Posts Categorized: book review

Review: Destined for Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

13 Oct, 2014 by in blinkYA, book review, carey crop, christian, doon, lorie langdon 1 comment

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.

Review: Destined for Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

Destined for Doon

Series: Doon #2
Published by BlinkYA on September 2nd 2014
Genres: Romance, Time Travel, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Source: BookSparksPR
Buy the BookGoodreads
In this sequel to Doon, Mackenna Reid realizes she made a horrible mistake in choosing to follow her dreams of Broadway instead of staying in the enchanted land of Doon. To make everything worse, she's received her Calling—proof she and Duncan are each other's one true love—and it's pure torment, especially when visions of the very alluring Scottish prince appear right before she goes on stage. So when Duncan tells her an ancient curse threatens to overtake Doon and the new queen and Kenna’s best friend, Veronica, needs her to return, Kenna doesn't have to think twice. With darkness closing in on all sides, Kenna and Vee must battle a world of nightmares in order to protect the kingdom. But it will take the ultimate test of courage for Kenna to salvage her happily ever after.

The Doon series is one of my all-time favorites. First of all, if you haven’t read book one,  a reimagining of Brigadoon, I would suggest picking it up before diving into book 2. There is a lot of back story you will need, plus it rocks! This second installment, Destined for Doon, is told from both Makenna and Vee’s viewpoint. Kenna is back in the modern world working as a theater intern whe Duncan MacCrae shows up on the scene, as handsome and brooding as ever. There’s trouble a foot back in the kingdom–poisoned petunias, a zombie fungus and evil threatening the borders. Kenna is summoned by her best friend Vee to look for a solution.

Once again there are plenty of modern culture– music and movie references, as well as the snarky voice that is Kenna. The romance element is toned down quite a bit as the four main characters are working through their own personal issues while trying to learn how to work together. But there is also tension, suspense and realistic angst. I truly loved Duncan in Destined for Doon. He is suffering and quiet, but at times his fun sense of humor peeks through the clouds.

This is a series that brings midieval Scotland with kilts and swords right into your reading room. There are Christian elements which strengthen the characters. Themes are forgiveness, self-doubt, healing and trust.

As handsome and talented as this group of young adults are, they learn they simply can’t do it alone. I personally am thrilled this is a four book series, because I always end wanting more! Major cliffhanger ending this time around with foreshadowing to set things up. Go grab Doon and then Destined for Doon!

Content: moderate sexual tension and kissing scenes, drinking, moderate violence with a beheading. Clean language.

Dive into the world of Doon with a Playlist * Pinterest Board and photos of the kingdom

About the Authors

careyCarey Corp wrote her first book, a brilliant retelling of Star Wars, at the prodigious age of seven. Since then, her love affair of reinvention has continued to run amuck. Writing both literary fiction and stories for young adults, she begins each morning consuming copious amounts of coffee while weaving stories that capture her exhaustive imagination. She harbors a voracious passion (in no consistent order) for mohawks, Italy, musical theater, chocolate, and Jane Austen. Her debut novel for teens, The Halo Chronicles: The Guardian, earned her national recognition as 2010 Golden Heart finalist for best young adult fiction. Coming August 20, 2013: Doon (book 1 of the DOON series), a young adult novel loosely based on the concept of the musical Brigadoon, used with permission from the Alan Jay Lerner Estate & the Frederick Loewe Foundation, and co-written with Lorie Langdon.

Find Carey Online: Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, GoodReads


lorieA few years ago, Lorie Langdon left her thriving corporate career with a Fortune 500 company to satisfy the voices in her head. Now as a full-time author and stay-at-home mom, she spends her summers editing poolside while dodging automatic water-gun fire, and the rest of the year tucked into her cozy office, Havanese puppy by her side, working to translate her effusive imagination into the written word. Her co-written four-book series, DOON, a YA reimagining of the Scottish legend of Brigadoon, will release beginning in August 2013 from Zondervan/Harper Collins.

Find Lorie Online: Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, GoodReads


Hit by Lorie Ann Grover~ Blog Tour & Review

09 Oct, 2014 by in blinkYA, blog tour, book review, christian, Hit, Lorie Ann Grover Leave a comment

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.

