Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Summer Giveaway Hop (International)

Thanks to Mary and Kathy for hosting this giveaway!

I feel like reading romance at the moment.  I thought maybe some of you would like to as well.  I am offering one winner a choice of one of the four romance titles to add to their summer reading.  All of the books are books that I have read and really enjoyed.  Hopefully there will be something that would interest you.  Each of the titles will link to my review of the book or to it's goodreads page, in case you want to find out more first. :)

This will be an international contest as long as the book depository ships to your country without charging shipping charges.  Each of them are also offered for Amazon Kindle.  So, if you have a kindle and would prefer a kindle copy, that would work for me as well.

Crimson Frost by Marcia Lynn McClure
Minor Adjustments by Rachel Renee Anderson
Illuminations of the Heart by Joyc DiPastena
The Kissing Tree by Prudence Bice

To enter you must be 13 or older.  If you are under 18, you must have parental permission.  Each of the books are clean romance.  Enter using the rafflecopter form.  Please see my full giveaway policy in the right side bar.
I am not making any entry mandatory.  You can choose which one you would like to do, or all of them for more entries.  good luck and have fun hopping the blogs.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review ~ "Traitor" by Megan Curd (Blog Tour/Giveaway)

Traitor (Bridger, #2)Traitor by Megan Curd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Sorce: Received to Review
Genre: Fantasy YA

Book Description: Ashlyn never believed in fairy tales until she was in one.

They say ignorance is bliss, but not when you're on a centuries old hit list...and there's a traitor in your midst.

Ashlyn must decide what's most important: trusting the allies she has, or siding with those she thought were enemies. Ashlyn knows old friends can turn on her, and unlikely allies may be the best chance she has to piece her family back together. No matter what her choice, she could lose someone she loves.

And when you don't know who to trust, believe one thing: You can never trust a faerie.

My thoughts: Ashlyn is at it again. She has taken her role as a Bridger in stride and is doing her best to protect her family and friends from the evil fairies. She is willing to stop at nothing where her family is concerned.

The love triangle takes on a few new developments that complicate her choice. The decision between Liam and Reese is not an easy one to make.  I personally am not sure which one I prefer.  They both have good and bad qualities, it's a toss up.

I was also surprised by some of Megan's decisions concerning trust. I shook my head at many of the choices. You would have to read the book to see what I mean.  She is far too trusting in my opinion.  Even though she knows that the fairy cannot be trusted, she does again and again.  For that matter, there are many characters in the book that probably shouldn't be trusted.  Some that she puts her trust in have tried to kill her in the past.

Overall, Megan has created a detailed and interesting realm of dealing with the fairy. She stays true to her plot and keeps the characters true to character.  There is quite a bit of depth to the story.  The story moves at a good pace and is enjoyable.

I like the books. There is some minor swearing and some kissing. Overall, I would recommend this book to YA readers 16 and over.

Follow the Tour!

Giveaway!  Megan Curd and ATOMR tours are offering a wonderful giveaway.  There 19 bundles of Bridger and Traitor offered in eBook format up for grabs.  Use the rafflecopter form to enter! (I am posting, not sponsoring this giveaway) a Rafflecopter giveaway

Where can you find the book? 

Amazon Print
Amazon Kindle

Where can you find Megan Curd? 

Cover Reveal ~ "Options" by Abbi Glines

Two paths.
Two completely different roads.
Each one standing before me.
Each one holding a different destiny.
In life you're just supposed to choose one path.  
In life you're not given the chance at choosing one specific future.
Until now.
Until me. 
Why am I different? I don't know. But I'm going to see those roads and walk down each one. When it's over I'll know which one to choose because I'll know my - options.

"Options" by Abbi Glines is scheduled to be release on February 5, 2013.  The cover design was designed by Stephanie Mooney of Mooney Designs.  I think it looks great and the description is intriguing.  What do you think?

You can find Abbi at her website!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Review " Uneasy Fortunes" by Mandi Ellsworth

Uneasy Fortunes by Mandi Ellsworth

Rating: 4 of 5
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Historical Romance

Book Description: Battered by his past, Pete knows he has no business falling for anyone. But when time can’t heal a wound, love steps in to make it right. Based on a true story of the post–Civil War South, this gentle rustic romance will pull you in from the first page and leave you with a renewed hope in the power of real love.

