Thursday, July 19, 2018

Looking for a "Great Summer Read" ~ try "Relics of the Divine" by Stephen R Watts




Stephen R. Watts was born and raised at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains in Northern Utah, where he developed a love for stories at a very young age. Having spent his adolescence creating alternate worlds where he could escape the hardships of mental illness, Stephen wanted nothing more than to grow up and write his own epic tales capable of entertaining readers in ways that reminds them of their untold worth. Stephen’s debut novel was a fourteen-year labor of love, and when he isn’t studying story craft he can be found traveling the world or spending quality time with his family in Salt Lake City.






When sixteen-year-old Harius is chosen to guard a mystic key and sword, he’s sure there’s been some mistake. Protecting the divine relics requires the celestial flame, a power that only mystic warriors can wield. And while Harius is training to become such a warrior, he’s lacked the faith needed to access the flame ever since his mother’s tragic death.

Despite his doubts, Harius accepts the calling at a time when evil forces threaten to destabilize his world. As the son of his nation’s most controversial leader, Harius soon becomes a delegate to a foreign land filled with technological marvels capable of saving his ancient race of winged men. Acquiring the necessary tech won’t be easy, though, as the king of this land won’t share it unless Harius uses the celestial flame to rescue the royal family from a foe out to conquer the realm.

With so much resting on his fragile faith, Harius fears he will ultimately fail. Yet, amid all the danger he will learn that the relics he guards hold the secret to not only restoring his faith, but to revealing his untold destiny.




Author Interview:

1)     What is your favorite book that is not yours?

“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak. The author’s narrative style and unique point of view of one of history’s most savage wars provided a fascinating look at human existence, reminding me as the reader that it’s not where you come from, but who you are as an individual that defines the quality of your character.

2)     Do you write in multiple genres? Which genre is your favorite to write?

Since the only books I’ve written so far have been for an epic fantasy series, I will have to say that this is my favorite genre to write. I do love science fiction, though, and wish to one day try my had at writing a sci-fi trilogy I’ve been playing around with for a while now.

3)     How young were you when you started writing?

I would say that I first tried my hand at writing novels when I was in middle school, though I’ve never finished any of those books. As far as creating stories, though, I can recall imagining a slew of epic tales as far back as the second grade.

4)     If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be and why?

Of all my favorite authors, I would say I would want to meet Charles Dickens above all others. His novels, such as “A Christmas Carol,” are rich with symbolism that speaks about humanity in ways that transcends the time period in which it was written—and that is something I’ve aspired to achieve in my own writing.

5)     How long does it take you to write a book, and what was your fastest book to write?

As far as rough drafts  go, the fastest I’ve ever written a book was a month. It was during an advanced fiction writing course I took in college, in which the professor had me and my peers simply write the book without editing it. The manuscript I churned out for that course turned out to be my debut novel, which took six years and many revisions to get it ready for press. (Don’t ask me how many revisions it took, for I stopped counting after fifteen.)

6)     What is your favorite thing to do in the summertime?


Road trips/travel. I love visiting new places I’ve never been before, and when I can afford it I will take entire weeks out of my schedule to go on a trip that not only feeds my need for adventure, but also provides me with experiences that help me improve my stories.





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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Matchmakers Match by Brittany Larsen ~ Blog Tour with a giveaway!


The Matchmaker's Match by Brittany LarsenThe Matchmaker's Match by Brittany Larsen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received from publisher for review.
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Description Eliza Woodhouse has everything a girl could want: a delightful little beachside flower shop, a loving family, and the best friend a girl could ask for. And while she suffers a chronic lack of romance in her own life, the bohemian beauty is a self-proclaimed matchmaker extraordinaire, as evidenced by her recent successes. Having found a fiancĂ© for her sister and a boyfriend for her best friend, she is now taking her lovelorn new employee under her wing. Yes, life is working out quite nicely for Eliza. Until Parker Knightley walks back into her life.

After three years in Hong Kong, Parker is in town for his brother's upcoming wedding to Eliza's sister. They've all known each other their whole lives, and Eliza will never be anything but Little Liza Belle to her handsome childhood tormenter. So the fact that their siblings are getting married simply puts Parker one step closer to becoming the big brother he and Eliza have always joked about him being. But the more time they spend together, the more confused Eliza's feelings become. Because she has come to the shocking realization that the role of brother is the last role she wants Parker to play in her life.



My thoughts: This is a cute book. It is set in the modern day, but it is a retelling of Jane Austen's "Emma". The characters are successful with good intentions, but things do not always turn out the way expected.

