Posts Tagged: blog tour

Blog Tour and Author Guest Post By Lisa Rumsey Harris- The Unlikely Gift of Treasure Blume

22 Apr, 2013 by in Author Guest Post, The Unlikely Gift of Treasure Blume Leave a comment

Fire and Ice is pleased to be today’s official blog tour stop for Lisa Rumsey Harris’ book The Unlikely Gift of Treasure Bloom. We have Lisa with us today to share an exclusive post and recipe with our readers!

Confessions from an Unfoodie:
By Lisa Rumsey Harris, author of The Unlikely Gift of Treasure Blume
I have a confession. I am not a foodie. I eat to live. I don’t live to eat. I don’t spend hours browsing cookbooks, nor do I show up at clandestine parking lots in the wee hours of the morning to nab quality produce.  And although I wish it was different, cooking, for me, is a job, not a joy.
So when I was writing The Unlikely Gift of Treasure Blume, and discovered that the love interest, Dennis Cameron, was an ex-chef who was now working in a school cafeteria, I was in totally new territory. Short of watching Top Chef, I didn’t have any experience with gourmet grub.  I had to learn a new vocabulary for all his dialogue.  Dennis thought and spoke in food metaphors. I did not. And so, like any good author, I started doing research. I lurked on foodie blogs, googling terms I’d only heard in passing: ragout, sous chef, risotto, and yes, even Turducken.
For Dennis, food is love. It’s his way of creating art, and expressing his emotions. So while I wasn’t a foodie, I suddenly found myself fascinated with food. Foodlore and recipes expose so much about how people live and love. That’s what I wanted to come through in Dennis.
Dennis’s dishes revealed his character. The simplicity and quality of ingredients make him happy. That’s why he had such issues with the cafeteria food ( Side-bar: I wrote this before Michelle Obama launched her lunch-room reform campaign. Dennis would have been a fan. My children, used to chicken nuggets and cinnamon rolls in the lunchroom, are not. ) Dennis describes Treasure as spinach (a flattering comparison, in his estimation) and pictures beautiful bouquets of broccoli when he gets stressed out.  And when he falls in love with Treasure Blume, he makes butternut squash boats that he calls “a love sonnet in a pot.”
“Tasty? said Dennis. “That’s all you can come up with?” He took a bite off the same spoon. “The cinnamon is home and holidays and warmth, and the chili powder is heat and passion and adventure. I’ve given you a love sonnet in a pot and all you can come up with is tasty?”
“Really tasty?” she said” (217).
This may be my favorite food bit in the book. I dug deep into my childhood to base these squash boats on a real family recipe. Unfoodie that I am, I do have foodie roots. Like Grammy Blume, I come from pioneer stock. My family recipes, handed down from generations of farmers and ranchers, feature simple ingredients and yield enough to feed the threshers.  One recipe starts out “Kill and clean six stewing hens . . .” no joke!   And so for Dennis’s love sonnet, I decided to use the recipe that meant love to me as a child.

This recipe has Dennis’s epicurean chef spin, but the heart of it is my grandmother’s hubbard squash pie recipe. We eat it at Thanksgiving while the rest of the world is eating pumpkin pie. In it, I replaced hubbard with butternut, because it’s so much more friendly and easier to use than hubbard. The skin is so thick and tough on a hubbard that the recipe begins with my grandmother’s admonition to split the squash with an axe.  With butternut, you can skip the ax. Then you need to peel the rind, and clean the squash (if you’re my grandma, you save the seeds for the next year’s planting). Cut and cube, then boil until soft. Next, mill the squash (which is pushing the squash through a tough strainer with a big paddle).  

Once you have your stewed and strained squash, the recipe for Dennis’s Love Sonnet Squash pie is easy:
2 cups stewed and strained squash
2 cups cream
2 eggs
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon allspice
1 cup brown or granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Mix squash with milk, sugar, beaten eggs, salt and spices. Beat for 2 minutes. Pour into pie tin lined with pastry, (or in the book, Dennis uses hollowed out squash shells). Bake at 450 for 15 minutes, then at 350 for 30 minutes.  And in the end, you’ll have a creamy, custardy, earthy delicious piece of my family history, and Dennis’s love for Treasure Blume.

Book Summary: With her love of sweaters, goofy hair, and awkward manners—not to mention her family curse—Treasure Blume knows love is not in her future. That is, until she matches wits with Dennis Cameron, a divorced chef with a six-year-old daughter. Full of mischief, mayhem, and laugh-out-loud humor, this is an unlikely love story you’ll want to read over and over again!

About the author: Lisa Rumsey Harris is from Downey, Idaho, where she grew up writing stories and riding horses. She graduated magna cum laude from BYU with a degree in English and a minor in Humanities.She honed her writing skills while working at BYU Development Communications, where she wrote brochures, letters, and conducting notes for President Merrill J. Bateman. She received her Master’s Degree in English in August 2003.

