Monday, March 31, 2014

Fool for Books Giveaway Hop

Happy April Fool's! But this is no joke! I'm part of a fantastic giveaway hop and I'm giving away a bundle of great prizes!

Here's what I'm giving away and you can enter from now through April 7, 2014.

Born Brave CD by Katherine Nelson
Also available here

First Things First by Stephen R. Covey- paperback book

It's so simple to enter using the rafflecopter below. Please note that you must be a resident of the 48 contiguous United States to enter to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
You can enter to win at any of the following blogs:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Divinity of Women, Book Review

If you've visited my blog, you've probably noticed that Heather B. Moore is one of my favorite authors. She writes several different types of books from fiction to non-fiction. Today, I'm lucky enough to share her latest non-fiction book with you. Divinity of Women is a beautiful book filled with the glorious women of the scriptures, both the Bible and The Book of Mormon. Gorgeous, full-color illustrations bring these women to life as Heather and her scriptural historian father, S. Kent Brown explain the trials these women faced and how they showed their divinity.

Interesting to note is that this book also focuses on those women who were wicked and made poor choices and how the scriptures show us the direct suffering for their unrighteousness.

Most important is how this book illustrates what true divinity is--coming unto Christ. Reading about each of these women is inspiring and uplifting because even though our day seems so far removed from their experiences, we can see from their example how powerful a divine woman can be with an influence of good.

More about the book:
Scriptural history is replete with reports of strong women from all walks of life: from the humble handmaiden to the mighty priestess, each demonstrates the eternal truth of our divine worth. A thought-provoking celebration of the potential of womanhood, Divinity of Women explores scriptural accounts of women from each of the standard works—both those who allowed themselves to be refined by the challenges of life and those who chose not to turn to Christ in their moments of need. By linking scriptural women's experiences with modern applications, this powerful volume will inspire women to boldly confront life's challenges on the path to divinity.

Heather B. Moore is a two-time Best of State and Whitney Award-winning author of the Out of Jerusalem series and Abinadi, Alma, Alma the Younger, and Ammon. She is also the author of the nonfiction work Women of the Book of Mormon: Insights & Inspirations and co author with Angela Eschler of Christ’s Gifts to Women. Visit Heather’s website for information on upcoming projects:

S. Kent Brown has taught at BYU since 1971, and served as director of the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies from 1993-1996. He is also a member of the Board of Editors for the Encyclopedia of Mormonism.

Find Divinity of Women here:

Deseret Book:


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

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Power to Become, Book Review

I'm currently reading this book and I have to say, I'm so grateful for the knowledge and wisdom that David A. Bednar has and shares within his books. I like to have a morning devotional where I study my scriptures, books, magazines, and other supplements that teach of Jesus Christ. I have enjoyed reading a variety of wonderful books the past few months and I know that this one will be an added strength to my day.

Book Description:
In Power to Become, Elder David A. Bednar explores how the Savior makes possible His divine commission, "Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect" (3 Nephi 12:48).
Chapters in this thought-provoking book highlight the importance of the Atonement, the spiritual gift of personal peace, the importance of priesthood ordinances, and the responsibility we have to obey willingly and endure valiantly.
"As we increase in learning about the Savior and His gospel," Elder Bednar writes, "as we strive with ever greater consistency to act in His doctrine, ordinances, and covenants, then we are blessed with power through His Atonement to increasingly become like Him." Power to Become introduces vital tools we all can use to invite these eternally significant blessings into our lives.

About the Author:
ELDER DAVID A. BEDNAR was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2004. Prior to his call, he had served as an Area Seventy, regional representative, stake president, and bishop. He served a mission to southern Germany and then attended Brigham Young University, where he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He received a PhD in organizational behavior from Purdue University and was a professor of business management at Texas Tech University and the University of Arkansas. Elder Bednar served as the president of BYU-Idaho from 1997 to 2004. His previously published books include the bestsellers Increase in Learning and Act in Doctrine. He and his wife, Susan, are the parents of three sons.

Available at Deseret Book:

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Death in the Family, New Book Feature and Author Interview with Marlene Bateman

 Here's a new book that will have you cooking up a storm to solve the mystery and try out the recipes included!
Synopsis of A Death in the Family
Meet Erica Coleman—a gifted and quirky private investigator with an OCD-like passion for neatness and symmetry, a penchant for cooking, (ten terrific recipes are included), and a weakness for chocolate.
In A Death in the Family, the second in the Erica Coleman series, private eye Erica Coleman and her family happily anticipate Grandma Blanche’s eighty-first birthday celebration in the picturesque town of Florence, Oregon. But when the feisty matriarch, a savvy businesswoman, suspects wrongdoing and asks Erica to investigate her company, things get sticky.
Before the investigation can even begin, Blanche’s unexpected death leaves Erica with more questions than answers—and it is soon clear Grandma’s passing was anything but natural: she was murdered. When another relative becomes the next victim of someone with a taste for homicide, Erica uses her flair for cooking to butter up local law enforcement and gather clues.
Erica’s OCD either helps or hinders her—depending on who you talk to—but it’s those same obsessive and compulsive traits than enable Erica to see clues that others miss. When she narrowly escapes becoming the third victim, Erica is more determined than ever to solve the case.

