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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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How Much Do You Love Me Blog Tour


Welcome to the blog tour for How Much Do You Love Me? by Paul Mark Tag!


Lovers James and Keiko marry quickly before James goes to World War II and Keiko to an internment camp. Sixty years later their daughter Kazuko, born in the camps, uncovers a secret that could overwhelm the family. Discover the very definition of human love and self-sacrifice in this saga of war, mystery, and romance.


Paul Mark Tag graduated with multiple degrees in meteorology from Pennsylvania State University and worked for the Naval Research Laboratory as a research scientist for over thirty years before retiring to write fiction. For years prior to retirement, and the following year exclusively, he honed his skills writing short stories. These have been published in StoryBytes, Potpourri, Green’s Magazine, and The Storyteller, as well as The Errant Ricochet: Max Raeburn’s Legacy.In 2005, he self-published his first thriller, Category 5,which took advantage of his knowledge of meteorology and weather modification, followed by Prophecy and White Thaw: The Helheim Conspiracy. With his historical novel How Much Do You Love Me? he has switched genres. He lives with his wife, Becky, in Monterey, California.

Review:

The Tanaka family works hard and appreciate all the opportunities they've been given. The father, Isamu, moved to the United States looking for work. He eventually acquired a picture bride, Akemi, and they raised a wonderful family of 4 children. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor though, everything began to change. Freedoms they had taken for granted suddenly seemed taken away from them. People began to question their loyalty. The Japanese living in the US were soon forced to leave everything they had and live in camps. Daughter Keiko has fallen in love with someone who is not Japanese, and so she hurries and marries him before he leaves for for war. Meanwhile, in the present, Keiko's two children are dealing with their mother's illness. A mysterious stranger come to visit, and Shizuka and Patrick begin to learn all about the past their parents tried to hide. What they learn changes everything.

I was very interested in this book. The internment camps during World War II are an awful part of our history that I feel we often try to forget. This book was an excellent reminder of a past that should never be repeated. Mixed in with the stories of life in the camp is a story of Keiko Tanaka Armstrong's two children. Their mother is at the end of her life, and her children are finding out things they never knew about their family. Something doesn't seem quite right though, and as Shizuka works to unravel the mystery, things become even stranger than she had imagined.

I actually guessed the resolution to the mystery then thought I must be wrong because it was kind of out there. Turns out I was correct! It made for a very sad ending though. I wanted to give everyone involved more time to work through things, but that was not to be. There is a little romance, a little mystery, and a lot of history in this book. The jumping back and forth from past to present wasn't too jarring for me, so that helped me to enjoy the book. Sometimes I did want to skip ahead though as the stream of one part of the story was sometimes interrupted to get to the other part of the story. This was an enjoyable book to read though. History buffs and people interested in the treatment of the people in internment camps should definitely read this book.

Book provided for review.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Finding Fuzzy Book Blast

Welcome to the book blast for Finding Fuzzy by Cat Michaels!

Finding Fuzzy by Cat Michaels


Title: Finding Fuzzy: A "You-Decide Tale" of a Lost Friend (Sweet T Tales) | Author: Cat Michaels | Illustrator: Irene A. Jahns | Publication Date: March 26, 2014 | Publisher: 2101 Ink | Pages: 44 | Recommended Ages: 5 to 10 | Reviewed by: Renee (Mother)

Summary: Illustrated chapter book for early readers (Gr. K-3) Blue sky ... Warm sea ... Sugar-sand beach ... The perfect family vacation on the Carolina coast ... Except the trip takes a nosedive when Jenna loses Fuzzy, her plush blue rabbit pal. Jenna learns to carry on without him. But when she stumbles across a secret, she faces the toughest decision of her young life. And YOU, the reader, will help her make that choice and come up with the ending of this You-Decide tale. Don't worry. Cat shows you how in her book and on her website. So, slip on your flip-flops and join Jenna at the shore. It's time to decide YOUR ending for Finding Fuzzy. Caution: Irene A. Jahn's ocean-themed watercolors have been known to cause beach fever.

