Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Fool for Books Giveaway Hop!!

Welcome to the Fool for Books Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am a Reader and Bookhounds! I love this blog hop and am excited to be part of it!

I'm offering a $15 Amazon Gift Card for one winner to purchase a book of their choice. The usual rules apply: You must be able to use an Amazon Gift Card. The  winner will be chosen through Rafflecopter and will have 48 hours to  respond or a new winner will be chosen. You don't need to follow my blog  to enter, but that is always appreciated. :) Good luck and thanks for visiting my blog!

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Be sure to check out the other blogs. There are lots of great prizes up for grabs!

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Blog Tour/Review: Summer Campaign by Carla Kelly

Tour Schedule

Summer Campaign, by Carla Kelly
2015, 288p, Clean Regency Romance
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review

Miss Onyx Hamilton is about to make what everyone agrees is a perfect marriage—until handsome Major Jack Beresford comes galloping into her life. But with his fortune and connections, Onyx knows he’d never ask for her hand, would he? New and longtime fans alike will relish this delightful romance from Carla Kelly. Charming, sweet, and full of fun, it’s simply impossible to stop reading.

I enjoy a good, clean regency romance and this book fits the bill! Onyx Hamilton made me laugh from the beginning. She's set to marry the Reverend Mr. Andrew Littletree and her interactions with him were funny to me. It's obvious he's not a good fit for her but it's been drilled into her that he's the best she'll ever get and she should be grateful that he's willing to marry her. It takes a while to learn the truth of Onyx's parentage so I'll let you discover that for yourself!

While traveling to take care of the vicarage where she will live once she's married, she runs into a bit of a problem and Major Jack Beresford comes to her rescue. He gets hurt in the process, though, and she feels compelled to nurse him back to health. They learn a lot about each other during their short time together and she is intrigued by Jack but is determined to stick to her agreement, especially when she realizes that she doesn't have a future with Jack.

I loved the relationship between Onyx and Jack. They understood each other in a way that nobody else could. Jack has some demons in his past (war memories) and Onyx is able to help him. I liked the way Jack teased her. He let her know how he felt without smothering her and allowed her to make the decision she felt was best for her. There's some heartbreak, too, and it was touching to see how they each dealt with that.

This is a great read that held my attention from the beginning. I've only read a few of Ms. Kelly's books, but I have enjoyed her character development and the realistic elements in her stories. I'm looking forward to reading even more of her books!

About the author:

Carla Kelly is a veteran of the New York and international publishing world. The author of more than thirty novels and novellas for Donald I. Fine Co., Signet, and Harlequin, Carla is the recipient of two Rita Awards (think Oscars for romance writing) from Romance Writers of America and two Spur Awards (think Oscars for western fiction) from Western Writers of America. She is also a recipient of a Whitney Award for Borrowed Light and My Loving Vigil Keeping.

Book Blitz: How I Became a Teenage Survivalist by Julie L. Casey


Bracken is a typical teenage boy, more interested in the angles of the girl’s exposed back teasing him from the seat ahead of him than in anything the geometry teacher could present. His life is filled with school, video games, and thoughts of girls, not necessarily in that order. Life just flows along uneventfully and unacknowledged, like the electricity that courses through the power lines — until PF (Power Failure) Day. On PF Day, the sun strikes Bracken’s world with an unseen surge of electromagnetic fury, which cripples power stations and burns transformers to crispy nuggets of regret.

No one in Bracken’s world had ever thought about how much they depended on electrical power, but now, without it, they are plunged into survival mode. Bracken soon realizes how lucky he is to live on a farm in the Midwest. What seemed like a dull and backwards life before is now the greatest chance for survival in what seems like a powerless world. Food, water, and heat are readily available, although hard work is required to make use of them. Bracken and his family must learn to survive like their ancestors, who settled their land.


Author Bio

Julie L. Casey lives in a rural area near St. Joseph, Missouri, with her husband, Jonn Casey, a science teacher, and their three youngest sons. After teaching preschool for fifteen years, she has been homeschooling her four sons for ten years. Julie has bachelor of
science degrees in education and computer programming and has written five books, including How I Became a Teenage Survivalist, Time Lost: Teenage Survivalist II, Stop Beating the Dead Horse, In Daddy’s Hands, and Guardians of Holt. She is currently working on the third book in the Teenage Survivalist series, titled Ice Queen: Teenage Survivalist III. She enjoys historical reenacting, wildlife rehabilitation, teaching her children, and writing books that capture the imaginations of young people.

Find out more at
Twitter: @JulieLCasey


I am the second of three brothers. Mom thought it would be cool to name us in alphabetical order, so my older brother is Alexander, I’m Bracken, and my little brother is Calvin. Mom always jokes that if she’d had another kid, she would have named it Done.

I was fifteen when the first solar superstorm wreaked havoc on our lives. It was November 1st and I was at school, trying to concentrate on what the geometry teacher was trying to teach us. I couldn’t quite make my brain behave – it kept wandering away on its own adventure about the girl in the desk in front of me, Silky Henderson. Man, was she hot!

And follow along on the event page.

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Grand Finale Blitz: Covering Home by Heidi McCahan

A themed tour through Prism Book Tours.

We're blitzing the GRAND FINALE for
Covering Home
By Heidi McCahan

We hope you enjoyed getting to know a little bit about Britt and Caleb and a peak into Covering Home. If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out now!

