Wednesday, October 31, 2012

BLOG TOUR: For All the Saints by Kristen Smith Dayley

FOR ALL THE SAINTS: LESSONS LEARNED IN BUILDING THE KINGDOM
by Kristen Smith Dayley
CFI, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4621-1064-3
LDS Nonfiction
Complimentary copy provided for review by publisher.
All opinions expressed are solely my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK

For All the Saints provides an uplifting account of the ways in which the Lord builds his kingdom through ordinary men and women. Set in Boston, Massachusetts and its surrounding areas, the book draws upon the experiences of hundreds of members, ranging from prominent Church leaders to brand new converts. Their collective insights teach powerful lessons about commitment, faith, sacrifice, and leadership that are applicable to us all, no matter our corner of the vineyard.

Drawing upon accounts both humorous and profound, these Saints remind us of the impact one person can have when partnered with the Lord. They also instill a sense of gratitude for the contributions of those who precede us and demonstrate that the Lord’s promises are sure, as we each play a role in a work much larger than our own vantage point might suggest.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Willing to work. Fervent in faith. Led by the Lord.

The members of the Church of Jesus Christ are not perfect. But that doesn’t stop us from striving for perfection. And when it’s the Lord’s work we’re engaged in, He’s happy to help.

This inspirational collection of stories and experiences from the lives of real church members shows how the gospel connects us with others and magnifies our daily efforts into greatness. Grouped by topic, these accounts illustrate the great and marvelous things the Lord can do through faithful, dedicated Latter-day Saints. Discover the everyday, ordinary heroes who accomplish extraordinary works in the service of the Lord.

No matter what your calling or where you serve, you are not alone. Filled with true-to-life moments that will benefit every member and every organization, this is an uplifting and motivating read you’ll want to share with your fellow saints.

BOOK TRAILER

video

REVIEW

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I was predisposed to enjoy this book.  I enjoy studying the history of the church, despite the tremendous heartaches and trials that have occurred (and continue to occur) throughout that history.  I enjoy reading such stories because of the faith and courage of those who have dedicated themselves to building the Lord's kingdom. This book provides a glimpse into the hearts and minds of those who have labored to do so throughout the New England states since the Church was founded in 1830.

The efforts and struggles of the early saints have lead to a flourishing church presence as well as the building of the Boston Temple, where saints meet to receive sacred ordinances. (See here for more information.) I also found it interesting to realize that while a lot of things have changed over the years, the opposition to the church has not waned and continues to this day. But despite the opposition and sometime lack of interest, the church has grown through the direction of the Lord and the efforts of those like Clair Robison, who helped establish the first Relief Society (the women's organization that is part of the LDS faith, see here for more information) and served as it's president for 27 years. I highly recommend this book as both a learning experience and an inspiring example of what is possible when faith in God is present. I feel blessed to have my own ancestors involved in these efforts.


 Check out the rest of the tour here.

Friday, October 26, 2012

BLOG TOUR: Open Fire: J. Golden Kimball Takes on the South by Scott M. Hurst





Complimentary copy provided by publisher for blog tour.
All opinions expressed are solely my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK

In this fast paced story filled with holy hi-jinx and missionary mayhem, Golden squares off with his characteristic cowboy sense of humor against everything from spiteful preachers to the threat of death at the hands of the terrible Ku Klux Klan. Join Golden as he takes on the South with these unbelievable, true stories.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Scott graduated from Brigham Young University and is currently enrolled in the School of Hard Knocks. He is a nomad who claims his home in Utah, California, Hawaii and wherever else in the world he happens to be. The closest thing he’s ever done to being a cowboy was dude ranching for a day. He couldn’t sit down for two weeks afterwards. Like Golden, he’s tall and skinny. He also shares some of Golden’s colorful vocabulary and his immense love for the gospel.

REVIEW

While this book is presented as biographical, the author mentions at the beginning that he has fictionalized some things, like actual dialogue, he's condensed other things so the story flows better, thus making this biographical/historical fiction. The main events of the story however did actually occur and the man was quite a character.  Before leaving on his mission, Golden had never left the Utah/Idaho area, so going to the Southern States was a huge shock, especially with the huge amount of anti-Mormon prejudice that existed at the time.  I was amazed at the courage of these men leaving their homes and families to share the gospel at a time and place that was anything but welcoming.  Today's missionaries receive a lot more training, back then they simply packed up and went.

This is a story of faith and courage and one man's efforts to share what he believed.  Golden wasn't perfect and he never claimed to be. I think what made him effective was that he was sincere and never pretended to be something he wasn't.  You don't need to be a Mormon to appreciate the determination of this man and the lasting impact he made on those he met.  While fictionalized to some extent, this book still gives insight into the life of J. Golden Kimball.  It's also just plain full of entertaining stories. I highly recommend this book.


