Monday, December 30, 2013

Beach Winds by Grace Greene, Book Review


The sequel to BEACH RENTAL Off-season at Emerald Isle In-season for secrets of the heart Frannie Denman has been waiting for her life to begin. After several false starts, and a couple of broken hearts, she ends up back with her mother, with whom she doesn't get along, until her elderly uncle gets sick and Frannie goes to Emerald Isle to help manage his affairs while he's recovering. Her uncle's oceanfront home, Captain's Walk, is small and unpretentious, and even though Frannie isn't a 'beach person' she decides Captain's Walk in winter is a great place to hide from her troubles. But Frannie doesn't realize that winter is short in Emerald Isle and the beauty of the ocean and seashore can help heal anyone's heart, especially when her uncle's handyman is the handsome Brian Donovan. Brian has troubles of his own. He sees himself and Frannie as two damaged people who aren't likely to equal a happy 'whole' but he's intrigued by this woman of contradictions. Frannie's mother wants her back home and Brian wants to meet the real Frannie, but Frannie wants to move forward with her life. She needs questions answered. With the right information there's a good chance Frannie will be able to not only change her life, but also have a change of heart.

My Review:

I was excited to learn that Beach Winds was the sequel to Beach Rental.  I loved Beach Rental and that was the first book I read by author Grace Greene and I fell in love!  She has done it again with Beach Winds!  She introduces a few new characters and of course there are the old characters we already know and love from the first book!  Frannie is a dynamic character; she wants to assert her independence and be strong, but isn't quite sure who she is and how to go about it.  I love that she turns to the beach and helping her uncle.  Along the way she finds inspiration through others.  Can she forgive and move on?  Can she figure out who she really is, or will she turn back to what she has always known?  Can she find love and love in return?  A great inspirational and slightly Christian read, Beach Winds will have you yearning to take a walk on the beach!

You can pick up your own copy of Beach Winds via Amazon.

Happy Reading!!!

Source:  Author for review

Friday, December 27, 2013

Stirring Up Trouble (Stirring Up Trouble Trilogy #1) by Juli Alexander, Book Review


Zoe Miller is a 15-year-old witch with a talent for potions. She's working hard to find a substitute for toad slime. Since fat-free margarine has been found to be a substitute for dead man's toe, she's hopeful that she'll find one. 

Then there's all the so-called normal stuff. Like high school, her annoyingly selfish "friend" Anya, and her crush on Anya's ex-boyfriend Jake.

Now, Zoe's dad is dating Jake's mom, and things are getting more and more complicated. If only Zoe could brew a potion or two and set everything straight. Zoe can't. If she brews a self-serving potion, bad things will happen to her appearance. Like a crooked nose, giant wart, green skin, rotting teeth--the whole ugly witch stereotype. 

Zoe's tired of fate interfering so cruelly in her life. Can you really blame her for putting her potions to not-so-good use and stirring up trouble?

My Review:

Stirring Up Trouble is a breath of fresh air in the  YA paranormal and witch genre!  It is laugh out loud funny and full of young teenage romance!  And let me clarify here, it is full of clean romance ( no sexual situations thank you!) which this blogger appreciates!   Zoe is a fifteen year old witch who lives with her recently divorced mom.  Unfortunately her Dad left her mom for his lab assistant!  Zoe's relationship with her Mom is one of the best parts of the book.  I loved the awkwardness of certain situations Zoe found herself in (no spoilers here) that just seemed so real to what could happen in life.  The teenage crushing and best friend issues will resonate with teens and those of us who remember being teenagers not so long ago!  I was easily drawn into the story and once I began, it was very hard for me to put it down!  (Darn it when life gets in the way of my reading!)   I highly recommend Stirring Up Trouble to any YA or paranormal reader; you won't be disappointed!

You can pick up your own copy of Stirring Up Trouble via Amazon.

Happy Reading!!!

Source:  Author for review

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson, Book Review


Two Hearts. One Hope.

Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter's daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her—a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill.

When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she's never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose's life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.

