Thursday, June 27, 2013

Evertaster Blog Tour

Evertaster Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for the Evertaster series by Adam Glandon Sidwell!
 

BATTLES. BLUEBERRIES. BOVINES.
TORBJORN AND STORFJELL’S HISTORY UNFOLDS IN AN EPIC EVERTASTER NOVELLA.
Everyone knows the most coveted treasure of the Viking Age was blueberry muffins. Blueberry muffins so succulent that if you sniffed just a whiff, you'd want a whole bite. If you bit a bite, you'd want a batch; if you snatched a batch, you'd stop at nothing short of going to war just to claim them all.
Young Torbjorn Trofastsonn comes from the clan that makes them. He's a Viking through and
through – he's thirteen winters old, larger than most respectable rocks, and most of all, a Buttersmith. That's what he thinks anyway, until a charismatic merchant makes Torbjorn question his place among the muffin-makers. When Torbjorn lets the secret of his clan's muffin recipe slip, he calls doom and destruction down upon his peaceful village and forces his brother Storfjell and his clansmen to do the one thing they are ill-prepared to do: battle for their lives.

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About The Buttersmiths' Gold:

The Buttersmiths' Gold is a spin off novella in the Evertaster series that tells the story of two Viking brothers and their adventurous past. The Evertaster series (Book #1 released June 14, 2012) is about Guster Johnsonville, who goes searching for a legendary taste rumored to be the most delicious in all of history. Along the way he meets a slew of mysterious characters, including two Viking brothers Torbjorn and Storfjell. The Buttersmiths' Gold is their story.

124 pages.
By Adam Glendon Sidwell.
Published by Future House Publishing.


A legendary taste. Sought after for centuries. Shrouded in secrecy.
When eleven-year-old Guster Johnsonville rejects his mother’s casserole for the umpteenth time, she takes him into the city of New Orleans to find him something to eat. There, in a dark, abandoned corner of the city they meet a dying pastry maker. In his last breath he entrusts them with a secret: an ancient recipe that makes the most delicious taste the world will ever know — a taste that will change the fate of humanity forever.
Forced to flee by a cult of murderous chefs, the Johnsonvilles embark on a perilous journey to ancient ruins, faraway jungles and forgotten caves. Along the way they discover the truth: Guster is an Evertaster — a kid so picky that nothing but the legendary taste itself will save him from starvation. With the sinister chefs hot on Guster’s heels and the chefs’ reign of terror spreading, Guster and his family must find the legendary taste before it’s too late.
 

Purchase on

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Book Trailer


Author Adam Sidwell
In between books, Adam Glendon Sidwell uses the power of computers to make monsters, robots and zombies come to life for blockbuster movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean, King Kong, Transformers and Tron. After spending countless hours in front of a keyboard meticulously adjusting tentacles, calibrating hydraulics, and brushing monkey fur, he is delighted at the prospect of modifying his creations with the flick of a few deftly placed adjectives. He’s been eating food since age 7, so feels very qualified to write this book. He once showed a famous movie star where the bathroom was. Adam currently lives in Los Angeles, where he can’t wait to fall into the sea.

Review for Evertaster:

Guster has a bit of a problem. He can't stand his mom's cooking. As much as he tries, he can't get past the small things like the quality of the ingredients and where they came from. So he just doesn't eat. One day his mom is determined to find something Guster can get down, so they are off to New Orleans. There they find a patisserie with the most amazing smells coming out. Guster goes in for pastry, but he comes out with an egg beater that bears the clues to an epic recipe. One that can offer peace to the world. Now Guster just has to survive long enough to find the ingredients.

This book was so original. I loved it! To have taste so acute must be incredibly awful for Guster, and while he doesn't try to be difficult about it he really can't handle most things given to him to eat. This book was so creative and inventive with the storyline. First and foremost, this is an adventure, and there's tons of action to be had. Guster and his family travel the world looking for clues and ingredients. Poor Guster feels a lot of responsibility for the things happening on his shoulders, but he does the best he can to do what's right. He also shows some amazing self-control in the end. Not sure I could have done the same.

One of the things that excites me most about this book is it's ability to introduce kids to different foods and ideas. I think it's really cool to get kids thinking about how their food is made and where it comes from. I think this book can help to do that while still providing a good time while reading. It's a delicate balance, but this book handles it well. I highly recommend this book. It's an awesome adventure.

Book provided for review.

Review for The Buttersmiths' Gold:

Torbjorn and Storfjell helped Guster in his story, and now they get a tale of their own. Their people are known for their outstanding butter, but one day Torbjorn accidentally gives the secret of their amazing butter away to a stranger. This soon brings war and gloom to his people. Torbjorn must call upon all the bravery he has to do what he needs to do.

This novella continues the humorous and fun tone of the original novel. Taking two of the more memorable characters from the book, it tells a side story full of adventure. I enjoyed getting the background on Torbjorn and Storfjell. They were pretty hilarious in the book. More than anything, they stand up for themselves and each other. This fun story will be sure to entertain and help tide you over until the next book comes out!

