Posts Categorized: blog tour

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Marriage Isn’t For You by Seth Adam Smith

16 May, 2014 by in blog tour, Shadow Mountain 1 comment

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

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Marriage Isn’t For You by Seth Adam Smith

Marriage Isn't for You: It's for the One You Love

by Seth Adam Smith
Published by Shadow Mountain on June 3, 2014
Genres: Adult, Non- Fiction
Pages: 48
Format: Hardcover
five-stars
Source: Shadow Mountain
Buy the BookGoodreads
What is the best wedding advice you ever received? For author Seth Adam Smith, it was the advice from his father who said, Marriage is not for you. It is about the person you marry. These few words completely changed the way Seth looked at his relationship with his wife-to-be. Because at that moment he realized that an expression of love is not about the person expressing it. Rather, it is about the person they choose to be with. It is about making the person you marry feel loved. Seth's blog post on the subject was viewed by more than twenty-seven million people, and he has been featured on several national TV programs including The Today Show. Now released as a hardcover book, these sage words make the perfect gift for newly married couples, those who have been around the block a few times, or anyone who wants to learn how to make their relationships stronger.

Short, powerful, beautiful, to the point. Author Adam Smith affirms marriage is not for you, it’s for the one you love, for your future children. Taken from his viral blog post, this gift book is wonderful for newlyweds or nearly deads, to remind them what marriage is all about. Marriage Isn’t For You is chock full of photos, great graphics and perfect fatherly advice. Five stars. I loved it. Sometimes the message hits home when it is compact and tastefully presented. Perfect.

heatherAuthor Bio From His Websiteseth-adam-smith

My name is Seth Adam Smith. I was born in Alaska and raised in the American West. My travels have taken me all over the world—from the Arizona desert to the Siberian wilderness—only to lead me back home, to marry Kim, the girl of my dreams.

Strangely enough, you might already know me as a direct result of my marriage to Kim. In November 2013, I wrote an article called “Marriage Isn’t For You.” It was a simple blogpost that shared some advice my dad had given me prior to getting engaged to Kim. 30 million views (and dozens of translations later), Kim and I are still shocked (and humbled) by it’s world-wide success.

That article has launched my literary career. Now I’m on a “literal” odyssey to publish and market three books—this year. Two of my books have already been accepted for publication (one through Berrett-Koehler Publishers, and another through Shadow Mountain Publishing). Authoring a book is something that I’ve wanted to do since I was ten, so the fact that it’s all happening is almost unbelievable. But I’m just a lover of literature and I’m constantly amazed by the power of words and the ability they have to shape and heal our souls.

As part of that, I created TheAlaskanMuse.com to share “the Northern Lights of Literature.” I also love being able to tell stories through video. Since 2004, I’ve produced hundreds of videos and articles for businesses, non-profits, artists, and political causes.

I’m a Mormon and have a great interest in religious history, symbolism, and spirituality. Please do not misconstrue my interest in these things (and frequent postings on these subjects) as some type of zealotry or as an attempt to appear pious. It’s a hobby of mine. I’m a deeply flawed and imperfect Mormon and I’ve often used my faith as a way to help me cope with my struggles. Spirituality is the way in which I best understand the world—it’s the way my mind makes sense of life.

I’m also the Editor-in-Chief of ForwardWalking.com, a website dedicated to helping people move forward in life.  Throughout my life, I have struggled with depression, culminating in a suicide attempt in 2006. Since working as a TrailWalker at the ANASAZI Foundation, I have come to know the healing power of walking “the path of WE,” that is, reaching out to others. Truly, walking “the path of WE” is what saved my life—and what has made life worth living.

With that in mind, my primary focus in all that I do is to promote good things. Winston Churchill said it best when he said: “What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?…I avow my faith that we are marching towards better days. Humanity will not be cast down.  We are going on swinging bravely forward along the grand high road and already behind the distant mountains is the promise of the sun.” Winston S. Churchill (Dundee, Scotland, on 10 October 1908)

Learn more on Shadow Mountain Facebook * twitter 
Seth’s facebook * twitter * website

 The Giveaway

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Blink YA Blog Tour~ Remnants by Lisa T Bergren

29 Apr, 2014 by in blinkYA, blog tour, christian, lisa t bergren, Zondervan 5 comments

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

Blink YA Blog Tour~ Remnants by Lisa T Bergren

Remnants: Season of Wonder

by Lisa T. Bergren
Published by BlinkYA, Zondervan on April 8th, 2014
Genres: Christian, Young Adult
Pages: 567
Format: ARC
four-stars
Source: BookSparksPR
Buy the BookGoodreads
Andriana is a Remnant, one of the gifted teens born on the seventh day during the seventy-seventh Harvest after the Great War, and destined to act as humanity’s last shield against the horrors that now plague those who remain.

After years of training in stealth and warfare, Andriana and her Knight protector, Ronan, are finally ready to answer the Call and begin the life they were designed for. But as they embark with the other Remnants on the first of their assignments, they quickly discover that the world beyond their protected Valley home is more dangerous than they imagined.

