Friday, October 28, 2016

Oppression by Jessica Therrien

Oppression (Children of the Gods Book 1)Oppression by Jessica Therrien
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received eBook copy for review and downloaded FREE on Kindle
Genre: YA Mythology

Book Description:  Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She's been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than average people, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she's closer to eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don't make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she's been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. Or so she thinks. Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Some are waiting for her to put an end to centuries of traditions that have oppressed their people under the guise of safeguarding them. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning - and she's not entirely willing to play by their rules.

I love it when a book surprises me. I admit that I looked at some of the reviews and wasn't sure how I would feel about this book. I am happy to report that it pulled me in and I really liked it.

This is a book that is based on mythology. Elyse is a descendant of the people who the Ancient Greeks considered Gods. The "Gods" weren't "Gods". They just had abilities and longevity. The people have gone underground and hide themselves and their abilities from humans.

This book begins as Elyse finds out who she is and why she is the way she is. She is in her 80's, but looks like a teen. She can heal. She has a big heart and it has been hard to see the ones she loves die while she lives.

Elyse enters a world of danger and mystery. It is hard to know who to turn to and trust. She is supposed to free her people from oppression, but is a reluctant participant.

This book has romance with some innuendo. There is violence. Innocents are killed so the people in control can prove a point. Some parts can be a little disturbing. This book is the beginning of a mythological war.

Purchase Links:

(I "Purchased" a copy for Kindle for FREE.  Check the link above and make sure it is free before you click the purchase button.)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Rip Van Winkle and the Pumpkin Lantern by Seth Adam Smith

Rip Van Winkle and the Pumpkin Lantern
Rip Van Winkle and The Pumpkin Lantern by Seth Adam Smith
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received book to review
Genre; Middle Grade Fantasy

Book Description:  Chased by a vengeful witch, hunted by an undead corpse, and guided by a secretive preacher, a boy must protect a magical lantern that can either save Boston . . . or destroy it.

In October of 1730, young Rip Van Winkle sneaks into a graveyard and comes face-to-face with the ghost of William Blaxton, the first settler of Boston. Warning Rip that the city is in danger, Blaxton gives him a mysterious gift: a pumpkin lantern with power over life and death. Before fading into midnight, the ghost tells Rip to take the lantern to Feathertop, a mythical pumpkin-headed scarecrow.

Pursued by Mistress Hibbins, a witch of terrifying power, and hunted by the nightmarish Midnight Minister, young Rip must rely on the aid of Jonathan Edwards, a stern and secretive preacher, and Nathaniel, a talkative, know-it-all raven. Guided by the magical light of the lantern, Rip races across New England to find Feathertop, save Boston, and become a most unlikely hero!

From the bestselling, award-winning author Seth Adam Smith comes The Pumpkin Lantern--a fantasy novel influenced by the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Lloyd Alexander, and C. S. Lewis. Loaded with humor, action, suspense, and fascinating American history, The Pumpkin Lantern is also a poignant fable about faith, family, and the power of life over death.

My thoughts: Seth Adam Smith has taken characters that are familiar from other stories and mashed them into this interesting and entertaining piece of Middle Grade Fantasy.

The story begins on All Hallows Eve when Abigail Van Winkle has a dream about finding a baby in the graveyard in grave with R.I.P on the headstone.  She talks her husband into looking for the baby, which they do find and name him Rip.  I must say that it is a unique way to start a book.

The book is full of imagination and characters that will fascinate children.  A scarecrow body with a pumpkin head, witches, pirates, magic.  There are so many fantastic creatures and characters that ignite imagination!

Rip was taken in by goodly parents who help others in need.  This is a valuable lesson.  Treating others kindly.  I found respect, kindness, destiny, friendship, loyalty, etc in the pages of this book.  It is perfect for the Halloween season.  It is set in the early 1700's before the US was a country.  The book follows customs and fear of witchcraft and anything unholy or unexplainable.  It is perfect for the setting of the story.  The best part is that it features a boy who becomes a hero when called upon.

I could easily picture myself reading this book to my kids when they were young.  Unfortunately, my youngest is 13 and they no longer think it is cool for mom to read out loud to them. :(

Purchase Links:

Watch the Trailer:

There is a fun webpage with characters from the book and information!  Visit

Seth Adam SmithAbout the Author: (Taken from Goodreads)  Seth Adam Smith is a best-selling, award-winning author and blogger whose writings have been translated into over thirty languages and featured on the Huffington Post, Good Morning America, Fox News, CNN, the Today show, Forbes, and many other news outlets around the world. In 2015, his book "Your Life Isn’t for You" was awarded a gold medal for inspirational memoir. 