Sparked by the experiences of her own grandmother, Lisa’s thesis explored the dissonance between real ranch women and the representations of ranch women in literature. She presented her findings at the Hawaiian International Conference on the Arts and Humanities.

Lisa’s passion for the American West is rivaled only by her passions for teaching and writing. She began teaching Honors Writing courses in Fall 2003. Her teaching inspiration is her own mother, who as Lisa’s high school Spanish teacher, taught her the importance of finding innovative approaches to encourage active learning.
As a writer, Lisa has won numerous awards for her short stories, essays, and cowboy poetry, including a Sunstone award in the Brookie and D.K Brown Memorial Fiction Contest. Lisa lives in Orem, Utah, with her multi-talented husband, her adorable sunshine daughters, and her ancient Siamese cat.

Learn more on Goodreads/ author website

Blog Tour and Review- The Continuous Conversion by Brad Wilcox

12 Apr, 2013 by in review, The Continuous Conversion 3 comments

The Continuous Conversion God Isn’t Just Proving Us, He’s Improving Us
by Brad Wilcox
232 Pages
Published 2013
Book Source: Publisher
5 stars

Product Description from Deseret Book: I wrote this book because I know too many people who are giving up! One discouraged friend said, “I can’t do this Mormon thing. I’ve tried, and the expectations are just way too high.” … I know returned missionaries who spent their entire missions teaching about the Atonement, but now they have made some mistakes and feel like the Atonement won’t work for them. I know people who have gone to the temple to be sealed and then never returned. I know others who are feeling burned out in their callings. Too many Latter-day Saints feel like they will never measure up. I wanted to write something that will provide hope and motivation next time we or those we love are tempted to toss in the towel. I wanted to write something that would remind people why we do what we do and that it’s worth it–not because of all we are earning, but because of all we are learning. Instead of just going through the motions, I wanted people to read this book and once again feel the emotions of discipleship. That’s what they are missing. Whether the challenge is getting more out of the temple endowment or dealing with callings or juggling the many aspects of our lives and feeling like we are dropping too many balls, I wanted to provide a shot in the arm.
I started writing The Continuous Atonement when I was serving as the bishop of a young single adult ward…. I realized that there was an aspect of the Atonement they didn’t get. They knew about how the Atonement could cleanse and console us, but they didn’t grasp how it can transform us and how Christ offers us His enabling power however long that transformation process takes–even continuously. This book picks up that same theme and answers the question, “How?” “How do I apply the Atonement and feel it’s transforming power on a continuous basis?” True conversion is not a onetime event, but a process that takes time. Most people accept that in theory, but we still beat ourselves up when we fall short. My message is “Be patient. You are doing better than you realize. Hang in there!” We are not paying our way into heaven. We’re practicing for it! —Brad Wilcox
“I can’t do this Mormon thing,” a friend told Brad Wilcox. “I’ve tried, and the expectations are just way too high.” And she’s not alone in her thinking. Many people, as they feel themselves falling short of perfection, are tempted to quit trying.
But are there only two options? Think of it this way: When a person is learning to play the piano, are the only two options performing at Carnegie Hall or quitting? Similarly, in mortality, are the only two choices being perfect or giving up?
“No,” writes Brad Wilcox. “Growth and development take time. Learning takes practice. Discipleship is a journey, and true conversion is a continuous process.”
In this hope-filled book, Brad shares his keen understanding and testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ as it relates to our own conversion. Conversion occurs, he says, “when we stop trying to earn heaven and start trying to learn it. . . As we take each little step to show faith, repent, make and live covenants, seek the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end, we are not paying our way into heaven. We are practicing for it.
Review: So many of us feel that we just don’t measure up or can’t make it into heaven. Mr. Wilcox addresses this very issue in his newest book The Continuous Conversion. “We aren’t earning our way into heaven were are learning our way into heaven.” 
The entire book is filled with the profound idea that we are making it there step by step and that the path to becoming a better person takes a gradual and continual progress over time. Conversion is not a fast or “on the surface” change, it is a deep rooted and little by little, day by day– totally achievable goal. 
As a former missionary in Chile I could relate to his examples from the field there. My favorite stories were of him reaching to youth at EFY and prisoners who had and had not experienced conversion. Brother Wilcox has a deep love for others and his counsel is filled with compassion.
Each chapter of The Continuous Conversion has a theme with so many hopeful point of doctrine to ponder. Temple worship, repentance, the names we are given and serving with zeal are some of the topics addressed. This book should and could be read more than once.
Brother Wilcox really helped me look at things in a completely new light and I would love to hear this one in audio so we can listen to it again and again as these are lessons for everyone that make an impression on the soul.
Thanks so much to Deseret Book for the wonderful read!
About the Author: Brad Wilcox is an associate professor in the department of Teacher Education at Brigham Young University, where he also works with programs such as Especially for Youth and Campus Education Week. As a young man, he served his mission in Chile, and he was later called back to that country to preside over the Chile Santiago East Mission from 2003 to 2003. He currently serves as a member of the Sunday School general board.
Brad is the author of the bestselling book The Continuous Atonement and the BYU devotional “His Grace Is Sufficient.” He and his wife, Debi, are the parents of four children and grandparents of three.
Read an excerpt of The Continuous Conversion at

