Monday, September 20, 2010
Gregg Luke's latest release, Blink of an Eye, is unlike his previous mystery/suspense books, but still well worth a read.
Childhood was a happy, carefree time for Joseph Ramirez. At least that's how he used to remember it. But since the near-fatal traffic accident that landed him in the hospital with brain trauma, he's not so sure. Along with physical pain, Joseph now suffers recurring nightmares. Each night the heart-wrenching dreams grow increasingly vivid and graphic-to the point that Joseph's hospital roommate reports that Joseph talks in his sleep, often crying out in anguish and remorse. To complicate matters, a ruthless lawyer is challenging Joseph's innocence in the traffic accident. When defense attorney Michelle Haas comes to his aid, they discover they knew each other as children, and soon another forgotten experience comes into play-one that goes deeper than simple friendship. Are Joseph's night terrors actually repressed memories? Does he speak the truth during his unconscious midnight hours? And if so, what will that mean when Joseph's hospital roommate claims he confessed to murder? Soon Joseph realizes there's only one way to uncover the truth about his family and himself-involving reliving a past he has unknowingly worked all his life to forget.
The story has plenty of well-research medical procedural information, but none of it is overly detailed--it slides into the plot seamlessly. The description of his night terrors is gripping, but not graphic enough to be disturbing. This is a great drama with a tiny slice of romance squeezed in. Check out the review on my blog, or visit Gregg's website for more information about his books.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Whether you’re a new teacher or a seasoned pro, preparing lessons for Relief Society just got easier with The Ready Resource for Relief Society: Gospel Principles, Part One.
Trina Boice provides a lesson summary, pertinent quotes from General Authorities, and relevant hymns for each lesson in the manual. In addition, each lesson features a helpful and attractively designed handout that you can copy for each Relief Society sister, suggestions for artwork, and even some fun object lessons!
With the groundwork done for you, you can now concentrate on the fun part of giving lessons: personalizing them to the needs of the sisters in your ward.
Take the stress out of preparing lessons, and focus on giving Relief Society lessons that will touch the hearts of your class members. With invaluable help like this, lesson preparation has never been so simple!
You can learn more about Trina's creative books on her website.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Jim dazzles audiences with fun and comedy, all while demonstrating his memorization of 80,000 zip codes, the entire Scrabble dictionary, thousands of digits of pi, every day of the week since the beginning of the modern calendar, and thousands of other facts. He can memorize a shuffled deck of cards in minutes.
For decades his audiences have wondered how The Madman is capable of such extraordinary mental feats. He now shares his knowledge through life stories and technique. Jim aims to show readers just how much the human mind is capable of. Learn how Jim has developed his impressive mind, and give yourself the opportunity to tap into your own extraordinary mental abilities.
In this book, Jim Karol shares his story. You can learn more about the book, and the ghost writer, LuAnn Staheli on her blog. This is her second ghost-written book. She's also a speaker, educator, and writing coach.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
His book trailer is posted below:
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Photojournalist Stacey Willis is working on a story that could change her career, when she stumbles upon the story that will change her life. Through a twist of fate, she becomes enmeshed in the lives of the people of tiny Grouse Creek as secrets of the past begin to unravel.
Fifty years ago there was a murder. But it's difficult for Stacey to believe that aging rancher Herman Anders could be the killer. But can she trust her boyfriend, Dave? Her engaging new friend, Sam?
She says about herself:
I'm a 50-something woman who loves the great outdoors. Besides writing, I spend my time roaming the hills and mountains in Northern Utah, making pottery, and enjoying life with my husband of 30 plus years.
My husband and I taught school in a K-10 two-room school with 24 students in the small town of Grouse Creek. The nearest grocery store was sixty miles away and most of the road was dirt and windy (still is). Much of my writing was inspired by the six years we spent living there. Now we live in Cache Valley, Utah.You can check out Carole's musings on her blog. Her book can be purchased on Amazon.com.
Friday, June 18, 2010
The widowed Elise is a perfect English lady living within the confines of society for the sake of her impressionable young son.
Her quiet world is shattered when she meets the impulsive and scandalous Jared Amesbury. His roguish charm awakens her yearning for freedom and adventure.
But his irrepressible grin and sea-green eyes hide a secret. A gentleman by day, a pirate by night, Jared accepts one last assignment before he can be truly free. Elise gives him hope that he, too, can find love and belonging.