The Sons of Sheol will stop at nothing to prevent Dri and Ronan from rescuing anyone sympathetic to the Remnants’ cause. And as the Remnants attempt to battle the demonic forces, other enemies close in. Dangers intensify, but so do Dri's feelings for Ronan--the one emotion she is not meant to feel. In the midst of their mission, Andriana must find a way to master her feelings, or risk compromising everything.

Lisa T. Bergren has become one of my “go to” authors when I need a well-written, clean Young Adult book. Her newest offering, Remnants: Season of Wonder, explores a world where the Ailith are fighting against the power of evil. They are gifted youth, raised and called up for a purpose. Born with gifts–to see angels, to feel others’ emotions, to sense the will of their Maker. But these powers are not welcome in all the places on earth, and their very lives are in danger as they journey to save their own.

I love the pull between the feelings and emotions of every day human and and the need to pull deeper, to meditate and trust The Maker. Bergren does an amazing job of showing the juxtaposition a youth would feel in trusting in the arm of flesh or leaning on a higher power. There is an attraction, a spark, between Adriana and her protector Ronan, that is forbidden. Yet they both feel it. Adriana goes through a growing into her role, and the trial of losing what she holds dear. As a character she becomes more brave, more centered. There are a lot of side characters in Remnants, and at times I had a hard time keeping them all straight in my mind. But the world they live in reaches from Zanzibar to Pacifica–dangerous desert where women are threatened to the unknown land where the gifted are hunted.

For fans of Dystopian with the gift of magic, Remnants is a great choice. Bergren is a masterful writer who weaves Christian truth into  a new futuristic world. Thanks so much to BookSparksPR for inviting us to be a part of the blog tour!

Content (highlight to reveal): some tension, moderate war related violence, threat of assault to women.

heatherAbout the Author

Lisa T Bergren
Lisa T. Bergren is the author of over forty books, with a combined count of over 2.5 million copies sold. She has written best-selling children’s books, award-winning YA (River of Time Series: Waterfall), popular historical fiction, contemporary fiction, women’s nonfiction, and gift books.

She is a writer and editor residing in Colorado Springs, CO, with her husband and three children. You can find out more about Lisa at LisaBergren.com.

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Blog Tour and Author Guest Post: Fortune Cookie by Josi S. Kilpack

17 Apr, 2014 by in blog tour 1 comment

Fortune CookieFortune Cookie

Sadie Hoffmiller has always liked things to be just so. A place for everything and everything in its place. Order over chaos. And of all things Sadie should be able to control, her own wedding is at the top of the list.

With the big day just three weeks away, Sadie is busily adding the final touches to her wedding plans but the arrival of a mysterious letter from San Francisco changes everything. The only person Sadie knows in San Francisco is her older sister, Wendy, whom she hasn’t seen since their mother’s funeral nearly fifteen years ago.

Sadie has faced off against murderers and criminals in recent years, yet the possibility of reconnecting with her sister is both overwhelming and frightening. Sadie soon discovers, however, that the letter is just the beginning when Wendy’s world turns out to be a place of unanswered questions, twisted truths, and more than one person with a motive for murder.

The more Sadie digs into her sister’s past, the more she places her own future at risk.

Amazon * Deseret Book * Barnes & Noble

Culinary Mysteries

Culinary Mystery Series

Fortune Cookie Tour

Tour Schedule

Author Guest Post

When I wrote the first book in this series, Lemon Tart, it was just one book. I’d never written a series before and so I approached her as I do any other character. In a stand alone book you’re showing growth in your character from page one to “The End” so that there is change that takes place, resulting in a better, stronger, wiser person when the book is closed. When we decided to make it into a series I realized that I had to change the way I was used to writing characters. In a series, you still need that character growth but you can’t have the same type of dramatic changes that are expected in stand alones. If you do, then Harry Potter is too different in book five than he was in the beginning. At the same time, if Harry remains the wide-eyed little boy despite the things that happen to him, he’s stagent.

As an author I had to figure out how to write Sadie in a way that is consistent with who she has been in prior books but still kept her in a growth pattern. There had to be changes and growth and realizations, but she could not stop being who she was. As the series has continued this became more and more of a challenge because so many things had happened to her–life altering, traumatic, intense things that I had to account for without making her different. My writing group was priceless in this respect and they would often give me feedback such as “I just don’t think Sadie would do that” or “When she faced a similar situation in another book she reacted like this, why is she reacting differently?” this forced me to do one of two things: 1) change the scenerio that wasn’t reflective of her character 2) clarify what it was that had changed her reaction. It was a fascinating process that challenged me as a writer, but also challenged Sadie. I had to look at more than just “this” story while also anticipating what kind of changes Sadie would reflect in future books based on the elements taking place in this book.

Book Seven in the series–Banana Split–came about specifically because of this process of being attentive to Sadie’s growth. In that book I had her struggling to cope with Post Traumatic Stress regarding a threat made on her life. She had to face her internal limitations, she was frozen with fear and anxiety and was not the strong and “Get to it” woman she’d been; but she had to have cause for it. It is the most character driven book in the series but I felt I had to have her face something dramatic, otherwise she was some kind of super hero. Since that book she reflects back on some of those things she encountered in the story, some of them still hold her back, other aspects help her remember her strengths. It added an entirely new dynamic to her character without which I’m not sure I could have continued the series to all twelve stories. In a sense she had to be weak again so that I could then make her strong.

