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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Review: Willow Springs by Carolyn Steele

Willow Springs by Carolyn Steele, AF -Historical Romance, 2014, eARC, 233p, My Rating=3
Source: copy provided by publicist in exchange for an honest review.

Husbands. Crissa had to suppress a shudder at the thought. If I had wanted a husband, I would have stayed in Boston. Indeed, Crissa considered Willow Springs to be the nearest thing to her idea of purgatory. She certainly did not plan to stay here long.
Swedish immigrant Crissa Engleson fled Boston hoping to start a new life, unknown and unencumbered, on the American frontier. The quiet gold mining town of Willow Springs in the Utah desert seemed the perfect spot—until the intrigue of her past and rivalries of the town’s leading families enveloped her.
Unaware that a relentless bounty hunter is pursuing her, Crissa falls in love with Drake Adams, a handsome Pony Express rider and the son of an influential mine owner. While Drake returns Crissa’s interest, their courtship is thwarted by the pursuit of one of Drake’s rivals, who may be motivated more by malice than by love.
To realize her dreams, Crissa must confront her painful past and fight for her future head-on.

If you're into the 1800s, Western frontier kind of setting then this is right up your alley.  It's got Pony Express, guns, outlaws, bodices, the prairie, secrets, and even wild romance.  Pretty exciting stuff but this novel was tamer of it's time so I believe it may have been its shortcoming.  True to the era, rape, sex, and violence was exposed but the account was too domesticated that from time-to-time it didn't feel authentic to me.  I wasn't sure if I was in the American frontier or a modern suburb.  There wasn't enough angst or fire for my taste.  However, the story was captivating.  I wanted to see the love triangle through and find out the full story of Crissa's past.  I was rewarded with a thrilling twist and interesting supporting characters by book's end.  I'm not sure I like the spelling out of the complete story in the end.  It felt redundant.  Overall, this was a decent romance novel debut.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Review + $25 Giveaway: Fetch by Adam Glendon Sidwell

Fetch by Adam Glendon Sidwell, YR, 2014, My Rating=4
Source: pdf copy provided by tour host in exchange for an honest review

A story for anyone who’s ever been loved by a dog or given one a home.

At least nine sunsets away, there’s a place where dogs can do what they want. But they aren’t all the same, and when a special one has the courage to fly, he finds something unexpected beyond the tenth horizon.

This picture book was minimal in text but paired with the high quality illustrations, it spoke volumes of teachings. Like, love, loyalty of pets (particularly dogs), daring to venture to the unknown, and enjoying your young life. Great happy lessons that’s perfect for the toddler in your life. So if you want a bit of sunshine in your bedtime reading, pick up this book and enjoy!

Before I go, here's what my family has to say about the book:
*6yo son, "I like it."
*7yo daughter, "I like the part that dogs have a place where they can do anything they want."
*11yo, "It's imaginative."
*Husband, "Cool!"

Book Trailer:

Blog Tour Giveaway:

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 9/13/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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 author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Review: How Much Do You Love Me? by Paul Mark Tag

How Much Do You Love Me? by Paul Mark Tag, AF -historical/romance, 2014, ebook, 256p, My Rating=4.5
Source: review copy provided by publicist in exchange for an honest review

Lovers James and Keiko marry quickly before James goes to World War II and Keiko to an internment camp. Sixty years later their daughter Kazuko, born in the camps, uncovers a secret that could overwhelm the family. Discover the very definition of human love and self-sacrifice in this saga of war, mystery, and romance.

Stories set in World War II era fascinate me. I think war brings out the worst and best in people so there are priceless lessons to be learned. That’s not what ended happening in this novel. Instead it laid out a beautiful family love story in the backdrop of war time. I’m not a very patient person so it was a frustrating read as the author was setting up for the two big surprises toward the end. But when that first revelation came so did the relief of fulfillment. Every little clue came together and it was magical. It shocked me that I was in love with the families (particularly the Tanaka’s) all along. My personal hardship with political jargon was actually providing the vehicle for my empathy and waiting so long (about 90% along) for the enlightenment was worth it. Then that last surprise just blew me away! It’s a girl’s dream to have a man like James.

I learned some things about the Japanese American internment but it was in the rich secret story of the Tanaka’s that captured my heart and you know me, I’m a sucker for books that tug at the heart.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Six Word Saturday: Back to School

(Click on image to join the fun)


Another week and a half until my kiddos go back to school.  I've got so much to do that I'm so ready for them to go back!

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