Jan 082016
 

broken things to mendProduct Details

  • Title: Broken Things to Mend
  • Author: Karey White
  •  Series: Power of the Matchmaker
  • Genre: Clean-Romance/Women’s Fiction
  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Karey White (December 9, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1941898106
  • FTC, FYI: I received a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review
  • Review by: Sheila

Book Description:
 Celia is in desperate need of a change–a change of scenery, a change of pace, and a complete redo of all relationships. Not knowing what else to do, she opens a map, closes her eyes, and lets fate decide her future. Then she packs her meager belongings and buys a one-way ticket to a little town on the fringes of Oregon’s Deschutes National Forest called Sisters. She’s wanted a family for years. Will she find one in Sisters? What Celia doesn’t plan to find is a strange Chinese woman whose meddling ways keep throwing her in the path of a handsome, but reserved, forest ranger. But no matter how kind or dependable Silas seems to be, there are some things in Celia’s past that neither of them can escape, and this time, the damage might be too much to mend.  

 ***This book is part of a multi-author project that features one recurring character–the match maker–but it is a STAND-ALONE novel.***

My Review: 
It’s very rare that you read a novel where both main characters are so incredibly vulnerable. In Broken Things to Mend both Celia and Silas are broken in some way from tragic things in their past.

The beautiful Pearl, The Matchmaker, brings them together and then let’s them get to know each other. Pearl only has a small part in the novel, but she is still one of my favorite characters.

Celia, a runaway, has had a hard life and then finds out the consequences of what an act of brutality has done to her. Silas lost his parents as a child and also lost his confidence, as he became a loner with a stuttering problem. Both Celia and Silas have a hard time trusting each other at first, but after many months they can’t help but feel the attraction that is pulling them together. After things are revealed from Celia’s past, Silas has a hard time dealing with them.
Celia has to make a very important decision in her life and is very confused. This part of the book made me have such mixed emotions.

The ending of the book could have gone in different directions. The end also felt a little rushed when the two main characters make a decision. If I had been Celia, I truly can say I’m not sure what I would have done. As a reader you get so emotionally involved, and depending on your own experiences, you hope for Celia to make certain choices. I know that this may seem very confusing, but I do hate to give things away in a review. Let’s just say, this book will have your emotions bouncing all over the place. This book is a fast read and I kept reading every spare second I had. Broken Things to Mend is a beautiful first book in The Power of the Matchmaker series. It is a story showcasing redemption, acceptance, and love.
 

amazon get it

add to goodreads Karey White 

Meet:Author Karey White 
Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist. She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.

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Dec 142015
 
Traitor's Trap
traitors trap
The Traitor’s Trap by Brendan Murphy 
 It’s tough being a thirteen-year old schoolboy, especially when you’re a coward and the big brother who stuck up for you is dead. Oh, and you’ve been thrust into a magical realm you’re expected to save single-handedly. Sebastian Duffy has to learn an awful lot of skills in a hurry if he is to defeat Phobitor by stealing the Spear of Lugh from the peace-loving Tuath. He’s been given some help of course–a mercurial sorceress, an orphaned druidess, a taciturn warrior, a snuff-sniffing leprechaun and a lovelorn poet– an outfit known as the Hibernauts, but can he really overcome a psychopathic, warmongering god when half the realm is bent on his destruction? If he is to have the remotest chance he will have to do deal with aiia, cluricaun, brigands, woodwose, undead warriors, speckled bats, spies, hunkypunks, traitors, skeletons and battle-swine first. And are those Tuath really so peaceable? If only he could find his courage.
Excerpt from The Traitor’s Trap:
Static fizzed in his littlest fingers. It felt like the most natural thing in the world. He turned to Conall and pointed. Sparks flew from the tips, longer and longer ones that raced across the space separating them. Of a sudden, two streaks of light burst from his fingertips upending Conall who fell perilously close to the edge. Irritated at not finishing him off, Sebastian turned to Roisin and Blodwyn, raising his littlest fingers. Thinking better of it, he span back to Conall. Fearless of the slippery rocks, he sauntered over and delivered a fierce kick to Conall’s loins intending to roll him off the edge. The warrior barely moved. Raising his fingers, he pointed them downward, watching with satisfaction as the sparks crackled and kindled, building up to the killer crescendo. He playfully sent Conall’s prostate body this way and that, edging him ever closer to the precipice. It felt so good to be killing this insect. 

