Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Blog Tour/Review: The Five Legends: A Journey to Heal Divided Hearts by the Anasazi Foundation

The Five Legends, by the Anasazi Foundation
2019, 120p, Motivational
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way

Drawing on 30 years of helping families, this profound fable by the Anasazi Foundation illustrates the true anguish of conflict and explains how we can end war within ourselves, within our families, and even between nations.

Created in 1988 by renowned wilderness pioneers Larry D. Olsen and Ezekiel C. Sanchez (a Totonac Indian whose native name is Good Buffalo Eagle), the Anasazi Foundation invites young people, through a primitive living experience, to effect a change of heart. For over thirty years, their teachings have helped families begin anew and walk in harmony in the wilderness of the world.

Inspired by their wisdom, this book tells the story of two brothers whose warring hearts threaten to destroy their lives and their community. Trapped in a canyon, the two brothers are rescued by a mysterious old man who perceives their need for peace. He offers to guide them home -- inviting them to open their hearts toward a New Beginning. When they agree, he teaches them the five legends of peace. And as they walk forward, they learn that we are free to create peace in our own lives--and how to do it. This discovery saves not only the brothers but ultimately their people. This poetic narrative offers us all a hopeful way out of the canyons of war, leaving behind the warring within.

I love it when a book comes around that sounds appealing to me and it turns out to be exactly what I need to read. It's hard to feel peace when our hearts are at war, and this fable gives some simple, yet powerful, life lessons to apply in order to feel peace, and the importance of our relationships with others. I loved the way it was written, and enjoyed reading each of the legends, and how they applied to the brothers and their relationship. 

This book didn't take me long to read, and it is packed with great content, so I will read it over and over again. The lessons are timely and apply to all ages, so I would recommend it to everyone!

[Side Note: Years ago, I read The Anatomy of Peace by The Arbinger Institute and this book reminded me of that. I wasn't surprised to read that the two groups have worked together and support each other. If you liked The Anatomy of Peace, this is a book you will definitely want to read.]

About the Author

Founded in 1988 by renowned wilderness pioneers Larry D. Olsen and Ezekiel C. Sanchez (Good Buffalo Eagle), ANASAZI Foundation gives young people an opportunity for growth through a primitive living experience and a philosophy that invites healing at the hands of nature. Many of Anasazi's teachings were inspired by Sanchez and his wife Pauline Martin Sanchez, a Navajo whose given name is Gentle White Dove. More than 4,000 families have participated in ANASAZI since its inception in 1988. It is estimated that 40,000 students have participated outdoor programs.

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Blog Tour/Review: Seven at Sea by Erik & Emily Orton

Seven at Sea, by Erik & Emily Orton
2019, 352p, Non-Fiction, Memoir
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way

Working the night shift as a temp in a high-rise cubicle, Erik Orton knew something had to change. He felt the responsibility of providing for his wife and their five children—the youngest with Down syndrome—but craved a life that offered more than just surviving.

Watching the sailboats on the Hudson River during his sunset dinner breaks, Erik dared to dream. What would it be like to leave the hustle of the city and instead spend a year on a sailboat, somewhere beautiful, as a family? Despite having no sailing experience, his wife Emily’s phobia of deep water, and already stretching every dollar to pay rent and buy groceries, the family of seven turned their excuses into reasons and their fears into motivation. Sure, they would miss their friends, they could go broke, they could get injured or die. Worst of all, they could humiliate themselves by trying something audacious and failing. But the little time they still had together as a family, before their oldest daughter left for college, was drifting away. The Ortons cast off the life they knew to begin an uncertain journey of 5,000 miles between New York City and the Caribbean, ultimately arriving at a new place within themselves.

A portrait of a captivating and resilient family and a celebration of the courage it takes to head for something over the horizon, this is a deeply compelling story—told alternately by Erik and Emily—for all those who dream of leaving routine in their wake.

