Saturday, February 28, 2015

Book Review ~ "Remake" by Ilima Todd

RemakeRemake by Ilima Todd
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Source: Netgalley (received to review)
Genre: Dystopian

 Book Description:  Nine is the ninth female born in her batch of ten females and ten males. By design, her life in Freedom Province is without complications or consequences. However, such freedom comes with a price. The Prime Maker is determined to keep that price a secret from the new batches of citizens that are born, nurtured, and raised androgynously.

But Nine isn't like every other batcher. She harbors indecision 
and worries about her upcoming Remake Day -- her seventeenth birthday, the age when batchers fly to the Remake facility and have the freedom to choose who and what they'll be.

When Nine discovers the truth about life outside of Freedom 
Province, including the secret plan of the Prime Maker, she is 
pulled between two worlds and two lives. Her decisions will test 
her courage, her heart, and her beliefs. Who can she trust? Who does she love? And most importantly, who will she decide to be?

My thoughts: This book provoked many different thoughts and feelings for me.

Basically, it's a dystopian book where the people of Freedom 1's hormones are repressed until they turn 17. They don't go through a natural maturation process. This allows them the opportunity to be "remade". They can pick their gender, their skin color, teeth color, hair color, every thing a person can imagine about appearance can be altered to personal preference.

Nine is the main character. She is female. Her appearance is odd because she has red hair and freckles. At least it begins to grow out red, until her head is shaved, another way to keep the children without an identity. On her 17th birthday she boards a shuttle to go to the remake facility. Her plane crashes into the ocean and she is picked up by Islanders. Their society is a traditional society. It is made up of families, where people live with the attributes they are born with. They are loved and have consequences for decisions, emotional support, and mental stability.

The idea of a family is new to Nine. All of the beliefs that she grew up with are challenged and she learns to adapt and think outside of the module she knows.

I liked that this book took a hard look at the importance of families. It gave a perspective that freedom doesn't come by choosing to change our bodies, it comes from inside and having friends and family to love and accept you.

I had a hard time with some of the situations in the book. They weren't bad, just a little uncomfortable. Physical intimacy is looked at clinically. I don't think I would let younger YA readers read the book. There is material that require maturity.

I don't know if this is a stand alone book. There is a lot of places that Ilima Todd can take this story. I am interested to find out more about this dystopian society and hope that implodes! Overall, I would say that this is a good debut for this author.

About the Author:  ILIMA TODD was born and raised on the north shore of Oahu and currently resides in the Rocky Mountains. She never wanted to be a writer even though she loves books and reading. She earned a degree in physics instead. But the characters in her head refused to be ignored, and now she spends her time writing science fiction for teens. When she is not writing, Ilima loves to spend time with her husband and four children.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Blog Tour ~ "The Wife Maker" by Karey White + tour giveaway

Wife Maker (1)
Blog Tour Schedule
Wife MakerThe Wife Maker by Karey White
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Description: Charlotte has spent years as the husband maker, sending every guy she dates off to enjoy marital bliss with the next girl he dates. But things have now changed, and she's determined to use her husband-maker abilities one last time--on herself. And she finally knows exactly who she wants. Angus has loved Charlotte since they were teenagers, but he's tired of waiting for her to realize how good they could be. She's broken his heart one too many times, and it's time to move on with his life. Maybe a position halfway across the country will be just what he needs to get over her. But when Charlotte won't let him go without a fight, Angus has to decide if he's willing to let her in again or if she's too late.

My thoughts: This book was bitter sweet to read. Bitter, because I have grown to like the characters and I am sad to see the stories come to an end. Sweet, because the ending was what I wanted it to be. :) It was quite the journey to get to the ending that was well worth the time invested in the story.

Charles (Charlotte) has finally figured out who she wants to marry and spend the rest of her life with. She is done with the title of the "husband maker". She figures it all out a little late in the game, and the object of her affection is done waiting. (I don't want to give any spoilers if you haven't read the first two books.)

This trilogy is a fun and clean read. It is all about timing and making decisions. I adored Charlotte and the menagerie of characters. Each one was delightful and a great fit for the flow of the books.

I highly recommend that you pick up this book. First, you should read the first two. It would be helpful to understand all that has transpired in Charlotte's romantic past.