Eliza, The Life and Faith of Eliza R. Snow Blog Tour and Review

08 Apr, 2013 by in The Life and Faith of Eliza R. Snow Leave a comment

Fire and Ice is pleased to be today’s stop on the official Deseret Book blog tour for

Eliza, The Life and Faith of Eliza R. Snow
Published February 2013
by Deseret Book
ISBN 1609089022
Book source: publisher
5 stars
Book Description from Deseret
Eliza R. Snow is one of the most revered women in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We hear stories of her faith and strength, and we sing her beloved hymns. She was fondly known as “Zion’s Poetess” and also as “Presidentess,” because of her leadership of Relief Society and her role in forming and directing organizations for young women and children. She has remained a legend for generations of Latter-day Saints, but we know less about her “variegated life,” as she described it—the personal joys and sorrows brought about by unfolding events in the young Church of which she was a part.
This intimate look at Eliza R. Snow, by authors Karen Lynn Davidson and Jill Mulvay Derr, reveals a more private side of this extraordinary woman. She emerges as a bright young poet in Ohio, a new convert to the restored Church, a seamstress, and a sharer in the persecutions and hardships of the early Saints. We see a member of the households of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, a dedicated temple worker, and a traveling Relief Society president with a zeal for teaching the gospel.
Her delight in nature, her love for family and friends, and her outlook of hope for the cause of Zion are reflected here through selections from some of her best poems. Photographs, artifacts, and personal letters add visual beauty to this inspiring introduction to her fascinating life.
Review: As a lifetime member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I confess I did not know much about Eliza R. Snow before picking up this book.  I had heard her name and seen her portrait but the innermost thoughts of her heart were a mystery to me. After reading Eliza I feel I have grown to love her and revere her as an example of strength, fortitude and faith.
Eliza R. Snow was born to a New England family with strong revolutionary War roots. Her father was respected in his civic and business spheres and he often took Eliza with him to work alongside him in his duties. From a young age she was exposed to a world many women of her time never saw. Through the encouragement of her parents, she sought an education and developed a love of writing poetry which later flourished until she came to be known as “Zion’s poetess.” She left behind so much of what she loved in her childhood home of Mantua, Ohio to follow the prophet Joseph Smith- later to become his wife before the martyrdom. Then, once again she picked up her things and traveled West with the Saints making her way to Utah with Brigham Young as one of his wives.  Eliza was instrumental is organizing and leading the women, youth and children of the church as well as devoting much of her time in the endowment house doing Temple work. She was stalwart, encouraging and uplifting– often penning personal letters and verse to those she loved.
This book is a multi-media, gift quality collection of handwritten poems, antique cabinet card photos and historical documents. It gives the reader a taste of what it was like to step into each period of Eliza’s long life. Many of the pages are filled with the hymns and poems that we have come to love including one of my favorites “Oh My Father.” I even found one of my ancestors, German Ellsworth listed in a musical program copy tying my family roots to Eliza’s story. I would whole heartedly recommend this book and it is a treasure I will keep on my shelves and share with my children.
Thanks so much to Deseret Book for allowing us to be a part of the blog tour!

About the Authors:  KAREN LYNN DAVIDSON earned a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. At Brigham Young University she was a member of the English faculty and director of the Honors Program. She has served on the General Music Committee of the Church and plays violin with the Orchestra at Temple Square. She is the author of the popular classic Our Latter-day Hymns: The Stories and the Messages and coeditor of the Histories volumes of The Joseph Smith Papers series.

JILL MULVAY DERR holds an M.A.T. from Harvard University. She was a research historian at the Church History Department in Salt Lake City and at Brigham Young University, where she was also an associate professor of Church history. She is coauthor of Women of Covenant: The Story of Relief Society and coeditor of Women’s Voices: An Untold History of the Latter-day Saints. Her many other publications include more than a dozen articles on the life and thought of Eliza R. Snow.

