Friday, April 24, 2015

Blog Tour - Crooked House



 About the book: Someone is trying to kill Liz Johnson and it’s up to quirky private investigator, Erica Coleman, to find out who. Erica is no stranger to murder and mystery, which is why her best friend’s daughter, Megan, turns to her when unaccountable and potentially fatal “accidents” threaten her roommate’s life. 

Once Erica arrives at the ramshackle old mansion known as Crooked House, matters go from disturbing to deadly as it becomes clear someone is trying to kill Liz.  As Erica begins to unearth secrets, she discovers a twisted web of love, money, greed, and deception. Although the police and friends sometimes find Erica’s OCD annoying, its those very traits that help her sift through evidence and see clues that others miss. Erica must draw upon her all her investigative prowess to keep Liz safe and unmask the killer before he can accomplish his deadly objective. 

 With a dash of romance and surprising twists, this thrilling mystery will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. As with all Erica Coleman mysteries, ten delicious recipes are included.  

My review: I LOVE these mysteries about Erica Coleman! She is really a great character, and she's really fun because she has so many quirks that make her her. In this mystery Erica is trying to help her friend's daughter, Megan. Megan is concerned because someone has made a couple of attempts on the life of her landlord and friend Liz Johnson. I loved how Megan and Erica interacted. You could tell that there is a lot of history between the two women, because Megan just accepted Erica's foibles and moved on. Some of the other characters weren't as accepting of things like Lava soap, or needing to clean the seats of cars or really anything else she was touching. 

The plot of this one was really great, it kept me interested. I really didn't want to put this one down because I wanted to know just who was trying to kill the sweet Liz. Was it the creepy handyman, the mean man who lived next door, or even her aunt? But in the end, I was surprised at just who the culprit was, I never would have guessed. If you like fun, clean, mysterious books make sure you pick this one up, you won't regret it.


Purchase Links: Amazon - Deseret Book - Seagull Book Also available at Deseret Book and Seagull Book Stores

About the author: Marlene Bateman was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan.  Her hobbies include gardening, camping, reading, and enjoying her four cats and three dogs.  

Marlene’s first novel was the best-selling Light on Fire Island. Her next novel was Motive for Murder—the first in a mystery series that features Erica Coleman, a quirky private eye with OCD.  The next book in that line, (they do not have to be read in order) is A Death in the Family.

Marlene has also written a number of LDS non-fiction books under the name Marlene Bateman Sullivan. Those books include:  Gaze Into Heaven; Near-death Experiences in Early Church History, which is a fascinating collection of over 50 documented near-death experiences from the lives of early latter-day Saints, Heroes of Faith, and Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines.  Marlene also wrote three books about documented accounts in early LDS church history when a person either saw or heard an angel; Visit’s From Beyond the Veil, And There Were Angels Among Them, and By the Ministering of Angels.

Check out Marlene Bateman's website here.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The One

About the book: The time has come for one winner to be crowned.

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants.

My review: Wow, this book really ended with a bang. But maybe I should start a bit earlier in the story. It starts with a bang too, because the attacks on the castle and the Elite are getting more and more common. The families of the Elite are also in more danger as the guards protecting them are just leaving without any warning. America is missing more and more things with her own family, the latest being her little niece being born. All these things combine to put more and more stress on America. She's not quite sure just what she wants out of life yet, Aspen her former boyfriend, or Prince Maxon who she definitely has feelings for. But when America finally decides what she wants, she goes for it and fights her hardest. Will her hardest be enough?

I love America's character. She isn't perfect, but who is? She knows how to work for what she wants, and she isn't really wanting to just sit back and be taken care of. I love that in this book, her popularity with the people grows enough that the king knows he can't harm her. Although I don't have as high of an opinion of the king after the things you learn about him in the books. I love the queen, Maxon and the girls of the selection. I was thrilled with the plot of this one, and the ending was amazingly well done. These books are worth reading, I really enjoyed them!

