Thursday, March 23, 2017

You Are the Mother Your Children Need by Christie Gardiner {Blog Tour Review + Giveaway}

You Are the Mother Your Children Need by Christie Gardiner
Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published March 1st 2017 by Covenant Communications

The woman you want to be . . . the one who has within her every talent, gift, and ability to be what her children need? She’s already there. She is you. Motherhood is the toughest job you’ll ever take on: there is no interview, no job description, and no salary. When you get the position, it can be all too easy to feel underqualified and overwhelmed. But with a sweet message of encouragement, Christie Gardiner reminds women there are as many ways to be a good mother as there are mothers in this world—and there’s no one more capable of raising your children than you! In this uplifting book, mothers are encouraged to let go of the quest for perfectionism and recognize the divinity within. Discover how to own your strengths and weaknesses, and allow your true self to shine! With practical advice on learning to accept failure, holding on to your identity, and harnessing the divine help available to mothers, women will gain the confidence to embrace their uniquely perfect qualifications for the job of motherhood.


My Review: 5 Stars

This book is geared toward mothers of the LDS (Mormon) faith. I really loved it because I often feel like a failure because I don't do this, I'm not like that, and my kids act like the other. This author uses encouraging and upbeat words to let mothers know everywhere that there is no perfect role--we are each exactly who we are specifically for the children we are raising. We should all embrace our strengths and talents, as small as they may seem, and use them to recognize how important our roles are in our kids' lives.

This book covers many aspects of motherhood, from failures to successes to helping others. My eyes were opened because I have to admit: there are occasional times when I wonder, "What did I do to deserve this?!" I was given my children because we can all learn and grow from each other and we are exactly what each other needs. These are great words to re-read for those rough patches and I plan on doing exactly that.

*I received a complimentary copy through the publisher, which did not affect my thoughts in any way.*


Buy Links:

About the Author:

Christie GardinerChristie has enjoyed participating in speaking engagements across the country where she loves reminding groups of women that with God, they are not alone and are enough. Christie's heartfelt and quick-witted writing was first enjoyed in blog form on behalf of the Utah Jazz and Illume Gallery of Fine Art. Her performing career has spanned three decades in theater, television, film, commercials, podcasting and voiceover work. She is a longtime faculty member at the Utah Conservatory of Performing Arts where she inspires young people to increase their self-esteem through participation in the arts. She enjoys serving in her church's youth program. In her spare time you will find Christie with her husband and children, in nature or in the yoga studio teaching a class. She makes her home in Utah and occasionally, the Oregon coast.

You Are the Mother Your Children Need, is Christie's debut. Look for her next book, on shelves October 2017.


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Tour Schedule: 
*March 20th: 
*March 21st: 
*March 22nd: 
*March 23rd
*March 24th

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum by Kirsten Weiss {Review}

The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum by Kirsten Weiss
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 8th 2016 by Midnight Ink
Source: I borrowed it from the library

When Maddie Kosloski’s career flatlines, she retreats to her wine-country hometown for solace and cheap rent. Railroaded into managing the local paranormal museum, she’s certain the rumors of its haunting are greatly exaggerated. But a new ghost may be on the loose. A fresh corpse in the museum embroils Maddie in murders past and present.

With her high school bully as one of the officers in charge, Maddie doubts justice will be served. When one of her best friends is arrested, she’s certain it won’t be.

Maddie grapples with ghost hunters, obsessed taxidermists, and the sexy motorcyclist next door as outside forces threaten. And as she juggles spectral shenanigans with the hunt for a killer, she discovers there truly is no place like home.

My Review: 4 Stars

First of all...just a minor mention: notice the cover? The author's name is spelled wrong. I did some research and yes, it really is spelled wrong. I borrowed a copy from the library and the physical book has the right spelling, but the digital one is wrong.

Moving on...I love a good cozy mystery, especially when I'm figuring out the mystery right along with the characters. This one has a lot of quirks and interesting situations that sets it apart. I mean, one of the town's main attractions is a paranormal museum.

Maddie "buys" this museum from her friend for a dollar, but can't decide if she really wants it or not. She definitely doesn't believe in the paranormal, but the discovery of a dead body leads to a mystery begging to be solved.

With a parade of shady characters, including GD the cat (Ghost Detector), a motorcyclist next door, a hottie detective, and a museum full of wacky props, this story is pure entertainment and fun.

