Posts Tagged: deseret book

Ambush Review and Signed Swag Giveaway

06 Mar, 2012 by in obert skye, Shadow Mountain, ya fantasy 3 comments

Pillage, Book 3: Ambush
by Obert Skye
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 24, 2012
by Deseret Book Company
ISBN 1609088913
Book Source: Publisher
4 stars
Summary: “What can happen on an innocent field trip to a museum? In the secure protection of a jail? OR on a simple bus ride? Plenty, if you are a member of the Pillage family and your name is Beck Phillips. No matter what strangeness is going on, Beck still manages to turn things on their head.
When Beck’s personality and behavior begins to change after he makes a fateful, life-altering decision involving–what else?–a dragon egg, there is no one around to stop him from fulfilling his family’s destiny set out in The Grim Knot. And as life in Kingsplot moves unwittingly toward the brink of another dragon disaster, Beck finds himself living a life of deception as he hides information from the people who love and care about him the most.”
Beck is trying to get back to normal after he, Wyatt, and his long-suffering girlfriend Kate drop the last egg in the manor where it, hopefully, can’t be reached again. Beck heads to a field trip with his class to the town museum. Beck is drawn to a Pillage statue. Under his feet, though, mushrooms start to grow and take over. Causing a very bad situation for Beck involving buses and water. When he finds himself in a police car, he says,
“I couldn’t believe what was happening to me. Sure, a lot of odd things had occurred since I had moved to Kingsplot. I had raised dragons, discovered my father, and destroyed a few things along the way, but this was the first time I had been arrested.” page 43
Beck is later asked to do something by his sick father. Should he do it? Even though he knows what will happen, and it could risk his relationship with Kate, Beck is tempted.
Mindy’s Review: 4 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed this series. It’s a great ride! I love how the author writes Beck’s character. He’s a sarcastic little brat sometimes, but he always makes me smile. Beck always has something clever to say. He is written so well, each character is. There are some surprises with the dragon egg that I really liked, and a little twist too. I did want more from the dragon though, but it didn’t “ruin” the book for me. Very clever and creative series. Check out my earlier review of Pillage.
About the Author:  Obert Skye read his first book at age two. He wrote his first story at age four. And he was nearly trampled by a herd of water buffalo at age six. For a short time, he lived on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, where he spent time as a candy-taster. Several years ago, Obert Skye says, he discovered the existence of Foo. Publishing his story as a fictional series was not Obert’s first choice. Nevertheless he is content that the “history” is being told. Hobbies and other interests: Collecting old maps, water polo, roller coasters.
Order the book from AMAZON / B & N / DESERET BOOK / SEAGULL BOOK
Find Obert Skye on Goodreads/ His site/ Twitter/ Facebook

                                                                                                                                           photo by Heather Zahn Gardner

The Giveaway: Heather from Fire and Ice had the chance to meet Obert at his Deseret Book signing last week. So, we are giving away a swag pack of an author signed bookmark and postcard! 

Simply comment below to enter.
Open internationally. Ends March  20, 2012.

Book Review- Edenbrooke

27 Jan, 2012 by in regency, Shadow Mountain 3 comments

by Julianne Donaldson
Paperback, 240 pages
Expected publication: April 3rd 2012
by Deseret Book Company
ISBN 1609089464

Book Source: publisher
4.5 stars

Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she’ll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry. From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will she be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke

One of the first things I love about Edenbrooke is that the cover perfectly fits the story and is subtle but breathtaking. Marianne is living in Bath with her spinster grandma, separated form her twin sister after the death of their mother. Both are in the season of their life and while their father is off on his own grieving in another country Marianne is trying in vain to enjoy the quiet solitary life she’s been allotted. Between unwelcome advances from a much older man and hearing all of the adventures of her twin in London, she begins to wonder what is in store for her. So when sister Cecily sends invitation for the two of them to spend the summer on an estate called Edenbrooke Marianne is hopeful her luck may change.  The two sisters couldn’t be more opposite in their demeanor and temperaments. Cecily is bound and determined to win the heart of the Lord of the estate with flirtation during her visit while Marianne is happy to learn in her quiet way how to become a proper Lady.  But things turn unexpectedly when Marianne’s carriage is high jacked and a stranger steps in to help.

