Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring Reads

There are a ton of new books releasing this spring that I am interested in reading. My dates might be slightly off because they are subject to change, but I hope you will enjoy looking into these awesome new books.

March 15
I know, the date for Out of Darkness Rising (and the next book) already passed, but I could not help but share it with you because it looks so great! It was written by Gillian Adams who writes one of my favorite blogs, Of Battles, Dragons, and Swords of Adamant.

March 20
Omega Dragon is the 4th and supposedly final book of the Children of the Bard Series and the 12th book in that story world that began with Raising Dragons. I loved those books from the start and am excited for this newest book. If you're interested, Bryan Davis writes a blog called The Author's Chair that teaches its followers how to write. I love it!

March 30
Crossed Roses is not on Amazon until the day of its release, so unfortunately, I have no links for it. However, you can look at Breeana Puttroff's Facebook page for news or Blog for extra scenes (only for newsletter subscribers, which you can become from the blog). I was enchanted with Seeds of Discovery, book one, told from Quinn's perspective, when I first read it. Crossed Roses is a retelling of Seeds of Discovery from William's perspective, which should be interesting.

April 21
Heir of Hope is the third book in the Followers of the Word series. Since the covers of the other books were remade and because I keep hearing awesome things about them, I am quite interested in reading them now, though I have heard they might be a little dark. We shall see. You can find Morgan L Busse on her Blog/Website.

May 5
I have been following the Selection Series for a while now and was excited when Kiera Cass announced the addition of The Heir to her former trilogy. It continues the story with the princess, the daughter of the main characters, and her selection as she reaches adulthood. I was surprised to find that Kiera Cass is a Christian, as she openly declares on her Website/Blog, along with news about her newest books.

May 12
The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest is the newest medieval fairy tale retelling from Melanie Dickerson. It appears to be a Robin Hood romance entwined with who knows what other fairy tales and romance. I always loved Robin Hood and am curious how Melanie Dickerson will tell this tale. You can find her on her Website which has a link to her blog.

May 25
I have been super curious about the newest Tale of Goldstone Wood, Draven's Light, since Anne Elisabeth Stengl teased us with the cover reveal during her Facebook party for the previous book!.Anne Elisabeth's books are very, very good, funny, and unique and I can hardly wait until its release! Currently, Anne Elisabeth Stengl is holding a fan art contest on her Blog. The deadline for the contest is March 31 and anyone can vote on the winners. There have been some amazing submissions in years past, so be sure to check it out!

So, here are seven awesome releases for the next three months! I haven't even mentioned the non-young adult books I am looking forward to, but seven will have to be enough.

What are some books you are anticipating this spring?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Cover Reveal: Cinderella's Shoes

Cinderella's Shoes
Release Date: 10/06/15
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:
The war may be over, but Kate Allen’s life is still in upheaval. Not only has she discovered that Cinderella was real, but now she's been made Keeper of the Wardrobe, her sole responsibility to protect Cinderella’s magical dresses from the greed of the evil stepsisters’ modern descendants. 

But Cinderella’s dresses are just the beginning. It turns out that the priceless glass slippers might actually exist, too, and they could hold the power to reunite lost loved ones like her father—missing in action since World War II ended. As Kate and her boyfriend, Johnny, embark on an adventure from New York to Italy and Poland in search of the mysterious slippers, they will be tested in ways they never imagined.

Because when you harness Cinderella's magic, danger and evil are sure to follow...

First book in the series:
(cover linked to Goodreads)

Buy Links:
AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks

About the Author
SHONNA SLAYTON is the author of the YA novels Cinderella's Dress, (Summer 2014) and Cinderella's Shoes (Fall 2015) published by Entangled Teen. She finds inspiration in reading vintage diaries written by teens, who despite using different slang, sound a lot like teenagers today. When not writing, Shonna enjoys amaretto lattes and spending time with her husband and children in Arizona.

Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png

Cover Reveal Organized by:

Note: If you're wondering, I did post this a day late. So sorry! I was used to receiving the emails for blog tours a week or more before the post is due instead of a day. So, when I received the information for this post, coupled with the fact that I didn't know the cover-reveal date, I did not look at the post but put it off until I had more time. I won't be doing that again. I'm terribly sorry!

But still, don't you think the cover is beautiful!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Book Review: Where Trust Lies

And now, for the book that inspired last week's blog post.


Where Trust Lies
Janette Oke
Laurel Oke Logan

She loves her friends and students in the West, but family obligations have called her home. Where does she truly belong?

After a year of teaching in the Canadian West, Beth Thatcher returns home to her family. She barely has time to settle in before her mother announces plans for a family holiday--a luxurious steamship tour along the eastern coast of Canada and the United States. Hoping to reconnect with her mother and her sisters, Beth agrees to join them, but she quickly realizes that things have changed since she went away, and renewing their close bond is going to be more challenging than she expected. 

There's one special thing to look forward to--letters and telephone calls from Jarrick, the Mountie who has stolen her heart. The distance between them is almost too much to bear. But can she give her heart to Jarrick when it will mean saying good-bye to her family once again--and possibly forever? And will she still want to live in the western wilds after the steamship tour opens up a world of people and places she never imagined?

Then comes a great test of Beth's faith. Someone in her family has trusted the wrong person, and suddenly everything Beth knows and loves is toppled. Torn between her family and her dreams, will Beth finally discover where her heart truly belongs?

A companion story to Hallmark Channel's When Calls the Heart TV series!


After teaching in the West, Beth Thatcher returns home for the summer. Upon arriving, she finds that her family planned a cruise for the majority of the summer. How will that impact Beth’s hopes for teaching the next year and for her relationship with Jarrick? And what to do about Julie’s suspicious new friends?

Where Trust Lies by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan is the second book of the Return to the Canadian West Series. If fully lives up to the standards set in book one, Where Courage Calls, with its realistic characters, spiritual growth, and intriguing plot. 

To my delight, the story was placed in an entirely different setting—a cruise along the eastern coast of Canada and the United States. The authors give vivid descriptions of the places on the trip, making me wish I was there with them and remembering similar vacations in my life. Interesting historical facts are given as Beth and her family travel to different cities. I learned new things about Canada’s history.

Many of the characters were either new to the series or played a small part in the former book. Each one of them had a distinct personality, a few of which clashed throughout the story.

Beth definitely grew in this novel. True to life, she did not grow only in one way, but in several. I especially appreciated the way she grew in her relationship with her mother. In the previous book, Beth’s heart was softened towards her mother and in Where Trust Lies, Beth continued to grow to understand and know her in a way she never had before.

Despite the fact that Jarrick was hundreds of miles away, Beth and Jarrick’s romance blossomed during the tour as they grew to understand and know each other more than ever before. They are such a sweet couple!

Tying it all together is the bit of action at the end. In many books I saw the climax happen so swiftly I would almost miss it. Not in this book. The situation is drawn out to make the story more interesting and bring the characters together.

As a whole, Where Trust Lies is a very well written novel with vibrant characters and a plot that will make the reader want to read it all over again.

I received a free copy of Where Trust Lies from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Oregon Vacation


I am busy, busy, busy this week. Spring break is right around the corner for me and I have far too many things to do before that happens. I apologize for not being able to post many or any book-related things in the coming days.

However, I have been thinking recently about a trip I went on about a year ago. A book I am reading, Where Trust Lies, reminded me of a week-long vacation I took last year to the Oregon Coast. So many beautiful places and memories. It was a relaxing, laid-back trip. I thought I would include a few photos for the fun of it. I included few or no photos of the group I traveled with for the sake of their privacy, but there are many other beautiful things to see. I hope you will enjoy the photos and the change from my regular posts.

Twin Rocks Friends Camp

The first place we visited was Twin Rocks Friends Camp, named for the two rocks jutting from the beach across the street from the camp. Our group of 16 or so stayed a few days there before moving on to other locations and activities.