Content: mild language; mild violence; very mild romantic elements.


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Can't Wait Wednesday

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishing Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well.

My choice for this week is:

The Matchmaking Game by Donna Hatch
coming April 18, 2017

Rowena’s childhood friend, Evan, has returned home from war a handsome, but mysterious stranger. In an effort to bring happiness to her father, not to mention uncover the Evan she remembers from their youth, Rowena seeks to unite their parents. Who better to match a lonely widow and widower together than their adoring children? Her matchmaking game could help their parents find happiness and draw out her childhood friend buried beneath Evan’s new reserve … or it could break more than one heart.


What are you waiting to read?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Condemn Me Not: Accused of Witchcraft by Heather B. Moore {Review}

Condemn Me Not: Accused of Witchcraft by Heather B. Moore
Paperback, 250 pages
Publication: March 14th 2017 by Mirror Press    

“This woman was one of the most impudent, scurrilous, wicked creatures of this world; and she did now throughout her whole trial discover herself to be such a one. Yet when she was asked what she had to say for herself, her chief plea was that she had led a most virtuous and holy life.” —Reverend Cotton Mather, 1692

USA Today Bestselling author Heather B. Moore brings the life of her 10th great-grandmother to center stage. Susannah North Martin, accused of witchcraft in 1692, joins five women in the Salem Jail, all sentenced to death for their crimes. Amidst tragedy, Susannah finds hope and compassion as she remembers a well-loved life, and readers discover that love reaches far beyond the grave as Susannah faces the magistrates in Salem.


My Review: 5 Stars

Some stories beg to be told and this is one of those. Based on the true story of the author's ancestor, Condemn Me Not delves into the Salem Witch Trials. My first exposure to the Trials was when I read The Witch of Blackbird Pond when I was nine or ten years old. Throughout my history classes in school, I learned basic details, but I hadn't ever stopped to think about what actually happened during this time in history. And what I learned horrified, appalled, fascinated, and engaged me. I closed the book with one huge question--WHY?? Why would people (especially those silly girls) accuse those they didn't like and sentence them to death?

I typically read Happily Ever After stories, and surprisingly, this one did have a shimmer of joy, but for all the sadness, this story captured my soul and wouldn't let go. I love the way the author tells the tale--a volley between Susannah's past and how she fell madly in love with her husband and her present, where tragedy has grasped her in its clutches.

I felt it was very well researched and presented in a way that draws a reluctant non-fiction reader like me completely in. It's real; it's raw; it's a sorrowful tale. The life lessons that emerge from the ashes of a devastating part of history are powerful and will stick with me for a long time.

Content: conditions of neglect and some violence (not too graphic/gruesome); romance (innuendo, passionate kissing, two instances of non-graphic intimate touching; fade to black between a married couple); some religious elements, as these characters live Puritan lifestyles, but definitely nothing preachy.

*I received a complimentary copy, which didn't affect my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*


Buy Links:

About the Author:

Heather B. MooreHeather B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author, with a dozen historical written under the pen name H.B. Moore. Latest is Slave Queen (Thomas & Mercer). Under Heather B. Moore she writes romance and women’s fiction and inspirational non-fiction, latest is Condemn Me Not: Accused of Witchcraft. Her various author names can be confusing so her kids just call her Mom.

Visit her blog for writing and book signing updates:

Sign up for Heather's newsletter or email her with accolades at:


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Tour Schedule:

Make It Happen Blueprint by Michelle McCullough {Book Blast + Giveaway}

The Make It Happen Blueprint
Despite living in a world of abundance, many people still feel unhappy, over scheduled, tired, and unsuccessful. Yet there seems to be an group of people who “get it.” They catch all the breaks, accomplish more in a day, make more money in their business ventures, bounce back from trials faster, and always have their lives in order. Are they just lucky, or is there some sort of secret most of us are missing? Michelle McCullough has spent thousands of hours studying, listening to, and learning from success experts including Stephen Covey, Jack Canfield, Brendon Burchard, Jim Rohn, Brian Tracy, Ken Blanchard, Darren Hardy, and more. Applying key principles (and learning a few things on her own) she’s built three successful businesses and while still maintaining a meaningful personal life. Everyone has the ability to be a high performer. All it takes is the right mindset, the right tools, and a willingness to work. As she shares eighteen practices for high performance, you too can learn how to take your business and personal life to the next level. Success is possible, happiness is achievable, so stop dreaming about it and get out and MAKE IT HAPPEN!


