Monday, June 27, 2016

Blog Tour - The Make-Ahead Kitchen


About the book: Skip the hassle of last-minute meals and leftovers and replace them with simple, healthy, delicious, and easy-to-prepare make-ahead dishes! Your family will love these comfortable meals, new favorites, cozy drinks, and tantalizing desserts--all of them prepared ahead of time so you don't have to worry! Enjoy simple, soul-filling foods without the chaos of preparing them at the last minute.

My review: I know that I have a cookbook problem! I have so many and I love looking through them to get new and better ideas about what to make to feed my ravenous family! 

I loved looking through this cookbook. I figure that if I have to cook anyway, I should be able to get it done on my schedule and not just when my family decides that it's time to eat now. This book helps with that! There are tons of ideas in this book about how to make things ahead, using your fridge, freezer or crock-pot. I'm sure that I will be making several of these recipes sooner than later!

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

About the author: Annalise Thomas is a big city girl married to a small town boy. Every day is a joy and a challenge as she learns to live and love this small town life. Annalise is a foodie with a deep passion for everything edible and for sharing what she loves with others. Annalise is a wife and mom, a baker, a cook, and a blogger. She and her family live a very real life and eat as much real food as possible.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Summer Book Trek

This is something I do every summer and I've won at least one book every year! It's such a great idea. All you have to do is read books by LDS authors in the month of July and add your entries to the rafflecopter here

For this challenge I'm planning to read at least:

I Am Delilah by Josi S Kilpack
Rachel Laine by Jennifer Peel
Candid by Michelle Pennington
Sweet Confections by Danyelle Ferguson 
and...last but not least!
Orison by Brandon Gray

Check out the challenge and play along!

Chemistry Lessons

About the book: Everyone in Lone Spur knows Rosie will accept even the most unlovable animal into her life. Men, though, are a different story.

Take Destry, the guy who bought the ranch next door. Sure, he’s handsome and wealthy, but he wears flip-flops to work his fields. Not that Rosie should worry about him getting hurt.

Her biggest concern is that she needs to buy her grandfather’s ranch before her uncle sells it out from under her. The problem is that on her teacher’s salary, she doesn’t qualify for a loan. Her long-time boyfriend, Tanner, proposes a solution—they can get married and qualify for a loan together, only Rosie isn’t sure if her heart is with her faithful fiancĂ©, her ranch, or her swoon-worthy neighbor. 

My review: This book worked for me for so many reasons, I really loved everything about it! 

I loved Rosie, though I did wonder on her judgement when she decided to accept Tanner's proposal, but I can see the way that desperation led her to not follow her heart. I love the way that she works as hard as she possibly can to work, care for her grandfather, care for all of her animals, and care for the ranch, even as she knows there's really no way she can keep up with everything on her own. 

Then there's the men, Tanner and Destry. I loved Destry, I loved that he is trying to start over and help people that really need help, not even worried about what the gossips are saying about him. I loved the way he was always trying to watch out for Rosie and put her first in almost everything he did. I especially loved the flood scene and all of the things he did for Rosie right then! What a great guy! Tanner on the other hand annoyed me just a little bit from the very first. I was rooting for Destry from the very beginning of the book! 

I loved that this is a clean book that I didn't have to worry about coming across any language or yucky scenes. I loved the plot of this one, such a cute story that I didn't want to put down!

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

About the authorRebecca H. Jamison has lived on a live volcano, excavated the bones of a prehistoric mammal, and won first prize at a rigged chili cook-off. She wrote novels just for fun until she made a New Year’s resolution in 2011 to submit a manuscript to publishers. Her published works are Persuasion: A Latter-day Tale, Emma: A Latter-day Tale, and Sense and Sensibility: A Latter-day Tale.

Rebecca grew up in Virginia. She attended Brigham Young University, where she earned a BA and MA in English. In between college and graduate school, she served a mission to Portugal and the Cape Verde islands. Her job titles have included special education teacher’s aide, technical writer, English teacher, and stay-at-home mom.

Rebecca enjoys running, dancing, reading, and watching detective shows. She also likes to chat with teenagers. Summer is her favorite season of the year because she can eat watermelon and hang at the pool. Rebecca and her husband have five boys, so she knows how to pronounce a lot of dinosaur names and how to clean up Legos. They also have one wonderful daughter.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Thoughts on life and death

I hope you'll forgive me for a little deviation from my normal blog subject today. I am going to talk a little about books, so hopefully that will still be okay!

