Wednesday, April 23, 2014

#DailyDeal from Tamera Alexander & excerpt from "A Beauty So Rare"

Yes, I am posting for a second time today about "A Beauty So Rare".  I wanted to share with you an excerpt  that I liked in the book. To set up the quote, Eleanor Braddock is in a unique position, she is able to help the widows and children left behind after the Civil War.  She is talking to Marcus, who happens to be her love interest about why it's important for her to help them.

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

"What is it," he asked, "that you most appreciate about doing what you do?"

"With the widows and children, you mean."

He nodded.

She started to open the blooms. "Watching them leave after dinner with stomachs and hearts full."  She closed her eyes, a slight frown forming.  "And....witnessing their courage.  Every day.  Evan as they carry a weight of  grief and pain.  I never knew any of their husbands, and yet.... sometimes I feel as though I did.  Or do.  Because, despite having departed this word, they're still here, in so many ways.  I can't imagine what it's like to live with that grief."


********************
Here's a link to my review of the book!


Today Tamera has one of her books available for $1.99.  This is a great opportunity to check out her writing if you haven't tried one of her books before.



Want a Copy of "A Beauty So Rare"? Join the Scavenger Hunt and win one!

Join me for a Pinterest Scavenger Hunt and win 1 of 7 copies of USA Today bestselling author Tamera Alexanders newest novel, A Beauty So Rare, the second standalone novel in the Belmont Mansion series. 


If you haven't noticed, I have been participating in a group for Tamera Alexander's newest book, A Beauty So Rare.  Fortunately, it is a book that I loved reading.  Tamera has been wonderful to work with and she is giving readers an opportunity to WIN a copy of her book!  She will be giving away 7 copies.  

The rules and directions are posted below.  It looks to be an easy and fun contest.  Don't pass up this opportunity.  If you are lucky enough to get a copy, you will be glad that you read the book. To see my review, you can click on this LINK.  To see what other reviewers are saying about the book, go to this LINK.


The questions are posted below and the giveaway runs through Sunday night, April 27. The answers to the questions can be found on Tamera's Pinterest page. Not on Pinterest? Doesnt matter. You can still participate and find the answers by using this link. 

Your answers must be submitted to TameraAlexander@ymail.com (numbered 1 - 6) by Sunday, April 27, midnight Central to be entered into a drawing to win one of seven copies of A Beauty So Rare, the second standalone novel in the Belmont Mansion series. 

Questions for the Pinterest Scavenger Hunt

    1.     On the A Beauty So Rare board, find the pin that shares the seamstress who sewed the dress on the cover of A Beauty So Rare (featuring the heroine, Eleanor Braddock) and *click the pin* to discover what the seamstresss most challenging part of making the pink dress was. 
    2.    On the A Lasting Impression board, find the pin where Tamera shares about the desert seasons in her life––those times that helped her write about a certain relationship in her novel, A Beauty So Rare. *Click the pin* to learn what specific relationship Tamera mentions in that blog. Its the relationship between which two people?
    3.    On the My Novels board, find the pin where Tamera shares about the inspiration behind A Beauty So Rare. *Click it* and watch the video to learn the true history that ties the Belmont Mansion (the setting of A Lasting Impression and A Beauty So Rare) to the real Insane Asylum that existed in Nashville in the 19th century.
    4.    On the Recipes from my novels board, what's the recipe from A Beauty So Rare thats posted about most often on that board (doesn't necessarily have the most re-pins)? It's also a favorite of Eleanor's.
    5.    On the My Loves board, find the pin that references Easter weekend then *click it* to learn what kind of fish Tamera caught this past weekend.
    6.    On the My Novels board, find the pin for the book trailer for A Beauty So Rare, then *click it* to watch the video. What is it that Aunt Adelicia is determined to find for Eleanor?
7. BONUS: LIKE Tamera's Facebook Page for an extra chance to win.

In your email, remember to number your answers from 1 to 6, like this:
1. Answer 
2. Answer
3. Answer
4. Answer
5. Answer
6. Answer

Hope you have fun with it!


Note: Pinterest is not sponsoring this promotion nor are they formally affiliated with it. 

Book Spotlight ~ "Killing Secrets" by K.L. Docter

...Some secrets are better left dead...





Quick Facts                                        
Release Date: April 17, 2014                 
Genre: Romantic Suspense                                              
Formats to buy: Kindle, Nook, PDF, Kobo, mobi, epub, pdf, paperback. 


