Genre: LDS

Nearer To Thee by Marianne Monson~ Book Spotlight

27 Jun, 2016 by in historical fiction Leave a comment

Nearer To Thee Book

by Marianne Monson
Series: The Mima Journals
Published by CreateSpace on February 24, 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, LDS
Pages: 228
Format: Paperback
Source: The Author
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Nearer to Thee continues the beautifully written account of young musician Mima Hough, based on the true story of a nineteenth century pioneer from England. In this thrilling sequel to The Water is Wide, Mima and her mother turn their eyes westward to the Salt Lake Valley, but to get there, they must follow a trail marked with cholera graves, treacherous rivers, and Native American tribes weary of invaders. Mima's journey across the plains is one of courage and self-discovery, of heartache and love. This long-awaited sequel continues the epic adventure of a young woman who experiences the life of a Mormon pioneer as an outsider.


about_ the_author
Since she was a very young child, Marianne Monson has been fascinated by the power of words (and even tried inventing her own language for a time). After earning a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from BYU, she continued her study at Vermont College of Fine Arts, earning an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Since then, she has worked as an editor/art director of children’s books, authored eight books and counting for children and adults, and continues editing and writing for a variety of audiences, including magazines, books, blogs, and other publications.

She teaches Creative Writing and English at Portland Community College. Her two children are often featured in her work (and are self-confessed logophiles as well).

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Pride and Politics by Brittany Larsen~Blog Tour

21 May, 2016 by in Uncategorized 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.

Pride and Politics

by Brittany Larsen
Published by Covenant on May 5, 2016
Genres: Clean Romance, Contemporary, LDS
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
four-stars
Source: Covenant
Buy the BookGoodreads
As the daughter of a well-known senator, Summer Knight is all too familiar with the nasty side of politics. She’s always stayed out of the drama, until an incident involving her fellow Mormons drives her out of her hometown—and out of the Church. What she needs is a change of scene, and sunny California seems like just the place. Enter Benson Hardy. He’s just her type—until she finds out who he is. Not only is Benson a nephew to her father’s political rival, he’s also a devout member of the Church. The last thing Summer wants is to be mixed up in politics—or religion. But Benson challenges her like no one else, asking the tough questions about her inactivity. Though their incompatibility is clear, their connection is undeniable, and soon Summer finds the embers of her faith reigniting. Just as it seems that the pair might be on the road to romance, a series of embarrassing misunderstandings—and the appearance of a handsome charmer determined to sweep Summer off her feet—knock the couple completely off course. As Summer finds herself at a crossroads, she must decide if she’s willing to set her pride aside for a shot at true love.

Review

Pride and Prejudice meets politics in Brittany Larsen’s clean LDS romance. It has hit shelves at the perfect time– during campaign season!

Summer is “taking a break” from church as she’s seen way too much hypocrisy as a Democrat Senator’s daughter. Her Sundays consist of paddle boarding and avoiding the constant meeting invitations of her visiting teacher. All of this changes, however, when she runs into a campaign manager for her family’s nemesis. Benson is an active churchgoer, kind, a Republican and someone she really should no be seen with. Miles apart on social issues and agendas, these two find common ground on friendship.

There’s plenty of witty banter to keep you flipping pages. Pride and Politics was a treat to read and is clean for teens and adults. Both characters are college aged, so the best target audience is the new adult crowd. I thoroughly enjoyed this modern twist on a classic.

