Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Blog Tour/Review: Lost and Found by Karey White


Tour Schedule

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.

This was such a fun, fast read! I don't generally have enough time to read a book straight through, but I just couldn't put this one down. Cambri offered Lydia her condo in North Carolina for the summer so she could go somewhere new and have adventures and excitement! However, Lydia wound up staying inside and reading and eating instead of getting out. While at the airport waiting for her flight home, she meets Blake, who's also from Colorado. He's a workaholic trying to make partner in his law firm who came to North Carolina to fulfill his grandfather's wish to get a box from a woman named Gladys. He wasn't able to find her so he's heading back home. Their flight got canceled at the last minute, so they decide to stick around a few days and see if they can track down Gladys.

I loved watching Lydia and Blake's relationship progress. They had great chemistry and Blake definitely helps Lydia have the adventure she had wanted all summer. They each do things that are way out of their comfort zones and enjoy their time together. Blake is able to learn the lesson his Grandpa wanted him to understand before it was too late. Lydia learned the importance of being brave and allowing someone into her heart. The ending put a huge smile on my face and this is a book I will definitely read again and again!

We also meet Francie, who we'll get to know better in the next book, Second Chances 101. I'm looking forward to it!

My Rating=5 Stars

*I received a copy from the tour host for review. My opinion is 100% my own.*

Excerpt:

Blake and Lydia stayed in their seats as the area around them cleared and a line formed. Finally, Blake stood, picked up his duffel bag and briefcase, then waited while Lydia gathered her things. They took a spot at the back of the line. After a minute, Lydia spoke.

“Since you have to change your flight anyway, maybe you should stay another day or two and try to find the box.”

The corner of Blake’s mouth twitched. “Maybe you should stay a couple of days and have an adventure.”

“Touché. I guess if the plane had gone down, I’d have had an adventure to tell about. Or not tell about.”

The line moved slowly. “You know,” Blake said. “Maybe your adventure could be staying and helping me find my grandfather’s box.”

Lydia nearly choked on her last bite of brownie. Was he joking? They didn’t even know each other.

“I have to be back for teacher’s meetings. And I need to get my classroom ready for school to start. The desks are all stacked up in a corner of the room and I need to get them set up and organized and I’ve got to put up a couple of bulletin boards. And I have to get papers for the parents copied for back to school night and…” Blake’s smile widened as she spoke. “And I’m babbling, aren’t I?”

“Yeah. Don’t worry about it. I should get back to the office anyway. It was a crazy idea.”

“Yeah,” Lydia said, relieved. A few minutes passed, and they neared the front of the line. A voice in Lydia’s head wouldn’t be quiet. You’re a coward. You don’t really want an adventure. You’re all talk. You could kill two birds with one stone. Have an adventure and help this guy find the box from his grandfather. But you’re too big of a wimp. She wanted to tell the voice to mind its own business, but it wouldn’t shut up. Chicken. Scaredy cat. But this wasn’t about adventure. This was about good, common sense, right? It wouldn’t be smart to stay with this man she didn’t know. And yet her instincts told her this guy was safe, that she didn’t need to fear his intentions.

It seemed the only way to stop the nag in her head was to speak. “It wasn’t a crazy idea. It was an adventurous idea. And I came here for adventure. I need something to tell Cambri when I get home, right? And you need to find that box or you’ll miss out on something important. And I don’t technically have to be back until Wednesday morning, so...”

“Really? Are you just talking a big game?” Blake teased.

“You’re not a psychopathic killer, are you?”

“No. But I certainly wouldn’t tell you if I was.”

“That’s true. That would really up the whole adventure factor, though.”

“See, you’re braver than you thought.”



Author Karey White 

Karey is a USA Today best-selling author. She 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, cook, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four wonderful children.




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 by Jennifer Griffith


Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 5/12/14

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Blog Tour/Review: The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor


The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic, by Hazel Gaynor
2014, 384p, Historical Fiction
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from HarperCollins and TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review



A voyage across the ocean becomes the odyssey of a lifetime for a young Irish woman. . . .

Ireland, 1912 . . .

Fourteen members of a small village set sail on RMS Titanic, hoping to find a better life in America. For seventeen-year-old Maggie Murphy, the journey is bittersweet. Though her future lies in an unknown new place, her heart remains in Ireland with Séamus, the sweetheart she left behind. When disaster strikes, Maggie is one of the few passengers in steerage to survive. Waking up alone in a New York hospital, she vows never to speak of the terror and panic of that fateful night again.

Chicago, 1982 . . .