If you haven't read the first two books, pick them up for Kindle@

The Husband Maker (The Husband Maker, Book 1)
The Match Maker: (The Husband Maker, Book 2)

Read an Excerpt

My phone rang before six the next morning. Who would call that early on a Sunday? I rubbed my bleary eyes and looked at the screen. The number was unfamiliar and a strange configuration. I almost shut it off, but on a hunch, I answered the call.

“Charlotte, it’s Flynn.”

“Flynn? Is everything okay?”

“Aye. I think we should talk. Turn on your computer and call me.”

Ten minutes later, Flynn appeared on the screen of my laptop.

“What’s going on?”

“I think you should move to Kansas City.”

I laughed. “What are you talking about?”

“Don’t laugh. I’m not jokin’.”

“I can’t move to Kansas City. My job’s here. My family’s here. And I don’t think Angus would even want me to.”

“Ah, he’d say he doesn’t want ya to, but I’d wager that what he wants and what he says he wants are two different things.”

I shook my head. “You’re crazy. This is what you wanted me to call you for at this hour of the morning?”

“Aye. And hear me out. I’ve been chewin’ on this all day.”

I was touched that he’d been trying to figure out a way to help me, but this idea was insane. “I’m listening.”

“You say you’ll wait for him to come back.” I nodded. “What about him? You might be willing to wait for ten years, but what about Angus? He’ll be meeting new people. He won’t be waiting around. If ya want to cook a chicken, ya have to put him in while the water’s boilin’.”

I snickered. “I don’t even know what that means, Flynn.”

“Sure ya do. If ya wait ‘til the water’s all cooled down, good luck cooking the bird. Right now the water’s boilin’.”

“No it’s not. He doesn’t want anything to do with me.”

“That’s ’cause the water’s boilin’. If it weren’t, he’d talk to ya all day long. He’s just tryin’ not to get burned.”

There was an absurd and comforting logic to what he was saying. “Keep going.”

“There’s not much more to say. Move to Kansas City.”

“That’s easier said than done, Flynn.”

“Tell me this. What needs more attention? The things in San Francisco? Or the thing in Kansas City?”

I didn’t answer him. I didn’t know what to say.

“Charlotte, give him a grand gesture. Show ’im he’s more important than the things you’ve left behind.”

“Wow. I should never have answered the phone this morning.”

We laughed. “Think about it. It might work.”

“It might not. And then I’ll be two thousand miles away from my family and I’ll have given up the best job in the world and . . . It’s all so scary.”

“But you’re brave. And if it doesn’t work out, you can go back.”

“I thought you were my friend.”

Flynn didn’t say anything right away. He just smiled. When he finally spoke, his voice was soft. “I am.”


Karey WhiteAuthor Karey White Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist. She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.

25_Amazon_Paypal  $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 3/22/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Book Blast ~ "The Crystal Keeper" by Laurisa White Reyes + giveaway

Crystal Keeper 1 to 3  Fourteen years before The Rock of Ivanore… Jayson lives among the shadows of Hestoria, his sole purpose for staying alive – to protect his half of the Seer’s crystal. Exiled from his homeland for loving the king’s daughter, Ivanore, Jayson is now pursued by two opposing factions: the Vatéz (League of Magicians) who intend to use the crystal for their own selfish gain, and the Guilde, the ancient guardians of the crystal. Meanwhile, Ivanore flees from her father to Hestoria in search of Jayson. As the Seer, she is plagued with visions of him being tortured and is determined to rescue him. When the Vatéz capture her, however, she unwittingly jeopardizes everything Jayson has vowed to protect. He must now make a terrible choice: Should he save Ivanore or save the crystal? The Crystal Keeper trilogy is available in print or digital formats.

