Saturday, September 20, 2014

Wrapping UP the Tackle your TBR read-a-thon Challenge #TackleTBR


It's time to post the results of the Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon!

My goal was to read four or five books from my TBR pile.  I read FOUR!  I was hoping to do better, but considering that I read I read three more books that I had scheduled for review, I don't feel like the number is too shabby. :)

This is what I completed:

Finished Miracle in a Dry Season on 9/8/14
Finished Chances Are 9/10/14
Finished Miss Billings Treads the Boards on 9/13/14
Finished The End Begins: Sudden Darkness on 9/20/14




I participated in a few of the posting challenges.

Random Page (commented on post)

I wish I could say that I visited every blog that participated in the challenge. I may not have gotten to everyone, but I did find a couple of great blogs!  

I think overall that this helped me focus a little more on the books that I have been meaning to read, but haven't had the opportunity to.  I look forward to participating in  challenges like this in the future.

Thanks Tressa at Wishful Endings for hosting the read-a-thon!

Book Review ~ "The End Begins: Sudden Darkness" by Margot Hovley #TackleTBR

The End Begins: Sudden DarknessThe End Begins: Sudden Darkness by Margot Hovley
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Source: Purchased
Genre: Religious/End of Days

Book Description: "Brothers and sisters, may I have your attention," President Green said into the megaphone. I held my breath. What would he say next? At that moment, I wouldn't have been surprised if he'd said the moon was scheduled to turn to blood next Tuesday night. "As you know, alarming events are unfolding. People are scared and confused. Life as we have known it will never be the same, it seems."

The news has been filled with stories of tragedy and turmoil. But world events like the recent bombings in London seem far removed from eighteen-year-old Amelie Hatch's quiet life in Zillah, Washington. She's content with the predictable pattern of her life—school, friends, work. But when Amelie's father leaves on a mysterious Church assignment, concerns escalate as the family is left with few answers.

Then, in the span of moments, Amelie's world erupts in chaos. Terrorists have attacked the US power grid. There is no electricity. Vehicles have ceased working. The nuclear facility at nearby Hanford is compromised, and radiation may be flooding the area. Without the guidance of their father, Amelie's family faces a monumental task at the request of the leaders of the Church: members of their stake have been asked to walk to zUtah, where they will find safety in Zion.

Fleeing her home and the life she knows, Amelie sets off on the arduous journey toward the refuge of Utah. There is danger around every corner as the group faces gunfire, kidnapping, and new terrorist threats. And as she finds herself drawn to two very different men, Amelie recognizes a more personal peril—she's in danger of losing her heart.


My thoughts: What happens if the United States becomes the target of a massive terrorist strike? In "The End Begins: Sudden Darkness", Margot Hovley paints a fictitious picture of how it could happen and the devastation and chaos that would ensue for the government as well as the civilians of the United States.

Amelie is a normal teen young woman. She was left crippled when her leg was run over as a child. She limps and walks with a cane, but makes the best of things. One evening while talking with her best friend, Zach, the power went out. A few days passed without news, and then her Church called a meeting, the United States was hit with an EMP. Communications, power, computers have all been disabled. The government was severely disabled and major cities experienced rioting. Her group was asked to take a trek across the Western United States from Zillah, Washington to Salt Lake City, Utah, on foot.

The book is based on a group from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. There are moments that are very religious. To me the book was about a group of people, joining together, searching to escape a desperate situation. Their faith and common beliefs bonded them and gave them purpose.

I enjoy reading books that have a "what if" plot. It really helps me think about my own preparedness if a natural or man made disaster occurred. Would I be prepared to take care of my family? I really hope that I will never need survival skills, but I do live in an earthquake area, so I appreciate taking a few moments out of my everyday life and reviewing what I need to do in case a crisis does hit my family or area.





This is the fourth book I have completed for this  challenge.  I know that it ends today.  I may look at the remaining books and see if I can sneak one more in today.  
I will be posting a wrap up post later tonight or tomorrow.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tackle Your TBR color challenge! #TackleTBR

The challenge is to find five books all of the same color.  One of my favorite colors is blue, so I will display books that are blue below.  (My favorite color is a blue/green mixture.)




Here are the rules to today's challenge.