I was able to borrow this book from my local library.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Robin's Reward




About the book: Bonita Creek’s librarian Robin Bennett is heartbroken after being abandoned by her husband, Thomas. The mysterious and handsome Jeff Clarke arrives unexpectedly and touches Robin’s life with his wit and warmth. Then, without warning, Jeff’s harsh words and abrasive actions scare her off, and Robin’s hope of finding true love withers again. 
Just when it seems Robin and Jeff might have a future, Susan Stinson, whose cruel taunting has plagued Robin since they met as young teens, decides Jeff should be hers, not Robin’s. Susan’s anger and jealousy escalate dangerously. Her vindictiveness threatens the foundation of Jeff and Robin’s young relationship.
Robin’s journey through the peaks and valleys of her life meanders along the twists and turns of new challenges. Is a relationship which began with both parties harboring secrets destined to survive? Can they move past their troubles and the obstacles in their path to find love and happiness together? When their pasts rear their ugly heads, Jeff and Robin must use their faith to remain strong and true. But will it be enough for them to embrace a life of love, trials, and blessings . . . together? 

Praise for Robin's Reward

"Robin's Reward, a sweet romance with great characters, is as refreshing as a walk among flowers."
Author Rebecca H. Jamison, Sense & Sensibility: A Latter-Day Tale.

My review: I really enjoyed reading this cute book. I loved Robin, I love how she likes to work in her garden and I found myself thinking that she was not unlike her plants, she's hardy and resilient, able to cope with all of the challenges her life brings in a graceful way. I sometimes liked Jeff and sometimes I thought that he was a pretty big idiot. In the end, though, he was a great guy. There are some of the other characters in this book that I really hope to see again, Robin's cousin Penny and her friend Jorie, in particular, they are such great characters and I hope they get a happy ending sometime. I really liked the town in this book, it's a small town and the way the book is written, it almost becomes a character in itself. I have to admit that I'm partial to libraries, and I love the way that Robin cares for hers in this book. And Susan, watch out for that terrible woman!

This book is a cute romance, I loved the sweet romance that Jeff and Robin shared. I thought that it had a well-written plot, but I did think it was slow in a few of the places. I completely loved the ending! And I want to know just what happens next for Robin and Jeff.

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

Purchase Links: Amazon - Barnes and Noble

About the author: Award-winning author, June McCrary Jacobs, was the winner of Cedar Fort Publishing’s 2013 Holiday Tale Contest for her debut novella, ‘A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom’. ‘Robin’s Reward’ is her first full-length novel, and is set in her favorite location in California—the Mendocino coastal region. This book is the first installment of the ‘Bonita Creek Trilogy’.
June’s original sewing, quilting, and stitchery designs have been published in over one hundred books, magazines, and blogs in the past few years. When she’s not writing, reading, or sewing, June enjoys cooking, walking, and visiting art and history museums. She also enjoys touring historic homes and gardens and strolling around the many historic Gold Rush towns in the Sierra Nevada foothills. In the summertime you can find June at a variety of county fairs and the California State Fair admiring the sewing projects, quilts, and handiwork other inspired seamstresses, quilters, craftspeople, and artists have created. 

Connect with author June McCrary Jacobs:


Giveaway: June is giving away two signed copies of 'Robin's Reward' on her website. (United States residents only. No purchase necessary.) The Rafflecopter contest will end on May 31st, and June would like to invite readers to enter for a chance to win one of these paperbacks. Here's the link to the entry form:   http://www.junemccraryjacobs.com/robins-reward-autographed-copy-giveaway/

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Falling Slowly

About the book: **This is a companion novella to All Fall Down (Hostage Negotiation #1)**

Rafe Kelly never thought he’d fall in love with Claire Michaels, the hostage negotiator sent to get him out of a life or death situation. Though it was easy to see from the beginning that Claire was good at her profession, Rafe quickly realized she was even better for him personally―and that they might have a future together. 