Edenbrooke pulled me out of a reading slump with its rich setting and slowly building clean romance. It had a surprise ending with a villain I never would have guessed and plenty of heart stopping moments between the pages. I would highly recommend it to all readers and especially fans of Regency romance. I think Julianne  has a promising road ahead of her as an up and coming author who delights readers with vivid writing and well developed characters. Thanks so much to Shadow Mountain for the advanced reading copy!

Content: clean, minor violence

About the author: Julianne Donaldson was born in the wrong century. She tries to make up for that by enjoying old books, old music, and old places. She graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University with a degree in English Literature. When she’s not dreaming of England, she enjoys baking, dancing with her kids, and staying up late with her husband and a good book. She lives with her husband and four children in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Find her on Goodreads and her blog.

Book Review- Keepers of Blackbird Hill by Lael Littke

24 Nov, 2011 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

Keepers of Blackbird Hill
by Lael Littke
Paperback, 288 pages
Published September 7th, 2011
by Deseret Book Company
ISBN 1609087445
Source: Publisher

Rating: 3.5 stars

After sixteen years in Hollywood, Jayda returns to Blackbird Hill determined to save her childhood home and protect her inheritance of the family property. Orphaned as a young girl, Jayda stands alone against her extended family who want to sell the land to real estate developers. But the developers want all of the property or nothing, and Jayda is convinced that the old house is a powerful symbol of the past and should be preserved. To prove her point, Jayda begins researching the history of the century-old home and her ancestors, whose lives and secrets turn out to be more dramatic than any Hollywood script. Her main ally is a lonely seven-year-old boy, Smoot Ferguson, who lives nearby with his reclusive uncle. Despite opposition, Jayda and Smoot work tirelessly to save the home from destruction until something happens that puts Smoot in jeopardy and forces Jayda to examine her true motives—is she protecting the past or hiding from the future?
This story has some very interesting elements. Jayda has returned to Blackbird Hill after the breakup of her marriage, to save the family home. Along her journey she discovers a feud similar to the Hatfields and McCoys that exists between her family and another in the area. She is also reunited with her longtime friend (who could have been more) Lee, who is fighting his own daemons. When Jayda begins to receive increasingly violent threats, she becomes more and more determined to save her home.

It was cute and I enjoyed reading it. I liked the small town setting (as I grew up in a small town) and the emphasis on family history. I did have a hard time picturing Jayda in Hollywood. Her personality seemed sweet, and not toughened, from the start, as one expects from those in Hollywood.

Content: Clean

Book Review- Before I Say Goodbye

03 Oct, 2011 by in rachel ann nunes 1 comment

Before I Say Goodbye
by Rachel Ann Nunes
Kindle Edition
Expected publication: October 7th 2011
by Deseret Book Company
Book Source: publisher
4 stars

After a twenty-year absence, Rikki Crockett has come home to Utah, to the same house where she grew up. When she left, she was young, hurt, and angry—abandoned by her parents and her best friend. She’d vowed never to return, but when the worst happens, home is the only place she might still find a future for her two children—a rebellious teenage girl and a sweet little boy with a learning disability. To do that, she must turn to her former best friend, Dante Rushton, and hope that he can be her hero one final time. Before I Say Good-Bye is a tender story about choices, about family, and about a woman who makes peace with her past and discovers the last and greatest hope of all.

The first thing I think is absolutely perfect about this book is the cover. I love the image and colors for a Fall lay down date in stores. The second thing Before I say Goodbye has going for it is that it made me cry. Which is no small task…it takes a lot to make me cry. This one is a tear jerker. Rikki Crockett has returned to her childhood home with a teenage daughter and young son in tow. With both of her parents gone and a sure but sad future ahead of her she is seeking out her best childhood friend Dante, now married and Bishop of the local church. Each person in these two families is impacted as past meets present. Beth, Dante’s wife is suspicious of why Rikki would show up again after all these years, Dante is wary to get emotionally involved on top of his ever present responsibilities as leader and father.

Told from several different perspectives, Before I Say Goodbye is a slow moving character driven story. At times I struggled with the slowness and monotony of the storyline. Rikki, main character is one I couldn’t very well identify with either. She reminded me of some of the same gypsy like protagonists Nunes has used in her Autumn Rain novels and for some reason there is always an emotional disconnect for me there. But the amazing part is that I had a complete turn around my the conclusion of the book and found myself in tears. While the cynical part of me has a hard time believing there are families out there like Dante and Becca I know there are. There are those also in a church group who would swoop in and offer service when needed. Before I Say Goodbye offers hope to struggling families and those mourning loss. I would recommend it as a clean read for ages 16 and older only because the writing and theme feels more adult. Nunes shows the power one or two people can have on other people’s lives and gracefully portrays the final months of someone with terminal illness. Thanks so much to Desert Book for the inspiring read!

