Wednesday, October 19, 2016

KEPT SECRETS by Traci Hunter Abramson — Book Review, Book Giveaway, Blog Tour

KEPT SECRETS by Traci Hunter Abramson. This was a fantastic read. The first chapter sucked me in as did the second. However, the renewed relationship between Devin and Grace was fun to read but I found myself wondering when we'd get back to the suspense side of things. Once Devin moved abroad, things moved at a good pace and kept turning pages. It is an exciting, page turned that any suspense lover will thoroughly enjoy. I highly recommend it.

:) :) :) :)

Unexpectedly reunited after six years, high school sweethearts Devin Shanahan and Grace Harrington cross paths and have a whirlwind wedding. A lot can change in six years, however, and they must figure out how to make their two independent lives mesh.
Unable to disclose his CIA job to his new wife, when Devin is assigned a top-secret mission to Hong Kong, he tells Grace part of the truth: that he is going to work abroad for six months in finance. But when the mission turns deadly and Devin doesn't know whom to trust, he must make the most difficult decision of his life in an effort to keep Grace safe. Will the seeds of deception prove destructive to their newly formed marriage? And will the love that brought them together be the very thing their enemies use to tear them apart?

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Friday, October 14, 2016

THE GOVERNESS by Kristen McKendry — book review, book giveaway

THE GOVERNESS by Kristen McKendry. This was a very cute read. For me, it had a slow beginning and felt a little info dumpy for the first chapter or two. Once Kate and Mr. Colaco met the story moved much more smoothly. I loved the setting. I loved the characters. I figured out the surprise at the end about halfway through but it was still fun to read and see how it played out. This is a delightful read for anyone who loves a good, clean romance that touches on issues in a different country during a more commonly written about era. I would recommend it to everyone.

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Independent young Kate Porter envisions a future far greater than the middle-class existence she's always lived, and her work as a governess is simply a means to an end. The glittering world of a society wife calls, and her new position as a private tutor for the children of Mr. Alonzo Colaco is a step in the right direction. She merrily imagines the grand house awaiting her—but when her new employer meets her at the train station driving a gaily-painted gypsy wagon, Kate suspects her new job as a children's tutor will not be all she dreamed.
Instead of the mansion she anticipate, Kate finds herself living in the woods in a refitted train car and teaching the charming children of Alonzo, a tinker by trade. After trying in vain to secure another job, Kate is left with little choice. She must simply bide her time until a better position presents itself. Before long, however, she finds herself abandoning her petticoats and preconceptions in favor of the joys of a simple life—and the possibility of true love. But when opportunity knocks, will Kate really be ready to walk away from all she's come to care for to pursue her high-society dreams?
*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

FOR SALE BY OWNER by Marlene Bateman — #bookreview #bookgiveaway

FOR SALE BY OWNER by Marlene Bateman. This was a very cute story. The characters are fun and easy to like. I liked the storyline and the twists that were scattered throughout. I was really happy with the finally twist at the end, although I wish it was seeded a little bit earlier in the story. This is a great, clean read for anyone that loves a sweet romance. I highly recommend it to those sweet romance people out there.

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Mckenzie Forsberg is headed home. She's quit her big-city job to return to her roots in the small town of Lake Forest. Kenzi hopes to buy her childhood home from her brother, Tom, as a way of revisiting the peace and security she's been missing in her life. But soon she is shocked to discover that the house has a pending sale, and Tom won't budge from the sale—not even for his sister.
Handsome widower Jared Rawlins catches Kenzie's eye until she realizes that he's the one who is buying her house—but he can only close the deal if he sells his own house by Christmas Eve. Jared is more than a little interested in Kenzie but has second thoughts when it seems that she may be sabotaging the sale of his home.
Slippery feelings of animosity and distrust ensue, with both Jared and Kenzie denying the chemistry between them. But then an unexpected discovery about their connected past puts a new twist in the dynamic. Now, can they put their differences aside and come to terms on a relationship that could last forever?
*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

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Monday, October 3, 2016

THE SHERIFFS OF SAVAGE WELLS by Sarah M Eden — #bookreview

THE SHERIFFS OF SAVAGE WELLS by Sarah M. Eden. I love Sarah's books, and this is no exception. The idea of a woman sheriff in the territories of those times is unheard of. Then to mix in a love story with a bit of a mystery makes this book something for everyone. I absolutely loved the banter between Cade and Paisley. The tension between the two and the problems that arise in Savage Wells is done very well. I felt as torn as the characters did at times. This is a story that is for anyone, especially those gunslingers that love a good shoot out among friends and enemies. I highly recommend this fantastic story.

