Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Review: When Sparrows Fall by Meg Moseley

Title:When Sparrows Fall
Author:Meg Moseley
Publisher:Random House
Imprint:Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers
Pub. Date:05/03/2011
ISBN:1601423551 (ISBN13: 9781601423559)
Pages:352




Freedom. Safety. Love. Miranda vows to reclaim them--for herself, and for her children.
 
A widow and mother of six, Miranda Hanford leads a quiet, private life. When the pastor of her close-knit church announces his plans to move the entire congregation to another state, Miranda jumps at the opportunity to dissolve ties with Mason Chandler and his controlling method of ruling his flock. But then Mason threatens to unearth secrets from her past, and Miranda feels trapped, terrified she’ll be unable to protect her children.

College professor Jack Hanford is more than surprised when he gets a call from his estranged sister-in-law’s oldest son, Timothy, informing him that Miranda has taken a serious fall and he has been named legal guardian of her children while she recovers. Quickly charmed by Miranda’s children, Jack brings some much-needed life into the sheltered household. But his constant challenging of the family’s conservative lifestyle makes the recovering mother uneasy and defensive—despite Jack’s unnerving appeal.

As Jack tries to make sense of the mysterious Miranda and the secrets she holds so tightly, Mason’s pressure on her increases. With her emotions stirring and freedom calling, can Miranda find a way to unshackle her family without losing everything?



(Summary and cover via Goodreads)

              **************************************************


Miranda is a widowed mother of 6, and a member of a very strict Christian sect. When her minister says that God has told him the entire congregation must move, Miranda begins to have second thoughts about his ability to communicate with the heavens. However, her minister Mason holds a secret over Miranda's head that threatens everything she holds dear. After Miranda has an accident, her brother-in-law Jack finds out that he was named guardian of the children. Jack becomes determined to bring Miranda and her children into a more modern way of living, but he finds himself at odds with Miranda herself. Miranda will do whatever it takes to save her family, and she'll need all the support that she can get.

I found myself totally drawn into this book from the beginning. Being fairly familiar with some of the very conservative Christian sects in this country, I recognized some of the things that Miranda's group believed in. Miranda is a woman who feels smothered by the mere memory of her husband. He found a vulnerable young girl and made her feel important and wanted. Unfortunately this also meant taking part in very restrictive lifestyle. Miranda is slowly starting to realize that this may not be the exact lifestyle she wants her children growing up in. Of course, there's also the matter of a secret that Miranda has been harboring, and it's a doozy. Miranda forces herself to find strength beyond herself to be able to deal with all this.

Then there is Jack Hanford. He's thrown into this situation as guardian of six very sheltered children with no advance warning. Jack is forced to confront his prejudices and his past when dealing with this family. This book does an amazing job of walking the line and showing the difference between extremism and just different beliefs. The author makes a very definite point in the differences between bad homeschooling and good homeschooling or the good and bad religion can do. This book was so interesting, and you get pulled into the story. Miranda is working toward finding the truth that works for her, and that's why this book is so fascinating.

Book provided for review.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Jubilee's Journey Book Blast

Welcome to the book blast for Jubilee's Journey by Bette Lee Crosby!

Jubilee's Journey Book Cover

JUBILEE’S JOURNEY…FPA PRESIDENT’S BOOK AWARD GOLD MEDAL WINNER   

When tragedy strikes a West Virginia coal mining family, two children start out on a trek that they hope will lead them to a new life. Before a day passes, the children are separated and the boy is caught up in a robbery not of his making. If his sister can find him, she may be able to save him. The problem is she’s only seven years old, and who’s going to believe a kid?   

Purchase Your Copy

 Excerpts – Popular Highlights:  

" His death came as no surprise to anyone. He was one of the countless men forever lost to the mine. They were men loved and mourned by their families, but to the world they were faceless, nameless people, not worthy of mention in the Charleston Times."  

“When Jubilee said she was scared going to a place she didn’t know, I told her not to worry. I said it was a good thing ‘cause we was going to see an aunt we never even knew we had. Then she started smiling. The whole time I was telling her how good everything was gonna be, I was wishing I had someone to tell me the same thing.”  

“I guess God looks past what you claim to want and gives you what you need.”  

“We can plan ahead until we’re blue in the face, but regardless of what we do events will happen as they will. The truth is we don’t have a bean of say in the matter.”    