Adrift after the death of her father, Grace Butler struggles to decide what comes next. When her great-grandmother Maggie shares the painful secret about Titanic that she's harbored for almost a lifetime, the revelation gives Grace new direction—and leads both her and Maggie to unexpected reunions with those they thought lost long ago.

Inspired by true events, The Girl Who Came Home poignantly blends fact and fiction to explore the Titanic tragedy's impact and its lasting repercussions on survivors and their descendants.


I'm fascinated with the story of the Titanic, but not obsessed so I haven't read lots of books on it. This is a fictional account inspired by a real group of 14 Irish emigrants who left Ireland to visit relatives in America.

The story focuses on 17-year-old Maggie Murphy. Maggie's parents have both died and her aunt Kathleen has come to Ireland and is taking Maggie back to Chicago with her. While there, others have decided to join them in making the journey. Maggie is sad to be leaving her boyfriend, Seamus, behind. His father is sick so he won't be able to come, but tells her he'll be waiting for her to come home. 

We also get two more stories: "Lucky Harry," and Grace Butler, Maggie's great-granddaughter. Harry is one of the stewards on the ship who Maggie and her friends get to know and who later helps her get into one of the last lifeboats to leave. Grace's story takes place in Illinois in 1982. Grace's life was going well until her father died. She left college and her boyfriend, Jimmy, to help her mother. Maggie starts to help her get her life back, starting with telling her about her journey on the Titanic, a story she has never told anyone. Learning her great-grandmother's story gives Grace the courage to move on with her life.

I loved this book! Most of it is told in flashback so there's a lot of jumping back and forth. I didn't find it to be confusing and actually liked it. Maggie was young and excited to go on the ship, but she was sad to have left Seamus behind. It was interesting to experience the Titanic through her young eyes. Knowing what happened doesn't lessen the impact of the scenes of the tragic night of April 15, 1912. All the talk of the Titanic being unsinkable appeared to have caused confusion and disbelief at what was happening. The author didn't dwell too long on the actual sinking and I liked that. The aftermath is what gets lost sometimes. The journey to the Carpathia in the lifeboats was long and cold. The people waiting to welcome the ship in New York were in shock as they attempted to learn the fate of their loved ones, and even if they didn't see their names on the list of survivors, hoped they would still see them disembark. It's not too surprising that Maggie didn't want to remember and discuss the horror of that night until she was much older.

I also enjoyed Harry and Grace's stories. It was interesting to see what happened to Harry. I thought his ending would be a little different. Grace was able to learn what was important to her and to go for it before it was too late. I also loved Maggie's story and hearing the ending to it. She was able to do something at the end that she'd been wanting to do for a long time and was able to make peace with all that happened.

I like the section at the end where the author shares the story behind the book and tells the parts of the book based on fact. There is also a short Glossary of Irish Terms and Reading Group Discussion Questions. There is a lot to say about this book so it would be great for a book club! This is a clean read. If you enjoy reading about the Titanic, this is a book for you!

You can listen to a sample of the audiobook here.


 
About Hazel Gaynor

Hazel Gaynor is an author and freelance writer in Ireland and the U.K. and was the recipient of the Cecil Day Lewis Award for Emerging Writers in 2012. Originally from North Yorkshire, England, she now lives in Ireland with her husband, two young children, and an accident-prone cat.

Connect with Hazel on Facebook.



Tour Schedule

Book Spotlight: Hindsight #1: Out of the Blue by Kelly Martin

Hindsight #1: Out of the Blue
Kelly Martin
This novella is the first in a three part series.



Start at the beginning...
You want to know how it all began.
How I fell for her? How I started to love...?
You want to know how I met Oliver Weston. How I grew to hate him? Why I did what I did?
You want to know how it all began?
Because every story has a beginning, doesn't it?
Even mine.
Especially mine.
I loved her. I still do.
And I hated him. Still do.
So this is it. The start. My 'in the beginning'.
This is how an average guy from Oklahoma ended up here... talking to you.
It all started innocently enough. I needed a place to live. Jordan needed a roommate.
It hit me out of the blue.
I only wish it had ended differently.
But we will get to that later.
Start at the beginning... are you sure you are ready?


Excerpt:

I should have followed my gut instincts. We would have all been happier. I know I would have been. I would probably be with her right now. Not talking to you…

No offense. You are great and it’s helping… I’m going to get back to the story now before I put my foot in my mouth some more.

Okay, so I walked up the stairs, well, limped if you want the correct word. Limped because my knee was killing me from all the walking on campus and the God-forsaken stairs.

God-forsaken. Let’s go off on that tangent for a second. See, Sheriff Rivers asked me if I believed in God. If I was a church-going man. And I answered him yes. Yes, I was… actually I said my father was a preacher which basically means the same thing. I went to church. I believed in God. I was saved at a very young age. You need to know all of that before we go on with this story. You need to know that I prayed and I had every faith that everything would turn out okay.

