Genre: Adult

Lady Emma’s Campaign by Jennifer Moore ~ Blog Tour

11 Nov, 2014 by in adult, blog tour, covenant, Heather Gardner Photography, historical fiction, jennifer moore Leave a comment

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

Lady Emma’s Campaign by Jennifer Moore ~ Blog Tour

Lady Emma's Campaign

by Jennifer Moore
Published by Covenant on November 1, 2014
Genres: Adult, Clean Romance, Historical Fiction
Pages: 224
Format: Paperback
five-stars
Source: Covenant
Buy the BookGoodreads
She would follow him through peace and war.

London, 1811

The London Season is ushered in with a thrilling flurry of invitations, gowns, and parties. But despite her status as belle of the ball, lovely socialite Emma Drake simply cannot fathom becoming entangled with any gentleman of her acquaintance. For in truth, since childhood her heart has belonged to Captain Sidney Fletcher, a man of the sea—and her brother’s best friend. Emma knows that Sidney’s directive to free the Spanish city of Cadiz from French occupation will be dangerous, but when word arrives of his capture, she is frantic. Determined to aid her brother in Sidney’s rescue, she hides aboard his ship and sets a course to Spain. But the realities of war are a far cry from the drawing rooms of London, and Emma finds the man she loves a mere shadow of his former self. When a series of events leaves them trapped together behind enemy lines, Emma and Sidney must embark on a journey fraught with danger—from a bloody hunt for Spanish treasure to the battlefields of war-torn Spain, new threats lurk around every turn. As their flight becomes increasingly perilous, Sidney and Emma must trust each other with their lives—but can they trust the other with their heart?
lady emmas blog tour

 

Author Jennifer Moore is back after her debut, with a companion novel to Becoming Lady Lockwood. And, I must say her writing is even better than ever. I absolutely loved Lady Emma’s Campaign. Set in Spain during the Regency Era Napoleonic Wars, it is the tale of a soldier experiencing PTSD after a grueling number of years on the battlefield, and his best friend’s sister Emma. She is 17 and in her season with plenty of suitors, but her heart is set on Sidney Drake. She is determined to be seen as more than a sister figure or young girl, and to win his heart.

With fascinating descriptions of life in Spain during war time, life on the seas as a sailor, and the dull social preoccupation of London’s scene, I was hooked. As a fan of historical fiction and clean romance, I must recommend you pick up Lady Emma’s Campaign. I am so impressed with all the well-researched facts and the psychological effects of trauma that were built into the story line.

Highly recommend!

Thanks to Covenant Communications for the sneak peek before publication date, and to author Jennifer Moore for allowing me the privilege of taking her author photos.

Content: moderate war related violence, kissing, threat of assault but nothing described.

 About the Author

Copyright Heather Zahn Gardner

Jennifer Moore is a passionate reader and writer of all things romance due to the need to balance the rest of her world that includes a perpetually traveling husband and four active sons, who create heaps of laundry that is anything but romantic. Jennifer has a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Utah and is a Guitar Hero champion. She lives in northern Utah with her family. Becoming Lady Lockwood–July 2014 (Covenant) Lady Emma’s Campaign–November 2014 (Covenant) The Sheik’s Ruby–Winter 2015 (The Wild Rose Press) Miss Burton Unmasks a Prince–February 2015 (Covenant)You can learn more about her at: authorjmoore.com

Blog Tour Schedule

The Giveaway

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Review~ Christopher Columbus : A Man Among the Gentiles

03 Nov, 2014 by in Uncategorized 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.

Review~ Christopher Columbus : A Man Among the Gentiles

Christopher Columbus : A Man Among the Gentiles

by Clark B. Hinckley
Published by Deseret Book on August 2014
Genres: Adult, Non- Fiction
Pages: 276
Format: Hardcover
five-stars
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
The story of Christopher Columbus has become so enshrouded in myth over the centuries, and so distorted by political correctness in recent decades, that the facts of his life remain largely a mystery to all but a handful of scholars.