A survivor of a suicide attempt in 2006, Seth is an advocate for resources and understanding concerning depression and suicide prevention, and he regularly writes about these topics in his books and on his blog. He and his wife, Kim, currently live in Arizona but have “belonging places” throughout the United States. He recently published "Rip Van Winkle and the Pumpkin Lantern," and is currently working on a series of historical novels set in Colonial America. Learn more at

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Getting in The Christmas Spirit! ~ The Christmas Project DVD (with a tour giveaway)

The Christmas Project

DVD Description:  Even with Christmas around the corner, for the Buckley boys, payback almost always wins out over brotherly love. That is until the four brothers join forces against a common adversary—the Hagbarts—the meanest bullies at their middle school. But now Mom has decided that the Buckley family is going to Elve the Hagbarts this year for Christmas. Eleven-year-old Matthew can hardly stand it. By day the Hagbarts torture the Buckley brothers into submission, and by night the Buckleys secretly deliver Christmas treats and gifts to their sworn enemies. Soon the war of wits escalates to an incredible scheme designed to get the ultimate revenge on the Hagbarts. But now that Matthew has been learning that he's supposed to do good to those who hate him, what will he do when a little push becomes a great big shove?The Christmas Project is a heartwarming comedy the whole family will love.

My thoughts: This book brought back a few memories of the 1980's.  It is a story that is told as a memory of the main character, Matthew Buckley.  He is remembering one Christmas where he learned about love, forgiveness, and how to win a war.  (Aggression vs. Love)

This is a feel good movie.  The way it is presented reminded me of a family friendly TV shows from years ago.  It is a little cheesy, but has  a great message.  It is full of humor and family fun.  You can't help but love the Buckley brothers and their quirky parents.

The Hagbarts are a family that you love to hate.  They don't seem to have many redeeming traits.  We see them through Matthew's eyes.  They begin to transform as Matthew begins to understand them.  I love the wisdom of the bus driver who teaches Matthew that the pen is mightier than the sword. Lives change and hearts are softened.

This is a wonderful family film that is perfect for the Holidays!

My rating:  4 of 5 stars
Source: I was sent a link to preview the film for review.

Where can you pre-order a copy?

There is a special preview opportunity for people living near Salt Lake City , Utah.  Here is a copy of the email I received from Covenant Communications.  

Next week on November 1st we're hosting a FREE screening at Jordan Commons Megaplex.  We still have some tickets available and would love for you to have the opportunity to attend and watch this fun movie on the big screen. Please share the free event with your friends, family, and on social media. Below is the link.
Tuesday, November 1st
Special Screening | The Christmas Project
Jordan Commons Megaplex

Tickets are FREE

Enter the Tour Giveaway!  (This giveaway is sponsored by Covenant Communications, they will notify the winner and distribute the prize.)

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Defenders of the Family by Benjamin Hyrum White - Blog Tour


Defenders of the FamilyDefenders of the Family by Benjamin Hyrum White
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received eBook from Publisher to Review
Genre: Children's Picture Book / Religion

Book Description:  Defenders of the Family, assemble! God’s magnificent plan for us rests upon the strength of the family. In this engaging children’s book, discover the roles and teachings needed to unite your family, from devoted parents to extended members, all centered on the power of the gospel. Help your children see their families as they can be: incredible, empowered, eternal followers of Jesus.

My thoughts: In today's world it is important for families to share their beliefs on the nature of family. This book takes a look at the the LDS beliefs of the Plan of Salvation and the place that families have in that plan. It is a cute way for parents to sit down with children and discuss their beliefs.

This book is written and illustrated as a comic book. It is easy to follow and opens a forum for discussing why we have families and how to defend the sanctity of family. It showed many different kinds of families and how each person has a treasured place.

This book is based off of religious beliefs.

Purchase Links:

About the Author:  Ben began an epic comic book collection as a boy and always cheered for the good guys like Spider-man. He developed his superpower of dancing and met his beautiful wife Keenan at BYU while part of the International Folk Dance Ensemble. They now live in Utah Valley with their five children where he teaches seminary. Ben enjoys dates with his wife, cheering on sports teams with his sons, and having dance parties in the driveway with his girls. He is also the author of the children’s book “I Hope They Call Me on a Mission.” He has also authored two more books: “10 Questions to Answer While Preparing for a Mission” and “10 Questions to Answer After Serving a Mission.”

