Genre: Adult

Blog Tour: The 7-Day Christian by Brad Wilcox

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

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

Blog Tour: The 7-Day Christian by Brad Wilcox

The 7-Day Christian

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

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

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

heather

Favorite Quote

 

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

 

About the AuthorBrad_Wilcox_Portrait

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

Learn more at Deseret Book

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A Year With Six Sisters’ Stuff ~ Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

09 Apr, 2014 by in Uncategorized 4 comments

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

A Year With Six Sisters’ Stuff  ~ Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

A Year With Six Sisters' Stuff

by Six SIsters' Stuff
Published by Shadow Mountain on March 25, 2014
Genres: Adult, Cookbook, Non- Fiction
Pages: 256
Format: Paperback
five-stars
Source: Shadow Mountain
Buy the BookGoodreads
"What's for dinner?" Three words every mom dreads.

Don't panic! The Six Sisters are here to help you answer that question. The Sisters have gathered together more than 150 of their most popular recipes for entrees, side dishes, and desserts and have combined them into 52 stress-free menus of perfectly prepared three-course meals.

Filled with delicious tried-and-true family favorites and oh-so-easy-to-make dishes, A Year with Six Sisters' Stuff features all-new recipes using basic ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Each menu is designed to make your dinner plans as easy as possible—and with such wide variety and a photograph accompanying every recipe in the book, you can easily mix and match menus to create a year's worth of dinner ideas.

In addition, the Sisters share some of their favorite family dinner traditions and crafts, as well as 52 dinner conversation starters, a list of pantry staples, and, food storage plan for beginners.

So what's for dinner? Whatever you'd like.

With more than 150 new recipes, complete with individual pictures, shopping lists, and easy-to-follow instructions, Six Sisters' Stuff transforms an overwhelming list of recipes and ingredients into a no-hassle, tasty meal schedule the whole family will enjoy. You'll also learn how the Six Sisters bring their families to the table with their fun family traditions and kid-friendly meals.
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What an absolutely gorgeous cook book! The pages are thick, the photos are perfect and the design is eye catching with red and turquoise as main colors. I love that Six Sisters’ Stuff uses ingredients  most people already have in their pantry, and the recipes are simple. No gourmet or hard to find things you’ll have to run to  the store and hunt down. They’ve even included their own pantry list of items you should stock up on for food storage.

Deviled eggs, smoothies, Mom’s potato salad and Almond Joy cookies are delicious! I am excited to try the Sisters’ idea of having a crazy family dinner tradition where each member picks out the food for the meal at the store. Along with 52 menu plans, there are crafts, conversation starters and ideas on how meal time can be family together time. My children all picked out recipes they want to make and I found myself stroking the pretty front and back cover. This is a high quality, well-planned cookbook with comfort food for your home.

heather

About the AuthorsSix-Sisters

 

The Six Sisters—Camille, Kristen, Elyse, Stephanie, Lauren, and Kendra—grew up in Utah, but a few of them have lived in other parts of the country since moving out of the house. Between them there are five nieces and three nephews, and all of the sisters love playing “aunt.” The sisters started the blog in February 2011 to keep in touch while they were apart, but it has since gained popularity, garnering more than 9 million viewers per month and more than 307,000 followers on Pinterest.

 

The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Blog Tour: The Light We Share by Harriet R. Uchtdorf

02 Apr, 2014 by in adult, deseret book, Harriet R. Uchtdorf, lds 2 comments

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

Blog Tour: The Light We Share by Harriet R. Uchtdorf

The Light We Share

by Harriet R. Uchtdorf
Published by Deseret Book on March 28, 2014
Genres: Adult, LDS, Non- Fiction
Pages: 48
Format: Hardcover
four-half-stars
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
What difference does it make to have the light of the gospel in your life? To a twelve-year-old girl in post-World War II Germany, it made all the difference.

In this charming book, Sister Harriet R. Uchtdorf reflects on the power of heavenly light in her own life and recalls the joy it brought to her family during a dark and difficult time. "It was like a miracle," she explains as she describes how hope came back into their lives.

Discover how the light we share can make a life-changing difference to those whose lives we touch-as family members, leaders, missionaries, teachers, friends, and brothers and sisters in the gospel.

