Jul 232014
 

Sleeping Beauty & the Beast by Lemon_COVER ONLY Sleeping Beauty and the Beast

Author: Melissa Lemon

Publisher: self

Published: June 20, 2014

ISBN13: 978-1499788808

Paperback/Kindle: 300 pages

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

Reviewed by Mindy and Sheila

Summary

Trapped in a cursed sleep, the only experiences Princess Eglantine has are the ones in her dreams. There she meets Prince Henry of Fallund, a neighboring kingdom on the brink of war. Meanwhile, Prince Henry’s brother Duncan discovers a vicious beast imprisoned for murder. Captivated by her, he works to free her from both the prison bars she’s locked behind and the ones surrounding her heart and mind. Sleeping Beauty and the Beast reinvents and seamlessly intertwines the classic fairy tales Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast.
Mindy’s Review

I have been a fan of Melissa’s for a long time.  Her books are fabulous.  Her most recent retelling was Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhemwhich I loved.  I loved this unique retelling combination of Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast.  Melissa did a fantastic job with this story.  The characters are intriguing and the story is very enjoyable.  I loved how beauty was only seen by Prince Henry and I really loved how the beast was tamed.  Henry was the only one that could see Eglantine, and that made for some funny and then some uncomfortable scenes for Henry, but the best part was, he didn’t care.  Many thought he was losing his mind, including his twin brother Duncan.  Duncan ended up being one of my favorite characters.  His willingness to see the beast in a different way, was very enduring.  

The story switched from Eglantine’s point of view while she “slept”, to the beast’s, which was mostly Duncan visiting her and trying to figure out how to help her.  The fact that the beast was a woman, was a very cool twist.  I especially enjoyed the ending and how it all wrapped up.  

4 out of 5 stars.  If you like fairytales and retellings, you will love this story.  The ending is so satisfying, it will leave you with smiling.  

Sheila’s Review
Sleeping Beauty and the Beast…two fairy tales woven into one. I absolutely love a well written twisted fairy tale and Melissa Lemon has always done a great job of doing this in the past. I loved Cinder and Ella and also Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem. Sleeping Beauty and the Beast shows again why Melissa has this fairy tale “telling” down to a science. She takes old stories and makes them into a different story. Once familiar characters are now brand new. 
 
I loved how Sleeping Beauty was written. We hear her tell her own story, even though she’s asleep and she can move about in her dreams. This is how she meets Prince Henry. At first he is the only one that can see Princess Eglantine as she floats around in her ethereal form. They become close as they learn to talk, listen and support each other through their trials. 
 
The Beast part of this fairy tale is unique in that “The Beast” is a woman, not a man. Prince Henry’s brother, Duncan, becomes intrigued and obsessed with the wild woman accused of murder. Being different from his brother and how he views the royal life, Duncan goes out of his way to free this agonized woman both physically and mentally. This part of the story truly touched me as Duncan never gave up on this woman that others were so ready to put to death. 
 

Sleeping Beauty and the Beast will challenge the old telling of these tales. You will find yourself quickly enveloped in the lives of all four characters. The ending will leave you happy and fulfilled. This clean read is suitable for any tween, teen and adult reader who loves a fairy tale with a perfect ending.

Author/Book Links
Online Bio Bio: Melissa Lemon is the author of two other fairy tale retellings: Cinder and Ella and Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem. She is also the author of a sweet romance called Blue Sky. Writing is just one of her passions. She also loves music, reading, baking and exercising. She is wife to a patient man, mother to three spunky girls, and warden to a tolerant cat named Matilda.

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Jul 212014
 

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Jul 182014
 

 

 

 

 

 

Becoming Lady LockwoodProduct Details

 

  • Title: Becoming Lady Lockwood {A Regency Romance}
  • Author: Jennifer Moore
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Covenant Communications Inc.; 1st edition (July 1, 2014)
  • Genre: Regency Romance/Historical Romance
  • ISBN-10: 1621086895
  • FTC, FYI: Received a PDF in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

 

 