Check out the rest of the tour here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Giveaway Winners!

I've been so busy the last few weeks with school that I've neglected to announce the winners of some of my giveaways.  There are a bunch of them, so here goes. Note: these giveaways are from both of my blogs, Geo Librarian and LDS and Lovin' it.

Man of Honor Giveaway

Zara D.





A Serpent's Ring Giveaway

Beth DeRenzis



Tears Water the Seeds of Hope Giveaway

 
Mary DeBorde





Happily Ever After Giveaway Hop (Geo Librarian)

Estefania

Happily Ever After Giveaway Hop 2 (LDS and Lovin' it)

Alex

The Love of Divena

Natasha




The Chosen of Gaia

Alexandra Marta

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Jane Austen Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Jane Austen Giveaway Hop! 
This hop is being sponsored by  

For this giveaway I am offering one book of your choice by or inspired by Jane Austen from the Book Depository up to $20.

Here are some possible choices or see here:

Once Upon A Second Chance

You must be at least 13 to enter. To be entered to win a e-book or print copy of one of the above books or other Jane Austen related book of your choice, complete the mandatory entry in the Rafflecopter form below. After you complete the mandatory entry, more will be unlocked and you may complete which ever of those you would like. Giveaway is open internationally to where ever The Book Depository ships and ends October 24, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. (EST). Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BLOG TOUR: Sandwich With a Side of Romance by Krista Phillips

Welcome to the Sandwich With a Side of Romance Blog Tour hosted by Pump Up Your Book!

SANDWICH WITH A SIDE OF ROMANCE
by Krista Phillips
Abingdon Press, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4267-4592-8
Christian Fiction
Complimentary copy provided by publisher for blog tour.
All opinions expressed are solely my own.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Sandwich represents hope for twenty-year-old Maddie Buckner and Kyle, the eleven-year-old brother Maddie wants to spring out of foster care. Then she loses her new job after less than a day on the clock. It’s all Reuben-the-Jerk’s fault, and she’s determined to make him right the wrong.

He does so, reluctantly, by giving her a job at his restaurant, The Sandwich Shop. Then crazy things start happening at the restaurant, and Kyle’s foster parents apply to adopt him. To stop it all, Maddie must learn the art of humbling herself and accepting the help God has arranged, risking her heart to Reuben in the process.

And she’d rather eat a million corned-beef on rye sandwiches than do that.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

KRISTA PHILLIPS is a debut author and owner of the popular blog, One Woman’s Dream. She lives with her husband and four daughters in Middle Tennessee.

Her latest book is the Christian fiction romance, Sandwich with a Side of Romance.

Visit her website.
Connect with her on Twitter.
Friend her at Facebook.
Pick up a copy of Sandwich with a Side of Romance at her publishers website
Pick up a copy of Sandwich with a Side of Romance at Amazon.

REVIEW

I really enjoyed this book. I think the thing I liked the most was how genuine the characters felt.  Both Maddie and Reuben made me smile and laugh at times and roll my eyes at other times.  Maddie is rather prickly toward men (with good reason) and is not afraid of saying what she thinks.  This tends to irritate her new boss who is overworked and struggling with issues of his own.  The attraction between them complicates things, especially since Reuben has a girlfriend.  I enjoyed watching Maddie and Reuben slowly get to know each other and become friends.  The issues of faith, blended families, and forgiveness blend beautifully as Maddie, Reuben, and their friends and family live their lives.

I appreciated seeing Maddie and Reuben's strengths and weaknesses come into play as their relationship develops naturally.  They don't really connect from the beginning, in fact their first meeting is not a pleasant one for either one.  But they have much to teach each other despite their very different backgrounds and personal struggles. I recommend this as both an entertaining read and a thought-provoking look at the Christian life in action.




Monday, October 15, 2012

BLOG TOUR and GIVEAWAY: The Guy Next Door by Kate Palmer

THE GUY NEXT DOOR
by Kate Palmer
Covenant Communications, Inc., 2012
ISBN: 978-1-60861-201-7
Romantic Suspense