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Understanding Your Endowment Blog Tour

22 Aug, 2015 by in adult 2 comments

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

Understanding Your Endowment Blog Tour

Understanding Your Endowment

by Cory B. Jensen
Published by Cedar Fort on August 11, 2015
Genres: Adult, LDS, Non- Fiction
Pages: 143
Format: Paperback
five-stars
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For many members of the church, the temple endowment remains something of a mystery. Yet when understood, the temple can function in our lives as a modern day Liahona, giving us our bearings in our mortal journey back to our Father. Understanding Your Endowment is packed with insights and keys, which can help you unlock the temple s purpose and meaning in your life. It will help you understand the blessings the Lord offers His children through His temples and will enrich your personal temple worship. Understanding Your Endowment examines topics such as covenant ceremonies, the initiatory ordinances, the endowment, and temple sealings in a manner that is plain and easy to understand while still respecting their sacred and confidential nature. Whether you are preparing to enter the temple for the first time or already attend regularly, your temple worship will be enhanced by reading this book.
Understanding-Your-Endowment-blog-tour
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Love On A Whim by Aubrey Mace~Blog Tour and Giveaway

31 Jul, 2015 by in adult, covenant 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.

Love On A Whim by Aubrey Mace~Blog Tour and Giveaway

Love on a Whim

by AUbrey Mace
on July 2015
Genres: Clean Romance, Contemporary, LDS
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
Source: Covenant
Buy the BookGoodreads
Six months out of law school, Rachel Pearce is completely disillusioned by her job hunt. Despite pounding the pavement with her Ivy League degree in hand, her job prospects are no brighter than the day she graduated. Then in a chance meeting with a former acquaintance, eccentric young millionaire Henry Walker, Rachel finds an unexpected opportunity: Henry is looking for a personal secretary. Swallowing her pride, Rachel sets aside her law firm aspirations for what she envisions as secretarial work—mountains of paperwork and filing. But when she finds her most demanding duty to be daily cookie runs for her new boss, she’s baffled by her unconventional job responsibilities.

As she’s pulled into Henry’s delightful whims, caught in a whirlwind of private jets and fancy dinners, Rachel finds herself inexplicably drawn to this handsome and charismatic man. But reality always has a way of intruding, and logic tells her that this adventure can’t last. When real life inevitably comes calling, Rachel must decide if she’s willing to trade in her dream of success in the courtroom for a chance at love.

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Love on a Whim is not a book to read or pickup on an empty stomach. First, there are the beautiful macaroons on the cover, then the first scene takes place in a bakery, and finally several mentions of gourmet cookies throughout the plot. The yummy storyline follows Rachel Pearce, fresh out of law school and ready to land the career she’s been trained for in a prestigious firm. Times are tough and she has to feed herself, so she settles on a cafe waitress. Luckily, Henry, her best friend’s wealthy ex-boyfriend, offers Rachel a temporary job as his secretary and cookie chauffer. The two of them are so involved in their own self- doubt that they don’t notice the signs all around them pointing to the obvious…they are perfect for each other.

With a fun, light storyline, help that looks like a Muppet character, and a brooding estate and mansion, Aubrey Mace’s writing is a great escape. I finished this one in one day. My only wish was a little bit more insight into and fleshing out of Henry’s character. He was guarded, and as a result I had a hard time getting to know more as a reader. I loved the book and am happy to report it is squeaky clean!

About the Author

Aubrey Mace lives in Sandy, Utah. She attended LDS Business College and Utah State University. When she is not writing, she enjoys cooking, traveling, gardening, playing the cello (badly), and spending time with her family and psychotic cat.
Aubrey has four published novels: SPARE CHANGE, which won the 2008 Whitney Award for Best Romance, MY FAIRY GRANDMOTHER, SANTA MAYBE, and BEFORE THE CLOCK STRIKES THIRTY. She also has a novella, “The Science of Sentiment”, included in the Timeless Romance Anthology Spring Collection.

You can visit Aubrey at her website, www.aubreymace.com.

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Missionary Possible by Eric Rigby~ Blog Tour

13 Jul, 2015 by in cedar fort, eric rigby, missionary possible 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.

Missionary Possible by Eric Rigby~ Blog Tour

Missionary: Possible: Preparation Tips from New Testament Heroes

by Eric Rigby
Published by Cedar Fort on July 14, 2015
Genres: Adult, LDS, Non- Fiction
Pages: 144
Format: Paperback
Source: Cedar Fort
Buy the BookGoodreads
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, starts with you and the scriptures. Learn how ordinary people became extraordinary and how their stories can build your testimony and prepare you for serving the Lord. Funny and full of practical ideas you can use, this book is perfect for teens and young adults as it leads them through the scriptures and solidifies their testimonies and preparedness.
Missionary-Possible-blog-tour

Missionary: Possible is a short, easy to read handbook for future missionaries taking scriptural references from the New Testament. Eric Rigby uses a pattern found in Acts to invite readers to come to the Lord and ask “what would ye have me do?” and then to follow to promptings with faith. I enjoyed the stories from the field during his time as a missionary in Bulgaria.

