Thursday, April 30, 2015

Book Review: Loving Helen by Michele Paige Holmes

Loving Helen, by Michele Paige Holmes
2015, 227p, Clean Regency Romance
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: eBooks for Review--Received a free copy for an honest opinion

From Amazon Top 100 Regency Romance author, Michele Paige Holmes, comes LOVING HELEN, a regency romance from the Hearthfire Romance series. Revisit the characters from SAVING GRACE in this story of Grace’s shy, younger sister.

Eighteen-year-old Helen Thatcher grew up under the protection of her older siblings, Grace and Christopher. Living in their shadows and keeping to herself suited Helen just fine—until she met widower Samuel Preston. Watching Mr. Preston care for his young daughter and seeing his concern extend to her own family, Helen felt her reserve slipping away, as she learned first to trust him and then realized she had fallen in love with him. But instead of returning—or even noticing her affection—Mr. Preston developed his own tender, and unrequited feelings, for Grace.

In the midst of each silently nursing their broken hearts, Helen and Samuel are faced with a daunting task—reuniting Grace with her fiancĂ©, Nicholas Sutherland. Now it is Helen who must look out for her sister and sacrifice her own fragile heart, as she and Samuel pretend to be engaged. Helen finds the role surprisingly easy to play, allowing herself to imagine that Samuel’s loving remarks are sincere. As the time for their charade to end draws near Helen must summon her courage and tell Samuel the truth of her feelings, or risk losing him forever. 

This is the second book in this series and I wouldn't consider it a stand alone read. I think it will be more enjoyable if you read Saving Grace first. This story takes place at the same time and we learn what was happening with Helen. Helen wants Samuel Preston to notice her as a woman but he tends to see her more as a nanny for his daughter, Beth. She also overhears his conversations with others and realizes that he's in love with someone else. 

When Grace and Nicholas are in danger of breaking up, her brother Christopher approaches Helen and Samuel with a plan for them to pretend they are engaged. Helen is excited about this plan but Samuel's heart doesn't seem to be in it so she's a bit discouraged. 

I loved Samuel in the first book and now I love him even more! Helen was likable in the first book, too, but she was in the background so I enjoyed getting to know her better. Their relationship developed over time and there were obstacles to overcome. I also enjoyed their interactions with Samuel's daughter, Beth, and thought she added lots of fun to their story!

I was torn for a while while reading Saving Grace. I loved both Nicholas and Samuel and, while I felt Grace wound up with the right man for her, I wanted Samuel to be happy, too. In this book, I loved getting the "rest of the story." There was a lot going on behind the scenes in the first book and this book fills in the blanks. When I read Saving Grace, I did feel like there was a lot missing with Grace's family so I'm glad there was a book about Helen. We also got to see a little more of Christopher and he's a fun character, so I'm looking forward to reading his story next!  

Michele Holmes spent her childhood and youth in Northern California and Arizona. After marrying her high school sweetheart in the Oakland Temple they moved to Utah, and she now feels very blessed to enjoy a beautiful mountain view from her Provo home.

Michele graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in elementary education—something that has come in handy with her five children, all of whom require food, transportation, or Band-Aids the moment she sits down at her computer.

In spite of all the interruptions, Michele is busy at work, with more story ideas in her head than she will ever likely have time to write. Michele’s first published novel, Counting Stars, won the 2007 Whitney Award for best romance. All the Stars in Heaven continues the story of one of the characters from that first novel.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Blog Tour/Review: Stranded by Nathan Huffaker

Tour Schedule

Stranded, by Nathan Huffaker
2015, 272p, LDS Suspense/Thriller
My Rating=4.5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review

Kazakhstan is on the brink of civil war, and Elders Schofield and Johnson need to get out ASAP. But when their train explodes, all the evidence points to the missionaries! With terrorists on their trail and the whole country against them, the elders’ only refuge is the US Embassy in Astana—800 miles away. Fans of The Saratov Approach will love this jaw-dropping thriller.

This book is intense! The call comes to evacuate all missionaries from Kazakhstan immediately. As two missionaries board their train, one of them left something important behind. They rush off the train but before they can board again, it explodes and it appears that they are the terrorists. They start running for their lives. They find people along the way willing to help them and others who want to make sure they take the blame.

