Mar 042015
 

WoBD_cover_final Wishing Baby Dust

Author: Lydia Winters (Lindzee Armstrong)

Publisher: Snowflake Press

Published: January 2015

ASIN: B00R2BJ9K2

ebook: 322 pages

FTC FYI: Received a PDF copy in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by Mindy

Goodreads Summary

Infertility stinks. No one knows that better than Megan. After six years of insanity-inducing hormone drugs and desperate prayers, all she has to show for her efforts are enough negative pregnancy tests to fill a bassinet. All around her women are accidentally getting pregnant—like her star piano student—while Megan remains hopelessly barren.

Megan’s never felt so alone. But she’s not the only one struggling.

Christina has just entered the world of infertility, made worse by the fact her husband isn’t ready to be a father. Their marriage, already hanging in the balance, is being torn apart.

Then there’s Kyra, the mother of a precocious three-year-old. She’s shocked to be struggling with secondary infertility. A baby is priceless, but sometimes Kyra feels like she’s being forced to choose which commandment to keep: stay out of debt, or multiply and replenish the earth.

When Megan and Christina are assigned as Kyra’s visiting teachers, they all realize that what you see isn’t necessarily what’s beneath the surface. Some secrets aren’t worth the cost of keeping them.

My Review

I absolutely loved this book.  Although I never struggled with infertility, my heart broke for these women and what they endured.  Having pregnancies of my own, I related to their feelings of wanting a baby.  The author did a fantastic job of capturing each woman’s individual character, personality, and unique situation.  I cheered for them, laughed with them, and cried with them.  This book reads really fast, and I instantly was taken into the story.  I could tell the author did her homework when it came to the knowledge of procedures of infertility, having gone through it herself.  This book is perfect reminder for us all to kind and loving to each other, not truly knowing what the other may be going through.

5 out of 5 stars.  This is Lydia’s debut novel.  Find out more about her with the links below.  I can’t wait to read more from her.

Author Links

Goodreads / Website / Twitter / Facebook

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble

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Feb 282015
 
  Jeremy's Promise (1)

 

Jeremy's Promise

Product Details

  • Title: Jeremy’s Promise
  •  Author: A.R. Talley
  • Hardcover: 308 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse (October 28, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1491818123
  • FTC,FYI: Received  a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
  • Book Description: 

“Are you okay?” he asked. Before I could reassure him once more that I was fine, the stewardess started the safety demonstration. I directed my attention to her, happy for the diversion. Jeremy and I had spent most of the day before in small talk and sightseeing, intentionally avoiding the issues we faced. He was so relieved that I was staying with him that he made a Herculean effort not to upset me. And later, I had to admit, that night had been sweet and intimate. But sitting on the plane, I couldn’t forget David’s kiss or his haunting blue eyes. I couldn’t forget the look of devastation on his face when he said goodbye at the elevator. “Go home, Annie,” he had said. And I was. I was going home, hoping that Jeremy and I could rebuild what I had destroyed. I needed to reach out to Jeremy, reassure him. I needed him to know I still loved him and was committed to our marriage. When the stewardess finished talking, I turned to him and gently laid my hand on his cheek. “Thank you,” I said just above a whisper. He looked back in surprise. “Thank you . . . for what?” “For coming to get me.” Instantly his eyes filled with tears.
 
The trip that was meant to save Annie and Jeremy’s marriage brought it to near ruin. Now Annie has returned home, frightened and confused. Jeremy, too, is frightened—and angry. What will it take to save their marriage? It’s clear. Jeremy needs to forgive—Annie needs to forget. A promise is made. A tragedy occurs. A second honeymoon is disrupted. A chance encounter brings David Andrews back into Annie’s life. Annie is determined to remain faithful. She’s made a promise she intends to keep—Jeremy’s Promise.

EXCERPT from Jeremy’s Promise

EXCERPT #1
“Okay, Jeremy,” Terry said, “Tell her.”

 

    “What?” Jeremy asked, bewildered.

 

     “Tell her how you feel about this other man in her life.”

 

      Jeremy was silent for a long moment. I didn’t know why he hadn’t launched immediately into a tirade about David Andrews. All I did know was I didn’t want to hear it.

 

      “Well,” Jeremy said, more subdued, “I think she knows—that anyway.”

       “No, Jeremy, you have to tell her.”
       

        More silence.

