Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Come to Zion Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for the Come to Zion series by Dean Hughes! I have two reviews for the first two books in the series, so read on!

Book 1- The Wind and the Waves

Will Lewis is stuck. the class system in England in the 1840s seems destined to keep him in his place as a poor tenant farmer who cannot improve his lot and will never be able to marry the woman he loves. But the "new religion" that is sweeping through congregations of the United Brethren, Will's church, may hold the key to the better life he longs for. As he listens to the preaching of Wilford Woodruff, he almost dares to hope for the Zion the young Apostle describes.
Will's struggles to believe and to face the rigors of immigrating to an unknown land are paralleled by the modern-day story of Jeff and Abby, a young married couple facing challenges of their own. When Jeff begins digging into his family history, he finds himself particularly drawn to "Grandpa Lewis," an ancestor whose life was more like his than he would have imagined.
The skillful interweaving of these two stories brings Church history to life while demonstrating how much we can learn from those who went before us. Anyone who has ever faced the winds and the waves, in some form, will love this novel.

Book 2- Through Cloud and Sunshine

Nauvoo was supposed to be the kingdom of God on earth, but Will and Liz Lewis are learning that it takes more than dreaming of Zion to make it a reality. Sickness, poverty, and just plain human nature add to the struggles for the Lord's people, but every now and then a glimpse of heaven shines through. Just when things are starting to get settled, though, the old problems start rearing their heads, leaving Will and others wondering if they will be there to reap the harvest they have so carefully sown.
Meanwhile, Jeff and Abby—in modern-day Nauvoo—are dealing with challenges of their own. As their newborn baby fights for his life, they must come to grips with their personal faith. Can they, like their ancestors, continue to trust in God when there seems to be no trace o Him in their trials?
Beloved novelist Dean Hughes skillfully interweaves the stories of two couples separated by five generations and 150 years, providing a unique perspective on Church history and showing how much we can learn from those who went before us.
About the Author:
Dean Hughes has published books for readers of all ages, including the bestselling historical fiction series Children of the Promise. Through Cloud and Sunshine is his one-hundredth published book. Dean holds a bachelor’s degree from Weber State University and master’s and PhD degrees from the University of Washington. He has taught English at Central Missouri State University and Brigham Young University. Dean and his wife, Kathleen Hurst Hughes, served a mission to Nauvoo, Illinois. The parents of three children and grandparents of nine, they live in Midway, Utah.

Review for The Wind and the Waves:
Will Lewis was in search of something more in his life. The son of a tenant farmer in England, Will is enthralled with the talk of factory jobs and getting away from the farm. Life in the big city doesn't turn out as planned though, but Will feels something drawing him back home. He does manage to actually better himself, but by then Will and his new wife Liz are involved with a new religious movement. His new church promises a Zion in America- the city of Nauvoo to be exact. Will and Liz are excited to go, but they will discover that the journey to Zion may be the hardest part. Meanwhile in the current time, Jeff and Abby are dealing with problems of their own. They also end up in Nauvoo, but in a completely different manner. They too will deal with struggles with faith and finding their place in this world.

I found this book a little hard to get into initially. I sort of felt thrown into the story. Once I got it all figured out though, I didn't want to put the book down. The two stories were very interesting indeed. Most of the book revolved around Will and Liz, but their story neatly ties in with Jeff and Liz's story. Although they live many years apart, they have some similar issues to deal with. Both couples deal with struggles with trying to make the best lives that they can for each other and dealing with their faith. These are complicated issues, but you can feel for the characters as they go through them. 

The passage over from England to Nauvoo was horrific, and you feel for Will and Liz (and everyone else). I can't imagine giving up everything and traveling to a new country in that manner. It takes a great deal of faith and dedication which Will and Liz clearly had. Jeff and Abby show these same traits as they move to Nauvoo as well. This book really drew me in, and I felt connected to the story and characters. It brought a new light (and some interesting information) to LDS church history. I was sad when it ended, so I'm glad I have the second one to read already. The ending leaves things hanging a bit, but it was still a good ending. If you like historical novels with realistic characters, check this book out!

