Thursday, March 31, 2016

Fool for Books Giveaway Hop

Welcome to my stop on the Fool For Books Giveaway Hop,
hosted by Bookhounds.
I'll be giving away one $10 Amazon gift code
to one lucky winner!
Just enter the rafflecopter below and be sure to hop
to the next stop. Thanks for stopping by!

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Silent Sting by Clair M. Poulson {Blog Tour Review and Giveaway}

Silent Sting by Clair Poulson
Kindle Edition, 188 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by Covenant Communications

Catastrophe is looming over the Central Valley of California. The honeybees, vital to the economy of this agricultural epicenter, are dying at an unprecedented rate. The U.S. government is desperate for answers, and researchers at the University of California–Riverside are tasked with providing them. But when the professors assigned to the investigation seem to be systematically dying under mysterious circumstances, it becomes clear that there is something sinister at play. Following the murders of her mentors, it’s up to entomology student Tiana Lambrose to move forward with the research. Special Agent Stu Whiteleather, part of a team of FBI agents assigned to assist in the investigation, is immediately drawn to the lovely entomologist. Together, they discover a breed of bees engineered to be killing machines, which, despite Tiana’s expertise, are like nothing she’s seen before. The question is, who could possibly have the sophisticated technology to engineer these specialized insects and for what motive? The perpetrator will stop at nothing to keep investigators from finding the answer. As threats to Tiana’s life escalate, Stu must battle an unknown foe to protect the woman for whom he has come to care before she becomes the next victim.
My Review: 3 Stars

Silent Sting starts and ends with an interesting twist--it takes place through the viewpoint of a honeybee. Other than that small twist, this story delivers a suspenseful novel that is typical of Clair Poulson.

Honeybees are dying by the droves and it's up to Tiana, a student research assistant, and her mentor to determine if it's because of a disease or a new pesticide being used by farmers in the area. When people start turning up dead and tiny engineered killers are discovered, danger lurks around every corner and it's up to Special Agent, Stu, and Tiana, to find out what's going on.

I like the characters and the way they each play an intricate part in the story, but I felt a depth to their relationships was lacking. I would've liked a smoother connection between the characters, as well as more thoughts and feelings, but this story isn't driven by relationships--it's driven by the plot and the suspense. The criminals were always about three steps ahead of the investigators, which really leaves the reader on edge, as it's tricky to figure out what's going on and what will happen next. I always enjoy a good suspense that keeps me guessing. 

Content: mild violence (deaths--non-graphic, kidnapping, mention of drugs); very mild romance; mild religious elements (some characters are LDS and things relating to that are mentioned). Clean.

*I received a copy through the publisher in exchange for an honest review*


Buy Links:

About the Author:

Clair M. PoulsonClair M. Poulson was born and raised in Duchesne, Utah. His father was a rancher and farmer, his mother a librarian. Clair has always been an avid reader, having found his love for books as a very young boy.

He has served for forty years in the criminal justice system. Twenty years were spent in law enforcement, ending his police career with eight years as the Duchesne County Sheriff. For the past twenty years Clair has worked as a justice court judge for Duchesne County. Clair is also a veteran of the US Army where he was a military policeman. He has served on various boards and councils during his professional career, including the Justice Court Board of Judges, Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, Utah Judicial Council, Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, an FBI advisory board and others.

In addition to his criminal justice work, Clair has farmed and ranched all of his life. He has raised many kinds of animals, but his greatest interest is horses.

Clair has served in many capacities in the LDS church, including fulltime missionary (California Mission) bishop, counselor to bishop, young men president, high councilor, stake mission president, scoutmaster, High Priest group leader, etc. He currently serves as a Sunday School teacher.

Clair is married to Ruth, and together, they have five children, all of whom are married: Alan (Vicena) Poulson, Kelly Ann (Wade) Hatch, Amanda (Ben) Semadeni, Wade (Brooke) Poulson, and Mary (Tyler) Hicken. Between them they have twenty-three children. Clair and Ruth met while both were students at Snow College and were married in the Manti temple.