His hopes are crushed when his best laid plans go awry and Elise is dragged into his world of violence and deceit. She may not suvive the revelation of Jared’s past. . . or still love him when the truth is revealed.
You can read a review of this book on Bookworm Nation.
This is the second book in the Rogue Hearts series and is available in both print and ebook formats. She has four books in print right now. To learn more about Donna and her books, you can check out her blog here, or visit her website and read an excerpt of any of her stories.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Here's the blurb:
Sometimes what you can't see means everything.
A young woman is missing. In desperation, her parents turn to Autumn Rain for help. Autumn reads imprints - emotions mysteriously left behind on certain treasured objects. But will this ability enrich her life or destroy it?
Autumn isn't sure - her life has become far from normal - but for people whose loved ones are missing, her talent might mean the difference between life and death. Even the infuriating Detective Martin has asked for Autumn's help, though at times she feels more like a suspect than a consultant. Too often Autumn find herself retreating to her antiques shop and the company of her best friend, Jake Ryan, to avoid notice.
But soon more than one woman is missing, and Autumn teams up with private eye Ethan McConnell to investigate their disappearance. Ethan's attraction to her is a pleasant change from Jake's frustrating offers of friendship, but once Autumn takes that first step, she sets in motion a series of events that risk not only her own life but the lives of those she cares most about.
You can read my full review of this book here, and check out the review on Mormon Times here. You can learn more about Rachel's books and what's coming up soon from this prolific author on her website or blog.
Monday, May 10, 2010
If you're familiar with Tristi's historicals: Nothing to Regret, Strength to Endure, and Season of Sacrifice, or even her mystery/suspense novel, Agent in Old Lace, you'll know this new series of stories full of older women getting in hilarious capers while in the pursuit of answers to the mystery is a change of pace from her past work--and the stories she's got lined up for later in the series will be every bit as fun and entertaining.
Here's the official back cover blurb:
Ida Mae Babbitt, president of the Omni 2nd Ward Relief Society, didn't mean to become a spy. But when visiting teaching stats are low and she learns that one family under her care is in financial trouble, she'll do whatever it takes to make sure they have what they need. If that includes planting surveillance cameras in their home and watching them from a parked car in the woods, well, isn't that what any caring Relief Society president would do?
With the help of her counselors Arlette and Tansy, Ida Mae soon learns that there's more to the situation than meets the eye. It's all in a day's work for the Relief Society.
You can learn more about Tristi on her blog, or this blog, or this one, or this one, or, well, okay, so the woman likes to blog. Maybe you should just check out the full list on her profile.
Friday, April 30, 2010
You can read a preview of this book and learn more about the author and her book on her website and keep track of her fight with breast cancer on her blog, Chocolate Daydreams.
Here's the back cover blurb:
Carmen Anderson has spent her entire life avoiding the place she grew up: the town tiny of Prosper, Arizona.
But when her teenage daughter, Paige, begins to rebel, the devoted single mother makes an impulsive decision to move back to Prosper and its wholesome values.
While Carmen is in Chicago for a business meeting. Paige is unexpected stranded in Prosper during a flood that takes out its only access bridge.
In a race to save her daughter, Carmen sets out on a desperate journey.Jeopardizing both her career and a proposal of marriage, Carmen must get to her daughter before she uncovers a painful secret--the mystery of why Carmen ran away from a people who still love her fiercely, even after years of hurtful separation.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Here's the back cover blurb:
A BYU-Idaho choir tour in British Columbia turns out to be anything but ordinary when soloist Stacie Cox spots a kidnapped child from Rexburg during a performance.
Before Stacie can alert the authorities, the little girl disappears. Stacie vows to find and rescue her, a choice that forces her to deal with her guilt-ridden past and another little girl that haunts her dreams.
When the handsome Matt Brennan helps Stacie in her search, she tries to resist the attraction she feels for him. Yet as he gains her friendship and trust, her resolve to never fall in love begins to crumble.
And after a series of harrowing events, Stacie must decide if she is willing to sacrifice her life--and a possible future with Matt--to save a stranger.
If you live in the Brigham City area, you can attend Ronda's opening night party next week:
My OPENING NIGHT Book Signing party for TRAPPED will be at Reflections of Utah Book Store at 47 S. Main Street, Brigham City, Utah on May 6, 2010 from 5 p.m to 7 p.m.
You can learn more about the author, her books and read an except on her website. Also, check out her blog for regular updates.
