Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Inspiration from Room Recipes by Tanya Olson

I have a fun book to share with you today on interior design! I'll be the first to admit that I need a little help in this department. I'm eclectic and love too many things so when I saw the neat layout of Tonya Olsen's new book, Room Recipes, I felt it would be the perfect thing to shape up my home. Tonya has set up the book like a cookbook for your home with recipes for each area from work to play and wash to eat.

My favorite area of study is the WORK section because we've rearranged our house so that I can finally use my office! Woo Hoo! I can't wait to show you the room makeover for my office. I've painted the walls and it looks great, but you'll have to stay tuned to see what inspiration I've pulled from this amazing design book. Tonya has so many great ideas to make a home more functional, beautiful, and enjoyable.

Here's a little more about the book:
From exciting entryways to DIY dining rooms, professional interior designer Tonya Olsen has just the right recipes to make every room in your home a showstopper. Room Recipes: A Creative and Stylish Guide to Interior Design is the ultimate resource for homeowners looking to spice things up or decorate a space from scratch. Inside this guide you’ll find:
  • eye-catching examples of beautiful, budget-friendly designs
  • step-by-step instructions to recreate even the most elaborate rooms
  • palettes that break each room into individual patterns, colors, and textures
Create a kitchen or whip up a washroom with these no-fail design formulas and transform your house into your dream home, one room at a time.
Meet the Author:
Tonya Olsen has always had a passion for designing charming, budget-friendly rooms and projects. She loves to combine traditional interior design principles with personal, do-it-yourself flair. Tonya shares ownership of LIV Showroom, a full-service interior design firm and retail showroom, and holds a master’s degree in interior design. She is also the lead interior designer for Utah homebuilder, Rainey Homes. Tonya has over 20 years of professional design experience, bargain shopping fortitude, and do-it-yourself gumption. She spends her spare time gleaning inspiration from interior design books, magazines, blogs, and websites. Tonya and her husband have three boys and live in their recently renovated home in Bountiful, Utah.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Consider the Blessings with Thomas S. Monson


Consider the Blessings
If you ask people what they love most about President Thomas S. Monson’s teaching style, chances are they’ll say something about the personal experiences he relates. The accounts President Monson shares are always true, taken from his own life or the real lives of other people. Those warm, memorable accounts have truly become a hallmark of his messages.

Who can forget the woman who saved one of the two sticks of gum Elder Monson passed out to youth in postwar Germany? Or the neighbor who returned a box of baseballs to young Tommy as a thank-you for his kindness to her? Or the father who declined to attend a “Mormon” meeting with his family but had his heart softened by a message he heard on a radio that was actually broken?

*I love this book! I love that I have heard several of the stories in the past and had nearly forgotten them but now I get to enjoy them with renewed appreciation. I love that there are many new stories that I've never heard before and reading them warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes. I love that I can almost hear President Thomas S. Monson narrating each story with so much feeling in his voice. I love that the stories are short enough to be enjoyed when I only have a few minutes to spare, yet long enough to provide something to ponder over. The photographs that accompany each experience brings the book to life. I love this book!

Consider the Blessings commemorates the 50th anniversary of President Monson's call as an Apostle.
You can find this book at Deseret Book 
and  I received a review copy of this book which in no way affects my true and honest opinion.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Revisiting Whispers of Fall

This post is from August 30, 2010 and when I read it, I felt all the goodness of Rupert, Idaho all over again. Thanks for letting me indulge in my heritage with this little repost. *Note it is a repost from over three years ago. :)

Today I walked my second grader on her way to school and then took a short walk around the block with my other two kids. The air felt crisp with a chilly breeze--so refreshing--especially to this pregnant lady.

