Posts Tagged: lds fiction

Book Preview- My Loving Vigil Keeping

11 Jul, 2012 by in Uncategorized 1 comment

My Loving Vigil Keeping
by Carla Kelly
Paperback, 400 pages
Expected Publication Date: August 14, 2012
by Cedar Fort Inc
ISBN: 1599558971
Book Source: Netgalley
5 stars
Book Summary from Goodreads: 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!
Cathy’s Review: Della is a school teacher in the year 1899, she has taught school for two years in Salt Lake City, on the west side. She is the niece of prominent attorney Karl Anders, she’s been raised by them since her father died in a mining accident when she was young, but she’s never felt as though she were a part of the family. She spontaneously decided to take a teaching job in the small mining community of Winter Quarters, which her Aunt Caroline especially doesn’t approve of. The town of Winter Quarters is far up the canyon and it’s a bit of a trial to get there, even by train. The coal cars coming out of the canyon have the right of way on the train tracks, so the trains must wait on a side line and they shake uncontrollably as the coal cars rush by. This is very startling to Della, she’s used to the big city, not to the life of a remote mining camp. It doesn’t help that the principal of the school, Miss Clayson doesn’t like her, or her curly hair! And her little house burned down right before her arrival, so Della has no where really to live. Things are looking hard, but then she meets the children and falls in love with them. But will the children be the only ones she falls in love with?

I LOVED this book, even 3 days after finishing it, I can’t stop thinking about Della and the story. This story is a bit of historical fiction with romance thrown in. I had never heard the story of the Winter Quarters mine, but I find myself thinking about it and about the good people that lived there and worked in the mine. The plot was engaging, I didn’t want to stop reading. I loved the characters. Carla Kelly’s books are amazing and this book was no exception to that. I hope that there is a sequel to this one, I would really love to find out what happened to the people that lived in Winter Quarters.
Content: Clean

About the AuthorAward-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

Clean Read Review -The Most Important Catch

12 Jun, 2012 by in Spirit Dance Books 2 comments

The Most Important Catch
by Jaclyn M Hawkes
Paperback, 318 pages
Published March 16, 2012
by Spirit Dance Books
ISBN: 0985164808
Source: Blog Tour
4 Stars

Summary from Goodreads: Run or die!
She knew too much, and she’d seen too much.
And the police refused to help.
Knowing that she was to be the next scheduled death, Kelly Campbell hid under head to toe black leather and a tinted motorcycle helmet and ran for her life.
When the weather turned cold, she turned south.
She ended up in North Carolina, home to one of the most famed and eligible NFL football stars in the whole league; only she didn’t know that. She thought he was a businessman. Not being a huge fan, all she knew was that he was incredibly attractive, kind, generous, and that she was safe with him. 

Or was she?

His brand of fame proved to be all but deadly, but his fame wasn’t nearly as lethal as his attraction.

He kept her safe and protected. All except for her heart.

Cathy’s Review: Kelly Campbell is just a normal, beautiful 23 year-old. She’s a nurse at a hospital for the mentally unstable. She is dating one of the doctors there. But one day a patient dies under very suspicious circumstances and it worries Kelly. She finds the patient’s file as soon as she can, but it appears to be normal and when her boyfriend, Peter Holmes, catches her looking at it, he makes a remark about not digging too deep if she wants to survive. Unfortunately, the same thing happens again, to another patient and Kelly knows that she can’t leave the situation alone any more. She has a date with Peter that night and she knows from the look that he gave her when he caught her reading the second patient’s file that she won’t be coming back alive from this date. She knows she has to run, so she fakes her own death and takes off on her cousin’s old motorcycle with just seconds to spare. Living on the run is so lonely, so she’s thrilled to meet a man named Robby in North Carolina that she can just tell by her feelings is trustworthy. She settles down for a while to be caretaker over an old house that needs a face-lift. Kelly and Robby start to fall in love, but she doesn’t know who he really is, Rocker Robideaux, famous NFL player. When she finds out, will she ever trust Robby again and what if Peter finds her??

This book was fun. I loved the action and the adventure of it. Not to mention the sweet romance between Robby and Kelly. I felt like I was riding that motorcycle cross country with Kelly and hiding from the bad guys. I love it when you can escape from the world you’re in and into a whole new world that you may have never even seen before in certain books, this was one of those for me.

