Monday, October 5, 2015

Blog Tour ~ "The Caretaker's Guide to Fablehaven" by Brandon Mull + Tour Giveaway

Caretakers Guide to Fablehaven (1)

Caretakers Guide to FablehavenThe Caretaker's Guide to Fablehaven by Brandon Mull This guidebook to the Fablehaven magical preserve is filled with everything a new Caretaker might need to know in order to survive. There are entries detailing important information about artifacts large and small, a complete bestiary of creatures (from fairies to trolls to satyrs), a guide to identifying demons, dragons, and wizards as well as valuable insights into the other magical preserves. Immerse yourself into the secret knowledge that has been handed down through the generations by reading the updates and notes written in the margins by the former Caretakers of Fablehaven, including Grandpa Sorenson, Kendra, and Seth. Fully-illustrated, this unique encyclopedia has gathered the world of Fablehaven into one volume.

My thoughts:  My family is a fan of the Fablehaven series.  All of the books sit  proudly on a bookshelf in my home.  They have been read several times!

This book is a beautifully done companion to the  books.  It describes the artifacts, creatures, etc of the Fablehaven books with illustrations.  For anyone who has read the books this adds another dimension of appreciation for the books.  If you haven't read the books, you should!

I took a picture of the a page on my tablet.  I received an ebook copy to review and I wanted to share how great the illustrations are.  I can imagine this book on parchment paper in the physical book form.  The picture below doesn't do the book justice.

 If you have a child who is fascinated by magical creatures, this may be a fun book to look at and discuss.

Order your copy at:

Fablehaven Caretakers

  Excerpt from Introduction If you are in possession of this book you are assumed to be the caretaker or an apprentice caretaker of Fablehaven. By now you’ve been introduced to the world of mythical and magical creatures. However, there is still much to learn. Previous caretakers of Fablehaven thought it would be helpful to create aCaretaker’s Guide specifically for those tasked with the job of nurturing, protecting, and surviving this preserve and its inhabitants. Do not be fooled. Fablehaven is an unpredictable and dangerous place. However, the collective knowledge gathered within the pages of this bestiary will give you the knowledge and wisdom needed to not only survive but to thrive. The creatures of Fablehaven are either light or dark, not necessarily good or evil. In order to be good, one must recognize the difference between right and wrong and strive to choose the right. To be truly evil one must do the contrary. Being good or evil is a choice. This is not so with the creatures of Fablehaven. What they are largely governs how they act. Some are inherently builders, some are nurturers, some are playful. Some are inherently destroyers, some are deceivers, some crave power. Some love light, some love darkness. But change their nature, and without much resistance, their identities follow. Like a fairy becoming an imp, or an imp regaining her fairyhood. Much counsel and advice has been passed down through generations and given to the new caretakers of this preserve. Perhaps the most invaluable piece of advice that has ever been given is this: Those who are careful to cause no mischief, work no magic, and inflict no harm are protected by the foundational treaty of Fablehaven. This truth alone may be your strongest ally and your only defense. One final note. The signs leading up to the front gate were not always there. In the late eighteenth century, before the guest register that controls access to Fablehaven was created, two poachers entered the property in search of big game. Needless to say, they found it. Or it found them. Many days later, the resident caretaker found them as well. Or at least he found their bodies of petrified stone. And thus the first signs outside the gates of Fablehaven were posted. As caretaker you have accepted a most noble assignment. Keep your eyes open. Obey with exactness. Take risks only as the last resort and you will have a better chance at seeing another sunrise. Welcome to Fablehaven.

BrandonAuthor Brandon Mull Brandon Mull is the author of the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling Beyonders and Fablehaven series. Brandon resides in a happy little valley near the mouth of a canyon with his wife and four children. He spent two years living in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile where he learned Spanish and juggling. He once won a pudding eating contest in the park behind his grandma’s house, earning a gold medal.