I'm fascinated with these types of stories and admire people that are willing to pack up all their belongings and hit the road (or the sea, in this case). Once the Orton's made the decision to spend a year on a sailboat, they were committed. This is an honest memoir of what happened during that time. Yes, it was tough to live in such close quarters with the same people and they got frustrated with each other. Yes, it was lonely at times. Yes, there were scary situations that occurred while they were sailing. They survived, though, and learned a lot about themselves in the process.

They met new friends who were able to give them great advice, they learned how to navigate different ports to get the supplied they needed, they learned how to handle emergencies, and they made lasting memories. I felt their shock and adjustment to "regular" life when they came home. I enjoyed spending time with the Orton's and learned so much from their life lessons and experiences!

ERIK ORTON writes plays, musicals and books. His work won an Emmy Award, Telly Award and CINE Golden Eagle. He has directed and produced events at Radio City Music Hall, Off-Broadway and regionally throughout the U.S. He managed Broadway shows and tours including Wicked, The 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee, Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, Fosse and many others. In 2018 he achieved a lifetime goal of climbing El Capitan in Yosemite. He enjoys rock climbing, sailing, surfing, scuba diving, writing and flying kites. He loves thinking and speaking about living deliberately. He blogs with his wife Emily at Fezywig.com. They live in New York City with their five children. For more information, please visit, ErikOrton.com or find him on Instagram @ErikOrton.

EMILY ORTON is not an adrenaline junkie. She’s just curious. A former English teacher turned homeschool mom, she is an avid journal keeper and blogger. Her writing is featured in "Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream," by Whitney Johnson. Emily speaks and writes about living with purpose. Emily’s curiosity has led her to become a sailor, scuba diver, rock climber, world traveler and most recently surfer. She explores the world, inner and outer, with her husband, Erik, and their five children. They blog together at Fezywig.com and make their home in New York City. For more information, please visit, EmilyOrton.me or find her on Instagram @EmilyOrton2020

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Blog Tour/Review: Catherine's Intrigue by Paige Edwards

Catherine's Intrigue, by Paige Edwards
2019, 320p, LDS Romantic Suspense
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way

To fulfill her mother's last request, twenty-four-year-old historic design specialist Catherine Pressley-Coombes travels to England in order to investigate an elusive family line. Armed with an illegible diary, she is determined to discover the identity of her mysterious ancestress. Distracted by an Elizabethan manor and unused to British country roads, Catherine runs her car into a ditch. Luckily, Nick Davidson, a handsome, hard-working local rides in on his tractor to save the day. As the down-to-earth manager of his family's estate, Nick also happens to be one of England's most eligible aristocrats.

Nick is certainly not the kind of man Catherine would fall for a man dogged by media and rumor. So why does she find the English lord so irresistible? Even though she can't overlook their differing values and beliefs, as she and Nick spend time together, their attraction deepens. While she battles through romantic turmoil, Catherine is beleaguered with far more sinister concerns: a series of unexplainable misfortunes that are not mere accidents. With her heart on the line, Catherine discovers her life is in jeopardy, and she has no idea who the perpetrator is but she has a growing suspicion that the danger might be connected to whatever secrets lie hidden in her ancestor's diary.

Catherine heads to England to stay with her brother Jack while she searches for an ancestor that she only has a first name for, as well as a hard to read diary. When she first arrives, she drives herself and Jack into a ditch, and a handsome man named Nick rescues them. It turns out that there's more to Nick than she originally thought, and they are attracted to each other. There is a major complication, as well as someone after her, so it's anything but smooth sailing.

This book took me a little while to get into, but once I did, I had a hard time putting it down. The author clues us in on the villain early on so the reader knows who to watch out for. We switch back and forth between Catherine, Nick, and the villain so we know what all the characters are thinking and feeling. I don't think that took away from the suspense, and I thought it helped wrap everything up nicely in the end. I liked the way Catherine and Nick's relationship developed and I was rooting for them to find a way to be together. There were some other great characters that I enjoyed getting to know, including her brother, Jack, and her best friend, Gillian.

There is a religious element to the book regarding The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which works well with the storyline and doesn't come off as preachy. I love that this is a clean read and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys romantic suspense! This is the author's debut novel and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future!