My grandpa died last week. I knew it was coming and as I look back on my choices during the time leading up to his death I'm a little sad that I didn't take time out of my schedule to drive up and see him, to give him one last hug and tell him I love him one more time and to thank him for all that he's done for me.

At the same time, I have some amazing memories of him and I really wouldn't have wanted to remember him the way he was. He was 92 years old, he could no longer walk, he wasn't talking a whole lot any more. 

I guess for me, I choose to remember him the way I knew him. I remember him as the man who seemed crotchety but would always go out of his way to help in any way that he could help. I remember him as the man who loved black and white Perry Mason shows and Louis Lamour books (I don't think I ever actually read a whole one though!) I remember him as the man who when I was in college always invited me over for dinner, and slipped me some money before I left, even though they were on a mission at the time and probably on a tight budget. I remember him as the man who baptized me and taught me about my country and just how much it meant to him. I remember spending endless summer days running in and out of his house from the kitchen to the trampoline and him never saying one word about it (well, he might have yelled a few words some of those times!) I remember his farewell address and welcome home address in his ward and how he might have said a few of those "farmer" words that I sometimes talk about. I remember him as the man who had to have all of his teeth pulled, yet still wanted to eat liver for dinner, he was so determined that when his dentures didn't work, he had my grandma blend the liver up in the blender for him. I remember endless meals at his home, and nope, I still can't stand anchovies on my pizza! I remember him as a man of faith who had no idea how to use a computer when he was called on a family history mission to Salt Lake City, but accepted the call anyway and worked until he had mastered all that needed to be mastered. I love that one of my very earliest memories is of me seeing him get out of his CF truck and knowing that he was coming to visit our family.

I have to say that I am so grateful for the knowledge that families can be together forever, there's no way this life would be worth it without that. To me, families are pretty much everything. 


I don't know if you've ever been to a funeral for someone who is buried with full military honors, but it was an amazing experience. He had the funeral procession (headlights, flashers, running stop lights and stop signs and an escort), the 21 gun salute, the flag given to his widow, the whole 9 yards because of his World War II service. So amazing! 


Most of all, I remember a man that loved all of his grandkids the same, no matter if they were his biological grandkids or his step-grandkids. Thank you Grandpa Dale for making sure we knew that we were loved. I love you! Hope you're enjoying being with Pat again! I sure am glad to know that we'll meet again soon!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Blog Tour - Beyond the Rising Tide




About the bookKai was seventeen when he died saving Avery’s life, though he didn’t really have much to live for. After spending half his life being shipped around to different families, the only place he felt at home was on a street corner with his guitar. Now, it’s been six months since his death. Six months adapting to a new kind of existence where instead of making music, he uses his new healing powers to save lives. But in his off hours, he watches helplessly as Avery’s life is unraveled by his death. 

Avery doesn’t know that it was Kai who saved her life in the ocean, because her rescuer’s body was never found. Wracked with guilt, the ocean she once loved is now her tormentor. As her surfboards collect dust in the garage, the weight of her grief destroys her relationships and stretches her to a breaking point.

Always willing to break rules for those he loves, Kai steals a ring that temporarily gives his body substance. With limited time, he does all he can to restore her life to the way it was before his tragic death, but Kai’s half-baked plans rarely turn out the way he thinks they will.


My review: I loved this book. I loved the way the plot is really unique. I have never read a book like this before. 

Kai is dead and his job is to heal the people that are supposed to be healed. I love the way that he is a bit of a rebel and he's willing to break rules when he sees something that he knows needs to be fixed and that's just what he does for Avery, the young woman who saved his life six months before this story opens. He knows she's hurting and so he steals the bracelet from his friend, Charles, that allows Charles to have a tangible body. And that starts his latest streak of rule breaking.

Avery is a great character too. I love the way she's so broken up over Kai's death and not remembering really anything about him that she can't be who she always has been. She's always been a crazy girl and she has always loved the ocean and surfing, but she can't stand to do that any more. And all of these changes appear to be driving her boyfriend away. 

I loved the plot and one thing that I really liked was that it seemed to me throughout the whole book that there was really no way that there could be a happy ending for this one, but I was so happy with the ending. 

This is an amazing book! I loved every bit of it!

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

Buy your own copy here!

Check out the book on Goodreads.