About the Author: Rachel Ann Nunes learned to read when she was four, beginning a lifetime fascination with the written word. She avidly devoured books then and still reads everything she can lay hands on, from children’s stories to science articles. She began writing in the seventh grade and is now the author of thirty published books, including the popular Ariana series, the Autumn Rain series, and the picture book Daughter of a King. Her picture book The Secret of the King was chosen in Utah by the Governor’s Commission on Literacy to be awarded to all Utah grade schools as part of the Read With A Child For 20 Minutes Per Day program.

Her novels The Independence Club (2007), Fields of Home (2008) and Imprints, An Autumn Rain Novel (2010) were chosen as finalists for a Whitney Award. Some other recent titles are Saving Madeline and Eyes of a Stranger. Rachel’s work ranges from romance and suspense to women’s fiction and family drama.

Rachel and her husband, TJ, have seven children and live in Utah. She writes Monday through Friday in a home office, taking frequent breaks to build Lego towers, help with homework, or to indulge in her latest hobby of teasing the teenagers.

Rachel’s latest novel is Before I Say Goodbye, released in Sept 2011. Final Call, An Autumn Rain Novel, the third book in her paranormal romance series, will be out in February 2012.

For more information or to join her e-mailing list, visit her website You can also link with Rachel on Facebook, follow her blog, or see what she’s up to on Twitter.

Deseret Book Ladies Night Book Signings

02 Oct, 2011 by in utah authors 14 comments

Last night I was able to attend another wonderful book event at Deseret Book. On hand to sign their books were several local authors as well as musicians.

Tyler Whitesides author of Janitors

Lisa Mangum author of The Hourglass Door

Brenda Hopkin author of Lion House Recipes

Me with Heidi S Swinton author of To The Rescue: The Biography of Thomas S. Monson

Author of ~Love Life and See Good Days~ Emily Freeman

Singer/songwriter Cherie Call

Author of 101 Gourmet Cake Bites- Wendy Paul

Author of Ammon- Heather B Moore

{My First Story of the First Christmas} author Deanna Draper Buck

Thanks so much to Deseret Book Midvale and Flagship stores for another wonderful event! All photos copyright Heather Zahn Gardner.

To enter to win a prize pack of bookmarks from some of the authors simply comment below. Giveaway ends October 16, 2011 and is open internationally.

Book Review and Ipad Giveaway for Pumpkin Roll

26 Sep, 2011 by in pumpkin roll, Shadow Mountain 72 comments

Pumpkin Rollby Josi S. Kilpack
Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 7th 2011
by Deseret Book Company
ISBN 1609087453

Book Source: publisher
4 stars

Sadie Hoffmiller is looking forward to spending her favorite baking season of the year making delicious New England recipes in Boston, Massachusetts, with her favorite leading man, Pete Cunningham, as they babysit his three young grandsons. But when the boys insist that Mrs. Wapple, the woman who lives across the street, is a witch, Sadie and Pete are anxious to distract the boys from such Halloween-induced ideas. However, it gets harder and harder to explain the strange things that keep happening, particularly after Sadie learns the eccentric Mrs. Wapple has been attacked in her home. As the unexplained occurrences escalate, Sadie finds herself embroiled in yet another mystery with life-or-death consequences. Can Sadie discover whoever—or whatever—is behind the mystery before anyone else gets hurt? Or will this be Sadie’s last case?

Don’t ask me how I have gone so long without reading one of Josi Kilpack’s culinary mysteries, but I have obviously been missing out on all the fun. Pumpkin Roll is absolutely perfect for Fall and Halloween! Set in Jamaica Plain, a small township of Boston it is close to heart of the Salem Witch Trials. Things get spooky fast for Sadie and boyfriend Pete who are on vacation together while watching Pete’s grandchildren. Between light bulbs exploding, strange faces in the window, night time visitors and the witch across the street who is always digging in her yard, Sadie is sure there’s a mystery to be unraveled. In her nosy neighbor way she offers a plate of cookies to Mrs. Wapple and is determined to figure out why she’s so strange. But danger lurks around the fence!

