Saturday, March 28, 2015

Book Review ~ "Stolen Songbird" by Danielle L. Jensen

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Purchased Kindle Edition
Genre: YA Fantasy

Book Description:  For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined. 

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity. 

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader. 

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever. 


My thoughts: Cecile is kidnapped by a boy she knew and sold to the trolls. She was about to make her debut to the world as a singer. She was to follow her mother's footsteps onto the stage and awe the city with her talent.

Her dream changed in a matter of minutes and she is now in a dark place under the mountain. She is a pawn in a game of political intrigue. Both sides of the conflict want to use her for their own purposes. Her strategy changes as she learns more of her position and the possibilities of change she can help implement. She no longer seeks escape, but to survive and bring hope to an oppressed people.


I really liked the characters of Cecile and the troll Prince, Tristan. They both are playing a dangerous game and their bonding changes as they progress and change as characters. I liked how they became reluctant allies into a growing relationship that eventually led to love and trust.

Danielle Jensen was able to add many dimensions the plot and character development. I appreciated the way she could drop hints into the overall plot to add interest. The city of Trollus is unique and I enjoyed the dilemma that Cecile and Tristan are faced with. I don't want to say too much and give away key points of the story.

It looks like this is the first book in a trilogy. The next is coming out soon and I look forward to continuing reading the books.  I just requested the second book from Netgalley, crossing my fingers that they approve it, :)

There is a little bit of innuendo in this book.  I would recommend to ages 16+.










About the Author (taken from Amazon): Danielle was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. At the insistence of the left side of her brain, she graduated in 2003 from the University of Calgary with a bachelor's degree in finance. But the right side of her brain has ever been mutinous; and in 2010, it sent her back to school to complete an entirely impractical English literature degree at Mount Royal University and to pursue publication. Much to her satisfaction, the right side shows no sign of relinquishing its domination.


Visit her Webpage!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Book Promo ~ "House Divided" by Jennifer Peel

House Divided (1)





house dividedHouse Divided There is a law irrevocably decreed in the state of Alabama that you must choose a team. You're either an Auburn fan or an Alabama Fan. There is no fence sitting or waffling. It’s one or the other. However, it doesn't mean that you can’t fall in love with someone from the opposing side. They even have a name for it ... House Divided. Ellie Eaton and Brady Jackson were just such a couple, but unfortunately they were separated by more than just their loyalty to a university. Against the odds and against the rules, Ellie and Brady dove right into the forbidden current of friendship and then love. Their sweet, innocent romance was one for the storybooks, but old rules and family prejudices ultimately tore them apart, just as they were each ready to depart to their beloved universities, Ellie to Auburn and Brady to Alabama. But years later, when near tragedy strikes, they're brought together again and given a second chance at love, this time with help from some very unlikely sources. House Divided is a sweet romance filled with southern charm, a dash of humor and, for good measure, a pinch of lies and intrigue.






Read an Excerpt:
********************
Wait, Ellie."
"What, Brady?"
"Can we please talk?"
"I don’t think there’s anything else left to say, Brady."
"Ok, Ellie, but if you think I’m going to let you walk out of my life again without a fight, then you have another thing coming, so saddle up, Ella Lu Eaton."
"Brady!"
"Goodnight, Ellie." And just like that he hung up.
He was on my ever living last nerve tonight. Well, you have another thing coming, Brady Jackson. "And by the way, I didn’t walk out of your life in the first place. You pushed me!" I don’t know why I said that out loud, it wasn’t like he could hear me.
I stomped up the stairs and took a long, hot bath. As I lay there soaking, I tried not to think of that fool. Who did he think he was, telling me to saddle up? Well, cowboy, you better hold on to your hat because I have no intention of losing this rodeo.


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


add to goodreads



Praise for the Book "House Divided was one of those books that made me want to ignore my children, my to-do list, my need for food, and pretty much anything else that would keep me from reading. Jennifer Peel has a real gift for depicting first love, heartbreak, and hope." "A tender, soft, story that truly is a gem to read." "Ms. Peel has created a story that stands as a tribute to true southern gentility, it's foibles and strengths. Truly a beautiful read that gives heart and meaning to true devotion. She truly knows how to weave a story that has beauty and true southern charm."  