Excerpt from A Death in the Family
            “It’s hard to believe she’s gone,” Kristen said dolefully. “When I moved here, I thought I’d have years with Grandma. She was always so active—I thought she’d keep going for years.”
“And all the time, her heart was getting weaker,” Trent said glumly.
Walter commented, “The last time I saw her, Blanche said the doctor told her she had the constitution of a mule.”
There were a few smiles at this, but Martha’s brow furrowed in confusion. “But Mom’s death didn’t have anything to do with how healthy she was.”
“What are you talking about?” Trent’s impatient voice billowed out and filled the small room.
Martha squirmed but fluttered on, “Well, after what Mom said when she came to visit me, you know—about how something wrong was going on in the company—I worried that something might happen.”
Her response reverberated around the room. Everyone went very still—as if they were holding their breath. 
Martha’s eyes went from one to another. “I didn’t mean—oh, I shouldn’t have said anything,” she stammered. Her voice was pure distress. “It’s just that . . . well, we’re all family here, so it’s okay, isn’t it? I mean, no one else knows.”
“No one else knows what?” Trent said brusquely.
Visibly flustered, Martha’s hands twisted in her lap. “And . . . and Mother was very old and—and the police haven’t even come, have they?”
Erica wondered what Martha could be getting at. Everyone darted quizzical looks at each other, trying to make sense out of Martha’s confused chirruping.
After meeting blank looks all around, Martha blurted, “I mean, that’s good . . . isn’t it? For the family?”
The room remained deadly silent as Martha’s cheeks flamed red.
There was a rumble as Walter cleared his throat. “Why would the police come?”
“Why, to arrest someone.” Martha sounded surprised—as if he had asked something that was completely and absolutely self-evident. She stared at Walter, as if he and he alone could straighten everything out. “Isn’t that why they’re doing an autopsy? I mean, don’t they always do an autopsy when someone has been murdered?”

Author Biography
Marlene Bateman Sullivan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they are the parents of seven children. 
Her hobbies are gardening, camping, and reading.  Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and has written a number of non-fiction books, including:  Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s From Beyond the Veil, By the Ministering of Angels, Brigham’s Boys, and Heroes of Faith.  Her latest book is Gaze Into Heaven; Near Death Experiences in Early Church History, a fascinating collection of over 50 documented near-death experiences from the lives of early latter-day Saints.
Marlene’s first novel was the best-selling Light on Fire Island. Her next novel was Motive for Murder, which is the first in a mystery series that features the quirky private eye with OCD, Erica Coleman.

 Purchase Links:

  A Death in the Family is available at physical bookstores such as Deseret Book and Seagull Book, as well as other LDS bookstores. Visit her website here:

Interview with Marlene Bateman:

What inspires and motivates you to write?
I never have to try and find motivation to write—it comes as naturally as breathing.  I’ve never had a day where I didn’t want to write.  Even when writing is difficult, as it often is, I still have this weird, insatiable urge to write.   

Is there an established writer you admire? 
I admire so many authors.  I love Mauve Binchy, as well as Jan Karon.  They have such great characters and tell such compelling stories.  I also love reading Agatha Christie and also enjoy Anne Tyler.

Do you write as you go or do you have the book all planned out from page 1? 
Since I write mysteries, I have to know how the book is going to end before I can start the first chapter. I write a rough draft of the last chapter, then the first chapter, and go on from there. I have to plot very carefully to keep up the tension and so that all the clues are in place at the right time.  Plotting can be hard, but its very important and actually saves time in the end, since you don’t have to rewrite and add important information that should have been there in the first place. Once you get your storyline laid out, you have a structure to follow. A contractor would never begin building a house without plans, and to my way of thinking, a mystery writer would never write without having a basic plot down on paper.   

When you were little, what did you want to be when you "grew up"?
I love easy questions.  A writer. I wanted to write ever since I was young, though I did not commit to it until I was in Jr. High. Having a family set me back because let’s face it, you can’t do everything at one time, but you can do everything if you spread it out!



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