Posts Categorized: Shadow Mountain

Author Guest Post with Kelli Swofford Nielsen

15 Jun, 2012 by in Shadow Mountain, stone mage wars Leave a comment

Fire and Ice has invited author Kelli Swofford Nielsen today to talk about her book which was given at BEA last week and is an awesome YA fantasy debut for 2012 from Shadow Mountain. Here’s a little about the first in the Stone Mage Wars series as well as an exclusive post from the author below the summary.

Journey to the Fringe
Stone Mage Ward Book 1
by Kelli Swofford Nielsen 
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 1st 2012
by Shadow Mountain
ISBN 139781609088521


Summary from Goodreads: Long ago, Stone Mages were revered in Lyria. They were men and women who could use powerful tradestones to harness their unique gifts of wind, rain, and earth to help those around them. But war with the Southern realm has threatened the mages with extinction. The truth about the tradestones has been lost, and the remaining magic is dwindling. When Princess Ivy, the beloved daughter of the king, is abducted, it seems that all hope for Lyria is lost as well. But when an unlikely group of loyal subjects embarks on a dangerous journey to the far-distant Fringe, the hope of restoring crown and kingdom is renewed. Among the group is Simon, a fool with wisdom beyond his years; Gilda, a nonmagical witch; Burr, a young thief; and Merrick, a jaded sea captain. Their quest will test their courage, their strength, and their friendship. But at the Fringe, they encounter a truth that will change everything they thought they knew about themselves, and this small band of heroes must embrace the power that is their birthright and stand together as Stone Mages of Lyria
Author guest post:
“I want to thank Heather for featuring my book, Stone Mage Wars: Journey to the Fringe on her website, and am excited for the opportunity to do a post for Fire and Ice.
I have always been a big reader. I read a wide variety of genres—classics, contemporary adult fiction, mysteries, some nonfiction, but I have long been especially fond of fantasy—particularly YA fantasy. I remember reading and re-reading Robin McKinley’s books The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword during my difficult middle school years, and gaining an appreciation for honest, character-driven stories that feature brave heroines, magic, a little romance, and deeply-woven settings with a sense of history and authenticity.
Although I spent years developing ideas about what made great fantasy, I never considered writing my own until after I left teaching high school English to stay at home with my infant son. During that time, I read a collection of short stories by Garth Nix called Across the Wall. Before each story, Nix told a little about why or how he had written it, and I found that the way he described his thought process felt a lot like mine. I thought, maybe I should write short stories, and then I thought, maybe I should just write short chapters, and so I did. I began writing the kind of story that I found I liked reading, and over the space of a couple of years my short chapters eventually became a novel.
When I started writing Journey to the Fringe I had a basic storyline in mind driven by a few key characters—chiefly Princess Ivy, who was captured and whisked away to the perilous Fringe, only to find out that the end of the world was only an edge, and that her adventure was just beginning. I liked the idea of the magic in the novel centering on these common objects, stones, that the characters wore all the time—and took for granted. Only later would they discover that they each possessed a unique gift, in connection with their stones, that they could use for the good of their kingdom. As I wrote, more characters emerged and occasionally took the story places I hadn’t planned. They included a brave local fool, a jaded sea captain, a rejected witch, a young thief, and others. I felt that the characters grew as the story went on, and so even though I originally wrote Journey to the Fringe to stand alone, I was excited to let it continue when the publisher suggested a trilogy.
I am very excited to have Journey to the Fringe now in print! I feel pleased with my first novel and the way it turned out. However, as I am now almost finished writing the second book in the Stone Mage Wars trilogy, I am happily anticipating the opportunity to allow the story to further evolve in interesting and fulfilling ways.”
~Kelli Swofford Nielsen

About the author: Kelli Swofford Nielsen graduated from Utah State University with a bachelor’s degree in teaching English. She and her husband, Jeff, live in Chicago, Illinois, with their two sons. Journey to the Fringe is Kelli’s debut novel.

