Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Finding Sheba by H.B. Moore, Book Review

Did you know that every year I make a goal to read at least 50 books? I strive to read a mix of fiction and non-fiction with most every genre making an appearance on my to-read list. This year I'm off to a great start, as you might have noticed with my book reviews. Today I'm reviewing a historical fiction thriller by H.B. Moore and it is fantastic!

Finding Sheba has the perfect mix of all of my favorite plot points. In this novel you'll experience thriller aspects, murder, suspense, and high-speed chases. There's also some great romantic tension and plenty of historical underpinnings which, as usual, are right on the money. H.B. Moore's incredible grip on the middle-east, both past and present, is fascinating. The characters move through this story and into the daylight as Moore develops realistic feelings, emotions, and tensions throughout the novel.
I give Finding Sheba 5 stars--it's impressive, fast-paced, and a perfect respite from everyday life!

 Finding Sheba
A modern-day hunt for the Queen of Sheba's tomb
An ancient legend is reborn . . . One that might prove the Bible false. For centuries, historians have theorized the Queen of Sheba as only a seductive legend, and scholars have debated over the legitimacy of King David or King Solomon. When undercover Israeli agent, Omar Zagouri, stumbles onto a tomb in Northern Jerusalem he unknowingly finds the final clue that threatens to overthrow government claim to the Holy Land, pits wealthy collectors against one another, and sends ruthless archaeologists scrambling to find the queen’s secret burial place. An assassination attempt on the Coptic Pope, His Holiness, Patriarch Stephanus II, is only the first in the chain of lethal crimes. Omar must find a way to prevent the greatest discovery of the century from becoming the most deadly. 

Find out more about Heather's books, especially a companion short story, Beneath, featuring Omar Zougari. Visit this link:

Friday, January 24, 2014

Cover Reveal, Elevated by Elana Johnson & Giveaway

Cover Reveal! And a Giveaway!
Elana Johnson is a fantastic writer and so I'm thrilled to be part of her cover reveal! Take a look, doesn't it make you want to read more?!
About ELEVATED: The last person seventeen-year-old Eleanor Livingston wants to see on the elevator—let alone get stuck with—is her ex-boyfriend Travis, the guy she's been avoiding for five months.

Plagued with the belief that when she speaks the truth, bad things happen, Elly hasn’t told Trav anything. Not why she broke up with him and cut off all contact. Not what happened the day her father returned from his deployment to Afghanistan. And certainly not that she misses him and still thinks about him everyday.

But with nowhere to hide and Travis so close it hurts, Elly’s worried she won’t be able to contain her secrets for long. She’s terrified of finally revealing the truth, because she can’t bear to watch a tragedy befall the boy she still loves.

Buy Links:

Praise for ELEVATED:
"ELEVATED will take you on an emotionally gripping journey through the highs and lows of first love."
~Carolee Dean, author of Take Me There and Forget Me Not

"Poignant, raw, and intense, ELEVATED is a novel that will grip your heart and linger in your mind long after you turn the last page."
~Stasia Ward Kehoe, author of Audition and The Sound of Letting Go

About Elana Johnson: Elana Johnson’s work, including Possession, Surrender, Abandon, and Regret, published by Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster), is available now everywhere books are sold. Her popular ebook, From the Query to the Call, is also available for download, as well as a Possession short story, Resist. School teacher by day, Query Ninja by night, you can find her online at her personal blog or Twitter. She also co-founded the Query Tracker blog, and contributes to the League of Extraordinary Writers.

Social Media Links:
League of Extraordinary Writers:

Rafflecopter Giveaway: Enter to win $15 Paypal cash by helping to spread the word about ELEVATED.

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Happiness is a Habit, Book Review

I love reading motivational books so when I heard about this new book by Michele Phillips, I jumped at the chance to read it and of course share a review with my lovely readers here!

Happiness is a Habit by Michele Phillips is an excellent book with bite-sized chapters that introduce new habits you can incorporate into your life to live with happiness as your constant companion. Michele instructs that happiness is a choice and we can make habits to thrive in happiness daily.
Each day I've been reading a chapter and feeling energized about how a shift in my perspective can change my own lives. I've recommitted to be the optimist I've always been and really own that character trait because it can move mountains.