I've since had a few more times to speak with her in person, and get to know her online and my impression of her has own grown. This woman has so much on her plate I wonder how she's managed to keep her sanity sometimes, yet she always projects a positive outlook, expresses interest in others, and wows me in her attention to her goals. You've probably heard of her book The Santa Letters, or maybe even her Christmas picture book that was released last fall called The Legend of the Star. Unlike those works of fiction, Life is Tough--I Doubt I'll Make it out Alive is drawn off of her real life, giving a humorous look at the trials we all face in one way or another.
Here's the back cover copy from her book:
Life has been overly kind to me when it comes to handing me its lessons and forcing growth in all dimensions where once there was a young and impetuous sleepy-eyed hag.
Stacey Gooch Anderson, author of The Santa Letters, has had her share of trials as a mother. From making decisions about her career and future to dealing with illness and death in her family, she has learned that life will continue to teach her lessons in all circumstances. These lessons can be poignant, meaningful and in Stacy's case, quite humorous. Stacy reveals a life filled with laughter and wit as she chronicles her adventures of being a mother. Join her as she shared 28 life lessons that changes her perspective and helped her grow in character. Full of humor and practical advice, Life is Tough--I Doubt I'll Make it Out Alive is sure to inspire readers everywhere.
You can learn more about Stacy on her blog. Her books are available through most online retailers.
Monday, April 26, 2010
My first book was Danger in the Shadows, which I found complex, with a well developed romance, likable characters, and not too heavy-handed on the religion angle. Her male and female leads even had a legitimate reason to be kept apart, unlike so many books about people who have simple misunderstandings. Here's the blurb from Amazon:
Sara is terrified. She's doing the one thing she cannot afford to do: fall in love with former pro-football player Adam Black, a man everyone knows. Sara's been hidden away in the witness protection program, her safety dependent on staying invisible--and loving Adam could get her killed!
Introducing the O'Malleys, an inspirational group of seven, all abandoned or orphaned as teens, who have made the choice to become a loyal and committed family. They have chosen their own surname, O'Malley, and have stood by each other through moments of joy and heartache. Their stories are told in CBA best-selling, inspirational romantic suspense novels that rock your heart and restore strength and hope to your spirit.
You can learn more about Dee Henderson' stories including reading a first chapter here.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
She self published several books, then after her book Seeking Persephone was a Whitney Award Finalist last year, Covenant expressed an interest in her books, and recently published Courting Miss Lancaster. They are currently considering republishing her previous books, which are out of print at the moment.
Courting Miss Lancaster came out last month. Here's the blurb:
Harry Windover adores blonde, green-eyed Athena Lancaster, but alas, a penniless man like himself has no hope of winning a young noblewoman's hand.
To add insult to injury, Athena's brother-in-law and guardian, the Duke of Kielder, has asked Harry to assist Athena in finding the gentleman of her dreams. But the lovesick Harry is cunning as well: as the weeks pass, he introduces Athena to suitors who are horrifically boring, alarmingly attached to their mothers, downright rude, astoundingly self-absorbed, and utterly ridiculous.
Athena can't comprehend why she is having so little success meeting eligible and acceptable gentlemen. Indeed, her circle of admirers couldn't be less admirable-nothing like the loyal, gentle friend she's found in Harry. But how long can Harry's scheme be hidden before it is discovered? And what will Athena do when she uncovers Harry's deception?
Escape into a charming regency world in this delightfully romantic comedy of manners that will entertain you to the very last word.
You can learn more about Sarah, her books, her writing journey, and her fun interviews on her website. Her books are available at Deseret Book, Seagull, on Amazon.com and many other places books are sold.
Just as a note, Annette Lyon wrote a great blog post yesterday about the changing face of LDS literature and how diverse it has become recently. To learn more about Sarah's book (which is mentioned) and several other new books in genres never before published in the LDS market, check out Annette's blog.
Friday, March 26, 2010
The Adventures of Hashbrown Winters is Frank's first book, though the second one, Hashbrown Winters and the Mashimoto Madness was released recently as well.
Here's the backliner for the first book:
There I stood, hiding next to the vending machines, disguised as a potted plant. I brushed the plastic leaves from my face and stared down the hallway toward the front double doors. Snow Cone always said one day this ridiculous costume would come in handy.
Fifteen minutes had passed since the last student left for the buses, but I wasn t about to take any chances. Not with my life hanging in the balance. Leaning forward, I peered around the corner just as the sound of footsteps echoed down the hallway. Was this it? Could this be him? Was I about to be pulverized by Hambone while wearing an emergency disguise I had just pulled from my locker?