This little whisper of Fall always awakens memories inside me--wonderful memories of my childhood and growing up in a rural farmland. I have to be honest, it makes me a little homesick. Even after all these years, I still feel those memories keenly and can almost smell the air laden with the aromas of harvest. Grain and Bean harvest is finished, the fields are being prepped for winter. Potato and Sugar Beet harvest are just around the corner. The time for helping my parents clean out our huge garden, storing the squash and pumpkins in the shed, canning salsa, and maybe some fresh peaches looms in my memory.
*This is a picture of my dad during bean harvest about twenty years ago.

Harvest time in Rupert, Idaho where I was raised was to me the epitome of what my community meant. It defined me in a sense--how I love the outdoors, appreciate the bone-tired feeling of hard work, and wide-open spaces with fields as far as the eye could see.
It still defines me--in the way I view the world. I smile when I pass a lone wheel-line in an alfalfa field and hear the click-click of the sprinklers. I breathe deeply when I pass a field of freshly cut hay. There aren't any potato fields around me now, but I still recall the smell of the earth being churned up by the harvester as millions of potatoes surfaced after the long growing season.

The whisper of Fall in the air today reminds me that I want my children's memories to be as vivid as mine and tinged with a feeling of contentment, happiness, and gratitude for their growing up years.
Thanks Mom and Dad. I love you!
That's me and my dad on the tractor harvesting our bean field.

I hope you have good memories from this time of year and that you have cause to reminisce and enjoy them with me.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Written On Our Hearts by Emily Freeman, A Visit to the Old Testament







If you have ever found the Old Testament intimidating, you're not alone. The less-familiar history, themes, and language, coupled with the length of the book, make it a difficult read for many. But author Emily Freeman loves the Old Testament, and as she shares some of the wonderful things she has learned in her study of this book of scripture, you will find yourself coming to love it too.

Written on Our Hearts is not a commentary or an intensive doctrinal study. Instead, Emily writes about the stories of the Old Testament, stories of trusting and overcoming and enduring and believing. Within these stories are all kinds of applications for the challenges we face today.

"There will come a moment in your life," the author says, "when you or someone you love will struggle with a challenge so great you will wonder how you will make it through. In that moment you will long to better understand the Savior's role as the Deliverer, and to do that you must go to the book of scripture that describes that role the best—the Old Testament."

Discover the delivering power of the Lord yourself in the pages of this book—and experience the scriptures in a new, more personal way!

My thoughts: I am thoroughly enjoying studying this book each morning during my devotional. I have learned so many things, enjoyed priceless gems from the Old Testament that I didn't understand before. I love the Bible and I feel closer to God as I study these ancient histories and learn how it can help me change my life for the better.

About the Author
Emily Freeman took her first creative writing class in high school and has loved writing ever since. She finds great joy in studying the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Her deep love of the scriptures comes from a desire to find their application in everyday life. She is the author of several books, including The Ten Virgins; 21 Days Closer to Christ; and The Promise of Enough. There is nothing Emily enjoys more for breakfast than a bowl of vanilla ice cream, raspberries, and chocolate chips. Other favorites include parades, vacations, firework displays, and going for a long walk with a good friend. Emily and her husband, Greg, live in Lehi, Utah, with their four children, whom she adores.

*I received a review copy of this book which in no way affects my opinion as my feelings/viewpoints are always my own.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

NaNoWriMo Coming and some Grammarly Help

Tis the season for writing celebrations! We're fast-approaching the month of November when everything writing-related is celebrated during NaNoWriMo. I want to tell you about that, but first I wanted to mention this new site!logo
Grammarly is awesome for proofreading because I'm OCD when it comes to editing. I hate errors and if I can find anything to help me triumph over the misdeeds of my revisions, then I'll try it!

And Grammarly is getting in on the NaNoWriMo fun with a super cool event-- a novel written by a community of writers!



Follow the news on #GrammoWriMo.

