silas as he learns to choose for himself—and discovers the cost of freedom.

We first meet Silas as he's starting a foot race. His father reminds him how important this is since the Regents are watching and the draft is tomorrow and there is no second place. Silas isn't too concerned because he knows he'll win. The race doesn't go as planned, though, and he doesn't get first place, but still does well. However, he's stunned when he's picked last by Labor instead of picked first by Command, which is hard because he's trained his whole life to be in Command. 

We learn more about this world. They're divided into different Divisions to make them efficient and they live under Shields to keep them safe. He has to leave his father and brother and travels to the Labor Shield with Regent Taelori. She's nice to him until they get to the Labor Shield, at which point she decides to make an example of him and he's subject to lots of unpleasantness and confusion at what's happening. He's offered help and is grateful but he's not sure who he can trust. 

As time goes on, he learns more about Labor Shield and meets people willing to help him, but is surprised when he finds out their identities. When he learns the truth about who he is and why he's there, his world starts to unravel and he goes looking for answers.

Wow! This is an intense, interesting book and a fantastic beginning to a new dystopian series! I enjoyed the world building and the characters. There's so much to each of them that it's hard to tell what their motivation truly is or what exactly is going on. The only person I could fully trust was Silas. And when Silas found out who he really is, I was stunned (and believe I gasped out loud), and then the book title made total sense. At that point, too, the plot sped up and this book was even harder to put down.

Silas does a lot of observing and I usually like lots of dialog, but found myself engrossed in what he was seeing and learning. Even though he grew up around there, he wasn't familiar with the Labor Shield at all and had to learn new rules, meet new people, and find where he fit in the scheme of things.

This book isn't a light, easy read. It's complex, with twists and turns, conspiracies, betrayal and mistreatment with a graphic scene towards the end. And the ending definitely left me wanting to start book 2 right away. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it! Mr. Westover's other books look good, too and I look forward to reading more of his work!

Steve Westover lives in a small Midwestern town with his wife and four kids. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Political Science and currently works in banking.
Steve also has a middle-grade fantasy series with two books released to date: Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island (March 2012) and Crater Lake: Return of the Mystic Gray (Apr. 2013). Steve has also published two FBI thrillers: Defensive Tactics (Aug. 2010) and the sequel, Gold Clash (Dec. 2012).

Illustration Sneak Peek: The Goddess Tithe by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

It's been fun to see and learn more about the cover and read an excerpt. Today, we get a sneak peek at the illustrations and learn more about them. I hope you're as excited for this book as I am (and here's hoping one of us wins a Proof Copy)!

Title: Goddess Tithe
Author: Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Series: Tales of Goldstone Wood
Expected Release Date: November 12, 2013
Publisher: Rooglewood Press
Page Count: 130 pages

The Vengeful Goddess Demands Her Tithe

When a stowaway is discovered aboard the merchant ship Kulap Kanya, Munny, a cabin boy on his first voyage, knows what must be done. All stowaways are sacrificed to Risafeth, the evil goddess of the sea. Such is her right, and the Kulap Kanya's only hope to return safely home.

Yet, to the horror of his crew, Captain Sunan vows to protect the stowaway, a foreigner in clown's garb. A curse falls upon the ship and all who sail with her, for Risafeth will stop at nothing to claim her tithe.

Will Munny find the courage to trust his captain and to protect the strange clown who has become his friend?

You can learn more about Goddess Tithewhich novel it's connected to and read Chapter 1, here: 

Intro to Illustration:

There are eight full-page illustrations in Goddess Tithe featuring various characters and events from the story. This is the first one in the book. I decided to share it with all of you since it depicts my young hero, Munny the cabin boy, under the watchful eye of his mentor, the old sailor Tu Pich. Munny is on his first voyage, and he is determined to learn all there is to know about a life at sea as quickly as possible. Thus we see him utterly intent upon the knot he is learning to tie. Tu Pich is old enough to know that no sailor will ever learn all there is to know about the sea. Thus he looks on, grave, caring, and perhaps a little sad. He might be looking upon his own younger self of many years ago, fumbling through the hundreds of difficult knots his fingers must learn to tie with unconscious ease.

I enjoyed creating all the illustrations for Goddess Tithe, but this one was my favorite. I love the contrasts of light and dark, the contrasts of young and old . . . youthful intensity versus the perspective of age.

Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a kindle of kitties, and one long-suffering dog. When she’s not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and practices piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. She is the author of the Tales of Goldstone Wood, including Heartless, Veiled Rose, Moonblood, Starflower, and Dragonwitch. Heartless and Veiled Rose have each been honored with a Christy Award, and Starflower was voted winner of the 2013 Clive Staples Award.

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The Goldstone Wood Series:


Anne Elisabeth is offering two proof copies of Goddess Tithe as prizes! (U.S. and Canada only) 

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Cover Reveal Blitz by Prism

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Blog Tour: My Own Mr. Darcy by Karey White

Tour Schedule

 My Own Mr. Darcy
After being dragged to the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice by her mother, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth’s life changes when Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy appears on the screen. Lizzie falls hard and makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. This ill-advised pledge threatens to ruin any chance of finding true love. During the six intervening years, she has refused to give any interested suitors a chance. They weren’t Mr. Darcy enough.

Coerced by her roommate, Elizabeth agrees to give the next interested guy ten dates before she dumps him. That guy is Chad, a kind and thoughtful science teacher and swim coach. While she’s dating Chad, her dream comes true in the form of a wealthy bookstore owner named Matt Dawson, who looks and acts like her Mr. Darcy. Of course she has to follow her dream. But as Elizabeth simultaneously dates a regular guy and the dazzling Mr. Dawson, she’s forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place.

This is one of those books I expected to love before I started reading it and it didn't disappoint! When Lizzie is a teenager, her mother drags her to see Pride & Prejudice (with Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy) and she falls hopelessly in love with Mr. Darcy. Six years later, Lizzie is still looking for her own Mr. Darcy and is getting frustrated that he's not showing up. She has a habit of going out with someone once or twice and then just ignoring them. Her roommate and best friend, Janessa, makes her give the current guy, Chad, a chance. As luck would have it, during that time, she meets Matt, her Mr. Darcy. She dates both guys and needs to decide if Matt lives up to her expectations or if Chad is what she's looking for after all.

Chad and Matt are very different and I have to say that I understand Lizzie's dilemma. She's built Mr. Darcy up in her mind and so badly wants Matt to be him that she's willing to ignore little things and justify his behavior. I was glad to see that Matt did make some improvements while they dated. Then there's Chad, who is incredible, which is easy for everyone to see but Lizzie. However, he's not what she's been looking for.

I enjoyed reading about her relationships with both Chad and Matt. They were so different that it was easy to pick a favorite yet I could still see the appeal for each of them. I think a girl needs to make sure her options have all been explored before she settles down with one guy so there are no regrets later (and, of course, that looks different for everyone). It's actually nice to have such contrasting personalities to choose between. 

This is a clean read that I highly recommend to everyone, but especially those that love Pride and Prejudice! This is a book I will read again and again and I look forward to reading more from Ms. White in the future!

My Rating=5 stars

Author Karey White

Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist.

She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.

Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 10/8/13

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, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.