Clair has always loved telling his children, and later his grandchildren, make-up stories. His vast experience in life and his love of literature has always contributed to both his telling stories to children and his writing of adventure and suspense novels.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Forever and Forever: The Courtship of Henry Longfellow and Fanny Appleton by Josi S. Kilpack {Review}

Forever and Forever: The Courtship of Henry Longfellow and Fanny Appleton by Josi S. Kilpack
Paperback, 336 pages
Expected publication: April 5th 2016 by Shadow Mountain
A Proper Historical Romance series
The first book in a new series which will focus on the lives of real historical figures who have intriguing stories of courtship that are recreated in fictionalized accounts based on real biographical and social history research.

Based on the true romance of poet Henry Longfellow who was madly in love with Fanny Appleton and devotedly courted her for seven years until finally winning her over. Includes notes, excerpts from Longfellow's poems and discussion group questions.
My Review: 4 Stars
I've never really wondered about the love life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and this story was very heart-wrenching and intriguing. Times were different in the 1840s and a ten year age gap, with Henry being a widower at his first meeting with Fanny, was enough of a different to put Fanny off for awhile. Some women take awhile to woo and Henry was smitten almost immediately and was persistent and devoted enough to continue on, no matter how discouraged he felt. 
I love historical novels because I get a good feel for the character, yet some license is used to fill in the blanks of how the story might have gone and it really makes the characters come alive, as they once were. Instead of just being a vague story, I feel apart of their lives, as a friend or acquaintance, watching things unfold. I loved learning more about the times, the social customs, and life in Boston and Europe at this time.
This story and the background to Henry and Fanny's romance helped his poetry and words really have more meaning, as I understood the context a lot better. Ms. Kilpack did a fantastic job with the research needed to develop these characters and tell their story. The Afterword had me in tears, as I came to learn what happened. This is a story that will stay with me for awhile.
Content: mild romance. Clean!
*I received a copy through the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Pre-Order Link:

About the Author:

 Josi KilpackJosi S. Kilpack has written twenty-five novels, a cookbook, and several novellas. She is a two-time Whitney Award Winner--"Sheep's Clothing" in 2007 and "Wedding Cake" in 2014--and was the Best of State winner for Fiction in 2012. She began writing historical romance in 2015. "Lord Fenton's Folly" is a finalist for the 2015 Whitney Awards in Romance. "Forever and Forever: The Courtship of Henry Longfellow and Fanny Appleton" will be released in spring 2016.

Josi and her husband, Lee, have four children and live in Northern Utah. For more information about Josi, you can visit her website at or her blog at

The Bartered Bride by Lena Goldfinch {Blog Tour Spotlight, Snippet, and Giveaway}

Series: The Brides Series
Genre: Sweet Historical Western Romance
Inspirational / Christian
Publisher: Indigo Road Publishing
Publication Date: December 1, 2015
Number of pages: 390
What's a man to do when a "bartered bride" needs a rescue?

Jem Wheeler has always been a survivor. He just wants to make a fresh start in Colorado Springs after the loss of his wife. But then he happens upon a young mute woman being sold off to the highest bidder. He wasn't looking for a mail-order bride. He wasn't looking to rescue anyone either. But desperate circumstances can drive a good man to do things he hadn't planned on doing...
​ When Jem steps into Annie's life, she's not expecting anyone to save her. Mute from birth, she's just using all her wits to survive. All she's ever really wanted is a family of her own. For someone to see her. To look at her long enough to hear the things she can't say.

Could this bride be just what a grieving widower needs to make a happy home?
Available to purchase on:

The Brides Series Books 1-3

Other Series Books Purchasing Links (if you want to include):


LENA GOLDFINCH writes sweet historical western romance / inspirational romance and books for teens. She’s always been a sucker for a good old-fashioned romance, whether it’s a novel or short story, young adult or adult, fantasy or realistic, contemporary or historical. Lena has been a finalist in several national writing contests, including the RWA Golden Heart and ACFW Genesis contests. She enjoys life in a quiet, small town with her husband, two kids, and two very spoiled Black Labs.