"Finding Fuzzy" placed second in the Purple Dragonfly Writing contest, a national contest for children's book authors, in the category of chapter books.

Purple Dragonfly Award - Second Place - Finding Fuzzy
 

Book Preview

 

Purchase

Amazon

About the Author: Cat Michaels

Cat Michaels Author


CAT MICHAELS started writing stories in fourth grade and hasn’t stopped since. After earning an M.S. degree in special education from the University of Kansas, she spent two decades helping students from kindergarten to college reach their potential. She also managed communication and resource development programs for an international high-tech company that included writing press releases and articles for trade journals. After recession and downsizings, she returned to her education roots, serving at a community college as a writing coach and learning specialist for students with Asperger’s syndrome and learning disabilities. Cat spins tales of everyday life, with a twist of magic or twinge of mystery, that open young minds to new ways of thinking and looking at the world. Illustrations by watercolor artist Irene A. Jahns help bring that world to life. Cat and her family live in North Carolina where she designs playful gardens, dabbles in all things digital, and writes.

* Download free pdf of chapter 1 and You-Decide pages by visiting http://www.catmichaelswriter.com/finding-fuzzy-a-you-decide-tale-of-a-lost-friend.html *

Website | Pinterest | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Google+

 

FREE Short Story Offer

Subscribe by email to Cat's Connections to receive updates, special offers, and to be among the first to hear about new releases by Cat Michaels. PLUS, when you sign up, you will receive a short story penned just for adults, Driving Down to Dillon: A Very-Short Story of Love and New Beginnings by Cat Michaels. Click on the cover below to subscribe to Cat's Connections.

PLUS... email subscribers to Cat's Connections will also receive 5 extra in the giveaway below.

Driving to Dillon by Cat Michaels
 

* Giveaway *


Amazon gift card - 30

 Prize: One winner will receive a $30 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash prize
Contest ends: September 19, 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. One 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 the author, Cat Michaels 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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Friday, August 22, 2014

Sense & Sensibility: A Latter-Day Tale Blog Tour


Welcome to the blog tour for Sense & Sensibility: A Latter-Day Tale by Rebecca H. Jamison!


Which is the key to love—passion or sensibility? Sensible Elly and romantic Maren are sisters trying to hold their family together in the wake of their father’s bankruptcy and death. As each unexpectedly encounters the madness and misadventures of love, will they ever find the true happiness they dream of? This modern reimagination of the Jane Austen favorite will capture your heart all over again.


Rebecca H. Jamison has lived on a live volcano, excavated the bones of a prehistoric mammal, and won first prize at a rigged chili cook-off. She wrote novels just for fun until she made a New Year’s resolution in 2011 to submit a manuscript to publishers. Her first two published works are Persuasion: A Latter-day Tale and Emma: A Latter-day TaleRebecca grew up in Virginia. She attended Brigham Young University, where she earned a BA and MA in English. In between college and graduate school, she served a mission to Portugal and the Cape Verde islands. Her job titles have included special education teacher’s aide, technical writer, English teacher, and stay-at-home mom. Rebecca enjoys running, dancing, reading, and watching detective shows. She lives with her husband and children in Utah. You can learn more about her atwww.rebeccahjamison.com

Review:

Elly and Maren are completely different. Elly uses her good sense to rule her life, while Maren wants passion to rule her life. After their father passes away, they find themselves caught in a desperate situation. Neither of them have worked for a while, and their mother's meager salary isn't paying the bills. Elly is forced to take a job at the company that ran her father's into the ground. It also happens to be owned by her ex-fiancee. Life is further complicated by Elly's growing attachment to Ethan, the brother of her ex-fiancee's wife. Elly will do whatever it takes to keep her family afloat, but this is further complicated by Maren's depression and their younger sister's autism. Will Elly's good sense prevail?

