Thursday, June 22, 2017

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Mormon Girl: Incognito by Kari Iroz


ABOUT THE BOOK

Hilarious heroine Jacklyn Wyatt is back—this time in a dicey Vegas adventure! Jacklyn “Jack” Wyatt is just your average Mormon girl—other than her brief stint with the FBI, her subsequent brush with death, and her dreamy boyfriend, Special Agent Damon Wade. But in the eight months since she helped save a kidnapping victim, Jack’s life has returned to its mostly stagnant state. She’s still trapped in a dead-end job, and even her relationship seems to be stuck in a rut. These days, adventures are few and far between. So when Damon heads to Las Vegas on assignment, Jack sees the perfect opportunity to surprise her boyfriend and rekindle the spark in their relationship. But the surprise is on her: she has just landed herself in the middle of a high-stakes operation involving Russian criminals. Unwittingly drawn undercover once more, Jack is all too aware that the survival of Damon and his associates depends on the success of her charade. In the unfamiliar world of luxurious limos, exclusive nightclubs, and gambling, Jack must convince the high-rolling hustlers that she is a terrifying international arms dealer. If only she knew anything about poker. Or guns . . .

REVIEW

I thoroughly enjoyed this follow-up to Iroz's A Date with Danger.  I loved Jack in the first back and it was great to read more about her.  In the first, book, Jack meets Agent Damon Wade when she's asked to help on an FBI investigation.  In this book, the two are dating and Jack is obsessing over the fact that not once during their eight months of dating has Damon told her he loves her.  She thinks he does but he's never said it.  So when he invites her to go on vacation to Las Vegas with him and meet his mother and sister, she's thrilled.  He'll have to work a couple of days but then it should be vacation time.  But her budget leads her to reluctantly say no.  After her parents step in to help, Jack is thrilled to be able to fly to Vegas and surprise Damon.  But things take a turn for the worse when Jack walks in on Damon working undercover.  After inadvertently ruining the operation, Jack feels obligated to step in and help fix things.  But playing the part of a gun-running criminal mastermind is harder than she ever could have imagined and it's not just her life on the line.  Meanwhile, she and Damon are still figuring out their relationship, and he gives her some upsetting news.  I had a really hard time putting this book down not only because of the suspense but because I wanted to see what would happen in Jack and Damon's relationship.  Admittedly, I was unable to predict some of the twists and turns that the story took, but that made the book that much more enjoyable.

GIVEAWAY

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TOUR SCHEDULE

*June 19th: 

*June 20th

*June 21st

*June 22nd

*June 23rd


Thursday, June 15, 2017

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Love on Pointe by Tiffany Odekirk


ABOUT THE BOOK

Rhys Solario has a secret—one he plans to keep: he's a non-Mormon attending Brigham Young University. With only two semesters left before graduation, he just wants to keep flying under the radar. Then he meets Emmy in a Book of Mormon class, and for the first time, the idea of keeping to himself doesn't sound so appealing.

Emmy Jennings feels confident only when she's dancing ballet. With every plie and chasse, all her worries fade away. But when she fails to earn a coveted solo, her confidence on the dance floor disintegrates and the future she's worked so hard to earn stands in jeopardy.

Assigned to be study partners, both Rhys and Emmy face initial anxieties regarding who they really are. But slowly, their tentative friendship evolves into something more. Yet even as love deepens, the pair is faced with a disheartening truth: Rhys can't take Emmy to the temple, and the promise of eternity is not something Emmy's willing to give up. With everything on the line, the couple must decide if they're prepared to reshape their hearts—and their lives—for the promise of forever.

REVIEW

Some readers like 'bad boy' or 'bad girl' characters, but I've never been that kind of reader.  I've always preferred reading about basically good people doing the best they can with the challenges they face.  And both Emmy and Rhys fit that description.  Emmy loves to dance ballet, she even plans to be a professional dancer as soon as she graduates from BYU.  Rhys also attends BYU, although reluctantly.  When Rhys and Emmy meet in a Book of Mormon religion class they feel awkward, mostly because they are attracted to each other.  But Emmy has little dating experience and Rhys has found out the most Mormon girls don't want to date him seriously once they discover he's not a member.  But after ending up as study partners it becomes harder and harder for them to resist their growing feelings for each other.  But both of them are also struggling with other challenges as well, Emmy fears she's losing her twin sister, and isn't sure she knows how to dance without her sister by her side.  Rhys is struggling to take care of his mother, whose illness continues to worsen.  Things come to a head once Emmy finds out that Rhys isn't a member.  As the two struggle with their feelings for each other life sees fit to throw more trouble their way.  I enjoyed reading about the two falling in love, although it wasn't hard to figure out that Rhys's not telling Emmy he's not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS Church or Mormon Church) was going to cause problems.  Still, Rhys and Emmy were so good for each other, it was impossible not to root for them.

