Sep 252014
 

c74e053f8a453e04660096938f385b44 Life: The Citizens of Logan Pond

Author: Rebecca Belliston

Publisher: Crescent Moon Press

Published: September 15th, 2014

ISBN13: 9780990627425

Paperback: 367 pages

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

Reviewed by Mindy

Summary

Her home. Her parents. Her freedom. Gone.
His dreams. His sister. Himself. Lost.
Two people.
One future.

The economy crashed, the country is floundering, and Carrie Ashworth struggles to keep her siblings alive. She has two jobs in her newly-formed, newly-outlawed clan: grow crops to feed thirty-six people, and keep Oliver Simmons, their local patrolman, happy. Carrie’s life is almost content when Greg Pierce shows up. A man with the ambition to help them survive. A man determined to hate her.

When a government raid nearly wipes out their clan, Greg realizes the true reason behind their safety. Patrolman Simmons has fallen for Carrie. Greg takes it upon himself to give the socially-awkward patrolman what he wants. Only Carrie doesn’t like Greg throwing her in Simmons’s path, especially when Greg’s brusque exterior melts, and she catches a glimpse of the real man underneath. Carrie is forced to choose: follow her heart or save her clan.

Life won’t let her choose both.

My Review

Carrie and her brother and sister live in their old neighborhood.  Under the protection of a kind patrolman, their clan is able to do things most people can’t.  Live in their own homes, grow gardens, etc.  May and CJ’s daughter and grandson come home after years of being away, Greg and Mariah.  Greg right away starts shaking things up in the clan.  Some of his ideas ruffle some feathers.  Most in the clan sees that change is good for them, but not all take it in stride.  They are getting too comfortable in the haze of Oliver’s protection.  Greg realizes Oliver can’t protect them forever and he tries to help the clan see that.  But, at the expense of Carrie.

Wow!  What an emotional ride.  This book is excellent and you really feel for these characters.  It is truly heartbreaking what these people had to endure with the collapse of the dollar and government take over.  The expectations that are placed on Carrie, at the expense of her own happiness, was unfair at times.  Carrie is an amazing example of strength, endurance, and kindness.  She takes the heat for something huge and it made me appreciate her character even more.  She wants what is best for her family and clan, but I was glad when she started sticking up for herself.  Greg was an interesting character.  I didn’t know what to think of him at first.  He was a mystery, but later, I realized that was what I liked most about him.  His past is full of tragedy, like everyone else’s, but I respected that he was a thinker and tries to help the clan.  I really enjoyed the POV switches.  That must be so challenging to do as an author and Rebecca did it well.  You have to know your characters well and she did.

5 out of 5 stars.  I can’t wait for next book!

Author Links

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Purchase Links

Amazon / Kindle

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Sep 242014
 

 

Rewind to You Tour

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Rewind to You Cover Rewind to You

One last summer before college on beautiful Tybee Island is supposed to help Sienna forget. But how can she? This is where her family spent every summer before everything changed, before the world as she knew it was ripped away.

But the past isn’t easily left behind. Especially when Sienna keeps having episodes that take her back to the night she wants to forget. Even when she meets the mysterious Austin Dobbs, the guy with the intense blue eyes, athlete’s body, and weakness for pralines who scooped her out of trouble when she blacked out on River Street.

When she’s with Austin, Sienna feels a whole new world opening up to her. Austin has secrets, and she has history. But caught between the past and the future, Sienna can still choose what happens now…

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo

Laura Rewind to You Author Author Laura Johnston

Laura Johnston lives in Utah with her husband and two children. Growing up with five siblings, a few horses, peach trees, beehives and gardens, she developed an active imagination and always loved a good story. She fell in love with the young adult genre both through her experience in high school as well as her job later as a high school teacher. Laura enjoys running, playing tennis, sewing, traveling, writing, and above all, spending time with her husband and kids. REWIND TO YOU is her debut novel.