With mouthwatering recipes for cookies, whoopie pies, clam chowder and cinnamon twists, Pumpkin Roll is one you don’t want to read while hungry! Sadie will have you itching to bake and trying to put together all the little clues behind this who done it. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to all readers as a must have before Halloween. The atmospheric creepy tone is topped off with lots of comfort foods for a perfect combination. Now that I’ve discovered The Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series I can’t wait for Banana Split coming in Spring 2012. Thanks so much to Deseret Book for sending me Pumpkin Roll!

Content: some violence and creepiness

About the Author: Josi S. Kilpack hated to read until her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond when she was 13. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and accredits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began writing her first novel in 1998 and never stopped. Her novel, Sheep’s Clothing won the Whitney Award 2007 for Mystery/Suspense. Lemon Tart, the first book in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery series was a finalist in 2009. Her most recent book, Blackberry Crumble, is the fifth book in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series. Josi currently lives in Willard Utah with her husband, four children, one dog, and varying number of chickens.

Enter to win copy of Pumpkin Roll on Goodreads.

In conjunction with the release of Pumpkin Roll, the author, Josi S. Kilpack, and the publisher, Shadow Mountain, are sponsoring a contest for a new iPad.

To enter, leave a comment in the comment section of this blog before November 1, 2011. Winners will be announced and notified November 3rd 2011.

For additional ways to enter, go to

Book Review: God So Loved The World

16 Apr, 2011 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

by Eric D. Huntsman
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published March 9th 2011
by Deseret Book Company
ISBN 1606419757
5 stars

“So much more than a simple book full of stories, songs and pictures; it can be used all year long whenever we want a way to revisit the power and majesty of the Savior fulfilling his mission and ponder our place in it as well.” —Beth W. Roach for the Association for Mormon Letters “There would be no Christmas if there had not been Easter,” taught President Gordon B. Hinckley. “The babe Jesus of Bethlehem would be but another baby without the redeeming Christ of Gethsemane and Calvary, and the triumphant fact of the Resurrection.” With this deeper understanding given by a modern prophet, Latter-day Saints have an increased opportunity during the period from Palm Sunday to Easter morning to reflect upon the last days of our Lord’s earthly ministry. In God So Loved the World: The Final Days of the Savior’s Life, author Eric D. Huntsman takes us on a scriptural journey through the last week of our Savior’s mortal life, culminating in His atoning sacrifice and joyous resurrection. The author, by drawing on his wide knowledge of historical context, cultural background, and biblical insights, increases our understanding of these momentous events and helps us draw closer to the Savior. Full-color fine-art paintings, photographs, maps, music, and topics for personal reflection are included to enhance our commemoration of Easter week. Brother Huntsman writes, “Each year has its rhythms with the passage of summer to fall, winter, and at last, again, spring. Holidays are part of that rhythm, helping us remember realities greater than mere seasons, and Easter, together with Christmas, can anchor each year securely in the promises of Jesus Christ.”

Growing up in a home with two different predominant Christian religions gave me some insight into Holy Week and palm Sunday, but I never fully understood the meaning of The Passion of Christ. This book brings the last week of Christ’s mortal life into focus. After reading God So Loved The World, I have a deeper knowledge of the events that led up to his Crucifixion and the ressurrection. Eric Huntsman uses scriptural passage from the Synoptic Gospels, words to hymns, sidebars and text boxes to weave a full portrait of each day of the week leading up to the final events of Easter. He also adds geographical photographs of surrounding areas Bethany and Jerusalem, plus fine art depictions of mentioned scenes to appeal to the visual learner. Mr. Huntsman’s rich knowledge and personal feelings of Christ’s sacrifice highlight depth and meaning that goes beyond just facts.

As a society we tend to place a huge focus on Christmas and forget to prepare ourselves for the miraculous event that occurred at the garden tomb. God So Loved the World points out numerous times that “without Easter there would be no Christmas.”

I will be passing this book on to my family members and applying the suggestions given for preparing for Easter beginning this Sunday. It was a timely read for me, and I have to thank Deseret Book for giving us a beautifully crafted account of Holy Week, and a wonderful tool to be used in teaching our children about Christ’s life here on earth. To order God So Loved The World and to read other customer reviews click here.