 

A renewed roar arose as the host of knights poured onto the battlefield. Sebastian let his spyglass fall, transfixed. A dreamlike veil began billowing at the edge of his vision, yet it dissolved rapidly and the scene sharpened into crystal clarity. Countless souls were being murdered before his eyes. His defenses breached, harrowing screams flooded his ears; an awful sound he could not bear. He forced his gaze upwards. 


Gobbleratches had arrived in droves and the sky was filled with twisting, plummeting forms. He sank to his knees. 
“I could have prevented this,” he wailed, curling into a ball. “Why did they do this to me? How could they expect me to kill thousands to save more? I’m just a boy.” 
He screwed his eyes shut and pressed his palms against his ears, trying to zone out. It did no good. The battle consumed his senses. He could taste it. 
“Are you alright?” asked Blodwyn, her voice appearing to come at him down a tunnel. 
“Why did you bring me here?” he cried angrily, his hands trembling uncontrollably. 
“I’m so sorry,” sobbed Blodwyn, dropping beside him. “I’m so, so sorry.” 
“I can’t get away,” he screamed. “I’m scared. I want to go away. I want to go home.” 
Feeling her hands on him, he pushed her roughly away, but when she persisted he found he had no fight left and he let her fold herself around him, opening his eyes to her hypnotic gaze. He saw her raise her arm and bring it toward him, felt the branch touch his brow, and as her lips brushed his lobes and her tears kissed his face, heard the words she whispered in his ear, knew, even as he dissolved into sleep, that he had never heard anything so wonderful in all his life. 
“Child of my heart,” she murmured. “Child of my heart.”

Praise for The Traitor’s Trap:
amazon get it– An imaginative epic…an intricate and fully realised fantasy world with a big cast of likeable characters that are charming, well drawn and endearing, with wonderfully apt names. The depth and breadth of the author’s high-voltage imagination, and the richness of the world created is very impressive. ~Sam Mills, author of Blackout, The Boys Who Saved the World, and The Quiddity of Will Self

– I cannot say just how much I have enjoyed this book … a very accomplished writer with a wonderfully rich imagination and an incredibly inventive mind. Readers will come to love the many wonderful creations in this novel, it is jam-packed with the most wonderful and inventive characters; new, exciting and beautifully realized. ~Cherry Mosteshar, author of Unveiled: One Woman’s Nightmare in Iran    
Brendan 

Author Brendan Murphy Brendan Murphy was raised in Sheffield, England, with dreams of becoming a writer, and has written every day since he was nine years old. After reading medicine in London and psychiatry in Manchester, he moved to Australia in 1999. He is an Associate Professor at Monash University and has written widely on youth mental health. His nonfiction work on the development of football in Victorian society, From Sheffield with Love, was published in 2007. He is contracted to Assent Publishing for his six-book fantasy series, Sebastian and the Hibernauts. The first adventure, Beyond the Gloaming was published in 2014 and the sequel, The Traitor’s Trap, in 2015. He is a columnist for Aontacht magazine. He lives with his wife, Katrina, and their children, Sebastian and Violette, in a sprawling property built for the composer, Dorian Le Gallienne. They share their garden with a mob of kangaroos, a wombat, two possums, any number of creepy crawlies, and some very feisty kookaburras.

    Blog Tour $25 Giveaway
 $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/28/15 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 author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Dec 042015
 

I am so excited to be hosting a stop on the the Blog Tour for The Diamond Looking Glass by Dorine White hosted by Fire and Ice

the diamond looking glass

Product Details:

  • Title:The Diamond Looking Glass

  •   Author: Dorine White
  • Series: Cleopatra’s Legacy(Book 3)
  • Paperback: 154 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (November 10, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1517580242
  • Reviewed by: Sheila
  • FTC, FYI: I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Description:
Beauty and the Beast. The world knows it as a cartoon with dancing teacups and broomsticks. To twelve year old Claire La Fleur, it is family history, and the power behind Belle’s mirror is real. Every ten years her family gathers to see if the mirror will awaken, and for the last two hundred years it has slept. This time, Claire’s touch awakens the magic within the diamond looking glass, a direct portal to the past and a way to communicate with Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of Egypt. The lure of power brings with it many perils, and a betrayal close to home thrusts Claire into a treacherous underworld. To protect the mirror, she travels into the Louvre museum in the dark of night, searches abandoned subway tunnels, and walks the catacombs of the dead. Welcome to Paris, France- where danger follows in every step. 

My Review:
This book has so many fun things in it like time travel, Fairy Tales(Beauty and the Beast-One of my favorites!), Egyptian lore; specifically to do with Cleopatra and five lost gemstones, and lots of magical elements. These are some of my favorites things to read about so I knew I would like this story. This book can be read as a stand alone, but to get the true flavor of this series, reading the first two books will make it a more enjoyable experience.

