Jan 112013

Product Details:

  • Title: Band of Sisters: Coming Home a novel
  • Author: Annette Lyon
  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Covenant Communications Inc; 1st edition (January 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1621083195
  • ISBN-13: 978-1621083191
  • FTC:FYI:I was gven a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Description:

Publication Date: January 2, 2013
Five women became fast friends when their husbands were deployed to Afghanistan. But as they welcome the soldiers home, what should be a joyful time soon becomes painful. Kim, who had a baby while her husband was away, knows how to be a mother but has forgotten how to be a wife. Nora, accustomed to taking care of herself during the long years of her husband’s absence, resents having to forfeit her independence. Jess’s already troubled marriage turns dangerous, while Brenda struggles to manage her husband,s psychological trauma. And Marianne faces her crushing loss, compounded with worry over wayward children. Each woman must draw upon her bond of friendship and faith to find the strength, courage, and insight needed to move forward, proving that even the hardest of trials cannot break this loyal band of sisters.
 My Review: 
Band of Sisters, the first book, was about five women whose husbands were deployed to Afghanistan. They formed a strong group of women to help each other while their husbands were gone.  This novel showed the harsh reality of war, and the families left behind while a spouse is deployed. This book of friendship and strength won Author Annette Lyon a 2010 Whitney Award in General Fiction.
This second installment, Coming Home, shows the impact of war on the men, and how the families deal with their husbands and fathers now home from war. This book is realistic, as it explores many of the true-to-life issues that many of our service men and women live with.
One of the five women, Marianne, has become a widow, as her husband died while serving overseas. The novel shows the grief of the family, as they now have to live life forever without their husband and father.
Another woman, Brenda, has the heartache of finding out her husband has PTSD, and he goes from being severely depressed to out of control with his anger. With the PTSD he loses his job and his wife finds out she’s pregnant.
Then poor Jessie, who didn’t mind her husband being gone for a year, once again has to deal with his abusive and bullying nature. She also finds out about the many bad habits he picked up while he was deployed. Soon she fears for the safety of herself and children.
Kim, the youngest women of the group, is having a hard time adjusting to being a “wife”. Newly married when she sent her husband off, she only knows how to play well the role of a Mom to her baby son who was born during the past year. Kim is having the harder time adjusting to having her husband home.
Nora, the older woman, who was the glue that held them together the past year, is having some growing pains having her husband there 24/7 underfoot. For many years she was independent, raising her children on her own as her husband was deployed. Now, he is trying to take charge of Nora’s life.
What did I love about this book? I loved the characters even more than the first book. I felt like I was revisiting old friends. Annette does a wonderful job of creating characters that you can bond with, and care about. All of the women in the story struggled with the deployment being over. Coming Home showed how the trials weren’t over for the families. It isn’t always a happy read, but one where the women rise up and gather courage and strength from each other. I was truly inspired by these characters and the hard decisions they had to make. I could relate to many of the things they were going through; especially Marianne, the now single Mom.
If you haven’t read the first Band of Sisters, I recommend that you do that first before reading Coming Home. You will be lost and not feel the deep impact of what is happening in the story.
Coming Home has a satisfying ending. Everything isn’t truly perfect with all of the women and their families, but as in life, it never really is.

 Purchase Here:

Annette Lyon

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About the Author:

Annette Lyon has been writing ever since second grade, when she piled pillows on a chair to reach her mother’s typewriter. A cum laude graduate from BYU with a degree in English, she has had success as a professional editor and doing newspaper, magazine, and business writing, but her first love is creating fiction. She’s perhaps best known for her historical novels centered around the four old Utah temples. Band of Sisters is about five women who come together during their husbands’ deployment to Afghanistan. The sequel, Coming Home, has a release date of January 2013.

Her cookbook, Chocolate Never Faileth, is a delicious departure from fiction and the culmination of over 5 months of test kitchen craziness and fun.