Hit by Lorie Ann Grover~ Blog Tour & Review


by Lorie Ann Grover
Published by BlinkYA on October 7, 2014
Genres: Christian, Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 224
Format: ARC
Source: BookSparksPR
Buy the BookGoodreads
After receiving a full-ride scholarship to Mills College for Girls, it appears Sarah's future is all laid out before her … but then she walks into a poetry class led by Mr. Haddings, a student teacher from the nearby University of Washington. Suddenly, life on the UW campus seems very appealing, and Sarah finds herself using her poetry journal to subtly declare her feelings for Mr. Haddings. And she becomes convinced Mr. Haddings is flirting back. As she sets off for school in the rain, she slips a poem in her back pocket—one that will declare her feelings once and for all.Mr. Haddings has noticed Sarah's attention; the fallout from any perceived relationship with a student is too great a risk, and he has decided to end all speculation that morning. But everything changes when Mr. Haddings feels the thud on his front bumper when he glances away from the road and finds Sarah in the street with blood pooling beneath her.

This is this first novel I have read by Lorie Ann Grover, but not the first in the Blink YA imprint. I was thrilled to pick up another clean YA contemporary read with Christian undertones. The story line took me aback at first because it is about a student and graduate student teacher who feel attracted to one another. That is usually an automatic DNF for me, because I just can’t stomach student-teacher relationships in any form. However, in Hit this is not the main focus of the story line and told from two points of view, you get a full picture that this is more a story about grief, trauma and forgiveness. There is truly something magical about this book that defies description. It is short, easy to read and simplistic, yet deep. At the end I felt transformed and wanted to read more. Author Lorie Ann Grover weaves in poetry with raw straight to the point realities of the aftermath at a car accident scene and the immediate consequences. I do wish the ending were a bit longer, or not so neatly tied up. I’m not sure if the finished version is different form the uncorrected bound proof, but I missed how the victim came to know the driver was her teacher Hastings. It seemed some of the story was cut or left out.

 Hit is based on the real life experience of the author’s best friend who’s child was also hit at an intersection. It makes you think twice about distracted driving and how quickly life can change. I’m not sure how Grover got me there–to the point of loving this book and wanting a sequel, but she did! I am sad that there is not a book two in the works at this time (please, please write an epilogue or novella). This is a strong standalone.

about_ the_author

Lorie-Ann-Grover Lorie Ann Grover is a co-founder of the influential site readergirlz, where she is a visible advocate for teen literacy and activism. In addition, she is the author of four acclaimed novels: Firstborn, Hold Me Tight, a VOYA pick; On Pointe, a Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year; and Loose Threads, a Booklist Top 10 Youth First Novel and a 2003 Washington state Book Award Finalist. Lorie Ann lives in Washington State with her husband. Read more at


For Elise by Sarah M Eden~Blog Tour

18 Sep, 2014 by in blog tour, book review, covenant, sarah m eden 7 comments

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.

For Elise by Sarah M Eden~Blog Tour

For Elise

by Sarah M Eden
Published by Covenant on September 1, 2014
Genres: Adult, Regency, Romance
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
Source: Covenant
Buy the BookGoodreads
In the sprawling gardens of their neighboring estates, childhood friends Miles and Elise spent countless pleasant days together in the spirited adventures of youth. They were inseparable—until Elise vanished without a trace. Miles searched, but Elise could not—or would not—be found . . . After years spent laboring on the family plantation in the West Indies, Miles Linwood is shocked by the unexpected news: he has inherited his distant cousin’s estate and the title of Marquess of Grenton. Miles’s return to England is tarnished by only one thing—he is still haunted by Elise’s mysterious disappearance. So when he glimpses a woman with a startling resemblance to his lost friend, he’s shaken to the core. This is no mere shadow of the past: it is truly Elise. But his dear friend has changed—to the point that he questions whether it is really her, though he knows it is. Accustomed to rescuing Elise from childhood escapades, Miles takes her and those in her care back to his estate, even as he struggles to understand her fear and mistrust. As their friendship and feelings slowly blossom again, the shocking truth of their separated years is revealed, and Miles realizes more than ever that he must protect Elise. She slipped away once, and he cannot lose her again.

