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Tuesday, July 26, 2016


It's About: Six Award-Winning Authors have contributed new stories to A Timeless Romance Anthology: Mail Order Bride Collection, now a USA TODAY Bestseller! Six historical romance novellas set in the Old West. 

Audience: Adult (Clean)
Genre: Romance, Historical, Novellas, Anthologies
Length: 322 pages

Rating: 4.5

Review: Another really great collection from the Timeless Romance Anthology ladies. This bestseller lived up to it's hype, for sure. One of my favorites was Kristan Holt's Wanted: Midwife Bride. Talk about a swoony hero! One of my favorite things about novellas is getting to see relationships mostly workout--those stories that can't become novels because there's not enough conflict...they become lovely novellas that I gobble up and enjoy the happiness of the whole thing. Wanted: Midwife Bride was one of those, with an understanding and gentle hero, and a heroine ready to find her place to fall. Another was Sarah Eden's, of course. It had such a great twist to it and was adorable. My honorable mention is for Annette Lyon's The Sound of Home, tender and sweet. All the novellas in this collection are so great.

Sex - 0
Violence - 0
Language - 0
Overall Rating - PG

Friday, July 15, 2016

Beyond the Rising Tide Tour

Beyond the Rising Tide Beyond the Rising Tide by Sarah Beard Kai met Avery only once--in the moment he died saving her life. Now when he's not using his new healing powers to help people, he watches helplessly as Avery's life is unraveled by his death. To help her, he risks everything by breaking the rules, dangerously blurring the barriers between life and death. amazon

  Praise for the Book “Vividly imagined, this novel is the perfect mix of modern love story and literary fiction. One brimming with genuine emotion that had me re-reading passages simply because they were too beautifully written to experience just once.” --Julie N. Ford, author of With No Regrets 

“This book is not only an engaging and satisfying supernatural romance, but also a beautiful story about life, death, and the gray places in between.” --E.B. Wheeler, author of The Haunting of Springett Hall

"This is one of those stories that stays with you long after the closing scene. It was beautifully imagined and vividly written and I absolutely loved it!” --Teresa Richards, author of Emerald Bound

  add to goodreads new

My Review

Rating: 4

I was definitely intrigued from the very beginning. A great imagining of the afterlife and the things that drive our souls. Kai was a wonderful and definitely a swoony hero. It took some time for Avery to grow on me and that was okay. She frustrated me, but in a way that drove me to see how she changed and grew. Her motivation for not talking about what happened to her wasn't always clear to me, but made it harder to like her. There was a point where I felt like the story went off the rails a bit, but I think it had more to do with what I expected from a storyline. A good book that kept me flipping the pages faster and faster as I got to the end.

Sex - 1+ (Kissing and other descriptions of physical affection.)
Violence - 2 (Fights are described as well as deaths and an character who accidentally overdoses.)
Language - 0
Overall Content Rating - PG-13 for mature themes and issues.



My mind retraces the past few months, all the conversations Tyler and I have had, the words we’ve said and haven’t said, all stemming from one incident, one day. And then I’m thrown back to that afternoon, back into the ocean and the cold, roiling waves. I feel them around me, tossing me this way and that, pounding over my head like a stampede of wild horses. I feel the salt stinging my eyes and see the abyss below me in the moment I dove under to find the boy. I saw him there, motionless and suspended in the deep, just out of reach. Just out of reach. My face feels hot, and I can’t breathe. But I keep my panic cloaked beneath my skin. A violent earthquake rattles my insides, but I tense my muscles, holding it in, restraining it, refusing to let it show. I dig my nails into my arm, anchoring them there, anchoring me into stillness, and I focus all my attention on the present physical pain in my arm. Kai’s hand reaches for mine. His touch stills my insides, draws out the tremors as though they’re water and he’s a sponge.

Sarah Beard

     * * *

Sarah Beard is the author of YA novels Porcelain Keys and Beyond the Rising Tide. She earned a degree in communications from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MFA in writing from VCFA. When she's not writing, she referees wrestling matches between her three boys and listens to audiobooks while folding self-replicating piles of laundry. She is a breast cancer survivor, a baker of sweets, a seeker of good love stories, a composer of melancholy music, and a traveler who wishes her travel budget was much bigger. She lives with her husband and children in the shadow of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains.

Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 8/1/16 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, July 12, 2016

Review: Classic Tee

So, while the Cassie skirt was my first foray into the world of LuLaRoe and there have been many dalliances there since (leggings OF COURSE, Irma tunics, the Julia dress...) my favorite, my true love, is the Classic Tee.

Let me just overload you with some pictures of me and my sweetie:

I wear a size small in a Classic Tee, but I have been known to buy a size XS - it's just a slimmer, closer fit. Still lovely, still flattering. I'm enamored of stripes. Not obvious by this picture and the next...right?

Confession: When fashion blogger people cut their heads off in pictures, I think it's really creepy. I apologize here. It's my mirror's doing. And my small bedroom. The second my SIL pulled this pattern from her box and I saw it on her live sneak peak, I texted and said, "That shirt is MINE." (Yep, I probably went all "The Ring" and "My Precious" on her...) 

The Pros: The Classic, like pretty much EVERYTHING LuLaRoe makes, is way comfy, yet look at the way it appears that I actually carefully put together my summer outfit here! ;) (Confession: I really did, but it was darn easy.) They are flowy, just the right amount so, IMHO. Too much makes you look bulky, amiright?  This one hides bumps and ice-cream bellies and still flatters.

