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Friday, July 18, 2014

Review: The Dreamosphere by Laura Stoddard


The Dreamosphere by Laura Stoddard, YR, 2014, Softcover, 201p, My Rating: 4
Source: provided by publicist in exchange for an honest review

What if dreams don’t disappear when we wake up? Haunted by her younger sister’s death, and her unwitting role in the incident, 11-year-old Gwenevere Stoker takes solace in the Dreamosphere—a dimension where all dreams still exist. But when someone begins destroying her dreams, Gwen must find the culprit—or risk losing all her happiness forever. Bask in the mystery and imagination of dreams in this touching, funny, mind-bending children’s tale that encompasses themes of grief, friendship, family, healing, and grand adventure!

Now here’s a fantasy novel that parents wouldn’t mind their middle schoolers reading. It was imaginative, fascinating, and substantial. There was a feel of originality to the story that made for an exciting read. The mystery it presented in the beginning had me hooked, the plot had me lined, and the sinker came at the end. Although, I was able to guess who the “bad” guy was and the potential hero at the end, I was surprised at why; so that was a delightful discovery.

This was a fun quick read.  I was immersed in Gwen's story because I liked that the dream world tied well with the real world.  There was a lot of heart in the evolution of the tale and that provided room for lessons that the readers can take.  Well done, Ms Stoddard!  This was a charming debut.

By the way, the cover is very pretty.  So fetching that it's too pretty for my son to be seen with (he's going to middle school for the first time this fall). But attractive in my 7 year old daughter's eyes. In fact, the day I received the book in the mail, she said, “Oooh, so pretty! Can I read this, Mom?” And she did start reading it that day. :)




Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Book Blast + $75 Giveaway: The Husband Maker by Karey White

Out July 15th from USA Today Bestselling author Karey White...

The Husband Maker by Karey WhiteThe Husband Maker

Charlotte’s a girl with nicknames. She may not love being called Charles or Chuck, but the hardest nickname to take is the one she was given in college, the one that’s followed her now for too many years. They call her “the husband maker” and sadly, it fits. Every guy she’s dated since high school has become his next girlfriend’s husband. Not hers. Not three girlfriends down the road. The next.

Is she doing something wrong or is she just cursed?

When Kyle Aldsworth enters the picture and sweeps her off her feet, Charlotte begins to hope that maybe she's not destined to be single forever. A senator’s son with political aspirations of his own, Kyle's wealthy, handsome, and in need of a wife. Will Charlotte be disappointed yet again, or will she finally be able to make a husband for herself?

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kareyAbout Author

Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist.

She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.


Book Blast Giveaway

$75 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 8/8/14

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 the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Author-Book Profile: Reaper by Lindsay Hiller

About Author:


Lindsay Hiller was born and raised in Federal Way, Washington. She graduated from the University of Utah and now spends her days at home with her kids. Books have been Lindsay's favorite hobby for as long as she can remember. If you're not careful, she will talk your ear off about them for hours! Lindsay lives in Farmington, Utah with her husband Jake and their three beautiful children.

About the Book:



From debut author Lindsay Hiller comes her Bestselling Young Adult novel, REAPER, a shocking look into the torment that comes from being forced to use the very gifts you are shunned for having. Reaper is a dark, yet delightful, twist of fantasy and adventure with a touch of romance. Jenna Waters will do anything to escape her life as a Reaper, to never spend another night pulling vile memories out of the minds of Noblemen... But she goes too far when she steals a forbidden memory and must run from everything she's ever known. Only when Jenna finds herself in a prison cell with a death sentence does she discover how valuable her skill really is. But when an army marches on her Kingdom, can Jenna find the strength to save the people, and the Prince, who condemned her?

On Sale for 99 cents for 28 more hours!


[Helping authors promote their books.  Being profiled does not necessarily mean I recommend the book.]

Friday, July 11, 2014

Review + Giveaway: Diamond Rings are Deadly Things by Rachelle J. Christensen


Diamond Rings are Deadly Things by Rachelle J. Christensen, AF, 2014, Softcover ARC, 341p, My Rating=3
Source: provided by publicist in exchange for an honest review

Adrielle Pyper knows how to plan a wedding, and she's especially good at pleasing bridezillas. But when her biggest client and best
friend is murdered just three days before the wedding, Adri's
world falls apart. She moves to the resort town of Sun Valley,
Idaho, and starts from scratch. Thanks to Adri's impeccable taste
and unique style, she lands two celebrity clients, and her business
seems headed for success that is, until someone vandalizes the
specialty wedding dresses she imported from overseas. The race is
on to uncover a secret hidden within the yards of satin and lace
before Adri becomes the next victim.
With a delightful blend of mystery, toe-curling kisses, humor,
and spine-tingling thrills, Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things is a
romantic suspense novel that will keep you turning pages long
into the night

I had a hard time with Ari’s (protagonist) decision to hold off reporting to the police and I didn’t think her excuse was very justifiable. This made for a frustrating read. I wanted to smack some sense into her (not just for that decision but for few others). I was surprised she didn’t get killed off the bat! But that’s because the bad guys were not very good at being bad guys (gentle way of saying that they were stupid). What criminal dilly dallies when he’s got millions at stake? Also, the police could have handled the situation better. So the first two third of the book dragged for me. Oh, in the midst of this we were entertained with two suitors for Ari. That part was skewed. It was so obvious that one was the one for her and the other had something up his sleeve. It was just a matter of time of how the author was going to divulge the big reveal. Mind you it was a clever twist! Kudos there.