The Grammarly team also recently announced that Gayle Brandeis (a published NaNoWriMo author) will be contributing the first and last lines to our group novel: http://www.grammarly.com/blog/2013/best-first-lines/ 


I've blogged about my success with NaNo here http://rachellewrites.blogspot.com/2011/10/prepping-for-nanowrimo.html and here http://rachellewrites.blogspot.com/2010/11/november-means-nanowrimo.html 
And I wanted to share some info from the newly update NaNoWriMo site because I absolutely love this organization. I'll be participating again this year--I'm working on figuring out if that will be officially or not because I'm drafting a book right now and I'm almost 40K into it!

If you want to catch the writing bug, then keep reading and come find me at http://nanowrimo.org/participants/rachellej-christensen



It's time to sign in for NaNoWriMo 2013! Visit our (new!) site to plan your November novel, plus read below for more on the development we worked on this year.

 a remodeled face for NaNoWriMo. Among the usual yearly reveals (check out those great pep talkers!), we're proud to introduce a fresh look and many new features:
  • Responsive layout to accommodate all common screen sizes, including mobile.
  • Improved homepage and dashboard, with a badge system to guide you through the complete noveling journey.
  • Clean, more-readable content pages and navigation menu.
  • Enhanced NaNo Updates: get news and pep talks on the homepage, in NaNoMail, and in a restyled email digest. (And if you've already seen this message, they're clearly working!)
  • A "Watched Threads" page to track all forum conversations you're participating or interested in.
  • And of course, WYSIWYG editing and sortable Buddy Lists!

Chris Angotti
Director of Programs

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Romney Family Table, Book Review


I love cookbooks with full color pictures but what really tugs at my wannabe chef heartstrings is the stories behind the recipes, so when I saw Ann Romney's new book, I had to have it!
The Romney Family Table: Sharing Home-Cooked Recipes and Favorite Traditions is a wonderful guide to family cooking and delightful dinner times. I love the great tips included and the fabulous pictures showing the heritage of the Romney family. Previous presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, and his family have been in the spotlight for quite some time so I think it's refreshing to see that they love to share in the same types of traditions and holiday fun as my family does.
Ann's story is inspiring. She has raised a beautiful family while struggling with MS for the past 15 years. If you'd like to learn more about the Romney family and cook up some great recipes at the same time, you should definitely pick up a copy of this new book. I think it will be a perfect Christmas gift for a few people in my family who love cookbooks and the Romney's!

About the Book
Home is where good things happen--and for the Romney family, the heart of the home is the kitchen. In The Romney Family Table, Ann Romney, wife of former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney, reflects on her many years as a mom, shares family recipes, and describes some of her favorite and not-so-favorite moments of raising a family. Woven together with personal memories and traditions are Romney family favorite recipes such as Peppered Pork Chops with Peach-Vinegar Glaze, Welsh Skillet Cakes, Honey Wheat Bread (which Ann made regularly for five growing sons), and Mimi’s Buttermilk Pancakes, which she and Mitt shared with their Secret Service detail at the end of his presidential campaign.

This unique blend of heartwarming and humorous stories told in Ann’s warm, welcoming style, candid family photos spanning four decades, and more than 125 fabulous recipes will inspire your own traditions and family dinners for years to come.

About the Author

Ann Romney places primary importance on her role as a wife, a mother, and a grandmother. As First Lady of Massachusetts, she worked to focus attention on the challenges facing at-risk youth and served as the Governor s Liaison to the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998, she has volunteered much of her time to raise awareness of the disease. She and her husband, Mitt, celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary this year. They have five sons, five daughters-in-law, and twenty-two grandchildren.


I received a review copy of this book to share my insight with others. My opinions are always my own.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Just Ella, An Old Fairytale with a New Twist


Just Ella
I read this book because it was recommended from a reader I trust and I'm so glad I took a chance on new author, Annette K. Larsen. She has woven a timeless tale into something new with a romance that grabs you and doesn't let go until the well-earned happy ending.