Regency Romance is one of my favorite genres, and Sarah M. Eden is a great go to Regency author. In her latest, For Elise, Miles Linwood, a marquess, is traveling the country when he happens upon his long lost childhood friend. Elise, now called Ella is a very young widow with small child, living a life of poverty. The two were the best of friends growing up until a murder tore their lives and inherited estates apart. Ella is guarded and seems burdened with so many emotions bottled up, that when Miles steps in to offer her a new life, she’s not sure she can open up again and let him in. Eden addresses deafness, prejudice of social classes and trust between friends. There’s plenty of suspense as mysterious handwritten notes start showing up as a threat to Elise. The murderer is lurking nearby Tafford Estate where Miles now lives.

I read For Elise in one day, start to finish. With returning characters from her previous novels and a dreamy landscape, once again Ms. Eden had me fully engaged. I recommend all of her books!

Content: clean, some kissing & tension, moderate violence, rape (but not described.)




About the Authorsarah_M_eden

Sarah M. Eden is the author of multiple historical romances, including Whitney Award finalists Seeking PersephoneCourting Miss Lancaster, and AML’s “2013 Novel of the year” Longing for Home. Combining her obsession with history and affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting witty characters and heartfelt romances. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library. Sarah has twice served as the Master of Ceremonies for the LDStorymakers Writers Conference and acted as the Writer in Residence at the Northwest Writers Retreat. Sarah is represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg at D4EO Literary Agency.


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How Do I Know If I Know~ Blog Tour & Review

08 Sep, 2014 by in adult, book review, deseret book, lds 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.

How Do I Know If I Know~ Blog Tour & Review

How Do I Know If I Know?

by John Bytheway
Published by Deseret Book on September 8, 2014
Genres: Adult, LDS, Non- Fiction
Pages: 144
Format: Paperback
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the Book

It's spiritual gut-check time! The mission age has been lowered, and now more than ever, young people are asking themselves important questions:

  • How do I know if I really have a testimony?
  • Am I ready to serve a mission?
  • What does the Spirit feel like?

John Bytheway suggests that we "F.E.E.L." the truthfulness of the gospel through our feelings, our experiences, the many evidences we encounter, and our logical conclusions about how a loving God interacts with His children on the earth. Like gradually turning up a dimmer switch, understanding all the ways we F.E.E.L. our testimony will help it grow brighter.

As you read, you may discover that your testimony is stronger than you thought, and you'll also become more excited and motivated to let your light shine!

So often when seeking spiritual  truth we are waiting for huge life changing experiences. We want a “bolt of lightening” or an absolute, undeniably strong answer to prayer…when in our heart, the truth is already present and evident. By small and simple means, we F.E.E.L. that something is true.

John Bytheway gives four sources from which we draw energy to build our testimony “Feelings “you shall feel that it is right” (D&C 9:8), Experiences “If any man will do his will, he shall know . . .” (John 7:17), Evidences “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:16), and Logic “I will tell you in your mind. . .” (D&C 8:2). He breaks each of these testimony sources down in an easy to read manner and offers visual reinforcements via QR code embedded videos, and conference talks in each section. The reader, equipped with smart phone or tablet gets an interactive study session on how to feel and recognize truth and then act on those feelings.  We are taught, not only by the experiences of the author himself, but also from the words of living prophets and apostles, as well as scholars. If the reader truly wants to delve into the book, there are multi-media means to read and learn more.

My favorite embedded video shows the explosive growth of LDS stakes across the United States. I’d never seen a visual representation of just how far and wide the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints has spread.

How Do I Know If I Know? is an excellent resource for young men and women preparing for a mission. For me, it is a wonderful reminder that I already FEEL the truth and know it!

heatherExcerpt Chapter 1

What Do You Know?
Many years ago, a young man (he was only twenty-three years old) was called to be the new stake president in Tooele, Utah. In those days, stake conferences had two sessions, and at lunch between the sessions, Joseph F. Smith, one of the General Authorities attending, said to the new stake president, “You said you believe the gospel with all your heart, and propose to live it, but you did not bear your testimony that you know it is true. Don’t you know absolutely that this gospel is true?”

“I do not,” answered the young man.

“President Taylor,” said Elder Smith to the President of the Church, John Taylor, who was also in attendance, “I am in favor of undoing this afternoon what we did this morning. I do not think any man should preside over a stake who has not a perfect and abiding knowledge of the divinity of this work.”
President Taylor just laughed and said, “Joseph, Joseph, Joseph, he knows it just as well as you do. The only thing that he does not know is that he does know it.”

