Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Lost Teachings of Jesus Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for The Lost Teachings of Jesus and the Sacred Place of Women by Alonzo Gaskill!

The wife and the mother are the inappreciable treasures given unto you by God. They are the fairest ornaments of existence, and of them shall be born all the inhabitants of the world.” This extra-biblical text, thought to be the words of Christ, is presented and explained by Alonzo Gaskill where he expounds the divine role of women in the gospel and family. This book will help you learn how to better appreciate and respect women and their part in God’s plan.

Alonzo L. Gaskill is a professor of Church history and doctrine. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, a master’s in theology, and a Ph.D in biblical studies. Brother Gaskill has taught at Brigham Young University since 2003. Prior to coming to BYU he served in a variety of assignments within the church Educational System— most recently as the director of the LDS Institute of Religion at Stanford University (1995–2003).

Connect with Alonzo Gaskill on his blog, Facebook, and Twitter.


While we are all familiar with the accepted sermons of Jesus, there are many more attributed to him in the world. One of these is the subject of this book. In the sermon, there is a discourse on women and their role in the world. While the words are not directly attributable to Jesus Christ, the ideas and lessons taught are in-line with past and current teachings. Going verse by verse, this book provides messages of love and support and councils for men, children, and women to help them all truly appreciate the important place of women in the gospel.

I found this book so interesting! To be honest, I don't ever really read much outside the accepted standard works for the LDS church, although I am aware that other possible teaching exist. Reading this really opened my eyes to all the good things that could be found. This book is full of inspiration I think. The words of the sermon are beautifully written, almost reading like poetry. The author also does a great job of breaking them down and showing how they both fit and expand upon those things we are taught in the church. 

One of the most interesting things I found in this book was a verse to counterpoint the rather infamous verse in the New Testament about wives submitting to their husbands. This sermons contains a verse talking about husbands submitting to their wives. I love the symmetry and equality in that. That we should both be listening to the other person as they provide ideas and insights. What a wonderful state relationships could be in if we listened to each other more. There was only one part that read a little weird to me where the advice to women discussed the importance of our dress and appearance. I think I get what the author was trying to say, but it almost read a little old-fashioned to me. I think just changing a couple words there would better convey the author's intent without seeming to be promoting strange 1950's expectations onto women. Other than that I found a lot to love in this book and felt really inspired and loved. It's easy to read and will provide a lot of inspiration to men and women alike.

Book provided for review.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Fortune Cafe Book Blast

Welcome to the book blast for The Fortune Cafe by Julie Wright, Melanie Jacobson, and Heather B. Moore!

Fortune Cafe
MIS-FORTUNE: Emma, a waitress at The Fortune Café will do anything to avoid opening a fortune cookie. Each fortune is rumored to somehow magically come true. Being a girl grounded in reality, she doesn’t have time for that kind of nonsense. But when trying to prevent a food fight at the café, Emma accidently cracks open a fortune cookie: “Look around, love is trying to catch you.” If there is one thing that Harrison, her former best friend in high school is good at, it’s catching her unaware.   

LOVE, NOT LUCK: Lucy has always been lucky . . . until her parents meet her fiancé’s parents at a disastrous lunch at The Fortune Café, and she breaks her lucky jade necklace. Even worse, her fortune cookie reveals that “True love is for the brave, not the lucky.” How is she supposed to read that? She’s always considered it lucky how she met her fiancé. But after breaking her necklace, Lucy’s luck takes a dive. And when her fiancé dumps her, the only person she can turn to is Carter, the unluckiest guy she knows.   

TAKEOUT: Stella is content in her new life of taking over her mom’s jewelry shop. No more boyfriend to worry about, and as long as she stays busy, she doesn’t have to dwell on her non-existent love life. When Evan comes into the shop with his young daughter, Stella is charmed. But she is reluctant to complicate her straightforward life, so when she reads her fortune after ordering takeout from The Fortune Café, she completely ignores it. After all, how can a fortune as vague as “Do the thing you fear and love is certain,” apply to her?
About the Authors


Julie Wright started her first book when she was fifteen. She’s written over a dozen books since then, is a Whitney Award winner, and feels she’s finally getting the hang of this writing gig. She enjoys speaking to writing groups, youth groups, and schools. She loves reading, eating writing, hiking, playing on the beach with her kids, and snuggling with her husband to watch movies. Julie’s favorite thing to do is watch her husband make dinner. She hates mayonnaise, but has a healthy respect for ice cream.

