Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mormon Mishaps and Mischief: Hilarious Stories for Saints

I admit, I do actually have a tie to this book. My friends, D.N. Giles and C.L. Beck are the ones who complied this collection of funny anecdotes--one of which was written by me. There are well over a hundred funny stories bound to tickle your funny bone, however, so don't let that deter you.

First, the blurb:

Whoever thought sacrament meeting could be so silly? In Mormon Mishaps and Mischief you'll find a unique collection of hilarious short stories from celebrated LDS authors that turn the spotlight on ordinary members to illuminate the lighter side of Mormondom. Whether it's the annual Primary program or a simple Sunday school prayer, you'll soon find that ?where two or three are gathered together? . . . there's bound to be potential for some humor. Cure your family's Sunday afternoon doldrums with a little dose of mishaps and mischief.

This book is still trickling into stores, though Deseret Book has picked it up, so it should arrive on shelves there soon. It can already be ordered through Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, the publisher, Cedar Fort, and direct from the authors on one of their blogs. You can learn more about the authors at one any of their various blogs, which you can find here, here, here, here, and here (among others).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

GG Vandagriff's murder mystery, "The Hidden Branch"

Paul Mardian is a shining example of the American dream. The grandson of an Armenian immigrant who fled to the United States during the genocide of 1915, Paul is a self- made industrial tycoon and one of the most eligible bachelors in the country. But the dream is shattered when Paul turns up dead and his valuable collection of ancient Armenian artifacts goes missing.

Hired to find the murdered man's heirs, professional genealogist Alexandra Campbell and her sidekick, Briggie, are brought to the swanky beaches of Southern California and a community of Armenian relatives who all seem to be hiding a secret.

When another family member is suddenly murdered, Alex discovers there is more at stake than an unclaimed fortune or missing antiques, but piecing together Paul's complicated family tree may be more dangerous than she ever anticipated. Author G. G. Vandagriff combines mystery, suspense, and romance in this page- turning thriller!

Vandagriff has four other books out which are unrelated to this series, which you can learn about on her website. She also has a blog she updates regularly. Her books are available everywhere LDS books are sold.

________________

I had a great signing in Beaver earlier tonight, and I have a few more this week. Friday evening I'll be in Nephi at Mt Nebo Thriftway from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.. Saturday I'll be at Kent's Market in Ephraim from 10-2 and Manti Market from 3-7.

Friday, December 11, 2009

"Bone Warriors" by Bron Bahlmann

Not only is Bron a teenager, but he's a great writer too. He's been writing since he was eleven, and his book was released last summer.

Here's the blurb for his book, Bone Warriors:

CRAVING POWER AND LUSTING FOR HUMAN SOULS, the wicked necromancer sweeps the land, leaving behind nothing but death and devastation. RETURNING HOME, fifteen-year-old Derrik and his friend Tweaks find their homes burning and families missing. They immediately embark on a rescue quest for redemption and retaliation. Such evil cannot be allowed to roam exempt. SINISTER GIANTS, colossal green jungle cats, and undead monsters confront them as Derrik and Tweaks encounter inconceivable threats in the forbidden woods, as well as gain unlikely allies. THE BOYS SOON REALIZE that their only hope to save their families comes from the very creature they cannot trust. But they re running out of time. How can they put an end to the necromancer s terrifying reign?


You can learn more about this teen wonder at his website, his blog, or check out this fun video about him.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"Just One Wish" by Janette Rallison

Seventeen-year-old Annika Truman knows about the power of positive thinking. With a little brother who has cancer, it’s all she ever hears about. And in order to help Jeremy, she will go to the ends of the earth (or at least as far as Hollywood) to help him believe he can survive his upcoming surgery.

But Annika’s plan to convince Jeremy that a magic genie will grant him any wish throws her a curveball when he unexpectedly wishes that his television idol would visit him.

Annika suddenly finds herself in the desperate predicament of getting access to a hunky star actor and convincing him to come home with her. Piece of cake, right? Janette Rallison’s proven talent for laugh-out-loud humor, teen romance, and deep-hearted storytelling shines in a novel that will have readers laughing and crying at the same time.


Check out Janette's book trailer for this story--it's just been posted.



You can learn more about Janette and her books at her website. You can also see this video she did about her experience with writing this book.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Bright Ideas for Young Women Leaders" by Trina Boice

Looking for ideas for your Young Women's organization? Check out Trina Boice's book, Bright Ideas for Young Women Leaders.

Being a Young Women leader requires the eloquence of a Gospel Doctrine teacher, the compassion of a Relief Society president, and the stamina of a Scoutmaster, rolled into one!

On top of that, you are also expected to come up with activity ideas each week. Thankfully, this book provides wonderful ideas on all aspects of the Young Women program. Inside you will find valuable insights on:

  • Structuring Personal Progress
  • Implementing the Young Women values
  • Organizing Girls Camp
  • Planning New Beginnings and Young Women in Excellence
  • Providing leadership instruction
  • Increasing Parental Support
  • Seasonal celebrations
  • Utilizing Internet resources
  • Ideas for Youth Conference
  • Plus 20 other topics!
Trina has lots of other great non-fiction titles. Check out her website to learn more.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"An Angel on Main Street" by Kathi Oram Peterson

Every year we see a new crop of Christmas stories that warm the heart and remind us what the season is really about. Kathi Oram Peterson's newest book, An Angel on Main Street is one of those special holiday offerings.

Micah Connors, his mother, and little sister have only been living in Bolton, Idaho for a few weeks, but Christmas, 1953 is not looking to be a happy one. Micah's dad died in the recent war and his mom struggles just to put food on the table. Added to that, they moved to Bolton to get Micah away from some friends who were headed down the wrong road, and his little sister, Annie, is very sick. They've had to sell all of their nice furniture to pay for her medical bills and while Micah could seriously use a new coat and shoes, he's not complaining because he's trying to be the man of the house.

When the sheriff catches Micah in the wrong place at the wrong time, they makes a deal to keep it a secret from Micah's mom. Then a mysterious stable and nativity figures begin to appear in the island at the intersection in front of Micah's building, and he begins a quest to find out who's putting it there.

