Source: Covenant

Story Tellers: An Evening with Colorful Characters

21 Apr, 2017 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

Story Tellers: An Evening with Colorful Characters

Story Tellers: An Evening with Colorful Characters

by Covenant Communications
Published by Covenant on March 28, 2017
Genres: LDS
Pages: 67 minutes
Source: Covenant
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On cold night in the Utah Territory, three opinionated men seemingly by chance find themselves sharing a campfire as they tell tales, swap insults, and expound on their personal beliefs and philosophies. However, one of the men is not there by mere coincidence. Join Porter Rockwell, Mark Twain, and J. Golden Kimball for an entertaining and intriguing evening with three of the most colorful characters of the Old West.

Storytellers is a campfire meeting between well-known Mormon legends Porter Rockwell, J. Golden Kimball and American author Mark Twain. Right away we learn these three had strong personalities. The setting remains the same through out the whole movie. Three men sitting around swapping stories. I enjoyed learning little known facts in their histories as well as tales from their homes. We see that life in the desert was much more rugged than it is today.

We put this DVD in as a family home evening and soon realized its probably not one you sit down to watch all together with children.  There are tales with nudity, alcohol and the plot is slow moving enough it won’t hold the attention of younger family members. Recommended for adults. Thanks so much for the chance to view and review this little known interaction in Mormon history.

Actors: Jason Wade, Joshua Michael French, Cameron Asay
Directors: John Lyde

About the Author

Covenant Communications is an independent publisher of novels, nonfiction, music and spoken audio.

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Sweet is the Work Blog Tour and $25 Giveaway

30 Mar, 2017 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.

Sweet is the Work Blog Tour and $25 Giveaway

Sweet is the Work: Lessons from the First Sister Missionaries

by Breanna Olaveson
Published by Covenant on March 1, 2017
Genres: LDS, Non- Fiction
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
four-stars
Source: Covenant
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Young women serving as missionaries today are carrying on a noble legacy of faith and dedication that extends back to the early days of the Church. But who were the brave women who paved the way for modern-day sister missionaries? In Sweet Is the Work, author Breanna Olaveson delves into a previously unexplored history that demonstrates the unique ability of women to carry out the errand of angels. Discover the powerful experiences of twelve of the earliest sister missionaries, from the first single proselytizing women in 1898 to some of the well known sisters in Church history who were themselves pioneering missionaries. The women highlighted in this volume demonstrate the valiant and noble history of sister missionaries in an account that is sure to inspire readers to boldly go forth to share the truths of the gospel.
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With short chapters which tell the stories of the first LDS women missionaries, Sweet is the Work is a wonderful historical primer. Where pictures were available, they were used to introduce readers to the names and faces of women who bravely told the Savior’s story and shared their voices throughout the world. Each of the 12 accounts was unique, with some sisters being formally set apart to do the work, and others serving alongside their husbands in a foreign land.

Olaveson uses a bit of a feminist touch which I didn’t care for, but overall, the tone was one of the pioneering spirit of those who roll up their sleeves and get to work. Interesting history recommended for all ages!

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Love, Jane Blog Tour and Giveaway

13 Mar, 2017 by in jane, lds contemp, ranee s clark Leave a comment

Love, Jane Blog Tour and Giveaway

Love, Jane

by Ranee S. Clark
Published by Covenant on March 1, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LDS
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
Source: Covenant
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Jane Reeves and Sean O'Callaghan seem to be a match made in heaven—but the timing is all wrong. Jane has her heart set on serving a mission, and she can't delay telling Sean the news any longer: not only has she quietly submitted her mission papers, but she's also leaving in a month ... for Alaska. Shocked and devastated, Sean struggles to come to terms with Jane's decision. Unable to deny the depth of their feelings for one another, Sean makes a promise to wait for her.

Life unfolds for both Jane and Sean, with communications limited to weekly e-mails. But with just a few months left in Jane's mission, Sean's messages stop. When she receives the dreaded "Dear Jane" breakup along with the news that she has been replaced by Sean's former flame, Jane knows the future she envisioned now belongs to another woman. But upon her return home, Jane quickly realizes some things are worth fighting for—perhaps, most of all, a shot at true love.