Book provided for review.

Review of Through Cloud and Sunshine:

Nauvoo is supposed to be Zion, but it's proving to be slightly less than perfect for Jeff and Abby. Similarly, their ancestors Will and Liz found Nauvoo to be an unforgiving place. Death, sickness, and poverty were among the top of their worries. Survival was not going to be easy. However, Will and Liz are able to see past that at times to what Nauvoo could be like under the right circumstances. There will be many more struggles than good times though, and Will and Liz will have their faith tested to the max. Likewise, Jeff and Abby will have to work hard to find the good in their situation. Maybe with a lot of work Nauvoo can become the place it was meant to be for all four people.

This is a sequel to The Wind and the Waves, but there is a very good summary in the beginning, so you don't feel like you've missed anything. It was exciting to read because these characters are familiar and feel like old friends if you've read the first book. Once again, the main story is with Will and Liz, while Jeff and Abby prove to be a small side story that shows remarkable connection to Will and Liz. There are a lot of struggles here, particularly for Will and Liz. As they struggle through things with the other early LDS members, you get a real feel for the hardships they faced. While Nauvoo was supposed to be Zion, the reality was much different.

What I really enjoy about these books is the author's choice to take on the negative aspects in church history head-on. There were a lot of bad things that happened (and bad people to go along with them), and none of them are glossed over or ignored. It really shows how hard it can be to keep with faith when flawed people are involved. Will and Liz really struggle with their decision to come to Nauvoo still, and I can't say that I blame them. I really appreciate the struggle that they went through. Jeff and Abby have some equally heart wrenching moments. This book kept me interested to the end, and I can't wait to read more!

Book provided for review. 

Rising Sun, Falling Star Blog Tour

rising sun tour

Welcome to the blog tour for Rising Sun, Falling Star by Vickie Hall!

Rising Sun

Different eyes and skin 
Mock me from the mirror’s light 
Enemy am I. 

Dec 7, 1941 
Today my life changed forever . . .I am no longer considered American, but by shear heritage I am now the hated enemy . . . 

The lives of Kenji and Aiko Onishi and their American-born children are about to unravel when the United States is thrust into war with Japan. Confronted by insurmountable prejudice and fear, the family is ripped from their California home without just cause by the American government and sent to an assembly center “for their own protection.” Forced to live in deplorable circumstances, every aspect of their lives regulated and controlled, the Onishi’s freedoms are stripped from their grasp as they struggle to survive behind barbed wire. It isn’t long before the mind-numbing confinement and feelings of helplessness begin to pit the family against one another. When sent to a relocation camp in the center of the Utah desert, they’re beset by ever increasing emotional and physical challenges, and Aiko is faced with her greatest yet: to mend the broken spirits of her family, or risk losing them forever. Based on true and tragic events that transpired during World War II, Rising Sun, Falling Star is a heart-rending story of one family’s struggle to survive uncalculated loss and emotional destruction.
Author Vickie Hall

Vickie is a native of Utah, but growing up, lived in the states of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Nebraska. When she’s not writing, she’s composing music, or shopping with her sister. She loves animals of all kinds and camping with her family. Her favorite pastime is watching old movies on TCM, and unashamedly has a crush on Cary Grant.
Blog * Website Facebook * Goodreads


December 7, 1941 is a day many American remember as the day that Japanese forces attacked US military bases in Hawaii. For hundreds of thousands of Japanese and people of Japanese descent living in the US, this was the beginning of a horrible nightmare. Soon rounded up like cattle, they were forced to leave almost all of their possessions behind and live in "relocation centers," a polite name for what really amounted to a prison. Through the dark times, the Onishi family will have to depend upon each other in ways they never imagined. 