Bette
 

Author Bette Lee Crosby

Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby brings the wit and wisdom of her Southern Mama to works of fiction—the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away. “Storytelling is in my blood,” Crosby laughingly admits, “My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write.” Crosby’s work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. Since then, she has gone on to win another fifteen literary awards, including the Royal Palm Literary Award, The Reviewer’s Choice Award, and the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal. A third book in her Wyattsville Series is scheduled for release in January 2015 and the third book in the Serendipity Series will follow in the Spring of 2015.  


   

BookBlast Giveaway

$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 10/3/14

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.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Review: Love Story by Jennifer Echols

Title:Love Story
Author:Jennifer Echols
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Imprint:MTV Books
Pub. Date:07/19/2011
ISBN:1439178321 (ISBN13: 9781439178324)
Pages:256




For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions--it's her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family's racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin's college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she's sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He's joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin's heart with longing. Now she's not just imagining what might have been. She's writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true.






(Summary and cover via Goodreads)

              **************************************************


Erin is an aspiring writer. Specifically, she's an aspiring romance novelist. In her freshman creative writing seminar, Erin writes a saucy tale based a little bit on true life. Little does she know her "stable boy" is about to come crash her class and shake things up in a major way. Erin soon finds herself caught up in a contest of wills with Hunter, and the war is being fought through their stories.

I actually found this book to be very fun. The characters were all enjoyable, and the book reads super fast. Using Erin's and Hunter's stories to progress the plot was interesting. It's easy to sympathize with Erin, who's desire to follow her heart and write has put her at odds with her grandmother. Erin's grandmother desperately wants Erin to take over the family horse farm one day, and expects her to major in business to do so. This sets up a bit of an awkward relationship between Erin and Hunter, her grandmother's new chosen heir. Although it's fairly easy to see where the story is going, it's still enjoyable...until the end

Oh the end. It was so abrupt. I was totally into this story, and then BOOM. The end. I found myself flipping back to make sure I hadn't missed anything. It almost felt like the author reached an arbitrary page or word limit and just stopped the story. I felt vastly unsatisfied after having thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the book. I still think this book is worth a read, but just be prepared for a sudden end.

Galley provided by publisher for review.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Hope After Suicide Blog Tour


Welcome to the blog tour for Hope After Suicide by Wendy Parmley!



We all have a story—hidden secrets buried in dark and rocky earth. Our task is to unearth—to release the pain and discover the good, discover the healing, discover the love. Uncovering the darkness makes space for the light.

After her mother took her own life, Wendy Parmley learned firsthand the heartache, despair, and loneliness that accompanies losing a loved one to suicide. At one point she even contemplated taking her own life as well. In this uplifting true narrative, you too can discover how to:
  • Forgive yourself and others
  • Open your heart
  • Seek help when you need it
  • Draw closer to the divine
Embrace the light and learn how to heal your soul and overcome loss as you read this touching and tender account of a woman opening her heart years after her mother’s suicide.


Purchase Hope After Suicide: One Woman’s Journey from Darkness to Light at:


Courtesy of Alyse Neibaur at Diamond Eye

Wendy Parmley suffered a disabling bike accident in September 2011.  Unable to return to her 20 year nursing career because of the continued effects of her injuries, Wendy began the slow and painful penning of her angel mother’s story and Wendy’s healing journey following her mom’s suicide death.  Wendy’s mom took her own life when just 31 years old, leaving behind her husband of thirteen years and their five young children.

Wendy has long advocated for suicide prevention and has participated on various professional and community based groups dedicated to that end.  She also recognizes the need to unashamedly support those who must continue to live in the painful aftermath of a loved one’s suicide and passionately lends her voice to that cause.

Prior to her bike accident, Wendy worked in nursing leadership for 14 years, earning her MBA degree from Brigham Young University in 2007.  Despite her continued limitations, Wendy is grateful to spend more time with the love of her life, her husband Mark.  She is ever grateful for his support and the support of their three married sons and their wives, their amazing daughter, and their beautiful two grandchildren who fill their life with sunshine.

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Review:

Wendy was just 12 years old when she was awoken by the cries of her father. Her life would never be the same. Her very young mother had just died, and Wendy was left as the oldest of 5 children. To make things even more difficult, Wendy soon discovered that her mother had actually taken her own life. It's not until Wendy is an adult that she begins to truly process what happened. As she begins her journey to deal with the pain of her mother's suicide, Wendy manages to discover that a wound she thought would remain raw forever can in fact be healed. Wendy shares her journey in this book.