$25 Blog Tour giveaway $25 Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon eGift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/28/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an eGift Card 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

Saturday, October 3, 2015

DVD Review ~ "The Cokeville Miracle" + giveaway

On May 16, 1986, in the small, ranching community of Cokeville, Wyoming, David and Doris Young took an elementary school hostage for several hours before detonating a bomb inside a classroom that held every teacher and student in the school. In the wake of the madness, Ron Hartley, whose children were inside the classroom, must fight his skepticism and unbelief as he hears eyewitness accounts from the students about miraculous, heavenly intervention during the crisis. When tragedy strikes ... what do you see?

My thoughts:  This film touched me so deeply that I feel at a loss for words to tell you what I think of it.

In May of 1986 I was a Sophomore in High School.  I do not remember this event happening.  I wish that I did. The miracles that saved a school full of children are simply amazing.

I thought that the actors did a wonderful job in their portrayals.  The emotion was so well done.  They really brought this true story to life.  I cried watching it and I'm teary eyed writing this.

I HIGHLY recommend this movie.  It's definitely one that I will keep and watch again.  This is a story that will always be something that I remember from now on.

My Rating is 5 of 5 stars (Can I give it a 10?)
I received a copy of this DVD from Deseret Book in exchange for an honest opinion.

Purchase Links:

Deseret Book has graciously offered blogs participating in reviewing this movie a copy to give away.  This will be for US addresses only.  Use the rafflecopter form to enter.  See terms and conditions to the right and in the bottom of the form.  This contest will end on October 7, 2015.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Blog Tour ~ "Played for a Fool" by Stephanie Black + tour giveaway!

Played for a FoolPlayed for a Fool by Stephanie Black
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Suspense

Book Description:  Three years ago, the small town of Britteridge was rocked by the senseless murder of Gail Ludlum. Now the people most affected by the tragedy have returned to the place where it all began, and the scene is set for the perfect revenge . . .
Megan O’Connor’s life was shattered when she was unwittingly drawn into a kidnapping plot that ultimately led to the murder of an innocent woman. Though the road to redemption has been long, she’s finally found happiness with her recent engagement to a wonderful man, a pillar of the community. But amid the chaos of wedding planning, the return of Gail Ludlum’s son to Britteridge sets in motion a disturbing sequence of events. Soon Megan finds herself the victim of a series of cruel deceptions that indicate one thing: her past mistakes have not been forgiven or forgotten. As the mischief escalates to dangerous levels, it becomes clear that someone is determined to avenge Gail’s death. And he won’t rest until he’s taken a life for a life.

My thoughts: Three years ago Meagan was fooled by her identical twin into giving her an alibi for a crime. That story is found in Fool Me Twice. Unfortunately I did not read that book before reading this one. It took me a while to get caught up with the story.

This book is well written and full interesting characters. You know from the beginning who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. Meagan is such a sweet and likable person. She has a forgiving nature and it is easy to see how she allowed herself to be placed in a bad situation.

The mastermind bad guy is a vindictive turkey (for lack of a better word). He is not forgiving and lets it rule his actions.  Eventually his plans spin out of control.

The book is full of suspense. It is very easy to get caught up in the story and the characters.

This is the first book of Stephanie Black's that I have read. It definitely will not be the last. I realize that I have a couple of her books on my TBR shelf and I look forward to reading them. I really want to read "Fool Me Twcice"!

This book contains religious references but it is not a major theme of the book.

Purchase Links:

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Deseret Book

About the Author: (taken from Deseret Book)  STEPHANIE BLACK has loved books since she was old enough to grab the pages, and has enjoyed creating make-believe adventures since she and her sisters were inventing long Barbie games filled with intrigue and danger or running around pretending to be detectives. She is a three-time Whitney Award winner for Best Mystery/Suspense, most recently forCold as Ice (2010). Stephanie was born in Utah and has lived in various places, including Arizona, Massachusetts, New York, and Limerick, Ireland. She currently lives in northern California and enjoys spending time with her husband Brian and their five children. She is a fan of chocolate, cheesecake, and her husband’s homemade bread.

Visit her WEBSITE.

Enter the tour giveaway! 