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Mindy’s Review

Sienna is having trouble coping with losing her father after his death in an accident where she was driving.  Austin is just getting by, trying to stay away from trouble.  They meet as Austin is helping Sienna out a rough situation and become fast friends.  Right away there is an instant connection, but there are obstacles.  Mostly, Sienna is just visiting for the summer and leaving for college soon.  Austin is also leaving (but I don’t want to say why, no spoilers here).  They are both trying to come to terms with the cards they’ve been dealt in life and find that they have found peace in each other.

I really, really liked this book!  The characters are so well-written.  I loved the point of view switches.  I felt I was really able to get to know Sienna and Austin better as I saw them through each other’s eyes.  Austin was adorable, I instantly liked him.  I loved getting to know him better and all that he did to make others feel good (even if they didn’t know it at first).  He truly is a great kid.  Austin also has a sad back story and I loved how it plays out. It even made me cry at the end.  Sienna has a lot going on too.  She keeps fainting and rewinding back to times when she was most happiest with her dad.  She finds she wants to see her dad, but needs to figure out the cause.

4 out of 5 stars.  I have said this a million times, but I LOVE a great story that is clean and enjoyable and something I can pass to my girls.  This book is fantastic and I can’t wait to read more from this author.

Praise for the Book

“Johnston’s debut spotlights romance and familial relationships, including themes like grief and self-sacrifice. It’s an ideal story for readers looking for a deep-rooted YA love story with the emotional ups and downs and poignancy of a Nicholas Sparks contemporary. There’s also a touch of wit and a sigh-worthy hero – a definite on your TBR list.” – RT Book Reviews

 

“This is contemporary YA fiction at its best! –Kay Lynn Mangum, author of The Secret Journal of Brett Colton

 

Rewind to You will steal your hear away.” –Kelly Nelson, author of The Keeper’s Saga
Excerpt 

Dad shifts his gaze to the sunset just visible above the thick trees. “You know, Sienna, there aren’t too many moments quite like this.”

I nod, because whatever is happening right now is definitely not normal. It feels so real. I wish it would last forever.

Let’s make a pact,” he says and I feel seven again, making a promise with a best friend. “Let’s remember it, okay? This moment. And when times get rough, we can rewind to this moment and remember the taste of a job well done. We can remember how great this day was.”

A lump swells in my throat as I recall who was behind the wheel that night: me. “Okay, it’s a pact.”

Blog Tour Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 10/13/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an iTunes Gift Code or River Street Sweets Gift Card. 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.

 

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Sep 232014
 

SOMETHING ABOUT LOVE (final) Something About Love

Author: Elana Johnson

Publisher: self

Published: September 15th, 2014

ASIN: B00MS53ZRA

ebook: 279 pages

YA Contemporary

FTC FYI: Received an ePub copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by Mindy

Goodreads Summary

High school senior Olivia Winging gave up her love of photography when she gave up her boyfriend, Trevor Youngblood, a year and a half ago. She broke things off with Trevor because her mom married his dad, and dating your step-brother? Creepy.

Livvy hasn’t been on good terms with her mother since, and one of her stipulations for staying at the Youngblood’s every other weekend is that Trevor can’t be there. When she gets nominated for the Junior Photography in Excellence award, Trevor insists she enter. She agrees—only if every photo in the portfolio can be of him. Knowing that Livvy can capture a person’s deepest secrets through her lens, Trevor hesitates before accepting the deal.

As Livvy gets behind the lens of her camera again, her love of photography is rekindled. Unfortunately, the time she spends with Trevor also re-ignites the old flame for him she’s kept smothered for so long.

In order for Livvy to finish her portfolio, she’ll have to face her feelings for Trevor as well as deal with the animosity between her and her mother. Livvy’s always been able to capture a person’s soul from behind the camera—but she’s not sure she likes it when the lens is suddenly focused on her. If she can’t find a way to forgive her mother and admit how she feels about Trevor, Livvy may end up losing more than just the photography contest. She could lose her heart.