This book is filled with great references, quotes, and suggestions for reading materials to help you along the way to happiness. Here is one of my favorite quotes from Michele:

"I suggest that you make the choice to be a deliberate creator in the life you live." --Michele Phillips

This book is an excellent resource. If you're looking for a manageable way to re-energize your life and claim happiness, then please read Happiness is a Habit by Michele Philips.

More about the book:
Renovate the rhythm of your life to create a healthier, happier you! Forget superficial fixes like fad diets or shopping sprees and instead learn how implementing simple daily habits like journaling, juicing, and unplugging electronics can improve your quality of life. The confidence, vitality, and joy that you deserve are just a habit away!

Purchase here, online, or your local bookstore.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Overcoming Insecurity, Guest Post by Michelle Wilson

Michelle Wilson has a new book out and I recently reviewed it here. I liked the message of this book and Michelle's great narrative voice so much that I invited her to guest post on my blog. Let's hear what she has to say...

Thanks so much Rachelle for having me on your blog today!
The topic of overcoming insecurity and finding happiness within ourselves is one that is dear to my heart.  As a teenager, I had my struggles. I felt awkward and alone. I even allowed myself to feel stupid. These feelings pooled into my heart, causing it to feel heavy and sad.
Not only did I allow myself to feel bad, but I chose to act the way I felt. My grades in high school were a testament not of my potential, but of my performance—and that performance was bad. I then allowed my poor performance to validate my initial feelings of worthlessness. It was a vicious cycle! Thankfully I was able to pull myself out of it, but not in time to resuscitate my high school GPA.  
Now that I am twenty-plus years removed from my teenage years, it is easy for me to see that my perception of low self-worth was just that: a perception. Back then I thought I knew who I was, what I was worth, and what I was capable (or not) of—but I was wrong.  My perception, or opinion, of myself wasn’t true to the reality that God knew about me.  I am, and always have been, an intelligent, valuable individual. I just couldn’t see it.
We women tend to underestimate ourselves. We mistake humility for self-deprecation and often apologize for who we are because we aren’t like we think we should be. We compare our (perceived) worst with other women’s (perceived) best, and deem ourselves less than.
The sad thing is that we often act in accordance with those feelings. When we don’t feel confident we can shy away from opportunities and experiences. We are blinded to the talents and gifts God has given us, and underplay the talents we do see. When we struggle with confidence we can feel unworthy to be loved, and in turn we avoid letting people love us.
I tell my children, “Opinion doesn’t change the truth.” That is an important thing to learn and understand, especially as women. The way we view ourselves is often based on our own opinions not who we really are. The only Ones who can see us as in total clarity and truth are Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
I mentioned before that I was able to pull myself out of the cycle of feeling bad/acting accordingly/allowing my actions to validate bad feelings. This happened as I began to prepare for a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I stopped looking around me and started looking up to God for my worth.  Then a really great thing happened: I started to see myself as He saw me—and I believed Him!
Since then He has patiently worked with me as I have fought the temptations of the adversary to compare myself to others, doubt myself, feel unneeded guilt or shame, and so on. I have come to realize that I have many gifts and talents that He has given me, and I’ve found great joy in exploring and magnifying them. I have a greater sense of purpose,  joy, and confidence in knowing who I am, where I came from, and where He knows I can go.
Jacob teaches us that “to be spiritually minded is life eternal” (2 Nephi 9:39). He’s right. Getting and keeping a spiritual, or eternal, perspective is the key to fulfilling our purpose and reaching our potential. If we could all see ourselves as God sees us, I am sure we’d be amazed! For we truly are greater than we know, stronger than we realize, and amazing in every way!

*Thanks, Michelle, for sharing your wonderful insight with us.
You can purchase Michelle's book at Deseret Book here and at other bookstores/online.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Does This Insecurity Make Me Look Fat? New Book Review

Michelle Wilson's new book is full of spark. Her insights are on target and she arms women to combat the negativity around us. I love her honest narrative and witty anecdotes that teach great principles that all women need to embrace to kick insecurity to the curb.
Does This Insecurity Make Me Look Fat? is an inspiring book that will help you see yourself as God sees you and that is what matters most.
There are so many freeing concepts in this book that have helped me change my perspective and remember what my true purpose is in life. I'm ready to embrace this new year and put Michelle's training to work increase my personal happiness.