 

        “Annie, look at him,” Terry said. I shook my head. I couldn’t look at him. “Annie,” Terry said with measured patience, “Look at him.”

 

      I wiped the back of my hand across each cheek and slowly raised my head. I looked across at Jeremy. His face was red and silent tears ran down his cheek.

 

    “Tell her,” Terry said, gently prodding.

 

     “I’d rather die than have you be with him,” he said, his voice so strained I had to hold my breath to hear him. “Thinking of you—with him—it’s like having a thousand shards of glass lacerate my heart. It’s bleeding me to death.” His lip quivered. 
My Thoughts:
This was a hard book to read. Annie is struggling with her husband’s death and having to rehash the past as she reads through Jeremy’s journals. I loved the first book in the series, David’s Song. My problem is that I really loved David in the book.
This book will take you on an emotional ride. If you’ve ever had marriage problems or been divorced, you’ll be able to relate to the struggles that Annie and Jeremy went through. I guess you have to wonder is…should Annie have went with her heart or her head? What was the right thing to do in the long run? There is a lot of pain that many of the characters went through and we feel it right along with them.
I was surprised when Annie goes on a cruise and meets up with none other than David again. Their relationship continues, even though David is engaged to be married to someone else. A lot happens on the cruise, but they don’t get back together. The epilogue though has a surprise at the end, which will lead into the third book of the trilogy called Annie’s Choice. I can’t wait to read this third book.
Though this book or the trilogy in general is not like your typical sweet romance, it is full of emotion and angst, but you truly get to know the characters. I liked reading Jeremy’s Promise and I know anyone who likes a good story will love reading this too.

Praise for Jeremy’s Promise

A.R. Talley, gives you a believable look at the struggle of one couple to reconnect and heal their marriage, with dialog which sweeps you into the moment as if you were there with them, experiencing both their pain and recovery. Kudos to the author who has once again produced a book I couldn’t put down, as well as one I felt compelled to read multiple times. ~Donna Dech

Jeremy’s Promise second book in a trilogy by A.R. Talley is an awesome, emotional, romantic, highly recommended, well written story with captivating and engaging characters. ~Debbie Ballard

This is not a book I would have picked by myself! I loved it from start to finish! Eagerly waiting for the third book in the trilogy to come out!! I highly recommend this book! ~Goodreads

April Author A.R. Talley A. R. Talley lives in Ohio with her husband Doug and the last of her seven children (the rest have flown the coup.) She loves to cook, read, write, watch movies, play piano, and laugh. Her second favorite vacation involves the British Isles and a small café in Scotland.

 

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Feb 202015
 

 

Coverthelazarusgame22886410 Product Details

  • Title: The Lazarus Game
  • Author: Stephen J. Valentine
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Cedar Fort Publishing & Media (February 10, 2015)
  • Genre: YA Sci-Fi and Fantasy
  • ISBN-10: 1462115543
  • FTC, FYI: I received a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
  • Reviewed by Sheila

Book Description:   
An amazing new video game has the power to resurrect the brightest minds of the past and see what they’d create in the modern world. There’s just one catch—it requires another person’s soul. Carter Chance, who is a teenage genius, must find a way to stop his generation from exchanging their souls for a computer-generated fantasy. This action-packed thriller delves into the enticement and dangers of virtual reality.

My Review:

The Lazarus Game is a book of adventure, a tiny bit of teen romance, history, sci-fi and fantasy all rolled into one exciting YA book. The main character, Carter Chance, is a typical 15 -year- old teen boy…except he is a genius. It’s because of his great brain that he gets sucked into the world of The Lazarus Game and it’s crazy inventor.

The best part of the book, is that you really don’t know who the good and the bad guys are through 3/4 of the book. You know that you want to root for Carter and his friends, but from that point on, you get pulled in a lot of directions.

Without giving anything away…which I refuse to do when it comes to surprising twists in a novel…this book has quite a few twists. You get so caught up in the high tech game and the wonderful opportunities coming Carter’s way, that many things will happen that will catch you and make you pause in awe.

This book written for teens, will make them think about life without that preachy feel that some books have. It will sneak up on them and that is a good thing. There is some violence and mild gore that would make me hesitate having anyone under 13 read this book, but anyone over will love it. Teens today will be able to relate to the hopes and dreams that Carter, his brother and friends all have. They’ll also like all of the wild happenings too.

