Aug 292014
 

 

 

 

 

 

Product Details

 

  • Title: How Much Do You Love Me?
  •  Author: Paul Mark Tag
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Sweetwater Books (August 12, 2014)
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • ISBN-10: 1462114474
  • FTC, FYI: I received a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Description (From Amazon):
As the phone continued to ring, Kazuko bent over and picked up the cardboard. Fingers shaking, she steadied herself against the counter and stared. It took a fourth ring before she composed herself enough to answer. 

It was Patrick. “I was afraid that you had already left.” There was a pause. “Kazuko, are you there?” 

Kazuko’s heart was thumping hard. “I’m here, Patrick. You’re not going to believe what I just found—in the last place we would have ever looked.”

On December 7, 1941, Keiko Tanaka finds her whole world affected by the Pearl Harbor bombings. Normally friendly neighbors are suddenly suspicious of her Japanese ancestry, and her engagement to James Armstrong—a Caucasian—becomes a crisis rather than a celebration. Despite their parents’ protests, Keiko and James decide to marry before she is sent to the internment camps and he to the war.

Nearly sixty years later, Keiko’s daughter, Kazuko—born in the camps—attends to Keiko on her deathbed. However, a chance incident makes her suspect that her mother is harboring a secret. The truths she is about to uncover might unravel the family . . . and change her very perception of abiding love.

EXCERPT:
From the author: During the tumult of the anti-Japanese frenzy that follows Pearl Harbor, Keiko Tanaka and her Caucasian boyfriend, James Armstrong, decide to marry. Knowing that the idea of their marriage will create a furor, they make their announcement jointly (at a Christmas dinner) to the two families (the Tanakas farm land is owned by the Armstrongs). The following sequence occurs after James has made the announcement. Isamu and Akemi are Keiko’s parents; Harrison and Barbara are James’; Misaki is Keiko’s twin sister.
=====
James continued. “Keiko and I know how surprised you must be to hear this news.” All eyes returned to the speaker. “We thought long and hard about the best way to tell you. We chose Christmas Day so that you will always associate it with me and Keiko, to our happiness.”

At this point, Keiko thought she should stand as well. She reached across the table with her left hand and took his right, rotating her hand in his parents’ direction. Surely, they would appreciate his sincerity when they saw this beautiful symbol [author’s note: engagement ring] of his affection. She tried to gauge their reaction. She saw surprise, but not shock. So far, so good!

Keiko felt her face flush, and she knew why. She struggled to look to her right, toward the one person at the table whose approval was paramount. What she saw was not what she had hoped for. Isamu’s mouth hung open, and it looked like he was squinting. His color was gone. Fear gripped Keiko’s heart. She turned farther to try to assess her mother’s reaction. Unfortunately, because Akemi was looking at her husband, Keiko saw only her profile.

Hoping for better news at the opposite end of the table, Keiko turned to her left again. As she did so, Harrison and Barbara Armstrong switched their gaze from James to her. Compared to Keiko’s father, their complexions appeared more normal. The younger children at the table didn’t seem to know what to make of the situation. Their heads whipped back and forth from one adult to another, trying to make sense of what was obviously something quite unusual.
And then, Misaki came through. Across the table, next to James, the quiet of the room was broken by one set of hands clapping. Misaki promised that she would support me, and here she is. Perhaps concluding that if Keiko’s twin sister thought that this proclamation was worth applause, the rest of the children clapped as well.

Regrettably, Keiko saw that none of the adults was joining this spontaneous display of approval. Isamu’s back had straightened, and he was staring down the table, at no one in particular. Akemi bowed her head. Keiko hoped that James’s parents had chosen not to clap with the children so as not to embarrass their other adult guests. When the kids realized that those whose opinions at the table counted most were not participating, the applause petered out.
Keiko and James had figured that this could happen. James turned first toward his parents and then toward the Tanakas. “Mom, Dad, Mr. and Mrs. Tanaka, I want you to know…” He spoke directly to Isamu. “Mr. Tanaka, please. I love your daughter more than anything. I promise you that I will take care of her, every bit as well as you have. You have my word.”

Keiko noticed the chirp of a bird outside the window. She wondered if anyone else did, the senses of those at the table seemingly muffled by the tension filling the room. Keiko decided it was time for her to speak, and she turned to her right. “Papa, Mama.” Tears began to flow. “Papa, please look at me.” Another moment. “Papa, please.” A bit of color had returned to Isamu’s face, and he lifted his head to face his daughter.

Keiko sniffled and struggled to contain her emotions. With her left hand still in James’s and wet with perspiration, she wiped at her face with her right. “Papa, I love James and want to spend the rest of my life with him. I need your blessing.” Another beat of silence. “Mama?”