Visit the Tour Stops:

October 11: Myself as Written
October 12: Rockin’ Book Reviews
October 13: My Book a Day
October 14: Brookie Cowles
October 15: A Little Too Jolley
October 16: Brooklyn Berry Designs
October 17: The Write Path | My Little Sunshines
October 18: I Am a Reader
October 19: Singing Librarian Books
October 20: Reidhead Random-ness
October 21: Mel’s Shelves
October 22: Eccentric Eclectic Woman
October 23: Katie’s Clean Book Collection
October 24: Bookworm Lisa
October 25: The Morrell Tale | Sweetly Made
October 26: I Love to Read and Review Books
October 27: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books | Little Red Reads
October 28: Making Life a Bliss Complete | The Things I Love Most

Saturday, October 22, 2016

For This We Are Soldiers by Carla Kelly


For This We Are Soldiers: Tales of the Frontier Army

For This We Are Soldiers by Carla Kelly
Rating: of 5 stars
Source: Received from Publisher To Review
Genre: Historical Romance

Book Description:  From master storyteller Carla Kelly comes this collection of frontier tales that take you behind typical army lines and into the hearts of ordinary men and women who perform extraordinary acts of bravery. From handsome hospital stewards and dashing soldiers to courageous children and wives who will pull at your heartstrings, there’s something for everyone’s fancy.

My thoughts: As I read the introduction of this collection of stories I wasn'the surprised to learn that Carla Kelly is a historian.  It made perfect sense because I have always admired her attention to detail in her historical fiction.

This collection centers around the Indian Wars.  Each story is unique. The characters and circumstances are different.  All  tell the story of soldiers, families, and some of blossoming romance.  The people in the stories are resilient and illustrate the hard life that many led. The stories feel as if they are reflections of the past.

This is another wonderful book from an amazing author.

Purchase Links:

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,” “My Loving Vigil Keeping,” and “Softly Falling.”

Visit her WEBSITE!

Visit the Tour Stops:

October 11: Writing Worm
October 12: Heidi Reads
October 13: Live to Read
October 14: Singing Librarian Books | Literary Time Out
October 15: I Am a Reader
October 16: I Love to Read and Review Books
October 17: Bookworm Nation
October 18: Emmy Mom
October 19: Robyn Echols Books
October 20: Getting Your Read On | Wishful Endings
October 21: LDS and Lovin’ It
October 22: Bookworm Lisa
October 23: Books and Benches
October 24: Blooming with Books | Julie Coulter Bellon
October 25: Bookworm2Bookworm
October 26: Katie’s Clean Book Collection
October 27: My Book a Day | Rockin’ Book Reviews
October 28: Fire and Ice

Friday, October 21, 2016

Kept Secrets by Traci Hunter Abramson (Blog Tour + giveaway)

Kept Secrets

Kept Secrets by Traci Hunter Abramson
Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: Received from Publisher to Review
Genre: Suspense/Romance

Book Description:  Unexpectedly reunited after six years, high school sweethearts Devin Shanahan and Grace Harrington cross paths and have a whirlwind wedding. A lot can change in six years, however, and they must figure out how to make their two independent lives mesh.

Unable to disclose his CIA job to his new wife, when Devin is assigned a top-secret mission to Hong Kong, he tells Grace part of the truth: that he is going to work abroad for six months in finance. But when the mission turns deadly and Devin doesn't know whom to trust, he must make the most difficult decision of his life in an effort to keep Grace safe. Will the seeds of deception prove destructive to their newly formed marriage? And will the love that brought them together be the very thing their enemies use to tear them apart?

My thoughts: Suspense, action, romance, international spying are some of the things you will find in this book.

For me the most compelling part is a young couple in love.  They are doing their best to keep together a long distance marriage.  The emotional toll drew me in.  They desperately want to be together while outside forces try to draw them apart.

 Traci Hunter Abramson knows how to write suspense.  She keeps the adrenaline high and the reader highly motivated to turn the page, even when you know sleep is really a good idea. (Yes, this book is hard to put down.)

This book is romantically clean, but contains violence.

Purchase Links:

Enter the Tour Giveaway: 
This giveaway is sponsored by Covenant Communications. Prize and notification of winner will be coming from them.