Here’s the sixty-four thousand dollar question… do I believe in God now? Three months later? I guess we’ll have to get to that part, won’t we?

I didn’t have any of these thoughts as I climbed up the stairs. I did, however, remember just as I got to the landing on J’s floor that she had been mad at me. And I wondered, for a split second, if she still was. I didn’t have to wait long.

A shoe.

A SHOE.

A red shoe.

A red high heeled shoe.

Flew past my head.

I had to do this really cool Matrix move to keep the stiletto from impaling my eyeball.

Yep. Still mad.

I had a choice. Go up the stairs and sulk or go talk to the girl. Maybe apologize. I wish I could say it was an easy decision. A deadly object had been thrown at my head after all, but I decided I’d take the high road for once in my life and go apologize to her.

Didn’t mean that I went in all confident, though. I have to say, I kept my hands up and sort of shuffled into the room. I mean, I knew enough to know that shoes came in pairs. Only one had zipped by my head. She had another one in there somewhere


Author Bio:

Kelly Martin is the author of epic reads that you, your teen, and your Grandma Fannie can all enjoy together. She has been on several Amazon best seller lists... has won awards... and occasionally sleep (if she can ever get past that one level of Candy Crush... sigh)

She loves God, chocolate, Sleepy Hollow, and useless trivia.

Believes in Sherlock Holmes. (Seriously, a total fan girl!!!)

A list of her books:
Crossing the Deep
Saint Sloan
Big is Beautiful: A Love Story
The Deception of Devin Miller
The Afterlife of Lizzie Monroe
Saving Sloan (Saint Sloan Sequel)
Hindsight: Out of the Blue (Part 1)
Coming in June: Hindsight: The Black Heart (2)
In progress: Betraying Ever After: A Shattered Fairy Tale

Monday, April 28, 2014

Book Blast: Prejudice Meets Pride by Rachael Anderson


Prejudice Meets Pride by Rachael Anderson

After years of pinching pennies and struggling to get through art school, Emma Makie’s hard work finally pays off with the offer of a dream job. But when tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to make a cross-country move to Colorado Springs to take temporary custody of her two nieces. She has no money, no job prospects, and no idea how to be a mother to two little girls, but she isn’t about to let that stop her. Nor is she about to accept the help of Kevin Grantham, her handsome new neighbor, who seems to think she’s incapable of doing anything on her own.

Fun, compelling, and romantic, Prejudice Meets Pride is the story of a guy who thinks he has it all figured out and a girl who isn’t afraid to show him that he doesn’t. It’s about learning what it means to trust, figuring out how to give and to take, and realizing that not everyone gets to pick the person they fall in love with. Sometimes, love picks them.


Coming Soon…



Author Rachael Anderson

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












Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 5/25/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Book Blast: The Princess Fables by Marc Clark


The Princess Fables by Marc Clark

About the Book

Title: The Princess Fables | Author: Marc Clark | Illustrator: Eric Hosford | Publication Date: December 5, 2013 | Publisher: Seven C's Productions | Pages: 115 | Recommended Ages: 3+

Summary: The Origins of THE PRINCESS FABLES: When the author's daughter was just beginning the first grade, she was not happy about school. So when he would wake her each morning, whatever she would say to get out of going became the subject for a PRINCESS FABLE. If she'd say, "I don't want to," he'd make up a tale about The Princess Who Always Said, "I Don't Wanna". If she pulled the covers over her head, he'd tell her the story of The Princess Who Hid Under The Covers. By the end of each Fable he'd have her dressed and ready for school, with her eyes wide open and full of hope...

THE PRINCESS FABLES are eleven inspirational stories for young girls who may still dream of being a Princess. Each Princess embarks on an adventure of self discovery and along the way, learns about the importance of trust, devotion, courage and the power of love. These classic tales transport little girls to a time and place where they are the heroines and can create their own happy endings.

Every delicate pen and ink illustration reflects the classic fairy tale drawings of the late 19th century.

Award: The Princess Fables was just awarded an Honorable Mention at the 2014 Los Angeles Book Festival.

Purchase

Amazon (Kindle) Amazon (Print)


The Buzz


In a recent review by the Island Waves publication, Trey Seal wrote, “The Princess Fables is a book that brings back the nostalgia of the classic fairytales from our youth and is highly recommended for young children.”

Excerpts From Amazon Reviews:

"Marvelously original, soulful, and witty tales! Modern fables with funny and moving twists. I hope these stories make their way to kids everywhere!"