Book provided for review.

Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 7/2/13
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, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the participating author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Prize value $25 US.


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Monster Hunter Academy Blog Tour

monster hunter tour
 

Welcome to the blog tour for Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy by Jeff Gunhus!
 

After barely surviving the onslaught of monsters that tried to kill him the day before his fourteenth birthday, Jack Templar leaves his hometown on a quest to rescue his father and discover the truth about his past. Joined by his friends Will and T-Rex, and led by Eva, the mysterious one-handed monster hunter, Jack sets out for the Monster Hunter Academy where he hopes to find answers to his questions. Little does he suspect that the Academy is filled with dangers of its own, many of them more terrifying than anything he’s faced so far.

   

Orphan Jack Templar has no memory of his parents and only the smallest details from his Aunt Sophie about how they died. The day before Jack's fourteenth birthday, things start to change for him. At first it's great: A sudden new strength helps him defend his nose-picking friend "T-Rex" from the school bully, and even his crush, Cindy Adams, takes notice. But then a mysterious girl named Eva arrives and tells him two facts that will change his life forever. First, that he's the descendant of a long line of monster hunters and he's destined to be in the family business. Second, that there's a truce between man and monster that children are off-limits...until their fourteenth birthday! Jack has only one day before hundreds of monsters will descend on his little town of Sunnyvale and try to kill him. As if that weren't enough, things get even more complicated when Jack discovers that the Lord of the Creach (as the monsters are collectively known) holds a personal grudge against him and will do anything to see that Jack has a slow and painful death. To stay alive and save his friends, Jack will have to battle werewolves, vampires, harpies, trolls, zombies and more. But perhaps the most dangerous thing he must face is the truth about his past. Why do the other hunters call him the last Templar? Why do they whisper that he may be the "One?" Why do the monsters want him dead so badly? Even as these questions plague him, he quickly discovers survival is his new full-time job and that in the world of monster hunters, nothing is really what it seems.

 
Awards for Jack Templar Monster Hunter
Book of the Year Finalist by Forward Magazine  
Next Generation Indie Book Finalist
gunhus award
Indie Excellence Finalist          
                     
gunhus award 2
Parents' Choice Recommended


gunhus award 3
Author Jeff Gunhus
Jeff Gunhus grew up in Cyprus, Greece, and Saudi Arabia where there was a distinct lack of television. He quickly found books were the gateway to incredible adventures, fascinating characters and unbelievable discoveries. Now, with five children of his own (all who watch too much television, in his opinion), he has enjoyed revisiting his old books and reliving those adventures all over again.

Website * Twitter * Facebook * Website
Review:

Jack Templar has just survived his first run-in with the evil Lord of the Creach. He's now on his way to the Monster Academy, a place where he hopes to find answers about his father and his future. Being the prophesied person everyone expects to save the world isn't easy after all. However, he finds that the Monster Academy isn't quite as welcoming as he had hoped it would be. On top of that, Jack is faced with a lack of answers about what he's supposed to be doing. He will soon be facing perils he never even imagined. Hopefully, he'll be able to survive.

I didn't read the first book in this series, but the book the a fabulous job of catching me up in a way that still moved the story along. I find that can be a difficult thing for books to do, so I enjoyed that. Also, the book wastes no time getting into the action. There is a lot happening in this book, but it never managed to be too much for me as a reader. I found the pacing to be great in that respect. This book also has a bit of a wicked sense of humor, and that helps to keep the book from getting to bogged down in all the seriousness of the situation.

This is a book that will clearly appeal to boys. It just seems like a natural fit. However, it also has some very strong female characters as well, so I think that girls will be able to find it equally enjoyable. I know I did. It had some very creative creatures too. I found this book to be something that will appeal to young and older readers of both genders fairly equally. That's difficult to do. This book will draw you in and keep you reading until the last second. Oh, and you'll definitely be ready for the sequel.

Book provided for review.

Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 7/8/13

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Osteoblasts to the Rescue Blog Tour

osteoblasts tour

Welcome to the blog tour for Osteoblasts to the Rescue by Dr. Heather Manley!

Osteoblasts cover

Merrin and Pearl are at it again! This time these two young Human Body Detectives are exploring the skeletal system. With the ability to jump in and examine the various systems in the body, Merrin and Pearl’s adventures are fun stories and helpful tools to educate children. In Osteoblasts to the Rescue, Merrin and Pearl navigate their friend, Lily’s, broken arm and learn all about bones. As the fourth in The Human Body Detectives series, Osteoblasts to the Rescue can also stand alone as a book that’s sure to inform, engage, and inspire readers of all ages.  



heather m
 Author Heather Manley, N.D.