What do you hope readers take with them when they read your book?
The nicest thing a reader can say to an author is, “I just could not put your book down.” When someone tells me that, I’m overjoyed. So I hope readers turn the last page with a contented sigh, yet wish they had just a little more time with the characters. On a deeper level, I hope readers recognize that I write from a Christian world view and God is a God of second chances, who can redeem us from hard seasons.

 Letters from Annie (Douglass) Lima - Behind the Scenes of Covering Home
Initially, I saw a call for submissions from a publisher for a story set in Tokyo, Japan that featured a bat, a bell, and an angel. For the non-writers out there, a call for submissions is something writers pay attention to because it’s the publisher’s way of telling writers what they are looking for. This particular publisher wanted a novella, which is about 25,000 words or so. As soon as I dropped Britt Bowen and Caleb Scott in the lobby of that hotel, I knew I had something special going on. Once the characters came to life on the page, I couldn’t stop at a novella. It was sooo much fun to write.

I Am A Reader - Hero Interview: Caleb Scot
Which baseball stadium is your favorite?
It’s hard to choose a favorite. Each one has unique characteristics and it depends on if you’re playing there or just enjoying a game with your family and friends. As a player, Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia will always be special to me, since we won the World Series there.

My Life Loves and Passion - 10 Fun Facts About Baseball in Japan
In Covering Home, Caleb Scott tries to rebuild his pitching career in the Japan’s professional baseball league. The cultural differences between the United States and Japan are significant, both in this story and in reality. Here are ten fun facts about baseball in Japan and how they contrast with the way the game is both played and watched in the USA.

Underneath the Covers - 5 Awesome Walk-Up Songs for Writing a Must-Read Romance
In professional baseball, players often have a ‘walk-up’ song that is played in the stadium when they’re … wait for it … walking up to the batter’s box. Hence the name, walk-up song. I’ve checked out a few lists and players have chosen everything from Ellie Goulding to Rage Against the Machine. It’s a big part of baseball culture and also helps the batter mentally prepare to step up to the plate and get the job done.

Mary Terrani - My TBR Pile for Spring 2015
I’m a voracious reader. A great story captures my attention, draws me in right alongside the characters, and keeps the pages turning long past my bedtime. There aren’t enough hours in the day to write well and read everything in my To-Be-Read pile, but here are the most anticipated books (for me) this spring.

i blog 4 books - Review
I truly enjoyed this sweet, romantic story. Readers who enjoy romantic stories with a little sports action thrown in are sure to enjoy Covering Home.

Mel's Shelves - Five Reasons Why I Wouldn’t Want to Be a Female Sportscaster
In Covering Home, the heroine, Britt Bowen is a television personality turned sportscaster. While it is her dream job, she faces a few challenges, which also happen to impact her personal life. Based on the research I conducted to write this novel, here are five reasons why I feel it would be a difficult profession.

Colorimetry - Heroine Interview: Britt Bowen from Covering Home
On a date, would you prefer an adrenaline-fueled adventure or a romantic candlelit dinner?
Oh, tough question. I love the adrenaline rush of a new adventure. But since it’s a date, I’d enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner.

Wishful Endings - Excerpt: Britt & Caleb Ride the Ferris Wheel
     He turned back from the window, the lights mounted on the frame of the Ferris wheel illuminating half of his face. Even in the semi-darkness, those dark chocolate eyes studied her.
     “What are you thinking about?” she asked.
     They cruised upward, each incremental turn of the wheel taking them higher and higher above the lights of Tokyo. Caleb raked a hand through his hair and released a slow breath.
     “I’m thinking about how I’m on the most romantic Ferris wheel ride of my life, with a beautiful woman who leaves town in a couple of days and lives on the other side of the world.”

I am such a sucker for baseball stories. Especially baseball and romance. . . . This is a good story, easy to read.

I especially appreciated how both Britt and Caleb grew as characters throughout the novel, and I enjoyed watching them forge a relationship. Fans of contemporary romance, especially those who like sports, will enjoy this novel.

Deal Sharing Aunt - My Favorite Sports Movies
     Movies about baseball, however, are available 24/7. I could watch The Natural again and again. I enjoy most movies with a sports-related theme, particularly if there is an uplifting, inspirational message.

     Here are my favorite movies with a strong sports theme that evoked a strong emotional response: laughter, tears, a compulsion to root for the underdog(s).

I couldn't help but to root for them, even though the odds were stacked against them. There were a few events that took me by surprise and I love being surprised. It's labeled as an inspirational read, but I didn't feel that religion played a big part.

My Devotional Thoughts - Spotlight

Covering HomeCovering Home
Heidi McCahan
Adult Inspirational Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 310 Pages
January 18th 2015 by Snug Corner Cove Press

On assignment in Japan, television personality turned sportscaster Britt Bowen is determined to land an interview with the most reclusive pitcher in baseball and prove she can succeed in a demanding profession. A relationship with a self-absorbed professional athlete is the last thing Britt needs. 

Shunning all media attention, former All-Star pitcher Caleb Scott is focused on rebuilding his career in Japan, far from his past and the horrible tragedy that nearly ruined him. Then he meets Britt, who is everything he vowed to avoid. 

But it doesn’t take long before Caleb is battling his attraction toward Britt. While she works to uncover his secrets, she can’t deny she’s drawn to his wounded soul. At a crossroads, Caleb must decide if he can break free from his past mistakes and give love another chance. And Britt must choose between advancing her career … or falling in love.