"What a beautifully illustrated and well-written book."

"A charming and witty read, with stunning illustrations. The Princess is adorable and the book conveys a very positive image for little girls."

"Great read for the little princess in us all!"

About the Author: Marc Clark

Marc Clark Author

Marc Clark is the author of several plays and screenplays, a writer and producer of commercials, promos and television content. Marc is the father of two and currently resides in Manhattan.

Book Website Twitter Facebook Instagram


* $50 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon $50 Gift Card

Prize: One winner will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: May 27, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: 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, Marc Clark and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
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Friday, April 25, 2014

Book Blast: Skycastle, the Demon, and Me by Andy Mulberry


Skycastle, the Demon, and Me by Andy Mulberry

About the Book

Title: Skycastle, the Demon, and Me | Author: Andy Mulberry | Publication Date: February 22, 2014 | Publisher: Paw! Print Press | Pages: 107 | Recommended Ages: 7+

Summary: Skycastle, the Demon, and Me is the first in a series of middle grade books for fearless, adventure loving kids. WARNING...this book contains a scowling demon, bad decisions, a skeleton key, not foul but hellish language, an ordinary boy and an extraordinary castle. You've been warned. Skycastle, the Demon, and Me: An unlikely friendship, a hellish adventure and cliffhangers aplenty to make reluctant readers turn the pages.

Purchase

* Available as a 99 cent e-book through Amazon*

Amazon


The Buzz


"I bought this book to read with my younger brother and we both loved it. I always try to encourage him to keep up with his reading but he's usually not that big of a fan of books most of the time. To my surprise, he quickly became immersed into the story and I could tell that he was having just as much fun as I was reading it together. The story keeps up at a smooth and fast pace, which is of course very important in children's books, and it's adventurous and written really well. To say that I am satisfied with 'Skycastle, the Demon, and Me' would be an understatement, and I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more releases by the author" ~ 5 Star Review, Jane L., Amazon

"The characters are well created and the story is exceptionally good. My great granddaughter just started reading it this morning and she is already pretty engrossed in the story. Great book. I definitely recommend." ~ 5 Star Review, Beverly C., Amazon

"Very well written story. Witty and charming for both myself and my son who is in 3rd grade. A great creative adventure about a demon and a boy. Looking forward to more in this series. I would highly recommend this book for kids around the 3rd grade. It's action packed and holds my sons interest. Filled with the stuff he loves. Thanks!" ~ 5 Star Review, M. Harbin, Amazon

About the Author: Andy Mulberry

Andy Mulberry Avatar

Andy Mulberry loves to write stories filled with strange adventures, odd characters and mysterious circumstances. To say she was born holding a book in her hand reading would be a gross hyperbole. She lives in Southern California with her scowling teenager, a chubby blue cat-beast, an imaginary dog and one leaky roof.

Website Twitter Goodreads


* Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: May 23, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: 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, Andy Mulberry and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Blog Tour/Review: Leaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Winspear


Leaving Everything Most Loved, by Jacqueline Winspear
2013, 336p, Historical Mystery
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received copy from publisher and TLC Book Tours for an honest review



The death of an Indian immigrant leads Maisie Dobbs into a dangerous yet fascinating world and takes her in an unexpected direction in this latest chapter of the New York Times bestselling series "that seems to get better with each entry" (Wall Street Journal).

London, 1933. Two months after the body of an Indian woman named Usha Pramal is found in the brackish water of a South London canal, her brother, newly arrived in England, turns to Maisie Dobbs to find out the truth about her death. Not only has Scotland Yard made no arrests, evidence indicates that they failed to conduct a full and thorough investigation.

Before her death, Usha was staying at an ayah's hostel alongside Indian women whose British employers turned them out into the street--penniless and far from their homeland--when their services were no longer needed. As Maisie soon learns, Usha was different from the hostel's other lodgers. But with this discovery comes new danger: another Indian woman who had information about Usha is found murdered before she can talk to Maisie.

As Maisie is pulled deeper into an unfamiliar yet captivating subculture, her investigation becomes clouded by the unfinished business of a previous case as well as a growing desire to see more of the world, following in the footsteps of her former mentor, Maurice Blanche. And there is her lover, James Compton, who gives her an ultimatum she cannot ignore.

Bringing a crucial chapter in the life and times of Maisie Dobbs to a close, Leaving Everything Most Loved marks a pivotal moment in this remarkable series.


I love the time period and location of this novel. London, 1933. An Indian woman named Usha Pramal is found dead in a canal and Scotland Yard hasn't done too much to solve her murder. Detective Inspector Caldwell of Scotland Yard has brought Usha's brother, Mr. Pramal, to meet with the psychologist and investigator Maisie Dobbs to see if she can find the murderer.