Crystal Keeper 1-3

Read an Excerpt:

 Ivanore hunched over the parchment, the tip of her quill flicking above her hand like a trapped bird desperate to escape. The tallow candle cast a cramped circle of light across the table, hardly enough to see by. If only the night would last a little longer. Perhaps then she would have enough time to write everything she needed to. But alas, time was one thing she had too little of—that and light. An older man with long, gray-streaked hair and piercing gray eyes waited beside her. The stone bungalow, their most recent of many hiding places, boasted the barest of furnishings: the table, stool, cot—and a plain wooden chest, its key held tightly in Zyll’s fist. A sudden thump sounded at the door, startling them both. A strand of Ivanore’s hair, gold as the candlelight, fell across the page. She quickly tucked it back into place and wrote faster. Zyll laid a hand on Ivanore’s shoulder. “They are here,” he whispered. Ivanore finished the document and handed it to Zyll unbound. Turning to the chest, he carefully laid the pages inside. “Wait,” said Ivanore. “Will you keep this as well?” A flat circle of pale green crystal lay in her open palm. “But you will need it. I mustn’t—” “Please,” she insisted, pressing it into his hand. “I can’t risk losing this one.” Zyll reluctantly folded his fingers around the cool stone. “Of course, milady,” he said. Then, adding the crystal to the parchment, he laid a plate of thin wood atop them both, sealing the chest’s false bottom. He closed the lid and locked it. The pounding at the door grew more insistent. Whoever stood outside was using their full weight against it in an effort to break through. “We must hurry,” said Zyll. Ivanore allowed herself a quick glance at the chest, offering the briefest of prayers that the gods would keep it safe until her return. Then, taking her by the arm, Zyll led her through the low archway dividing the bungalow’s front room from the back. A loud crash of splintering wood resounded through the bungalow. Their visitors had finally broken in. “Find her now!” a deep voice bellowed. Grateful for the trousers she now wore instead of her usual cumbersome skirts, Ivanore clambered onto a stool and through a narrow window, lowering herself as quietly as possible to the ground outside. Once Zyll had done the same, they stole away across the rocky field. Though the sky was black as ink, their path was illuminated by the amber glow of volcanic fissures scoring the area for miles around. “There she is!” a man’s voice shouted behind them. The words sent spasms of fear through Ivanore. She glanced behind her and saw three soldiers emerge from the bungalow, wearing the gold and red cross of her father’s crest. They had tracked her even here, to the remotest corner of Imaness. Would Fredric ever let her be? Ivanore stopped running. She looked at Zyll, her trusted guardian and ally these past months since she had fled Dokur, and knew her time with him had come to an end. “You’ll watch over them until I return?” she asked, out of breath. “Keep them safe. Don’t let my father find them.” “You have my vow,” Zyll whispered, his voice tight with emotion. Ivanore’s eyes welled with tears as she pressed her lips against the calloused skin of Zyll’s hand. “Go,” said Zyll. “Go now before it’s too late.” Ivanore released Zyll’s hand and sprinted forward alone. As she ran, she cupped her hands around her mouth and let out a loud, sharp call, much like that of a hawk or an eagle. She risked another glance over her shoulder and watched as Zyll turned to face their pursuers. As the soldiers neared, their swords glinting in the fire glow, Zyll held up his hands. A horizontal bolt of cerulean lightning shot out from his palms, striking the oncoming soldiers. The men recoiled, their bodies instantly singed and bloody. Ivanore ran on. In desperation, she repeated her call, and this time another voice called back. A dark form appeared on the horizon, silhouetted against the light of the volcanic fractures and growing larger as it approached with tremendous speed. As it neared, the creature’s massive feathered wings moved the air around Ivanore in warm, powerful gusts. Ivanore saw clearly its eagle’s head with a beak large enough to break a man in two, paired with the muscular, furred body of a lion. As she ran toward it, the gryphon lowered its head, waiting. Behind her, the soldiers reeled in pain, but they did not forget their duty. One man struggled to his knees, grunting from the effort. Reaching over his shoulder, he slid a short bow and arrow from his pack and swiftly took aim. Ivanore reached the gryphon and in one smooth motion hoisted herself onto its back, twisting her arms deep into the feathers on the creature’s neck. In that same moment, a single arrow found its mark in Ivanore’s shoulder. She cried out before her body slumped forward and her mind went dark. The gryphon took flight then, and in less time than it took to draw another arrow—or a breath—they had vanished into the night. 


Laurisa White Reyes Author Photo   Author Laurisa White Reyes After spending more than a decade as a newspaper editorialist, magazine staff writer, and book editor, Laurisa finally started living her dream of being an author. She is the author of three novels for younger readers, the editor-in-chief of Middle Shelf Magazine, and Senior Editor of Skyrocket Press. She lives in Southern California with her husband and five children.