The beach temperature was cool and breezy in late May. We had a bonfire of driftwood going nearly the entire time we spent on the beach. It was just warm enough not to freeze our bare feet but still too cold to go without a sweatshirt for the most part.

One of our group bought a kite we took turns flying around the beach. I have never lived in a place that was breezy enough to fly a kite, so I enjoyed the opportunity.

I found this bright moth or butterfly. In such a neutral-colored world, it provided a striking contrast. I have never seen one like it before.

The view though piles of driftwood.

Oregon Zoo

One of the next places we went was the Oregon Zoo. We saw all kinds of animals as well as some beautiful flowers. The parts of Oregon we visited made up such a wet, rain-foresty land. Ivy was twining up many of the trees in Portland.

Some cheetahs made their beds on the other side of a window, providing us with an awesome, close-up of the beautiful creatures.

Tillamook Cheese Factory

We visited the Tillamook cheese factory on our way to Portland from the coast. The process of making all the cheeses was very interesting. But I must say, the part I loved most was the ice cream at the end!

Portland Aquarium

We visited a small but fascinating aquarium in Portland. 

Multnomah Falls

And finally, we went to Multnomah Falls on our way home. Such a beautiful falls. I could not capture all of it in one photo.

On our trip, we traveled to many more places and did many more things. We went to Powell's Book Store to my and several of my friends' delight. Four stories of books! 

The had its ups and downs for me, but remembering it, I think mostly of the good things. Hopefully, I will be able to visit at least the beautiful coast another time. 

Where have you gone on vacation? Are you planning anything for Spring Break or the not so distant summer?

Friday, March 6, 2015

Blog Tour: The Cloak

A themed tour through Prism Book Tours.

The CloakThe Cloak
Sarah Jennings
Inspirational YA Romantic Suspense
Paperback and ebook, 194 pages
November 2014

Kellan McKensie, Princess of Errigal, is set on leaving for another world before being thrust into a plan of God's choosing that includes learning of her past, embracing her future, and finding her forever love.

Among a lost line of beautiful, wise queens and a conquered country still clinging to medieval traditions in today's world, can Kellan be convinced that now is her time to act? Why should she? To the entire country, she doesn't even exist. Ever the reluctant leader, Kellan is pressured to use her incredible God-given abilities to bring back the glory of her homeland. To do so, she must fight her own will, overcome fears, and control her temper. It's a lot to ask of a girl hidden under a cloak her whole life.


About the Author

Sarah Jennings is an American storyteller living in the hills of North Carolina with her husband, four children, and escape artist hound dog. Her stories often revolve around strong willed heroines who find their way with God?s help during their adventures and in the process find their soulmate too. The Cloak is one such story now available in print and ebook format.


What inspired you to write 'The Cloak'?

While I cannot point to just one thing, I am almost certain there was a song involved. Oftentimes, a song will trigger a storyline for me. Blank spots get filled in with my own interests as it progresses, and then it's almost impossible for me to alter it after that! The Cloak blends together some of my favorite things, like Ireland and Celtic music, with a strong, overcoming heroine who learns to trust God in everything.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

The most fulfilling part for me is when Kellan comes home for the last time. I feel good knowing she is finally going to have the happiness she deserves.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

I never expected anyone to ask me that, so I'm kind of surprised. To be perfectly honest, after the book was written and I started rereading it as a whole piece, I was a bit taken aback that I had written some of my own life experiences into the thing. Now, I'm not royalty or have super powers, but I have to admit that some of me is in the book. 

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

The Bible has always been my light to follow, but I do admit stepping off on rabbit trails occasionally. Thankfully, God always scoots me back onto the correct path. As far as other books, I can point to The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis as a wake up call when I was younger, all of The Hobbit series by J.R.R. Tolkien for making my imagination grow as I did, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen for making reading work and fun at the same time, and believe it or not, Louis L'Amour short westerns for teaching me that a good story doesn't have to be drawn out.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

The toughest criticism I've had has been against my beliefs. My main character in The Cloak, Kellan, is a Spirit-filled Christian, and while there is one scene in particular where that's obvious I was thrown off by the anger it ignited. It was kind of weird to be accused of saying something you didn't. But that's OK, because my best compliment was from someone who was actually encouraged by the book. As a side note, I've taken some heat for having my supposed name in the book. The thing is, it's not my real name, and I did it as a signal to readers that one day, I hope to throw it down just like my heroine does. But until then, I suppose the Book Name Police will continue to give me tickets for it!

