Thursday, December 20, 2012

BLOG TOUR GUEST POST: Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

I am so excited to present this post today.  This is a series that I am particularly excited about and I will be reviewing this book in January, along with the others in the series.  I hope you enjoy the post, and be sure to enter the giveaway, it's an awesome one.

On Tour with Prism Book Tours...

Starflower  (Tales of Goldstone Wood #4)
Starflower
Tales of Goldstone Wood #4
by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Paperback, 400 pages
Published November 1st 2012 by Bethany House

Premise:

When a cursed dragon-witch kidnaps the lovely Lady Gleamdren, Eanrin sets boldly forth on a rescue mission...and a race against his rival for Gleamdren's favor. Intent upon his quest, the last thing the immortal Faerie needs is to become mixed up with the troubles of an insignificant mortal. 

But when he stumbles upon a maiden trapped in an enchanted sleep, he cannot leave her alone in the dangerous Wood Between. One waking kiss later, Eanrin suddenly finds his story entangled with that of young Starflower. A strange link exists between this mortal girl and the dragon-witch. Will Starflower prove the key to Lady Gleamdren's rescue? Or will the dark power from which she flees destroy both her and her rescuer?

About the Author:


Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a passel of cats, and one long-suffering dog. When she's not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and studies piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. She is the author of HEARTLESS, VEILED ROSE, MOONBLOOD, and STARFLOWER, with DRAGONWITCH due to release in 2013. HEARTLESS and VEILED ROSE have each been honored with a Christy Award.

Find & Follow:


GUEST POST
Part Three
To be Bound is to be Free

"Strange, piteous, futile man. How desperately you have fought all that would make you whole." (p. 328)

My hero, Eanrin, spends the whole of this novel fleeing all bindings, fleeing all the snares that love entails. But in the end, where is real life to be found save in love? Yes, to give in and open his heart will mean a form of slavery. Nevermore will the brave and bold Eanrin be his own master. Nevermore will he dance his way carelessly through life, untouched and untroubled by the concerns of others.

The alternative, however, is more dreadful by far. The alternative is to become like the dragon-witch herself. Consumed with fire, obsessed with strength, unwilling and unable to acknowledge any power but her own, Hri Sora lives a life of death. She lives a life devoid of love, safely hidden behind her own scorched walls.

By contrast, Starflower moves through this story with a softness and quiet strength that is deceptive.  Everywhere she goes, the vulnerability of her love opens her to danger and imminent destruction. And yet it is she who triumphs over life and death.

Starflower has learned the secret of binding love. In that binding, she has found true freedom, a freedom she may communicate to others.

Is it worth the price? Is the peril of true love worth the danger? Is it worth denying one's self for the sake of others who may or may not even love in return?

To this I say emphatically, "Yes!"

“It is by loving, and not by being loved, that one can come nearest the soul of another; yea, that, where two love, it is the loving of each other, that originates and perfects and assures their blessedness. I knew that love gives to him that loveth, power over any soul he loved, even if that soul know him not, bringing him inwardly close to that spirit; a power that cannot be but for good; for in proportion as selfishness intrudes, the love ceases, and the power which springs therefrom dies. Yet all love will, one day, meet with its return.” -- George MacDonald, Phantastes


The Dragonwood Series:



Bethany House

Get Your Copy:

Amazon:

Check out the entire December Tour!