Book Description:
Amelia Beckett is delighted to be a widow. Married by proxy to a man she’d never met, Amelia recognizes that a fortuitous entry into widowhood frees her from meddlesome chaperones and matchmakers. Heiress to her mother’s sugar plantation in Jamaica, she happily anticipates working in a man’s world, with the additional credibility of her new title: Lady Lockwood. But with the arrival of Captain Sir William Drake, her plans quickly go awry . . . William has traversed the Atlantic with one purpose. If he cannot prove that Amelia’s marriage to his brother was a fraud, she will be entitled to a sizeable portion of his family’s estate. He is determined to return this duplicitous Lady to London for an official hearing, and he carries with him a letter that will ensure her cooperation . . . Left with no choice, Amelia joins the captain on his return voyage to England, and the two quickly find that ship life does not allow for evasion. Amelia and William are ceaselessly thrown together, and amidst fierce storms and ocean battles, what began as antipathy seems to be evolving quite unexpectedly. But as they draw ever closer to their destination, will the impossibility of their circumstances shatter any hope of a future together? 

My Review: 
I’ve wanted to read this book ever since I saw the lovely cover. The female catches your attention with one wary look. The battleship adds to the intrigue. Does the story live up to this beautiful cover? 100% YES! Jennifer Moore has written characters that are likable, and they light up the whole novel. It doesn’t take long to be totally captivated by Captain William Drake, First Mate Sidney, Dr. Spinner, the cook Slushy and of course the old man Tobias, who takes Amelia under his wing. Amelia is a strong, loving and independent woman for her time. She wins people over by being kind and caring. She is the perfect heroine! 

This Regency Romance is different from others I’ve read lately. Most of the novel takes place on the English battleship Venture. Moore gives such great details about the working of a ship. I was so impressed with the research she did! I learned a lot in this historical novel. 

How did I know that this book would become one of my favorites? Because it made me cry.Yes, halfway through the book I was sitting on my couch and crying. The hopeless situation that Captain Drake, Amelia, and the crew find themselves in filled me with such intense emotions. All I could do was sit and cry…for a long time. After taking a nice break from the tension and suspense in the book, I was able to see the words and keep reading. Also, the Romantic tension turns into true, “my heart is fluttering” Romance! We all have our favorite sigh-worthy heroes, and now we have Captain William Drake. Becoming Lady Lockwood played out like a movie in my mind. 

This first published novel by Jennifer Moore gets 5 stars from me! I will rush to pick up anything else that this talented author writes. 

Praise for Becoming Lady Lockwood

“Moore does a lovely job of showcasing sizzle in this must-read for fans of regency and historical romance.” ~ Foreword Reviews

 

 Purchase Becoming Lady Lockwood here…

 

Jenny Moore

Meet Author Jennifer Moore 
Jennifer Moore is a passionate reader and writer of all things romance, helping her find balance with the rest of her world, which includes a perpetually traveling husband and four active sons, who create heaps of laundry that are anything but romantic. Jennifer has a BA in linguistics from the University of Utah and is a Guitar Hero champion. She lives in northern Utah with her family. You can learn more about her at authorjmoore.com. The author’s first book, Becoming Lady Lockwood, is a regency romance centered on the British navy during the Napoleonic Wars of the early 1800s.  

 You can find Jennifer Moore here…

 

Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 8/7/14 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.   a Rafflecopter giveaway 

I know that I should only post one of the excerpts from the novel, but I LOVED it so much I felt compelled to post both excerpts. Enjoy reading them! 

Excerpt #1
William placed his right hand on the small of her back and pulled gently with his left hand, leading her in a simple series of steps, which she quickly mastered. She focused her eyes on the captain’s shoulder where her hand rested tentatively. He moved lightly, but her movements were stiff. She was afraid of relaxing when he was practically holding her in his arms. After a few turns around the room, Amelia felt her tension ease. The music was beautiful, and Captain Drake had a way of drawing her across the floor as if she was floating. When she finally braved a glance at his face, she met his eyes, and her nervousness returned. “And is your punishment so dreadful, Miss Becket?” he asked. “I have yet to see you smile.” Amelia allowed herself a small smile. “It is a very nice punishment indeed, sir. Is it one you utilize regularly?” “Perhaps I shall, if you believe it will keep the men in line.” Amelia laughed. “I do not know what they would think if you waltzed with each sailor who failed in his duty.” “I imagine it should be quite effective at discouraging rule breaking, don’t you?” William looked thoughtful, as if considering the idea. “Perhaps. Until some of the men develop a taste for waltzing. You might begin to worry when the same men continually require discipline.” William laughed. Amelia had only heard his laugh a very few times and found she quite liked it. Especially knowing she was the one who had inspired it. She also realized that the sound had caused her heart to trip ever so slightly, and to her dismay, she found that she quite liked that as well. She lowered her eyes, suddenly finding the gold buttons on the captain’s coat fascinating. She was extremely aware of the captain’s arm, the way it wrapped around her, and his hand resting on her lower back. The hand that held hers was strong, and she felt each movement of his fingers and the subtle tightening around her own hand. And had he always had such a pleasant smell? 