This book is a stand alone and has some great book club questions at the end. If you read this with your teens, make sure you have a nice discussion at the end with your kids like I did. One question, “What would you sacrifice in order to achieve your greatest desires?” Another asked, “Why do so many people today sacrifice reality for fantasy?” Many of these questions paved the way for lively discussions with my teens.

I enjoyed reading The Lazarus Game for many reasons, but it really comes down to a nicely written book that will keep you glued to the pages. I’ll be happy to pick up the next book that Stephen Valentine writes

Meet Author Stephen J. Valentine
Stephen J. Valentine received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Utah State University. He is Senior Program Manager for FamilySearch International, responsible for the online publication of billions of historical records. Stephen loves history, hiking, cooking, reading, and traveling, especially to Disneyland. Stephen resides in Utah with his beautiful wife, talented children, brilliant Schnauzer, and massive J.R.R. Tolkien collection.

10 FUN FACTS

1. The movie theater/game store in “The Lazarus Game” is based on the Capitol Theatre in Brigham City, Utah, where I grew up. It is still in operation today, one of the few old elegant movie theaters still in business.

2. My favorite book is “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The recent announcement of an additional book by Harper Lee was about as astonishing to me as if they’d found human life on another planet!

3. I’m also a huge J.R.R. Tolkien nerd (way before the movies!) and have collected dozens of editions of his famous trilogy, including editions in Russian, Spanish, German, French, and Canadian (Frodo has an annoying habit of adding “eh” to the end of all his statements).

4. I started writing at the age of four. You can still find lots of four-year old humor in my books.

5. I have traveled to 48 of 50 states in the U.S; 49 of 51 if you count Canada as a state. (I love Canada, by the way—but I have many Canadian friends and love to tease them.)

6. My favorite places to write are in public places—airports, libraries, etc. The surrounding noise is like white noise to me.

7. The worst thing when writing is to be interrupted—potty breaks, eating, and loved ones are all huge distractions while “in the flow” of the story. All you authors out there know what I’m talking about.

8. My favorite place on earth is Disneyland with my family. We have more fun standing in line than most people have on the rides!

9. I’m tired of dystopian novels. Does the future have to be dark and nasty?

10. If “The Lazarus Game” were made into a movie 20 years ago, the perfect actor for Carter Chance would be Matthew Broderick. Think of a blend Matthew’s roles in “War Games” and “Ferris Bueller.” Perfect, right?

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Feb 192015
 

24529586

The Healer

Author: Gregg Luke

Publisher: Covenant

Published: February 3rd, 2015

ISBN13: 978-1-62108-826-4

Paperback: 272 pages

FTC FYI: Received a paperback copy from the publisher in exchange for honest review.

Reviewed by Mindy

Goodreads Summary

After successfully completing his first-year professorship, Welsh folklore expert Chris Pendragon has earned a vacation. At least that’s what the young scholar tells himself—but deep down he feels an urgency to reassess his life, to find a sense of purpose. Hoping that perhaps a trip to Wales will provide the answers he seeks, Chris embarks on a journey of self-discovery. But he could never have anticipated the unimaginable adventure that awaits him …

Shortly after his arrival in Wales, Chris is witness to a horrific accident with more far-reaching consequences than he could have dreamed. Following Chris’s heroic rescue of one of the victims, an unexplainable phenomenon is revealed: bones that had been broken were made whole with Chris’s touch. Still reeling form this discovery, Chris is approached by a wizened old man with an implausible answer: Chris has been chosen to be the bearer of the Dial, a healer of unparalleled power. But the calling is fraught with peril, and Chris soon discovers there are those who will stop at nothing to seize the power of the Dial. With the help of a beautiful, if skeptical, doctor, Chris must choose: go back to the life he was leading or embark on a thrilling new destiny.

My Review

The Healer grips you from the first page and doesn’t stop until the end!  I really enjoyed this book and Chris’s journey to find the answers he is seeking and also how to find himself in his new role.  I was fascinated by the Welsh history and loved the details of Chris’s travels.  I thought there were some very clever twists and turns, especially involving Dr. Ingledew.  I loved Chris, but I think the character that surprised me the most was Father Llewellyn.  He was a treat, absolutely delightful.  Every time he spoke, I smiled.  The Father says something to Chris that really struck me.