Eliza Woodhouse is a self proclaimed match-maker. Because she has had two successes, she thinks that she knows how to find someone the perfect match. Her intentions are good, but things don't work out the way she thinks they will. The characters are fun. I enjoyed Eliza, her best friend, the girl she is helping out, and Parker.

I liked the pacing of the book. Nothing feels rushed, it feels like a natural progression of events. The humor is great, and the setting is also well done. There really isn't anything that I didn't like/enjoy about this book.

If you enjoy a re-telling, or just want to read a good romance, you should pick this one up. It is a clean story with some kissing.


Online Purchase Links:


Brittany Larsen
About the Author: (Taken from Amazon) Brittany Larsen may be an Idaho girl living in California, but at heart she is English. She loves all things Jane Austen and counts the time she and her husband viewed the couch where Emily Bronte died as one of their most romantic moments ever. Sadly, he has no recollection of it. When not reading nineteenth century English literature or writing her own romances, Brittany loves spending time with her three incredible daughters, Emma, Tess, and Jane, and her amazingly supportive husband, Shawn.

Enter the Tour Giveaway:
(Prize and winner notification will be provided by Covenant Communications)


Visit the Tour Stops: 


Get "The Irresistible Groom" by Cami Checketts for 99 cents today!




A vivacious sports agent loses her memory and her safe, perfectly-planned life. The only hope is a tough security specialist who for some reason she’s never allowed herself to fall for.
Claire Tucker is a feisty and successful sports agent. When she wakes up with amnesia she has to rely on a handsome security specialist, which doesn't seem too bad ... until she learns she's known him for years and has repeatedly rejected his date offers. When Brig proves irresistible to her, she realizes she needs to guard her heart until she gets some answers or her past will catch up to her. 
Brig Hunsaker has everything he needs, except the sassy lady he’s had a crush on for years. When Claire is injured, and the hospital staff believe he’s her fiancĂ©, he finally gets the chance to protect her and prove he’s worth taking a chance on.


Get it on Amazon today!



Monday, July 16, 2018

Great Summer Reads ~ Awaken by Marcia Maidana



Marcia was born and raised in Argentina during the military regime which ended with the loss of many young lives in the invasion of the Falkland Islands. Amidst the devastating effects of military government and war, reading and writing became a passion which expanded and transported her imagination with the possibility of a brighter future.

At the age of eighteen, she moved to the United States, where she studied English and started her own family. She soon discovered that the love she has for her husband and children would naturally unfold towards her European roots, leading her to become a genealogist and family historian. A decade of searching, compiling, and learning the stories of thousands of people has instilled in her a profound gratitude for the strong ties that can be achieved in families through personal sacrifice.

So it is that through fiction, Awaken explores and exposes the characteristics of true love and loyalty in times of fear, war, and finally, death. But perhaps the most captivating element in the story is the battle within the souls of the main characters as they search to know who they really are and how they are connected.

~ Facebook



Could there exist a love powerful enough to overcome the grave?

Hard times during the Great Depression force nineteen-year-old Florence to leave her service at the monastery and seek employment. Fate brings her to work for a wealthy recluse, General Alexander Sterling. Despite many daunting events and a meddling housekeeper with dark secrets of her own, Florence and the General find themselves falling deeply in love.

What she doesn’t know is that General Sterling has left his native country escaping a painful past, one he yearns to forget. Destiny won’t allow it as he meets Florence, whose resemblance to his deceased wife is unbearable. Could Florence actually be the same woman who still owns his heart and haunts his dreams?

When their blossoming romance is shattered by an explosive truth, a mysterious stranger gives her an opportunity to go back in time to unlock the secret to her existence. Florence must strive to return to the present time to save their relationship from the imminent
 danger that awaits them.



Author Interview:

1.     What is your favorite book that is not yours?

And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie

2.     Do you write in multiple genres? Which genre is your favorite to write?

I love writing a combination of genres. Awaken is a mixture of romance, mystery, time travel, and action with a supernatural twist.

3.     How young were you when you started writing?

I started writing short stories when I was about eight years old.

4.     If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be and why?

I would meet Agatha Christie. She had an incredible ability to capture the reader’s attention. She was a master of showing through her writings the difficulties facing society. So believable were her characters that when her famous detective, Hercule Poirot, passed away, The New York Times honored him in their obituary page.

5.     How long does it take you to write a book, and what was your fastest book to write?

Awaken took me a few years to write since I was doing it for fun and didn’t have much time to work on it. Awaken’s sequel took me about nine months.

