Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Daughters of Jared by H.B. Moore

Daughters of JaredDaughters of Jared by H.B. Moore
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: LDS Fiction



Book Description:  From the Book of Ether comes a haunting story of two royal sisters. The elder sister, Ash, will do anything to bring her father, King Jared II, back to the throne. The younger sister, Naiva, only wants to save her family from destruction. The bond of sisterhood becomes precariously fragile when one man . . . named Akish . . . falls in love with the younger sister, Naiva. Yet he chooses to marry the elder sister.

The sisters’ hearts are divided. And when Ash becomes queen, seduced by the promise of power and wealth, Naiva watches her world crumble away. She sees only one way out. But it will require forsaking all that she holds dear.


My thoughts; I am amazed by this book. I honestly sit here at my key board feeling the power of this story and trying to find the words to express my thoughts.

This book takes a couple of chapters from the Book of Ether in the Book of Mormon and expounds them into a story that gives me a better perspective how the events could have happened. I have always read them and moved on, never thinking much about them. The warning of secret combinations and the power of them I have recognized and taken to heart. This book brought them to life for me.

This book looks at the corruption of power. It looks at how men can be lead astray when they make bad choices and seek to do evil. There is also hope in the passages. The hope that comes with some living a life of righteousness and how God has the ultimate power. False idols and power will not sustain one in the end.

I loved the message of hope and beginnings, even in tumultuous times. This book is going on my favorites list. The story is from the Book of Mormon, but I think it can appeal to anyone.



The kindle edition is $3.99!


H.B. Moore
About the Author: (Taken from Goodreads) Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen historical novels and thrillers, written under pen name H.B. Moore. She writes women's fiction, romance and inspirational non-fiction under Heather B. Moore. This can all be confusing, so her kids just call her Mom. Heather attended Cairo American College in Egypt, the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University in Utah.


Alternate Goodreads Page: Heather B. Moore
Please join Heather's email list at: http://hbmoore.com/contact/
Blog: http://mywriterslair.blogspot.com
Website: www.hbmoore.com
Twitter: @heatherbmoore
Facebook: Fans of H.B. Moore

Literary awards: 3-time Best of State Recipient for Best in Literary Arts, 3-time Whitney Award Winner, and 2-time Golden Quill Award Winner

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Beyond the Narrows by M.R. Dubin ~ Blog Tour + giveaway



Beyond the Narrows

Beyond the Narrows by M.R. Durbin
Rating: 4.5 stars of 5 stars
Source: Received from Publisher to Review
Genre: LDS Suspense/Action

Book Description:  You’re never too old for an adventure!
After being the subject of an explosive assassination attempt, O’Reilly (Obie) Begay, a retired Navajo archaeologist, finds himself in the middle of the hunt for an ancient record—the personal journal of a Spanish Templar leading to a legendary treasure.
When Obie tracks down the journal, he enlists fellow retirees Peter, Bill, and Jack to assist him in following its clues. Facing gunfights and car chases, the treasure hunters locate a 500-year-old Mayan codex, the next clue on their adventure. Peter’s grandson, Charley, and Obie’s granddaughter, Mac, come along for the quest, but they may find themselves drawn to a different kind of treasure.
Constantly one tiny step ahead of their enemies as they scour the caves, cliffs, and canyons of Southern Utah, Obie’s team will have to rely on each other if they want to reach the treasure before their pursuers. But what will they do if not all in their numbers can be trusted?


My thoughts: The phrase that came to my mind while reading this book is "knowledge is power."

The heroes of this book are an unlikely bunch of older gentlemen.  The bond of the friends is wonderful to read.  They know each other very well and know how to relate to one another.  Their camaraderie was hilarious at points.  I was entertained every time they got together.

One thing that I really appreciated about this novel is that there is  a mix of ancient cultures.  I have always loved reading about the Mayans and the Templars.  It takes creativity to bring both of them together in a story that kept me interested.  The idea is far-fetched, but it worked for this book.  The author made it seem plausible.