GIVEAWAY

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TOUR SCHEDULE

*June 12th

*June 13th

*June 14th

*June 15th

*June 16th


Thursday, June 8, 2017

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Romancing Daphne by Sarah M. Eden


ABOUT THE BOOK

As her first London Season looms before her, the thought of the impending social whirl fills Daphne Lancaster's timid heart with dread. She hasn't her sisters' beauty nor their talent for conversing easily. Even her family's enviable connections may not be enough to prevent disaster.

But Daphne's misery turns to surprised delight when the first even of her Season brings an unexpected visitor to her door—James Tilburn, whose tender kindness stole her heart in her youth. When the handsome young gentleman expresses his desire to court her, Daphne is elated. Their feelings for each other quickly grow, and it appears that, much to Daphne's disbelief, her happily ever after is within reach.

Yet nothing is as it seems. The couple finds themselves caught in a tangled web of greed and deceit, leaving James and Daphne to determine whether they are willing to risk everything for true love.

REVIEW

I have loved every one of Sarah Eden's books and this one is no different.  I was delighted to read more about the Duke of Kielder and the Lancaster family.  After thoroughly enjoying both Seeking Persephone and Courting Miss Lancaster, I was thrilled to read about Daphne, the third Lancaster sister.  In fact, I found myself relating to Daphne more than I did her two sisters, much as I liked them.  Daphne is supremely shy, and self-conscious.  Growing up after her mother's death and being shunted aside by her father, Daphne has spent most of her life moving quietly in the background.  But after a brief encounter with James Tilburn at her sister's coming out ball, she decides that if she could meet someone like him she might like to marry someday.  But she doesn't expect to run into James again, when she does she's uncertain of his interest but longs to develop the relationship further. Slowly as they get to know each other Daphne starts to bloom into the flower she was always meant to be.  But an unfortunate piece of news sends Daphne running back into hiding and its up to James and the rest of her family to rescue her from herself.  Full of sweet encounters as well as amusing ones (these usually involve the Duke of Kielder, who tolerates almost no one, or Artemis, the youngest Lancaster sister, who can't keep her opinions to herself to save her life), Romancing Daphne is a wonderful book and I can't recommend it highly enough.

GIVEAWAY

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TOUR SCHEDULE

*June 5th: 

*June 6th

*June 7th

*June 8th

*June 9th


Monday, June 5, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Under the Cover of Light by Carole Engle Avriett


ABOUT THE BOOK

In 1965, Col. Thomas "Jerry" Curtis's helicopter was shot down over North Vietnam. He was immediately captured and spent 71/2 years confined in a filthy 5′ x 7′ cell at the notorious Hanoi prison camp. Thousands of miles from home and unable to communicate with his wife and children, Jerry endured months of solitary confinement, suffocating heat, freezing cold, grueling physical and psychological torture, constant hunger, and unimaginable mental duress. And yet, time and again, the Light that darkness cannot overcome became his beacon of hope. Now, for the first time in print, Jerry shares the full story of his 2,703 days in captivity and what he learned about faith, hope, and the indomitable power of the human spirit.

REVIEW

There are some books that leave you pondering after you have read them.  This is one such book.  Admittedly this isn't always the easiest book to read.  Torture is never a pleasant topic and this book describes it plainly.  Those parts definitely made me flinch.  At the same time, the courage and determination of Jerry and his fellow prisoners was truly inspiring.  While all the prisoners had their breaking points, many still found the courage and the will to carry on through faith in God and/or their contact with each other.  Through tremendous hardships both physical and mental/emotional, Jerry turned to God to help him cope.  The tapping code he learned from other prisoners helped him stay in contact with other prisoners while he was in solitary confinement.  It still boggles my mind though that he spent 7 1/2 years moving from prison to prison, suffering physical torture, malnutrition, and emotional distress.  This is a powerful memoir that inspires with it's reminder of the power of faith in God and the love of family, friends, and country.  Highly recommended for those who can handle reading about the sometimes awful, sometimes wonderful things that people are capable of doing to each other.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Winds of Change by Jean Holbrook Mathews


ABOUT THE BOOK

 The year is 1854, and change is in the air throughout India. Within the walls of her grand home in Calcutta, Sarah McCune anxiously awaits the future. After eighteen months at war, her husband, a sergeant in the Bengal Army of the East India Company, has made an extraordinary proposal: leave all the comforts of their life in Asia for an unknown future in America. As recent converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sarah and her husband are drawn to the promise of Zion. So, despite their fears regarding the dangerous voyage before them, they and their four children embark on a journey of faith that will test the limits of their conviction and define generations to come. This breathtaking saga based on the historical journals of one Latter-day Saint family invites readers to experience the sacrifices and perils of these early pioneers as they faithfully seek a land of promise.