Main character Claire is feisty and adventurous and I loved as she set out to find out about the mysteries behind the old family mirror and Cleopatra’s gems. The setting is wonderful as it takes place in Paris, France, and the author supplies so many details you feel like you’re really there. Claire learns a lot about herself as she is tested, but remains true to herself and the family she loves, her older brother and parents. This story moves quickly and keeps the excitement levels ramped up. It was fun trying to guess what would happen as the story played out. There will be other books in the series, as the ending leaves you waiting and wanting more.

There are so many intriguing things about this book and this series. It is written for the middle grade crowd, but I know older teens and adults who like fantasy will also really enjoy The Diamond Looking Glass. 

Purchase:  Amazon * Goodreads

dorine whiteMeet Author Dorine White:

My name is Dorine White. I graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Humanities. I am a stay at home mom with 6 wonderful kids, and call the Northwest home. Writing wise, I am a member of the SCBWI, ANWA, LDS Storymakers and the PNWA. I write middle grade and YA fantasy. My first book, The Emerald Ring, was published May 2013 by Cedar Fort Books. In 2014 the second book was published, The Ruby Pendant. The third book in the series, The Diamond Looking Glass, is due out Oct 2015 from Skyrocket Press. My first YA fantasy novel, The Awakening, came out in 2014 from Skyrocket Press. Author Website * Blog- The Write Path * Twitter @Dorinewhite * Facebook Author Page

fire&ice

The Blog Tour Giveaway

A $25 Amazon gift code and copies of all three books: The Emerald Ring, The Ruby Pendant and The Diamond Looking Glass.   a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Excerpt 1
Claire looked up at the clock. The second hand seemed to creep around it in slow motion, and the five minutes left until the end of the school day dragged on. She looked down at her history handout. Instead of answers, she’d drawn pictures. If any of the other students saw her page, they’d laugh, amused that Claire still liked fairy tales. La Belle et Le Bête. Beauty and the Beast. The world knew it only as a fairy tale from a famous animated film. To twelve-year-old Parisian Claire La Fleur, it was family history. This weekend everybody in the family would be remembering that history, from the great-aunt three times removed, to the cousin nobody had heard from in a decade. This was the weekend of the reunion, the time of the choosing. And Claire could now participate. A small piece of paper hit her in the cheek. She looked up, and Pierre nodded his head toward the teacher, but his hint came too late. Claire had been caught not paying attention. “Mademoiselle Claire,” said Professeur LeBlanc. “Would you like to share the answer with the class?” Claire squirmed in her chair and then looked at Pierre for help. He gestured at the whiteboard. Claire’s eyes scanned the teacher’s notes. The words “Ancient Egypt” were scrawled across the gleaming surface, but she had no idea what the teacher had asked. “Anyone?” he questioned, turning from Claire with a frown. A hand shot up in the front of the classroom. “Oui. Yes, Margeritte?” the teacher asked. Claire clenched her teeth in an attempt not to groan. She should have known that Margeritte would jump on the question. The two were running neck and neck in becoming premier étudiant, first student, among twelve-year-olds, and Claire knew if she let her guard down even a little, Margeritte would catch up. “The land of the dead was ruled over by Osiris,” stated Margeritte. “Oui,” said Professeur LeBlanc. Just then the bell rang. Darn it! Why hadn’t it rung one minute earlier? Then Margeritte would not have scored the class point, Claire thought. She scuffed the toes of her shoes against the floor. “That’s not like you,” said Pierre. He stood in front of Claire’s desk, waiting for her to gather her things. “I know. I know,” sighed Claire. “This weekend’s got me freaking out.” Pierre ran his hand through his brown, wavy hair, moving strands out of his gray eyes. “You’re lucky you held it together until now, or your perfect grades would suffer.” “They’re not perfect. They’re just good.” “You’re the top student in the class,” said Pierre. “Call it what you want.” “Well,” said Claire. She picked up her books and stuck them into her satchel. “Margeritte scored big with her answer.” “Only because you spaced out.” Claire winced. “Come on. Let’s go.”