Through bad choices, bad timing, and a Christmas miracle or two, this book will touch your heart and make you yearn to bring the real reason for the season back into your home. At only 99 pages, this story is just the right length to curl up with for an hour or so of relaxation.

This is the second of Kathi Oram Peterson's books. You can learn more about the author at her website or her blog. Her books are available on Amazon, Seagull Book, Deseret Book, and many, many other stores. Check out one of her sites to see which stops are on her book tour this month!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"How to Stuff a Wild Zucchini" by Heather Horrocks

I've heard great things about this book, but haven't had time to read it yet myself. Here's the blurb:

Sophisticated New York playwright Lori Scott feels like a failure when her producer boyfriend calls it quits on both their relationship and her first play. On a dare, she throws a dart at a map and ends up moving to Brigham City, Utah, where she plans to set aside writing, religion, and men to focus on her new career substituting as The Garden Guru for the local paper. But fate has something else in mind. When she accidentally lights her house on fire, Lori has no idea of the sparks that lie ahead.

Will she be able to resist the charm and persistence of local firefighting hero John Wayne Walker? Will old hurts and fears cause her to turn her back on the best thing that’s ever happened to her? Author Heather Horrocks brings a fresh, fun voice to this delightful contemporary romance about following your heart, finding true love, and wrestling with a basket full of zucchini!

Heather is also the author of Women Who Knew the Mortal Messiah, and Men Who Knew the Mortal Messiah. Check out her website for more information about her books, to learn about her (she lived in the Middle East for a time), and see what else she has up her sleeve.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Family Home Evening Adventures", by Rebecca Irvine

You may have heard of Rebecca Irvine's first book, Adventures with the Word of God. She's recently followed it up her second book, Family Home Evening Adventures--a guide to help you plan your Family Home Evening activities. Each month you'll find a theme with song suggestions, suggested Friend articles, a game or activity, a thought-provoking quote and a fun treat idea that goes with the theme. The book also contains a sheet and ideas for planning for success for your Monday nights.

This is what the publisher has to say about the book (aka the back-cover blurb):

Take the stress out of family home evening scripture study.
It s Monday night, and you re ready for another fun-filled, family activity. Family Home Evening Adventures is the perfect way to keep your children focused on the scriptures to build their testimonies. Filled with 12 fun seasonal activities, puzzles, questions, and lessons, this book lets you effectively plan for the entire year with a theme for each month.

Your children will learn gospel topics such as

Reverence
Love at Home
The Atonement
Feasting Upon the Word
Preparing for Baptism and others.

With this handy helper, parents can teach children to actively learn from the scriptures and increase their individual testimonies during family home evening.

To learn more, visit Rebecca's blog. This book is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and everywhere else LDS books are sold.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"As Time Goes By" by Jerry Borrowman

As German bombs fall over London and England is drawn into war, members of the Carlyle family are forced to make choices that will deeply affect their lives-and the lives of thousands of others. Family patriarch Philip, a member of the House of Lords and a confidant of Winston Churchill, has been struggling for the esteem of his peers since joining the LDS Church. As he slowly gains acceptance, little does Philip realize there is someone very close to him who would like to see him destroyed-even if it means taking the entire country down with him.

As the Carlyles scatter across three continents, family divisions hewn by supposed political beliefs grow wider than the geographical distance that separates them, and it seems the family will never be together again. In this time when safety is only momentary, for one member of the Carlyle family perhaps the most dangerous enemy is himself.

An unforgettable reading experience, this poignant tale of World War II from acclaimed author Jerry Borrowman is a stirring tribute to the remarkable survival of the human spirit.

Jennie Hansen had this to say in here review (the full thing can be read here). This is a fast-paced, gripping novel, perhaps Borrowman’s best. It is well-researched by researchers on both sides of the ocean and carries powerful messages concerning the value of freedom, family loyalty, duty, and both the strengths and weaknesses of individuals.

This is the third title of four in this series by Borrowman, who now has eight published books. You can learn more about the books, read excerpts, and learn more about the author on his website.

Monday, November 2, 2009

"The Elf and the Princess" by Anna del C. Dye

Monday is YA fantasy day, so here's a book I heard about this week. First, the blurb from the author's website:

Menarm was a well-known and prosperous kingdom. Then a bitter struggle of succession left the kingdom devastated, the people divided.

Now Adren, the last princess of the vanquished realm of Menarm, finds herself alone in a world where women live in the shadow of men. Not only must she battle her enemies, but also a truth that could obliterate her last hope for happiness. On her quest, she finds unlikely allies in a powerful prince and a defiant mercenary, only to be devastated by an ancient elf. Will Adren survive this final assault?

Anna’s in-depth character development makes The Elf and the Princess a brilliant tale of true love, high adventure, and medieval-style warfare. Drawing inspiration from such writers as J.R.R. Tolkien, Anna spins a completely original tale that will leave the reader wanting more.

This is the first in a trilogy which includes Trouble in Elf City and Elfs in a Conquered Realm, all of which are now available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can learn more about these books and the author at her website.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

C.Z. Bezas, "Powerful Tips for Powerful Teachers"

The "well" has run dry — I feel so burned out.

Why won't they listen to me?

Am I getting through at all?

Ever had these thoughts? If so, you're not alone! Whether you have been called to work with youth, or are a parent, teaching teens can be a most exhilarating, yet demanding commitment. Powerful Tips for Powerful Teachers is a crucial guide to working with today's dynamic youth. Compelling, yet simple, these tips will help you burst beyond fatigue and frustration, launching you toward powerful moments with today's young men and women.

C.S. Bezas has drawn together a variety of preparation tools to help you succeed in your efforts to help the teens under your stewardhip find their spiritual wings. Covering topics like No Throwaway Kids, Spiritual Bumblebees, Dissension in the Classroom, and The Language of the Spirit, this book is filled with thought-provoking essays and reflective questions. Powerful Tips for Powerful Teachers is sure to keep your "well" fresh and full of the living waters of gospel inspiration.

