Wednesday, February 26, 2014

3 New Books to Uplift, Instruct, and Inspire

 I have 3 new books to tell you about today and each one is a nugget of inspiration. These little hardback books are perfect gift books for your mom, sister, friend, or anyone who needs an extra pick-me-up. They are each jam-packed with stories, anecdotes, scriptures, and real-life examples of how to create more happiness, value your home life, and traverse through those tough parts of life.
I enjoyed taking time during my daily devotional to read portions of these books, choosing whatever I felt I needed to give me direction that day. Each of these authors is highly qualified and their powerfully succinct writing has stayed with me.
Below, I have a summary of each of the books. Check out Deseretbook.com for more details.

Habits of Happiness – Wendy Ulrich
When happiness doesn’t enter our days automatically, and when life isn’t going as planned, sometimes we are quick to equivocally gauge our overall happiness in life. In this book, filled with scientific research, practical advice and engaging anecdotes, Dr. Wendy Ulrich invites readers to look at happiness in a new way.


Everything I Need to Know I Learned at Home – John Bytheway 
Sometimes the smallest phrases we use in everyday language can be eternal principles that get us through our lives. In this book, John Bytheway makes an inspiring and insightful connection between everyday phrases spoken at home and principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.


Making It Through the Middle – Emily Freeman 
Life is full of challenges, and it’s easy to feel the end of our trials will never arrive. But is it the end we should be spending so much of our time focusing on? In this book, Emily Freeman shares six lessons, and various personal experiences to assist readers in staying strong when they are right in the middle of a hard time. 


I received review copies of these books which in no way influence my honest opinion.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Incredible New Music from Stephanie Boyd, Touching Sky

Touching Sky  
I love music! I especially love music that my entire family can enjoy. I'm so grateful I was able to take a listen to Stephanie Boyd's incredible new album, Touching Sky. Every song has its own unique beat and message and I found myself smiling and singing along.
One of my favorites is, "I am Divine"--love the instrumentation used in this song and the way the changing rhythm adds to the power of the message. And you have to keep reading and click on album samples to hear a sample of "Today" because I know you'll love it! It's the first sample you'll hear.

Touching Sky was playing in my car during carpool for dance and when my daughter's ten-year-old friend heard the songs she wanted to know who was singing and where she could get the music. It's fun to find music that inspires and energizes at the same time. You can't go wrong with this fabulous mix of upbeat, original tunes and Stephanie's voice is great. I think she sounds a bit like Sarah Bareilles and I love that Stephanie sings clearly, enunciating the lyrics so well.

Here's more info about this great album which I definitely recommend you check out! Be sure to watch the awesome music video below too!

Touching Sky With a fresh and energizing sound, Stephanie Boyd’s debut album Touching Sky will put a smile on your face and a skip in your step. Unique lyrics, heartfelt vocals and top quality production will inspire and uplift you. With brand new original songs and a novel take on some favorite hymns, this CD will stay with you every day of the week.
  Music Video StephanieAbout Stephanie Growing up in New York, Stephanie was drawn to the power of music from a young age. While she was originally trained in classical singing, Stephanie always gravitated towards more upbeat and modern music. With her debut album, Touching Sky, Stephanie combines her love of traditional messages with fresh music. Since moving to Utah, Stephanie has worked closely with well-known artists including Jenny Phillips, Tyler Castleton, and Michael McLean. She was also featured soloist with Sally DeFord. She has a master’s degree in environmental science she and her husband have enjoyed building and selling businesses together. Stephanie is married with four children (and one on the way!) and likes to read, garden, run and bake fun birthday cakes.  
  Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 3/9/14 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 CD and my honest opinions are always my own, unaffected by review samples. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Elevated by Elana Johnson, My Review of this Fab YA Book




I'm excited to share another fab read today--this one especially for young adults. I wasn't sure how immersed I would be in this novel because it's written entirely in verse, but since I read the whole thing in one day, I think that pretty much explains that it draws you in and doesn't let you go. Elana Johnson is skilled at writing teenage characters with depth and strong emotion. This story has a little bit of everything and it moves quickly. Getting to know Elly and all of her secrets was intriguing and touching at the same time. I discovered that I really liked the style of the book written in verse and the way Elana uses words in such a succinct way to relay a powerful story is impressive.

I'd like to note that there is mention of sexual activity in this book and ensuing consequences and I think it was well-written and done in such a way that I would still consider this a clean read.
I'm excited to see what Elana Johnson has coming next for readers. If you haven't read her work, be sure to check out the links in this post to learn more about this incredible author!