Content: drug dealing

About the author: Jaclyn M. Hawkes grew up in Utah with 6 sisters, 4 brothers and any number of pets. (It was never boring!) She got a bachelor’s degree, had a career and traveled extensively before settling down to her life’s work of being the mother of four magnificent and sometimes challenging children. She loves shellfish, the out of doors, the youth and hearing her children laugh. She and her fine husband, their family, and their sometimes very large pets, now live in a mountain valley in northern Utah, where it smells like heaven and kids still move sprinkler pipe.

Learn more about author Jaclyn M Hawkes: GoodreadsWebsite/ Blog

Enter to win a copy of The Most Important Catch from Fire and Ice here.

Persuasion Blog Tour and Giveaway

06 Feb, 2012 by in persuasion, Rebecca H. Jamison 15 comments

Fire and Ice is happy to be today’s stop on the virtual blog tour for

Persuasion: A Latter-day Tale
by Rebecca H. Jamison
Paperback, 240 pages
Expected publication: February 14th 2012
by Cedar Fort, Inc.
ISBN 1599559471
Book Source: publisher
5 stars 
Summary From Goodreads: When Anne broke off her engagement seven years ago, she thought she’d never see Neil Wentworth again. But when Neil’s brother buys the house she grew up in, it seems fate has other plans in store, and Anne is woefully unprepared for the roller coaster of emotions that accompanies Neil’s return. Fans of Persuasion will love this fast-paced, modern retelling of Jane Austen’s most romantic novel.
Anne Elliott is a 27 year old single stockbroker who is trying to help her Dad get out of debt and her sister get through her bed rest when her ex-fiance Neil Wentworth stumbles back into her life. She’s working the family garage sale with no regard to how she looks which couldn’t be worse timing for Neil to pop back up after years of not hearing from him. Captain Wentworth is recovering form a high speed chase accident with the extra loving care of Lily and Hannah, which ironically enough also happen to be Anne’s sister’s next door neighbors and in-laws. Neil and Anne will be crossing paths quite a bit whether they like it or not. Throw in a life threatening jelly fish sting, some unruly children, and a jaguar driving bachelor and you have Persuasion. It’s a story about a second chance at love and learning to put yourself first for once.

What a fun debut by Rebecca H. Jamison with humorous situations, life lessons and even suspense  in. It’s a look at why expensive dates and appearances can be deceiving and what it means to be a true night in shining armor. I would recommend it to everyone as a clean romance based loosely on Jane Austen’s original story. You’ll want to pass Persuasion: A Latter-day Tale on to your friends. It is indeed a Latter-day tale with references to Mormon culture and terminology but I think all will enjoy! So sit back watch the trailer and enter to win your own copy below. Thanks to Cedar Fort Books and the author for inviting us to be a stop on the tour.

Author Bio: “I’m a stay-at-home mom with a passion for writing novels, running, and dancing. I’m a mom to five boys, so I know how to pronounce a lot of dinosaur names and how to clean up legos.
I also have one wonderful daughter.I met my husband on a blind date.
Before I had kids, I worked as an English teacher. I plan to go back to teaching once my kids are older. I have a BA and MA
in English from BYU.I love to swim, make jewelry, and play in water. I like teenagers. Summer is my favorite season of the year because I can eat watermelon and hang at the pool.
People have asked me to write a lot of skits over the years. My favorite is Snow White and the Seven Values, which I did for the Young Women’s group at my church.
I grew up in Vienna, Virginia. Now I live in Utah. I’m a city girl.
The country’s okay, as long as I don’t have to smell manure.I served a mission to Portugal and the Cape Verde Islands. I write novels for fun. I play the piano, but I’m not good at practicing, so don’t expect too much from me there.I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
You can view my profile on”
Find more on the author’s website/ or facebook. View the rest of the blog tour schedule here.
The Giveaway: Fire and Ice is giving away a copy of Persuasion courtesy of Cedar Fort Books. To enter to win fill out the rafflecopter form below. Open internationally. One winner will be randomly chosen February 20, 2012.

Enduring Light Blog Tour & ARC Giveaway

10 Dec, 2011 by in roamnce, western 7 comments

Fire and Ice is pleased to kick off the Enduring Light blog tour hosted by Cedar Fort books. We have a review, some recipes from the book and an ARC giveaway as the first stop on the virtual blog tour.

