Friday, December 19, 2014

Blog Tour - Rough Around the Edges Meets Refined

Rough Around the Edges


Rough Around the EdgesRough Around the Edges Meets Refined (Meet Your Match #2) by Rachael Anderson For Noah Mackie, life is finally back on track. He has a great support system, a promised promotion is on its way, and he's finally getting the hang of this single father thing. But when the job falls through and his neighbor's matchmaking efforts become more aggressive, Noah is in for yet another unwanted detour. With his career and two spirited daughters to worry about, he doesn't have time for dating—especially not someone like Cassie Ellis, his girls' beautiful and sophisticated dance instructor, who is about as open and approachable as a brick wall. Rough around the Edges Meets Refined is about two people who think they know exactly what they want but who have no idea what they really need. It's about learning that people aren't always what they seem and that sometimes life’s detours take you exactly where you need to go. 
  
Purchase Your Copy from Amazon.com
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My Review:  I knew when I picked this book up that I would LOVE it! And I did. I loved Cassie, she's been hurt and she's not willing to go through that experience again, so she's super protective of her heart. I was so glad to see Noah find someone that he could maybe be happy with, I was sad to see him left alone at the end of Prejudice Meets Pride. I love that he's able to be the single dad of two girls and come up with ways to do things like their pony tales. I really loved his idea of using the vacuum to make the girls a perfect pony tale. I loved the love story part of this book, I loved how Cassie resists falling in love with all of her might. I loved how Noah was just getting tired of being set up with everyone that his neighbor Becky knows, so he tries to get out of it. I loved being able to see the same characters from Prejudice Meets Pride, it's always fun to see what happens to the characters later on. And the ending is definitely swoon-worthy. Make sure you pick up this great book by Rachael Anderson, you won't regret it!

Rachael  
Author Rachael Anderson USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.







25_Amazon_Paypal$25 Blog Tour Giveaway Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 1/19/15 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. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Let the Season In

About the DVD: Joined by world-renowned vocalist Deborah Voigt and charismatic voice actor John Rhys-Davies, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir ushers in the holiday season with music that celebrates the work of Charles Dickens, the story behind A Christmas Carol, and many other classic Christmas tales.

BONUS FEATURES (DVD)
Hear Deborah Voigt and John Rhys-Davies describe their unique experiences in performing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.

Backstage with Deborah Voigt
Backstage with John Rhys-Davies
Christmas "In the Air": Behind the Scenes on Flying

"A Dickens Christmas" full-length version

My review: It's one of our family's favorite traditions to watch these Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square program's every year. Each are beautiful and bring the spirit of Christmas into your home. I loved this year's DVD! Deborah Voigt has an amazing voice and she was really fun to watch. John Rhys-Davies was really fun to watch, especially when he was telling the story of Charles Dickens, I really loved the flying part. He also reads the Christmas story, and that was awesome too. And of course, the choir and orchestra, amazing! I can't say enough about how great they are. Don't miss out on these fun programs!

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

Purchase link: Deseret Book, online and in stores

About the artist: The 360 members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir represent men and women from many different backgrounds and professions and range in age from 25 to 60. They reflect a medley of unique lives and experiences and are brought together by their love for singing and their faith. Their incomparable voices are the common chord that unites to form the choral group known all over the world as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir originated in the mid-19th century in Salt Lake City. As the Latter-day Saints moved west, Church President Brigham Young included musicians among members of the advance parties. Consequently, a small choir first sang for a conference of the Church in the Salt Lake Valley on August 22, 1847, just 29 days after the first group arrived. The origins of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir may be found in the desire and commitment of early converts to include appropriate music in both sacred and secular events.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has appeared at 13 world’s fairs and expositions, performed at the inaugurations of five U.S. presidents, and sung for numerous worldwide telecasts and special events. Five of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s recordings have achieved “gold record” and two have achieved “platinum record” status. The most popular was the Grammy-Award-winning 1959 release of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

For more information visit the Mormon Tabernacle Choir fan page on Facebook.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sleeping Beauty and the Beast

About the book: Trapped in a cursed sleep, the only experiences Princess Eglantine has are the ones in her dreams. There she meets Prince Henry of Fallund, a neighboring kingdom on the brink of war. 