My Review:
I have read many books about World War II, and also many about the Japanese Internment Camps. This story of Keiko and James is right up there as one of my favorites. It’s already such an emotional subject of how American citizens of Japanese ancestry were treated during WWII after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. But as the reader becomes entangled in the life of Keiko and James you can’t help but become emotionally involved.

The story takes place in two different time periods as the story jumps back and forth between 1941-1942 and 2000. I truly liked the way the story unfolded. I never felt that the story was stifled because of the events being told in this format.In 2000 Keiko has had a stroke, her husband James has Alzheimers and both can’t communicate with their children. The reader soon finds out that there are deep, dark secrets that Keiko and James’s children never knew about that eventually are revealed. They were shocking things and I figured it out near the end. Even though the story and characters are fictional, it had a realistic feel throughout it’s pages. It was not always a happy read because of the events, but so worthwhile and a good reminder to not forget the past.

I truly enjoyed this beautifully written story, full of sad American history, but also a love story with a rocky beginning that lasted. Anyone that enjoys historical fiction must read this book, especially those who love anything having to do with the WWII era.

Purchase a copy HERE: 

 

 

Meet Author: Paul Mark Tag
Paul Mark Tag graduated with multiple degrees in meteorology from Pennsylvania State University and worked for the Naval Research Laboratory as a research scientist for over thirty years before retiring to write fiction. For years prior to retirement, and the following year exclusively, he honed his skills writing short stories. These have been published in StoryBytes, Potpourri, Green’s Magazine, and The Storyteller, as well as The Errant Ricochet: Max Raeburn’s Legacy.In 2005, he self-published his first thriller, Category 5,which took advantage of his knowledge of meteorology and weather modification, followed by Prophecy and White Thaw: The Helheim Conspiracy. With his historical novel How Much Do You Love Me? he has switched genres. He lives with his wife, Becky, in Monterey, California.

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Aug 212014
 

Front Cover One Dirty Bowl: Fast Desserts, Faster Cleanup

Author: Christina Dymock

Publisher: Cedar Fort

Published: June 2014

ISBN13: 9781462114016

Paperback: 136 pages

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

Reviewed by Mindy

Summary

Quick desserts and even quicker clean up mean more time with your family and friends, and less time in the kitchen. With One Dirty Bowl, whip up show-stopping desserts like Hazelnut Puffs, Peanut Butter Truffle Bars, and White Chocolate and Strawberry Cupcakes, all while dirtying just one bowl. Grab your bowl and get ready to bake!
My Review
This book is so much fun.  The pictures are beautiful and help you visualize what these yummy desserts will taste like.  I love the ease and help this cook provides for making fun desserts for your family, that everyone can help with.  The instructions are thorough and easy to understand.  The recipe pages are vibrant and cute.  I liked how the ingredients are listed on the left of each recipe, so it is easy to gather what you need.  All the brownies and bars, breads, cookies, sweets, and cakes will leave your mouth watering.  I can’t wait to make more of these yummy desserts!
Book and Author Links

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Aug 202014
 

Bonds of Loyalty COVER-larger Bonds of Loyalty

Authors: Jennifer K. Clark and Stephonie K. Williams

Publisher: Covenant Communications

Published: August 2014

ISBN13: 9781621084198

Paperback: 240 pages

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

Reviewed by Mindy

Goodreads Summary

“It shall be the son, the firstborn in the new monarchy, who shall quiet the fears and unite the nation again.”

The infamous prophecy declaring that the firstborn would be a boy is the last thing Sarah wants to deal with. As if being newly engaged isn’t difficult enough, she’s still coming to terms with the fact that the first eighteen years of her life were a farce. The prophecy—the reason she had been secreted away from her family and her royal heritage to begin with—wasn’t supposed to disrupt her life any more than it previously had. But when unexpected events force her to leave her fiancé, Prince Alexander, Sarah must return to her home country of Kyrnidan to face her destiny.

Reunited with her royal family, Sarah is thrust into the political turmoil that surrounds her ancestral home. To make things worse, her arrival has upturned the long-held prophecy.
As the voices of distension mount against her, Sarah turns to her bodyguard, Luther, for protection. But Luther’s protection comes with a price. Propelled into a plot that threatens her life and the welfare of the entire kingdom, Sarah must determine where her love and loyalty truly lie. Torn between two men, she will now have to face her fears and undertake a journey of self-discovery that will change the fate of a nation….