Melanie Bennett Jacobson is an avid reader, amateur cook, and champion shopper. She consumes astonishing amounts of chocolate, chick flicks, and romance novels. After meeting her husband online, she is now living happily married in Southern California with her growing family and a series of doomed houseplants. Melanie is a former English teacher and a sometime blogger who loves to laugh and make others laugh. In her down time (ha!), she writes romantic comedies and pines after beautiful shoes.

Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author. She writes historical thrillers under the pen name H.B. Moore, her latest is Finding Sheba. Under Heather B. Moore she writes romance and women’s fiction. She’s the co-author of The Newport Ladies Book Club series. Other women’s novels include Heart of the Ocean, The Fortune Café, the Aliso Creek Series, and the Amazon bestselling Timeless Romance Anthology Series.
Fortune Cafe Tour

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 Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 4/18/14
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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 and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop!

It's that time of year that we're all a little bit Irish! Well, I'm not sure how much Irish I actually have in me, but I do love the color green. So I'm all for St. Patrick's Day. Why not have a little giveaway to celebrate?

I'm offering up my usual of:

a $10 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!

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

Friday, March 14, 2014

Power to Become Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for Power to Become by David A. Bednar!

In Power to Become, Elder David A. Bednar explores how the Savior makes possible His divine commission, "Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect" (3 Nephi12:48).

Chapters in this thought-provoking book highlight the importance of the Atonement, the spiritual gift of personal peace, the importance of priesthood ordinances, and the responsibility we have to obey willingly and endure valiantly.

"As we increase in learning about the Savior and His gospel," Elder Bednar writes, "as we strive with ever greater consistency to act in His doctrine, ordinances, and covenants, then we are blessed with power through His Atonement to increasingly become like Him." Power to Become introduces vital tools we all can use to invite these eternally significant blessings into our lives.

About the Author: 

ELDER DAVID A. BEDNAR was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2004. Prior to his call, he had served as an Area Seventy, regional representative, stake president, and bishop. He served a mission to southern Germany and then attended Brigham Young University, where he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He received a PhD in organizational behavior from Purdue University and was a professor of business management at Texas Tech University and the University of Arkansas. Elder Bednar served as the president of BYU-Idaho from 1997 to 2004. His previously published books include the bestsellers Increase in Learning and Act in Doctrine. He and his wife, Susan, are the parents of three sons.

This book offers tons of resources to go along with all the things being taught. There are discussions and videos to help enlighten readers. Check it out!


All of us are striving to be better, but sometimes it's hard to really get a feel for how we are supposed to get there. As we work towards perfection, it's easy to get bogged down in the details of life. However, we do have amazing potential if we can only see it. This book works to have us truly see what our potential to become is. Each chapter offers observations of different areas that we have the power to become stronger in. These areas will ultimately make us much better people. Full of thought-provoking quotes and scriptures, this book gives people inspiration to truly work towards becoming everything we have the potential to be.

I found this book to be very inspiring. There are so many quotes that I'm not as familiar with but offered so much wisdom and hope. In particular I liked the chapter about personal peace. There were so many examples of how people in extreme circumstances found amazing amounts of peace. I strive to be able to find this in my everyday life. I also enjoyed how interactive this book can be. There are super wide margins to take notes, and each chapters ends with questions and spaces to write down your answers. This allows for a lot of thought and inspiration as you read this book. Add in all the videos, and these lessons taught in this book go beyond just what you read. If you are looking for words of wisdom and hope, look no further. This is a great book.

Book provided for review.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Review: Off Balance by Dominique Moceanu

Title:Off Balance
Author:Dominique Moceanu with Paul & Terri Williams
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Pub. Date:10/16/2007
ISBN:1451608659 (ISBN13: 9781451608656)

AT FOURTEEN YEARS OLD, Dominique Moceanu was the youngest member of the 1996 U.S. Women's Olympic Gymnastics team, the first and only American women's team to take gold at the Olympics. Her pixyish appearance and ferocious competitive drive quickly earned her the status of media darling. But behind the fame, the flawless floor routines, and the million-dollar smile, her life was a series of challenges and hardships. 

Off Balance vividly delineates each of the dominating characters who contributed to Moceanu's rise to the top, from her stubborn father and long-suffering mother to her mercurial coach, Bela Karolyi. Here, Moceanu finally shares the haunting stories of competition, her years of hiding injuries and pain out of fear of retribution from her coaches, and how she hit rock bottom after a public battle with her parents. 