Learn more on goodreads/ Deseret Book

Lulu Blog Tour- Author Guest Post and Giveaway

03 Apr, 2013 by in giveaway, lulu Leave a comment

Fire and Ice is honored to be today’s stop on the official Lulu Blog Tour featuring a guest post from author Hilary McKay and a fun giveaway. First, read what Hilary has to say about her Memories of the Beach…
“Or rather, memories of the coast. I am not keen on beaches when it means those sandy banks covered in towels and temporary volley ball pitches and parasols and windbreaks and humans. I like beaches without any people (well, I can put up with a few quiet ones reading books or drawing the seagulls. I suppose).

However, although I am not fond of traditional sandy beaches, I do love to be on the coast. Until my last move, which brought me to my current high and dry position in the centre of England, I always lived near the sea.  My first coast was salt marshes, where my friends and I swam in creeks and made driftwood fires and watched the seabirds fly in at evening against an apricot and lemon sky. The skies are huge beside a salt marsh at night, and lit with stars you do not see inland. I remember the bright sweep of the milky way and someone, flat on his back remarking, I see Jupiter and four moons. 
Next I went to Scotland,  to St Andrews, an ancient and sea bound city. I was at university there, and the sea was part of our life. We battled against North Sea winds to lectures, walked the medieval pier to make wishes at the end, and waited by the castle walls to hear the eider duck gossiping in the dark. It was hard to leave that cold and salty place when the time came to go. I still have the box of sand I collected there before I left. Under a magnifying glass you can see that it is entirely made of fragments of shell.

 The next coast I found was in the west. It was a shingle beach.  We used to live so close that at high tide at night you could hear the shingle grinding as you lay in bed. That was an eerie and wonderful sound. On stormy days cloud puffs of sea foam blew down the village street. You would see them scuttering past the front door and know that the sea must be boiling.

One of the things best things about being on the coast is the edge feeling of only three directions you can go without getting wet. I didn’t realise how much I liked this feeling until I moved inland and suddenly found myself with four directions. Very disconcerting. I manage by more or less ignoring East but I have to admit it isn’t the same.

Writing is a way of remembering. Now that I am inland and missing my lovely edges, I send my characters to the places I cannot go. Then, for the time that I am writing,  I am back there again. Its one of the perks of the job!”

About the Author: Hilary McKay was born in Boston, Lincolnshire and is the eldest of four girls. From a very early age she read voraciously and grew up in a household of readers. Hilary says of herself as a child “I anaesthetised myself against the big bad world with large doses of literature. The local library was as familiar to me as my own home.”
After reading Botany and Zoology at St. Andrew’s University Hilary then went on to work as a biochemist in an Analysis Department. Hilary enjoyed the work but at the same time had a burning desire to write. After the birth of her two children, Hilary wanted to devote more time to bringing up her children and writing so decided to leave her job.
One of the best things about being a writer, says Hilary, is receiving letters from children. She wishes that she had written to authors as a child, but it never occurred to her to contact them
Hilary now lives in a small village in Derbyshire with her family. When not writing Hilary loves walking, reading, and having friends to stay.
Learn more about the book at Hilary’s website/ Albert Whitman/ the ebook at Open Road
Stop by Book Aunt tomorrow: Thursday, April 04, 2013 and be sure to visit all the stops on the tour for more chances to win!
Also check out book 3 which will be available Fall 2013, and stop by here to learn more about Lulu and the Duck in the Park which is nominated for a Kiddo Award.
Thank you so much to Albert Whitman and Hilary McKay for choosing us as a stop! 
As part of the blog tour, they have offered one copy of Lulu and the Dog From the Sea for a giveaway.

Must be 13 or older and have a US or Canada mailing address. Winners will be chosen at random and prizes shipped by the publisher.

Fill out the rafflecopter form below to enter!

 Good Luck.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour and Review Cragbridge Hall: The Inventor’s Secret

26 Mar, 2013 by in Shadow Mountain 2 comments

By Chad Morris
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 5th 2013
by Shadow Mountain
ISBN 1609073266
Book source: Publisher
4.5 stars
Book Summary from Amazon: Abby and Derick have been accepted to the most prestigious secondary school in the world Cragbridge Hall. Due to the inventions of their grandfather, Oscar Cragbridge, they will be able to experience history in 3D, use their minds to literally project visual interpretations of classic literature, and become animal avatars for zoology. But when their grandfather and parents go missing, Abby and Derick must follow clues Oscar left for them that will reveal a dangerous secret. Along the way, they discover there is much more to one of their grandfather s inventions than anyone has ever dreamed. Saving their family will take all of Derick s mind and Abby s heart as they come face to face with a crazed scientist who desperately seeks to change the past. If they fail, the world past and future will never be the same. This book is a page-turning, time-travel adventure that teaches powerful lessons about choice and consequence, believing you can do hard things, and valuing your history.
I’m so excited to be a part of Deseret Book’s blog tour for Cragbridge Hall, Book One: Inventor’s Secret. I heard of this book the week I recived it from my elementary aged children who had a visit from the author, Chad Morris at their school. They were so entertained and excited about his presentation that they tried to wrangle the book away from me and I’ve been in a hurry to finish it ever since so they can have their turn! It’s always  a good sign when they get book envy.