Excerpts - From The Make It Happen Blueprint
-Success is not a destination, it’s a practice. The actions we take every day, week, and month to make our dreams a reality are what determine our success and happiness.
-The most paralyzing thought keeping you from your goals is, “I don’t deserve it.”
- “Plan” is the four- letter word for success. Peak performers know this, and they find power in a plan and thrive on the execution and ultimate success of seeing it through to completion.
-Trying to do two things at once is a recipe for failure. The time has come for you to give up your “Multitasker of the Year” award.
-High performers don’t just understand the value of a person—they understand the value of every person.
-If you’re going for a gold medal in raising high performers (and I hope you are), daily ask kids this powerful question, “What did you do to make someone else happy today?” This helps them become more aware of others.

Praise for the Book
“I do love this book. McCullough is real and relate-able. I was only in the first chapter when I felt hopeful and empowered. While some of her golden advice is aimed mostly to those working in the field of Business (which I am not), there is more than enough real-life help that a Homemaker can use too. She doesn't create, yet another, list of things "I should be doing", but attainable solutions to MAKE TIME for the other things I really DO need to do. These recommendations are easy to do. I am so thankful for McCullough's inspiration and passion to share this knowledge; my life was immediately changed and improved for the goals her book motivated.” - Kristin Call; London, ENGLAND
"Michelle McCullough has one of those minds you love to be around! She shares fresh ideas, content, and strategies for creating a life and a business that you love. Reading this book will elevate your life!” - Tiffany Peterson, Professional Speaker,; Utah, USA
“The beauty of Michelle's book & writing is that it is a lucid, unadorned reminder that we periodically need. It reinforces powerful practices which we often brush past and only remember when we fail to "make it happen". I love her earnest voice and really personal examples.” - Vilasi Venkatachalam; INDIA
"As entrepreneurs we often feel alone. McCullough's book Make It Happen reminds us that we are all in this together. She manages to rekindle your purpose as well as provide pertinent ideas and strategies to help you preform at your best. I love the way she provides a section at the end of each chapter to help you implement the things you read and learn in Make It Happen. Every purposeful entrepreneur should have this book on their nightstand!" - Nicole Carpenter, CEO of and bestselling author of 52 Weeks to Fortify Your Family: 5-minute messages; Utah USA  

Author Michelle McCullough

Michelle McCullough started her first business when she was 19 and currently runs 3 companies including consulting other businesses all over the world.  A seasoned speaker, Michelle teaches success principles and leadership insights that help boost employee engagement and higher performance. In addition to running her own consulting businesses, Michelle is the managing director for Startup Princess, listed by Forbes as “One of the top 10 resources for Women Entrepreneurs”.  She’s worked with top brands like Visa Small Business, UPS Store, AWeber and more. She’s spoken for the Air Force Reserve, Goldman Sachs and, among others. She’s been featured in, in the 40 under 40, Fox TV and has been interviewed for television and radio over 100 times, including Good Morning America and The Today Show.  She was recently named in the Top 100 Small Business Influencers with Inc Magazine, Michael Gerber and Grant Cardone. Her own radio show “Make It Happen” has over 1 million downloads.

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$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 4/6/17 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.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller {Blog Tour Review + Giveaway}

Regency romance fans have another must-read novel to add to their lists: Carolyn Miller's The Elusive Miss Ellison. Enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister's daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God's grace and the true strength of love. These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society's opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.

Book info
About the book:

Handsome appearance counts for naught unless matched by good character and actions.
That's the firm opinion of not-so-meek minister's daughter Lavinia Ellison. So even though all the other villagers of St. Hampton Heath are swooning over the newly returned seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, she is not impressed. If a man won't take his responsibilities seriously and help those who are supposed to be able to depend on him, he deserves no respect from her. In Lavinia's pretty, gray eyes, Nicholas Stamford is just as arrogant and reckless as his brother-who stole the most important person in Livvie's world.
Nicholas is weighed down by his own guilt and responsibility, by the pain his careless brother caused, and by the legacy of war he's just left. This quick visit home to St. Hampton Heath will be just long enough to ease a small part of that burden. Asking him to bother with the lives of the villagers when there's already a bailiff on the job is simply too much to expect.
That is, until the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellison challenges him to see past his pain and pride. With her angelic voice in his head, he may even be beginning to care. But his isn't the only heart that needs to change.
These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society's opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.
Fans of Georgette Heyer, Lori Wick, and Julie Klassen will enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister's daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God's grace and the true strength of love.