That story brings up a very interesting question: Is it possible to know that the Church is true, but not know that you know? Is a testimony that hard to detect? This story is even more interesting when you learn the identity of the new stake president. His name was Heber J. Grant. Yes, the same Heber J. Grant who later became the President of the Church.

Interestingly, the next time Heber J. Grant faced members of his stake, he spoke powerfully for forty-five minutes. This time, he knew. And he knew that he knew. What did President Grant do in between “believing” the Church was true and “knowing”? And how can we do the same thing?

Today, youth and young adults are facing huge decisions, and they’re facing them a little sooner than their older brothers and sisters did. Many teenagers facing the mission decision may be wondering, “Is my testimony strong enough? Do I really know the Church is true? How do I know if I know?” Because of the lowering of the age at which young people become eligible to serve missions, there is a greater urgency than ever before to answer this kind of question. I once heard Sister Sheri Dew tell a group of young people, “We want you to figure out what we’ve figured out, and we want you to figure it out quicker than we figured it out.”

About the Author

JOHN BYTHEWAY served a mission to the Philippines and later graduated from Brigham Young University. He has a master’s degree in religious education and is a part-time instructor at the BYU Salt Lake Center. John is the author of many bestselling books, audio talks, and DVDs, including How to Be an Extraordinary Teen; Life Rocks; and his first children’s picture book, The Sacrament. He and his wife, Kimberly, have six children.


Review ~ Destination Unknown by Amy Clipston

13 Aug, 2014 by in ala, amy clipston, book review, Zondervan Leave a comment

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

Review ~ Destination Unknown by Amy Clipston

Destination Unknown

by Amy Clipston
Published by Zondervan on February 4, 2014
Genres: Christian, Contemporary, Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
Source: ALA, Zondervan
Buy the BookGoodreads
It’s senior year, and Whitney Richards is tired of the constant pressures to be perfect. When she gets a D in Calculus, her mother immediately hires a tutor, worried Whitney won’t get into the “right” college---her alma mater---with imperfect grades. Her tutor, Taylor, is a quiet, mysterious boy who is unlike anyone Whitney has met before. But Taylor’s rougher upbringing has her mother and friends discouraging any type of relationship. Tired of having to play a part for everyone else, Whitney quits the cheerleading squad that once defined her social identity, and begins spending more time with Taylor. Her mom and friends worry Whitney is making a huge mistake, and even Taylor begins to show concern for some of her choices. But for the first time, Whitney is in the driver’s seat of her life. Will she be able to find her identity---and God’s plan for her life---before she throws everything away?

I picked up a copy of Destination Unknown from the Zondervan booth at ALA in Las Vegas this year. I know I can always count on Zondervan for high quality, clean Christian reads. Destination Unknown is the second in a series about cousins, but having not read the first, I had no problem picking it up and loving it! So, really it’s more of a companion novel. Author Amy Clipston does an excellent job exploring the painful process of “finding oneself” as teen and separating your wishes from the pressure of peers and the expectations of parents. Whitney is in her senior year, coasting by as head cheerleader, and up until this point she’s been the perfect child. 4.0 student, accepted into a prestigious college, with the popular football player boyfriend. A domino effect of events including a “D” in calculus causes a shift. Suddenly she’s painfully aware that her mom’s plans for her life may not be the same as her own and maybe her “friends” and true friends after all.

Whitney starts a downward spiral of small rebellions against her uber strict mother, and spends a lot of time on her knees. I absolutely love when teen titles encourage prayer. Christian behavior vs. church going Christian by name only  is also explored. I will be passing this book on to my daughters and purchasing the author’s other titles. I highly recommend it as a clean, contemporary read that hits on so many things: coming of age, bullying, repentance and loyalty without being heavy handed. Loved it!




about_ the_author

Amy Clipston is the award-winning and best-selling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. Her novels have hit multiple best-seller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy 2765728holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and four spoiled rotten cats. Visit her online at Facebook: AmyClipstonBooks Twitter: @AmyClipston


Blog Tour~ Living in the Millennium by Robert L. Millett

05 Aug, 2014 by in adult, book review, book 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.

Blog Tour~ Living in the Millennium by Robert L. Millett

Living in the Millennium

by Robert L Millet
Published by Deseret Book on August 21, 2014
Genres: Adult, LDS, Non- Fiction
Pages: 160
Format: Hardcover
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the Book
The Savior taught through the Prophet Joseph Smith that the time will come when "he that liveth in righteousness shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and the earth shall pass away so as by fire" (Doctrine and Covenants 43:32).

