Apr 142016
 

Product Details:
Title:First Light (Forever After Series Book 1) 
Author: Michele Paige Holmes
Published:February 25th 2016 by Mirror Press
Genre: YA Fantasy/Fairytale Romance
 Paperback: 494 pages
 ISBN-10: 1941145760
FTC, FYI: I received a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed By: Sheila

 

 Book Details:

Seventeen-year-old Adrielle doesn’t believe in magic; she merely possesses it, though no one has ever mentioned that her unusual gifts—exceptional speed, a flair for fire, and an intimate knowledge of flora—aren’t things she was born
with. When Adrielle starts a fire that burns down the family home, she
must deal with both her grief and her siblings’ hurtful rejection.

While journeying to far away Tallinyne, in search of her older, estranged
sister—the only relative who might take her in—Adrielle is separated
from her escort when the carriage is beset by thieves. Alone, she is
thrust into a dangerous and unfamiliar world where she encounters
fairies and gypsies, a wild boar, a drunk cook, and an evil queen whose
curse is sweeping death across the land. Adrielle also finds love,
falling hard for a kind, funny, handsome—and completely unavailable
prince.

From the glowing pearls tucked beneath her mattress and
keeping her awake at night, to Queen Nadamaris’s curse that seems to
thwart Adrielle’s every effort, Adrielle struggles to navigate a world
of magic she never imagined, where people she knows and loves are not
always what they appear to be. With the glowing pearls—and her fondest
desire—within her grasp, she is forced to make a choice no girl should
ever have to—satisfying her own heart or saving the kingdom.

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28669109-first-light?from_search=true&search_version=service
My Review:
I love fairytales and a great romance.This new book by Author Michele Paige Holmes gives you both in her new novel, First Light: Book One in the Forever After Series. I loved reading this novel and trying to figure out which fairytales the author had mixed into her story. There was a great mix of the fairytales from Cinderella to Sleeping Beauty. It also has magical fairies, an evil queen and our heroine sleeping by the hearth in the cinders. I loved the handsome prince, Cristian and also some of the more shady characters too. This story truly belongs to main character Adrielle as she finds out who she truly is and the power and magic within herself to find happiness and save the kingdom. I loved the fact that she ended up being the true hero in the story.
The storyline and plot isn’t complicated, but flows easy enough for you to sit down and have a quick, enjoyable read. If you love a fairytale where good triumphs over evil, and love conquers all, you will enjoy reading First Light.
Content: Clean romance with some kissing; mild violence, and no swearing.

Purchase Links:

http://amzn.to/1VPfunH

 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/first-light-michele-paige-holmes/1123585504?ean=9781941145760

Meet Author: Michele Paige Holmes:
Michele Paige HolmesMichele Paige Holmes spent her childhood and youth in Arizona and
northern California, often curled up with a good book instead of out
enjoying the sunshine. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a
degree in Elementary Education and found it an excellent major in which
to indulge her love of children’s literature.
Her first novel, COUNTING STARS (Covenant Communications 2007), won the 2007 Whitney Award for best romance. The sequel, a romantic suspense titled, ALL THE STARS IN HEAVEN (Covenant 2009), was a Whitney finalist, as was her
first historical romance, CAPTIVE HEART (Covenant 2011). MY LUCKY STARS
(Covenant 2012) completed the Stars series.

In October 2014 Michele launched the Hearthfire historical romance line with the
publication of SAVING GRACE (Mirror Press 2014). The companion novel,
LOVING HELEN (Mirror Press 2015) was released in February 2015. A third
book about this same family, MARRYING CHRISTOPHER, (Mirror Press 2015)
was published in August 2015, with a Christmas novella, TWELVE DAYS IN
DECEMBER (Mirror Press 2015) released in December.

The next Hearthfire historical romance will be published in early summer of 2016.

In February 2016, Michele is launching the first book in the FOREVER AFTER
young adult fairy tale series. FIRST LIGHT (Mirror Press February 2016)
will be followed by a sequel LAST DAY in fall 2016. A third fairy tale,
PARADISE, will be published in 2017.

