Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Painting Rain by Annette K. Larsen

I'm a huge fan of the author, Annette K. Larsen. I've read all of her books and rated them all 4 stars or higher on Goodreads. She has revealed the cover of her 4th book in a fun giveaway!

Painting Rain
Painting Rain by Annette K. Larsen
How do you heal your heart after tragedy leaves you broken? When the person you loved didn’t deserve it and they can’t earn your forgiveness because they’re already dead? How do you move on, and heal, and love?
If you’re Princess Lorraina, you paint. A year ago Lorraina watched Tobias die, and she still doesn't know how she's supposed to heal—or forgive. How can she when she’s still running away? In an attempt to reinvent herself, she steps outside her comfortable life as princess and seeks the tutelage of a master painter—a man who is not at all impressed by her pedigree, and demands not just talent, but emotional honesty. Struggling to learn what’s being taught, she finds herself drawn to someone who not only knows her secrets, but who she once considered far below her notice. Now she is compelled to seek him out despite knowing their relationship would be forbidden if discovered. Staying away from him doesn’t seem possible when discovering him may be the key to healing her heart and rediscovering herself.

Annette Larsen add to goodreads pre order on amazon

Author Annette K. Larsen I was born in Utah, but grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona and St. Louis, Missouri, the fifth of seven children. I attended Southern Virginia University and Brigham Young University, where I studied English and Theater. I now live in Idaho with my husband and four children. I have Charlotte Brontë to thank for the courage to write novels. After being bombarded with assigned reading about women who justified abandoning either their families or their principles in the name of love, I had the great fortune of reading Jane Eyre. And that was it: finally, a heroine who understood that being moral and making the right choice was hard, and sometimes it hurt, but it was still worth it. After rereading it several years later, I realized that if I wanted more books to exist with the kinds of heroines I admired, then I might as well write a few myself. My books are about women who face hard choices, who face pain and rejection and often have to face the reality of sacrificing what they want for what is right. The consequences are often difficult or unpleasant, but in the end, doing what’s right will always be worth it. I believe there is no substitute for good writing or good chocolate. Fortunately, one often leads to the other.

Cover Reveal Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Code or Paypal Cash Ends 2/22/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Broken Things to Mend by Karey White Blog Tour

Broken Things (1)

broken things to mend

Broken Things to Mend by Karey White
Celia is in desperate need of a change--a change of scenery, a change of pace, and a complete redo of all relationships. Not knowing what else to do, she opens a map, closes her eyes, and lets fate decide her future. Then she packs her meager belongings and buys a one-way ticket to a little town on the fringes of Oregon's Deschutes National Forest called Sisters. She's wanted a family for years. Will she find one in Sisters? What Celia doesn't plan to find is a strange Chinese woman whose meddling ways keep throwing her in the path of a handsome, but reserved, forest ranger. But no matter how kind or dependable Silas seems to be, there are some things in Celia's past that neither of them can escape, and this time, the damage might be too much to mend.

My Review
This book wasn't what I was expecting. It's the first book in the Power of the Matchmaker 12 book series, but is a stand alone novel. For some reason I thought it would be a fun, fluff read, with Pearl, the sweet, little matchmaker from Power of the Matchmaker making an appearance. But it wasn't a fluff read at all. It has some very serious subject matter. And it was really, really good. It hit a ton of different emotions. I laughed and cried and sympathized and hoped. Silas and Celia, bless their hearts, have both had really tough childhoods, both experiencing a lot more than their fair share of tragedy. This book is about taking that past heartache and helping each other heal.

*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Karey White
amazon get it add to goodreads    
Author Karey White 
Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist. She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.