Excerpt 2:
Together they hurried up a set of stairs and into a room filled with coffins and mummies. “This just keeps getting better and better,” said Claire. But, even she couldn’t complain about the amazing beauty of the golden sarcophagi and their bold colorful engravings. Through an archway, Claire could see into the next gallery running parallel to theirs. Along the wall, covered by glass cases, rested pages from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Without meaning to, Claire began walking toward the display. She heard rhythmic voices in her head and had no doubt they spoke the words from the tablets. The voices began chanting, their words rising and falling like music. “Hey, Claire, this way,” said Jean-Luc. “Did you hear that?” “Hear what? Hurry up.” Claire snapped out of her stupor, shaking her head in confusion. She moved to Jean-Luc’s side and followed him past the rows of coffins. Claire was still wondering about the voices she’d heard and started when she heard shuffling behind her. When she turned, nobody was there. “Is anyone behind us?” she asked her brother. “No, we’re the last. Come on.” Claire scooted down the hallway, but couldn’t get rid of the feeling that someone was following her. She glanced over her shoulder. The remains of a mummy turned her way, pieces of faded yellow wrapping coming undone. What? She focused on the mummy, but this time it was still. Weird, she thought. She grabbed her brother’s hand as they ran. Finally they made it through the exhibit and caught up with everyone waiting for them in the crypt of the sphinx. The director sniffed as they came into the room, and then turned away. “We’re heading to the lower level and into the remains of the medieval Louvre,” he said. “The first part is open to tourists, but once we pass into the restricted level, watch your step.” They walked into a long curving hallway. The stone walls resembled a castle’s exterior, rough and patchy. The air smelled damp and sweet, and Claire sucked in a huge breath. “The fortress was built by Phillip Augustus to protect Paris from attack via the Seine River,” said the director. “You are walking along what used to be the moat.” Claire reached out her hand to feel the roughness of the stones by her side. She let her fingers trail along as she followed the group into a large room filled with arched entryways. Short columns decorated with stone palm fronds sprouted up from the floor. “This is the Salle of Saint-Louis, and to the rest of the world, it is the end of the tour. But follow me, we shall descend one floor lower,” said the director. Down they went, completely surround by heavy rock. The floor became uneven and the lights flickered as they descended. Then they came to an ultra-modern steel door. The director punched in a series of numbers, leaned over to let a red beam scan his eye, and then he pushed the handle of the vault. The door opened with a hiss of air. Heading through the door, Claire stepped into a rotunda. The circular wall before her anchored several steel doors, each the personal vault of someone high up and prestigious. The director led them to one door at the end. Jean-Luc stepped forward and entered the La Fleur family code into the keypad. Again, Claire heard the hiss of air as the door opened. She stepped around her brother, squeezing past several of the guards to get a better view. There wasn’t much to see—just wooden crates and jewelry boxes. Then she looked at the far wall, and she finally understood all the fuss. The oval mirror rested upright against a bed of black velvet. It looked like an old-fashioned, round handheld mirror, with the exception of the large round diamond attached to its handle. They all stood there looking, nobody moving, but then Claire heard a small hum. She looked around, but could not uncover the source of the sound. As the hum grew louder, everybody in the room noticed it, and began looking around, too. Then, the mirror started to vibrate, shaking itself spastically upon its velvet bed. Claire’s eyes widened as she watched the mirror inch off its stand. Then, she ducked as the mirror shot straight off the velvet and cruised right at her head. Jean-Luc reached out with an easy hand and snatched it. The mirror quieted, going still in his grasp.

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Nov 062015
 
Home and Away (1)  

Product Details:

  • Title: Home and Away: A World War II Christmas Story
  • Author: Dean Hughes
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing (September 29, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1629720933
  • FTC, FYI: I received a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Description:
A historical fiction novel told from the perspective of a son fighting on the battlefields of Europe during World War II and his mother, struggling with worry and uncertainty about her soldier son while she tries to keep a semblance of a normal, happy Christmas holiday back on the home front. Norma Hayes has always tried to make Christmas special for her family, but 1944 will make that more difficult with money being tight and wartime rationing making everything hard to come by.

 Aware of his mother’s hardships and the worry from having her eldest son at war, second son, Dennis, is determined to buy his mother a special gift this Christmas, a lavender blue dress he hopes will bring her comfort as a symbol of special times gone by and the hope of a brighter future with the family reunited at war’s end. 

Meantime, on the long campaign to free Europe, her soldier son carries on as best he can, the horrors of war taking its heavy toll on armies and civilians alike. On a battlefield far from home in Holland with his 101st Airborne battalion, he catches a familiar scent of lavender which briefly transports him back to the home front to the perfume scent his mother wore, giving him a short respite and reuniting the family once again if only in his imagination. This historical fiction novel is a nostalgic and tender story about the power of love, the reality of war, and the hope we all have that things will turn out all right.