This is a beautiful reminder from the wife on an apostle that the Lord’s plans for our lives may be very different from our own plans for our life. Sister Harriet R. Uchtdorf came to the United States in 1999 with her husband Dieter on an assignments she though would be temporary. She was looking forward to returning to her homeland and family in Germany, but things chance and we have be willing to be flexible. Filled with the hopeful, positive story of how Harriet learned to listed to her heart and follow the path set for her family, this is a little book with a big message.

I loved the illustrations and the format. The Light We Share shows scenes form Germany as well as a lantern…a symbol of lighting the way for others. Sister Ucthdorf shares her personal story of conversion and how the missionaries changed her mother’s life. I truly enjoyed the short but sweet reminder that the Lord knows just how our life will turn out…for the better.

Light_We_Share_3

Favorite Quote

“Your influence will be unending as you focus on the strengths of others rather than their weaknesses and mistakes. Our hearts and eyes should concentrate on the positive things in life and in our fellowmen. We are all well advised not to wear our nose high in the sky or criticize or judge others.” p. 39

heather

About the Author

HARRIET R. UCHTDORF received a bachelor’s degree in business administration in Frankfurt, Germany, and worked with the public transportation department prior to her marriage to Dieter F. Uchtdorf, who now serves as Second Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She has served in many callings in the Church and as an institute teacher in Frankfurt. She and her husband have two children, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

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Blog Tour: The Lost Teachings of Jesus by Alonzo Gaskill

20 Mar, 2014 by in Uncategorized 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.

Blog Tour: The Lost Teachings of Jesus by Alonzo Gaskill

The Lost Teachings of Jesus

by Alonzo L. Gaskill
Published by Cedar Fort on March 11th 2014
Genres: Adult, Non- Fiction
Pages: 128
Format: eBook
four-stars
Source: Cedar Fort
Buy the BookGoodreads
The wife and the mother are the inappreciable treasures given unto you by God. They are the fairest ornaments of existence, and of them shall be born all the inhabitants of the world.” This extra-biblical text, thought to be the words of Christ, is presented and explained by Alonzo Gaskill where he expounds the divine role of women in the gospel and family. This book will help you learn how to better appreciate and respect women and their part in God’s plan.
Lost-Teachings-of-Jesus-blog-tour

 

Wow! Such an interesting premise presented by Alonzo Gaskill that some of Christ’s direct words and teachings were hidden. Later to be discovered in a monastery in India. Nicholas Notovitch, a scholar finds and records these as verse shared in  a discourse and expounded upon by the author.

The teachings are empowering and powerful reminders of the importance of women and mothers. They teach respect, reverence, support and protection within families. I especially enjoyed the teachings by my ancestor Matthew Cowley. This would be a wonderful Mother’s Day present to be re-read over and over again. It made me realize once again what a vital role women have in today’s world and that we are supported by the gospel of Christ.

About the AuthorAlonzo-Gaskill

Alonzo L. Gaskill is a professor of Church history and doctrine. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, a master’s in theology, and a Ph.D in biblical studies. Brother Gaskill has taught at Brigham Young University since 2003. Prior to coming to BYU he served in a variety of assignments within the church Educational System— most recently as the director of the LDS Institute of Religion at Stanford University (1995–2003).
Find Alonzo Gaskill  on his blog * facebook * twitter *publisher page
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Power to Become by David A. Bednar~ Blog Tour and Review

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

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

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

Power To Become

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

heather

Favorite Quote

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

Discussion Video

About the Authordavid-a-bednar-large

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

Learn more at Deseret Book

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Why I Don’t Hide My Freckles Anymore Blog Tour and Review

07 Mar, 2014 by in adult, body image, 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.

Why I Don’t Hide My Freckles Anymore Blog Tour and Review

Why I Don't Hide My Freckles Anymore

by LaNae Valentine, Lisa Tensmeyer Hansen
Published by Deseret Book on December 1, 2013
Genres: Adult, LDS, Non- Fiction
Pages: 160
Format: Paperback
four-stars
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
The concept of beauty, and the definition of it, seem to always be caught between endless battles of opinion. If you were asked to define beauty, how would you describe it?

