Wednesday, July 18, 2018

KISS OF A SPINDLE by Nancy Campbell Allen

KISS OF A SPINDLE by Nancy Campbell Allen. Everytime I read a steampunk novel I smile, and this romance is no exception. I wasn't sure how a steampunk version of Sleeping Beauty would be pulled off, but this was done brillantly. I loved Isla. I loved Daniel. I loved how they had to grow to trust each other dispite the blackmail involved. It was fantastic from page one to the end. There was even a twist that played out very nicely. I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves a good romance teamed with adventure, suspense, secrets, and more.

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A steampunk Sleeping Beauty story from the author of Beauty and the Clockwork Beast.
Doctor Isla Cooper is cursed. Literally. Each night, at the stroke of midnight she falls into a death-like sleep from which she cannot be awakened for six hours. To make it worse, the curse has an expiration date--after a year, it becomes permanent. And the year is almost up.
In a desperate attempt to find Malette—the witch who cursed her—Isla blackmails her way onto Daniel Pickett's private airship bound for the Caribbean, only to discover she's traveling with three illegal shapeshifters and the despicable Nigel Crowe, a government official determined to hunt down and exterminate every shapeshifter in England. Isla and Daniel must work together to keep the identities of the shapeshifters hidden while coming to terms with their own hidden secrets, and their blossoming attraction to each other.
Filled with suspense, intrigue, and plenty of romance, Kiss of the Spindle is steampunk Sleeping Beauty story. It is a race against the clock as Isla and Daniel try to hunt down the elusive Malette before Isla's death-like sleep becomes permanent.



Tuesday, July 17, 2018

THE MATCHMAKER'S MATCH by Brittany Larsen


THE MATCHMAKER'S MATCH by Brittany Larsen. This was a fun read. I enjoyed the flower shop and Liza and Parker's relationship. The plot is wonderful and the setting is beautiful. I had a hard time with Liza though. By the end of the book I honestly didn't believe that she could be or that a person would be that clueless to things going on around her and, more so what her words and behavior did to other people. To me, I would think someone would have at least some idea of how words can hurt, especially face to face. I could be wrong. She was too niave.

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 Eliza Woodhouse has everything a girl could want: a delightful little beachside flower shop, a loving family, and the best friend a girl could ask for. And while she suffers a chronic lack of romance in her own life, the bohemian beauty is a self-proclaimed matchmaker extraordinaire, as evidenced by her recent successes. Having found a fiancĂ© for her sister and a boyfriend for her best friend, she is now taking her lovelorn new employee under her wing. Yes, life is working out quite nicely for Eliza. Until Parker Knightley walks back into her life. After three years in Hong Kong, Parker is in town for his brother’s upcoming wedding to Eliza’s sister. They’ve all known each other their whole lives, and Eliza will never be anything but Little Liza Belle to her handsome childhood tormenter. So the fact that their siblings are getting married simply puts Parker one step closer to becoming the big brother he and Eliza have always joked about him being. But the more time they spend together, the more confused Eliza’s feelings become. Because she has come to the shocking realization that the role of brother is the last role she wants Parker to play in her life . . .



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Monday, July 9, 2018

TREK THE MOVIE

TREK THE MOVIE. I watched this movie with my kids and enjoyed most of it. It has a lot of things that would be over someone's head if they've never heard of or been on a trek before though. I had to explain a lot to my kids. However, they did get some of the humor and I laughed through most of it. They did a good job portraying a trek for the most part. There is growth for most of the characters and some really good, powerful lessons that were shown. There were some cheesy things but overall it was an enjoyable film that I would recommend to most people. It is worth seeing at least once. There is a curse word in it that surprised me since it really didn't need to be used.  

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Trek follows a young Mormon teenager named Tom and his friends on their handcart journey. Along the way, they try to smuggle in unsanctioned food, battle sibling rivalry, encounter a "special ops" Young Men leader, match wits with a Twinkie-loving skunk, and ponder doctrinal brain teasers like, "Do General Authorities go to PG-13 movies?" But, when they encounter unexpected trouble, their faith is tested much like that of their pioneer ancestors. Whether you've been on a trek or not, your family will laugh along and ultimately be inspired as you enjoy this delightful film.

Special Features
  • Trek bloopers
  • Meet the Cast
  • Director Commentary
This is a link to an exclusive seen for LDSLiving that is one of the hilarious parts. If the link doesn't work, click on the title of the movie here and it will be on the Deseret Bookstore page.



*I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.





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Monday, June 11, 2018

UNSHATTERED by Carol Decker and Stacey Nash

UNSHATTERED Overcoming Tragedy and Choosing a Beautiful Life by Carol Decker and Stacey Nash. This is an incredible read of exactly what the title says. I know Stacey and have met Carol on several occasions. Both are amazing women. To be able to come back from what happened to Carol and turn life into a beautiful experience is truly inspiring. It puts a lot of things into perspective. I highly recommend this book to everyone. Anyone can learn from Carol's experiences and how to overcome tragedies in their lives and choose beauty. 