Michele attributes much of what she knows about good writing to time spent with her critique group
and feels that joining a critique group is the single best thing an
author can to do help improve his or her writing. She has been a member
of RWA and URWA, LDStorymakers, and The League of Utah Writers. Michele
enjoys both attending and teaching at conferences.

When not reading or writing romance, Michele is busy with her full time job as a
wife and mother. She and her husband live in Utah with their five high
maintenance children and a Shitzu that resembles a teddy bear, in a
house with a wonderful view of the mountains. You can find Michele on
the web at michelepaigeholmes.com and on Facebook and twitter.

Links for Michele Paige Holmes

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Apr 072015
 

Today is the cover reveal for one of my favorite author’s new book!  The release date will be in July 2015.  Before I get the to the cover, here is a some info on the book.

About Marrying Christopher:
Having seen both his sisters Grace and Helen happily married, Christopher Thatcher is free to pursue his dream of life in America. With adventure in his heart and mind, he boards one of the first steamships set to cross the Atlantic in the record breaking time of only twenty-five days. Within the first two of those, his resolve—to avoid women and the complications they often bring to a man’s life—falters when he meets Marsali Abbott, a young woman with a past even more troubling than his own. Whether from years of habit protecting his sisters, or simply because he feels drawn to Marsali, Christopher chooses to help her and becomes her friend. As the truth about what awaits Marsali in America becomes evident, he is faced with a more difficult choice, one that will impact their lives far beyond four weeks together at sea.

Marrying Christopher EBOOK size

Add Marrying Christopher Goodreads!

About the Author:

Michele Paige Holmes spent her childhood and youth in Arizona and northern California, often curled up with a good book instead of out enjoying the sunshine. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Elementary Education, and found it an excellent major in which to indulge her love of children’s literature.

Michele is the author of six romance novels, including the 2007 Whitney Award winning COUNTING STARS. In 2014 Michele launched the Hearthfire historical romance line with the publication of SAVING GRACE and LOVING HELEN.

Michele has been a member of the same critique group for over fifteen years and feels that joining a critique group is the single best thing an author can to do help improve his or her writing. She has been a member of RWA and URWA, LDStorymakers, and The League of Utah Writers. Michele enjoys both attending and teaching at conferences.

When not reading or writing romance, Michele is busy with her full time job as a wife and mother. She and her husband live in Utah with their five high maintenance children and a Shitzu that resembles a teddy bear, in a house with a wonderful view of the mountains. You can find Michele on the web at michelepaigeholmes.com and on Facebook and twitter.

Purchase the other books in the Hearthfire Romance series:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Female youth standing alone in victorian dress

 

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Oct 082014
 

22909644 Saving Grace: A Hearthfire Romance

Author: Michele Paige Holmes

Publisher: Mirror Press

Publish Date: October 15th, 2015

ISBN13: 9781941145234

ebook: 380 pages

Regency romance

Reviewed by Mindy

Goodreads Summary

From Whitney Award Winning Author, Michele Paige Holmes, comes Saving Grace, A Hearthfire Romance:

After the death of Grace Thatcher’s grandfather, the Duke of Salisbury, Grace wants nothing more than to live quietly in the country with her younger siblings. But her father’s debts thwart those plans, and to protect her sister, Helen, Grace must marry a man of her father’s choosing.

As each suitor proves less than desirable, Grace comes up with clever schemes, causing each to reject her. While staying at the mysterious Sutherland Hall, a middle-of-the-night mishap sends Grace into the arms of a stranger, Nicholas Sutherland—and provides inspiration for her grandest plan yet—one that will leave her reputation in tatters yet free both her and Helen from all possibility of marriage. But when Grace meets Mr. Samuel Preston, a true gentlemen and sworn enemy of Nicholas Sutherland, instead of being free, Grace is caught between two men—each with his own agenda.