I have always been passionate about healthy foods and exercising. Growing up in Toronto, Canada I would exhaust my allowance at the health food store and write school papers on spices and herbs. It was no wonder I found myself studying biology at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. I loved animals as well so I initially focused on wildlife conservation and animal biology, however, with some exposure to naturopathic medicine, this health care philosophy rang true for me. I switched to pre-med and I graduated in 1993. I earned my doctorate at the from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon before moving with my family to Hawaii where I became licensed and continue to practice today. Everything I learned in med school came into fruition when my children were born. I realized the importance of teaching them, by example, about healthy food and lifestyle. Telling them what to eat was not enough, so I created and wrote educational adventure stories that explain the physiological systems in the body. Not only did my kids love the engaging and interactive stories but so did their friends. I love seeing kids have fun learning to understand their bodies and how food helps them run faster and be smarter. My focus is on preventative health. I am passionate about encouraging families to seek the value of a simple lifestyle and offering tools to assist them at being proactive and confident in their daily living. I am constantly inspired seeing people make positive changes in their lives. With my website, I am excited to reach more families in a way that will manifest healthy living.


Review:

Merrin and Pearl have an awesome ability. They are Human Body Detectives, able to jump inside others and study their bodies! This time, they are going into their friend Lily's body to investigate her broken arm. While in Lily they will learn a lot about our skeleton, how bones stay healthy, and what they are made of.

I loved this book! It was able to explain some complex-seeming scientific terms into something easy to understand and interesting to read. This book is a fantastic way to introduce young (and not so young) people to important information without seeming threatening. The book also managed to convey information about nutrition and healthcare without seeming too preachy. I will definitely be checking out the other books in this series for my son. It is a fun way to learn, and I think that people everywhere can learn tons from this book. 

Book provided for review

There is a great giveaway also going on with this blog tour, so be sure to check that out below. Thanks for stopping by!


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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

John William and the Bandits of Basswood Book Blast

 
bandits


We already know Alexander Drake’s story. His father, John William started it all years before when he entered Azra’s Pith. This is his story. John William was born an explorer; just like his dad before him. His adventure really began with the worst year of his life. He lived everyday in misery until his twelfth birthday. He set out to turn things around and find his smile again. A new friend gave him an invitation he could not turn down… follow me and change your destiny. He never imagined being captured by bandits and taken to a ship riddled with river rats was part of his fate. Not just any bandits – the Bandits of Basswood; known to be a ruthless and wild crew of thieves. Trying to escape would be a ridiculous idea. No one has ever escaped and lived to tell about it. Someone should have mentioned that to John William before he snuck off the ship. The chase out of Basswood was on. He took a chance to change his destiny and ended up on a wild ride to save his life.

Amazon

   
lizzie

Author Elizabeth Parkinson-Bellows

Being the frizzy-haired tomboy with buck teeth gave me a slight case of shyness as a kid. A colorful imagination meant escape and adventure at the drop of a hat. Over the years I learned that the insecurities I carried around were a waste of time. I still prefer a football game to a manicure any day of the week. That indispensable imagination has found its way into my writing providing a sense of joy and a true purpose.

Website * Twitter * Facebook

   

Book Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
 Ends 7/10/13

  a Rafflecopter giveaway  
 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, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer of A Million Gifts


Welcome to the Summer of a Million Gifts!

What is this? Well it's something awesome Deseret Books is doing this summer to give back to it's customers! There are random daily in-store gifts and a chance to win one of three grand prizes!

In June, one customer will win an 8-day Caribbean Cruise with Alex Boye, British-born LDS singer and songwriter, courtesy of Morris Murdock Travel. 

In July, another will win a missionary wardrobe courtesy of Mr. Mac. 

And in August, one couple will win a wedding reception courtesy of Temple Square Hospitality.


Now this is going to happen online and in person! Each day on Deseret Book’s official Facebook page and in Deseret Book stores, an associate will give a gift to at least one customer: a free pass to Lagoon theme park, double Platinum points, a free book at check-out, an act of service, or some other free prize.

More information about the Summer of a Million Gifts can be found online at DeseretBook.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/deseretbook, or in any of Deseret Book’s retail locations.

Now if that's not cool enough, there is one giveaway just found online. Check out the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a $50 Deseret Book gift card!

That's a lot of things to win, so get out there and get you something! Good luck!





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Friday, June 21, 2013

Rift Healer Blog Tour

Rift Healer Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for Rift Healer by Diane M. Haynes!
 
rift healer

Rift Healer is the first installment of the 'Forest Magic' series, a Young Adult Fantasy/Romance set in Central and Western Massachusetts. After a minor earthquake, the enchanted forest in Bidwell, MA, is infested with monster-spewing rifts. Gisele Westerfield's great nephew, the gifted Micah, and his distant cousin, Selena, arrive to assist. Together with Gisele's summer students, twins Haley and Lacey, they will try to heal the magical forest. Much to the consternation of the beautiful Selena, Micah identifies Haley as The One whom he'll share his future. But after witnessing a terrifying display of Micah's Gift, Haley cools to his advances and unexpectedly discovers her own Gift-- she can heal the earth. Monsters, mayhem, and teenage angst follow the small group as they confront evil in the forest and a dangerous prediction that 'one will fall'. Will they heal the rifts in time? Can they save the unicorns? And is Haley really destined to be with Micah?


