Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Book Spotlight: Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot

 If any of you are fans of Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries, her latest novel follows Mia into adulthood. I haven't read this book, but it'll be out in just a few days! Here's a synopsis and a giveaway to celebrate!

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Princess Diaries series, comes the very first adult installment, which follows Princess Mia and her Prince Charming as they plan their fairy tale wedding—but a few poisoned apples could turn this happily-ever-after into a royal nightmare.
For Princess Mia, the past five years since college graduation have been a whirlwind of activity, what with living in New York City, running her new teen community center, being madly in love, and attending royal engagements. And speaking of engagements. Mia’s gorgeous longtime boyfriend Michael managed to clear both their schedules just long enough for an exotic (and very private) Caribbean island interlude where he popped the question! Of course Mia didn’t need to consult her diary to know that her answer was a royal oui.
But now Mia has a scandal of majestic proportions to contend with: Her grandmother’s leaked “fake” wedding plans to the press that could cause even normally calm Michael to become a runaway groom. Worse, a scheming politico is trying to force Mia’s father from the throne, all because of a royal secret that could leave Genovia without a monarch.  Can Mia prove to everyone—especially herself—that she’s not only ready to wed, but ready to rule as well?

About the Author:
Meg Cabot is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of books for both adults and tweens/teens. There have been over 25 million copies of Meg's nearly 80 published books sold in 38 countries. Her last name rhymes with habit, as in "her books can be habit forming." She currently lives in Key West, Florida with her husband and various cats. 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Review of Moses Chronicles: Bondage by Heather Moore, Incredible Historical Novel & Giveaway

 Today I'm sharing a new book by one of my favorite authors, Heather Moore or H.B. Moore.

Heather writes historical fiction as well as novels and I love her writing style! In this rendition of the Moses story found in the Bible, Heather has brought the early era of Moses to life in a story that you won't want to miss. The story focuses on his sister Miriam and the watchful eye she has kept on the baby brother she sent down the river eighteen years before. We see how the Hebrew slaves lived and what a miracle it was that Moses grew up right under the pharaoh's nose.
Heather's knowledge of Biblical times enlightens the reader by showing how the setting in which Moses lived was such a dichotomy to his Hebrew heritage. Reading this made me think so much deeper about the story of Moses found in Exodus. For Moses to eventually turn his back on a life of royal luxury shows his depth of character and I can't wait to read more in the second volume of the Moses Chronicles next year.
I highly recommend this book because it is an engaging story with suspense, romance, and truth from its biblical roots conveyed in a way that made me feel a connection to a story that is thousands of years old.

Here's the book blurb:

Moses Chronicles: Bondage
By Heather Moore

Moses has always felt like an outsider in his powerful Egyptian family, even though his close relationship with Ramses, the prince of Egypt, and their cousin Pentu keeps him entwined in the dealings of royalty. But when their youthful antics get them in trouble, the Pharaoh decides it’s time for all three of them to grow up and own their respective responsibilities. Now betrothed to a woman he cares nothing for, Moses wonders where his life is headed. 
Miriam, a Hebrew slave, lives with a secret she cannot share with anyone. And though it has been eighteen years since she saved her baby brother, she is constantly getting in trouble for spying on him. In a desperate attempt to control Miriam, her older brother, Aaron, and her father look to find her a husband, something Miriam has never been interested in—until Caleb, a young, handsome man, confesses his feelings for her and asks her father for her hand in marriage.   
When Libya advances on Egypt, Moses and Miriam are suddenly thrown together as the Egyptian royals and soldiers flee. Hebrew slaves are forced to defend the kingdom, and Miriam and Caleb are enlisted under Moses’s direction. Moses quickly sees there is more to this downtrodden people than what he’s been taught. When he witnesses the atrocities enacted against the slaves, he realizes he must leave—he must find out who he really is.  
A gripping account of the events that led to Moses’s flight into the wilderness, The Moses Chronicles: Bondage will take you back back to a rich period of history replete with scandal, strife, love, and hope as God prepares a prophet to lead His chosen people.  

You can read more reviews here:

And there's a giveaway too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

My Cover Reveal for Veils and Vengeance, Wedding Planner Mysteries #2

It's here! It's here! (Insert squeals and happy dance!) I'm thrilled to invite you to my cover reveal party for book #2 in the Wedding Planner Mystery Series, Veils and Vengeance!
I began researching this book on a trip to Kauai back in 2012. Each book is quite the labor of love and I can't wait to share this story with you! I think you're going to love finding out what happens to Adri in this captivating story.
What's that? You haven't read book #1 yet? Never fear, check it out here Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things: A Wedding Planner Mystery (Wedding Planner Mysteries) !
Would you like to be on my review tour? Signups are here:

I'll show you the cover now! I'm so excited. It's like you're meeting one of my best friends!!

