Friday, January 31, 2014

Now That You're Here Cover Reveal

About NOW THAT YOU’RE HERE: Danny and Eevee are meant to be together . . . Just not in this universe.

Eevee Solomon has high school down to a science. Get the grades. Get the recommendations. Get into an Ivy League college, and eventually land a killer job at NASA.

Then Danny Ogden enters the equation.

Danny is a street-smart graffiti artist. He’s always managed to stay out of serious trouble, but this time he’s out of luck. One minute he’s running from the cops, and the next, he jolts awake in an unfamiliar body–his own, but different. Somehow, he’s crossed into a parallel universe. Now his friends are his enemies, his parents are long dead, and coolheaded Eevee is not the brazen girl he once kissed back home. Then again, this Eevee may be his only hope of getting home.

Eevee tells herself she’s only helping him in the name of quantum physics, but there’s something undeniably fascinating about this boy from another dimension . . . a boy who makes her question who she is, and who she might be in another place and time.

About Amy Nichols: Amy has been crafting stories for as long as she can remember. She earned a Master's in literature and worked for years as a web designer, though, before realizing what she really wanted to be was an author. Her first novel, YA sci-fi thriller Now That You're Here, will be published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on December 9, 2014. The follow-up, While You Were Gone, will be published in 2015. She is mentored by award-winning crime novelist James Sallis. 
Amy is represented by Quinlan Lee of Adams Literary. She's an active member of SCBWI and SFWA, as well as a member of the Class of 2k14 debut authors.
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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Falling for Her Fiance

I read this one just after Ms. Madsen's Cinderella Screwed Me Over.

It still has the language problem but to a lesser degree. Or maybe after reading Cinderella, I was less sensitive to it. Who can say?

Of the two, I like this story better. Yes, it's similar to Lyon's A Portrait for Toni in that the premise is a romance forming between two best friends, but it's told differently. Neither Dani nor Wes have much in the way of romantic feelings for each other at the beginning of the book so their feelings develop along the way during their fake engagement and spend the book hiding it from the other one. Great entanglement, plus it's told from both points of view.

Plus, this writing just flowed better for me and I think the characters are better developed.

We do get the smexy element but no off page sex, so that worked better for me as a preferred clean romance reader. Still plenty of chemistry but with great emotional tie ins.

Worth a read.ée

Danielle and Wes have been best friends since college, so when Wes needs a date for his sister’s wedding and Dani needs a partner for her company’s retreat, they devise the perfect plan: a fake engagement to get through both events unscathed. Adrenaline-junkie Wes can prove to both his ex and his family that he’s well and truly moved on, and serious-minded Dani can prove to her boss that she’s worthy of the promotion he seems to only want to give to a family-oriented employee. But amid the fake swoons, fake kisses, and forced proximity, neither expects the very real feelings that develop. There’s nothing more dangerous than falling for your best friend…but what if the landing is worth the fall?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Hobbit Part 2

Epic is what Peter Jackson is after in his cinematic presentation of The Hobbit and he's doing a bang up job of taking a short and simple book and making it a 9 hour film event. I don't think it even takes 9 hours to read the book.

As he did in Lord of the Rings, he's taking some cinematic liberties with the literature and adding in some story lines to tie it more in to LOTR. Will the die hard Tolkien fans be outraged? Of course. Do the rest of us mind? No, not really. I don't mind he's now added elves into the mix.

I did miss the songs though. I liked the singing dwarfs in the first film. This one is so cheerless. It definitely could've used a song or two. This is a darker film.

First rate on all the usual stuff: acting, CG, location, etc.

We're Tolkien fans in this house. I'll be seeing the third one. I'm very curious how the potential romantic relationship between a dwarf and an elf play out.

Worth a view? Yes!

Worth a buy? Yes!

Do you agree with Jackson changing the story?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Fallen Angel Cover Reveal!

Here is the cover by the talented and amazing Ashley Johnson! I absolutely love it! Fallen Angel launches Feb. 7! (That's in 11 days people!) What do you think?