      Blog Tour Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or $50 in Paypal Cash
Ends 2/2/16
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 04, 2016

Taj's Christmas Gift

Taj is always very creative and thoughtful with his gifts. Remember the birthday chair he made? That was amazing. Well he's been trying to top that- which I think may be impossible to do. But he really did a good job this Christmas. He took my LOVE of World War 2 books, Cowboys, and 80's hairdband music to come up with this:
The outside of the box

Every rose has it's thorns
Just like every night has it's dawn
Just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song...
I thought it was pretty freakin' impressive. The moon even moves to make the sun come up. And have you ever seen a better use of brads than as thorns on a rose?? ;) I'm not sure what I'm suppose to do with it exactly... But I do think the cowboy will be situated somewhere on my dashboard. :) I love my Taj.

Friday, January 01, 2016

2015 Highlights

2015 was a really good year. 
It really, really was.
  • Not really "happy" but my grandma, Eula Mae McDaniel passed away on January 19. It was a good thing in that she wasn't really "living." She died peacefully with us surrounding her. Her funeral was a celebration of her life and how we all remembered her. 
    July 4, 1920 - Jan. 19, 2015
  • In April I was able to go to Utah to visit my friends, see my niece graduate from BYU, visit family, and meet some of my favorite authors- Sarah M. Eden, Josi Kilpack, and Marcia McClure. AWESOME WEEKEND!! 
    Sarah M. Eden, me, Josi Kilpack
    Suzanne, Me, Stacey
    Stacey, Marcia McClure, Me

    • May 11 was my birthday and it was awesome. I did lots of cool things that week, including seeing "Sense & Sensibility" on stage. I also went to a New Kids on the Block concert on May 14 with Nancy, Sharon, Michelle, and my ISABEL!!!!
    • But more importantly Alec got his mission call!! He was called to serve in the California, Anaheim mission- American Sign Language. The look at the end of his video when he says "American Sign Language!" says it all

    • Also in May, my good friend Chesney, and I went to a reader's conference in Dallas. There were hundreds of authors there and we were able to meet a few of our favorites, Tamera Alexander, Deeanne Gist, and Karen Witemeyer. They were really sweet and autographed books for us. I also was able to get an autographed book for Taj from Marie Lu.
      Tamera Alexander
      Karen Witemeyer
      Deeanne Gist

    • Alec received the C.A.T. award for basketball. This is voted on by the team and it's for Character, Attitude, Team. Out of any award given, this is the one I hoped Alec would receive because I knew he deserved it.
    • In June, Alec graduated from high school. Tristan was able to come home to surprise him. It was really sweet and Alec was totally surprised.

      • June, Seiuli kind of went "viral" with his Five-o rap. It was on the news and several websites. Fox & Friends contacted him too, but we were leaving for a cruise. It was weird to see him all over the place. I was kind of happy when it all died down because I didn't like seeing hateful comments from cop haters. It really made me mad, kind of stressed, and sad.
      • Seiuli, Alec, Isabel, and I went on a cruise to the Western Caribbean. We ziplined in Honduras and snorkeled in Cozumel. It was such a wonderful trip. No drama, lots of ice cream, and tons of awesome memories.

      • August we (minus our soldier) went to Destin with my parents. It was nice to have that time together because Alec would be leaving for his mission in September.

        See you in 2!

      • October I went on another trip! This NEVER happens and it happened twice in one year for me! Chesney and I went to Nauvoo, IL for a quick LDS historical visit and to Kansas City to meet LDS authors, Sarah M. Eden and Jennifer Moore. We got to hang out with my sister, and visit other LDS historical sites as well. It was wonderful to be so busy I didn't cry about missionary for almost 4 days. ;)
        Jennifer Moore and me!
        Chesney, Sarah M. Eden
        Liberty Jail in Independence, MO
        The Nauvoo Temple at night
        • This year I surpassed my Goodreads goal of reading 80 books. I read 150. I set the lower goal because I've found in the past when I've set it higher I was reading more to meet my goal, rather than for enjoyment.
        • In December, Seiuli had the chance to take a trip. He surprised his mom in California as an early Christmas present. He stayed for 5 days. He was so close to Alec, but of course didn't visit him.