One of the most rewarding parts of Annette’s writing career has been collaborating on The Newport Ladies Book Club series. Her first book there Paige, was released in 2012. Ilana, her second Newport Ladies novel, is forthcoming.

In 2007 Annette was awarded Utah’s Best of State medal for fiction. Spires of Stone, her fifth novel, was a 2007 Whitney Award finalist for Best Historical Novel. She has received three publication awards from the League of Utah Writers and took first place in the 2009 Funds for Writers essay contest. She won a Whitney Award 2010 in General Fiction for Band of Sisters.

Be sure to also drop by her blog.

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Dec 082012
Product Details
  • Title: Athena (The Newport Ladies Book Club Series Book)
  • Author: Heather B. Moore
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Covenant Communications Inc; 1st edition (November 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608619443
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608619443
  • FTC FYI: I was given a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
  • Review by: Sheila

Book Description

Publication Date: November 1, 2012
Self-proclaimed bachelorette Athena Di Jasper is at the top of her game. Her online magazine is thriving, and she’s in a comfortably static relationship, free of the kind of commitment that could lead to marriage she’s seen her parents rocky union, and it’s not for her. When her on-again, off-again boyfriend Karl wants to move their relationship to the next commitment level, Athena’s obvious dismay leads him to challenge her workaholic tendencies. His accusation is true: she hasn’t even paused to read a novel in years. Determined to prove Karl wrong, Athena takes a break from her hectic schedule to peruse a used bookstore, where she meets Grey, the intriguing and single proprietor. Her quest for change and her desire to see more of Grey leads Athena to stray from her to-do list and join the Newport Ladies Book Club. When Athena’s world is turned upside down by a family tragedy, she’s left to care for her terminally ill father. Juggling the demands of attending to an ailing parent and running her business, Athena comes to value the friendships of the book-club members, and she finds herself relying more and more on Grey’s support. When she stumbles across an old shoebox in her mother’s closet, she’s stunned by its contents, which hold unexpected truths about her parents relationship. As Athena delves into a past that defies her judgment about her parents’ marriage, she is forced to reevaluate her views on life and love.

My Review:

Athena is the fourth book in The Newport Ladies Book Club series that I have reviewed.This series has become one of my favorites out there today.
 This series has been written by four amazing, award winning authors: Annette Lyon,Heather B. Moore, Josi Kilpack, and Julie Wright.
Athena is the last book that takes place during the same time-frame as the first three books.All four books were written as a parallel series, not as a forward-moving series.They cover the same book club meetings and events in all four books. This last book is probably the most different from the other three. The main reason is that main character Athena kept to herself a lot more than the other characters in this series. While reading the other books, the reader could get the impression that Athena is cold and not truly interested in the book club. This is so far from the truth as you read this fourth book. Athena has a lot going on in her life. She is single, runs her own company and is very conflicted about getting married and having a family. Her Mother wants her to marry a nice, Greek boy and stay at home to have babies and take care of her man…just like she did in her life. Athena has been very critical of her parents and their marriage, but events happen that change her life. She meets a new man, very different than the man she has been dating previously. A death in the family and a major life decision make Athena face some of the harshest trials that life can bring.
I read Athena in about 12 hours. I was completely taken in with Athena’s story. Heather Moore’s expertise as a writer shows as she develops this character. The growth arc that Athena takes is so huge as she makes decisions that not only change her life, but those she loves. This book truly brought full circle the stories of the four women in this series. It felt so satisfying to finish this book and feel that sense of completion. The next four books in the series will be about four other book club members in a new time frame. Each of the authors will take on this new writing challenge.
I highly recommend Athena! This story is full of heart-wrenching moments, friendship at it’s finest, and a love story that made me cheer, moan and melt. How is that for a combination? Athena’s romance with Grey, the book store owner, has turned out to be one of my favorites for 2012.If you haven’t started this series, pull out the tissues, reserve several hours to yourself and get ready to be pulled into the world of The Newport Ladies Book Club. You will find women of strength, strong friendships and stories that will make you look at your own life in new ways.

