Sep 252012

Castles on the Sand

Author: E.M. Tippetts (Emily Mah Tippetts)

Publisher: self

Published: August 2012

ISBN13: 9781479120291

Genre: YA Contemporary

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

Reviewed by Mindy

Goodreads Summary: Madison Lukas knows her place in the world. She’s not pretty, not interesting, and therefore easy to forget.

John Britton is serving his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and has been praying for fifteen years to find the sister he lost in his parents’ divorce. She is beautiful, talented, and makes kindness a fine art.

When John and Madison cross paths, he recognizes her at once, but Madison is certain that he’s got it all wrong. Even if she is his long-lost sister, she can’t possibly be the exceptional, amazing girl he thinks she is, can she?

My Review

Madison is a very sweet girl with a lot going on her life, even though she doesn’t think so.  She has a best friend, that isn’t really a friend at all, and all-of-the-sudden boys are paying attention to her.  Madison doesn’t think very well of herself, and doesn’t know how to react when she gets all the attention she does.  Her “best friend” Kailie, who has some series issues herself, does not like the attention that Madison gets from the school hunk, and does some mean things to her that ends up with Madison black and blue.  Madison suddenly meets her long-lost brother, which confuses her.  All of her life, she thought she was an only child.  Her mother is an artist, and pretty much lets Madison do what she wants. As long as she leaves her alone.  At least her boss, Siraj is nice to her.  There are also some encounters with the “town psycho” that had me curious.

3 of out 5 stars.  The things Kailie do to her really started to get to me, and a couple things in the relationship were left unexplained.  I really enjoyed, though, Madison’s relationships with her brother John, Siraj, and Alex.  I really liked Alex, and I was happy to see there were people in Madison’s life that treated her well, and appreciated what a great person she is.  I was also relieved that Madison got smarter about the boys in her life.

Emily Mah Tippetts is the author of several books.  Find out more about them on Goodreads and her Blog.


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Sep 112012


Author: Annette Lyon

Publisher: Covenant

Published: August 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1-60861-946-7

Genre: general fiction

Paperback: 238 pages

FTC FYI: Review copy, which did not affect my review

Reviewed by Mindy

Backcover Summary: After a bitter divorce from her unfaithful husband, Paige moves from Utah to California with her two little boys and vows to make a fresh start.  She finds a job at a dental practice that helps her get back on her feet, but it’s the friends she makes at her new book club who help her realize how strong she is and who give her support to carry on as she faces the challenges of being a single mom.  She also meets Derryl, a wonderful, kind, attentive man who treats her right–something her ex never did.  Yet, Paige struggles to figure out who she is a s woman rather than a wife, how to help  her boys adjust to a broken home, and whether she can ever trust a man or love again.  As Paige leans on the book club ladies and Derryl’s ever present care, one thing becomes clear:  healing from the past requires more than a change of address.

My Review

Paige is another strong offering from Annette Lyon and for The Newport Ladies Book Club.  From Olivia, and Daisy I was able to catch a glimpse of the woman that Paige was, and I really liked her then.  Reading her own story made me appreciate her even more, and also the other ladies through Paige’s eyes.  At the first book club meeting there is always the first impressions of each character.  I love going back to those meetings through a different character’s view point, to see what she thought of someone that first night, and after that.  It shows each of their journeys, and it helps me appreciate each character more.

Paige was hesitant to go to book club.  One of my favorite quotes from her is on page 20:

For years, I’d pretty much lived in the bubble of being Doug’s wife.  I hadn’t met any new friend in–I couldn’t remember how long.  Since the divorce, I’d turned that bubble into a cocoon.  And here I was, forcing myself out of it.  Meeting new people would be good for me.  I knew this on an intellectual level;  however, emotionally, the idea made me want to drive right back home.

Each of the ladies from the book club came to book club for different reasons, but they seem to have one in common, to find a friend.

There are some fun things that happen to Paige, some sad, and heart wrenching.  Christmas was hard for her.  I was able to really see what a loving character she was during the times with her sons.  She’s a great mom, and Paige finds she may need to make some difficult choices.

4 out of 5 stars.  Annette is an amazing writer.  She recently wrote a blog post about the series, and how each author would write their characters, or how the others gals would write it for them.  I laughed a lot.  Check it out.  Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, her blog, and The Newport Ladies Book Club.  The next book in the series is Athena by Heather Moore.  It comes out in November.


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Aug 082012

The Color of Snow

Author: Brenda Stanley

Publisher: Tribute Books

Published: June 1st, 2012

ISBN13: 9780983741893

eBook: 413 pages

Genre: YA General

FTC FYI: Review copy

Reviewed by Mindy

Goodreads summaryCan a troubled young girl reenter society after living in isolation?