A shining star about this book was that it had a very good plot therefore I was motivated to see the book through. Also, that there were plenty likeable characters. Surprisingly, including Ari! This was so because she was surrounded by those personable characters that made her look good overall. Finally, I liked some of those wedding related crafts/recipes/ideas that headed each chapter.

The last third of the book wrapped everything up well and saved the read for me.  Altogether, this was a decent mystery romance novel.




About Author

Rachelle J. Christensen is a stay-at-home mom of four cute kids. She has an amazing husband, three cats, and five chickens. Rachelle was born and raised in the small farming town of Rupert, Idaho which is adjacent to the setting in her latest mystery Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things due out this July. Her new website www.mashedpotatoesandcrafts.com partners with the characters from the novel to bring readers an interactive look into the mystery of crafting and wedding planning.
Rachelle graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in psychology and a music minor. She enjoys singing and songwriting, playing the piano, running, motivational speaking, and of course reading.
Rachelle’s first novel, Wrong Number was awarded Outstanding Book of the Year from the League of Utah Writers and was also a 2010 Whitney Finalist. She is also the author of Caller ID, a nonfiction book Lost Children: Coping with Miscarriage for Latter Day Saints, and a novella with a Timeless Romance Anthology, Fall Collection.

Tour Giveaway:

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Book Blast with $50 Giveaway: Matt Archer Redemption


Matt Archer Redemption by Kendra C. Highley

“There’s more to me than you know…”
When Matt Archer’s sister, Mamie, said those words to him three years ago, he had no idea how prophetic they were, or what this would mean for his family.
Now, he knows. And it changes everything, bringing the war right to Matt’s doorstep.
In the epic conclusion to the Matt Archer series, the endgame is near. Betrayed by an enemy, the wielders have been called off the hunt by their own government, despite increasing reports of paranormal activity—and deaths—worldwide. Matt is forced to sit on the sidelines, knowing that proving monsters exist means revealing who—and what—he is. Soon the world will know his name…which will only make his job harder.
Matt’s only hope resides with a man he barely knows—his father. If Erik Archer can put together the final puzzle before the monsters do, maybe they’ll have a chance. Maybe.
Mystery, tragedy and the power of family combine as Matt races to win the war and save the people he loves. There’s just one thing he’s afraid of…
It might already be too late.




Author Kendra C. Highley

Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to two self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most important job. She believes chocolate is a basic human right, running a 10k is harder than it sounds, and that everyone should learn to drive a stick-shift. She loves monsters, vacations, baking and listening to bad electronica.




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Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 8/6/14

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 the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Book Blast with Excerpt and $50 Giveaway: Becoming Lady Lockwood


Becoming Lady Lockwood
Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Deseret Book

Amelia Beckett is delighted to be a widow. Married by proxy to a man she'd never met, Amelia recognizes that a fortuitous entry into widowhood frees her from meddlesome chaperones and matchmakers. Heiress to her mother's sugar plantation in Jamaica, she happily anticipates working in a man's world, with the additional credibility of her new title: Lady Lockwood. But with the arrival of Captain Sir William Drake, her plans quickly go awry . . . William has traversed the Atlantic with one purpose. If he cannot prove that Amelia's marriage to his brother was a fraud, she will be entitled to a sizeable portion of his family's estate. He is determined to return this duplicitous Lady to London for an official hearing, and he carries with him a letter that will ensure her cooperation . . . Left with no choice, Amelia joins the captain on his return voyage to England, and the two quickly find that ship life does not allow for evasion. Amelia and William are ceaselessly thrown together, and amidst fierce storms and ocean battles, what began as antipathy seems to be evolving quite unexpectedly. But as they draw ever closer to their destination, will the impossibility of their circumstances shatter any hope of a future together?

Praise for Becoming Lady Lockwood
"Moore does a lovely job of showcasing sizzle in this must-read for fans of regency and historical romance." ~ Foreword Reviews