In this book, “Why I Don’t Hide My Freckles Anymore,” readers experience an understanding of beauty and their relationship with it in a clear, elevating way.

The essays in this uplifting compilation come in every shape and size, but each one reaches toward a similar conclusion: beauty is truth. And the truth is that everything God created is beautiful, your body included – freckles and all!

Women and girls lift their voices declaring that we are beautiful daughters of God, not defined by the world’s standards in this compilation of short essays. Each one infuses and empowers as it explores where true beauty comes from–within.

I love books like this that offer so many points of view from women and writers in all different stages of their lives. We would be wise to read a chapter a day, or to share this book with our daughters and friends. Especially good thoughts with summer approaching, swimsuit season and the many women who hide in shame. There is no shame. Your body is a temple. It is a gift!

Quote

Reflection and writing allow us to see ourselves and others more truthfully, more compassionately. Our personal experiences challenge the illusion of culture. We begin to see how unfulfilling and shallow the messages are. We sense a newfound strength and power to stand up to false standards of self-worth ad refuse to allow ourselves to be merchandise in the marketing of beauty. Real beauty isn’t merely decorative; its primary function is to connect–to our innermost beings to one another and to the world around us. Real beauty does not divide or diminish us–it opens and inspires us. It is not only possible but natural to live peacefully in our body, to be comfortable in our own skin, for each of us to love our bodies and find ourselves beautiful.” – LeNae Valentine, editor.

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Book Review: Habits of Happiness by Wendy Ulrich

27 Feb, 2014 by in adult, deseret book 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.

Book Review: Habits of Happiness by Wendy Ulrich

Habits of Happiness

by Wendy Ulrich
Published by Deseret Book on February 27, 2014
Genres: Adult, Non- Fiction
Pages: 64
Format: Hardcover
five-stars
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
What makes us happy? Psychologists have identified three key elements that contribute to an ongoing sense of well-being: pleasure, engagement, and meaning. so is it possible to live in a way that is likely to increase the level of happiness we experience on a daily basis? Popular author and Time Out for Women presenter Wendy Ulrich offers seven habits to enhance our lives and boost our happiness quotient. With practical ideas for implementing each habit of happiness, she challenges readers to pick one to work into your life and discover new ways to be happy every day.

This book completely changed my way of looking at things! It pretty much takes everything we’ve ever thought about finding happiness and flips it around so that a new perspective is possible. For many of us, we can find point zero (where we are surviving, but not thriving), but pushing past point zero to happiness is difficult. Wendy is a PHD Psychologist suggests “if you want to get happier, don’t try to get help with your problems. Don’t turn to therapy for answers..”

Wait, what?!! Here’s her answer “while turning to others to help us be happier is not a very successful approach, offering help to others is.” You just have to read to understand. Everything you’ve been clinging to will shift.

While short in pages, this little book is packed with new ideas and simple suggestions to challenge and lift. I will be re-reading it often and using the exercises in each chapter on my journey to creating habits of happiness. Want to know more about her quirky suggestions? Read on…

1. Stop worrying about your weaknesses.
2. Don’t even try to get motivated to exercise.
3. Stop hoping to find friends.
4. Don’t try to feel happier.
5. Celebrate failure.
6. Don’t try to get help with your problems.
7. Don’t endure to the end.

And now, go pick up the book 🙂

heather

About the Author

wendy-001
Wendy Ulrich, Ph.D., M.B.A., was a psychologist in private practice in Ann Arbor, Michigan for almost fifteen years before moving with her husband to Montreal (where he presided over the Canada Montreal Mission), then Alpine, Utah. She founded Sixteen Stones Center for Growth, which offers seminar-retreats for LDS women (sixteenstones.net). She is a mother and grandmother, a columnist for Deseret News, a former president of the Association of Mormon Counselors and Psychotherapist, and a business consultant with The RBL Group. Her books include Forgiving Ourselves, Weakness Is Not Sin, and national best seller The Why of Work, co-authored with her husband, Dave Ulrich.