Conversation I had with my husband the other night:
Him: Why do you keep tying up your shirts?
Me: I like it. It's very fashionable.
Him: Yeah, when we were in 8th grade.
Me: It's coming back. And I love it.

I do, I really do. I'm somewhat obsessed with it, and the classic tees are really perfect for doing that. (As are the Irmas.)

I love to layer with them, but their definitely long enough to not need another layer at all, and a high enough neckline as well. Like with the Cassies, I have no cons to report for this shirt. I would fill my closet with it, if I could!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Review: Cassie Skirt

So I confessed to you guys after DOUBLE PLAY came out that I have two loves: clothes and books. This is well known about me. Once, at a party, while playing a version of the newlywed game, my husband was asked if I had $100 what would I spend it on. He thought on it for a moment and said he knew of two things and was just gonna guess one. He said clothes (which is what I'd written! Ha!), but he'd been thinking of books too, which is what I'd told the girls earlier I didn't know which he'd say.

In short, it's time for some clothes reviews here. So why would I start with LuLaRoe? One, because I love and adore their stuff. It's comfy, like yoga pants-tee shirt-all-day-in-your-pajamas comfy, and yet can yet still be dressed up so that you're rocking life AND you feel like you just stayed in your yoga pants. (Do I have you hooked yet? If not...this might be the wrong blog for you. ;) )

Second, my SIL has just become a consultant (and I have two good friends who sell as well). This said SIL made sure everyone within hearing distance of her knew about my books when they came out, but she didn't just do it because she loved me and wanted to support me, but because she liked my books too. And I'm returning the favor, but not just because I love her and want to support her, but because I love the product she's selling. So they'll be a few clothing reviews now and again mixed in with my book reviews. And, we may have to get my mom (Robyn) to post some too, since she's just getting into LLR, and it's always good to have a second persons take on the clothes.

(Since this is a longish review, if you'd rather just hop on over to Ashleigh's Facebook Boutique, click on this link and explore the clothes yourself: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1085198178207852/)

So. The Cassie.

The Cassie is a pencil skirt. It's the first LLR product I purchased. I was invited to a party well over a year ago and went really just because it was a friend and I like to be social. I actually didn't plan on buying anything. I had heard about LLR, but wasn't really interested. I browsed the racks she had set up in the basement--the shirts looked boxy, I didn't need any maxi skirts, and I didn't actually dig any of the patterns. Then I came across a pink jersey pencil skirt with flowers embossed on it and I fell in love. I tried it on and that was the day I became addicted to LLR.

The Pros of the Cassie? It's a pencil skirt that feels like yoga pants. I've never been one to just wear skirts, but I wear my Cassies all the flippin' time--just around the house even. I repeat: They are SO comfy. Here are three different looks with that first Cassie I bought:

Left: All snazzed up. Comfy or whatever, tuck a nice blouse into this puppy and you're dressed to the nines and still feeling great. (Except for maybe if you add heels. ;) )
Center: I love pairing it with a loose, flowy v-neck or tee shirt. It's great to slip on a pair of flip flops and chill at the beach. (Which yes, I have totally done. That comfy. Do you believe me yet?)
Right: And just tuck that v-neck or t-shirt in and you have a great, something in between.

Here's another Cassie I have. It's a size smaller than this one (LLR is known for being able to rock many different sizes in a style for different types of looks. For instance, I could probably wear a size up for a looser pencil skirt look.)

For this set of photos, I used the same two pieces to create some different styles. A black Irma (worn a size smaller than my usual buy for a closer fit) and a striped cassie--it's a little bit different material than the one above. It's a tee shirt jersey, same was the Irma I'm wearing.
Left: Casual with the Irma loose. I've added heels to this exact outfit and looked pretty nice for church. Or slip on your flip flops or nicer sandals and you have a more casual look.
Center: The same Irma tucked in and the skirt pulled up to my high waist. (That's the skinniest part for me so it's a pretty flattering look on me. Experiment with where your best waist is for when you tuck in.)
Right: The top of this Cassie is perfect for rolling like yoga pants, so I've done that for a slightly shorter skirt, then I tied the Irma up. Again, depending on your accessories, I think this is easily a casual or dressed up look.

And my newest Cassie, which I'm SO in love with. It's an ADORABLE floral and chevron pattern. I've been looking for a nice floral pencil skirt for a while. I've seen lots of cute, cute, cute outfits on pinterest that have them. This one was spot on perfect for me and I knew it the second Ashleigh sent me a picture of it.

In both these pics I'm pressed down, but I think you get the gist of dressing up this skirt, right??
So on the left is what I did when I got home fro church yesterday. I'd worn this skirt with a cardigan and a Downeast cap sleeve in mint. I threw on this comfy color run t-shirt and hung out the rest of the day.
On the right, if you saw my earlier LLR posts on Instagram, you might have heard that in the last package Ash sent me, I accidentally coordinated all the clothes! Ha. HOW CUTE is this Randy with my pencil skirt? Give me some flip flops and let's hang out for the day. I love it.

The Cons.

Um, literally with the Cassie I have no downsides. I just don't. (I do have some thing with some of the other clothes, so if you're one of those trolls who needs negativity, stay tuned. ;) )

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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