Between Heaven and Earth, by Michele Paige Holmes
2016, 420p, Clean Contemporary Romance
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy via eBooks for Review for an honest review
Cassandra Webb’s every waking minute is devoted to being a great mother and wife. She takes five-year-old Noah to the library each week, volunteers in his kindergarten class, and even coaches his soccer team. She makes sure her husband’s uniforms are always laundered—even though he hasn’t worn them the last six years—always has his game day snacks on hand, and meets him for date night every Friday—which consists of one sided conversations at his bedside and watching his favorite take out remain untouched.
Pearl, a mysterious visitor at the care center, suggests that it is only Cassie’s love still tying Devon to Earth when he has been ready to move onto Heaven for quite some time. If Cassie will but open her eyes and heart, she will discover the path she should travel, one that will bring relief to Devon and much joy to her own life. But Cassie vowed never to give up on him. She never has and she can’t now, even after meeting hapless, single soccer-dad Matt.
This is another fantastic installment in the Matchmaker series! Six years ago, Cassie's husband, Devon, was shot and has been in a vegetative state ever since. Soon after that, she found out she was pregnant so has been raising Noah on her own. She diligently visits Devon each week, hoping that he will finally come back to her. Cassie coaches Noah's soccer team and meets Matt through his son. Matt is a single dad who is overwhelmed with raising two sons. Cassie and Matt become friends, which is tricky at times since they are attracted to each other but she is technically still married. I enjoyed their story! It alternates between the two of them so we get more of an insight into each of them and what they're going through. Cassie has put her life on hold and has stopped living in some ways so it was good to see her come back to life. Matt realizes what kind of husband and father he was in the past and has already made drastic changes but is committed to doing better in the future. Miss Pearl plays a significant part in this story as she guides Cassie along in making some difficult decisions. Cassie doesn't necessarily like what she hears from Miss Pearl and has to do some soul searching. It's a tough situation, which made me think about what I would do in her shoes. I loved the pacing of the book--it takes place over the course of a year so it felt like a realistic time table for everything that happened. There were some great characters to get to know in this story, especially the boys. They helped lighten things up. This is a heavier topic to take on and I thought the author did a great job. I felt a range of emotions while reading it and definitely felt happy at the end!
Michele Paige Holmes spent her childhood and youth in Arizona and northern California, often curled up with a good book instead of out enjoying the sunshine. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Elementary Education and found it an excellent major in which to indulge her love of children's literature.
She is the author of nine published romance novels, which include books in the STARS Series (contemporary romance), HEARTHFIRE HISTORICALS, and the FOREVER AFTER series (young adult fairy tales). She is also the author of three novellas, two in the TIMELESS ROMANCE COLLECTION.
Her latest release, BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH (Mirror Press, August 2016), is a part of the POWER OF THE MATCHMAKER series.
Michele attributes much of what she knows about good writing to time spent with her critique group and feels that joining a critique group is the single best thing an author can to do help improve his or her writing. She has been a member of RWA and URWA, LDStorymakers, and The League of Utah Writers. Michele enjoys both attending and teaching at conferences.
When not reading or writing romance, Michele is busy with her full time job as a wife and mother. She and her husband live in Utah with their five high maintenance children and a Shitzu that resembles a teddy bear.
Reclamation, by Adrienne Quintana
2016, 278p, Clean Sci-Fi Suspense/Thriller
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: Received a copy for an honest review
When Jace Vega wakes up three years after the eruption of Mount Hood, her life is in turmoil. The future seems to match the images on the tablet, but Corey is missing, and nothing about her relationship with Damien feels right.
As Victor Trent continues to amass power, using information terrorism to make the world dependent on Omnibus technology and his private military force, Omnibus Global Security, Jace knows she doesn’t have much time if she’s going to stop him.
Jace’s reawakening begins a race to the place where it all began: the Point of Origin. If she can only remember where it is.
I wish I had the time to re-read the first book, Eruption, before I started in on this one. (You can learn more about it and read my review here.) There are lots of details I forgot that probably would have been helpful. Jace Vega wakes up three years after the eruption of Mt. Hood and can't remember anything. Her life doesn't feel right and she's dependent on those around her. Memories start coming back to her and she pieces together what she needs to do to get her life back on track. At the beginning, I was super confused so I could completely relate to how Jace was feeling. Jace wasn't one to just sit back and see what would happen. She came up with a risky plan and I was nervous for her as she began to carry it out. Again, I wasn't sure who she could trust and where she would end up. She's a strong, determined character surrounded with other strong characters who were interesting to get to know. It did take me a little while to get into this book and feel like I had a decent grasp on what was happening. It's well-written so it held my interest the entire time. Once the action picked up, I couldn't put it down until I knew how it ended. I would highly recommend reading these books back to back so the storyline will flow better. I enjoyed both of these books and look forward to reading more from this author in the future!