Antonio does not believe in love at first sight until he sees her fall into a street in Milan and get hit by a motorcycle. Compelled to know if she can return his affection, he becomes Renatta’s hospital volunteer only to learn that the accident erased her memory. Together they must discover her past, present and future. In the way of happily ever after stand her opera career, tyrannical mother, and fiancé.  Antonio must win Renatta’s heart before she bends to the will of her mother and marries Marcello.  Failure means a lifetime of loneliness, for love at first sight never happens twice.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Elevated Cover Reveal!

About ELEVATED: The last person seventeen-year-old Eleanor Livingston wants to see on the elevator—let alone get stuck with—is her ex-boyfriend Travis, the guy she's been avoiding for five months.

Plagued with the belief that when she speaks the truth, bad things happen, Elly hasn’t told Trav anything. Not why she broke up with him and cut off all contact. Not what happened the day her father returned from his deployment to Afghanistan. And certainly not that she misses him and still thinks about him everyday.

But with nowhere to hide and Travis so close it hurts, Elly’s worried she won’t be able to contain her secrets for long. She’s terrified of finally revealing the truth, because she can’t bear to watch a tragedy befall the boy she still loves.

Buy Links:
On Goodreads:

Praise for ELEVATED:
"ELEVATED will take you on an emotionally gripping journey through the highs and lows of first love."
~Carolee Dean, author of Take Me There and Forget Me Not

"Poignant, raw, and intense, ELEVATED is a novel that will grip your heart and linger in your mind long after you turn the last page."
~Stasia Ward Kehoe, author of Audition and The Sound of Letting Go

About Elana Johnson: Elana Johnson’s work, including Possession, Surrender, Abandon, and Regret, published by Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster), is available now everywhere books are sold. Her popular ebook, From the Query to the Call, is also available for download, as well as a Possession short story, Resist. School teacher by day, Query Ninja by night, you can find her online at her personal blog or Twitter. She also co-founded the Query Tracker blog, and contributes to the League of Extraordinary Writers. 

Social Media Links:
League of Extraordinary Writers:
Elana on Goodreads:

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cinderella Screwed Me Over

This is the first book I've read by Cindi Madsen. I'm conflicted.

I think the premise is interesting. Darby has made case studies of all her past failed relationships as how they relate to fairy tales. Basically how fairy tales set her up to fail in romantic relationships as a teen and adult.

I liked the story and characters; the telling is solid. Serious chemistry.

It goes the route of smexy. We've got French kissing, heat and off page premarital sex. From a 'clean' romance perspective that stuff didn't bother me too much.

On the flip side, it's the dirtiest book I've read in a long time in terms of the language. I totally get that writers have choices to make when it comes to truthfully portraying the characters they create and bring to life on the page. Each character has to have a distinctive voice. Sometimes this means writers use four letter words to convey the character's thoughts and emotions. Such is the case in this book. It's not superfluous, but enough for me, who doesn't write like that and works hard not to think that way, to cringe every time a swear word appeared on the page. It probably averages once every chapter or two.

Would I read something else by Ms. Madsen? Possibly, but I'd hope to get a copy someone had blacked out the swear words in and hope the character 'thinks/talks' differently.

How do you feel about reading books with four letter words?

Darby Quinn has a bone to pick with Cinderella. Burned one too many times by ex-boyfriends, Darby has lost all belief in the happily-ever-after that the fairy-tale princess promised her. She's sworn off love, Prince Charmings, and happy endings and she's happy about it. Really. Or at least she was…until she met Jake, her gorgeous neighbor and the manager of her favorite restaurant. But Darby has rules about dating, ones she's culled from her years spent with so-called “princes,” and starting something with Jake would break all of them.

Charming, fun, and unwilling to give up on her, Jake doesn’t fit any of the profiles Darby has created from her case studies of ex-princes-gone-bad. Finally presented with her own Prince Charming, can Darby take a chance on a happily-ever-after? Full of wit and sarcastic humor, Cinderella Screwed Me Over proves that sometimes the perfect love, like a perfect pair of shoes, is just within your grasp.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


If the back cover of the film is correct, this is Shia's first film (after he'd already won an award for his tv show).

