Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The World's Greatest Adventure Machine by Frank L. Cole (Blog Tour + giveaway)


The Worlds Greatest Adventure Machine by Frank L Cole
Genre: Middle Grade
Source: Received to Review
Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Description: An adventure novel about four lucky kids and a mysterious, but thrilling ride for fans of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Jurassic Park!


CastleCorp and the famous Castleton brothers are unveiling the World's Greatest Adventure Machine! The roller coaster is an experience like no other, and four lucky kids have won the chance to be the first to ride it.

There's Trevor, whose latest stunt got him in trouble at school again. There's Devin, whose father is pushing him to be the next Internet sensation. Nika's wealthy grandfather isn't too pleased about her participation. And Cameron, he'll be the first to tell you, is a certified genius.

The whole world is watching. But as the kids set off on their journey, they begin to realize that there is perhaps more to their fellow contest winners than meets the eye. And the Adventure Machine? It might just have a mind of its own.


Join the contestants on their wild ride if you dare. Your adventure starts now!

My Thoughts: This book an adventure thrill ride for children.  Four misfit children are brought together to be the first people to try out a new ride,  the Adventure Machine. Each of the children entered a contest for the honor.  The ride doesn't turn out as expected, leading the children on a "true" adventure.

I can see children glued to this book.  It is well written and sparks imagination.  The children all have problems, none of them are perfect,  I think that would make them a little more relatable to readers.





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Frank L. ColeAbout the Author: (Taken from Goodreads)  Frank L. Cole has lived in such exotic places as the Philippines and Kentucky, and currently lives with his wife and three children out west. While he strived for years to earn his publishing credits, Frank considers sharing his message of “Exercising Your Imagination” to over 45,000 kids across the country as his greatest accomplishment. The Guardians of the Finisher's Fury is Frank’s 7th published book and will release this November, 2013. You can learn more about his writing at franklewiscole.blogspot.com.
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August 17: Peggy Urry, Literary Time Out Rorie

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Name Unknown by Roseanna M White. (Including a book giveaway!)

A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England #1)A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: Received from the Publisher to Review
Genre: Historical Christian Fiction



Book Description:  Edwardian Romance and History Gains a Twist of Suspense

Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family's history, their very name?

Peter Holstein, given his family's German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered. 

But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors' scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he's more than his name?



My thoughts: I love historical fiction. It is interesting to me that as society, some people many of the same thoughts, ideas, and prejudices that were found in the past.  I would have hoped that we would have learned acceptance, rather than using fear to cast judgement.

The most striking idea in A Name Unknown was that Peter was held under a microscope because he was of German descent. The time period is just before WWI, and Peter is a citizen of England, with German ancestors. The book is mainly about him trying to prove his loyalty to his country, while others are trying to prove that he is a traitor to England. (I find the parallels to the political situation today startling.) He is greeted with distrust, vandalism, and hate. All the while he is a loyal Englishman who is endearing. He stutters, he does better with the written word, and he has a good heart.

Rosemary was hired, by some 'not so nice men', to dig up proof that Peter is not loyal to the English crown. Peter hired her to look for proof of his families love for England and organization of his library. Rosemary is a woman who is loyal to her family of 'street rats' and will do anything to provide a better life for them. She is an admirable lady, who has not been corrupted by her circumstances.

The book is well written and interesting. The characters are memorable and likable. The book has Christian themes that are not "preachy". This is a great book to pick up!



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White 1

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Roseanna M. White
About the Author:   Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of over a dozen historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels . . . to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring. She passes said boring life with her husband and kids in the beautiful mountains of eastern West Virginia.



Find out more about Roseanna M. White at http://www.roseannamwhite.com.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Courting the Country Miss by Donna Hatch (Blog Tour + giveaway)

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Courting the Country Miss
(Courting #2)
by Donna Hatch
Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 312 pages
August 4th 2017 by The Wild Rose Press. Inc.

Cynical and broken-hearted, Leticia banishes dreams of marriage. When her childhood friend, Tristan, wagers he can find her the perfect husband, she hopes the challenge will coax him to forgo his devil-may-care lifestyle. Meanwhile, Leticia throws herself into forming her charity school but meets opposition—even from the people she’s helping.

Guilt-ridden that his past mistakes robbed Leticia of true love, Tristan vows to set it right, but match-making has its pitfalls for a repentant scoundrel. When he finds two ‘perfect’ gentlemen to court her, he discovers his own deep feelings for the lady.

Though Tristan seems to reform, Leticia doesn’t dare risk heartbreak with a notorious rake. When opposition for the school takes a deadly turn, can Tristan protect her from a madman bent on destroying their dreams and their lives?