My Review

Oh my goodness, this book is perfect.  I loved it!  The characters are brilliant and enjoyable.  I loved Grace in an instant.  What she does at the beginning of the book to get herself out of a bad situation, had me liking her from the start.  She is in an impossible situation, put there by her father’s stupidity and heartlessness.  I admit I was nervous about Grace’s scheme at first, but I enjoyed how events unfolded and I loved the end result.  For a little bit, I was torn between who she should end up with, but during the course of the book, and getting to know the characters, there was a clear winner.  Grace puts herself in a tough situation and didn’t think initially about what could transpire.  Not only to her, but everyone around her.  Nicholas reminded me of the beast from Beauty and the Beast.  He needed his tough, strong-willed heart softened and Grace worked her way into it.  She had a way of doing that with everyone she came in contact with.  Grace’s genuine demeanor and kindness were my favorite things about her.

5 out of 5 stars.  This is an excellent, clean romance that will have you quickly turning pages.  I have always enjoyed Michele’s books, but I have to say, this one is my favorite.

Author Links

Website / Twitter / Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble (other titles)

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May 102012
 

Today’s Guest Author is Michele Paige Holmes, author of three contemporary romances (Counting StarsAll the Stars in Heaven, My Lucky Stars) and one historical romance, Captive Heart, that was a finalist in 2011 Whitney Awards.

Every time I talk to Michele I am impressed with her calm and friendly disposition, no matter what is going on in her life. Despite so many overwhelming things that have demanded her time over the years, she has still managed to write four very enjoyable novels. She is amazing. After reading her guest blog below, I know you will agree. PS – grab a tissue, just in case.

Michele’s most recent release, My Lucky Stars, is available for purchase at Amazon, Deseret Book and Seagull Book.

*  *  *  *  *

What If I Had Missed It?

Last week I attended the LDStorymakers Conference. It was fun. It was inspiring. It was the kick in the pants I needed. And so I came home ready to write—ready to finish the four novels I have partially completed (I’m pretty sure I have some sort of writing ADD. Though the keynote speaker, Kevin J. Anderson, made me feel better about letting my writing veer off into so many avenues). I was ready to write and ready to query the manuscript I’ve rewritten and polished.

Then reality set in.

That other life I live, the one I’m busy with the 363 days of the year I’m not at the conference, rushed back in to sabotage my time.

Five children (one of whom is getting married in fifteen days), one husband, one dog, one soon-to-be son-in-law, my soon-to-be-living with us Mom, homeschooling, and my calling in Young Women easily consume every single second of my day. And then some.

It is often frustrating, and in the few days since the conference, I’ve felt that frustration more keenly.

I love learning of others’ successes. It is both encouraging and inspiring to see the incredible number of national market authors this state is producing. It gives me hope that someday I can join their ranks. But man, some days that someday seems to be taking forever. And it isn’t even because I’m busy collecting rejections. It’s simply that my day job as a mom often requires 24/7 commitment, leaving little or no time for pursuing my dreams.

Sigh.

It was in this somewhat frumpy, frustrated mood yesterday evening that I began the task of going through scrapbooks and piles and piles of photos (the scrapbooks only go to about second grade in our house—and that’s if you are one of the older kids. Alas, I have no time to stay on top of scrapbooking either), helping my oldest daughter choose pictures for her wedding reception slide show.

It was a sobering experience, the words from Fiddler on the Roof’s “Sunrise, Sunset” trailing through my head as I sorted.

Is this the little girl I carried?

Well, not for quite some time. She’s 5’8” now, a good three inches taller than me.

Is this the little boy at play?

Seeing the photos of our oldest son and daughter together—dressed as pirates, playing Legos, dancing in the rain—gave me hope that one day their relationship will return to a similar level of closeness.

I don’t remember growing older
When did they?

Like so many families today, ours seems to travel at the speed of light, running here and there to different schools, recitals, practices, sporting events, plays, and church activities. When our children were younger, family dinner seven nights a week used to be the norm. Now we’re excited if we get everyone to the table together once a week.