Excerpt #2
He finally stopped and pulled his chair closer to her, raising her chin. “Amelia. I cannot begin to thank you for what you did. It was brave and brilliant, and it terrifies me to think that you put your life at risk for—” “For my shipmates, Captain.” She kept her eyes lowered. “I would never have forgiven myself if anything had happened to you.” He wiped the tears from her cheeks with his thumb. “I would never have forgiven myself if I had not tried. These men, this ship, it has become . . . I care for them, William, for all of you.” He raised her chin even higher, so that she was forced to lift her gaze his face. He stared at her for a moment. Then his eyes dropped to her lips, and Amelia’s pulse began to race. Would he kiss her again? They sat, frozen for a heartbeat, and then William stood, stealing with him all of the warmth in the room.

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Jul 172014
 

 

 

Product Details

 

  • Title: Diary of an Angel
  •  Author: Michael M. Farnsworth
  • Paperback: 162 pages
  • Publisher: Martindale Press (October 9, 2013)
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615866018
  • FTC, FYI: I received a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Description:
Forenica has never guarded anyone before, let alone been responsible for a soul. All that changes when she joins the ranks of heaven’s angels as a Junior Guardian. Her first assignment seems simple enough; her charge, Angela Higgins, seems too perfect to have any real struggles. She could scarcely have been more mistaken. Forenica learns quickly that helping Angela make it back to heaven is no trivial undertaking. Soon after Forenica’s assignment, Angela’s family suffers an unexpected crisis, which threatens to destroy her marriage and to snuff out her faith. As the situation grows more desperate, Angela also struggles to hold on to her wayward teenage daughter. Feeling powerless to help, Forenica seeks for answers to Angela’s problems in the annals of heaven. There Forenica uncovers secrets that will change both their lives forever. But in the end an unexpected angel will provide Angela the miracle she needs.

My Review:
Let me start my review by saying, I do believe in angels. Before I ever read this book I’ve felt that angels live among us and help us day by day. So reading this story about Guardians Angels was a true pleasure. The author portrays Heaven exactly as I hope it will be. I loved the idea of people that have passed on being assigned as guardian angels. The story is about one such soul, Forenica, who is not assigned a baby like usual, but is instead assigned a grown woman, Angela, with many troubles in her life. Forenica’s assignment is to help her through the struggles of life and to return safely to Heaven one day. 

This story is so touching and heartfelt. It also has a level of angst and suspense as the reader wonders if Forenica will truly be able to help Angela with her problems. There are some sticky moments where Satan’s army looks like it will win.The thing that I’ll remember most about this book, is that we can receive help from Heaven. We are not struggling here by ourselves. There were so many moments in this book that brought me to tears. You will be drawn to the wonderfully written characters, the angels and the humans on Earth. This sweet story is one that you will want to share with those who need a “pick-me-up” from the drudgery of life. Whatever religion you participate in, if you believe in God and angels, this book will be an inspiring read for you.
  

Author Q&A

 

Where did you come up with the idea for Diary of an Angel?

I think the idea really began to take shape (ironically) during a re-read of The Screwtape Letters. As I considered the opposite side of that story—heaven’s fight for souls—the whole idea of guardian angels came alive. And the more I thought and pondered on it, the more I felt there was a story that needed to be told. Sadly, C.S. Lewis never tackled that story. So, readers have to settle for mine.

 

 

Do you really believe angels are so involved in our lives?

God’s miracles and dealings in our lives are for all who have the eyes to see them. Those who honestly and humbly look for God’s blessings, will see them—more and more. That has been true in my own life. And no more so than when I was writing this story. The real message here is that heaven is involved in the nitty-gritty details of our lives. Whether that involvement comes from actual guardian angels, God’s spirit, the scriptures, a sunrise, a baby’s laugh, or some angelic earthy friend, it doesn’t matter. Because the end-goal is the same.

Do you think heaven is really like you depict in your story?