When my son received this over the holidays, he looked at the cover, read the title, then asked me, "Is this movie all about digging holes?"

"Yes," I replied.

"Sounds boring," he remarked.

I laughed. "Yes, it does. But, give it a try. I think you'll like it."

He did. He's watched it twice now and has asked for a third viewing. Turns out digging holes is entertaining after all.

This is another book my daughter and I read together. The movie is the same as the book. I don't think they changed anything.

I think the idea for the book is hilarious. Let's make a bunch of juvies dig holes looking for buried treasure in a cursed dried up lake. Sure, you can write a couple hundred pages on that. Go for it!

The film does a great job of running the three parallel storylines together, expertly timing when to switch back and forth.

Really good cast. You'll see several familiar faces here and solid acting. I did feel bad about them having to spend so much time in the desert to film. Must've been hot out there for all those hours.

My husband likes to point out that the only poisonous lizards on earth are Gila Monsters and so this film/book is not accurate in that aspect. I told him to let it go.

Clean film, no language, nudity, etc. Good for the whole family.

Anyone wanna go dig holes now?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Hope's Watch

I'm super excited about this book because I absolutely loved A Change of Plans and this a part of that story!

About HOPE’S WATCH: Elle Reinhardt loves people and has a gift for turning groups of strangers into friends. When she talks her best friend Lyn into taking a month-long Pacific cruise, Elle is in her element, gathering fellow passengers to her. But things go horribly wrong when a ship excursion ends in death and disaster at the hands of modern-day pirates.

Filled with her own emotional wounds from the experience, Elle tries desperately to buoy up the grieving loved ones as they wait for news on those lost at sea. Malcolm Armstrong, friend of one of the missing men, arrives to act as family spokesman. Elle knows it’s unreasonable, but she resents his presence. When Mal offers the strength she so desperately needs, will she be able to let go of her animosity and accept his support?

This ebook-exclusive short story includes special excerpts from both A Change of Plans and Torn Canvas.

Buy Links:
Barnes & Noble:

A CHANGE OF PLANS will be on sale during the Book Blitz!

Barnes & Noble:

Donna kindly provided a list of her favorite books. Be sure to check out the other blogs on the blitz these two days to learn more fun facts about this fabulous writer and woman!

Favorite Books (these are not ranked and I could add many more—I read lots of genres)
• Jane Eyre
• The Blue Sword
• Dragonflight
• Starship Troopers
• Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

About Donna: Donna is a Navy brat who joined the Army and has lived in Asia and Europe. Because she sailed the Pacific three times as a child, she loves cruising and wishes she could accrue enough vacation time to do more of it with her husband. At age fifty, she decided to study karate and earned her black belt in Shorei Kempo.

After doing city council minutes for twenty years, she decided to write something a little longer and with a lot more emotion--and kissing. She is the author of A CHANGE OF PLANS and the forthcoming TORN CANVAS.

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Second Chances

I became a Melanie Jacobson fan in the first few pages of the first chapter of The List. It was witty, funny, and very believable/relevant to YSA life in the LDS church.

In short, I love the way she writes! She is my kind of girl!

So, I was more than thrilled to finally get my hands on Second Chances and devour every juicy word on the page. I feasted and let the words drip off my chin and didn't even worry about grabbing a napkin to clean up the RomCom mess of awesomeness it made all over my Nook.

I loved how we already know the main character, well, at least a little. Louisa is the younger cousin of Ashley from The List and we hear a little about Ashley and Matt's life 'off page'. This story takes place after The List.

Love the concept of the Mormon Bachelor idea that she ran with and thoroughly researched by speaking directly to those responsible for creating and producing the show. I've never seen it. We don't get BYU TV on our cable out here on the East Coast. Well, at least not my neck of the woods, anyways.

For that matter, I've never even seen The Bachelor TV series.

I like this clean concept better than women who are willing to give sex to the Bachelor just to win a rose and a ring.

What a tangled mess Louisa ends up in when her Bachelor lands himself a girlfriend just before filming begins and she has to call up her ex-boyfriend/star actor Nick to take over. Total, complete, run away train disaster and yes, I enjoyed watching to see if the train would wreck or if they'd surf off into the sunset.