        Overall, 2015 was great. 
        I'm looking forward to making 2016 fabulous, too.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

HIGHWAY REVENGE by Nadine Millard Release Blitz and GIVEAWAY

Title: Highway Revenge
Author: Nadine Millard
Genre: Regency Romance
Publisher: Blue Tulip Publishing

Evelyn Spencer has spent the last ten years living in her uncle’s house and longing for the day when she can leave and make her own way in the world.
When she finds out her uncle’s terrible, hidden secret, Evelyn decides that she will first get revenge then leave and never set eyes on her wicked uncle again.
Everything is going according to plan…until Viscount Andrew Ashdon comes along.
Andrew has been coerced into coming to spend a dull few weeks at his friend’s country estate. Used to intrigues, seductions and debauchery as a spy for the Crown, Andrew can think of nothing worse than rusticating in the country with no one around to entertain him…until he meets Evelyn Spencer.
The race is on for Evelyn to get the proof she needs to prove her uncle’s deception and the last thing she needs is to be distracted by the devilishly handsome, rakish Lord Ashdon.
Can she achieve the impossible with Lord Ashdon’s help, by finally getting her revenge? And, more importantly, can she do it while keeping hold of her heart?

Being alone with her thoughts on a darkened, rarely used road was not good for her frame of mind, Evelyn decided.
For one thing, it left her to stew over her uncle’s horrid betrayal and her complete inability to do anything about it.
For another, it gave her far too much time to remember every tiny detail of her encounter with Lord Ashdon and his magical lips, the touch of which still felt imprinted on her own.
Evelyn lifted a hand to her mouth and pressed her fingers to the spot that still tingled in remembrance of his touch.
Perhaps she hadn’t handled the aftermath in the sophisticated, worldly way  she would have liked.
Sprinting back to the house, nearly bursting a lung in the process, then barricading herself into her room with another faux headache was neither sophisticated nor clever, as it turned out, since she had both Anna and Jonathan demanding that Mr. Carver, the aptly named surgeon be called.
It took so long convincing them that she was perfectly fine, that she’d had a genuine headache by the time they left and she’d been grateful for Molly’s herbal remedy and insistence that she be left alone in a darkened room.
Lord Ashdon hadn’t asked after her welfare at all, she thought snippily.
Which just went to show; the man was a veritable rake who had felt nothing when they’d kissed and should be avoided like the plague.
And Evelyn had every intention of staying as far away from him as humanly possible from this day forward.
“Lovely evening for a robbery, my lady.”
Evelyn screeched in fright as a deep, mellifluous voice penetrated the still night air, and she nearly fell off her horse as she spun to see to whom it belonged.
But of course. She already knew, didn’t she? Nobody else’s voice had the power to completely steal her breath away.
And wasn’t that just the way her luck had been going anyway? When she’d decided to avoid him, lo, here he was, ruining her robbery again.
“What are you doing here?” she demanded indignantly as she tried to keep control of the stallion who she’d once again frightened half to death.
I’ll make it up to him, she assured herself, choosing to ignore the fact that the list of living things she was having to make things up to was growing steadily by the day.
“Oh, I’m just out for a night-time ride. May I enquire as to what you’re doing?”
His faux politeness was stirring her temper, but she refused to give in to it. The best way to deal with the interfering cad was to coolly dismiss him, then ignore him.
“You may not,” she snapped, her tone as freezing as she could make it. “Good evening to you.”
“Oh, come now, my lady. What harm in having a friendly chat?” he asked jovially as he moved his horse to stand beside hers.
Bloody nuisance.
“I am not your lady,” she retorted. “I am a dangerous, hardened criminal, and you are interfering yet again in my robbery.”
“But, of course. A thousand apologies.” He swept his hat off his head and executed a dramatic bow that almost unseated him from his mount.
Evelyn gave a regal nod of her head, which she hoped was dismissive enough for even this most obtuse of men, then turned again to concentrate on the empty road.
“And how is the business of robbing passing carriages? Slow? Lucrative?” he continued in that polite tone that would have been better suited to a ballroom in the height of the Season.
Evelyn took a calming breath and pointedly ignored him.
“Of course, I, myself, would never rob someone. Too ethical, you understand. But I can appreciate that some highwaymen do quite a trade in the area.”
Evelyn clenched her teeth so hard she was afraid she’d never pry them apart again. Still she remained silent.
“But then,” he continued, and she wanted to smack him again, all thoughts of their earlier kiss forgotten in her rage, “I have never known a woman to be involved in the business. You’ll forgive me if I think that rather singular.”
Evelyn gazed at the stars and counted to ten, trying desperately to calm her beating heart, to unclench her death grip on the reigns. Poor Midnight was having a horrid time of it with her. There weren’t enough apples in the world to make up for it. Not if she were to bake John Coachman’s pies too.
“And, you must admit, my dear, you aren’t very good at it, are you?”
“That is it,” she snapped and whirled round to face him. “Whatever is the matter with you?” she began. “I’m not going to rob you, and I want absolutely nothing to do with you. Nothing,” she emphasised as she leaned toward him. “So why do you insist on bothering me?”