     
Jennifer Peel HeadshotAuthor Jennifer Peel I'm a Colorado native who currently calls Alabama home. I'm the mother of three amazing children who have grown up way too fast. I enjoy the mountains, vacations at the beach, date night with my husband, late night talks with my kiddos, touring model homes, and pink bubblegum ice cream. I grew up on the Western Slope in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. I learned to love the beauty of the outdoors, but not camping--unless staying overnight at the Marriott counts. I met my husband while living in Denver and then several years later we traded the beauty and majesty of the Colorado Rocky Mountains for the art and culture of Chicago, Illinois. My family and I enjoyed living near this world class city, despite the crazy cold winters, but new adventures awaited in Northern Alabama--just six hours away from Orange Beach, Alabama. These three magical places (the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Chicago, and Orange Beach) are the inspired locations used in several of my books.





Jennifer Peel   25_Amazon_Paypal$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 4/12/15 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.  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review ~ "Painting Kisses" by Melanie Jacobson

Painting Kisses by Melanie Jacobson
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Contemporary Clean Romance
Reviewed by Whitney

Book Description: Lia Carswell is good at what she does—even if it isn’t as glamorous as her old life in Manhattan. The popular waitress works hard in a small Salt Lake City diner, with the goal of easing her sister’s financial strain. And with her witty personality and good looks, she’s something of an enigma to the male customers who vie for her attention. Ever the professional, Lia keeps her distance—with one exception. Aidan is a breakfast regular, and Lia’s easy rapport with him draws her attention, though she would never let their relationship get serious—especially since he’s not the only one trying to catch her eye. Her handsome neighbor Griff has been hinting that he wants more than a neighborly relationship.Then her old New York artist life comes knocking, and an offer is made for a series of commissioned paintings. Lia knows it would ensure financial security for her family, but she doesn’t know if she wants that life anymore. When she undertakes one final project, she reawakens her heart and soul. And as she finds herself falling in love and needing an outlet more and more, she realizes her paintings might be her saving grace.


Whitney's thoughts:  Lia is an artist whose life fell apart when she and her art hit the big-time in New York City. When the book opens, she’s been living with her sister under a different name in Salt Lake City, tending her niece, working as a waitress at a diner, fending off flirtatious advances from a good-looking construction worker at the diner, and resisting any and all urges to paint. But one spring day, she gives in to the impulse to paint a single daffodil, and all her carefully-built walls start to crack. Cracks develop in her assumptions about herself and the men in her life, as well.  

I’ve liked every book by Melanie Jacobson I’ve read so far. In Painting Kisses, she shows her usual deft touch for humor, and for getting characters into hilariously awkward situations. I’m no art expert, but she paints (har!) a realistic-sounding New York art scene, and convincingly conveys an artist’s yearning to express emotion and perception. She sold me on both Lia’s love of painting and the pain of sharing her work with a thoughtless, jaded art community; the love story read as a seamless, natural extension of that conflict. There was a not very compelling second guy, but his storyline reads like a not very convincing stab at making this a love triangle. Overall, though, I loved this book!


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Blog Tour ~ "The Quantum Deception" by Denver Acey

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The Quantum Deception (Tanner Zane, #2)The Quantum Deception by Denver Acey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source; Received electronic copy to review
Genre: Action/Suspense

Book Description:  What starts out as a calm night in Salt Lake City turns into chaos when a passenger plane crashes into the mountains. When reformed cyber hacker Tanner Stone links the accident to an ingenious Chinese computer virus, it’s up to him to prevent it from destroying the financial data of everyone in America! Thrilling, explosive, and packed with twists, this book changes everything you know about Internet security.


My thoughts: Tanner's services are called upon when his co-worker is killed in a plane accident. Tanner was scheduled to be on the flight, but cancelled at the last moment. It turns out to be a terrorist attack and Tanner was the target.

This book is action packed from page one. It kept me turning pages to see what could possibly happen next. Missiles, kidnapping, computer viruses, terrorism, a nations financial status at stake... I'm not forgetting that Tanner is a reformed computer hacker who is able to crack many a computer and virus.

This is a clean suspense book that may make you paranoid about the state of internet security. Definitely a book to pick up when you want a book with action.

This book is a sequel to The Quantum Breach, another book that I enjoyed.  To get some back story, you may want to read the first one before this.  I think that it can be enjoyed even if you haven't read the first.