My Review

This is the second free-verse style book I have read of Elana’s and I have to say, she is a master at this. I was instantly taken in to the story. She was able to keep my interest by laying subtle hints here and there about Livvy’s and Trevor’s past, all while creating a great story.  Livvy is trying to find out what love is.  Someone she loves let her down and as she tries to pick up the pieces, she needs to leave the past behind her and move on.  Quite a few devastating things happen to Livvy.  She is kept strong by her amazing dad, sweet sister, best friend, grandma, and of course Trevor.  Trevor encourages to do something she loves and doing so, helps her the most.  I loved how she grows to learn the truth about someone in particular and learns to love again, and more importantly, trust.  I think once she realizes how much love she has around her, she recognizes that it has always been there.

Content:  some language, but nothing I took offense to.

4 out of 5 stars.  Elana’s new name is “Master of the free-verse”.  Her first free-verse style book Elevated is free!  Something About Love reads quick, is fast-paced and very, very good.

Author and Purchase Links 

Blog / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Amazon

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Sep 182014
 

black_moon_cover-1 Black Moon

Author: Teri Harman

Publisher: Jolly Fish Press

Published: September 16th, 2014

ISBN13: 9781939967930

Paperback: 416 pages

FTC FYI: I received a Kindle copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by Mindy

Goodreads Summary

Simon Howard accidentally killed three people. Four months later, the nightmares won’t stop. Willa Fairfield, his girlfriend, his soul mate, wants nothing more than to help him move on. But guilt isn’t the only thing getting in Simon’s way.

When unexplained earthquakes hit the small town of Twelve Acres, and dozens of people go missing, the Light witches discover their most feared enemy, Archard, is still alive. Employing the twisted, dynamic magic of a legendary witch known as Bartholomew the Dark, Archard plans to exact his revenge and take control of the Powers of the Earth on the night of the black moon, a rare lunar event infamous for Dark magic.

As the Light Covenant fumbles to defend against Archard’s sadistic intentions, Simon’s magic grows inexplicably more powerful, even dangerous. Willa throws all her efforts into solving the mystery of Simon’s transformation, but when the events of the past storm into the present, the couple’s future changes forever.

My Review

In Black Moon, the magic is engrossing and captivating.  The characters are too.  Simon is struggling.  He is having a hard time coming to terms with what happened in the cave and no one can figure out what is going on with his magic, and Willa doesn’t know how to help him.  The bad guys, wow!, are they bad.  Archard is back and what he does to fix himself, is a little… icky.  We also get a glimpse of Bartholomew the Dark, he’s a sinister guy, to say the least.

Black Moon starts strong and doesn’t let go until the last shocking page!  What an awesome set up to the next book, it took me completely by surprise.  I enjoyed how the author alternated the chapters between the past and present with different points of view at times.  It was a great way to add to the magic of the story,while setting up important events that took place.  Teri also does a great job of  catching up the reader on reminding us what happened in Blood Moon.  That being said, if you haven’t read Blood Moon, I would start there.  Even with all the magic and scary moments, Teri also found room in the book for love and friendship.  The Light Covenant has a great sense of family and hope.

4 out of 5 stars.  There are some scary, intense moments of magic.  Nothing I found offensive.

Author Links

Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Website

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Phrase for Black Moon

“Engrossing, unexpected, enchanting. I loved the characters and how true the story stayed to actual history. This is a series I will put at the top of my must read list.” —J. Scott Savage, author, Farworld and Case File 13.