My Review:
Once I stopped crying after reading the end of the book, I started writing this review. The actual review is not posting for another week, but I had to write down the emotions I was feeling right now.

First let me say, if you buy any new Christmas book this year for your family, Home and Away: A World War II Christmas Story by Dean Hughes is the book to buy!!

 Now, this isn’t the first time that a Dean Hughes story has made me cry. No, he is responsible for many tears shed at my house through the years while reading one of his many novels. I can guarantee that this story will touch your heart, whether or not it’s Christmas time, but it will make it just that more special to read during the holidays.

This story is one that will make you appreciate your family more, your freedoms, and those who are in the military. The spirit of Christmas is strong in the book as the Hayes family is preparing for Christmas. With the war on, supplies and money are scarce. Middle son, Dennis, is going to high school and working an after school job to earn money to buy something nice for his mom for Christmas.His older brother is off fighting in the war in Germany and the family worries if they will ever see him again. This book shows the many miracles and gifts that can be found.

This book is so heart warming that it is the perfect family read-aloud for this Christmas. I know that is exactly what I’m planning on doing this December.

Purchase Home and Away: HERE
add to goodreads
Meet Author Dean Hughes:

Dean Hughes was born in Ogden, Utah on August 24, 1943. He started telling people in junior high that he was going to be a writer, but he did not become serious until he took a creative writing class in high school. During his senior year in high school he started his first novel.

He attended Weber State University studying English, and received a Masters in creative writing and a PhD in literature from the University of Washington. Before he became a full-time writer, he taught English at Central Missouri State University for 8 years. Hughes has also taught creative writing at Brigham Young University.

Hughes was 35 when his first book was published. He has written and published over ninety books. Much of his writing is targeted to children and young adults (particularly sports-themed and World War II-era books), although he is also well known to adult readers of LDS Fiction for “Children of the Promise” and “Hearts of the Children” series, set in World War II and Vietnam War eras respectively. He is one of the writers largely credited with the rapidly increasing quality of Mormon literature in recent years. in 2011 one of his books,Midway to Heaven, was made into a movie.

Dean Hughes is married and has three children and nine grandchildren.
In March 2008, Hughes received a Lifetime Achievement award at the inaugural Whitney Awards.

In September 2013, Hughes celebrated the publication of his 100th book, Through Cloud and Sunshine.

In April 2014 he was awarded a lifetime-achievement AML Award.

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Oct 282015
 
  Powerofthematchmaker25773945 Product Details:
  • Title: Power of the Matchmaker(A Prequel Novella to the 12 book series)
  • Author: Heather B. Moore
  • File Size: 3402 KB
  • Print Length: 60 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Mirror Press (November 3, 2015)
  • Publication Date: November 3, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B013FIOAE0
  • FTC, FYI: I received a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
  • Reviewed by:Sheila

Book Description:
A prequel novella to the POWER OF THE MATCHMAKER Series
Mystical . . . Beautiful . . . Romantic . . .

Read the matchmaker’s story to find out where it all starts . . .

Mae Li has been in love with Chen Zhu for years, and he with her. But when the matchmaker arrives at the Zhu family home, she recommends another village girl for Chen.

Heartbroken, Mae Li watches as Chen does his duty by marrying another. Mae flees her village with the clothes on her back and her only possession—a pearl embedded comb, given to her as a goodbye gift from Chen Zhu.

Upon Mae’s arrival in Shanghai, she quickly learns that she’ll starve within days unless she sells her prized comb or joins a courtesan house. She goes to the Huangpu River and promises the River God that she’ll always be selfless if he will save her from becoming a prostitute . . . Her wish is granted when Ms. Tan, the matchmaker of Shanghai, finds Mae. But Mae must completely change her future and her name if she is to become the next matchmaker. 

My Review: 
The Power of the Matchmaker,though only a novella and 60 pages long, has a huge message. The matchmaker truly has a tremendous power to change lives for good or bad. At the beginning of this story, a prequel to the 12 book Power of the Matchmaker series coming out in 2016, we see how a matchmaker destroys Mae Li’s hopes and dreams to marry the love of her life Chen Zu. You can clearly see through Heather’s beautiful writing how much Chen and Mae Li love each other.

Mae Li runs away from home and the man she didn’t want to marry, when she realizes Chen Zu will marry another girl arranged by the village matchmaker.