And yet, author Clark B. Hinckley reminds us, the Book of Mormon prophet Nephi suggests that Columbus stands out as "a man among the Gentiles." In fact, Lehi and Nephi describe only two specific individuals in their prophecy of the latter-day restoration of the gospel: Christopher Columbus and Joseph Smith.

Columbus himself wrote that he was inspired by the Holy Ghost to undertake his great voyage of discovery; a claim some historians struggle to accept. But this candid and revealing look at the life of Christopher Columbus shows us a man with a great dream.

Through research into original Spanish texts and accounts written in Columbus's own hand, the author retraces the journeys of this dedicated explorer to uncover what may be the most remarkable aspect of Columbus's life: the degree to which he understood his prophetic mission and his place in history.

I picked up Christopher Columbus : A Man Among the Gentiles by Clark B . Hinckley on Columbius Day in an effort to learn more about the man behind the holiday. The author has done meticulous research with sourced materials to paint a very different picture of the explorer from the one that is being pushed in today’s progressive history lessons. I wanted toe separate myth and legend from documented fact. Including new texts like Columbus’ “Libro de Las Profecias,” we learn that Columbus was a man led by God to unlock the path the to the new world navigating upon the ocean. Columbus himself wrote “with a hand that could be felt, the Lord opened my mind to the fact that it would be possible to sail and he opened my will to desire to accomplish the project… This was the fire that burned within me… Who can doubt that this fire was not merely mine, but also of the Holy Ghost… Urging me to press forward?

Born in Genoa Christopher Columbus was named after St. Christopher. His name literally means Christ – bearer. pgs 18-20 He was a man rejected time and time again until after much persistence, his request to sail in search of the East was finally granted. Packed with history, this offers an integrated view that Columbus was in fact a visionary man who truly felt led and guided. He was well-read and amazingly accurate in his method of navigation. As a history minor, I LOVED this book. I passed the lessons on to my children and we talked about the book in family home evening. Well written, interesting and thoughtfully researched.

About the AuthorClark_Hinckley

Clark B. Hinckley is a banker by vocation and a historian by avocation. A director of Zions First National Bank, he earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from the Harvard Business School. He is a graduate and former faculty member of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking.

A former bishop and stake president, he presided over the Spain Barcelona Mission from 2009 to 2012. He and his wife, Kathleen Hansen Hinckley, have six children and eighteen grandchildren. They have lived in New York City, Michigan, and Arizona. They reside in Salt Lake City and serve in the baptistry of the Salt Lake Temple and teach Sunday School.

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Candy Canes & Christmastime by Linda Hoffman Kimball~ Blog Tour

24 Oct, 2014 by in adult, candy canes and christmastime, christmas, compilation Leave a 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.

Candy Canes & Christmastime by Linda Hoffman Kimball~ Blog Tour

Candy Canes and Christmastime: Enhancing the Holidays in the Real World,

by Linda Hoffman Kimball
Published by Cedar Fort on 2014
Genres: Adult, Christmas, Non- Fiction
Pages: 178
Format: Paperback
three-half-stars
Source: Cedar Fort
Goodreads
If the holiday rush has you feeling like you’ve been run over by a reindeer, this is the book for you! Linda Hoffman Kimball presents a compilation of heartfelt and humorous stories and ideas that help families refocus on the sacredness of the season. Discover unique traditions, fresh ideas, practical tips, and spiritual insights so that your family can get back on track.

A diverse compilation of stories to help us remember the real reason for Christmas and to remind mothers who try to do it all to simplify and just enjoy. Many of of the stories are pulled from previous magazine publications.

I really loved the graphic and cover design of the book, as well as the wide range of voices and recipes.

Some of the hand illustrated clip art didn’t quite fit the stories, and the graphics on the pages seemed a bit misplaced. I would love to have seen a table of contents of the authors with their articles, instead of having them listed separately. Overall, aside from the small editing and organization issues, this would be a great gift and stocking stuffer.