My Review:

The Healer's Apprentice is loosely based on the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty.  I have to say that this book has been on my to read list for quite awhile now and I was not disappointed!  Dickerson tells a unique version of the fairy tale with many twists and turns.  Rose is sweet and realistic; she knows she can never marry Lord Hamlin, so she steers herself away from him.  Lord Hamlin feels the same way; he is intrigued by Rose and wants to spend time with her.  In fact, he finds himself drawn towards her yet he knows because of his duty to his betrothed he could never marry her.  His brother on the other hand throws a curve ball in the story, which you will have to read to find out for yourself!  There is also the mysterious Moncore, who has continually eluded Hamlin for years.  If you love a good fairy tale, especially one where the happily ever after doesn't come easily, then you will really enjoy The Healer's Apprentice!  

You can pick up your own copy of The Healer's Apprentice via Amazon.

Happy Reading!!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Captive Maiden (Fiary Tales #4) by Melanie Dickerson, Book Review


Happily Ever After ...Or Happily Nevermore? Gisela's childhood was filled with laughter and visits from nobles such as the duke and his young son. But since her father's death, each day has been filled with nothing but servitude to her stepmother. So when Gisela learns the duke's son, Valten---the boy she has daydreamed about for years---is throwing a ball in hopes of finding a wife, she vows to find a way to attend, even if it's only for a taste of a life she'll never have. 

To her surprise, she catches Valten's eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart. But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.

My Review:

If I was going to buy a book based on the cover alone, I would purchase this one in a heartbeat!  But aside from the gorgeous cover, this book is a wonderful retelling of Cinderella with Christian elements added.  I really loved Gisela (Cinderella), she was brave, strong, and didn't let her awful stepmother and stepsisters get in the way of her dreams.  On the flip side Gisela's stepmother was horrid and awful!  It makes the reader proud of Gisela for handling her situation so well!  Valten was a great 'prince' for the story!  He is quiet and unsure of how to speak with a woman.  Yet he knows he admires Gisela and her strength of character.  This story will take you on a wild journey of love, faith and hope!  I was captivated from the beginning, all the way until the end!  The Captive Maiden is sure to please any fairy tale or medieval fiction reader!  I am looking forward to many more novels from Dickerson in the future!

You can pick up your own copy of The Captive Maiden via Amazon or Zondervan.

Happy Reading!!!

I received a copy of this book for free.  This is my honest review.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Reaching the Edge by Jennifer Comeaux, Book Review


Emily has waited over two years to give herself to Sergei. She couldn’t have asked for a more patient man. Now they’ve finally reached their wedding night, and after all Sergei’s patience and understanding, Emily wants to be everything for him. How will their first night together compare to their dreams?

This is a 3500-word short story that contains mature content not suitable for younger readers. It is part of the EDGE series, but it's not necessary to read Life on the Edge or Edge of the Past first to enjoy this story.

My Review:

This is a super short novella, ( a little over 10 pages), and it follows book two in the Edge series.  It is Emily and Sergei's wedding night.  Emily wanted to wait for marriage for intimacy so this little novella describes their romantic and passionate wedding night.  The first two books in the series are what I term as clean/sweet romance without any descriptive bedroom scenes.  This  novella is all about their wedding night and I would rate it at a PG-13 level.  Definitely not a graphic scene, but more descriptive than I would want a teenage girl reading.  It probably could have been an epilogue to book two, but it is free on Amazon so it really isn't a big deal.  I am still looking forward to reading book three!

You can pick up your own copy of Reaching the Edge via Amazon.

Happy Reading!!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Edge of the Past by Jennifer Comeaux, Book Review


Emily's skating career and personal life have never been more golden. She and her partner Chris have won every competition they've entered this season, and she's found the man of her dreams in her coach Sergei. But when one of the biggest competitions of the year takes Emily and Sergei to Russia, Sergei's past explodes into the present and makes Emily doubt everything in their future.

My Review:

This is book two in a series, so if you haven't read Life on the Edge, then I highly recommend that you read it first!  Comeaux takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride in Edge of the Past!  Emily and Sergei are back and they are going to meet his parents while they are in Russia for a competition.  So many things happened in the short time they were there and NONE of them I saw coming!  Usually I can see these things but Comeaux surprised me as a reader!  Caution:  during this book you will feel frustration, anger, hurt, disbelief, surprise, heartbreak....seriously you will feel so many things in Edge of the Past!  Have your tissues and your punching bag ready because you will need them while you read!  A wonderful addition to the series, I am a fan for life!  I honestly can't seem to get enough of these characters and these books!  I am so glad that there is another book to follow this one!