We follow a few different people in this book, including the missionaries (Elders Schofield and Johnson), their mission president who is determined not to leave them behind (President Howard Russell) and the chief detective of the anti-terror task force (Michael Ivanov). The missionaries met Michael the night before at a member's house and he was more interested in learning about them personally than in the message they had to share. As events unfold, Michael needs to determine if the missionaries are involved in the terrorist attacks or if they are innocent.

None of them are completely safe and it was hard at times to know who to trust. There is talk of religion as the missionaries continue to teach and discuss their faith while they're on the run. There are lots of moving parts and I enjoyed how everything came together in the end. I personally would have liked a little more at the end or maybe an epilogue, but overall the ending is satisfying.  This is a fast-paced novel that is hard to put down and will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author in the future!

About the author:
Born and raised in Springville, Utah, the first time Nathan Huffaker boarded a plane was when he left home to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kiev, Ukraine. The two years he spent in Kiev later helped him to base parts of “Stranded” on his missionary experiences. Huffaker recently graduated from Utah Valley University with a degree in English and now resides in Spanish Fork, Utah, with his wife and five kids.

Grand Finale: A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

We're blitzing the GRAND FINALE for:
A Love Like Ours
By Becky Wade

Did you miss any of the excerpts or reviews for this tour? There's still time to check them out and to order your copy of A Love Like Ours by May 17th to have part of your proceeds go to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (more details on the Launch).

Launch - Letter from Author Becky Wade
"I'll be giving a percentage of my earnings on A Love Like Ours from whenever the book starts selling through May 17th to IFHF."

Babs Book Bistro - Review
"...this is the first book I have read by this author and it will not be the last."

     Turning, he squinted beneath the brim of his black Stetson and tried to make out who was coming toward him. A small woman with long, wavy blond hair. She wasn’t on the barn staff; that he knew. He angled toward her more fully.
     And then, very slowly, recognition began to slide over him. The hair on his arms rose.
     It couldn’t be her. Not after all this time. And yet the rational part of his brain understood that it could be. He knew she’d moved back to Holley. His mom had been nagging him to see her ever since, but he’d wanted no part of that, no part of her.
     Yet here she was.

Bookworm Lisa - Review
"Jake was a marine. The wounds he carries from his time in Iraq are not all visible to the eye. He has a scar on his face, but his real battle is in the PTSD that is a part of his everyday life. I really liked that the book looked into a topic that is the battle that extends long after a soldier leaves the military. The book looks at how everyday situations can impact a person struggling with PTSD."

Wishful Endings - Excerpt
     Jake’s poor face. His poor, ravaged face, both undeniably handsome and unbearably exhausted. As big and strong as he was physically, he was also wounded. He needed someone to care about him.
     Following pure instinct, she stepped forward and reached up to place her hands on either side of his face.
     “No,” he rasped, trying to pull back.
     “Shh,” she replied, firm. She’d purposely placed her hands in the same position on both sides of his face, favoring neither the perfect side nor the scarred.

"Tackling a serious issue that many in our military face is no easy feat, but Ms. Wade does it well. The story isn't too heavy, as it's balanced with romance, fun, family, horses, and religion. I love reading about this Porter Family and can't wait for more!"

Pieces of Whimsy - Excerpt
     He had only two goals where Lyndie was concerned: to interact with her as little as possible and to keep her safe.
     Whispering Creek Horses took every precaution with their exercise riders. In the past, a few had sustained minor injuries but none had been seriously hurt. There was no reason to worry about Lyndie.
     He should be more concerned about himself. He couldn’t afford to let a pretty blonde mess with his head.

"The slow progression for Jake is so satisfying to read. I loved the flow of the book and I loved learning in bits about both Jake and Lyndie. This is one of those "feel good" books leave you so content in the end. It's a great addition to this Porter Family series. I loved it!"

I Am A Reader - Excerpt
     How long had it been since she’d experienced a stirring of desire for anyone? Ages. A couple of years at least. It was fun and harmless to . . . tingle . . . over someone again. It wasn’t as if Jake was in danger of returning her feelings. Or as if this altered her intentions toward him.
     She was determined to help him and his horse. The kind of help she had in mind for Jake had nothing to do with Valentine’s Day emotions and everything to do with God’s power to redeem.

