Friday, December 2, 2016

Christmas Greetings from the Presidents


About the book: In the early days of Calvin Coolidge's presidency, a new White House tradition was born with the decorating of a "National Community Christmas Tree" in 1923. Since 1927, the annual lighting of the tree has also been accompanied by a presidential message. Those addresses, many of which are collected here, have provided an intriguing snapshot into the soul of two enduring institutions: The Christmas holiday and the American nation.

From the initial, decidedly brief messages that "Silent Cal" Coolidge presented at the end of the 1920s to those given by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the midst of World War II as well as Ronald Reagan's message expressing solidarity with the people of Poland, which charted the beginning of the end of the Cold Car, the Presidents of the United States have marked the time through these inspiring messages of hope and goodwill.

This collection of Christmas messages consists of at least one address from each president since Calvin Coolidge. Reading them, we can trace the history of the United States from the Roaring Twenties through the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, the brief eras of Camelot and Watergate, the oil crisis and the fall of Communism, eras of economic book and recession, and the aftereffects of terrorism. Through all of these historic events, the lasting message of Christmas shines bright: We look to Christmas to remind us of what we can be—what is possible when we unite in hope, faith, and forgiveness.

My review: I enjoyed looking through this book. I actually didn't realize there was a National Tree lighting or a message from the President every single year. It was really neat to look through this book and see what was happening in the world during each of the presidencies and see how their messages changed due to what was happening in the world. I also loved that there were pictures of the families and the Presidents messages and cards to his staff. 

This is a fun little book to look through, I'm sure I'll look at it every Christmas!

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Taste of Home

About the novella: From USA TODAY bestselling author Annette Lyon comes an enchanting Christmas novella: Claire Jennings is headed home to spend Christmas with her family, riding the train with Will Rhodes, who grew up across the street. He may be twenty-one now, but she can’t forget his torturous teasing from their school years. At the rail station, Claire learns that her home is under quarantine because her little brother has measles. She’s stuck in town, away from her family, on her favorite holiday. Will stays behind with her, and as Christmas Day approaches and her homesickness deepens, she discovers that perhaps he has changed in more ways than one.


A TASTE OF HOME was first published in the SILVER BELLS COLLECTION from TIMELESS ROMANCE ANTHOLOGIES.

My review: Re-reading this book was like talking to a long lost friend! I enjoyed reading every bit of it! 

It's short, but the story is so sweet and poingant. I love the care that Will takes for Claire, for the way he comes home with her when he learns she'd be traveling alone otherwise, even though he'd already decided to stay. For the things he goes out of his way to do for her without her even asking.

Claire is cute too. I love the innocent way that she looks forward to Christmas. Dreaming of her family and the traditions they share. Wanting just one taste of her mom's special toffee. 

I had an enjoyable afternoon reading this cute story with the snow piling up outside my window! It's a perfect Christmas story.

I was sent an e-copy of this novella in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase links: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - iTunes - Kobo - Smashwords

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Kayaks and Kisses

About the book: Brynn Caley is about to start her dream career running an outdoor sporting goods store when an out-of-town business guru makes his own offer on the property. Coerced into forming a temporary partnership, Brynn, with her ski experience, finds she has to work with fishing expert Gage to run the year-round shop. 

Through a series of innocent misconceptions and a few blatant lies, Brynn doesn’t realize that the handsome single guy on the construction crew is her new partner, and he doesn’t want to set her straight until he can gain her favor. She, on the other hand, would do anything not to work with the stuffy businessman she’s only met through email. 

Inspired by the movies You’ve Got Mail and The Shop around the Corner, Kayaks & Kisses is a heart-warming tale of finding love in autumn leaves, outdoor activities, and new friendships.

My review: This book was so fun! I loved that it's loosely based on one of my very favorite movies, You've Got Mail. There was at least one line from the movie that I noticed and it made me smile.

Brynn is a fun character! She's a skier, loves everything about it. She's good too, almost made the Olympics before she had a career ending accident. She knows tons about skiing and wants to use that knowledge to help others learn to ski and pick out the best equipment at a small sporting goods store in Ruidoso, New Mexico. I loved the way, she went into the store planning on negotiation, but she was flexible enough to walk away knowing she had a partner that she hasn't met and hoping she can somehow work well with the "old guy who knows about fishing."