Heidi McCahanHeidi McCahan is a Pacific Northwest girl at heart. She spent her formative years in Alaska, where her unique upbringing, coupled with Alaska's breathtaking scenery, fueled her active imagination and loosely inspired her debut novel, Unraveled

Heidi graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Sports Medicine from Whitworth University and a Master's Degree in Athletic Training from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. After a brief career as a Certified Athletic Trainer, Heidi married her husband, Steve. They currently live in North Carolina with their three boys. 

When Heidi isn't stepping on Legos, chauffeuring the boys around suburbia or watching one of their many sporting events, she loves to read and write heartwarming romance.

Tour-Wide Giveaway

- US Grand Prize: Birchbox 3-month subscription ($30 value) & signed paperback of Covering Home (US Only)

- Gift Card Grand Prize: $20 Gift Card for Amazon/iTunes/B&N (winner's choice) & an ebook of Covering Home (open internationally)

- Ends April 7th

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Prism Book Tours

Monday, March 30, 2015

Book Review: This is Jesus by J. Kirk Richards

This is Jesus, by J. Kirk Richards
2015, 40p, Inspiration
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review

The life of the Savior is portrayed in stunning fine art pieces by award-winning artist J. Kirk Richards. These striking new images were created by the artist exclusively for this book. Accompanied by a harmonized account of the Saviors ministry, Atonement, and Resurrection, these exquisite paintings reflect a deep reverence for Christs mission and sacrifice. Each page is beautifully designed to complement the unique style of the artist. A perfect reminder of the true reason we celebrate the Easter season, this handsome volume will be treasured by the entire family for years to come.

This is a beautiful book that portrays the life of Christ and is especially perfect for Easter. The text is taken directly from the scriptures. It follows the life of the Savior from his ministry to the resurrection. The artwork is beautifully done and matches the text well. The message is quite powerful. I especially loved the message at the very beginning and then how it came full circle at the end. This book can be enjoyed throughout the year and will work well as a gift for any occasion.

About the Illustrator:

Figurative artist J. Kirk Richards is known for his accomplishments as a painter of Judeo-Christian subject matter. While not all of his work is overtly religious, the majority of his themes stem from spiritual ideas and narratives. His paintings exhibit a love for the human figure, use of symbolism, and an emphasis on lyric composition. His original paintings can be found in private and public collections across the country.

Book Review: Wishing on Baby Dust by Lydia Winters

Wishing on Baby Dust, by Lydia Winters
2015, 332p, Contemporary Fiction
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy for an honest review

Infertility stinks. No one knows that better than Megan. After six years of insanity-inducing hormone drugs and desperate prayers, all she has to show for her efforts are enough negative pregnancy tests to fill a bassinet. All around her women are accidentally getting pregnant—like her star piano student—while Megan remains hopelessly barren.

Megan’s never felt so alone. But she’s not the only one struggling.

Christina has just entered the world of infertility, made worse by the fact her husband isn’t ready to be a father. Their marriage, already hanging in the balance, is being torn apart.

Then there’s Kyra, the mother of a precocious three-year-old. She’s shocked to be struggling with secondary infertility. A baby is priceless, but sometimes Kyra feels like she’s being forced to choose which commandment to keep: stay out of debt, or multiply and replenish the earth.

When Megan and Christina are assigned as Kyra’s visiting teachers, they all realize that what you see isn’t necessarily what’s beneath the surface. Some secrets aren’t worth the cost of keeping them.

Megan, Christina and Kyra are three women dealing with infertility. Their stories and situations are different yet they have something in common. They meet each other and become a good support system for each other, once each of them is willing to admit what's happening. Their stories are heartbreaking and hopeful and their struggles are real. We also got to see how their husbands reacted and how it affected their relationships.

I like that the ending was realistic yet hopeful. It seemed like it was going a certain direction and then it went somewhere different. Many years ago, I had my own infertility issues (although not to the extent that the women in this book have) so I cried a lot as I relived those feelings and memories.

There's quite of bit of explanation about medical procedures which I was interested in learning about. There are also some LDS references but this is a book that anyone can enjoy. This book will appeal to a wide variety of people. If you've gone through infertility, you will realize that you're not alone. If you haven't, it will give you a deeper understanding of how women who deal with this feel. This book is emotional so be sure to have tissues handy while you read it!

Lydia Winters decided in first grade that she’d grow up to be three things—a mom, a teacher, and a writer. She’s lucky enough to have accomplished all three tasks. Lydia received her bachelor’s in history education from Utah Valley University. Soon after leaving her teaching career behind, she became a mother to adorable twin boys, who guarantee her life is never dull.

Lydia is married to the most supportive man in the world. He regularly takes care of the twins and cooks dinner so she can escape with her laptop to chase her dream of being a writer. When she has time for hobbies, Lydia is a reality TV junkie, loves to cross-stitch, and sometimes even finds time to play the piano. She eats way too much chocolate and wishes she liked things like running or yoga.

Lydia also publishes under the name Lindzee Armstrong.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Book Blast: Pride by Rosie Somers

Pride by Rosie Somers

Seventeen-year-old Gabriella Pierce is used to taking care of herself, but she’s about to become responsible for a whole lot more. When she gets a visit from three men claiming to be defenders of fantastical rings imbued with the powers of THE CARDINAL SINS, her life is changed irrevocably.

