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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Review: BRIGHT BLUE MIRICLE by Becca Wilhite

One of the books I just adore and laughed all the way through was MY RIDICULOUS ROMANTIC OBSESSIONS by Becca. So, as I was perusing the bookstore at Storymakers '13 and adding to my impressive stack of books, this was one I just could not pass up on.

From Amazon.comSeventeen-year-old Leigh Mason is not sure she is ready to share her mom, her bedroom, and her little sisters with her new stepsister, Betsy. And she's definitely not ready to share her best friend, who happens to be a boy! Coping with a blended family is not easy for either Leigh or Betsy, especially during their senior year in high school. Each step brings them nearer to a crisis that will either send them running in different directions or bind them firmly together (which, let s face it, would take a miracle). Bright Blue Miracle is a new young adult novel that has everything a girl wants: a hero (more specifically, a really cute boy), a villain (who happens to be a stepsister), comedy, despair, pedicures, ice cream, love, hate, tennis, revenge, and, of course, a couple of surprises that might send you for some tissues.

Audience: YA (clean)
Genre: YA Contemporary
Length: 173 pgs

Rating: **** (Really liked it)

Review: Becca taught a humor class at Storymakers conference this year that was SO so great, so I knew this book would be a laugh and a half. I'd just finished reading THE ORCHARD by Krista Lynne Jensen, and after all that emotion, I picked this one up to laugh over. Apparently I didn't read the back cover well enough, because yes, I did need some tissues. MORE FEELINGS! Eeek. Having gone through one of the issues myself with a family member probably made it harder to read.
But don't run away! Just because Becca can be deep, does not mean it wasn't fun. It was. She looked at the blended family conundrum in a great, humorous way that I adore. I don't typically get into the YA contemp genre (Only reason I knocked off a star--I just sorta don't get into books solely about teenager problems, although I certainly recognize that there's a big ol' group of people who do!), but I still really liked this book.

Buy it on Amazon.
Check out Becca's blog.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Blog Tour for A LADY AND A SPY by Ranee` S. Clark

A book launch means prizes, right? It does. That's exactly what you'll get here. Elsewhere on the blog tour you'll see reviews and other such stuff, but here, prizes.

You'll be able to stop by the following blogs for reviews and chances to enter the contest:
June 24th - Kaylee Baldwin
June 25th - Rebecca Lamoreaux
June 26th - Donna Weaver
June 27th - Merilee Ashton
June 28th - Wendy Archibald

You'll be able to enter a contest to win LOTS of prizes:
A Lady and a Spy (ebook)
A Lady and a Spy (paperback) (US Only)
Prize Pack (paperback copies of A Lady and a Spy and A Contemptible Affection)
Haven (ebook)
A Contemptible Affection (ebook)

SO MUCH FUN, right? Right.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Review: THE ORCHARD by Krista Lynne Jensen

I was having a really bad day a few weeks back because something that I wanted really bad didn't pan out. Just when I was at my lowest (and, okay, yes, I'm being really dramatic right now. It was clearly not the end of the world), I got an email saying I'd won THE ORCHARD. Which, let's be honest, I feel kind of bad about, because I totally would have bought it--but it made my day fabulous. AND because I have the hook-ups, I got Krista to sign it for me. Though she may be deserting our beloved (*snort*) state of Wyoming, Here's lookin' at you kid. 

From DeseretBook.comOn the idyllic shores of Flathead Lake, Montana, Alisen Embry finds purpose and comfort tending her late mother’s cherry orchard adjacent to the family’s beloved lake house. Though pained by the loss of her mother and her father’s estrangement, it is Derick Whitney—the man she fell in love with four years earlier—who truly influences Alisen’s view of her future . . .
Derick and Alisen wanted nothing more than to spend eternity together; however, intolerance and secrets forced Alisen to make a shattering choice between her family and the man she loved.
But destiny always has a way of setting things right . . .
Now the Embry family has found themselves hopelessly in debt, and they realize renting the lake house is the only hope of saving the cherished or- chard and family home. When Alisen discovers the new tenants have a connection to her past, her life takes an unexpected turn. Will fate find a way to reconnect what was broken so many years before?
Audience: Adult (Clean)
Genre: LDS Romance
Length: 245 pgs
Rating: *****
Review: All. The. Feels. This book was inspired by the Jane Austen book Persuasion, which, along with Northanger Abbey, is my favorite of Austen's. So I pretty much knew I'd love it. But it also made Alisen's so-so-sweet romance with Derick so difficult because I knew what would happen. I despised her dad and aunt for a while there--all-out hated them. Krista just did a fantastic job of involving me with the characters so much that I was absolutely invested in what was happening to them.
Disclaimer: None.
Check it out on Goodreads.
Buy it at Deseret Book.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Review: REALITY CHECK by Karen Tuft