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Book Review: A Promise at Bluebell Hill by Emma Cane

26 Feb, 2014 by in adult, avon, HarperCollins, Romance 2 comments

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.

Book Review: A Promise at Bluebell Hill by Emma Cane

A Promise at Bluebell Hill

by Emma Cane
Series: Valentine Valley #4
Published by Avon, HarperCollins on February 25th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
four-stars
Source: HarperCollins
Buy the BookGoodreads
Welcome to Valentine Valley, where romance blooms and love captivates even the most guarded of hearts . . .

From the moment Secret Service agent Travis Beaumont strides into the town and through the door of Monica Shaw's flower shop, she feels a sizzle of attraction. After years of putting everyone else's needs first, Monica is ready to grab hold of life. If she can just persuade the ultimate protector to let his own walls down for once . . .

The President's son is getting married in Valentine Valley, and Travis should be avoiding all distractions . . . not fantasizing about a forthright, sexy-as-hell florist. Especially when she's keeping secrets that could jeopardize his assignment. But just this once, Travis is tempted to put down the rulebook and follow his heart—right to Monica's door.

Roses are red, violets are blue, and in Valentine Valley, love will always find you.

This is the first book I’ve read in the Valentine Valley series, but it is actually #4 in sequence. A Promise at Bluebell Hill can be read as a standalone, but ultimately I think readers will enjoy getting to know the back story behind this small town group of activists, shop owners and close friends.

I loved:

The small town setting. Valentine Valley, Colorado has a homey feel. Its a timeless community where everyone knows each other.

The loyalty between the characters and the depth of relationships between family and friends. This is a feel good about women book.

That the two main characters were willing to settle down and commit to one another, putting high push careers and political differences aside. They recognized the importance of marriage and family.

The scenic backdrop of bluebell fields and mountains. It’s a romantic place we would all want to visit.

The exploration and resolution of marital problems between Monica’s parents. There is a good plot arc as we see empty nesters work out how to enjoy each other without being directly involved in each others hobbies.

The trade market price. A paperback for $5.

I Struggled With:

The heavy and descriptive romance scenes. I admit, I typically do not read adult romance unless it leaves details to the imagination. This one was a little too fast moving and TMI for me. It’s definitely an adult romance, not for children or teens.

The push at political agenda and correctness. It felt forced to have an activist group against big development and preservation of fossils, flag burning protests, a female President of the US all rolled into one small town novel.

Overall, for me as a reader, the good outweighed the bad and I would read the rest of the series. But it would mean skipping right over the pages with detailed love scenes. I prefer a clean read with tension instead of having it all spelled out.

I loved the writing and the well developed characters and I am glad to have found out such a place as Valentine Valley really exists! You can learn more on the author’s site. Thanks so much to HarperCollins for a fun Valentine’s read!

heather

About the AuthorEmma Cane

Emma Cane was born in Erie, a small Pennsylvania town on beautiful Lake Erie, where the sunsets are some of the best in the world. Though Emma enjoyed figure skating and skiing (good sports in the northeast), she brought a book everywhere she went, usually science fiction and fantasy. Yes, Emma was a Trekkie. Early in her teen years, she decided maybe she could be a writer, and wrote passionate stories of teenagers in space, first by hand until her fingers cramped, and then on her dad’s manual typewriter, which she still can’t bear to give away. In high school she discovered historical romances, starting with Kathleen Woodiwiss’s Shanna, and Emma never looked back. The first romance she ever tried to write was a historical Western, but now she’s changed to the 21st century, where cowboys can ride pickup trucks as well as horses. Emma fell in love with small-town, heartwarming stories, and created the fictional town Valentine Valley, a small ranching community in the Colorado Rockies, where she sets her novels. A Town Called Valentine was the first in her new series. A Promise at Bluebell Hill is the fourth book, and there’ve also been two novellas.