About the Author:  Few people understand the terrifying, yet realistic threat of computer hacking like Denver Acey. Denver has spent his entire professional career in the information technology industry where he has witnessed and even thwarted actual cybercrime. From his top-secret job working for the US government to securing computer networks at Fortune 500 companies, Denver is personally familiar with hackers and their unscrupulous activities.
But over the years, Denver has become increasingly frustrated with Hollywood’s inaccurate portrayal of cybercrime. Hackers are more intelligent and more sophisticated than simple teenagers, who guzzle down Mountain Dew while playing video games. Cybercrime is a billion-dollar business that encompasses organized crime and foreign governments. For these elite hackers, the fruits of success are iconic trademarks, innovative patents, and government secrets.
Because of his unique background, Denver decided to write a book to dispel hacking myths while highlighting the tenacity of cybercriminals. Utilizing actual computer hacking concepts and scenarios that he has experienced firsthand, Denver illustrates — in a simple way for even the non-techie to understand — how vulnerable we all are to cybercrime.

Visit his WEBSITE.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Blog Tour ~ "Maximus" by Richard L Black

Maximus by Richard L Black
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Book Description:  General Maximus is a battle-weary commander of one of Rome's finest legions. When he returns from a long, bloody campaignMaximus finds himself questioning his life. Word has reached Rome of a man named Jesus who is causing a stir in faraway Judea.Maximus, disguised as a Jew, is sent to ascertain the truth of the situation and the potential threat to Rome. In this innovative rendering of the story of Christ through the eyes of an outsider, we see anew the teachings of Jesus and explore one man's faith-building journey as, stripped of his cultural identity, he is free to ponder whether he can believe Jesus and find a new purpose in life.



My thoughts:  This book takes place during Christ's ministry.

Maximus is a Roman General who has realized that Rome is reaching too far, taking too much, and for the wrong reasons.  He sympathizes with the men who fought to protect their families and wishes that his job was as noble.

This is another book that I am in the process of reading. I really like it so far.  Today is my scheduled post for the tour.  I apologize to Mr. Black and Shadow Mountain for not completing the book in time. The author has uses great descriptions and has captured the time period and Maximus's thoughts and feelings.  There will be a full review coming soon.  I intend to finish this book.





About the Author:  Richard L. Black is a writer with a background in the software industry who has worked closely with Department of Defense and intelligence community, an experience which informs his writing style which shows a flair for undercover mystery and intrigue. A native of San Diego, he now lives with his family in the Southwest and is an avid car enthusiast and guitar player. This is his debut novel.


Visit his WEBSITE.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Spring Cleaning Hop ~ US


Welcome to my stop of on The Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop.  I am offering a box of 15 books to one winner with a US address.  The books range from Middle Grade to Adult.

Here are pictures of the box.  From the top and from the side.

I will also be adding some reading munchies in the remaining space.


To enter use the rafflecopter form.  Terms and conditions are in the sidebar and in the bottom of the form.  By entering this contest you are agreeing to the terms and conditions are affirming that you are eligible to win this prize.  Must live in the United States to enter this contest. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour ~ "Summer Campaign" by Carla Kelly


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Summer Campaign by Carla Kelly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Purchased and Review (explanation at bottom of post)
Genre: Historical Romance

Book Description:  Miss Onyx Hamilton is about to make what everyone agrees is a perfect marriage—until handsome Major Jack Beresford comes galloping into her life. But with his fortune and connections, Onyx knows he’d never ask for her hand, would he? New and longtime fans alike will relish this delightful romance from Carla Kelly. Charming, sweet, and full of fun, it’s simply impossible to stop reading.


My thoughts: This book reminds me why I enjoy reading Carla Kelly's books. It is light, fun, full of mischief, and great characters.

Onyx is a young lady living off of the mercy of an pseudo step-mother and her husband. She does not have means of her own and is treated as an inconvenience. She is being coerced into a marriage with an overbearing man. Because of the treatment she has received, she doesn't feel like she has an alternative.

She wished for an adventure and her wish was granted. Jack saves her from the hands of highwaymen. From the moment they meet, their easygoing conversation that is full of humor and sarcasm takes off. Personally, I loved it. I love it when characters can be at ease with each other and banter.