As Maisie learns more about Usha, she has lots of questions to answer before she can figure out what happened to her. Usha was loved by many people, so who would want to kill her? Usha also had some secrets and when Maisie sets up an appointment with another Indian woman who was close to her, she ends up dead before they can meet. This is a great story with twists and turns and the reveal was one I wasn't expecting.

This is the first book I've read in this series (it's #10) and I think it's a great stand alone novel! There are references to other cases and characters but I didn't feel confused. I think enough back story was given to give an overview but not too much detail that it bogged the story down. If you've read the other novels, there are story lines that continue to evolve and if this is the first book you read, you won't feel like you've missed out on everything. I also liked that the title applied to both story lines. Maisie makes a major decision towards the end and there is some reminiscing of earlier times so a long time reader of the series will love that.


If you like historical mysteries, this is a book and series that will appeal to you! I would love to go back and read some of the earlier novels at some point in time. I would also love to check out more of Jacqueline Winspear's books!


Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Leaving Everything Most LovedElegy for EddieA Lesson in SecretsThe Mapping of Love and Death, Among the Mad, and An Incomplete Revenge, as well as four other Maisie Dobbs novels. Originally from the United Kingdom, she now lives in California.

Find out more about Jacqueline at her website, www.jacquelinewinspear.com, and find her on Facebook.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Blog Tour/Review: The Weather Girl by Amy Vastine

A themed tour with Prism Book Tours

Welcome to my stop for the April Showers Book Tour for
The Weather Girl
by Amy Vastine

The Weather Girl

The Weather Girl

by Amy Vastine

Clean Adult Contemporary Romance

January 1st 2014 by Harlequin



Turbulence is in their forecast.

Summer Raines knows when it's going to rain. She can feel it. That's why the local weather girl's so good at her job. Too bad she couldn't have foreseen the tumultuous arrival of Travis Lockwood, everybody's favorite star NFL quarterback. Make that former star NFL quarterback. Sidelined back to Texas after an injury, the golden boy is trying to steal her precious on-air time. Summer is reduced to reporting from…football games. It's enough to make her quit and become a storm-chaser like her parents. She's stuck with a career that's going nowhere and a man who delights in her refusal to be charmed. Falling in love isn't nearly as easy as predicting the weather.

This is a fun, clean read! Summer Raines works at KLVA as a meteorologist. Her parents were storm chasers but were killed in an accident that left Summer an orphan at 16, so she's lived with her grandparents ever since. She's passionate about the weather and is working on a new segment to share her interesting weather facts with the viewers. Then Travis Lockwood shows up. He's a former NFL quarterback who is the new evening sports anchor. Summer appears to be the only one unimpressed with him, but to make matters worse, her boss, Ken, gives Travis 30 precious seconds of her weather segment so he can connect with the audience. That's just one more mark against him as far as she's concerned. Travis starts talking to her and has the nerve to call her "Weather Girl." She's determined not to like him but that's a problem when he's charming and likable. However, there are opportunities for each of them that make a relationship between them difficult.

I fell in love with Travis! Summer is quirky and funny and sweet and I certainly like her, too, but Travis made the scenes come alive. He's persistent and funny and doesn't try to mold Summer into his "perfect girlfriend." Part of that could be because he had the "perfect girlfriend," who wound up dumping him when his career as a quarterback ended and he now has a better sense of the kind of girl he should be looking for. When Summer gets nervous, she spouts off random weather facts and Travis is the only person that doesn't get scared off by that. There are some great moments between Travis and Summer.

There are amazing job opportunities available for each of them that, if accepted, will take them far away from each other. The solution seemed obvious to me, but their lack of communication meant they had to live through some pain and heartbreak first. It also added a wonderfully dramatic ending, which I absolutely loved! I haven't read a Harlequin in years, but this is now the second book I've read in the Harlequin Heartwarming line in the last couple of months and it won't be the last. I love this clean line of romances and look forward to reading more!

My Rating=5 Stars



Amy VastineAmy Vastine has been plotting stories in her head for as long as she can remember. An eternal optimist, she studied social work, hoping to teach others how to find their silver lining. Now, she enjoys creating happily ever afters for all to read.

In September of 2012, she saw a tweet about Harlequin's So You Think You Can Write contest. She entered, hoping for nothing more than a little feedback from some people in the business. Amazingly, The Weather Girl made it into the semi-finals, thanks to the many wonderful voters out there! The manuscript didn't make it to the finals, but the editors over Harlequin were still interested. A few revisions later and The Weather Girl was contacted for publication with Harlequin Heartwarming - a dream come true!