3 - Laura @ Colorimetry - Launch!
3 - Sarah @ Letters to the Cosmos - Review
4 - Kathy @ I Am a Reader, Not a Writer - Excerpt
4 - Kari @ Kari's Crowded Bookshelf - Review
5 - Aleksandra @ Aleksandra's Corner - Guest Post - Inspired by Cats I
6 - Lisa @ Bookworm Lisa - Guest Post - Inspired by Cats II
6 - Mandy @ The Reading Diaries - Review
7 - Alicia @ Mortality Bites - Dragonwitch page REVEAL
7 - Naj @ Unputdownable Books - Guest Post - Inspired by Cats III
9 - Lissette @ Passion and Life - Guest Post - Night Terrors
10 - Laura @ Colorimetry - Review
10 - Bonnie @ A Backwards Story - Review
12 - Aimee @ Getting Your Read On - Guest Post - The Faces of Love I
12 - Kimberly Krey @ Kimberly Krey - Guest Post - Drafts
13 - Abbi @ Christian Novels - Tales of Goldstone Wood Reviews
13 - Mandy @ The Reading Diaries - Interview
14 - Ivy @ Open the Page - Guest Post - The Faces of Love II
16 - Alicia @ Mortality Bites - Review
17 - Len @ Musings of a Reader Happy - Hightlight/Excerpt - Meet Dragonwitch
17 - Jen @ Literally Jen - Review
18 - Beth @ Living a Goddess Life - Review
19 - Rach @ Stressed Rach - Guest Post - Illustrated Sneak Peak
19 - Christy @ Christy's Cozy Corners - Review
20 - Heather @ Proud Book Nerd - Review
20 - Heidi @ Geo Librarian - Guest Post - The Faces of Love III
21 - Jaime @ Goodreads - Review
21 - Finale @ Colorimetry - Giveaway winner announced.


Catch the Christmas Read-along!


Giveaway:

Grand Prize

GRAND PRIZE:  The first four books The Tales of Goldstone Wood: HeartlessVeiled RoseMoonblood and Starflower + SWAG!  2nd place is a copy of Starflower + SWAG!

2nd Prize

Enter to win until 12/20. Winner to be announced 12/21. Open to anyone who can legally enter. 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's permission. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here & on Colorimetry 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. Void where prohibited by law. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BLOG TOUR and GIVEAWAY: For What it's Worth by Karey White

Tour Schedule

For What It's Worth by Karey White

Twenty-four year-old, Abby Benson has dreams of owning her own wedding cake shop. An inheritance from her aunt gives her the ability to make those dreams come true. She hires Dane, a handsome contractor, to help her get the bakery up and running and soon they’re moving toward their own happy ending.

Unsure what to charge for her cakes, Abby has a crazy idea to let the customer decide what they think their cake is worth. This plan has its ups and downs, but the novelty of the idea makes her a local celebrity. When she is interviewed on television about the unusual idea, business booms and Abby has cake adventures she never dreamed possible. But as her fame grows, Abby is swept up in a whirlwind that threatens everything she values. With the challenges that face her, will she be able to determine what is worth the most?

REVIEW

I find the premise of this book an interesting one. Running a business where the customers get to price the goods seems like a foolish thing to do, but for Abby it works. It works so well in fact that she is soon in over her head and has to decide where her priorities lie.  I think what I like best about this book is how easy it is to relate to Abby and her struggles to determine what matters most to her, her relationships with family and friends or her booming business. And when disaster strikes, what then? I enjoyed reading about Abby's and Dane's relationship and how they overcame the problems that came up, it seemed quite realistic and believable. I highly recommend this one to those who enjoy a fun, clean romance with an entertaining premise (and lots of yummy sounding recipes).

Purchase

Book Trailer



Author Karey White

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.

Links

GUEST POST: The Pros and Cons of Being an Author by Karey White
Cons
  • Whenever you read a book, you feel guilty because you should be writing.
  • Writing is such a personal thing that bad reviews can hurt.
  • Because it's done at home, it's often hard to write if things are messy or chaotic. (I always feel like I should clean the mess or calm the chaos)
  • Some people think that because I'm home, I'm available. It's hard for them to understand that I'm actually working. Like a job.
Pros
  • I can work at home and don't have to be all dressed up.
  • Writing is such a personal thing that good reviews can make my day.
  • Is thrilling to take nothing but a pile of words and create a story.
  • Letters and emails from people who liked a book.
  • Writing a book lets me be creative without the mess of sewing, baking, scrapbooking and crafting.