One thing that Jack is familiar with is war. He served for His Majesty for four years. As a Major he lead men into battle and used his mind for strategy. Now it's time to use those skills to save Onyx from a horrible marriage and coerce her into a life of laughter and love.

This was a book that I had a hard time putting down. It is mostly clean It contains a little bit of innuendo. The dialogue really drew me in and kept me turning pages.

I received a copy of this book to review and then remembered that I purchased an older edition on my kindle.



About the 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. She is also a recipient of a Whitney Award for Borrowed Light and My Loving Vigil Keeping.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Blog Tour ~ "Murder at Tophouse" by Clair M. Poulson + tour Giveaway





Murder at Tophouse by Clair M. Pouslson
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received from the Publisher to Review
Genre: Suspense/Mystery


Book Description:  Officer Mike Denton can't shake the feeling that something isn't right. Since the shooting that nearly killed him, Mike has attempted to piece his life back together. Just when he thought things were starting to look up, false allegations leveled by his partner, Cal Granberg, have led to his suspension, and Mike begins to suspect that Cal may have played a role in the deadly attack. He has only one clue: a conversation he was never meant to hear involving guns in New Zealand.

Suspicious that he may have stumbled on an illegal gun trafficking plot, Mike sees his suspension as an opportunity to conduct an independent investigation into the shady actions of his ex-partner. He prepares for a month-long vacation to New Zealand to find the proof that would clear his good name but what he couldn't prepare for his lovely young New Zealander Skylie Yates, a woman with her own troubles. A dangerous enemy believes that Skylie is the key to finding a hidden fortune. The problem: Skylie claims to know nothing about the money. Now, Mike must set aside his own quest for evidence in order to discover who's behind the threats to the woman he's coming to care for. But when his two investigations collide and Skylie's life hangs in the balance, Mike finds himself in a race against time to unearth a corruption far deeper than he could have imagined . . .
 


My thoughts: Mike Denton is a good guy and police officer.  Life happens to him and turns his world upside down.  He faces many personal trials, but continues to push ahead and do the best he can.  His big problem, he has a corrupt partner who sets him up for a suspension and release from the force.

This book is told from Mike's perspective.  The voice is in the first person.  Events unfold through his experiences and thought process.  Clair Poulson did a great job at keeping the story consistent and interesting.  I enjoyed the plot twists, detective work, and action.

At first it appears as if there are two separate cases going on.  Mike meets a young woman, Skylie, on an airplane headed to New Zealand.  His protective nature immediately takes over when it appears as if she is in danger.  It quickly becomes apparent that the cases are linked.  The story and plot take off from there taking the reader on an adventure with danger and mystery.

There is violence in the book.






Purchase Links: 

About the Author: (Taken from Goodreads)
Clair M. Poulson was born and raised in Duchesne, Utah. His father was a rancher and farmer, his mother a librarian. Clair has always been an avid reader, having found his love for books as a very young boy.

He has served for forty years in the criminal justice system. Twenty years were spent in law enforcement, ending his police career with eight years as the Duchesne County Sheriff. For the past twenty years Clair has worked as a justice court judge for Duchesne County. Clair is also a veteran of the US Army where he was a military policeman. He has served on various boards and councils during his professional career, including the Justice Court Board of Judges, Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, Utah Judicial Council, Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, an FBI advisory board and others.

In addition to his criminal justice work, Clair has farmed and ranched all of his life. He has raised many kinds of animals, but his greatest interest is horses.

Clair has served in many capacities in the LDS church, including fulltime missionary (California Mission) bishop, counselor to bishop, young men president, high councilor, stake mission president, scoutmaster, High Priest group leader, etc. He currently serves as a Sunday School teacher.

Clair is married to Ruth, and together, they have five children, all of whom are married: Alan (Vicena) Poulson, Kelly Ann (Wade) Hatch, Amanda (Ben) Semadeni, Wade (Brooke) Poulson, and Mary (Tyler) Hicken. Between them they have twenty-three children. Clair and Ruth met while both were students at Snow College and were married in the Manti temple.

Clair has always loved telling his children, and later his grandchildren, make-up stories. His vast experience in life and his love of literature has always contributed to both his telling stories to children and his writing of adventure and suspense novels.  

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