Adrienne Quintana is the author of Eruption as well as several children’s books. When she isn't writing, Adrienne enjoys running, hiking, and matchmaking (Are you single? She probably knows someone perfect for you.) She lives in Arizona with her husband and four children, who give her love, support, and plenty of good material for Instagram.
When charming rake Tristan Barrett sweeps Lady Elizabeth off her feet, stealing both her heart and a kiss in a secluded garden, her brother challenges Tristan to a duel. The only way to save her brother and Tristan from harm—not to mention preserve her reputation—is to get married. But her father, the Duke of Pemberton, refuses to allow his daughter to marry anyone but a titled lord. The duke demands that Elizabeth marry Tristan’s older brother, Richard, the Earl of Averston. Now Elizabeth must give up Tristan to marry a man who despises her, a man who loves another, a man she’ll never love.
Richard fears Elizabeth is as untrustworthy as his mother, who ran off with another man. However, to protect his brother from a duel and their family name from further scandal, he agrees to the wedding, certain his new bride will betray him. Yet when Elizabeth turns his house upside down and worms her way into his reluctant heart, Richard suspects he can’t live without his new countess. Will she stay with him or is it too little, too late?
Lady Elizabeth’s thick hair had been pulled back into a loose knot at the crown of her head, with a few wayward tendrils escaping to frame her face. Her lowered eyes were thickly lashed, fringed by a pair of high, arched brows. Her fair, unblemished skin bore no hint of a freckle. Her lips, though thinner than he would have liked, still had a pleasing shape. Her slightly pointed chin exactly like her father’s led the eye down to a slender, graceful neck.
At his silence, she glanced at him before her eyes darted away. Then, perhaps because she’d seen something reassuring, or unexpected, she met his gaze. Her clear, gray-green eyes danced back and forth between his as if to divine his thoughts.
The seductress of last night had vanished, and in her place sat a young, innocent, vulnerable girl. His future wife.
Richard as Elizabeth first sees him:
Tristan left Miss Wentworth’s side and moved to stand next to his brother near the French doors. Their dark superfine frockcoats and waistcoats, and crisp, white shirts contrasted with the blue and gold wallpaper and white woodwork. The Barrett brothers made a stunning pair—raven-haired, tall, and beautifully proportioned like two Greek gods, yet so opposite in temperament. The Earl of Averston spoke wearing his usual solemn expression. Elizabeth had spent very little time in Averston’s presence, but to her knowledge, he never smiled. How the earl could be so unlike his delightful brother defied reason.
Donna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty five years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.
BeachBoundBooks is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for the children's picture book written by Deb Troehler & illustrated by Jaime D. Buckley, Pickled Pumpkin Pie: A Thanksgiving Treat. The blast will run September 26 - September 28, 2016.
About the Book
Title: Pickled Pumpkin Pie: A Thanksgiving Treat | Author: Deb Troehler | Illustrator: Jaime D. Buckley | Genre: Children's Picture Book | Number of Pages: 38 | Publication Date: March 9, 2016
Book Description: Thanksgiving is almost here and Dillon can’t wait to see his lovable Uncle Pete once again. Uncle Pete’s visits with his peculiar penchant for pickled pumpkin pie always bring an extra helping of laughter to the dining table. Join Dad, Mom, Uncle Pete, Dillon, and their dog, Baxter, for togetherness, laughter, and a dill-icious meal. Pickled Pumpkin Pie is a read-aloud book for children ages 3-7.
Pickled Pumpkin Pie will be FREE on Amazon September 27 & 28
Review by BeachBoundBooks
Pickled Pumpkin Pie is a charming picture book, told in delightful rhyme, and filled with colorful and fun illustrations.
It's Thanksgiving and Uncle Pete can't wait to eat, but it's not turkey, potatoes, or cranberries he's after. Uncle Pete is waiting for dessert and not just any dessert. He wants pickled pumpkin pie. As the scrumptious meal comes to an end Uncle Pete's excitement builds. Will he finally get his Thanksgiving wish?
