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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Blog Tour Revew: IMMERSED by Jennifer Griffith (Ripple Effect Romance, #6)

Immersed tour

Immersed New

Immersed by Jennifer Griffith Lisette Pannebaker speaks five languages and has a brilliant business plan—personal language immersion. Clients can hire her to shadow them and speak all day in any language they need to learn for business or travel—whatever. But there’s a major hitch: she’s far too pretty. Clients with less than honorable intentions sign up just have Lisette at their side. Solution? A make-under. Way under.It works like a charm. None of her male clients show her the least bit of interest. Until… Erik. Erik Gunnarsson is charming, kind, and smart—everything she’s ever looked for. Even though he seems to have a secret and she swore she'd never date a client, Lisette is tempted to shed her disguise—even if it means jeopardizing her career.

 ~* My Review *~

Audience: Adult (Clean)
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Novella
Length: 153 pgs

Rating: *****

Review: I loved how the series wrapped up with this one. It was so fun and had a lot of great voice to it, which didn't surprise me from Jennifer. The characters were fun. I don't always dig make-unders in storylines (I know, it's weird, but at the end of Shrek I pretty much hate that she has to be an ogre), but it absolutely works and it's hilarious. I also love that Lisette still wants to push her true self to the surface.

Sex: 0/5
Language: 0/5
Violence: 0/5
Overall rating: PG

unnamedFDRE9K6NAuthor Jennifer Griffith Jennifer Griffith studied French, German, Japanese, and a wee bit of Spanish in her school days. Her grandmother was Norwegian, and Jennifer grew up with lots of Scandinavian traditions floating around, including fabulous cardamom laced cookies called Krumkaker, made on a fancy waffle iron. However, she’d never dream of trying to teach someone any of those languages. And she might botch the cookies. Instead, she writes novels in English, drives her five kids a million places, and laughs with her husband, who came up with the plot for Immersed because he’s just a cool muse like that.

  Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 6/9/14 Open only to those 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 enter for you. 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. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Review: FOR SUCH A TIME by Kate Breslin (Bethany House, 2014)

From BethanyHouse: 
Powerful Retelling of the Story of Esther
In 1944, blonde and blue-eyed Jewess Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS-Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, she is able to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller. However, in order to survive and maintain her cover as Aric's secretary, she is forced to stand by as her own people are sent to Auschwitz. 
Suspecting her employer is a man of hidden depths and sympathies, Stella cautiously appeals to him on behalf of those in the camp. Aric's compassion gives her hope, and she finds herself battling a growing attraction for this man she knows she should despise as an enemy. 
Stella pours herself into her efforts to keep even some of the camp's prisoners safe, but she risks the revelation of her true identity with every attempt. When her bravery brings her to the point of the ultimate sacrifice, she has only her faith to lean upon. Perhaps God has placed her there for such a time as this, but how can she save her people when she is unable to save herself?

Audience: Adult (Clean)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Length: 432 pgs

Rating: *****

Review: This book is powerful. I love reading about World War II, but I'm often brought down by the sheer brutality and hopelessness of too many situations. I've read some sad, sad accounts. And I've read amazing accounts that are sad but uplifting. This is one of them. I love the precipice that both characters are teetering on the edge of and the impossible choices left to them to make. There is a whole cast of deep characters, both good and bad. This book will break your heart, but you will love it too. 

Sex: 1/5 (passionate kisses, prostitutes and discussing soldiers raping women, the possibility that one officer might rape Stella.)
Violence: 2/5 (Discusses beatings of prisoners, there is a battle among the Jews and the Germans near the end.)
Language: 0/5
Preaching: 3/5 (Flows seamlessly into the narrative and doesn't stand out at all.)
Overall rating: PG-13

Source: I was given an electronic copy via Netgalley in exchange for my review.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Blog Tour Review: SECOND CHANCES 101 by Donna K. Weaver (Ripple Effect Romance, #5)


second chances tour    

Second Chances 101 by Donna K. Weaver Thirty seven year old Francie Davis, a recent widow and empty nester, gets to attend college at last. She’s sure her luck has changed when she also lands a job on campus that will pay her tuition, as administrative assistant to a history professor. When her handsome new boss yells at her on the first day of work, Francie worries she will never be good enough. For Professor Alex Diederik, life is going downhill fast. Not only is his bitter ex-wife trying to poison their only daughter against him, but now his one place of solace—his work environment—is being complicated by his attractive new administrative assistant. She drives home his feelings of failure as a husband and father, and Alex wonders if hiring her was the right thing to do. Francie will have to put aside her hurt and insecurities or risk her dreams, while Alex must look outside himself if he’s to mend the breach with his daughter. And, perhaps, find someone who can help heal his pain.

My Review:
Audience: Adult (Clean)
Genre: Romance, Novella
Length: 133 pgs

Rating: ***** (I really loved it!)

Review: This book definitely stands out from the others. One, the protagonists are older, so it's a fun new romance of two people who have loved, and in a sense, lost that love. I LOVED exploring Francie and Alex's lives. I loved the friendship between Francie and Alex's daughter. The only thing I could have asked for is that this be a full-length novel because I wanted to see so much more from them both. How did Alex's ex-wife become so harsh and cruel? And the same for Francie's late husband.

* * *

DonnaWAuthor Donna K. Weaver Donna K. Weaver has always loved reading and creating stories, thus she’s been ever entertained. An avid cruiser, she’s sailed the Pacific five times. Wife-mother-grandmother-Army veteran-karate black belt-Harry Potter nerd.


  Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 5/26/14 Open only to those 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 enter for you. 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. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Review: SIX MONTHS LATER by Natalie D. Richards (Sourcebooks Fire, 2013)

From Amazon: She Has Everything She Ever Wanted. But Not Her Memory...
When Chloe fell asleep in study hall, it was the middle of May. When she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can't remember the last six months of her life.
Before, she'd been a mediocre student. Now, she's on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he's her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won't speak to her.
What happened to her? Remembering the truth could be more dangerous than she knows...

Audience: YA
Genre: YA Thriller, Mystery, Romance
Length: 336 pgs

Rating: *** (I liked it)

Review: This may seem unfair, and maybe I talked about it in a recent review, but I can't remember. I rated down because of the language. In this case, I felt like it drew away from the story and from the character. Let me explain just a bit. I listened to a podcast once about using swearing in writing-it came from a grammar point of view, not a religious one or something like that. It talked about how the more frequent a word is used, the less impact it has. The narrator swore so much, that it lost all impact for what she wanted to get across. For example, when the two main characters finally kiss, the male MC says, "Damn it," and pulls her toward him. It should have been a huge build up of this really tense moment, but it was so lackluster because that word and others had been used so often, it didn't haven an impact anymore.
Beyond that, a good book. I liked the characters and how the main character rated the girls more for how nice they were than if they were popular or not, and how she admitted to liking popular girls a little, maybe not loving them, but not putting them into extreme categories like so many YAs do. The relationships with Blake and Adam are just how they should be I think. For the most part, the pacing was really well. For a chunk in the middle it felt like things stagnated but then it picked back up again so that I didn't want to quit reading from about three-fourths through on.

Sex 2/5 (Long kissing scenes, being implied that perhaps she and Blake had sex in the months she forgot)
Language 5/5 (Frequent use of D, H, S, and God in vain; A few Bs; One F-bomb.)
Violence 2/5 (Fight scenes, people dying, mystery and thriller related violence that fit the book)
Overall rating - PG-16

Try this. Like YA Mystery Thrillers? Read BREAKING BEAUTIFUL or DEAD GIRLS DON'T LIE by Jennifer Shaw Wolf.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Cover Reveal: THE PAPER MAGICIAN by Charlie Holmberg

I still remember the day I *met* Charlie. She left a comment on a post I'd written about THE GAME PLAN and how it was inspired by BYU basketball player Jimmer Fredette. She said she'd been at BYU while he was and been in on the hype. It was friendship at first sight. I immediately went over to Twitter and found her.

When Charlie got her agent, I was very excited for her. Then her book sold. MORE EXCITEMENT! Today I am so happy to be part of revealing the cover for Charlie's book, THE PAPER MAGICIAN.

About the book: Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic…forever.
 Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined—animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.
 An Excisioner—a practitioner of dark, flesh magic—invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.
 From the imaginative mind of debut author Charlie N. Holmberg, The Paper Magician is an extraordinary adventure both dark and whimsical that will delight readers of all ages.

And now, the cover...

SO pretty, right??

Congrats, Charlie! So excited for you!

Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters who also have boy names. In addition to writing fantasy novels, she is also a freelance editor. She graduated from BYU, plays the ukulele, owns too many pairs of glasses, and hopes to one day own a dog. The Paper Magician is her debut novel and the first in a whimsical series exploring a world of magicians who animate manmade materials. She currently lives with her family in Utah * CharlieNHolmberg.com

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Blog Tour Review: LOST AND FOUND by Karey White (Ripple Effect Romance, Book 4)

Lost and found tour

Lost and Found by Karey White Lydia was supposed to have an adventurous and exciting summer. Instead she's done nothing more than read and eat takeout. Now it's time to go home, and what does she have to show for it? A big fat nothing. Unless, of course, her trip to the airport somehow turns into something more than just a flight home. Blake feels like he's been sent on a wild goose chase. While work is piling up back in Denver, he's on the other side of the country, hunting for some mysterious box that his grandfather left him. Well, no more. Nothing inside that box could possibly be more important than the opportunity to make it as the youngest partner at his firm. So he's going home, and that's that. But that's before he discovers his flight has been cancelled. When these two strangers meet at the airport, they make a split-second decision to search for the box together. Maybe with both of them on the hunt, Lydia can have her adventure and Blake can find the box. And maybe, if they’re lucky, they’ll even find some romance.

My Review

Audience: Adult (Clean)
Genre: Romance
Length: 144 pgs

Rating: ***+ (I really liked it)

Review: This one had a really fun premise: three days for a couple to get to know each other while on a treasure hunt, and I enjoyed how it all played out. I liked seeing Blake unroll a little at a time and open up to Lydia. I loved that she went out on the ledge for him and pushed herself. **SPOILER** I was disappointed that near the end it was Blake who ended up coming to Lydia, instead of giving her the chance to show how she'd grown and become strong with him. I understood that she needed to see him giving up his work, and that Blake needed her to see that, but Lydia spent the whole story coming out of her shell and being adventurous, and then at the end she didn't get the chance to really nail it.

Author Karey White Karey is a USA Today best-selling author. She 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, cook, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four wonderful children.  

  Updated Ripple Effect
The Ripple Effect Romance Novella Series Enjoy this exciting new series of clean novellas by six critically-acclaimed authors. "Like a pebble tossed into calm water, a simple act can ripple outward and have a far-reaching effect on those we meet, perhaps setting a life on a different course—one filled with excitement, adventure, and sometimes even love." Book 1: Home Matters by Julie N. Ford Book 2: Silver Linings by Kaylee Baldwin Book 3: Righting A Wrong by Rachael Anderson Book 4: Lost and Found by Karey White Book 5: Second Chances 101 by Donna K. Weaver Book 6: Immersed by Jennifer Griffith
Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 5/12/14 a Rafflecopter giveaway    


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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