Find out more on Goodreads/ Shadow Mountain/ Deseret Book


InterrobangYA Video- Heather Talks May & Summer 2012 Releases

28 Apr, 2012 by in Shadow Mountain, vlog Leave a comment

Heather talks on the InterrobangYA channel about books coming out Tuesday May 1, 2012 as well as a few more upcoming titles for summer 2012.
Featured titles are Surrender by Elana Johnson (Simon Pulse), Black Dawn by Rachel Caine (Penguin), Journey to the Fringe: Stone Mage Wars Book One by Kelli Swofford Nielsen (Shadow Mountain), Middle School Magic: The Kindling by Braden Bell (Cedar Fort), Laughing with the Moon by Shana Burg (Delcorte), Silence: Book One of the Queen of the Dead by Michele Sagara ( Daw), and A Tale of the Dragon’s Bard: Eventide by Tracy & Laura Hickman (Shadow Mountain).

Banana Split Blog Tour and Review

13 Apr, 2012 by in Shadow Mountain 5 comments

Fire and Ice is thrilled to be today’s stop on the official blog tour for:
Banana Split: A Culinary Mystery
by Josie S Kilpack
Published February 1,2012
by Shadow Mountain
Paperback, 368 pages
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5 stars

Book Summary: Sadie Hoffmiller has survived eighteen months of nonstop adventures filled with murder, deceit, and danger. She could really use some rest—and maybe even some time to heal—relaxing in the tropical paradise of Kaua’i. However, palm trees and sunshine are not as effective a medication as Sadie had hoped. And when she finds herself entangled—literally—with a dead body, she is forced to face the compounding fears and anxieties that are making her life so difficult to live.

Her determination to stay out of danger and to focus on overcoming her anxieties soon takes a backseat when she meets eleven-year-old Charlie, the son of the woman whose body she discovered near Anahola Beach. Charlies has some questions of his own about what happened to his mother, and he is convinced that only Sadie can help him. If only Sadie were as confident in her abilities as Charlie is.

With the help of her best friend and a local social worker, Sadie dives into another mystery with the hope that, at the end, she’ll be able to find the peace and closure that has eluded her. 
I have long been a fan of the Culinary Mystery series by Josi S. Kilpack. Sadie Hoffmiller is a fabulous heroine. She is the quintessential nosy neighbor, yet she makes you love her from page one. Sure, she has to know everything that is going on around her, and that often gets her in trouble. But, Sadie truly cares about her friends and family. 
Banana Split did not disappoint. It begins in tropical Hawaii, with an overstressed Sadie, trying to gain a little inner peace. Unfortunately, peace was in short supply, but she does discover the dead body of a missing local woman. When the woman’s now orphaned son asks Sadie for help, how can she say no? Sadie, being the busybody that she is, gets mixed up in more than she realizes when she tries to help find the cause of this young woman’s death. 

Both the prose and the delicious sounding recipes will be sure to delight. This cozy mystery has many twists and turns that kept me wondering “who dunnit” clear up to the final chapters. 
Content: Clean. There is discussion of drug use and possibly extra-marital affairs, but never in a way that condones the activity.
About the Author (from Author’s website):
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. Her most recent book, Blackberry Crumble, is the fifth book in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series. Josi currently lives in Willard Utah with her husband, four children, one dog, and varying number of chickens. Visit Josi on her website.