Pickled Pumpkin Pie is well written, engaging, and highly entertaining. The book also contains several activities and of course gives readers a chance to create their own pickled pumpkin pie. This is certain to become a fast holiday favorite among children and adults.
I recommend picking up a copy.
About the Author: Deb Troehler
Deb Troehler has worn many hats over the years—teacher, fabric artist, author, illustrator, gardener, mother, and grandmother. Although each hat is unique, they are all stitched with a common thread—Deb’s connections to her loved ones and the world around her.
Mrs. Troehler was a special education teacher for 15 years. After leaving the classroom due to a recurrence of cancer, her family moved to West Michigan to spend time with her husband’s family. To help make ends meet, Deb wrote instructional material and stories for several trade magazines such as Doll Crafter, Doll Reader, and Soft Dolls and Animals. Eventually, the magic of West Michigan motivated Deb to put pen to paper and record the stories inspired by her treks up and down the shores of Lake Michigan. Pickled Pumpkin Pie: A Thanksgiving Treat is Deb’s third book for children.
Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice. Giveaway ends: October 10, 11:59 pm, 2016 Open to: Internationally. How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Deb Troehler and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to stacie@BeachBoundBooks.com.
The Sheriffs of Savage Wells, by Sarah M. Eden
2016, 336p, Clean Western Romance
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review
He's the most fearsome sheriff in the West. A force to be reckoned with. The stuff of legend.
So is she. . . . May the best sheriff win.
Paisley Bell knows the eccentric people of Savage Wells. From the absentminded shopkeeper who always thinks she's been robbed to the young man who has returned shell-shocked from the war, Paisley has compassion for them all. When the sheriff up and leaves town, Paisley steps up and assumes the responsibility, partly because she loves the work, but also because she needs the income to take care of her sick father. So when the town council decides that the position of sheriff should really go to a man, Paisley finds herself fighting to prove that she's the perfect candidate for the job, even though she wears a skirt.
Cade O'Brien is heartily sick of shooting people. In his many years as a lawman, Cade has seen his share of blood and violence. So when he answers an advertisement for a sheriff job in the sleepy town of Savage Wells, he believes he's found the peace and quiet he's always desired. But when he discovers that his biggest competition for the job is a woman, he begins to question his decisions.
Tension between the two begins to sizzle when both Cade and Paisley realize the attraction they have for each other, but when Paisley's former beau shows up in town, along with a band of bank robbers, the blossoming relationship between the two sheriffs is tested. They will have to work together to thwart the bank robbers and keep the town safe.
Paisley Bell has been the acting sheriff of Savage Wells. The town is looking for a new sheriff so several men come to apply, including Cade O'Brien, an experienced lawman who criminals want to avoid. Paisley throws her hat into the ring as well. She wants to be taken seriously but it's an uphill battle. On top of that, she finds Cade incredibly attractive and distracting. I loved this book! Cade and Paisley had great chemistry and I enjoyed their bantering. Cade is a strong, tough man who doesn't see Paisley as a threat at all but she surprises him quite a bit. Paisley desperately needs the money the job offers since times have been tough for her and her father. She's also finally found something she enjoys doing and is good at, but it's a tough field for her to break into. Savage Wells is full of interesting characters who each add to the story and made it a fun place to visit! Paisley is familiar with everyone which gave her the upper hand in several situations. Early on, we learn that possible trouble is heading to Savage Wells which is why they needed a good sheriff and it was interesting to see how that played out. I love Sarah Eden's books and this is definitely one of my favorites! She did a fantastic job bringing this town and its inhabitants to life. This is a must read for anyone that enjoys Sarah Eden and/or clean western romance!
Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today bestselling author of multiple historical romances, including AML's "2013 Novel of the Year" and Foreword Review’s 2013 “IndieFab Book of the Year” gold medal winner for Best Romance, Longing for Home, and the Whitney Award's "2014 Novel of the Year," Longing for Home: Hope Springs. Combining her obsession with history and affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting witty characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. She holds a Bachelor's degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library. Sarah lives with her husband, kids, and mischievous dog in the shadow of a snow-capped mountain she has never attempted to ski.
We're celebrating the release of this newest addition in the Threats of Sky and Sea series! If you haven't started this series yet, you can grab the first book in ebook for only 99¢. If you enjoy fantasy, you do not want to miss it! Make sure you check out the excerpt and giveaway below as well...