The previous bit was the blurb from the book. I'm thinking with an intro like that, I'm totally going to have to buy it because teaching any age group can be a challenge at times--and my CTR 8s are no exception! The book is available all over the place online. You can check out Cindy's website here to read reviews, learn about her other books, check out her blog and favorite links.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Stephanie Black's "Methods of Madness"

Though I don't know that the book exactly qualifies for Halloween horror, I understand Stephanie Black's latest tale will keep your pulse racing to the exciting conclusion. Stephanie won a Whitney Award last year for her mystery/suspense book, Fool Me Twice, and has a reputation for delivering plenty of twists and turns along the way.

The blurb:

It’s been three years since the terrible night Emily Ramsey suffered a double tragedy—the death of her sister and the disappearance of her fiancĂ©. She deserves another chance at happiness, and gentle, adorable Zach Sullivan is the perfect man to mend her shattered heart. But from the moment Emily opens the hand-carved box holding a glittering diamond solitaire, she’s seized by an unshakeable fear: she’s going to lose Zach.

That’s exactly what Monica, Zach’s ex-girlfriend, is banking on. Bitter with envy, Monica will stop at nothing to sabotage Zach and Emily’s romance. Troubling notes show up in Emily’s mailbox, fanning the flames of suspicion. A bloody photograph sends her reeling. But when someone is brutally murdered, will Emily be able to escape suspicion and the possibility that she might be next?

Whitney Award–winning author Stephanie Black treats readers to another of her brilliantly thrilling stories that will leave the reader no choice but to keep reading well past the stroke of midnight.

You can learn more about Stephanie at her blog, or her website.

Friday, October 30, 2009

"Princess of the Midnight Ball" by Jessica Day George

Jessica Day George has only been publishing for a few years, but already has several fantastic, successful titles out, the last of which is Princess of the Midnight Ball. I haven't read this book yet, but have heard wonderful things about it from friends who have. Don't you just love the cover? First, the blurb on this fractured fairytale:

A tale of twelve princesses doomed to dance until dawn…

Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above.
Captivating from start to finish, Jessica Day George’s take on the Grimms’ tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses demonstrates yet again her mastery at spinning something entirely fresh out of a story you thought you knew.

JESSICA DAY GEORGE studied at Brigham Young University, and worked as a librarian and bookseller before writing full time. She now lives with her family in Salt Lake City, Utah. You can learn more about Jessica at her website.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Santa Maybe," by Aubrey Mace

Aubrey Mace, winner of the 2008 Whitney Award for Best Romance, is at it again with her new Christmas romance, Santa Maybe. This is Aubrey's third book in under two years (My Fairy Grandmother, being the other title). You can read the blurb here:

Dear Santa,
I've been a good girl this year. (Well . . . pretty good.) I have a nice life and there's only one thing that I really want one thing that's missing. If you happen to have an extra one lying around your workshop, I would really like a husband. I promise to take good care of him.
Love, Abbie

With a successful bakery to run, super cute nieces and nephews to spoil, and plenty of good friends to keep her company, Abbie s not about to start crying over the fact that she s doesn't have a boyfriend to spend Christmas with. But when her sister convinces her to write a note to Santa, Abbie has no idea that a little Christmas magic is about to land her the man of her dreams. Or rather, that man is about to land smack dab on the floor in front of her Christmas tree with no memory of how he got there.

Now Abbie and Ben have to figure out where he came from, who he really is, and if he's actually available.

Aubrey Mace, the award-winning author of Spare Change, has done it again! This light-hearted holiday romance is sure to please even the most cynical scrooge. Told with humor, sweetness, and Aubrey's signature wit, this is one Christmas story that will keep you smiling all year round.

You can learn more about the author and her books at her website or her blog.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tristi's Pinkston's mystery/romantic suspense novel "Agent in Old Lace"

Tristi Pinkston is the author of three other books--all historical fiction--and contributed to a couple of other books, which you can learn all about on her website. This book was a change of direction for the author, but a great read. The blurb follows:

Shannon Tanner has it all a perfect family, a perfect job, and a perfect boyfriend. Or so she thinks. What Shannon doesn't know is that her boyfriend, Mark, is stealing money from her father and making millions doing it. When Shannon learns Mark's secret, he turns on her, and Shannon's life abruptly goes from perfect to perilous.

In an effort to protect Shannon, the FBI assigns their only female agent to go undercover as her personal bodyguard. But when the agent is injured the day before the assignment, they turn to the next best thing: their top agent, Rick Holden in a dress.

Life seems safe again for Shannon with Rick by her side and Mark apparently gone for good. Then Shannon gets word that her best friend has been kidnapped, and it becomes clear that Mark isn't going to stop any time soon. Shannon realizes the only way to save herself and her friend and stop Mark once and for all is by sending Rick, her only source of protection, away. Can Rick save Shannon before it's too late?

You can learn more about Tristi at her website, or her blog (one of several). Tristi has a humorous mystery series she's working on as well, the first of which will be released next March.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Western Historical "Trail of Storms" by Marsha Ward

Marsha Ward has been writing for decades and has had over 900 articles, short stories, poems, and newspaper columns printed. She is the founder of ANWA, the American Night Writer's Association, a group for women with an every-growing membership. She is known for her engaging westerns. Here's the blurb for her latest, Trail of Storms.

Jessie Bingham put heartbreak away to tend to her sister's needs, but when she settled for second best in love, she didn't foresee that James Owen would come back into her life.

The aftermath of the Civil War creates cruel circumstances for the Bingham family. A brutal attack on Jessie's sister, Hannah Fletcher, drives the extended family to flee to the West. They are soon joined by Heppie Bingham's beau George and his brother, Ned, who bring news that the Binghams are being pursued by cronies of Hannah's attacker. Even after they fight off that onslaught, poverty, bad weather, and Hannah's frightful secret plague their journey. Nursing her battered heart when she hears James Owen took a wife, Jessie accepts Ned's offer of marriage. But a stop on the trail holds surprises that launch Jessie into a bewildering tangle of values, emotions, and high adventure.

REVIEW by Shirley Bahlmann, author of the "Odds" pioneer series
Marsha Ward has the uncanny ability to transport readers back in time. You feel the characters' sorrows, hate the villains, cheer the heroes, and sit on the edge of your seat as one adventure after another unfolds. What a satisfying story this is, with real, believable trials and heart-warming conclusions. I recommend it to everyone, from history buffs to adventure lovers to romance readers.