What do we know about that day when Jesus Christ will come in glory to cleanse the earth? And what will life be like after He comes to reign?

In Living in the Millennium, the companion volume to Living in the Eleventh Hour, author Robert L. Millet opens the doors wide to show us what life will be like during and after the Millennium. Relying on the words of ancient and modern prophets, he shares what has been revealed about Christ's preliminary appearances, His return in majesty and power, and His millennial reign—a thousand years of goodness and peace.

Filled with insights, this timely book helps us to understand more fully such eternal doctrines as the resurrection of the just and the unjust, the Judgment, and the many mansions of glory.

Living in the Millennium inspires us to live today as if the Savior were coming tomorrow.

This is a companion book to Robert L Millett’s Living in the Eleventh Hour published earlier this year. What I really appreciate about Living in the Millenium is the scriptural basis. Brother Millett takes a purely doctrinal approach to explaining to readers what life will be like before, during, and beyond the Millenium. I had previously heard many of the scriptures by themselves, but seeing them organized and combined into one reference taught me in a clear manner. Millett’s tone is hopeful and cheery, however, he also admits to personal trials, the wonderings and hardships that come with mortality. I loved reading about how the author overcame worry, and felt the peace that comes with the Lord’s assurances of the resurrection. For anyone with questions about the second coming of Christ, life after death, how our bodies become whole or what the reign of peace will be like, this book holds answers.

In the end, there is a glossary, notes, scripture and subject index for readers to truly “dig in” and learn the teaching firsthand. A short read, this Last Days Commentary will help each individual and touched my heart personally.



Favorite Quote

Seeing things with an eye of faith is looking out and beyond to the distant scene, viewing today’s often repetitious and sometimes monotonous coming and goings with an eye toward eternity. It is to see beyond the moment, to acquire a portion of God’s perspective, to realize that “out of small things proceedeth that which is great”. (D&C 64:33) p. 103



Chapter 1
The End of Time

I was driving to work one day and turned the radio to an oldies channel, where I heard a familiar song from the 1960s, a tender ballad, a love song. Over and over the artist sang of love lasting until the end of time. Later that afternoon I listened to the same channel and heard another artist pledging his love until time stood still. I smiled as I reflected on the message of those two popular songs, realizing how very often such sentiments are sung or how frequently a romantic sentiment is expressed in just that way. I presume the writers of these words intended to convey some meaning like “l love you forever and ever” or “There will never be a time when I no longer love you.”

The more I have thought about it, the more fully I realize that from a Restoration perspective, love is intended to last longer than time, to span the veil of death and continue everlastingly. For those without such understanding, however, “till time stands still” or “to the end of time” seems like a pretty significant and long-term investment of one’s love. Let’s consider this passage of scripture: “And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer” (Revelation 10:5-6; emphasis added; see D&C 88:108-10).

As a part of the new song that is to be sung by the redeemed are these words:

The Lord hath brought again Zion;

The Lord hath redeemed his people, Israel,

According to the election of grace,

Which was brought to pass by the faith

And covenant of their fathers.

The Lord hath redeemed his people;

And Satan is bound and time is no longer.

(D&C 84:99-100; emphasis added)

We are told in the Doctrine and Covenants that “it is required of the Lord, at the hand of every steward, to render an account of his stewardship, both in time and in eternity. For he who is faithful and wise in time is accounted worthy to inherit the mansions prepared for him of my Father” (D&C 72:3-4).

I presume there will always be what might be called durational time, the fact that event A took place before event B, or that we declared C before we uttered D. What the scriptures seem to be saying, however, when they speak of time being no longer is that mortal time, or mortality, will be no longer. That is, a day is coming in the not too distant future when mortality as we know it will be no more; we will no longer be reckoning our words and our actions according to this world’s calendar but rather we will be tuned and acclimated to eternity.

We have been counseled by the prophets to improve our time, that is, to make wise and effective use of the day in which we live on earth, for how we will spend eternity will be inextricably linked to how we spent our time in this life. And so we are told that “this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors” (Alma 34:32).