Born and raised in Southern California, Paige Edwards is a multi-award-winning author who enjoys clean romances and thrillers. A BYU-I alumna, she went on to graduate summa cum laude from NOVA with a degree in interior design. Her husband’s job transferred their family to the mid-Atlantic states where they have lived ever since. As a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and former chapter registrar, she has spent time researching applicants’ genealogical credentials. When she needs a break from writing, you can find her shooing deer out of her garden, biking battlefields, or kayaking on the lake.

Please join Paige’s newsletter at authorpaigeedwards@gmail.com where you’ll hear about upcoming projects, research trips, fun trivia, and deals on books by other clean and wholesome authors.

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*March 18th: https://brightlystreet.com/

*March 19th: http://gettingyourreadonaimeebrown.blogspot.com/

*March 20th: https://rachellechristensen.com/

*March 21st: http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/

*March 22nd: https://whynotbecauseisaidso.blogspot.com/

Friday, March 15, 2019

DVD Review: Jane and Emma

Jane and Emma, PG, 94 minutes
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: I received a complimentary copy of the DVD, which did not affect my review in any way

Movie Synopsis: JANE & EMMA is based on the life of Sister Jane Manning, one of the first black Mormons. She returns to Nauvoo to find that Joseph Smith, her prophet and friend, has been assassinated. Jane spends a ceaseless night with his widow, Emma Smith, sitting watch over the body of the prophet as a whirlwind of loss and confusion leaves them wondering how either one of them will be able to move forward. Through the long night, Jane wonders if the prophet’s promise to extend the blessings of eternity to her has died along with him. The film explores the possible events of that night, including Jane’s endeavor to remain amongst the Mormon people and Emma’s struggle to cope with her heartbreaking loss. Poignant issues of racism and polygamy threaten to break their bond of friendship. In the end, will Jane and Emma have the courage to follow the path each believes they must take?

This film focuses on the night Joseph Smith's body was brought home to Emma. Jane Manning, a black Mormon, returns to find that Joseph has died and Emma is determined to keep him at home and protect his body. We learn more about the friendship between Joseph, Emma, and Jane through flashbacks.

I wasn't sure what to expect with this film. It's slow and dramatic, which works well for this type of movie. There was a lot that I hadn't really thought of before, and they didn't shy away from difficult topics. I wasn't familiar with Jane Manning at all, and I enjoyed getting to know her. There's an insert that has excerpts from her autobiography which was interesting to read.

This is a movie I would watch again and one that I would recommend to others!

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Blog Tour/Review: Sanctuary by Traci Hunter Abramson

Sanctuary, by Traci Hunter Abramson
2019, 312p, Clean Contemporary Suspense
My Rating=5 Stars
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way

Kristi Hartinger has come to terms with her life as a single, thirty-something woman. She was in love . . . once. But following her boyfriend's tragic death, no one else could capture her heart. And nothing else could fill that void, though the serenity of the ocean came close. Two years ago, Kristi left the craziness of her Wall Street career behind and embraced a simpler life on her family's private island off the coast of Maine. As a resident of the small beach community, she anticipates a quiet future—until she comes face-to-face with her past.

Ace Samson is dead, or so the world believes. As a member of a secret organization known as the guardians, he was forced to fake his death years ago, leaving everything behind when he became an agent. So when he is selected to offer a potential new recruit a job with the organization, Ace braces himself: for the first time in more than a decade, he must face the woman he loved—and left.

Kristi's world is rocked by Ace's sudden reappearance, and she's soon drawn into his world of danger and cover-up. But when Kristi herself becomes a target, Ace will do whatever it takes to protect the only woman he has ever loved.

It's been a while since I've read a Traci Hunter Abramson book and this one reminded me why I love them so much! I was hooked from the beginning. Ace Samson has been dead for twenty years, but the secret government agency he works for would like to employ his former girlfriend, Kristi. His coming back into her life is just as dramatic as it sounds--she is elated that he is alive and then angry that he's led her to believe he's been dead for twenty years. Their relationship is complicated and they have plenty to work out.