You can pick up your own copy of Edge of the Past via Amazon or Astraea Press.

Happy Reading!!!

I received a copy of this book for free, this is my honest review.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Life on the Edge by Jennifer Comeaux, Book Review


Nineteen-year-old Emily is new to pairs skating, but she and her partner Chris have a big dream–to be the first American team to win Olympic gold. Their young coach Sergei, who left Russia after a mysterious end to his skating career, believes they can break through and make history.

Emily and Chris are on track to be top contenders at the 2002 Winter Games. But when forbidden feelings spark between Emily and Sergei, broken trust and an unexpected enemy threaten to derail Emily's dreams of gold.

My Review:

 I was amazed at  Comeaux's ability to draw a reader into Emily's world from the first page.  I was immediately engrossed in the story and did not want to put the book down!  Why?  First, this book is about an ice skater, and I have loved ice skating since I was young.  Second, the story was magnetic and Comeaux's story flowed easily.  I continually thought, "Just one chapter more."  But one more chapter was never enough!  There was something distinct in every chapter that gave me that desire to keep reading.  I didn't want to stop until the book was finished!  When I finally did reach the end, I was satisfied, yet so happy that there was another book so I could finish Emily and Sergei's story!  This is definitely not your typical romance novel!  I found it very refreshing to find an author who wrote a romance novel where the main character has firm beliefs on saving herself for marriage!  I highly recommend Life on the Edge!  The story, the characters and their relationships are so magnetic that you cannot help but be drawn in!  

You can pick up your own copy of Life on the Edge via Amazon or Astraea Press.

Happy Reading!!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Elect by Rachel Van Dyken, Blog Tour & Giveaway!!!

Newly Released, the much anticipated second book in the Eagle Elite Series, Elect!  You can check out my review of Elect here.  It is an amazing story and my favorite series of 2013!!!


Would you die for the one you love?
Nixon Abandonato made his choice. And now he has to pay the price. Tracey is the love of his life, but being with him has made her a target of his family's enemies. The only way to keep Trace alive is convince the world she means nothing to him.

Trace Rooks has fallen irrevocably in love with the son of her family's sworn rival, and she knows in her bones nothing can tear them apart. Until Nix suddenly pushes her away and into the arms of his best friend... But Trace isn't ready to give up on a future with Nix--and if he won't fight for them, she will. 
In the end, a sacrifice must be made. A life for a life. For what better way to cover a multitude of sins than with the blood of a sinner . . .

And now an EXCERPT from Elect!!!

“Let’s make a pact.” Chase put his hand on my shoulder.
“A pact?” I sniffled and turned to him. “What kind of pact?”
“One that’s forever. One that protects people rather than hurts them.”
“How do we do that?” I was suddenly interested. What if I could make all the hurt go away? What if I could save everyone!
“We do this.” Chase pulled out his pocketknife and cut open his hand, then nodded to me to do the same thing. Without pausing I cut open my hand and handed back the knife. “Blood brothers. We’re never gonna hurt each other and we’re gonna save those like your ma, Nixon. Ones who can’t save themselves. We’re going to protect them.”
“How?” I watched as the blood dripped from my open palm.
“Rules.” Chase shrugged. “They keep people safe, right? At least that’s what my mom says.” He smiled. “We make rules and we start our own club. That way, we don’t have to listen to anyone but us.”
I liked it. I chewed on my lower lip. “What do we call ourselves?”
“The chosen?” Chase offered.
“No, that sounds lame. We have to sound… more powerful than that.”
My eyes flickered to the road, and a sign poked into the ground. It said election. “Elect.” I pointed. “Let’s call ourselves The Elect.” It made sense; after all, the president was elected, wasn’t he? We weren’t exactly chosen, but we were making the choice, we were electing ourselves protectors. That’s what we were.
“Who else can join?” Chase asked.
“Tex and Phoenix. They’ll want to.” A weight suddenly felt like it was being lifted off my twelve-year-old shoulders. “Should we shake on it?”
“Yeah.” Chase smashed his hand against mine as our blood mixed. “No going back, Nixon.”
“No.” I shook my head. “No going back.”