What will life be like when mortal time is no more? We can learn from holy scripture and latter-day apostles and prophets about the following:

the private appearances of Jesus Christ to his anointed servants;
that great and terrible day we know as the Savior’s coming in glory;
the cleansing of the earth by fire and the transformation of the planet;
life on a terrestrial earth;
a day when the gathering of Israel, accomplished through our missionary labors, will be unhindered and thus accelerated;
a glorious time when temples will dot the earth and the fulness of the blessings of the house of the Lord will be enjoyed by the pure in heart in every nation;
a time when persons will again begin to deny their God, when Satan will be loosed for a short season;
when the final great battle between good and evil will take place;
the miracle and wonder of our resurrection from the dead;
the day of judgment, when all will be required to account for how they handled their stewardship of time; and,
life within the kingdoms of glory, the many mansions of the Father.
Concerning the specifics of the future, details do matter, but they need to come from the right source—from holy scripture or from latter-day apostles and prophets. For me or for any other writer or teacher to go beyond what ancient or modern prophets have declared, to set forth private views concerning the last days, whether based upon individual interpretations or personal spiritual experience, is to assume a responsibility that is not ours; it is to act outside our stewardship. The ideas may be fascinating, even entertaining, but they are not from God; the Lord simply does not operate that way. To do so would be to invite every member of the Church to step forward, offer his or her own best guess about the days ahead, and thereby engender chaos. The Lord’s house is a house of order, not a house of confusion. There are channels to follow, and we must recognize those channels. Therein is our safety from deception. The Prophet Joseph Smith stated the principle as follows:“I will inform you that it is contrary to the economy of God for any member of the Church, or any one, to receive instruction for those in authority, higher than themselves; therefore you will see the impropriety of giving heed to them; but if any person have a vision or a visitation from a heavenly messenger, it must be for his own benefit and instruction; for the fundamental principles, government, and doctrine of the Church are vested in the keys of the kingdom.”

I have therefore chosen to quote more extensively from holy scripture and from the writings and sermons of apostles and prophets than I am generally accustomed to doing. Although I do not wish to burden the reader with excessive support and substantiation, I do want to be as doctrinally sound and as loyal to the Lord’s anointed as I can.

Operating in harmony with such restraint, let us proceed on our journey. And what a journey it will be! What an encounter will be ours as we make our way through the prophetic word and contemplate the glories that await the true and faithful. Looking to the future will do much to motivate us to get our lives in order while we are still living in time, for eternity is just around the corner. In addition, a view of the future can fortify us against the discouragement that inevitably follows from the pain and distresses of this fallen world; it provides us with a perspective that produces gospel gladness.


1. Smith, History of the Church, 1:338; emphasis added.

About the AuthorRobert_L_Millet

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.


Review~ Her Rebellious Heart: A Scottish Historical Romance

17 Jun, 2014 by in adult, book review, historical fiction, marian mcbride, scottish 1 comment

Review~ Her Rebellious Heart: A Scottish Historical Romance

Her Rebellious Heart

by Marian McBride
Published by Amazon Digital Services on December 25th 2013
Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction
Pages: 120
Format: eBook
Buy the BookGoodreads
Bridget Campbell is more interested in music than men. In fact, she may be the only girl in the Scottish lowlands who isn't looking for a husband. But when her estranged grandfather's health begins to decline and he asks her to move into his castle, Bridget is introduced to a handsome Highlander who becomes a rival for her attention. Although perfect strangers, there's a connection between Bridget and Aidan MacLeod that she can't ignore. Can she stand up to the men in her life who are pressuring her to settle down?

At first uneasy about leaving her parents' modest home to live at Ty-Runach Castle, Bridget feels pressured to accept her grandfather's invitation. Robert had distanced himself from her mother when she married a man from a rival clan. The ancient feud between the MacDonalds and the Campbells broke her family apart, but maybe Bridget can heal the rift?

But someone clearly doesn't want her at the castle. Strange noises in the night and a frightening attack nearly send Bridget running from the keep. And then there's Aidan. Rumors of his reputation as a ladies man convince her to stay away lest she become the highlander's conquest. Yet her rebellious heart beats faster whenever Aidan is near. A single kiss lights a fire within that threatens to consume her. Can she resist Aidan's advances and rein in her runaway heart?