I love Jane Austen, and I have loved each of Rebecca Jamison's adaptations of some of my favorite Jane Austen books. I felt like the author made some particularly creative and bold choices in dealing with this story, and they really paid off for me. First of all, having Elly in a STEM field? I am all in for that. Also, choosing to have the youngest daughter, Grace, have autism was an interesting choice. It certainly makes sense in the context of the story though. It made for some beautiful moments with all the characters. Finally, I thought Maren's POV chapters were amazingly done. Mental illness (and depression in particular) have been on a lot of minds lately as of the writing of this review (August 2013). I thought the author did a great of job of making you feel what Maren was feeling. The utter hopelessness that she had. I wanted so much to be able to help Maren and make her feel better, and once again this choice makes sense in the story. I think Jane Austen would approve for sure.

There are lots of LDS cultural things that are a part of the story, so this would probably make the book slightly unapproachable to non-LDS readers. For me though, that makes it more interesting. The author has a very keen grasp on things that we do as a group that add to the overall interest of the story. Some of these of course are just a matter of "tradition" within the community, but it does make for an additional sense of relating to the story and characters. I loved this book and would definitely read it again. I can't wait to see what the author has cooking up next.

Book provided for review.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Karmack Book Blast

Welcome to the book blast for Karmack by J.C. Whyte!

Karmack by J.C. Whyte

Title: Karmack | Author: J.C. Whyte | Publication Date: June 6, 2013 | Publisher: Muse it Up Publishing | Pages: 140 | Recommended Age: 7+

Summary:

A strange little creature enters the lives of three tough guys at Higgins Elementary. And from that point on, pranks come back like boomerangs, smacking the bullies right in their fifth grade butts! Sully, the leader of the gang, is the only one who can see this creature, which he names Karmack. Sully learns that the creature’s job is to balance all the bad pranks the bullies have pulled over the years. Karmack warns that if this fails, “dreadful, awful doom” awaits them all. Sully soon realizes that he must save not only himself but his friends, who have no idea why they keep getting boomeranged by Karmack!

"Karmack" won First Place in the 2014 Purple Dragonfly Writing contest, a national contest for children's book authors, in the category of chapter books (e-Books).

Purple Dragonfly Book Awards - logo

Purchase the Book

Amazon (US) * Amazon (UK) * Muse It Up Publishing

Barnes and Noble * Omnilit * Bookstrand


About The Author: J.C. Whyte

J.C. White Author of Karmack


When J.C. Whyte was eleven, her 6th grade teacher gave a class assignment to write a poem about a sport. Realizing her classmates would probably choose popular American sports like baseball or football, J.C. decided to write about something different: golf. And to her complete surprise, the teacher found it comical; she was thereby encouraged to keep writing. Then over summer break, students were told to choose 26 books from a reading list and write a book report on each. J.C. was horrified! She wanted to enjoy her summer, not spend it reading! You see, J.C. was a very slow reader and didn’t much enjoy the experience. Plus, kids back then didn’t have all the fun books to choose from today. But that same teacher who had assigned the sports poem told J.C.’s mother she could write 26 stories instead of reading them. That was absolute genius! Although she didn’t actually write 26 stories (perhaps six?), J.C. submitted one which made her teacher laugh out loud in class. And she got an “A” on her summer reading assignment. J.C. has never forgotten that wise teacher who let her play to her strengths. So from the age of eleven, J.C. knew she wanted to be a writer. Yet by the time she reached college, she understood that writing stories seldom paid the bills. So she got her degrees in Journalism and Communications Management. Then for many years she channeled her creative energies in the field of Public Relations. Marriage, kids, and several more degrees and occupations later (including stints as a travel agent and paralegal), J.C. entered law school – mostly for the challenge of writing creative arguments for the court. But while in law school, she became a columnist for the student newsletter, writing humorous pieces on the strange and quirky life of a law student. She was absolutely thrilled when one of these articles was chosen for publication in The National Jurist, a magazine distributed to law students throughout the US. But after graduating and passing the Bar, J.C. realized within a few years that creative writing was still what made her heart sing. So now, as a grandma, she’s returned to writing. And with publication of her middle grade novel Karmack, she’s come full circle, back to where her writing journey began.