:) :) :) :) :)

The small town of Savage Wells is barely big enough for the people who call it home; it certainly isn’t big enough for more than one sheriff.
Yet when famed lawman Cade O’Brien rides into town, he finds he’s not the only man ready to take on the job. What’s more, one of his competitors is a woman.
Paisley Bell loves her town and the eccentric people in it. She’s been the acting sheriff for months and isn’t too keen on relinquishing the job to anyone else. Not only does she love the work, but she also needs the income to take care of her ailing father.
It’s a true battle of the sexes, and sparks fly between the two as Cade and Paisley banter and boast, neither one ready to acknowledge the attraction they have for each other. But when Paisley’s former beau shows up, along with a band of bank robbers, Savage Wells is suddenly faced with the kind of peril that only a sheriff can manage. Who will be man enough—or woman enough—to step up, claim the badge, and save the town?
*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

Friday, September 30, 2016

I'm offended

It's been awhile since I've written a blog post like this, and I'm probably opening myself up to some criticism but I'm feeling like I need to share my viewpoint on things. Especially in light of some opinions I've seen posted about different presidential candidates.

This is not a political post, at least not in my eyes. I'm not saying who I think you should vote for. I'm not sticking up for one candidate verses another. You might say you've figured out which way I'm leaning, but to be honest, at this point in the ball game I have no idea. I'm not thrilled with either choice. That's probably about as political as I'm going to get.

What I really want to talk about is offense. How's that for being subtle? :) There was a time in my life when I would walk on egg shells around a particular person because I was afraid of offending them. It felt like anything I said could and would be taken as me trying to offend them when in reality it was the furthest thing from my mind. It became so stifling and hard to live that I finally stopped doing it. The moment I allowed myself to not worry about whether or not something I said was offensive was very freeing. I knew in my heart that I wasn't intending to offend someone. I wasn't out to cause hurt. I wasn't purposely trying to say hurtful things. And I couldn't control how someone would react to what I would say. I began to take control of what I could control and let the rest go.

It feels like a lot of what is being said in the media about a particular someone is that they are abrasive and offensive. Here's the thing about offense, it's a choice. Even if the person meant to be hurtful, that doesn't mean I have to believe them. It doesn't mean I have to take those words to heart, internalize them, and allow them to shape and affect who I am. That's my choice. Remember the saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me?" I believe that.

Now don't get me wrong, words can hurt and they do hurt. But again, do I allow them to shape who I am and what I think of myself? No. Do I think about them and sometimes cry about them? Yes, but I give myself a time limit and when that time is up, I do my best to push it aside. Those words are not who I am.

A friend recently posted that she's afraid of the influence of someone on society because of their viewpoints toward women. She's afraid for her daughters and what that influence will do toward their future husbands. Even if these viewpoints trickle down into society, which I have no doubt they may, are we going to allow them to shape who we are and who our kids think they are? This is where I firmly believe the teaching of parents comes into play. 

As a parent, I firmly believe it is my job to teach my children appropriate viewpoints toward others. In fact, in a the general women's conference this past weekend, Sister Bonnie Oscarson quoted President Russell M. Nelson saying, "...we need women who have a bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Christ and who will use that understanding to teach and help raise a sin-resistant generation."

This tells us that it is our duty to teach our children what is right, not society. We should not depend on society to educate our children on correct principals not only religiously but socially as well. Because they will teach them incorrect ideas. So if society has a less than stellar viewpoint of women, it is our job to educate our precious little ones on what is an appropriate viewpoint of women. We need to teach them how to stand up for that and show the world how women should be treated. Teach them that it's okay to think differently. It's okay to voice our opinions. It's okay to stand up for the harder right even though friends are choosing the easier wrong. Society doesn't dictate how they should feel and what they should think.

Personally, I will not allow society to dictate that to my children. Do they still have their agency? Yes. I can teach them the best to my ability and they still may decide to go their own way, but it won't be because I didn't do my best to teach them.