Snippet 1 (Note: this one is "romantic")

Annie nodded, suddenly shy. Unable to look at him.

She began to rise and suddenly Jem’s hand was in hers, supporting her as she stood. Warm tingles swam up her arm and filled her everywhere. Their eyes met, and in his she found a flicker of awareness that stunned her. He was looking at her. He saw her.

Annie was struck anew by the color of his eyes. A sort of smoky blue, not unlike the sky before a storm. How dark his brows and eyelashes were. She studied him, rapt. They were quite attractive eyes. She felt herself falling into them, everything else fading away. Time stopped. It was as if they shared a passing of souls. A fanciful thought. As if you could share your soul with someone just looking at them. Nevertheless, the feeling lingered.

His hand around hers was so warm, so strong. A hard-working kind of hand. A man’s hand. Lightly dusted with hair across the back of his fingers. Tanned.

She ran her thumb over the back of his, marveling at the rush of sensation that small motion brought. How had she never realized how sensitive her thumb was?

And then she had the almost irresistible urge to bring his hand up to her face and brush a kiss across his knuckles. Not that she would ever do something so daring, so improper and—and forward. She shouldn’t have even touched his thumb in such a way. Why, it was practically intimate the way it had felt, like something a real wife might do. But he was a stranger. For one short moment it might’ve felt like she’d known him forever, but that wasn’t how it was between them.

Oh, Lord. She’d touched him.

Annie blushed fiercely, becoming aware of Jem’s gaze on her, watching her in a rather fascinated fashion. She watched as his expression shifted through a range of emotions: surprise, confusion, and finally a shuttered expression she couldn’t read. He dropped her hand as if it had become a hot ember and stepped back.

Annie briefly closed her eyes, effectively releasing herself from the spell of Jem’s beautiful eyes and all her fanciful thoughts about souls passing back and forth in a simple gaze. The truth was, she was a woman standing there in bare feet, dressed in the world’s most awful clothes.

What could Jem have possibly seen of interest in her?

Nothing but her own wild imagination, that’s what.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Competing With the Star by Krysten Lindsay Hager {Blog Tour Review}

by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: March 22, 2016
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Hadley Daniels’s life seems perfect…

Before the beginning of sophomore year of high school, Hadley and her family move to a beautiful beach town, where she makes amazing new friends and lands the boyfriend of her dreams—Nick Jenkins. He’s the kind of guy every girl swoons over, and it isn’t long until Hadley discovers some are still swooning.

A famous ex-girlfriend makes matters more complicated…

After some time dating, Hadley and Nick form a deep bond. But insecurity sets in when Hadley discovers her boyfriend once had a huge crush on her friend—who just happens to be the beautiful former teen TV star, Simone Hendrickson.

The past is the past—or so they say…

Hadley confronts Nick, who confesses about his history with Simone. Though he claims to only have eyes for Hadley now, it’s hard to believe—especially when she’s blindsided with the news that Nick and Simone kissed after school.

Now Hadley must determine who is telling the truth. Love, betrayal, friendship…who needs soap opera drama when you’re busy competing with a star?


My Review: 5 Stars

Oh, the feels! Krysten Lindsay Hager has a way of drawing me right back to my high school days with her writing--feelings and all. This book is a continuation of Next Door to a Star. Hadley is now settling in and a new boyfriend, Nick, really helps her feel like she belongs. What girl hasn't felt insecure at one time or another when trying to figure out if "he loves me, he loves me not?" Hadley is real. She has real struggles, real strengths, real reactions, and real emotions. Nick once had a crush on former TV star, Simone, and although Simone swears her friendship with Hadley means more to than anything, but oftentimes, actions speak louder than words and Simone is an actress...

