Friday, December 28, 2012

After Hello by Lisa Mangum, Book Review

I read another fantastic book by Lisa Mangum. After Hello is a unique kind of story, taking place during one day as Sara and Sam make several connections with interesting people and learn important things about themselves. Lisa's writing is flawless and beautiful. I love the intricate details Lisa gives her characters that make them come to life. This book moves at a slower pace as the reader is invited to walk alongside Sara and Sam and learn their inner secrets. The emotionally charged connections made ring true for the young adult audience and the book's clean and subtle romance is beautifully done.

You will love the unique idea of a sugar packet and a trade. And if you do visit

Book Blurb:
What if the first day of your relationship was the only day you had? Seventeen-year-old Sara is a seeker. She s always on the lookout for the perfect moment to capture with her ever-present, pointand- shoot camera, especially on her first trip to New York City. Sam is a finder. He has a knack for finding what other people can t a first-edition book or the last two tickets to a sold-out Broadway show. In New York, there is always something interesting to find. When Sam and Sara s paths cross, neither one of them is prepared for what they will find out about each other and about themselves when they form an unlikely partnership in search of an elusive work of art. They have one day to find the impossible. Fate brought their talents together, but what happens when time runs out? Will love be able to overcome fate? This new novel from award-winning author Lisa Mangum explores what happens after hello.
  You can find out more about Lisa and her books here

I received a copy of this book for review. My opinions are always my own.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cover Reveal of The Emerald Ring by Dorine White

Woo hoo! This is exciting! Because you are such awesome readers, I get to share with you the first sneak peek of Dorine White's new book, The Emerald Ring. Check out the cover--I'm intrigued, how about you?

Amazon Pre-Sale Link- The Emerald Ring (Cleopatra's Legacy)

Blurb- Sara Bogus's life turns upside down when she discovers an emerald ring that once belonged to Cleopatra. The fun of discovering the ring's unique abilities turns to fear when she finds out a dangerous cult bent on restoring Rome to power is after the ring. Forced to choose between keeping the ring and saving her friends, Sara learns the price of bravery in this electrifying read!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Author Interview with Karey White

Today I get to share an author interview with you and a great new book! 
Check out
For What It's Worth by Karey White

Twenty-four year-old, Abby Benson has dreams of owning her own wedding cake shop. An inheritance from her aunt gives her the ability to make those dreams come true. She hires Dane, a handsome contractor, to help her get the bakery up and running and soon they’re moving toward their own happy ending.

Unsure what to charge for her cakes, Abby has a crazy idea to let the customer decide what they think their cake is worth. This plan has its ups and downs, but the novelty of the idea makes her a local celebrity. When she is interviewed on television about the unusual idea, business booms and Abby has cake adventures she never dreamed possible. But as her fame grows, Abby is swept up in a whirlwind that threatens everything she values. With the challenges that face her, will she be able to determine what is worth the most?

Rachelle: This book sounds like so much fun! Can you tell us a little about the inspiration for this novel and how you come up with ideas for new books?
Karey: I owned my own wedding cake business for about a dozen years. At one point, I delivered a cake I was really excited about. It was a tall, 3-tier cake covered in fondant with brightly colored fondant curlicues. It was a fun cake. I delivered it to one of the coolest, candy-themed weddings I'd ever seen. The mother of the bride was really excited about the cake and said she was surprised it had been such a bargain. It made me wonder what she'd have been willing to pay for the cake if she'd named the price. That was the beginning of my idea for For What It's Worth.

I find my inspiration from a variety of places. It seems when I'm ready to write, I hope and pray and look at things with a more creative eye. Pretty soon, something comes to me. 

Rachelle: This book sounds like it could be made into an awesome chic-flick. What is one of your favorite movies in this genre? 

Karey: I'd love it if it could be a movie. My daughters and I love a good chick flick, but so many of them are marred with inappropriate content. I absolutely LOVED Leap Year. It was such a fun movie and Matthew Goode was pretty charming. 

R: I haven't seen that one, better check it out. 

R:If you could share some advice with an aspiring writer, what would it be?