     Jake stopped at Silver Leaf’s stall. The horse had his head down, chewing hay. It took Jake a moment to spot Lyndie’s small form in the dim space. She sat to one side, her back against the wall, her knees drawn up and her arms wrapped around them. She must have heard him coming because she was already gazing up at him. Her lips tipped into a gentle smile.
     For a long moment Jake stared at her. Foolish woman, sitting in a horse stall for hours every day. Even more frustrating, looking at him as if she liked him and trusted him. Looking at him as if she believed he was worthy of her friendship and trust. Raw pain gathered in his chest.

"A Love Like Ours was another special read from Becky Wade. I loved the characters and finally reading Jake's story...which was such a sad, yet beautiful story."

Worthy2Read - Review
"Character-driven, A Love Like Ours was a joy to read — and re-read. As Lyndie and Jake get to know one another again, Lyndie breaks through the walls Jake has built (and those surrounding Silver Leaf) to be an instrument of hope and healing. Wades characters are flawed individuals, ones the reader can relate to and cheer for. Her novel captivates the reader from the prologue."

A Love Like Ours (Porter Family #3)A Love Like Ours
(Porter Family #3)

by Becky Wade
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback, 368 Pages
May 5th 2015 by Bethany House Publishers

Deeply scarred from a day he wishes he could forget during his military service, Thoroughbred trainer Jake Porter has given up on love. He struggles against symptoms of PTSD, lives a solitary life, and avoids relationships.

When Lyndie James, Jake's childhood best friend, returns to their hometown of Holley, Texas, Jake cautiously hires her to exercise his Thoroughbreds. Lyndie is tender-hearted, fiercely determined, and afraid of nothing, just like she was as a child. Jake trusts her with his prized racehorse, Silver Leaf, then battles his hopes for his horse against his increasing fear for Lyndie's safety.

Though Jake and Lyndie have grown into very different adults, the bond that existed during their childhood still ties them together. Against Jake's will, Lyndie's sparkling, optimistic personality begins to tear down the walls he's built around his heart. A glimmer of the hope he'd thought he'd lost returns. Will Jake ever be able to love Lyndie like she deserves, or is his heart too shattered to mend?

During her childhood in California, Becky Wade frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She's been a fan of all things romantic ever since.

Becky and her husband lived overseas in the Caribbean and Australia before settling in Dallas, Texas. It was during her years abroad that Becky's passion for reading turned into a passion for writing. She published three historical romances for the general market, put her career on hold for many years to care for her kids, and eventually returned to writing sheerly for the love of it. She’s delighted to be penning warm, wry, and heartwarming contemporary romances for the Christian market. She's the Carol Award and Inspirational Reader's Choice Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, Undeniably Yours, and Meant to Be Mine.

These days Becky can be found failing but trying to keep up with her housework, sweating at the gym, carting her kids around town, playing tennis, hunched over her computer, eating chocolate, or collapsed on the sofa watching TV with her husband.

Other Books by the Author

Tour Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card (INT)

Signed copy of A Love Like Ours (US Only)

1 Kindle ebook (gifted through Amazon) of A Love Like Ours (INT - if available in your area)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Blog Tour/Review: Katia's Promise by Catherine Lanigan

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Katia's Promise
(Shores of Indian Lake #4)

by Catherine Lanigan
Adult Contemporary Romance
May 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Katia Stanislaus is a top insurance agent in Chicago, but her company is about to fold if she can't pull off a miracle. She convinces her boss to relocate to Indian Lake where she lived as a child and broke the heart of the one man whose account would be enough to save her job and her company. The only problem is that Austin McCreary has been a near recluse since the day Katia left him. Austin won't take her calls and appears set on revenge for the pain Katia has caused him. Just seeing Austin, catapaults Katia back to the time when she was 16 and so very much in love. But it was just a teenage crush, wasn't it?

Katia works for an insurance agency in Chicago and she's working hard to become a partner. However, the company is getting ready to fold and she needs to think of something fast in order to save it, and her job. She learns that her high school crush, Austin McCreary, is back in Indian Lake, a town that's not too far away, and is planning to build a museum. Insuring that will save their company and elevate her status as a future partner. She's able to convince Jack to relocate. Now she just needs to convince Austin to become her client, but the problem she faces is that she broke Austin's heart and she's not sure how he will react to seeing her again.