Kristi lives on an island and there are issues she needs to deal with. Kade and Renee from Safe House come to help them figure out what's going on so she will be free to work with the guardians. It was fun to catch up with them and see what they're up to, and I felt safer when they were around.

This book is full of action and twists and turns. I thought I had things figured out and then realized I didn't, so I had to keep turning pages to find out what would happen next. Even though it's part of a series and there are characters from other books, it works well as a standalone. This is a another fantastic novel by Traci Hunter Abramson and I'm already looking forward to her next one!

Traci Hunter Abramson was born in Arizona, where she lived until moving to Venezuela for a study-abroad program. After graduating from Brigham Young University, she worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for several years, eventually resigning in order to raise her family. She credits the CIA with giving her a wealth of ideas as well as the skills needed to survive her children's teenage years. She has gone on to write more than twenty bestselling novels that have consistently been nominated as Whitney Award finalists and five-time Whitney Award winner. When she’s not writing, Traci enjoys spending time with her husband and five children, preferably on a nice quiet beach somewhere. She also enjoys sports, travel, writing, and coaching high school swimming.

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*March 11th: https://thekeeledeal.com/ 

*March 12th: http://gettingyourreadonaimeebrown.blogspot.com/ 

*March 13th: http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com/

*March 14th: https://www.singinglibrarianbooks.com/

*March 15th: https://brightlystreet.com/

Monday, March 11, 2019

Romance is in the Air: Showcasing Author Taylor Dean

A Me and You Thing by Taylor Dean


Golden couple, Sawyer and Quinn Denali, have an amazing love story. A match in every way, their happiness is evident to all who spend time with them. The arrival of twin baby girls completes their picture-perfect family.

When Quinn has the opportunity to help others on a two-week volunteer trip, she reluctantly leaves her family, knowing a short break from the demands of motherhood will be good for her. She doesn't expect the trip to change her life forever. But it does. It changes everything.

Struggling from day to day, the young family moves forward, finding happiness . . . and love.

But fate isn't done mixing things up in their lives. When an unexpected event leaves them all reeling, the unspoken question rings loudly and can't be ignored: "What happens now?"

A Me and You Thing is a novel that explores the strength of enduring love and friendship.

He lightly brushes my lips with his own, and I scoot a little closer. Mmmmmm, five years of marriage and my attraction for this man has never waned. I never knew I could love someone so much. Even better, he feels the same about me. We’re far from perfect, yet we’re a perfect match for each other.

Frankly, that’s as perfect as love gets.

I bury my head in his warm chest, listening to the sound of his strong heartbeat. He hasn’t let himself go since we married. He runs every morning at unspeakable hours and, like a fine bottle of wine, ripens with age.

“Are you sure I should go on my trip? I’m consumed with guilt every time I think about it.”

I love our life together in our shingle-style two-story beach house on 5201 Beachcomber Lane. It’s a decent size home, even if it’s a little on the older side. No matter, I adore it. It might not be directly on the beach, but we have amazing ocean views from the second story. Close enough.

“You’ll be doing something important, Quinn, something that really matters. I love you for wanting to go, for wanting to help. Your passport arrived yesterday. See, it’s a sign. The universe just sent you a telegram.”

A light scoff emerges from me. He runs his hands through my longish blond hair. My brown eyes close while I enjoy his tender touch.

“What was I thinking? I don’t want to leave you or our babies.”

“Hey, it’s only two weeks, sweetheart. In the scheme of things, that’s hardly any time at all . . ."

Author Taylor Dean

Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it's paranormal, contemporary, or suspense--you'll find all sub-genres of clean romance in her line-up.

Giveaway Details
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 3/29/19

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. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from Clean Wholesome Romance and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Saturday, March 9, 2019

Romance is in the Air: Showcasing Author Kimberley Montpetit

The Fiance's Secret by Kimberley Montpetit

He's a successful entrepreneur who almost has it all. She's the long-ago crush—the girl who got away. When they meet again, fireworks explode once more. But will a buried secret steal their second chance at a happy ending?