But medals, murder plots, drugs, and daring escapes aside (all of which figure into Moceanu's incredible journey), the most unique aspect of her life is the family secret that Moceanu discovers, opening a new and unexpected chapter in her adult life. A mysterious letter from a stranger reveals that she has a second sister-born with a physical disability and given away at birth-who has nonetheless followed in Moceanu's footsteps in an astonishing way. 

A multilayered memoir that transcends the world of sports, Off Balance will touch anyone who has ever dared to dream of a better life.

(Summary and cover via Goodreads)


Dominique Moceanu was born to be a gymnast. Her parents were immigrants from Romania, and they were willing to give up anything for her dream. As Dominique's natural talents quickly moved her up the gymnastics ranks, her parents moved her across the country trying to make Dominque the best. While she had great successes, she also had great lows. Dominque soon found herself among adults who were not looking out for her best interests. When she suddenly receives a mysterious letter in the mail, her life is turned even more upside down. It may take a while, but Dominque is determined to live life on her terms, no matter what.

I'm a pretty big gymnastics fan, and I remember the 1996 Olympics fairly clearly. Dominique Moceanu was one of my favorites at that games, and I was sad that she didn't get more medals. It wasn't until much later that I heard stories about what the situation was like behind the scenes. I was mesmerized by Bela Karolyi and his big personality. I didn't realize that was all an act for the camera. Behind the scenes he was often cruel to the gymnasts and strict obedience was enforced. While results were sometimes seen in the medals and good showings at big events, more often then not the gymnasts were injured, hungry, and run-down. Dominque suffered from the same system, but it didn't change her outlook on life permanently.  While she did suffer through many dark days, she managed to find balance and a way to end her gymnastics career (and live her life) the way she chose. It was quite inspiring.

All of this is wrapped in a second even more unbelievable story. After getting a letter in the mail, Dominique is in for the shock of her life. Her parents had a long-kept secret, a third daughter that they gave away for adoption soon after birth due to her physical disabilities. Naturally this comes as quite a shock, but Dominique's new found balance in life helps her deal with that as well. I found this book very interesting as it confirmed some of the things I had heard and gave new perspectives on others. At times I wish that Dominque had gone a little more in-depth as to things that happened, but I supposed it would have been very difficult to relive some of the horrible times in her life. Dominque has come out as a strong voice for change in the way our gymnastic athletes are treated, and I applaud her in this cause. This book was a great example of not only working through some hard parts of life but also truly rising above and living life on your own terms. Great read.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Death in the Family Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for A Death in the Family 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. 

In A Death in the Family, the second in the Erica Coleman series, private eye Erica Coleman and her family happily anticipate Grandma Blanche’s eighty-first birthday celebration in the picturesque town of Florence, Oregon. But when the feisty matriarch, a savvy businesswoman, suspects wrongdoing and asks Erica to investigate her company, things get sticky.

Before the investigation can even begin, Blanche’s unexpected death leaves Erica with more questions than answers—and it is soon clear Grandma’s passing was anything but natural: she was murdered. When another relative becomes the next victim of someone with a taste for homicide, Erica uses her flair for cooking to butter up local law enforcement and gather clues.

Erica’s OCD either helps or hinders her—depending on who you talk to—but it’s those same obsessive and compulsive traits than enable Erica to see clues that others miss. When she narrowly escapes becoming the third victim, Erica is more determined than ever to solve the case.

About Marlene Bateman:

Marlene Bateman Sullivan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and 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, Brigham’s Boys, and Heroes of Faith. Her latest book is Gaze Into Heaven, a fascinating collection of over 50 documented near-death experiences in early church history.

Marlene’s first novel was the best-selling Light on Fire Island. Her next novel was Motive for Murder, which is the first in a mystery series that features the quirky private eye with OCD, Erica Coleman.

Find Marlene at her website:

A Death in the Family can be found at:

It can also be found in physical stores including Deseret Book, Seagull Book, and other LDS bookstores!

To raise your interest, here's an except!

“It’s hard to believe she’s gone,” Kristen said dolefully. “When I moved here, I thought I’d have years with Grandma. She was always so active—I thought she’d keep going for years.”

“And all the time, her heart was getting weaker,” Trent said glumly.

Walter commented, “The last time I saw her, Blanche said the doctor told her she had the constitution of a mule.” 

There were a few smiles at this, but Martha’s brow furrowed in confusion. “But Mom’s death didn’t have anything to do with how healthy she was.”

“What are you talking about?” Trent’s impatient voice billowed out and filled the small room.

Martha squirmed but fluttered on, “Well, after what Mom said when she came to visit me, you know—about how something wrong was going on in the company—I worried that something might happen.” 