Suicide and mental illness have been brought to the forefront of public awareness due to the recent suicide of actor Robin Williams. This is a subject that is very difficult for a lot of people to understand. What drives a person to take their own life? The author of this book had to try and figure that out for herself very early in life. This book gives a very realistic and emotional view of what it is like to be the child of someone who must deal with the suicide of a very close loved one. Wendy thought her mother could do virtually no wrong, and yet her mother had demons that she could not escape. However, Wendy manages to find great hope in her religion and beliefs. Unfortunately she must first progress through the pain again first.

Wendy doesn't hide anything in this book, and a lot of her family's skeletons are laid out for all to see. I think this is a good thing though. None of us come from perfect families or ideal situations in life, and the more we see that others have issues too the more we can truly bear each others burdens. This book takes an unflinching look at suicide and loss, but the author manages to keep anyone from looking like a bad guy. She is able to see the good in so many things. While this book wasn't an easy read per se, it was a very interesting read. I couldn't put it down. It helped me to see that even in the darkest of times, we can find hope. That is a very inspiring thing.

Book provided for review.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Oh Baby! Book Blast


Welcome to the book blast for Oh Baby! (Diary of a Real Payne) by Annie Tipton!


Diary of a Real Payne Oh Baby by Annie Tipton


Title: Oh Baby! (Diary of a Real Payne, Book 3) | Author: Annie Tipton | Publication Date: September 1, 2014 | Publisher: Barbour Books | Pages: 195 | Recommended Ages: 8 to 12 

Summary: 

In this final fabulous release in the Diary of a Real Payne series you’ll find yourself ROTFL with EJ’s hilarious adventures with a new little Payne. The Payne family has just adopted a roly-poly package of pudge with bright eyes and a sparkling smile. In true sisterly fashion, EJ can’t wait to teach baby Faith how to be amazing at everything (just like her big sis!). But when EJ learns that she’s losing her role as flower girl to the adorable newcomer in an upcoming wedding, it’s almost more than she can handle. In classic EJ form, she dreams up even more fantastic adventures for herself—promising colossal fun as you become part of her daydreams in Oh Baby!  

Purchase

Amazon | CBD | The Book Depository | Barbour Books | Barnes & Noble

 
You can purchase the first two books in the series through Amazon by clicking the book covers below.

Church Camp Chaos Diary of a Real Payne by Annie Tipton
Diary of a Real Payne Book 1 True Story by Annie Tipton
                         

About the Author

Annie Tipton Author


Award-winning author Annie Tipton made up her first story at the ripe old age of two when she asked her mom to write it down for her. (Hey, she was just two—she didn’t know how to make letters yet!) Since then she has read and written many words as a student, newspaper reporter, author, and editor. A native of Wooster, Ohio, Tipton received a bachelor’s degree in Communications at Milligan College in Northeast Tennessee. She currently resides in New Philadelphia, Ohio.

Facebook Fan Page | Goodreads

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card


Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash prize (winner's choice)
Contest Ends: September 30, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. The winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by Barbour Books and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Thirty-Two Going on Spinster Book Blast

Welcome to the book blast for Thirty-Two Going on Spinster by Becky Monson!

thirty two


Julia Dorning is a spinster, or at least on the road to becoming one. She has no social life, hates her job, and lives in her parent’s basement with her cat, Charlie.

With the arrival of Jared Moody, the new hire at work, Julia’s mundane life is suddenly turned upside down. Her instant (and totally ridiculous) crush on the new guy causes Julia to finally make some long-overdue changes, in hopes to find a life that includes more than baking and hanging out with Charlie.

But when the biggest and most unexpected change comes, will the new and improved Julia be able to overcome it? Or will she go back to her spinster ways?

Purchase your copy for just $2.99!!

   Becky Monson

Author Becky Monson 
 By day, Becky Monson is a mother of three young children, and a wife. By night, she escapes with reading books and writing. In her debut novel, Becky uses humor and true-life experiences to bring her characters to life. She loves all things chick-lit (movies, books, etc), and wishes she had a British accent. She has recently given up Diet Coke for the fiftieth time and is hopeful time will last... But it probably won't. Becky runs a large book club on Facebook called "This Chick Reads".   


