Monday, April 13, 2015

Powerful Perennials by Nedra Secrist, My Review

I love gardening and I think that mostly comes from my fabulous mother who has always kept a beautiful garden and yard. My flowerbeds are always in need of weeding but perennial flowers are my favorite because they are the first to welcome spring and add some life to the drab winter scene.

Powerful Perennials is a new book by Nedra Secrist that is jam-packed full of excellent information on this great facet of gardening but the best part is that it's specifically written with western gardeners in mind. Those of us who have to deal with cold climates, dry climates, hungry wildlife, and poor soils!
This book details dozens of different perennials with information that helps you to decide what is best for each area of your yard and garden. I like how Nedra notes which plants are poisonous or have other properties of use. She even shows pictures of how to make little Hollyhock dolls!
This book is a definite keeper as a flowerbed resource and I'm excited to continue learning and looking up information on perennials for my dream flower garden.

Book blurb:
Pack your garden plot with colorful native blooms that will come back year after year!

Beautiful, easy to care for, and extra easy on your wallet—perennials are a thrifty gardener’s best friend. Learn how to make the most of them with this complete guide to gardening with perennials.

Discover all these gorgeous flowers, grasses, and greens, with names you won’t be able to resist.

Turkish Iris, Iris spuria
Candytuft, Iberis
Evening Primrose, Oenothera
Painted Daisy, Tanacetum
Sweet Rocket, Hesperis
Bee Balm, Monarda
Hollyhock, Alcea

For each one you’ll see complete information about how well it tolerates droughts, cold seasons, wildlife, and native soils, so you can pick the plants that will serve you best. Whether you’re looking for something fragrant, a bloom to attract butterflies, or a splash of bright color to light up your yard, there’s a powerful perennial in this book that’s perfect for your garden!

This fine book is the culmination of the experience and knowledge gained over 62 years of gardening.
Finally the Western Rocky Mountain gardeners have a book written for their environment.  Within the books covers are local photos along with descriptions, growing features and the perennial’s ability to thrive in our cold winters, desert conditions, wildlife neighborhoods and difficult soils.

Every perennial offered by Secrist gardens and highlighted in “Powerful Perennials” has been garden tested for performance and hardiness in the higher, colder elevations of Bear Lake, Idaho and the warmer Wasatch Front gardens in Brigham City Utah.

“Powerful Perennials” offers in depth perennial introductions along with all kinds of gardening dilemma solutions, while proving that gardening is the most remarkable activity you will ever experience. This book is a “keeper” promising to become your most valuable gardening tool for years to come

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, April 10, 2015

My New Book Cover & A Giveaway! What Every 6th Grader Needs to Know

I'm doing the happy dance today! I'm so excited about my new book!

What Every 6th Grader Needs to Know: 10 Secrets to Connect Moms & Daughters
 I co-wrote this book with the fabulous Connie Sokol and it was such a neat experience. I'm in the process of designing a website to go along with it at and it will be filled with wonderful information to support kids and parents in every stage. This book launches a new series of What Every Kid Needs to Know books and Connie and I are busy at work on the next one.

Would you like to see the cover? Well here's the book blurb first:

Book Blurb:
Is your daughter asking questions about friends, peer pressure, school, and even her weight?
As a mom, are you wondering how to answer them?
Welcome to the club.
But you can relax. Because we’ve asked real sixth-grade girls to dish on their top secret questions. And, we’ve provided time-tested real-life answers that work.
Add to that an enjoyable format. The “Just for Girls” section speaks right to your daughter in words and ways she understands. The “Just for Moms” section talks straight to moms, giving you information, resources, and easy-to-share answers. We include tips for how to start, handle, and enjoy the conversations no matter the situation.
Create connected conversations with your daughter as you explore these life questions together. Get plain facts and jumpstart questions. Discuss the provided scenarios so she can practice responses to use in real-time. Download decorative cards with positive statements and fun fill-in sentences.
Use What Every Girl Needs to Know About 6th Grade to make it happen. Together, answer questions and create connection.
You got this. 