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit the tour stops:

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Blog Tour Review ~ "Mysteries of Cove: Fires of Invention" by J. Scott Savage

Fires of Invention by J. Scott Savage
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: Received from Publisher to Review
Genre: Middle Grade Steampunk

Book Description:  Trenton Colman is a creative thirteen-year-old boy with a knack for all things mechanical. But his talents are viewed with suspicion in Cove, a steam-powered city built inside a mountain. In Cove, creativity is a crime and “invention” is a curse word.

Kallista Babbage is a repair technician and daughter of the notorious Leo Babbage, whose father died in an explosion—an event the leaders of Cove point to as an example of the danger of creativity.

Working together, Trenton and Kallista learn that Leo Babbage was developing a secret project before he perished. Following clues he left behind, they begin to assemble a strange machine that is unlike anything they’ve ever seen before. They soon discover that what they are building may threaten every truth their city is founded on—and quite possibly their very lives.

My thoughts: An underground community committed to stop innovation and creativity is where this book takes place. They left the world above when they felt threatened by pollution, machines, technology, etc.

Trenton is a boy who has mind that can't help think of new ways to make things better. He can calculate math in his head and see's possibilities all around him. An unfortunate incident threatens his creative mind and he is reminded to conform. He discovers a curious object that has technology he is unfamiliar with and begins to ask questions.

The book is so well written it captured my attention from the beginning. Trenton is a great character and getting to know his friends and enemies was a treat. This book has so much imagination that it is sure to do well with it's target middle grade readers.

About the Author: (Taken from Goodreads)  J. Scott Savage is the author of the Farworld series, the Case File 13 series, and the Mysteries of Cove series. He grew up in Northern California and now lives in Utah with his wife and four children.

Scott has held too many jobs to count, including: a mall Santa, French chef, CEO of a dot com, plumber, radio station talk show host, and the guy who sits in the little photo developing booth. He has completed one marathon and hopes to complete another when the memories finally fade away. He loves reading, writing, camping, playing games with his family, and especially hearing from and meeting his readers. To e-mail him or schedule a visit, come to his website

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

#FREE e-book ~ "Three Little Words" by Melissa Tagg

Three Little Words by Melissa Tagg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Source: FREE from Amazon
Genre: Contemporary Romance Novella

Book Description:  Ava Kingsley and Seth Walker might be the most unlikely friends ever. The only thing these two polar opposites have in common is a knack for wordsmithing. Back in college, they were known for their written sparring in the campus newspaper's popular "He Says/She Says" column. 

At their ten-year college reunion, they pick up right where they left off. Except this time their squabbling leads to a surprising turn: friendship and a year-long exchange of emails. So when Ava approaches a crossroads in her athletics department career in Minnesota, Seth is quick to offer the open apartment above the restaurant he's been remodeling in Maple Valley, Iowa.

Ava doesn't know where her career will lead her next, but she's starting to suspect she might see Seth as more than a pen pal. Which would be exciting...except for the fact that he only sees her as a friend.

As Maple Valley grows on her, Ava wonders if there might be something here for her even though Seth is unavailable. And maybe, just maybe, after all the words the two of them have exchanged over the years, they'll finally be able to say the three that matter most.

Three Little Words is an e-only novella that gives an exciting introduction to Melissa Tagg's new series about the charismatic Walker family and the endearing town of Maple Valley!

My thoughts: This is a very sweet novella. I loved how the relationship between Ava and Seth progressed. They start out as rivals, become friends, and then realize that they love each other. It wasn't a quick romance, but one that developed. I loved that.

This is a clean romance novella. I "purchased" it free from Amazon. It's wonderful and fosters an interest in the Walker Family series.

Get your FREE copy at:

Monday, September 28, 2015

#FREE e-book "Rewind to You" by Laura Johnston

Young adult clean romance for FREE?!? Yes, please!

REWIND TO YOU by Laura Johnston is FREE on all major online eBook retailers through the first week of October, so be sure to click one of the links below and DOWNLOAD!

One last summer before college on beautiful Tybee Island is supposed to help Sienna forget. But how can she? This is where her family spent every summer before everything changed, before the world as she knew it was ripped away.