This story was hard to read. I had heard about the relocation and detention of Japanese citizens and US citizens of Japanese ancestry, but I didn't know a lot of the details. The fact that this happened at all is horrific. I can't imagine what it would have been like to live like this. The book follows the Onishi family. Father Kenji owns a music store in San Francisco. He is truly living the American dream. His hard work has allowed him to buy a home and have a beautiful family. All that changes with the bombing of Pearl Harbor though. Suddenly the Onishis are the enemy merely based on how they look physically. Initially they go along with things to prove their allegiance to the US, but things quickly get out of hand when they realize this isn't the American experience they signed up for.

I found the writing to be a bit jumpy for my liking, but that doesn't take away from the story one bit. In this instance the story was so intriguing. I wanted to keep reading, but I was almost afraid to see how much worse things could be. If you are unfamiliar with the situation for Japanese (and people of Japanese descent) during those war years this is a must read. I can't imagine being forced from everything I know like that. Ultimately they find strength with each other though. The book manages to end on a rising note, and I wanted more just so I could see if the Onishis got the happy ending that I really felt they deserved. This book will make you think and will make you sad that something like this ever had to happen. It's not necessarily an enjoyable read, but it's a great book. 

Book provided for review.

Blog Tour Giveaway 
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash 
Ends 8/11/13

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Guardians Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for Guardians by Heather Frost!

Kate Bennett has escaped captivity, but she has not escaped the hunt. The Demon Lord has one million dollars on Kate’s head, and every bounty hunter around is just waiting for the chance to break through her guardian force. Kate’s only shot at staying alive and protecting her loved ones is to lead the seers on a mission to the past and kill the Demon Lord before he comes to power.
But Patrick, Kate’s immortal guardian and the love of her life, knows what happens when she travels back in time: he has seen her die in his arms. With Patrick keeping a protective watch over her, Kate knows she can never lead her mission, but she cannot wait around to be captured by demons again, either.
This final installment of the Seers trilogy brings Kate Bennett’s tale to a surprising and exciting conclusion filled with love and heartache, danger and triumph, loss and redemption.

Meet the Author:
Heather Frost was born in Sandy, Utah, and raised in a small Northern Utah town. She is the second oldest of ten children, and she has always been an avid reader and writer. She’s a graduate of Snow College, and, more recently, Utah State University. She enjoys playing the flute, listening to all types of music, and watching a wide variety of movies. Ever since she wrote her first short story—at the age of four—she has dreamed of one day becoming an author. Guardians is her third published novel; her second book, Demons, is a Whitney Award Finalist. To learn more about Heather and the Seers Trilogy, or to send her a message, visitwww.HeatherFrost.com.


After escaping the Demon Lord, Kate Bennett wants to try and live a normal life. That doesn't seem likely though. The Demon Lord wants Kate. He wants her bad enough to put out a bounty on her head. Kate's not ready to share this news with the world though. Meanwhile, Kate's boyfriend and Guardian Patrick is harboring some secrets of his own. When all these things collide, things seem even more dire than they did. Kate and Patrick will learn that playing with the past and future can have unexpected consequences, and their love will be put to the ultimate test.

I was excited to read this book, especially after the ending of Demons. Things looked pretty dark, and they don't really pick up that much in Guardians. I guess it's hard to be cheery when the Demon Lord is after you. Kate and Patrick do their bests. It's hard to write a review like this without getting into spoiler territory, and I definitely want to avoid that. There were some things that I kind of saw coming (one major point in particular), but there were several things that surprised me quite a bit. Kate managed to be so strong in times that I thought she would have fallen apart. It was nice to see how much she has grown through the series. Patrick had changed some as well, so it was interesting to reflect on this. Lee and Toni are very much the same two loyal sidekicks they have been, but even they manage to switch things up in the end. 

The did a great job of keeping the tension going without things getting too intense. The ending was not quite what I expected, but it entertained me for sure. While this book is readable as a stand-alone, it will make much more sense (and probably have more impact) if you've read the first two books. If you haven't read them, why not? Go check them out, then get ready for this one. It will get you excited and scared (but not too much so), and you won't want to put it down until you get to the end.

Book provided for review.