About the Authorkimball_linda

Linda Hoffman Kimball has been drawing since she was old enough to hold a crayon. She came to writing as a creative passion (rather than a requirement for studies) when she realized that storing words took up much less space than storing art. At age 10 she won a Celebrity Look-Alike contest for her costumed portrayal of Bullwinkle the Moose. Other childhood art competitions earned her a Kissy Doll and a transistor radio. With those early triumphs she knew her career would be down the riches-laden path of the arts.

Raised in the midwest and paying property taxes there as well as in New England and the Rocky Mountains, Linda loves to travel to visit or host her family and friends. She earned a BA from Wellesley College and an MFA from Boston University. She and her husband have three grown children who have provided much fodder for her material over the years.

Blog Tour Schedule

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Painting Kisses by Melanie Jacobson ~ Blog Tour

23 Oct, 2014 by in adult, covenant, melanie jacobson Leave a comment

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

Painting Kisses by Melanie Jacobson ~ Blog Tour

Painting Kisses

by Melanie Jacobson
Published by Covenant on October 2nd 2014
Genres: Adult, Clean Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 240
Format: Paperback
four-stars
Source: Covenant
Buy the BookGoodreads
Lia Carswell is good at what she does, even if it isn't as glamorous as her old artist life in Manhattan. The popular waitress works hard in a small Salt Lake City diner, with the goal of easing her sister's financial strain. And with her witty personality and good looks, she's something of an enigma to the male customers who vie for her attention. Ever the professional, Lia keeps her distance, with one exception. Aidan is a breakfast regular, and his gentle, clever teasing draws Lia's attention and builds an easy rapport between them, though Lia would never let their relationship get serious, especially since he's not the only one trying to catch her eye. Her handsome neighbor Griff has been hinting that he wants more than a neighborly relationship.

Then her old New York artist life comes knocking, and an offer is made for a series of commissioned paintings. Lia knows it would ensure financial security for her family, but she doesn't know if she wants that life anymore. When she undertakes one final project, she reawakens her heart and soul. And as she finds herself falling in love and needing an outlet more and more, she realizes her paintings might be her saving grace.
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A New York artist flees back to the mountainous landscape of her youth to start over…as a cafe waitress. In saunters Aidan, a regular customer and his dog who flirts relentlessly trying to steal a date from Lia. But she has some sass of her own to throw back his way.

Griff is her next door neighbor, quiet and shy, but so good with Lia’s niece Chloe. She feels pulled to him, but in a completely different way than the sizzle that’s there with Aidan. Lia’s heart has walls up and two men are testing her hiatus from men. With a bucket load of banter and snark in a small town restaurant to the quiet solitude of oil painting on a mountainside, Painting Kisses is filled with detail. Gourmet foods, bright colors, linseed oil, and the rich texture of tiramisu will assault the readers senses. It took me quite a while to assimilate all the layers and feel them as the characters did, but I enjoyed the depth of the imagery present in the story. I at times found Lia’s personality a bit overpowering with sass, but overall I liked the ending and message! I would definitely recommend all of Melanie Jacobson’s books to fans of clean contemporary romance.

Content: Some kissing and tension, mention of prescription drug addiction and domestic abuse, but no violence.

The Tour Schedule

October  20th-25th:

About the AuthorMelaniepic

Melanie Bennett Jacobson is an avid reader, amateur cook, and champion shopper. She consumes astonishing amounts of chocolate, chick flicks, and romance novels. After meeting her husband online, she is now living happily married in Southern California with her growing family and a series of doomed houseplants. Melanie is a former English teacher and a popular speaker who loves to laugh and make others laugh. In her down time (ha!), she writes romantic comedies for Covenant and maintains her humorous slice-of-life blog. Her fourth novel, Smart Move, hits shelves in October.

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Sophia by Paula Kremeser Blog Tour, Review

22 Oct, 2014 by in adult, blog tour, cedar fort, clean read, regency romance Leave a 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.

