Saturday, August 19, 2017

CHILDREN'S BOOK REVIEW FOR - IF YOU WERE ME AND LIVED IN GERMANY - BY CAROLE P. ROMAN

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pic and description taken from Goodreads

DESCRIPTION:

Join Carole P. Roman when she visits the beautiful land of Germany in the newest book of her informative series. Learn about the varied customs and cultures. Travel to the central Europe to discover what you would eat and do for fun. See the land through the eyes of a youngster like you and understand what life is like in this exciting place. Don't forget to look at the other books in the series so that you can be an armchair world traveler. 

MY REVIEW / THOUGHTS:

I have reviewed several of these children's books, and I am excited I got to do another one.  I think these are such great books for kids.  It teaches them a little about another country, how they talk, what they like, etc.  It's such a great way to expose our children to different countries and traditions.

I think I learn something every time I get one of these sweet books.  I love that she has a glossary at the end of the book to help you understand how things are pronounced and what they mean.  

If you have kids, or are a teacher, these are such great books to add to your collections.  It would be especially nice if you have kid in your class from another country so that the kids can learn more about where they came from.  Culture exposure is so important and so fabulous all at the same time.

The illustrations are fun, and help kids understand what they are talking about if they don't read very well.  These are such fun book.  Take some time and pick one up and read it to your child.  It opens up so many more questions about the country and allows the child to explore.

Source:  I was given this book by the author.  I was not compensated in any way, and it does not affect my review in any way.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.

MY RATING:



WHERE TO BUY:

  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Carole P. Roman
pic and bio taken from Goodreads

Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best of 2012 for her first book, award winning author Carole P. Roman started writing as a dare from one of her sons. Using an imaginary game she played with her grandson as a base, Captain No Beard was born."Captain No Beard- An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate's Life" has not only been named to Kirkus Best of 2012, it received the Star of Exceptional Merit, and won the Pinnacle Award for 2012. "Pepper Parrot's Problem with Patience" Book 2 in the series, received 5 Stars from The ForeWord Review The Clarion Review. Strangers on the High Seas has won second place in the Rebecca's Reads Choice Awards 2013. It has followed with six more books to the series. This year, Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis was named to Kirkus Best 2015. The entire cultural non-fiction series If You Were Me and Lived in... was named Best Series by Shelf Unbound. She has begun work on two new series that will be released in early 2016.
Motivated by her love of yoga, Roman has written a book that not only teaches four poses, but shows how easy and accessible yoga can be. 
Her new non fiction series, "If You Were Me and Lived in..." combines her teaching past with her love of exploration and interest in the world around us. The debut book in the series, "If You Were Me and Lived in...Mexico" has won the Pinnacle Award for Best in Children's Non Fiction 2012. France, South Korea, and Norway. Rebecca's Reads has given If You Were Me and Lived in...Norway an honorable mention in the 2013 Choice Awards. If You Were Me and lived in ...France won second place. ForeWord Review has nominated If You Were Me and Lived in...France for best in children's non fiction literature 2013. They will be followed with Kenya, Turkey, India, and Australia. She plans to do Portugal, Greece, and Argentina next year.
Carole was recently featured in a two part article on Forbes.com where her book, Navigating Indieworld was discussed along with her self-publishing success. 
Writing for children has opened up a whole second act for her. While she is still working in her family business, this has enabled her to share her sense of humor as well as love for history and culture with the audience she adores. Roman lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children.





Thursday, August 17, 2017

BLOG TOUR / REVIEW FOR - THE SECRET OF THE INDIA ORCHID - BY NANCY CAMPBELL ALLEN - WINNERS ANNOUNCED ALSO!


Welcome to my stop on this awesome tour.