 

BookBlast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 9/30/14

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.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fighting for Arielle Blog Tour


Welcome to the blog tour for Fighting for Arielle by Karina Sharp!
Synopsis
Arielle Abbott has the world at her fingertips but soon loses her way. As a young Navy wife, she thought she was headed for a life of adventure, but instead found herself in an unhappy marriage to a controlling man. In a chance meeting with a handsome stranger named Mick, Arielle begins to envision a way out. She soon finds out that Mick is a Navy JAG officer. He is the person best in a position to help her. However, she begins to fall for him and learns that their relationship is taboo. With just a pet tortoise and her new friend Macy to keep her sane, Arielle embarks on a journey to find self-fulfillment and love.
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Excerpt
“What are you afraid of?” he asks, still kissing me lightly.
“I'm afraid that if I take the leap, you will watch me fall and then tell me how stupid I was for leaping in the first place. Against all of my rationale and efforts otherwise, I have fallen for you. You have my heart, which means you control it. My poor heart is just pieced together with duct tape around it. I'm afraid if I allow you to keep it that when you return it, because I am certain you will, it will be beyond repair.”

I turn my body into his and worry he’s going to tell me I’m right.

He looks down at me, water rolling off the ends of his hair. “If you give me your heart, I will gently remove the duct tape as you let go of your fears and painstakingly sew it together piece by piece, stitch by stitch. I will fill any gaps or missing pieces with my love and ensure that it will be nothing but whole and delicate and beautiful ever again, just like you. I believe in you. I believe in us. If you'll let me, I will show you how far a little faith can take you.”

His words make my legs feel as if they could just melt into the ground, my heart race, my stomach drop, and send electrical pulses coursing throughout my appendages. I’m not sure that I am what he needs or if I am even right for him, but I do know he is what I need. I need him like I need air in my lungs and blood in my veins. The same sense of urgency I felt the first time I told him to kiss me returns, but this time, I need more than just his kisses. I need all of him.

I kiss his mouth and whisper in his ear, “When we get back, we’re going to shower, and then you’re going to make love to me like you never made love to anyone before. But first, we have to get there.”

I feel his excitement through his shorts and his breathing deepens.

“And McCrary…”
He takes a deep swallow and whispers out, “Yes?”
I brush my lips against his earlobe and feel the hair on the back of his neck stand up. “Tag! “You’re it!” I take off running.

From behind me, I hear him yell, “You’re evil!”




MeetTheAuthor
Karina Sharp is a former Navy spouse and former Navy Command Family Ombudsman. Karina is passionate about creating stories about relationships with strong female characters who not only find romance, but also learn about themselves in the process.

Karina Sharp was born in Southeast Texas, but has lived all over the country. Karina holds a Master’s of Education in Counseling Psychology from the University of Louisville and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from Chaminade University of Honolulu.

She has worked with a diverse population of clients- from convicted felons to the severely mentally ill to adolescents who have been placed in the care of the Child and Family Services, and she uses her experiences as inspiration to help give others a voice. 

When she is not writing, Karina teaches aerobics, and runs races. She has also danced burlesque. 

Karina lives in Louisville, KY with her husband, their two children, two chocolate labs, and two turtles.
 

Review:

Arielle longed for adventure and thought she would get it with a husband in the Navy. Instead, she entered a life of unhappiness and loneliness. Living in Hawaii should be paradise, but it has turned out to be anything but that. Finally finding the strength to try and move on, Arielle meets the super handsome Mick. They have an instant attraction, but naturally things turn out to be much more complicated than either of them could have hoped for. Arielle will have to draw strength she never knew she had to carve out the life that she knows she deserves.

This story deals with some deep stuff, and the author makes things feel very real. You get a real feel for Arielle, and you can't help but want her to be happy. She struggles with a lot of different things, but most of all she just wants to be loved and appreciated. This is where Mick comes in. He's mysterious and handsome. He can help to provide Arielle with everything she is craving in more ways than one. Unfortunately this also complicates things. This puts Arielle in the position to have to be strong enough to go after what she truly wants.

Arielle also has a great supporting cast, and they help to keep the story from getting too bogged down in all the feelings. Arielle is an adult, and she shows this in many ways. This is a mature story that deals with mature things, but it also manages to keep a sense of humor throughout. This has story and romance, and it is a great read for a rainy day. Sit down and relax, because you won't want to get up until you are done.

Book provided for review.


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