Posts By: Heather

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Story Tellers: An Evening with Colorful Characters

21 Apr, 2017 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

Story Tellers: An Evening with Colorful Characters

Story Tellers: An Evening with Colorful Characters

by Covenant Communications
Published by Covenant on March 28, 2017
Genres: LDS
Pages: 67 minutes
Source: Covenant
Buy the Book
On cold night in the Utah Territory, three opinionated men seemingly by chance find themselves sharing a campfire as they tell tales, swap insults, and expound on their personal beliefs and philosophies. However, one of the men is not there by mere coincidence. Join Porter Rockwell, Mark Twain, and J. Golden Kimball for an entertaining and intriguing evening with three of the most colorful characters of the Old West.

Storytellers is a campfire meeting between well-known Mormon legends Porter Rockwell, J. Golden Kimball and American author Mark Twain. Right away we learn these three had strong personalities. The setting remains the same through out the whole movie. Three men sitting around swapping stories. I enjoyed learning little known facts in their histories as well as tales from their homes. We see that life in the desert was much more rugged than it is today.

We put this DVD in as a family home evening and soon realized its probably not one you sit down to watch all together with children.  There are tales with nudity, alcohol and the plot is slow moving enough it won’t hold the attention of younger family members. Recommended for adults. Thanks so much for the chance to view and review this little known interaction in Mormon history.

Actors: Jason Wade, Joshua Michael French, Cameron Asay
Directors: John Lyde

About the Author

Covenant Communications is an independent publisher of novels, nonfiction, music and spoken audio.

View more products by Covenant Communications

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The Summer After You and Me

14 Apr, 2017 by in 2015, YA fiction Leave a comment

The Summer After You and Me

The Summer After You and Me

by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on May 5, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
three-half-stars
Source: Bought
Buy the BookGoodreads
Sunbathing, surfing, eating funnel cake on the boardwalk—Lucy loves living on the Jersey Shore. For her, it's not just the perfect summer escape, it is home. And as a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in over Memorial Day weekend, crowding the shore and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Lucy wants more from love than a fleeting romance, even if that means keeping her distance from her summertime neighbor and crush, Connor.

Then Superstorm Sandy tears apart her barrier island, briefly bringing together a local girl like herself and a vacationer like Connor. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm. And day after day, week after week, Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and broken home. Now with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?

I was really excited to read this one because I visited the New Jersey coastal towns after hurricane Sandy. Our roots are from the area, and when the author mentioned the small town in her story it made it all worth it. The descriptions of  the town and venues give the book a local summer flavor. There were a few sketchy things for me as a reader, however.

-the relationship between Lucy and her friends as well as her brother Liam. It seems she was left alone quite a bit and her best friends and family pick the wrong side.

-the “F” word is thrown in and is out of place. The story could have been told without language

-Main interest Connor needs some more redeeming qualities besides being cute and charming. I found his character lacking

-The point of view switched too much form past to present for readers to really catch up and understand what happened between Connor and Lucy

The good?

-Lucy wants to be a marine biologist. She is smart, studies and is writing a thesis on marine animals. She’s down to earth and works hard

-Volunteer work is highlighted and encouraged

-The geography and scenery of New Jersey is woven in

-Not too heavy for a summer beach read that can be finished in one day.

 

Content: drinking, swearing

 

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Zenn Diagram Release Day Blitz and Giveaway

04 Apr, 2017 by in ya, Zenn Diagram 1 comment

 
 

I am so excited that ZENN DIAGRAM by Wendy Brant is available now and that I get to share the news!

 

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Wendy Brant, be sure to check out all the details below.

 

This blitz also includes a giveaway for 3 finished copies of the book courtesy of Kids Can Press and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

About The Book:

 Title: ZENN
DIAGRAM

Author: Wendy Brant

Pub.
Date: 
April 4, 2017

Publisher: Kids Can
Press

Pages: 328

Formats: Hardcover,
eBook

Find it: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads

Eva Walker is a seventeen-year-old math genius. And if that doesn’t do wonders for her popularity, there’s another thing that makes it even worse: when she touches another person or anything that belongs to them — from clothes to textbooks to cell phones — she sees a vision of their emotions. She can read a person’s fears and anxieties, their secrets and loves … and what they have yet to learn about calculus. This is helpful for her work as a math tutor, but it means she can never get close to people. Eva avoids touching anyone and everyone. People think it’s because she’s a clean freak — with the emphasis on freak — but it’s all she can do to protect herself from other people’s issues.
Then one day a new student walks into Eva’s life. His jacket gives off somuch emotional trauma that she falls to the floor. Eva is instantly drawn to Zenn, a handsome and soulful artist who also has a troubled home life, and her feelings only grow when she realizes that she can touch Zenn’s skin without
having visions. But when she discovers the history that links them, the truth threatens to tear the two apart.