All this busyness isn’t necessarily bad. My husband is the picture of health because he competes in marathons and triathlons; our daughters have developed their talents and excel at dance and theatre. Our oldest son and daughter are responsible and hold down jobs. I sneak away to my critique group to hone my writing skills. We all serve in our church. Our lives are rich and full. But all of this has added up to make life fly by at a frightening pace.

So much so that last night I felt my frustration melt away into melancholy as I realized just how quickly time has passed. My daughter, my little girl, is getting married!

And then the thought . . .

What if I had missed it, this blur of time that sped by as her growing up years?

Fortunately, I didn’t. Our photographs indicate that we’ve used our time well. My daughter’s fiancé was amazed at just how many pictures Carissa has, how well-documented her life is, how many things our family has done.

How grateful I felt last night for all those camping trips (that were so much work and generated so much laundry), all the trips to Disneyland (instead of writing conferences), all the stamps in our national park passbook, all the effort we put into hauling our family around to support each other in their different endeavors. When all is said and done, I have to admit I’d rather have those pictures and memories than a contract with a big publisher. Of course, both would be nice, but if I can only ever have one, I wouldn’t trade.

Repeating to myself: I wouldn’t trade. I wouldn’t trade. I wouldn’t . . .

And really, that is true.

This summer my husband and I will celebrate twenty-four years of marriage. It has been a wild ride, and many times over the years we’ve said to each other—over the head of one of our children who has just thrown us for a loop—“this isn’t the program we signed up for!” Nevertheless, it’s what we got—every financially and emotionally draining moment, all the sorrows and joys, the delights and despairs of parenthood. We’ve stuck together through it all. Our family life hasn’t always been bliss, but overall the memories we’ve created are truly beautiful.

As will our daughter be on her upcoming wedding day.

I know because I spent the time with her finding the perfect dress. We’ve spent hours styling her hair, so it will be just right on her special day. Heart and soul I’ve thrown myself into wedding preparations with her these past four months. All the while, my hero and heroine have languished on the hard drive of my laptop, patiently waiting their turn at the altar.

They’re probably going to have to wait a little longer.

The three-year-old climbing on my lap as I type this, using his sticky fingers to turn my face to his, would like some attention. He’s been out of sorts lately too—what with Mom away at a conference and all this fuss with his older sister.

I completely understand how he feels; I’d like my turn too. I’m guessing that from now into the foreseeable future, there will always be a part of me desperately wishing for and trying to find more writing time. Some days that may get to me. I’m sure I won’t always be as patient as I should be. But after yesterday’s poignant reminder about how quickly time passes, I think I’ll set aside whatever it is I deemed important on my day’s to do list, in favor of taking my son to the park, pushing him high on the swing, and listening to the joy in his laughter.

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears

Wouldn’t trade it. I’m so glad I’ve got it.

And if the stories in my head will stick around long enough, perhaps someday I’ll have those too.

*  *  *  *  *

Thank you so much, Michele.

Now it’s YOUR turn, LDSWBR readers:

How do you balance your priorities between life and your reading/writing time?

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Jun 072011
 

14 days until summer!

Michele Paige Holmes felt that getting six hours of sleep per night was a little too much, so several years ago—in her spare, middle-of-the-night time when she wasn’t busy with her husband and five children—she began writing novels. Three of those, Counting Stars, 2007, All the Stars in Heaven, 2009, and Captive Heart, April 2011, have been published by Covenant Communications. A fourth novel, My Lucky Stars (working title) has been accepted for publication in spring 2012. Michele feels so blessed to belong to the most amazing critique group on the planet. She is also married to the tall, dark, and handsome love of her life, and his support makes it possible for her to pursue her dreams.

Visit Michele’s website: www.michelepaigeholmes.net and her blog: My Paige

LDSWBR: If you had an entire day to read (on the beach, at the lake, by the pool, etc.), what book(s) or genre would you reach for first?

MICHELE: If I had an entire day at the beach to myself to read (just contemplating that is delicious!), I would spend it reading young adult fairytale retellings. I’ve always loved that genre, and a few years ago I began writing my own retellings. I am still working my way through every fairytale (original as well as retellings) I can get my hands on, in order to know this market better and improve my writing in it.