Fortune Cookie is the next most character driven as Sadie faces some demons from her past in the form of her estranged sister who has been murdered in San Francisco. As she embarks on solving the mystery of both her sister’s life and her sister’s death, Pete is facing his own remembrances of his late wife. The two plots take Sadie to a lot of emotional and introspective places, reflective of past while questioning her future with Pete.

In the next book Sadie faces the threat she’s been running from since Book Six and pulls upon all the things she’s learned and ways she’s grown in the prior books. It was bitter sweet to write that final story, I’ve come to love Sadie over these years but am ready to have her find a peaceful future and explore some other ideas that have piled up while my attention has been so focused on her.

JosiAbout the Author

Josi S. Kilpack hated to read until her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond when she was 13. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and accredits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began writing her first novel in 1998 and never stopped. Her novel, Sheep’s Clothing won the Whitney Award 2007 for Mystery/Suspense. Lemon Tart, the first book in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery series was a finalist in 2009. Josi currently lives in Willard Utah with her husband, children and super-cute cat.

Website * Twitter * Blog

 

The Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/30/14

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, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Blog Tour: The 7-Day Christian by Brad Wilcox

14 Apr, 2014 by in blog tour, deseret book 1 comment

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

Blog Tour: The 7-Day Christian by Brad Wilcox

The 7-Day Christian

by Brad Wilcox
Published by Ensign Peak on April 8, 2014
Genres: Adult, LDS, Non- Fiction
Pages: 144
Format: Hardcover
four-stars
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
Christianity is facing great opposition. No one is being thrown to the lions, but many followers of Christ face persecution because of their beliefs. At the very least, most know how it feels to end up on the wrong side of a “politically correct” conversation. More than ever before, we need believing and behaving disciples – men and women who are ready to stand up and stand together to change the world as early Christians did: one righteous choice at a time.

Filled with personal experiences and insightful stories, this book emphasizes the importance of living in accordance with our values every single day, with practical suggestions for how to actually pull it off. “Christ doesn’t just want people to acknowledge His grace,” writes Brad Wilcox. “He wants them to be transformed through it. He doesn’t just want people to come to Him. He wants them to become like Him – a process that takes place 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, and throughout all the years of our lives.”

Once again Brad Wilcox’s book is full of personal stories that hit home the point…we need to be Christian every day of the week, not just on Sunday. He speaks form the various experiences with students in his classroom and things he has witnessed in his own life to remind us that we need to stand as a witness. I enjoyed the message that “living your beliefs every day can change the world.” Wilcox’s tale of a college student who stood firm against his professor sparked a new resolve within my heart to do what is right and let the consequence follow. Brad’s writing is personal and each chapter will give you several examples of every-day acts of service and steps in obedience that will bring you close to being a 7-day Christian, a true disciple.

heather

Favorite Quote

 

We need more Christlike Christians who have the courage to be Christlike. We need more faithful disciples who are willing to let Christ transform their thoughts, feelings, actions and motives. We need more believing and behaving disciples–faithful men and women who are ready to stand up and stand together to change the world as early Christians did- one renewed friendship, one warm embrace, one sincere compliment, one compassionate act, one righteous choice at a time.

 

About the AuthorBrad_Wilcox_Portrait

BRAD WILCOX has lived in Ethiopia, Chile, and New Zealand; he and his family now make their home amid the Rocky Mountains. Brad taught sixth grade before obtaining his PhD in education from the University of Wyoming. His contributions as an author and teacher have been honored by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and his work has appeared in Guideposts magazine and Reader’s Digest. He once served as a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America and has addressed thousands of youth and adults across the United State, Europe, Australia, and Japan. He and his wife, Debi, are the parents of four children.

Learn more at Deseret Book

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Love Shots By Sidonia Rose ~ Blog Tour and Giveaway

09 Apr, 2014 by in blog tour, sidonia rose Leave a comment

loe_shots_banner

 Fire and Ice is a stop on the official Love Shots Blog Tour hosted by Literati Author Services.

love_shots_cover

Title: Love Shots
Author: Sidonia Rose
Genre: New Adult
Date: April 4, 2014
Publisher: Self Published
Event Organized By: Literati Author Services, Inc.

 Synopsis

Kyle Pierce used to know what she wanted. At the top of her list was the perfect boyfriend. She found him in Lance Makin her senior year in high school. She was the head cheerleader and he was the new star quarterback. Even going to separate colleges was no problem for them.

It was perfect until the weekend it all changed for Kyle. She has new priorities that include her own education, making new friends and most importantly NO DATING!

That is until Nicholas Richards moves into her world. He’s not taking no for an answer. He’s her friend and he wants her to date him.

Kyle isn’t going to date Nick. She doesn’t mind hanging out or running errands. She tells him and everyone else they are friends.

Can they really be just friends?

Add to Goodreads * Purchase

 

About the Authorunnamed (1)

Sidonia Rose lives in suburban Maryland with her family. Sidonia has a long love affair with books. She started early by memorizing her Dr. Seuss books read to her, so she could read them to her parents instead. She is often found with a book in her hands or a couple of books so she can lend to a friend. You can often spot her by her toe shoes.