My thoughts:  The more books I read written by Donna Hatch, the more I realize what an amazing author she is.  She pulls me into the book and the setting.  The characters come to life for me.

This book is about when good intentions have unexpected side effects.  Tristan feels bad that his actions (in a previous book) had unintended side effects.  His good friend, Leticia, was on the loosing end when he lured a pretty girl into a garden.  Now, he wants to make things right and help Leticia find a husband.  Fortunately, for the reader, his efforts make a great story.

This is the second book in a series.  The events that lead to this story are found in "Courting the Countess".  The book information is found below.

If you love a great regency book that will make you laugh.  I would pick this one up!

Source: I received an eBook for review.  All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own,




Other Books in the Series

Courting the Countess by [Hatch, Donna]
Courting the Countess
(Courting #1)
by Donna Hatch
Adult Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 388 pages
October 5th 2016 by The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

When charming rake Tristan Barrett sweeps Lady Elizabeth off her feet, stealing both her heart and a kiss in a secluded garden, her brother challenges Tristan to a duel. The only way to save her brother and Tristan from harm—not to mention preserve her reputation—is to get married. But her father, the Duke of Pemberton, refuses to allow his daughter to marry anyone but a titled lord. The duke demands that Elizabeth marry Tristan’s older brother, Richard, the Earl of Averston. Now Elizabeth must give up Tristan to marry a man who despises her, a man who loves another, a man she’ll never love.

Richard fears Elizabeth is as untrustworthy as his mother, who ran off with another man. However, to protect his brother from a duel and their family name from further scandal, he agrees to the wedding, certain his new bride will betray him. Yet when Elizabeth turns his house upside down and worms her way into his reluctant heart, Richard suspects he can’t live without his new countess. Will she stay with him or is it too little, too late?


About the Author


Donna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty five years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.

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1 winner will receive an ebook of Courting the Countess
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Ends August 29th

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Secret of the India Orchid by Nancy Campbell Allen (Blog Tour with a giveaway!)




The Secret of the India Orchid (Proper Romance) The Secret of the India Orchid by Nancy Campbell Allen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received from the publisher to review.
Genre : Regency Romance/Suspense

Book Description:  Anthony Blake is in love with his best friend's sister, Sophia Elliot. But his plans to court her are put on hold when he is forced to resume his role as an undercover spy for the Crown. A secret document listing the names of the entire network of British spies-including his own-has been stolen. To protect Sophia, Anthony cuts off all ties to her and exchanges his life as an honorable earl for the fa├žade of a flirtatious playboy.

Heartbroken and confused, Sophia travels to India, hoping to find healing in one of the most exotic regions of the British Empire. But the exotic land isn't as restful as she had hoped. Instead, she finds herself embroiled in a mystery of a missing sea captain, a possible murder, and a plot that could involve the prince of India. And when Anthony appears at the British Residency, asking questions and keeping his distance from her, she is stunned.

She still loves him, and, in her heart, she knows he loves her too. But how can she rebuild her relationship with him if he won't confide in her? Does she dare offer her heart to him a second time, or will their love be lost under the India sun?
 



My thoughts: This book is beautiful inside and out. I LOVE the cover and Nancy Campbell Allen has a way of writing that captures my mind and my imagination.

The book is set during the Regency Era in India. Sophia wanted to get away from England and all of the reminders about Anthony Blake. It seemed as if he were interested in her, and then he dropped the "just friends" letter. She wanted a fresh start and far away from the places she used to see him was a where she wanted to be. Until, she found him in India.

This book has romance and suspense. Anthony is actually acting as a spy looking for sensitive documents that were stolen. He didn't want to leave Sophia, but his hand was forced by the government. It loved how uncomfortable he was in the book. She constantly reminded him of his last letter. "Friends" is not the relationship he wants with her.

This is a great addition to the Proper Romance line. I highly recommend it. The book contains mild violence and kissing.

Source: I received a copy of the book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.





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Nancy Campbell AllenAbout the Author: (Taken from Deseret Book)  Nancy Campbell Allen (N.C. Allen) is the author of twelve published novels, which span genres from contemporary romantic suspense to historical fiction. In 2005 , her work won the Utah Best of State award. She has presented at numerous writing conferences and events since her first book was released in 1999. Nancy received a BS in Elementary Education from Weber State University. She loves to read, write, travel and research, and enjoys spending time laughing with family and friends. She is married and the mother of three children.
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Monday, August 7, 2017

Havencross by Julie Danes tour (with a giveaway!)