When they get back from their mission in Afghanistan, however, Claire goes back to the Hostage Negotiation Team and Rafe is left to deal with the huge hole in his life after leaving the SEALs. Trying to balance an uncertain future with a new relationship is made even more complicated when a family crisis strikes. Will Rafe and Claire be able to turn to each other for strength or are they over before they’ve really begun?

My review: I love these kind of novella's. They take characters that you already love from books that you've read and allow you to see a bit more fully into those character's worlds. I really enjoyed reading this one. Claire and Rafe are complex characters, and I love them all the more from being able to read this novella about them. I thought it was fun how they had a shooting contest, I thought that was a really fun scene. I also thought the prize from that particular contest was way fun. What I really loved was the way that Rafe was able to show Claire that he cared and help her with her job just a little bit. This is a sweet, quick read that you won't want to put down!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Blog Tour - Practicing for Heaven


About the book: David hates practicing piano. He's frustrated by how hard it is and all the mistakes he makes. With his mom's help, he comes to understand how that's all part of the learning process. She also uses the moment to help David comprehend more about the Atonement: Christ has paid the price so that we can learn and improve. We aren't earning our way to heaven—we're practicing for it, and Christ is willing to help us every step of the way.
Practicing for Heaven also includes teachings tips for parents who wish to teach children of all ages about the Savior's Atonement and grace.

My review: This is a beautiful picture book perfectly illustrating one of my very favorite talks on grace by Brad Wilcox. I love the pictures for this book especially, they are beautifully done and very engaging. I love that this book can be used for Family Home Evening to teach even young children about grace. We used it for one of ours and everyone of us enjoyed this book. I love that there are helps in the back to help you more fully be able to teach the concepts learned from this book. This is a book that our family will use over and over again.

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

About the authors

Brad Wilcox has lived in Ethiopia, Chile, and New Zealand; he and his family now make their home amid the Rocky Mountains. Brad taught sixth grade before obtaining his PhD in education from the University of Wyoming. His contributions as an author and teacher have been honored by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and his work has appeared in Guideposts magazine and Reader's Digest. He once served as a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America and has addressed thousands of youth and adults across the United State, Europe, Australia, and Japan. He and his wife, Debi, are the parents of four children.

Wendee Wilcox Rosborough graduated from BYU with a BS in Home and Family Living. She once served on the planning committee for BYU Women's Conference and has also spoken there with her father, Brad Wilcox. She lives with her husband and two boys in Provo, Utah, and loves to read, write, travel, and play the piano when her sons allow her a few spare moments.

Brian Call studied illustration at Ricks College and BYU. His illustrations have graced the Ensign and Friend magazines, as well as the children's books Illustrated Book of Mormon Stories and Illustrated Bible Stories for Latter-day Saints. Brian currently teaches in the art department at BYU-Idaho. He lives in Ammon, Idaho, with his wife and six children. Brian's children play the piano beautifully, but he never could put down his paper and pencils long enough to practice.

Blog Tour - The Continuous Atonement for Teens

About the book: Brad Wilcox's The Continuous Atonement is a landmark work that helps to clarify what the Atonement is—and what it isn't. It corrects misperceptions and offers hope to those who struggle again and again.
This teen adaptation will help teenagers better understand and apply the Atonement in their lives and help them teach the nuances of the Atonement to others, whether on a mission, at home, or with friends. As they better understand and apply the Atonement, its transforming power will have a lasting effect in their lives.

Each chapter opens with a teen-appropriate question and includes subheadings to clarify content, new stories relevant to teens, and a Prepare to Teach section to help readers internalize and share what they're learning. This shorter edition will be printed in paperback, perfect for teens to carry with them through their busy days.

My review: Brad Wilcox is really the perfect person to write a book like this for teens, he just has a way of speaking to them that make them feel as though he truly cares for them. I think that they can learn that if he cares for them, then Jesus and Heavenly Father care for them just as much and probably more. I love the way this book is. It's small, so that teens can take it with them. It's full of great stories that illustrate the way that the Atonement works in each and every one of our lives. I love that there are personal experiences shared that happened to Brother Wilcox, members of his family, and those he's had contact with during his life. I also really love that at the end of each chapter there is a section where the teens can take what they learned from the chapter and incorporate it into their lives, genius! This book is a must read for all teens, but I'd say that it's just as important for their parents to read it as well.