REVIEW

I always find pioneer stories to be of interest.  First, because my own ancestors were among the pioneers to cross the plains to Utah.  Second, because of the courage and faith it took to come to a new land to build a new life.  What makes this story especially interesting is what the McCunes had to give up to do so.  Pioneering at it's heart is tremendously hard work and while Matthew is used to working, it's as a soldier, not a pioneer farmer.  And to a family used to having servants and living in a relatively humid climate, the plains were a shock. I found it especially interesting to read about the way the family lived in India before deciding to leave.  Such decisions can't be easy.

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TOUR SCHEDULE

Thursday, May 25, 2017

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: J. Golden Kimball by Kathryn Jenkins Gordon


ABOUT THE BOOK

He is J. Golden Kimball, and when he is gone, there will never be another. He was the original product, and when Providence had finished him, the pattern was lost and never found again.

LDS Church history is comprised of the accounts of multitudes of men and women who set the groundwork for the Church. And while there are plenty of ordinary individuals woven into that patchwork of history, there are also a handful of unique individuals who enliven the past and provide inspiration for the future. Known as the “swearing Apostle,” J. Golden Kimball is just such a character, one whose legacy of colorful language is surpassed only by his fierce loyalty to the gospel.

In J. Golden Kimball: The Remarkable Man Behind the Colorful Stories, readers are invited to come to better know this legendary man made famous by his unique humor and powerful testimony. From a chronicle of Kimball’s youthful adventures to the legacy he forged in his more than forty years as a General Authority, gear up for a rollicking ride through the life of one of the liveliest servants of the Lord.

REVIEW

J Golden Kimball is well known in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) for the comments he made as a general authority.  But there is so much more to the man than that and Gordon shows that in this book, documenting major events in his life that led him to become the man that all those stories are about.  But she also includes sidebars that tell some of the best known stories about the man, and I admit they are funny, a bit foul-mouthed at times, but funny.  Left destitute by his father's death at the tender age of 15, J Golden left school to find work to help support his family.  It's clear the man knew how to work, but he also had plenty of failures and struggles along the way.  I found it fascinating to read about the talents he developed as well as the faith that kept him going during both the good and bad times.  Truly a unique individual, reading this biography opened my eyes to the fact that he was an interesting man who lived his life the best he knew how.

GIVEAWAY

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TOUR SCHEDULE

*May 24th:  
*May 26th:
http://booksaresanity.blogspot.com/,
http://thethingsilovemost.com/,
http://whynotbecauseisaidso.blogspot.com/,
http://literarytimeout.blogspot.com/


Thursday, May 18, 2017

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Wrong for You by Jenny Proctor


ABOUT THE BOOK

Lane Bishop is a hardworking, intelligent, beautiful young woman. And with her recent move to Chapel Hill, she is determined to leave behind the drama and effort of keeping up with the dating scene. Even so, Lane somehow manages to get dragged out by a gaggle of girls to go watch boys play soccer. Just watching is not Lane's forte, so she joins in the fun and leads her team to victory.

Rather than feeling intimidated by the vivacious beauty on the opposing team, Jamie Hamilton is intrigued. Risking his "untouchable" dating status, he decides to pursue Lane—with a little help from his older brother Simon. With Simon's behind-the-scenes assistance, Jamie proves irresistible, even to a disillusioned dater like Lane. But as she gets to know both brothers, Lane can't help but wonder—beneath the grand gestures and romantic words, is she falling for the wrong guy?

REVIEW

I thoroughly enjoyed Proctor's last book involving music, so I was looking forward to this one with it's story line similar to Cyrano de Bergerac with one person providing the romance for someone else.  But Proctor's added an interesting twist to that idea by making the two brothers.  Lane becomes interested in Jaime after running into him and playing against him in a pick up soccer game (he rejects her offer to join his team).  But Jaime recruits his brother Simon's help in impressing Lane.  The problem comes in when Simon starts getting to know Lane better than Jaime.  Lane becomes confused between what she sees as two sides to Jaime at the same time as her feelings for Simon grow stronger.  Naturally deception in a dating relationship does not bode well and problems arise.  But Lane is a delightful character and the Hamilton brothers are swoon-worthy, making for a thoroughly enjoyable, and engaging story.