“Teri Harman has set up a whirlwind plot with a magical, flying fireball war zone . . . Willa and Simon’s noble and magical love is a firm foundation for a compelling, suspenseful and action-packed novel.” —Deseret News

Teri Harman 2013 pic3 (3) About the Author

TERI HARMAN has believed in all things wondrous and haunting since her childhood days of sitting in the highest tree branches reading Roald Dahl and running in the rain imagining stories of danger and romance. Currently, her bookshelf is overflowing, her laundry unfolded, and her three small children running mad while she pens bewitching novels. She also writes a bi-weekly book column for ksl.com, Utah’s #1 news site and hosts a monthly television segment for Studio 5, Utah’s #1 lifestyle show. Teri Harman lives in Saratoga Springs, Utah.
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Sep 162014
 

for-elise-book-on-cd--1409088362_MED For Elise

Author: Sarah M. Eden

Publisher: Covenant Communications

Published: September 2014

ISBN13: 978-1-62108-787-8

Paperback: 258 pages

Regency romance

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

Reviewed by Mindy

Goodreads Summary

In the sprawling gardens of their neighboring estates, childhood friends Miles and Elise spent countless pleasant days together in the spirited adventures of youth. They were inseparable—until Elise vanished without a trace. Miles searched, but Elise could not—or would not—be found.

After years spent laboring on the family plantation in the West Indies, Miles Linwood is shocked by the unexpected news: he has inherited his distant cousin’s estate and the title of Marquess of Grenton. Miles’s return to England is tarnished by only one thing—he is still haunted by Elise’s mysterious disappearance. So when he glimpses a woman with a startling resemblance to his lost friend, he’s shaken to the core. This is no mere shadow of the past: it is truly Elise. But his dear friend has changed—to the point that he questions whether it is really her, though he knows it is. Accustomed to rescuing Elise from childhood escapades, Miles takes her and those in her care back to his estate, even as he struggles to understand her fear and mistrust. As their friendship and feelings slowly blossom again, the shocking truth of their separated years is revealed, and Miles realizes more than ever that he must protect Elise. She slipped away once, and he cannot lose her again.

My Review

Miles finds his long-lost friend Elise and is surprised to see that she has a child.  He takes them both right away to his estate.  Elise is very close lipped and Miles can tell that Elise is troubled.  Little does he know it has everything to do with him.  Elise is a widow now and has been raising her daughter with her mother-in-law.  They have survived on close to nothing, and it is hard to Elise to accept Miles’s help, even though she has so little.  Once they arrive at Miles’s home, mysterious things start happening.  Can Elise let go of the past and ask for help?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I loved Miles, he had me at the first page.  His humor, spirit, and especially his devotion, will make him a character that I will compare others to.  All of the characters are magnificent.  Elise especially.  I also really liked Mr. Langley, Miles’s brother-in-law.  He was a great comic relief.  His sister Beth was a delight, too.  I really enjoyed the turn the story took with Elise and the secrets she was keeping.  The romance with a touch of mystery added in, was a perfect mix.  I liked how the events came about and one thing really surprised me!

5 out of 5 stars.  A perfect book from a perfect author.  I will read anything from Sarah.  Her books are always well-written and entertaining.

Author Links

Goodreads / Website / Facebook / Twitter

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Deseret Book / Seagull Book

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Sep 162014
 

bible_bands Bible Bands: Create Your Own Faith-Based Rubber Band Jewelry

Author: Katreina Eden

Publisher: Cedar Fort

Published: September 2014

ISBN13: 978-1-4621-1505-1

Paperback: 60 pages

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

Reviewed by Mindy

Summary

Create fun, fashionable rubber band jewelry while strengthening and sharing your faith.  Each design is associated with a Bible verse or story.  Such as:

  • A blue and white pattern to symbolize Christ’s baptism
  • Circles of color to link families through genealogy
  • A heart design to remind you of God’s love
  • Letters that spell CTR to remind you to choose the right
  • A multi-colored weave to match Joseph’s coat of many colors

Fun to make and wear, these bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and rings are a perfect project for your whole family to enjoy together.  Wear them yourself or give them as gifts.

My Review

My kids and I had a blast looking through this book and trying these designs.  They especially loved the CTR band and the flowers.  This is a family-fun activity that will keep you busy together for hours.  Need a fun family home evening activity, then look no further.  These are great looms that you can do with your kids (or in my case, they did for me).  Enjoy!

Book Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Cedar Fort / Deseret Book

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