BLOG TOUR GIVEAWAY

$25 Amazon Gift Card + A Copy of For What It's Worth
Paperback available to US only, Ebook Available Internationally

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Open to anyone 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's permission. 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. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Friday, December 14, 2012

BLOG TOUR: Living in the Light by Lacey A. West and Gary L. Anderson


ABOUT THE BOOK

 Living in the Light provides readers with step-by-step methods to overcome depression and anxiety. It offers solutions through a combination of cognitive techniques and gospel-centered principles that will empower readers with the ability to regain their peace and happiness through eliminating all aspects of darkness from their life, embracing a life full of light.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lacey West, a wife, mother, and registered nurse, was born and raised in Delta, Utah.  She graduated with honors from Southern Utah University with a Bachelor degree in Nursing.  Motivated by a desire to conquer her own depression, she spent years researching mental health.  She enjoys writing, spending time with family, playing the violin, sewing, and fishing.  She resides with her husband and two children in Wichita, Kansas. To find out more on Living in the Light and author Lacey West, visit: www.laceyawest.com.

REVIEW

Mental illness is a complex and often misunderstood topic. Unlike most diseases which manifest themselves physically, mental illness is primarily internal.  Also, symptoms of mental illness can often be similar to those of other diseases.  Causes and effects are difficult to determine. In this book, the authors look at depression as the disease it is and talk about some of the current theories and beliefs about it as well as their own experiences with it.  West shares some of her own experiences with the disease and the things that have helped her, including her religious beliefs.  I especially liked her focus on learning to focus one's thoughts on the positive rather than the negative.  Thoughts are such a powerful thing.  I appreciated the focus on taking action to help oneself or a loved one.  With mental illness, it is easy to feel helpless as well as hopeless.

This is a wonderful book for those looking for light in darkness, but it is no substitute for medical treatment or for the scriptures for that matter. But for those looking for more insight into depression, what it is, and some personal thoughts and experiences as well as comfort should definitely take a look at this book.



Monday, December 10, 2012

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Am I a Saint Yet? Healing the Pain of Perfectionism by M. Sue Bergin


ABOUT THE BOOK

Attempting to perfect ourselves instead of relying on the Lord can actually sabotage our spirituality. Discover how to recognize perfectionism in yourself and find relief for your soul in this encouraging book that combines scriptural principles with real-life case studies. Change your thinking and move onto a more authentic and joyful gospel path.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sue Bergin is a writer and hospice chaplain who lives in Orem, Utah. She drives throughout a five-county area to accompany dying men and women on their final journeys. She earned a bachelor’s degree from BYU, a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and a master of fine arts from UCLA in screenwriting. She is a board-certified clinical chaplain through The College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy.

Sue writes the Family Focus section for BYU Magazine and has written for many other publications, including the Ensign, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Wall Street Journal, and Psychology Today. She has been a public relations executive for BYU and has taught writing courses at BYU and the University of Utah.

Her dearest loves include time with family, small dinner parties with friends, rescuing animals, collecting art, and creating things with her hands – from soulful collages to crocheted earrings.

Check out the rest of the tour here. And please come back later this week for a review of the book.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

BOOK BLAST and GIVEAWAY: All I Want by Jolene Perry, Kaylee Baldwin, & Rachael Anderson

ALL I WANT

THREE STORIES. THREE COUPLES. ONE HOLIDAY.

Pretty Near Perfect

by Jolene Perry

The last thing Norah needs is to be attracted to anyone – especially in her deceased fiancé's parents' home. Collin’s starting a new career, and has no business getting involved – especially while staying with his roommate’s family, who very kindly offered to take him in for the holidays. Unfortunately, you just don’t always pick the most convenient time and place to fall for someone.

Six Days of Christmas
by Kaylee Baldwin

When Natalie goes home with her best friend for Christmas, she expects plenty of quiet time to work on a winning ad so she can turn her dream internship into her dream job. Instead, she gets time-consuming Christmas festivities, a house full of children, and Jimmy, her best friend’s brother - someone who makes her question everything she’s always thought she wanted.

Twist of Fate
by Rachael Anderson

When a postcard meant for Kenzie winds up in Ty's mailbox, Ty's faced with a decision. Should he tell her that her fiancé is breaking up with her and let it ruin her favorite holiday, or should he do what he’s wanted to do since he met her - make a move and hope that he can win her over before she discovers there won’t be a wedding after all.

See my review here.



Author Jolene Perry

Jolene Perry is an enigmatic figure. She is most often seen behind her laptop, staring at the words flying onto the screen with reckless abandon.