I won't ruin it for you. I don't like spoilers. That's not fun for any of us.

Fun story, well told, and pulls all the heartstrings the right way at the right time. Sigh. High class romance.

If all of us clean romance girls could be so blessed.

This is LDS clean romance at some of its best.

I think there are less than a handful of kisses. PG.

Both these books are set in Huntington Beach, CA. I wonder if that is a home town of Ms. Jacobson. Anyone know? Either way, love the location!

Read on!

After walking out of a thankless job at a prestigious marketing firm, feisty California entrepreneur Louisa Gibson is going into business for herself. Lou’s pioneering venture, The Mormon Bachelor, is a reality dating web series sure to be fabulous advertising for her new marketing firm. And as a bonus, she can solve a problem close to home: while Huntington Beach is crawling with eligible, sun-bronzed Saints, they’ve forgotten the vital skill of dating. Lou hopes the reality show will finally inspire this group of hangout enthusiasts to pair off. But shortly before filming begins, the unthinkable happens—Trentyn, a.k.a. The Bachelor, gets a girlfriend. And Lou needs a new leading man—fast. Enter Nick, Lou’s devastatingly handsome ex-boyfriend. He’s the stereotypical actor: shallow, self-serving . . . and perfect for the job. A whirlwind of dating ensues, with Nick at the center of it all. Things are going according to plan—that is, until Lou is forced to step in as a substitute bachelorette, becoming an unwitting cast member on her own show. Despite Nick’s attempts to reestablish their friendship and the growing spark between them, Lou is determined to keep her distance. The show must go on—but what’s a girl to do when the Mr. Wrong of the past just may be the Mr. Right of the future?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


You'll have to stretch your memory back to the 1980's for this one. Yes, that film with Warwick, Val Kilmer and Jean Marsh. Back when we were all young and didn't have fine lines creeping into our skin.

Yes, there is a baby.

And a prophecy.

And a battle.
Yes, it's a George Lucas film directed by Ron Howard.

Crazy enough, this was a film based on a short story by Lucas and later adapted into a book based on the film. The book embellishes on the film and even has a few changes but is pretty tight with the film.

I read the book with my daughter and then she received it over the holidays. We held off on our son. We previewed it to see which age group it was appropriate for and while it is rated PG, it was a little serious for a Kindergartner. We told him he'll have to wait a few years. There are magical creatures, battle and the fact that Bavmorda spends all her time trying to locate and kill a baby to take into account. Watch this one with the older set of PG age kids is my recommendation. There is no language or nudity as I recall. Just a couple of kisses.

She loved the film and because we read the book, she followed along quite well and only had one question after.

Is it the same level of classic as Princess Bride? No.

But certainly worth a view and one my daughter will watch over and over. I was amazed it was available on BluRay! They cleaned the graphics up nicely for the new edition.

Do you have a film from your childhood you've introduced to your children?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Beautiful Creatures

Technically, I didn't read this book, I listened to it on a long car ride to and from Florida. I almost forgot that listening to an audio book counts just as much as reading!

This is a romance with magical properties thrown in. Not sure where you categorize that. Fantasy with romance or romance with fantasy?

Anyways, it's really good. If it hadn't been, I wouldn't have spent 17 hours or so listening to it!

We're in the deep south, little town, elements of To Kill a Mockingbird going on. Great characters! So many great characters, full of life, each with their own voice. The setting is an excellent addition. Love the magic going on but most importantly the romance is told right. This is better than Twilight. I've got a girl with a spine and a boy too. Nice. We've got all kinds of creatures going on. The battle between light and dark, deciding your own destiny. Paying the price.

I could go on, but really, just read the book. I'd like to pick up the sequel for my next car ride, especially if it's to Florida.

I'd also like to see the film. I'm totally curious how they transferred it to film and of course what they had to leave out.

Best of all, I love that these two women came up with this idea over lunch one day and started sketching it out on a napkin. True story. Awesome.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. WhenLena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


My whole issue with not being excited to see this movie is the trailers tell me nothing! Nothing about the premise of the film? Do I have evil witches? Werewolves? Mermaids? Yodeling monkeys?