Emma always wanted a career. She determined she wouldn’t be good at the family business, funeral directing, mainly because a funeral director is a social creature, out in society, joining lots of committees and being involved in the community. She likes to pick and choose her committees (she’s served in almost every capacity in her local writers’ group) She especially enjoys being at home in the evenings, her face buried in a book. When she went to college, Emma figured it might be difficult to earn a living writing, so she tried many different jobs. After majoring in aerospace engineering and taking all her electives in English, she realized writing was her future. While she learned her craft and raised her children, she worked several jobs, from fitness training to programming computer-controlled machines. She joined her local chapter of Romance Writers of America, found her best friends, and with their help, sold her manuscript to Avon Books. At last, writing has become her full-time career.

Now that her three children are grown, Emma loves spending time crocheting and singing (although not necessarily at the same time), and hiking and snowshoeing alongside her husband Jim and two rambunctious dogs Apollo and Uma.

Emma also writes as USA Today Bestselling historical romance author Gayle Callen.

Find out more at HarperCollins * Author’s website

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Longing for Home: Hope Springs By Sarah M. Eden Blog Tour

25 Feb, 2014 by in book tour, deseret book, proper romance, sarah eden 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.

Longing for Home: Hope Springs By Sarah M. Eden Blog Tour

Hope Springs

by Sarah M. Eden
Series: Longing for Home #2
Published by Deseret Book on March 4th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Clean Romance, Historical Fiction
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
five-stars
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the BookGoodreads
All is not well in Wyoming. Katie Macauley gave up her life-long dream of returning to Ireland in order to make a home for herself in Hope Springs, but her future has never been so uncertain. The town is more divided than ever, with both the Irish and the Reds stealing property, burning buildings, and endangering lives.

Katie’s heart remains sharply divided between her love for playful Tavish and steady Joseph, a decision she feels ill-prepared to make. In the midst of the growing unrest, temperatures drop quickly, too quickly, and Irish nightmares of famine and cold resurface as the little Wyoming town struggles to beat the harsh winter.

Katie makes one sacrifice after another to keep the peace and help see her loved ones through the difficult days ahead, but will it be enough? Can the town make amends before their hatred consumes them all? And will Katie find the love she has been searching for as well as a home to call her own?

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Fire and Ice is thrilled to be a part of the offiicial Deseret Book Blog Tour for Longing For Home volume 2~ Hope Springs by Sarah M Eden.

I’ve read all of Sarah’s books and I think this one is by far her best yet! It was born of sacrifice and hard work on her part and those characteristics become so much more real in her main character. Katie MacCauley has made a decision to join her fellow Irishmen on the Irish Road in her small town of Hope Springs, Wyoming. The town is divided by prejudice and hatred, the Irish “Paddys” targeted as foreigners in a  harsh land. The Red Road will do anything to get Katie out of their sight, out of their stores and our of her employment as a housekeeper for Joseph Archer. Tensions are heating up and there are those convinced that blood will be spilled before the division can be settled.

As a descendant of Irish who came to America, I learned a great deal about the hardships they faced, the desires they had to maintain their heritage and the work ethic the Irish modeled in putting down roots. I especially enjoyed reading about colcannon, one of my favorite Irish dishes, and hearing some of the Gaelic words written into conversation. Sarah demonstrates through tradition, family relationships, loyalty and love, just how tightly woven the Irish settlements were. She shows the character’s weaknesses of short tempers, raw emotions and pride, as well as their ability to laugh and press forward with tenacity and courage in the midst of adversity.

I cried several times. I felt the feelings of these people and grew to love them as my own. Hope Springs is a tale of one woman’s vow to turn her tragic past into triumph and to make a difference in her community. It is also a beautiful story of how love can heal all wounds and a heart has the power to choose its path. I highly recommend this series as a prime pick for well researched, beautifully written historical fiction and clean romance. Sarah M. Eden’s writing pulled at my heart!

 

heather

About the Authorsarah_m_eden

Sarah M. Eden is the author of multiple historical romances, including Whitney Award finalists Seeking Persephone (2008, Covenant Communications) and Courting Miss Lancaster (2010, Covenant Communications). 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, acted as the Writer in Residence at the Northwest Writers Retreat and is one-third of the team at the AppendixPodcast.com. Sarah is represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg at Foreword Literary Agency.

website* twitter *facebook* goodreads

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

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

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

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

Living in the Eleventh Hour

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

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

heather

Favorite Quote

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

 

About the Author

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

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