Crystal Keeper Launch Giveaway - Kindle Fire HD 6

Ends 2/28/15 a Rafflecopter giveaway Book 

Blast Giveaway $100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 3/15/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review ~ "Her Rodeo Cowboy" by Debra Clopton

Her Rodeo Cowboy (Mule Hollow Homecoming, #1)Her Rodeo Cowboy by Debra Clopton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Purchased kindle edition
Genre: Contemporary Western Romance (Christian)

Book Description:  Everything accountant Montana Brown thought she knew about love and marriage goes topsy-turvy when her parents split up. Shaken, she heads to Mule Hollow, Texas, to stay with family and take a chance on an old dream: being a cowgirl. With all her might, she tries to resist the charms of a too-handsome cowboy. Luke Holden is going after his own dream of expanding his ranch. A wife isn't on his wish list. But the Mule Hollow matchmakers are fixin' to lasso Luke and Montana together--with a little faith and love

My thoughts: I was introduced to Mule Hollow in An August Bride. I quickly realized that the marriage posse had been to work in previous books. I was intrigued because they were so much fun in the book and I wanted to read about more of their meddling ways. It really isn't hard to read one book and find another waiting in the wings that you want to read.

Montana and Luke are two people who are not looking for a relationship. They both have plans and dreams that do not include falling in love. She wants to live her dream as a rodeo barrel racer, and he wants to build up a legacy to take care of his brothers and their offspring. It doesn't take long for the posse to link them together and see that they are a good fit.

Both Montana and Luke come from dysfunctional families. Her father is controlling, his father told him he would be worthless. Both come from broken homes and broken spirits. Healing and faith is theme that help them overcome adversity and become better people.

This book a contemporary western. It centers around a rodeo that brings a small town together. It also has strong christian themes.  I just put books two and three on my TBR list. :)

Get it on Kindle or Nook for $3.49

This is my February read for the Just for Fun Challenge.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Book Review ~ "The Watchers" by Ashley Jensen

The Watchers by Ashley Jensen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received digital copy to review
Genre: Suspense/Mystery

Book Description:   Emergency Room doctor Brian James stared down at the lifeless body on the stretcher. It seemed to be just another unfortunate death in the hospital, but for Brian it was a corpse that was about to send him spiraling into a world of deadly assassins, cryptic cults, and otherworldly beings. In a desperate struggle to stay alive and uncover the secrets of a hidden civilization, Brian is thrust into an uneasy alliance with the beautiful and mysterious Aella. Together they must use science, determination, and clues buried within the Dead Sea Scrolls to uncover a centuries-old secret before they become the expert assassin’s next victims. 

My thoughts: Brian is an emergency room Dr. who finds himself pulled into a world he didn't know existed when he treats a patient who has been impaled with a chair leg. He becomes the hunted from a secret society who avoid discovery at all costs.

This book is full of action. It was easy to be pulled into the story. I personally love to read books where the main character has a sarcastic personality. Brian is so full of sarcasm that I found myself snickering at his snide comebacks and unconventional wit.

The biggest draw for me was the society of "Watchers". Ashley Jensen uses one of my favorite paranormal/mythological/biblical creatures, the Nephilim. There are many fun and thought provoking theories about them, and Ashley has created her own version. She wove it well into her own story.

She has also taken elements from the medical field. I thought it interesting that I was reading about telomeres just before I started reading this book. I loved linking my new knowledge to Ashley's research. It was actually kind of cool.

I will admit that I personally know Ashley. She lives in my neighborhood. When I found out she had written a book, I knew that I needed to support her in her efforts. I am so happy that I liked her book. (HUGE sigh of relief!) It makes reviewing it so much easier.

The book has an intricate, yet easy to follow plot. The main characters are opposites. Aella is too literal, logical, and stuffy. Brian is quick to humor, easy going, and like I mentioned before, sarcastic. The blend of personality quirks added a lot to the story. It really made it enjoyable to get to know the characters and see how the related to each other and situations.

The book does contain violence, innuendo, and swearing.  This is a great debut book.  I feel that as Ashley continues her trilogy, her writing will only get better.

The Kindle edition is just $2.99! 