Note from the Author
I grew up fascinated with stories of women in fantasy worlds, like Tamora Pierce's works. I was captivated by tales of magic, like Sailor Moon and Harry Potter. Held spellbound by stories where people wielded the elements like another limb, as in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
These are the stories I love.
And so, I wrote books that I would want to read.
With stories like these, it's no wonder that my debut series, Threats of Sky and Sea takes place in a fantasy world. With Elemental characters. With a strong female main character.
And with the final book in the series, Fall of Thrones and Thorns, out into the world today, that story is complete. Readers can now inhabit this world, and live with these characters as much as I do.
I hope you enjoy the adventures as much as I have.
Fall of Thrones and Thorns
(Threats of Sky and Sea #3)
by Jennifer Ellision
Paperback & ebook, 234 pages
September 27th 2016
War hurtles in, a typhoon over the sea.
After Bree’s life was torn apart, Nereidium had represented a haven to her. A place that—if she could save it—was beyond the King’s reach.
And, at last, she’s arrived upon its shores. But things in Nereidium are not what they should be.
The land is plagued by a rash of mysterious earthquakes, the likes of which it’s never known. The governors are distracted by old traditions, while Bree and her friends grapple with changing identities and the sense that the longer they wait to take action… the greater the danger from Egria grows.
Bree is tired of living under the shadow of King Langdon’s power. And she’s tired of waiting for him to be the first to act.
In this final chapter of the Threats of Sky and Sea series, it all comes down to Nereidium or Egria. To Bree or the King. It’s kill… or be killed.
And not everyone will escape the battle unscathed.
My hand lingers on the window frame, thinking. I’ve read book after book about Nereidium. Every spare bit of text on a page that I could get my hands on.
Not one of them mentioned a history of earthquakes in the country.
I try to quell the pit of uneasiness that is my stomach. The instinct that tells me that, somehow, Langdon is responsible for this.
“You’ll want to add sauce to that dough.” Trycia calls my attention back to my abandoned work, nodding at it as she kneads the crust of what she’ll be serving to those who wandering their way in for a bite. “Preferably before you add the cheese and put it on a stone in the oven.”
I leave the window. Worrying over Nereidium is Breena’s chore now. I have food to make.
Still, while my hands stay busy, my mind keeps churning. This is no coincidence. That quake. Geological changes happen, of course, but the timing is too coincidental.
“So, these earthquakes… They’re a relatively recent development, then?” I ask, unable to suppress the question.
Trycia sighs, not giving me an answer as she tosses the dough into the air and catches it deftly.
Maybe she would have answered me. But I don’t find out. The door swings open, soft footsteps pad inside, and I look up as Tregle enters. My stomach flutters at the look in his eyes when he catches sight of me. The hope of a new day’s sunrise is painted on his face. Hesitant and just blooming, but beautiful.
Trycia raises an eyebrow. “Friend of yours, Fancy?” I glare at her, and she lifts her hands in a mocking show of surrender. “Sorry. Mind the fire. I can afford a break. Not as though we’ll have a crowd tonight after another quake. I’ll see myself out.”
Only when the door swings shut behind her do I let myself speak, my heart dancing a slow step in my chest.
“Adept—” I pause, collect myself, and address him, for once, without a title. “Tregle.”
This is the one good thing to come from learning that I’m not who I thought I was. I’m a commoner, just as he is. An Elemental, just as he is. We’re finally on equal footing.
Other Books in the Series
Threats of Sky and Sea
(Threats of Sky and Sea #1)
by Jennifer Ellision
Paperback & ebook, 360 pages
May 20th 2014
Sixteen year-old Breena Perdit has spent her life as a barmaid, innocent to her father’s past and happily free from the Elemental gifts that would condemn her to a life in the Egrian King’s army. Until the day that three Elemental soldiers recognize her father as a traitor to the throne and Bree’s father is thrown in jail—along with the secrets from his last mission as the King’s assassin. Secrets that could help the King win a war. Secrets he refuses to share.
Desperate to escape before the King’s capricious whims prove her and her father’s downfall, Bree bargains with him: information for their lives. It’s a good trade. And she has faith she’ll get them both out of the King’s grasp with time.
But that was before the discovery that she’s the weapon the King’s been waiting for in his war.
Now, time is running out. To save her father’s life and understand her own, Bree must unravel the knot of her father’s past before the King takes his life– and uses her to bring a nation to its knees.