He merely smiled as though he found the whole thing vastly amusing.
She growled low in her throat.
“Pardon me, my dear, but did you just growl?”
“I am not your bloody dear,” she exclaimed. “For heaven’s sake. Just leave me alone. You go your way, I’ll go mine, and that will be that.”
With that, she turned her horse once more and pointedly ignored him.
“I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
“Why not?”
“Because, you are a mystery that I am determined to solve, since there are so many which are apparently too far out of my reach,” he grumbled with a frown, and Evelyn thought for one mad moment that he was speaking of her.
Her, Evelyn. Not her, mysterious highway non-robber.
“There is no mystery. Nothing to solve. I just choose to earn a living this way. That’s all there is to it,” she said decisively. She didn’t need him poking around in this as well as everything else.
Any answer he would have made was silenced by the distinct sound of approaching hooves.
Evelyn’s heart flew into her mouth.
“Did you hear that?” she asked, all animosity forgotten.
He merely nodded, watching carefully now as he usually did.
“It seems a victim is approaching.”
She tried not to flinch at his words but victim made the whole thing seem so, well… so criminal.
Perhaps she would just pretend to rob this carriage.
After all, he’d seen her again now, so there was no cause to ever do this again.
If she got rid of him quick enough, she could just loop round and go back to the manor house the long way, avoiding being seen by him, and leaving the occupants of the carriage robbery free.
Suddenly feeling much better about the whole thing, she smiled brightly.
“Well, it’s been nice knowing you,” she said and stuck out her hand, “but as you see, I have work to do, so I’ll bid you good evening.”
He glanced down at her hand and then back up at her and moved his mount closer, leaning forward to peer closer still.
“You know, you seem terribly familiar.”
Evelyn just stopped herself from leaping back in horror. Oh God, he couldn’t recognise her!
“I hardly see how,” she mumbled.
He was silent for a moment before releasing a sigh.
“No, I suppose that is impossible. Apparently, the Fates have a wicked sense of humour, throwing two impossible women with devastating eyes and annoying habits into my path.”
Evelyn was momentarily distracted by his complimenting her eyes before his words registered.
“I am not annoying,” she said, mightily affronted and doubly so, since she was both women.
“Oh, but you are. Not as much as she, I’ll grant you, but then I haven’t had the pleasure of your company as much,” he continued wryly.
“Well, you’re not exactly pleasant to be around either, sir,” she quipped.
She really shouldn’t be enjoying this.
“Me?” he widened his eyes innocently, and Evelyn had to bite the inside of her mouth to keep from laughing.
But this was no good! She needed to get rid of him so she could leave before the carriage arrived.
“Yes. You. Now, if you don’t mind I have a — er — job to get on with.”
“Oh, don’t let me stop you,” he said with a smile.
Her own smile froze.
“Wh-what do you mean? You can’t stay here?”
He shrugged his large shoulders with enviable nonchalance.
“Why not? I must admit I find the whole thing fascinating, and while I heartily disapprove, I find myself unwilling to leave you to your own devices, should anything bad happen.”
Evelyn felt her jaw drop open at his words.
He’d risk being caught here, risk being thought of as a criminal because he didn’t want to leave her alone?
The thought was humbling, and it also served to soften her toward him, which wouldn’t do at all. She needed him to leave. And quickly.
“But, you can’t risk being seen here,” she stuttered. “Suppose you should get caught. S-surely a man of your stature cannot risk such a thing.”
He raised a brow.
“What do you know of my stature?” he asked.
Blast. She’d slipped up again.
“N-nothing. But, well, I just assumed—“
“There you go with those assumptions,” he said smoothly. “No need to worry yourself about it, in any case. The problem will be mine to deal with, should anything go awry.”
Oh, but he was exasperating.
“But why?” she wailed.
He was once again ruining everything.
“As to that, I cannot tell you. I only wish I knew myself,” he muttered as much to himself as to her. “But, here I am. Unwilling to allow you to be caught or put into any sort of danger.”
It was a peculiar thing, Evelyn thought as she rubbed at a sudden headache, being jealous of oneself.
Clearly, Lord Ashdon cared a great deal about the highwaywoman she was. And yet, he had kissed her to, so intensely this morning in the gardens.
What a brute!
Well, she would never allow him to kiss her again, and that was that.
Even though he didn’t know who she currently was, he had known perfectly well who she was this morning, and he had no business getting himself embroiled with some woman now. The logical part of her brain tried to remind her that she was the some woman, but she had no interest in that.
The point was that he didn’t know who she was…
The thought brought Evelyn up short.
He didn’t know who she was!Evelyn Spencer, lady of quality, good, well-behaved, docile miss couldn’t allow a rakish lord any liberties.
But a mysterious, masked female who lived outside the law? Well, couldn’t she do just about anything she wanted?
Her mouth curled into a slow grin as the possibilities flitted through her mind. This could be rather wonderful. Perhaps being a highway robber for a little longer wouldn’t be so bad after all.
This is my personal review...
Easily 5 stars...