What would YOU like your readers to know about this book or you in general?

It's. Not. My. Name. Ha! Seriously though, I wrote the book to be encouraging, especially for any teens or young adults who feel like they don't belong or doubt their relationship with God. There's so much God has available for us, if we are willing to wait and listen.


The Cloak by Sarah Jennings tells of a young princess who is faced with her rightful responsibility after years of hiding. Is it wrong for Princess Kellan to want to be free of her title and everything that goes with it? But would it be better for both her and her kingdom if she took up her responsibility, even though there is a good young king to rule in her place?

The Cloak was a sweet, read with entertaining characters and a unique twist on the setting. I enjoyed the happy story of growth and romance. The main characters faced hardships and struggle, but eventually persevered through them.

Kellan is princess of a small European kingdom that keeps to the technology and traditions of the Middle Ages while the rest of the world moved on to the twenty-first century. It is entertaining to see how she and the other characters interact with the outside world.

Kellan was a very fiery young woman. She has been trained in many things to prepare her for the throne. Reading about her decimating large knights in sword-fighting practice was humorous. Kellan was trained to control her actions, but I was curious to see how far, considering her fiery temper. It seems realistic that she can control herself well to a certain extent.

At the beginning, the book seemed almost narrated, instead of being told from the characters’ perspectives. It read like a fairytale until a few chapters passed and the reader was able to understand the characters’ thoughts and emotions as though she was the character.

Overall, The Cloak is a sweet clean romance with some interesting twists and good character growth.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


$25 Amazon Gift Card - Open Internationally
Celtic Prize Pack: Paperback of The Cloak and Celtic Music CDs - US Only
2 Paperbacks of The Cloak - US Only
2 ebooks of The Cloak - Open Internationally
Ends March 22nd

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Book Reveiw: An Uncertain Choice

In honor of An Uncertain Choice's release, today on March 3, (and because I was given the honor of becoming an influencer), I have written a blog post about it, including my review and an interview with the author, Jody Hedlund. Enjoy!


An Uncertain Choice
Jody Hedlund

Due to her parents' promise at her birth, Lady Rosemarie has been prepared to become a nun on the day she turns eighteen. Then, a month before her birthday, a friend of her father's enters the kingdom and proclaims her parents' will left a second choice--if Rosemarie can marry before the eve of her eighteenth year, she will be exempt from the ancient vow.

Before long, Rosemarie is presented with the three most handsome and brave knights in the land. But when the competition for her heart seemingly results in a knight playing foul, she begins to wonder if the convent is the best place after all. If only one of the knights--the one who appears the most guilty--had not already captured her heart.

About the Author

Jody Hedlund is an award-winning and bestselling author of inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.

As a busy mama-writer, she has the wonderful privilege of teaching her crew of 5 children at home. In between grading math papers and giving spelling tests, she occasionally does a load of laundry and washes dishes. When she's not busy being a mama, you can find her in front of her laptop working on another of her page-turning stories. 

She loves reading almost as much as she loves writing, especially when it also involves chocolate and coffee.

My Review

First of all, I love, love, love the cover of An Uncertain Choice! It is stunning! Just the thing to draw a person like me to the book. In addition, the back cover was just as beautiful as the front. The designer did a fantastic job creating a beautiful cover that matched the book perfectly.

Then there is the storyline: an heiress pressured to choose to marry one of three men, in only a month's time. Can you get more intense? Yes, when the attempted murders are added to the mix! I loved the slight drama, suspense, and romance the combination created. There was hardly a dull moment.

I never would have guessed who the murderer was. The facts were leading to him, but I still couldn't accept it until it was undeniable.