Chad spends a lot of time weaving obscure and not so obscure elements of history into his storyline which takes place at a prestigious school for brilliant students of the future. The two main heroes are brother and sister team Abby and Derick who are on a mission to find out what happened to their grandfather, the schools founder as well as their parents….before it is too late.  There is plenty of adventure packed into the quest to find clues. The team and their peers are allowed to use “the Bridge” which takes allows them to see history come to life and feel it as it is happening. Readers get sucked right along with them into scenes as horrifying as a bear attack and as thrilling as a slave escape.

I really loved the characters and my ability to relate to them. It is truly middle grade perfect. Everyone knows the annoying best girl friend who is vying for the attention of your brother, the mean girl who is trying to turn her clique of friends against you, and the teachers who you can’t tell are on your side or not. The main voice, Abby is good just the way she is and is not perfect or fatally flawed. 

My children are going to eat this one up and I am pleased to pass it on to them as it is clean and not overly violent. Well done Chad Morris for keeping me and my family fascinated with the past and the future!

About the author: Chad Morris grew up wanting to become a professional basketball player or a rock star. (Inspired by Animal from the Muppets, he’s been banging on drums since he was eight years old.) After high school, he wrote and performed sketch comedy while going to college, and eventually he became a teacher and a curriculum writer. He lives in Utah with his wife and five kids. Chad would love to teach at Cragbridge Hall.Unlike Oscar Cragbridge, however, he hasn’t really invented anything, though his son once sketched out blueprints for a machine that would turn celery into cookies

Goodreads/ Twitter/ Author Website/ Deseret Book/ Facebook

My Loving Vigil Keeping Blog Tour

02 Mar, 2013 by in Uncategorized 4 comments

Fire and Ice is thrilled to be the stop on the official Cedar Fort Blog Tour for

My Loving Vigil Keeping
by Carla Kelly
Paperback, 400 pages
Published August 14th 2012
by Cedar Fort, Inc.
Book source: publisher
5 stars
Summary From The Publisher: Della’s giving up all the comforts of bustling Salt Lake City to teach school in a rural coal mining camp. Little does she know, she may soon be giving up her heart as well. But when tragedy strikes in the Scofield Mine, Della’s life will be changed forever. Based on true events, this thrilling new romance from award-winning and bestselling author Carla Kelly is a must-read!
Heather’s Review: I had never heard of the Scofield Mining Disaster before reading Carla Kelly’s My Loving Vigil Keeping. Now, the event, the people who lived in the mining town of Winter Quarters and the history behind May 1, 1900 are forever etched in my memory. I really enjoy Carla’s new LDS Historical romances and this was no exception.

Ms. Kelly took personal interest in the stories of these men and women. I was so moved by the story I went online to find photos and additional histories about Scofield once I was done reading. The author has left her fingerprint in a story of the past by bringing it to life for readers of our generation–many of whom are ancestors left from the widows and fatherless children left behind by the mining tragedy. This book is authentic in its history; you will feel like you are really there. It also weaves in a few more characters from Utah’s history including Jess Knight and Mr. Auerbach of the prominent Utah department store rivaling ZCMI. This is a book I will be gifting for Christmas to my family. The pacing was a bit slow and there is a bit too much detail in the spa/kissing scenes for my taste, but that is only a small complaint.

I will read antyhing else Carla Kelly writes under Cedar Fort. She’s done justice and a tender act of service to the over 200 Finns, Welsh, Scotts and local LDS people who lost their lives. I loved Owen for his tenacity and tenderness toward his wife and child– Della for her bravery and spunk. My heart truly took in all the families of Winter Quarters and the humble but educated immigrants. Spot on, lovely character development. I’ll be taking a trip to the mine and cemetery now that I feel like I know Bishop Parmley and all of his men.

Bring a box of kleenex for this one.

Content: mention of naked women in a spa, detailed kissing scene and small bath scene. Recommended for adults

See the entire blog tour schedule here

About the author: Award-winning author Carla Kelly is a veteran of the New York and international publishing world. The author of more than thirty novels and novellas for Donald I. Fine Co., Signet, and Harlequin, Carla is the recipient of two Rita Awards (think Oscars for romance writing) from Romance Writers of America and two Spur Awards (think Oscars for western fiction) from Western Writers of America.    