Also, very useful are the note taking lined pages at the end of each chapter where readers can put their thoughts and action items. I learned about the Pentacost, Christ’s life with his apostles and how to be a better missionary.

 

About the Author

Eric Rigby finished his first book in the second grade. It was called “The Holey Street” and centered on the attempts of each student in his class as they tried to cross a street pockmarked with supernatural sinkholes (none survived). He has made great strides in storytelling since then. He and his wife are the proud parents of two sons and currently live in Utah.

See the full blog tour schedule here.

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Mighty Miracles by Breanna Olaveson~ Review

18 Jun, 2015 by in adult, covenant, matthew cowley 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.

Mighty Miracles by Breanna Olaveson~ Review

Mighty Miracles

by Breanna Olaveson
Published by Covenant on May 4, 2015
Genres: Adult, LDS, Non- Fiction
Pages: 128
Format: Paperback
five-stars
Source: Covenant
Buy the BookGoodreads
We do have miracles today beyond imagination . . . What kinds of miracles do we have? All kinds revelations, visions, tongues, healings, special guidance and direction, evil spirits cast out. Where are they recorded? In the records of the Church, in journals, in news and magazine articles and in the minds and memories of many people. President Spencer W. Kimball

Elder Matthew Cowley witnessed and participated in countless miracles throughout his storied life. As an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, from 1945 until his death in 1953, Matthew was among the most spiritually powerful and well-known of the Lord's servants. In this compilation of vignettes, taken from personal journals and correspondence, as well as the treasured memories of those who knew him best, the details of many of his most miraculous experiences, including healing the blind and witnessing the raising of the dead, are painted in vivid detail. From his early missionary work with the Maori people of New Zealand to his widespread influence as an Apostle, Matthew blessed the lives of Church members around the world with his gifts of faith and healing.

Sure to edify and uplift, this biographical portrait of one of the Lord's elect will inspire readers to recognize the mighty miracles in their own lives.

Mighty Miracles is a book that will likely stick with me for the rest of my life. It is the biography of Matthew Cowley, mission president and beloved healer who often traveled to Polynesia. Cowley is a family name for me, my 4th great grandfather being Mathias Cowley, so I was naturally drawn to this title. Told in short two or three page glimpses into Matthew’s life, this is an easy and inspiring read.

There are so many examples within Breanna Olaveson’s memoir that demonstrate miracles have not ceased in our day. I felt warm and comforted by a renewed faith while learning of Brother Cowley. I will pass this on to future generations as a reminder that the Lord works through his servants here on earth.

Author Biobreanna2

I’m a Mormon girl who likes to write. Welcome to the Facebook home of my news articles, blog posts, anecdotes and my upcoming book (coming in 2015).

I worked in the magazine industry before taking my writing from full-time to nap time with the birth of my first daughter. I now have two daughters and get to write a lot from home. I have the two best jobs in the world!

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Playing For Keeps by Ranee’ S Clark~ Blog Tour

09 Jun, 2015 by in adult, covenant 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.

Playing For Keeps by Ranee’ S Clark~ Blog Tour

Playing For Keeps

by Ranee S. Clark
Published by Covenant on June 1, 2015
Genres: Adult, Clean Romance, Contemporary, LDS
Pages: 228
Format: Paperback
four-half-stars
Source: Covenant
Buy the BookGoodreads
Football-loving TyAnne Daws has long admired BYU's star quarterback from afar. This semester, she's determined to step away from the sidelines — and she has the perfect game plan for winning the heart of Anthony "Rocket" Rogers. When some smart moves land her in one of his classes, she finds herself in the perfect position to make her play. But as she gets to know the real Anthony, away from the lights of the stadium, Ty realizes that this is no game — she's falling in love.