Colleen's thoughts: I loved this Western Romance!  Pete is so rugged while still being gentle and sensitive.  But, he has some troubling issues in his past.  June is cautious and calloused because of being previously hurt.  They eventually pull each other out of their emotional mires and end up loving and trusting each other.  It is a sweet romance that I would recommend to anyone.  I love that it is based on a true story - how romantic!

The Kindle version is only $4.99 Uneasy Fortunes

Annabelle's Story "Sprite" by Leigh Michael is free today on Amazon!

Annabelle's Story by Leigh Michael

Annabelle Walsh thought she had it all. She was the star of her swim team, had a loving family, a great boyfriend, and to top it off, she’d be starting at UCLA in the fall. One day, she’d be referred to as Dr. Annabelle Walsh.

She was living every girl’s dream – until her life was turned upside down. All starting with finding out that she's not just a human, but also a water spirit. Half-human, half-sprite to be exact. Although not just any sprite, Annabelle is prophesied to be the only one who can save both the sprites and mankind.

With a mix of current events, anecdotes from Greek mythology, tidbits of folklore, and Leigh’s own imagination, we join Annabelle in her journey to restore order beneath the sea. Each step of the way her mind, body, and soul are pushed to the limit begging the question, how much can one half-human, half-sprite take? 

Connect with Leigh

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Blog Tour~ Review of "A Glimpse of Heaven" by JoAnna Lynn Oblander

A Glimpse of Heaven: One Woman's Life-Altering Visit with GodA Glimpse of Heaven: One Woman's Life-Altering Visit with God by JoAnna Lynn Oblander
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received from Publisher to review
Genre: Non Fiction inspirational

Book Description: Through both personal and spiritual experiences, JoAnna Lynn Oblander guides us to a deeper understanding of our heavenly home. Shared within the covers of this book are experiences and insights that will remind you of God's great love for each of His children, His desire to be a daily part of our lives, and that each of us has come to earth to fulfill a unique and important purpose.

My thoughts: JoAnna Lynn Oblander shares with us a very personal journey. The journey is her life. She lives a life that is very religiously inspired and by living such a life is able to help give some ways that we can conquer the challenges that we have through our relationship with deity.

I was able to incorporate some of her experiences and see the similarities with my life. We have many of the same core values. She helped me to reflect on my life and ways that I can improve in different aspects.

I need to try her MSG experience with headaches. My husband suffers from chronic 24/7 headaches just as she did. It is never if he is in pain, it's always the degree of pain. We haven't tried that one yet.

She writes her experiences in a non-judgemental way. She tells of her trials and successes. I liked that in the book. It is a recounting of her experiences.

Thanks JoAnna for giving me something to think about.

About JoAnna: JoAnna Oblander is happily married to her husband of over thirty years, Dr. Greg Oblander. She is the mother of six children, two of whom were adopted from Russia. Though her two most important jobs have been wife and mother, she has also been involved in a variety of businesses, church leadership responsibilities, and youth organizations, and she has been the lead organizer of a large biennial women’s event. As a benefactor of many varied life and spiritual experiences, she has gained a strong conviction of the importance of knowing God and His true character. The knowledge and insights she has gained as a result of her experiences have taught her of the importance of gratefully recognizing, acknowledging, and developing our God-given capacities. Those experiences have instilled in her a strong desire to create an eternally meaningful life guided by God and has led her to seek a life that is in harmony emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Her greatest joys are being with her husband, children, and grandchildren and bringing health to others as she works with her husband in his chiropractic office.
You can find more about Joanna at glimpseofheavenbook.com.

Follow the Tour: 

My Devotional Thoughts/Utah Deal Diva/Bookworm Lisa/
Chocolate on my Cranium/LDS Women’s Book Review/ AUGUST
LDS and Lovin’ It/L.C. Lewis/Getting Your Read On/
Fire & Ice/Diony George/

Friday, July 27, 2012

Review ~ "Illuminations of the Heart" by Joyce DiPastena

Illuminations of the HeartIlluminations of the Heart by Joyce DiPastena
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Purchased by Me
Genre: Historical Romance

Book Description: "Clothilde." He spoke the name on a breath like a prayer. Then he lowered his head and kissed her.