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Visit the Tour Stops:

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop! (International)

I think this is my favorite hop of the year.  It is the first hop that I joined back when I started this blog in October 2010.  Thanks Mary from BookHounds for organizing this!

This giveaway is International.  As long as the Book Depository ships to your country, you are good to enter.  I believe that everyone really wants to pick their own books, so that is what I am offering.  You can choose the book you want from the Book Depository (Amazon if you live in the Unites States)  that is $15 or less (US $).

Entry is simple. Use the rafflecopter form! (Terms and Conditions are found in the bottom of the form and to the right.)

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The Sound of Silver by Rachelle Rea

The stalwart saint and the redeemed rebel. One fights for faith, the other for honor…
After Dirk rescues Gwyneth from the Iconoclastic Fury, she discovers that faith is sometimes fragile—and hope is not as easy as it may seem. Gwyneth continues her quest to learn more about the love of God preached by Protestants she once distrusted.
Meanwhile, Dirk’s quest is to prevent his sullied name from staining hers. Will his choice to protect her prove the undoing of her first faltering steps toward a Father God? Once separated, will Dirk and Gwyneth’s searching hearts ever sing the same song?

Hello and welcome to The Sound of Silver birthday blog tour! I’m posting today about Rachelle Rea Cobb’s second installment in the Steadfast Love series, an inspirational historical romance set during the 16th century!

Rachelle is also the author of The Sound of Diamonds, the first book in the series, and a newlywed! This summer, she married a man with the same first name as the hero of the series! I’m joining in this blog tour to tell you a little more about Silver and spread the news about the rocking giveaway Rachelle is hosting—make sure you enter using the Rafflecopter form to win the lovely necklace pictured and your choice of any of the Steadfast Love titles!

About the Series:

In 16th-century Europe, the Reformation rages between Protestants and Catholics. Gwyneth, half-Dutch, flees from England to Holland to escape the man who murdered her parents. When he follows her there and insists he came to rescue her, will she trust this man called Dirk? When tragedy strikes, will their steadfast love erode?
The Sound of Diamonds (Steadfast Love, #1)The Sound of Silver (Steadfast Love #2)The Sound of Emeralds (Steadfast Love, #3)

About the Author: 

B1f6anioHnS._UX250_Times gone by snatch Rachelle Rea Cobb close, so she reads and writes about years long ago--her passions include the Reformation, Revolutions, and romance. Rachelle wrote the Steadfast Love series during college. Five months after she graduated, she signed a three-book deal with her dream publisher, WhiteFire. She's a homeschool grad, Oreo addict, and plots her novels while driving around her dream car, a pick-up truck. In June 2016, she married a man with the same name as her fictional hero, and they live happily ever after in Small Town, South.

Q&A With Rachelle:

1. When and where did you first get the idea for the Steadfast Love Series?

A song I was listening to on the radio inspired the title of the first book. So I wrote Diamonds, but when I finished it, I realized to my great frustration that the characters weren’t done with their story, even though I had been quite adamant that I would write a stand-alone novel. But the story wasn’t finished, so I kept writing.

2. Readers often pick out favorite quotes from a novel. Do you have a favorite of your own from The Sound of Silver?

Yes! In fact, my friend Mindy, a calligrapher, even created a beautiful piece of art from one of my favorite quotes: “Within the pages of books one’s heart can be revealed.”

3. Can you tell us what first drew you to writing Inspirational Historical Romance?

My first exposure to the genre came when I read Heartsong Presents novels when I was twelve. Those small books introduced me to how much I believe in the power of story, especially love stories set in times gone by.

4. I saw on your website that you also write reviews, articles and offer editing services. What's one of your favorite things beyond writing novels that you enjoy?

Editing is such fun! I daresay I enjoy editing a page full of my own (or others’!) words just as much as I enjoy splashing words onto a blank page.

Enter the Tour Giveaway:

Displaying Silver Faith Hope Love Necklace.jpgEnter using the Rafflecopter form below to win a beautiful necklace created by Baubles, Beads, and Stuff and your choice of any one of Rachelle’s three books (the series begins in Book One, of course, but in case you have one or two of her books already, Rachelle will gladly send you the next one to read!).

International friends, the paperback & necklace giveaway is open to continental U.S. addresses only (sorry!). But do still enter, because one international winner will also be chosen to receive an e-book.
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