After a long career homeschooling she continued onward to pursue her love of books by writing her own books. Love Shots is her first novel released in 2014.

Connect with the Author: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

The Giveaway

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A Death in the Family by Marlene Bateman Blog Tour & Giveaway

13 Mar, 2014 by in blog tour, deseret book 4 comments

Published by Deseret Book unnamed

unnamed (1)Fire and Ice is today’s stop on the official blog tour for A Death in the Family by Marlene Bateman

 Synopsis

In her debut mystery, Motive for Murder, gutsy private investigator Erica Coleman proved that when it comes to sleuthing, she takes the cake. Now, the fast-talking, food-loving heroine is back, and she s sure her next assignment will be as easy as pie. . . .Erica and her family happily anticipate Grandma Blanche’s eighty-first birthday celebration in the picturesque town of Florence, Oregon. But when the feisty matriarch, a savvy businesswoman, enlists Erica’s help in an investigation of her company, things quickly get sticky. Before the investigation can begin, Blanche’s unexpected death leaves Erica with more questions than answers and it soon becomes clear that Grandma’s passing was anything but natural: she was murdered. When Aunt Martha, Blanche s reclusive sister, becomes the next victim of someone with a taste for homicide, Erica uses her flair for cooking to butter up local law enforcement and gather clues. As she narrowly escapes becoming the third victim, Erica is more determined than ever to solve the case before she bites off more than she can chew.

Amazon* Seagull Book *Deseret Book

 

Author Interview

Why we need books and libraries.

I like this quote from Laura Bush; “I have found the most valuable thing in my wallet is my library card.” I still remember the first time I walked into the Church History Library in downtown Salt Lake City—I was awed. I felt such a welling up of joy that was indescribable. I wished I had my sleeping bag and a cooler of food because I wanted to stay there at least a week, breathing in that peculiar air that comes from aged books. Libraries are an essential part of civilization. People use words to navigate through our world and it is with communication that we link ourselves with others. People who cannot use words to speak and communicate and understand cannot exchange ideas and cannot communicate. Books can teach us these things. A library is a place that is a repository of information and the wonderful thing is that every person has equal access to it. It’s a community space. A haven from the world! Yay!

Literacy is more important than ever it was, in this world of text and email. We need to read andwrite and comprehend what we are reading. I think it’s so important to raise literate children and the easiest way to do this is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. Read to them when they are young and as they grow, take them to the library and help them find books that they enjoy. I loved doing this when my seven children were little. Libraries give them access to life-changing and life-shaping books. I say hurray for libraries and God bless them, everyone!

What conferences classes or books do you recommended for aspiring authors?

Each year there is an amazing writer’s conference held in either April or May; The LDStorymakers conference! It is so great. They have a tremendous variety of classes and you can pick classes from how to build a website, to getting that first chapter right, to characters, to plotting, and everything you want to know about writing. You can also meet with publishers, established authors and learn so much! I love it. Each year, the conference gets better and better and this year will be held in Farmington, Utah, and has Brandon Sanderson as a speaker. You’ll find a lot of great classes that will help you on your writing path. Everyone is so helpful and encouraging.

Favorite Girl Scout cookie?

Oh dear, can I admit I don’t buy Girl Scout cookies? Nobody ever comes to my house, but sometimes my husband brings them home from work. It’s been a few years and now I can’t remember what they’re called, but I like the ones with coconut and chocolate. I love Pecan Sandies from the store, too.

Ebooks or print and why?

In reading eBooks I miss gazing at a book cover. I love seeing the covers. When you slap the book shut at the end of a spell of reading, there’s that cover again, reminding you to come back soon! I also miss touching the pages to how far I’ve got to go. Yes, I know. I can look at the numbers at the bottom of the Kindle and all that. But with a book, you just know. If I’m reading a mystery, it helps me set my mind: The author is going to wrap this up SOON (or not). If it’s a novel, I know I’m going to have to tear myself away from beloved characters soon enough.

Printed books and eBooks both have their place, and it’s certainly handy taking my e-reader when I travel, but I doubt I’ll ever stop buying and reading printed books.I’d still rather read a book in print. It’s simply a more pleasurable experience. Shutting off a kindle doesn’t have quite the same satisfying feeling as closing a book.

Any events or signings coming up?

I will be signing at Seagull book in Salt Lake City two weeks before LDS general conference. It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but I think I’ll be at the store on Redwood Road and 5700 South. Also, I’ll be at a couple of Deseret Book on Ladies Night (and day!) and again the locations haven’t been announced.

What makes your mysteries standout from the crowd?

First, my books are ‘clean’ books, which means no swearing and no gratuitous sex or violence. Second, I like to keep the reader guessing. My novels are ‘whodunit’ mysteries that keep readers trying to figure out who the killer is. Many current TV shows focus on high tech prowess to solve the crime. I focus more on the psychological aspects—why this person did that, why that person didn’t do this. I try to delve into the killer’s psyche and show the psychological aspects that drive their behavior. I like to have a lot of fun and interesting characters. Third, I like to incorporate humor, because everyone likes to laugh now and then. Fourth, and last, I include plenty of intriguing plot twists and turns to keep readers turning the page. Each ending of every book has a surprising, final twist.

Any other books in the works?