With no hope in her life to be able to survive on her own, she meets Ms. Tan, a matchmaker in the city of Shanghai. Mae Li, now Pearl, is taken under Ms. Tan’s wings to become the new matchmaker once the old woman dies. She is given a coin that is the “Power” of the matchmaker, in that it will only work if the matchmaker forsakes her own true love in order to bring together others in love. There is also something very secret that the coin can do, but I’m not going to say what it is because I’ve already given too much away.

The very end of this short story had me crying. The last scene takes place many years later when once again Chen Zu and Mae Li/Pearl meet again. They still love each other and it’s a very tender scene. Pearl stays true to her calling as the matchmaker sacrificing her own love for others. But, there is a moment between them that has to do with a pearl comb that made my heart ache. Oh, Heather Moore, you are a master at your craft in creating emotions and making your readers feel deeply for your characters.

This novella is a must read before you begin reading the first of the 12 books that will be coming out in 2016 about The Power of the Matchmaker. Personally, I can’t wait to read each and every one.  

This sweet, 60 page novella get’s 5 sweet stars***** from me!

Purchase HERE at Amazon
Meet Author: Heather B. Moore
Heather Moore
H.B. Moore is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of more than a dozen historical novels set in ancient Arabia and Mesoamerica. She attended the Cairo American College in Egypt and the Anglican International School in Jerusalem and received her bachelor of science degree from Brigham Young University. She writes historical thrillers under the pen name H.B. Moore, and romance and women’s fiction under the name Heather B. Moore. It can be confusing, so her kids just call her Mom.

Released once a month in 2016!!
The Power of the Matchmaker Series
**Join us for the POWER OF THE MATCHMAKER SERIES**
12 novels by 12 bestselling authors

Broken Things to Mend by Karey White (Jan 2016)
Not Always Happenstance by Rachael Anderson (Feb 2016)
If We Were a Movie by Kelly Oram (March 2016)
Love is Come by Heather B. Moore (April 2016)
Four Chambers by Julie Wright (May 2016)
O’er the River Liffey by Heidi Ashworth (June 2016)
Chasing Fireflies by Taylor Dean (July 2016)
Between Earth and Heaven by Michele Paige Holmes (Aug 2016)
How I Met Your Brother by Janette Rallison (Sept 2016)
To Move the World by Regina Sirois (Oct 2016)
King of the Friend Zone by Sheralyn Pratt (Nov 2016)
The Reformer by Jaima Fixsen (Dec 2016)

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Oct 232015
 

Castle CollectionProduct Details:

  • Title: Castle Collection (A Sweet and Sassy Anthology)
  • Authors: Cindy Hogan, Jo Noelle, Donna K. Weaver, Paige Timothy, Kaye P. Clark,
  • File Size: 1058 KB
  • Print Length: 490 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Little ,Box Press, LLC (September 18, 2015)
  • Publication Date: September 18, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0153LE9KW
  • FTC, FYI: I received a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

Sweet and Sassy Anthology: Castle Collection
Readers will be delighted with five sweet, romance novellas in Sweet and Sassy: Castle Collection. In this charming anthology, you will fall in love again and again. Dangerous Truth by Cindy M. Hogan All By My Selfie by Jo Noelle A Savage Ghost by Donna K. Weaver The Ghost of Dunlow Manor by Paige Timothy Rose of Sherwood by Kaye P. Clark 

DANGEROUS TRUTH Olivia loves everything about Belgium. So far, her humanitarian trip has gone perfectly–that is, until she sees a picture of a man she thinks is her father in the newspaper. The father who abandoned her family nine years ago without a word. She tries to forget she ever saw his photo. He’s forgotten about her, after all. But soon it’s apparent that she can’t leave without knowing what happened. Armed with years of hurt and the help of a gorgeous French photographer, she decides to confront him and his secrets once and for all. Unfortunately, her father seems determined to keep those secrets hidden. . . and Olivia is one of them.  

ALL BY MY SELFIE While on vacation at McLeod Castle in Scotland, Gwen Mackenzie has nightly dreams of an ancient warrior bound by a curse. During the day, she sees Niall, nicknamed #ScottishBoyfriend. Oh, and can that man rock a kilt! As she gets to know him, she realizes that Niall is the warrior from her dreams, cursed to live as a ghost for the past five hundred years, to see life around him but never sense any of it—except Gwen.  

A SAVAGE GHOST Lia Savage reluctantly puts her dream of opening a dessert boutique on hold to help her dad remodel a castle he’s inherited in Washington State. Soon, a specter targets her younger sister. Lia enlists the help of Coop Montgomery, the head gardener and her former crush. As they search together for a way to rid the castle of its ghost, the romance she used to dream about with him kindles. But Lia’s gentle giant means to stay in Washington while she’s determined to return to California. She must find the courage to face both the ghost and her future. With Coop. Or without him.  