Nick is a great boyfriend, especially for a first relationship, as he and Hadley have a lot in common. Many assumptions lead to drama and realizations as Hadley, Nick, and their friends try and navigate the confusing roads of teenage life. I love how this story seems to unfold like a TV show--easy to picture and imagine. The characters and situations are vibrant, almost leaping off the pages and I felt like I was either a fly on the wall or a silent friend, sitting smack in the thick of it. I love the dynamics and can't wait for more to the story!

Content: mild romance, one expletive, nothing else of note. Clean!

*I received a copy through HEA Book Tours in exchange for an honest review*




Two days passed and Nick hadn’t called again. I couldn’t blame him. After all, I had pushed for him to be honest and then had bailed on him. I’m sure he was mad at me for telling him he could tell me the truth and then I punished him for it—and he would be right. I couldn’t handle the icky feelings, and instead of being a big girl and dealing with them, I came home from school and retreated into the world of books. A world where people were kidnapped, jewels were stolen, but nobody’s heart ever got broken because in my favorite series, The Raven Chronicles, Raven’s boyfriend, Fernando, was ever faithful and loyal and would never even look at another girl. He was the perfect book boyfriend. In other words, he was fictional and didn’t exist.

I saw I had a text from Simone. Oh great, maybe she was asking for my blessing to go out with Nick, or if I was still planning to go to Watson High School next year so she could make out with him in a different hallway from my locker.

Simone: Are you mad at me? Nick said you’re upset because you found out he used to like me.

Oh fabulous. He told her the whole gross story. Well, of course he did, seeing as how he was always over with her clique and he could tell the love of his life anything.

Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

Harlequin Heartwarming Celebration Blitz Giveaway

On tour with Prism Book Tours.

We're thrilled about Harlequin Heartwarming books being available in select local US Walmarts! Find out if they're at a Walmart by you here

Here's what some Harlequin Heartwarming authors had to say:

"I am so excited that Heartwarming books are now available at Walmart, so some lucky girl can go visit her aunt and possibly stumble across one of MY books and fall in love!"
— Amy Vastine

"I was thrilled to find a home in the Heartwarming line. Writing these sweet romances that emphasizes the emotional adventure of falling in love feels almost like a calling and now, that dream I thought I'd achieved has now grown. The Heartwarming line is now available in select Walmarts!"
— Anna J. Stewart

"I’m thrilled that I’ll get to add more Heartwarming books to my bookshelves now that Heartwarming paperbacks will be available at Wal-Mart. A Heartwarming story will be within reach no matter if I pick up my Kindle or a paperback… there’s nothing better than that."
— Cari Lynn Webb

"Real books printed on paper that you can hold in your hand and smell and flip through the pages."
— Carol Ross

"I believe in 'happily ever after' and through Heartwarming and Walmart, we’re able to bring more of these moving stories to the people who have been searching for something touching and magical."
— Catherine Lanigan

"It's not always easy to find a romance that's clean and wholesome with a rich, compelling plot and multi-faceted characters to root for all the way to a happy ending. . . . You can trust this brand of our books in the line each month to provide a great reading experience. Pick up a copy (or more) today. And enjoy!"
— Leigh Riker

"Buying books for my ereader may be easier than driving forty-five minutes to the nearest bookstore and having digital reads may be a handy way to travel without carrying six books with me (and hide just how big my to-be-read pile is from my husband), but it’ll never completely replace a book in my hand. And I wouldn’t have it any other way."
— Melinda Curtis

"I love, love, love finding a new book on the shelf, taking it in my hand, feeling the smooth cover and turning the book over to read the blurb. . . . Now, Harlequin Heartwarmings will be in stores as well. Wow, it feels a little bit like Christmas."
— Pamela Tracy

". . . if I have the option of spending time in a real brick-n-mortar bookstore and buying a tangible book that I can anticipate experiencing with all my senses, I go straight to print books."
— Rula Sinara

"Walmart has signed on to put one of my favorite lines, Harlequin Heartwarming, on the shelves of over 400 stores! That’s four more Harlequin books a month. Books filled with emotion and strength. Books that embody the love and hope that the people in our world so desperately seek."
— Tara Taylor Quinn

About the Authors

(Each picture linked to the author's website.)