 Jody Hedlund did a lovely job developing all the characters. I loved the fact that all the men were honorable young men. Not all of them had exactly the same morals as Rosemarie, but each one of them would still have made fantastic husbands for her. The stereotype for stories like this portray only one of the three men as being honorable, and I was glad that was not the case in this one.

Another thing I enjoyed was the descriptions. The world came alive in vibrant colors from Jody Helund's writing. I could clearly see Rosemarie in beautiful dress, roses in her hair, as she awaits the duke's coming, or the fancy picnic she and her suitors attended. It sounded lovely.

I enjoyed seeing the growth in Rosemarie and one of the men. Their internal struggles and their actions combined to form two, maturing adults growing in love for one another for all the right reasons.

I applaud Jody Hedlund for a lovely novel that was more than appropriate for teens. 

I received a free influencer copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Back Cover Copy

I had to include a photo of the back cover copy because it is so beautiful!


If you could tell readers one thing about An Uncertain Choice, what would it be?

It's never too early to begin thinking about and praying for our future spouses. Next to making the decision about where to spend eternity, the choice of whom we marry is second in importance. It's a decision for good or bad that can impact the rest of our lives, especially since God intends for us to live with our marriage partner for as long as we have breath. So we definitely want to be wise with the crucial choice of a mate.

It's my prayer that An Uncertain Choice will be more than just another entertaining love story, but will also be a catalyst to help young women begin to think wisely about one of the most important decisions they'll ever make.

An Uncertain Choice is a romance. What is the inspiration behind this kind of story?

My two oldest daughters (twins) are in high school. They're starting to notice boys. And boys are starting to notice them.

Okay, who am I kidding? My teen daughters have been paying attention to boys for quite a few years. Yes, they're human. But of course, up until now they've been a tad young to enter the world of dating. My husband would prefer that we have a family rule, "No dating until at least the age of 22." And he'll likely greet any boy that comes calling for them with a baseball bat in hand (wink!).

But because we know that we can't beat away the boys forever, we wanted to have a tool that we could use for our daughters to help prepare them for dating.

Let's face it, the dating world has become rather big and scary to many young people. And rightly so. Our modern culture, particularly social media, has changed the nature of dating.  Cell phones, texting, Facebook, online dating services, etc. have all impacted the how's, why's, what's, and when's of dating.

When I began to think about what kinds of dating experiences I wanted my daughters to have, I decided to write a book that models the purity, nobility, and courtly love that existed in the days of old, during the times of knights and their ladies, a time in history when chivalry was at its height. Thus, An Uncertain Choice was birthed. 

How do you believe this story relates to the lives of readers?

Young people today really enjoy reality TV shows, especially ones that involve contests. My teens love watching Survivor, The Amazing Race, and even American Idol. There's just something about real competition that attracts us.

An Uncertain Choice is a little bit like reality TV, especially a show like Bachlorette (although a much sweeter and cleaner version!) where a young woman is presented with three really fantastic men. In some ways, she can't go wrong if she chooses any of the men. But readers get to join the adventure as she must narrow down her choices even as the clock ticks away to the day of her eighteenth birthday.

Aside from the many issues related to dating and marriage, the book also tackles issues like chafing under too much supervision, learning to become a strong leader, and how to display courage in different ways.

Which person most influenced your writing?

My mom was the most influential person in my writing career. When I was young, she helped facilitate my love of writing by reading aloud to me, giving me good books to read, and providing the kind of environment that fostered my creativity (in fact we didn’t have a TV for a number of years). She always believed in me, encouraged me to pursue my dreams, and rode alongside me cheering me on.

Are you working on the next book in the series?

Yes! I'm excited about the second book in the series. It's already written and I'm in the process of getting ready to turn it in to my editor in order to get her expertise feedback. As I mentioned it will involve another one of the three knights. But of course, I won't give away which of the knights until closer to the release of the book! (How's that for a tease!)

~ ~ ~

I hope you enjoyed today's post about An Uncertain Choice!