All the trailers tell me is there is a snowman and a reindeer.

How is that supposed to help me decide if I want to fork out the $12 a person to see it in the theater. Okay, so now you know, I'm a cheapskate and snob about what I see in the theater. The trailer has to make me believe it's worth my money to see it on the big screen. Most of the time, I wait until I can Redbox it or if it's something like Thor 2, I know I'm just going to buy it and I'll save the money to buy the BluRay. Wretched marketing for Frozen.

I saw Frozen in the theater with my husband and kids and had no idea what I was going to see based on the unhelpful trailers.

That being said . . .

It was a pleasant musical surprise. And you know how I love musicals! In fact, I sat there thinking, I'm going to have to download a few of these songs when I get home before the movie was even half way done. I especially loved Let It Go (no idea if that's the official name or not).

I knew I'd love Elsa's character because I adore Idina Menzel's voice, but the real surprised for me was Kristin Bell. I didn't even know she could sing (based on previous movie roles I've seen her in)! And she just fits Anna so perfectly. Loved her voice.

I didn't see the villain coming. Did you?

And Disney really needs to stop killing off parents in movies.

I sort of thought with Kristoff's fascination with ice he'd be into Elsa when he met her. Her power with ice is spectacular! I thought there was a potential storyline there. Did anyone else get that possibility?

The trolls are totally cute. Love them.

Worth a view? Yes.

Worth a buy? It'll probably find it's way into our collection. We are Disney fans in this house.(I'm dying to see Saving Mr. Banks but it'll be a Redbox) Certainly need to download some songs!

What did you think of Frozen?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Orchard

The Orchard by Krista Lynne Jensen. This is my first read by this author.

Poor Alisen. She just can't win for trying.

And just for the record, it kind of bugged me to have an alternate spelling to the traditional Alison. Maybe I'm just biased as I've got an awesome sister with that name.

Alisen loses her mother at age 13 and her father ignores her for the next 6 years. Not a great growing up experience. Her solace is found in the cherry orchard on their lake front Montana property.

What's with all the books set in Montana this year? This is either the third or fourth one I've read set there. Do we not have down home values in other American locales?

Then at the ripe old age of 19 she meets Derrick. It's a romance. I think you can fill in the blanks.

I noticed early on in the book that it ran a resemblance to Jane Austen's Persuasion. Yes, I know, for me, all books come back to Austen in some fashion. But this one is actually a modern day rewrite. Ms. Jensen says so herself at the end of the book.

So, all you Austen fans, add this one to your list. And that goes for you non-Austen fans too!

It's well written, the storyline moves along. Good dialogue. You love and dislike everyone at the right times. There was only one thing that threw me and it happened at the end. The story is told all through the book from either Alisen's or Derrick's point of view and in the eleventh hour we're thrown into, Alisen's older sister, Elizabeth's point of view. It just came off odd to add a third character POV at the end when she's played a very minor role throughout the rest of the novel.
Not a deal breaker though.

This is an LDS romance, but light on the LDS. Just thought you should know. Also, light on the steamy. Clean.

Worth a read? Absolutely.

Can anyone recommend another Persuasion knock off? That is a story less retold. Let me know.

On the idyllic shores of Flathead Lake, Montana, Alisen Embry finds purpose and comfort tending her late mother’s cherry orchard adjacent to the family’s beloved lake house. Though pained by the loss of her mother and her father’s estrangement, it is Derick Whitney—the man she fell in love with four years earlier—who truly influences Alisen’s view of her future . . .
Derick and Alisen wanted nothing more than to spend eternity together; however, intolerance and secrets forced Alisen to make a shattering choice between her family and the man she loved.
But destiny always has a way of setting things right . . .
Now the Embry family has found themselves hopelessly in debt, and they realize renting the lake house is the only hope of saving the cherished orchard and family home. When Alisen discovers the new tenants have a connection to her past, her life takes an unexpected turn. Will fate find a way to reconnect what was broken so many years before?