 
diane

Author Diane M. Haynes

Diane has lived in Massachusetts all her life where early on, her artistic talents were fostered, though her skills as an "excellent report writer" were often noted in previous employment. On her brother Rick's birthday, November 16, 2004, seven months after his death, she woke from an amazing dream which would not fade. She outlined the dream, made a few quick notes and days later produced a 12 page short story. After deciding her story was interesting but incomplete, she began writing her first novel, using her dream as its climax. She now believes the dream to be a 'Spirit Gift,' sent by her brother. Diane continues to reside in Central MA with her husband and a very naughty Basset Hound named Basil and his new adopted sister-Basset, Ruby, both of whom cleverly wreak havoc on the Haynes' formerly well-ordered lives. She spends her time writing, reading books about writing, talking about writing, painting with watercolors, antiquing and attempting to train a very reluctant Basil and a willing, but highly comedic Ruby.


Review:

Twins Haley and Lacey are ready for an exciting summer. They are meeting with a woman named Gisele who has shown them some pretty amazing and magical things already. This summer it appears that they will be healing "rifts" in the forest that are letting magical mayhem loose. Things are complicated by several things though, not the least of which is Gisele's grand-nephew Micah. He's handsome, talented, and sure that Haley is the one for him. His distant cousin Selena doesn't like this at all. Through in tons of magical creatures and some eerie prophecies, and you get an exciting adventure for everyone.

I liked the concept of this book. The magical creatures escaping through rifts in a mysterious forest was fantastic. I think this book suffered a bit in the execution though. The writing was a bit choppy for my tastes. It just never seemed to flow like I wanted. Also, there was a lot of teenage angst, especially in the middle part of the story, that I wasn't really in to. I have a feeling though that those things won't be issues for some people. They will manage to get caught up in the fantasy and magic of it all. If you can do that, you'll really enjoy this book.

As I said, the idea of this book was great, and the plotline showed that. There were so many interesting and inventive creatures. I really wanted to know more about those. I think younger readers will find a lot to enjoy in this book. While I didn't really enjoy the teenage angst, I think some people will really love that part. The idea of being magically destined for the other still doesn't get you past the worries and problems that teens have. That was kind of fun to see in some respects. Overall this book was interesting and very magical. I think there are many people who will love those aspects of the book and really enjoy reading it.

Book provided for review


Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
 Ends 7/8/13

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rift Healer Book Blast

Rift Healer Tour

Welcome to the book blast for Rift Healer!
 
rift healer

Rift Healer is the first installment of the 'Forest Magic' series, a Young Adult Fantasy/Romance set in Central and Western Massachusetts. After a minor earthquake, the enchanted forest in Bidwell, MA, is infested with monster-spewing rifts. Gisele Westerfield's great nephew, the gifted Micah, and his distant cousin, Selena, arrive to assist. Together with Gisele's summer students, twins Haley and Lacey, they will try to heal the magical forest. Much to the consternation of the beautiful Selena, Micah identifies Haley as The One whom he'll share his future. But after witnessing a terrifying display of Micah's Gift, Haley cools to his advances and unexpectedly discovers her own Gift-- she can heal the earth. Monsters, mayhem, and teenage angst follow the small group as they confront evil in the forest and a dangerous prediction that 'one will fall'. Will they heal the rifts in time? Can they save the unicorns? And is Haley really destined to be with Micah?

 
diane

Author Diane M. Haynes

Diane has lived in Massachusetts all her life where early on, her artistic talents were fostered, though her skills as an "excellent report writer" were often noted in previous employment. On her brother Rick's birthday, November 16, 2004, seven months after his death, she woke from an amazing dream which would not fade. She outlined the dream, made a few quick notes and days later produced a 12 page short story. After deciding her story was interesting but incomplete, she began writing her first novel, using her dream as its climax. She now believes the dream to be a 'Spirit Gift,' sent by her brother. Diane continues to reside in Central MA with her husband and a very naughty Basset Hound named Basil and his new adopted sister-Basset, Ruby, both of whom cleverly wreak havoc on the Haynes' formerly well-ordered lives. She spends her time writing, reading books about writing, talking about writing, painting with watercolors, antiqueing and attempting to train a very reluctant Basil and a willing, but highly comedic Ruby.