Her heart is lost in that first embrace, her world is shaken to its foundations. There is just one problem; her name is not Clothilde. It is Siriol de Calendri. Trained in the art of illumination in the far-off city of Venice, Siri is directed by her late brother's will to the county of Poitou in France, where she enters the guardianship of her brother's friend Sir Triston de Brielle. Once in Poitou, Siri hopes to find employment in an illuminator's shop - until Triston unexpectedly snatches her heart away with a kiss.

Triston is a man of quiet honor and courage, but the guild he carries for the death of his late wife, Clothilde, has left him numb and hesitant to love again. Worse yet, Siri bears an uncanny resemblance to his lost love. Or does she? Her merry laughter and twinkling eyes are very different from his late wife's shy smiles and quiet ways. Yet when he gazes into Siri's face, all he sees is Clothilde.

Then Triston's past returns to threaten them both. Will his tragic life with Clothilde be repeated with Siri? Trapped between the rivalry of the king's sons on the one hand and a neighbor out for vengeance on the other, Triston realizes it would be safer to send Siri away. But how can he bear to lose her again?

Siri is determined not to be cast off and not to live in another woman's shadow. She has illuminated many a priceless book with pen and paint. But can her own vibrant spirit illuminate the darkness in Triston's soul and make his heart beat for her alone?

My thoughts: I had quite a bit of fun reading this novel. It was easy to get caught up in the story and like the characters.  It is set in France during the Middle Ages.  It was an area of France that I don't remember reading about.  I enjoyed that she picked an area that is not the typical romance setting.

This book begins with a mistaken identity scenario.   The only problem is the person that Siri is mistaken for is deceased.    She tries help Tristan understand that she is not his deceased wife, she yearns to be noticed for herself.

There is revenge, angst, treachery, and of course kissing.  I was very happy that I picked this book up.  I follow Joyce's blog and realized the amount of  research that she puts into her books.  I will definitely  be reading more of her work in the future.

It's a clean romance book.  It helped me to remember how much I adore the Historical romance genre.

I read this as my July selection fot the 2012 TBR Pile reading Challenge.

Review - Between the Land and The Sea by Derrolyn Anderson

Between the Land and the Sea by Derrolyn Anderson

Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Paranormal

Book Description: Marina is a privileged girl who’s had an unusual upbringing. Traveling the world with her scientist father, doted on by her wealthy and glamorous neighbor Evie, Marina’s life seems perfect.
Everything changes in the summer of her sixteenth year when she is sent to live with her Aunt Abby and Cousin Cruz in the lovely seaside town of Aptos, California. 
Only a few weeks after arriving, sixteen year-old Marina has nearly drowned twice, enchanted the hottest guy in high school, and discovered a supernatural creature. If she can manage to survive some increasingly dangerous encounters with unpredictable mermaids, she might be able to unlock the mystery of her past and appease the mysterious forces that want something from her... 
And maybe even find true love along the way

Colleen's Thoughts: This was an interesting twist on The Little Mermaid story. Marina did not know she was half mermaid and did not even know how to swim until her father sent her to live in a beach town with her aunt and cousin. She ended up loving it there, despite her initial misgivings. She met new friends, learned how to swim and surf, discovered her heritage, and met the boy of her dreams. There were some bumps and scares along the way, but she dealt with them well and courageously. I liked the ending, but not the epilogue. It suggests a sequel. In my opinion, this book does not need it. The epilogue was confusing because it was supposedly an excerpt from the next book. We did not have enough background to understand exactly why it was in there - it seemed to start in a strange place, especially considering the ending we had just read. I am not sure why it was called an epilogue instead of just a teaser for the sequel. I like the originality of the author's presentation of this story. There have been so many other renditions of The Little Mermaid that it could seem boring. But, this was a fresh new perspective. It was almost a backwards Little Mermaid. I enjoyed reading it. However, there are a number of suggestive innuendos, a bit of swearing, and some intense moments.
The book is only 99 cents on Amazon Kindle!

It's also at Smashwords for 99 cents.  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/50600

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop (Intl)

Welcome to my post of The "Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop"!  Many thanks to Colorimetry and I am a Reader, Not a Writer for organizing this and getting us all together.