My Review

When I was asked to do the blog tour, I was only hesitant, because I hadn’t read the first book, Mark of Royalty.  I am so glad I joined the tour, because I really, really enjoyed this book!  Sarah is a fabulous character who really comes to know herself and what she wants along the way.  She is nervous about going to visit her family in Krynidan, but receives urgent information from home that she is needed immediately.  Alex is unable to go with her, and that makes her not want to go even more.  She is so unsure of herself at first.  Many in the kingdom (and others) aren’t welcoming and she starts to trust those she shouldn’t.  I was so happy to see her growth as a princess and leader.  Sarah has to deal with many stumbling blocks along the way.  She is traveling with Apollo, the man who took her away from her family and her uncle Tobias appears as well.  He was also a threat to her when she was born.  There is also the issue of a prophecy that has the kingdom up in arms.

4 1/2 stars.  I loved the events that take place in this story and the characters are well-written.  My heart broke for Sarah many times, but I was very pleased with how she handles the tough situation she is faced with.  I did figure out something early on, but I eagerly finished reading to see how it would play out.  I will be reading the first book, Mark of Royalty as soon as I can.  FYI, if you haven’t read Mark of Royalty, no worries, the authors do a great job of back story and catching the reader up.

Author and Purchase Links

Goodreads / Blog / Amazon / Deseret Book / Barnes and Noble

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Aug 152014
 
Today we welcome Author Monique Bucheger and her newest book to our blog!!

 
 
Let’s learn a bit about Monique:
 
When Monique Bucheger isn’t writing, you can find her playing taxi driver to one or more of her children, plotting her next novel, scrapbooking, or being the “Mamarazzi” at any number of child-oriented events. Even though she realizes there will never be enough hours in any given day, Monique tries very hard to enjoy
the journey that is her life.
 
She shares it with a terrific husband, her dozen children, an adorable granddaughter,  a son-in-law, three cats, and many real and imaginary friends. She is the author of several books and plans to write many more. You can find more about Monique and her works at:
Monique Bucheger (author of The Secret Sisters Club: A Ginnie West Adventure)


Now for the fabulous book!
 
Twelve-year-old BFFs, Ginnie West and Tillie Taylor, are matchmaking geniuses. Together, they maneuvered Ginnie’s widower-dad into proposing to Tillie’s divorcee-mom. Sweet! Certain they are well on their way to sisterhood, each girl is floored when Tillie’s lousy-excuse-for-a-father puts in an appearance after a six year absence. Too bad “lousy dad repellant” doesn’t come in a can. Even though Tillie’s dad has sobered up and is determined to make amends, Tillie would rather he just disappear again. If he stays, “Operation: Secret Sisters” may need to be renamed “Operation: Not Gonna Happen.” If that’s not bad enough, the biggest bully in seventh grade comes over often and wishes he could call the West’s farmhouse “home.” When the bully’s abusive dad shows up as well, Ginnie thinks it’s time to change her family’s motto from “When you’re here, you’re family” to “There’s no more room at the West’s.”
 
My Review:
This book is a great book for tweens to read. There are both male and female main characters in 7th grade, so all kids would enjoy this book. There are some mature themes in this book dealing with child abuse, so reading this book together with your child/children could lead to some good discussions. The author does a good job of presenting this storyline for the young reader.
 
 I also like the characters in this series of Ginnie West and her adventures. There is always some witty dialogue to be found. This book will be especially loved by your tween that loves horses and the country.


 
Come Join the blog tour:
 
Blog Tour and Dates
August 4th
August 5th
August 6th
https://xclairex00.blogspot.co.uk
August 7th
August 8th
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August 14th
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August 16th
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And Don’t forget to come to the party!!
 
 
 

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Aug 132014
 

 

Son of War

Son of War, Daughter of Chaos

Author: Janette Rallison

Publisher: self

Published: July 2014

ASIN: B00LHFO9V8

ebook: 326 pages

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

Reviewed by Mindy

Summary

Aislynn is accustomed to watching for the enemy. Her parents instructed her from the time she was young to look for the signs: people with greater than normal strength, eyes that can glow green, and have the ability to jump long distances. Over the years, Aislynn has come to view her parents’ fears as quirks—things that get in the way of having a normal high school life.

When Aislynn’s mother dies under suspicious conditions, her father doubles his restrictions. But all his precautions can’t stop the boy with glowing green eyes from finding Aislynn. She realizes too late she’s been drafted into an ancient Egyptian war, whether she’s prepared or not.

 

 

My Review

This book is seriously awesome.  Janette is so talented.  Whether she is writing about dragons, fairy godmothers, Egyptian wars, or anything else, I will read it.  She is a brilliant author.