Sophia by Paula Kremeser Blog Tour, Review

Sophia

by Paula Kremser
Published by Cedar Fort on October 14, 2014
Genres: Adult, Clean Romance, Regency
Pages: 208
Format: Paperback
three-half-stars
Source: Cedar Fort
Buy the BookGoodreads
Small-town Sophia Spencer can’t believe her luck when an unexpected inheritance allows her to experience London’s social scene. But her happiness disappears when she is caught napping in a grumpy gentleman’s room—and forced into an engagement to protect her reputation! Personalities collide and love blooms in this stunning debut novel.
Sophia-blog-tour

Sophia Spencer is a small town doctor’s daughter, raised far from the influence of the ton and high London society. So, when a solicitor shows up at her door with an inheritance to bestow, life takes quite the unexpected twist. She is sent to town for her “season”, a whirlwind schedule of teas and concerts under the care of her aunt, whom she’d never met. The pace is dizzying and society’s rules so confusing. Sophia lays down for a nap at the ball and wakes up in quite an uncomfortable, but innocent situation that could ruin her reputation and the honor of the man involved. She finds herself engaged to be married to Adam Huntley, a sour grumpy (yet handsome) fellow–but can she follow through?

A light, clean introduction to Regency era romance, Sophia is told in dual perspective. There is a villain afoot and a slow romance fighting against the odds. Overall, I genuinely enjoyed this one, but wished for more detail and fleshing out of the characters and story line. It’s a fast, simple read. I grew fond of the characters and was thirsting for more sights, sounds and feels. Paula has some wonderful material in person and place to work with for future novels and I hope to see more from her on shelves in the future!

Clean, quick read.

About the Author

Paula Kremser focused on a career in science for several years after graduating from Brigham Young University. DNA purification and Affinity Chromatography were always interesting, but when Paula-Kremser-author-360x310she moved to England, Paula seized the opportunity to focus on her love of the Regency Era. The enchantment of the aristocracy and the fascinating stories from every stately home she visits have been both research and inspiration for her first novel. Paula lives with her husband and four children in a charming village nestled in the Chiltern hills in Buckinghamshire.
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Movie Preview~ No Ordinary Shepherd, The Last Straw

10 Oct, 2014 by in covenant, movie, movie review, movie trailer Leave a comment

Genres: Adult, Christmas, Inspirational, LDS, Movie
Source: Covenant

the last strawYesterday I had the opportunity to attend a special screening of two new movies coming to stores just in time for Christmas from Covenant Communications. No Ordinary Shepherd and The Last Straw. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the house at the end of either of them. Lots of sniffles heard in the theater! Both are clean and appropriate for families.

Head to your local Seagull book as I’ve heard they may have hit shelves already. Special thanks to Covenant Communications for giving me a good cry and an uplifting start to the season…

no ordinary sheperd

No Ordinary Shepherd

As the sun beams brightly on the hills surrounding Palestine, one young shepherd boy thoughtfully considers the significance of the day. The child, crippled in a terrible accident, has always treasured his shepherd father’s tale of that starlit night so many years before — a night filled with the wonder of angelic heralds and a tiny Bethlehem stable sheltering the chosen Messiah. Now, years since that sacred event, tales of Jesus of Nazareth’s miraculous birth touch the young boy’s faith. When he meets the gentle stranger in the hills — a man strangely familiar to him — the faithful young shepherd encounters a miracle of his own.

22 minutes long

Themes: healing, miracles, believing

Content: clean, for all ages

5

Mainstay Productions Facebook* Covenant Communications

 

The Last Straw

Christmas is supposed to be a season of love, warm feelings, and happy hearts. But with the childrens’ constant bickering, pretty packages and a sweet-smelling tree don’t come close to filling the McDonald home with the true spirit of the first Christmas. Then Mom remembers an old tradition of building a soft bed for Baby Jesus one straw at a time. Each time someone secretly does something nice for another family member, he or she gets to add a single straw to the manger. Soon the childrens’ quarreling and negative feelings subside and the homemade crib is overflowing. But for one family member, a required act of kindness becomes more than he can take. The Last Straw is a true story.

 

Themes: Cyberbullying, grief, service, sibling rivalry

Content: Kissing, some tight clothing.