Excerpt
The crew released more sails as the breeze quickened, and Amelia watched, craning her neck as her island home, Jamaica, the pearl of the Antilles, gradually became no more than a small green mound on the horizon. A wave of homesickness washed over her. The ship rolled on the larger ocean waves, and she realized that her discomfort was not strictly limited to nostalgia. She was growing increasingly seasick.
Just as she reached this realization, she heard steps coming toward her and turning saw Captain Drake approaching.
“Miss Becket, you are looking most unwell. I must insist you take to your quarters and lie down.”
Even though he was completely correct, and her stomach was threatening to empty itself, the lack of compassion in his demeanor put her on the defensive.
“Indeed, Captain Drake. While I am touched by your concern for my well-being, I have no intention to retire, as I am feeling quite well.” The ship pitched again, and Amelia’s stomach pitched along with it.
“I assure you, my concern is for the deck of my ship and for my crew charged with keeping her ­in shipshape condition.”
Did the man’s arrogance know no bounds? Amelia felt her head spin in a wave of dizziness, and the captain grabbed onto her elbow.
“Your face is green, Miss Becket. I insist you take to your berth.” He spoke sharply, turning to the marine next to her. “Corporal, fetch Dr. Spinner to Miss Becket’s quarters.”
She wrenched her arm from his grasp. “Captain, I am not in the least ill.” She spoke through clenched teeth, afraid that if she opened her mouth, the contents of her stomach would make a most unwelcome appearance. She rested her hand in a manner that she hoped appeared casual against the netting of hammocks lining the rail of the ship. But truthfully, besides her determination not to allow the captain to order her about, it was the only thing holding her up.
Amelia nearly swooned with relief as Sidney Fletcher hurried toward them. “Miss Becket, are you unwell?” He held her elbow in the same manner as had Captain Drake a moment before, and Amelia leaned against him. “Will you allow me to escort you to your quarters then?”
“Thank you, Mr. Fletcher. That would be most welcome. How very gentlemanly of you.” She looked toward Captain Drake and narrowed her eyes.
A slight smile tugged at the corner of the captain’s lips, and Amelia found that it infuriated her. But when she opened her mouth to tell him so, her stomach betrayed her, and she was horrified to see her breakfast splatter over Captain Drake’s shiny boots.
Amelia and Captain Drake stared at each other in disbelief for one mortifying instant before she felt her stomach clench again and pressed her gloved hands against her mouth.
“A bucket!” Captain Drake bellowed.

Jenny MooreAuthor Jennifer Moore

Jennifer Moore is a Passionate reader and writer of all things romance, helping her find balance with the rest of her world, which includes a perpetually traveling husband and four active sons, who create heaps of laundry that are anything but romantic. Jennifer has a BA in linguistics from the University of Utah and is a Guitar Hero champion. She lives in northern Utah with her family. You can learn more about her at authorjmoore.com. The author's first book, Becoming Lady Lockwood, is a regency romance centered on the British navy during the Napoleonic Wars of the early 1800s.

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Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
booEnds 8/5/14

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 the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Film Review: The Saratov Approach


The Saratov Approach, 2013, DVD, PG-13, 107 minutes, My Rating=5
Source: I requested from publicist in exchange for an honest review

The Los Angeles Times calls it a "spiritual thriller." The Saratov Approach will take you on a ride of suspense and faith as you experience the true account of Andrew Propst and Travis Tuttle, two young Americans abducted while serving abroad in Russia during the Clinton administration. Propst from Oregon and Tuttle from Arizona take matters into their own hands while the country rallies behind them and prays for their safe return. Only God can save them.

Words defy me but I shall try. Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that this splendid independent film comforted this future mother of Mormon missionaries. Yes, you read that correctly, it comforted me. Why on earth did this story of a horrific kidnapping comfort me? It did so because it reinforced my faith in the promised blessings of serving God. The outcome may not always be what we want it to be but in the long run there will be an enriching gift from God for the service. In other words, I’m under no illusion that missionaries will always be safe, that’s why Church members pray for them often. Rather, I was reminded that there is a strengthening power in the testing of faith, both for the missionaries and for those love ones they temporarily leave behind. Hence, this film showed me that trusting God leads to growth.

This heart pounding film was based on a true story about a couple of Mormon missionaries that were kidnapped and held for ransom in Russia in 1998. I had some anxiety about watching this movie since I have high hopes that my children will serve a mission for the LDS Church one day. I worried at the level of danger the film would show and concerned how that would affect me as a mother of potential missionaries. Knowing the good outcome did ease the concern but I still braced myself for the account that would befall the young men and curious how they would come out of the frightening experience.

Wow! I was drawn in from the get go. The initial scene was of the missionaries visualizing an escape plan that involved violence, something hard to imagine a missionary would do but to me suggested the desperation of the situation. Then the movie takes you back to the days leading up to the abduction. At this point, beautiful scenes of the missionaries doing typical service was being portrayed. Then the anticipated terrifying abduction scene fell on screen. Oh my heart. The moment I feared that my children (any child for that matter!) would not go through was up front and center. The dark lighting helped to soften the image of the beating that was happening but the intensity was felt by this alarmed mother. Here we go! The film then continues with the account of the experiences that the missionaries went through leading back to the first scene. We got a good taste of the thought process of their families, community, and the world as well. My particular favorite scene was the empathetic call from the adult character, Mark Larsen, who was kidnapped while he served in Argentina. His words were consoling. At this point I was able to exhale because it foreshadowed a resolution. Later, we come to find a great peace to the tone of the movie. A spiritual enlightening that wrapped up the intense drama.

By the way, the musical score was amazing and fitting. The acting was great, particularly the captors. But, I found Tuttle’s character a bit overdramatic a few times. Finally, the camera presentation was fantastic even with some shaking. It got you up close and personal and therefore invested in the movie.

Brilliant film! I highly recommend.

Haha, words didn’t dismiss me after all. ;)

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