Amy lives outside Chicago with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband, three fun-loving children, and their sweet but mischievous puppy dog.

Tour-Wide Giveaway


- Grand Prize: $25 Amazon gift card, red umbrella, signed copy of THE WEATHER GIRL, umbrella bookmark, and decorative box (US Only)

- 5 ebooks of The Weather Girl (INT)

- April 21 - May 11

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Press Release: He Is Risen



MORMON TABERNACLE CHOIR TOPS TWO BILLBOARD MUSIC CHARTS

The latest album by the celebrated Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square hit #1 in two categories on the Billboard Top 100 Charts this week. He Is Risen topped the Classical Traditional and Current Classical Total charts.

The album, which released April 1, is the most recent from the Choir and Orchestra and features heartwarming and uplifting hymns like “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today,” “In The Garden” and “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.”

He Is Risen is available in both digital and CD formats in Deseret Book stores, on iTunes and desertbook.com and in other retailers.


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is comprised of 360 volunteer voices and serves as a musical ambassador for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Orchestra at Temple Square is a 150-member, all-volunteer symphony orchestra organized in 1999 as a companion ensemble. The Choir’s work has garnered a Grammy award, 2 Emmy awards plus 5 gold and 2 platinum albums. Its music transcends cultural and generational boundaries to unite people through music around the world. Follow the Choir on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

The Billboard charts are the American music industry standard popularity charts issued weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on radio play, streaming online, and sales; new charts are compiled and officially released to the public by Billboard on Thursday.

Book Blast: Noah Zarc Trilogy by D. Robert Pease




About the Noah Zarc Books

Book 1

Noah Zarc Mammoth Trouble by D. Robert Pease

Title:
Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble (Book #1) Author: D. Robert Pease Publication Date: July 22, 2013 Publisher: Evolved Publishing (2nd Edition) Number of pages: 214 Recommended age: 9+

Summary: Noah lives for piloting spaceships through time, dodging killer robots and saving Earth’s animals from extinction. Life couldn’t be better. But the twelve-year-old time traveler learns it could be a whole lot worse. His mom is kidnapped and taken to Mars; his dad is stranded in the Ice Age; and Noah is attacked at every turn by a foe bent on destroying Earth… for the second time.

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Book 2

Noah Zarc - Cataclysm by D. Robert Pease

Title:
Noah Zarc: Cataclysm (Book #2) Author: D. Robert Pease Publication Date: July 22, 2013 Publisher: Evolved Publishing (2nd Edition) Number of pages: 234 Recommended age: 9+

Summary: Noah becomes embroiled in a mission that could cause the greatest cataclysm in the history of the solar system. Will his name, Noah Zarc, be forever linked to the most devastating crime in humanity’s existence, all because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time?

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Book 3

Noah Zarc - Declaration by D. Robert Pease

Title:
Noah Zarc: Declaration (Book #3) Author: D. Robert Pease Publication Date: November 1, 2013 Publisher: Evolved Publishing Number of pages: 226 Recommended age: 9+

Summary: As battles rage across the solar system, Noah must work to join together a rag-tag bunch of miners, farmers, and scientists who would rather just live in peace. With only a time-traveling ship full of animals and a general from the history books, the Zarc family has to stand against the full might of the Poligarchy. Will the truth about what really happened a thousand years in the past be enough to stop total war, or will Noah and his friends need to find another way to bring down a dictator?

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Special Omnibus Edition

Noah Zarc - Omnibus by D. Robert Pease

Title:
Noah Zarc: Omnibus (Special Edition) Author: D. Robert Pease Publication Date: November 2, 2013 Publisher: Evolved Publishing Number of pages: 630 Recommended age: 9+

Summary: FEATURES ALL 3 BOOKS IN 1 SPECIAL EDITION & INCLUDES 22 PENCIL ILLUSTRATIONS BY THE AUTHOR

In a future where Earth has been wiped clean of all life, and humanity has moved on to other worlds, twelve-year-old Noah Zarc and his family have embarked on a quest, in a time-traveling spaceship called the ARC, to retrieve two of every animal and repopulate a dead world.