  Book Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
 Ends 7/4/13

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Living Your Covenants Every Day Blog Tour

living covenants tour

Welcome to the blog tour for Living Your Covenants Every Day  by Jennifer Brinkerhoff Platt!

living covenants

The little things we do on a daily basis don’t just matter—they can make all the difference. Intentional daily acts focused on covenant-keeping will bind us to the Savior as we are deliberate and determined to follow Him in small and simple ways. Drawing upon the teachings and lives of ancient and modern prophets, author Jennifer Brinkerhoff Platt identifies patterns of truth that encourage increased commitment to covenant relationships while diminishing the binding grip of the adversary. Included are chapters on the need to be consistent in covenant- keeping, on recognizing Satan’s tactics and lies, on undoing self-destructive routines, on the role of the Spirit to help us both feel and follow promptings, and on the power of daily scripture study and prayer in establishing habits that reinforce and support our commitment to the Savior.


Jennifer p
 Author Jennifer Brinkerhoff Platt

 Jennifer Brinkerhoff Platt is currently an assistant visiting faculty member at Brigham Young University and a recent addition to Deseret Book’s Time Out for Women events. A former seminary and institute instructor, she earned a PhD from Arizona State University in lifespan developmental psychology, focusing on women and social issues. She is married to Jed Platt, and the couple lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah.


Review:

At times we can get so caught up in our busy lives that we can forget how important small things can be. In this book, we are reminded about how the little things in our lives can make a huge difference. As we work to better focus our days and our lives, we can grow closer to the Savior and strengthen ourselves against Satan's attacks. By truly trying to live the covenants we have made, we can make big changes in our lives that will make a difference both now and in the future.

This book gives very practical advice, and I feel like the advice is something that everyone can incorporate. Sometimes you read things and think, "That's a great idea, but I'm not sure how to practically apply that to my life." This book manages to give ideas for things that we should already (or may already) be doing, but it gives a different way to approach these things. All those simple things like reading the scriptures and praying can still be improved in simple ways. I thought the ideas presented were insightful, and I really look forward to trying them in my own life.

I particularly enjoyed the end of the chapters. There were homework assignments to help you put the ideas into use and really think about how you stand on a lot of things. There was also further reading. These were talks and books that applied to the subjects of each chapter. I am really looking forward to reading these as well as I think they will be another source of inspiration in my life. The author had an approachable writing style that really helped make you feel as if she understood you individually. I also think that her story of being single for longer than expected was very moving. I know a lot of women in particular who find themselves in this situation, and I think that this book could do a great job of helping them see that they are not alone in their desires and disappointments. Overall I found this to be a great book with some awesome ideas that I'm sure will help out my life!

Book provided for review.

Blog Tour Giveaway
 $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
 Ends 6/27/13

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen Blog Tour

Yours Affectionately tour
Tour Schedule

Welcome to the blog tour for Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen by Sally Smith O'Rourke!


Was Mr. Darcy real? Is time travel really possible? For pragmatic Manhattan artist Eliza Knight the answer to both questions is absolutely, Yes! And Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley Farms, Virginia is the reason why!
His tale of love and romance in Regency England leaves Eliza in no doubt that Fitz Darcy is the embodiment of Jane Austen’s legendary hero. And she’s falling in love with him. But can the man who loved the inimitable Jane Austen ever love average, ordinary Eliza Knight?
Eliza’s doubts grow, perhaps out of proportion, when things start to happen in the quiet hamlet of Chawton, England; events that could change everything. Will the beloved author become the wedge that divides Fitz and Eliza or the tie that binds them?

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Audio Book Excerpt
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Author Sally Smith O'Rourke 

 Sally Smith O’Rourke is a surgical scrub nurse at the City of Hope national cancer research hospital in Duarte, California and resides in the near-by Victorian village of Monrovia. With her late husband, author Michael O’Rourke (aka F.M. O’Rourke) Smith O’Rourke owned and operated a medical advertising company where she used her diverse talents to produce and co-write teaching films and videos. Working not only with major medical and surgical manufacturing companies but also network television. These endeavors ultimately led to a collaboration on two feature films (direct to video) and three published novels. The wife and husband writing team of Sally Smith and Michael O’Rourke, being long-time fans of Jane Austen, wrote The Man Who Loved Jane Austen released by Kensington Books in 2006. Kensington followed that very successful effort with The Maidenstone Lighthouse in 2007 and Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage in 2009, both also collaborative projects by Smith and O’Rourke. Published after her partner and spouse’s untimely death in 2001, the publisher chose not to use the names Michael O’Rourke and Sally Smith (as the manuscripts were presented), releasing all three books under Sally Smith O’Rourke. Yours Affectionately, Jane Austen is Sally Smith O’Rourke’s first solo novel.