Instructions:
1. Pick a color. 
2. Find five books with covers almost completely in that color (they need to be at least 2/3 that color).
3. List the books or paste the pictures of the books online in a post on your blog or on another site.
4. Then come back here and leave a link to where you posted in comments (so we can all see) and in the rafflecopter for the giveaway.

Blog Tour ~ "For Elise" by Sarah M Eden + giveaway


For EliseFor Elise by Sarah M. Eden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Historical Fiction

Book Description: In the sprawling gardens of their neighboring estates, childhood friends Miles and Elise spent countless pleasant days together in the spirited adventures of youth. They were inseparable—until Elise vanished without a trace. Miles searched, but Elise could not—or would not—be found . . . After years spent laboring on the family plantation in the West Indies, Miles Linwood is shocked by the unexpected news: he has inherited his distant cousin’s estate and the title of Marquess of Grenton. Miles’s return to England is tarnished by only one thing—he is still haunted by Elise’s mysterious disappearance. So when he glimpses a woman with a startling resemblance to his lost friend, he’s shaken to the core. This is no mere shadow of the past: it is truly Elise. But his dear friend has changed—to the point that he questions whether it is really her, though he knows it is. Accustomed to rescuing Elise from childhood escapades, Miles takes her and those in her care back to his estate, even as he struggles to understand her fear and mistrust. As their friendship and feelings slowly blossom again, the shocking truth of their separated years is revealed, and Miles realizes more than ever that he must protect Elise. She slipped away once, and he cannot lose her again.



My thoughts: Sarah M. Eden always writes a compelling and beautiful story. I don't think I have read anything of hers that I haven't loved. She accomplished the same level of writing that I have found in all of the books of hers I have read. In fact, I pretty much try to read everything she writes! :)

Elise in the story has been broken. There is a mystery to her past that controls her thoughts and actions. The people she once loved and trusted she holds at arms length away.

While passing through a town, Miles noticed a small girl who reminded him of his childhood friend. They were impoverished and he felt compelled to help. It was shocking to discover that it was Elise. Her living situation and widowhood tore at his heart. His desire became to help them anyway he could.

The life of the characters in this story are far from ideal. It took time for the back story to be told. I couldn't help but feel compassion for Elise and her situation. This book is one that kept my interest and wanting to figure/find out what could have happened to a once sociable young woman.

This book can be read by grandmother, mother, or teen.  It's appropriate for anyone who loves a good clean romance.






Follow the Book Tour:


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

Enter the Tour Giveaway
($50 Amazon Gift Card)
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Guest post by Rosie Somers ~ author of "Pride"





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Seventeen-year-old Gabriella Pierce is used to taking care of herself, but she’s about to become responsible for a whole lot more. When she gets a visit from three men claiming to be defenders of fantastical rings imbued with the powers of THE CARDINAL SINS, her life is changed irrevocably.

Gabby is the steward of PRIDE

To make matters worse, she’s falling hard for fellow steward, Grant Barnett, and he hates her guts. Now Gabby has to learn to protect Pride without letting her feelings for Grant get in the way.

Release Date: September 9, 2014


Read a Guest Post by Rosie Somers
********************

Why I Don’t Write Every Day

If you’re a writer and you spend enough time engaging with other members of the writing community, you will eventually hear these words:

If you want to be a serious writer, you have to write every day.

I’m not sure who originally decided this. I picture in my head some super secret council of mysterious, hooded-robed judges deciding which writers are serious and which are not. If we’re judged purely by the frequency with which we put pen to paper, then I (sadly) would be banished to the cold, dark dungeon of unseriousness, where only the worst offenders of the you-must-write-every-day dictum belong. The writing police would lock me up and throw away the key, no trial necessary.

In reality, even though I have sometimes gone entire weeks without writing a word, I don’t think anyone would accuse me of not being serious about my writing. I may not add to my overall word count every day, and I’m certainly not as prolific as some authors, but I am just as dedicated to my craft as the next gal (or guy).

I’m a firm believer that how frequently (or infrequently) one writes does not indicate how serious that writer is. Attitude is what counts.

Serious writers devote time to researching and learning about technique. This includes attending workshops and writer’s groups, taking writing classes, or even just reading online resources for writers.

Serious writers are open to critique and constructive criticism.