She survived growing up in rural Alaska, driving like a lunatic, and her husband’s careers in the military, as a perpetual student, and an Alaska State Prosecutor. She also survived as a middle school math teacher using her degree of Political Science and French.

One day Jolene was playing her guitar (probably some-thing juvenile for her kids) when she wondered what it would be like to write a song for a rockstar, and her first book was born. (that book is shelved)

She now lives a very glamorous life as a stay at home mom, elbow deep in dirty dishes and peanut butter sandwiches. She doesn’t even attempt to keep up with the laundry because non-writing time is precious, and her family is sorta awesome.

Links:

Author Rachael Anderson

Rachael Anderson is the author of four contemporary romances: Divinely Designed, Luck of the Draw, Minor Adjustments, and The Reluctant Bachelorette. She's the mother of four, 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.

Links:

Author Kaylee Baldwin

I grew up in Mesa, Arizona, and graduated from Arizona State University

with a degree in English literature.
I currently live in southern Arizona with my husband, Jeremy, and our three children. When I am not writing, I enjoy reading, starting new craft projects, and spending time with my family.


Links:


All I Want Blog Tour
November 26th to Decmber 21st
Includes a $25 gift card giveaway

Tour Schedule



Book Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card of Paypal Cash
Ends 12/22/12
You need not enter your twitter name for each entry. Simply enter it when you follow the authors then you can leave the others blank.

Open to anyone 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's permission. 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. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

BOOK BLAST and GIVEAWAY: For What It's Worth by Karey White

For What It's Worth by Karey White

Twenty-four year-old, Abby Benson has dreams of owning her own wedding cake shop. An inheritance from her aunt gives her the ability to make those dreams come true. She hires Dane, a handsome contractor, to help her get the bakery up and running and soon they’re moving toward their own happy ending.

Unsure what to charge for her cakes, Abby has a crazy idea to let the customer decide what they think their cake is worth. This plan has its ups and downs, but the novelty of the idea makes her a local celebrity. When she is interviewed on television about the unusual idea, business booms and Abby has cake adventures she never dreamed possible. But as her fame grows, Abby is swept up in a whirlwind that threatens everything she values. With the challenges that face her, will she be able to determine what is worth the most?

Praise for For What It's Worth

Reading Karey White’s books, like eating chocolate cake, is always satisfying and brings a smile to my face. For What It’s Worth is light, romantic, and delicious. It’s a great pleasure read. Sit down and get lost in the charming world of wedding cakes and love. As an added bonus, each chapter  starts with a recipe, so it’s a novel and cookbook all in one. A fun read!
—Teri Harman, KSL columnist, Studio 5 contributor, and author of Blood Moon, available June 22, 2013

I just loved the book – loved it. Hated putting it down and hated finishing it. Karey White is my new Maeve Binchy, her writing as warm as the bakery her novel is set in. For What It’s Worth surprised me, made me smile, say “no” out loud in a public place. I love when a character feels like my sister. I didn’t want to finish it, so now I may try the recipes that began every chapter.
—Amanda Dickson, author and radio personality

This book oozes charm, romance, and mouth-watering recipes. If you want to escape reality and curl up with a darling story, For What It’s Worth is the perfect fit. Thank you, Karey White!
—Rachael Anderson, author

This is a book worth every penny of the price. In the business of baking wedding cakes, every detail must be perfection, but this story remembers that real life is oh-so-messy. White’s clear and honest writing left me hungry for good food, a close family, and a little romance. A beautiful marriage of food, family, and faith.
—Regina Sirois, author of On Little Wings, 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Purchase

Book Trailer



Author Karey White

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.

Links


Blog Tour December 2012
Tour Schedule

Book Blast Giveaway Details
$50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash from Author Karey White
Ends 12/14/12
*You need not enter your twitter name for each entry. Simply enter it when you follow Karey and leave the others blank.

Open to anyone 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's permission. 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. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Books Giveaway Hop

Welcome to my 
Christmas Books Giveaway Hop! 
This hop is being hosted by I Am a Reader Not a Writer and co-hosted by Laurie Here.