I pressed my fingers to my temples and watched, replaying that moment over and over again in my head as the outline of Chase and Tracey flickered in the moonlight. Would he really do this to me? After all the shit we’d been through?
I gauged her reaction, hoping that I would be wrong. Praying to God that Trace would just this once listen to me. Her eyes flickered with interest for a few brief seconds before she looked down at the ground.
“Shit.” I waited in the shadows. A part of me knew this would happen. The part that told me to damn my feelings to hell and ignore all the warning signs that I’d been seeing. But now it seemed like it was too late. I stayed, planted where I was, watching, waiting.
“Chase, you can’t…” Trace shook her head. “You can’t be like this. We can’t do this!”
“We aren’t doing anything,” Chase said in low tones, reaching for Trace’s hand. “Don’t you?” He looked directly at me, although all he saw was a shadow. I knew I was well hidden. “Don’t you feel the same way?”
Trace jerked her hand away from Chase’s. “It doesn’t matter what I feel. It’s not about me, Chase.”
“But it is.” Chase reached for her again. This time her hand grasped his in such an intimate embrace I thought I was going to vomit all over the ground. The outside air was cold as hell as little pieces of ice tried to find their way into my wool coat.
“It isn’t.” Trace sighed. “It never was.”
Chase jerked her toward him. She fell against his chest and looked up into his eyes. “What are you doing?”
Chase sighed. “What I should have done a long time ago.” He grabbed the back of her head and pulled her in for a kiss. Their lips touched.
I had to look away.
The only sound in the night was that of my soft footsteps as I walked away… leaving my heart in broken pieces where I’d last stood. She was lost to me; it wasn’t even the Sicilians that had taken her, but my best friend.

A gunshot rang out loud and clear in the night air. I turned back around just in time to see Trace collapse into Chase’s arms.

Author’s Social Networking links:
Twitter: @RachVD

Buy Links:

Barnes and Noble:

Author Bio:

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor. She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers! You can follow her writing journey at