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On June 10, 2008, Carol Decker walked through the hospital doors a healthy woman with flu-like symptoms and early labor contractions. Three months later, she returned home a blind, triple-amputee struggling to bond with a daughter she would never see.
Unshattered: Overcoming Tragedy and Choosing a Beautiful Life recounts Carol's fight for survival against sepsis and its life-shattering complications. From excruciating skin grafts to learning how to function in daily life without lower legs, a left hand, and her sight, Carol takes us on a personal and raw, yet inspiring journey. She travels through the darkness of trauma, anxiety, and depression to arrive, literally, at the peak of a mountain with a heart full of gratitude and love. More than a story of triumph over tragedy, the book offers inspiring life-lessons and insights which can help readers to do more than endure unimaginable pain and darkness in their own lives. This book can give them the perspective and strength to pick up the pieces of their own tragedies and choose a life of healing, purpose, and joy—a beautiful life.
    Lessons learned:
  • There is always hope, even if it sometimes feels small and hard to find.
  • Even if you're the most capable person, you can't do this life alone. We all need a support system. It is okay to ask for help.
  • Happiness takes work. It doesn't just happen.
  • The human spirit is able to endure and withstand great adversity.
  • Even the smallest broken pieces of a life can be put back together.






Monday, June 4, 2018

LOVING LIEUTENANT LANCASTER by Sara M Eden

LOVING LIEUTENANT LANCASTER by Sara M Eden. Two of my favorite families come together in this book, The Lancaster's and the Jonquil's. I had a smile on my face through out the entire book. Arabella is a wonderful addition to the characters that I love. Getting to know Linus better was a treat. Seeing how the two struggled to bridge their worlds was delightful. I would highly recommend this book to everyone. Once you read it, you'll want to learn more about the other characters that are involved. It's a fantastic addition to the Lancaster family books. 

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Orphaned as a child, Arabella Hampton was the unwanted and unloved charge of a cruel aunt and neglectful uncle. The only light in her young life was the kindness of the Jonquil family, and she clung to the childish dream of someday living with them at Lampton Park. Now, years later, that opportunity is presented to Arabella in a most unexpected way: she is to be the lady’s companion to the dowager countess. As she takes up residence at the estate, the young woman soon finds that life at the Park is far more complicated than she imagined. The lines of her position are blurred, and she is neither family nor servant. So when the countess plans a grand house party, Arabella is content to hide in the shadows. But one gentleman sees her there. 
Lieutenant Linus Lancaster has retired from the navy and is not looking for love, especially when he finds himself entangled in his sisters’ scheme to trap him into finding a wife at a house party at Lampton Park. Yet amid the festivities, he’s impossibly drawn to the dowager’s quiet companion, Arabella. Their regard for each other is undeniable, but they are haunted by their pasts. Can the two find a way to bridge their worlds?


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Friday, May 25, 2018

PERFECT SET by Melanie Jacobson

PERFECT SET by Melanie Jacobson. This was such a fun read. I wanted to be on the beach with my toes in the sand through the whole book. I loved the Bree and the mess she got herself into. I loved Kade and his quiet nature. They made a perfect team right down to the end. It was a fantastic page turned that had me feeling like I wanted to work as hard as Kade and be as dedicated as Bree. This book is a perfect beach read, cabin read, or at home read for anyone who loves sports with romance. I highly recommend it.

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Bree Mercer is an ambitious sports reporter who has risen through the ranks to land her dream job. Basking in the sun, sea, and seriously cute guys in her new singles ward, things couldn't be better. That is, until she's assigned to write a feature on the one person she can't stand—professional beach volleyball player Kade Townsend. A typical cocky athlete, Kade's previous attempt to woo her was foiled by Bree's hard-and-fast rule: don't date athletes. Ever.
Kade loathes the media, and for good reason: when his hard-partying ways were exposed by a reporter who claimed to be his friend, the scandal rocked his entire family. Now reformed, Kade has put his life back together, and he has no interest in talking to reporters—least of all Bree Mercer. But when the pair is thrown together despite their best efforts, their chemistry is undeniable. They can't seem to put the brakes on their feelings—until their connection threatens Bree's reputation and Kade's hard-won redemption. Now they must decide if there is a place for love in their plans for the future.


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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

MISS WILTON'S WALTZ by Josi S Kilpack

MISS WILTON'S WALTZ by Josi S Kilpack. This was a fun, clean read. I enjoyed getting to be with Lenora again and seeing her growth after leaving her home town to live with her aunt. Her introduction to Mr. Asher was priceless as well. I think anyone who is any type of teacher, whether in the classroom or in the home, formal or informal, will relate to what Lenora was going through with Catherine. It was good to see how that worked out as well. I didn't think the story was slow until it picked up pass a little toward the end. It was a refection of how engaging it was. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.

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Lenora Wilton has spent her life hiding behind the keys of her beloved pianoforte and the vibrancy of her younger sister, Cassie. But Lenora is ready for a change and travels to Bath to live with her Aunt Gwen and teach music at an all-girls boarding school. She is different in Bath more comfortable with herself and enjoys the freedom and independence of her new life there. When Lenora meets Aiden Asher, she finds herself attracted to him, but her unexpected feelings become more complicated when she learns that Catherine Lenora s newest and most troublesome student in the school is Mr. Asher's niece. Catherine is a difficult student, and Lenora works hard to make progress with the girl.
When the chemistry between Lenora and Aiden increases, they share a passionate kiss by the River Avon, and Lenora feels it is the beginning of a new forever until she learns that Aiden has withheld an important detail about his life that changes everything.
Lenora closes her heart to him, and Aiden, caught between his obligation and his heart, must do what he can to make amends. And Lenora, after years of hiding from everyone and everything, faces a decision only she can make.
*I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a nonbiased opinion.