I have two books that are awaiting publication. The first is Crooked House but my publisher always changes the titles so I don’t know what they will call it! Here is a short summary:

Someone is trying to kill Liz Johnson, and it is up to quirky private investigator, Erica Coleman, to find out who it is. With an authentic setting in Dover, Delaware and against a background of NASCAR racing, Erica works to stop the killer who has already survived two murder attempts. It’s up to Erica to pinpoint the killer before he can succeed. As always, ten delicious recipes are included.

My second book that is awaiting publication is called, A Home for Christmas. Here is a short summary; Kenzie has big plans—the only problem is she hasn’t told anyone about them. One of them is to buy the house she grew up in—the home her brother, Tom, recently put up for sale. When she arrives in Lake Forest for Christmas vacation, Kenzie is shocked to find that her brother has accepted an offer on the house she desperately wants to buy. Unwilling to give up her plans, Kenzie tries to wrest the house from the man who made the offer, a handsome widower named Jared Phillips. Although they find themselves attracted to each other, it’s impossible for Kenzie to even think about a relationship with the man who is taking away the house she desperately wants. Then, a surprising revelation works a Christmas miracle. As a special bonus, seven delicious cookie recipes are included.

I’m also working on another Erica Coleman mystery, called, Murder in the Black Hills. I’d also like to do a sequel to Gaze Into Heaven—Near Death Experiences in Early Church History, which came out last year.

 

Excerpt from A Death in the Family

“It’s hard to believe she’s gone,” Kristen said dolefully. “When I moved here, I thought I’d have years with Grandma. She was always so active—I thought she’d keep going for years.”

“And all the time, her heart was getting weaker,” Trent said glumly.

Walter commented, “The last time I saw her, Blanche said the doctor told her she had the constitution of a mule.”

There were a few smiles at this, but Martha’s brow furrowed in confusion. “But Mom’s death didn’t have anything to do with how healthy she was.”

“What are you talking about?” Trent’s impatient voice billowed out and filled the small room.

Martha squirmed but fluttered on, “Well, after what Mom said when she came to visit me, you know—about how something wrong was going on in the company—I worried
that something might happen.”

Her response reverberated around the room. Everyone went very still—as if they were holding their breath.

Martha’s eyes went from one to another. “I didn’t mean—oh, I shouldn’t have said anything,” she stammered. Her voice was pure distress. “It’s just that . . . well, we’re all family here, so it’s okay, isn’t it? I mean, no one else knows.”

“No one else knows what?” Trent said brusquely.

Visibly flustered, Martha’s hands twisted in her lap. “And . . . and Mother was very old and—and the police haven’t even come, have they?”

Erica wondered what Martha could be getting at. Everyone darted quizzical looks at each other, trying to make sense out of Martha’s confused chirruping.

After meeting blank looks all around, Martha blurted, “I mean, that’s good . . . isn’t it? For the family?”

The room remained deadly silent as Martha’s cheeks flamed red.

There was a rumble as Walter cleared his throat. “Why would the police come?”

“Why, to arrest someone.” Martha sounded surprised—as if he had asked something that was completely and absolutely self-evident. She stared at Walter, as if he and he alone could straighten everything out. “Isn’t that why they’re doing an autopsy? I mean, don’t they always do an autopsy when someone has been murdered?”

About the AuthorMarlene Bateman

Marlene Bateman Sullivan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they are the parents of seven children.

Her hobbies are gardening, camping, and reading. Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and has written a number of non-fiction books, including: Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s From Beyond the Veil, By the Ministering of Angels, Brigham’s Boys, and Heroes of Faith. Her latest book is Gaze Into Heaven; Near Death Experiences in Early Church History, a fascinating collection of over 50 documented near-death experiences from the lives of early latter-day Saints.

Marlene’s first novel was the best-selling Light on Fire Island. Her next novel was Motive for Murder, which is the first in a mystery series that features the quirky private eye with OCD, Erica Coleman.

Author website

The Giveaway

One physical copy of A Death in the Family. US only.

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A Thousand Perfect Things Blog Tour ~ Author Guest Post

12 Mar, 2014 by in a thousand perfect things, Author Guest Post, blog tour, kay kenyon Leave a comment

A thousand tour

Tour Schedule

 Fire and Ice welcome author Kay Kenyon today for a guest post as part of her A Thousand Perfect Things Blog Tour.

 

Thousand perfect thingsA Thousand Perfect Things

In this epic new work, the award-winning Kenyon, whose work has be compared to Larry Nivens and Stephen R. Donaldson, creates an alternate Earth in the 19th century. This Earth is ruled by two warring factions—scientific Anglica (England) and magical Bharata (India).

Tori Harding, a Victorian woman, whose heart aches to claim the legendary powers of the golden lotus, must leave her reasoned world behind and journey to Bharata. In pursuit of the golden lotus, Tori will be forced to brave its magics, intrigues, deadly secrets and haunted places, to claim her destiny and choose between two lovers in two irreconcilable realms.

As a great native insurrection sweeps the continent of Bharata—Tori will find the thing she most desires, beautifully flawed and more wonderfully strange than she could have ever dreamed.