Some days I feel like I'm checking off TBR books right and left. This one has been on since I first started "researching" the LDS romance category. And, I gotta admit, the fact that I'm checking a bunch of these off is because of Storymakers Conference 2013 and the fab bookstore there. I dropped some cash there. But, shhhh, don't tell my husband.

From CovenantAfter college graduation, Lucy Kendrick heads home with big plans for work, travel, and relishing her freedom—which means no romantic entanglements. Buther two best friends have other ideas. Lucy is seriously steamed when she realizes they’ve signed her up to be a contestant on the reality dating show Soulmates, but she decides not to renege and soon finds herself in Los Angeles—a small-town Mormon girl vying for the love of millionaire bachelor Ethan Glass. At first this cute, smart, fun young woman, who would rather pray than party, bewilders Ethan. But his interest and admiration grow with every encounter. However, the conniving associate producer is determined to stir up some made-for-TV drama and takes strides to make this reality television show anything but real. When the show finally airs, Lucy has been recast as someone she unquestionably is not. Lucy is left humiliated in front othe world, and Ethan is left wondering who the Lucy is that he was falling in love with. Will the duplicities that have created this humiliation ever come to light? And will the truth emerge too late for the would-be soulmates?

Audience: Adult (Clean)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, LDS Romance
Length: 304 pgs

Rating: ***+ (Liked it and some)

Review: I had such a difficult time deciding whether to give this book 3 or 4 stars. The part of me that felt like the book started slow said 3, and the part of me that raced through the second half said 4. If you like The Bachelor TV show, you'll like this book a lot. We mostly get to see the contestant view from Lucy's POV, and I would have loved to be able to hear the voices of some of the other girls -- which is what I love about The Bachelor, falling in love with more than one girl...it breaks your heart, right? -- but it really worked. Ethan in a FANtastic hero. Seriously. One thing that hung me up. We're introduced to the "Soulmates" show as a different form of dating reality TV show, where the contestants all took extensive tests to see if they matched with Ethan. Although we know there are nice girls and likable girls, most of the "screen time" is given to meaner girls and Lucy (of course). So, it just made it a bit difficult for me to buy the concept that they were all screened intensively. Yet, this book just made me feel so much. I can't describe the parts that just broke my heart and made me happy and all because it would give away parts of the story, but the author did a great job of sucking me in and making me really feel part of the story. My favorite character is Ethan's dad Jed. He was just so great, so full and awesome for a supporting character.

Disclaimer: Nothing

Buy it from Covenant or Amazon.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Storymakers '13

I've been telling myself I needed to write a post about this for a long time and I've just been so scatterbrained that it hasn't gotten done. BUT I did finally scrapbook the handful of pictures I got, so I'm just going to upload those for you guys to peek at and call it good.

(You can click on them to make them bigger and read the text.)

There are SO many people I got to meet but I didn't get pictures of. All in all a very fabulous time. Loved it. Can't wait for next year!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Review: HEIST SOCIETY by Ally Carter

Who knows why it took me SO LONG to read this book? Seriously, I don't even know. I'm an avid Gallagher Girls fan and have read every book in that series. And Heist Society has been on my TBR list for a long time. My sister, the teacher, loaned it to me and I devoured it within days. And considering my schedule around here lately, that's saying something.

From AllyCarter.com: When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.
Soon, Kat’s friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.
For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s history–and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Blog Hop: A CHANGE OF PLANS by Donna Weaver

I love this lady, seriously. She has beta read for me on both A CONTEMPTIBLE AFFECTION and the upcoming A LADY AND A SPY and her comments are wonderful and insightful and perfect every time. I've been pumped for her book, A CHANGE OF PLANS, for a while and jumped at the chance to be part of the blog tour.

About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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