When a beautiful 16-year-old girl named Sophie is found sequestered in a cage-like room in a rundown house in the desolate hills of Arbon Valley, Idaho, the entire community is shocked to learn she is the legendary Callidora–a baby girl who was kidnapped from her crib almost seventeen years ago and canonized in missing posters with portraits of what the fabled girl might resemble. Authorities soon learn that the cage was there to protect people from Sophie, because her biological father believes she is cursed.

Sophie is discovered after the man she knows as Papa, shoots and injures Damien, a young man who is trying to rescue her. Now, unsocialized and thrust into the world, and into a family she has never met, Sophie must decide whether she should accept her Papa’s claims that she is cursed and he was only trying to protect others, or trust the new people in her life who have their own agendas. Guided by a wise cousin, Sophie realizes that her most heartbreaking challenge is to decide if her love for Damien will destroy him like her Papa claims, or free her from past demons that haunt her mind.

My Review

Sophie has just been “rescued” from living a life of isolation thrust on her by her father.  As he is being taken away by the police, he tells her,

I love you Sophie. Please know that.  I’ve always loved you.  That is why this happening now.

It was the only time my father ever told me he loved me, and now he did it with such fervor it made my skin prickle.  The words didn’t comfort, they left me feeling scared and abandoned.  I nodded and sat on my bed.  He took a last look at me, then put his hand to his mouth and left my doorway.  I knew we were in trouble, but I didn’t know what would happen next.

Sophie’s life has not only been of isolation, but of fear.  Not from her father necessarily, but of the curse that he said follows them.  Papa tells her of ghosts in the fields, and how he needed to protect their secret.  Now she is living with her grandparents, scared and confused.  She befriends her step cousin Stephanie, and is home schooled by her Uncle Lonny.  Her aunt Elise’s new husband.

There is so much more to this story, I don’t want to give many more details.  Just know this, I loved how this story is told.  It is told in past and present, with a couple POV changes. I was always kept in the story, and the author would brilliantly end the chapters with me wanting more.   The story is told from Sophie’s point of view in the present and past, and her father’s in the past as well.  We learn so much through his eyes, just as much as Sophie’s.  Sophie’s fear is the curse, will she get over it for her to move with her life.  You will enjoy reading for that answer.


There are a few content issues I should warn you about.  There is pre-maritial sex, but no details. An icky uncle.  Smoking, and language.  Nothing I was offended by.

4 out of 5 stars.  This is the first book I have read from Brenda Stanley.  I really enjoyed it.  Brenda Stanley is the former news anchor at her NBC affiliate KPVI in Eastern Iadho. Her writing has been recognized by the Scripps Howard Foundation, the Hearst Journalism Awards, the Idaho Press Club and the Society for Professional Journalists. She is a graduate of Dixie College in St. George, Utah, and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Brenda lived for two years in Ballard, Utah, within the Fort Duchesne reservation where the novel is set. She and her husband live on a small ranch near the Snake River with their horses and dogs.

Follow her on Facebook / Twitter / Website


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Jun 202012

The Kindling

Expected Publish Date: July 10, 2012

Publisher: Cedar Fort

ISBN13: 9781462110278

Paperback: 304 pages

FTC FYI: Review copy

Reviewed by Mindy

Goodreads Summary:  All thirteen-year-old Conner Dell wants to do is pass pre-algebra, play lacrosse, and possibly kiss Melanie Stephens. He didn’t mean to set anyone’s gym shorts on fire or make school lunches explode. But now that the strange powers inside him have been ignited, Conner’s normal teenage life is about to go up in flames!

This fast-paced novel is non-stop fun for kids and parents alike. With characters you can’t help but root for, a plot that keeps you guessing, and plenty of humor, it’s a guaranteed thrill ride from cover to cover!

My Review

Conner, Lexa, and Melanie are noticing strange things that keep happening around them.  A creepy guy that no one else can see, kids being set on fire, and teachers that are acting really odd.  The three notice that the teachers seem to be getting them in trouble on purpose. That’s when they start to really worry.

That is the only summary I’m going to give you, I don’t want to give anything away. There are some great twists and turns, and so much action.  You are just going to have to read it and see.  I will say this, my favorite part is when the kids go to Disneyworld, and they have quite an adventure in It’s a Small World.

This is such a fun book, with some great action scenes and dangerous tense moments.  It also has great humor, and lots of heart.  I loved the relationship between the 3 kids, and the teachers.  The author writes teenagers very well, and you can tell has had experience in that area.  A very fun read that will keep you turning pages until you are through, and wanting more.

4 out of 5 stars.  The Kindling is Braden’s 2nd book.  His novel The Road Show was released in 2010.  Find out for out the author here, and on his blog.


The Kindling has not been released.  Look for it with these links below coming soon.


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