Katia is sweet and as we learn more of her story, it's understandable why she left all those years ago. Austin is still hurting and needs to decide if he can forgive her. Either way, they both need to heal their relationship and move on, whether it's together or apart. They each have their flaws and there are definitely issues for them to work through.

I was in the mood for this kind of book. I love second chances and this one didn't disappoint! Once I picked this up, I just couldn't put it down. This is the fourth book in the Shores of Indian Lake series, and I haven't read the first three. While I'm sure I would have enjoyed reading about some of the couples from the previous books, I didn't feel like I was missing anything so this is great as a stand alone read. After having read it, though, I want to go back and read the other books in this series!

My Rating=5 Stars

Other Books in the Series

Love Shadow (The Shores of Indian Lakes)  A Fine Year for Love  (Shores of Indian Lake #3)

Links for Love Shadows
(Shores of Indian Lake #1)

Links for Heart's Desire
(Shores of Indian Lake #2)
Amazon - Barnes & NobleHarlequin

Links for A Fine Year for Love
(Shores of Indian Lake #3)

Catherine Lanigan is the bestselling author of over thirty published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile, as well as over half a dozen anthologies, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living your Dream”, “Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul”, “Chocolate for a Woman’s Heart”, Chocolate for a Woman’s Spirit”. Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into over a dozen languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese. Ms. Lanigan’s novels are also available on audio-cassette, CD and on electronic format. A prolific writer, she is always writing wonderful stories. She has several titles only available in ebook format on Several of her titles have been chosen for The Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs. Her novel, The Christmas Star, won the Gold Medal Award Top Pick from Romantic Times Magazine for December, 2002, and has also won Book of the Year Romance Gold Award from ForeWord Magazine as well as Book of the Year Romance from Reader’s Preference. In March, 2006 Divine Nudges: Tales of Angelic Intervention and the second in Lanigan’s Angel Watch series of books, was published by HCI, the Chicken Soup for the Soul publisher.

Tour Schedule:
April 19th - Launch
April 20th - Coffee Books & Art
April 21st - Deal Sharing Aunt
April 22nd - The Written Adventure
April 28th - Mel's Shelves
May 1st - Grand Finale

Cover Reveal & Tour Giveaway

$100 Amazon Gift Card

3 ebooks of Katia's Promise by Catherine Lanigan
Open internationally.

Ends May 8th

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Book Blitz: The Guilt-Free Guidebook for Moms by Amy Price

Ready to learn how to  "Eliminate guilt and perfectionism, Identify the “Superwoman Burnout” cycle that keeps you trapped in monotony, Escape the “Compare Snare” to shine in your own light, and Finally and fully embrace the Joy cradled in your arms and in your heart."

Then let's get to know this book!!!



Written by a veteran mother of nine still up to her eyeballs in mud pies and mayhem, The Guilt-Free Guidebook for Moms is sure to keep you tickled, tearing up and turning pages as you learn how to break free of the chokehold of an endless To-Do list, so you can finally enjoy the beauty that is all around you.

Author Bio

Amy Price loves to create, write, and dream in and around managing the chaos generated by her amazing husband, their nine children and their lively homeschooling lifestyle. Amy considers herself a “recovering addict” where babies are concerned. She just can’t get enough. Her hobbies include preserving memories, quantum physics, designing wild and delicious cakes, and death by pasta. Her kids and their friends consider her everything from hilarious to crazy, and she just gets better with age.

From only child to “CEO” of a bustling household, one constant in Amy’s life has been her love of writing. Team that with her natural draw to children and studying at the Institute for Children’s Literature became a given. Amy and her family currently terrorize the Rocky Mountains of Idaho, but she looks forward to sharing her message of Joy around the world.

With a wealth of ideas from self-helps to coaching programs, mysteries to fantasy novels, you never know what Amy will come out with next, but it is sure to revolve around her continuous message of love, family and joy.


“When was the last time this happened to you?

It is a beautiful day. The sun is shining happily down on everything and everyone, including you. You have a blanket spread out on the thick, green grass. It is soaking up the warmth from the sun with every second, inviting you to stretch out and bask it all in. The breeze ruffles your hair, tickling your temples. The fresh scent of cut grass mingle with pine needles from the park’s manicure earlier in the day.