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Excerpt:

Chapter Two
In the deep shadows at the edge of the wood, Jane waited as the moon started its descent, casting an iridescent glow on the meadow. The tall American steered his great horse off the road and into the soft grass. He rode straight and tall as though he’d been born astride the animal. He was looking around, obviously in search of her but also making sure he had not been followed. When he was within a few feet she stepped into the moonlight.
He dismounted and cautiously walked toward her. “I was afraid you wouldn’t come.” He stopped no more than two feet away from her, still holding Lord Nelson’s reins. He looked handsome and vital even in Edward’s ill-fitting suit. She pushed aside the thought and the romantic notions she’d been entertaining since receiving his note and questioned his choice of time and place.
He apologized and added, “I believe dawn, the sunrise, is the crucial time for me to go back.”
“Go back? Where?”
Darcy hesitated, unsure how much he should reveal about his situation.
Taking his pause as evidence that what would follow would be a carefully crafted story—a lie—Jane was surprised when he said, "Back to... back to the place where I fell."
She was irritated by his evasion and certain that he knew precisely what she wanted to know. "It is close. I will gladly show you exactly where it is... after you tell me where you came from, why you are here and why you're behaving so oddly."
“Miss Austen, I really can’t explain. You wouldn’t understand.” He paused briefly. “I’m not at all sure I do.”
Ignoring his apologetic admission, Jane spat, “What? Because I am a woman you think me too stupid to understand?” She turned and walked away. "Feel free to stumble around in the dark and find the place yourself!"
Almost panicked, he dropped Nelson’s reins and went after her. “Miss Austen… Jane, please wait.”
Expecting yet another insult but ready with a few of her own, she stopped and turned toward him. But he hurled no aspersion.
“Miss Austen, I believe you are one of the most intelligent women—in fact, one of the most intelligentpeople I’ve ever met."
Cautiously she returned and stood toe to toe, looking up at him. Her eyes glistened in the moonlight with a combination of suspicion and curiosity, and before she could say anything he began to tell her about her books.
“I know that Sense and Sensibility will be published early next year and it will do very well.”
Suspiciously she asked, “Why would my brother tell you that?”
“He didn’t, nor did he tell me about the one you’re working on now, First Impressions, the story of five sisters hoping to marry well. It will be published in three years, after you re-title it.”
His knowledge of First Impressions, on which she was still working, caused her curiosity to flare into anger at the reasonable assumption that he had rifled through her personal papers when he was alone in her room feigning his head injury.
Before she had the chance to throw any well-deserved invectives at him he told her about another book. “Mansfield Park. It will be considered your masterpiece by many people although, Pri—” He cleared his throat. “First Impressions will be the most popular, then and now.”
Mansfield Park was but an idea in her head, she had not yet put pen to paper. How did he know? Jane accused him of madness as she took a few steps backward away from him.
Afraid she might bolt before he got the information he needed, he grabbed her arm. She tried to pull away but he held firm, “Jane, please…”
What had she been thinking meeting this mercurial and possibly dangerous man in the middle of the night?
Overwhelmed with guilt at having caused the fear he saw on her face, Darcy released her. “I’m sorry.”
Suppressing the fear she said, “I have no idea how you know so much of my past but you cannot know what my future holds. No one can tell the future!”
Quietly, he said, "Yes... and that is my secret... it's all in the past for me." Sadly he looked away, then directly into her eyes. She saw the truth reflected there as he said, “This is the past for me. I came from the future.”

Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 6/27/13

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Afloat Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for Aloat by Erin Healy!


Who will you trust when dark waters rise?
Eagle's Talon is an architectural marvel-shining residential units afloat in a protected cove of the gorgeous Rondeau River. The project is nearly complete, partially occupied, and ready to make investors rich when a sinkhole gives way. Then torrential rains and a flood leave a ragged collection of builders, investors, and residents stranded in one floating building, cut off from the rest of the world.
They're bitterly divided over what to do next.
Architect Vance Nolan insists they should sit tight and wait for rescue. Developer Tony Dean wants to strike out into the darkness. And single mom Danielle Clement, desperate to protect her young son, Simeon, struggles to hold their motley band together.
Power failure, a pall of unnatural daytime darkness, explosions in the distance, then a murder ratchet tensions to a boiling point. But Danielle's young son, Simeon, has spotted something strange underwater-beautiful, shifting lights in the dark water below.
In this watery world where everyone's secrets will eventually come to light, salvation may mean more than just getting out alive.
Another stunning exploration of the human spirit and supernatural possibilities from best-selling author Erin Healy.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/liNmq





Erin Healy is the best-selling co-author of "Burn" and "Kiss" (with Ted Dekker) and an award-winning editor for numerous best-selling authors. She has received wide acclaim for her novels "Never Let You Go", "The Baker's Wife", "House of Mercy", and "Afloat". She and her family live in Colorado. Erin can be contacted through her website ErinHealy.com or through Facebook at erinhealybooks.
Find out more about Erin at http://www.erinhealy.com.

Review:

Eagle's Talon is a very unique place. Built entirely over water, it's like an oasis away from everyone else. One building is occupied while the rest are being built when tragedy strikes. First a sinkhole appears out of nowhere, almost killing a number of people. Next a storm like no other hits, flooding the site and stranding the people who didn't get swept away. Now the people there must fight to survive, but as secrets start to be revealed the surviving seems to become much more difficult. Everyone is hiding something at a time when trust is vital. On top of that people have been seeing mysterious glowing things in the water below them. What does this mean for the survivors? Will they be able to pull through it all?