Serious writers follow the industry to see what’s happening, and what’s hot on store shelves right now.

When serious writers fail, they pick themselves up, revise, and try again.

Attitude is everything.

*******************





About the Author: Rosie Somers is a YA author who lives in Florida, soaking up the year round sunshine. She can often be found in her favourite spot on her favourite beach, nose-deep in a good book.


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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Book review ~ "The Secret Bliss of Calliope Ipswich" by Marcia Lynn McClure

The Secret Bliss of Calliope Ipswich (Three Little Girls Dressed in Blue #2)The Secret Bliss of Calliope Ipswich by Marcia Lynn McClure
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Historical Romance

Book Excerpt: Blanche’s pretty forehead puckered with a slight frown. “You don’t like Fox as much as he likes you, do you, Calliope? You’re not in love with him.” 

Calliope silently scolded herself for having let her countenance and words reveal her secret to Blanche. The truth was that she was not as sweet on Fox Montrose as he was on her. Yet there were secrets in her heart that could never be revealed to anyone—not even to Blanche, not even to Calliope’s own sisters.

Therefore, she chose a counter maneuver with which to distract Blanche and said, “Oh, I adore Fox! I just think these things may take time, you know, for me to…to…”

“To really fall in love with him, you mean,” Blanche finished.

“Yes. Perhaps that is what I mean,” Calliope responded.

Yet as they neared the Montrose house, trepidation welled up in Calliope’s bosom, for she knew that if she hadn’t fallen in love with Fox Montrose by now, she never would. Furthermore, she didn’t want to.

A secret bliss was nestled deep inside Calliope Ipswich. It had been nestled there from nearly the moment the Ipswich family had arrived in Meadowlark Lake all those months past. And though it was a bliss she owned in knowing something about herself that even her own sisters did not know, it likewise brought her pain at times—for it was the very reason she knew she would never fall in love with Fox Montrose. Calliope’s love was already spoken for—and no one in all the wide world, save Calliope Ipswich herself, would ever know it. 



My thoughts; I know when I pick up a Marcia Lynn McClure book I will be entertained and find great characters. I also will be able to leave the book laying around my home without worrying that my kids will pick it up and find content that I don't want them to see.

This is a second book in a trilogy. It is a stand alone book. I have not read the first, but I did come to know a little of the back story behind the town and the Ipswich family.

This book focuses on Calliope Ipswich (bet you couldn't guess that from the title). She has harbored a secret in her heart that she calls her "bliss". She thinks that it her secret alone, but a very precocious and lovable half gypsy girl, who is smarter than you think any six year old should be, figures it out.

Calliope is a favorite catch among the town bachelors. She is an unwilling recipient, and wishes they would spread their interest to the other females of the town. There is a humorous scene where two are pulling on her, trying to claim ownership, while she is wishing the both would let go and leave here alone.

Rowdy Gates is a mad who keeps to himself. He has a painful past, but has had his heart set on Calliope. He doesn't feel worthy of her. His past unravels slowly. It was surprising to see his secret, but refreshing to have it revealed.

This is a clean romance with kissing. I loved the character of the six year old sister. I did feel that she was portrayed as older than six. But it didn't lessen the story for me.

This review should have been posted yesterday with the blog tour.  I hadn't quite finished the book.  To enter the $25 Gift Card Giveaway associated with this tour.  You can go to this LINK.



"Feeding Baby" by Clancy Cash Harrrison MS. RD. LDN ~ Blog tour + giveaway

Feeding Baby Cookbook Release Party & Giveaway over $2000 in Prizes

Feeding Baby Release Party & National Giveaway

Hosted by

Fields of Flavor & Measuring Flower

2 Giveaways, $2000 in Prizes & 30 Winners

About Feeding Baby:

baby food cookbook"Your baby deserves the best in life- food is no exception! Feeding Baby is the ultimate guide to preparing and feeding wholesome foods for your infant, with helpful nutritional tips, picky eating solutions, and with over 80 recipes. Once you discover how easy and affordable it is to make baby food at home, you'll take comfort in knowing your child is receiving the best nutrition possible."

My thoughts:  My children are older than babies, but I do hope to have grandchildren someday.