Hashbrown Winters and his treehouse club of buddies are well known around Pordunce Elementary, especially after Hashbrown's seminar last year on how to give the best show and tell performances... er, presentations.
But when Hashbrown accidentally crosses Hambone Oxcart, the death dealer of Pordunce, he'll need more than just the support of his friends to survive Hambone's wrath.
Join Hashbrown, Snow Cone, Whiz, and the rest of the gang in Frank Cole s hilarious debut novel of the trials and tragedies of fifth grade life. The Adventures of Hashbrown Winters will keep kids and parents alike laughing out loud, groaning in sympathy, and turning pages until well past bedtime.
You can learn more about Frank and his books (and twisted, crazy humor) on his blog.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
It couldn't be a worse time for Mattie Jones' ex-husband to show up. Not only was he unexpected, but he's got a broken arm from a car wreck with a pregnant passenger he swears is a stranger.
Mattie's already dizzy from what she thinks is the flu, so is grateful when her fiancé offers to let her ex-husband stay at his house.
The next morning, her fiancé's livelihood is nearly destroyed.
Soon Mattie is enmeshed in serious problems with her eccentric neighbor's conniving niece, the return of her old anti-Mormon high school buddy, her daughter's scary boyfriend, a missing son, and the unexpected changes in her ex-husband's behavior. What's a girl to do?
You can learn more about Shirley's books (written in a variety of genres, time periods, and lengths) on her website, and stacks about her zany life, writing, and her family on her blog.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Here's the backliner:
She's got a great job, a loving group of family and friends and basketball skills like you wouldn't believe, but Denise DeWalt's life is far from perfect, and she's about to come face-to-face with a past she hoped to leave behind forever.
Twenty-six-year-old Denise thinks she's come to terms with her childhood in the foster care system, but when her old nightmares return, Denise realizes that she must deal with her past once and for all if she ever wants to move on to a brighter future with Rich, the only man who can see past her former life. As Denise's search leads her closer and closer to the one person she hoped she'd never have to face again, she begins to realize that her future depends on just one person--herself.
This emotional and inspirational love story proves that life is full of unexpected twists and turns--especially when it comes to facing your demons, fighting for love, and finding happiness for the future.
You can read the first chapter of this book here. Also, below is the book trailer. You can also learn more about me on my other blog, or my website. The second book (a spin-off so the books can be read completely independent of each other), Rebound, will be released in May. You can see the new cover, backliner and read the first chapter to it on my website as well.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Laurie C Lewis is the author of the Free Men and Dreamer's series of three books--all surrounding the early years of the newly formed United States. Volume 1 Dark Sky at Dawn, aTwilight's Last Gleaming cover the years from 1781 to the beginning of the third book, Dawn's Early Light. Here's the backliner:
In the spring of 1814, a temporary calm settles along the Patuxent. While the British Navy skulks in the Chesapeake Bay, the Willows' families and their neighbors enjoy a brief season of peace.
That is until Napoleon is subdued.
Britain's navy re-enters the Patuxent, prepared to loose her triumphant European conquerors on America, even as peace negotiations commence in Belgium.
But weeks of relentless British attacks along the waterfront soften the will of the American militia and citizenry, leaving the voracious British military confident that victory is within their grasp. And their primary target? Washington D.C.!
While attentions turn to the defense of the Capital, Sebastian Dupree and his band of mercenaries strike the Willows. Not everyone survives, despite former enemies becoming allies, with the Willows' freed slaves to defend their homes and families.
Mere miles away, the Capital lies in peril, its defense now resting primarily upon citizen soldiers like Jed Pearson, and a most unlikely Naval force--Commodore Joshua Barney's rag-tag fleet of barges called the Chesapeake Flotilla--and the courage of Markus O'Malley and the men who built it.
But Britain's house is also divided over the war, and as the cost mounts in blood and money, rifts widen in her families and government, wearying the mind of the Earl Of Whittingham, and threatening to destroy Arthur Ramsey.
Experience the pain and passion of five families--American, slave and British--as they endure three of the darkest days in American history--the week Washington burned!
Laurie is an incredibly sweet person, and is looking forward to the publication of her fourth book, Awakening Avery, which appears to be a contemporary romance, and is being released in April. You can learn more about Laurie's books (including entering her contests promoting her new release) on her blog or her website.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Life's Alphabet Soup has 26 chapters starting with Allowance and ending with Zoomph. Each chapter begins with a Dr. Seuss-like poem as an intro. It's a glimpse into the life of a sometimes "working" and "non-working" mother of six who loves Dr. Seuss and chocolate, that will cause you to empathize, sympathize or just be thankful you are not her.