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pic and description taken from Goodreads



DESCRIPTION:

Anthony Blake is in love with his best friend's sister, Sophia Elliot. But his plans to court her are put on hold when he is forced to resume his role as an undercover spy for the Crown. A secret document listing the names of the entire network of British spies-including his own-has been stolen. To protect Sophia, Anthony cuts off all ties to her and exchanges his life as an honorable earl for the façade of a flirtatious playboy.

Heartbroken and confused, Sophia travels to India, hoping to find healing in one of the most exotic regions of the British Empire. But the exotic land isn't as restful as she had hoped. Instead, she finds herself embroiled in a mystery of a missing sea captain, a possible murder, and a plot that could involve the prince of India. And when Anthony appears at the British Residency, asking questions and keeping his distance from her, she is stunned.

She still loves him, and, in her heart, she knows he loves her too. But how can she rebuild her relationship with him if he won't confide in her? Does she dare offer her heart to him a second time, or will their love be lost under the India sun?



MY REVIEW  / THOUGHTS:

Let us start by admiring the beautiful cover.  I am a cover fanatic, and I absolutely love this.  Second, let's be real, this is a Proper Romance....so if you don't know what my review will be you don't know me that well ;).

This was such a wonderful installment in the Proper Romance Series.  Allen brought India to life for me with her beautiful world building, and excellent characters.

I knew that there was going to be mystery involved, but had no idea it was going to be so exciting.  I was on the edge of my seat for a lot of this book, and was thoroughly enjoying that fact.  I love mystery, and romance, bu this had a real kick to it.  Allen did such a great job with the mystery, and romance that I was drawn into their world.

Sophia is such a great character.  I cannot even express how much I loved her.  Her snarkyness, and willingness to put her self out side the "box" that women were suppose to be in back then really made me love her even more.  She wasn't afraid to be her own person.

Anthony....again, so I need to say much?  YUMMMMMMMY.  I have to admit Allen did a great job of making him look like he wasn't always the nicest guy, but even then......just YUMMMY.

There are so many other wonderful characters as well, but I don't want to give too much away.  This is such a great mixture of suspense, and romance.  I love it when a book can keep me so engaged the whole time.  

Nancy Campbell Allen, does such a great job and bringing her surroundings to life as well as making the characters part of you life with her writing.  It's just beautiful.  I am so thankful I was able to be part of this tour.  If you like historical romance, with mystery and suspense, you will love this book.  Pick it up you wont regret it.

Content:  Clean, which is why I personally love the Proper Romance series so much.
Source:  I was given this book as part of a blog tour.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.

MY RATING:



WHERE TO BUY:

    


NOW TO ANNOUNCE THE WINNERS OF THE "NATIONAL BOOK LOVERS DAY" GIVEAWAY!

Thanks to everyone who visited an participated in the give away.  Congrats to the winners, and emails will be going out to you, so check please.  The books will be picked at random and sent to each of you.  This has been such a fun month for Romance Awareness!









ABOUT THE AWESOME AUTHOR:

Author avatar
pic taken from shadowmountainpublishing.com

Nancy Campbell Allen (N.C. Allen) is the author of twelve published novels, which span genres from contemporary romantic suspense to historical fiction. In 2005 , her work won the Utah Best of State award. She has presented at numerous writing conferences and events since her first book was released in 1999. Nancy received a BS in Elementary Education from Weber State University. She loves to read, write, travel and research, and enjoys spending time laughing with family and friends. She is married and the mother of three children.

A SPECIAL THANKS TO:



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

ROMANCE AWARENESS MONTH BY PROPER ROMANCE - NATIONAL BOOK LOVERS DAY / GIVEAWAY






HAPPY NATIONAL BOOK LOVERS DAY!!!!!


Welcome to my stop on the Romance Awareness Month hosted by Proper Romance.  I cannot imagine a better way to celebrate NATIONAL BOOK LOVERS DAY than to host a giveaway of some of my favorite romance books out there.  

Click the banner and it will take you to the site of all the Proper Romance Books available.  I love this series so much.  Some of my favorite romances of all time are part of this wonderful series.