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

About the author: Brad Wilcox has lived in Ethiopia, Chile, and New Zealand; he and his family now make their home amid the Rocky Mountains. Brad taught sixth grade before obtaining his PhD in education from the University of Wyoming. His contributions as an author and teacher have been honored by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and his work has appeared in Guideposts magazine and Reader's Digest. He once served as a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America and has addressed thousands of youth and adults across the United State, Europe, Australia, and Japan. He and his wife, Debi, are the parents of four children.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Blog Tour - Failsafe Review and Giveaway




About the book: In the wide-open landscape of Pennsylvania, Charlotte Martin and her father live a peaceful life on their farm...or so it seems. In truth, the rural locale provides the perfect front for the father-daughter NSA operatives as they expertly carry out their mission: using a high-tech computer system, they protect a team of undercover agents. Some would kill to have access to this system, and it makes Charlotte and her father prime targets. It was only a matter of time before this nightmare unexpectedly crashed down on them, and only Charlotte escaped with her life. Before Dwight Martin dies, though, he initiated the failsafe lockdown, and now Charlotte's the only one who can access the system.
Writer Jake Bradford left the serene Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia for the hustle and bustle of New York to pursue his dreams and never looked back. Until now. Entrusted with his ailing grandmother's care, Jake knows he needs help—and he can't believe his luck when a lovely young woman providentially appears on his doorstep. Charlotte creates a new persona for herself and quickly develops a bond with Jake's grandmother. But it's the connection she feels with Jake that makes it almost too easy to lose sight of her reality: she is being hunted by men who will stop at nothing to access the intelligence she protects. With time running out, can the couple find a future together, or will Charlotte's secrets tear them apart?

My review: I LOVED this book! I loved Charlotte, she's a really great character. She's taking a break from working with her dad and his assistant one morning when she hears gunshots. Considering that she and her dad work for the NSA, gunshots are not a good thing. When she glances out the window her eyes lock with a man with hard eyes and he starts coming after her. She quickly gets out, gets rid of anything trackable that she has with her and works to get herself off the grid. She knows that she's the only one who will be able to start the program that she and her dad work with back up and that she must stay safe until she can meet up with the NSA again.

Jake is a well-known author whose parents have just died. Leaving him in charge of the farm that has been in their family for generations and his grandmother who is going senile. He's not sure how he's going to juggle everything. And then he meets Charlotte. She's going by the name Hannah now, and accepts Jake's offer of a job to be his grandmother's companion and keep her from burning down her home. 

I loved the chemistry that Jake and Charlotte have from the beginning. I love that Charlotte is able to step in to care for Jake's grandmother with as much love and compassion as though she was her own grandmother. I love the level of action and suspense in this one. There isn't a dull moment, Charlotte is constantly having to watch her back to avoid getting caught by the killers. I loved that it felt as though Charlotte and Jake are real people that do live in the middle of nowhere in Virginia. The plot is awesome, the ending was great too. I loved the characters so much that now I just want to know what happened to them! Maybe if I'm lucky that answer will be in another one of Traci Hunter Abramson's books soon.

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

About the author: Originally from Arizona, Traci Hunter Abramson spent much of her childhood exploring the little town of Pinewood. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University and a former employee of the Central Intelligence Agency. Since leaving the CIA, Traci has written multiple novels, including the Undercurrents trilogy, Royal Target, and the Saint Squad series. When she's not writing, Traci enjoys spending time with her husband and their four children. She also enjoys cooking, although she prefers an electric stove to the wood-burning variety.

Check out the other stops on the blog tour:


April 18thhttp://www.iamareader.com/ (Cheryl)

Giveaway
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