Recently, she’s been writing Regency romances (think Pride and Prejudice) set in the Royal Navy’s Channel Fleet during the Napoleonic Wars between England and France. She comes by her love of the ocean from her childhood as a Navy brat.                                                                          

Carla’s history background makes her no stranger to footnote work, either. During her National Park Service days at the Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, Carla edited Friedrich Kurz’s fur trade journal. She recently completed a short history of Fort Buford, where Sitting Bull surrendered in 1881.
Following the “dumb luck” principle that has guided their lives, the Kellys recently moved to Wellington, Utah, from North Dakota and couldn’t be happier in their new location. In her spare time, Carla volunteers at the Railroad and Mining Museum in Helper, Utah. She likes to visit her five children, who live here and there around the United States. Her favorite place in Utah is Manti, located after a drive on the scenic byway through Huntington Canyon.
And why is she so happy these days? Carla is enjoying writing for an LDS audience now, where she feels most at home.
Find out more about author Carla Kelly: Goodreads/ Website/ Blog

Crewel Blog Tour, Deleted Scene and Giveaway

22 Oct, 2012 by in Uncategorized 25 comments

Fire and Ice is honored to be included in the incredible line up of blogs for the official Crewel Blog Tour! Read on for an exclusive deleted scene plus book and swag giveaway…
by Gennifer Albin
Paperback, 357 pages
Expected Publication Date: October 16th 2012
by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN 0374316414
Book Source: publisher
Summary from Goodreads: Incapable. Awkward. Artless.

That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.

Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.

Deleted Scene: This scene from the original version shows Adelice taking on neighborhood bully, Beth, for picking on her sister, Amie. This was cut in favor of a different scene between Adelice and Amie, but I actually really like it because it hints at some elements that come into play in the sequels.

“None of Amie’s friends had seen her, and I was halfway home before a little Yuna from
down the street ran to me, waving her arms frantically.
   “Adelice…” she gasped for air, having run much faster than her age to find me. “She…has…Amie.”
 I didn’t have to ask who Yuna was talking about, because I knew immediately. I dashed
in the direction of Yuna’s outstretched finger, and she hurried after me. Beth had Amie face
down in the dirt in the public greenspace the metro patrolled a block from our house.
Beth was pushing her harder against the ground, and I could tell by the way Amie’s
hands were flailing that she couldn’t breath. As I got closer, the texture of the moment
shimmered lightly in front of me, and I started to reach out to the subtle weave. I could save
Amie that way, mess with the threads all around us. Somehow I knew that, but the thought
paralyzed me.
   But then Beth slammed her palm into Amie’s hair and called her a “loose strand.” The
weave vanished, and I clocked her. Beth was dazed for a moment, but then her eyes focused on
mine, and I saw her mouth the word freak. I swung back to hit her again, but Amie’s hands
caught my arm and she looked up at me with wide-eyed fear.
  “Let’s go,” Amie said. “We’ll get in trouble.”
    I wanted to tell her Beth deserved it, and that only our horrible neighbor would be
punished. Except Amie was right, fighting was a level three infraction. It was serious enough to
result in disciplinary action, which meant a visit to the metro clinic. I let her lead me away.
  I was so focused on the fury welling up inside me that I didn’t notice how her lower lip
trembled at first.
  “What happened?” I asked her quietly.
Amie shook her head.
Did she say something to you, or did she just hit you?” I pushed.

Amie looked down, and I realized whatever Beth had said to her, Amie wasn’t going to

repeat it. I knew that meant it had been about me.

“It’s okay, Ames,” I said, trying to sound playful. “We’ll get you cleaned up, and Mom

will never know.”

She turned the full force of her pale green eyes on me then, and I saw the tears glistening.

“But we were fighting,” she whispered.

“Don’t worry about that,” I said with a shrug. “If anyone is going to get in trouble, it will be Beth. She attacked you.”

“But you hit her back,” Amie said as the tears finally poured down her cheeks.

She was right, but I didn’t tell her that.
Author Bio:  I like coffee. A lot. Writing gives me time to go get a cup without my kids. I like books as much as I like coffee, but it is easier to read with children hanging on you than drink coffee due to the threat of third degree burns. That’s why coffee gets top billing in my intro: its unattainability.

I hold a Masters in English with a specialization in 18th century women’s studies. While this is a highly marketable area of expertise, I stay home with my kids, which means my 3 year-old son uses correct grammar and doesn’t burn down the house.

I have a ridiculously supportive husband who dreams of being included on a book jacket: “The author lives in Kansas with her husband, two children, and a Tuesday cat.”

I’m represented by Mollie Glick of Foundry Literary + Media.