Then there's Gage. Not really an old guy, but a true fishing nut. It was really funny the way he would send these e-mails to Brynn. In the e-mails he's just brusque and leaves her feeling that he doesn't think she can make decisions well. And then he leaves her to do all of the work to outfit the inside of their store while he goes to an outdoor expo. 

I loved the scene where Brynn goes to the store to work and finds Gage, who she assumes is someone hired to help outfit the store. And she pretty much tells him what she thinks of him to his face. Not surprisingly, Gage doesn't reveal himself, leaving Brynn to believe a lie. Which leads to some hilarious situations later. So. Much. Fun!

I loved everything about this story. It's cute, a quick read, clean, and tons of sparks between Brynn and Gage.

I was sent an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Cozumel Escape

About the book: Enjoy this thrilling billionaire romance from Author Cami Checketts. 

Brooks Hoffman, billionaire, loves women, expensive toys and fighting—in that order. A week romancing a beautiful woman on his private island is a great way to pass the time. When Sydnee Lee Swenson isn’t impressed with his money, or charmed by his…well, charm, Brooks takes it as a personal challenge to change her mind. 

Sydnee Lee moved to Cozumel to volunteer at the local orphanage. She’s fallen in love with the children and doesn’t need a good-looking, over-confident, guy complicating things. Sending Brooks on his way, with just the right amount of sass, was the only option. But when Brooks puts his own life on the line for her and some of the orphaned children, she may have to take another look at the guy behind the muscles and money. 

This book also contains a sneak peek at The Angler, the Baker, and the Billionaire by Author Amberlee Day and The Reclusive Billionaire by Lucy McConnell.

My review: I was really glad to see Brooks back in this book, as well as an appearance by Zack's island from Caribbean Rescue. So much fun!

Brooks makes me laugh! He's got more swagger and confidence than any other character I've ever seen! I love the way that he's pretty confused when Sydnee wants nothing to do with him and runs back to her orphanage job. I love the effort he puts into trying to change her mind as well, so many romantic gestures. I was kind of amazed to learn - way later in the book - about all the things Brooks had been through in his early life. He just seemed so well adjusted and...well cocky.

I loved Sydnee in this book! She is so spunky and really wants nothing to do with Brooks, thinking that he's only after one thing. I had to laugh at the way she went to Thanksgiving on Zack's island, almost like she was headed to the guillotine and Brooks was the executioner. She truly thought he was taking her to some frat party and that he was threatening her job that she loved at the orphanage to do so. 

This is a cute, clean romance that I loved reading and didn't want to put down! Such a great trip! 

I was sent an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Blog Tour - God is in the House



About the bookMembers of Congress reflect on their deep faith and how it guides them as politicians and legislators in leadership, voting, and responding to our nation's crises.

The book was compiled by Representative Virginia Foxx, who personally asked congressional colleagues who are devout in their Christian faith, representatives who are in a Bible study group with her, and colleagues she knows on a personal level to each contribute an essay.

Essays by current and former Members of Congress:

House Chaplain Daniel P. Coughlin
Mark Critz
Stephen Fincher
J. Randy Forbes
Virginia Foxx
Tom Graves
Janice Hahn
Randy Hultgren
Sam Johnson
Jim Langevin
Dan Lipinski
Sue Myrick
Thomas Osborne
Steve Southerland
Chris Stewart
Juan Vargas
Allen West
Frank Wold

My review: I was really interested in reading this book in light of the election that just finished up. I was amazed at just how much I enjoyed reading it and I really was impressed with the viewpoints of the different people's essays. There are tons of different backgrounds represented in this book, there are people from California and people from pretty much nowhere rural Tennessee. But each of these people have a few things in common: they believe in God, they believe in scripture study, they believe in prayer, they believe they can make a difference by serving in the House of Representatives.

I was really amazed at the number of people that mentioned that they felt that they were almost "called" by Heavenly Father to run for the office that they either hold or held. Such amazing people with amazing stories! I loved this book!