If you're looking for a great book to jump start your day, your year, your life, then please read this book!

More about the book-
·         Why do clothing stores hang fun-house mirrors in their dressing rooms?
·         The laundry doesn’t cry when it’s not folded, so why should I?
·         Can I be confident even if an elevator calls me fat?

Michelle Wilson’s humorous yet poignant insights help women examine the limitations we place on ourselves out of insecurity and self-doubt. We have faith in God, but do we know that He has faith in us?
When we see ourselves with God’s eternal perspective, we can feel confident and whole—even in our imperfection. Just think what we might accomplish if we truly believe that we are more important than we know, stronger than we realize, and extraordinary in every way.

Purchase at Deseret Book here

I received a review copy of this book but my opinions are always my own and in no way influenced by this.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

No Strings Attached Blog Hop, Rachelle's Stop

This is a fun time of year! I love the start of a new year and January is a great month because it's my birthday on the 17th!
What better way to celebrate than to give my awesome readers a gift!

This No Strings Attached Hop is a favorite because you don't have to do anything except put your name and email address in the rafflecopter form with the free entry.
You must be a resident of the 48 contiguous United States to enter!

Last year was a tough year, definitely not my favorite. As a result, my blog suffered somewhat from a personal touch. I'm looking forward to 2014 with hope and joy. There are so many good things coming my way and I feel like my trials have made me stronger.
In the very near future, I get to share some of my awesome news and let you in on the fabulous things coming my way. I'm excited to bring my blog back to a personal level and let you know more about what's happening in my life. I will most likely be posting twice a week on Wednesdays (for Reviews) and Fridays (For fun stuff) with a few other things mixed in between.
Thanks for being my bloggy friends and supporting me along this journey. I'd love it if you'd leave a comment and tell me what you like to see from my blog, what fun plans you have this year, or just say hello if it's been a while!

Okay, go ahead and enter the rafflecopter form for this great book bundle and swag pack. Good luck and enjoy this fabulous year of new possibilities!



You'll be entering to win 3 books and some fun book swag from me. To learn more about my books, click here

And this link takes you to the Kindle version of Caller ID but I'm not giving that away. I'm giving you some book swag. You'll get a Caller ID notebook, bookmark, signed card, and an awesome pen/highlighter set. Yay for swag! Enter to win--Address must be U.S. only! a Rafflecopter giveaway
Lots more stops to enter to win!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mercy River, Beautiful Songs & a Giveaway

Come Alive
I love music! I especially love upbeat, wholesome music like the kind from Mercy River. I'm thrilled to have received a review copy of their latest CD because it means I'm going to be on the lookout for more from this talented trio. We listened to this CD as a family and everyone had a favorite.
Walk You Through The Night was definitely a song that resonated with me and I was pleased when my 10 year old daughter asked to hear it again and again.

If you're looking for some new music that is beautiful and inspiring, I'm sure you'll like Mercy River. Read on to learn more about these talented ladies, mothers, superheroes and the giveaway that's in conjunction with their new music.

On the heels of their hit album Higher, Mercy River is back with mesmerizing harmonies and upbeat vocal arrangements. Their new album features inspirational favorites and original songs that highlight the talents of this singing sisterhood. Sing It Out Speak Life How Deep the Father's Love For Us Walk You Through the Night Who I Am Holy Ground Restless Reason For the World Walking On Sunshine  

  About Mercy River With 13 children between them, it’s amazing that Whitney Permann, Brooke Stone, and Soni Muller have time for anything other than runny noses, sock hunts, and prying suckers off the van floor. But music has been a part of each of their lives since childhood, and is now a strong presence in their homes. The three friends met while singing in the Jenny Phillips Choir and there found a common love for tight harmonies and sharing the gospel through song. Over the past five years, Mercy River has traveled all over the United States and Canada as a highly sought after ensemble, performing for thousands of people while testifying of the Savior. Each member of the group brings several years of experience performing, writing, and directing hundreds of firesides and concerts—as well as recording on dozens of inspirational albums. Their self-titled debut album was released in May 2008. “Beautiful Dawn,” was released in March of 2010. Their third album, “Higher” was released with rave reviews in February 2012. Mercy River is back with mesmerizing harmonies and upbeat vocal arrangements in “Come Alive”.
Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 1/26/14 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 authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway


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