Trail of Storms is the third book in a series about the Owen family of Virginia and their neighbors. If you prefer to read in sequence, read The Man from Shenandoah first. However, each book stands alone.You can read a first chapter of Trail of Storms here, learn more about the author, get links to her blog and many other interesting things at her website here. You can read a review of this book (which I haven't read yet) here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

"FarWorld book 2: Land Keep" by J Scott Savage

If you aren't familiar with J Scott Savage's first FarWorld book, WaterKeep you'll want to check it out first. The basic story is that we have two teens, both from alternate 'worlds' that essentially use the same space. Farworld is a magical place where everyone has magical abilities. That is, everyone except Kyja, who has none. Marcus, here in our reality, however, has found he does have certain abilities, despite the fact that he is consigned to a wheelchair and lives in an orphanage. When FarWorld is threatened, Marcus is pulled back there to help get the Elementals to help fix things. There are four sets of Elementals. In this book, they try to find the Land Elementals. The blurb follows.

Four mythical Elementals— Water, Land, Air, and Fire— have the power to save two worlds, Earth and Farworld, from a common enemy: the Dark Circle. In book one, Water Keep, a portal has been opened between the two worlds, allowing Marcus, from Earth, and Kyja, from Farworld, to combine their unique gifts and begin their epic quest to find the Elementals.

In book two, Land Keep, Marcus and Kyja travel with Cascade, a Water Elemental, toward Land Keep, the home of the powerful and wise Land Elementals. However, their journey may end before it even begins. Land Keep is empty, deserted for at least a thousand years, and the rumor is that the creatures who once controlled all land magic are extinct. Marcus and Kyja's only hope seems to lie in finding the Augur Well, a legendary Oracle protected by subtle traps and mind-bending trials. To succeed in their quest, Marcus and Kyja must also avoid the Keepers of the Balance, an order dedicated to redistributing magic to the rich and powerful. And they must travel far underground, where Cascade is unable to follow and where they will be unable to leap to the safety of Earth.

As the Dark Circle closes around them, Marcus and Kyja are faced with the temptation of what they desire most. Sacrifices must be made, and not everyone will survive unscathed.

The FarWorld books are considered middle-grade books, but appeal to much older readers as well (including yours truly). They are now available at DeseretBook.com, and should be seen in some stores already, with many more to come.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"Prayers that Bring Miracles" by Stephen M. Bird

In the summer of 1983, a young Marine knocked on the door of Chaplain Bird. His face was ashen and his eyes wide with fear. He had just come up positive for the second time on a drug test and now faced certain demotion to the lowest rank, two months in the brig, and a dishonorable discharge.

The Marine explained that he was innocent and that there must have been some mistake. He went on to say that he had recently married a woman with five children. The family was living in military housing and his wife was currently receiving treatment at the base hospital for bone cancer. If he were kicked out of the Corps, his family would have no home or income.

As he listened to the young man’s story, Chaplain Bird began to pray. After the Marine finished, the chaplain heard Heavenly Father say, “I’m the only one who can help him now.”

This began a spiritual adventure for both the Marine and Chaplain Bird. As they talked, prayed, and read form the scriptures Brother Bird felt impressed to teach this young man how to pray. A few days later the Marine returned to Brother Bird’s office saying, “Chaplain, you’ll never believe what happened.”

The result of their prayer together was so remarkable that Brother Bird began to share the story with other Marines. Virtually all those who learned and used the same principles of prayer as this young Marine came back to report their own personal miracles.

The writer for this book doesn't have a personal website, but the book can be purchased at Amazon.com.

Friday, October 23, 2009

"Life in the Pit" by Kristen Landon

This is a fun teen read about a girl who plays in the school orchestra, with mystery and romance woven together. Here's the blurb.

Brittany sees her life reflected in her high school’s musical production.

Her best friend, Amanda, shines on stage as the star of the play, while Brittany is an invisible member of the pit orchestra.

Amanda has a new boyfriend every week, while Brittany doesn’t date much at all.

Brittany believes the only time guys talk to her is when they are using her to get closer to Amanda.

When the male star of the play starts to pay attention to Brittany, she has difficulty accepting that he is sincere.

Meanwhile, an anonymous note-writer threatens to destroy the play, Amanda and Brittany.

Brittany is determined to save the production, her friend and her love life.

This is Kristen Landon's first book and is widely available. Check out Kristen's website for more information about her and her book.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Shannon Guymon's "Taking Chances"

Shannon Guymon has been publishing for several years now and I've reviewed some of her other books on my normal blog. This is a zany, lighthearted romance sure to brighten up any day. Here's the blurb:

Meet Maggie Tierney, a lighthearted, kind, free spirit who has a lot to be happy about: at 24, she is independent, successful, a wealthy artist, and she's just inherited a home in beautiful Alpine, Utah, the place where her mother, Lisa, grew up. However, her excitement is colored by the reality that Maggie has never been to Alpine, and that this home was left to her by her estranged great-grandmother, a woman Maggie never met. As Maggie makes the move from St. George to Alpine, she is haunted by her mother's past: a childhood filled with the misery and despair of childhood sexual abuse. However, she is determined to make amends with the relatives she's never met and help heal her mom's childhood wounds.

Armed with Propels, Doritos, and her favorite easel, Maggie dives into Alpine life, ready to make it her home. Despite being 24 and only having had one serious boyfriend in her life, Maggie quickly attracts the attention of Luke Petersen, a man dealing with the death of his fianc� but in need of a friend, and maybe more . . .

Between battling Luke's jealous admirers and quelling the gossip always present in any small town, Maggie has to muster all of her courage and black belt skills in Jujitsu to come to terms with her mother's past, overcome her own fears, and jump into a relationship with unknown but exciting prospects.

Shannon was a Whitney Awards finalist for her previous book last year. Her books are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Deseret Book, Seagull Book & Tape and anywhere else LDS books are sold. You can read more about Shannon and her books here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

James Dashner's teen dystopia "The Maze Runner"

James Dashner is not a new author. With his newest release, The Maze Runner, his total comes to seven. His previous books are all middle grade fantasy. This title, however, is a teen read--perfect for an older audience without the inappropriate contents that many recent releases contain. The blurb:

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone.