Take a break, grab some chocolate, a beverage of your choice and spend some time relaxing and chuckling at what life sometimes spits out for us to clean up.
Remember--they will grow up, move out, and give us a short window of opportunity to change the locks before they come back!
This is Terri's third book, but her first non-fiction title. Her fiction titles are Finding Faith and Having Hope. You can learn more about Terri and her books on her website or her blog.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Here's the blurb:
A treasure map. A locket. Murder. Deceit.
None of these things are on Lexi's mind when she returns home to Park City, Utah, for her grandfather s funeral--until she stumbles across an old diary while cleaning out his attic.
Soon Lexi's head is filled with tales of hidden treasure buried deep in the Uintah Mountains.
When the diary is stolen and Lexi realizes her life is in danger, she decides to find out if the stories are true. She heads to the Uintahs in search of the secret mine, with her handsome friend Brad by her side. With surprising twists around every corner, expect the unexpected in this thrilling tale of adventure and romance.
You can learn more about Jillayne, her book, and her cookbook on her website.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Teach your children the values they need in a way they'll never forget. With these 24 fun-filled lessons you'll be singing and laughing together in no time.
This delightful new resource makes it easy for leaders, parents, and teachers alike to reinforce the lessons children are learning at church this year and helps everyone remember the songs of the gospel.
With a variety of fun activities and lots of songs to choose from, you'll never be bored by the same old songs again.
This book is available through Deseret Book, Amazon, her publisher Cedar Fort, and many other places where LDS books are sold. To learn more about Allison's collection of primary-related books, check out her website.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Here's the blurb from her website:
Zipping along life's highway . . .
Fifty makes you think. Thirty makes you morose, and forty makes you panic, but fifty makes you think. Half a century, and what is my life? Does it resemble anything I dreamed at sixteen, or expected at twenty, or hoped at twenty-five? What am I doing here? . . . I thought of climbing to the top of a high mountain in Tibet to consult a wise man, but I like vacations
where there ís indoor plumbing and vegetation. Since I already attended church, I thought perhaps I could pay closer attention. Maybe I'd been missing a great fundamental truth. Well, come to find out, I had been missing something. . . .
Carol, a middle-aged wife and mother, is pondering the meaning of life. On a trip to the grocery store to find some energizing dark chocolate, she sees a sign asking for volunteers to deliver meals to the elderly. When Carol decides to take a chance and help out, she's in for a life-changing 'and route-altering' experience.
“Absolutely delightful! The Route shows all the depth and talent of Sears' previously published masterpieces in a witty, fun-filled romp full of warmth and humor. This is a book to read in one sitting 'and then run out to buy for all your friends!' ” Kerry Blair
There is scads of information about Gale, her books, and what's coming up in her life on her website.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
From the back cover blurb:
Samantha Green has just spent an entire year in her pajamas, and she is beginning to regret it.
What's more, she is haunted by four ghosts that are former versions of herself. First up is the overachieving and materialistic attorney, who is furious with Samantha for throwing away the career she worked so hard to build. Second is the lackadaisical college student who is high on life but low on responsibility. Next is the melodramatic teenager, who is consumed with her social standing, teal eyeliner and teased bangs. Finally, there is the scrappy six-year old, whose only objective is to overcome gravity so that she can fly.
Samantha's ghosts alternate between fighting with each other, rallying around Samantha's budding sanity and falling in love with a string of good-for-nothing drummers. Despite her reluctance to do so, Samantha must rely on these spirits from the past to repair the present and ensure her future.
You can learn more about Riley on her website or her blog.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Here's what it says about the book on Jonathan's website:
A Coming-of-Age Novel About What It Means to Be Teenage, Mormon — and Gay
A gay teenage Mormon growing up in western Oregon in 2003. His straight best friend. Their parents. A typical LDS ward, a high-school club about tolerance for gays, and a proposed anti-gay-marriage amendment to the state constitution. In No Going Back, these elements combine in a coming-of-age story about faithfulness and friendship, temptation and redemption, tough choices and conflicting loyalties.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Here is the book blurb posted on his website:
In the opening pages of Jamie Ford’s stunning debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.