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Friday, December 13, 2013

The Magic Violin Book Blast

violinsmallTHE MAGIC VIOLIN Eight-year old Melina wants to become a good violinist. When she loses confidence, her Rumanian teacher Andrea decides it’s time for a magic dose of self-esteem. A mysterious old woman in rags gives Melina some curious advice; a violinist Russian hamster, who happens to live under the old woman’s hat, offers her a virtuoso performance; a shooting star fills her with hope on Christmas Eve. Is Melina actually playing better, or has her violin become magic? Who is the old woman in the town square, and why does she wear the same emerald ring as her teacher Andrea? Praise for The Magic Violin “Mayra makes this storyline and its backdrop magical, with just the right hint of mystery to it. Her characters’ “voice” comes through loud and clear. Accompanied by the crisp, detailed, and lifelike illustrations of K.C. Snider, this book is a keeper. This is a great read, especially for kids interested in music, mystery, magic during the holiday season, and the beauty of winter.” –Stories for Children Magazine “… The Magic Violin is an inspiring and uplifting book about a young girl and her realization that believing in oneself can have a very magical outcome… Mayra’s book definitely has a strong message, one that is important and everlasting. For children and jaded adults alike, The Magic Violin will lift spirits and just may give you and your child the boost to believe in your power to reach your goals.” –Mama Divas
amazon blog
  frederico_smallFREDERICO, THE MOUSE VIOLINIST Frederico is a tiny mouse with a big dream: he wants to become a violinist. Each day he watches as Stradivari makes his famous violins. Each night, he sneaks into the workshop to play. But the violins are too big! Then, unbeknown to Frederico, Stradivari sees him playing and begins carving a tiny device. Could it be a famous Strad especially for Frederico?   Praise for Frederico, The Mouse Violinist “Cute and curious, a little mouse transports us into Antonio Stradivari’s magical workshop. In a sweet playful way, Frederico conveys to us his love for the violin, while he introduces us to this marvelous instrument. Lovely tribute to a genius, whose exceptional instruments have delighted us for 300 years!”—Dorina Raileanu, violin teacher, author of the Dorina Violin Method “Frederico’s story is adorable and touching. I’m sure it will entertain many children, teach them a few things about the violin–and who knows, perhaps even give them the desire to learn to play!”—Francine Engels, Suzuki violin teacher “Frederico the Mouse Violinist, written by Mayra Calvani, is a sweet story about a small mouse who lives in the workshop of the famous violinist, Antonio Stradivari. My family and I loves animal tales. I read it to my seven year old son, Noah, and he loved it. The illustrations are beautiful, and this story will entertain and teach children, ages 4-8, about violins for years to come.” –Book Reflections
amazon blog
  doll-violinist-smallTHE DOLL VIOLINIST Five days before Christmas, Emma is captivated by a doll in a shop window. Each day, she sneaks out of the orphanage to check if it’s been sold, but the shop owner, Madame Dubois, sends her away. Will the magic of Christmas bring Emma, Madame Dubois, and the doll violinist together? ABC’s Children’s Picture Book Finalist! Honorable Mention Award in the 75th Annual Writers Digest Writing Competition! Praise for The Doll Violinst “The story reminds me of the true meaning of Christmas. It is a time to reach out and give to the less fortunate. It is also a time to have compassion for the homeless and orphans like the main character Emma…This story will pull at your heart, and it will inspire you to go donate tons of toys to your local orphanage this upcoming holiday season.”—Speak4Languages “I loved this picture book! It reminded me of Christmas stories from my own childhood. This is a feel - good picture book that will be enjoyed both by the child and by the adult who reads it to them since it truly embodies the spirit of Christmas. The Doll Vioinist would be the perfect gift for that little girl on your Christmas list!” –Kidztales  
amazon blog
MayraAuthor Mayra Calvani Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications like The Writer, Writer's Journal, Multicultural Review, Bloomsbury Review, and others. She lives in Belgium with her husband of 25+ years, two wonderful kids, and her two beloved pets. When she's not writing, editing, reading or reviewing, she enjoys walking with her dog, traveling, and spending time with her family. She's represented by Serendipity Literary.
  Book Blast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 1/2/14 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, Not A Writer and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pocket Full of Posies by Julie Coulter Bellon, Book Review


They say to keep your friends close and your enemies closer . . . 

Hostage Negotiation Team member Bart Gutierrez is shocked to find Lucy Aguayo, a girl he knew as a teenager, working for the deadly Castillo drug cartel. This revelation uncovers a secret in Bart's family so big it forces him to accept a dangerous offer: infiltrate the cartel to keep his family safe. Once inside the cartel's headquarters he discovers that a large-scale attack on America is imminent and the only way to prevent it is to bring Lucy in on his plans---and hope she doesn't betray him. 

Lucy Aguayo has become a key player in the Castillo cartel, but not for money or power---she's on a mission of vengeance for her father's murder. Just when she gets a chance to bring down the cartel leader responsible, Bart Gutierrez appears, stirring up buried feelings and disrupting all her plans. But as the enemy closes in from all sides, Lucy must choose between being free from her past or finding justice for it. Can she give up everything she's ever worked for and reach for something more?

My Review:

Pocket Full of Posies is a great addition to the Hostage Team Negotiation Series by Julie Coulter Bellon.  In this series we get to focus on Bart, and his story is shocking and amazing!  His secret is a "WOW" moment and the way he handles it is pretty great, considering the circumstances.  Bellon does a great job of bringing Bart's past full circle with present day.  I loved Lucy; she was strong, determined and everything a reader wants in a female undercover operative.  Bart was so calm, cool and collected, I kept waiting for his panic moment!  If you want an "0n-the-edge-of-your-seat"  read, then Pocket Full of Posies will be just right for you!   Bellon has a gift with weaving a story of love, drug cartels, terrorists and family all rolled into one!  This book is a part of a series, but would be absolutely fine as a stand alone.  

You can pick up your own copy of Pocket Full of Posies via Amazon.