Become a fan of Crewel and the series on Facebook
Read the short story prequel, entitled “The Department of Alterations”
Follow Gennifer Albin on Twitter    
Crewel Blog Tour Schedule
Wednesday 10/17
Thursday 10/18
Friday 10/1 
Saturday 10/20
Sunday 10/21
Monday 10/22
Tuesday 10/23
Thursday 10/25
Friday 10/26
Saturday 10/27
Sunday 10/28
The Giveaway: Fire and Ice is giving away a hardcover copy of Crewel to go with the blog tour, plus a Crewel bracelet courtesy of MacKids Books. US and Canada only. To enter fill out the rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Smart Move Blog Tour and Review

17 Oct, 2012 by in melanie jacobson, smart move 2 comments

Smart Move

by Melanie Jacobson
Paperback, 256 pages
Published 2012
by Covenant Communications
Book source: Author
5 stars
Book summary from Deseret Book: The spark was undeniable the night Sandy Burke met the devastatingly handsome Jake. Conversation flowed easily, so after they parted, she waited eagerly for his call. It never came. A high-powered career woman at the ripe old age of twenty-seven, Sandy feels she has had her heart broken one too many times, and now the redheaded trendsetter is facing a major quarter-life crisis. After some introspection, Sandy determines that helping others may be the key to helping herself. When she’s presented with a job offer in Washington, DC, as the director of New Horizons, a nonprofit organization benefiting women in poverty, it seems providential. But now that she’s moved, two major obstacles threaten the success of her first assignment: The first is her mother and her constant fog of less-than-helpful New Age advice. Secondly, plans to build another New Horizons outreach center have come to a screeching halt, thanks to the interference of a pesky lawyer and his attempts to reverse zoning approval for the building project.
After weeks of verbal sparring over the phone, Sandy is in for a shock when she comes face-to-face with her foe. The smooth voice at the other end of the line is a heart-wrenching blast from the past. In this twist of fate, Sandy sees the perfect opportunity to ensure the success of the outreach center—and to enact a little payback on this man she thought she’d left behind. And so the battle of wits begins. Will Sandy’s “flirt-to-convert” plot sway he nemesis’s determination to block the center, or will his charming and undeniably attractive ways convince the sassy redhead to give love a second chance?
Heather’s review: Melanie Jacobson has won my heart with her clean, funny romance writing. Smart Move features a less than perfect main character which is something I appreciate. She’s the daughter of a single mother who’s been raised in a less than ideal environment, shuffled from place to place and step-dad to step-dad. She’s now found her place as a Stanford graduate working in D.C. for a major nonprofit organization. She has a job she believes in, her own space in the upper half of a house and yoga to keep her sane. But she just can’t get her mind of of one night back in Seattle and the man she met who never returned her phone call. The sparks were definitely there, but she should be over it by now!
Luckily she has a huge project going right now to keep her mind off of dating–winning the zoning approval for a program helping women make their way into the work force. The only thing standing in her way is “El Diablo” the proud and stubborn attorney who’s working hth other end of the case. The two cross paths in more than one unpleasant encounter and let the banter begin!
Sandy is spunky and unique in her spanx (tummy trimming lycra.) She has some baggage from her past but is headstrong and flirty at the same time. Main antagonist, “El Diablo” never, ever gives up. It’s so nice to see a persistent and confident man who knows how to keep the best interest of both his employer and others around him.  I thoroughly enjoyed Smart Move and would recommend it to all readers as a clean read.  You’ll laugh out loud at Sandy’s mother Margerita and her New Age goofiness as well as some of the hilarious situations Sandy finds herself in. I enjoyed the East Coast Ivy League D.C. setting as well.
If you haven’t read any of Melanie’s books yet…go, go, go!
Content: Clean

Photo copyright Heather Zahn Gardner
About the author: 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 second novel, Not My Type, hit shelves in September. Visit Melanie on her website or blog.

Quaratine: The Loners by Lex Thomas Blog Tour and Giveaway

25 Sep, 2012 by in Quaranitne the loners, Teaser Tuesday 1 comment

Fire and Ice is so excited to be today’s stop on the official tour for Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas. We have a Teaser Tuesday excerpt plus your chance to win your own autographed copy from EgmontUSA, so read on…

Book Description:As original as The Hunger Games, set within the walls of a high school exactly like yours.” – Kami Garcia, New York Times best-selling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures novels

It was just another ordinary day at McKinley High—until a massive explosion devastated the school. When loner David Thorpe tried to help his English teacher to safety, the teacher convulsed and died right in front of him. And that was just the beginning.

A year later, McKinley has descended into chaos. All the students are infected with a virus that makes them deadly to adults. The school is under military quarantine. The teachers are gone. Violent gangs have formed based on high school social cliques. Without a gang, you’re as good as dead. And David has no gang. It’s just him and his little brother, Will, against the whole school.