For this giveaway, I have two options for you to choose from.  You may choose one of the below titles which are two of my favorite Christmas stories ever or you may choose another Christmas book of your choice from the Book Depository.

Sometimes, the things that can change your life will cross your path in one instant-and then, in a fleeting moment, they're gone. But if you open your eyes, and watch carefully, you will believe....

Robert is a successful attorney who has everything in life-and nothing at all. Focused on professional achievement and material rewards, Robert is on the brink of losing his marriage. He has lost sight of his wife, Kate, their two daughters, and ultimately himself. Eight year old Nathan has a beloved mother, Maggie, whom he is losing to cancer. But Nathan and his family are building a simple yet full life, and struggling to hold onto every moment they have together. A chance meeting on Christmas Even brings Robert and Nathan together-he is shopping for a family he hardly knows and Nathan is shopping for a mother he is soon to lose. In this one encounter, their lives are forever altered as Robert learns an important lesson: sometimes the smallest things can make all the difference. The Christmas Shoes is a universal story of the deeper meaning of serendipity, a tale of our shared humanity, and of how a power greater than ourselves can shape, and even save, our lives.


What would happen if Santa fell to Earth? Christmas through the eyes of Cornelia Funke: quirky, funny, ultimately heartwarming, and packaged in a collectible format. A new holiday classic!

Scared by a storm, Twinklestar, the least reliable reindeer, bolts--causing Santa and his sleigh to crash-land. And though Santa has dropped into a friendly neighborhood, he's not safe: Jeremiah Goblynch, the ruthless new leader of the Council of Yuleland, is determind to put an end to children's wishes and turn the holiday season into his own personal moneymaking scheme. As the last REAL St. Nick around, only Santa stands between Goblynch and his grinchlike plan. With the help and hope of kids Charlotte and Ben, Santa must face Goblynch and his Nutcracker goons to save Christmas!


GIVEAWAY RULES

Open to anyone who can legally enter and receive a book through The Book Depository. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 13 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. 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. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BLOG TOUR: The Paperboy by Stan Crader

THE PAPERBOY
by Stan Crader
Wheatmark, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-58736-908-7
YA/Adult Historical Fiction
Grades 8 and up
Complimentary copy received in return for honest review.
All opinions expressed are solely my own.

ABOUT THE PAPERBOY

Paperboy tells the story as only an afternoon paperboy in rural America in the sixties can. Thousands of readers identified with the unique characters of Colby while reading The Bridge. They grew to love Tommy and the band of boys, were entertained by their childish pranks, and touched by their generosity.

In Paperboy, change is coming to Colby. The shoe factory has sold and a hat factory is taking its place. A factory manager has been named and he’s definitely not from Colby. There’s an influx of interesting newcomers.
The high school principal is also new to Colby. He must deal with teenage pregnancy, the snooping high school office secretary, and the Colby Curls rumor mill. He, too, has a mysterious past and uses it to his advantage.

The pregnant teen and her auto-mechanic single mother aren’t Colby natives either. Rumors about both abound. The mother has a past which touches the present, and eventually involves the entire town. Tommy and Booger, while delivering the Colby Telegraph, discover that Colby’s patriarch, Mr. Koch, has a heroic but classified history. While raking leaves for Mrs. Whitener, they learn the origin of her accent and how she got to Colby. It’s not what most people think.

Jupiter Storm, the town’s primary purveyor of gossip, whose opinion always exceeds his knowledge, is perpetually annoying. But Tommy and Booger learn that Jupiter is a decorated World War II veteran. And when a threatening stranger appears on the scene, the entire town learns of Jupiter’s unique but redeeming skill. How will Colby be different, and how will it be the same?

ABOUT STAN CRADER

 Stan Crader’s first book, ‘The Bridge’ spent several days on the best seller list for Christian fiction at both BarnesandNoble.com and Amazon.com. His articles about flying have been published in flying magazines and local newspapers. He won a Bronze Quill award from the International Association of Business Communications for articles written for his company’s quarterly newsletter.

Stan was born and raised in Bollinger County Missouri. Coming of age in rural Missouri provided him the material for many of the rich characters in his books. He credits the variety of jobs he had as a child and the people with which he worked for providing him his creative foundation.