GIVEAWAY

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TOUR SCHEDULE

May15th: 
May 16th:  
May 17th: 
May 18th:  
May 19th:  

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Compassionate Soldier by Jerry Borrowman


ABOUT THE BOOK

Compassionate Soldier illuminates fascinating yet largely unknown stories of men and women whose humanity led them to perform courageous acts of mercy and compassion amid the chaos and carnage of war. Arranged by war from the American Revolution to the Iraq War and global in perspective, it features extraordinary stories of grace under fire from valiant soldiers and noncombatants who rose above the inhumanity of lethal conflict and chose compassion, even knowing their actions could put their lives and liberty at risk.

Included are the stories of Patrick Ferguson, a British officer during the American Revolution who had the chance to kill George Washington but refused to shoot a man in the back; Richard Kirkland, a Confederate soldier during the Civil War who took water to wounded Union soldiers during the battle of Fredericksburg; and Oswald Boelcke, a German WWI flying ace who was one of the most influential tacticians of early air combat and was known for making sure the airmen he shot down made it to the ground alive.

These and other inspirational stories illustrate that even in the midst of the unspeakable horrors of war, acts of kindness, mercy, compassion, and humanity can prevail and, in doing so, expand our conventional thinking of honor and battlefield glory.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jerry Borrowman is an award-winning author of historical fiction and nonfiction. He has written about World Wars I and II, the Great Depression, and the Vietnam War. He is the recipient of the George Washington National Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. Jerry and his wife, Marcella, raised four children and live in the Rocky Mountains.

REVIEW

War is such a horrible thing and yet millions of people have experienced the horrors of it.  But stories like the ones told in this book give one hope that despite "man's inhumanity to man" there is still hope for the human race.  Borrowman starts with an intriguing story from the Revolutionary War about a time when George Washington could have been killed but because of the honor of a British soldier was not.  Some of the stories here are familiar to me such as the one about the Angel at Fredricksburg, the Confederate soldier who risked his life to provide water to dozens of wounded Union soldiers, as well as the story about a group of German teenagers who risked their lives to oppose Hitler.  Additional stories about a nurse, a German fighter pilot, a Nazi prison guard, and a German general all tell remarkable tales of people who had the courage as well as compassion to help others when it would have been so much easier not to.  Borrowman does a nice job of providing context for each of his stories so it's easier to understand just how much each of these individuals risked and sometimes lost their lives for. A powerful collection of stories that I highly recommend for reading when the bad news threatens to win the day.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Sense & Second Chances by Brittany Larsen


ABOUT THE BOOK

Emily Carter is on the fast track to success when the unthinkable happens: a tragic accident claims the lives of her parents. Now Emily must set aside her dreams and raise her two younger siblings, Annie and Bryce. Emily and Annie are sisters, but that doesn't mean they are anything alike. Whereas Emily reacts to the tragedy with her characteristic stoic calm, passionate Annie spirals into depression. Just when things seem like they can't get any more difficult, Emily's older half-brother and his fiancee arrive, not to help but to claim the family home he's inherited from their parents. Without a place to call their own, Emily must take action—and fast.

When an exciting employment opportunity arises in Utah, the displaced Carters decide to build a new life in a new home. But it soon becomes clear that their future prospects will go far beyond professional as each sister is faced with an unexpected romance. Yet love is never simple, and in matters of the heart, one sister must proceed with caution while the other needs to take a leap of faith.

REVIEW

In this contemporary adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility,  Emily Carter is left to care for her younger sister and brother after her parents are killed in a plane crash.  When her older half-brother shows up to take the house that belongs to him, Emily is left wondering what to do with herself and her siblings.  When she meets the brother of her soon to be sister-in-law, she likes him immediately.  But Joel is Jewish and his family is against that changing, so Emily knows if he investigates her church (Mormon/LDS) and chooses to join that he will be losing a great deal.  Because of this Emily forces herself to give Joel up and move herself and her siblings to the ranch her father wanted to turn into an eco-friendly vacation spot.  But things take a turn for the worse when Emily's sister, Annie, gets involved an exciting but not trustworthy young man and goes off her meds.  Can Emily keep her family together and mend her broken heart or does God have other plans for her?  I quite enjoyed this story even though I knew the basic story line going in.  Making Annie an actress and Joel a Jew certainly added some interesting twists.

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TOUR SCHEDULE



 
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