Ambush Review and Signed Swag Giveaway

06 Mar, 2012 by in obert skye, Shadow Mountain, ya fantasy 3 comments

Pillage, Book 3: Ambush
by Obert Skye
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 24, 2012
by Deseret Book Company
ISBN 1609088913
Book Source: Publisher
4 stars
Summary: “What can happen on an innocent field trip to a museum? In the secure protection of a jail? OR on a simple bus ride? Plenty, if you are a member of the Pillage family and your name is Beck Phillips. No matter what strangeness is going on, Beck still manages to turn things on their head.
When Beck’s personality and behavior begins to change after he makes a fateful, life-altering decision involving–what else?–a dragon egg, there is no one around to stop him from fulfilling his family’s destiny set out in The Grim Knot. And as life in Kingsplot moves unwittingly toward the brink of another dragon disaster, Beck finds himself living a life of deception as he hides information from the people who love and care about him the most.”
Beck is trying to get back to normal after he, Wyatt, and his long-suffering girlfriend Kate drop the last egg in the manor where it, hopefully, can’t be reached again. Beck heads to a field trip with his class to the town museum. Beck is drawn to a Pillage statue. Under his feet, though, mushrooms start to grow and take over. Causing a very bad situation for Beck involving buses and water. When he finds himself in a police car, he says,
“I couldn’t believe what was happening to me. Sure, a lot of odd things had occurred since I had moved to Kingsplot. I had raised dragons, discovered my father, and destroyed a few things along the way, but this was the first time I had been arrested.” page 43
Beck is later asked to do something by his sick father. Should he do it? Even though he knows what will happen, and it could risk his relationship with Kate, Beck is tempted.
Mindy’s Review: 4 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed this series. It’s a great ride! I love how the author writes Beck’s character. He’s a sarcastic little brat sometimes, but he always makes me smile. Beck always has something clever to say. He is written so well, each character is. There are some surprises with the dragon egg that I really liked, and a little twist too. I did want more from the dragon though, but it didn’t “ruin” the book for me. Very clever and creative series. Check out my earlier review of Pillage.
About the Author:  Obert Skye read his first book at age two. He wrote his first story at age four. And he was nearly trampled by a herd of water buffalo at age six. For a short time, he lived on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, where he spent time as a candy-taster. Several years ago, Obert Skye says, he discovered the existence of Foo. Publishing his story as a fictional series was not Obert’s first choice. Nevertheless he is content that the “history” is being told. Hobbies and other interests: Collecting old maps, water polo, roller coasters.
Order the book from AMAZON / B & N / DESERET BOOK / SEAGULL BOOK
Find Obert Skye on Goodreads/ His site/ Twitter/ Facebook

                                                                                                                                           photo by Heather Zahn Gardner

The Giveaway: Heather from Fire and Ice had the chance to meet Obert at his Deseret Book signing last week. So, we are giving away a swag pack of an author signed bookmark and postcard! 

Simply comment below to enter.
Open internationally. Ends March  20, 2012.

Book Review- Edenbrooke

27 Jan, 2012 by in regency, Shadow Mountain 3 comments

by Julianne Donaldson
Paperback, 240 pages
Expected publication: April 3rd 2012
by Deseret Book Company
ISBN 1609089464

Book Source: publisher
4.5 stars

Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she’ll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry. From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will she be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke

One of the first things I love about Edenbrooke is that the cover perfectly fits the story and is subtle but breathtaking. Marianne is living in Bath with her spinster grandma, separated form her twin sister after the death of their mother. Both are in the season of their life and while their father is off on his own grieving in another country Marianne is trying in vain to enjoy the quiet solitary life she’s been allotted. Between unwelcome advances from a much older man and hearing all of the adventures of her twin in London, she begins to wonder what is in store for her. So when sister Cecily sends invitation for the two of them to spend the summer on an estate called Edenbrooke Marianne is hopeful her luck may change.  The two sisters couldn’t be more opposite in their demeanor and temperaments. Cecily is bound and determined to win the heart of the Lord of the estate with flirtation during her visit while Marianne is happy to learn in her quiet way how to become a proper Lady.  But things turn unexpectedly when Marianne’s carriage is high jacked and a stranger steps in to help.

Edenbrooke pulled me out of a reading slump with its rich setting and slowly building clean romance. It had a surprise ending with a villain I never would have guessed and plenty of heart stopping moments between the pages. I would highly recommend it to all readers and especially fans of Regency romance. I think Julianne  has a promising road ahead of her as an up and coming author who delights readers with vivid writing and well developed characters. Thanks so much to Shadow Mountain for the advanced reading copy!

Content: clean, minor violence

About the author: Julianne Donaldson was born in the wrong century. She tries to make up for that by enjoying old books, old music, and old places. She graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University with a degree in English Literature. When she’s not dreaming of England, she enjoys baking, dancing with her kids, and staying up late with her husband and a good book. She lives with her husband and four children in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Find her on Goodreads and her blog.