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A Fine Gentleman Blog Tour and Giveaway

10 Mar, 2017 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.

A Fine Gentleman Blog Tour and Giveaway

A Fine Gentleman

Published by Covenant on March 1, 2017
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 256
Format: Paperback
four-stars
Source: Covenant
Goodreads
London barrister Jason Jonquil has spent his entire life working to establish his identity as a gentleman, a man of refinement like his father and brothers. But when fiery Spanish beauty Mariposa Thornton walks into his office, he finds himself losing his grasp on his dignified character. The woman is infuriating, pushing him to the limit of his legendary patience. However, her case seems simple enough—a small matter of inheritance. Or so he believes.

Once a well-born lady, Mariposa fought to survive the brutalities of Napoleon’s war on Spain. She braved horrific perils and undertook dangerous missions on behalf of those fighting against the invading French army. But her greatest battle still lies ahead: after being separated from her family, Mariposa sets in motion a plan to reunite with her loved ones in England. To avoid drawing the attention of the French, Mariposa dons a carefully crafted persona to conceal her true purpose. As Jason and Mariposa are drawn together by the case, they come to know the people beneath the masks they both wear.

When the truth of Mariposa’s quest is revealed, the couple is pulled into a mystery that will test the limits of their courage—and expose the true desire of their hearts.
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Sarah Eden’s Jonquil Brothers series is perfect for those who love quick wit, regency era fiction. I would recommend reading the books in order,as they build upon each other and characters come back in each new installment. A fine Gentleman traces the story line of Jason Jonquil, a respected barrister in London who has an infuriatingly condescending client step into his office. Mariposa Thornton is looking for her lost family after a war which pulls them apart. She has been trained to hide her real intent and purpose to protect her life, so tricking Jason is the only way to gain his help.

There were several moments which make readers feel hope and a the novel has a lightness with witty banter. I particularly love the strong family bonds portrayed and the message that one should not wear a mask. If you haven’t read Eden’s writing, now is the time!

About the Author

SARAH M. EDEN read her first Jane Austen novel in elementary school and has been an Austen addict ever since. Fascinated by the English Regency era, Eden became a regular in that section of the reference department at her local library, where she painstakingly researched this extraordinary chapter in history. Eden is an award-winning author of short stories and was a Whitney Award finalist for her novels Seeking Persephone and Courting Miss Lancaster. Visit her at www.sarahmeden.com.

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An Inconvenient Romance Blog Tour and Giveaway

10 Feb, 2017 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.

An Inconvenient Romance Blog Tour and Giveaway

An Inconvenient Romance

by Chalon Linton
Published by Covenant on February 2017
Genres: Clean Romance, Historical Fiction
Pages: 224
Format: Paperback
four-stars
Source: Covenant
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The countryside of England provided an idyllic backdrop for Charles Brumley’s and Leah Hastings’s childhood. Neighbors and best friends, the pair passed many happy days racing through the rolling hills of Derbyshire. Everything was perfect—until Charles ruined it all and abandoned Leah for university.

Six years later, the former friends are thrust into each other's paths once more. Leah had been looking forward to the ball, an opportunity to further her acquaintance with the handsome Mr. Wilkins—but when she sees Charles’s familiar face through the crowd, her traitorous heart leaps.

Charles faces his own struggle: he has loved Leah since he was fifteen years old, yet it seems he is too late—it appears that her affections are otherwise engaged. As the pair tentatively renews their friendship, the spark between them is undeniable.

After so many years apart, Leah endeavors to reconcile her feelings toward her once cherished companion. But when a conniving rival for Charles’s attention approaches Leah, the threat is clear: give up her association with Charles, or a devastating secret about her family will be revealed. Faced with an impossible decision, Leah must make a choice—the ruin of her family or the ruin of her heart?

Review

Told in alternating points of view, this regency romance tracks the childhood memories of two friends Leah and Charles. Their adult life is in full swing with the season of balls, matchmaking and future plans. Charles goes off to school leaving Leah behind, when he returns he has competition for her heart.

I enjoyed hearing the thoughts and struggles each character went through to forgive. The pacing was a bit slow in parts, and one villain way too overbearing. Her attempts to thwart a match were repeated too often. Overall, though An Inconvenient Romance was a clean, light novel with a heartwarming hero. Recommend!