You look up at your kids playing on the park play set nearby, and you can’t help but chuckle. They are just so stinking cute, playing there together. Their giggling floats away on the wind. You pick up your book with a sigh - content.

But just as you settle in, bare toes curling in the grass, you feel it. It starts as a slight tremor up the back of your neck. Then it slithers down your spine. You feel like you’re being watched. Unease flutters in the pit of your stomach, and you just can’t sit still.Finally you get the nerve to peek over your shoulder, and there it is! Guilt! Big, fat, ugly, hairy, scary guilt! And it is there for you.

It won’t let you rest. It won’t let you relax. It stares at you, demanding your attention. Then you hear it whispering to you. You know what it says….“What do you think you are doing? You can’t be here. You can’t relax. You have too much to do. Who do you think you are? You are the MOM. You aren’t allowed to have fun. What about the cleaning? What about the laundry? What about that project? What about his homework assignment? What about the dinner party in two days? Shouldn’t you be making 150,000 hand-stamped bookmarks for Sunday’s lesson? Shouldn’t you be getting on those five dozen custom-decorated cupcakes for scouts? When are you ever going to finish that dress (or scrapbook or clock or doily or whatever it is still taking up room in “that closet”)? What makes you think you can take a break?”

Please tell me I am not the only one who can hear it so vividly!

For over twenty years, I have wrestled with this pesky, little bugger. With nine children, being a stay-at-home mom, a recovering perfectionist and a homeschooler to boot, I probably have had more than my own fair share of guilt. (Haven’t we all?) But guilt is the big, bad arch-nemesis of Joy. Joy is my all-time, absolute favorite word, I believe, the ultimate reason of why we are here.”

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Free Ebook: Rewind to You by Laura Johnston

Links to FREE eBook:

Rewind to You FREE on Amazon Kindle

FREE on Barnes and Noble

FREE on eBooks

FREE on Kobo

“Johnston’s debut spotlights romance and familial relationships, including themes like grief and self-sacrifice. It’s an ideal story for readers looking for a deep-rooted YA love story with the emotional ups and downs and poignancy of a Nicholas Sparks contemporary. There’s also a touch of wit and a sigh-worthy hero – a definite on your TBR list.”

– RT Book Reviews

Wish You Were Here

One last summer before college on beautiful Tybee Island is supposed to help Sienna forget. But how can she? This is where her family spent every summer before everything changed, before the world as she knew it was ripped away.

But the past isn’t easily left behind. Especially when Sienna keeps having episodes that take her back to the night she wants to forget. Even when she meets the mysterious Austin Dobbs, the guy with the intense blue eyes, athlete’s body, and weakness for pralines who scooped her out of trouble when she blacked out on River Street.

When she’s with Austin, Sienna feels a whole new world opening up to her. Austin has secrets, and she has history. But caught between the past and the future, Sienna can still choose what happens now…

Contemporary YA romance

Published by Kensington Publishing Corp.

"I love a good YA summer romance and for me, this one totally hit the spot!...I loved the journey; I loved the story; I loved the romance; I loved the little surprises and twists; and I loved the ending! Content: no language; mild violence; lots of kissing. Clean!" - Katie's Clean Book Collection

"I loved this book!...It caught my attention from the beginning and didn't let up the entire time." - Mel's Shelves

"This is a really remarkable love for me, to be honest. Definitely worth my 5 stars." - Book Inspections/Silly Readers

"Rewind to You is a fantastic young adult book. It has it all and it does it all so very well. Romance, heartbreak, loss, growth. You really can’t ask for more with a book. Laura Johnston created a little master piece in this otherwise unassuming young adult contemporary. "- Book Briefs

"This is why I LOVE reading YA! Rewind to You is a sweet romance with such awesome lyrical writing that I couldn't help but be swept up in the feelings of the characters." - A Writer's Dream

"I've read a lot of contemporary books the past two years, and I can safely say that Rewind To You is easily one of the best that I have ever read." - Justin's Book Blog

"...This was so much more than a sweet love story, it was a wonderfully done tale of learning how to deal with pain, loss, and moving on while still keeping your heart open to new experiences, new people, an new challenges." - My Guilty Obsession