Enduring Lightby Carla Kelly
Paperback, 392 pages
Expected publication: January 8th 2012
by Bonneville Books
ISBN 1599559846
Book Source: publisher
4 stars

She leaned toward him and rested her elbows on the brass rail at the foot of her bed. “All right, cowboy, just when did you fall in love with me? I’m definitely curious now.”
He regarded her in the moonlight. “I knew I was a no-hoping goner when I caught that ridiculous hat of yours on the platform at Gun Barrel.”
Julia sucked in her breath. She tried to be severe. “Mr. Otto, nobody falls in love that fast!”
“I did,” he said simply, as he left her room.

Julia Darling is finally able to marry Paul Otto for eternity. But it’s a harsh world for a rancher in turn-of-the-century Wyoming, especially a Mormon rancher. When alienation and threats begin, Julia must prove she’s her husband’s equal in strength and endurance as she learns to let go of scars on the outside and inside.

Bestselling author Carla Kelly has woven a new story of a determined rancher, his wife, and how they discover the depths of love.

Last year I savored every minute of Carla Kelly’s first historical Western romance written for the LDS market. So when Cedar Fort asked me to Enduring Light I was thrilled! The follow up to Borrowed Light, book 2 finds Otto back on his Wyoming ranch tyring to repair the damage and Julia is in her Salt Lake family home healing physically as well as emotionally. She is suffering form PTSD and nightmares as well as dealing with self-doubt as a result of her new scars. She can’t imagine why any man, let alone, the man she loves, Otto would want her. She and her parents are feeling the loss of Julia’s sister while Otto faces fierce persecution that comes with the knowledge that he has converted to the Mormon faith. It’s the turn of the century and prejudice runs high on the open range. No one in the ranching business welcomes the change. Together with faith, perseverance and Julia’s spit fire spunk the two have so many more trials to weather.

Carla Kelly’s writing is filled with history and small little details that help readers feel pulled right into the book’s time and place. From the holiday windows and lace at ZCMI to the smells and frights of the harsh Wyoming was of life you’ll feel as if you are living a day in the life of Julia and Otto. I literally wanted to jump right into the storyline and taste a bit of Julia’s home cooking on the Double Tipi ranch. Kelly has built solid likable secondary characters that you can;t help becoming attached to. I’ll admit the one drawback I had is that Enduring Light is quite a bit spicier than its predecessor. There is quite a bit of information about married life with sexuality being discussed openly and because of content I would rate this a book best suited for adults. In then end, Kelly incorporates a theme of hope, endurance and courage in the face of fear. There’s even a little suspense and action built in there.

I’m so happy to have found such a talented author in Carla Kelly. I met her at Barnes and Noble and through reading her blog plus correspondence I can say she is so much fun to work with! Can’t wait to read more from her…and I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more. In the mean time you and I cook up some of the yummy food mentioned in both books.

Some Recipes from Julia’s kitchen:

Snow Cake
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 2/3 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp. vanilla or 1/4 tsp. almond extract

Follow recipe for mixing butter cakes. Bake 45 minutes in a deep narrow pan.

Cecils with Tomato Sauce
1 c. cold roast beef or rare steak finely chopped
salt and pepper
onion juice
Worchestershire Sauce
2 T. bread crumbs
1 T. melted butter
Yolk of one egg, slightly beaten
Season beef with next salt and pepper, onion juice and W Sauce; add remaining ingredients, and shape into the form of small croquettes, pointed at ends. Roll in flour, egg and crumbs, fry in deep fat, drain and serve with tomato sauce. (Julia substituted ketchup, for the sophisticated palates of her guys on the TTP.)

About The Author: A newcomer to Cedar Fort, Inc., 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 looks forward to writing for an LDS audience now, where she feels most at home.

To Learn More Visit: Blog Tour Schedule /Author Blog /Author Facebook/ Book Poster page /Publisher Blog/ Publisher Twitter

Giveaway: Cedar Fort has offered one advanced reading copy of Enduring Light to the followers of Fire and Ice as part of the official blog tour. To Enter to win fill out this form. US mailing addresses only, ends December 24, 2011.