 Read on for a summary of the book and how to enter for a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

 Just Ella by Annette K. Larsen Just Ella Tour
Just Ella Just Ella by Annette K. Larsen Book Summary: A Proper Romance Ariella was only looking for a distraction, something to break up the monotony of palace life. What she found was a young man willing to overlook her title and show her a new and vibrant way of life. But when her growing feelings for Gavin spiral out of control and clash with the expectations of her station, she will discover that the consequences of her curiosity are far more severe than she’d imagined. I watched in helpless horror as two guards hauled Gavin to his feet and dragged him from the room. My voice was frozen, unable to protest as another guard took hold of my arm, leading me upstairs. From the confines of my room, I stared into the darkness beyond my window, hoping to catch one more glimpse of Gavin. He was gone, and I wondered if he would have been better off if he had never met me. I write clean romance. Why? Because that’s what I love to read, but over the years I’ve discovered it’s quite a challenge to find good clean romance. I believe it’s a genre that many people are looking for and too few authors are writing. My first novel, Just Ella, took me many years to write because I wanted it to be more than just a cutesy love story. I wanted it to have depth, to feel genuine. Hopefully I succeeded, but you’ll have to be the judge.
Praise for Just Ella "I fell in love with this book. Treat yourself to something wonderful. You can't go wrong with Just Ella!" ~Inspired Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer "By far one of the best romance novels I've ever read. Pulls you in with great, likable characters and keeps you going with a sweet and exciting love story--plus a good plot to give it even more substance. Full of those tender moments you want to go back and read again, plus exciting moments, clever humor, and some suspense as well." ~Jana Miller "Annette Larsen writes a love story that takes time, is complicated, and yet still sweeps you up in the romance (without the cheese, thank you). It's compelling and emotional and sweet and you will love every page." ~Kimi  
Book Blast/Blog Tour Special
Grab your copy of Just Ella for just $4.99!
  annetteAuthor Annette K. Larsen
I was born in Utah, but grew up in Flagstaff Arizona and St. Louis Missouri, the fifth of seven children. I attended college at Southern Virginia University and Brigham Young University where I studied English and Theater. I now live in Idaho with my husband and four children. I have Charlotte Bronte to thank for the courage to write novels. After being bombarded with assigned reading about women who justified abandoning either their families or their principles in the name of love, I had the great fortune of reading Jane Eyre. And that was it: finally a heroine who understood that being moral and making the right choice was hard, and sometimes it hurt, but it was still worth it. After rereading it several years later, I realized that if I wanted more books to exist with the kinds of heroines I admired, then I might as well write a few myself. My books are about women who face hard choices, who face pain and rejection and often have to sacrifice what they want for what is right. The consequences are often difficult or unpleasant, but it the end, doing what’s right will always be worth it. I believe there is no substitute for good writing or good chocolate. Fortunately, one often leads to the other.  
    Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 11/5/13   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 and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a review copy of this book. My opinions are always my own and I'm happy to share them with my readers.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

Ready for another spooky giveaway?
Enter to win a great book bundle with my second award-winning suspense novel, CALLER ID
  When twenty-three-year-old Courtney Beckham is abducted near her home, the search turns up more than just a kidnapping crime. FBI agent Jason Edwards investigates the ten-million-dollar ransom and stumbles upon something he wasn't meant to find. When Courtney catches a glimpse of the caller ID in her kidnapper's home, what she sees turns her world upside down.
Wrong Number is my first suspense novel and these two books are linked together but written so that they can also stand alone.
From now until October 31st, spread the word and tell your friends to enter to win CALLER ID and these great books!
 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 7, 2013