Excerpt

While he waits for his coffee, I snuggle deeper into the couch, hoping he won’t notice me. The only thing worse than filling out college applications the night of the homecoming dance is your crush seeing you fill out college applications the night of the homecoming dance. I guess it should make me feel
better that he’s not at the dance, either, but it doesn’t. When guys don’t go to homecoming it seems like a conscious choice. When girls don’t go, it just seems like they didn’t get asked.

….

“Tall black drip!” the barista calls out, like she’s calling out his name and not the drink. Zenn is tall and dark, but there is nothing drippy about him. He is most definitely non-drippy, whatever that means. He takes his coffee and I think I am home free until he steps away from the counter.

 Excerpt from Zenn Diagram © 2017 Wendy Brant, with permission from Kids Can Press.

About Wendy

So my name alone should give you a clue that I graduated from high school when bangs were big and clothes were baggy. I went to Northwestern University and majored in journalism even though I had no desire to be a journalist. I’ve
been married to a great guy for a whole drinking-aged person’s life. I’ve got two amazing and yet very different (and very tall) teenage kids. I like crappy food, pinning inspirational quotes on Pinterest, have a tendency to start paragraphs with “anyway”, and I wish I were funnier. I would love to
be one of those really, REALLY funny bloggers (like Insane in the Mom-Brain) that makes you pee yourself a little bit. I am only moderately funny. I admit that. It’s one of my great sadnesses in life.
I started writing fiction when I was 10, but tried to be practical with the whole journalism thing. Didn’t take. Shortly after college, the fiction-writing desire reared its non-practical head and I’ve been writing ever since.Anyway, I’m probably just like you. We’d probably be friends if we met in real life. (Well, let’s be honest. It’s likely that only my friends are actually reading this blog, so we probably ARE friends in real life.) But whether we are friends in real life, or just virtual friends through cyberspace, I hope you will enjoy
your time here.

 Check out my debut YA novel, ZENN DIAGRAM (KCP Loft 4/4/17), available for pre-order at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Target!

 Website | Twitter |Facebook| Goodreads | Instagram

 Giveaway 

 3 winners will receive a hardcover of ZENN DIAGRAM, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sweet is the Work Blog Tour and $25 Giveaway

30 Mar, 2017 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Covenant in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Sweet is the Work Blog Tour and $25 Giveaway

Sweet is the Work: Lessons from the First Sister Missionaries

by Breanna Olaveson
Published by Covenant on March 1, 2017
Genres: LDS, Non- Fiction
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
four-stars
Source: Covenant
Buy the BookGoodreads
Young women serving as missionaries today are carrying on a noble legacy of faith and dedication that extends back to the early days of the Church. But who were the brave women who paved the way for modern-day sister missionaries? In Sweet Is the Work, author Breanna Olaveson delves into a previously unexplored history that demonstrates the unique ability of women to carry out the errand of angels. Discover the powerful experiences of twelve of the earliest sister missionaries, from the first single proselytizing women in 1898 to some of the well known sisters in Church history who were themselves pioneering missionaries. The women highlighted in this volume demonstrate the valiant and noble history of sister missionaries in an account that is sure to inspire readers to boldly go forth to share the truths of the gospel.
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With short chapters which tell the stories of the first LDS women missionaries, Sweet is the Work is a wonderful historical primer. Where pictures were available, they were used to introduce readers to the names and faces of women who bravely told the Savior’s story and shared their voices throughout the world. Each of the 12 accounts was unique, with some sisters being formally set apart to do the work, and others serving alongside their husbands in a foreign land.

Olaveson uses a bit of a feminist touch which I didn’t care for, but overall, the tone was one of the pioneering spirit of those who roll up their sleeves and get to work. Interesting history recommended for all ages!

Blog Tour Schedule

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The False Prince Review

23 Mar, 2017 by in fantasy, scholastic, ya fantasy Leave a comment

The False Prince Review

The False Prince

by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Series: Ascendance Trilogy #1
Published by Scholastic on April 1, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 355
Format: Paperback
five-stars
Source: Bought
Buy the BookGoodreads

This book is chock-full of action, suspense, and humor! With twists and turns in the plot, I could hardly put it down. Each character had completely different strengths and weaknesses. Sage’s dry humor and sarcastic remarks kept the mood from becoming too foreboding. With Conner’s mysterious plan and Sage’s shadowy past, the reader has to continually guess what will happen next.