Book Synopsis
Some secrets are better left dead.

Rachel James’ ex-husband is released from prison determined to reclaim her and her little girl — the child is his key to controlling the James fortune. Frightened, Rachel flees to Denver with the child who hasn’t uttered a word since her daddy went to prison.

Contractor Patrick Thorne wants nothing to do with another of his parents’ charity cases. He failed his own wife so abysmally she took her own life as well as his unborn son’s. After two years, it’s time to concentrate on the bid he’s won and the saboteur trying to destroy his construction firm.  

There is no room for trust in either of their hearts. But trust is all that will untangle the secrets that dominate their lives, free a little girl of her silent prison, and save them all from a serial killer who stands too close.







Excerpt:
********************
“I’ve only filed three police reports, but I’m sure I can lay half a dozen more attacks at this bugger’s door.” He ran his hand through his hair to corral his frustration. “What about fingerprints on the hammer? Have you identified anything in the clothes left behind?” Somehow, the single untouched wall with women’s clothing stapled all over it like some kind of macabre trophy wall was more disturbing than the vicious holes his saboteur left everywhere else.

“It’s one of your own hammers kept in a tool box with a broken lock. Anybody could have handled it. I’ll be surprised if they find a viable print, although the clothes might reveal something.” Jack heaved a long suffering sigh. “We’ve barely had time to catalogue the evidence since you called us this morning. We’re not exactly sitting on our thumbs, no matter what you think.”“What I think is it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep my problems under wraps.”

“Well, you wouldn’t know it after reading that sweet, full-page feature the Denver Post ran on you yesterday.” Jack picked up the newspaper section sitting on the corner of Patrick’s desk and read the headline aloud, “‘No Thorns in Thorne Enterprise’s Rosy Future’. According to this you’re ‘a new contractor barely in his thirties with a Midas touch who’s made it to the major leagues with the multi-million dollar, upscale Villas at Three Oaks Ranch’. You must have really schmoozed that reporter, bro.”

“The headline would have read something radically different,” Patrick replied sourly, “if she’d dug a little deeper and uncovered the truth.”

Angry again at the thought of what he stood to lose, he reached across the desk, snatched the newspaper out of Jack’s hand, and threw it into a wire basket for his office manager, Jane Brown, to file. “You know what I’ve been dealing with these last few months,” he said. “Vandals tag building sites. Supplies go missing. Equipment breaks down.

“But this is different, Jack. You saw those walls at Southgate. This isn’t kids on a lark, pissing out territorial boundaries.”

“I agree. But as my captain pointed out, I’m a little close to the situation and I’m not on the case.”

Patrick barked a harsh laugh. “What does this guy have to do before the department takes this seriously? Leave a dead body?”

“It might take just that,” Jack retorted. “Right now we’re up to our armpits in what’s rolled downhill from the mayor’s office after the kidnapping of that councilman’s daughter last week.”

If it weren’t for the radios blasting all day on his sites Patrick wouldn’t keep up with local events but even he’d heard about the coed who’d disappeared while he was in Cheyenne. “She’s been gone, what, four days? Do you have any leads?”

“We don’t even have a ransom note. After a co-worker dropped her off at her apartment complex, it’s like the girl disappeared into thin air.”

Patrick saw Jack’s jaw tighten, a sign of the increasing stress he’d been under in recent months. “You think she’s a victim of the Angel Killer, don’t you?”

The local news media had dubbed the serial killer with the name because of the angel tattoo he’d burned into each of the girls he brutally killed. He remembered Jack’s fury, as one of the detectives on the task force, over the leak of that critical piece of information.

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






The Author

Karen Docter writes two different kinds of romance novels....Contemporary Romantic Comedy w/a Karen Docter: Romance...With a Kick of Humor!
Romantic Suspense w/a K.L. Docter: Women hunted by killers...men who'd die to protect them. 

Karen's contemporaries are cute romantic comedies. She loves writing about real men and women with dreams and goals that don't allow for a relationship just so she can throw them in each other's path...with a tickle and a smile. Her romantic suspense novels (as K.L. Docter) are also filled with romance, although the dangers the hero and heroine face are intense, usually because a serial killer is bent on ending one or both of their lives before they can fall in love. These are psychological, woman-in-jeopardy stories.