I purchased Her Rebellious Heart a few months a go as a free download on Amazon, and since we went to the Scottish festival this weekend, I wanted good a historical fiction with roots in Scotland. I was pleasantly surprised that this was clean, and the setting was authentic. I loved the descriptions of the North Sea, the crumbling castles, the tartans and feuds between clans. My only complaint is that at times the Scottish dialect was present and others times it wasn’t. Do not becomes “dinna” etc. Also, the flow could have been more smooth and the main villain definitely needed to be fleshed out more fully. It seems like the author cut the conflict short. It reads more like a novella than a full story. With more editing and filling out of story line this could have been much more. I did enjoy the surnames in the book…main man Aidan MacLeod carries my ancestral clan name!

Overall, if you want a short historical Scottish read as a small taste of the place, this may be a good pick, but I would wait until it goes up for free again.

Content: some tension and kissing, innuendoheather

About the Author

Marian McBride is an American author of Scottish descent. When she feels like honoring her roots, she plays her Celtic harp, but not as well as she’d like. Occasionally, she sings along, usually when she wants to punish her family.

Marian is not a particularly good Scot. She doesn’t enjoy haggis or bagpipes, but she does love a good Highland Games, particularly when men in kilts do the caber toss. “Her Rebellious Heart” is Marian’s sole novella. She hopes by showing some Scottish pride in her writing, her clansmen will forgive for not visiting home often.


Book Review: More Forgotten Skills of Self- Sufficiency

27 May, 2014 by in adult, book review, cedar fort 1 comment

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

Book Review: More Forgotten Skills of Self- Sufficiency

More Forgotten Skills of Self- Sufficiency

by Caleb Warnock
Published by Cedar Fort on February 11, 2014
Genres: Adult, Non- Fiction
Format: Paperback
Source: Cedar Fort
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Bestselling author Caleb Warnock is back with a new collection of skills to help your family gain independence and self-reliance. Learn about self-seeding vegetables, keep chickens without ever buying feed, collect water from rain and snow, find wild vegetables for everyday eating, and even make your own laundry soap?if you liked the first Forgotten Skills book, then you will love these additional techniques for becoming truly self-sufficient.

Our family is becoming much more self- sufficient as of late learning how to can and dehydrate what we plant in our garden. We’ve also begun planting perennials instead of annuals. Our raspberry, strawberry blackberry and mint bushes come back each year. I genuinely enjoyed Caleb Warnock’s tips to help us apply useful knowledge and become more like the pioneers, able to survive with what they had on a harsh land. This is the first book I have read by Warnock, but will be buying or checking out his other books from the library. Volume 2 is full of photos as well as practical planting advice. His use of raised winter garden boxes and cloche glass containers for year round crops is something we will test out this winter.

Caleb talked me into trying chickens… so far, so good! It’s been a very educational experience to have the small chicks. Our children are learning responsibility cleaning up after the feathers and droppings which we are using in our gardens. There is mention in the book of collecting rain and snow water, but I believe in my area it is illegal. Weird, right?! I wish there were other resources besides the authors for buying and ordering heirloom seeds, but I understand he has to make a living. I find Caleb to be extremely knowledgeable. Our family is implementing the ideas in the book to be better homesteaders. Recommend!heather


ARC Review: Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae

21 Apr, 2014 by in bloomsbury, book review, kristin rae, netgalley, YA book reviews, YA contemporary 3 comments

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

ARC Review: Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae

Wish You Were Italian

by Kristin Rae
Series: If Only #2
Published by Bloomsbury USA on May 6, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 323
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy the BookGoodreads
Pippa is in Italy for the summer and, despite her parents’ wishes, she has no intention of just studying the local art! She has a list of things of her own to do: from swimming in the Mediterranean Sea to getting a makeover – and falling for an Italian boy! As Pippa explores the dramatic ruins of Rome and Pompeii, she is swept into her own drama with two guys: an irresistible local she knows is nothing but trouble and a cute American archaeology student . . . Will she find her true love?

The perfect reckless romance to enjoy whether you are home or abroad.

Another really fun summer read. Wish You Were Italian is light, fun and clean. Plus, you get to see Italy though the eyes of Pippa, a 17 year old on her own adventure. Pippa’s mom owns and art gallery and is usually fully immersed in her own work, so Pippa’s not surprised when she gets sent away for  the summer to an art history program through an Italian program. But once Pippa touches down in a strange and exciting country she decides not to conform to her mother’s wishes– she’s off on her own sight seeing trip to take photos of all the places she’s ever wanted to see! It helps that she bumps into Darren, a cute archaeological student with unruly hair and a sweet personality. And then, there’s several dares written in a journal from her best friend back home that lead her to do things she’s never dared to do before. Like cutting her ties, her future plans and seeing the world on her own. I love that Pippa stays grounded by checking in with her grandmother. She has a great relationship with at least one adult. at home and another in Italy.