The False Prince is also a coming-of-age novel. Sage has to refine his character by decreasing his arrogance and leaving some things unsaid. He is my favorite character because he won’t give in to anyone and intelligently takes note of small details that ultimately save him. The suspense in the plot only resolves at the very end, so the reader has to keep reading to find out what happens. I would recommend this book to ages 12 and above or anyone that wants to be pulled into a complex story.

-Kaykay, 15

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Destined For Doon Review

22 Mar, 2017 by in fantasy, harper collins Leave a comment

Destined For Doon Review

Destined For Doon

by Carey Corp, Lorie Langdon
Published by BlinkYA on September 2, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 346
Format: Hardcover
four-half-stars
Source: Bought
Buy the BookGoodreads
The second book in the popular new Doon YA series that takes on a classic story, Brigadoon, and spins it in a new way to give readers a fresh, modern experience.

In this sequel to Doon, Kenna Reid realizes she made a horrible mistake-choosing to follow her dreams of Broadway instead of staying in the enchanted land of Doon. Worse, she's received proof she and Duncan are meant to be, along with torturous visions of the prince she left behind. So when Duncan shows up and informs Kenna that Doon needs her, she doesn't need to think twice. But even if Kenna can save the enchanted kingdom, her happily ever after may still be in peril.

The Doon novels are a part of Blink, HarperCollins Christian Publishing's new YA imprint that delivers empowering and heartening literature while maintaining a tradition of imaginative and impactful storytelling.

Another high-action adventure, Destined for Doon is an excellent sequel to the first book, Doon, by authors Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon. This book was very fast paced and kept me entertained the entire read. Something I didn’t care for in the book however, was the relationship development between two main protagonists, Mackenna and Duncan. Almost all interactions between them were very strained, and the conflict grew to a point where it was  uncomfortable and at times made for an unpleasant experience. If the authors were trying to convey the pain that comes with a broken relationship, they definitely succeeded. Aside from that, this book was an excellent read. It kept my interest with intrigue and suspense, and lightened the dark fate facing Doon with the bright humor of Kenna and Veronica. I would recommend this book to any girl 14 and up. I wouldn’t really recommend this to boys, as a good portion of the book is romance and may not hold their attention. Suspenseful, enthralling, and filled with the magic of Scotland’s Brig ‘O’ Doon, Destined for Doon will entrance it’s readers.

-Avid Aviary Reader, 15

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Love, Jane Blog Tour and Giveaway

13 Mar, 2017 by in jane, lds contemp, ranee s clark Leave a comment

Love, Jane Blog Tour and Giveaway

Love, Jane

by Ranee S. Clark
Published by Covenant on March 1, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LDS
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
Source: Covenant
Buy the BookGoodreads
Jane Reeves and Sean O'Callaghan seem to be a match made in heaven—but the timing is all wrong. Jane has her heart set on serving a mission, and she can't delay telling Sean the news any longer: not only has she quietly submitted her mission papers, but she's also leaving in a month ... for Alaska. Shocked and devastated, Sean struggles to come to terms with Jane's decision. Unable to deny the depth of their feelings for one another, Sean makes a promise to wait for her.

Life unfolds for both Jane and Sean, with communications limited to weekly e-mails. But with just a few months left in Jane's mission, Sean's messages stop. When she receives the dreaded "Dear Jane" breakup along with the news that she has been replaced by Sean's former flame, Jane knows the future she envisioned now belongs to another woman. But upon her return home, Jane quickly realizes some things are worth fighting for—perhaps, most of all, a shot at true love.

Giveaway

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A Fine Gentleman Blog Tour and Giveaway

10 Mar, 2017 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

I received this book for free from Covenant in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A Fine Gentleman Blog Tour and Giveaway

A Fine Gentleman

Published by Covenant on March 1, 2017
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 256
Format: Paperback
four-stars
Source: Covenant
Goodreads
London barrister Jason Jonquil has spent his entire life working to establish his identity as a gentleman, a man of refinement like his father and brothers. But when fiery Spanish beauty Mariposa Thornton walks into his office, he finds himself losing his grasp on his dignified character. The woman is infuriating, pushing him to the limit of his legendary patience. However, her case seems simple enough—a small matter of inheritance. Or so he believes.

Once a well-born lady, Mariposa fought to survive the brutalities of Napoleon’s war on Spain. She braved horrific perils and undertook dangerous missions on behalf of those fighting against the invading French army. But her greatest battle still lies ahead: after being separated from her family, Mariposa sets in motion a plan to reunite with her loved ones in England. To avoid drawing the attention of the French, Mariposa dons a carefully crafted persona to conceal her true purpose. As Jason and Mariposa are drawn together by the case, they come to know the people beneath the masks they both wear.