But the past isn’t easily left behind. Especially when Sienna keeps having episodes that take her back to the night she wants to forget. Even when she meets the mysterious Austin Dobbs, the guy with the intense blue eyes, athlete’s body, and weakness for pralines who scooped her out of trouble when she blacked out on River Street.

When she’s with Austin, Sienna feels a whole new world opening up to her. Austin has secrets, and she has history. But caught between the past and the future, Sienna can still choose what happens now…

  “Johnston’s debut spotlights romance and familial relationships, including themes like grief and self-sacrifice. It’s an ideal story for readers looking for a deep-rooted YA love story with the emotional ups and downs and poignancy of a Nicholas Sparks contemporary. There’s also a touch of wit and a sigh-worthy hero – a definite on your TBR list.”
– RT Book Reviews

Tackle Your TBR read-a-thon results. #TackleTBR

The Tackle Your TBR read-a-thon has come to a close and I am happy with my accomplishments.

This week I finished visiting all of the participants.  It was a challenge to visit the people who were linked to Goodreads.  I hit the links, but some of them gave me an error message.  I did not get through the list twice as I had hoped to do.  I did visit some of the blogs on multiple occasions.

I read all but one of the books I set out to read.  I had planned to read nine books that I had listed, but I read a different book just because I wanted to.  I did read nine books, but only eight of them were on my list of goals.

I did not participate in all of the challenges and giveaways, but I did do several.

Here are my original goals.

I plan on visiting each participant twice.

Here are the books I plan to read.

1. Second  Chance Ranch by Liz Isaacson
2. Simply Anna by Jennifer Moore
3. Bearskin by Jamie Robyn Wood
4. Hearts Journey by Kristen McKendry
5. A Thankful Heart by David A Christensen

There are two books that I have written down to read during the time period.  The second is  a prequel novella to a series that I received to review.  It's free on Amazon, I will link it's amazon page in case anyone would like to give it a try.

1. Larken by S.G. Rogers
2. The Fool and the Dragonox by Jacob Gowans

I am embarrassed to admit that I have books that I received to review from Netgalley that I have neglected.  I plan on reading two that have were approved more than a year ago, but I have not read them yet.  

1. Here to Stay by Melissa Tagg
2. Pawn by Aimee Carter

The first week I ACCOMPLISHED: 

There are 92 participants.  I have only visited 25.  I'm behind on that one. :)

The books I have completed this week.  I am linking the reviews to the titles.

Second Chance Ranch
Simply Anna
The Fool and the Dragonox

I also read a book that was not on the list.  It was a whim and I felt like doing it, so I did!

The Admirals Penniless Bride by Carla Kelly  - I did not review this book on my blog because it contained situations that I try to avoid.

The second week I was able to read:

Heart's Journey
A Thankful Heart

I did not read "Here to Stay" but I will get it done sometime soon.

Book Review ~ "Pawn" by Aimee Carter

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)Pawn by Aimee Carter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Netgalley (I was approved to read this title in 2013)
Genre: YA Dystopian


For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country. 

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter. 

There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.

Previously titled Masked.

My thoughts: Kitty Doe has taken her test to see what she will be doing for the rest of her life.  A test taken at seventeen determines you place in society. She can't read and didn't do well and will spend her days cleaning the sewer. She is given an opportunity to have a better life without knowing the strings attached.

Now she is a Pawn in a political game of greed and ambition. Her choices can change the lives of everyone. She has to decide if she is up for the challenge and if she is willing to put her life on the line. Her hearts desire is to have a nice quite future with her boyfriend Benji. She will have to keep them both alive long enough before they can escape.

This was a very interesting Dystopian book. I was a little leery at the beginning because of the decisions put in front of Kitty. I am glad that I kept reading. The book had so much political intrigue. There were plots within plots and it was interesting when they unraveled. Aimee Carter did a wonderful job at building the plot and the suspense. It was hard to decipher who Kittie should trust. Everyone had an agenda.

If you are a fan of the dystopian genre, this is a book that you don't want to miss.  This is the first book in a series.  The second book, Captive, is out with the third, Queen, to be published in November.

This book contains violence, innuendo, and kissing.