I love a good summer read.  Sitting on my back deck with a book is one of life's simple pleasures.  Particularly if I have a good book to read.

Today I am going to offer a book that I recently read and reviewed recently. The book is Caribbean Crossroads. (Click on the title to see my review.)  I will ship it from the Book Depository.  So as long as they ship to your country without shipping charges, you are eligible to win.  I will also offer an Amazon Kindle copy as a substitution.

As always, you must be 13 or older to enter.  If you are under 18, you need parental permission to enter.  See my full giveaway policy in the upper right side bar.  Entries are through the Rafflecopter form.  Good luck and have fun on your hop.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour ~ Frost by Kate Avery Ellison (review/giveaway)

Frost (The Frost Chronicles, #1)Frost by Kate Avery Ellison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received to review for this blog tour (AToMR)
Genre: YA fantasy

Book Description: In the icy, monster-plagued world of the Frost, one wrong move and a person could end up dead—and Lia Weaver knows this better than anyone. After monsters kill her parents, she must keep the family farm running despite the freezing cold and threat of monster attacks or risk losing her siblings to reassignment by the village Elders. With dangers on all sides and failure just one wrong step away, she can’t afford to let her emotions lead her astray. So when her sister finds a fugitive bleeding to death in the forest—a young stranger named Gabe—Lia surprises herself and does the unthinkable.

She saves his life.

Giving shelter to the fugitive could get her in trouble. The Elders have always described the advanced society of people beyond the Frost, the “Farthers,” as ruthless and cruel. But Lia is startled to find that Gabe is empathetic and intelligent…and handsome. She might even be falling in love with him.

But time is running out. The monsters from the forest circle the farm at night. The village leader is starting to ask questions. Farther soldiers are searching for Gabe. Lia must locate a secret organization called the Thorns to help Gabe escape to safety, but every move she makes puts her in more danger.

Is compassion—and love—worth the risk?

My thoughts: Lia has become the head of her family. Her parents were killed in a tragic accident. They fell victim to the "Watchers". The Watchers are monster like creatures that roam the forests of the Frost. The people of the Frost know a few basic rules. Do not be out after dark and keep the blossoms of the flowers that grow in the Frost around them. The blossoms somehow repel the monsters.

Despite their knowledge, trouble comes to Lia, her crippled twin brother, and her younger sister. A stranger from the neighboring realm is found near their home. He is from a far technologically superior place. They may have technology, but are brutal in their treatment of others. He is hurt and on the run.

Lia's sister begs her to help him. Against her better judgement, she takes him in and heals him. The problem is that they are not allowed to have contact with the "Farthers". By helping him, she has placed her family in jeopardy. Who can she trust, and who will help them?

When I came to the last page of the book, I was surprised. I wasn't ready for it to end. The ending made sense, but it wasn't how I wanted it to end. I think I need the second book asap!

I really liked the writing style. The book moves at a steady pace and is easy to follow. Kate Avery Ellison does a great job at explaining what is happening without taking away from the story.

This book is fairly clean.  There was a few minor instances of swearing.

You can follow the tour! See what other bloggers are saying about the book. :)

Find out about Kate: I blog about stories and life at http://thesouthernscrawl.blogspot.com/. My YA paranormal romance The Curse Girl features a determined young woman and a beastly boy who must work together to break a curse. My short story collection, Once Upon a Beanstalk, is a funny collection of mashed-up fairy tales. My newest book, Frost (The Frost Chronicles #1), is a creepy YA fantasy with dystopian elements!

Giveaway!  There is a giveaway for the blog tour.  Use the rafflecopter form to enter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Purchase Links: Amazon/Barnes and Noble/smashwords

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blog Tour ~ "The Forgiven Duke" by Jamie Carie (Review+Giveaway)

The Forgiven Duke by Jamie Carie

Rating: 5 of 5 stars!
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Tour throughBookshelf Confessions Tour 

Book Description: Tethered by her impulsive promise to marry Lord John Lemon - the path of least resistance - Alexandria Featherstone sets off toward Iceland in search of her parents with a leaden heart. A glimpse of her guardian, the Duke of St. Easton - the path less traveled by - on Dublin’s shore still haunts her.