 

Praise for A Thousand Perfect Things

“This has become my favorite of all Kay Kenyon’s books. The science-driven men of Anglica have constructed a marvel of engineering-a bridge that crosses the ocean-but they don’t understand the mystical forces they’re facing in the dangerously seductive country of Bharata. As usual, Kenyon offers flawless world-building and a diverse cast of characters driven by conflicting and wholly believable desires. This is a rich, gorgeous, and marvelously detailed tapestry of a book.”
— Sharon Shinn, Author of Troubled Waters and Royal Airs

“Kay Kenyon has once again created a world into which one blissfully disappears, replete with magic and monsters, romance and reigning dynasties, set upon the fragile social scaffolding of mid-nineteenth century England. The story is, literally and figuratively, a bridge between the mystical and the very real, with a young heroine who a delivers a deliciously vicarious ride. Brilliantly told with elegant yet occasionally jarring prose, A Thousand Perfect Things is a masterwork from the mind of one of our best authors of compelling alternate realities.”– Larry Brooks, Author of Story Engineering

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Author Guest Post

My Victorian World

On the surface . . . my Victorian world in A Thousand Perfect Things is a world that Jane Austin fans will find familiar, with elegance, manor houses, and women seeking good matches. (Although of course the era of Pride and Prejudice was a few decades earlier.) It is a world of British colonialism, where younger sons are sent to (a re-imagined) India to seek their fortunes. My alternate England is a land where science reigns supreme, but where a woman, no matter how brilliant, cannot be admitted to the realm of science.

On the other hand . . . not all is so calm. England’s men of science are so enthralled by logic and engineering that they condemn an alternative way of knowing that is very real: magic. The continent of Bharata (an alternate India) is a kingdom of the most powerful magics. Tired of the colonial yoke, its mages send events of magical terrorism to England, such as enlivening iron statues and sending them on killing rampages. A 500 foot high cobra made of water rises out of the Thames and wreaks destruction. Young Tori Harding, a brilliant aspiring scientist, is lured to Bharata, followed by a shape-shifting avian creature who wants something from her. But what?

Crossing to a magical place . . . Using a fantastical and dangerous road, Tori makes the journey to Bharata, seeking out magic to aid her quest for freedom and scientific discovery. There she will encounter things beautiful, terrifying, and strange. It is a land of ancient ghosts, demon birds, fire dreams, kraken, a god with the head of an elephant, and the legendary golden lotus. Amid these magical splendors she will find the glittering court of a raja, silver tiger allies, mutiny, competing suitors, betrayal, spiritual truths, death, reconciliation, and finally, love and wonder.
I invite you into my Victorian world!– Kay Kenyon

About the Author

kay kenyon

Kay Kenyon is the author of eleven science fiction and fantasy novels, including A Thousand Perfect Things. She is the author of the critically acclaimed science fiction quartet, The Entire and The Rose. Bright of the Sky was among PW’s top 150 books of 2007. The series has twice been shortlisted for the ALA Reading List awards and three times for the Endeavour Award. Four of her novels have been translated into French, Spanish and Czech. Along with her novels Tropic of Creation and Maximum Ice, two of the works in the quartet received starred reviews from PW.

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The Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 3/31/14

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, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Power to Become by David A. Bednar~ Blog Tour and Review

11 Mar, 2014 by in adult, blog tour, deseret book 2 comments

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

Power to Become by David A. Bednar~ Blog Tour and Review

Power To Become

by David A. Bednar
Published by Deseret Book on March 3, 2014
Genres: Adult, LDS, Non- Fiction
Pages: 208
Format: Hardcover
five-stars
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
In Power to Become, Elder David A. Bednar explores how the Savior makes possible His divine commission, "Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect" (3 Nephi 12:48).

Chapters in this thought-provoking book highlight the importance of the Atonement, the spiritual gift of personal peace, the importance of priesthood ordinances, and the responsibility we have to obey willingly and endure valiantly.

"As we increase in learning about the Savior and His gospel," Elder Bednar writes, "as we strive with ever greater consistency to act in His doctrine, ordinances, and covenants, then we are blessed with power through His Atonement to increasingly become like Him." Power to Become introduces vital tools we all can use to invite these eternally significant blessings into our lives.

David A. Bednar was on his elliptical, working out one day, looking at the gift his wife had given him on the wall (a framed copy of his first book cover) when the thought came into his mind that ” there were three books.”

He was not done writing with Increase in Learning–as originally planned– but was to create a trilogy of interactive, related gospel titles. And so began the journey of writing two more books.

Bednar chose a platform never before used at Deseret Book– interactive videos embedded within the ebook that allow readers to watch and learn as well as to read. Each print copy of the book comes with a DVD, and has scannable QR codes printed at the end of each chapter, so that the owner can view corresponding videos.

For me, personally, this experience of seeing Q& A sessions with the author and his wife really brought home what I was reading. I internalized things more concretely and felt I had a chance to learn lessons at an apostle’s knee. Both a short and long version of the video clips with couples, youth, women–and an interview with CEO Sheri Dew are available online at Seek by Deseret Book.

I’ve never before taken as much time as I did with Power to Become to absorb the words I was reading. The pages are printed with a wide margin around the edge for readers to take notes as they are reading. Writing exercises at the end of each chapter gave me a chance to record and apply.