About Ashley:  Ashley Jensen is a professional writer and former managing editor of three professional magazines. She enjoys the outdoors and is frequently hiking and backpacking. She is a former rock-climbing instructor, fanatic researcher, and a marathoner.

Ashley grew up in a deeply religious society in the midst of a college town where she developed a fascination with the seemingly contradictory interplay of science and religion. This fascination plays out in her book resulting in a rare and effective combination of medical science and religiously oriented supernatural while providing a thrilling story of discovery, cryptic cults, and vengeance. To find out more, visit

Visit her facebook page!

Watch the Trailer!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Blog Tour ~ "The Lazurus Game" by Stephen J. Valentine

The Lazarus GameThe Lazarus Game by Stephen J. Valentine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received electronic copy to review
Genre: Tween Action/Adventure/Mystery/Sci-Fi

Book Description:  An amazing new video game has the power to resurrect the brightest minds of the past and see what they’d create in the modern world. There’s just one catch—it requires another person’s soul. Carter Chance, who is a teenage genius, must find a way to stop his generation from exchanging their souls for a computer-generated fantasy. This action-packed thriller delves into the enticement and dangers of virtual reality.

My thoughts: Carter Chase is a genius. He is amazing when it comes to thinking on his feet. He is able to figure out how to handle situations in a logical manner. He is also a teenage boy, with teenage wants, and teenage friends. He also comes from a dysfunctional family. What Carter really wants is to feel loved and find happiness.

The book begins with excitement and Carter captures a Russian spy. The action keeps coming as Carter moves from one tense situation to another. I can see my sons loving this book. It has the right amount of action, mystery, adventure, and even a little bit of a romantic interest.

His small town becomes the focus of a new gaming store that carries and incredible game, The Lazurus Game. The major problem is that the game is VERY addictive. Carter has to choose between his conscience and wealth. For a fifteen year old boy, that is not an easy decision.

This book will leave you guessing. It will thrill young readers with the action and give them a mystery as Carter unravels clues to determine who is the good guy and who is the bad.  This book makes you think.  It also pulls you into a story and hopefully, less time playing video games. :)

There is some violence in the story. Overall, I would say that it is appropriate for a tween reader or older.

About the Author:  Stephen J. Valentine received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Utah State University. He is Senior Program Manager for FamilySearch International, responsible for the online publication of billions of historical records. Stephen loves history, hiking, cooking, reading, and traveling, especially to Disneyland. Stephen resides in Utah with his beautiful wife, talented children, brilliant Schnauzer, and massive J.R.R. Tolkien collection.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Blog Tour ~ "The Healer" by Gregg Luke + tour giveaway

The Healer by Gregg Luke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received from Publisher to Review
Genre: Mythology/Christian

Book Description:  After successfully completing his first-year professorship, Welsh folklore expert Chris Pendragon has earned a vacation. At least that's what the young scholar tells himself—but deep down he feels an urgency to reassess his life, to find a sense of purpose. Hoping that perhaps a trip to Wales will provide the answers he seeks, Chris embarks on a journey of self-discovery. But he could never have anticipated the unimaginable adventure that awaits him ...

Shortly after his arrival in Wales, Chris is witness to a horrific accident with more far-reaching consequences than he could have dreamed. Following Chris's heroic rescue of one of the victims, an unexplainable phenomenon is revealed: bones that had been broken were made whole with Chris's touch. Still reeling form this discovery, Chris is approached by a wizened old man with an implausible answer: Chris has been chosen to be the bearer of the Dial, a healer of unparalleled power. But the calling is fraught with peril, and Chris soon discovers there are those who will stop at nothing to seize the power of the Dial. With the help of a beautiful, if skeptical, doctor, Chris must choose: go back to the life he was leading or embark on a thrilling new destiny.

My thoughts: I was impressed at how well Gregg Luke was able to incorporate myths and legends from different cultures into one story. He was then able to take those incorporated stories and added Christianity into it. It was well done and made for a great story.

Chris Pendragon is visiting the land of his ancestors. He is a History Professor and has just completed his first year teaching. He visits Wales to figure out who he is and what he really wants to do with is life.  Visiting historical sites is a passion of his. He wants to see where the history was made and talk to the locals to get a better mental picture.