When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.
Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight.

And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.
Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade.

And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.
Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

You can read reviews here, here, and here as well as many other places on the web. Check out James' blog here, and the website Random House put together for the book is here.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Kerry Blair's "Counting Blessings"

Kerry Blair is one of the most beloved authors in the LDS market. She's authored at least eleven books and has been actively involved with the Whitney Awards and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Whitney Awards last year. This book which came out last year is called Counting Blessings, Wit and Wisdom for Women. The blurb says:

Spiritual refreshment is only pages away in this down-to-earth collection of inspiring stories and essays. Like a wise and witty friend, Kerry Blair leads you through the rough spots of life by poking gentle fun at herself in such a vivacious way that you'll be smiling at your own foibles. You'll laugh out loud-and occasionally be moved to tears-as you discover some of life's greatest truths hidden within these simple pages. Reclaim your sanity and enrich your soul with this humorous and poignant anthology that celebrates the joy of being alive and shows how greatly each of us is blessed.

On the About Me section of Kerry's website it says:
MORMON MAJOR-GENERAL

I am the very pattern of a modern Major-General,
I’ve information vegetable, animal, and mineral;
I know the books of scripture, and I quote prophets historical,
From Abraham to Joseph Smith, in order chronological;
I’m very well acquainted, too, with Mormon lit that’s fictional,
I’ve read five dozen Whitney books from romance to fantastical;
About the Cub Scout program I am teeming with a lot o’ news;
With interesting facts about the banquet that is gold and blue.
I’m very good at critter care and tending kids without a fuss,
I cook, I clean, I Visit Teach; sometimes I write – miraculous!
In short, in matters quite mundane, relevant, and trivial,
I am the very model of a Mormon Major-General!

So you can see she has a great sense of humor. You can read more about her and her books on her website or her blog.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

"Santa's Secret" by Christy Hardman and Phil Porter

I know it's not even the end of October yet but there are a wealth of really exciting Christmas titles hitting the shelves and I can't wait to start talking about them. Today I'll talk about Santa's Secret, Christy Hardman's second book, which she co-wrote with Phil Porter. The back cover blurb reads:

Of everything to do with Christmas, Phil loves to play Santa Claus the most. When he puts on his Santa suit, something magical happens--for the people of his town, he becomes Santa. The only problem is that Andrew, his own son, doesn't know. And Phil doesn't want to tell him. Phil wants everyone to keep the magic of Christmas for as long as possible, so how can he tell Andrew that he is Santa? Will Andrew lose the special magic of Christmas if he finds out the truth? But if Phil doesn't tell Andrew, how can Phil balance his time being Santa with his time for his family? Will Phil have to miss Andrew's Christmas in order to be Santa? Santa's Secret is the heartfelt story of the importance of family and the truth that being Santa isn't about fame or attention--it's about changing lives and fostering faith and good hope.

And can't we all just use a dose of this going into the holiday season? haven't read this book yet, but It's high on my list. Christy is a mom working on a college degree, who runs half marathons, quilts and writes for her local paper. You can learn more about Christy and her books on her website.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Book trailer for "My Fair Godmother"

Yes, I know I it's only been three days since I talked about one of Janette Rallison's books, but she just posted this book trailer for My Fair Godmother and I had to share. I really enjoyed this fractured fairytale when I read it this past spring.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Michele Ashman Bell's "A Modest Proposal"

Michele Ashman Bell had been writing ten years before she found a publisher for one of her books. Years later, she now has twenty books in print and another coming out soon. Her most recent offering is A Modest Proposal. The blurb follows:

All my life I had dreamed of changing the ordinary girl's world of fashion by designing modest formal gowns-ones that you'd actually want to wear. With my super-hero stitching I would save you mothers and daughters crying in dressing rooms over yet another "the straps are just too small" prom dress. Don't worry, I even thought of a catchy tagline for my brand: "Modest Is Hottest." I told you I was good!

So I moved to New York and am finally living that dream . . . Well, almost. I am at one of the top fashion companies, and my designs are definitely modest-but let's face it, when it comes to outerwear, would you want to buy a skimpy trench coat? Didn't think so.

Even though I don't have my dream job, my family is a mess, and my love life stinks, I have a feeling things are going to change. I mean, they have to soon, or I'll be forced to marry Jace. I did promise to become his wife only if I turned thirty and was still single, but I honestly didn't think it was possible. Now twenty-nine, I'm cutting it way too close. Right now I'm flying back to Utah for our Butterfly Girls reunion. And since it is the Mormon Mecca, I might find myself a modest proposal. Utah engagements can take mere weeks. Never mind, I'm not that desperate. Really.

But maybe the girls can help. We've been best friends since high school. We Butterfly Girls are not the typical Pink Ladies, although we've definitely had our share of drama. We'll laugh and cry over memories, from pageant glory to tragic endings, but the ones stored inside our butterfly box will surprise you most. We only open it when we're all together, and our lives never seem the same after.


If this sounds interesting to you, check out her website to read a first chapter, learn more about Michele and more. Michele also has a blog where she interviews authors and talks a bit about her books.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Josi Kilpack's "English Trifle"

Josi has made a name for herself in her women's fiction that hit hard issues like internet predators, prescription drug abuse and identity theft, but earlier this year she launched a completely different kind of series with her culinary mystery Lemon Tart--which hit the Deseret Book's best seller's list. The second book in the series, English Trifle was released this summer and is also doing very well.

Here's the back liner:

Things to do in England:

  • Visit Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, and the London Zoo
  • Take the Jack the Ripper tour — creepy!
  • Sample authentic English scones and crumpets
  • Discover a dead body

What begins as a holiday trip for amateur sleuth and cooking aficionado Sadie Hoffmiller and her daughter, Breanna, turns into a bizarre mystery. First comes the discovery of a dead body in the sitting room of an English manor belonging to the family of Breanna’s boyfriend, who is also heir to the family title. When the body comes up missing, Sadie and Breanna are stranded at the estate until the police can clear them to leave.