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About the Author

Chalon Linton was first introduced to Jane Austen by a dear friend and now she can’t get enough of handsome men in tailcoats. Her intrigue in the genre stems from a nostalgic longing for manners, wit, and true love. Fortunately, Chalon found her dashing gentleman, married him, and now lives happily ever after in Southern California.

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To Win a Lady’s Heart Blog Tour and Giveaway

16 Nov, 2016 by in covenant, Sian Ann Bessey 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.

To Win a Lady's Heart

by Sian Ann Bessey
Published by Covenant on November 1, 2016
Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction
Pages: 250
Format: Paperback
four-half-stars
Source: Covenant
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For eighteen years, Lord Gilbert has been tortured over a grievous lapse in judgment. Bitterness has tainted his interactions with the people of Moreland and his relationship with his only daughter, Lady Joanna. With a wolfhound guarding her around the clock and no freedom to leave the castle grounds unattended, the only time Lady Joanna can be alone is when she sneaks out through an old castle tunnel to visit the healer Agnes in her cottage by the sea. One morning as Lady Joanna approaches the cliffs, she discovers an injured man. She immediately goes to Agnes for help. The wounded stranger is Sir Lukas, and while he recovers, he makes plans to identify his attackers and their motive. Upon learning that Moreland’s wool has been stolen, Sir Lukas comes to believe that the crimes are related and point to a much more sinister plot. When Lord Gilbert announces an archery tournament, the prize being Lady Joanna’s hand in marriage, it attracts noblemen from across the land, and suddenly Sir Lukas’s pursuit of the villains takes a different turn. As Lady Joanna’s and Sir Lukas’s feelings for each other grow, the stakes soar, and only Sir Lukas’s skill with a longbow can save them.

To Win A Lady’s Heart kept me up reading into the night. Filled with knights, castles, and intrigue, it’s a tale that teaches the true nature of love. Lady Joanna frequently escapes her castle for the woods and late one night comes upon a wounded man. Joanna is determined to save him with the help Agnes, the healer in the woods and her orphaned second family.  This knight carries a past linked to Joanna’s and a tale of sabotage. He may have the missing pieces of information to help Joanna’s kingdom and some pieces form her family’s past.

The first chapter starts off on a somber and mildly violent note. A clean read with a plot that moves along at good pace, this is a good choice for those who like fairytales.

I enjoyed the author’s explanation at the end. She has taken a Welsh story and molded it into the setting of England. The main characters stole my heart. It was also nice to see the progress in the relationship between a King and his daughter. Enjoy!

About the Author

Sian Ann Bessey was born in Cambridge, England, and grew up on the island of Anglesey off the north coast of Wales. She left Wales to attend Brigham Young University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications.
Traveling has given Sian a deep appreciation for a world full of diverse cultures. Through her writing, she introduces her readers to some of the places she has come to love— especially her Welsh homeland.
Sian is the author of several LDS novels and children’s books. She has also written articles for the New Era, Ensign, and Liahona magazines. She and her husband, Kent, currently reside in Rexburg, Idaho. They are the parents of five children and the grandparents of two beautiful little girls and one handsome little boy.

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Southern Charmed Blog Tour and $25 Giveaway

16 Sep, 2016 by in Uncategorized 1 comment

Southern Charmed

by Melanie Jacobson
Published by Covenant on September 1, 2016
Genres: Adult, LDS, Romance
Pages: 232
Format: Paperback
Source: Covenant
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Lila Mae Guidry is a Southern girl through and through. As a fourth-generation Latter-day Saint in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she's proud of her heritage as both a Southerner and a Saint—and she doesn't take kindly to people who disparage either. Ten years ago, Max Archer was just that kind of jerk. As the mission president's son, Max spent his entire three years mocking the South . . . and teenage Lila. After Max's family moved away, Lila forgot about her sworn enemy. Almost.

When a new job brings a grown-up Max back to Baton Rouge, Lila is less than thrilled with his reappearance, especially since everyone seems intent on throwing her together with this old adversary. Yet fight as she may, Lila soon realizes resistance is futile—their connection is undeniable. Max embodies everything she wants in a man—except perhaps the most important thing her life is rooted in the city she loves, but his dreams are bigger than Baton Rouge. With such mismatched visions of the future, Max and Lila are faced with a life-altering decision: jeopardize their aspirations or risk losing love.

