Friday, October 20, 2017

All That Makes Life Bright by Josi S. Kilpack

All That Makes Life Bright: The Life and Love of Harriet Beecher Stowe

Author: Josi S. Kilpack

Publisher: Shadow Mountain

Published: September 5th, 2017

ISBN13: 9781629723419

Paperback: 336 pages

FTC FYI: I received an ARC from the publisher, all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Goodreads Summary

When Harriet Beecher marries Calvin Stowe on January 6, 1836, she is sure her future will be filled romance, eventually a family, and continued opportunities to develop as a writer. Her husband Calvin is completely supportive and said she must be a literary woman. Harriet's sister, Catharine, worries she will lose her identity in marriage, but she is determined to preserve her independent spirit. Deeply religious, she strongly believes God has called her to fulfill the roles of wife and writer and will help her accomplish everything she was born to do.

Two months after her wedding Harriet discovers she is pregnant just as Calvin prepares to leave for a European business trip. Alone, Harriet is overwhelmed-being a wife has been harder than she thought and being an expectant mother feels like living another woman's life. Knowing that part of Calvin still cherishes the memory of his first wife, Harriet begins to question her place in her husband's heart and yearns for his return; his letters are no substitute for having him home. When Calvin returns, however, nothing seems to have turned out as planned.

Struggling to balance the demands of motherhood with her passion for writing and her desire to be a part of the social change in Ohio, Harriet works to build a life with her beloved Calvin despite differing temperaments and expectations.

Can their love endure, especially after "I do"? Can she recapture the first blush of new love and find the true beauty in her marriage?

My Review

Josi has a wonderful way of bringing characters to life.  I didn't know much about Harriet Beecher Stowe and this novel was a wonderful (fictional) portrayal of who she was.  As well as of her husband Calvin and other family members.  Harriet was brought to life in this book and reading it made me appreciate and commend her life and achievements.  I applauded the author's research and the care she put into writing this book.  As always, I loved Josi's explanations in the author notes of the real events versus her own input.  There are some very touching and beautiful moments in the book as well.  

5 out of 5 stars.

Author Links

Goodreads / Website / Twitter

Purchase Links

Amazon ebook / Amazon paperback / Deseret Book

Mustaches for Maddie by Shelly Brown/Chad Morris -- Blog Tour

Mustaches for Maddie

Authors: Shelly Brown and Chad Morris

Publisher: Shadow Mountain

Published: October 3rd, 2017

Paperback: 256 pages

ISBN13: 9781629723303

FTC FYI: I received a paperback ARC from the publisher, all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Goodreads Summary

Maddie is a normal twelve-year-old girl. Well, except for the fake mustaches she carries in her pocket. She likes to make people laugh and slapping on a mustache, especially a fuzzy pink or neon green one, always gets a smile. Maddie hopes that the class queen, Cassie, will find her mustaches as funny as she does and want to play with her at recess. She's been self-conscious lately because her right arm only feels normal when it's curled against her chest and she's constantly tripping over her feet. But that's probably just part of growing up and not something weird, right?

When Maddie's arm continues to bother her, her parents take her to a doctor who gives them a shocking diagnosis: the cause of the abnormal behavior of her limbs is a brain tumor and she must have surgery to remove it. She's understandably afraid as he describes the procedure, but knows she must find a way to be brave and must face her fears--all of them--at the hospital, at home and at school.

She will need all of her courage not only to face her illness, but also to face Cassie at school. Both Cassie and Maddie are auditioning for the same role in the school play, but when Cassie accuses Maddie of lying about her tumor in order to get attention, Cassie's bossiness turns into bullying.

And as Maddie's surgery approaches, she begins to worry more and more about the outcome. What if something goes wrong? What if the doctors don't get all the tumor out of her brain? What will happen to her family? What will happen to her?

It will take all of Maddie's vibrant imagination, a lot of kindness-both given and received-and of course, the perfect mustache to overcome the tough stuff ahead of her.