Heather B. Moore

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Here is my interview with Heather. I hope you enjoy reading what she had to say:1.What was your experience like writing “Athena”?

Writing ATHENA was quite a bit different than my other books. ATHENA was a very interactive process because my brainstorming was with my co-series authors, instead of myself. Along the way, I’d be asking Josi, Julie, and Annette questions, such as “Should Athena get back together with Karl?” . . . or they’d be asking me questions, such as “Why doesn’t Athena want to get into a committed relationship with a man?” All of this was during the writing process.

2. Are you like your character Athena in any way?

I have a lot of similarities to Athena–I tend to be a bit of a work-a-holic. I’m very task-oriented and don’t do “fun” things when there’s a to-do list to be completed. I only have a few close friends–and it takes time to develop those relationships. My mother isn’t as nosy as Athena’s mother, but she’s definitely a “do-it-all” personality.

3.You have written a lot of historical fiction in the past. Do you like writing contemporary fiction better or is it just a fun change of pace?

Writing contemporary is definitely a fun change of pace. But I wouldn’t say I prefer one over the other. Historical takes more time simply because of the research, but the process is the same as far as character motivation and plot development.

4. Did you learn anything from writing “Athena”? Is there a message you would like your readers to gain?

Developing Athena from a woman who isolates herself in many ways, and having her grow into a happier more well-rounded person, definitely let me see areas in my life that I needed to slow down as well and appreciate the “journey” more than just focusing on the end-goals. A message to others would be to let others into your lives and let them help and serve you as you are doing the same for them.

5. Which character in The Newport Ladies Book Club will you be writing next?

I’ve written RUBY’s story and it’s currently at my publisher for consideration. It was a wonderful novel to write and I think readers will be surprised when they learn about the real Ruby. On the outside, she seems to be almost perfect and such a wonderful caregiver, always putting others first. But that’s because she’s afraid to look inside and face her flaws, some of which have been haunting her for years.

6. Are you a late night writer or an early morning writer?

I’m a morning person, which makes me a morning writer–because my brain is less foggy. I get up between 4 and 6 am most days and get a couple of hours in. Then I find other snatches throughout the day as well. But after about 10:00 p.m. my brain is mush!

Thank you for the interview Heather!

About The Author:

Heather B. Moore is the award-winning author of nine historical novels. Her historical fiction is published under the pen name H.B. Moore; first series is called Out of Jerusalem. Her second series includes Abinadi (2008 Whitney Winner for Best Historical & 2009 Best of State in Literary Arts); its sequel, Alma (2009 Whitney Award Finalist); followed by Alma the Younger (2011 Best of State in Literary Arts & 2010 Whitney Finalist), and Ammon (2011 LUW Gold Award of Excellence). Her newest romantic thriller is Daughters of Jared (2012 LUW Gold Award of Excellence & 2012 LUW Best Book Trailer).Heather is the co-author of The Newport Ladies Book Club Series (with Josi S. Kilpack, Annette Lyon & Julie Wright). Under the name of Heather B. Moore she’s published Athena (The Newport Ladies Book Club), the novella collection A Timeless Romance Anthology, Third Time’s the Charm (Aliso Creek Novella series), the historical romance Heart of the Ocean, the non-fiction work Christ’s Gifts to Women (co-authored by Angela Eschler), and Women of the Book of Mormon.

Visit her blog for writing and book signing updates: http://mywriterslair.blogspot.com
Heather loves to hear from readers at: www.hbmoore.com or if you’re an aspiring writer, she also manages the editing company, Precision Editing Group: www.precisioneditinggroup.com.

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Aug 032012

Product Details:

  • Title: Choosing Charity
  • Author: Terri Ferran
  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Bonneville Books (July 10, 2012)
  • Genre: Womans Fiction
  • ISBN-10: 1462110657
  • ISBN-13: 978-1462110650
  • FTC FYI: I was given a review copy in exchange for an honest review.