I’ve come to believe that those with the greatest blessings are often those with the greatest challenges. (page 229)

This statement fit this book perfectly.  Chris, at first, sees his role as a healer as a burden.  I loved reading his self-discovery and how he plans on handling it in the future.  The history of the Dial was fascinating and enjoyable.  The last few chapters were icing on the cake, a perfect way of showing the reader how he plans to treat his gift.  I’m so excited to see what is next for Chris.

5 out of 5 stars.

Author Links

Goodreads / Website 

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Deseret Book / Seagull Book

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Feb 172015
 

22886452 Letters to My Future Husband

Author: Lisa McKendrick

Publisher: Cedar Fort

Published: February 10th, 2015

Paperback: 240 pages

ISBN13: 9781462115539

FTC FYI: Received a PDF copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by Mindy

Goodreads Summary

Sophie doesn’t know what kind of man she’s looking for, so her father suggests she write letters to her future husband—and come to know him in the process. But Sophie soon learns her letters aren’t the most reliable key to her heart. This hilarious coming-of-age novel is a guaranteed laugh-out-loud read you’ll want to share with all your friends.

My Review

When Sophie is little, her father breaks the news to her that she can’t marry him.  She is heartbroken.  Dad encourages her to write letters to her future husband in order to get to know the type of man she would want to marry.  Sophie writes mostly about the crush she has on brother’s friend, Hanno.  Forward 10 years, Sophie is in Italy and runs into Hanno.  They spend the day together and she is instantly smitten again.  Until, he takes her to his place.  She leaves in a rush when Hanno passes out, and his roommate Peter helps her back to where she is staying.  After a series of events (all are hilarious), they end up kissing in the rain, and she runs away from him.  Jump another 10 years, Sophie is back home for Christmas, and is surprised that Hanno is getting married.  Peter is there and it starts a chain of events that don’t stop until the last until the last page.

This book is very funny.  Oh, the things that Sophie thinks.  Peter is wonderful.  Sophie’s boyfriend Griffin, not so much.  I really enjoyed where this story goes.  Even though I was very happy with the ending, I thought a couple things weren’t resolved, and I wanted more letters, but all in all, Letters to My Future Husband is full of laughs, humor, and fun.  Sophie is a great character, but Peter stole the show for me.  Loved him!

4 out of 5 stars.

Author Links

Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Deseret Book 

Letters-to-My-Future-Husband-blog-tour

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Feb 142015
 

23596707 The Rules in Rome

Author: A. L. Sowards

Published: February 2015

Publisher: Covenant Communications

ISBN13: 9781621088820

Paperback: 291 pages

FTC FYI: Received a PDF from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by Mindy

Goodsreads Summary

With Hitler’s forces firmly entrenched in Europe, countless heroes seek to end the madman’s reign. Bastien Ley is one of the best. Working in Italy for the Office of Strategic Services, he’s been tasked with sabotaging German convoys. When his team kills an officer headed for Rome, the man’s similarity to Bastien is undeniable, and seeing an opportunity to turn the tide of the war, Bastien makes a bold decision: he will assume the dead officer’s identity. He becomes Dietrich, an Iron Cross–wearing German officer—an ideal position from which to infiltrate the Nazi ranks in Rome. To help with his stressful assignment, his superiors send him a reinforcement in the form of the lovely Gracie Begni, an intelligent and eager radio operator with absolutely no undercover experience.

With a gulf of resentment between them, these two agents must find a way to portray a couple in love. Soon their reluctant alliance becomes much more as Bastien and Gracie find themselves getting lost in their feelings for each other. But as they engage in battle against the deadliest foe the world has ever known, the pair quickly realizes their love may be doomed. As the Rome Gestapo threatens to destroy all they’ve worked for, will Bastien and Gracie survive their charade?

My Review

This book was amazing.  I absolutely loved it!  Every page was a mystery and lead to more suspenseful situations.  Bastien and Gracie are fabulous characters.  I loved how we were able to see them from the other’s point of view.  I also enjoyed how the story was told from other characters too.  WWII is a fascinating subject to take on, and Amanda does an incredible job with this story.  Gracie and Bastien both are thrown into an almost impossible situations.  So many thrilling events take place, I was turning pages eagerly to find out what was going to happen, but honestly, I was almost afraid to know what was going to happen next!

5 out of 5 stars.  I know I can count on Amanda for an exciting book that is well-written and a clean read.

Author Links

Goodreads / Twitter / Website / Facebook

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Deseret Book / Seagull Book

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