Luckily for you all, I have an e-book to giveaway! Isn't that awesome? There are 3 ways to enter:

1. Easy entry for reading this post
2. Like the Seers Official Fan Page on Facebook
3. Follow my blog in some manner

Easy as can be! This giveaway is open internationally, so if you can read an e-book, come enter. Be sure to check out other stops on the tour, and thanks for stopping by!

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Lifestyles of the Great and Spacious Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for Lifestyles of the Great and Spacious by John Bytheway!

With every passing day, the unforgettable imagery in Lehi’s dream becomes more real and more relevant. In our modern world, we can literally hear the taunts and see the pointing fingers of people like those in the great and spacious building. We find ourselves clinging with greater energy to the rod of iron as we work through the massive mists of darkness toward the tree of life. In Lifestyles of the Great and Spacious, John Bytheway looks at Lehi’s dream, and with his characteristic humor, comments from Church leaders, scholarly insights, and personal experiences, he expands our understanding of these precious verses of scripture.

About the Author:

John Bytheway is a bestselling author, favorite speaker, and part-time instructor at Brigham Young University. His many titles include Heroes: Lessons from the Book of Mormon; Standards Night Live; Isaiah for Airheads; A Crash Course in Teenage Survival; Behind Every Good Man and his most recent book, Of Pigs, Pearls & Prodigals. He has also created numerous talks on CD, many of which are combined in The John Bytheway Collection, Vols. 1 and 2.

John served a mission to the Philippines and holds a master’s degree in Religious Education. He and his wife, Kimberly, have six children.


Lehi's dream in the Book of Mormon is a well-known parable for LDS members. This book works to further our understanding of this passage. By dissecting the scripture, John Bytheway is able to really provide interesting insights and thoughts into each little part. This book will provide fascinating information about Lehi's dream along with helpful and meaningful ways to apply it to your life.

This is a passage of scripture I think every LDS member is very familiar with. I know I've heard it tons of times. What I really likes about this book was it's ability to get past what I already know and add some new things in. It's really a great way to study this passage. There are quotes from Church leaders, connections to other scripture, and loads of interesting things to learn. Each chapter also has way to apply these things in your own life. Of course, it's all done in an entertaining and sometimes humorous manner that John Bytheway is known for. This book is a quick read just reading through, but I think you could also spend some time with your scriptures and dissect things even further on your own. It's also something that I think could entertain youth while helping them get a really good grasp on the scripture itself. Definitely check this book out to get a good perspective on Lehi's dream.

Book provided for review.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ashes, Ashes Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for Ashes, Ashes by Julie Coulter Bellon!

ashes ashes

Are you ever really innocent until proven guilty? Sophia Naziri is wanted for questioning in the murder of a U.S. senator. She’s worried the police will show up on her doorstep any moment, but when Detective Colby Black appears, it’s to help her put out a kitchen fire, not take her in. Yet. His easy smile and persistence in getting to know her pushes all her troubles to the back of her mind, until a hit man tracks her down. Getting arrested becomes the least of her worries and the handsome detective could be her only way out---if she tells him the truth. Colby Black’s sniper skills have been a blessing and a curse to him. As a member of a Hostage Negotiation Team, he can use them to save people, but sometimes he can’t protect the innocent despite his best efforts. When a hostage situation goes bad, he tries to put it behind him by helping out his mysterious next-door neighbor, Sophia Naziri. But she pulls Colby into a web of lies and conspiracy that will force him to use every skill he has in order to survive. Faced with the moment of truth, can he trust anyone around him---including the woman at the center of it all?  