In this frighteningly dark and captivating novel, Lex Thomas locks readers inside a school where kids don’t fight to be popular, they fight to stay alive.

“Take Michael Grant’s Gone and Veronica Roth’s Divergent, rattle them in a cage until they’re ready to fight to the death, and you’ll have something like this nightmarish debut…Thomas’ whirlwind pace, painful details, simmering sexual content, and moments of truly shocking ultra-violence thrust this movie-ready high school thriller to the head of the class.” – Booklist (starred review)

Teaser … A year later, McKinley has descended into chaos. All the students are infected with a virus that makes them deadly to adults. The school is under military quarantine. The teachers are gone. Violent gangs have formed based on high school social cliques. Without a gang, you’re as good as dead. And David has no gang. It’s just him and his little brother, Will, against the whole school.“Will had gone through a growth spurt, like most kids their year had at this point; Smudge hadn’t. He was still the size of a child, and he looked about as healthy as an old woman’s finger. But he was a survivor. The kid was a cockroach.”

About The Author : Lex Thomas is the pen name for the writing team of Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies. Their first novel, QUARANTINE: THE LONERS, earned a starred review from Booklist, and Huffington Post Books called it “one of the best books that I have ever read.”
Lex received a BA in Drama and English from the University of Virginia and has worked as an actor, director and writer. Thomas graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design, and now writes, and exhibits his realist oil paintings in Los Angeles.
Lex and Thomas met in a writers’ group in Los Angeles. Their friendship developed as they tried to blow each other’s minds with clips from bizarre movies. In 2005, they became a screenwriting team, and found that writing with a friend is much more fun than doing it alone.
Visit all the stops on the official Quarantine Blog Tour
Monday, September 10th – Wastepaper Prose
Tuesday, September 11th – Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, September 12th – Novel Novice
Thursday, September 13th – The Bookish Brunette
 Friday, September 14th – The PageTurners
Monday, September 17th – MundieMoms
Tuesday, September 18th – Forever 17 Books
Wednesday, September 19th – Evie Bookish
Thursday, September 20th – Once upon a Prologue
Friday, September 21st – The Bookswarm
 Monday, September 24th – Reading Angel
Tuesday, September 25th – Fire and Ice
Wednesday, September 26th – Emily’s Reading Room
Thursday, September 27th – Fiktshun
Friday, September 28th – Hypable

The Giveaway: Two lucky winners will have the chance to win a personalized, autographed copy of Quarantine! To enter, fill out the rafflecopter form below.

The Origami Nun Blog Tour and Giveaway

21 Sep, 2012 by in Origami Nun 2 comments

The Origami Nun
by Lori Golding

Kindle Edition, 82 pages
Published: June 11, 2012
by Karabeth Publishing
Book Source: Blog Tour
4 1/2 stars
Book Description: Seven-year old Ruth can’t speak, but she can certainly think. She knows her birthday is going to be good as her beloved great-aunt has exciting plans for her. What she doesn’t expect is a magical paper nun, an encounter with a bully who may not be what she seems or a school day to remember. Because when her special day is over, Ruth is in for some VERY big surprises.
Mary’s Review: Her parents dead, Ruth, 7 who can’t speak is taken in by her Great-Aunt Alice. Great-Aunt Alice is a very special lady who loves Ruth very much. It’s Ruth’s birthday, one Great-Aunt Alice has gone out of her way to make very special for Ruth in more ways than one. It begins with a special birthday breakfast and a tiny origami nun. A very magical origami nun, one that will teach Ruth some very important lessons in life and help her make a new friend. Magic is in the air. Come see how Ruth and others learn the importance of respect for each other even though they are different and that each person has a different story or reason for being different.

I recommend this book for ages 6 and up.

About The Author: Lori Olding lives and works in Surrey in the UK. She and her friend (also called Ruth) share responsibility for their own origami nun and are very glad the nun has managed to feature in her special story at last. Lori is fond of blueberry muffins and lemon meringue pie.
The Giveaway: Up for grabs is a paperback copy of The Origami Nun by Lori Olding and three runners up will get an ebook of The Origami Nun!

The prizes are for all the blogs taking part so there is only 1 paperback and 3 ebooks altogether for all the blogs.

To be in with a chance of winning all you have to do is leave a comment below for the author.
This stop is worth one entry into the giveaway, if you want more entires make sure to hop over to the other posts once they are up. The more posts you comment on the more entries you get.

You need to make sure you leave a way to contact you if you win, either an email or your twitter name! There are know extra points for spreading the word but if you would like to that would be awesome.

Giveaway is international and opened till the 30th September 2012! Giveaway items provided by the author.
Tour stops:
17th September: Book Excerpt @
18th September: Review @
19th Septemer: Top 5 childrens authors @
20th September: Review @
21st September: Guest Post @