For more information about author Julie Coulter Bellon you can check out her blog.

Happy Reading!!!

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Elect (Eagle Elite, #2) by Rachel Van Dyken, Book Review


Would you die for the one you love?
Nixon Abandonato made his choice. And now he has to pay the price. Tracey is the love of his life, but being with him has made her a target of his family's enemies. The only way to keep Trace alive is convince the world she means nothing to him. 

Trace Rooks has fallen irrevocably in love with the son of her family's sworn rival, and she knows in her bones nothing can tear them apart. Until Nix suddenly pushes her away and into the arms of his best friend... But Trace isn't ready to give up on a future with Nix--and if he won't fight for them, she will. 

In the end, a sacrifice must be made. A life for a life. For what better way to cover a multitude of sins than with the blood of a sinner . . .

My Review:

It is no secret that I LOVED Elite by Rachel Van Dyken!  Heck, I stand by my word that it is the best book I have read this year!  However, Elect gives Elite a run for its money!  All of my favorite and not so favorite characters are back!  More mafia action, more romance issues, more Chase, Trace and Nixon!!!!  Van Dyken takes the series to a new level of suspense as I was on the edge of my proverbial seat for the majority of the book!  I was shocked, seriously SHOCKED people, at all of the secrets that unfolded during the book!  Heck, I had to re-read certain parts to make sure I was following correctly because it is CRAZY!!! Remember to stay calm because this is the mafia we are dealing with! I have no words for the roller coaster ride of danger and emotional upheaval that I went through!  Tissues, you may need tissues! All that I can say is you will really feel for Chase, Nixon and Trace.  If you haven't read Elite, then go buy it and buy Elect while you are at it, because these books are my favorite books period! Van Dyken has an amazing ability to write a story that feels so true to real life. You will literally feel the emotions from the characters as they jump through the book at you!  If you miss out on this series then you are missing out on an incredible journey! I am now anxiously awaiting book three!  Hurry!!!

You can pick up your own copy of Elect via Amazon.

Happy Reading!!!

I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley.

Monday, December 9, 2013

When Death Loved An Angel by Cheree Alsop 3 E-book Giveaway!!!


Death loved his existence. He charmed women, completed his list, and was content until the day he tried to kill Gregan Parker and came face to face with Gregan’s guardian angel. She fought for the man’s life, challenging Death the way no angel ever had. In the face of her defiance, he felt his heart do something it hadn’t for centuries; it beat. Death found himself falling for the angel, but she already loved Gregan, a man who had never seen her.

Watching Nyra love a man who didn’t know of her existence could terminate Death’s heart when it had just begun to beat, but taking away the one thing she cared about would destroy any chance he had with her. Could Death truly put himself last and risk letting his love slip through his fingers, or would he figure out a way to save both his heart and the angel who stole it?

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Giveaway for Three Smashwords Coupons of When Death Loved An Angel!!!

Entering is easy!  Mandatory entry:  1.  You must be or become a follower of my blog through GFC.  Please comment with your GFC name and email so I can send you your coupon!  2.  For an extra entry you can like my blog Facebook page here.  Please comment with your Facebook name for the extra entry.   Contest runs until December 31st!!!  Good luck!   All winners will be notified by email with their coupon code if they are the winner.  You must be at least 13 years or older to enter.  By entering this contest you agree that you do not hold the blog owner or author of the book liable for any prizes not received.  Thank you.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Podium Finish by Beth Pond, Book Review


With six months until the Olympic Games, seventeen-year-old Harper's life is pretty much perfect. She's fighting for the starting spot on Team USA Women's Hockey, and for the first time ever, she has a crush on a guy who likes her back. She feels like the luckiest girl in the world, until she runs a risky play at practice and breaks her knee, thereby sentencing herself to six weeks in a cast and possibly ending her Olympic dream before it even starts.

For seventeen-year-old Alex, being anything less than the best is unacceptable. That's why, after a miserable debut season at the senior level, the former junior national singles champion switches to ice dance. Her skating partner, Ace, is an "all skating all the time" type of guy, which would be fine, if he'd stop keeping secrets about the real reason he and his former partner broke up. Now is not the time for second thoughts, but how can Alex skate her best if she can’t trust her partner…or herself?

