Saturday, February 6, 2016

Mail Order Bride Collection ~ A Timeless Romance Anthology

I have a confession: I LOVE these anthologies! I love the short stories from some of my favorite writers. I love that I can read something from them all in one night.  
Clean, well-written, romantic and sweet stories.

Keep them coming, ladies! 



Six Award-Winning Authors have contributed new stories to A Timeless Romance Anthology: Mail Order Bride Collection. Six historical romance novellas set in the Old West. 

WRITTEN IN HER HEART, a charming novella by Stacy Henrie, Georgeanna is getting desperate. She can’t fund her favorite orphanage unless she marries and secures the rest of her inheritance left by her father. But her father’s financial planner, Clay, can't understand why she's not content with her current situation. Georgie determines to send out a notice as a mail order bride to attract suitors who won’t know her financial situation. Little does she know, Clay takes up the pen and sends her letters of his own under an assumed name. After years of working for Georgie’s father, Clay realizes he isn’t ready to watch her marry another, not when his heart is already claimed by her.

In Kristin Holt’s delightful novella WANTED: MIDWIFE BRIDE Dr. Naomi Thornton thinks she has it all: a beautiful house, a loving husband, and a fulfilling career. But when everything she holds dear is ripped away, Naomi has no choice but to start over. What will she find in the wild and untamed Wyoming Territory? Dr. Joe Chandler has waited years for a wife with the knowledge, skills, and tender heart he yearns for in a medical colleague and lifetime companion. When a midwife arrives with more expertise and secrets than he counted on, Joe quickly discovers there’s more to love and marriage than a simple mail order contract. 

In THE SOUND OF HOME, a captivating novella by Annette Lyon, Marilyn is given the choice of either marrying the despicable Victor or being charged with a murder she didn’t commit. Refusing to believe that either is her fate, she finds a third option: she answers a mail order bride advertisement and boards a train to Wyoming to wed a man named Harry. Moments after her arrival, she learns that Harry isn’t who he seemed to be, and the advertisement turns out to be a giant mistake. Harry’s brother Thomas agrees to let her stay until she can figure out what to do next—after all, she simply cannot return to New York—but Marilyn quickly finds herself developing feelings for Thomas.

In Sarah M. Eden’s endearing novella FOR BETTER OR WORSE Gerald Smith, on the advice of his well-meaning neighbors, has decided it’s time to change his lonely existence. Mary Hill, on the advice of her empty pocketbook and non-existent roof over her head, has decided it’s time to secure herself a future. A mail-order marriage, they both realize, is no guarantee of happiness, but it is a risk they are willing to take. However, coming face to face on the train platform, the hapless couple discovers an unexpected truth: marriage to a perfect stranger is sometimes far preferable to the prospect of a lifetime with someone you used to know.

Heather B. Moore’s sweet novella AN INCONVENIENT BRIDE sees Carmela traveling from Boston to Colorado, eager to meet the man she’s been corresponding with and will soon marry. Her brother’s new marriage leaves little room for Carmela in her old life. Upon arrival in Leadville, she faces a rude awakening, and the only one who can understand her predicament is her fiance’s brother, Samuel. But Samuel can’t possibly help her out of an awkward situation, can he? It would be better for all if she returns immediately to Boston and pretends she never traveled to Colorado in the first place.

THE PRICE OF SILVER, an engaging novella by Siân Ann Bessey, Katie leaves New York for Idaho to marry Jake, a man she’s written to a couple of times. But when she steps off the train, his brother Caleb is there to greet her. Jake has gone to take a mining job he couldn’t pass up. Caleb takes Katie back to the family ranch to wait for Jake’s return. The more Caleb gets to know Katie, the more he envies his brother, but he can’t let his heart overrule his head unless Jake changes his mind about his intended bride.

The Other Side of the Stars by Katherine King

After the death of her parents, immigrant Gita finds herself in post WWII America with nothing but a few haunting childhood memories and an arranged marriage to Max. Despite her initial hesitations and his elusive nature, the awkward tension soon dissipates as they settle into life together.

But with the arrival of a stranger, Gita realizes she may know very little about the man she married.

As her world seems to unravel and the missing pieces of her childhood fall into place, the lives of a Nazi, a young girl, and a prisoner at Auschwitz intertwine, revealing the beauty of what can happen when fate, hope, and resiliency collide.




Secrets. Love. Pasts intertwined. 

What a great way to start out a writing career! Keep up the good work, Ms. King!

Gita has blank memory spots in her past, a stranger for a husband in the present and the possibility of love and security in the future. 