Karen's an award winning author, a four-time Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® finalist, and won the coveted Kiss of Death Romance Writers Daphne du Maurier Award Category (Series) Romantic Mystery Unpublished division. When she's not saving her characters from death and destruction or helping them fall in love, she loves camping and fishing with her family, reading, gardening & cooking.
If she can do most of those things over a campfire, all the better!


Find more about her at:




Other books by Karen Docter:
(press on the cover to go to goodreads)

     




GIVEAWAY:

This giveaway is international. There will be 6 winners.
Prizes:
- 1 $50 Amazon GC
- 5 e- copies of KILLING SECRETS by K. L Docter.




a Rafflecopter giveaway


FOLLOW THE TOUR:




April 17: My Devotional Thoughts: Top 10 List

April 18: A Writer's Life: Spotlight

April 21: Little Black Notebook Review

April 22: Mythical Books: Interview

April 23: Bookworm Lisa: Spotlight
             Roxy's Reviews: Review

April 24: Reviews by Molly: Review
             Cheryl's Book Nook: Spotlight
             MsRomanticReads: Spotlight

April 25: Books and Fandom: Spotlight
             Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews: Spotlight

April 28: I know that Book: Review
             Vanilla Moon: Spotlight

April 30: Deal Sharing Aunt: Review

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Book Review ~ " The 7-Day Christian" by Brad Wilcox





The 7-Day Christian: How Living Your Beliefs Every Day Can Change the WorldThe 7-Day Christian: How Living Your Beliefs Every Day Can Change the World by Brad Wilcox
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: Religion, Inspirational
Source: Received to Review

Book Description: Christianity is facing great opposition. At the very least, most Christians know what it is like to end up on the "wrong" side of a "politically correct" conversation. More than ever before, we need believing and behaving disciples- men and women who are ready to stand up, stand together, and change the world one righteous choice at a time.

Filled with personal experiences and heartwarming stories, this book emphasizes the importance of living in accordance with Christian values seven days a week and offers practical suggestions for how to 
actually pull it off. In addition to finding personal peace and having a positive impact on others, choosing to live as a daily disciple opens the door for tremendous personal development.


My thoughts: I love fiction books, if you were to look at my "read" shelf, you would see it full of books that have given me hours of entertainment. While I try to live my religion on a daily basis, I admit that there is a fear inside me of rejection. What if I review religious books? Will I offend someone?

I began to realize that it is more important for me to read and review the books, not just for me to find strength, but to stand up for my beliefs and let other's know there are wonderful books that can entertain as well as uplift my spirit.

I found myself caught up in this book from the Introduction. Brad Wilcox begins with the history of Christianity. I found the story of Constantine fascinating. He recounts the persecution of the early believers of Christ, and how we are now facing a time when it is becoming increasingly unpopular to be a Christian. It forced me to take a closer look at the fears I mentioned above. Who and what do I value?

This book is written in a way that is very appealing. Brad Wilcox shares stories to illustrate his points. There are 10 chapters. Some of the titles that I found the most compelling are #3 Never Check Your Religion At the Door, #6 Facing Our People Fears, #9 Standing Together, #10 The Core of Christianity. Those are the titles that stood out to me, but each chapter can be taken and applied to life to help us strive to live our religion more fully and openly.

In chapter 2, titled Anyone Can Write a Story, I dog eared page 30. He states " Integrity fears no hidden cameras. The actions that count the most in life are those seen by the fewest people. We feel peace when we know that the size of our audience makes no difference to the quality of our performance. The every-day Christian acts seen only by Christ are usually the ones that make us most like Him." On page 87 in Chapter 7, Seven Days of Re-Creation, another quote stuck out to me. "Choosing to be a 7-day Christian is choosing to be changed."

This is a book that I needed. In January I sent my son to Chile to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I decided at that time that I needed to face my fears and choose to change. This book has helped me put my feet more firmly on that path.

Thank you, Brad Wilcox, for a wonderful book that helps me see the need for change and firm my desire to do better.

I will continue to read fiction books. I will begin to read more books that will help me in my eternal path too.  Life is too short to be afraid and not true to oneself or core beliefs.


About Brad Wilcox : BRAD WILCOX has lived in Ethiopia, Chile, and New Zealand; he and his family now make their home amid the Rocky Mountains. Brad taught sixth grade before obtaining his PhD in education from the University of Wyoming. His contributions as an author and teacher have been honored by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and his work has appeared in Guidepostsmagazine and Reader’s Digest.He once served as a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America and has addressed thousands of youth and adults across the United State, Europe, Australia, and Japan. He and his wife, Debi, are the parents of four children.