 

Southern Charmed will take you right into the bayou with its home cooked food, barefoot walks by the dock, Cajun restaurants and society pages. Melanie Jacobson does a wonderful job of pulling the readers into a world where debutantes have been raised to answer “yes ma’am and sir, where family roots run deep. Lila Mae is beginning to get pressure from her mom to get married and raise grandbabies. Already established in a teaching career at a high school with low income teens, Lila lives at home. Her love for Louisiana runs in her veins, as does her desire to take care of her mother, who is recovering from the loss of her husband. Along comes Max, Lila’s childhood crush to mix things up.

There is a side plot with a student Kiana who has a rough home life. She’s got talent, but with a mom on drugs in and out of the home, she lacks the resources to go to college or make a better life for herself. One girl who wants to launch but may not be able to and her teacher who has opportunity to leave, but wants to stay rooted. I absolutely loved the first half of the book, the world building and the banter between Max and Lila. The drag for me was the inner conflict within Lila. It felt a bit drawn out. I saw hints things would work out on their own, but one character was forced to compromise. This book is reminiscent of Melanie’s other works with strong lead women characters, and some non-profit and political undertones. My favorite element of her writing is the clean romance.

You will want to visit the South after reading this book just to sample the food!

About the AuthorMelanie Jacobson

Melanie Bennett Jacobson is an avid reader, amateur cook, and champion shopper. She lives in Southern California with her husband and children and a series of doomed houseplants, and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in writing for children and young adults.

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A Place For Miss Snow Blog Tour & Giveaway

09 Sep, 2016 by in regency romance 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.

A Place for Miss Snow

by Jennifer Moore
Published by Covenant on September 1, 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, Regency
Pages: 224
Format: Paperback
four-stars
Source: Covenant
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Miss Diana Snow is everything a British chaperone should be—she finds satisfaction in order and depends wholly upon the rules of decorum as she negotiates the isle of Greece with her young charge. But Miss Snow's prim and proper exterior masks a disquieting past: orphaned and alone in the world, she has only her stiff upper lip to rely on. When a brief encounter with a handsome stranger challenges her rules of propriety, Diana is unwittingly drawn into an adventure that will turn her ordered world upside down.

Alexandros Metaxas is a Greek spy working to recruit individuals to the cause of revolution. His mission seems to be going perfectly until he encounters Diana Snow, a captivating—if slightly cold—beauty. When their paths cross again, the ill-fated reunion threatens all Alex has been fighting for. But more importantly, it places Diana's life in jeopardy. There is only one way to save her: they must put themselves at the mercy of the most powerful pirate family in the Mediterranean. Soon, Diana is plunged into a fantastic world of gypsy curses, blood feuds, and unexpected romance. But when a bitter vendetta places her in mortal danger, will she have the courage to fight for life and love?

 

Prepare yourself to be full immersed in Grecian culture, setting , history and politics during the Regency period. A deviation from the English society, A Place For Miss Snow follows an English orphan serving as a companion to an officer’s daughter. Kidnapped and knife point and carried away by scoundrels, Miss Snow is implicated during simple act of returning a man’s gloves. There is slow romance between this man, Alex,  and Miss Snow which takes a second seat to the history.

As a reader, so much in this book was entirely new, it might have been helpful to have an introduction or author’s note explaining the background or a glossary of names and Greek terms. Ms. Moore always does significant research behind her novels, tis one could easily be used in the High School classroom as there is little violence and no questionable content. Thank you for the diversion for a day to a place much warmer and more colorful.

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The Beautiful Balance Blog Tour & $25 Giveaway

22 Aug, 2016 by in Uncategorized 1 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.

The Beautiful Balance

by Michelle Wilson
Published by Covenant on August 1, 2016
Genres: Adult, Inspirational, LDS
Pages: 152
Format: Paperback
four-stars
Source: Covenant
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Is it possible to feel peace when our lives and the world feel out of control? The short answer is yes!