I mentioned that I liked the older gentlemen. Obie and Peter were raised as brothers.  They banter back and forth and I loved every minute of it.  Obie  is Navajo and Peter is Caucasian. They are both widowers and rely on each other. Both have one grandchild, who happen to meet in this story.  A little bit of attraction between the grand-kids is a bonus!

This book has action, an ancient mystery, danger, friendship and a few other things added in the mix.  The characters are LDS and there are references made toward religion.  This is a clean book with some violence.



Purchase Links:


About the Author: (Taken from Deseret Book)  M. R. Durbin was born in Fort Ord, California, in 1951. He grew up University in 1976 with a degree in education. He later received a master’s degree in education from Utah State University. Mr. Durbin retired from education after thirty years as a teacher, coach, and principal before beginning a second career writing about the things he loves: scriptures, history, and people


Enter the Tour Giveaway:
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Monday, July 25, 2016

The Rebellious One: A Billionaire Bride Pact Romance by Jeanette Lewis

The Rebellious One: A Billionaire Bride Pact RomanceThe Rebellious One: A Billionaire Bride Pact Romance by Jeanette Lewis
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Source:Received to Review
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Description:  Holly Clarke is all set to marry the man of her dreams. Or rather, the man of her parents’ dreams. Whoever heard of a girl in 2016 America being betrothed? Holly knows she has to find a way out of the engagement—especially when she meets mysterious, sexy Jordan Fischler. But Jordan has a secret, and loving him could mean the end of everything Holly knows.


My thoughts: This is a quick and easy read. I had it finished in less than a day.

This is an installment of the Billionaire Bride Pact Romance Series. Each of the books can be read on their own and in no particular order. The premise is that teenage girls at summer camp made a pact that they would marry billionaires or have to sing the camp song at their wedding. I keep hoping that more of them will have to sing the song.

Holly is an heiress who has an arranged marriage. Her parents and their business partner decided that they would have their children marry to keep the control of the company consolidated. For some reason, Holly and her intended, Britt, have gone along with all of these years. Then comes the time when Holly begins to want more from a marriage. She wants love and romance.

This is where the book takes an interesting turn. Introduce Jordan, a handsome man who Holly finds irresistible. He is keeping a secret that could ruin everything.

I liked Holly's character. I had a hard time with an arranged marriage and Britt's thoughts about the whole thing. I wasn't fond of parents who are concerned about their own interests instead of the happiness of their children. I did like Jordan. I liked how the ending came to be.

The book is written well, there were just a couple of things that seemed unrelatable for me. I like this series, I just would like to see more of the girls find a nice stable middle class man to marry and have a happily ever after.



Get a Kindle copy for $2.99.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Shadow Study by Maria V Snyder

Shadow Study by Maria V. SnyderShadow Study by Maria V. Snyder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Netgalley (over a year ago)
Genre: Fantasy

Book Description:  Once, only her own life hung in the balance…

When Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. She survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia.

Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands—and protect her relationship with Valek.
Suddenly, though, dissent is rising. And Valek’s job—and his life—are in danger.
As Yelena tries to uncover her enemies, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked.And now she must find a way to keep not only herself but all that she holds dear alive.

A CHRONICLES OF IXIA NOVEL


My thoughts: It has been a long time since I read the Fire Study books. I do not remember a lot of the details, but I do remember Yelena and Valek and how much I enjoyed their characters. That alone made this a book that I really wanted to read. I requested it from Netgalley and was approved but waited far too long to read this book.

As I mentioned above, I didn't remember details from the first series. Fortunately, it didn't take long for me to catch up with the characters and become invested in the culture and world that Maria V. Snyder created.

I love to read Snyder's books. They are full of action and adventure. She knows how to tell a story that keeps me glued to the pages and eagerly anticipating what will happen to the characters next. It was intriguing to find out how Valek became an assassin and all of the political shenanigans going on behind the scenes. There are clues that need to be unraveled, Valek has skills and knows how to figure things out.

