Monday, October 24, 2016

BLOG TOUR W/ GIVEAWAY: The Christmas Project Movie


ABOUT THE MOVIE

Even with Christmas around the corner, for the Buckley boys, payback almost always wins out over brotherly love. That is until the four brothers join forces against a common adversary—the Hagbarts—the meanest bullies at their middle school. But now Mom has decided that the Buckley family is going to Elve the Hagbarts this year for Christmas. Eleven-year-old Matthew can hardly stand it. By day the Hagbarts torture the Buckley brothers into submission, and by night the Buckleys secretly deliver Christmas treats and gifts to their sworn enemies. Soon the war of wits escalates to an incredible scheme designed to get the ultimate revenge on the Hagbarts. But now that Matthew has been learning that he's supposed to do good to those who hate him, what will he do when a little push becomes a great big shove? The Christmas Project is a heartwarming comedy the whole family will love.

REVIEW

I wasn't sure what I was going to think about this movie.  All too many Christmas movies feel a bit cheesy, sweet, but cheesy.  But I ended up thoroughly enjoying it.  Not only was the movie full of humor (I mean a home with four boys, how could it not be funny, and the pregnant mom was amusing as well), but there was plenty of heart too.  I've read and seen plenty of stories about acts of kindness, especially at Christmastime. What I liked about this one was the conflict between the Buckleys, the givers, and the Hagbarts, the oldest of whom goes out of his way to torment Matthew and his brothers.  Giving to those who hurt you is a real challenge.  And the sibling rivalry felt all too real.  Not only is this movie a humorous delight, but it's a story that will leave you with a smile on your face.

GIVEAWAY

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TOUR SCHEDULE

*Oct. 24th:  
*Oct. 25th:  
*Oct. 26th:  
*Oct. 27th:  
*Oct. 28th:  
*Oct. 29th:  


Thursday, October 20, 2016

BLOG TOUR: For This We Are Soldiers by Carla Kelly



ABOUT THE BOOK

From master storyteller Carla Kelly comes this collection of frontier tales that take you behind typical army lines and into the hearts of ordinary men and women who perform extraordinary acts of bravery. From handsome hospital stewards and dashing soldiers to courageous children and wives who will pull at your heartstrings, there’s something for everyone’s fancy.

REVIEW

One of the things that I love about this book is that it's all about ordinary people.  People like me who did the best they could with what they had.  This book focuses on the decades related to what historians call the Indian Wars, basically the years that the U.S. Army spent fighting various Indian tribes.  In this book we meet a new bride forced to adjust to poor living conditions and her husband being gone for weeks at a time.  A shy hospital steward who is attracted to a biracial woman who serves an officer's family.  A black soldier's risking his life to save a young girl's white father leaving a family forever indebted.  A young mother working as a laundress who leaves an unforgettable impact on a newly minted young officer.  And an experienced sergeant waiting to win the woman he loves while putting up with a spoiled young officer.  Each story tugged at my heart strings, some in happy ways, some in heartbreaking ways.  The story about the hospital cows and some stolen milk made me laugh out loud as a young corporal, eager to win the heart of a young hospital matron, is forced to search for the thief.  The story of the young mother working as a laundress broke my heart as she patiently continued to struggle to care for both her own child and two adopted children despite little compassion or help from anyone else.  Carly Kelly has written another book that I will gladly place on my favorites shelf.  I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy reading historical fiction with a dash of romance.


BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Kept Secret by Traci Hunter Abramson


ABOUT THE BOOK

Unexpectedly reunited after six years, high school sweethearts Devin Shanahan and Grace Harrington cross paths and have a whirlwind wedding. A lot can change in six years, however, and they must figure out how to make their two independent lives mesh.

Unable to disclose his CIA job to his new wife, when Devin is assigned a top-secret mission to Hong Kong, he tells Grace part of the truth: that he is going to work abroad for six months in finance. But when the mission turns deadly and Devin doesn't know whom to trust, he must make the most difficult decision of his life in an effort to keep Grace safe. Will the seeds of deception prove destructive to their newly formed marriage? And will the love that brought them together be the very thing their enemies use to tear them apart?

REVIEW

Devin plans to work for the CIA after finishing his MBA program.  After meeting up with a former girlfriend at a friend's wedding, everything changes.  Things develop quickly between Grace and Devin and they end up eloping.  Interestingly, this complicates everything when Devin discovers that the CIA plans to send him to Hong Kong under cover.  But Devin is determined to make his marriage work, but when his cover is blown he is forced to disappear leaving Grace hanging.  Abramson has created an interesting plot here with Devin's work for the CIA and the Chinese efforts to turn him into a double agent complicate things.  The romance and commitment between Grace and Devin are refreshing in the face of the challenges they face and the suddenness of their elopement.

I enjoyed getting to know Grace and Devin and following along as they wrestled with their own choices as well as the choices of those around them.  Some of those choices put both Grace and Devin in jeopardy and create some real tension in the book.  This book manages to be both clean and suspenseful which makes for a fun read.