If you have read any of these books, which one is your favorite?  I would love to know.  My personal favorites are EDENBROOKE, BLACKMOORE AND THE HOPE SPRINGS series.  

Here are some other fun days going on this month as part of the Romance Awareness Month.  Just click the calendar and it will take you to their Facebook Page and you will be able to follow the other fun stuff they have this month.



Following are the ones I have read and reviewed.  Just click on the picture and it will take you to either my Goodreads page or my review page of the book on my blog.



Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson  27844299  26848205

     25205322

 29457615  29457858

I am currently reading:

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I will be posting my review for this one on August 17th, when I will also reveal the winners of the giveaway.  There are so many things I love about these novels to put into words.  What I will say is, if you have a love of historical romance, then this is the series to read.  They are all wonderful and each author takes you to a new world of romance and love.


I am giving away three (one to each person) of my favorite (okay there are more than three that are my favorite) books away thanks to:  Shadow Mountain Publishing Proper Romance Series.  You must live in the US, because of shipping costs.  You must like the Proper Romance Facebook Page (which will be part of the raffle), and you must have a valid email so that I can contact you when the winners are revealed for an address.  You must be 13 years or older to participate or have a parent do it for you.  You will receive one of the three books that will be selected randomly after the winners are announced.  I look forward to hearing what you all have to say about these books.


If you were able to be part of the Facebook Party that Proper Romance had, I hope you enjoyed it.  It was a lot of fun.  It's always fun to be able to interact with the Authors I love so much.

What are you reading on NATIONAL BOOK LOVERS DAY?  What ever it is I hope you are enjoying it.  Reading is a passion of mine.  I often have to stop myself and remember I have a family to take care of and not just books to read...hehe.  I kid.  Kind of.


With out further ado, these three books are part of the giveaway, so enter the rafflecopter for your chance to win!

    





Thursday, August 3, 2017

BOOK TOUR / REVIEW FOR - SEARCHING FOR IRENE - BY MARLENE BATEMAN


Welcome to my stop on this awesome tour!

pic and description from author Marlene Bateman

DESCRIPTION:

What happened to Irene?

When Anna Coughlin, a modern 1920’s woman, travels to the secluded hills of Virginia to work for wealthy Lawrence Richardson, she discovers that the previous secretary, Irene, mysteriously disappeared a few weeks before.  Upon arriving at the castle-like mansion to begin working, Anna finds that Lawrence’s handsome, but antagonistic son, Tyler, wants nothing more than to have her gone. And he isn’t the only one—

After Anna sets out to find the truth behind Irene’s disappearance, a series of frightening incidents ensnare her in a maze of intrigue. Anna is helped—and often hindered—by the temperamental Tyler Richardson, who—despite her best intentions—begins to steal her heart.

But even as Anna begins to uncover dark secrets in a troubled household, she must continue to hide a significant one of her own. When her life is threatened, Anna is left to wonder if she’ll be able to unravel the mystery before she disappears as mysteriously as the unfortunate Irene—

MY REVIEW / THOUGHTS:

This book was so great!  It caught me right at the beginning and kept me reading until it was done.  I couldn't sleep until I knew what happened to Irene.

Anna gets called to the house of Lawrence Richardson who has a very large estate.  She is asked to get Mr. Richardson's files in order, do his taxes and get his estate running efficiently again.  Even with all she has to do, she couldn't stop focusing on the girl that went missing before her under fishy circumstances. 

Bateman has built a beautiful world (okay setting) in this book.  The house sounds amazing, and I felt like I was living in it with Anna.  The great property that the Richardson's live on is beautiful, and I could see it while reading this book.  I love it when an author can bring a book to life for me.

Then there is Tyler.  Yummy, Yummy, Tyler.  Okay there are other characters in the book that are fantastic as well.  Like Anna...other ones....and TYLER ;).  All of the characters in the book play an awesome role, but Tyler, he's just, well YUMMY!