THE GHOST OF DUNLOW MANOR Bestselling author Alexis St. John needs an escape, and Nate, her personal assistant, thinks that a trip to a real castle in England will be just the thing. What neither of them planned on, though, was to encounter an actual ghost. Lady Catherine Dunlow hates the idea of sharing her castle with tourists and does everything she can to chase them out, much to the amusement of her roguish suitor. But when her two newest guests stumble upon a mystery surrounding her death, she decides to let them stay. With an eternal fate in the balance, Nate and Alexis must move quickly to bring the killer to light before Catherine is trapped forever.  

ROSE OF SHERWOOD Lady Rosamund, Baroness of Ravenswood Manor, is a destitute widow, imprisoned in Nottingham Castle. When the prince declares she must marry the ruthless man who had seized Ravenswood, she escapes with the help of a band of outlaws to Sherwood Forest. Her first love, a battle-worn knight, promises to help her find safety at a convent. Confused and afraid, her heart yearns for love. But are the risks too high?

 My Review:
This anthology, 5 novellas, has some wonderful stories. Each one takes place in some kind of a castle. Many of them had ghosts that they encountered within the castles.  Of course there was also some type of romance to be found in each story, even with the ghosts.
 
 I loved each story, but the love story in “All By My Selfie” just got to me because of how much each character was willing to sacrifice for each other. This is truly interesting, considering one of those people is in “stasis”, not really living and not really dead. This story was so intriguing!
 
I also liked how there was a sense of mystery to all of the stories. The action in “Dangerous Truth” was intense, which author Cindy Hogan is know for in other stories she’s written. 
 
These stories are well written. You could tell there were levels of research done by these authors which made the stories interesting and felt realistic, even with the ghosts wandering around the castles and doing spooky things in the novellas “A Savage Ghost”(One very scary ghost and one that made my heart sigh), and “The Ghost of Dunlow Manor” (The ghosts were not only scary at times, but very humorous! I especially loved Sir Ian.) I also loved, “The Rose of Sherwood” which takes you back to Sherwood forest and the fun during the time of Robin Hood.
 
What a great time of the year to be reading stories of castles and ghosts. You will enjoy reading this new anthology as you get lost in the splendor and mystery that awaits you in the Castle Collection.
 