As the pressure to make the Olympic team builds, the girls must rely on each other, because if there’s one thing they both know, it's that the only thing harder than skating to the top is staying there.

My Review:

Podium Finish is unlike any other book I have read, period.  It is amazing that Ms. Pond could take two very different characters who are pursuing two completely different sports and tie them together as roommates at the Olympic Training Center.  The perspective changes back and forth from Harper and 
Alex and as a reader it was so intriguing to read a book with two stories, two friends, two dreams for Olympic Gold.  Pond flawlessly intertwined the two girls' stories and their friendship, goals, dreams and hopes.  Harper and Alex were completely opposite in every aspect of their lives except for their Olympic dreams and that is what made their friendship so believable to me.  Opposites attract in all relationships, including friendships.  I loved the way that the girls supported, encouraged and helped each other. I skated through Podium Finish as I became a part of Harper and Alex's Olympic dreams! I would definitely recommend this book to friends!

You can pick up your own copy of Podium Finish via Amazon or Astraea Press.

Happy  Reading!!!

Source:  Publisher for review

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Illuminating Gracie Blog Tour & Guest Post

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Illuminating Gracie by Lisa C. Temple As an old woman's lifeless body lies on a cold stone floor, her soul stands before an angel who offers her a miraculous opportunity: the chance to do it all again. But that is easier said than done. In order to change the path her life has taken, she must put aside years of self-loathing and pain, so she can help the young girl she once was become the woman she should have been. At 17 years old, Grace Bennett is a bitter young woman. Though blessed with a loving family, looks and brains to spare, she hides her light under a bushel, spending most of her time in the darkness of her mind with little more than sarcasm and self-pity to keep her company. But things are about to change for Grace. While delivering food for her family's bed and breakfast, she turns onto a desolate dirt road and drives straight into her destiny. It's on this isolated country lane that the damaged girl meets a strangely familiar old couple and two mysterious young men. Together the group fights the demons that surround Grace, and they teach her what it means to let her light shine. "Illuminating Gracie" is, at once, a metaphorical tale of the fight between good and evil and a spiritual saga of one girl's journey from darkness into the light. If you liked "Twilight" and "The Hunger Games," you will love the story of Gracie.  
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  Praise for Illuminating Gracie: "A well-paced fantasy story of redemption and self-improvement." ~Kirkus Review (Sept. 1, 2013 Magazine) "Just the right amount of love story to the action packed plot line left this book a perfectly balanced read." ~Maryann (Amazon “Top 1000” Reviewers) "The story also contains little mysteries that keep you turning the pages, as gems of insight turn up along the way. It is a story of hope and redemption, and a beautiful request of each of us to let our light shine brightly." ~Kimberly Raadt Higgins (Amazon Review) "On a personal level, I can relate to Grace in so many ways. As I read, a lot of memories and feelings from my teenage and young adult years have come flooding back, some a little painful, others fun and exciting, even hopeful. Yet it also has me contemplating where I am today as a middle-aged adult; am I who I thought I would be, who I want to be?" ~N.J. Collar (Amazon Review) "The plot is masterfully drawn and keeps the reader guessing until the end. This book tells the story of the fight between good and evil in a young woman's life. It is brilliant in its use of humor and emotion to draw the reader into the characters." J. Pitts (Amazon and Goodreads)

Guest Post by Author Lisa  C. Temple of Illuminating Gracie!