Gabby is the steward of PRIDE.

To make matters worse, she’s falling hard for fellow steward, Grant Barnett, and he hates her guts. Now Gabby has to learn to protect Pride without letting her feelings for Grant get in the way.


Praise for the Book:

Iola’s Christian Reads: “Pride is aimed at the YA market, and is the first in a planned series (presumably one for each of the seven deadly sins). It incorporates elements of other well-known YA series such as Harry Potter and Divergent, (an orphan who is the ‘chosen one’ fighting the forces of evil). It has that fast pace and addictive quality which makes it hard to put down.”

“…it was thrilling enough to grab my attention and I can’t wait to continue Gabby’s story in the next installment. Rosie Somers has made it to my Author’s to watch for list!”

Copyright © Rosie Somers


The man didn’t make a sound. He stood stock still for the span of one sharp, inhaled breath, then he crumpled to the floor. After assuring herself there was no one behind him, Gabby flipped her flashlight on and knelt to give the unconscious heap at her feet her full attention. Oh God, she’d killed himShe just knew it.

Save for green streaks coursing through his thick, black hair, and a spot of blood near his temple, there wasn’t any color on him. His clothes were black, his skin winter-pale. Everything about his appearance was smooth, lean, handsome—no feature out of place. Full lips, chiseled jaw, and strikingly thick eyelashes. He was pretty, for a boy. It all fit, even the green hair. And he was still breathing. She wasn’t a murderer.

Suddenly, a strong hand gripped her forearm, and the heavy flashlight was ripped from her grasp. Wrenching free from the iron grip, she tried to turn around as she stood. Instead, she fell backward over Pretty Boy, landing hard on her butt with her legs draped over his torso.

Gabby scrambled to her feet. The moment she was steady, she broke into a run, but only made it as far as the back door before arms like steel bands wrapped around her from behind, pinning her to a rock-solid chest. She couldn’t breathe.

“We’re not here to hurt you, Gabriella,” a deep voice murmured into her ear. As if to prove the honesty of his words, the man relaxed his hold just enough for her to breathe normally.

“Yeah, right.” And her foster dad had only wanted to give her a kiss goodnight—with his tongue. Gabby knew what men were like, and she was not about to be fooled by this one. “How do you know my name?”

“It’s a long story, but we’ve been lookin’ for ya for some time now.” He had an Irish accent.

“Who are you?”

He turned their bodies back toward the unconscious man across the room. Now another guy stood over Pretty Boy. He wasseveral years older, thirty maybe. His pale blond hair was short and, even from across the room, it was clear he was much taller than her.

As Vice Guy half-carried her to the other men, a muffled moan floated up to meet them, and the guy on the floor took great care disentangling lanky limbs to pull himself to a kneeling position. He rubbed the side of his head with one hand while he used the other to brace himself against the wall. The look Pretty Boy raked over Gabby as he got up made her cringe.

The guy still holding her spoke. “If I let ya go, will ya promise not to run? We’re not goin’ to hurt ya. We’re here because we need your help.”

She believed him. Maybe because, even though she’d just clobbered his friend, he hadn’t hurt her. She nodded and was immediately released.

She turned, but the guy behind her wasn’t the giant with superhuman strength she’d imagined. Her captor was probably only a couple of years older than her, with dark auburn hair and a hint of a dimple on his right cheek. Despite the seriousness of the situation, his bright blue eyes sparkled with interest, and the corners of his lips were turned up in an amused smile.

He didn’t take his gaze off her, even when he took several steps away. Instead, he stood arms crossed, feet planted apart. Poised to give chase if she fled. Running had crossed her mind, but something compelled her to stay at least long enough to hear what they had to say.

“Well …?” She prompted with a wave of her hand that clearly said, get on with it.

The blond man cleared his throat. “Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Andrew. This is Lucas.”

He motioned toward the man who’d grabbed her, then to the one she’d knocked out. “And Grant.”

Grant’s eyes were narrowed. She shifted under his scrutiny and diverted her gaze.

Andrew whispered something in his ear, and Grant looked down at his feet. Andrew continued, “We need to go.”

They were there to abduct herAt the realization, panic rose in Gabby’s chest, choking her breath into shallow threads. She threw her hands up defensively and backed away with slow, shaky steps. “I’m not going anywhere with you.”

Andrew sighed. “You may not want to now, but you will when you find out why.”

“Then tell me.”

He checked his watch, then squared his shoulders in determination. “Have you ever heard of the seven deadly sins?”

Gabby snorted. “Who hasn’t?”

“I assume you don’t realize how serious they are. We’ve spent our lives protecting humanity from the temptations and you laugh at the mention of them?” Grant’s voice was deep and forceful.

He looked as though he would have continued scolding her, but Lucas uttered a soft “Dude” and shook his head. Grant snapped his mouth shut and raised a hand to rub the back of his neck.

Lucas picked up where Andrew left off. “Do ya know much abou’ the history of the sins?”

She’d only ever heard an Irish brogue on TV. His lilting tone was soothing.

He raised an eyebrow.

Oh, he’d asked a question. What was it? Ah yes, history of the sins. Gabby shook her head.

“In the latter half of the fourth century, a monk fled Constantinople to a small monastery in Egypt. There, he penned a list of eight sins which he referred to as the Temptations of Man: Pride, Avarice, Acedia, Gluttony, Impurity, Anger, Sadness, and Vainglory.”