Yes and no. Yes, because God would surely pattern our world after his own. If you were to build a house for your children, you’d probably build one like your own, wouldn’t you? And No, because I have no doubt that the beauty of heaven will supersede anything that anyone could possibly fathom in mortality. In that regard, I’m not worried about a reader of my book ever approaching me in heaven to tell me I got my depiction of heaven all wrong. Because the real thing will be infinitely better than my vision; no one will care that I got it wrong. The important thing for me is that readers feel heaven as they read. That feeling if far more important that the visual picture painted in the reader’s mind. I obviously took some creative liberties in my depiction. I did this mainly for me, to help me show a fun and interesting heaven—not a puffy white cloud of boredom. Heaven is not boring, I’m confident of that.

 

 

Where did the name Forenica come from?

When I first began planning the story, I believed the name had originated from my head. But I’ve been told that it’s actually a real name–a surname, to be precise. I haven’t bothered to research into this myself. The name came to me some time before I even conceived any story involving angels. At that time I intended to use the name in a different story. But, I wrote Diary of an Angel first. The name was handy and I liked it, so I decided to use it for my protagonist. Generally speaking, it’s not advisable to use unusual names. They can distract the reader from the story. In the case of Forenica, I like to think that the name fits well for the character. My hope is that most readers will form their own image of Forenica’s appearance, without being influenced by the Sarah’s, Emma’s, or Jane’s they happen to know. (All three excellent names, by the way.)

 

 

Will we see Forenica again?

I hope so. For me, a story has to kind of incessantly ask me to write it. If it doesn’t, my heart won’t be in the story. And that would just not do. I do have a few ideas swimming around in my head, though. Not necessarily involving Forenica, but heaven and her angels. It may be some time, though. So, I plead for patience from my kind readers.

Meet Author Michael M. Farnsworth:


Michael M. Farnsworth holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Texas A&M University. A degree that comes in handy if you’re a software engineer, which he is, but not so much if you’re a writer. As a native Texan, he should know lots about riding horses and herding cattle–but he doesn’t. He does, however, know a good deal about wrangling small children. He has four of them. When he’s not wrangling children, writing code or writing books, he’s probably building something. He lives with his wife and children in Seattle, WA.

To learn more about Michael and his work find him at Twitter,  Facebook,  and at his Website

****His new book Haladras was just released this month! It looks REALLY good!! *****

 

 

 

 

A desert planet. A dangerous secret.

 

 

 When Skylar’s enigmatic uncle warns him to stay away from the mysterious winged insects that have been sighted on other planets, he thinks little of it; no one has seen the insects on their own planet of Haladras. His uncle knows more than he’s telling, though. The creatures are not insects, but machines. And they’re hunting for Skylar. Only after Skylar narrowly escapes capture and flees Haladras with his uncle does he learn the whole truth. What his uncle reveals will shatter Skylar’s world and thrust him into a conflict that will force him to become more than a mere boy of fifteen. 

Go check it out on Amazon.com. or visit www.haladras.com

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Jul 162014
 

Diamond Rings Deadly.f Diamond Rings are Deadly Things

Author: Rachelle J. Christensen

Publisher: Shadow Mountain

Published: July 8th, 2014

ISBN13: 9781609078614

Paperback: 320 pages

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

Reviewed by Mindy

Goodreads Summary

Adrielle Pyper knows how to plan a wedding, and she’s especially good at pleasing bridezillas. But when her biggest client and best friend is married just three days before the wedding, Adri’s world falls apart. She moves to the resort town of Sun Valley, Idaho, and starts from scratch. Thanks to Adri’s impeccable tast and unique style, she lands two celebrity clients, and her business seems headed for success—that is, until someone vandalizes the specialty wedding dresses she imported from overseas. The race is on to uncover a secret hidden within the yards of satin and lace before Adri becomes the next victim.

With a delightful blend of mystery, toe-curling kisses, humor, and spine-tingling thrills, Diamond Rings are Deadly Things is a romantic suspense novel that will keep you turning pages long into the night.