Karey: To be brave. It's a scary thing to put your heart and soul into something and then send it off, not knowing what the reaction will be. 

R: So true!

R:What is your favorite Christmas candy?

Karey: My mom always made See's fudge and English toffee. I'd have liked to have it year-round but she only made it during December. To this day, I have to make at least one batch of each during the Christmas season. 

R: She's making me hungry and I'm craving my mom's homemade caramels!

R:What other writing projects are you working on now?

I'm working on a short Christmas story, a romance that plays off my own love of Pride and Prejudice and a fictional memoir.
R: Sounds like fun! Thanks Karey, for sharing a little bit about yourself with us!

Praise for For What It's Worth

Reading Karey White’s books, like eating chocolate cake, is always satisfying and brings a smile to my face. For What It’s Worth is light, romantic, and delicious. It’s a great pleasure read. Sit down and get lost in the charming world of wedding cakes and love. As an added bonus, each chapter  starts with a recipe, so it’s a novel and cookbook all in one. A fun read!
—Teri Harman, KSL columnist, Studio 5 contributor, and author of Blood Moon, available June 22, 2013

I just loved the book – loved it. Hated putting it down and hated finishing it. Karey White is my new Maeve Binchy, her writing as warm as the bakery her novel is set in. For What It’s Worth surprised me, made me smile, say “no” out loud in a public place. I love when a character feels like my sister. I didn’t want to finish it, so now I may try the recipes that began every chapter.
—Amanda Dickson, author and radio personality

This book oozes charm, romance, and mouth-watering recipes. If you want to escape reality and curl up with a darling story, For What It’s Worth is the perfect fit. Thank you, Karey White!
—Rachael Anderson, author

This is a book worth every penny of the price. In the business of baking wedding cakes, every detail must be perfection, but this story remembers that real life is oh-so-messy. White’s clear and honest writing left me hungry for good food, a close family, and a little romance. A beautiful marriage of food, family, and faith.
—Regina Sirois, author of On Little Wings, 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award


Book Trailer

Author Karey White

Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist.

She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.


Blog Tour December 2012
Tour Schedule


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

All I Want Blog Tour Featuring Ten Things from Jolene Perry

I have a wonderful feature today for you from my guest, Jolene Perry. She is celebrating the launch of the new romance anthology, All I Want (Three Holiday Romances) . It's a perfect read for this time of year when you're craving something to heighten the mood of the season.

All I Want: Three couples. Three Stories. One Holiday Available in Paperback & Kindle


Pretty Near Perfect

by Jolene Perry

The last thing Norah needs is to be attracted to anyone – especially in her deceased fiancĂ©'s parents' home. Collin’s starting a new career, and has no business getting involved – especially while staying with his roommate’s family, who very kindly offered to take him in for the holidays. Unfortunately, you just don’t always pick the most convenient time and place to fall for someone.

Six Days of Christmas
by Kaylee Baldwin

When Natalie goes home with her best friend for Christmas, she expects plenty of quiet time to work on a winning ad so she can turn her dream internship into her dream job. Instead, she gets time-consuming Christmas festivities, a house full of children, and Jimmy, her best friend’s brother - someone who makes her question everything she’s always thought she wanted.

Twist of Fate
by Rachael Anderson

When a postcard meant for Kenzie winds up in Ty's mailbox, Ty's faced with a decision. Should he tell her that her fiancĂ© is breaking up with her and let it ruin her favorite holiday, or should he do what he’s wanted to do since he met her - make a move and hope that he can win her over before she discovers there won’t be a wedding after all.

Ten Things That Have Helped me Become a Better Writer.