He took a few steps back and leaned against the wall, then continued, “For two centuries, almost all of those not involved with that particular monastery thought the list of Temptations was nothing more than the opinion of one monk, a suggestion of how to lead a good Christian life. Then, sometime around five-ninety A.D., Pope Gregory the First came across a collection of rings tha’ had been housed by this monastic order in utter secrecy. They considered them so powerful only the handler was permitted near them, just one specific monk who devoted his life to ensurin’ no one else came into contact with the Temptations.”

“Listen guys, much as I appreciate the history lesson, I’ve got work in …”she made a show of checking her non-existent watch, “a few hours, so I really hope you’re getting to a point.” This earned her a leveling glare from Grant.

“Pope Gregory had the rings studied and discovered they were in fact imbued with special properties. It seemed they had the power to influence people toward certain … well … temptations,” Andrew replied.

What asylum had these guys broken out of? Did they actually believe this nonsense they were spouting? “Seriously, jewelry that makes people sin? Right.” Gabby moved to her bag and gathered her clothing, making sure to keep the men in her line of sight.

Lucas reached into his shirt and pulled out a chain. He slipped it free of his neck and dangled it from the tips of two fingers. Swinging like a pendulum at the bottom of that chain was a brilliant, red ring.

“What is that?” She already knew the answer.

Lucas took several slow steps in her direction and extended his arm toward her. She clenched her fists and bit down on her tongue to keep from yelling at the men. How dare they sneak into her makeshift home, intruding into her life, practically scaring her to death. Now, they were feeding her this absurd story about sin-possessed rings and crazy monks.

The closer he got, her anger went from muted seething to barely-contained rage. The more she thought about it, the more she wished she was still in possession of her Maglite so she could hit him with it, and maybe again after that. When Lucas was little more than five feet from her, he winked and reversed direction. With each step he took away from her, the violent feelings receded.

“Anger,” Gabby answered her own question.

“Anger,” Andrew affirmed. “Lucas is the steward. I’m the steward of Pride, Grant of Envy.”

Grant’s eyes narrowed at her, while Andrew pulled a matching chain from beneath his own T-shirt and let the attached orange ring fall to rest against his chest. Something about Andrew’s ring was different though. Sure, power emanated from it, too, but she wasn’t experiencing pride. This power was different. It tingled—almost like static electricity.

After slipping the chain back over his head and tucking it under his neckline, Lucas picked up his story from where he’d left off. “Each of the rings has the ability to influence people toward a particular sin. Pope Gregory discovered which ones led to which temptation and labeled them accordingly. As a result, the original list of temptations was amended. It came to be known as the seven deadly sins.”

That was why the list Lucas spouted earlier didn’t sound right.

“The rings didn’t create the sins, of course. They just have the power to promote that particular feeling or action. Each sin has two rings and two custodians.” Lucas was matter-of-fact.

“What, like a janitor?”

He shook his head, but didn’t otherwise acknowledge her interruption. “The stewards are bound to their particular ring, can sense it, can control its influence over others.”

“How come I’ve never heard of these … stewards?”

“We exist in secret. If the world knew about us and the sins, all hell would break loose. We are not equipped to deal with that,” Grant answered in a tone that clearly said she should already know the answer.

“I still don’t understand what any of this has to do with me.” Were they ever going to get to the point?

Lucas took a tentative step toward her. “You’re the other steward of Pride, Gabriella.”

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Author Rosie Somers
Rosie Somers is a YA author who lives in Florida, soaking up the year round sunshine. She can often be found in her favourite spot on her favourite beach, nose-deep in a good book.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Blog Tour/Review: What is Lost by Lauren Skidmore

Tour Schedule

What is Lost, by Lauren Skidmore
2015, 240p, Clean YA Fantasy
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review

Angry at his failure to exact vengeance on the prince, mask maker Joch flees Venesia to find his lost love. When a red-cloaked assassin promises answers, he has little choice but to trust her-though he may be walking into a trap. Unravel the deception in this dazzling story of second chances that will keep you guessing to the last page.

This is the story of Joch, the Chameleon and villain in book one. He was someone that I did have some sympathy for but I wasn't sure that I wanted to read a book about him. I like to try to understand what makes someone do the things they do and we were able to learn his reasons for the way he behaved in the first book. There was quite a bit of mystery surrounding him and I wasn't sure at times who to trust. He reluctantly teams up with Kit, who is also mysterious and has quite a few secrets of her own.

What is Hidden references Cinderella and What is Lost references Red Riding Hood. There's a woman that wears a red cloak, and characters that are called Grandmother and Wolf. Joch holds the Wolf responsible for his troubles and wants revenge. He also learns that Grandmother may have the answers to his questions. There are complications along the way to getting what he wants.

This was so different than What is Hidden. I didn't enjoy it quite as much and I really missed Evie and Aiden. I'm not sold on Joch yet, but he's growing on me. There were some surprises and twists throughout the book and the ending sets up the third book to bring all the pieces together. I'm looking forward to reading more! 

About the author:

Lauren Skidmore grew up in Kansas, with stints in Ohio and New York, and currently lives in Utah. She attended Brigham Young University where she earned a BA in English Teaching with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Second Language and Japanese. She then spent a year in Japan teaching and traveling. She hasn’t made it to Europe yet, but it’s on the list and has been to 30 states in the U.S. so far. When she’s not exploring new places, you can probably find her on the internet with fifteen windows open and looking at just one more thing before actually getting something done.