One of the good things about starting a series late, is that the second book is out, I don't have to wait to find out how Valek and Yelena will stop the smugglers and the political problems. I can get started on it right away! Yay for me.

This book contains violence an innuendo.




About the Author: (Taken from Goodreads) Meteorologist turned novelist, Maria's been writing fantasy and science fiction since she was bored at work and needed something creative to do. A dozen novels and numerous short stories later, Maria's learned a thing or three about writing. She’s been on the New York Times bestseller list, won a half-dozen awards, and has earned her MA degree in Writing from Seton Hill University where she's been happily sharing her knowledge with the current crop of MFA students. She also enjoys creating new worlds where horses and swords rule, 'cause let's face it, they're cool, although she's been known to trap her poor characters in a giant metal cube and let them figure out how to get out. Readers are welcome to check out her website for book excerpts, free short stories, maps, blog, and her schedule at http://www.MariaVSnyder.com.


Friday, July 22, 2016

Surrender the Past by Elizabeth Johns

Surrender the Past (Loring-Abbott, #1)Surrender the Past by Elizabeth Johns
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Purchased fro Kindle
Genre: Historical Romance



Book Description:  Elinor Abbott was only 14 years old when she and her father left England for America. Six years later, with war at their doorstep, she is forced to return to her land of birth and a life amongst the aristocracy she abhors. A return to England also means facing the man who brutally attacked her as an adolescent. Viscount Easton came to the United States at the behest of His Majesty's Army, for his last assignment. He was sent home early due to an injury and must face his new destiny as the heir to an earldom. An unexpected encounter with the unrefined beauty links Easton and Elinor together in society, and he must decide whether to save Elinor's reputation or hold on to bachelorhood. Can Elinor navigate the perils of coming out in aristocratic England and still retain her sense of identity? Can Easton help her overcome her aversion to men or will her past keep her from facing her future?


My thoughts: Secrets drive this book. There are secrets held by a few that kept me reading and wanting to find out what would happen to Elinor.

Six years ago at age 14 Elinor left her home in England to make a new life in America with her diplomat father. While grieving for her mother she became the victim of a violent crime. Leaving the past and starting anew was what she needed.

Love, trust, forgiveness, and recovery are themes in this story. Elinor struggles through many emotions as she strives to put the past behind her and find happiness in her present. She also begins to hope for the future. She is a complex character who serves and loves others with compassion. She finds contentment helping others while her nightmares reflect the turmoil she lives through.

Adam, Viscous Easton, also fights demons. His come from serving in war. He has so much to give Elinor. I really liked his character. He is also complex with his own secrets.

The book has sensitive material. Little by little the attack on Elinor is described. There is one moment in the book that is graphic in nature, but done with compassion for Elinor. It was the hardest part to read in the book. Elinor acts with mercy. I admire her character, even though I wasn't a big fan of the way the perpetrator was able to skip legal punishment. Fortunately, he is full of remorse and has paid mentally.

This book reflected hope. There is violence with Elinor revisiting her memory of her rape. There are books of Elinor's family members after this one. Yup, I plan on reading them all.



You can get it for your Kindle or Nook for 99 cents!



Elizabeth  JohnsAbout the Author: (taken from Goodreads)  Like many writers, Elizabeth Johns was first an avid reader, though she was a reluctant convert. It was Jane Austen's clever wit and unique turn of phrase that hooked Johns when she was "forced" to read Pride and Prejudice for a school assignment. She began writing when she ran out of her favorite author’s books and decided to try her hand at crafting a Regency romance novel. Her journey into publishing began with the release of Surrender the Past, book one of the Loring-Abbott Series. Johns makes no pretensions to Austen’s wit but hopes readers will perhaps laugh and find some enjoyment in her writing.