Book spotlight ~ " A Special Love" by Krissy Bells

When Robert Adler and Meredith Conrad fall in love, all that is left for them to do is prepare to live a fairy-tale life. With the blessing of their second child, a son named Michael, everything they have always dreamed of begins to become a reality. But his autism diagnosis is something they never anticipated. The struggle they face after the diagnosis puts a strain on their family that begins to tear them apart. Years later, Michael begins high school, and the true love his older sister Ann Marie finds there helps bring her insight and appreciation of Michael’s unique gifts and identity. It might be just what is needed to put their family back together.




About the Author:  Krissy Bells was born and raised in the Detroit metro area. A former school secretary, she now spends her days as a stay-at-home mom. She is passionate about her family and friends, her Dachshund named Harry, and anything topped with cheese or chocolate. Krissy can be contacted at authorkrissybells@gmail.com. Thank you for reading!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Middle Grade Book Review ~ "Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy" by Karen Foxlee

Ophelia and the Marvelous BoyOphelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source : Netgalley (review)
Genre: Middle Grade Fairy Tale Retelling

Book Description: Unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard doesn't believe in anything that can't be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room. He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen. And he has been waiting for Ophelia's help.

As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested. Along the way she learns more and more about the boy's own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world.

A story within a story, this a modern day fairytale is about the power of friendship, courage and love, and never ever giving up.


My thoughtsOphelia and the Marvelous Boy is a retelling of the Snow Queen. This story does not follow the original closely but has the basic aspects intact from the original.

Ophelia is visiting a museum with her father and sister. Her father is a sword expert and working at a museum on a display. Ophelia and her sister, Alice, are basically left to their own devices as their father works. Ophelia wanders the museum and comes across a boy who is locked in room 303.

The boy, who doesn't have a name, sends Ophelia on adventures to retrieve the keys to unlock him from his prison.

Ophelia has asthma and doesn't believe in magic. She believes in science. Her quest unlocks her imagination and she discovers her courage, things that she didn't know she possessed. Along her journey she also taps into her mother's spirit, who guides her and helps her.

I really liked this twist on a classic story. It is full of magic, ghosts, monsters, courage, and sure to unlock a child's imagination. The story is paced well and full of action that will keep a child's attention. I didn't find the monster's to be described in a way that will cause nightmares, but they will generate interest.





Book Blitz ~ "Lore" + giveaway


Lore: Tales of Myth and Legend Retold
Release Date: 03/2014

Summary from Goodreads:
A collection of six folklore retellings that will twist your mind and claim your heart.

SHIMMER: A heartbroken boy rescues a mermaid... but is it too late to save her?

BETWEEN is about a girl, a genie, and a ton of bad decisions.

SUNSET MOON: Eloise doesn't believe in Native American magic--until the dreamcatcher spiders spin her down an unknown path.

THE MAKER: An incapacitated young man bent on revenge builds a creature to do it for him.

A BEAUTIFUL MOURNING: The story of a Maya goddess torn between duty and love, and the ultimate sacrifice she must make to achieve true happiness.

THE BARRICADES: When a human girl risks everything to save the life of an Eternal prince, will their feelings for each other change the world they know, or tear it apart?

Buy Links:


READ an Excerpt:
********************
A Beautiful Mourning by Theresa DaLayne:

I could not help but smile at the newly budded flowers scattered over the hills of the

middleworld. My bare feet sank into the cool grass. It sprang between my toes, reminding

me of the many walks my mother and I took together when I was a child.

It had been many years since she last strolled beside me. Many years since her soul left

her body and joined the breeze of the heavens.

I paused beside a tree and lay my hand upon its bark.

I missed my mother’s laughter. Her sparkling green eyes and her sweet voice. No longer 

a child, I ached for her guidance and advice in the matters of life, and especially love.

A hummingbird buzzed past me and broke my gloomy thoughts. I turned and watched it 

hover over blooms and feast on the bounty of the nectar. I extended my hand. The tiny 

bird startled.

“I intend you no harm,” I said softly. It was not only for the mortals, but for the creatures 

of this realm that I tended to the greenery on which they depended to survive. I loved 

them, and wished them nothing but prosperity and joy.

Yet their happiness was a constant reminder of my sorrow, and some days, my heart did 

not have the will to carry on.