This simple act takes old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when young Henry’s world is a jumble of confusion and excitement, and to his father, who is obsessed with the war in China and having Henry grow up American. While “scholarshipping” at the exclusive Rainier Elementary, where the white kids ignore him, Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendship–and innocent love–that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. And after Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept.
Forty years later, Henry Lee is certain that the parasol belonged to Keiko. In the hotel’s dark dusty basement he begins looking for signs of the Okabe family’s belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot begin to measure. Now a widower, Henry is still trying to find his voice–words that might explain the actions of his father; words that might bridge the gap between him and his modern, Chinese American son; words that might help him confront the choices he made many years ago.
Set during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is an extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope. In Henry and Keiko, Jamie Ford has created an unforgettable duo whose story teaches us of the power of forgiveness and the human heart.
You can learn more about Jamie's books, read his blog, and learn about his upcoming titles on his website.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
He's currently in China working on a movie there--he can't give details about it right now, but I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more about it in the future. you can learn more about his books, his speaking engagements, and sign up for his newsletter on his website. His LDS historical book, In The Company of Angels has been getting great reviews.
Here's the blurb from Amazon:
Based on the true story of the Willie Handcart Company of 1856, In the Company of Angels unfolds the triumphant tale of pioneers who struggle against unendurable hardships—persecution, buffalo stampedes, rampaging Indians, lingering starvation, and the early onset of the coldest winter in US history—to find the gentle homeland of the soul.
David Farland’s moving masterpiece echoes the drama of Gone with the Wind and the glory of Ghandi, sweeping from the green fields of Denmark to the icy peaks of the Rockies in a saga that elevates and enriches those that it touches.
In the Company of Angels tells the story of three people Eliza Gadd, Captain James Willie, and Baline Mortensen.
Eliza Gadd is the feisty, sophisticated wife of a Mormon clergyman. When her husband answers his leader’s call to abandon his cottage in England and settle in the Rocky Mountains, Eliza’s world comes apart. She may help her husband pull a handcart with everything that they own across the plains of Utah, but she won’t bring herself to bow to a god she doesn’t believe in.
Stalled by setbacks, the pioneers find themselves forced to take their journey perilously late in the season. The lives of Eliza’s children hang in the balance. But how can she reason with people who believe they are in the hands of angels, and that their leaders, like the Apostles of old, have the power to raise the dead?
Captain James Willie has given a vast fortune, all that he owns, to bring “the poorest of the poor” Mormon saints from England to Utah. Yet as he watches his people starve and the tribulations begin to mount, he finds that his prayers begin to go unanswered and his faith is challenged like Abraham's of old.
Baline Mortensen is a nine-year-old girl fleeing the intense persecution of her home in Denmark. With a child’s pure love, her greatest hope is to learn to become a servant of god—speaking the words that the angels would speak, doing the things that a saint should do. Unexpectedly, she finds herself at the heart of a storm, becoming the glue that binds this band together.
In December 1913, the city of Vienna glitters with promises of the future for sought-after debutante Amalia Faulhaber. But life takes a dramatic turn when simmering political unrest escalates into the most deadly war the world has ever known.
Amalia is devastated when her fiance, Baron Eberhard von Waldburg, breaks off their engagement to return to his native Germany and obligatory military service. But she soon discovers that her passion for democracy in an increasingly fascist world has put everything she loves in danger.
Her family torn apart and improvished by the war, Amalia must now choose between an idealistic young Polish doctor, who shares her political views, and the wealthy Baron von Schoenenburg, an Austrian Cabinet minister who promises to provide safety and security in a violent, tumultuous time. Reminiscent of Gone with the Wind, this epic novel explores the nature of human character and the elusive seach for love and peace.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
When it comes to creating spellbinding historical fiction, nobody does it quite like Gerald N. Lund. In The Undaunted, he transports readers first to the coal mines of Yorkshire, then across the ocean and the plains to the territory of Utah, where, even in 1879, there is pioneering to be done.
A little-known and perhaps even less-appreciated chapter in the Church’s history comes to life in this gripping story of a stalwart group of Saints called to create a settlement to serve as a buffer between the established communities of Utah and the lawless frontier of the Four Corners area. Their challenge will be enormous — but the biggest part of it just may be getting there in the first place.
Skillfully interweaving historical figures and events with fictional characters, Gerald Lund takes us through the Hole in the Rock and over miles of uncharted country that even today is impassable without all-terrain vehicles. His account of the adventure, romance, and sacrifices of these undaunted pioneers will resonate with readers who love a good story as well as those who want to better understand the incomparable legacy and unconquerable faith of those valiant Saints.