Author Julie Coulter Bellon

Julie is the author of seven international suspense novels: Through Love's Trials, On the Edge,Time Will Tell, All's Fair, Dangerous Connections,Ribbon of Darkness and All Fall Down. She loves her work partly because she gets to travel to distant lands to research and add an authentic feel to all of her books. Her favorite cities so far are Athens, Paris, Ottawa, and London. She taught journalism at BYU for fourteen years and that kept her on the cutting edge of current events and world news---which is where she gets her story ideas. She also has one non-fiction title: Be Prepared: A Parent's Guide to the Duty to God and Eagle Scout Awards---What You Should Know and is part of two compilations, How Will Christmas Find Us and Life Lessons From Mothers of Faith. She is the mother of eight children and when she's not busy being a mom or a writer, you will find her browsing through bookstores to add to her book collection, at the library borrowing books, or reading the treasures she's found.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Colby grabbed Rafe’s backpack and pulled out two flash bang grenades.  Rafe was calling in reinforcements, but Colby knew they might not make it in time to help.
“You guys head for the garage, I’ll meet you there,” Rafe said, ending his call.
Colby took Sophia’s hand.  The fire seemed to be coming at them from every angle.  “Keep down,” he told her.  She just nodded and he was glad she was agreeing, since she looked more than panicked.  He opened the side door leading to the garage and peeked around the corner. 
“We can’t leave Rafe behind, but the motorcycle won’t take three of us.”  She was talking so low Colby could hardly hear her.
“We’re not leaving Rafe.  He’s going to take care of the three in the back and we’re going to open the garage and take care of the ones out front.”  He pulled her toward the corner behind a large barrier in the garage. Colby was always amazed with what the safe houses were equipped with.  Who else would need a concrete barrier in a garage?
“Stay here, and keep this safe.”  He handed her the backpack with the laptop and flash drive in it.
She did as she was told, clutching the bag to her.  Colby didn’t linger, but got ready to throw out the flash bang.  He pulled open the side garage door, just far enough so he could see two of the men standing guard, waiting for them to be smoked out.  He threw the grenade and shut the door, but as soon as he heard the explosion, he pushed it open and darted out. 

 Giveaway Details 
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash 
Ends 7/24/13

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Mark of a Giant Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for The Mark of a Giant by Ted Stewart!

Throughout the course of history, civilization has been blessed by strong-minded men and women who have impacted our world in extraordinary ways. Their imprint upon humanity is beyond dispute. And many would contend that they were no less than the result of Divine Providence—a gift of God to the human race. Who are these individuals? What is it about these few that make them different? Were they merely in the right place at the right time? Or were they somehow chosen? The Mark of a Giant examines the lives and contributions of seven men and women who changed the world: Abraham of Ur, Pericles, the Apostle Paul, Sir Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mother Teresa.

About the Author

Ted Stewart was appointed as a United States District Court Judge in 1999 by President Bill Clinton. Prior to that, he served as chief of staff to Governor Michael O. Leavitt, as executive director of the State Department of Natural Resources, as a member and chairman of the Public Service Commission, and as chief of staff to Congressman Jim Hansen. He has been a visiting professor at two state universities, teaching courses in law and public policy. He is the New York Times bestselling author of The Miracle of Freedom: 7 Tipping Points that Saved the World.

Throughout the course of time, there have been those people who have helped to change the world for the better. This book looks at seven men and women who made amazing contributions to society, some with their intellect and wisdom and some just with their love. By looking at the lives and life-changing actions of these people, we can learn about how wonderful things came about and how sometimes small things can make huge differences.
This book was quite inspiring to me. There is so much fantastic information about these people who have done so many amazing things. Of course, I'm not sure how the author was able to keep it to only seven people. There are some people that I would love to have seen in there, but I can't argue with any of the people included for sure. Some made amazing scientific contributions and some just made contributions with the way they lived their lives. It's amazing to see how they were able to accomplish so much good. Sometimes I think they weren't even aware of how their lives would affect so many others. This is a great example to us to keep trying our best as we never know how it will help someone else.
I enjoyed all of the life stories in this book, but I found Marie Curie to be of particular interest for me. She really lived an amazing life, and her contributions to the world have allowed for amazing medical advancements. I think that this book made me really want to just try to be the best I can be. That's really all these people were doing. Trying to make life better in a way that they could. Luckily for us they were able to make amazing things happen. I think families would benefit from learning about all of these people and looking for ways they can change their own little worlds. Definitely check this book out to be inspired and ready to take on anything!
Book provided for review.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Heaven's Just a Prayer Away Book Blast