Book Blast: The Calm After the Storm by Mya O'Malley

The Calm After the Storm by Mya O’Malley

Can true love shine through the darkest storm?

The storm of the century raged through the northeast, causing destruction and despair, millions were left without power and hope. Weeks later, countless people were still devastated by the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, Emma Riley among them.

Determined she didn’t need the help of a man, Emma was convinced that she could brave the aftermath of the storm on her own. That is, until Jake came into her life.

After having suffered heartbreak and embarrassment, Jake Mack, a utility foreman, volunteered to travel north from small town, Georgia to assist with the aftermath of the storm. Jake was decidedly done with women. But he didn’t count on meeting Emma or falling in love so quickly. Can he trust this woman or will his past get in the way and ruin the relationship with the one woman he truly loves?

Excerpt from The Calm After the Storm:

Jake and his crew had now been in the suburbs of New York for a few days. His first thought upon entering this area was his surprise at the devastation. Sure, he had heard about the destruction on the news and had seen footage of the aftermath of Sandy, but it still hadn’t prepared him for the actual sight of Sandy’s rage. Telephone poles were down, trees were snapped in two, and houses were completed destroyed by the storm. Seeing all the destruction only strengthened Jake’s resolve that it had been the right thing to come. He felt proud to be able to help out and be a part of the solution to the horrible aftermath of this disaster.

As the day was wrapping up. Jake and Chris met up with some of their crew in the next town to finish one more area before calling it quits. The chill in the air was something that Jake had prepared for, but was not accustomed to. Clutching the new flannel he had purchased right before his trip, he put it on over his thermal shirt. Thankful for his thermos filled with hot coffee, Jake grabbed it but quickly tossed it aside.

“Come on, Chris! I asked you to stop drinking my coffee. Now there’s none left,” he said as he shook his head, irritated at his friend.

Chris looked up at his boss sheepishly. “Sorry, man. I didn’t sleep well last night. I needed some caffeine.”

“Well, that makes two of us.”

They rode until they approached the utility pole that needed attention. Jake and Chris were among the first to arrive and got busy setting up for the job. Within minutes, the rest of the assigned crew trickled in. The workers were now familiar with the details and routine of this job, so for the most part they worked in silence, focused on getting this last job done so that they could grab some dinner and hit the sheets. It was cold and dark, the night chill settling in upon them. Jake supervised and helped his crew perform their individual duties as quickly as possible. As they were just about wrapping things up, Jake headed over to Steve, one of the older guys directing traffic. He looked frail and tired.

“Hey, Steve. I got this. Why don’t you call it a night, huh? We’ll meet you at the hotel for some dinner.”

“Nah, Jake, we’re almost done here. I’m good,” Steve said as he looked up at Jake with glaring dark circles under his eyes.

“Steve, go. I’m serious. Get in a hot shower and we’ll meet up for dinner. Boss’ orders. Now go and take Andy with you,” Jake gestured toward another man on the crew who looked like he was ready for bed.

Shrugging his shoulders, Steve made his way to one of the smaller utility trucks, calling for his co-worker to join him. Jake took over the responsibility of directing traffic, slowing people down and stopping cars when necessary. Yawning, he waved a small SUV along, noticing that the approaching driver was slowing down, much more than necessary. Jake squinted his eyes to get a better look. The car came to a stop when Jake stepped up to it and its window rolled down. Looking back at Jake was a woman who appeared pretty, even in the diminished light. Wait, scratch that—she was stunning, with long, wavy hair and piercing eyes. His heart faltered just a bit.

“Hi. I wanted to thank you guys for all of the hard work that you’ve been doing. We really appreciate you guys coming up here. I think I speak for everyone,” she said as she smiled widely. Her smile hitched his breath ever so slightly. Jake smiled back. This was certainly a change. Since he had been in this area, some people waved, some people smiled, others remained with their eyes straight ahead, but nobody had yet offered any thanks verbally. So different from the Southern hospitality way of life where he grew up, Jake mused.

Here it was different, the pace of life was much faster. People always seemed to be in a rush, and they minded their own business for the most part. Sure, being so close to the big city must be nice and the landscape was quite beautiful at times, but he didn’t think this lifestyle was something he could ever get used to. It seemed too stressful, too impersonal. He would be glad to be back home when his job was finished.

The woman leaned over and offered Jake a box of donuts, disposable coffee cups, and a box of hot coffee. Jake was impressed.

“Thank you, that was very thoughtful!” Jake gushed, thrilled at the idea of hot coffee. He thought he felt warmth spread across his cheeks despite the chill in the air.

The woman stared back and smiled at Jake for a minute and then set her eyes on the road ahead. She waved as she pulled away.

“Wait!” Jake called out. “Wait, what was your name?” But the words were lost. The mysterious woman with the coffee and donuts was long gone.

“Guys!” he called out as his crew worked on cleaning up for the night. “Guys! Our guardian angel just appeared, and she brought coffee!”

The coffee and donuts were gladly received, but the idea that someone would go out of their way to show a random act of kindness truly touched Jake. He felt the warm liquid slide down his throat and knew that he would always remember the woman’s thoughtfulness. Who was he kidding? That woman’s beautiful face was what he would most remember. He just wished that he had gotten her name.