Giveawaya Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author: Sarah Beard is the author of “Porcelain Keys,” a YA contemporary romance. She has a degree in communications from the University of Utah and splits her time between writing and freelance editing. She is a cancer survivor and a hopeless romantic. She enjoys reading and composing music, and lives with her husband and children in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Learn more about Sarah Beard - Twitter - Website - Facebook

Friday, June 17, 2016

Blog Tour - Loving Roxie


About the book: Roxie Castro comes to Florence, Italy to help her friend Georgia heal after the death of her husband. While there she decides to chase her dream of being an author, collaborating with the gorgeous Professor Stefano Nae in researching the murder of Princess Isabela di Medici. However, when they begin to delve into her history, strange things start happening to Roxie: panic attacks, the resurfacing of buried memories, and a fear that something from her past has come forward to haunt her future. 

The professor's help triggers her powerful attraction to him, and this in turn worsens the attacks.The closer they get to solving the mystery surrounding her past, the more tangled her emotions become. Will discovering Roxie’s secret finally free them to explore their newfound feelings or will it snatch away the one chance they have for a lasting love?

My review: I really enjoyed reading this book! I love the way that G.G. Vandagriff writes contemporary romance. Each of them are clean with compelling characters and great story lines.

I liked Roxie. I liked that she felt as though she were a bit broken, but still is able to have compassion and caring for those around her, even those she doesn't really know. I also liked that she wanted to try new things and be a little bit of a different person in Italy than she was in real life, choosing to ride a bright red motor scooter, and working on writing a novel about a person from Italian history.

I also liked Stefano, I loved that even though he was a handsome man, he's actually a bit embarrassed by the attention his looks bring him. I liked the way that he went out of his way to help Roxie, even though she appeared to be having a hard time being in his company. 

I really enjoyed this book! It's a great clean romance that I didn't want to put down! 

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

About the author: G.G. Vandagriff is the author of twenty-four books and is an Amazon #1 Bestselling Author. The Last Waltz, the first novel in her 20th Century Historical Romance Series won the Whitney Award for Best Historical Novel in 2009. There are now two more books in that series—Exile and Defiance. 
Nine of her novels are Regency romances, compared by critics to the witty novels of Georgette Heyer. She has also written a lively genealogical mystery series featuring Briggie and Alex, two whacky widows, as sleuths. Other genres she writes in include Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction, and Suspense. 
GG graduated from Stanford and received her master’s degree from George Washington University. She worked as an associate editor at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, an assistant treasurer in the Harvard Treasurer’s office, a bond analyst at Fidelity Investments, and an international banker for Continental Illinois National Bank (later acquired by Bank of America).
She and her husband David are the parents of three children and six grandchildren, her greatest joys in life. Her favorite novel? Jane Eyre. She also loves Florence, Sundance Resort, The Voice, hot chocolate, lilacs, and dachshunds.
Find out more about her books, download a free novella, and sign up for her newsletter at http://ggvandagriff.com. Also, be the first to know when Vandagriff’s next book is available by following her at http://bookbub.com/authors/G.G.Vandag... to receive new releases and discount alerts.

Find out more about G.G. Vandagriff: Twitter - Goodreads - Amazon - Amazon Author page

Giveaway:a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Between the Lines

About the novella:Jane Martin is intelligent but extremely shy, especially around men. When the Aid and Cultural Society proposes a letter-writing program, Jane signs up, hoping she can find a friend across the miles. But the program doesn’t run as smoothly as expected. 

Unbeknownst to her, Thomas Allred from town becomes her writing friend. Thomas has always known quiet Jane—or thought he did—but reading her letters addressed to his secret persona opens his eyes to what an amazing woman she is. Meanwhile, Jane has no idea that the romantic letters she receives are penned by Thomas—or that he’s falling in love with her in person.

My review: I love how some of these novellas from the Timeless Romance Collections are being released as stand alone novellas. This is a cute one and well worth the time to read it again. I read it in less than an hour and loved the little escape from real life it allowed me.

I love Jane. She's always been the least popular one, both with the boys and with all of the girls that she's known since she was a young girl growing up in Provo. I love the way that she doesn't recognize that she's grown into a beautiful young woman and I loved that Thomas hadn't either until he took it upon himself to become her letter friend. That was a really fun part of the plot. Thomas falling in love with her letter by letter and Jane feeling more and more guilt about spending time with Thomas. 

This is a cute novella that I enjoyed reading!

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

Buy your own copy! Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords - iTunes - Kobo