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, Guest Post and Giveaway- Aglow

23 Nov, 2011 by in michelle pennington 3 comments

by Michelle Pennington
Kindle Edition
Published October 26th 2011
5 stars

Christmas is only days away when Ashley Wright leaves Utah and college life behind with nothing to show for the last four years but a bachelor’s degree. Her hopes of finding love with a good Mormon boy have eluded her. She believes that a family Christmas at home will lift her spirits and maybe even help her forget the man her heart yearns for. But life has other plans, and soon her lonely heart will be set … Aglow.

Aglow is a sweet Christmas book that left me warm inside when I was done. Part of the reason I loved it so much was because Ashley’s family reminded me so much of my college boyfriend’s family in that they are tight knit, welcoming and traditional. Both of the main characters were perfectly believable and likable, their chemistry building at just the right pace. There were a few times the writing seemed bogged down by every day details and some small typos, but I admire Michelle for branching out on her own to self-publish.

Overall, Aglow is the best Christmas story I’ve read this year. Michelle Pennington knows how to write just the right amount of romance and an underlying theme of the true meaning of Christmas. Aglow is a clean read I would highly recommend to everyone

Michelle is with us today to share a guest post. Here’s what she has to say about her debut novel…
“Aglow began in my younger years when I was still waiting for the magic of romantic love to come my way. Christmas was my favorite time of year and romance my favorite genre. Both are full of sweetness, and I heartily believe that the two should go together as often as possible. I wrote Aglow as a Christmas gift for my mom and younger sisters who liked it a lot, mostly I think because they love me and romance. When I began to rewrite it with the purpose of publishing it, I realized that it had a long way to go. Throughout the various versions of it, it has moved up and down in its sweetness levels. Hopefully, it’s hit a good middle ground, but I wish you would read it and let me know where you think it hits on the Sweet Meter.

The Sweet Meter
1) Not sweet enough. Dump some more sugar in, like my husband does when making kool-aid. Needs more cuddling, kissing, cookies, and kittens.
2) Sweeter, but still a little bland. This may require chocolate to fix. In the absence of good chocolate, maybe some eye-gazing and fluttering hearts will do the trick.
3) Perfectly Sweet. Just the right balance of romance and humor. All the flirting and breath-stealing, rapturous kisses anyone could want with a nice touch of humor to even it out
4) Um, Get me some Milk or a bag of salty chips! Sugar is a good thing, but let’s be careful now. Does she have to quiver and nearly swoon every time their eyes meet?
5) Sugar Overload! Diabetic coma coming on. Conflict…Who needs it? Plot…Who cares? As long as there’s smooching and vows of everlasting love on every other page, with every romantic cliché thrown in for good measure, who needs to have anything interesting to read?

Thanks so much to Michelle for visiting us today! Check her out online at facebook/ her blog/ twitter/Amazon/ Barnes and Noble

About the Author: Michelle Pennington has a BA in Liberal Arts from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. To attain this degree, she studied Literature, Rhetoric, History, and Art. She married her sweetheart, Ethan, while still in college and developed a new penchant for skipping class to spend more time with him. Despite this distraction, she still managed to graduate Magna Cum-Laude. Her love for the written word began at a young age. At four years old, she followed her mother around all day asking how to spell things. Her teen years were spent hiding in trees, on rooftops, and anywhere she could escape her chores for a while to read. Despite this aggravating behavior, her parents always encouraged her love of literature and her dream to write. Michelle is a hopeless romantic and an insatiable people watcher.Currently she resides in Arkansas and is a stay-at-home mom with three children who are at once adorable and exasperating. In the midst of the domestic whirlwind that is her life, she enjoys crafting, cooking, art, and reading. Due to the rise of ebook publishing, she has decided that the time is right for her to embark on this long awaited journey to become an author. She hopes that her readers will come away from her books feeling uplifted and refreshed from the stresses of their own lives.Aglow is her debut novel, but there is an endless supply of stories constantly playing in her mind, waiting for her to breathe life into them and set them free.

The Giveaway: Fire and Ice is giving away both a paperback and ebook copy of Aglow to our readers. Two winners. To enter, click here and fill out the form.

Hope’s Journey Blog Tour & Giveaway

09 Nov, 2011 by in stephanie worlton Leave a comment

Fire and Ice is today’s stop on the official blog tour for Hope’s Journey

Hope’s Journeyby Stephanie Worlton
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 14th 2011
by Bonneville
ISBN 1599555069
Book Source: author
5 stars

Sydney is a straight-A student heading to college on a scholarship, and Alex is a quiet jock preparing to serve an LDS mission. But their dreams are shattered on the eve of their high school graduation when they find out that Sydney is pregnant. Separated, they must both trust in God as they search for the worth they once found in each other.