Celebration Blitz Giveaway

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Ends April 4th

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Monday, March 28, 2016

Sway by Melanie Stanford {Review}

Sway by Melanie Stanford
Kindle Edition, 312 pages
Published December 29th 2015 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
She’d be happy to forget…if the past would just stop hitting “replay”.

Ava Elliot never thought she’d become a couch surfer. But with a freshly minted—and worthless—degree from Julliard, and her dad squandering the family fortune, what choice does she have?

Living with her old high school friends, though, has its own drawbacks. Especially when her ex-fiancĂ© Eric Wentworth drops back into her life. Eight years ago, she was too young, too scared of being poor, and too scared of her dad’s disapproval. Dumping him was a big mistake.

In the most ironic of role reversals, Eric is rolling in musical success, and Ava’s starting at the bottom to build her career. Worse, every song Eric sings is an arrow aimed straight for her regrets.

One encounter, one song too many, and Ava can’t go on like this. It’s time to tell Eric the truth, and make a choice. Finally let go of the past, or risk her heart for a second chance with her first love. If he can forgive her…and she can forgive herself.

Warning: Contains an actor whose kisses taste like chocolate, a pianist with scores of regret, and a sexy crooner who just wants his ex to cry him a river.
My Review: 4 Stars
I love modern re-tellings of great classics and this version of Jane Austen's Persuasion is no exception. I have a soft spot in my heart for music and this story has a firm basis in that area. Ava is a phenomenal pianist and her ex-fiance, Eric, is a modern crooner (think Frank Sinatra or Michael Buble) who has made it big. The similarities between this version and the classic are great, yet there are a few surprises. I loved the scene and the vivid characters, who are all larger than life. I couldn't help but think about how lucky Ava is to have had any time with such a great guy!
One thing that struck me with it being set as a contemporary story, is the fact that Eric is so mean and Ava is a sucker for being around him all of the time. She's ready to let the past stay in the past, but he just can't get over their breakup--eight years earlier. I think I'm a little harsher on modern stories because it's so very easy to relate to them, but I would have liked to see this couple have more favorable interactions with one another before deciding to take a second chance or not. Of course, that would probably change the story. :)

The misunderstandings, the realizations, the hope, the swoons, the music feels--they are all just incredible bonuses to a fun story and it's one that I definitely enjoyed.  

Content: kissing; some innuendo. Clean!
Buy Links:
About the Author:

Melanie StanfordMelanie Stanford reads too much, plays music too loud, is sometimes dancing, and always daydreaming. She would also like her very own TARDIS, but only to travel to the past. She lives outside Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her husband, four kids, and ridiculous amounts of snow. 

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New York Times Bestselling Author
Riley J Ford, INTO YOU - What if you could know exactly what your friends are thinking? High school student Winter Reynolds can, but there's a catch... She can only read people's thoughts when she's kissing them.
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Rebecca Hamilton, THE FOREVER GIRL - When a spell Sophia casts goes wrong, her personal demons get company, and the newcomers are dangerous.
JC Andrijeski, THE CULLING - Jet grew up free, hiding out on Earth after it was conquered by an alien species, but now she might learn about her alien overlords the hard way.
Apryl Baker, THE PROMISE - Armed with kick-ass shoes, can CJ save the town from a maniacal coven leader, still get Mr. Melt In Your Mouth Gorgeous, and somehow survive the darkness?
Angela Fristoe, WAKEN - If Janie hopes to survive the people of Everod, she'll need to confront who and what she really is.
April Aasheim, THE GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO BECOMING A DEMON - What's a nice girl to do when she develops horns...and a hunger?
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Blog Tour Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 4/5/16 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.
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