Win a Book Bundle in the LDS Authors Giveaway Hop


You might be surprised by how many popular mainstream books are written by LDS authors. Shannon Hale, Orson Scott Card, Janette Rallison, Brandon Sanderson, Brandon Mull, James Dashner, Branda Novak, Richard Paul Evans, Jenni James, Ally Condie, Stephenie Meyer, Bree Despain, Jessica Day George, Aprilynne Pike, Kiersten White, Robison Wells, Jason Wright, Heather Dixon, Obert Skye, Richard Paul Evans, Julie Berry, Mette Ivie Harrison, Becca Fitzpatrick, Lisa Mangum, Amber Argyle, Jennifer Laurens, Brodi Ashton, Julianne Donaldson, Marcia Lynn McClure, Rachel Anderson, Karey White … the list could go on and on.
American Night Writers Association
The American Night Writers Association (ANWA) is a peer network for women who belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are interested in writing. Our purpose is to encourage, assist, educate, and motivate members to write, and, if they desire, to publish their works.
The Whitney Awards
Each spring LDS Storymakers puts on The Whitney Awards ceremony to honor the best of LDS writing.
The Whitney Awards honor novels in the following categories: General Fiction, Romance, Suspense/Mystery, Speculative Fiction, Speculative Young Adult Fiction, General Young Adult Fiction, Middle Grade, Historical, Best Novel of the Year, Best Novel in Youth Fiction, and Best Novel by a New Author.
Novels can be nominated by any reader, and nominees are voted on by an academy of industry professionals, including authors, publishers, bookstore owners, distributors, critics, and others.
My hope with this hop is to bring some of the wonderful LDS authors and their fabulous books on to your radar and to encourage you to nominate a book by an LDS Author for a 2013 for a Whitney Award. For those who are LDS an interested in writing I hope you will check out LDS Storymakers & American Night Writers Association to see if they have something to offer you.

Book Giveaway by LDS Authors!
I'm giving away a book bundle with a little something for everyone, kids, young adults, and adults. All excellent books written by LDS authors.

And how about a little book swag from yours truly? I'm not giving away my books in this hop (Keep your eyes peeled for a future giveaway!) but I will be giving book swag in the form of bookmarks, pen, and a CALLER ID notebook to the lucky winner!


Happy reading!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Face to Face, My Review of an Insightful Book by S. Michael Wilcox



“And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend” (Exodus 33:11).

Is it possible to talk with God as Moses did—face to face? This is not only what we long for, but what God also ardently desires. For Moses that may have meant an actual physical encounter, but for most of us it is an expression that suggests friendship, open communication, honesty, and the conversations of familiarity. But how is that done? And how can we learn how God speaks to us individually? Bestselling author S. Michael Wilcox explores the scriptural expressions and concepts of “pouring out,” “wrestling,” being “filled with desire,” and “knocking” at the door Jesus promised would open to us— particularly in those times when we deeply need heaven to hear us and to confirm to our souls that more than our words are being received.


My review of Face to Face: Seeking a Personal Relationship with God:

I received a review copy of this book and I have cherished my reading time each morning for the past month as I've included it in part of my daily devotional. Wilcox shares his personal journey to grow closer to God and explains from the scriptures a multitude of ways that we can be sure God hears our prayers. I especially love his idea of "pouring out", just talking with God, sharing our deepest emotions, anguish, happiness, and trial. God already knows what we're going through, but He wants us to share with Him and in doing so, we often learn something from our pouring out.

If you're looking for a short inspirational read to lighten the load, I'd encourage you to read this book.
http://deseretbook.com/Face-Seeking-Personal-Relationship-God-S-Michael-Wilcox/i/5104284

May God be with you.
 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Celebrate National Pasta Day with a Contest!

Shannon Smurthwaite, author of "Mormon Mama Italian Cookbook," is running a contest to encourage families to have fun on National Pasta Day, October 17. 

Do you enjoy sharing recipes with your family and friends? Do you have a pasta creation everyone raves over and requests at gatherings?

If so, Shannon Smurthwaite is looking for an original pasta recipe in honor and celebration of this fun day.

The winning recipe submission will be announced on National Pasta Day, and the winner will receive a copy of "Mormon Mama Italian Cookbook" and will be featured on Shannon's website,myitalianmama.com.

Rules: You must be 18 years of age or older to participate. You cannot be a professional chef, food editor, cookbook author, or relation to Cedar Fort Publishing. Recipe must be original or a family tradition.