Trying to manage the ups and downs of life can feel overwhelming, but fortunately we're not alone on this journey. With inspiring doctrinal insights and a healthy dose of humor, author Michelle Wilson inspires readers to let go of fear and find peace, even in the midst of lost jobs, health challenges, or everyday chaos at home. In a world that seems so tempestuous, The Beautiful Balance is a sweet reminder of exactly what we can control—ourselves—and what God controls—all the rest.

 
This book has a perfect messages of letting go and letting God. There is in reality, little we have control over in life save it be ourselves. We are free to act or react in any given situation. Author Michelle Wilson reminds readers that we can’t possible do everything on our own or stay in balance without the Lord’s help, we simply can’t do it alone. Filled with scripture, personal stories and doctrinal insight, consider this a small pocket guide to “gaining personal control and giving the rest to God.” I would recommend reading it in chunks, a chapter a day.

about_ the_author

Michelle Wilson writes magical realism and inspirational nonfiction. She is the author of “Does This Insecurity Make Me Look Fat?” and “The Beautiful Balance: Claiming Personal Control and Giving the Rest to God,” along with other fiction and nonfiction works on the way.

She is represented by Marisa Corvisiero of the Corvisiero Literary Agency.

Michelle loves faith, family, food, and smiling. She is an expert at Guitar Hero, has a bad habit of laughing at the wrong times, and hates writing about herself in third person because it’s just weird.

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Willowkeep Blog Tour and Giveaway

16 Jun, 2016 by in covenant, julie daines 1 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.

Willowkeep

by Julie Daines
Published by Covenant on June 1, 2016
Genres: Adult, Regency
Format: Paperback
four-stars
Source: Covenant
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Charlotte Darby’s ship is sinking. Penniless and alone, she is struggling to care for herself and her young sister in the harsh seaport town of Hull. But when a solicitor from London brings news that she is the heir to a vast estate in Kent, it seems her days of rough seas are over. Willowkeep is prosperous and grand, far too much for a shipping merchant’s daughter to manage, and she quickly comes to rely on the help of Henry Morland, the estate’s kind and handsome steward.

Henry has worked hard his entire life, but all the money he’s saved won’t be enough to get his father out of debtor’s prison. And Henry’s fondness for Charlotte and her sister is only another reminder of his low status and lack of wealth. Though he is willing to do whatever it takes to keep Charlotte happy and looked after as the county’s wealthiest lady, she can never be his.

Courted by a charming man of the ton, threatened by those who want her money, and determined to keep her sister safe from the same fate that cost her the rest of her family, Charlotte must face some heartrending decisions. For no matter the size of the fortune, life—and love—are never smooth sailing.

I’ve always been a fan of Regency Romance, but Willowkeep adds a completely new perspective. A young woman, abandoned by her parents and left to raise her special needs sister alone. Charlotte doesn’t live in the best of neighborhoods, down by the docks. She and her sister are desperate as their funds and resources are running out. Along comes a solicitor with a surprising announcement that raises the station of both sisters and transports them to their own estate. Henry Morland, the family steward has also lived a hard life and is carrying the transgressions of his father on his back, trying to repay insurmountable debt. Both main characters are not the genteel society we usually read about, but commoners making their way to something better.

With plot twists and historical elements speckled in the story line through letters to Anne Boleyn, this story has much to offer. The bond between siblings is beautiful as is the hope that someone “different” can make their own way. The author explores children with disabilities and the way they were and can be harshly treated versus the caring selflessness of a family member. The book cover was perfect, but the design I struggled with a bit. I found the willow leaves at the beginning of each chapter a bit distracting. Overall, though, I very much enjoyed Willowkeep, the dialogue, the development and the unique point of view.

Content: clean, little violence.

About the Author

Julie Daines was born in Concord, Massachusetts, and was raised in Utah. She spent eighteen months living in London, where she studied and fell in love with English literature, sticky toffee pudding, and the mysterious guy who ran the kebab store around the corner.

She loves reading, writing, and watching movies—anything that transports her to another world. She picks Captain Wentworth over Mr. Darcy, firmly believes in second breakfast, and never leaves home without her verveine.

To learn more about Julie Daines or to contact her, visit her website at www.juliedaines.com

 

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