My Review

I am so thrilled to be a part of this blog tour.  This book is an absolute delight!  I loved the characters, the mystery, the romance, the humor, the crafts (and I don’t craft).  Such a fun book with excellent writing by its author and entertainment all around.  Adri is so much fun and I loved her attention to detail and preciseness.  The way she went about her day and planned her weddings (even under loads of stress and a sad past) was fun to read.  I loved the chapter headings too with all the fun tips.  This book reminds me a lot of Josi S. Kilpack’s Sadie Hoffmiller series, which is a favorite of mine.  Although they are different ages, I think Sadie and Adri have a lot in common.  That being said, Adri can stand on her own!  I also enjoyed the Ketchum/Sun Valley setting and small town feel and the careful details and expression about things.  I enjoyed how Rachelle didn’t throw all the back story and previous events before the book began, at the reader all at once.  I loved easing in to the story and welcomed the addition of past events told throughout.  It was a great way to keep me reading and reading!

Pick up your copy today!  I know you will like it as much as I did.

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Deseret Book

Author Links

Goodreads / Website / Twitter

Christensen, Rachelle About the Author

Rachelle J. Christensen is a mom of four cute kids. She has an amazing husband, three cats, and five chickens. Her first novel, Wrong Number was awarded Outstanding Book of the Year from the League of Utah Writers and was also a 2010 Whitney Finalist. Her second suspense novel, Caller ID was released March 2012. She is also the author of a nonfiction book, Lost Children: Coping with Miscarriage for Latter Day Saints. Rachelle enjoys singing and songwriting, playing the piano, running, motivational speaking, and of course reading. Visit herwww.rachellewrites.blogspot.com to learn more about upcoming books.

 

 

 

 

 

diamond_rings a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Jul 142014
 

thepracticalprepper The Practical Prepper: A Common-Sense Guide to Preparing for Emergencies

Authors: Kylene and Jonathan Jones

Publisher: Cedar Fort

Published: May 2014

Paperback/Kindle: 368 pages

Genre: Nonfiction/Emergency Preparedness

ISBN# 978-1462113828

Reviewed by: Shanda

FTC FYI: received a free digital review copy in exchange for an honest review

Summary (Goodreads)

Earthquakes, hurricanes, civil unrest, economic challenges – no one knows when disaster may strike. Will you be ready? The Practical Prepper is a common-sense guide to emergency preparedness and survival written for real people with real lives. This must-have reference book walks the reader through each step of emergency preparedness covering everything from cooking in a crisis, to home security and protection, to emergency water disinfection. You can be prepared for the challenges the future holds. The Practical Prepper will show you how.

Review

The Practical Prepper accomplishes its goal of presenting practical ways to achieve a higher level of preparedness in a varying number of living situations. It begins with the basics then expands into more in-depth methods for long-term or extreme circumstances, providing a “line upon line” style progression for readers to consider and implement as they continue on their preparedness journey. There are several pages of sources in the “Notes” section at the end of the book for those who would like to read more on the subjects addressed in each chapter.

The authors are thorough and flexible in their coverage of needs and options to fulfill those needs. They respect each other’s different opinions on what is “enough” yet still consider the other’s requirements for feeling secure.They have experimented with several of the products, circumstances, and methods they discuss in their book. They are honest about their results as well, which I appreciate. They also link to several resources on their blog to help readers become more prepared for emergencies.

What you won’t find here are detailed lists of exactly what to store. The authors do give general recommendations and offer sources of where to find more information, but they know that there isn’t one perfect food storage or preparedness plan that will fit everyone. They aren’t rigid in their recommendations or forceful in their opinions. They are, however, emphatic about safety and doing whatever works best for the reader.

A first I felt a little overwhelmed and depressed at the long list of disasters that could happen and the direness of what my circumstances would be if any of them happened today. I know my family is far from prepared to survive for long if the worst were to happen.

However, as I continued reading The Practical Prepper, I started to feel more empowered to take steps to change that. I may not ever be as self-sustaining as someone who lives on a farm with a root cellar and a huge garden, but I don’t need to be to improve my family’s chances of survival.

I read this book cover to cover, curious about the suggestions the authors presented for each circumstance. I was inspired, shocked, and entertained by some of the examples given of how other people have planned for emergencies. (The Chunky soup and rice idea sure makes it easy to knock out at least one or two dinners a week in my emergency menu plan, though!)

I recommend this book to anyone and everyone who wants to be more prepared for an emergency. It’s a resource I think “preppers” of all levels will find useful. I am definitely more inspired to get my preparedness show on the road, and I thank Kylene and Jonathan for their efforts to educate others on how to not just survive, but thrive, in an emergency.

Visit Kylene and Jonathan:

BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOOGLE+ | PINTEREST 

Find The Practical Prepper:

BARNES & NOBLE | AMAZON | KINDLE | GOODREADS

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