6.     What is your favorite thing to do in the summertime?


In the summer I enjoy traveling, swimming and being outdoors.





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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Great Summer Reads ~ Featuring Author Emily-Jane Hills Orford







There are so many possibilities that affect the course of history. One change, one small item overlooked, can make a world of difference, not only in a person's life, but in the history and well-being of an entire nation. And then there are those multiple scenarios of what if? 

What if King James VI of Scotland didn't succeed in amalgamating Scotland with England? What if there had been another heir to the throne of Scotland? One who would secure its independence? Would Scotland have remained free and independent and a nation of its own well into the twenty-first century? And would Scotland, this independent version, make its own decision to join the European Union when its southern neighbor was choosing to pull away?


"Queen Mary's Daughter" presents another plausible timeline, one that incorporates both historical fact and fiction with the endless possibilities of time travel.







Emily-Jane Hills Orford is an award-winning author of several books, including Gerlinda (CFA 2016) which received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, To Be a Duke (CFA 2014) which was named Finalist and Silver Medalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. She writes about the extra-ordinary in life and her books, short stories, and articles are receiving considerable attention. For more information on the author, check out her website at: http://emilyjanebooks.ca


Facebook Goodreads ~ 
Website ~ Twitter ~ Blog ~










Character Casting:

I’m not sure I’d be very good at casting. The only character I can truly associate with an actor is Mary Elizabeth’s grandmother. 

I think Jane Seymour would fit the grandmother’s role perfectly. All the women are strong characters, passionate, believing strongly in their cause, in their purpose in life. This is definitely a powerful woman’s story. 




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Friday, July 13, 2018

Great Summer Reads ~ Featuring Lauren H Salisbury





Lauren H Salisbury was an English teacher for sixteen years with an MA in Education. She is now a writer who dabbles with tutoring and lives with her husband and a room full of books in Yorkshire, England. 

She likes to spend winters abroad, following the sunshine and becoming the seasonal envy of her friends. When she’s not writing, she can be found spending time with family, reading, walking, crafting, or cooking. Courage is her debut novel.



Can one woman evade an alien empire to save her son's life?

Gilla and Elias have the perfect life—or as perfect as life can be for slaves living deep in the Esarelian Empire. Elias wants freedom for his precious wife and daughter, and the rest of their people, and he is willing to fight to get it. Pregnant with her second child, Gilla only wants a happy, healthy family who share a strong faith in the God of Old Earth and to get through her workload each day. 


When the Esarelians decide to teach their rebellious slaves a lesson they will never forget, Gilla’s entire life is turned upside down. She must trust that God has a plan to protect her new-born son, and have the courage to follow it, choosing the strangest of allies in an effort to ensure his survival.


Courage is a science fiction retelling of the Biblical story of Moses’s birth. It has strong, quirky characters, strange alien worlds, and a gripping plot with a twist on the original.

The next book in this Series is available in September! Find out more about that book HERE!


Character Casting:
Gilla
I'd like you to meet Gilla Trestam, the main character in Courage. Here she is, as she appears at the start of the story. I never truly considered how wrong it seemed for Gilla to be doing manual labour while 7 months pregnant until I actually saw her in her uniform. It’s clear that something on planet U’du needs to change – and soon!

Name: Gilla Trestam.
Age: 30 at the start of the series.
Status: Married to Elias, one child (Mira, 7) and pregnant with her second.
Position: Slave worker in the manufacturing sector on planet U’du, proficient in wiring circuitry and systems testing.
Appearance: Average height (5ft 7in), athletic build, warm brown eyes, long dark-brown hair reaches to her waist.
Attributes: Calm, nurturing, peace keeper, intelligent, firm believer in Old Earth’s God, good singing voice.
Favourite Activity: Singing the songs of Old Earth, passed down by her grandmother, to her children.


Reemah
Let me also introduce Ra'hos Reemah, one of the Esarelian characters from Courage. Reemah fills the role of the Egyptian princess in the Biblical account of Moses, and more of her story is told in Strength, the third book in The Legacy Chronicles.

Name: Reemah, First Daughter of Ashal of Esarel.
Age: 256 at the start of the series.
Status: Single
Position: Ra’hos (member of the Esarelian royal family).
Appearance: Tall for a female (8ft approx.), thin, toned, violet eyes signal Ra’hos lineage.
Attributes: Rebellious, intelligent, easily bored, great pilot, craves space and speed, odd for an Esarelian – doesn’t like political games, feels stifled by her role, dislikes sycophants, often lonely.
Favourite expression: Solid!
Favourite activity: Racing arrows (military fighter craft).







To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event Page