Lund is also being awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's Whitney Awards ceremony. e doesn't appear to have a website or blog, but there are links to podcasts and several reviews on his page on the Deseret Book website. Here's the book trailer.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Berlin, 1945 Major Rolf Schulmann lies close to death in a military hospital after enduring the horrors of a concentration camp. Revived from a coma through a priesthood blessing, he slowly returns to health as his fiancee, Marie Jacobson, tenderly cares for his deep physical and spiritual wounds.
Meanwhile Rolf 's best friend, SS Lieutenant Hans Brenner, begins to overcome the despair and depression of his postwar gutter-rat existence as he finds himself falling for Natalie Allred, a beautiful American nurse. But as the world's emerging superpowers race to obtain nuclear secrets, Hans becomes a pawn in the deadly game-and Natalie's freedom hangs in the balance. Rolf, unaware of their predicament, feels haunted by his Nazi past and seeks peace of conscience through the rigors of a military tribunal. Then, as tensions escalate between the United States and Russia, Rolf and Hans find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. With vivid emotion, Tribunal explores the risks and rewards of loyalty and love in the bitter aftermath of world war.
I was unable to find a website or blog by the author, but I did find this great book review by Tristi Pinkston.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Since I'm highlighting Whitney finalists, I decided to do a single blog with a warning that most of these don't fall in the G to PG rating that I normally cover.
Blurb for Servant of a Dark God:
The launch of a towering new fantasy series introduces an elaborate new world, a strange and dark system of magic, and a cast of compelling characters and monsters. Young Talen lives in a world where the days of a person’s life can be harvested, bought, and stolen. Only the great Divines, who rule every land, and the human soul-eaters, dark ones who steal from man and beast and become twisted by their polluted draws, know the secrets of this power. This land’s Divine has gone missing and soul-eaters are found among Talen’s people.
The Clans muster a massive hunt, and Talen finds himself a target. Thinking his struggle is against both soul-eaters and their hunters, Talen actually has far larger problems. A being of awesome power has arisen, one whose diet consists of the days of man. Her Mothers once ranched human subjects like cattle. She has emerged to take back what is rightfully hers. Trapped in a web of lies and ancient secrets, Talen must struggle to identify his true enemy before the Mother finds the one whom she will transform into the lord of the human harvest.
I'm not going to post more about James Dashner's The Maze Runner, because I posted about that here, which includes the blurb, links to reviews and his book trailer. I'm told the trailer I linked is actually quite a bit more intense than the actual book, but again, I haven't read it yet.
Wings has gotten fabulous reviews, and I might have to go track a copy down myself! there are scads of reviews all over the Internet, including a bunch at Amazon.com. Here's the blurb:
Laurel discovers she is a faerie, sent among humans to protect the gateway to Avalon. Thrust into the midst of a centuries-old battle between faeries and trolls, she's torn between a human and a faerie love, as well as her loyalties to each world. In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.
You can learn more about Aprilynne, her books, read her blog, and catch up on her latest news on her website.
I had to check about six websites before I finally found a back cover blurb for this book.
By using breath and drawing upon the color in everyday objects, all manner of miracles and mischief can be accomplished. It will take considerable quantities of each to resolve all the challenges facing Vivenna and Siri, princesses of Idris; Susebron the God King; Lightsong, reluctant god of bravery, and mysterious Vasher, the Warbreaker.
I Am Not A Serial Killer is actually a horror novel, so yes, there will definitely be violence, and according to the author himself, some of it is graphic. This book was released in England last year with a red cover, but is coming out in the USA with this cover very soon.
Here's the blurb:
John Wayne Cleaver is dangerous, and he knows it.
He’s spent his life doing his best not to live up to his potential.
He’s obsessed with serial killers, but really doesn’t want to become one. So for his own sake, and the safety of those around him, he lives by rigid rules he’s written for himself, practicing normal life as if it were a private religion that could save him from damnation.
Dead bodies are normal to John. He likes them, actually. They don’t demand or expect the empathy he’s unable to offer. Perhaps that’s what gives him the objectivity to recognize that there’s something different about the body the police have just found behind the Wash-n-Dry Laundromat---and to appreciate what that difference means.
Now, for the first time, John has to confront a danger outside himself, a threat he can’t control, a menace to everything and everyone he would love, if only he could.