I loved the flashbacks and the different storylines that kept me guessing right up until the end. I couldn't put the book down and read it in one afternoon. 


5 STARS

V: a little; scenes from a Nazi concentration camp
L: No
S: No. Some kissing

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Painting Rain by Annette K Larsen COVER REVEAL and GIVEAWAY!

Painting Rain
Painting Rain by Annette K. Larsen
How do you heal your heart after tragedy leaves you broken? When the person you loved didn’t deserve it and they can’t earn your forgiveness because they’re already dead? How do you move on, and heal, and love?
If you’re Princess Lorraina, you paint.
A year ago Lorraina watched Tobias die, and she still doesn’t know how she’s supposed to heal—or forgive. How can she when she’s still running away? In an attempt to reinvent herself, she steps outside her comfortable life as princess and seeks the tutelage of a master painter—a man who is not at all impressed by her pedigree, and demands not just talent, but emotional honesty.
Struggling to learn what’s being taught, she finds herself drawn to someone who not only knows her secrets, but who she once considered far below her notice. Now she is compelled to seek him out despite knowing their relationship would be forbidden if discovered. Staying away from him doesn’t seem possible when discovering him may be the key to healing her heart and rediscovering herself.
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Annette Larsen
Author Annette K. Larsen
I was born in Utah, but grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona and St. Louis, Missouri, the fifth of seven children. I attended Southern Virginia University and Brigham Young University, where I studied English and Theater. I now live in Idaho with my husband and four children.
I have Charlotte Brontë to thank for the courage to write novels. After being bombarded with assigned reading about women who justified abandoning either their families or their principles in the name of love, I had the great fortune of reading Jane Eyre. And that was it: finally, a heroine who understood that being moral and making the right choice was hard, and sometimes it hurt, but it was still worth it. After rereading it several years later, I realized that if I wanted more books to exist with the kinds of heroines I admired, then I might as well write a few myself. My books are about women who face hard choices, who face pain and rejection and often have to face the reality of sacrificing what they want for what is right. The consequences are often difficult or unpleasant, but in the end, doing what’s right will always be worth it.
I believe there is no substitute for good writing or good chocolate. Fortunately, one often leads to the other.
Cover Reveal Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Code or Paypal Cash
Ends 2/22/16
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

A PRINCESS STORY by Jaci Wightman Blog tour





Welcome to Jaci Wightman today!! She doing a blog tour for her new book, A PRINCESS STORY. Doesn't that sound awesome?!

In President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s popular Conference talk, “Your Happily Ever After,” he lavished young women with words that I’m sure were music to their ears:

You are truly royal spirit daughters of Almighty God. You are princesses, destined to become queens. Your own wondrous story has already begun. Your “once upon a time” is now (Ensign, May 2010).

What girl (or woman for that matter) doesn’t love being told she’s a princess? It’s the stuff dreams are made of. After all, our world today is enamored with the idea of being a member of royalty.  Just walk through Walmart and you’ll find princesses plastered on everything from toothbrushes to T-shirts to tennis shoes. And don’t forget all the images of Princess Kate staring back at us while we wait our turn in the checkout line. I believe that’s the reason President Uchtdorf ‘s talk was so beloved—because he took all that princess hoopla and made it real. To think that we as daughters of God are princesses in our own right is pretty heady stuff. 

And yet, as inspiring as that idea may seem, the scriptures actually throw a hitch into all the princess hype. For one thing, the Doctrine and Covenants tells us that Christ “so loved the world that he gave his own life, that as many as would believe might become the sons [and daughters] of God” (D&C 34:3, see also 11:30, 35:2, 45:8). And Alma also talks about our need to be “changed…[and] redeemed of God, [thus] becoming his sons and daughters” (Mosiah 27:25). The word become means to be changed or transformed into something, so if we really are princesses like President Uchtdorf said, why would the scriptures say we need to “become” daughters of God? Why the need to be transformed into something we already are? It just doesn’t make any sense.

I wrote A Princess Story to answer that very question. Yes, it’s a wonderful thing to understand our divine, royal heritage, but the truth is that that’s only the beginning of our story. It’s just the first scene. In order to fully comprehend who we are and who we must become, we’ve got to move past that introductory scene and explore the rest of the story. I know many of us think we know the gospel backwards and forwards, but I’d like to introduce you to a whole new way of looking at it. I hope to convince you that, through the gospel of Jesus Christ, each of us has been swept up in a real-life fairy tale, complete with a princess and her prince, an evil villain, an awful monster, an epic battle, and a daring rescue. In other words, all those classic princess movies have jumped right off the movie screen and into our personal lives. All we need to do is open our eyes to see it, and we can embrace the adventure with all the passion and enthusiasm we can possibly muster.  (If all this seems a little too far-fetched for you to swallow, just take a gander at 2 Nephi 9:10 and you’ll get a quick glimpse of the stirring saga I’ve been talking about.)