Armed with a jogging whistle, her personal recipe collection, and an unfailing sense of American justice, Sadie begins her own investigation to find the killer. But when she seems to encounter one dead end after another, Sadie wonders if anyone is telling the truth — or if the case is really as hopeless as it appears to be.

Layer by layer, Sadie uncovers a mouth- watering mystery with an English flair. Included are Sadie’s favorite new recipes for American English Trifle, High Tea Lemon Cookies, Coconut Macaroons, Wake ’Em Up Breakfast Casserole, Sausage Rolls, Crumpets, and Sadie’s Scrumptulicious Scones.

Josi is a very busy writer, mom, business owner, professional editor, and probably a dozen other hats. She has a great website with more information on all of her books, including a first chapter for this one, a blog, the blog she the other editors for Precision Editing Group maintain with great writing tips, and various other blogs.

She and Julie Wright are planning a western states book tour next month. To learn more abut her plans and see if they can fit your book group or other organization into their schedule, check out this page. Her book is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Deseret Book, Seagull Book and anywhere else LDS books are sold.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Janette Rallison's "Just One Wish"

I first experienced Janette Rallison's hilarious storytelling several years ago when I took one of her books on a family trip. Since then I've been making my way through her entire collection of stories, from the obvious teen reads (all geared for national audiences) to her novels geared toward adults (which she writes under the name Sierra St. James--and they are all perfectly safe to hand to a thirteen-year-old without a qualm). She'll keep you entertained from the start. Janette's latest offering is Just One Wish--which I still need to read. The blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Annika Truman knows about the power of positive thinking. With a little brother who has cancer, it’s all she ever hears about. And in order to help Jeremy, she will go to the ends of the earth (or at least as far as Hollywood) to help him believe he can survive his upcoming surgery.

But Annika’s plan to convince Jeremy that a magic genie will grant him any wish throws her a curveball when he unexpectedly wishes that his television idol would visit him. Annika suddenly fi nds herself in the desperate predicament of getting access to a hunky star actor and convincing him to come home with her. Piece of cake, right?

Janette Rallison’s proven talent for laugh-out-loud humor, teen romance, and deep-hearted storytelling shines in a novel that will have readers laughing and crying at the same time.

You can read a truly excellent review of the book here. Also, check out Janette's website to learn more about her and her other books, see some book trailers and other fun stuff.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

"Forged in the Refiner's Fire" Stories About Overcoming Trials

This book has been out for a couple of years, but it's still available for purchase. It's filled with inspiring stories of how people overcame trials. Here's the blurb:

Why do bad things happen? Is there a purpose when we face a bad trial? As mortals, we can be compared to ore, such as gold and silver. Ore that is unrefined is generally impure and undesirable. Only ore that is crushed -- and then refined by fire -- becomes beautiful, pure, precious and valuable. This book was written to help you see the results of the Ultimate Refiner, the Lord, in your own life.

Within these pages, people from all walks of life share their stories of triumph over tragedy. More importantly, they reveal how they were strengthened as they passed through the Refiner's fire. They became more precious, and so can you. Look for the experiences of vocalist Merrill Osmond, LDS writers Shirley Bahlmann, Elizabeth Cheever, Willard Boyd Gardner, Tristi Pinkston, and Candace E. Salima, renowned columnist Muriel Sluyter and several people across the nation who are ranchers, housewives, writers in the national market and more. Candace E. Salima partnered with Elizabeth Cheever to co-author this book.

You can learn more about Candace, purchase a copy, or see what else she's written at her website.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

"the Bishop's Bride" by Elizabeth Watkins

I'd seen this on several store shelves before I broke down and bought it. I was glad I did. It's a fun story, a great, light read.

Andrew McCammon, a widower, knows that he shouldn't be nervous going in for an interview with the stake president. They are friends, after all, and have worked together closely over the past few years. But something is still niggling at the back of his mind . . .

In one sentence, his stake president deals Andrew two of the biggest shocks of his life: First, he is called to be the new bishop of his ward. The second is even more alarming-he has three weeks to meet a woman, fall in love, and get engaged.

What follows is a sweet, hilarious, and thoroughly enjoyable story of one man's faith and obedience, intertwined with a series of delightfully bizarre events that guide the right woman to him. Readers of all ages will love this rollicking, exciting novel.

I couldn't find a blog or website for Watkins, but the book can be purchased through Seagullbook.com or Amazon.com.

Friday, October 9, 2009

"Lockdown" by Traci Hunter Abramson

Traci Hunter Abramson has been a Whitney Award finalist twice for her suspense books Freefall and Royal Target. Her newest title, Lockdown, was released this past spring. As a former employee of the CIA, Traci brings lots of realism to her books and is highly acclaimed. Her latest book was inspired by the tragedy at Virginia Tech. Here's the blurb for Lockdown.

Only twice had she set foot inside the building since the massacre. The first time had been just a month after the tragedy .. . . The second time she had returned to the scene of the crime had been two days ago when she forced herself to enter the building to check on the temporary office for the SEAL team. The counselor she had seen in the months after the shooting had encouraged her to face her fears, but now . . . Riley wasn’t sure she was ready to face them after all.

Caught up in a hostage situation that is hauntingly familiar, Riley Palmetta once more finds her life hanging in the balance. What starts out as a well-organized and highly intensive training course for the prevention of random acts of terror quickly turns into a real-life nightmare of suspense and intrigue that will test the faith and finely honed skills of Tristan Crowther and his elite group of LDS Navy SEALS. For Tristan, this is not only a race to save lives; it is a deeply personal mission that moves relentlessly toward an irreversible crisis. And life—as well as love—is on the line.

You can visit Traci's website for more information about her, her books, links and other fun stuff.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

"Previously Engaged" by Elodia Strain

This is Elodia Strain's second book (the first was The Icing on the Cake), and was released earlier this year. I haven't read it yet, by one of my friends has and said she really enjoyed it. Here's the blurb:

She has the wedding. Now all she needs is the groom...

Annabelle Pleasanton has just been given the chance of a lifetime: A $50,000 "Dream Wedding." The only problem? She's not technically, 100 percent, all-the-way engaged.