Four hours each week day I spend at a Jr High School serving kids lunch.  Yes, I am a lunch lady. It is frustrating for us to enforce laws to make sure kids are given healthier choices to eat.  Kids do not want it!  They want the junk food and the fruits and vegetables are thrown in the garbage.

That's why I like the approach of this book.  If children are taught from the time they are babies, it wouldn't be an issue to take fruits and vegetables. They would be grateful  that the pizza is made with a wheat crust instead of a white crust.

This is found in the first chapter of the book.

Many parents focus on nutrition alone. They focus on the numbers of nutrition-eating 5 fruits and vegetables each day, drinking X amount of breast milk or formula ounces per day, or eating the recommended number of calories. Parents should pay attention to nutrition. After all, it is vital for growth and development.  The problem occurs when parents focus too much on the numbers.  Nutrition is just one component of healthy eating.  Parents should also concentrate on the variety of foods and lifelong eating healthy behaviors.

I thought that this book would be a basic cookbook on foods that would be nutritious and palatable for babies.  I was partially wrong.  The book looks at ways to help babies explore, play with, taste, and learn to accept new foods.  There is a very practical approach to teaching (yes, teaching) babies to like new foods.


Feeding Baby Book Signings & Events:

The Prizes:

1 Winner: Vitamix 5200 Blender $450.00

5200-standard-modular-package

1 Winner: Babycook by Beaba $150.00

BabycookPro_Red_withfood-150x150

9 Winners: Feeding Baby Books $180.00

baby food cookbook

1 Winner: Fairhaven Health and The Naked Nursing Tank Bundle: $142.00

pp1

1 Winner: Infant Book Bundle $100.00

Feeding Baby by Clancy Cash Harrison
Dinnertime Survival Guide by Sally Kuzemchak
Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD
Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD
Getting to the Yum by Dr. Karen Le Billon
I will Breastfeed Anywhere by Jennifer Saleem
Milkies in the Morning by Jennifer Saleem
pp2

Scentsy Gift Card $100

 

NuRoo Baby Bundle: $85.00

prize2

1 Winner: Buttons Diapers Gift Set $58.00

Charming-Promo

1 Winner Kiddo Feedo Freezer Trays (2) $40.00

Blueberry & Apple Baby Food and Fruit Leather
 

1 Winner: The Sili Company Squeeze Pouches Bundle: $34.00

prize5

1 Winner: Life Without Plastic Stainless Steel Set $33.00

prize6

1 Winner: Yoomi 8 oz Feeding System $33.00

240ml_bottle_warmer+pod_pack&products (2)(1)

1 Winner: Undercover Mama $25

GiveawayGraphic

1 Winner: FunBites Cutter $13.00

greenpink2_mediumThe Entry Form:




Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cover Reveal ~ "Molly Pepper and the Night Train" by Courtney King Walker

MollyPepper&NTcover_crop-01

MOLLY PEPPER AND THE NIGHT TRAIN by Courtney King Walker | Lands Atlantic Publishing Release Date: March 13, 2015

Hidden somewhere in the fog of the San Francisco bay lies Blue Rock Island, home to the bay area’s two best-kept secrets: Bell’s Bluff, the old, abandoned prison on one side of the island, and the Night Train, a mysterious train ride on the other. When twelve-year-old Molly Pepper receives a secret invitation promising a night of magic and adventure aboard the Night Train, she is skeptical. In her experience, most promises prove too good to be true. The fact that she lost her mom is proof enough. Still, Molly gives hope another chance. Together with her loyal friend, Noah Wonderly, they sneak out of the house and follow a string of clues leading to the Night Train. But when the train stops at Bell's Bluff, Molly discovers the real reason she was invited. There, she starts to wonder if hope and magic not only fix broken promises; but make you believe in them again.

What do you think of the cover

About the Author

CourtneyKingWalker_WEBWebsite | Twitter | Goodreads
Courtney King Walker grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area building rocket ships and rafts out of cardboard, hoping to make it the moon or at least Niagara Falls. But a trip across the border to Tijuana was as exciting as it ever got, so she decided writing about adventure was the next best thing. She now lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband and four children, and still dreams of flying to the moon. Her YA debut, ON THE FRINGE, was published in 2011 by Lands Atlantic Publishing.




Giveaway

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