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 free 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: http://leaguewriters.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Newport Ladies Book Club Novel: Victoria's Promise by Julie Wright

I'm thrilled to have a chance to share my review of Victoria's Promise with you. Julie Wright is an excellent author and this book delivers on all of its promises. Wright captures the voice of her character Tori in such a way that she comes to life and you'll feel as if you know her and definitely be rooting for her!
This novel captured my attention from the very beginning. I love the treatment of the "reality TV" shows and how actual reality plays out so much differently. This isn't just a fluffy romance--Tori deals with problems and you can watch the strength of her character in action as she faces hard decisions about several aspects of her life.
There are so many feel-good, laugh-out-loud, and grit your teeth scenes in this book. Read Victoria's Promise if you're in the mood to be delighted by an author who knows how to weave an engaging tale.

Here's a blurb from the book:

A luxurious mansion. Thirty stunning bachelorettes. One very eligible bachelor. All of the ingredients are in place for a successful reality dating show, and behind the scenes, Tori Winters is set to pull the romantic strings as assistant director of Vows. Despite her distaste for public exhibitions of love—which spelled the death of her last relationship—Tori intends to give the public exactly what they want: scintillating footage of a bevvy of beauties vying for the attention of Christopher Caine. But Chris, a consummate Southern gentleman and the star of Vows, seems almost too good to be true—and soon, even Tori finds herself falling under his spell. Despite legal obligations to avoid fraternizing with the talent, it’s clear her feelings are anything but unrequited. With the support of her friends in the Newport Ladies Book Club, Tori must make a life-altering decision: is she willing to jeopardize all she’s worked for in order to embrace her own fairy-tale ending?

Here is the Amazon Link:
http://www.amazon.com/Newport-Ladies-Book-Club-Victorias-ebook/dp/B00HJZOYBK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1389216943&sr=1-1&keywords=victoria%27s+promise
You can also purchase at Deseret Book http://deseretbook.com/Newport-Ladies-Book-Club-Victorias-Promise-Julie-Wright/i/5119763

I received a review copy of this novel which in no way affected my honest opinion.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I Love Writing Conferences, Here's Where Rachelle Will Be

I've mentioned writing conferences before on my blog and I'm so excited that we're approaching the season for conferences again. I love attending because I get to rub shoulders with so many fabulous people, learn new things, and get energized about the craft of writing.

If you live in or anywhere around Utah, there are some fabulous conferences coming up in the next three months and you should definitely think about attending if you're interested in writing! Thanks to my friend Peggy Eddleman for getting this info into a great format and sharing it with me.

Here's the first one I'll be going to, next week! 


Where:   Provo, Utah (At the Provo Marriott Hotel)
When:   February 13-16
Price:   $45
For 3 DAYS of conference!
What:   Tons and tons of panels, and over 1,300 people
who love writing just as much as you.
Why:   Because there is seriously something for everyone.  I'll be teaching 3 classes at this conference:
Feb 14th, Friday at 9am I'll teach REVISING BEYOND THE THIRD DRAFT
Friday at 3pm I'll teach DON'T FILL YOUR PLOT HOLES WITH SAND: THE POWER OF OUTLINING
Saturday, Feb 15th at 2pm I'll teach PLOTS TO DIE FOR

Come and say hello!


My favorite conference and the first one I ever attended eight years ago is LDStorymakers.
Where:   Layton, UT (Davis Conference Center)
When:   April 25-26, with boot camp / publication primer on April 24
Price:   $185 (by Feb. 20)
What:  Many workshops and presentation on all areas of writing, for
all age groups and genres, attended by top agents and editors.
Why:  This conference has an incredibly high quality of instruction
by published authors and agents and editors that are the top in their
field.
I'll be teaching 2 classes at this conference.
Friday, April 25th at 11am I'll teach PLOTS TO DIE FOR
Saturday at 11:30 I'll teach DON'T FILL YOUR PLOTS HOLES WITH SAND: THE POWER OF OUTLINING

There are plenty more conferences and my friend, Peggy Eddleman's outlined several of them. Visit her blog for more info on some great teen and children's writers conferences here.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Incredible Deal on 7 Romance Novel, only 99 cents!