"The writing is excellent and the story only deepens as the summer draws to a close, leaving the characters with resolution and the reader with a satisfying ending." - Heidi Reads

"5 out of 5...but I think it deserves another star!!! It's AWESOME!...This story was such a sad, and beautiful story all at the same time." - My Love for Reading Keeps Growing

"Laura Johnston has written a beautiful story with wonderful characters that have so much depth to them, I could have sworn they were real." - The Written Adventure

"Laura Johnston's debut novel Rewind to You is a perfect summer read ! A stunning soul touching story about finding love and forgiveness." - Lady A, Literature Junkie Extraordinaire 

"Rewind To You is a beautiful, heart touching romance. Laura Johnston deals with a subject we don't want to think about, the loss of a loved one, but she did it with heartfelt tenderness and a beautiful romance. I recommend Sienna and Austin's love story as a must read." - I Heart YA Books 

"I really enjoyed this book from Laura Johnston. The characters were solid and the story was fast paced and sweet." - Min Reads and Reviews

"This book was soooo good!" - Mylissa's Reviews and Books Thoughts

"I went through every emotion more than once. I can't find enough words to convey just how much I LOVED this book" - Crazy Four Books

Monday, April 27, 2015

Book Review: The Impossible Race by Chad Morris

The Impossible Race, by Chad Morris
2015, 432p, Middle-Grade Fantasy
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review

In the final book of the Cragbridge Hall trilogy, Abby, Derick, and their friends must utilize their skills in time travel and technology to survive roving bands of dinosaurs, race through space, build robots, and fight virtual dragons.

It’s known as the Race—an annual tournament where teams of students compete in the hopes of winning an unbelievable prize. But before this year’s competition, Derick and Abby receive a terrifying message from the future: Charles Muns’s plan to control history is going to succeed. It will cost countless people their lives and change the destiny of the world. And there is nothing anyone can do to stop them.

Despite the danger, the twins gather their friends and enter the Race, ready to compete against the best of the best in order to claim what might turn out to be a key of ultimate power.

Can they compete the Race in time and stop Muns? Or has the future already been written?

A page-turning, time-travel adventure that teaches powerful lessons about choice and consequence, believing you can do hard things, and valuing our history.

This is a book and series that I could go on and on (and on) about, but what it boils down to is this: It's fantastic!! What a fabulous way to end this series! I don't want to say too much, either, because it is a series that needs to be experienced to truly appreciate it.

Abby and Derick are shocked to learn that their grandfather's secret is the award for the winner of the annual race. They form a team so they can hopefully win and keep the secret from getting into the wrong hands or becoming common knowledge. The stakes are high and the challenges are difficult but they are determined to do their best.

Abby deals with her insecurities as the leader of their team thinks that she and Carol are liabilities. She feels the need to continually prove herself worthy of being at Cragbridge Hall. Her nemesis, Jacqueline, is also still around and continues to make her feel like she doesn't belong, which stresses Abby out even more. There's also added pressure as they learn something about Derick which raises the stakes even higher for them to succeed.

Carol continues to bring comic relief to otherwise tense situations. She still has a major crush on Derick and isn't shy about letting him know. Derick faces the reality of his situation and we learn more about him. His challenges are different than Abby's but he still has things to deal with.

This is a fun, fast-paced read with adventure, time travel, history, futuristic technology, humor, and plenty of twists and turns. The team challenges were exciting! From our past experiences with this series, we knew we would want to keep reading more so we carved out extra time for this book. Mr. Morris has a great sense of humor and a way to make history interesting and relevant. My children and I read a lot of books and this is hands down our all-time favorite series which we recommend to everyone!! 

A couple of notes on this series:

1. A few years ago, I decided to wait until all the books were out in a series before we would read it. We had one where we caught up and it took forever for the final book to come out. When it did, we felt a little lost and didn't enjoy it like we would have if we had read it right after the previous book. When I saw the first of these books at Costco, I picked it up right away and it sounded so good that we started reading it. When we were in the middle, I suddenly remembered my "rule" to wait until all the books were out, but it was so good that we couldn't stop reading. I'm glad we kept reading them as they came out and want to read them all again in order! (We're loosening up on this "rule" as a different series has come out that we decided to read now instead of waiting so we wouldn't be the last ones to read it.)