Anthony takes full advantage of his all-star status, holding girls at arm's length for one reason: it keeps him from repeating the same mistakes that once led to a devastating heartbreak. When he meets Ty, his assumption that she's just another pretty face is quickly proven wrong. Though he's completely drawn in by this sweet young woman, her intriguing mix of amusing football know-how, and her quiet selflessness, he will not let himself fall in love. But when faced with the reality of losing the woman he's come to care for despite himself, Anthony's resolve is tested — and he finds it's getting harder to keep his head in the game when his heart's on the line.
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Review

 

Playing for Keeps is a super fun read for sports fans and graduates of BYU…or for anyone looking to pick up a clean romantic adult contemporary book this summer. I enjoyed the pacing of the story told from dual points of view. Ty is a football coach’s daughter attending a coaching class with her all-time favorite player and idol Rocket Rogers. She’s been happy to watch him from afar and finally has a chance to catch his eye. Anthony “Rocket” Rogers is an infamous player (in more ways than one) who is soon discovering his heart may be lost to Ty.
There are really important topics such as mental illness, social media privacy and real life stalking addressed. As a former victim’s advocate for women who volunteered near the very area this story was set, I was hoping to see more resolution with the violence against the main character and the stalking that occurs. I am glad the author mentioned the possibility of police involvement, but was hoping for a bit more follow through on conflict resolution. The story wrapped up a bit too easily in the end.
Overall, I truly loved Playing for Keeps. The detail in the characters, the banter, the witty conversation and the college campus BYU specific setting was awesome. I finished it quickly and was drawn to the uplifting tone that reminds readers to be yourself, take chances and trust in the power of prayer. The charcters are likeable and I found myself smiling in the end. I would recommend it as a clean pick for adults.

About the Author71FtKneHPgL._UX250_

Ranee` and her personal superhero, her husband, live in Wyoming where they are raising three future super-villains. When she’s not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in her living room or losing to one of her sons at Uno, she loves to read and write. She has a bachelors degree in history that is probably useless, but she had a lot of fun earning it. She blogs about writing, reading, and editing at http://raneesclark.blogspot.com.

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Embark by John Bytheway~ Blog Tour Review

06 Feb, 2015 by in audio cd, deseret book, john bytheway, 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.

Embark by John Bytheway~ Blog Tour Review

Embark

by John Bytheway
Published by Deseret Book on December 2014
Genres: Adult, Inspirational, LDS
five-stars
Source: Deseret Book
Buy the Book
In this motivating talk related to the 2015 youth theme, John Bytheway explains what it means to truly embark — to get fully on board in the service of God with all your heart, might, mind, and strength. Using scriptures, powerful stories, and his characteristic humor, John explains that with the Savior's help, we can remain on board and eventually stand blameless before God at the last day.

John Bytheway challenges listeners to get fully “on the Boat” with the Lord in his latest audio CD “Embark.” With a charming, witty personality and stories that make the point clear, listeners will feel inspired to stick with the Lord in life. I loved his concept for youth that if you love computers, use the time you spend on them wisely. Do family history, honor the names of your ancestors. I listened to this CD two and from meetings this week and I felt inpired to have a pure heart, to get and stay on the boat.

Percfect for youth and their leaders.about_ the_author

John Bytheway served a mission to the Philippines and later graduated from Brigham Young University. A favorite speaker and teacher, John holds a master’s degree in religious education and is a part-time instructor at BYU. John is the author of many bestselling books, audio talks, and DVDs, including How Do I
Know if I Know?; Of Pigs, Pearls, and Prodigals; When Times are Tough: 5 Scriptures That Will Help You Get through Almost Anything; and the 2014 youth theme talk on CD, Come Unto Christ. He and his wife, Kimberly, have six children.

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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

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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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