ABOUT THE BOOK

On the surface, Eva Black’s life seems practically perfect. The small-town kindergarten teacher is set to wed ambitious lawyer Sean Langley, and their plans for a dream wedding are well underway. Eva accepts that she will soon live life in the spotlight as a member of the prestigious Langley family, but can she overlook her fiancĂ©’s tendency to dominate the details of her life and push the limits of her standards?
Mere weeks before the wedding, Eva is thrown into a traumatic, life-changing event that changes her view of family commitment and creates a sharp contrast between her ideals and Sean’s. With her engagement to Sean in jeopardy, Eva finds herself relying on the support and encouragement of Peter, her kind and attentive next-door neighbor. Faced with a choice between her penitent fiancĂ© and the increasingly mysterious Peter, Eva is unprepared for the consequences—and peril—that come with her decision.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kate began her career as an elementary school teacher, but was soon promoted to fulltime mom. She is the mother of six living in the country. Her husband is trying to teach her to be a farm girl. She can’t saddle a horse, but she knows how to butcher a chicken. After a day of chasing children, cooking meals, and folding laundry, she likes to escape into a good book.
Social Networking Links:
Purchase Links:
BOOK TRAILER


REVIEW

Romantic suspense with plenty of heart-wrenching twists and turns, The Guy Next Door offers an exciting read. Eva is engaged to the man of her dreams or at least she thought so, but things change in an instant and Eva is left struggling to decide what it is she really wants and who she really is. With the help of her neighbor, Peter, Eva must make some tough decisions and face some unexpectedly risky choices. A clean read with lots of tension along with a sweet romance.

Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour and enter the giveaway!


GIVEAWAY

As part of the tour, Kate  is generously offering a grand prize giveaway of a copy of The Guy Next Door plus Junior Mints (Eva’s favorite candy), and a copy Eva’s lemon chicken recipe.  
To enter to win these prizes, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form provided. (Each tour stop will have the same Rafflecopter form)
  • Open from October 2 to November 2.
  • Must be 13+ years of age to enter
  • US mailing addresses only
Earn entries by doing any/all of the following:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 14, 2012

BLOG TOUR: The Unlikely Gift of Treasure Blume by

THE UNLIKELY GIFT OF TREASURE BLUME
by Lisa Rumsey Harris
Sweetwater Books, 2012
ISBN13: 9781462110261
Women's Fiction

ABOUT THE BOOK

With her love of sweaters, goofy hair, and awkward manners—not to mention her family curse—Treasure Blume knows love is not in her future. That is, until she matches wits with Dennis Cameron, a divorced chef with a six-year-old daughter. Full of mischief, mayhem, and laugh-out-loud humor, this is an unlikely love story you’ll want to read over and over again!

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Lisa Rumsey Harris is from Downey, Idaho, where she grew up writing stories and riding horses. She received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in English from BYU, where she now teaches writing classes.

As a writer, Lisa won the Brookie and D.K. Brown Memorial Fiction Contest with her short story, “Topless in Elko.”  In 2005, her short story “The Resurrection of the Bobcat” won a Moonstone Award in the same contest. She also writes personal essays. “Honor in the Ordinary” won the Heather Campbell Brown Essay contest in 2006, and was published in Segullah. Segullah has also published her essays “I Look Like My Sister” and “Custodian of My Emotional Suitcase.” 

Lisa lives in Orem, Utah, with her multi-talented husband, her two adorable sunshine daughters, and her ancient Siamese cat.
   Review

A funny, yet tender story of a young lady with a blessing that many would consider a curse.  The gift/curse causes people meeting her for the first time to take a dislike to her, except the young or the old.  This gift/curse has provided Treasure with many unique experiences many of them bad but it has also taught her to be persistent. I liked Treasure from the first sentence when she goes to hide in her bathroom to avoid a blind date (a blind date from heck) and has a scraggly cat named Howls. And I love Treasure as a teacher. Working in a school I see every day the impact the teachers have on the students and I admire them for it because it isn't easy.  The way she throws herself completely into whatever she does despite the fact that there is a really good chance that disappointment waits around the corner.

This is a book full of delightful characters and many moments of laughter. Treasure's Grammy is one of those secondary characters who insists on becoming a main character whether you want her to or not.  And I have to say that this is one of the most unusual love stories I have ever read and I loved it. I don't know if it's because it takes place in a school or because the love interest is a lunch 'lady' named Dennis who happens to be a former four star restaurant chef. If you are looking for a fun story with lots of tender smile inducing moments, I highly recommend this one.




Be sure to check out the rest of the tour.

Monday, October 8, 2012

HAPPILY EVER AFTER GIVEAWAY HOP

Welcome to the Happily Ever After Giveaway Hop sponsored by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Murphy's Library. I am a sucker for happy endings so for this giveaway, I'm offering you a choice of one of the books by three of my favorite authors. I have read all of these books and they are wonderful.

Here are the choices:





GIVEAWAY

To be entered to win a e-book or print copy of one of the above books, complete the mandatory entry in the Rafflecopter form below. After you complete the mandatory entry, more will be unlocked and you may complete which ever of those you would like. Giveaway is open internationally to where ever The Book Depository ships and ends October 14, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. (EST). Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the Beautiful Moments kit by Newlife Dreams