Book Review- The Mother’s Mite

07 Apr, 2011 by in mother's mite 1 comment

The Mother’s Mite
by DeAnne Flynn
Paperback, 146 pages
Published February 23rd 2011
by Deseret Book Company
ISBN 1606419374
5 stars

For every mother who has wondered if she’s doing enough for her family, The Mother’s Mite provides hope that small things really do make a difference. As mothers, grandmothers, nurturers, and caregivers, we are often tempted to view our ordinary daily contributions as an endless string of undersized tasks, none of which seem worthy of any special consideration. But they are. This collection of small-and-simple moments provides reassurance that although our small offerings may not seem significant at the time, these tiny tributes undeniably make an immeasurable difference to those we love. • Each true story concludes with an unexpected gift, an offering far greater than the act of service. • Includes recipes and ideas to inspire your own “mother’s mites.” • A perfect Mother’s Day gift for women in all stages of life.

Last weekend I attended Ladie’s Night at our local Deseret Book and this beautiful charismatic author took my children under her wing feeding them oreos. Then she went step further, requesting a picture and giving me a copy of her book for review. DeAnne Flynn is so incredibly nice! Her book, The Mother’s Mite, is one I think all mothers should read. Each chapter is a story emphasizing a tiny life lesson learned from a mom. And together all of the accounts add up to remind us what a vital role we play as caregivers, women and nurturers- that every little act of service orchestrates a big impact in the lives of those we touch. There are recipes, definitions and quotes intermixed in the pages. I read it in one sitting on Sunday and by the end was in tears. What a tribute DeAnne has written! I would recommend this as a perfect gift for Mother’s Day or just a thoughtful token to a friend in need of a pick me up. Five stars and a smile to Mrs. Flynn, mother of seven children, speaker and talented journalist. Check her website for an opportunity to help others and for stories that rejuvenate the soul.

M2B :) By Micheal McLean

31 Dec, 2010 by in michael mcLean, mission to be happy 12 comments

Mission To Be Happy
By Michael McLean
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published February 24th 2010
by Deseret Book Company
ISBN 1606412035
3.5 stars

Summary: Michael uses twelve new songs as a framework for his quest for happiness. “And I’m not talking about any phony baloney, fake- grinning, pretend sort of happy,” he writes. “I’m not talking about a once- in- awhile or a just- won- a- car- on- The- Price- Is- Right kind of happy. I’m talking about the real deal.” Inviting readers to join him on his mission, Michael includes a CD with all the songs in the back of the book.

I grew up on Michael McLean’s songs and he was one of my favorite artists of my youth. So, I was curious when I saw his new release book and CD on the shelves at Deseret Book. He has bravely admitted a struggle with chemical depression and comes out to tackle anxiety/ the blues in a light hearted upbeat way. I am thrilled that someone as prominent as he would share his thoughts in this format. The book includes a full length CD of original songs as well as a journal in the back to record unexpected joys. On a personal level the new songs weren’t my favorite of his, but the song “Sick and Tired” is a wonderful expression of what those suffering may feel. His prose is uplifting and encouraging, thoughts personal and down to earth. This easy to read book is a pick me up. And, we give a huge thumbs up for Michael’s honesty.

We are giving away a hardback copy with CD to our readers. Simply comment below to enter. Giveaway is International and ends January 31, 2011.

Book Review: A Christ-Centered Christmas

16 Dec, 2010 by in Uncategorized 3 comments

A Christ-Centered Christmas
by Emily Freeman
Paperback, 96 pages
Published 2010
by Deseret Book
5 stars

Deepen the spirit that fills your heart and home this holiday season when you discover the meaning behind seven gifts of Christmas, each celebrated with an invitation from the scriptures and a simple tradition.

Each gift is based on a figure in a Nativity set, and the traditions can easily be combines with things you already do. This year as you prepare your home for the season, resolve to prepare your heart in a way that will lead you closer to Christ.

This book came right on time for me this year. So often in the hustle and bustle to buy presents and prepare for family gatherings I feel I lose the Christmas Spirit. More important than long wish lists and Santa Claus is the true meaning behind the holiday.

A Christ-Centered Christmas takes each nativity piece and centers a story and activity around that figure. The chapters are small but thought provoking. Also included are recipes for yummy Holiday treats like hot cocoa and candy cane cookies. Next year we plan on having one lesson each week for seven weeks to correspond with the chapters in the book. A Christ-Centered Christmas would be a great gift for those you love as it invites all to feel and learn the real lessons behind the symbols we so often see this time of year…the bell, the star, the shepard’s crook. It’s message is simple but powerful. Thank you Deseret Book for sharing this little gem with us. To learn more or purchase this book click here.