Anna is very determined to find out what happened to Irene, but when she starts looking too much people start to question her motives.  

This story is full of twists and turns.  It has mystery, secrets, wealthy men fighting, and one person has murder on their mind.  I have to admit I did not catch onto the "bad guy" until it came upon me in the book.  Needless to say I was surprised by the ending.  It was wonderful.

If you like, mystery with a bit of romance, this book is for you. It does have a bit of religion in it as well, but it goes with the book beautifully. 

Source:  I was given this book as part of a blog tour by the author.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.

BOOK EXCERPT PROVIDED BY MARLENE BATEMAN:

The tallest parts of the mansion—fanciful turrets and a circular tower—were visible only in glimpses Anna caught between lofty oaks and towering pines as her cab wound through the knolls and hills of eastern Virginia.

When the cab turned up the long driveway lined with dogwood trees in full bloom, Anna Coughlin reached for her handbag, gripping it with a tension that had knotted her muscles ever since getting on the train.

The vast estate stood on a hilltop, like a castle—and she craned her neck to better view the starkly impressive gray-stone mansion of Ashton Hall—where she hoped to be hired. With its arched, leaded windows and slate roof with numerous chimneys, the house rivaled pictures she’d seen of castles in Europe.

Instructing the driver to wait, she climbed out, patted her hat in case it was askew, then smoothed her gray suit with gloved hands in hopes of presenting a professional appearance. Anna had no confidence she was clever enough or bold enough to pull this off, but she had to try.

Her eye was drawn by a tall man—more than six feet—who came from the side of the house. Since the man was striding toward her so purposefully, Anna stopped and waited. As he drew near, Anna noted his deep-set eyes were as black as his hair. His skin was tanned, his thin, long-fingered hands brown and strong.

“Miss Coughlin?” He stretched out a hand and shook hers, but there was no warmth for her in his eyes. “I’m Tyler Richardson. Unfortunately, your services are not needed after all.” A touch of arrogance marked his manner, as though he was long accustomed to command those around him.

“Your father called only last week to have someone come out,” Anna blurted in dismay. “May I ask what caused him to change his mind?”

A fleeting glimpse of discomfiture crossed Mr. Richardson’s face. “I wasn’t consulted about his hiring another secretary to replace the one who left so suddenly. My father isn’t in good health, and the last thing we need is someone coming in and upsetting him by making a muddle of things.”

His words kindled a fire that glinted in Anna’s eyes. How dare he make such an assumption? It was difficult to hang on to her temper, but there was too much at stake to let his boorishness sidetrack her. “Since I’m here, I’m sure you won’t mind if I keep my appointment. After all, your father is the one who requested my services. I’m sure he’s expecting me.”

Her words hit home.It took a few bitter seconds, but he finally acquiesced. “Come in, then,” he muttered ungraciously before leading the way up the steps and opening the door.

Following his rigid back down the narrow hall, Anna’s brows furrowed as doubts crept in. How wise had she been to come to this remote place? Especially when the previous secretary had disappeared so mysteriously? Even her employer thought it odd that no one in this mansion seemed to know where Irene had gone or where she was now. It was as if Irene had vanished into thin air.

===========

Marlene Bateman also wrote:

and you can see my review here
 It is another great story!
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Marlene Bateman also provided us with these fun tips.  Thanks Marlene for taking time out of your busy schedule to provide us with this fun tour!  Tips are always awesome.

Twelve Tips to Improve Your Writing Style
by Marlene Bateman, 
Author of; Searching for Irene

Writing well is hard work.  It’s not just what you write that matters; it’s how you write. Good writers can make any subject interesting, while inefficient writers can make anything dull.
Style is not what you write but how you write it.  Voltaire said, “Every style that is not boring is a good one.” The fiction writer’s primary job is to create an emotion experience for the reader and the two simple objectives of all writing is to be clear and precise. Below are twelve tips that will help you capture your reader’s interest and improve your writing style. 