Author Mya O’Malley

Mya O’Malley was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City, where she currently lives with her husband, daughter and three step-daughters. The family also consists of two boxers, named Destiny and Dolce, and a ragdoll cat named Colby. Mya earned an undergraduate degree in special education and a graduate degree in reading and literacy. She works as a special education teacher and enjoys making a difference in the lives of her students.

Mya’s passion is writing; she has been creating stories and poetry since she was a child. She spends her free time reading just about anything she can get her hands on. She is a romantic at heart and loves to create stories with unforgettable characters. Mya likes to travel and has visited several Caribbean Islands, Mexico, and Costa Rica. She is currently working on her sixth novel.

$50 Blast Giveaway

Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/16/15

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 and sponsored by readinglight.com. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Book Blitz: Royal Date by Sariah Wilson

Royal Date by Sariah Wilson
Publication date: March 3rd 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance


This Cinderella didn’t plan on a prince . . .

Kat MacTaggart is a girl who has a plan for everything—including her holiday ski trip to Monterra with her best friend. Everything is going according to plan until she finds herself careening out of control down a mountainside and being rescued by a guy who looks like Superman’s hotter Italian cousin.

HRH Prince Nico is intrigued by the woman he saved on the slopes and her refusal to date him. He offers Kat a deal—let him show her his country and he’ll pay her to write articles that will help Monterra’s tourism industry. Kat agrees, but given her past and lingering distrust of men, she has one condition—absolutely no kissing.

Thanks to the claims of a jealous British noblewoman and the schemes of a meddling paparazzo, Kat’s rule doesn’t seem to be a problem at first. But the more Kat gets to know Nico and the people around him, the harder it is to remember her keep-your-distance plan. Should she stick to it or risk everything for a chance at happily ever after?

This book is currently 50% off with the discount code ScoutOne! Just click the link below:


Sariah Wilson has never jumped out of an airplane, never climbed Mt. Everest, and is not a former CIA operative. She has, however, been madly, passionately in love with her soulmate and is a fervent believer in happily ever afters--which is why she writes romance. She has published five happily ever after stories. She grew up in southern California, graduated from Brigham Young University (go Cougars!) with a semi-useless degree in history, and is the oldest of nine (yes, nine) children. She currently lives with the aforementioned soulmate and their four children in Utah, along with three tiger barb fish, a cat named Tiger, and a recently departed hamster that is buried in the backyard (and has nothing at all to do with tigers). 

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Blog Tour/Review: The Olive Tree by Christine Layton Graham, Carol Layton Ogden and Joan Layton Merrell

Tour Schedule

The Olive Tree: An Artistic Adaptation, by Christine Layton Graham; Illustrations by Carol Layton Ogden and Calligraphy by Joan Layton Merrell
2015, 36p, LDS Family Picture Book
My Rating=4.5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review

Savor a unique scriptural experience with this beautiful book that combines text adapted from Jacob 5 with stunning artwork and calligraphy. A gorgeous addition to any LDS home, it will enhance your understanding of the exquisite symbolism in this significant story.

This is a picture book that the entire family can enjoy! Three sisters have taken the allegory of the tame and wild olive trees found in Jacob 5 in the Book of Mormon and simplified it. They also added illustrations and the text is written in calligraphy. 

While the text is simplified, it's still a bit complex for younger readers. I think it makes a great family read so the message can be explained and discussed. I absolutely love the artwork and think it does a great job adding to the message of the story.

The calligraphy is beautiful, too. There were quite a few different colors used, though, and I found that a little distracting. However, I asked my daughter what she thought and her eyes lit up and she said she loved the different colors, so that probably won't even be an issue for most people.

These sisters did a great job accomplishing what they set out to do. This book is beautiful from beginning to end and will make a great gift! This is a book that I will display and plan to read it multiple times with my family throughout the years!

Christine Layton Graham is a writer, editor, and college English instructor living in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her books include When Pioneer Wagons Rumbled West, Three Little Robbers, and Peter Peter Picks a Pumpkin House. She has also had pieces published in the New Era and the Friend. You can learn more about her books here.

Joan Layton Merrell is a professional calligrapher and fiber artist living in Jefferson City, Missouri. She has exhibited regionally and has been represented by galleries in two states. Her calligraphic art has been published in Letter Arts Review and The Calligrapher's Engagement Calendar. You can learn more about her calligraphy here.

Carol Layton Ogden is an artist living in Springville, Utah. Carol studied design at BYU. In recent years she has studied under a variety of artists, including Ann Kullberg and J.K. Richards.

Grand Finale Blitz: The Best Laid Plans by Amy Vastine

A themed tour through Prism Book Tours.

We're blitzing the GRAND FINALE for
The Best Laid Plans
By Amy Vastine

Did you get to know the youngest of the Everheart sisters, Emma, in this sweet Harlequin Heartwarming book? If not, go back and check out the tour stops now!

Launch - Intro to The Best Laid Plans
The Best Laid Plans features Emma as she sets her sights on meeting Dr. Right. Everything about her plan seems to be working except for one glitch - she’s falling in love with a handsome, spontaneous paramedic instead.

JoJo's Corner - Review
"This story was a wonderful reminder that life doesn’t always turn out the way we planned or expected, but sometimes that can be a good thing…a very good thing. . . . If you love soul-stirring romance with a sprinkle of humor and fun- don’t miss this one!"