Welcome to the book blast for Heaven's Just a Prayer Away by Diony George!

heaven is just

Before we came to earth, we lived in heavenly realms. We knew our Heavenly Father. We walked and talked with Him. We heard His voice. We felt His love. In Heaven’s Just a Prayer Away, beloved author Diony George teaches us how to reestablish that relationship with Him here on earth. With the help of this book you will:     

• Learn that nothing is too small or unimportant to discuss with Heavenly Father   
• Find peace and contentment through daily communication with God   
• Gain a better understanding of why some prayers seem to go unanswered   
• Develop a greater knowledge of the power of prayer   

The inspirational and enlightening experiences found within these pages will change your life forever by strengthening your relationship with God and filling your life with peace, teaching us that heaven really is just a prayer away.   

Author Diony George

Diony George is a wife, full-time mom of seven, grandmother of three, and a published author of uplifting women’s fiction and inspiring nonfiction. She is also a regular contributing writer for Deseret Connect and FamilyHow. Originally from Alaska, she currently lives in Salt Lake City with her family. Besides writing she loves to read, especially romantic suspense, bake, sew and craft. Her current fiction WIP, Inside the Heart, is based around the kidnapping and disappearance of four-year-old Emma. Her newest nonfiction book, Heaven’s Just a Prayer Away was just released by Cedar Fort, Inc.  

Heaven Tour
BookBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 8/1/13
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 author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Motive for Murder Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for Motive for Murder by Marlene Bateman!

Meet Erica Coleman—a gifted and quirky private investigator with an OCD-like passion for neatness and symmetry, a penchant for cooking, (ten terrific recipes are included), and a weakness for chocolate.
Erica imagined that her trip to Florida would be a slice of heaven—a chance to get away from it all and catch up with her best friend, Wendy. But one day into her vacation, all hope of fun in the sun is dashed when she stumbles, literally, over a dead man on Wendy’s driveway. With police closing in on her friend as their main suspect, Erica must find the real killer before Wendy ends up behind bars.
With Erica’s skill, solving the mystery should be a piece of cake but then a second homicide-attempt hits close to home and generates a whole new list of suspects. There’s no way to sugarcoat it, a murderer is on the prowl, and no one is above suspicion.
As the plot thickens, it appears Erica may have bitten off more than she can chew, but she forges on, sifting through mounting evidence until she hones in on the killer who has a surprising motive for murder. With a dash of romance and some surprising twists, this thrilling mystery will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page.

Find the book online at Seagull Book, Deseret Books, and Amazon. Also available on CD.

Praise from Traci Abramson and Betsy Brannon Green:  

Motive for Murder is fresh, captivating, and cleverly written. The colorful cast of characters will enthrall readers as they try to navigate the clever twists and turns of this captivating mystery. Intriguing, memorable characters, and a skillfully written mystery make Motive for Murder Marlene Bateman's finest work yet—a must read!  -Traci Abramson

With a fresh, crisp writing style, Marlene Bateman introduces readers to a fascinating cast of characters and skillfully unravels an intricate plot full of twists and surprises!  I loved Motive for Murder and you will too!  -Betsy Brannon Green
“As she drove back to Wendy’s house, the headlights cleaved the darkness and the rain, which was falling harder now. Erica had to park across the street and was nearly to Wendy’s door when she stopped suddenly, catching herself as she nearly fell over something.
It was the still figure of a man lying face down on the driveway. He was strangely unmoving. The light from the porch illuminated a puddle alongside him, which was growing bigger by the second. A chill shivered down Erica’s spine as she noticed that the puddle was streaked by dark red threads that ran and merged with rivulets of rain.”