Her response reverberated around the room. Everyone went very still—as if they were holding their breath. 

Martha’s eyes went from one to another. “I didn’t mean—oh, I shouldn’t have said anything,” she stammered. Her voice was pure distress. “It’s just that . . . well, we’re all family here, so it’s okay, isn’t it? I mean, no one else knows.”

“No one else knows what?” Trent said brusquely. 

Visibly flustered, Martha’s hands twisted in her lap. “And . . . and Mother was very old and—and the police haven’t even come, have they?” 

Erica wondered what Martha could be getting at. Everyone darted quizzical looks at each other, trying to make sense out of Martha’s confused chirruping. 

After meeting blank looks all around, Martha blurted, “I mean, that’s good . . . isn’t it? For the family?” 

The room remained deadly silent as Martha’s cheeks flamed red.

There was a rumble as Walter cleared his throat. “Why would the police come?”

“Why, to arrest someone.” Martha sounded surprised—as if he had asked something that was completely and absolutely self-evident. She stared at Walter, as if he and he alone could straighten everything out. “Isn’t that why they’re doing an autopsy? I mean, don’t they always do an autopsy when someone has been murdered?”

I'm already intrigued. Be sure to check this book out!

The Idea of Him Cover Reveal

Welcome to the cover reveal for The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson!

Idea of Him

Publisher: William Morrow  (April 1, 2014)
Category: Contemporary Fiction/ Women’s Fiction
ISBN: 978-0062283108
Tour Date: April/May, 2014
Available in: Print & ebook, 384 Pages

In the fabulous and intrigue-packed new novel from Holly Peterson, the New York Times bestselling author of THE MANNY, THE IDEA OF HIM explores the dangers of falling for the idea of a person, and why facing reality is more liberating than we ever dreamed it could be. For anyone who’s let the fear of being alone keep them from seeing who someone really is, THE IDEA OF HIM is an inspiring, action-packed story of what happens when we embrace our own power and allow the truth to finally set us free.

Allie Crawford has the life she always dreamed of—she's number two at a high-profile P.R. firm; she has two kids she adores; and her husband is a blend of handsome and heroic. Wade is everything she thought a man was supposed to be—he's running a successful newsmagazine and, best of all, he provides the stable yet exciting New York City life Allie believes she needs in order to feel secure and happy. But when Allie finds Wade locked in their laundry room with a stunning blonde in snakeskin sandals, a scandal ensues that flips her life on its head. And when the woman wants to befriend Allie, an old flame calls, and a new guy gets a little too close for comfort, she starts to think her marriage is more of a facade than something real. Maybe she's fallen in love not with Wade—but with the idea of him. Captivating and seductive, told in the whip-smart voice of a woman who is working hard to keep her parenting and career on track, The Idea of Him is a novel of conspiracy, intrigue, and intense passion—and discovering your greatest strength through your deepest fears.

Praise for The Manny: "This is bestsellerland - the manny isn’t one of the popolo minuto. Nope, he’s an about-to-be-millionaire software developer from a neocon background with hot buns and fab abs. Three guesses? A diverting spell in the world of the greedy, The Manny is a genre-bender, sex and shopping and ambition and even a tinge of socialism, and brilliant fun."</ em>-Heatseeker Reviews

"Peterson offers an amusing take on the mating habits of the Manhattan elite. And while the story holds few surprises, it benefits greatly from an attractive pair of would-be lovers."-Kirkus Review

"Phillip's temper tantrums...are surprisingly funny, and a subplot where Jamie chases a trashy but potentially career-making story is strong." - Publishers Weekly</ span> 

"I leapt on The Manny and devoured it in one sitting. It's a riveting portrait of millionaires' life on 'The Grid', full of eye-watering details. And it made me instantly want to hire a male nanny...... for me!—Sophie Kinsella, author of Shopaholic & Baby 

“Holly Peterson writes about the rich with acute understanding and a drop-dead eye for detail. The funniest, sexiest ride in the limo lane since The Bonfire of the Vanities.” —Tina Brown, author of The Diana Chronicles
Holly Peterson

About Holly Peterson: Holly Peterson is the author of the New York Times and international best seller, The Manny. She was a Contributing Editor for Newsweek and editor-at-large for Tina Brown’s Talk magazine. She was also an Emmy Award–winning producer for ABC News for more than a decade, where she covered global politics. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, Newsweek, Talk, the Daily Beast, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and other publications.

Buy The Idea of Him:
Barnes and Noble 
Book Depository