3_5 heather
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Review and Event Photos: Focused by Noelle Pikus- Pace

04 Oct, 2014 by in deseret book, Focused, Noelle Pikus- Pace Leave a comment

Review and Event Photos: Focused by Noelle Pikus- Pace

Focused: Keeping Your Life on Track, One Choice at a Time

Published by Deseret Book on September 8, 2014
Genres: Adult, Inspirational, LDS, Non- Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 144
Format: Hardcover
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
Where are your choices leading you? Regardless of our circumstances, each moment presents us with decision to make. It doesn't matter what question, trial, or success we experience—each traces back to a choice. At any given moment, we can choose to doubt, fear, worry; to be prideful, angry, depressed, or miserable—or we can choose to move forward. We can choose to be a light. We can choose to be happy. The choice is always ours, and each choice can be a step forward on the path of life we want for ourselves.

The life lessons learned by Olympic athlete Noelle Pikus Pace can equip each of us to turn daily choices and challenges into opportunities for growth. In her warm and relatable style, Noelle shares touching personal stories and teaches how these experiences can help us keep a healthy perspective on the things that matter most. She helps us to see that though all of our goals and trials are different, we each can choose to become the best versions of ourselves one day at a time.

Covering topics from letting go of expectations and pressures to finding a healthy life balance, from standing up for ourselves to standing for righteousness, world champion Noelle Pikus Pace infuses readers with the enthusiasm and confidence to get a little closer to their goals each and every day.

Never has a book been more timely than Focused by Noelle Pikus- Pace is for this generation. A silver medal US Olympic skeleton racer, Pikus Pace shares her wisdom with youth as well as her life experiences. In 2006 she was badly injured by a bobsled and had a huge mountain to climb to make it back on the track.Like, all of us, she has faced moral dilemmas, ups and downs, but she remained focused on what matters most.

Noelle shares how important it is to step outside our comfort zone and friendship others. She shares her personal struggle with miscarriage and returning to the track after an answer to prayer. She reminds youth to be modest, to be an example and to let your light shine.

I read this book full of quotes, photos and inspirational graphics in one sitting. It is one I will passing on to my daughters and sons. I cried along with her when she finally grasped her Olympic medal dream, with YW medallion also around her neck on the awards podium. Her temple medallion reminds all of us…”You are more precious than rubies.”
heather

The Q& A Event

focused_with_medal

Noelle absolutely shines when you meet her in person. I had the opportunity to met her at a Deseret Book event and she wanted all of us to see and feel her medal, to feel a part of her victory. She is an amazing example of faith and love. If you ever get the chance…GO see her!

See More Photos and Deseret News Media Coverage From The Event Here (we are in photo nine)

Favorite Quote

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with the whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9 “It isn’t always easy to be the one and only standing up for something you believe in. But I can promise you that it is much easier to stand with courage in the days to come if you decide now, today, in this moment, who you are and what you stand for.” ~Noelle Pikus Pace, {Focused} page 67

About the Authornoelle_pikus_pace

NOELLE PIKUS PACE became the first American woman to win the Overall World Cup Title in skeleton in 2005. After playing a variety of sports through high school and college, her exceptional strength in skeleton made her favored to win the gold medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics. An unfortunate accident prevented her from competing, but the following year she came back to win the World Championships by the largest margin in the history of the sport. Noelle competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics and was the top U.S. finisher, placing fourth.

She retired after the Olympics to spend more time with her family. Following a miscarriage in April of 2012, Noelle and her husband, Janson, decided that she would try one last time to earn an Olympic medal, on the condition that the family would all travel together. Competing in 32 national and international competitions over two years, Noelle finished on the podium 29 times and concluded her career by triumphantly winning the silver medal at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and jumping into the stand to share the moment with her family and the world.

Noelle earned a bachelor’s degree in 2005 and a master of business administration degree in 2007. Noelle and Janson have two children, Lacee and Traycen.