I had many impressions come into my mind while being tutored by Elder Bednar. He is a man of action. He wants us to take the step of faith first, as Nephi “not knowing beforehand what we should do”, then wait for the path to become clear. Power to Become was a life- changing book for me. I learned through the stories and scriptures shared how I can one day stand before my Heavenly Father and be as He is. But I cannot do it alone. I need the help of the atonement.

With personal insights, commentary from multiple perspectives, and a wealth of available teaching materials, this series by Elder David A Bednar is amazing.

Dive in with your whole heart and use all three of his books as steps towards becoming who you are meant to be.

heather

Favorite Quote

One of the greatest indicators of righteous character is the capacity to recognize and appropriately respond to other people who are experiencing the very challenge or adversity that is most immediately and forcefully pressing upon us. Character is revealed, for example, in the power to discern the suffering of other people when we ourselves are suffering; and the ability to detect the hunger of others when we are hungry; and in the power to reach out and extend compassion for the spiritual agony of others when we are in the midst of our own spiritual distress. Thus,character is demonstrated by looking,  turning, and reaching outward when the instinctive response of the “natural man” (Mosiah 3:19) is to turn inward and to be selfish and self absorbed.

Discussion Video

About the Authordavid-a-bednar-large

ELDER DAVID A. BEDNAR was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2004. Prior to his call, he had served as an Area Seventy, regional representative, stake president, and bishop. He served a mission to southern Germany and then attended Brigham Young University, where he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He received a PhD in organizational behavior from Purdue University and was a professor of business management at Texas Tech University and the University of Arkansas. Elder Bednar served as the president of BYU-Idaho from 1997 to 2004. His previously published books include the bestsellers Increase in Learning and Act in Doctrine. He and his wife, Susan, are the parents of three sons.

Learn more at Deseret Book

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Living in the Eleventh Hour by Robert L. Millet Blog Tour

18 Feb, 2014 by in blog tour, deseret book, robert l millet Leave a comment

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

Living in the Eleventh Hour by Robert L. Millet Blog Tour

Living in the Eleventh Hour

by Robert L Millet
Published by Deseret Book on January 1st 2014
Genres: Adult, LDS
Pages: 146
Format: Hardcover
four-stars
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
Just as the scriptures teach us that the Second Coming of the Lord will be "at midnight" (Matthew 25:6), so the signs of the times teach us that "midnight" is close at hand. In Living in the Eleventh Hour, author Robert L. Millet points our minds and hearts toward the future-to the glorious day that lies ahead. This encouraging work not only assists us a Latter-day Saints to recognize and better understand the signs of the times but also reminds us of our individual responsibilities as we prepare ourselves and the world for the much-anticipated return of Jesus Christ. Filled with uplifting quotations from Church leaders, insightful scriptural texts, and engaging personal experiences, this timely book inspires us to live today as if He were coming tomorrow. Brother Millet's faith-building message is clear: Steadfastly doing the small things that allow us to live each day with faith, rather than fear, builds our trust that the Savior's return to earth to rule and reign will be a glorious and welcome event.

I love Robert L Millet’s teachings and writing. Living in the Eleventh Hour takes very small chunks of doctrine in each chapter which makes for a quick, light read. It’s certainly not a deep doctrinal look at the signs and time of the second coming of Christ, not does it reveal “big new truths.” However, I enjoyed it for exactly what it was. His counsel is straight forward and simple. I found that for me, this book was the perfect fit. It offers a hopeful perspective without the doom and gloom or long lists of signs of the second coming. Brother Millet re- emphasizes what we can do on a daily basis to have the Spirit with us and to keep our lamps filled with oil before the bridegroom cometh. I especially liked his story of how many of us, in fear of judging others fall into the “tolerance trap” and begin to tolerate the behaviors of others that are sinful without speaking up. The formula for preparation is built on the basic primary answers we all know and I am glad he kept it that way.

heather

Favorite Quote

We cannot, at least not for very long, operate simply by sheer grit and willpower; to do so proves to be both spiritually exhausting and emotionally discouraging. We need help. That help comes from God and is mediated through his Holy Spirit.

 

About the Author

Robert L. Millet, an Abraham O. Smoot Professor and former dean of Religious Education at Brigham Young University, is a professor of ancient scripture and a lifelong scholar of the last days. After receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees from BYU in psychology, he earned a PhD from Florida State University in religious studies. He has served in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a seminary teacher, bishop, stake president, and member of the Materials Evaluation Committee. He and his wife, Shauna, are the parents of six children.

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Porcelain Keys by Sarah Beard Blog Tour and Giveaway

14 Feb, 2014 by in blog tour, cedar fort, sarah beard 2 comments

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Porcelain Keys FULL SIZE RGB-x-small

Aria’s life is full of secrets–secrets about her mother’s death, her father’s cruelty, and her dream to go to Juilliard. When Aria meets Thomas, he draws out her secrets, captures her heart, and gives her the courage to defy her father. But when tragedy strikes and Thomas disappears, Aria is left alone to transform her broken heart’s melody into something beautiful. Porcelain Keys is a captivating love story that will resonate long after the last page is turned.

Reviews

“Emotionally rich, elegant description, beloved characters–Sarah Beard delivers a fresh, new novel that will go on my list of classics.” –Stephanie Fowers, author of With a Kiss.