Hope’s Journey is a book that will leave a lasting impression in your mind and heart long after you are done reading. For me it was sad in the beginning because it was easily what could and does happen to so many youth. As the story progressed I could literally feel the heart wrenching experiences and feelings both Alex and Sydney were going through. This is not an easy read because it tackles the issue of teenage pregnancy, the road through repentance the social shunning that comes as a result of other people’s judgements and the anger of dreams lost. It is beautifully written and heart wrenching, so very real. I would recommend this to all teens, male and female, youth leaders and parents. I admire that the author does not skirt around the issues but meets them head on. She teaches that self-worth and confidence are at the core of the problem. I also love that she teaches there is a merciful Father in Heaven who knows us each individually and answers our prayers. Sydney took the road less traveled and she does it bravely because she knows it is right. An absolutely moving debut that I will keep and pass on.
There were several things that left me wanting as I finished…so here is my fair warning of a *spoiler alert*
*I wanted Alex to mature a little more than he did in the 40 weeks he had to think about his future and I was disappointed in the way he handled the news he was going to be a father. He seemed pretty self-centered and immature in comparison to all the progress and growth Sydney made. I also really wanted to see some closure in the confrontation between Alex’s mother and Sydney. Did he even knew that conversation took place? How did the mother handle the way things ended up? I have to admit that deep down I sad she didn’t pick Damon. Could a guy be more perfect? He was an amazing friend and so much more. As well, I think the author left the issue of Sydney’s brother deicing not to go on a mission open ended. Why did he decide not to go and where did he end up? As far as the ending… WOW …so not what I was expecting. A few more chapters may have been good to win me over. I want to see how the road new parents and teen newlyweds was a hard road. I am sure the couple faced many more challenges in their immediate future. Teens need to realize that marriage is hard work and not the end, but just the beginning. * (end of spoliers)
When I read the epilogue and realized Hope’s Journey was a story based on the author’s own experience I was amazed. I admire that she is brave enough and felt compelled to tell her own story within a fictional framework. I would recommend reading the author’s end notes, interviews and the post on the inspiration behind the story on her blog. What a gift Stephanie Worlton has left for each of us. Well done!

About the Author: Stephanie Connelley Worlton pursued a degree in Architecture before turning her creative energy towards other forms of artistic expression including writing. Through her many associations with youth, Stephanie felt prompted to channel her own experience as a teenage mother into a work that might open the eyes of understanding, break down stereotypes, cause youth to reevaluate their relationships, and ultimately provide hope for those in the trenches of an unplanned pregnancy. Aside from the busy schedule she keeps as a wife and mother of four, Stephanie enjoys interior design, gardening, carpentry, painting, and being involved with the youth of our rising generation.

Read a sample of the book at

Hope’s Journey Giveaway: As part of Hope’s Journey’s blog tour, we will be giving away an autographed copy of Hope’s Journey to one lucky winner. To enter, simply visit the author’s blog and leave a comment on the BLOG TOUR page. Plus, for a few bonus entries, “like” Hope’s Journey on Facebook or become a follower of Stephanie’s blog. It’s that easy!

Contest is limited to those within the continental US. Each person is eligible for up to three (3) entries. Contest closes at 11:59pm November 14, 2011. Winner will be selected by then notified via email and listed at on November 15, 2011.

The Outer Edge of Heaven Blog Tour

11 Oct, 2011 by in outer edge of heaven 1 comment

Fire and Ice is Today’s stop on the blog tour for

The Outer Edge of Heaven
by Jaclyn M. Hawkes
Paperback, 269 pages
Published August 3rd 2011
by Brigham Distributing
ISBN 0615517773

5 stars

Montana truly is heavenly. Especially those handsome cowboys.

Filled with colorful characters of all shapes, sizes and species, including an orphaned baby pig, most of the Langston family put the fun in dysfunctional, give or take a couple of black sheep. There’s one in every family, isn’t there? Add to that glorious scenery, a horse of her own, and one extremely attractive cousin rancher, Luke Lanston, and it makes for a summer Charlie will never forget. Which might not be a good thing. She has the time of her life, but her heart may never recover.