And here is the cover....
 Don't you love it?! Look for this book's release on April 21st. In the meantime. . .
Enter the Goodreads 3 Book Giveaway
add to goodreads
Are you interested in being a part of our Street Team of Reviewers? Please email with a request to review this and other books. You'll need to post reviews on Amazon, goodreads, and other social media sites.

Praise for What Every 6th Grader Needs to Know
10 Secrets to Connect Moms & Daughters

“At a time when so many barriers are straining mother/daughter relationships, and our daughter’s esteem is being attacked from every side, “What Every 6th Grader Needs to Know” gives mothers the tools they need to communicate (even about the tough stuff). It gives daughters the confidence to know that they have what it takes to survive the unique transitional years. Whether your relationship with your daughter is strained, or you want to strengthen what is already strong, use this smart and savvy information. You and your girl(s) will learn how to thrive through the teen years.”
–Heather Ann Johnson M.S. Adjunct Faculty, BYU, Mother to 5 girls

“With conflicting messages today, it’s easy for moms and daughters to get confused and overwhelmed. This book bestows all the wisdom you want to pour into your daughter’s heart and mind in a fun, non-threatening way. Dread turns into confidence as you realize you have the tools to face those teenage years TOGETHER and have a ball doing it.”
–Rachel Skinner, Mother of nine, Social Worker

“This book provided a wonderful bonding experience for me and my daughter. As parents we always think we know how our child is doing. Then we get into a deep conversation and realize that compared to what we thought, they are doing either so much better or are suffering so much more. But they hold those feelings back to protect us. Sometimes they fear that talking about it means more pain, but this books shows that talking is healing, especially when we know how.”
—Karrie Glazner, Mother of Three Wonderful Kids

connie sokol1Author Connie E. Sokol
Connie E. Sokol is a mother of seven and a favorite local and national speaker for over fifteen years. She is a core contributor on KSL TV’s “Studio 5 with Brooke Walker” and a national blogger for “Motherhood Matters” at She is a former TV and radio host for Bonneville Communications and newspaper and magazine columnist. Mrs. Sokol is the author of twelve books including Faithful, Fit & Fabulous; Create a Powerful Life Plan; The Life is Too Short Collection; 40 Days with the Savior; and Caribbean Crossroads. Mrs. Sokol marinates in time spent with her family and eating decadent treats.
rachelleAuthor Rachelle J. Christensen
Rachelle J. Christensen is a mother of five who loves connecting with her children and wrote this book in answer to questions from her two daughters. She also has an amazing husband, three cats, and five chickens. An award-winning author, she has written several mystery/suspense novels, and she solves the mystery of the missing shoe on a daily basis. Rachelle graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in psychology and a music minor. She enjoys singing and songwriting, playing the piano, running, motivational speaking, and, of course, reading.

Thanks for celebrating the cover reveal with me today! Now enter the giveaway and help spread the word about
What Every 6th Grader Needs to Know: 10 Secrets to Connect Moms & Daughters by Rachelle J. Christensen and Connie E. Sokol
$25 Giveaway
Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 5/1/15
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 and sponsored by VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Cover Reveal of Marrying Christopher by Michele Paige Holmes

If you're looking for a great romance, you'll want to check out author Michele Paige Holmes! Her latest book, Marrying Christopher will be available July 2015. And I'm lucky enough to get to share the cover with you today!

About the Marrying Christopher:
Having seen both his sisters Grace and Helen happily married, Christopher Thatcher is free to pursue his dream of life in America. With adventure in his heart and mind, he boards one of the first steamships set to cross the Atlantic in the record breaking time of only twenty-five days. Within the first two of those, his resolve—to avoid women and the complications they often bring to a man’s life—falters when he meets Marsali Abbott, a young woman with a past even more troubling than his own. Whether from years of habit protecting his sisters, or simply because he feels drawn to Marsali, Christopher chooses to help her and becomes her friend. As the truth about what awaits Marsali in America becomes evident, he is faced with a more difficult choice, one that will impact their lives far beyond four weeks together at sea.