1. Learn the rules and write by the rules before you start breaking them.
2. LISTEN to criticism, from sources you TRUST (and your close friends and family are supposed to like your stuff, so they're not always the best source - on the opposite end of that, your sister/cousin might be jealous you're writing and hack your MS to pieces for no reason)
3. READ. READ. READ. Read in the genre you want to write in. Read in genres you will never write in. Read a TON. Look at how the information is given in the story, read the dialogue, read the descrip...
4. Learn your strengths - mine is characterization.
5. Know your weaknesses - mine is description of anything that's not emotion. My rough drafts have almost ZERO setting…
(practice your weaknesses, and play on your strengths)
6. I know how it feels to finish a project. I know it seems like it's the best thing you've ever written. BUT - find a place to shut it away, push it away from your brain and work on something else for long enough that you can look at your own writing objectively.
7. NEVER think you're above learning more about how to be a good writer.
8. Read books on writing - I love Stephen King's On Writing, but Bird by Bird is amazing and so is Save the Cat - even though it has to do with screenwriting.
9. Go to writing conferences - agents like to see that in a query, you'll learn a ton, and realize that there are thousands of other people with as many imaginary friends as you have.
10. Relax. Writing is supposed to be FUN. You GET to write. You're not out hunting animals for food every day (most of you) and you're not starving. Don't let the joy of creating stories be taken away from you.

Thank you so much for letting me jump onto your blog for a day!

~ Jolene Perry

Author Jolene Perry

Jolene Perry is an enigmatic figure. She is most often seen behind her laptop, staring at the words flying onto the screen with reckless abandon.

She survived growing up in rural Alaska, driving like a lunatic, and her husband’s careers in the military, as a perpetual student, and an Alaska State Prosecutor. She also survived as a middle school math teacher using her degree of Political Science and French.

One day Jolene was playing her guitar (probably some-thing juvenile for her kids) when she wondered what it would be like to write a song for a rockstar, and her first book was born. (that book is shelved)

She now lives a very glamorous life as a stay at home mom, elbow deep in dirty dishes and peanut butter sandwiches. She doesn’t even attempt to keep up with the laundry because non-writing time is precious, and her family is sorta awesome.

Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card
Ends 12/24/12

Open to anyone 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's permission. 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. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Praying for Newtown, Connecticut

Today when I drove my girls to school, I saw the flag flying at half-mast and I explained to them who we were honoring today. In the shock of the initial news of the tragic event in Newtown, CT I was sickened and couldn't think about telling my kids. But I wanted to talk to them for just a moment today before they went to school and heard from friends who might also be scared of the future.

My 9yo asked me, "But why would someone do that?"

She asked as if it was the most impossible, improbable event and I could see the fear in her eyes as she connected that if someone could do that to an elementary school, then maybe we weren't so safe. She asked, "Was it at my school?"

I had already explained to her that it was very far away, but I answered her again that it wasn't at her school. I encouraged my girls to pray for those children and families who lost a loved one during this holiday season and that is what I'm doing today.

I feel a great sadness for Newtown, CT, an anger for horrible people who hurt the innocent, and I'm grasping onto my faith because I know those women and children are with God. After I talked to my girls, I saw a picture of my grandmother on my screen saver. She passed away in March, I told my 9yo that maybe Great Grandma was there to help some of those children enter heaven.

How do you cope with tragic events like this? What do you tell your children to help them understand without creating fear?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Grow Your Marriage by Leaps & Boundaries Guest Post by Dr. Jerry Cook

Today I'd like to welcome Dr. Jerry Cook to my blog. He has written a new book called Grow Your Marriage By Leaps & Boundaries with phenomenal advice. He offered to write a guest post to share with you, my lovely readers. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Dr. Cook: 
Years ago, I was driving with my young daughter in the backseat.  We were in a long line at an intersection, with the green light allowing only one vehicle to get through at a time.  The wait seemed endless.  After several cycles of having to wait for our turn, the light turned green for the car in front of us and it cruised through the intersection.  The light quickly transitioned into a yellow, and I weighed my chances of getting through in time.  I decided to “floor it” and my inner voice congratulated me on getting through.  My daughter was less impressed.  When I tried to explain that you can drive through a yellow, my daughter said, “But Dad, you could have stopped, but you didn’t START until the light was yellow.”  You would’ve wondered who really had their driver’s license.

Marriage is a lot like that light at the intersection.  Many times we grow impatient, tired, or feel we deserve something better.  Then we cross the line, knowing, like the yellow transitioning to the red light, that the risks are now greater. Saying “those” words, fueling our own critical thoughts, and extending our time with someone of the opposite sex who seems to “get” us are all examples of crossing the line.  If you’ve ever asked, “Why did I just say that?”, you know the time between what you feel is justified and what is damaging is all so small.