Bree and her friends have escaped the clutches of the Egrian King, but their troubles are far from over. Still reeling from the secrets that drew new breath when her father took his last, Bree sets off for the safety of Nereidium-- the kingdom she's just learned is hers. But with the King's ire at its peak and war a certainty, Nereidium is no longer safe. As Prince Caden rallies the Egrian people against his tyrant father, Bree, Princess Aleta, and Tregle race to the Nereid shore to warn them of the incoming danger-and to put the Nereid Princess on the throne. The only trouble there: Bree can't bring herself to reveal that the Princess is her. It's not a dilemma she can waste time pondering. With a new weapon in his arsenal, the King's strikes are sure to be bolder than ever before. And Bree may not be ready to wear a crown... but she won't let her kingdom down without a fight.
Jennifer Ellision spent a great deal of her childhood staying up past her bedtime with a book and a flashlight. When she couldn’t find the stories she wanted to read, she started writing them. She loves words, has a soft spot for fanfiction, and is a master of the fangirl flail. She resides in South Florida with her family, where she lives in fear of temperatures below 60 Fahrenheit.
We hope you enjoyed this tour as we got to know more about Amanda's story! If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out now and don't forget to enter the awesome giveaway...
September 6th: Launch - Web of Deceit Tour Welcome
Welcome to my world of historical fiction on ebook. WEB OF DECEIT is a step into the refined world of 1890 London and New York Society where deceit, treachery, murder and above all incalculable ambition reside.
In some ways, Web of Deceit, is my ode to Maugham. For the plot of getting Amanda out of London and to New York, I needed Harriet to provide her daughter with money. Harriet is a beautiful woman. Though by the time she is nearing 40 in 1889, she feels her life is over.
When I set the dates for this tour, I wanted it to be in September as a remembrance of my husband, Jed Nolan, a film producer and director. His birthday was in September and I can’t begin the month without thinking of him.
“I’ve had a dreadful night. Now I’m to have a dreadful day.”
“What are you talking about?” Amanda asked as she opened the thick lace draperies and let the morning sun wash the room in a pink-gold glow. “You should be happy. It’s your debut, all your friends will be there, you’ll get to wear your beautiful new gown. What could be better?”
Where did the inspiration for this book come from?
This is one of those stories that came from the character. Amanda showed up in dreams as a young girl of about 10. Then later as a woman, the toast of New York society and then later, as the first voice of women’s rights.
“This is a debutante ball, Amanda. I know you have no knowledge of these things, being from the . . . with your background. But all the girls must wear white. Only pale pink bordering on white is acceptable. And these gloves. They are vulgar and crass.”
On this book tour, most of my posts and information have been about the fact that Amanda Granger came from the London slums and rose in New York society by telling a lie. In 1890 New York, though there were no “classes” as there were in England, there were still levels of society. Money bought a person a measure of a position. Political power was another. Fame still another.
Five years later, Amanda was making over ten shillings a week, two shillings more than the neighborhood girls, who worked at the garment factories or as telephone operators. Hers was not a difficult job. She was responsible for both the care and the acquisition of wardrobes for both girls, their personal care, their social schedules, and their studies. Eloise was just as disciplined as Amanda. Emily, however, was lazy and always looked for the easiest courses. But Emily was fun and full of pranks, and when her mischief wasn’t getting her into trouble, it was difficult for Amanda not to like Emily.
Disgusted with Amanda’s lack of awe, Eloise checked herself in the mirror. As she had earlier that day, she raised her hand and played with the tendril of hair that hung from her temple. The pink gloves did not have the impact of the blue ones. Eloise could almost hate the rules. Almost.
Matthew Wade is the kind of historical hero whose only real flaw is situational. He’s tall, dark and handsome. Matthew MacFadyen comes to mind when I think of my Matthew. But then Matthew MacFadyen often comes to mind.
In a rush of fondness for a lifetime of shared moments, Eloise embraced Amanda in the way she had last year—before things, and she, began to change.
Eloise ceremoniously walked down the stairs with Amanda trailing her. At the foot of the stairs waited, a bit nervously, breathlessly, the entire Kent family.
Web of Deceit
by Catherine Lanigan
Adult Historical Romance
ebook, 462 pages
June 4th 2016 by Cat Nolan Publishing
A Passion she could not deny—A lie she could never escape—
From the depths of a London slum, Amanda Granger created an illusion of wealth and breeding that became her passport into New York society. With her dazzling beauty and the ease with which she lived her lie, Amanda captivated an adoring public and drove men to bold and dangerous passions.