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Review ~Joyful: Return to Sugarcreek, Book Three

01 Oct, 2014 by in adult, amish fiction, HarperCollins Leave a comment

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

Review ~Joyful: Return to Sugarcreek, Book Three

Joyful

by Shelley Shepard Gray
Series: Return to Sugar Creek #3
Published by HarperCollins on September 2, 2014
Genres: Adult, Amish Fiction, Christian, Clean Romance
Pages: 266
Format: Paperback
five-stars
Source: HarperCollins
Buy the BookGoodreads
Return to Sugarcreek with bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray for a heartwarming story of second chances with a young Amish couple

Randall Beiler will sacrifice anything to take care of his younger siblings and the family farm, even if it means forsaking love. But when his brother offers pretty Elizabeth Nolt a job cleaning and cooking for the family, Randall is furious—and feels guilty about the way he once broke Elizabeth's heart. Then he learns that Elizabeth and her grandmother are struggling to make ends meet and he knows the offer, no matter how painful, is the right thing for everyone.

Elizabeth wants to refuse but she needs the work. Though she vows to protect her heart, spending time in the Beiler household makes Elizabeth realize that her love for Randall still burns strong. And though Randall keeps his distance at first, time and teamwork reveal that something deeper still connects them.

Elizabeth isn't sure what to think: Does Randall want her because he truly loves her, or because he needs a housekeeper? And if his feelings have changed for sure, Randall must find a way to show Elizabeth what she really means to him or risk losing his partner in life and love forever.

It was a rainy day yesterday and I picked up three different books in hopes for an escape, and struck out. So I turned to Shelley Shepard Gray…bingo! Once again, her Return to Sugar Creek series was the ticket to a clean, sweet diversion. The third installment picks up three different story lines and follows the theme of second chances, tender mercies from a loving God. There’s the couple who has broken up, the young couple who has miscarried and is looking to adopt, and a divorced restaurant owner who is afraid to trust again. At firs, I was hesitant to have so much going on at one time and I found myself drawn to the story of Elizabeth and Randall. I wasn’t quite as engaged in the other two stories, until the very end, when I was surprised to find I was in tears at the sweet story of a foster baby finding a home.

Shelley Shepard Gray wraps things up in a neat tidy package. She writes feel good novels with faith intertwined. If you are looking for a simple plot with predictable resolution you will be pleased. One finds themselves transported to a community where horse drawn buggies are still used, homemade sugar cookies are cut out with the top of a glass. Yet, modernization is afoot and modern characters are woven in quite nicely. I love the Amish charm and the goodness that emanates from their lives. Recommend this series for a Fall rainy day read! There’s study questions in the book and a sneak peek to book four…going online to pre-order!

heather shelleyshepardgray2013-240x300

Author Bio

I grew up in Houston, Texas, went to Colorado for college, and after living in Arizona, Dallas, and Denver, we moved to southern Ohio about ten years ago.

I’ve always thought of myself as a very hard worker, but not ‘great’ at anything. I’ve obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degree…but I never was a gifted student. I took years of ballet and dance, but I never was anywhere near the star of any recital. I love to cook, but I’m certainly not close to being gourmet…and finally I love to write books, but I’ve certainly read far better authors.

Maybe you are a little bit like me. I’ve been married for almost twenty years and have raised two kids. I try to exercise but really should put on my tennis shoes a whole lot more. I’m not a great housekeeper, I hate to drive in the snow, and I don’t think I’ve ever won a Monopoly game. However, I am the best wife and mother I know how to be.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that in God’s eyes that is okay? That from His point of view, we are all exceptional? I treasure that knowledge and am always so thankful for my faith. His faith in me makes me stand a little straighter, smile a little bit more, and be so very grateful for every gift He’s given me.

I started writing about the Amish because their way of life appealed to me. I wanted to write stories about regular. likeable people in extraordinary situations-and who just happened to be Amish.

Getting the opportunity to write Inspirational novels is truly gratifying. With every book, I feel my faith grows stronger. And that makes me feel very special indeed.

 

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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
five-stars
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.
for_elise_banner

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.)

 

heather

 

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.

 

Blog Tour Schedule

The Giveaway

$50 amazon gift card
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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
five-stars
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.

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