Johns attributes much of her inspiration to her mother, a retired English teacher. During their last summer together, Johns would sit on the porch swing and read her stories to her mother, who encouraged her to continue writing. Busy with multiple careers, including a professional job in the medical field, author and mother of small children, Johns squeezes in time for reading whenever possible.
Visit her WEBSITE.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Librarian Shoots a Gun: An Audrey Scott Mystery by Amber Gilchrist

The Librarian Shoots a Gun: An Audrey Scott Mystery (Audrey Scott Mysteries Book 1)The Librarian Shoots a Gun: An Audrey Scott Mystery by Amber Gilchrist
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received from Author to Review
Genre: LDS Mystery/Suspense


Book Description:  Audrey Scott is more upset for her jilted cousin than for the best man who supposedly disappeared and caused the cancellation of the wedding. That is, until the cops come around looking for him on suspicion of murder. When that very same best man, Foster McGuire, ends up bleeding in Audrey's closet, she has no choice but to try and get him off the hook for a crime he didn't commit. 

Too bad there's too many people, from an irritating homicide detective who's way too attractive for Audrey's own good, right to mob bosses, who don't want to see Foster McGuire tell his story. Audrey is no detective. In fact, she's a children's librarian. However, there's always room for some good old investigation work between story times, and she's going to use the skills she knows to follow a trail that starts with murder and ends with betrayal, with a whole lot of guns in between.


My thoughts: I am so happy that this is an "Audrey Scott Mysteries Book 1". I really enjoyed Audrey and her quirky sense of humor and willingness to step up when others step back. I also wanted there to be a little more with Detective John Smith. Maybe there will be in the future? I can only hope.

Audrey is a librarian. She loves books, she knows books. What she doesn't know is guns. That is one of the things that makes this book interesting. A bookish librarian looking for clues to help solve a murder. She is good at research, but research is only the beginning of her investigation. She also knows how to help people. She is good at seeing the needs of others and acting.  I also need to point out that she is short, you don't often get a short heroine, so I am  happy.  I have a couple of inches on her.

There are a few other characters that were part of Audrey's circle of friends that have some mystery behind them. I'm sure after this investigation that she will get to the bottom of them.

The book moves at a good pace. It didn't drag for me. I think I mentioned above how much I loved Audrey. I also enjoyed the fact that I was kept guessing at who the good guys and who the bad guys were up until the end. I had an idea, but never knew for sure.

This book is a clean suspense with characters who are LDS. Religion is important to Audrey, but not the main point of the book.



About the Author: (taken from Goodreads)  Amber Gilchrist lives in New Mexico with her husband and three children. She writes YA for upper teens, as well as LDS Romantic Comedies. She calls her lifetime of jumping from one job to another 'experience' for her books and not an inability to settle down. Amber loves mysteries and a good, happy romance. She also loves to laugh. Sometimes she likes all of them together.

A fan of quirky movies and indie books, Amber likes to be with her family, is socially inept, and fears strangers and small yippy dogs. She alternates between writing and being a mom and wife. She tries to do both at the same time but her kids don't appreciate being served lunch and told, "This is the hot dog of your discontent." So mostly she writes when everyone else is in bed.

Amber loves to hear from readers and can be reached at ambergilchristbooks@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Review of Spindle Cursed by Michelle Pennington from the Five Magic Spindles Collection

Five Magic Spindles


Book Description:  Awaken the Magic!

Emma, a good-hearted midwife, rushes to warn a neighbor about the hired gunman headed to his ranch but can't prevent the catastrophe in store for his daughter.

Palli, the prophesied daughter of a king, is fated to rescue her people from the destruction called forth by a vengeful priest.

Roselee, a ghost with a faulty memory, flits through the halls of an insane asylum in search of the mortal boy who can help her save the day.

Arabella, a living spirit trapped in her own comatose body, helplessly watches from the realm of dreams as her usurping cousin plots to destroy her once and for all.

Tanza, a tomb raider on a distant planet, struggles to make a living and doesn’t need a long-lost prince to complicate her difficult life.

One way or another, these beauties have no intention of sleeping awa
y their problems.


My thoughts: Sleeping Beauty is my favorite fairy tale.  I would watch the Disney movie over and over again, loving the fire breathing dragon, sweet fairies, and the evil fairy.  This book has five novella's each with a different take on the classic.