Veils and Vengeance  
 Here's a blurb about my book. Be sure to enter the giveaway and the goodreads giveaway below!

Veils and Vengeance by Rachelle J. Christensen When wedding planner, Adrielle Pyper, goes to Hawaii to orchestrate a destination wedding, she isn't prepared for what she finds. After the trauma of her previous event, the beautiful isle of Kauai is the perfect place for Adri to unwind and do what she does best – plan. She even lets herself indulge in the attention of the groom’s handsome brother. But just when everything seems to be perfect, an afternoon snorkeling trip turns to murder when Adri discovers the body of a young woman. Shaken, but unable to let it go, Adri’s sleuthing leads her into more danger than she could imagine. When a number of “accidents” threaten her own life, it soon becomes apparent that someone will do anything to keep Adri from interfering with their vengeance.   add to goodreads Enter the Goodreads Giveaway here:     
Photo by Erin Summerill

Author Rachelle J. Christensen Rachelle J. Christensen is a mother of five who writes mystery/suspense and solves the case of the missing shoe on a daily basis. She graduated cum laude from Utah State University with a degree in psychology and a minor in music. She enjoys singing and songwriting, playing the piano, running, motivational speaking, and, of course, reading. Rachelle is the award-winning author of six books, including Wrong Number, Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things, and What Every 6th Grader Needs to Know. Her novella, Silver Cascade Secrets, was included in the Rone Award-winning Timeless Romance Anthology, Fall Collection.
$25 Cover Reveal Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 6/15/15 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 and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 15, 2015

Cover Reveal! J. Scott Savage Mysteries of Cove: Fires of Invention

I'm thrilled to be part of the cover reveal for J. Scott Savage's upcoming new series Mysteries of Cove
Savage is an amazing author and one of the nicest guys I know! His books are delightful and highly recommended for kids who love reading, those who need a nudge in the reading direction, and parents too! Here's more about the inspiration behind the new series. Keep reading to see the cover!

Author Note:
Like many of my books, the inspiration for my new series Fires of Invention came from the collision of two ideas. The first time the story occurred to me was while I was watching the musical Wicked with my wife. The moment I walked into the theater and saw the huge mechanical dragon above the stage, I thought, Wow! I have to write a story about that! A few weeks later, I was talking with my nephew, who is probably the most creative kid I know, but whose inventiveness often gets him into trouble, and I thought, What if a kid who had the talents of my nephew lived in a world where creativity was against the law? What if the kids were building . . . a steam-powered dragon? Bam! I had my story.

Powered by great feedback from my agent, Michael Bourret, my good friend and author James Dashner, my publisher, Chris Schoebinger, and the song “Warriors” by Imagine Dragons, I wrote the entire first draft of the first volume in the series, Mysteries of Cove in four weeks. This book is unlike anything I have ever written. There are elements of City of Ember, Dragon Riders, and Hugo in it all mashed up together in a world I fell in love with from the moment I started writing.

I think what’s most exciting to me about this book is that it’s about giving yourself the freedom to imagine. To take chances. Too often we limit ourselves by only trying things we’re confident we can succeed at when what we need to do is give ourselves permission to fail. Often it is when we attempt things with no idea of how we can possibly pull them off that we achieve our greatest successes.

Book Description:
STEAMPUNK! Plus Dragons!
Trenton Colman is a creative thirteen-year-old boy with a knack for all things mechanical. But his talents are viewed with suspicion in Cove, a steam-powered city built inside a mountain. In Cove, creativity is a crime and "invention" is a curse word. Kallista Babbage is a repair technician and daughter of the notorious Leo Babbage, whose father died in an explosion-an event the leaders of Cove point to as an example of the danger of creativity.

Working together, Trenton and Kallista learn that Leo Babbage was developing a secret project before he perished. Following clues he left behind, they begin to assemble a strange machine that is unlikely anything they've ever seen before. They soon discover that what they are building may threaten every truth their city is founded on-and quite possibly their very lives.

And here's the cover ....

Author Bio:
J. Scott Savage is the author of the Farworld middle grade fantasy series and the Case File 13 middle grade monster series. He has been writing and publishing books for over ten years. He has visited over 400 elementary schools, dozens of writers conferences, and taught many writing classes. He has four children and lives with his wife Jennifer and their Border Collie, Pepper, in a windy valley of the Rocky Mountains.

INSTAGRAM: jscottsavage

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Interview with Author of Crooked House, Marlene Batemen

Today I have a guest and she's going to dish on writing and a little about herself. Marlene Bateman has a new book out in her culinary mystery series Crooked House: An Erica Coleman Mystery.