It had never been a big dream of mine to write “The Great American Novel.” Though my gift for gab translated fairly well to the written word, I had never been particularly taken with the idea of creating a piece of literature. Not even as an angst-filled teen did I pen a poem to reflect a dark and introspective mood. My writing had been more “as needed:” to fill out a job application, help my son with his college essays or pass the Alabama State Bar Exam.
All that changed for me several years ago when, quite unexpectedly, I sat down and began writing the story that would become my first novel,Illuminating Gracie. My motivation for writing the book was two-fold: to offer young women an alternative to the “booze, sex and rock n’ roll” literature popular at the time, and to, if only metaphorically, right the wrongs of my own past. I was watching my father fade away (he was eventually diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) and he died in January of this year) and I was struggling with the guilt that came along with a seriously misspent youth. Illuminating Gracie was in many ways an apology to my parents for my youthful indiscretions.
When I first began writing Illuminating Gracie, it was not meant for anyone to read – except for maybe my mother and father. After all, what good is an apology that never gets extended? No one was more surprised than I when my little story began to shape up into a book worth reading – worth publishing.
At 52 years old, I suddenly have a whole new life and I can’t help but feel like this is in some way my father’s final gift to me. Had I not been so wrecked over his illness I would have never picked up a pen and begun writing. There certainly never would have been an Illuminating Gracie. In the book the main character, Gracie Bennett, learns to let her light shine. I suppose after all these years, thats what I'm learning to do, as well, because I've finally found what makes me happy - writing. The 2nd book in the series, Instigating Gracie, is due out in early 2014.

Lisa C. Temple

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Author Lisa C. Temple On thirty-nine Senior scrolls, the Headmaster of author, Lisa C. Temple's, small, private school wrote "Good Luck and best wishes for a prosperous future!" On the fortieth and final scroll, which was Temple's, the Headmaster penned the words, "Lisa, I can't wait to see to what use you put your unusual talents!" Temple spent the next 30 years trying to assuage her former leader's curiosity - and her own. She sold BMWs in her hometown of Montgomery, Alabama, and hillbillies (as a booking agent) in Nashville, Tennessee. In an effort to escape the enforced servitude of the Junior League, she even attended and was graduated from law school and passed the Alabama State Bar exam in 2002. Through it all, she battled problems and illnesses, many of her own making. But, it wasn't until her father - her hero - was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS), that Temple found her true calling - the "talent" that she finds joy in putting to use. "Illuminating Gracie," is loosely autobiographical and born from a desire to, if only, metaphorically right the wrongs of Temple's own past. It tells the story of a miserable old woman who is given the opportunity - by an angel - to go back in time and help the young girl she once was become the woman she should have been. "Illuminating Gracie," is the first book in a four-book series. The second book, "Instigating Gracie," is due for release in December 2013. Temple laughs when saying she has a loving and complicated husband she deserves, and a wonderful son and two loving stepchildren that she does not. She also shares her life with her beloved pets: Pomeranian, Phebe; Bordernese, Flash; and Tabby cat, MInx.  
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    Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/31/13 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, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Monday, December 2, 2013

Fighting for the Edge by Jennifer Comeaux Blog Tour & Book Review


Two friends. Two dreams. One night that changes everything…

Ice dancer Aubrey London scoffs at romance. She’s focused on winning a medal at the upcoming Olympics and uses that as her excuse to avoid serious relationships. But when she and longtime friend Chris Grayden are thrown together by unforeseen circumstances, Aubrey finds herself questioning everything she's ever known about love, complicating her life both on and off the ice.

Pairs skater Emily Petrov embraces romance. She and her husband Sergei still act like honeymooners two years after their wedding. As Emily’s coach, Sergei provides constant support while she prepares to challenge for gold at the Olympics. But Sergei’s support might not be enough to help Emily overcome the one challenge she never saw coming.

With the Games only weeks away, Emily and Aubrey are on the verge of realizing their dreams. But one snowy, stormy night sets in motion a series of events that will test them in ways they never imagined, giving them more to fight for than Olympic medals.

My Review:

Book three in the Edge Series this story shows not only Emily's POV but also her best friend Aubrey's.  It was a pleasant difference from the previous two novels and gave me such insight into the characters. Emily and Aubrey's stories are compelling and took me into situations I couldn't imagine being in.  Comeaux has an uncanny ability to write a compelling story that as I reader I could put down!  Throughout the entire story  I was engaged and felt like I knew each character.  Their emotions, their reactions, their stories....they all came to life through the words of this book!  I am still reliving this story in my mind and I probably will for the next week or so!  I have to ask myself. "Where has this series been hiding?"   If you haven't had a chance to read the Edge Series, I highly recommend picking it up!  You will skate right through it!

You can pick up your own copy of Fighting for the Edge via Amazon or Astraea Press.

Happy Reading!!!

I received a copy of this book for free and this is my honest review.