But for all her fierce ambition, all her daring dreams, Amanda Granger knew that her heart’s desires were held together by the fragile threads of deception and secrets. Triumph would always be elusive until she escaped from her web of deceit.
Catherine Lanigan is the international bestselling and award-winning author of forty 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”, and more. Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into dozens of languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese. Ms. Lanigan’s novels are also available in E-books on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com, Apple Store, Mobi and Kobo. Several of her titles have been chosen for The Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs. Her Vietnam war-based novel, The Christmas Star, won the Gold Medal Award Top Pick from Romantic Times Magazine 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.
Lanigan is the author of a trilogy of non- fiction books regarding angelic intervention in human life: Angel Watch, Divine Nudges and Angel Tales published by HCI and Cedar Fort.
Skyhorse published Lanigan’s “how-to” book on writing: Writing the Great American Romance Novel.
Lanigan was tasked by the NotMYkid Foundation to write a non-fiction book addressing teen addictions. Ms. Lanigan’s first Young Adult adventure novel, The Adventures of Lillie and Zane: The Golden Flute, was published by Cedar Fort.
Currently, she has published six novels in the Shores of Indian Lake series for Harlequin Heartwarming: Love Shadows, Heart’s Desire, A Fine Year for Love, Katia’s Promise and Fear of Falling. Sophie’s Path pubs July, 2016. She has recently contracted for three more in the series: Danger Zone, Wedding for Isabelle and A Bride for Mica.
As a cancer survivor, Ms. Lanigan is a frequent speaker at literary functions and book conventions as well as inspiring audiences with her real stories of angelic intervention from her Angel Tales series of books. She is an outspoken advocate for domestic violence and abuse and was honored by The National Domestic Violence Hotline in Washington, D.C. (THE EVOLVING WOMAN). She has been a guest on numerous radio programs including “Coast to Coast” and on television interview and talk show programs as well as blogs, podcasts and online radio interview programs.
Blessing the Nephite Children, by Catherine Christensen; Illustrated by Jay Fontano
2016, 20p, LDS Children's Board Book
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review
Snuggle up with your kids and learn about Jesus's visit to the Nephites. This colorful board book is perfectly designed for little fingers and small attention spans. Experience the beauty of Christ's personal love in the Book of Mormon with your little ones and come to see the ways the Savior reaches out to them today. (Suggested Age: 0-3)
My children are way older than the suggested ages for this book but I was still interested in reading it. I love the simplicity of the story so that very young children can understand it. The illustrations help bring the story to life. I shared it with my daughter (who is 12) and she enjoyed the story and illustrations as well. We both felt that this book conveys a message of love. It's an excellent book for young children!
The Holy Ghost: Discovering Your Extraordinary New Gift, by Catherine Christensen; Illustrated by Jane Delve
2016, 80p, LDS Children's Non-Fiction
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review
Get to know the Holy Ghost, from baptism on! This engaging book provides fill-in-the-blank stories, coloring pages, and other fun activities for your kids to help get them ready to receive the Holy Ghost and rely on Him for the rest of their lives. Come to understand and feel the Spirit, one of the greatest gifts from God. (Suggested Age: 7-12)
My daughter is at the top end of the suggested ages for this book and she loved it! Some of the activities seemed a bit young for her but there were others that she was interested in. The author uses different icons throughout the book for expert tips, crafts and games, fill in the blanks and questions to answer, and stories and advice from other children. I love the short messages she shares and then fun activities to reinforce them. It's a great resource for a child to learn from and then teach a lesson in Family Home Evening. This will make an excellent gift for anyone preparing for baptism or anyone that wants to learn more about the gift of the Holy Ghost!
Catherine Christensen graduated magna cum laude from BYU with a degree in English and editing. She worked in her dream job acquiring and editing books before switching to her other dream job of full-time mother. She is a dual citizen of the United States and the United Kingdom and has lived most of her life in England. She currently resides in Springville, Utah, with her husband and daughter. Catherine is the author of “I Can Pray Everyday” and “Emily’s Perfect Christmas Tree.”
About the illustrators:
Jane Delve has been painting her whole life, starting out small with jobs as an illustrator for a local newspaper and as a muralist for a local children’s nursery. She studied art, design, and animation at a college in London and later at the University of Wales. Since then, Jane has mostly painted on commission, specializing in stylised family portraits on large canvases. She has also illustrated the children’s book Emily’s Perfect Christmas Tree and teaches local art workshops. Jane and her husband Ben have three children and live in Bridgend, Wales.