What he ends up with is more than he could have imagined. He now is part of this history and legends of Wales. He doesn't seek it, he doesn't want it, but it is his destiny. An older gentleman gives him an ancient gift that he can't return, but alters how he views life and what he plans to do with his future.  I loved the character of Nicholas.  He had so much to give, but Chris wasn't ready.  It would have been nice to see more of him and his message.

I loved exploring the Welsh countryside with Chris. Seeing a land and culture through a book only strengthens my desire to see it for myself! Wales is one of the top five places on my wish list for vacations.

It would be great to see a second book about Chris. I would love to see how he uses his gift after fulling embracing it. Plus, more running from mob members, jail escapes, and meeting people from legend and the scriptures would be fun to read about. :)  It was fun in this book!

About the Author:  GREGG LUKE was born in Bakersfield, California, but spent the majority of his childhood and young adult life in Santa Barbara, California. He served an LDSmission to Wisconsin then pursued his education in biological sciences at SBCC,UCSBBBYU, and subsequently graduated from the University of Utah College of Pharmacy. His biggest loves are family reading, writing, music, science, and nature.

Enter the Tour Giveaway:

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Book Spotlight ~ "Redeem This" by Cami Checketts

Some men are beyond redemption. Alex is one of them.
After Alex Chakhota was blackmailed and manipulated into becoming a hit man to protect his sister, serving time as the FBI's assassin doesn't do much to ease his conscience. His next assignment brings him face to face with Brittany, a beautiful woman that believes he's more than the killer he's been made into. The road to redemption is long for someone with a blackened soul, and with lives hanging in the balance, Alex has a short deadline.
Detective Scott Bentley's days of law enforcement are behind him. When he's asked to host agents at his secluded ranch for an FBI sting operation, Scott cannot refuse. Ivy McMahon shows up with the team, and Scott gets more than he signed up for. Not only can she hack into the any computer system, she's found a way into Scott's heart. The trouble is that she's in protective custody and when the job ends, she'll disappear.
Is redemption possible for those whose lives are scarred by the past? With danger crowding close, not even love may have a chance to redeem before it's too late.
Don't miss the exciting sequel to Blog This by #1 Bestselling Inspirational author, Cami Checketts

Find Redeem This for only $3.99 at these vendors:

Amazon * B&N * iTunes * Kobo

If you haven't had a chance to read Blog This, it is FREE until February 18th.  

(I Loved Blog This, it's one of my favorite books.  Here's
a link to my review.)

Read an Excerpt

A blonde toddler darted out of the barn, a dog bigger than her following. She jumped into Scott’s arms. “Unca Scott. Momma say I can’t ride Jade!”
Scott laughed, ruffling her curls. “Momma’s right. But how about riding Bubba?”
“Bubba too slo-ow.” Her rosebud mouth squished as she pouted out the words.
The most exquisite woman Alex had ever seen appeared at Scott’s elbow. An almost pixie-like face fit perfectly with her petite frame encased in a longer sweater, tights, and boots. A mixture of longing and jealously welled in Alex’s heart. He knew Scott had been interested in Natasha as much as he had, but the detective had obviously moved on in the past year. Or maybe he really was the uncle and this was his sister. Alex could only hope.
“Brittany, these are Agents Rice and Jorgenson.”
Alex looked at each of the agents carefully. Would Brittany be interested in either of them? They looked like they could be brothers—brown hair, brown eyes, and decent builds.
The blonde shook each of their hands, smiling shyly. “Say hi to the agents, Savannah.”
“Hi!” The little girl shook their hands and grinned. The dog growled at Rice when he stepped forward to shake the girl’s hand.
“Mate,” Scott warned. The dog instantly heeled, and the growl softened to a whine.
“How are you?” Jorgenson asked.
“I good. How you doin’?”
Everyone laughed. Alex surprised himself by joining in. Natasha’s children, Jace and Lily, were the only little ones he’d had much interaction with in years, and he’d found himself caring about them. This little girl could easily break past his barriers if he wasn’t careful.
The mother turned emerald-colored eyes on Alex. Scott cleared his throat, then proceeded with obvious reluctance, “Brittany, this is Alex. He’s going to be infiltrating your ex-husband’s organization.”
Her eyes widened.
Alex cringed. Her ex-husband? That’s why she was here. She offered her hand. Alex reached out tentatively, knowing he wasn’t worthy to touch those small fingers but wanting to anyway. His large hand engulfed the softness of hers. Warmth, protection, and desire all surged through him. Instead of shaking her hand he just held it, wishing they were alone as she looked up at him.
“You must be so brave, Alex.”
The agents and Scott didn’t say anything, but Alex could feel their derision. He couldn’t allow this woman to think he was somebody heroic, even though he wanted to. “Not brave. Don’t have a choice.”