deal of the day  Here's the question I keep asking, why can't clean romance top all of the best-selling charts?! I think it can and I've read most of the books in this 7 Book Boxed Set. I love the authors and I'm really excited about what they are providing. Check out this deal and purchase it for only 99 cents. You'll be giving yourself a gift and helping to spread the word that there are plenty of readers who love good, clean romance written by talented authors!
 Romance Through the Ages   Romance through the Ages brings you SEVEN NOVELS from 7 bestselling authors (including New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestsellers). Join us for a fabulous collection.   *7 Romance Novels, 7 Bestselling Authors, 1 Amazing Price*
*Buy it this week and help push this exceptional deal to the top of the charts! 
99 cents
99 cent Romance Boxed Set for a limited time only!   Running Barefoot by NY Times & USA Today bestselling author Amy Harmon!— Deeply romantic and poignant, Running Barefoot is the story of a small town girl and a Native American boy, the ties that bind them to their homes and families, and the love that gives them wings.   Masquerade by Janette Rallison, who has sold more than 1 million books!— It's hard for a woman to keep up the masquerade when her boss is as handsome as Slade Jacobson and the job takes her to Hawaii with him. In between handling his whirlwind four-year-old daughter and dealing with a whole cast of Hollywood personalities, Clarissa has to keep a tight hold on her heart.   The Reluctant Bachelorette by Rachael Anderson, Amazon Bestseller!—Unknowingly cast as the bachelorette for her town's charity event, Shelter’s Bachelorette, Taycee Emerson is in for the ride of her life. Especially when she discovers her old teenage crush, Luke Carney, is one of the bachelors and it's up to the viewers—not her—to decide which bachelors stay or go.   Pride and Precipitation by Heather Horrocks, Amazon Bestseller!— Breezy Jones is crazy about the weather, rain or shine, which makes her job as the local television station’s meteorologist perfect. That’s before she meets the attractive new general manager, Noah Drake, who is determined to repackage everything—including Breezy’s down-home delivery.   My Own Mr. Darcy by Karey White, Amazon Bestseller!— Lizzie falls hard for Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy character and makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. When she meets two men, Chad—a science teacher, and Matt Dawson—who looks and acts like Mr. Darcy, she’s forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place.   She Owns the Knight by Diane Darcy, Amazon Bestseller!— Why does Gillian Corbett have to travel seven hundred years through time to find a decent guy?... Why can't Sir Kellen Marshall find a lady who is obedient, submissive... or at least not trying to kill him?   Heart of the Ocean by Heather B. Moore, Amazon Bestseller!— A dark secret . . . a grieving ghost . . . a handsome stranger . . . What more could Eliza Robinson want? Except for maybe her life. When Eliza discovers that Jonathan Porter’s dark secrets may be the link between the dead woman who haunts her and her aunt’s murderer, Eliza realizes that Jonathan is the one man she should never trust.

Grab your copy for just .99 cents!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Paris Cravings Cover Reveal by Kimberley Montpetit & Giveaway

I have another fantastic cover reveal to share today. Woot! Woot! This one is for the new Young Adult novel PARIS CRAVINGS by Kimberley Montpetit. You'll want to check this out because there is a fun giveaway attached to this new book release!



Can life really turn on a dime—
a missed bus— 
or a stuck pastry shop door?




Chloe Dillard’s life has always been complicated. She has a mother who is a neurotic romance novelist and a boyfriend who’s been pressuring her to go all the way. After The Worst Night of Her Life Chloe escapes on a trip to the swoon-worthy city of Paris where she becomes stranded after an accident with high heels and a pastry box.

Saved by a French boy with chocolate-brown eyes, Chloe begins to wonder if being lost in Paris is the chance of a lifetime. But as attracted as she is to the gorgeous and oh-so-kind La Patisserie shop boy—even he has a girlfriend.

The police are tracking her down, Mom’s having a nervous breakdown when she goes missing, and Chloe just wants to have her dream of a happily-ever-after.

What’s a girl to do in the most romantic city in the world?


About Kimberley Montpetit: Kimberley Montpetit once spent all her souvenir money at the La Patisserie shops when she was in Paris—on the arm of her adorable husband. The author grew up in San Francisco, another swoon-worthy city, loves all things Parisian and chocolate and lives in a small town along the Rio Grande with her family.
Kimberley has won many awards for her work, including the Southwest Book Award, the Whitney Award, the Arizona/New Mexico Book Award, is a Crystal Kite Finalist (SCBWI) and included in the Bank Street College Best Books of the Year.
She once stayed in a haunted castle tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland, sailed on the Seine in Paris, walked the beaches of Normandy, eaten in numerous French cafes, ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan, sunbathed on Waikiki, shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria. 
She adores all baked goodies; brownies, ├ęclairs, donuts, tarts, and pie, and makes a lot of chocolate chip cookies while revising.
Kimberley is, of course, hard at work on her next novel(s).

Social Media Links:
 


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