Will he come after her? Will he drag her back to London, quelling her mission to rescue her treasure-seeking parents, or might he decide to throw caution to the wind and choose Foy Pour Devoir: “Faith for Duty,” the St. Easton motto. The Featherstone motto Valens et Volens: “Willing and Able,” beats in her heart and thrums through her veins. She will find her parents and find their love, no matter the cost.

The powerful yet wing-clipped Duke of St. Easton has never known the challenge that has become his life since hearing his ward’s name. Alexandria Featherstone will be the life or the death of him. Only time and God’s plan will reveal just how much this man can endure for the prize of love.

Colleen's Thoughts: I love this series.  Gabriel tries to follow and rescue Alexandria and is continually thwarted either by her scheming, or that of others.  She does not realize the danger she is in as she continues looking for her parents.  When she finally reaches a stopping point in her search, she is faced with some complicated issues that have nothing to do with her parents.  She is forced to grow up in this book.  Hence, there are some adult situations that are very tastefully and delicately written.  There are many points where we as readers want to yell at the characters, "Just talk to each other!"  Thankfully, it is a happy ending.  We are not left hanging in this book like we were in the last.  But, the third, and final book is still just as anticipated!

About Jamie:  Jamie Carie writes novels about fierce, passionate women; their dreams; their fears; their triumphs. Her deepest desire is to see her readers find that same passion as they follow their destiny and discover deeper intimacy with Jesus.

She lives in Indianapolis with her husband and three sons.

Giveaway info!
Giveaways are one of the fun parts of blogging!   Here are the details of the prize.  Enter using the form and good luck.  (I am not sponsoring this giveaway)

July 23- Aug 5
A signed paperback copy of the Guardian Duke and The Forgiven Duke (Forgotten Castles # 1, #2)
to one winner

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour!

Click on this link!

Purchase Links:

Amazon / CBD / B & N

Blog Tour ~ "Water" by Shauna Granger

Water (Elemental, #3)Water by Shauna Granger

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Source: Received to review for the blog tour for AToMR
Genre: Older YA paranormal

Book Description: Book Three in The Elemental Series

Shayna's first surfing session of the summer is interrupted by the screams of a mother who has lost her little boy in the water. Without regard to her own safety, Shayna swims out, rescues the boy, but must escape the clutches of something far worse than she could have ever imagined – mermaids.

Compelled to answer the sirens' call, the boys of Shayna's town are drawn to the sea, but when they return are afflicted by an unknown illness, a sickness which is draining them of their life force. Unable to tell anyone about the mermaids, Shayna and her friends are forced to solve the mystery before it's too late, and in doing so, Shayna will finally have to face the full force of her powers. Whether she’s ready or not, she will have to face her true nature.

My thoughts: Shayna and her friends are elemental witches. They use the power of the earth, fire, and air to aid them in working their spells. They are not conventional witches, they can often harness the power without the incantations of normal witches. This book explores the element of water. An element that they do not harness.

Shay is called into action while she is surfing at the beach. A small boy is missing. She helps the mother locate the boy by swimming in the direction the mother pointed to her. What she discovers in the water was unexpected. They boy has been taken by mermaids. The mermaids in the story are not the mermaids from Disney. I would liken them more to the wicked octopus, Ursula.

I liked that in this story, the elementals are able to tap into the resources of a local coven. They realize their inability to protect the people on their own. There are many questions answered about the source of their power. Questions that I didn't know existed.

I missed the playful and flirty nature of the main characters. In this book it was more action and less fun.  I am definitely interested in continuing on the journey to the fourth installment, Fire.  I would love to see Steven's growth as he learns more about his element.

This book has elements that I would not recommend to a reader under 17. There is human intimacy and violence.

Follow the Tour!

Follow the Author Shauna Granger!

Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

Giveaway opportunity!

Shauna is offering some wonderful giveaway packages.  You will need to use the rafflecopter to enter.  This form is used at all of the tour stops.  I am not sponsoring this giveaway.

  • 7 ebook copies of EARTH
  • 3 ebook copies of all three books
  • 2 sets of print copies of all three books
  • 3 swag packs that include bookmarks and magnets from all three titles and a small WATER poster 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Purchase links at Amazon:

Earth (Elemental Series) / Air (Elemental Series) / Water (Elemental Series)