I read  one of the five stories.  I read Spindle Cursed by Michelle Pennington.  In December I plan to read all five of the stories and give a full review of the book.

From reading the descriptions of the stories, this may be the closest to the classic.  Arabella is living in a decrepit castle.  She is being guarded by one good fairy.  The evil fairy isn't a fairy.  She is want to be Queen who sustains her youth and power by fairy magic.  There is a fire breathing dragon and a handsome Prince.

I felt like the character development was great for a short story.  I was able to get a feel for the motivation and thoughts of the Prince and Princess.  I liked that the Prince didn't immediately kiss the Princess but got to know her in the dream world.  The romance was quick, but it had to be because of the circumstances in the story.

The pacing was well done.  The characters were well done.  Overall, I would say WELL DONE Michelle Pennington.  Thanks for asking me to read your story.  I enjoyed it.



This book releases on July 22nd.  Pre-order your copy today:



Friday, July 15, 2016

The Captive Imposter by Dawn Crandall

The Captive Imposter by Dawn CrandallThe Captive Imposter by Dawn Crandall
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: Received from Author to Review
Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

Book Description:  Sent away for protection, hotel heiress Estella Everstone finds herself living undercover as a lady’s companion named Elle Stoneburner at one of her father’s opulent hotels in the mountains of Maine—the one she'd always loved best and always hoped to own one day, Everston. The one thing she doesn't like about the situation is that her ex-fiancĂ© is in the area and is set on marrying someone else. Reeling from her feelings of being unwanted and unworthy, Estella reluctantly forms a friendship with the gruff manager of Everston, Dexter Blakeley, who seems to have something against wealthy young socialites with too much money, although they are just the kind of people Everston caters to. 

When Estella finds herself in need of help, Dexter comes to the rescue with an offer she can't refuse. She sees no other choice aside from going back home to her family and accepts the position as companion to his sister. Throughout her interactions with Dexter, she can't deny the pull that's evidenced between them every time he comes near. Estella realizes that while she's been hiding behind a false name and identity, she’s never been freer to be herself than when she's with Dexter Blakeley. But will he still love her when he finds out she's Estella Everstone? She's not entirely sure.



My thoughts: This is the third book in the Everstone Chronicles . It is my favorite so far.

Estella Everstone is hiding from the man who is hunting one brother and killed another. She takes on a new name and become a lady's companion, never dreaming that it will take her to one of her favorite places, a hotel that was owned by her father.

Immediately she is drawn to the manager of the hotel. She quickly learns that he does not like rich heiresses. As their friendship and attraction grows it becomes harder to tell him who she is.  I loved reading of how she came to realize for herself the power of love, and also what love truly is.

I loved the characters. For being a rich heiress, Estella is down to earth and cares about the people around her. She has a strong faith in God and that is part of Dexter's appeal to her. He is able to draw out her best qualities and she feels free to be herself with him. He also is willing to help people he sees in need. Estella is one of the people he takes under his protection.

Dawn Crandall does an amazing job at description and moving the story along at a great pace. I loved her writing style. I loved the character development. Can you tell that I enjoyed this book?

I would suggest that the books should be read in order. Characters are introduced and pulled from one story to the next. There is also references to things that happened in the other books. You can't go wrong with this series if you love Christian romance. The book is clean with some kissing and mild violence.





Dawn Crandall
About the Author: (Taken from Goodreads)  Dawn Crandall is an ACFW Carol Award nominated author of the award winning series The Everstone Chronicles from Whitaker House. The series currently consists of three books: The Hesitant Heiress, The Bound Heart and The Captive Imposter. The next "Everstone" book, The Cautious Maiden, will release October 4, 2016. 


Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary. Apart from writing books, Dawn is also mom to a precious little boy (born March 2014), is expecting her second baby (June 2016), and also serves with her husband in a pre-marriage mentor program at their local church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.


Visit her WEBSITE.