If you’d like to learn more about your own real-life fairy tale, I invite you to pick up a copy of A Princess Story. As the storyteller, I promise you that this enchanting drama will include some unexpected twists and turns, and a better happily-ever-after than any Disney princess movie you’ve ever seen.

BIO
Jaci Wightman, a wife and fulltime mom of 7, graduated in 2012 from BYU-Idaho with a degree in University Studies. She is the author of A Princess Story: The Real-Life Fairy Tale Found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ (2016) and Body Image Breakthrough: Learning to See Your Body and Your Beauty in a Whole New Light (2014). To learn more, visit her website at jaciwightman.com.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

My 2015 book list

RI read over 55 books and 14, 654 pages last year. Not as many as last year (147) but I read and listened to many, many amazing books!

The longest book I read at 538 pages (obviously there is more than one book):



#1 Bestselling Amazon Authors of Christmas in Snow Valley, have teamed up again with six wonderful summer novellas that are sure to make your summer sweet and sassy!





The shortest book (which was super cute):




When you babysit a grandma, if you're lucky . . . it's a sleepover at her house! And with the useful tips found in this book, you're guaranteed to become an expert grandma-sitter in no time. (Be sure to check out the sections on: How to keep a grandma busy; Things to do at the park; Possible places to sleep, and what to do once you're both snugly tucked in for the night.) 






My favorite books of the year, in no particular order:



They told David it was impossible--that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet, Steelheart--invincible, immortal, unconquerable--is dead. And he died by David's hand. 



Eleanor de Lacy is forced into an arranged marriage with her father’s greatest enemy, Brac Goch, the Welsh king. All Eleanor knows of Brac is that he is a ruthless, war hungry man.



Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. 



After 17-year-old Smitha is cursed to be as cold as her heart, Death himself offers her a chance for relief. Unwilling to give up her life, Smitha seeks redemption deep in the savage deserts, where her perpetual winter dares to make her a hero.



Postbellum America makes for a haunting backdrop in this historical and supernatural tale of moonlit cemeteries, masked balls, cunning mediums, and terrifying secrets waiting to be unearthed by an intrepid crime reporter. 



Rising sixth grader Miss Moses LoBeau lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC, where everyone's business is fair game and no secret is sacred. She washed ashore in a hurricane eleven years ago, and she's been making waves ever since. 







About a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.


Millions of people witnessed Emma Taylor’s first kiss—a kiss that needed twelve takes and four camera angles to get right. After spending nearly all of her teen years performing on cue, Emma wonders if any part of her life is real anymore . . . particularly her relationships.







On a hike deep in the Rocky Mountains, Kai Monahan watches as a dozen dragons—actual freaking dragons—battle beneath a fat white moon. When one crashes nearly dead at her feet and transforms into a man, Kai does the only thing a decent person could: she grabs the nearest sword and saves his life.






The SARAH M. EDEN BRITISH ISLES COLLECTION contains two brand new historical romance novellas A FRIEND INDEED and A HAPPY BEGINNING, as well as four hand-picked readers’ and reviewers’ favorites of Sarah’s popular Timeless Romance Anthology novellas.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

LATTER-DAY WARRIORS: Stepping Into Your Spiritual Strength by Brock Richardson

Discover the spiritual warrior in you! Based on the belief that every soul has a spiritual warrior within, author Brock Lance Richardson interviews ten men he met through BYU football. Each reveals what it takes to become physically and spiritually strong, while their wives describe what it means to be a “warrior” for young women. Perfect for youth and young adults, this entertaining and spiritually uplifting read will teach you how to build spiritual stamina and to use your inner warrior for good.



When I first saw the cover for this book I wondered what the book would be about but I was excited about the concept of a latter-day warrior. As I started reading I have to admit I was a little disappointed that it was all about BYU players. Obviously, there are good LDS college football players everywhere, why BYU? But as I read I came to realize a couple of things:

1. The author was a BYU football player and developed relationships as well as deep respect for several players.
2. The players had inspiring stories to tell.

As I read, I too was inspired. What we see on TV is only the barest, minimal glimpse into amazing lives. From players highs to lows and highs again, there is something to learn from these amazing men and women. Yes, wives a definitely included in this book as they too have inspiring stories.

This is a great read for anyone who wants to be inspired to live their lives better. Tips, stories and ideas help carry the message to readers.