This book was very different from what I expected. There were so many elements to it. I found it a little difficult to get into initially. I didn't really understand the technical parts of the buildings, but the book really wastes no time when getting to the meat of the story. I thought I was being given a ton of back story on the characters initially, but then I discovered that they had secrets even beyond what I knew. This added a lot of depth to the story. There is also a fair amount of "action" as it were. With the sinkhole then flood, there are a lot of things going on. Also, people are not spared from the destruction. It really ends up being a tragedy all around.

Beside the human aspect to the book, there is also a bit of the supernatural. This takes the form of mysterious glowing things that some people are seeing in the water. Rather than being frightening though, they seem to be helping the people to find their way and survive. You find out rather early on though what these are, but that really didn't take away from the impact for me. This book is full of suspense and atmosphere. You really get a sense of how difficult it is for these people in the harsh circumstances they find themselves in. I almost didn't want to read it at night, but then I am not really friends with the water so it creeped me out even more. If you are looking for a suspenseful yet thoughtful book, check this one out.

Book provided for review.


Erin Healy is celebrating the release of her latest novel Afloat (Thomas Nelson) with an iPad Mini giveaway.
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One winner will receive:
  • An iPad Mini 
  • iTunes gift card
  • Afloat by Erin Healy 
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 15th. Winner will be announced on Erin's blog on June 17th. Save the date and click HERE to see if YOU won the iPad Mini!

Don't miss a moment of the fun; ENTER today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Visit Erin's blog on the 17th!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Way Back to You Blog Tour

a way back to you tour

Welcome to the blog tour for A Way Back to You by Emily Gray Clawson!
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A Way Back to You

What would you do if you were given a second chance? Annabelle, whom nearly everyone calls Anne, has been stuck in the past for two years. Numbed by grief over her husband's unexpected death and overwhelmed with the responsibility of raising their three young children alone, Anne agrees to let a friend take the kids for the weekend while she tries to get some much-needed rest at her parent's home. But when Anne wakes up the next morning, she is suddenly sixteen again. And it just happens to be the worst day she spent as a teenager. High school the second time around brings unforeseen changes and frustrations, but remembering that her future husband, Mitch, has just returned from a mission and is living on the other side of town gives Anne hope. Getting Mitch's attention (for the second time) is more complicated than she could have imagined, but Anne discovers she is stronger than she believed possible—and there just might be a future for her after all.

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Author Emily Gray Clawson

Emily Gray Clawson describes herself as an author, mother, and youth mentor. Born and raised in Utah, she is passionate about her faith and great books and will share her love of both with anyone who will listen. Emily began writing at the age of seven, creating homemade picture books that she peddled from door to door. She self-published her first novel, Things Hope For, and is collaborating with Jennifer Graves on a book entitled A Sister’s Witness: The Powell Family Tragedy. With her husband, Richard, Emily founded two youth leadership programs, Handmaidens of Virtue and Mastering Knighthood. Trained in vocal performance in college, she has enjoyed including aspects of her training in this book. Emily and Richard are the parents of four children and live in Taylorsville, Utah.

Review:

Anne is having a rough time ever since her husband Mitch passed away. Everything is just becoming too much to bear, so Anne finds herself at her parents house for the weekend. She arises the next morning to discover that she is sixteen again, and as she begins to go through her day she discovers so many things that she did wrong. Soon Anne finds herself caught up in a romance with her first love Sam, but she feels guilty because somewhere out there is her husband and her future. Anne will learn that things rarely work out the way you think, but sometimes this gives you a chance for a future you never planned.

I was a little unsure where this book was going in the beginning. Anne was just so unhappy, and I really felt for her. I wanted her to be able to find some peace, but it came in a way that was completely surprising. I can't imagine how awful it'd be to relive my teenage years. I'm sure I'd cringe at most the things I did and said. Anne definitely felt that way too. More than that though, it gave her perspective on not only her past but her present as well. By looking through her grown-up adult eyes, she saw things much more clearly the second time around.

This book was very easy to read, and I didn't want to put it down. The book makes it easy to read it in small amounts of time, but you'll probably want to sit and read the whole thing all at once. Anne got very emotional  through the book, and at first I was sympathetic. It did wear on me a bit though as the book went on. Overall this was a tiny bother though, and I did enjoy the book. I liked the sense of perspective Anne was able to gain, and it made me think about my own life. Do I take the time to do the things I truly love? I certainly try. Reading is something that brings me great joy, and this book helped add to that joy.

Book provided for review.

The author is sponsoring a giveaway with this blog tour, so take a chance to enter below. Good luck!


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Monday, June 10, 2013

A Heartbeat Away Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for A Heartbeat Away by S. Dionne Moore!!


When a band of runaway slaves brings Union-loyal Beth Bumgartner a wounded Confederate soldier named Joe, it is the catalyst that pushes her to defy her pacifist parents and become a nurse during the Battle of Antietam.