Charlie has just graduated from college with honors and is bound for law school in Fall, but can’t talk herself into heading home to Connecticut over Summer break. Her mother being a high powered career woman has already lined Charlie up with the perfect divorce attorney and seems to have their future planned. Charlie is less than thrilled to face her pushy parents and decides instead to go with her best friend Fo to work on a ranch in Montana. She’s got just a few months of freedom left before Mommy dearest takes over. What Charlie isn’t expecting when she arrives in Montana is the breath taking scenery which includes Fo’s handsome cousin Luke Langston. But Luke is engaged to be married and Charlie has to work to overcome her blossoming feelings toward the hard working down to earth man. She’s also asked to nanny Luke’s dysfunctional family including his annoyingly self assured brother Chase. Charlie will find her self fighting off unwanted advances from Chase and one more sinister staff member who brings a sense of danger to her otherwise perfectly peaceful summer.

In this clean romance, Jaclyn M. Hawkes shows the power of enduring friendship, trusting in one’s gut and following your own path instead of one set up by another. There is plenty of action between three small toddlers, a baby pig, and a crime waiting to be committed. The author teaches the importance of fidelity in marriage, following through with commitments, avoiding drugs and working hard. Not to mention, she rolls in the perfect romance including a cowboy for our modern day. I loved Outer Edge of Heaven and would recommend it to all readers. Grab a pack of oreos and some milk then head out onto your porch with this one!

Content: some minor violence including attempted assault of a female and a few gunshots. Teenage marijuana use which is strictly handled and punished. No swearing or sex.

About the Author: Jaclyn M. Hawkes grew up in Utah with 6 sisters, 4 brothers and any number of pets. (It was never boring!) She got a bachelor’s degree, had a career and traveled extensively before settling down to her life’s work of being the mother of four magnificent and sometimes challenging children. She loves shellfish, the out of doors, the youth and hearing her children laugh. She and her fine husband, their family, and their sometimes very large pets, now live in a mountain valley in northern Utah, where it smells like heaven and kids still move sprinkler pipe. Visit her blog at .

Purchase The Outer Edge of Heaven here. Thanks to Tristi Pinkston, Brigham Distributing and Jaclyn Hawkes for including Fire and Ice in the tour!

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.

Review: Being Sixteen by Allyson Condie

02 Nov, 2010 by in YA contemporary 1 comment

Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 3rd 2010
by Deseret Book Company
ISBN 1606412337
5 stars

Juliet Kendall has been looking forward to her sixteenth birthday for what feels like forever. At first, it seems like being sixteen will be as perfect as she dreamed—she has great friends, a cute almost-boyfriend, a spot on the varsity girls’ basketball team, and even a car of her own. But, as the year goes on, she discovers that her sister Carly is hiding a secret, and realizes that, in fact, being sixteen may be her hardest year yet.

Being Sixteen is a coming-of-age story about two sisters and their different struggles. It addresses what it means to have a testimony, what it meant to be a friend and a sister, and what’s involved in the dealing with and overcoming an eating disorder.

The first time I saw this book on the shelf at Deseret Book I have to admit I put it back. I just wasn’t sure I was ready to read another book dealing with eating disorders. Then after reading Matched I decided I wanted to delve into more of Ally Condie’s past titles. Being Sixteen resonated with me on so many levels. It hit deep within my core and is now one of my top three favorite books of the year. I found myself in tears several times while reading. The overall message breathes truth and hope. Allyson Condie takes on eating disorders with grace and style. Her voice is poetic, and real. Here’s one of my favorite passages from Juliet, who struggles with isolation and disappointment in the wake of her sister’s disorder.

“On one level I was ashamed of how weak I was, of how I’d do anything to avoid feeling hurt. But on another level I felt almost strong, a little proud of the way I’d cut off the parts of my life that made me feel too much sadness.” p. 124

This is a book I would wholeheartedly recommend to every Young Woman I know as well as her parents. Many crucial facets of diagnosis, treatment and the long road to recovery from anorexia and bulimia are addressed. Two sister’s struggles and growing pains are woven beautifully into the pages showing that even those from strong functional families have life altering problems.

Being Sixteen explores the effects of an eating disorder on loved ones and family as well as how easily faith in Heavenly Father can dim, to later be rekindled. Thank you so much to Deseret Book for sending me this book for review. It is one that I will forever remember. Five stars plus.