Havencross

Havencross by Julie Danes
Source: Received to Review from Publisher
Genre: Regency Romance

Book Description:  When a shocking scandal involving her father spreads through London society, Elaine Cardinham and her parents are forced to retreat to their country home in Cornwall for refuge. But Havencross is no sanctuary for Elaine. She is haunted by the mysterious disappearance of her brother—and the heartbreak she left in her wake all those years ago. It has been five long years since Gareth Kemp last saw Elaine—when she rejected his marriage proposal. Her reappearance convinces him of one thing: he has never stopped loving her. To put his feelings for her aside, he focuses his attention on the dangerous smuggling plaguing the Cornish coast. As Elaine attempts to run from her past, she ventures ever closer to a dangerous truth—and Gareth may be the only one who can save her from a deadly finish.


My thoughts:  I love Julie Daines writing.  She is amazing.  I am looking forward to reading this book.  Unfortunately, I didn't get it done for the tour.  My daughter got engaged this week and I have been occupied with wedding plans and spending some time with her.

This is a book that I will be reading.  Look at the description and the cover.  This is a book that I am excited to dive into.  I will be posting a review her, on goodreads, and on Amazon once I have finished the book.



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Stop by the blogs on the tour (The responsible people who actually finished the book and see what they think!  I'm betting on rave reviews.):



Sunday, August 6, 2017

I've been distracted from reading lately.

Rebekah Faber and Aaron Coon


Some may have noticed that I haven't been posting as many reviews lately.  I am behind and not finishing my review books by posting time. I can finally share why.  My daughter just got engaged and the wedding will happen in two months!

My thought are consumed with this change in my family.  I am finding it hard to read and get things done in a timely manner.  Hopefully after October 6th, I will get back on schedule.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Blog Tour ~ Searching for Irene by Marlene Bateman (with an eBook giveaway!)


Searching for Irene by Marlene Bateman
Source: Received eBook from publisher for review.
Genre: Historical Suspense/Romance

Book Description:  What happened to Irene?

When Anna Coughlin, a modern 1920’s woman, travels to the secluded hills of Virginia to work for wealthy Lawrence Richardson, she discovers that the previous secretary, Irene, has mysteriously disappeared. Upon arriving at the castle-like mansion, Anna finds that Lawrence’s handsome, but antagonistic son, Tyler, wants nothing more than to have her gone. And he isn’t the only one—

Caught up in a maze of intrigue in a tormented and troubled household, Anna sets out to find the truth behind Irene’s disappearance. She is helped—and often hindered—by the temperamental Tyler Richardson, who—despite her best intentions—begins to steal her heart. 

But even as Anna begins to uncover dark secrets, she must continue to hide a significant one of her own. Then, her life is threatened, and Anna is left to wonder if she’ll be able to unravel the mystery before she disappears as mysteriously as the unfortunate Irene—


My thoughts:  Another book that I hate to admit that I haven't finished yet.  Something huge is happening in my family in the next couple of months and it has controlled my thoughts and time this week.  I will have more info to share, hopefully, within the next couple of days.

This book is very interesting.  I love the sense of mystery.  Even though it is written in New England it has a Gothic feel to me.  It probably is because it is set in a castle, and there is a young woman who has disappeared under mysterious circumstance.

This is a book that I will continue to read.  My apologies to Marlene Bateman for not finishing her well written book at the time of my scheduled post.



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Read an Excerpt:

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

The tallest parts of the mansion—fanciful turrets and a circular tower—were visible only in glimpses Anna caught between lofty oaks and towering pines as her cab wound through the knolls and hills of eastern Virginia.

When the cab turned up the long driveway lined with dogwood trees in full bloom, Anna Coughlin reached for her handbag, gripping it with a tension that had knotted her muscles ever since getting on the train.

The vast estate stood on a hilltop, like a castle—and she craned her neck to better view the starkly impressive gray-stone mansion of Ashton Hall—where she hoped to be hired. With its arched, leaded windows and slate roof with numerous chimneys, the house rivaled pictures she’d seen of castles in Europe.

Instructing the driver to wait, she climbed out, patted her hat in case it was askew, then smoothed her gray suit with gloved hands in hopes of presenting a professional appearance. Anna had no confidence she was clever enough or bold enough to pull this off, but she had to try.

Her eye was drawn by a tall man—more than six feet—who came from the side of the house. Since the man was striding toward her so purposefully, Anna stopped and waited. As he drew near, Anna noted his deep-set eyes were as black as his hair. His skin was tanned, his thin, long-fingered hands brown and strong.

“Miss Coughlin?” He stretched out a hand and shook hers, but there was no warmth for her in his eyes. “I’m Tyler Richardson. Unfortunately, your services are not needed after all.” A touch of arrogance marked his manner, as though he was long accustomed to command those around him.

“Your father called only last week to have someone come out,” Anna blurted in dismay. “May I ask what caused him to change his mind?”