I've read all of Nadine Millard's books and Highway Revenge did not disappoint!!!
Oh my! First off, I love the humor in Nadine's writing. There was serious stuff happening in this book, and yet, the witty banter between Evelyn and Andrew had me full on laughing out loud. It was FUN.
And there was HEAT. It was definitely a clean read, but I felt myself blushing and getting giddy when,

"Evelyn's face flamed at the mention of the tall, dark walking heap of sin."


"She looked at him with those doe eyes, and his heart thumped heavily in response. Shut up, he told it, then frowned because he'd never scolded his vital organs before."

And wow, all the characters came to life. I wanted to punch the ones we were suppose to want to punch. And, I loved, oh I LOVED, the ones we were meant to love. Andrew was a cad, but you couldn't help but cheer for him as he figured out what the heck he was feeling. And Evelyn... I loved how everyone thought she was shy and mousy, but she really was so strong and smart.

Overall, I was already a fan of Nadine Millard, and now I am HUGE fan. I need to reread An Unlikely DuchessSeeking Scandal, and Mysterious Miss Channing to see if I can even pick a favorite. :)

**I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review. And I honestly loved it.

Nadine Millard is a writer hailing from Dublin, Ireland. Although she’ll write anything that pops into her head, her heart belongs to Regency Romance.
When she’s not immersing herself in the 1800s, she’s spending time with her husband, her three children, and her very spoiled Samoyed. She can usually be found either writing or reading and drinking way too much coffee.