Stan’s childhood jobs included grocery store carry out, a paper route, mowing lawns, farm equipment set-up, sawmills, and janitor. “You learn a great deal about people when you see what groceries they purchase,” Stan says.

After graduating from high school, he attended the University of Missouri, where he met his future wife, Debbie at a Missouri / Nebraska football game. It was Debbie who first made Stan realize that his childhood was unique.

They spent the early years of their marriage living in Bollinger County, Missouri. Stan joined the family business and Debbie worked as a community nurse. As a nurse, working with a caring country doctor, she began to collect stories of her own.

The two of them raised three boys and a golden retriever as the life experiences continued. Stan began writing Christmas letters. Friends and family began to look forward to the somewhat informative but largely humorous Christmas epistle.

Stan’s first novel was written after the encouragement of those on his Christmas letter mailing list and the recipients of the company’s quarterly newsletter. He’s flattered beyond measure each time someone who has read ‘The Bridge’ asks about a sequel.

Visit Stan’s site:  http://www.stancrader.com

Please note that all proceeds go to support Resurrecting Lives, a non-profit that supports veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

 REVIEW

When I really like characters, it is always a thrill to read more about them. I was eager to read this follow-up to Crader's The Bridge. It was interesting to return to Colby and find out more about its residents.  Tommy and Booger are once again the main characters but there are many others both old and new that Tommy and Booger interact with. As a paperboy, Tommy knows most of the people in his town, but there are always surprising new things to discover.  Crader does a great job of creating a wonderful setting with realistic characters with real strengths and weaknesses.  If you enjoy good-ole, country-home stories than I highly recommend this one.



Check out the rest of the tour here.  Be sure to check  review of the first book, The Bridge.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

BLOG TOUR: The Bridge by Stan Crader

THE BRIDGE
by Stan Crader
Wheatmark, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-58736-908-7
YA/Adult Historical Fiction
Grades 8 and up
Complimentary copy received in return for honest review.
All opinions expressed are solely my own.

ABOUT THE BRIDGE

Tommy Thompson recalls with vivid detail the summer of 1967, when he was twelve years old and living in a small town in rural America. At that time in his life, all he wanted was a Honda motorbike, and he believed the smartest person in the world was his Uncle Cletus. The Bridge follows Tommy’s summer-long quest for the Honda and his love, Wendy, whom he pursues with the comical romanticism of a young boy.
During the course of the summer Tommy helps his best friend, Booger, cope with family tragedy. He is terrorized by Clyde Goodpasture, the biggest bully in the sixth grade, and the town of Colby is shaken by news that its hat factory will close. While he isn’t a religious child, Tommy faces these challenges armed with the few Bible verses that he knows and the support of his Christian family. Tommy has a knack for doing the right thing and ultimately makes a sacrifice that shows without a doubt that his heart is in the right place.


ABOUT STAN CRADER

 Stan Crader’s first book, ‘The Bridge’ spent several days on the best seller list for Christian fiction at both BarnesandNoble.com and Amazon.com. His articles about flying have been published in flying magazines and local newspapers. He won a Bronze Quill award from the International Association of Business Communications for articles written for his company’s quarterly newsletter.

Stan was born and raised in Bollinger County Missouri. Coming of age in rural Missouri provided him the material for many of the rich characters in his books. He credits the variety of jobs he had as a child and the people with which he worked for providing him his creative foundation.

Stan’s childhood jobs included grocery store carry out, a paper route, mowing lawns, farm equipment set-up, sawmills, and janitor. “You learn a great deal about people when you see what groceries they purchase,” Stan says.

After graduating from high school, he attended the University of Missouri, where he met his future wife, Debbie at a Missouri / Nebraska football game. It was Debbie who first made Stan realize that his childhood was unique.

They spent the early years of their marriage living in Bollinger County, Missouri. Stan joined the family business and Debbie worked as a community nurse. As a nurse, working with a caring country doctor, she began to collect stories of her own.

The two of them raised three boys and a golden retriever as the life experiences continued. Stan began writing Christmas letters. Friends and family began to look forward to the somewhat informative but largely humorous Christmas epistle.