1.      Use a Thesaurus. This makes it easy to look up words that are colorful, precise and mean exactly what you want to say.  You know thousands of words, but they don’t always rise to the surface of your brain. Replace house with mansion, cottage, or hovel.
2.      Say Things in a Positive Way.  Show readers what you want them to see, not what you don’t want them so see. For example, don’t say, “He was not a generous man.” Say; “He was a miser.”  Don’t say; “The painting did not have any flaws.” Say; “It was a masterpiece.”  Do not say; “Phil was not a graceful person.” Say; “Phil was a klutz.”
3.      Vary Your Sentence Structure. A varied sentence structure can keep the reader on her toes and cause them to pay attention to the writing.
4.      Use Good Comparisons for Your Metaphors—Not Clichés. Metaphors can be a great way to show and not tell. For example; No wonder the dog barked all the time. She had all the courage of a ninety-pound knight about to undertake his first jousting match.
5.      Use Sensory Images: Be sure to write about all five senses. If you're describing a beach, don't just talk about the heat or the color of the sand. Add in the smell of Coppertone, the feel of the sand beneath your toes, the sound of the seagulls, etc. The more sensory details you add, the more your reader will be drawn into your writing.
6.      Use Specific Details. The best details are ones that are really specific. Is the car a Toyota or a Volkswagen? Is it cherry-red or maroon-red? Does the man sit in a La-Z-Boy or a Barcalounger?  The more concrete your details are, the more your reader can get a visual picture. Writing gets more interesting as it acquires precision, not length.
7.      Recruit a Support GroupCreate a network of friends, colleagues, and coaches who can offer feedback. When they read your writing, tell them what you’re looking for. Ask them; “Is this too Catholic?”  “Do you find it interesting?”  “Does it seem real?”
8.      Write Toward an Ending.  Write with an ending in mind.  J.K. Rowling began writing the Harry Potter series by crafting the final chapter of the last book.  Help readers close the circle of meaning by answering questions raised at the start of the book.   
9.      Foreshadow Dramatic Events and Powerful Conclusions.  Plant important clues early.  For example, in Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban, terrible events at the end are reversed when Hermione reveals her ability to travel back in time by a charm she wears, which charm is indirectly mentioned early in the book.
10.  To Generate Suspense, Use Internal Cliffhangers.  Having a cliffhanger at the end of a scene or chapter leaves the reader in suspense and fuels their desire to learn what happens next.  One example is; “The door opened and there stood one of the oddest human beings he’d ever laid eyes on.”  You turn the page to see what he looks like.
11.  Use Dialogue as a Form of Action.  Novelist Elmore Leonard advised writers to “Leave out the part that readers tend to skip,” and focus on what they read.  You can always cut thick paragraphs of prose, but don’t cut dialogue.  Dialogue attracts the eyes of the reader and if done well, advances the story.
12.  Create High Personal Stakes. Create a need, a yearning or a goal that matters to your protagonist.  Your character’s stakes will be strong only if the character is sympathetic.  If characters are strong and appealing, and portrayed warmly, the stakes will feel high and reader interest will be high.

I want to give a shout out to Marlene Bateman for hosting this wonderful tour, and for sharing her talents with us.
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MY RATING:



WHERE TO BUY:

    


ABOUT THE AWESOME AUTHOR:

pic and bio by Marlene Bateman

Marlene Bateman Sullivan grew up in Utah, and graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor's degree in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they live in North Salt Lake, Utah with their two dogs and four cats. Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and wrote the best-selling romance/suspense novel, Light on Fire Island. She has written three other cozy mysteries; Motive for Murder, A Death in the Family, and Crooked House, as well as the romance, For Sale by Owner.