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The Buzz About the Noah Zarc Books


Book 1: "Pease's strength as a storyteller lies in his ability to connect multiple time periods imaginatively, as well as Noah's excited, fast-paced narration." ~ Publishers Weekly

Book 1: "If I had read this book at age 10, I think it would have made me love SF just as much as reading Asimov did. If you like the non-stop action and humor of Rick Riordan's Olympians books, I think you'll also like Noah Zarc." ~ Sher A. Hart, book blogger and author

Book 2: "This is another great mind-bender. The wild time jump details are fabulously thought out and cause some unexpected results." ~ Michelle Isenhoff, Children's Author

Book 2: "A well-written, adventurous read for young readers and even adults, Noah Zarc blasts through space and into your imagination." ~ TKristufek, Amazon Reviewer

Book 3: "I was completely captured by the characters, the action and the issues and questions: set in fantasy but integrating concepts and engaging readers with a fun tale that teaches as it entertains." ~ Gaele, Amazon Reviewer

About the Author: D. Robert Pease

D. Robert Pease

D. Robert Pease
has been interested in creating worlds since childhood. From building in the sandbox behind his house, to drawing fantastical worlds with paper and pencil, there has hardly been a time he hasn't been off on some adventure in his mind, to the dismay of parents and teachers alike. Also, since the moment he could read, books have consumed vast swaths of his life. From The Mouse and the Motorcycle, to The Lord of the Rings, worlds just beyond reality have called to him like Homer's Sirens. It's not surprising then he chose to write stories of his own. Each filled with worlds just beyond reach, but close enough we can all catch a glimpse of ourselves in the characters he brings to life.

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* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

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Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: May 20, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: 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, D. Robert Pease and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Book Blitz: Leighton's Summer by K.C. Finn


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Title:  Leighton’s Summer
Series:   SYNSK # 2
Author:  K.C. Finn
Published:  April 15th, 2014 by Clean Teen Publishing
Word Count:  76,000
Genre:  YA paranormal adventure
Content Warning:  Mild Violence
Recommended Age:  16+

Synopsis:  A teenage boy with something to prove gets caught up in a web of crime and deceit in England, 1945.
In the weeks leading up to his sixteenth birthday, gifted psychic Leighton Cavendish finds himself suddenly packed off to Blackpool, a glittering, teenage paradise filled with plenty of opportunities for amusement—and trouble. With only a preoccupied grandmother to keep an eye on him, Leighton’s desperation for adventure leads him out into a world of holidaymakers, candy, and carnival rides—the ideal place to spend six weeks away from home.
But Leighton’s psychic visions are encroaching on his fun, trying to warn him of the danger that lurks beyond the shimmering lights of the Golden Mile. Who are the mysterious thieves Leighton sees in his head, and what do they want with the children they seek? A girl called Faye holds the answer, but she has enough problems of her own.
Amid the climate of a tourist town recovering from the impact of the Second World War, two lost teenagers will discover a shocking truth about human greed. Together, they will try to fight against it. For Leighton and Faye, this will be a summer to remember—one filled with challenges that must be overcome.
A summer that turns a boy into a man.


Excerpt:

“Look,” I began, knotting my fingers together to try and hide the blood, “those lads I was with… I don’t want anything to do with them really.”

Faye bit her lip. “They’re bad kids,” she agreed, “I didn’t think you were like that.”

“I’m not,” I promised, once again resisting the urge to grab her arm and insist, “I just… I didn’t know they were bad before I started going around with them. I only met them yesterday.”

“Opinions can change quickly, can’t they?” she snapped, her mood shifting once more.

“Charming, that is,” I bit back, throwing myself away from her, against the bench, “Well you can keep your changing opinions to yourself, because I know which way my mind is set.” I felt all my emotions bubbling up to the surface, brimming like a wave ready to crash against the sand. I tried for a moment to hold them back, but it was no good, all the agitation and anger spilled over and I couldn’t stop myself from speaking again. “You want to know why I went with them? Because they’re hard lads, apart from Freddie, and there’s four of them laying on the persuasion. And frankly, I quite like my face and I didn’t fancy getting it smashed in so I’d look like a mosaic for my sixteenth birthday, all right?”

My voice had risen during the altercation and I found there were people looking at me as they passed us by on the bench. I imagined what a state I must have looked with dried blood on my face and only a vest on. I leaned away from the passers-by, upset to find that tears were once again escaping from Faye’s silent face. I felt awful instantly for exploding at her; I had no right to upset her after what I’d done.

“Would they really smash your face in?” she whispered.

“I reckon so,” I replied, gulping down a dry breath. I was grateful for the nosebleed in that moment; my face didn’t have enough blood left in it to glow crimson and show her how embarrassed I was.

“Are you mad at me?” Faye asked, her lips shaking like they had on the Ferris Wheel.

I let out a laugh, some of my tension going with it.

“What would I be mad at you for?” I replied.

She gave a little shrug. “For thinking you were a crook? For spying on you? For not telling you yesterday that I had powers of my own?”

“No,” I said simply, realising that it was the truth, “I shouted at you for no reason and ruined your handkerchief, so I’d say we’re about even. Besides, it won’t do to be mad at you like that if we’re going to be friends.”