Stan’s first novel was written after the encouragement of those on his Christmas letter mailing list and the recipients of the company’s quarterly newsletter. He’s flattered beyond measure each time someone who has read ‘The Bridge’ asks about a sequel.

Visit Stan’s site:  http://www.stancrader.com

Please note that all proceeds go to support Resurrecting Lives, a non-profit that supports veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

REVIEW

I love this kind of book, a great combination of history and story.  While the main characters are twelve-year-old boys, the book does seem to be aimed at adults.  But I think that young adults could really enjoy it as well.  The story follows the ordinary adventures of Tommy and his best friend, Booger (Randy), who are determined to earn the money to buy Honda Mini-Trails (mini motorcycles).  In order to do so, the set up a lawn mowing business.  But at the same time they deal with the same sorts of things that teenagers the world over deal with, bullies, girls, and the loss of a family member. I especially enjoyed the honest approach that Tommy takes, even though he has a tendency to speak first and think later, it's clear that he is a good kid, but a normal twelve-year-old boy (there are some gross jokes).  I think what I liked the best though was how well the author creates life in a small town in Missouri in the 1960s.  I felt like I was there. For me, historical fiction doesn't work if the setting and feel of the story aren't believable. This book does not have this problem. The book is full of humor, life, and genuineness. I highly recommend this book for those who enjoy great historical fiction.


 
Check out the rest of the tour here.  Be sure to check back tomorrow for my review of the sequel, The Paperboy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

BLOG TOUR and GIVEAWAY: All I Want by Jolene Perry, Kaylee Baldwin, Rachael Anderson

Tour Schedule

ALL I WANT

THREE STORIES. THREE COUPLES. ONE HOLIDAY.

Pretty Near Perfect

by Jolene Perry

The last thing Norah needs is to be attracted to anyone – especially in her deceased fiancé's parents' home. Collin’s starting a new career, and has no business getting involved – especially while staying with his roommate’s family, who very kindly offered to take him in for the holidays. Unfortunately, you just don’t always pick the most convenient time and place to fall for someone.

Six Days of Christmas
by Kaylee Baldwin

When Natalie goes home with her best friend for Christmas, she expects plenty of quiet time to work on a winning ad so she can turn her dream internship into her dream job. Instead, she gets time-consuming Christmas festivities, a house full of children, and Jimmy, her best friend’s brother - someone who makes her question everything she’s always thought she wanted.

Twist of Fate
by Rachael Anderson

When a postcard meant for Kenzie winds up in Ty's mailbox, Ty's faced with a decision. Should he tell her that her fiancé is breaking up with her and let it ruin her favorite holiday, or should he do what he’s wanted to do since he met her - make a move and hope that he can win her over before she discovers there won’t be a wedding after all.




Author Jolene Perry

Jolene Perry is an enigmatic figure. She is most often seen behind her laptop, staring at the words flying onto the screen with reckless abandon.

She survived growing up in rural Alaska, driving like a lunatic, and her husband’s careers in the military, as a perpetual student, and an Alaska State Prosecutor. She also survived as a middle school math teacher using her degree of Political Science and French.

One day Jolene was playing her guitar (probably some-thing juvenile for her kids) when she wondered what it would be like to write a song for a rockstar, and her first book was born. (that book is shelved)

She now lives a very glamorous life as a stay at home mom, elbow deep in dirty dishes and peanut butter sandwiches. She doesn’t even attempt to keep up with the laundry because non-writing time is precious, and her family is sorta awesome.

Links:


Author Rachael Anderson

Rachael Anderson is the author of four contemporary romances: Divinely Designed, Luck of the Draw, Minor Adjustments, and The Reluctant Bachelorette. She's the mother of four, 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.

Links:


Author Kaylee Baldwin

I grew up in Mesa, Arizona, and graduated from Arizona State University

with a degree in English literature.
I currently live in southern Arizona with my husband, Jeremy, and our three children. When I am not writing, I enjoy reading, starting new craft projects, and spending time with my family.