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

About the authorVirginia Foxx is the U.S. Representative for North Carolina's 5th congressional district. She is a Republican and was elected Secretary of the House Republican Conference in 2012.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Blog Tour - Evertaster: The Delicious City

About the book: Ever since he took a bite of a legendary dessert last summer, twelve-year-old Guster Johnsonville has never been the same. In fact, when a strange little man dressed as a conquistador comes clattering into the barn at the back of the Johnsonville farmhouse one afternoon, he forces Guster to face the truth: Guster is now the most delicious thing in the whole world, and a terrible monster is coming to eat him.

The monster is one of the Yummies—a pack of horrible, ferocious creatures with an appetite for sweets. What other choice do Guster, Zeke, and Mariah have than to run away from home to escape the mysterious beast?

On the run in a far corner of the world, Guster and his siblings discover a secret settlement known as the Delicious City. Now, with the Yummies hot on their trail and the Delicious City’s Mayor determined to feed Guster to the beasts, Guster must embrace his talents as an Evertaster if he’s going to save the city from collapsing and get his family out alive.

Praise: “Fast paced and full of heart! I gobbled up every word of this book buffet!” –Frank L. Cole Author of The Afterlife Academy

“The perfect recipe for edge-of-your-seat action!” –Peggy Eddleman, author of Sky Jumpers

Purchase link: Amazon

My review: I love it when authors write books that can be enjoyed by parents and children alike. This is one of those, although you might want to make sure that you've read the original Evertaster book in order to have everything make sense!

Guster and his whole family really are kind of quirky and funny. I loved reading this story from his point of view. I love the way that he can determine things from his food, at the beginning of this one, he realizes that he's tasting fear in his sandwich and he's not sure what that means, but knows that it can't be good. 

His brother Zeke is really supersticious in this one and he tries to convince Guster that he's being followed by a Sasquatch. So funny, but it was also really kind of funny how close to the truth he ended up being. I love his mom too! I love the way she's always making Guster and his family something great to eat, and I loved the way she was adaptable at the end of the story.

I loved that this book takes us from the Johnsonville's home to New York City to the Himalayas in a grand adventure that will leave you wanting to read more!

I was sent an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


About the author: In between books, Adam Glendon Sidwell uses the power of computers to make monsters, robots and zombies come to life for blockbuster movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean, King Kong, Transformers and Tron. After spending countless hours in front of a keyboard meticulously adjusting tentacles, calibrating hydraulics, and brushing monkey fur, he is delighted at the prospect of modifying his creations with the flick of a few deftly placed adjectives.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Blog Tour - Love and Fat Free Cheese


About the book: Fat-free cheese is okay—unless you’ve tasted real cheese. Juliet Easton learns this about love too as she uncovers who truly loves her, and who is using her to get to the secret she knows about the disappearance of her sister’s fiance and the pharmaceutical conspiracy he plans to reveal. Can she protect her loved ones’ lives and her heart? You’ll be hooked from Asiago to Zamorano cheese in this suspenseful and hilarious romantic thriller.

My review: I was amazed at just how much I loved this whole book. I picked it up and read it in one day because I wanted to know just what happened so badly. Such a great book, and I had to laugh at the author's name, Sharp is a kind of cheddar cheese so it totally goes with the title.

I loved the way that Juliet is the main character in this book, because it easily could have been her sister Eva, I think having Juliet the main character brings a ton of extra plot greatness. I also liked the way there were tons of flashbacks to Eva's story of love and the craziness that went on with Will. Juliet is such a great character, she's loyal to her family - especially Eva, loving, trusting - almost too trusting in some places, and just plain awesome.

I found myself just as confused about Owen Denny as Juliet was for most of the book. It was hard to tell just who he really liked, and what his motivations were until he revealed them at the end of the story. It did seem like he was a great guy, for the most part. But since the whole book is from Juliet's point of view that was also a bit hard to tell. It was very obvious that she was conflicted about him.

Then there was Luke...Juliet really liked Luke, but there was one scene in the book that made me really not like him. And her brother Everett and Owen are always telling Juliet that Luke is not quite what he seems. Quite honestly there was a lot in this book that was not quite what it seemed, and I loved that. That made the plot so interesting and it made me not want to put this one down.

This book is full of suspense and romance that will keep you guessing and keep you wanting to read more until the very last word! 

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: Crissy Sharp graduated Summa Cum Laude from Brigham Young University – Idaho, with a major in advertising and a minor in marketing. She is currently a member of the RWA and lives in Collierville, Tennessee.