Marlene has also written a number of non-fiction, LDS books:  Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s from Beyond the Veil, By the Ministering of Angels, Brigham’s Boys, Heroes of Faith, Gaze into Heaven; Near-death Experiences in Early Church History, and The Magnificent World of Spirits; Eyewitness Accounts of Where We Go When We Die. 


Another Special Thanks To:


















Wednesday, August 2, 2017

AUDIO BOOK REVIEW FOR - THE CALL - BY PEADAR O'GUILIN

28600081
pic and description taken from Goodreads

DESCRIPTION:

Imagine a world where you might disappear any minute, only to find yourself alone in a grey sickly land, with more horrors in it than you would ever wish to know about. And then you hear a horn and you know that whoever lives in this hell has got your scent and the hunt has already begun.

Could you survive the Call?

MY REVIEW / THOUGHTS:

This book surprised me with how much I liked it.  I bought it on audible a while ago, and just hadn't gotten to it.  My daughter told me I had to read it, because it was creepy.  I LOVE creepy, so I immediately started listening to this book.

Could you imagine having a conversation with your best friend, or any one for that matter, and then mid conversation they disappear?  Then just a few minutes later they either show up maimed or dead.  Me either. 

There is a time limit on how long you have to save your own life.  Schools are set up to teach you survival skills, but when you "Call" comes, do you have what it takes to survive?  This story takes fighting for your life to a whole new level.  It's awesome.

I cannot say much about the book without giving it away, so I will just say that is book is creepy, and awesome.  The narrator is awesome, and has a fabulous accent.

The world is creepy, yet draws you in right away.  I love how the author kept me on my toes about what was going to happen.  I did not expect the ending, but it was wonderful.  I expected something, but not what happened.  It's messed up on so many levels.  Which of course makes me love it even more!

Source:  I bought this audio book for myself.  I was not compensated in anyway for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.

MY RATING:


WHERE TO BUY:

    

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Peadar Ó Guilín
pic taken from goodreads, bio taken from www.peadar.org/

Irish writer Peadar Ó Guilín is the author of the YA novel, The Call, inspired by the beautiful northwest of Ireland where he grew up.
In September 2007, Peadar published his first novel, The Inferior, which the Times Educational Supplement called "a stark, dark tale, written with great energy and confidence and some arresting reflections on human nature."  Foreign editors liked it too, and over the coming year it is to be translated into eight languages, including Japanese and Korean.
His fantasy and SF short stories have appeared in numerous venues, including Black Gate magazine and an anthology celebrating the best of the iconic Weird Tales.  He is currently working on a sequel to The Call.







Tuesday, August 1, 2017

PROPER ROMANCE - ROMANCE AWARENESS MONTH



August is Romance Awareness Month!  There are so many great novels in the Proper Romance Series.  I am excited to tell you about the upcoming: 

Proper Romance Anniversary Facebook Party


Just Click this Heart and it will take you to the Facebook Page for the party, where you can participate or sign up to participate.  It will be such a fun month.


Make sure you check back here on August 9th for a special Giveaway for National Book Lovers Day, here on my blog.  I will be giving 3 Proper Romance books away as part of this fun month!

I am so excited to be part of this.  Who doesn't love a Proper Romance?  Here are some that I have read and reviewed on my blog.  Just click the book and it will take you to the review.  Every Author has done such a beautiful job writing, and it has been a pleasure to participate. (there are some that I have read that don't have a link to a review, because they were before I started reviewing books, but I will try to add my Goodreads rating to them.)



Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson  27844299  26848205

     25205322

 29457615  29457858

I am reviewing one this month, and there are still a few I need to catch up on, but as you can tell, I have read a few of the Proper Romance books, and loved each one.  Make sure you check out the Facebook Party page (the heart), and if you press the banner at the top it will take you to the Proper Romance Facebook Page, where you will find fun giveaways all month!

Here is a fun calendar of upcoming event.  This will also take you to the Proper Romance Facebook Page!