2. Last summer, we took a last minute road trip to California with one of my sisters. As we were leaving, she stopped at a bookstore to pick up an audiobook to listen to on the way. She would pick up different books and we were like, "Yeah, that sounds like it would be good," etc. Then, she picked up The Inventor's Secret (book one in this series) and we immediately said, "Yes, that's a fantastic book!" Since that book got the biggest positive reaction, she bought it and we all enjoyed listening to it and now she is a fan, too!

Chad Morris would love to be able to control animal avatars, see history in 3D, and show everyone how he imagines stories. Since the inventions that would make that possible currently exist only in his imagination, he settles for reading, writing, playing basketball, rappelling down an occasional slot canyon, dating his wife, and hanging out with his five awesome kids. Chad speaks Portuguese, can play the Phineas and Ferb theme song on the guitar, and does decent impressions of a velociraptor and Voldemort—but not at the same time. He isn't very good at fixing his car, shopping for anything, cooking, or growing hair.

Click on the covers to read my reviews on the other two books in this series:

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Book Blast: Katie and the North Star by Bethany Lopez and Katie Lopez

Katie and the North Star by Bethany and Katie Lopez

About the Book

Title: Katie and the North Star | Authors: Bethany Lopez and Katie Lopez | Illustrator: Hetty Mitchell | Publication Date: March 13, 2015 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 26 | Recommended Ages: 2 to 6

Summary: Katie and the North Star is a book filled with adventure, joy, and imagination. Join Katie as she learns why she can't keep the North Star all to herself.


* "Katie and the North Star" is available as an e-book for only 99 cents from Amazon between April 23 and 25, 2015. Or, subscribers to Kindle Unlimited can grab an e-copy for FREE! *

Amazon Goodreads

About the Authors: Bethany Lopez and Katie Lopez

Katie Lopez and Bethany Lopez

Katie and Bethany Lopez
are a mother and daughter writing team. Katie is currently navigating through the first grade. She loves reading, writing, and Shopkins. Bethany writes stories for all ages. She enjoys writing full time, and spending time with her family. Katie and the North Star is their first collaboration.

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* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

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

Contest ends: May 7, 11:59 pm, 2015

Open: Internationally

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

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Cover Reveal/Goodreads Giveaway: Seconds Before Sunrise by Shannon A. Thompson

Message from the Author:

The Timely Death Trilogy began as one teenager’s nightmare and morphed into a real-life dream of authorship. The entire trilogy re-releases with new covers and new interiors this summer and fall by Clean Teen Publishing. I hope you’ll check out this dark vs. light trilogy (mainly because the “dark” side is the good side…maybe), and I especially hope you’ll consider becoming a Member of the Dark! Each time there is a special event, you can participate and win prizes—like spotlights on my website, books, and more. Simply email me at, and I’ll send a badge over to you. We might even have coffee together.

Thank you for reading about this dark journey,



Seconds Before Sunrise (book 2 of The Timely Death Trilogy)

Two nightmares. One memory.

"Chaos within destiny. It was the definition of our love."

Eric has weeks before his final battle when he's in an accident. Forced to face his human side, he knows he can't survive if he fights alone. But he doesn't want to surrender, even if he becomes the sacrifice for war.

Jessica's memory isn't the only thing she's lost. Her desire to find her parents is gone and so is her confidence. But when fate leaves nightmares behind, she decides to find the boy she sees in them, even if it risks her sanity.

Click here for my review.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson

Minutes Before Sunset

by Shannon A. Thompson

Giveaway ends June 23, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to Win

About the Author:

Shannon A. Thompson is a 23-year-old author, avid reader, and habitual chatterbox. She was merely 16 when she was first published, and a lot has happened since then. Thompson’s work has appeared in numerous poetry collections and anthologies, and her first installment of The Timely Death Trilogy became Goodreads Book of the Month. She is currently represented by Clean Teen Publishing, and Minutes Before Sunset releases on July 28, 2015.

As a novelist, poet, and blogger, Thompson spends her free time writing and sharing ideas with her black cat named after her favorite actor, Humphrey Bogart. Between writing and befriending cats, she graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in English, and she travels whenever the road calls her.

Visit her blog for writers and readers at