LDSWBR: What book(s) do you look forward to reading the most this summer?

MICHELE: What books do I look forward to reading most this summer? Currently I have HB Moore’s latest, Ammon, on my nightstand, as well as Carla Kelly’s first LDS offerening, Borrowed Light. I’ll be reading both of those in the next week or two. I’m eager to read Ally Condie’s Crossed (I loved Matched) and to have an actual copy in hand and reread Rob Well’s YA dystopian, Variant—though I guess that one has to wait until fall. I’d also like to continue reading Carla Kelly’s other titles, Georgette Heyer’s regencies, and Susan Evans McCloud’s books. On the schedule to read with my younger children this summer are the Great Brain Series and the Anne of Green Gables series.

LDSWBR: How would you describe the perfect summer day?

MICHELE: My perfect summer day would be (indulge in fantasy here for a moment, okay?) spent at Disneyland with my husband and children. The weather is great—not too hot and not too cold— and no one is fighting, no one is tired, grumpy, or hungry. No one’s feet hurt; no one spilled their drink all over their t-shirt or left their wallet on the last ride. The camera batteries aren’t dead. Everyone is smiling and laughing for pictures. I am getting some seriously good shots (for all that scrapbooking I never do anymore). Just as we are exiting the Indiana Jones ride, my cell phone rings. I take the phone from my pocket (it is a new phone, by the way, not the ancient, duct-taped thing I currently have and am embarassed to use in public) and see that it is my agent texting to tell me that my YA fairytale has been sold to BIG PUBLISHER NAME HERE. My family is as estatic as I am (now they won’t have to eat the squished PB&J sandwiches I packed for dinner). We celebrate by dining with Mickey at the Blue Bayou, then sit in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle to watch the fireworks, where I reminisce that dreams really can come true.

LDSWBR: Now THAT sounds like a perfect summer day. Thanks, Michele!

Captive Heart by Michele Paige Holmes (Covenant; April 2011) is available for purchase from Deseret Book and for Kindle at Amazon.

How many of you would include the magic of Disneyland/Disneyworld in your perfect summer day?

***

***Countdown to Summer 2011 Contest***

LDSWBR will hold a drawing on June 25, 2011 for a $50 Amazon gift card, as well as a variety of books being offered by some of the LDS authors featured in the Countdown. This will be a raffle-type drawing, so more entries means more chances to win. There are several ways to enter the Countdown to Summer 2011 contest. See details below.

Book prizes generously donated by the authors:

  • The Upside of Down by Rebecca Talley
  • Gifted by Karey White
  • Bumpy Landings by Donald J. Carey
  • Captive Heart by Michele Paige Holmes
  • The Perfect Fit by  Michele Ashman Bell
  • River Whispers by Kathi Oram Perterson
  • Hazzardous Universe by Julie Wright & Kevin Wasden
  • Hearts Through Time by Marie Higgins
  • Double Deceit by Stephanie Humphreys
  • The List by Melanie Jacobson
  • The Forgotten Locket by Lisa Mangum
  • The Kiss of a Stranger by Sarah M. Eden
  • Blackberry Crumble by Josi S. Kilpack
  • **Bonus Prize** An autographed copy of BLOODBORNE by Gregg Luke (released August 2011)

Do ANY of the following to enter:

  • Post a thoughtful comment on the Countdown to Summer 2011 author posts. Comments can be added on any of the author posts anytime during the contest period (June 1, 2011 through June 24, 2011). Only one comment per person per Countdown to Summer author post will be entered into the drawing. Feel free to comment more than once per post if you’d like, but only one comment will be accepted as an entry.
  • Send LDSWBR an email to ldswbr AT gmail DOT com telling us which of the following you have completed. If you already do these things, email us and let us know. Each item gets you 1 entry.
  1. Follow LDS Women’s Book Review on Facebook
  2. Follow @LDSWBR on Twitter
  3. Subscribe to LDSWBR by email (see top right sidebar on website)
  4. Follow LDSWBR with Google Friend Connect (right sidebar beneath “Follow LDSWBR”)
  • On each Countdown to Summer author post, leave a comment telling us which of the following you completed or already do. Each item gets you 1 entry.
  1. Follow the author’s blog (if they have one)
  2. Follow the author on Twitter (if they tweet)
  3. Follow the author on Facebook (if they have a Facebook page)
  • Tweet this message each day. One entry per day. Just copy and paste into your twitter message window to send it (LDSWBR must be able to see the tweet): LDSWBR Countdown to Summer 2011 – Enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card & great summer reads! http://bit.ly/kZ5jXw @ldswbr
  • Blog about this contest on your blog then send us the link to your specific blog post. You can find the Countdown graphic badge/button to include in your blog post here. (5 entries)
  • Post the following on your Facebook page (3 entries) then send us an email (ldswbr AT gmail DOT com) telling us that you did: LDSWBR Countdown to Summer 2011 – Enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card & great summer reads! http://bit.ly/kZ5jXw

Here are the rules:

  • Contest ends at 12:00 Midnight MDT on June 24, 2011.
  • Drawing winners will have until 12:00 Midnight MDT on July 2, 2011 to claim their prize. After that time, another name will be drawn to receive the prize.
  • Book prizes can only be shipped within the contiguous United States.
  • LDSWBR reserves the right to decide what determines a “thoughtful” comment.

Let’s keep counting down to summer with some great reads!

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May 232011
 

Captive Heart

Author: Michele Paige Holmes

Published Date: April 2011

Publisher: Covenant Communications

Softcover: 255 pages

Genre: Historical Romance

FTC FYI: I received a free review copy from the author that did not affect my review.

From the back cover:

Emmalyne Madsen sends a desperate plea heavenward as a band of lawless men makes their way up the aisle of the railcar. When one hauls her roughly from the seat, threatening and cursing, Emmalyne fears her adventure out West has just turned into a nightmare.

Thayne Kendrich has an urgent need for a school teacher, and he’s not above doing whatever it takes to get one-including forcing her at gunpoint across the scorching prairie. But the teacher he chooses turns out to be a little tougher-and softer-than he anticipated, and before long he finds himself battling emotions he vowed to never feel again.

Michele begins Captive Heart by pulling the reader in from the first page, during the kidnapping of Emmalyne from the train. She is on her way to teach in Sterling, but the bandit who takes her has different plans.

The action doesn’t stop once they’re off the train. Emmalyne isn’t about to be hauled off without putting up a fight, sometimes getting herself into worse trouble because of it. It doesn’t take long for her to realize, though, that her kidnapper is much more than he appears.

Thayne found what he was looking for: a plain-looking school teacher. He didn’t expect that she’d be so much trouble. Circumstances drove him to desperate action, and he joined the Martin gang to carry out his plan. He has a feeling that they won’t let his sudden disappearance simply slide. He needs to get himself and this surprising woman to the Black Hills before the Martin gang finds them.

Both Emmalyne and Thayne are written with depth and purpose. During the course of the story, especially the first half, I empathized with Emmalyne and her resentment of being forced into going somewhere she doesn’t want to go. As the story developed I started feeling for Thayne and what was driving him to do what he was doing. I really enjoyed the twist of having the initial “bad buy” become the “good guy” in the end.

I was swept along in the story not just because of the well-written action, but the natural way Emmalyne and Thayne’s relationship developed. It never felt forced, contrived or unbelievable. And their first kiss – woohoowee! Good stuff.

One of the things Michele and I have in common is that we love a good romance novel. We are also particular about what we consider a good romance novel. I know this care and passion for good writing is why I enjoy Michele’s books so much. Captive Heart is going up on my shelf of favorite romance novels, next to Courting Miss Lancaster and Cross My Heart. I’m already looking forward to reading it again. Maybe tonight…

Rating: 4.5 stars

Recommended: to anyone who loves a good story and a great romance

Content:

Sexual- kisses, no inappropriate touching or sex

Language- none

Violence- mild

Drugs & Alcohol- none

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