A fleeting glimpse of discomfiture crossed Mr. Richardson’s face. “I wasn’t consulted about his hiring another secretary to replace the one who left so suddenly. My father isn’t in good health, and the last thing we need is someone coming in and upsetting him by making a muddle of things.”

His words kindled a fire that glinted in Anna’s eyes. How dare he make such an assumption? It was difficult to hang on to her temper, but there was too much at stake to let his boorishness sidetrack her. “Since I’m here, I’m sure you won’t mind if I keep my appointment. After all, your father is the one who requested my services. I’m sure he’s expecting me.”

Her words hit home.It took a few bitter seconds, but he finally acquiesced. “Come in, then,” he muttered ungraciously before leading the way up the steps and opening the door.

Following his rigid back down the narrow hall, Anna’s brows furrowed as doubts crept in. How wise had she been to come to this remote place? Especially when the previous secretary had disappeared so mysteriously? Even her employer thought it odd that no one in this mansion seemed to know where Irene had gone or where she was now. It was as if Irene had vanished into thin air.

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

Win an eBook copy!  Use the rafflecopter form to enter.  Terms and conditions are to the right in the sidebar.  eBook will be provided by the publisher.  I will send a notification to the winner.  Winner will be announced on the top of the rafflecopter form.


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About the Author:  Marlene Bateman Sullivan grew up in Utah, and graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor's degree in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they live in North Salt Lake, Utah with their two dogs and four cats. Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and wrote the best-selling romance/suspense novel, Light on Fire Island. She has written three other cozy mysteries; Motive for Murder, A Death in the Family, and Crooked House, as well as the romance, For Sale by Owner.

Marlene has also written a number of non-fiction, LDS books: Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s from Beyond the Veil, By the Ministering of Angels, Brigham’s Boys, Heroes of Faith, Gaze into Heaven; Near-death Experiences in Early Church History, and The Magnificent World of Spirits; Eyewitness Accounts of Where We Go When We Die.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Keeping Kinley by Annette K Larsen

Keeping Kinley by Annette K. LarsenKeeping Kinley by Annette K. Larsen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Kindle Scout
Genre: YA Fiction

Book Descripition:  "Rylan made me feel like things were possible. Like I was possible, and he was possible, and we could be possible together."

Kinley is content tending her apple orchard, until a chance meeting with a childhood friend changes her priorities. Spending time with nobility is not socially acceptable, but Rylan rejects the norm. He pursues her with an easygoing charm, though she doesn’t dare hope that their relationship will be a reality.

When Kinley’s livelihood is threatened, any thoughts of a relationship are set aside as she’s thrust into Rylan’s world, where commoners and nobility don’t mix. The Rylan she encounters there is not the quirky and carefree friend she thought she knew. Can she trust what her heart has told her and believe in him, or will she be forced to accept that her dreams are only that—dreams?
 


My thoughts: I have loved every installment of the Dalthia series. This is book five and is not about a noble. Kinley is the younger sister of Gavin, who we met in Just Ella. This is a series that focuses on a family in a past, make-believe time period. Each book can be read on it's own, but I loved having old characters show up, so I would recommend reading all of them.

Kinley is a spirited young woman who thrives on taking care of her orchard. She is thrifty and industrious, she is not afraid of physical labor and enjoys having a good time. She is the perfect match to the stuffy, bookish young gentry that she is introduced to when she worked at his house as a maid. This book takes place five years after they met.

The trial for both is their different economic stations. The upper class do not want to accept a common laborer into their ranks. The divide goes both ways. The laborers are proud and do not want to accept charity from nobility.

This is a fun story about what you would do for love. It is a story about perseverance and treating others as equals regardless of financial station. I would say that you could add that appearances could be deceiving.

This is a great book for anyone who loves the fairy tales of the common girl and the noble. It is clean with some kissing. It would be appropriate for teens on up.



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Annette K. LarsenAbout the Author: (Taken from Goodreads)  I was born in Utah, but migrated to Arizona, Missouri, and Virginia before settling in Idaho. 

Though I dabbled in writing throughout school, being an author seemed like an unattainable dream. It took me seven years to write my first book, Just Ella. During that time, I taught myself how to write a novel. Not the most time effective method, but it gave me an education I wouldn’t have received from a class or a how-to book. Something about the struggle of writing without a formula or rules worked for me.

I write clean romance because I love it. Jane Eyre is the hero of my youth and taught me that clinging to your convictions will be hard, but will bring you more genuine happiness than giving in ever can.

I love chocolate, Into the Woods, ocean waves, my husband, and my five littles. And I love books that leave me with a sigh of contentment.

Find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoraklarsen
Follow me on twitter: @AnnetteKLarsen