Website | Goodreads

 

* Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash prize
Contest ends: September 18, 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. One 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 the author, J.C. Whyte 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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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

One Dirty Bowl Blog Tour



Welcome to the blog tour for One Dirty Bowl: Fast Desserts, Faster Clean Up by Christina Dymock!


Quick desserts and even quicker clean up mean more time with your family and friends, and less time in the kitchen. With One Dirty Bowl, whip up show-stopping desserts like Hazelnut Puffs, Peanut Butter Truffle Bars, and White Chocolate and Strawberry Cupcakes, all while dirtying just one bowl. Grab your bowl and get ready to bake!

Find this book on Amazon!

About the author:
Christina Dymock graduated from the University of Utah with a B.S. in Public Relations. She has been published in Woman’s World Magazine and several Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and she is the author of 101 Things to do With Popcorn. She resides in Central Utah with her husband and four children. You can follow their cooking adventures at teachingyoungchefs.blogspot.com.

Review:

Since this is a cookbook I took a slightly different approach from my usual review. It just so happened that I had a youth activity for church coming up, so I volunteered to take over the desserts. My husband was going to be out of town, and he usually does the dishes, so I needed some easy things to make. This book advertised just that! I tried out 3 recipes, and I'll rate them on ease of making, taste, and number of actual dirty bowls I made.

One more thing I should clarify is that while I am not going to burn the kitchen down, my baking skills would probably be considered competent at best. I can make meringue, but I could never like run a bakery or anything. I'm your average home baker essentially.

First up was Chocolate Graham Cracker Cookies:



Ease (1-10): 8

Here's the deal, I had to crush graham crackers. I really hate doing that. It's hard for me for some reason. I probably ended up with some bigger chunks that I needed because of that. Beyond that it was super simple.

Taste (1-10): 10

Oh wow, these are super tasty. I'm not even the biggest chocolate fan, but these were superb. Something about the graham crackers in there was almost like having pretzels or something. The cookie was the perfect combination of a little chewy and a little crunchy. I made these the night before I needed them, and I was really afraid I would eat them all. They were raved about at the church activity as well.

Number of Dirty Bowls: 2

I mean, I had to crush graham crackers, and I did it in a bowl. Don't ask, but it worked. So technically I had two bowls to clean.

Next I tried Over-the-Moon Brownies:



Ease: 9

The batter was easy to mix because my stand mixer did most the work. The batter is also no joke though. It is crazy thick.

Taste: 9

I did make one small change to this recipe. It calls for walnuts and I loathe nuts of all kinds, so I left it out so I would want to taste it. They were good though. The cream cheese makes them super rich. For me, I thought they were slightly cakey for brownies, but the people I brought them to loved them.

Number of Dirty Bowls: 1


Finally I made the Peach Vanilla Bundt Cake:



Ease: 8

So I kind of had to Google how to cut up and peel peaches. My excuse is that my absent husband usually takes care of that. It was slightly more difficult than I anticipated from watching videos, but I got it done. The rest was very simple.

Taste: 8

Mine came out not very sweet and kind of dry. The dryness may have been user error though. I only had one small cup of vanilla yogurt, so I just threw all of it in. It may not have been quite enough though. Personally I thought the taste was really good, but it was not a hit with the kids. One serving suggestion was whipped cream, and that or a glaze probably would have raised this to a 10.

Number of Dirty Bowls: 2

I put my cut up peaches in one, okay?

Overall I found this to be a great book. It delivered on tasty treats with very little mess. I was able to make 3 desserts over 2 days with one 4 year old under foot the entire time. I had very little left over, so they must have been really good. This book has some other interesting recipes I'll try out at another time, but if you want tasty treats with little clean up you should check this one out for sure.

Book provided for review.