Meanwhile, Prince Henry's brother Duncan discovers a vicious beast imprisoned for murder. Captivated by her, he works to free her from both the prison bars she's locked behind and the ones surrounding her heart and mind. Sleeping Beauty and the Beast reinvents and seamlessly intertwines the classic fairy tales Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast.

My review: I love Melissa Lemon's fairy-tale re-tellings. I love that you know any time you pick up one of her books that you are going to get a great, clean story that you won't want to put down. This book is all of that and more! I loved the way that she's woven two fairy-tales together, Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast. The way she does this is really clever. The book is about two brothers, both princes and two women. One is sleeping forever, or until someone figures out how to wake her and the other is a young woman treated so badly that she's turned into a beast that no one can stand to be around, and she's been charged with murder. It's interesting how the sleeping princess, Eglantine, meets Prince Henry as she's traveling through her dream world. He's the only one who's ever been able to see her in any of her dreams. This was really fun and really original. I loved how Eglantine would try to make him look bad to the others in the room, just because she could, so funny! I also really liked how Prince Duncan tried everything that he could to make the beastly woman happy, such a sweetheart. The ending of this book was fairy-tale perfect. You won't want to miss it!

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

Purchase link: Amazon

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Fairy Tale Christmas

About the book: Santa Claus has been kidnapped!

Behind the plot are an evil queen, a wicked stepmother, a sorceress, a beanstalk giant, and, of course, the mischievous Rumpelstiltskin. They have a plan that will erase the term "Happily Ever After" from our storybooks forever.

But it's nearly Christmas Eve, and time is running out. Can Santa and the fairy-tale heroes save the day and bring Christmas to all the children of the world? Will anyone have a "Happily Ever After" again?

Fairy Tale Christmas reminds us all that there is good in everyone and that the magic of Christmas can soften any heart.

My review: This book is really a fun one! I loved the whole premise. A bunch of the bad guys from fairy tales, the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk, the evil step-mother from Cinderella, Rumplestiltskin, and Snow White's mom have gotten together with the perfect plan to fix the endings of their fairy tales. You see, every time a child reads the fairy tales these villains get a bad ending, not the happy ending that the heroes from these fairy tales get. They are sick and tired of getting the shaft and they know just what to do about it. They'll kidnap Santa, on Christmas Eve, those bratty heroes will gladly trade endings with the villains to fix Christmas for the kids around the world, won't they? 

I loved that this book is written for kids 8-12, I was able to read it quickly. The story line is fun and moves fairly quickly. I loved the characters in this book, they are quirky and fun, perfect for kids in this age group. The plot isn't overly involved, it's just right for elementary kids reading. And I thought that the ending was perfection. I also really like that there is a website that goes with the book so that you can actually hear all the fun songs from the book how they are meant to be heard. I can't wait to see what our 8 year-old thinks of this fun book! 

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

Purchase Link: Amazon

About the authors: MICHAEL MCLEAN has released more than two dozen albums, has written, produced, and directed award-winning films and television commercials, and has annually presented his landmark Christmas production, The Forgotten Carols, based on his book, to sold-out audiences throughout the United States since 1991. He and his wife, Lynne, live in Heber Valley.

SCOTT MCLEAN is an actor, songwriter, and playwright. A graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts (NYC) and The National Theatre Conservatory (Denver), Scott lives, creates, acts, and auditions in New York City.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Blog Tour - I Know My Savior Lives


About the book: Make Mondays the best night of the week! With a full year of easy family nights that correlate directly with the 2015 Primary theme, this book is the perfect solution for busy families everywhere. For each week you’ll find a complete lesson written for you, plus songs, scriptures, ideas for treats, and activity options for younger and older children.