Jacob T. Marley by R. William Bennett

21 Nov, 2011 by in R William Bennett, Shadow Mountain 1 comment

Jacob T. Marley
by R William Bennett
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published October 12, 2011
by Shadow Mountain
ISBN 1590383516
Source: Publisher

Rating: 4 Stars

Marley was dead to begin with . . . These chillingly familiar words begin the classic Christmas tale of remorse and redemption in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Now R. William Bennett rewinds the story and focuses the spotlight on Scrooge s miserly business partner, Jacob T. Marley, who was allowed to return as a ghost to warn Scrooge away from his ill-fated path. Why was Marley allowed to return? And why hadn t he been given the same chance as Ebenezer Scrooge? Or had he? Written with a voice reminiscent of Dickens, Jacob T. Marley is to A Christmas Carol as the world-famous Wicked is to The Wizard of Oz as this masterfully crafted story teaches of choices, consequences, and of the power of accountability. It is sure to become a Christmas favorite.
I am going to admit something to you, dear readers: I have never actually read the book A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (I have seen multiple movie version of the story, most often the Mickey Mouse version) I am not really sure why, to be honest, but after reading Jacob T. Marley, you can be certain that I will be reading the classic Dicken’s tale this December.

Jacob Marley is the ghost who ushers in Scrooge’s night of redemption, by visiting and warning him of the fate that awaits Scrooge if he does not change, and telling him of the visitors who would be visiting him that night. But, what do we know of Marley other than his being much like Scrooge in his business practices. Why was Scrooge given a change for redemption, but Marley was doomed to an eternal life of torment? In the book Jacob T. Marley by R. William Bennett we learn more of Marley, his life, and his death. We see his side of what happened that Christmas Eve night.

I truly enjoyed this book, written in a style that echoes Dickens (even though I have not read A Christmas Carol, I have read Dickens 🙂 ). It is a tale of heartbreak and sorrow as well joy and changing hearts. Jacob T. Marley is quick read that is certain to put you in the Christmas mood.

Book Review and Ipad Giveaway for Pumpkin Roll

26 Sep, 2011 by in pumpkin roll, Shadow Mountain 72 comments

Pumpkin Rollby Josi S. Kilpack
Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 7th 2011
by Deseret Book Company
ISBN 1609087453

Book Source: publisher
4 stars

Sadie Hoffmiller is looking forward to spending her favorite baking season of the year making delicious New England recipes in Boston, Massachusetts, with her favorite leading man, Pete Cunningham, as they babysit his three young grandsons. But when the boys insist that Mrs. Wapple, the woman who lives across the street, is a witch, Sadie and Pete are anxious to distract the boys from such Halloween-induced ideas. However, it gets harder and harder to explain the strange things that keep happening, particularly after Sadie learns the eccentric Mrs. Wapple has been attacked in her home. As the unexplained occurrences escalate, Sadie finds herself embroiled in yet another mystery with life-or-death consequences. Can Sadie discover whoever—or whatever—is behind the mystery before anyone else gets hurt? Or will this be Sadie’s last case?

Don’t ask me how I have gone so long without reading one of Josi Kilpack’s culinary mysteries, but I have obviously been missing out on all the fun. Pumpkin Roll is absolutely perfect for Fall and Halloween! Set in Jamaica Plain, a small township of Boston it is close to heart of the Salem Witch Trials. Things get spooky fast for Sadie and boyfriend Pete who are on vacation together while watching Pete’s grandchildren. Between light bulbs exploding, strange faces in the window, night time visitors and the witch across the street who is always digging in her yard, Sadie is sure there’s a mystery to be unraveled. In her nosy neighbor way she offers a plate of cookies to Mrs. Wapple and is determined to figure out why she’s so strange. But danger lurks around the fence!

With mouthwatering recipes for cookies, whoopie pies, clam chowder and cinnamon twists, Pumpkin Roll is one you don’t want to read while hungry! Sadie will have you itching to bake and trying to put together all the little clues behind this who done it. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to all readers as a must have before Halloween. The atmospheric creepy tone is topped off with lots of comfort foods for a perfect combination. Now that I’ve discovered The Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series I can’t wait for Banana Split coming in Spring 2012. Thanks so much to Deseret Book for sending me Pumpkin Roll!

Content: some violence and creepiness

About 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. Her most recent book, Blackberry Crumble, is the fifth book in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series. Josi currently lives in Willard Utah with her husband, four children, one dog, and varying number of chickens.

Enter to win copy of Pumpkin Roll on Goodreads.

In conjunction with the release of Pumpkin Roll, the author, Josi S. Kilpack, and the publisher, Shadow Mountain, are sponsoring a contest for a new iPad.

To enter, leave a comment in the comment section of this blog before November 1, 2011. Winners will be announced and notified November 3rd 2011.