She wiped her last tear away and gave me a more hopeful look.

“Can we be friends?” Faye asked, like she wasn’t even sure that it was possible.

“I think we have to be after all this palaver,” I said with a grin.

A wave of thoughtfulness washed over her features for a moment, but then she nodded.

“Right then,” she answered, “shall we go somewhere and get your face cleaned up?”

I waved a hand at her. “I’ll dunk my head in the sea. It’ll be fine.”

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About the Author:

Born in South Wales to Raymond and Jennifer Finn, Kimberley Charlotte Elisabeth Finn (known to readers as K.C., otherwise it’d be too much of a mouthful) was one of those corny little kids who always wanted to be a writer. She was also incredibly stubborn, and so has finally achieved that dream in 2013 with the release of her first three novellas in the four-part Caecilius Rex saga, the time travel adventure The Secret Star and her new urban fantasy epic The Book Of Shade.

As a sufferer with the medical condition M.E./C.F.S., Kim works part time as a private tutor and a teacher of creative writing, devoting the remainder of her time to writing novels and studying for an MA in Education and Linguistics.


  
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Clean Teen Publishing Links:


Giveaway Details:

There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:

  • Reader’s choice of any Clean Teen Publishing digital book and a bookmark swag pack.

Giveaway is International.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Book Review: The 7-Day Christian, by Brad Wilcox


9781609072728
The 7-Day Christian, by Brad Wilcox
2014, 154p, LDS Non-Fiction
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review

Christianity is facing great opposition. No one is being thrown to lions, but many followers of Christ face persecution because of their beliefs. At the very least, most know how it feels to end up on the wrong side of a "politically correct" conversation. More than ever before, we need believing and behaving disciples—men and women who are ready to stand up and stand together to change the world as early Christians did: one righteous choice at a time.

Filled with personal experiences and insightful stories, this book emphasizes the importance of living in accordance with our values every single day, with practical suggestions for how to actually pull it off. "Christ doesn't just want people to acknowledge His grace," writes Brad Wilcox. "He wants them to be transformed through it. He doesn't just want people to come to Him. He wants them to become like Him— a process that takes place 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, and throughout all the years of our lives.

Brad Wilcox is one of my favorite authors and speakers, so I was excited to see that he has a new book and was really intrigued by the title. I am a Christian, and definitely still have a lot to learn. There have been many times that I have not behaved the best. This book is a great reminder that it's important to work every day towards becoming more Christ-like.

Chapter One starts with the big question, "Is there a God?" He also goes into the great debate on this question where there are those who give an emphatic yes to that question and those who will give an equally emphatic no. Each side produces evidence to support their belief. The beauty of it all is that we are given the freedom to choose whether or not we believe in God. I like what he says about this. "To me, one of the clearest evidences of God's goodness is that He does not prove himself to us beyond all possibility of doubt. The fact that He allows compelling evidence on both sides of the argument of His existence preserves and honors my freedom...He may ultimately want me to believe, but more important, it appears He wants me to want to believe." (p. 11) (You can read Chapter One here.)

In another chapter, he says to not check your religion at the door, but rather to live it wherever you may be. There are times when that won't be easy to do, but it does matter. I also loved his chapter titled "Seven Days of Re-Creation." He tells how the pattern God used when He created the earth is the same pattern He uses to re-create us. Then he shares his experience of losing weight and running (first a 5K and later a half marathon), which he started at the age of 50. I found that to be quite inspiring!

There are quotes, scriptures and stories to back up his points as he goes through each chapter. He concludes with a chapter titled "The Core of Christianity." With Easter yesterday, Christ's resurrection and atonement has been on my mind a lot. He had a conversation with a man who told him that it didn't matter if Jesus was resurrected or not and it only has relevance in the next life. He disagreed and said, "Knowledge of Christ's resurrection not only changes the hereafter, it can also change what we are here after. It can profoundly affect our choices, our loves, our priorities, and our ways of reaching our potential." (p. 136)

There are lots of great gems to be found in this book. It is possible for each of us to make a difference in the world simply by living our beliefs on a daily basis. This is a book I will definitely read again and again and I highly recommend it to everyone!


BRAD WILCOX has lived in Ethiopia, Chile, and New Zealand; he and his family now make their home amid the Rocky Mountains. Brad taught sixth grade before obtaining his PhD in education from the University of Wyoming. His contributions as an author and teacher have been honored by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and his work has appeared in Guideposts magazine and Reader’s Digest. He once served as a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America and has addressed thousands of youth and adults across the United State, Europe, Australia, and Japan. He and his wife, Debi, are the parents of four children.