Some may say that I don't have the same perspective and fear because I don't have a daughter. I may not have a daughter but I have sons who will be dating and marrying someone else's daughter and I will teach them the appropriate way to view women and the appropriate way to treat a woman.

So when someone is speaking to you and you feel those stirrings in your gutt saying you don't like what is being said, what are you going to do? If someone speaks harshly, is abrasive, is rude, says things that aren't PC, speaking offensively, how are you going to react? Are you going to allow those hurtful things to fester inside of you? Are you going to allow yourself to be offended and in turn say hurtful things toward others? How are you going to choose to react?

What's interesting is I've found that more often than not, the people that are extremely offended are those who are outside of the conversation. It's not the people who the comments were directed toward. Most of the time those individuals are forgiving, kind, gracious, and respectful to whomever said the harsh words. It's relatives, friends, co-workers, and other outside acquaintances that are the most offended. Again, this is just my opinion. Yours may differ. This is just what I've noticed in my own observations.

Please don't take this as I'm perfect in this area. Words still affect me. It's a daily battle it seems like for me not to be offended, but in the end I come to the same conclusion. I will not be acted upon, I will act. I will choose not to be offended because the other person cannot choose for me, even if their intent is to offend, I will not let them tell me how to feel. How are you going to choose to react?

Friday, September 23, 2016

INFECTED by Gregg Luke — Book Review, Giveaway

INFECTED by Gregg Luke. This was an interesting read. I was surprised at how quickly I was able to read through it. The beginning was a little more gruesome that expected, and there was a lot of background stories that I didn't feel were completely necessary, although I understood why they were included. My body definitely tightened throughout the novel. I did feel like there were almost too many different points of view, although again, I understood why it was done in the way it was. It was a gripping read that had the pages turning. I would recommend it to anyone who likes to be on the edge of their seats and doesn't mind bit of mild gruesomeness.

:) :) :) :)

Mother Nature: the world's most innovative killer.
Deep in the jungles of Venezuela, mycologist Dr. Julia Fatheringham is engrossed in her study of native fungi. But what begins as a standard research trip quickly spirals into chaos when her associate's erratic behavior results in his horrifying death. Soon, Julia makes a startling discover: her partner was contaminated by an organism found only in insects. It alters the victim's mind in alarming ways, with an invariably deadly outcome. Julia is baffled by her discovery—this organism has never appeared in humans. It shouldn't be possible. There is only one terrifying conclusion: The infection has jumped species.
Now, in this remote corner of the world, a contagion of unparalleled horror rests in Julia's hands. But even as she works to contain the organism that could spell devastation of apocalyptic proportions, there are others with a different agenda. They've learned of her discovery and will go to any lengths to acquire a sample—there is good money to be had in eco-terrorism.
Armed only with her strength of mind and what courage she can gather, Julia prepares to battle the devastating scourge—and the terrorists determined to unleash it on humanity.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

SOUTHERN CHARMED by Melanie Jacobson—book review

SOUTHERN CHARMED by Melanie Jacobson. This was a darling read. I loved being in the South and having Lila show Max how great the South really was. I loved seeing the southern culture brought to life in a different way. Max and Lila's relationship was great from beginning to end. Lila' relationship with her students was heart-warming. There were a few details that came out as the book went on that made me have to rearrange the picture in my head. So, I either missed those details or it would have been nice to have it made clearer a bit earlier in the book. This is a fantastic read that I would recommend to anyone who loves a great book with some southern charm. It's a fantastic romance that anyone would love.

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Lila Mae Guidry is a Southern girl through and through. As a fourth-generation Latter-day Saint in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she's proud of her heritage as both a Southerner and a Saint—and she doesn't take kindly to people who disparage either. Ten years ago, Max Archer was just that kind of jerk. As the mission president's son, Max spent his entire three years mocking the South...and teenage Lila. After Max's family moved away, Lila forgot about her sworn enemy. Almost. When a new job brings a grown-up Max back to Baton Rouge, Lila is less than thrilled with his reappearance, especially since everyone seems intent on throwing her together with this old adversary. Yet fight as she may, Lila soon realizes resistance is futile—their connection is undeniable. Max embodies everything she wants in a man—except perhaps the most important thing—her life is rooted in the city she loves, but his dreams are bigger than Baton Rouge. With such mismatched visions of the future, Max and Lila are faced with a life-altering decision: jeopardize their aspirations or risk losing love.

*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

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