Marlene Bateman Sullivan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah.  She graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they are the parents of seven children.  
Her hobbies are gardening, camping, and reading.  Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and has written a number of non-fiction books, including:  Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s From Beyond the Veil, By the Ministering of Angels, and Brigham’s Boys. Marlene also wrote the best-selling novel, Light on Fire Island.
A busy writer, Marlene is set to have three books published this year. Gaze Into Heaven, a fascinating collection of over 50 documented near-death experiences in early church history, was published earlier this year. Next is Motive for Murder, the first in a mystery series featuring the quirky Erica Coleman. In July, Heroes of Faith, a collection of stories about people who risked their life for the gospel, will be released by Cedar Fort Inc.
For more info on Marlene Bateman Sullivan, check out her website

Hope you enjoyed learning a little more about this book. Looks interesting (and a bit scary)! Be sure to check it out, and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Angels Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for Angels, Agents of Light, Love, and Power by Donald W. Parry!

Stories are told around the world of persons who have received help or comfort from someone they couldn't see—an angel or spirit who guided them or in some other way gave them assistance from beyond the veil.
But just who are these angels? Are they even real?
Although angels are a vital part of Latter-day Saint history and doctrine, their roles and purposes are often misunderstood. In this inspiring volume, author Donald W. Parry discusses in a clear and understandable way what we can learn from the scriptures and from modern prophets and apostles about angels and their missions.
Here you will find answers to such questions as the following:
  • What are angels?
  • What powers and abilities are angels given?
  • How do angels communicate with mortals?
  • What are the assigned missions and roles of angels?
  • How do angels reveal truth and teach the doctrines of the gospel?
  • How do angels minister to and comfort mortals?
  • What is the role of guardian angels in the modern world?
When just the thought of someone watching out for us can give us hope in challenging times, to realize that angels minister light, love, and power to us, whether we are aware of them or not, gives us unparalleled understanding, comfort, and peace.
Find the book at Deseret Books.
Donald W. Parry, a professor of the Hebrew Bible at Brigham Young University holds the Abraham O. Smoot Professorship. For nearly twenty years he has served as a member of the prestigious international team of translators of the Dead Sea Scrolls and is the author or coauthor of more than thirty books and numerous articles on the Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls. He has coauthored with his brother, Jay A. Parry, several books for Latter-day Saints, including Understanding Isaiah, Understanding the Signs of the Times, and most recently, Symbols and Shadows: Unlocking a Deeper Understanding of the Atonement. Brother Parry, who has served in the Church as a bishop, a temple worker, and high councilor, is a popular speaker at BYU Education Week. He and his wife, Camille Parry, are the parents of six children.

Angels have long been a source of interest to mortals. Their images have been depicted in art for thousands of years. They have been included in songs and other writings for just as long. This book takes the chance to separate the myths from the facts by using scripture and other accounts of interactions with angels to teach some very interesting truths. It's an interesting chance to learn what you do and do not know about something we have all heard so much about.

I loved the approach this book took. Each chapter was a fact about angels, and then the evidence was laid out in very clear fashion. A lot of the evidence is based on scripture with some more recent statements from LDS leaders added in. There are also other accounts, usually from early church leaders, to help give a fuller picture. Because everything is sourced so well, it's easy to figure out exactly where everything is coming from. This helps to give the reader a chance to search and ponder the things in the book. 
There were a lot of things to learn from this book, and I found it to be very entertaining while still being informative. Two things really stuck out with me while reading this. The first was it seems like many of us may have had interactions with angels unawares. How cool is that thought? It made me want to be nicer to everyone I meet as you just never know who you are talking to. The other thought was how loved we are. We are never left alone on the Earth. There are always so many people trying to help us get through this life, and this book offered some concrete proof of that. This is a book that I think many people will enjoy and feel lighter for having read it.

Book provided for review.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Rising Sun, Falling Star Book Blast

Welcome to the book blast for Rising Sun, Falling Star!