Yes, her best friend has seen the ring, and her boyfriend has been dropping all kinds of hints, but something seems to be keeping him from popping the question.

In this hilarious companion to The Icing on the Cake Annabelle navigates the crazy, often chaotic twists of life and love and learns some very important lessons along the way about what really matters most.


Here's the book trailer:


If you check out Elodia's website, you can read reviews, learn more about the author, find links to buy the book, and other great info.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Stephanie Fowers' "Rules of Engagement"

Okay, so I admit I stayed up half the night freezing in the living room, wrapped in a blanket reading this because I couldn't put it down and didn't dare read it in bed (like I usually do) because I was laughing too hard and would certainly have woken my husband. Stephanie Fowers has two humorous romances out, and several other books in the works. Here's the blurb for her first one, Rules of Engagement:

It isn't about fun, it's about marriage

Samantha Skyler is determined to find the right man, except the wrong man keeps getting in the way.

"There are four noncommittal males in the LDS dating scene: Mr. Friendly, Mr. Flirty, Mr. "Fraid, and Mr. Freaked out."

Mr. Friendly is friendly to everyone…so friendly that all the girls love him, but no one knows who he really likes. In fact, he probably doesn't even know himself. It wouldn't be nice to have favorites.
Mr. Flirty can always be depended on for a scandalous comment. He melts the hearts of each girl in his ward, though no one has the skill to melt his heart in return…if he even has a heart.
Mr. "Fraid gives all the signals of interest, but he doesn't make a move. There is no way of knowing if he is shy or just not interested, so no one will go anywhere with him, not even to dinner.
And finally there is Mr. Freaked out. He asks the girls out, but when it comes to commitment, he runs out. Such a shame.

These are the men that Samantha Skyler, a BYU coed, has set her sights
on:


"You see, I have a problem, a big problem…guys. And I always like the wrong one."

After breaking up with Mr. Freaked Out (Marcus Gray), Samantha is determined to find and woo a guy that won't turn on her. But she is completely inexperienced at the game of love…until she meets up with Harrison Bean, a condescending student from Britain who condescends to put Samantha and her roommates under his wing:

Now, the only snag to snagging a guy is that Mr. Freaked out has discovered Samantha's plot for the manhunt and is determined to sabotage all her efforts.

To learn more, check out Stephanie's totally revamped website. You can also read about her other books, check out her fun and funny music videos, and find the link to buy her book. Traditionally books about college students are considered YA, but I honestly think this is much funnier if you've actually been to college first--especially if you've been to a school that is primarily LDS.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Medieval romances without the saucy wenches

Okay, maybe there is a saucy wench or two in Joyce DiPastena's historicals--but they aren't the main characters. I've always been a sucker for a really good historical romance, but most of them are so full of stuff I don't want to read, that I hesitate to pick up any of them. No worries with Joyce's books, however. Her first book, Loyalty's Web, was selected as a Whitney Award finalist for 2007--and it thoroughly deserved the honor. Her second book, just released this summer, is Illuminations of the Heart. Joyce is an expert at writing spine-tingling kisses that stop at kissing, weaves her history into the story so it feels organic, and adding plenty of inner tension in the story. She's also brilliant at marketing her book and getting the word out.

And here's the blurb for Illuminations:

“Clothilde.”
He spoke the name on a breath like a prayer. Then he lowered his head and kissed her.

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

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

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

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

In case you need more recommendations than my own, you'll find a list of the people and dates of reviews from her blog tour here. You'll find her website here, which has excerpts and news about her books, along with more reviews, and where you can buy the books.

Monday, October 5, 2009

There's just something about dragons

Kids from middle grade on up to young adult are flocking to fantasy these days--and who can blame them? With Harry Potter drawing reluctant readers to the book shelves, more publishers have stepped up and provided them with yet more reason to hang out. The Dragon Codex series is a great example. Though the entire series is 'authored' by R.D. Henham, R.D. has received a lot of help from various scribes along the way. One of these 'helpers' is Rebecca Shelley, who wrote the Red Dragon Codex, and Brass Dragon Codex--books designed for middle-grade readers with plenty of adventure but without some of the more mature themes in some fantasy books geared toward teens.

R.D. Henham is a scribe in the great library of Palanthas. In the course of transcribing stories of legendary dragons, the author felt a gap existed in the story of the everydragon: ordinary dragons who end up doing extraordinary things. With the help of fellow scribes, R.D. had filled that gap with the Dragon Codices.

The blurb for Red Dragon Codex:

Mudd lives a peaceful life in his small town, tinkering with the mill and any mechanical devices that he can find. But his peaceful life soon changes when, out of nowhere, a red dragon attacks, burning the town and kidnapping Shemnara, the village seer. Only one clue is left behind--a cryptic note telling Mudd, "Seek the silver dragon."


And for Brass Dragon Codex:

Never start a conversation with a brass dragon--it might never end!
In another volume of the companion series to A Practical Guide to Dragons, orphaned baby brass dragon Kyani ventures out into the desert to find something to eat, and finds a gnome named Hector instead. Hector is not so sure he wants a chatty, hungry brass dragon following his every move. But several groups ready to go to blows over the marvelous invention Hector guards with his life, he may need the help that only a fun-loving brass dragon can provide.


An Amazon reviewer had this to say: Red Dragon Codex is a great fantasy story that includes not just dragons, but all kinds of magical creatures. The best part is that it is written specifically for middle grade readers. Girls and boys alike will love that the plot moves along quickly, and the story is full of action, thought and bravery. I grew to love Mudd, Hiera, Kirak, Greenthumb, and Iroden. I highly recommend this book.

Unfortunately, the publisher decided to stop this series before the entire series was published, but the good news is there are seven fun, clean titles you can search out at your local library (for your child or yourself), or buy for your personal library at home.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Famous Family Nights Revisited in Anne Bradshaw's New Book

What is one thing you can take with you to Heaven? Family! Invest in no-fail, low-risk, wealth-building stocks and bonds that Wallstreet cannot plunder. The Family!

Famous Family Nights is described as touching, inspiring, and often hilarious. The personal experiences in this unique book highlight family home evening as a priceless tool for building strong, faith-centered families, despite the many obstacles of modern life.