Add Marrying Christopher to your Goodreads list:

And here's the fantastic cover!

About the Author:
Michele Paige Holmes spent her childhood and youth in Arizona and northern California, often curled up with a good book instead of out enjoying the sunshine. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Elementary Education, and found it an excellent major in which to indulge her love of children's literature.

Michele is the author of six romance novels, including the 2007 Whitney Award winning COUNTING STARS. In 2014 Michele launched the Hearthfire historical romance line with the publication of SAVING GRACE and LOVING HELEN.

Michele has been a member of the same critique group for over fifteen years and feels that joining a critique group is the single best thing an author can to do help improve his or her writing. She has been a member of RWA and URWA, LDStorymakers, and The League of Utah Writers. Michele enjoys both attending and teaching at conferences.

When not reading or writing romance, Michele is busy with her full time job as a wife and mother. She and her husband live in Utah with their five high maintenance children and a Shitzu that resembles a teddy bear, in a house with a wonderful view of the mountains. You can find Michele on the web at and on Facebook and twitter.

Purchase the other books in the Hearthfire Romance series:

Barnes & Noble

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Continuous Atonement for Teens by Brad Wilcox, My Review

Happy Easter! Because I love books and I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, I felt this book would be excellent to share on Easter.

Rachelle's Thoughts:
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the new book, The Continuous Atonement for Teens by Brad Wilcox. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is central to my belief in the gospel and understanding how the atonement works in my life has made all the difference for me, especially over the past two years. I have went through some rough times and relied on the Lord to get me through. I've seen how putting my trust and faith in Him has made it possible for me to continue, keep moving forward, even when times are tough.

The reason I love The Continuous Atonement for teens is because Brad Wilcox explains the principles of the atonement and how it works in clear context. He gives excellent examples, inspiring stories, and so much hope for this gift that we've been given. I have marked several passages in my book and I'm so glad that I have this so that my own children can read it and understand how grace and works make the gospel what it is and how the atonement is for ALL of us ALL the time.

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints I believe in the Bible and the Book of Mormon--both works teach of Jesus Christ and the love our Heavenly Father has for all of us. I'm grateful that His grace is sufficient for me and that through His atonement I can continue to move forward and learn all that I need to while on this earthly sojourn.

I love these lines from the book:
"Saving requires an Atonement. Redeeming requires a continuous Atonement. Being born again requires an Atonement. Being reared to spiritual adulthood requires a continuous Atonement."

I'm grateful for the Atonement and I think this book is an excellent teaching tool to understand and apply to life.
This book is the teen version of Brad's book, The Continuous Atonement which I'm looking forward to reading next.

About the book:
Brad Wilcox's The Continuous Atonement is a landmark work that helps to clarify what the Atonement is—and what it isn't. It corrects misperceptions and offers hope to those who struggle again and again.
This teen adaptation will help teenagers better understand and apply the Atonement in their lives and help them teach the nuances of the Atonement to others, whether on a mission, at home, or with friends. As they better understand and apply the Atonement, its transforming power will have a lasting effect in their lives.
Each chapter opens with a teen-appropriate question and includes subheadings to clarify content, new stories relevant to teens, and a Prepare to Teach section to help readers internalize and share what they're learning. This shorter edition will be printed in paperback, perfect for teens to carry with them through their busy days.

About the author:
BRAD WILCOX has lived in Ethiopia, Chile, and New Zealand; he and his family now make their home amid the Rocky Mountains. Brad taught sixth grade before obtaining his PhD in education from the University of Wyoming. His contributions as an author and teacher have been honored by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and his work has appeared in Guideposts magazine and Reader's Digest. He once served as a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America and has addressed thousands of youth and adults across the United State, Europe, Australia, and Japan. He and his wife, Debi, are the parents of four children.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


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