Rising Sun

Different eyes and skin Mock me from the mirror’s light Enemy am I. Dec 7, 1941 Today my life changed forever . . . I am no longer considered American, but by shear heritage I am now the hated enemy . . . The lives of Kenji and Aiko Onishi and their American-born children are about to unravel when the United States is thrust into war with Japan. Confronted by insurmountable prejudice and fear, the family is ripped from their California home without just cause by the American government and sent to an assembly center “for their own protection.” Forced to live in deplorable circumstances, every aspect of their lives regulated and controlled, the Onishi’s freedoms are stripped from their grasp as they struggle to survive behind barbed wire. It isn’t long before the mind-numbing confinement and feelings of helplessness begin to pit the family against one another. When sent to a relocation camp in the center of the Utah desert, they’re beset by ever increasing emotional and physical challenges, and Aiko is faced with her greatest yet: to mend the broken spirits of her family, or risk losing them forever. Based on true and tragic events that transpired during World War II, Rising Sun, Falling Star is a heart-rending story of one family’s struggle to survive uncalculated loss and emotional destruction.
rising sun tour
Author Vickie Hall

Vickie is a native of Utah, but growing up, lived in the states of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Nebraska. When she’s not writing, she’s composing music, or shopping with her sister. She loves animals of all kinds and camping with her family. Her favorite pastime is watching old movies on TCM, and unashamedly has a crush on Cary Grant.
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Monday, July 1, 2013

Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop!

It's the middle of the summer, and that means hot temperatures and trying to keep cool. What better way to do that than reading? Come enter and get you a surefire way to escape the heat!

I'm offering up my usual of:

a $10 Amazon.com gift code or $10 in books from Book Depository!

Please check to ensure that Book Depository delivers to your country.

How do you enter?

Choose one or any or all of the following:
1. Follow on GFC or Linkyfollowers
2.  Follow on Twitter
3. Like on Facebook
4. Friend on Goodreads 

That's all!

Be sure to check out all the other blogs on the hop. Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

Review: Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder

Title:Scent of Magic
Author:Maria V. Snyder
Publisher:Harlequin MIRA
Pub. Date:12/18/2012
ISBN:0778314189 (ISBN13: 9780778314189)

Hunted, Killed—Survived?

As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of her friends and foes alike, she no longer exists. Despite her need to prevent the megalomanical King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avry is also determined to find her sister and repair their estrangement. And she must do it alone, as Kerrick, her partner and sole confident, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle.

Though she should be in hiding, Avry will do whatever she can to support Tohon’s opponents. Including infiltrating a holy army, evading magic sniffers, teaching forest skills to soldiers and figuring out how to stop Tohon’s most horrible creations yet; an army of the walking dead—human and animal alike and nearly impossible to defeat.

War is coming and Avry is alone. Unless she figures out how to do the impossible ... again.

(Summary and cover via Goodreads)


Avry survived her first run-in with the evil King Tohon. Well, kind of. Technically she died, but was saved by a plant that may be way more important than she though. She also managed to fall for Kerrick, her traveling partner. However, things are not looking good for the good guys, so Avry and Kerrick part ways for the better good. Avry goes undercover in the army of her sort of ally Estrid while Kerrick goes home to get the aid of his kingdom that he kind of abandoned. Both of them will run into peril and surprises around every corner. If they can manage to stay alive, they might be able to just might be able to figure out how to win this war.

I was really excited to read this book because I loved the first one in this series. I found the beginning to be a little clunky though. I know it's hard to write enough so that a new reader knows what's going on while still moving the story forward, but this seemed a bit awkward. Luckily things smooth out fairly quickly, and once the story gets past the introduction it hums along at a fairly quick clip. There are two main stories here when Avry and Kerrick split up at the beginning. They are both full of peril, and there are plenty of twists and turns for both of them. I really enjoyed the surprises. There were several I did not see coming, so that was really fun. Avry was still a capable and awesome character. She is very determined and wants to make sure she takes care of as many people as possible. Kerrick's parts of the story were fairly short, so I didn't feel that I knew him quite as well. It was still an interesting addition to the overall story.

I guess by nature of being a middle book, it was very dark for the most part. There weren't a lot of happy points, but that helped make the few bright spots even better. Overall the book kept my interest throughout, but the ending was killer. I hate cliffhangers though, and this was a big one. Did it pique my interest for the next book though? Absolutely. Mission accomplished there. This is a great fantasy book, and I really can't wait to read the next one in the series.