Her mother's mysterious goodbye gift is filled with quilt blocks that bring comfort to Beth during the hard days and lonely nights, but as she sews each block, she realizes there is a hidden message of faith within the pattern that encourages and sustains her. Reunited with Joe, Beth learns his secret and puts the quilt's message to its greatest test---but can betrayal be forgiven?


Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/liQMG


Dionne Moore is a historical romance author who resides in South Central PA with her family, surrounded by the beautiful Cumberland Valley and lots of fun, historically rich locations. She is a weekly contributor to "The Borrowed Book", a blog for book-lovers and "Cozy Mystery Magazine", for all things cozy mystery.

Learn more about Dionne at http://www.sdionnemoore.com




AHeartbeatAway - Medium from S. Dionne Moore on Vimeo.

Review:

Beth has always wanted to be a nurse. Unfortunately, the US Civil War has provided the perfect opportunity to hone her skills. A group of runaway slaves brings a man who is in desperate need of her care, but Beth is hesitant as she is a loyal Unionist. However, Beth works on Joe at her grandmother's urging, and she finds herself growing closer to Joe as she tends him. Beth and Joe are both hiding things though, and this could break the bond that they are forming. Surrounding all this is a quilt that Beth's mom left to Beth to finish. It becomes a symbol of hope in a dreary world for more than one person.

I was very interested in this story. The historical aspects are always fascinating to me, and this book did a great job with showing the conflict between the two sides. It was never as easy as just tending to one side and ignoring the other for Beth. Families were torn apart by this conflict, and the result was just a horrible war. I felt for Beth though, knowing how hard it must have been to help people who seemed so against everything she stood for. Just recognizing them as fellow humans was difficult at best for her. The back stories of both Joe and Beth develop slowly, but it's not so slow that you lose interest. I think the pacing of this book was really great.

I especially loved the running ideas surrounding the quilt. Sewing was something the Beth didn't particularly want to do, but this quilt was a gift from her mother. Through this quilt though, Beth and Joe were able to find some insight and peace in terrible times. The quilt became more than just a quilt. It became a symbol of things as they could be. It was inspiring to think of all the ways that we can find strength throughout our days. This book was very beautiful, and it was a wonderful read.

Book provided for review.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Are We Special Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for Are We Special? by Jeffrey S. Reber and Steven P. Moody!

Are we special tour

Tour Schedule

 
are we special


Are We Special? examines the source of the feeling experienced by so many of us and portrayed in so many films and books, that we are more than merely mortal beings and may even be chosen to fulfill some special destiny. Drawing upon the scriptures and the teachings of modern-day prophets, Are We Special? contrasts the true, divine origin of this special feeling with the worldly counterfeits propped up by the Adversary that lead us away from the love of God and produce feelings of pride, selfishness, and despair. Are We Special? provides insights from the gospel that are reinforced by psychological research and the authors' therapeutic expertise that will help the reader become more vigilant against the subtle manifestations of the Adversary's lie and more receptive to the resources God has provided us to know how truly and wonderfully special we all are.  

Amazon * Deseret Book

 

About the Authors

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Jeffrey S. Reber holds a PhD from Brigham Young University in psychology. He’s an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at BYU. His publications look at the relationship between religion, psychology, and interpersonal relationships. He has also worked with LDS Family Services and has served as a bishop.

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Steven P. Moody received his master’s degree in clinical social work from the University of Southern California. At USC, his clinical work focused on families, including marital therapy and relationships. Steven has worked as a counselor with LDS Family Services. He is now a therapist in private practice specializing in both relationships and addictions.  

Website * Facebook * Twitter

Review:


As members of the LDS church, we often get caught up in the idea that we are "special." We take pride in the truth that you find in the church. However, this idea of being special can be taken in the wrong direction as well. In this book, these ideas are explored. We see how we can balance our pride and our true value as a child of God. This can lead us to become true disciples of Jesus Christ.

I was very intrigued by the premise of this book, and I was not disappointed in the reading of it. I find that our feelings of being special or unique as members of this church can sometimes be off-putting to others. This book helped to clarify that. It separates the truth that we are special and beloved children of God and the lie that we are unique and special in and of ourselves. This lie is really a strong example of pride, and this is where the problem lies. The book separates the different lines of thought into four basic quadrants based on whether they believe the truth of being special children of God and/or believe the lie that we are special in a more worldly way. It then goes through and studies each of these quadrants in depth.

I found myself really reflecting on where I stand. As is mentioned in this book, most people slide through many quadrants at any given time as we work through the things in our lives. I was really inspired by this book. I found myself recognizing that I spend way too much time in one quadrant concentrating on my flaws to excess almost. I need to work to find my unique divine nature while still finding a way to maintain humility in a worldly sense. I found this book answering questions that I didn't even know I had. This book is a fairly quick read, and I highly recommend it. I think that it will help people to see where they are good and where they go wrong, and this will then help us all to become better disciples of Christ. 

Book provided for review.


Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 6/16/13

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