Recipes must be received by midnight on Saturday October 12, 2013.

Send recipes to emerald@cedarfort.com 
Top 10 Tips for Celebrating Pasta Day
1.  Change it up. Select a pink, white, or pesto sauce to pour over your oodles of noodles.

2.  Try a new variety. Consider farfalle (bowties), campanelle (little fluted bells), orzo (risoni or big rice), fiori (flowers), radiatori (baby radiators) or mostaccioli (little mustaches). Try wheat, gluten-free, or vegetable versions of pasta, which are now typically found on most grocery store shelves.

3.  Get creative! Fold pepperoni, sliced olives, capers, marinated artichokes, or sauteed zucchini into your favorite pasta sauce.

4.  If you have young children at home, let them help shop and select the pasta shape or variety you'll be serving. Chances are they'll finish their meal if it includes something they've had a hand in choosing.

5.  Make your own meatballs. They aren't as hard as you think, and they are a funaddition to any pasta dish.

6.  Assign one of your family members or guests the job of sharing a little history about pasta before you dig into your meal. Purist alert:  One school of thought speculates that Marco Polo introduced pasta to Italy after one of his trips to China.

7.  Decorate your serving table with little Italian flags and use red or green napkins. Wrap small bundles of dry pasta with ribbons and use as table favors. Provide bottles of Italian sodas at each place setting.

8.  Try spumoni or biscotti for dessert.

9.  Load up the iPod with festive Italian music to play during your gathering.

10.  No matter how you serve your pasta, mark the occasion with family and friends.  Italian food just tastes better with your loved ones close by.

Eat well and be happy -- a true Italian way of living!

About the Book: 
Italian cooking has never been easier, nor more delicious! From her mother's meatballs to easy but authentic pasta dishes, focaccia bread, and simple truffles, Shannon's recipes will excite even the pickiest eaters. Bring your whole family together for a little taste of Italy with this delightful and entertaining cookbook!

You can find a copy of "Mormon Mama Italian Cookbook" at Books & Things,Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores.  

About Shannon:
Shannon McClary Smurthwaite grew up in Los Angeles, California. The oldest of three daughters, Shannon loved spending time at her Italian grandmother's side. She attended Cal State-Northridge and BYU, studying art and design. She is married to Donald Smurthwaite, and they are the parents of four wonderful children. Shannon's family happily serves as her official taste testers, and they share their mother's love for cooking and creating in the kitchen. She resides in Meridian, Idaho.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Just Ella, Book Blast and $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Just Ella Just Ella by Annette K. Larsen Book Summary: A Proper Romance Ariella was only looking for a distraction, something to break up the monotony of palace life. What she found was a young man willing to overlook her title and show her a new and vibrant way of life. But when her growing feelings for Gavin spiral out of control and clash with the expectations of her station, she will discover that the consequences of her curiosity are far more severe than she’d imagined. I watched in helpless horror as two guards hauled Gavin to his feet and dragged him from the room. My voice was frozen, unable to protest as another guard took hold of my arm, leading me upstairs. From the confines of my room, I stared into the darkness beyond my window, hoping to catch one more glimpse of Gavin. He was gone, and I wondered if he would have been better off if he had never met me. I write clean romance. Why? Because that’s what I love to read, but over the years I’ve discovered it’s quite a challenge to find good clean romance. I believe it’s a genre that many people are looking for and too few authors are writing. My first novel, Just Ella, took me many years to write because I wanted it to be more than just a cutesy love story. I wanted it to have depth, to feel genuine. Hopefully I succeeded, but you’ll have to be the judge.
Praise for Just Ella
 "I fell in love with this book. Treat yourself to something wonderful. You can't go wrong with Just Ella!" ~Inspired Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

"By far one of the best romance novels I've ever read. Pulls you in with great, likable characters and keeps you going with a sweet and exciting love story--plus a good plot to give it even more substance. Full of those tender moments you want to go back and read again, plus exciting moments, clever humor, and some suspense as well." ~Jana Miller