Aislynn is a great character.  Her family is super paranoid, but with good reasons (which do not get revealed until later in the book).  Her father and brother, it turns out, have been keeping secrets from Aislynn.  Even the biggest secret of all, what really happened to Aislynn’s mother.  It is until she meets the strong and mysterious Dane, that these secrets come to light.  All the characters in this book are awesome and well-written.  The story is full of history, and in a word, chaos.  When secrets are slowly made known, Aislynn has to make some hard choices that will determine the rest of her life, or could end it.

5 out of 5 stars.  I seriously loved the choices that Aislynn makes and the ending was so good!  Please, Janette, write a sequel!

Excerpt 

An Egyptian tomb is only a good place to die if you happen to be the pharaoh for whom it was built. And maybe not even then. I didn’t intend to room with any of the deceased, which meant the sooner I got out of this place the better.
My flashlight swept over the figures on the mural in front of me. A feeling of danger and expectation clung to everything here, as thick as the dust. On the mural, a warrior with bright green eyes stared back at me. Horusian glowing eyes. I could almost see the smugness in his expression, an expression that said he was coming for me. Or at least his kind were.
Behind me, something creaked. Footsteps.

 

AMAZON

Son of War Daughter of Chaos Blog Tour Blog Tour Schedule

Janette Rallison Author Janette Rallison

Janette Rallison is old. Don’t ask how old, because it isn’t polite. Let’s just say she’s older than she’d like to be and leave it at that.

Janette lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, five children and enough cats to classify her as “an eccentric cat lady.” She did not do this on purpose. (The cats, that is; she had the children on purpose.) Every single one of the felines showed up on its own and refuses to leave. Not even the family’s fearless little Westie dog can drive them off.

Since Janette has five children and deadlines to write books, she doesn’t have much time left over for hobbies. But since this is the internet and you can’t actually check up to see if anything on this site is true, let’s just say she enjoys dancing, scuba diving, horse back riding and long talks with Orlando Bloom. (Well, I never said he answers back.)

Website * Facebook * Twitter

 

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Ends 8/17/14

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 and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Aug 112014
 

LivingintheMillennium Living in the Millennium

Author: Robert L. Millet

Publisher: Deseret Book

Published: August 2014

Hardcover/ebook: 160 pages

Genre: Religious Nonfiction

ISBN# 978-1-60907-914-7

Reviewed by: Shanda

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

Summary (DeseretBook.com)

The Savior taught through the Prophet Joseph Smith that the time will come when “he that liveth in righteousness shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and the earth shall pass away so as by fire” (Doctrine and Covenants 43:32).

What do we know about that day when Jesus Christ will come in glory to cleanse the earth? And what will life be like after He comes to reign?

In Living in the Millennium, the companion volume to Living in the Eleventh Hour, author Robert L. Millet opens the doors wide to show us what life will be like during and after the Millennium. Relying on the words of ancient and modern prophets, he shares what has been revealed about Christ’s preliminary appearances, His return in majesty and power, and His millennial reign—a thousand years of goodness and peace.

Filled with insights, this timely book helps us to understand more fully such eternal doctrines as the resurrection of the just and the unjust, the Judgment, and the many mansions of glory.

Living in the Millennium inspires us to live today as if the Savior were coming tomorrow.

Review

Living in the Millennium is a worthwhile read for anyone who is curious about what life during the Millennium will be like for humankind. The book isn’t long–107 pages of reading followed by Notes, Glossary (which is educational reading itself), Sources, Scripture Index, and Subject Index–but it contains an encompassing overview of revelation regarding the Millennium provided by the scriptures and prophets, both ancient and modern-day.

There are three main sections: Before the Millennium, The Millennium, and Beyond the Millennium. The Atonement, the Second Coming, the Resurrection, Eternal Life, and more are discussed, with several scriptures and quotes, including revelation given to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon regarding the degrees of glory.

I started out notating paragraphs of interest, but was soon pulled into the subject matter and forgot all about taking notes. I will definitely be reading it again to find those areas that provided both warning and hope to me. I think it is an excellent companion book to Living in the Eleventh Hour, and the more powerful of the two, at least for me personally.

Find Living in the Millennium:

DESERET BOOK | SEAGULL BOOK | AMAZON | GOODREADS

About the Author: Robert L. Millet, a former dean of religious education at BYU, is a professor emeritus of ancient scripture. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at BYU in psychology and his PhD from Florida State University in religious studies. He has served as a bishop, stake president, and a member of the Materials Evaluation Committee. Brother Millet is a beloved speaker and the author of numerous books. He and his wife Shauna, are the parents of six children.

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