Troy Thurlow let the girl of his dreams get away fourteen years ago, back when he was a high school football star. Now he’s a highly successful executive with a life most people only dream of. Still, he's never stopped thinking about Jasmine, and wondering what would have happened if he'd ever had the courage to ask her on a date. When he meets her by chance on a New York business trip, he's determined to take this second opportunity and run with it. That is, if his past doesn't catch up with him first . . .

Jasmine Cervantes does “happily ever after” for a living, arranging dream-destination honeymoons for the fabulously rich and famous. But, so far, her own fairy-tale ending has eluded her. That is, until the boy she couldn’t stop dreaming about in high school barges unexpectedly into her office one day.

When the two start a whirlwind romance they begin to see that fate is giving them a helping hand. Until Jasmine ends up on Italy’s most romantic coast without him. Missing him desperately, she begins to believe that Troy is truly “the one.”

But he's hiding something that could change everything . . .

“I have a confession to make,” she said, kicking up the sand with her toes.

“You—confessions?” Troy teased, but he seemed to tense as if unsure what she was about to tell him.

“I heard rumors that you were living out of the country. I figured I’d never see you again.”

“So why didn’t you come to our ten-year reunion?”

“I was on an important honeymoon trip right then. With Standing Ovation,” she quickly added with a laugh. “Not my own.”

Troy chuckled, but she thought she saw his jaw clench a little. “I figured that’s what you meant.”

“October in the South Pacific is very nice. That’s when the reunion was, right? At that point, the couple who wanted to honeymoon in Bali was our biggest client we’d ever had so I couldn’t tell my VP no.”

“I guess our lives weren’t meant to cross right then. Extended business trips that sometimes kept me away for a few months. Especially at the beginning of the founding of DREAMS. We were hustling like crazy. All of us keeping insane schedules.”

“That makes sense. Assumptions are often not true. Isn’t that human nature?”

They paused at the shoreline, warm waves tickling Jasmine’s ankles. She wrapped her other arm around Troy’s waist, snuggling into him tighter while he put his other arm around her, while they stood staring out at the Atlantic.

“You feel fantastic, Jasmine,” Troy whispered, brushing his lips against her hair.

“I was just thinking the same thing about you,” she whispered in return, her voice barely above the sound of the rushing ocean.

The water was black, but under the starlight, the waves were a soft, frothy white breaking along the shore.

Troy turned so that they faced each other, and Jasmine snuggled into his chest, his body warming hers in a perfect fit. She was dizzy with his closeness, longing for more.

“I can hear your heart pounding,” she told him, gazing up into his face.

“My heart’s going crazy because I’m overcome by the most beautiful woman in the world. If I go into cardiac arrest, just kiss me and I’ll come right back.”

“Like Sleeping Beauty kissing the prince instead of the other way around?”

The Executive's Secret is Free Friday, March 8th and Saturday, March 9th

5 stars! LOVED THIS ONE! I ended up binge reading it until I could barely keep my eyes open but it was totally worth it!

This book pulled at my heartstrings. I loved how the characters were developed so that I could clearly feel their emotions. This book was clean but still involved passion and I appreciate that. I loved every second.

Love, love, loved this book!!!!! If you want a book that will leave you feeling happy, satisfied, and so much more then read this book.

Author Kimberley Montpetit

When she was in Paris, Kimberley Montpetit spent most of her souvenir money at the La Patisserie shops with their beautiful and delicious pastries. She grew up in the fabulous city of San Francisco, loves all things chocolate, and now lives in a small town along the Rio Grande with her engineer husband and three sons.

She once stayed in the haunted tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland and didn't sleep a wink, sailed the Seine in Paris, rode a camel in the ancient world wonder of Petra, shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria.

Kimberley also writes Award-winning Middle-Grade novels with Scholastic and epic Young Adult novels with Harpercollins under the name, Kimberley Griffiths Little.

Giveaway Details
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 3/28/19

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. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from Clean Wholesome Romance and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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