Knowing where to draw the line for your marriage to protect it is not an easy thing. Everyone assumes everyone else knows right and wrong, but that sense of morality is often situational and depends on the family we grew up in. Two people, who love each other very much, can have serious problems simply because they assume each should show that love through certain behaviors.

Learning where and how to draw the line is everything that “Grow Your Marriage by Leaps and Boundaries” is about. It focuses on how to stand up and stand by your spouse, and together as a couple, decide what you will let into your circle of influence. You will decide how physical affection with the opposite sex affects each of you, how to talk about finances, and how your faith can improve your marriage.

While I offer a great deal of information about how to draw boundaries, the book is really about how you and your spouse can create your own boundaries together.  Dialogs are provided throughout the book to help you find the words needed, and a “quick read” section is available for those who are pressed for time or simply want a review of the material.

Amazon link

Is your marriage out of bounds?
The art of creating life-long marriages is disappearing at an alarming pace, largely because couples do not fully understand where (or how) to “draw the line” in a way that strengthens the relationship. These lines drawn are the boundaries that, when created the right way, show each spouse they are more important to the other than anything or anyone else. Grow Your Marriage by Leaps and Boundaries provides the tools for you to effectively create boundaries with technology, words, and body language.”

Cook’s new book will inspire readers to evaluate how they prioritize their marriage, and to make changes when needed. A common theme is that the boundaries are most useful when decided upon by the couple themselves; dialogs are provided to help readers create, maintain, and negotiate boundaries with their spouse and others.

“None of us are perfect, but our marriages can be perfect for us,” says Cook. “Sometimes we underestimate the power of a positive marriage, and outsource our best selves to those things that are least important.”

Jerry graduated with his doctorate in family and human development from Utah State University, and now serves as an associate professor of family and consumer sciences at California State University-Sacramento. Growing up on a farm in southeastern Washington state, and losing his mother to cancer at a young age, his passion is to help others recognize the basic skills that help families thrive. Jerry and his wife, Sarah, have been married for 19 years, are parents of three children, and co-authored The Parent’s Guide to Raising CEO Kids. Jerry has been interviewed by Fox 40 (TV, Sacramento), the Sacramento Bee (newspaper), and Sacramento Smiles (radio program).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Nightingale Holiday Giveaway

Do you have books on your Christmas list? Well, I always do and so today I thought I'd help you get a free book and lots of other great goodies from David Farland, the author of Nightingale and over 50 other books! You can read my review of this book here.

David is giving away an AUTOGRAPHED hardcover of Nightingale, the enhanced ebook, and 5 lucky winners will each receive an awesome T-shirt featuring Bron, the main character from Nightingale. A total of 7 prizes will be awarded. Enter by December 17th at midnight!

Just enter using the rafflecopter below. Enjoy!
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Win a T-shirt like this one!
Grand Prize Winner of the Hollywood Book Festival, placed first in all genres, all categories.

Winner of the 2012 International Book Award for Best Young Adult Novel of the Year!

Finalist in the Global Ebook Awards
Some people sing at night to drive back the darkness.  Others sing to summon it. . . .

Bron Jones was abandoned at birth. Thrown into foster care, he was rejected by one family after another, until he met Olivia, a gifted and devoted high-school teacher who recognized him for what he really was--what her people call a "nightingale."

But Bron isn't ready to learn the truth. There are secrets that have been hidden from mankind for hundreds of thousands of years, secrets that should remain hidden. Some things are too dangerous to know.  Bron's secret may be the most dangerous of all.

In his remarkable young adult fantasy debut, David Farland shows why critics have called his work "compelling," "engrossing," "powerful," "profound," and "ultimately life-changing."

Purchase Nightingale in time for Christmas!