For additional ways to enter, go to

Waiting on Wednesday- The Forgotten Locket

09 Mar, 2011 by in Shadow Mountain Leave a comment

Our Waiting on Wednesday is book three in the Hourglass Door series by Lisa Mangum titled The Forgotten Locket.
Hardcover, 416 pages
Expected publication: May 30th 2011
by Deseret Book Company
ISBN 1609080491
series: Hourglass Door Trilogy #3 .

The future is uncertain. The battle to control the past has begun. The final book in the riveting Hourglass Door trilogy begins when Abby steps through the black door, and she doesn’t dare look back. Though it means leaving Dante—wounded, bleeding, and possibly blind—she knows it is the only way to save her family and stop Zo from manipulating the river of time and throwing the future into chaos. In the end, Abby must face a final confrontation that will take her to the very origins of the Hourglass Door.

Deseret Book sent us the trailer yesterday and we are pumped!

To learn more about the series see our reviews here:

and be sure to visit our Etsy shop at LittleRedReads for Hourglass Door related items.

Imprints Teaser Giveaway

04 Dec, 2010 by in rachel ann nunes, Shadow Mountain 62 comments

by Rachel Ann Nunes
Paperback, 337 pages
Published April 7th 2010
by Shadow Mountain
ISBN 1606412434

Sometimes what you can’t see means everything

A young woman is missing. In desperation, her parents turn to Autumn Rain for help. Autumn reads imprints—emotions left mysteriously behind on certain treasured objects. But is this ability a blessing or a curse?

Sometimes Autumn isn’t sure—her life has become far from normal—but for people who have missing loved ones, her talent might mean the difference between life and death. Even the infuriating Detective Martin has asked for Autumn’s help, though at times she feels more like a suspect than a consultant. Too often Autumn finds herself retreating to her antiques shop and the company of her best friend, Jake Ryan, to avoid notice.

But soon more than one woman is mission, and Autumn teams up with private eye Keefe McConnell to investigate their disappearance. Keefe’s attraction to her is a pleasant change from Jake’s frustrating offers of friendship, but once Autumn takes that first step, she sets in motion a series of events that risk not only her own life but the lives of those she cares about most.

Learn more about author Rachel Ann Nunes on her site at

To enter to win~ Imprints ~courtesy of Shadow Mountain, simply leave a comment below.additional optional entries

+1 add Imprints to your Goodreads list
+1 follow @DeseretBookCo on Twitter
+1 follow @RachelAnnNunes on Twitter
add your entries and leave the total in your comment. Contest ends January 4, 2011

Mom’s Monday- Pingo by Brandon Mull

08 Nov, 2010 by in pingo, Shadow Mountain 20 comments

Illustrated by Brandon Dorman
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 5th 2009
by Shadow Mountain
ISBN 1606411098
5 stars

Description from Deseret “What happens when your imaginary friend turns into your imaginary enemy?

New York Times bestselling author Brandon Mull and No.1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Brandon Dorman team up in this new children’s picture book that explores the meaning of friendship and imagination.

Like many kids his age, Chad has an imaginary friend. His friend was Pingo. The two would fight ninjas, brew magical potions, and float in zero gravity. Each day was a fun-filled adventure, until Chad decided he was too old to have an imaginary friend. But Pingo wasn’t ready to leave Chad alone, and started tormenting him and causing all kinds of mischief. Can this once inseparable duo ever be friends again? Paired with charming illustrations, Pingo is a delightful read-out-loud picture book for children ages 3 and up.

Meet Pingo… complete with devil horns and polka dotted boxers. And get used to him because he’s not about to leave. He’s an imaginary friend turned to the dark side after being unsuccessfully dismissed by his owner. Pingo comes back playing pranks and leading Pirate raids in nighttime dreams. As Chad grows into an old man, he misses his side kick and they begin a whole new set of travels together. You’ll be giggling along with your children as the mischief is never ending!

Pingo has swiftly become a family favorite. How clever it is to see the floating Fablehaven book in Chad’s room during Zero gravity fun. Brandon Dorman’s illustrations are out of this world! Pair his talent with Brandon Mull’s writing and you have a winning combination. My children were entranced with this little troll and his bright yellow cover.

Enter to win a hardback copy of Pingo for your own home by leaving comment below. Contest ends December 8, 2010.