Praise for Blog This
"Cami Checketts is a genius! She writes about topics that aren't widely discussed, in and out of books, and she does such a brilliant job of crafting these things into wonderful stories that touch your heart and remain with you for days afterwards."
Myra, Reviewer, Pieces of Whimsy

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Book Blast ~ "The Rules in Rome" by A.L. Sowards + giveaway

Rules of Rome With Hitler’s forces firmly entrenched in Europe, countless heroes seek to end the madman’s reign. Bastien Ley is one of the best. Working in Italy for the Office of Strategic Services, he’s been tasked with sabotaging German convoys. When his team kills an officer headed for Rome, the man’s similarity to Bastien is undeniable, and seeing an opportunity to turn the tide of the war, Bastien makes a bold decision: he will assume the dead officer’s identity. He becomes Dietrich, an Iron Cross–wearing German officer—an ideal position from which to infiltrate the Nazi ranks in Rome. To help with his stressful assignment, his superiors send him a reinforcement in the form of the lovely Gracie Begni, an intelligent and eager radio operator with absolutely no undercover experience. With a gulf of resentment between them, these two agents must find a way to portray a couple in love. Soon their reluctant alliance becomes much more as Bastien and Gracie find themselves getting lost in their feelings for each other. But as they engage in battle against the deadliest foe the world has ever known, the pair quickly realizes their love may be doomed. As the Rome Gestapo threatens to destroy all they’ve worked for, will Bastien and Gracie survive their charade?

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I recently reviewed this book.  See my review HERE!
(I gave it 4.5 stars!)

Read an Excerpt

Marcello walked around the car to stand next to Bastien. “So no one in Rome has ever met him before?”

Bastien shrugged. “How should I know?”

How’s your German?”

Better than my English or my Italian. Why?” But Bastien already had an idea of what Marcello was about to suggest.

Do you have any idea how valuable it would be to have a plant inside German headquarters in Rome?”

Bastien shook his head. “I’d be dead in two days, Marcello.”

Marcello fingered the thin black mustache on his upper lip. “No, I think this could work.”

It’s not your neck on the line, is it?” But even as his instincts argued against it, Bastien could see the value in having intimate knowledge of the massive defenses being built to stall the Allied push north. And what other information could a German officer learn? Which convoys to attack? Weaknesses in the supply chain? Battle plans? Impending roundups targeting Italian partisans and the OSS men working with them? I want to do something more effective than watch Nazi convoys drive by, don’t I? It was a calculated risk; if caught, he’d be killed. But the potential was huge, and in comparison, the value of Bastien’s life seemed small. “Find his papers.”


  Praise for The Rules in Rome Readers who hunger for a great espionage thriller with an extra helping of romance will devour The Rules in Rome. A.L. Sowards is at the top of her craft with this terrific WWII suspense novel. It is definitely a book not to be missed! Gregg Luke, author of Bloodborne and Deadly Undertakings

  The Rules in Rome has it all. Romance, adventure, and epic themes illustrating the unconquerable human spirit. From the moment Gracie met Bastien, I knew I would love this book. He’s the perfect hero, Gracie is his match. I fell in love with these characters over and over again. Thank you, Sowards, for another fabulous read! Stephanie Fowers, author of the Twisted Tales Trilogy and Jane and Austen

Sowards  Author A.L. Sowards A.L. Sowards has always been fascinated by the 1940s, but she's grateful she didn't live back then. She doesn't think she could have written a novel on a typewriter, and no one would be able to read her handwriting if she wrote her books out longhand. She does, however, think they had the right idea when they rationed nylon and women went barelegged. Sowards grew up in Moses Lake, Washington. She graduated from BYU and ended up staying in Utah, where she enjoys spending time with her husband and children or with her laptop. She does not own a typewriter. She does own several pairs of nylons.

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