Ginnie West Adventures, The Secret Sisters Club by Monique Bucheger, Blog Tour Info Page

THE SECRET SISTERS CLUB: A Ginnie West Adventure (BOOK 1)


Twelve-year-old BFF’s Ginnie and Tillie, want to be sisters. Ginnie's widowed dad plus Tillie's divorced mom could equal a lifetime of round-the-clock girl talk and slumber parties. Too bad Dad vowed to never marry again. Ginnie and Tillie form a secret club and come up with the perfect mission to change his mind: ‘Operation Secret Sisters’.

Before long, Tillie seems happier about gaining a dad than a sister. Ginnie suspects that Tillie has turned ‘Operation Secret Sisters’ into a scam called ‘Operation Steal My Dad.’  Things get more complicated when Ginnie stumbles across her real mom’s hidden journals. Ginnie can finally get to know the mother she doesn’t remember and Dad doesn’t talk about.

When Dad discovers she has the journals, he takes them away. Ginnie needs to figure out what the big mystery is before her relationship with her father and her best friend are ruined forever.

If you like farms, friends, horses, and secrets, you’ll love: Trouble Blows West: A Ginnie West Adventure.  So saddle up and be ready to ride with Ginnie as she explores the true meaning of friendship.
Debbie Shakespeare Smith, middle-grade author of The House of Chicken

TROUBLE BLOWS WEST: A Ginnie West Adventure (BOOK 2)


Putting her body in motion before her brain is in gear creates a mountain of problems for 12 year-old Ginnie West. She is certain that defending her twin brother, Toran, from the biggest bully in sixth grade was the right thing to do. But Ginnie couldn’t be more wrong.

She quickly figures out that Toran doesn’t appreciate being rescued by a girl any better than Charlie likes being knocked down by one. When Charlie seeks revenge on Ginnie, Toran sets aside his anger and helps her plot a playback prank at Charlie’s house.

Sadly, Ginnie learns that Charlie has a reason for being a bully when she sees his dad drop him to the floor like a ragdoll with one awful blow to the chest. Realizing he's a boy in big trouble, Ginnie switches gears and decides to be his ally, even if he won’t let her be his friend.

I loved this book! I didn’t know a book without zombies could be good! 15 yr-old Amanda

SIMPLY WEST OF HEAVEN: A Ginnie West Adventure: (BOOK 3)


Twelve year-old Ginnie and her BFF, Tillie, schemed to get Ginnie’s widowed dad to fall in love with Tillie’s divorced mom. It worked. But before they could become ‘for real’ sisters, Ginnie stumbled across her dead mom’s journals. Which was totally awesome sauce… until her dad took them away and won’t tell her why. Now all their plans are starting to unravel.

If that’s not bad enough, Ginnie’s favorite uncle drops the mother of all bombshells and leaves her in a maze of uncertainty. While her head is still spinning from that news,  a blast from her late mother’s past shows up and makes Tillie goes nutburgers. Ginnie realizes her best friend has her own agenda and Tillie’s plans to merge their families may not be so innocent.
SIMPLY WEST OF HEAVEN is a contemporary MG novel that follows Ginnie West as she tries to make sense of one too many curve balls tossed her way in the most pivotal summer of her life. 

Would you like an autographed, personalized copy? Visit Monique's page here to order:

Social networking links: 
Purchase link:
  The Secret Sisters Club: A Ginnie West Adventure

Author bio:

Monique Bucheger was born in Landstuhl, Germany to active duty Air Force parents. After watching her creative writing teacher's astronaut son lift off in the Space Shuttle Endeavor, she recalled a promise to her teacher to write the books only she could write. In January of 2011, her first book made it through the first 3 tiers of Amazon's National BreakThrough Novel Award Contest to the top 5%. In November of 2012 Mrs. Bucheger was offered a 3 book contract for her Ginnie West series. Book one: THE SECRET SISTERS CLUB: A Ginnie West Adventure was published March 8, 2012. Her second book: TROUBLE BLOWS WEST: A Ginnie West Adventure was published April 14, 2012. 
Mrs. Bucheger has championed the cause of children as a foster parent to over 120 children and her books embrace and empower people on all sides of the child abuse issue.

Blog Tour Schedule for Ginnie West Adventure Series by Monique Bucheger



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