J.R. Richardson Fics - Excerpt & Review
Charlie and his extra-wide smile came over to congratulate the happy couple. He was Max’s only friend in the city besides Kendall. Emma knew him from the hospital. He was the paramedic all the triage nurses flirted with when he brought someone into the ER. Emma could admit there was something attractive about his dark brown hair and green eyes that were always smiling.

"It's no secret, I adore Amy's writing. This series is so much fun. Her personality shines through every page and her characters make me want to call my family up and tell them how much I love them despite our differences."

Deal Sharing Aunt - Songs that Inspired The Best Laid Plans
I love to take a song and imagine what the rest of the story might be. Sometimes I only need one line to catch my attention. That was how The Best Laid Plans came to be. It was inspired by two songs. . . . The first one is Justin Timberlake’s “Not a Bad Thing”.

Southern Chelle - Review & Excerpt

"I loved Charlie in “The Better Man” and was quite surprised to find him falling hard for The Nightingale. I love Amy Vastine’s writing, style, and characters so far. I can’t wait for Chicago Sisters #3 and learn more about Lucy and her life."

The closer she got, the warmer he felt. He practiced greeting her in his head, trying to sound cool. Then she smiled and he lost the ability to speak.

Letters From Annie (Douglas) Lima - Luck of the Irish

Charlie doesn’t need luck, though. Luck doesn’t win you love. Charlie gets the girl because of who he chooses to be each and every day. Sometimes we have a little bit more control over our destiny than we think. Don’t chase the rainbow, looking for the pot of gold. BE the rainbow and the pot will come to you!

Wishful Endings - Interview
1. What is your favorite thing about the Chicago Sisters Series?
I am the only girl in a family of three. I have always wondered what it would be like to grow up with two sisters instead of two brothers. These stories allowed me to pretend. I am envious of sisters who have built-in friends in each other. The Everhart sisters are friends as well as family and even though the stories focus is on the romance, the sisters are special to me!

i blog 4 books - Review
I absolutely adored The Best Laid Plans! I was immediately drawn into the story and couldn't get enough! After reading The Better Man, I enjoyed picking up with Emma and seeing her fall in love.

Plans 2“It’s fine, just cold.” Charlie reached over and pressed her hand and the ice pack back against his face. She was so close that it made his heart beat faster. Thank goodness he wasn’t hooked up to any machines that would’ve given him away.

"The romance is so sweet and the story has a lot of action and humor as well. The characters are very well-developed…too bad they aren’t real! You’ll totally fall in love with this book! It is definitely one you need to add to your TBR piles. Put it on the top!"

“You know the cute paramedic?” Tessa’s interest in Charlie was bothersome, and that in and of itself was even more bothersome. Charlie could date whomever he wanted. It shouldn’t matter to Emma one bit.

"I was immediately drawn into the story and fell in love with all of the characters. . . . I enjoyed the family-oriented feel to the story and camaraderie that Charlie has with his co-workers. I loved the chemistry and the realizations that are made. This is recommended to all those readers who love a good, clean, fun romance."

Getting Your Read On - Review & Excerpt
"I fell in love with Charlie long before Emma did. Haha. He is awesome and so, so, so incredibly patient."

Charlie faced her, that easy smile on his face. “I love the new look, Nightingale,” he said without hesitation. “You look gorgeous.”

I Am A Reader - Meet Emma Everhart
Emma is the youngest of the Everhart sisters, who all star in the Chicago Sisters series. Emma is a nurse, like her mother before her. She works in the ER of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chicago. Emma is bright and determined. She knows what she wants and always gets it.

Colorimetry - Meet Charlie Fletcher
Charlie Fletcher is my favorite hero so far. He’s a six foot four, green-eyed, fun-loving paramedic who wears his heart on his sleeve. There really isn’t anything not to love about him.

The Best Laid Plans (Chicago Sisters, #2)The Best Laid Plans
(Chicago Sisters #2)

Amy Vastine
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback, 368 Pages
March 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming

She planned on falling in love. Just not with him!

Emma Everhart's life is going according to plan. Finish nursing school with flying colours… Check. Get a great job in the ER… Check. Marry a handsome doctor and have two babies, three years apart… Not quite yet. But with a dreamy new doctor joining the hospital staff, she's so close she can almost taste the wedding cake. Now is not the time to let the tall, dark and flirtatious paramedic Charlie Fletcher distract her! He may be the best date and best kiss she's ever had, but he's definitely not part of her plan. No matter how he makes her feel…

The Better Man (Chicago Sisters)The Better Man
(Chicago Sisters #1)
by Amy Vastine
Adult Romance 
Harlequin Heartwarming
January 1st 2014

Kendall Montgomery's six-year-old son has barely spoken in the past year, locked in his world of silent grief. Then one day, he spots his dead father across a crowded street.

Max Jordan moved to Chicago to be closer to his own son and prove he can be a better father than his deadbeat dad. His striking resemblance to Kendall's husband and his track record with fatherhood make her determined to keep her distance…until Max helps her little boy come out of his shell. But can she trust him with their future? How can she be sure he won't take off just when they need him most?

Author picAmy 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

- $50 Amazon gift card & signed paperback of The Best Laid Plans (ebook if international winner)

- 5 copies of The Best Laid Plans (paperback to US winners and ebooks to international winners) and Chicago swag and Sweet and Heartwarming Bracelet for (US winners only)

Ends March 29th

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