My Review

I absolutely loved Mustaches for Maddie. Maddie is thoughtful, kind and so funny. I loved, loved, loved her imagination, which help carry her through her hard times. Maddie is so creative and caring.  Mustaches for Maddie is based on the real life story of authors Shelly Brown and Chad Morris's daughter Maddie and her experience with a brain tumor. I felt the story was heart-felt and truly wonderful. I loved how the kids (and adults) came together in the story, all to support a darling girl who loved mustaches. This book is so funny and at times brought tears to my eyes. 

5 out of 5 stars.

Author Links

Chad Website / Shelly Website / Chad Twitter / Shelly Twitter

Purchase Links

Amazon hardback / Amazon ebook / Amazon paperback / Deseret Book

Friday, October 13, 2017

Topaz Reign by Teresa Richards - Blog Tour/Giveaway

Topaz Reign

Author: Teresa Reign

Publisher: Evernight Teen

Published: Sept. 29, 2017

Paperback: 362 pages

ISBN13: 9781773394339

FTC FYI: I received a PDF copy from the author, all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Goodreads Summary

Fairy tales are simply tales, told and re-told, but changed over time.

It has been four months since Maggie learned the dark truth behind the tale of the Princess and the Pea and freed Princess Lindy from the cursed Emerald. Lindy is now back in the past where she belongs, queen of her tiny Scandinavian country, and Maggie is a fully reformed ex-stalker.

Except … she can’t stop doing internet searches on Lindy and her country.

One morning, Maggie wakes to find history turned on its head. Apparently, you can’t destroy a centuries-old curse without consequence. In order to prevent the changes in history from wiping out the present, Maggie resurrects her stalking gene and learns that fairy tales don’t stay dead for long. Or at all.

Back in 1623, Lindy is juggling a threat to her family, a handsome new guard she’s not supposed to have feelings for, and a cursed Topaz with ties to the tale of Thumbelina. When past and present collide, Lindy and Maggie are brought together again, and another of Andersen’s tales turns from twisted fiction to chilling fact.

My Review

Topaz Reign is another great fairytale re-telling from Teresa Richards.  It was a really great adventure and a very fun, exciting read.  I really love these characters.  Lindy is so brave and strong, Maggie too.  As I mentioned in my review for Emerald Bound, this author writes teenagers very well.  I appreciated how real the girls were.  There were so many enjoyable twists and turns that I could not turn pages fast enough to see what was going to happen next.  I loved the mystery of the "pearl" and "topaz" that had impact on so many characters and how the author brought it all together was great. I really liked how the book was written, with the POV changes from Lindy and Maggie.  Chapters would end in such a way that I had to keep reading to see what would happen.

5 out of 5 stars.

Author Links

Tour Link / Twitter / Website

Purchase Links

Amazon ebook / Amazon paperback  / Barnes and Noble

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Safe House by Traci Hunter Abramson - Blog Tour

Safe House

Author: Traci Hunter Abramson

Publisher: Covenant

Published: October 1, 2017

ISBN13: 9781524402754

Paperback: 293 pages

FTC FYI: I received a paperback copy from the publisher, all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Goodreads Summary

The guardians, the shadowy heroes of the top-secret program designed to protect members of the most elite government organizations, are being hunted down one by one. There is a single explanation: a traitor must be embedded somewhere in their midst. But if they themselves are the target, who will protect them?

CIA operative Renee Niezen has heard tales of the guardians, though she's never really believed in their existence—until she is approached by Charlotte, an old friend who desperately needs her help to stop the systematic destruction of the guardian program. Renee accepts the plea for assistance, but not everyone is thrilled to have her on the team. Kade—one of the last guardians standing—is unimpressed with Renee's qualifications and turns instead to the legendary Saint Squad for help. But when Renee is caught in the crosshairs, Kade must set aside his antagonism for the woman in order to protect her. Their grudging alliance soon develops into much more—but before the pair can examine their feelings, their investigation takes a dramatic twist. With lives on the line, Renee and Kade must use their spy training at every turn as they draw dangerously close to the shocking truth.