As a young boy, Jay Fontano loved to watch cartoons on TV and read comic strips in the newspaper. Now he works as an illustrator drawing funny pictures for T-shirts and illustrations for books. Jay and his wife have six children and a dog named Nacho. They live near the mountains in Utah and love to go camping and have fun together. He still watches cartoons and reads comic strips whenever he can.
Ella's Will, by Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee
2016, 272p, Fairy-Tale Retelling
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review
Will Hawkins is just a simple stable boy. How can he hope to woo Ella, his once-wealthy childhood friend who is stubbornly independent, especially when his competition is the prince? Without any magic or fairy godmothers, Will must show Ella that he is her true prince charming in this perspective twist of the Cinderella story.
I absolutely loved Ella and was excited to read this! (You can learn more about it and read my review here.) We learn about Will in this book and what was going through his mind. Will was close to Ella's father but, after his death, went away for a while so at first he becomes reacquainted with her. He's surprised by what he learns and is impressed with the way Ella handles herself. I enjoyed Will's story but still love Ella's more! I knew what would happen but didn't feel like it was necessarily the same story. Will's life was different than what I had imagined. I did know how incredibly selfless he was and that he truly wanted the best possible life for Ella, even if that included watching her marry someone else. This book highlights how amazing and genuine he is! It's been a while since I've read Ella and I would love to read them back to back at some point to get more out of the entire story. I missed her voice in this book and have forgotten some of the details. I absolutely love the twists in the story that make it more realistic. These books are fantastic and I will definitely read them again and share them with my daughter. If you enjoy fairy-tale retellings, these are two books you will want to read!
Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee graduated with a BA in English from Brigham Young University in 2004. She loved taking creative writing classes, and was particularly fond of the works of Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and the Bronte sisters. She also studied French and the humanities. Jessilyn grew up in the beautiful deserts of Southern California and now resides in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains in Saratoga Springs, Utah, with her husband and five boys.
Infected, by Gregg Luke
2016, 327p, Suspense, Medical Thriller
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review
Mother Nature: the world's most innovative killer.
Deep in the jungles of Venezuela, mycologist Dr. Julia Fatheringham is engrossed in her study of native fungi. But what begins as a standard research trip quickly spirals into chaos when her associate's erratic behavior results in his horrifying death. Soon, Julia makes a startling discovery: her partner was contaminated by an organism found only in insects. It alters the victim's mind in alarming ways, with an invariably deadly outcome. Julia is baffled by her discovery—this organism has never appeared in humans. It shouldn't be possible. There is only one terrifying conclusion: The infection has jumped species.
Now, in this remote corner of the world, a contagion of unparalleled horror rests in Julia's hands. But even as she works to contain the organism that could spell devastation of apocalyptic proportions, there are others with a different agenda. They've learned of her discovery and will go to any lengths to acquire a sample—there is good money to be had in eco-terrorism.
Armed only with her strength of mind and what courage she can gather, Julia prepares to battle the devastating scourge—and the terrorists determined to unleash it on humanity.
This book starts out fast and doesn't let up the entire time! It takes a look at what could happen if a deadly organism was released on mankind and how it can quickly spread. It starts out as an accident but catches the attention of people that want it for nefarious purposes. Dr. Julia Fatheringham is working hard to keep it from spreading but it's not easy. People she should be able to trust are working against her. The story switches back and forth between multiple characters so, for the most part, the reader knows what side everyone falls on. I liked getting into the heads of the bad guys as well as the good guys. There were some surprises, though, as everything unfolded. Be warned that there are descriptions that will make you a bit squeamish. It reminded me why I'm not in the medical field--my stomach can't regularly handle things like that. I was still fascinated with what was happening, though, and couldn't stop reading. The idea that something like this could actually happen adds to the creepiness of it. This is a book where I didn't necessarily become invested in the individual characters (most likely since they were in crisis mode the entire time), but loved getting to know each of them and also loved the book as a whole! If you enjoy fast-moving suspense and have a strong stomach, this is a book you will definitely want to read!
Gregg Luke is a practicing pharmacist. He received his medical training at the University of Utah. He has been writing since he could put pen to paper. He enjoys medical thrillers and is one of the first to work this genre into the LDS market.