Links:


REVIEW


Nothing makes me sigh quite as happily the way a sweet romance does and this book has three of them. While shorter than I normally like, I really enjoyed all three.  In the first story, Norah meets Collin at the house of her dead fiance's family, talk about awkward.  It becomes even more so when Collin seems to return her feelings. I enjoyed the way the characters really connected but still referred to the relationship as just a beginning. That seems more realistic to me than the whole 'love at first sight' stuff.  The second story revolves around Natalie who is trying to come up with an ad campaign that will hopefully win her her dream job.  But between her boyfriend, Grant who offers her no listening ear or support whatsoever and Jimmy, her best friend's brother, who won't stop pestering her, she wonders if her dream is even possible.  In this one I especially enjoyed the interactions between Jimmy and Natalie, they were sweet and funny. The last story focuses on Ty and Kenzie who live in the same apartment complex.  When Ty gets a postcard for Kenzie involving her fiance breaking up with her, he decides to hold it until after Christmas. But his intentions aren't entirely noble, he wants a chance to see if given a choice, Kenzie will choose him over her fiance.  In this one I enjoyed the way Ty was, in most ways, a good friend who offered Kenzie love and support.  All of the stories had a nice amount of romance with a decent amount of depth. While there were a number of editorial errors, I found them easy to overlook in the enjoyment of the stories.  (I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review, all opinions herein expressed are solely my own.)


Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card
Ends 12/24/12

Open to anyone 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's permission. 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. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

BOOK BLAST and GIVEAWAY: Imperfectly Beautiful by Diony George

Imperfectly Beautiful by Diony George


At 1:30 am, in New York City, Regan Wright is ripped out of a sound sleep with a jolt - her heart thuds in her ears and her face feels flushed. Straining to hear anything out of the ordinary, she fumbles to turn on the bedside lamp. Nothing seems out of place. Suddenly her stomach twists in knots - it's her identical twin, Rebecca. Something is terribly wrong...

Though twins, Rebecca and Regan couldn't be more different.

Independent and outspoken, Regan chose a high-profile career as a fashion designer in New York City. Despite her hard-earned success, Regan’s become disillusioned by the glamour and the glitz. She’s tired of coming home to a lonely penthouse apartment welcomed only by her cat and has all but given up on ever finding “Mr. Right.”

Steady and reliable, Rebecca chose to be a wife and stay-at-home mom. From the very first moment she met James Conrad—tall and muscular with eyes as blue as a cloudless sky—she was captivated. Married and four children later, Rebecca’s life is not what she expected. Her marriage has lost its shine and her sweet babies have become challenging and often unappreciative children.

Both Rebecca and Regan must discover, a higher power has the answers to what matters most, but when a serial killer strikes nearby, and his victims look eerily similar to the twins, will it be too late?

Praise for Imperfectly Beautiful

“5 Stars! Great Novel-Romance with Suspense. Captures your attention from the very beginning...then difficult to put down...A good solid read!”
-Booklover, amazon review

“This was a great book. I could relate to Rebecca and the trials she was going through with her marriage and her children. I feel this way at times too. I liked the suspense and it was enough to keep my hooked…” 
-K. Neilson, Utah

“I enjoyed the development of the characters. Lots of dialogue took me right into the everyday lives and struggles of each person. The underlying story of the unsolved murders of women who look like the twin sisters simmers through out the chapters until it finally boils over into an exciting ending! I recommend it!”
-J.T. Bolla, Washington
Purchase


Author Diony George


Diony George is a wife, full-time mom of seven, grandmother of two, and a published author of uplifting women’s fiction and inspiring nonfiction. She is also a regular contributing writer for Deseret Connect and FamilyHow. Originally from Alaska, she currently lives in Salt Lake City with her family. Besides writing she loves to read, especially romantic suspense, bake, sew and craft.

Her current fiction WIP, Inside the Heart, is based around the kidnapping and disappearance of four-year-old Emma and is slated for release in Feb 2013. Her next nonfiction book, Heaven’s Just a Prayer Away will be released by Cedar Fort, Inc in July 2013.

Links

Book Blast Giveaway
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 11/29/12
*You need not enter your twitter name for each entry. Simply enter it for the first person you follow and leave the others blank.

Open to anyone 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's permission. 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. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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