GIVEAWAY

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TOUR SCHEDULE

*Oct. 17th: 
*Oct. 18th: 
*Oct. 19th: 
*Oct. 20th:
*Oct. 21st


Thursday, October 13, 2016

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: The Governess by Kristen Mckendry



ABOUT THE BOOK

Independent young Kate Porter envisions a future far greater than the middle-class existence she's always lived, and her work as a governess is simply a means to an end. The glittering world of a society wife calls, and her new position as a private tutor for the children of Mr. Alonzo Colaco is a step in the right direction. She merrily imagines the grand house awaiting her—but when her new employer meets her at the train station driving a gaily-painted gypsy wagon, Kate suspects her new job as a children's tutor will not be all she dreamed.

Instead of the mansion she anticipate, Kate finds herself living in the woods in a refitted train car and teaching the charming children of Alonzo, a tinker by trade. After trying in vain to secure another job, Kate is left with little choice. She must simply bide her time until a better position presents itself. Before long, however, she finds herself abandoning her petticoats and preconceptions in favor of the joys of a simple life—and the possibility of true love. But when opportunity knocks, will Kate really be ready to walk away from all she's come to care for to pursue her high-society dreams?

REVIEW

I found The Governess to be both a refreshingly different sort of romance, but the setting was different as well.  Most of the books that take place during this era focus on England, but this one takes place in Canada which is a nice change of pace.  Katherine is a character with both strengths and weaknesses.  It's not surprising that she's a bit obsessed with finding a comfortable living situation considering how dependent she's had to be on her rather obnoxious relatives.  But comfort is not what she finds when she agrees to tutor Alonzo Colaco's children.  Living in a train car in the woods does not meet any of her expectations.  But she finds that as she gets to know her charges and her employer that somehow those things diminish a bit in importance.  But she's not fully willing to give up her desire for a comfortable life and leaves seeking something more.  It seems though that she may have left her true heart's desire behind. I enjoyed reading the conversations between Katherine and Alonzo as well as the children.  Real feeling love and not just the rapturous falling in love kind satisfies my soul in ways that the more shallow romances don't.

GIVEAWAY

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TOUR SCHEDULE

*Oct. 10th
*Oct. 11th
Oct. 13th
*Oct. 14th

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

LOVE YOUR LIFE CD by Hilary Weeks

Hilary Weeks has released a new CD that I'd like to share with you. I've really liked the positive messages and sweet tunes of the songs she's done in the past.  I've no doubt this one will be great as well.


  • 11th Hilary Weeks CD
  • Released September 16, 2016
  • Charted at #7 on the Christian Billboard Charts.  I am the only LDS artist to chart anywhere on the Christian Billboard charts and my last 3 CDs have all hit the top ten.
  • This CD was a blast to write because I did a lot of co-writing.  The collaborations were so much fun.  I wrote with Nik Day, Cheri Call, Tyler Castleton, Anjanette Mickelson, Stephen Nelson, Scott Wiley and Dustin Christensen.
  • Dustin Christensen (Co-writer and back ground vocalist on the CD) was recently on The Voice, turning all four chairs during his audition which has over a million views on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nruxkb1EGCM
  • CD was recorded in Nashville with the best musicians Tennessee has to offer.
Click here for a music sample.


EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS FROM THE PHOTO SHOOT




Thursday, October 6, 2016

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: For Sale by Owner by Marlene Bateman


ABOUT THE BOOK

Mckenzie Forsberg is headed home. She's quit her big-city job to return to her roots in the small town of Lake Forest. Kenzi hopes to buy her childhood home from her brother, Tom, as a way of revisiting the peace and security she's been missing in her life. But soon she is shocked to discover that the house has a pending sale, and Tom won't budge from the sale—not even for his sister.

Handsome widower Jared Rawlins catches Kenzie's eye until she realizes that he's the one who is buying her house—but he can only close the deal if he sells his own house by Christmas Eve. Jared is more than a little interested in Kenzie but has second thoughts when it seems that she may be sabotaging the sale of his home.

Slippery feelings of animosity and distrust ensue, with both Jared and Kenzie denying the chemistry between them. But then an unexpected discovery about their connected past puts a new twist in the dynamic. Now, can they put their differences aside and come to terms on a relationship that could last forever?

REVIEW

I had some interesting feelings about this particular book.  I confess I didn't like Kenzie as much as I would have liked.  Her unwillingness to forgive her father, her efforts to get her brother to sell her his house after already agreeing to sell it to someone else, and accidentally getting in Jared's way all annoyed me frankly.  On the other hand, she's clearly a caring mother trying to find a good life for herself and her daughter after some heart-wrenching experiences.  And Kenzie does try to make up for her mistakes where Jared is concerned, especially after a rather surprising connection between the two comes to light.  I guess Kenzie comes across as a very human character, with both flaws and strengths.  Jared is appealing from the get go, but he too makes mistakes.  What the author does very well here is create a very realistic feeling book in terms of people behaving badly and well and having to work their way through to actual solutions to their problems.  And of course the children provide plenty of heart and humor easing some of the tensions in the story.

GIVEAWAY


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TOUR SCHEDULE

*Oct. 3rd: 
*Oct. 4th:  
*Oct. 5th:  
*Oct. 6th:  
*Oct. 7th:  
 
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