 Q & A with Marlene Bateman

How did you get started on the writing path and how long did it take you to write your first novel? How long until that novel was published?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer—ever since I was in elementary school.  When I got married and had children, I stopped writing until the children got older. Then I began carving out time to write articles and stories for magazine. Next, I wrote a number of non-fiction books.  Then I decided I wanted to write a novel. So I developed a plot and started writing Light on Fire Island, which is a mystery romance.  Taking care of children really slowed me down and it took me three years to finish.  With the kids growing up, I’ve gotten a little faster. Now, if I work hard, I can do a non-fiction book in 6-9 months and a mystery in 9 months. After my novel was accepted, it took 2 1/2 years until it was published.  That was frustrating, but it’s part of the process, so I just go with the flow. Since then, I’ve written three other novels and I’m almost done with another!

What is your favorite part about writing? Least favorite?
The greatest thing is simply being able to sit down and have time to write.  When my children were small, I felt very guilty about taking the time to write—as though it was some nefarious indulgence. But now I no longer feel guilty taking time to do what I enjoy. There is a joy in having characters come to life and in getting the story just right. It’s often difficult, sometimes is a chore, but I love it. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment and pleasure to write, polish and revise and get the words just right.

The least favorite thing for me is usually the first draft.  I’m not sure why, but it’s difficult for me to get the rough draft down.  I enjoy coming up with ideas and plotting out the story line, but actually writing the first draft is torture.  It seems that everything I write is garbage. The only thing that gives me hope is knowing that I can revise. And I  know I have to get something down before I can revise, so I grind my way through that awful rough draft. After that, I truly enjoy the revising process, and go through the manuscript over and over and over until I’m satisfied.  

Can you give some advice to aspiring writers?
Never. Give. Up. 

People don’t fail because they can’t write, they fail because they stop trying. I have a yellowed newspaper clipping by my computer that says; “For most of us, it isn’t that we don’t have the ability to write, it’s that we don’t devote the time.  You have to put in the effort.”  I believe that.  I tell aspiring authors that if they want to write and be published bad enough, they will work hard at learning the craft of writing.  And if they work hard and study and practice, their writing will improve. And as their writing improves, they WILL be published.

You write LDS non-fiction as well. Tell us about a couple of those books, please.
My most recent non-fiction books are; Heroes of Faith, which is a collection of true stories about people who stood firm in the faith despite mobs, bullets and overwhelming trials.  Gaze into Heaven; Near-death Experiences in Early Church History, is a collection of true, carefully documented near-death experiences, which occurred to people in the early days of the LDS church.

My first non-fiction book was Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines,  which is a compilation of true stories about people in early LDS Church history who risked their life in defense of the gospel. My next three books are also compilations of true stories in early Church History, and are about angelic experiences.  The first book is; And There Were Angels Among Them. The second book is; Visits From Beyond the Veil, and the third is; By the Ministering of Angels.  Researching and writing these books made me realize how much Heavenly Father loves his children and that He is aware of us and our lives.

*Thank you so much for stopping by Marlene! I admire you for developing your talents and keeping up with your dreams over the years. As a mom of young children right now, it's encouraging and validating to meet other writers who put family first and are still able to accomplish personal goals!

Author Biography
Marlene Bateman 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.  Her hobbies include gardening, camping, reading, and enjoying her four cats and three dogs. 

Marlene’s first novel was the best-selling Light on Fire Island. Her next novel was Motive for Murder—the first in a mystery series that features Erica Coleman, a quirky private eye with OCD.  The next book in that line, (they do not have to be read in order) is A Death in the Family.

Marlene has also written a number of LDS non-fiction books under the name Marlene Bateman Sullivan. Those books include:  Gaze Into Heaven; Near-death Experiences in Early Church History, which is a fascinating collection of over 50 documented near-death experiences from the lives of early latter-day Saints, Heroes of Faith, and Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines.  Marlene also wrote three books about documented accounts in early LDS church history when a person either saw or heard an angel; Visit’s From Beyond the Veil, And There Were Angels Among Them, and By the Ministering of Angels.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Must Read Book, Keep It Real and Grab A Plunger: 25 Tips for Surviving Parenthood

As a mother of five kids, this book definitely looked enticing and I'm so glad that I got the chance to read it.
I liked the format of this book because it was easy to read in chunks here and there in between diaper changes, feedings, piano lessons, homework, etc., etc. Each chapter was short but chock full of great information, anecdotes, and scenarios that help teach the principles that Julie has collected. These 25 Tips are definitely on the top of my list of areas where I could use some extra help. I found myself marking and highlighting several tips and passages as I went along.