My Review

Every new book I read of Traci's becomes my new favorite.  Safe House is awesome! Surprises and suspense on every page. I could not put it down and stayed up WAY past my bedtime so I could finish.  I had to know what was going to happen!  It was so great to have the Saint Squad be in this book too.  I really appreciated the subtle things Traci would do to remind the reader about character traits of the Saint Squad, as it's been a little while since I've read a Saint Squad book.  They are such great characters and Traci writes them so well.  I loved Kade and Renee.  They worked well together and I loved their compatibility.  Renee is so smart and savvy and she really surprised Kade with how awesome she is! This book is fast-paced and very exciting.  So many twists and turns, I loved every minute.  

5 out of 5 stars.  The way it ended, I'm hoping there is another book about The Guardians!

Author Links

Goodreads / Twitter / Website

Purchase Links

Amazon Kindle / Amazon paperback / Barnes and Noble / Deseret Book


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Fearless Groom by Cami Checketts - Spotlight

Find The Fearless Groom on Amazon. Free in KU library.
A bachelor auction, a hot football player, and the right woman to bring him to his knees.

Izzy Knight walked away from her father’s billions and his Titans football team to become a nurse practitioner at a children’s hospital. She’s busy and accomplished and certainly has no room in her life for a larger-than-life football player who goes through women faster than she completes a shift at the hospital.

Xavier Newton loves football but hates the games that go along with it. When the owner of the Titans forces him and his buddies to be sold like cattle at a bachelor auction he barely endures the event, until a feisty brunette bids half a million dollars for him. He’s completely drawn to Izzy, but when he finds out her father is the owner of the Titans sparks fly and everybody’s loyalties are challenged.
Can these two find love when they don’t know who’s waiting to tackle them from the blindside?

River Whispers by Rachelle J. Christensen - Book Launch/Giveaway

I am thrilled to show you the cover and announce the release of 
RIVER WHISPERS by Rachelle J. Christensen

Available now!
Get your copy on Amazon.
Enter the giveaway here.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

For Love or Honor by Sarah M. Eden

For Love or Honor

Author: Sarah M. Eden

Publisher: Covenant

Published: October 1st, 2017

ISB13: 9781524402563

Paperback: 256 pages

FTC FYI: I received a copy from the publisher, all views and opinions expressed are my own.

Goodreads Summary

From the moment they met, Marjie’s heart has belonged to handsome Captain Stanley Jonquil, younger brother of the Earl of Lampton. But six long months ago, when Stanley’s sense of honor required that he do as he had sworn and return to the Continent to fight in defense of King and country, neither Stanley nor Marjie could have dreamed what the cost of his service would be. It has been ages since Stanley last wrote, and Marjie and the Jonquil family are plagued by his unknown fate—until the day he unexpectedly reappears. Marjie’s joy, however, is quickly shadowed by confusion—the aloof, battle-worn soldier before her is not the man he once was. In the wake of Stanley’s blatant disinterest in renewing their acquaintance, Marjie’s devastation turns to determination as she vows to help him find peace. But his scars run far deeper than anyone realizes. Despite his feelings for her, Stanley believes Marjie deserves a man whose hands are not stained with the violence of battlefields and whose mind and heart are not haunted by the horrors he has seen. Honor requires Stanley to return once more to the life he has grown to despise, one he knows will destroy him in the end, even as his heart beckons him to stay with Marjie, the only woman he could ever love, and the promise, at last, of redemption.

My Review

For Love or Honor is another masterpiece by Sarah Eden.  Sarah is one of my favorite authors.  I can always count on a well developed, lovely story from her.  Her writing is perfect.  This book is heartbreakingly beautiful.  I ached for Stanley and his hardships.  He is so brave, but needed to learn to forgive himself for the battlefield.  Accepting his wounds was his toughest battle.  I loved Marjie, she had her own hardships to overcome as well, but I loved how strong she was.  Pluck was a delight.  He brought humor and help wherever he was.  There is a great scene with Pluck and Marjie, that is very touching.  Sorrel had her struggles, but I admire her character and the amazing women she is.  Phillip was wonderfully Phillip.  I love all the Jonquil brothers, but he holds a special place in my heart.    

5 out of 5 stars.  I loved this book. It makes me want to read all the Jonquil books again and again.

Author Links

Website / Twitter / Goodreads / Facebook

Purchase Links

Amazon paperback / Amazon ebook / Barnes and Noble / Deseret Book / Seagull Book

a Rafflecopter giveaway