Book Description:

I turned my attention back to Alicia. My brown eyes and dark blonde hair looked nothing like
hers and I detected no resemblance between us until she turned her head
and smiled slightly. From that angle, I saw her high cheekbones with a
slight hollow near her hairline. I have her cheekbones.
“We should begin, Arthur,” Alicia said. I detected no emotion in her smooth voice
and I wondered what she was thinking. Can she see a resemblance? Can she
tell I am her daughter?

With a new job, a husband she adores, and a life full of friends, Kit’s life seems pretty much perfect—well,
aside from the fact that her husband is in school and way too busy for
Kit’s liking. And of course she’s still dealing with the fall-out from
her adoptive parents’ divorce.

But when Kit learns that her biological mother wants to meet her, she’s not sure how to react. What
good could possibly come from getting to know someone who left you in a dumpster to die?

Exquisitely written and full of heart, Choosing Charity is a can’t-miss read that’s sure to remind you why Christ like love is the greatest virtue of all.

My Review:

I loved the characters in this book. I haven’t read the other books in this series, but I will be going back and reading them. Now, with that said, this book worked very well as a stand alone read. I loved the main character’s fun and quirky personality. You come to figure out that her past experiences contribute a lot to how she reacts to things. Another thing I wanted you to know, this was yet again a book that was a quick read. I didn’t want to go to sleep, and I stayed up late…ON a school night…to finish this book. This has been happening a lot this summer. I chalk it up to reading many great books by awesome writers!! 

This book has a lot of heart. It will pull at your heart strings. It will make you think “what if…”. Some of the subjects in this book are adoption, abandonment, infertility, organ donation and emotional healing. Some things are quite controversial. Terri Ferran does a great job in the way she covers all of these tough subjects. My favorite characters have to be Kit and Charity. The interaction between these characters made me LOL and cry. I truly felt empty after finishing this book because I missed them and their conversations. This novel is about what could happen to real people, in very real situations, who turn to family and God to make it through their tough times.

Overall I loved this book. I truly like Terri’s writing style and want to read more of her books. Add this book to your summer reading list. I know that it is probably full already, but you won’t want to miss this very moving story.

How would you like to win all three of Terri’s books in this series? The information is down below.All you have to do is comment on this blog post and other blog posts that are part of the blog tour.


Giveaway Info:

As part of the tour, Terri is generously offering a grand prize giveaway of the Faith, Hope, and Charity trilogy, including hard copies of Finding Faith, Having Hope, and Choosing Charity. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post or any of the other stops on the tour. (Visit http://thebookbug-hogan.blogspot.com/p/choosing-charity-blog-tour.html the tour page for the full tour schedule.) The more stops you comment on, the more entries you have into the contest!

Launch Party Info:
The official launch party for Choosing Charity will be held on August 11th from 3-7 PM at Seagull
Book in The District in South Jordan. Terri will be joined by three other
authors: Diony George, Carla Kelly, and Wendy Paul. Prizes and refreshments
will be offered so come join the fun!
Other Books in Series:


Author Bio:
Terri Ferran grew up in a small Colorado town that offered little in the way of
entertainment. She escaped through reading (and later on a Continental
Trailways bus), and although the town didn’t have a library, she eagerly
anticipated the coming of the Bookmobile and would check out stacks of books at a time.

She moved to Utah as a high school senior where she joined the LDS Church and met her husband, Tod. She dreamed of being a writer but took the safe route of becoming a CPA. She finally got brave enough to quit working in the world of numbers to pursue her dream of writing and also to spend more time with her children. Her first book, Finding Faith was published in 2007 and she is excited to be living her dream of writing in real life.

Terri still loves to read, but she can usually be found writing, doing laundry,
dishes, running errands, napping, eating chocolate, or exercising (not
necessarily in that order).

Social Networking Links:

·       Website:http://www.terriferran.com/

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