When the truth of Mariposa’s quest is revealed, the couple is pulled into a mystery that will test the limits of their courage—and expose the true desire of their hearts.
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Sarah Eden’s Jonquil Brothers series is perfect for those who love quick wit, regency era fiction. I would recommend reading the books in order,as they build upon each other and characters come back in each new installment. A fine Gentleman traces the story line of Jason Jonquil, a respected barrister in London who has an infuriatingly condescending client step into his office. Mariposa Thornton is looking for her lost family after a war which pulls them apart. She has been trained to hide her real intent and purpose to protect her life, so tricking Jason is the only way to gain his help.

There were several moments which make readers feel hope and a the novel has a lightness with witty banter. I particularly love the strong family bonds portrayed and the message that one should not wear a mask. If you haven’t read Eden’s writing, now is the time!

About the Author

SARAH M. EDEN read her first Jane Austen novel in elementary school and has been an Austen addict ever since. Fascinated by the English Regency era, Eden became a regular in that section of the reference department at her local library, where she painstakingly researched this extraordinary chapter in history. Eden is an award-winning author of short stories and was a Whitney Award finalist for her novels Seeking Persephone and Courting Miss Lancaster. Visit her at www.sarahmeden.com.

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Release Day Blitz~ The Great Pursuit by Wendy Higgins

07 Mar, 2017 by in Uncategorized 1 comment

 

 THE GREAT PURSUIT by Wendy Higgins is available now and that I get to share the news! 
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Wendy Higgins, be sure to
check out all the details below.
This blitz also includes a giveaway for some amazing prizes! So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
 
Title: THE GREAT
PURSUIT (Eurona Duology #2)
Author: Wendy
Higgins
Pub.
Date: 
March 7, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 512
Formats: Hardcover, eBook,
audiobook
In The Great Pursuit, the dramatic sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Great Hunt, Wendy Higgins delivers another thrilling fantasy filled with dangerous enemies, political intrigue, searing romance, and a princess who is willing to do everything to protect her kingdom. 
One hunt has ended, but the pursuit for love and justice continues.
The kingdom of Lochlanach has traded the great beast that once terrorized the realm of Eurona for something far more dangerous: the ire of powerful Lashed woman Rosaria Rocato. Rosaria demands that Eurona overturn the laws prohibiting magic, or an innocent will be killed each day.
Despite the king’s resistance, Princess Aerity believes they must make peace with the Lashed, and though she’s accepted a betrothal to the man who took down the beast, she cannot help thinking about Paxton, the Lashed man who stole her heart and disappeared.
Aerity soon discovers that Paxton has joined Rosaria’s army in the war against her family. Though her feelings for him are still strong, her duty to her kingdom and her family is stronger—especially when her parents are kidnapped and she has to step up to the throne and once again put aside what’s best for her in order to do what’s best for her people. Paxton and Princess Aerity must fight to see what is more powerful: their love or the impending war between the magical Lashed and the non-magic humans.
 
Grab the eBook 1 THE GREAT HUNT for just $1.99!

GiveawayGIVEAWAY DETAILS:

(2) Winners will receive the grand prizes (The Great Hunt Paperback and The Great Pursuit hardback from HarperTeen, and signed swag from Wendy Higgins! Plus an ARC of ROAR by Cora Carmack!), US Only.

(5) Winners will receive signed sets of swag – International!

Enter here

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By Your Side by Kasie West

14 Feb, 2017 by in contemp, kasie west, YA fiction Leave a comment

By Your Side by Kasie West

By Your Side

by Kasie West
Published by Harper Teen on January 31, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
four-stars
Source: Bought
Buy the BookGoodreads
In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

Kasie West is one of my go to authors for YA contemp. By Your Side features two high school students locked in the local library together. One by choice, the other not so much. The plot takes a while to progress as both characters are guarded. But, once it gets going after the lock in, there is a lot to love. I enjoyed the coming of age and progression both Dax and Autumn have to go through. Autumn suffers from an anxiety disorder which is inhibiting her everyday life, Dax, a foster child who has led a rough life. Both are perfectly flawed and learning to navigate their trials.

A clean teen read with some kissing and chemistry, this one is a great pick for Valentine’s Day! It teaches the importance of finding who you are and following your heart regardless of pressure from friends. about_ the_author
I write YA. I eat Junior Mints. Sometimes I go crazy and do both at the same time. My novels are: PIVOT POINT and its sequel SPLIT SECOND. And my contemporary novels: THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, ON THE FENCE, THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND, PS I LIKE YOU, and BY YOUR SIDE. My agent is the talented and funny Michelle Wolfson. _DSC6406

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