"Annette Larsen writes a love story that takes time, is complicated, and yet still sweeps you up in the romance (without the cheese, thank you). It's compelling and emotional and sweet and you will love every page." ~Kimi  
Book Blast/Blog Tour Special
Grab your copy of Just Ella for just $3.99!
3.99 Excerpt “Now, wait just a minute. You can’t just plunge into a pool of water.” “Why not?” I should have said something cleverer, but I felt a bit scatterbrained, all thoughts having fled when Gavin’s arm went around me. He made a noise of exasperation. “Why not, she asks. Because, Princess, what’s going to happen when you show up for your lessons completely drenched? Or, what happens when we both show up on the palace grounds completely drenched? I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to have to explain that to anybody.” Unfortunately, he had a point. “Don’t call me Princess.” He had been so relaxed today, so willing to be himself and let me be myself. I hated that he felt the need to remind me of my rank. I was tempted to be angry and walk away but I also wanted to see how long he would keep his arms around me. Simply out of curiosity, of course.  

annetteAuthor Annette K. Larsen I was born in Utah, but grew up in Flagstaff Arizona and St. Louis Missouri, the fifth of seven children. I attended college at Southern Virginia University and Brigham Young University where I studied English and Theater. I now live in Idaho with my husband and four children. I have Charlotte Bronte to thank for the courage to write novels. After being bombarded with assigned reading about women who justified abandoning either their families or their principles in the name of love, I had the great fortune of reading Jane Eyre. And that was it: finally a heroine who understood that being moral and making the right choice was hard, and sometimes it hurt, but it was still worth it. After rereading it several years later, I realized that if I wanted more books to exist with the kinds of heroines I admired, then I might as well write a few myself. My books are about women who face hard choices, who face pain and rejection and often have to sacrifice what they want for what is right. The consequences are often difficult or unpleasant, but it the end, doing what’s right will always be worth it. I believe there is no substitute for good writing or good chocolate. Fortunately, one often leads to the other.  
    BookBlast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/31/13   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 and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Rocky Road, New Mystery by Josi Kilpack

Rocky RoadI just read the latest culinary mystery by Josi Kilpack and Rocky Road is one more delicious read you won't want to pass up! Sadie refuses to investigate the disappearance of a doctor in this book, but suddenly finds herself thrust into the investigation.
I liked how she has new opportunities to investigate with law enforcement and how Kilpack keeps you guessing throughout. The characters are well-drawn and Kilpack does a great job of making you love, hate, or be totally confused by each character.
This is the 10th book in the series with another coming out in February, so if you love reading a great series, definitely check this one out!

Rocky Road It was supposed to be a girls’ weekend in scenic St. George, Utah that would include shopping, trying out the local cuisine, and participating in a breast cancer fundraiser. The fact that one of the organizers of the fundraising event, a local doctor, disappeared two months ago was not supposed to be Sadie’s problem. In fact, she refuses to participate in the grassroots investigation her friend Caro, and Caro’s cousin, Tess, have put together prior to her arrival. But then she meets the ex-wife of the missing doctor. How could she not ask a few questions . . . that lead to a few more questions . . . that lead to a small town and yet even more questions. Before she knows it, Sadie is in the middle of yet another murder investigation and trying to piece together a convoluted trail of good intentions, hidden motivations, and philanthropy turned big business.
 
Author Josi S. Kilpack Born and raised in Salt Lake City Utah, I met my husband in high-school--well, he wasn't my husband then, just the cute guy in weight training with the permed mullet--and we married in 1993. I wrote my first book while on bed rest with my third child and have gone on to publish 20 novels, the most recent being part of The Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series. I currently live in Willard, Utah with my husband, children, and cat.  
  rocky road
Culinary Mysteries by Josi Kilpack
culinary mysteries
 
  I received a review copy of this book. My opinions are always my own.

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