The rhythm of the bird’s rapidly pumping wings soothed my disparity and brought a 

smile to my lips. I lowered my hand and the creature vanished from sight.

It was then I noticed the large cat weaving between the trees. I smiled and stepped toward 

the jaguar. “Balam. How nice to see you. It’s been far too long.”

The middleworld deity slinked toward me. One large paw lazily moved in front of the 

other until he was close enough to touch.

His fur was like silk under my fingers.

“What special occasion brings you?”

Balam did not answer, which was typical for him. Even when in his human form, the 

middleworld god had never spoken a word. Instead he simply butted his head against my 

leg and rubbed his body along me. His tail brushed across my belly as he continued past 

me and headed to the forest.

I spun just in time to see Balam vanish into the foliage. There was no use in calling him 

back. He would wander in the forests and jungles until he decided to return. When that 

would be, I couldn’t say.

I turned back toward tending to the flowers. Spring in the mortals’ realm was my fondest 

season. It was, after all, the beginning of seasons in which I spent the most time with 

Kinich.

I pulled my hair to one side and wove it into a braid over my shoulder. My touch 

prompted tiny purple flowers to blossom in my hair. They were Kinich’s favorite color to 

see paired beside my skin.

My father knew not of our romance, though it could not be deemed a surprise. I was the 

tender of flowers and trees for the mortals, and Kinich…

I paused beside a struggling rose bush as the sun warmed my shoulders. My smile 

widened, and the grass, which I had raised from seedlings, flourished into thick, green 

blades.

A beam of light focused on the bush beside me. The branches bloomed with wild 

rosebuds.

I stooped beside the flowers and touched their silken petals. They were so lovely.

The sound of light footsteps caught my attention. The warmth of the sun intensified on 

my back. I took one last moment to admire the blooms before I stood and turned to see 

Kinich standing behind me—golden hair, and eyes that beamed with shades of orange 

and yellow.

He smiled.

My heart jumped.

His gaze wandered to the rose bush. “Your flowers no longer struggle for life.”

I arched my brow and strode toward him. “And you believe you are responsible for 

giving them life?”

“Perhaps.” He reached out and twisted my braid around his fingers. “Without my light

and warmth your flowers would not bloom.” He allowed my braid to slip out of his gentle 

grasp.

I tiptoed around him. “And without my touch, the light which you provide would have 

nothing to nurture.” I walked past him and gave him my back.

“Then I suppose we need each other.” His hands rested on my hips and then rounded my 

waist. Kinich pulled my back against his chest. My eyes fluttered shut.

His lips grazed the curve of my neck, his breath hot against my skin. “I have no shame in 

admitting I need you.” He pressed a kiss on my shoulder.

********************
Author Bios:
Brinda Berry:
Brinda Berry lives in the southern US with her family and two spunky cairn terriers. She's terribly fond of chocolate, coffee, and books that take her away from reality.  She doesn't mind being called a geek or “crazy dog lady”. When she's not working the day job or writing a novel, she's guilty of surfing the internet for no good 
Find Brinda at www.brindaberry.com .

Karen Y. Bynum:
Dragons, unicorns, genies…oh my! NA/YA author, coffee-lover, olive-hater, tea-drinker, music-listener. Random becomes me. Easily distrac— Blog

Laura Diamond:
Laura Diamond is a board certified psychiatrist and multi-published author of all things young adult paranormal, dystopian, and horror. When she’s not writing, she is working at the hospital, blogging at Author Laura Diamond--Lucid Dreamer, and renovating her 225+ year old fixer-upper mansion.

Jayne A. Knolls:
Jayne A. Knolls lives and works in New York City.  The Maker is her first published work of New Adult Fiction. Jayne can reached at JAKnolls@optonline.net
Theresa DaLayne:

My name is Theresa DaLayne and I’m a new adult author with Bloomsbury Spark, an amazing digital imprint of Bloomsbury publishing. Website

Cate Dean:
Hi there - thanks for checking in. My name is Cate Dean, and I write romantic suspense and paranormal, with some action packed YA paranormal and fantasy thrown in. I love to write, and I have been doing it most of my life. I've made up stories in my head for as long as I can remember, and I am thrilled to be able to write them down and share them with you. If you want to be the first to know when the next book is released, or be in on some fun, exclusive contests and giveaways, join my list here: http://catedeanwrites.com/join-my-list. You can learn more about me and my books at my website: http://catedeanwrites.com

***GIVEAWAY***
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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