An avid reader and scribbler, Anne writes books, screenplays, youth short stories, and articles. She is a member of LDStorymakers and has been with this group of writers since their first ground-breaking conference in the Little Brown Theatre in Springville, Utah.

You can read more about Anne's books here, or check out this review Janet Jensen did on the book

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Rachel Rager's "By Love or By Sea"

Rachel Rager is new to the bookshelves, her first book By Love or By Sea was just released. She's right in the middle of her blog tour, so there will be lots of opportunities to read reviews and the occasional author interview about her. Rachel specializes in non-preachy clean romance. Here's her blurb:

Alice Lind Frank never forgot the boy she loved when she was just six years old, even after he was lost at sea. Now a young woman, Alice has found happiness in living and working with her grandparents, and in the affections of Clarence Hielott, the wealthy shipyard owner who intends to make Alice his bride.

When a ragged sailor appears in town, Alice is reminded of the young boy who once held her heart. Upon learning that the sailor is in fact her childhood love, Caleb, she finds herself yearning to trust him again.

But Clarence refuses to let this ghost from the past destroy his plans for the future. He exposes the secrets of Caleb s past and Alice realizes that the boy she once knew is now a man with a dark history. Soon Caleb and Clarence are locked in a fierce competition for Alice s heart.


Can Alice trust Caleb with her heart once more? And what will she do about Clarence?
Action, adventure, and most of all, romance, make By Love or By Sea a thrilling and emotional love story you won t soon forget.

Watch her book trailer


and check out her website to learn more about the author and read an excerpt of her new book.

Here are the stops on her blog tour:

September 28 - Jaimey Grant - http://romanceoldschool.blogspot.com

September 29 - Kaylee Baldwin - http://kayleeseye.blogspot.com/

September 30 - Cindy Beck - http://www.bythebecks.blogspot.com/

October 1 - Kim Thompson - www.scribbledscraps.blogspot.com

October 2 - Alison Palmer - www.alisonpalmer.blogspot.com

October 3 - JoAnn Arnolds - http://www.authorjoann.blogspot.com/

October 5 - Rebecca Talley - http://www.rebeccatalleywrites.blogspot.com/

October 6 - Anna Arnett - http://frespafan.blogspot.com

October 7 - Heather Justensen - http://heatherjustesen.blogspot.com/

October 8 - Rachelle Christensen - www.rachellewrites.blogspot.com

October 9 - Joyce DiPastena - http://jdp-news.blogspot.com

Also doing a review - Liz Adair - http://sezlizadair.blogspot.com

Friday, October 2, 2009

Ya read: "Eyes Like Mine" by Julie Wright

I thoroughly adore Julie Wright, her books, and her fun and funky style, so I was thrilled when she announced she had a new book coming out this summer. I haven't had a chance to read Eyes Like Mine yet, but look forward to it. First, the blurb:

A story of family that transcends time. William has been missing for two days. And even though the rest of the wagon company has decided they must continue on to Zion, Constance Brown refuses to go any further until she finds her husband. All she can think about is the last time she saw him-he lovingly touched her face and then sang their baby girl to sleep. Will that memory be all Constance has to hold on to? In a future time and place, Liz King is a teenager struggling with her identity in the modern world. The embarrassment she feels because of her parents' divorce and her family's newfound financial problems turns to bitterness. Through an inexplicable twist of fate, Constance and Liz are brought face to face. Liz recognizes Constance's name from her mother's endless lectures on their family history, and she also recognizes her eyes-they are exactly like her own. Were these distant relatives brought together in order to help each other? Will Constance be able to return to her own life and find William, and will Liz be able to keep from telling Constance how her story ends? In this irresistible novel filled with gripping adventure and heartfelt emotion, two young women from drastically different times and settings learn that the challenges life holds for them are not so different after all.

You can check up on Julie at her website, which also hosts her sporadic blogging (she's one of the busiest people I know so it's amazing she has time to breath, let alone blog, do signings, speak at conferences, and everything else on her list.) sample chapters of her writing, lists of reviews, and lots of other fun stuff about Julie. Besides co-writing a couple fo writing books (LDS Writing Secrets and LDS Publishing Secrets), Julie other published titles include To Catch a Falling Star, Loved Like That, and My Not-So-Fairytale Life.

Her books are available at Desert Book, Seagull Book, Amazon.com, and other stores.

She and Josi Kilpack are putting together a book tour covering Idaho Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona and Nevada in November. If you live in this area and you'd like them to come speak at your ward, stake, writing group, etc, contact her through her website and they'll see what they can do.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

"All the Stars in Heaven"--sweet romance by Michele Paige Holmes

Michelle Paige Homes first book, Counting Stars was selected at the Whitney Award winner for best romantic fiction in 2007, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Her second book, All the Stars in Heaven has been praised as even better then the first book. The two books are slightly related through a minor character, but you absolutely do not need to read the first one to understand the second.

Here's the blurb from her publisher:

Ever since the woman he once adored told Jay Kendrich he was a chivalrous hero, he has tried to live up to the praise. But when things don't work out with Jane, moving on and dating other girls proves to be a chore. That is until he meets fellow Harvard student Sarah Morgan. Although Sarah is a freshman studying music and Jay is in his third year of law school, he discovers they have much in common. He has also discovered that getting to know the shy pianist is painful. The last thing Jay expected from his friendly advances was to be assaulted by a brawny stranger.

It is abundantly clear that someone wants him to stay away from Sarah. If only he could. As long as she can remember, Sarah has lived under a watchful eye. While her father insists it's for her own protection, Sarah feels imprisoned. As she begins to believe that those she has trusted most don't have her best interest at heart, she is driven further from her respected father and closer to Jay. But their love will come at a high price as the pair edges closer toward to a truth that is darker than either of them could have imagined.


Here's a link to Michele's blog, which has the prologue available for your reading pleasure. Also, here's a book review from Jennie Hansen at Meridian Magazine--all writer's wish they got such great reviews from this tough but fair writer/reviewer. Michele's book is nearly at the end of the column, but feel free to see what Jennie says about the other books she reviewed that month. =)