I lived vicariously through her as she ate gelato, toured the collosseum, lived in a fishing town full of color by the coast and met a local Italian boy who makes sparks fly. The two main men in this story are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum in personality and it makes for a fun, not annoying love triangle. This is one I would buy and pass on to my daughters. There is some tension and kissing, but no parental content that made me uncomfortable. Highly recommend! Awesome way to tour Italy through the pages of a book!

heather Kristin_Rae

Author Bio

From Kristin Rae’s Website

YA writer.
I’m represented by Marietta B. Zacker of the Nancy Gallt Literary Agency, and my debut YA contemporary WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN will be published May 6, 2014 by Bloomsbury.
Chocolate addict.
Cake, cupcakes, cookies, hot drinks, Cadbury Mini Eggs. I don’t discriminate.  

Book hoarder.
I go to a lot of author events. I wind up with a lot of books. Hey, that wall could use a bookshelf.
Oil painting, watercolors, paper crafts.
Eater of pizza.
Cheese. Mushroom. Red pepper flakes.

Kdrama and Kpop convert.
If you have to ask, you are missing out on one of life’s most enjoyable time wasters. 

ARC Review: Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend

05 Feb, 2014 by in book review, Uncategorized, YA contemporary, YA fiction 2 comments

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

ARC Review: Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend

Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend

by Katie Finn
on May 13, 2014
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Feiwel and Friends
Buy the BookGoodreads
Summer, boys, and friendships gone sour. This new series has everything that perfect beach reads are made of!

Gemma just got dumped and is devastated. She finds herself back in the Hamptons for the summer—which puts her at risk of bumping into Hallie, her former best friend that she wronged five years earlier. Do people hold grudges that long?

When a small case of mistaken identity causes everyone, including Hallie and her dreamy brother Josh, to think she’s someone else, Gemma decides to go along with it.

Gemma's plan is working (she's finding it hard to resist Josh), but she's finding herself in embarrassing situations (how could a bathing suit fall apart like that!?). Is it coincidence or is someone trying to expose her true identity? And how will Josh react if he finds out who she is?

Katie Finn hits all the right notes in this perfect beginning to a new summer series: A Broken Hearts & Revenge novel.

Summer time, the Hamptons, a cute boy and a case of a mistaken identity…check. Unexpected twist ending which leaves reader in a  cliffhanger…check! Fun, YA contemp that you can breeze through while on vacation…yes.

Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend kept a smile on my face almost the entire time I was reading. Gemma is sent to stay with her father for the summer while her mom and step dad are off to Scotland. But she dreads the Hamptons! Scene of a huge life changing summer that snowballed into a lot of hurt, she’s trying to avoid the place of her crime. But when she meets a cute boy on the bus and his sister comes to pick him up the cat is out of the bag…or not.

Gemma is desperately hoping her nemesis Hallie won’t remember who she is,  and that the name printed on her coffee cup can be her alter identity for the time being while she explores things with Josh.

But things just keep getting weirder and weirder! A babysitting job turned nightmare, food poisoning, stolen shoes and a malfunctioning swimsuit are among the crazy happenings that keep Gemma on her toes. She keeps falling into such embarassing situations that publicly humiliate her, yet Josh seems to truly care. And Gemma finds herself drawn to him even though sister Hallie has warned her not to hurt him. Josh is a keeper!

I loved the writing, the characters and the ultimate lesson that honesty always is the best policy. While it is somewhat predictable there is enough of a plot twist that I predict readers will be pulled in for the entire series, not just book one. I would like to feel, smell and hear more about the setting in the next books as the Hamptons are perfect for summer.

I would recommend Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend. Add it to your reading list!

Content (highlight to reveal): one swear word, bullying.


About The Author

Katie Finn grew up in Connecticut, in a town that looks an awful lot like Putnam. During high school, she was a total theater devotee (like Madison) and never dreamed she’d be a writer. But lots of Katie’s high school misadventures have made it into her books…which just goes to show that you never know!

She currently lives in Los Angeles, California, in a house she wishes was a lot closer to the beach.