My review: This book is an awesome Family Home Evening resource. I love the way that it is set up with 3-4 ideas per month. That way if you have an activity planned where you won't be having a lesson, there's no stress on missing one. I love that these lessons include an activity for both older and younger children so no one feels left out. There are challenges and games for each lesson as well. I also love that included with each lesson is a list of Hymns, or songs from the Children's Songbook as well as scriptures that coordinate, such a help for last minute planning! And I really love that this will coordinate with what our children are learning in Primary, it really ties all of the gospel learning together. Can't wait to try using these great lessons next year in our Family Home Evenings!

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

Friday, December 12, 2014

Blog Tour - An Uncommon Blue


About the book: In Télesphore, the glowing color of a person’s palm determines their place in society, and touching hands with another mixes the colors permanently. When sixteen-year-old Bruno accidentally kills a royal soldier, he goes from favored to fugitive. Now Bruno's only chance at survival is to become someone else. That means a haircut, a change of wardrobe, and most important, getting rid of his once cherished Blue. Now he’s visiting parts of town he never knew existed, and making friends with people he would've crossed the street to avoid only weeks ago. At the last minute, Bruno’s parents arrange a deal to clear his name and get his life back. All Bruno has to do is abandon those in the Red slums that look to him as a leader and let an innocent Green boy die in his place. 

My review: This book was a bit confusing for me at first. The first chapter starts and seems to be very contemporary, and then it starts talking about the fire in people's hands. I was able to grasp what was going on soon and I really got into the story. I was sad for Bruno, having his life ruined by circumstances when he is so young, but I loved the way that he was resilient and able to rise above the circumstances. I loved that he was able to come up with a way to get away and tried so hard not to put others in danger because of his choices. And along the way he was able to make some great friends, including the young boy that took away his future. I loved the ending, how he was able to forgive and move on in spite of everything. This is a really fun and interesting book to read and it has a great message in the end!

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

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Generation Rising

About the book: The strongest steel is forged in the hottest flames. From master storyteller Gerald N. Lund comes a new blockbuster series chronicling the lives of two families who will face some of the most turbulent times in history as they are tried to their very cores. Will they be tempered and strengthened by the hammering blows, will they bend to the point of breaking, or will they completely shatter?

As volume one begins, life could not be more promising for the Eckhardts. They finally have a son, Hans, the male heir they have longed for and a child of such brilliance and promise that his success seems certain. But as youthful Hans’s ambition takes him away from his family and their small Bavarian village, the winds of unrest in Europe are about to erupt into the greatest war the world has ever known.

Kicking off a story that will cross generations—and continents—the Eckhardts must brace themselves to weather the storms and turmoil that lie ahead. Only through sheer determination and fortitude will they be able to pass through the refiner’s fire and come out stronger and more united than ever before.

My Review: I was so excited when I heard that this book would be coming out! Gerald Lund has been one of my very favorite authors since I started reading his The Work and the Glory series when I was 12 years old. He really is a master at writing historical fiction and helping you to "see" what was going on in the time period. I can't even imagine all of the research that something like this would take, I'm so grateful he's willing to do it. This book is set in a small German village and follows the Eckhardts, Hans Sr, his wife Inga and son Hans Jr. Hans is a very smart boy, and his self-esteem is very...healthy. He's been a bit spoiled all of his life and pretty much believes that he can do anything. I really enjoyed reading the history of this specific area of Germany, it's not really stuff I'd heard or read anywhere else. I also loved being drawn into the lives of the Eckhardts, I loved their small-town, dairy farm way of life; it was a much simpler time. I felt sorry for Hans as he made a string of really bad choices and had to live with the consequences. I was completely drawn into his life and times. The ending was a bit of a surprise to me and I can't stop thinking about it and wondering what it will mean for Hans in later volumes. I can't wait for the next volume of this great new series!

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

Purchase link: Deseret Book

About the author: Elder Gerald N. Lund received his B.A. and M.S. degrees in sociology from Brigham Young University. He served for thirty-five years in the Church Educational System, and he served as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy from 2002 to 2008. He is a prolific and bestselling author of both fiction and nonfiction and is best known for his historical novels, including The Work and the Glory series, Fire of the Covenant, The Kingdom and the Crown series, and The Undaunted. He and his late wife, Lynn, are the parents of seven children.