Excerpts from each story:
#1
We were the last ones in line and would have to take whatever seats were left in the boat. I hoped I’d still be able to get a good enough seat to take the pictures I hoped for. Ten other passengers were already on board, and the motorboat rocked slightly while everyone got situated. I stepped into the small tour boat, sliding my way across the last available bench, stopping just short of sitting on a guy who had claimed the furthest seat. Unfortunately, Sloan didn’t stop and my whole body shoved into the stranger.
“Sloan! Stop! You pushed me right into someone.” I turned to the guy to apologize and stopped with my jaw hanging open as I stared at what had to be a living representation of the front page of GQ. His face was tan, with high cheekbones that seemed the natural resting spot for the sleek, wire-framed glasses that rested on them. He was wearing a silk tie over a polished, collared shirt that stretched slightly over his broad shoulders, showing off just enough of the form beneath that it was obvious he was toned. His trousers hugged his hips and draped over his legs perfectly, ending over a pair of gleaming wing-tipped shoes. In his lap, a folded newspaper rested casually. Of course.
#2
Toward the warped edge of my suite’s window, I see a man in an archaic blue and green kilt, that’s wrapped, belted, and thrown over one shoulder. He’s sitting on a large boulder near the parking lot. Okay, Josie was so right on this one. Hot men in kilts do just hang around in Scotland. Might be fun to meet a guy to kick up the happy factor in this vacation.
I hope I’m being stealthy when I raise my phone in front of me and take his picture. He’s not close enough to really see, so I take another, zooming as close as I can. His shirt looks like plain linen stretched across his broad shoulders, and he has one knee bent with his leather-booted foot on the rock. I catch myself staring—I’ll bet he gets that a lot. I text the close-up to Josie with a note about the “beautiful sights” I’m enjoying.
Maybe Scottish Boyfriend is an actor in period costume. I hope that’s on the program for the hotel guests; I’d love to see what the culture was like here centuries ago. His eyes flick to my window as if he is looking right at me. Though he’s probably just looking at the castle, butterflies tumble through my middle. Wondering if I have time to talk with him—strictly about history, and take a quick selfie with him before the castle tour begins—I check the clock on the table then turn back around, but he’s gone.
#3
Hugh concentrated on the haze that should be the main hearth and willed it to come into focus. Nothing changed at first, but then the fireplace sharpened. His shoulders relaxed. At last, after struggling for so long, enough of his sense of self had returned. And some of his power.
How long had it been? All he could recall were a few times, every once in a while, when he was able to interact with the people in this new place.
He tried to run his diaphanous hand along the mantel, frustrated when it passed through. Staring hard, Hugh grasped the single wooden-framed picture resting on it. The small portrait lifted into the air. He crowed, for once not caring that such a sound was beneath his dignity.
A gasp from behind startled him, and his hand turned translucent again. Without substance, his fingers lost their grip. The picture crashed to the hearth and shattered. Livid, he spun, refocusing his energy. He fueled his will with anger, and his hands took form. The gray-haired woman gave a satisfying shriek before covering her mouth with her hands.
“Remove yourself from my home at once,” he commanded, his voice low and menacing. He kicked a piece of broken frame, and it flew toward her. With a cry, the servant ducked and ran from the room.
#4
Lady Catherine Dunlow paced the balcony of her third-floor bedroom, her skirts swirling behind her as she moved. She was absolutely furious, and she pounded that fury into the stones beneath her feet. She hated strangers. She hated strangers coming into her house. She hated strangers coming into her house and acting like they owned the place. And yet, they kept coming, no matter what she did.
Dunlow Manor had been in her family for generations. It had belonged to her twelfth great-grandfather, and now she was its rightful owner. She had never given permission for unfamiliar people to come and stay within its walls, and yet they did, taking no thought for her feelings on the matter whatsoever.
She didn’t rest at all that night. Instead, she paced and fumed, fumed and paced. She went outside a few times and glared down at their car, but no ideas came to her. This had to stop somehow—it just had to.
#5
The long, high-ceilinged room was almost ready for the prince’s arrival. Fresh-smelling rushes had been laid on the stone floor; new candles had replaced the old. Soot-darkened wall hangings had been taken down. Men on ladders hung brightly-colored tapestries in their place.
Lady Blanche, the sheriff’s wife, sat at the high table overseeing the work. Her pale, blonde hair hung in long braids, entwined with black ribbons. She rested her hands atop her bulging belly. Blanche was the queen bee, and I knew from experience, her sting could hurt.
Blanche stepped down from the dais to confront me. “You vex me, girl. Your flowers may please the prince, but they do not please me. I needed your help earlier.”
I drew in a long breath. “I am not a servant.”
“You certainly look like one. You’ve been out in the sun without a hat; your face is freckled already. And look at your hands! They’re filthy!”
“I am the wife of Sir Godfrey of Anjou, Baroness of Ravenswood Manor,” I said, hiding my hands behind my back.
“Little good that does you.” Lady Blanche snatched the lavender bloom from my bodice and tucked it in her own. “You’re confined to Nottingham Castle until your husband returns. If he returns.”

About the Authors:

Cindy M. Hogan is inspired by the unpredictable teenagers she teaches. More than anything she loves the time she has with her own teenage daughters and wishes she could freeze them at this fun age. If she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her snuggled up with the love of her life watching a great movie or planning their next party. Most of all, she loves to laugh.

Jo Noelle grew up in Colorado and Utah but also lived in Idaho and California. She has two adult children and three small kids. She teaches teachers and students about reading and writing, grows freakishly large tomatoes, enjoys cooking, builds furniture, sews beautiful dresses, and goes hiking in the nearby mountains. Oh, and she’s two people, Canda Mortensen and Deanna Henderson, a mother/daughter writing team.  

Donna K. Weaver: A wife, mother, grandmother, Harry Potter geek, Navy brat, Army veteran, and karate black belt. Donna is an avid cruiser, having sailed the Pacific five times. She’s lived in South Korea, the Philippines, Germany, and many US states. She and her husband raised six children and currently have nine grandchildren.  

Paige Timothy has been writing for as long as she can remember… and probably before that, too, because her memory gets spotty at a certain point. She loves watching romantic comedies, blushes when the characters do something embarrassing, and sighs in all the right places.  

Kaye P. Clark was born in New York City, grew up in southern California and raised her family living on remote cattle ranches in Arizona. She now makes her home in Idaho where she works part-time at the county library and teaches art to young children. She’s a mother and grandmother with a very patient husband who puts up with her passion for writing.   $25 Blog Tour giveaway  
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