“Aria is a heroine worth rooting for, and the plot is an emotional melody that weaves a pell so potent, it can only be broken by reaching the end. And even then, I couldn’t stop thinking about Aria and her story.” –Heather Frost, author of The Seers Trilogy

“Emotionally gripping, this beautifully crafted young adult romance will pull at readers’ heartstrings from tragic beginning to happy ending. A must-read for fans of contemporary romance, both young and seasoned. ” –Julie Ford, author of Replacing Gentry

“Porcelain Keys is a fresh, heart-wrenching take on boy-meets-girl. Using fantastic and musical imagery to tell the poignant love story of Aria and Thomas, the author leads the reader to a swelling crescendo as if we’re part of the song—and what a beautiful song it is.” –Cindy C. Bennett, author or Geek Girl and Rapunzel Untangled

“A lyrical love story that will leave your heart singing. Porcelain Keys is a masterpiece with emotional depth, young love, and family angst. Beard takes us on a journey of self-discovery, second chances, and ultimately, sweet resolution.” –Heather Ostler, author of The Siren’s Secret

Guest Post for Valentine’s Day

Someone recently asked me in an interview who would be a good romantic match for my main character, Aria, if Thomas Ashby wasn’t around. Well, since I’ve spent a lot of time lately reflecting on my favorite fictional heroes, and since it’s Valentine’s day, I thought I’d share some of them with you here. In no particular order, I present to you:

Five Men That Aren’t Real But Should Be:

1) Sean Kendrick from The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
The man knows how to handle a horse. But not just any horse. Monstrous, man-eating horses from the sea. He is a man of few words, but his mind is constantly turning. He has incredible work ethic and integrity. And he loves Kate Connolly so much he’s willing to risk the prize he’s wanted his entire life in order to protect her and give her a chance to win it for herself.

2) Edward Cullen from Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
I’m sorry about this. But really I’m not. Really I’m flabbergasted that so many women’s hearts have turned cold (no pun intended) toward Mr. Perfect-Marbled-Sparkly-Boy. The very same women who pushed their Twilight hardback into their friends’ hands and emphatically cried, “Read it!” are the ones who are now too embarrassed to admit they were once a member of the rabid club called Team Edward. I mean, I get that people are over it. Honestly, I’m finally over my vampire crush too. Really. Maybe. But I have yet to find another male character who has made me swoon as much. He’s dreamy. He’s fast and strong. He can read anyone’s mind, but all he cares about is what’s on Bella’s mind. He respects her virtue, and his self-control is out of this world—a quality that is seriously underrated in today’s world.

3) Mr. Edward Rochester from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

He’s cranky. He’s brooding. And realistically, a crank does not make a good companion. But few men have as good a reason to be a grump as Mr. Rochester. I won’t give the reasons here, in case you haven’t read it (seriously though—why haven’t you read it?!). However, underneath all that petulance is a man who yearns for love and redemption. In that broad and tormented chest of his, beats a heart that is capable of kindness, generosity, and selfless, passionate love.

4) Philip Wyndham from Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
Smiling eyes + teasing grin + cravat = One fetching regency fellow. Philip’s keen sense of humor perfectly complements his noble character. His charisma and charm know no bounds, and neither does his love for Marianne Daventry. And that letter. Oh, that letter! (Read it and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about).

5) Thomas Ashby from Porcelain Keys
It’s a no-brainer that one of my favorite fictional heroes is one I created. Sometimes people ask me if I base my characters off of real people. The short answer to that question is “no.” There may have been people who sparked an idea for a character, but any writer will tell you that characters have a way of taking on a life of their own. Such was the case with Thomas. He started out as a composite of all the good traits I’ve observed in men—in my life, in literature, or in movies. In other words, he started out as a patchwork character. But as I wrote his and Aria’s story, his true character emerged, and all his seams smoothed out.

So who is Thomas Ashby?

Thomas is both an artist and an intellectual, a modern-day da Vinci, if you will (though on a much smaller scale). He creates beautiful art pieces with melted wax, then turns around and reads The Feynman Lectures on Physics—for fun. He is studious and introspective, and much too hard on himself. He is restless, but good at hiding it.
He’s perceptive, and sees things in Aria that others don’t. He knows she’s hurting and holding things in—things she’s afraid to express—but he’s patient with her. He waits for her to open up instead of demanding answers. And at the same time, he withholds his own secrets for fear that they’ll add to Aria’s hardships. He is carrying great burdens, but he never shows it. And at one point, he can’t carry them anymore, and he buckles.

Thomas adores Aria and wants nothing more than for her to be happy. He goes to great lengths to help her achieve her dreams and opens doors for her, figuratively and literally. He is not perfect, but he is just what Aria needs.

Author BioSarahBpic1cropXsmall

SARAH BEARD is the author of Porcelain Keys, a YA contemporary romance. She has a degree in communications from the University of Utah and splits her time between writing and raising three energetic boys. She is a cancer survivor and a hopeless romantic. She enjoys reading and composing music, and lives with her husband and children in Salt Lake City, Utah. You can follow Sarah on twitter at @authorsarahb, or at facebook.com/authorsarahbeard. Her website is www.sarahbeard.com.

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