One of my children is four, but it still feels like we are in the terrible twos. He's extremely difficult and headstrong, goes 100 miles an hour all day long and has complete freak-outs about the littlest things. My husband and I have pulled our hair out trying to figure out how to work with this child. Many days I have been in tears over the latest trouble he has gotten into and how to keep my cool and still show love to him. There just aren't words, so in short, I'll tell you that this book is so refreshing because I can tell that Julie really does understand the dynamics of parenting. She shares these tips in a way that doesn't make me feel guilty because I haven't always got it right, instead I feel hopeful and excited to try out the ideas. I'm already implementing them and in some cases, just a different way of looking at the situation has helped me immensely.
Here's one thought that helped remind me of where we're at with this kid:

"Prekindergarten children have difficulty understanding and putting labels on feelings and, therefore, can feel out of control. They don't know what they are feeling or how to deal with problems. Parents increase a child's self-awareness by allowing the child to express emotion in a safe situation, labeling the emotion, and letting the child know that you will be ready to talk when he or she calms down. I like to say, "When your voice is calm like mine, we can talk."

This would be an excellent Mother's Day gift, or for any day kind of gift as a parenting pick-me-up. The other day I was on the phone changing my baby's messy diaper with a kid in the background yelling, "Mom, come wipe me!" If you've ever been in a similar situation, this book is for you. :)

Here's a little about the book:
As a popular blogger, a college professor, and a frequent parenting guest expert on TV, you might suspect Julie K. Nelson is immune to the realities of actual parenting. But in fact, she’s been there—through all the late nights, huge messes, and tough moments. 

Now she combines her expertise with her experience as a mom of five in this entertaining and pragmatic book. Learn how to overcome your natural manipulative, authoritarian tendencies and foster your child’s self-discipline, respect, and emotional maturity. 
Humorous, insightful, and authentic, this book will get you through the sticky stuff with grace so you can enjoy those parenting moments that make it all worth it.

Julie's new book is available in bookstores and ...
And check out this great book trailer!

I received a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Robin's Reward, New Book Release by June McCrary Jacobs & A Giveaway

Today I'm excited to spotlight a brand new release! And there's a giveaway too! June is an award-winning author, so check out the first book in her new series!


Book Blurb: Bonita Creek’s librarian Robin Bennett is heartbroken after being abandoned by her husband, Thomas. The mysterious and handsome Jeff Clarke arrives unexpectedly and touches Robin’s life with his wit and warmth. Then, without warning, Jeff’s harsh words and abrasive actions scare her off, and Robin’s hope of finding true love withers again. Just when it seems Robin and Jeff might have a future, Susan Stinson, whose cruel taunting has plagued Robin since they met as young teens, decides Jeff should be hers, not Robin’s. Susan’s anger and jealousy escalate dangerously. Her vindictiveness threatens the foundation of Jeff and Robin’s young relationship. Robin’s journey through the peaks and valleys of her life meanders along the twists and turns of new challenges. Is a relationship which began with both parties harboring secrets destined to survive? Can they move past their troubles and the obstacles in their path to find love and happiness together? When their pasts rear their ugly heads, Jeff and Robin must use their faith to remain strong and true. But will it be enough for them to embrace a life of love, trials, and blessings . . . together? ------------------------

Endorsement: "Robin's Reward, a sweet romance with great characters, is as refreshing as a walk among flowers." Author Rebecca H. Jamison, Sense & Sensibility: A Latter-Day Tale.

 June is giving away two signed copies of 'Robin's Reward' on her website. (United States residents only. No purchase necessary.) The Rafflecopter contest will end on May 31st, and June would like to invite readers to enter for a chance to win one of these paperbacks. Here's the link to the entry form:



Award-winning author, June McCrary Jacobs, was the winner of Cedar Fort Publishing’s 2013 Holiday Tale Contest for her debut novella, ‘A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom’. ‘Robin’s Reward’ is her first full-length novel, and is set in her favorite location in California—the Mendocino coastal region. This book is the first installment of the ‘Bonita Creek Trilogy’.
June’s original sewing, quilting, and stitchery designs have been published in over one hundred books, magazines, and blogs in the past few years. When she’s not writing, reading, or sewing, June enjoys cooking, walking, and visiting art and history museums. She also enjoys touring historic homes and gardens and strolling around the many historic Gold Rush towns in the Sierra Nevada foothills. In the summertime you can find June at a variety of county fairs and the California State Fair admiring the sewing projects, quilts, and handiwork other inspired seamstresses, quilters, craftspeople, and artists have created.

June enjoys connecting with readers, authors, aspiring writers, bloggers, designers, sewers, quilters, and crafters. Please connect with June at the following platforms:


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