My Review: 4 Stars

This charming tale of vivacious Lavinia and the proud Earl of Hawkesbury captured my heart and soul from the start. Lavinia is so atypical, which endears her to readers, and to Nicholas, as she stands up for herself and stands apart from the crowd. Her heart is fully entrenched in service, with little thought of herself, and because she's not caught up in the normal obsessions of society, she's deemed unworthy by some and an angel by others.

Loneliness often disguises itself in interesting ways, but as these two solitary souls find themselves thrown together in unconventional situations, the prejudices slip away into a delightful account that truly warmed my heart. I love to see deserving people find happiness, just as I love it when judgmental and jealous people find out that karma isn't all that fun.

There are many elements, some small and some monumental, that make this story enjoyable from start to finish. Most of the characters are easy to like and to relate to, although there are some to hate. The writing style causes the reader to feel immersed into the Austen Regency period, which is a fun escape. I loved the events that propel their spiritual and emotional learning forward. My only wish? I would have loved to have a little more romance--those sweet, tender feelings of emerging love.

All in all, this is a great start to a new series--one that I'm looking forward to reading more of.

Content: very mild romance; mild-moderate religious elements; very mild violence.

*I received a complimentary copy, which did not affect my thoughts in any way.*


About the author:

Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn's novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.

Visit our blog Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Find us on Pinterest 

Settle in for a cozy night of reading with a cuppa and a Kindle from Carolyn!


One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on March 22. The winner will be announced March 23 on the Litfuse blog.

The Wedding March (The Business of Weddings #4) by Tara Randel {Blog Tour Review + Giveaway}

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

The Wedding March
(The Business of Weddings #4)
Tara Randel
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
March 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

The help only he can offer…

Cypress Pointe, Florida, is a long way from LA, where pop singer Cassie Branford needs a hit to prove she's not a two album wonder. But her case of writer's block could be over when the struggling songwriter meets Luke Hastings at a family wedding.

The legendary musician walked away from success at the height of his career. Yet Luke is already inspiring Cassie with his dedication to building a permanent community outreach center for troubled teens. Volunteering to help bring music into these kids' lives is also bringing her and Luke closer. Maybe they're not as different as he thinks…

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin


My Review: 4 Stars

I can't imagine the pressure of fame and fortune, especially when people seem to "use" you for them. Both Cassie and Luke have had their fair share of heartaches, successes, and disappointments and they each have to learn to forgive and move on, which is much easier said than done. I enjoyed the journey of them growing from their situations.

Luke has thrown his fame to the wind after being betrayed, but instead of being completely bitter, he's done a lot of good with his time and talents and I loved seeing the interest and investment he has with his project. Cassie has been all but abandoned by her father, who is now trying to get back into her life. The pressure of writing the next great album doesn't get her down, as she tries to find ways to help herself, instead of waiting around to be helped.

I love a romance with some meat to it and this isn't a fluffy insta-love story. The struggles are real and the love is gradual. I love how the romance is mixed with music and the relationships with this group of troubled teens, which combined, puts some cracks in the emotional walls. There is a minuscule thread of mystery, which adds to the tension and makes for an overall well-balanced diet of words.

Content: mild romance

*I received a complimentary copy through the tour host, which did not affect my opinion in any way.*


Other Books in the Series


About the Author

USA Today Bestselling Author Tara Randel has enjoyed a lifelong love of books, especially romance and mystery genres, so it didn't come as a surprise when she began writing with the dream of becoming published. Family values, mystery and, of course, love and romance are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Tara lives on the West Coast of Florida, where gorgeous sunsets inspire the creation of heartwarming stories, filled with love, laughter and the occasional mystery.

Tour Schedule

March 12th: Launch

Tour Giveaway

- US PRIZE PACK: Signed copies of the first three books in The Business of Weddings series by Tara Randel, a $25 gift card for Dunkin’ Donuts, a coffee mug with an inspirational message: "Something beautiful is on the horizon," and a Harlequin Heartwarming tote bag. (US only)
- $25 Amazon eCard (open internationally)
- Ends March 28th