Dan Wells’s debut novel is the first volume of a trilogy that will keep you awake and then haunt your dreams.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I had trouble finding the backliner copy for this book at first, but most of it is in the book review below.
From Booklist: Taking a story “ripped from the headlines,” Williams looks inside a polygamist cult and the dangers it poses for one girl. Kyra and her father, three mothers, and 20 siblings live in an isolated community under the thumb of a prophet, who controls every aspect of his apostles’ lives. The most shocking intrusion of all comes when the prophet decrees that Kyra is to become the wife of her 60-year-old uncle. A secret patron of a local mobile library, Kyra knows there’s a world away from the compound she might escape to, but first she pins her hopes on her father’s ability to change the prophet’s mind.
Instead, her family is threatened, and the stakes for her refusal to marry are raised. The clandestine relationship Kyra is having with one of the compound’s teenage boys is a romance more convenient than convincing (everyone is carefully watched except this duo, it seems). Contrivances notwithstanding, this is a heart pounder, and readers will be held, especially as the danger escalates. Williams’ portrayals of the family are sharp, but what’s most interesting about this book is how the yearnings and fears of a character so far from what most YAs know will still seem familiar and close. Grades 7-10. --Ilene Cooper
As you can see, the book deals with some serious issues, so even though this is geared for 7th grade on up, please be aware of what your kids are reading, and be available to discuss it with them afterward.
The author has a website, but it is still under construction with very little information on it. Thanks to Lu Ann Staheli for pointing out Carol's blog address here. There is also a blog interview with her about this book located here.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Seventeen-year-old Leigh Mason is not sure she is ready to share her mom, her bedroom, and her little sisters with her new stepsister, Betsy. And she's definitely not ready to share her best friend, who happens to be a boy! Coping with a blended family is not easy for either Leigh or Betsy, especially during their senior year in high school. Each step brings them nearer to a crisis that will either send them running in different directions or bind them firmly together (which, let s face it, would take a miracle). Bright Blue Miracle is a new young adult novel that has everything a girl wants: a hero (more specifically, a really cute boy), a villain (who happens to be a stepsister), comedy, despair, pedicures, ice cream, love, hate, tennis, revenge, and, of course, a couple of surprises that might send you for some tissues.
Bright Blue Miracle is Becca Wilhite's first book, though her second one, My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsession is now available for pre-order on Amazon as it isn't being released for a few more weeks. I was happy to find out her book is at my library, so if I can squeeze in enough time before the April due date, I'll have to read the youth Whitney finalists too!
You can check out her blog to learn more about her, her books, and her thoughts on life in general.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Finding your one true love can be a Grimm experience!
After her boyfriend dumps her for her older sister, sophomore Savannah Delano wishes she could find a true prince to take her to the prom. Enter Chrissy (Chrysanthemum) Everstar: Savannah’s gum-chewing, cell phone–carrying, high heel-wearing Fair Godmother. Showing why she’s only Fair—because she’s not a very good fairy student—Chrissy mistakenly sends Savannah back in time to the Middle Ages, first as Cinderella, then as Snow White. Finally she sends Tristan, a boy in Savannah’s class, back instead to turn him into her prom-worthy prince. When Savannah returns to the Middle Ages to save Tristan, they must team up to defeat a troll, a dragon, and the mysterious and undeniably sexy Black Knight. Laughs abound in this clever fairy tale twist from a master of romantic comedy.Check out Janette's website, which has links to her book trialers, information on each of her books, her blog, and other fun facts.
And here's her book trailer!
Friday, February 12, 2010
Here's the blurb:
Brace yourself for a shocking secret.
Two hidden artifacts have been found. Three more remain unrecovered. More preserves face destruction as the Society of the Evening Star relentlessly pursues new talismans. Reading in Patton’s Journal of Secrets, Kendra learns the location of the key to a vault housing one of the artifacts. In order to retrieve it, the Knights of the Dawn must enter a death trap — a dragon sanctuary called Wyrmroost. The mission cannot proceed without stealing a sacred object zealously guarded by the centaurs. Anybody seen Seth?
Brandon's website is fun and filled with great information, games and video clips. It also contains extra materials for parents and teachers to help you teach your kids while they enjoy reading his books.
Also up for the title of Best Youth Fiction in this year's Whitney's is Jessica Day George's Princess of the Midnight Ball, My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison, Bright Blue Miracle by Becca Wilhite, and The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams. I'll get to the last three next week.