Feb 28, 2013

Hashbrown Winters and the Mashimoto Madness

About the Book:
Author: Frank L. Cole
Release Date: January 2010
Publisher: Bonneville Books
Genre: Middle Fiction
Book Description:
All Hashbrown Winters ever wanted was a simple life: a treehouse full of buddies, enough marbles to keep him occupied at recess, and a Brody the Ape-Slayer action figure with authentic ninja throwing stars. But everything changes when Hi Mashimoto starts a rival club and threatens to take Hashbrown’s place as the kid with the coolest treehouse at Pordunce Elementary.

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My Review:
I LOVE that this book starts out with a hint of one storyline and then moves on to the main storyline and then SMACK you are given hints to the first storyline and you think "what is happening?" And then you remember..."Oh, yeah." And then it fits all together...oh...so...GOOD!"
This series is AMAZING! They are most definitely on my list of BEST MIDDLE READER FICTION. Right up there with Fablehaven, Far World and Janitors!
About the Author:
Frank L. Cole was born into a family of Southern storytellers and wrote his first book as age eight. Sadly he misplaced the manuscript and has since forgotten what he wrote. Highly superstitious and gullible to a fault, Frank will believe any creepy story you tell him, especially ones involving ghosts and Bigfoot. Currently along with his wife and three children, he resides in the shadow of a majestic western mountain range, which is most likely haunted. You can learn more about Frank’s writing at www.franklcole.com.

Frank’s next book in the Hashbrown Winters series, Hashbrown Winters and the Whiztastrophe, will debut April 9th 2013.

And don’t forget to check out his other books:
The Guardians of the Hidden Scepter
Hashbrown Winters and the Phantom of Pordunce
The Adventures of Hashbrown Winters

(A digital review copy of this title was provided by the author for this review. However, all reviews are of my own opinion :) 

Feb 27, 2013

Far World: Air Keep

Book Details:
Release Date: February 2013
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Genre: Middle Fantasy

Book Description:
The adventure continues…

It’s been six months since Marcus and Kyja obtained the help of the land and water elementals, but before they can secure the help from the mysterious air elementals, the two friends must first be reunited. A task easier said than done.

Master Therapass is worried that trying to pull Marcus to Farworld would put him in danger of the shadow realm, but if Marcus stays on Earth, he'll be sent back to the Philo T. Justice School for Boys instead of being able to stay on the protected grounds of the monastery.

While attempting to return to Farworld, Marcus find himself in the Abyss of Time, facing four doors: the Is the Was, the Will Be, and the Never Was. What he learns in that dangerous place has the potential to change his life—and Kyja's. But does he have the courage to tell her what he learned?

And in Farworld, a drought, floods, and blizzards have seized the land, hinting that perhaps there is a traitor in the elementals' midst. The Dark Circle is growing in power, and as Marcus and Kyja desperately search for the air elementals, they must first answer the question "Is there anyone we can trust?"

My Review:
This book has been YEARS in the making...but so worth the wait.
Yes...the adventure continues...and what an amazing adventure it is!
As I was reading I kept thinking..."this is as good as Fablehaven."
And "this is as good as Lord of the Rings."

You will fall in love with the characters and cheer them on as they battle to bring together not only Water, Land, Air, and Fire but also Far World and Earth.

While the story is written as a middle reader it has kept me plenty entertained!
My husband and grown boys have read this series too and loved it as well.

This series is a definite must read for all ages :)

Click HERE to read my review of Far World: Water Keep.
Click HERE to read my review of Far World: Land Keep

About the Author:
J Scott Savage is the author of the Farworld middle grade fantasy series and the Case File 13 middle grade monster series. He has been writing and publishing books for over ten years. He has visited over 400 elementary schools, dozens of writers conferences, and taught many writing classes. He has four children and lives with his wife Jennifer and their Border Collie, Pepper in a windy valley of the Rocky Mountains. You can follow Scott on: FACEBOOK \ HIS BLOG

(A review copy of this title was provided by the pulisher for this review. However, all reviews are of my own opinion :)

Feb 26, 2013

10 Questions to Answer While Preparing For a Mission

If you are planning on going on a mission you need to read this book!

If you know someone who is planning on going on a mission you need to have them read this book!

If you just got back from your mission you need to read Chapter 9 of this book!


In the introductin the author states:
"Young men (and women), if you are ready to
serve the Master, you can do so at an earlier age, but that necessitates that you are prepared earlier than ever before. Now is the time to arise and shine forth! You cannot afford to wait to think about your mission until after high school anymore."
So what are the 10 quesions?
1. Do I have a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
2. Do I have "an eye single to the glory of God"?
3. Am I ready to work hard for over sixty hours a week?
4. Do I understand how to feel and recognize the Spirit?
5. Am I clean and worhty to represent the Lord?
6. Am I prepared to enter the temple?
7. Am I ready to face the opposition?
8. Do I know what success really means?
9. Do I have a plan for when I come home?
10. Am I truly ready to serve the Lord?
BEFORE you answer any of these questions read the insights, stories, and examples in the book to help you really understand what the question entails.
I think EVERYONE needs to read this book...not only to help you prepare to serve a mission, but to help you understand if you are truly converted to the gospel and ready to help further the work of the Lord.

(A digital review copy of this title was provided by the author for this review. However, all reviews are of my own opinion :)

Safe Haven

As I sit here in my warm home, surrounded by my many electronic devices, convenient foods and abundant blessings I am always humbled by stories like this....

How blessed we are by the hardships of our ancestors!

Susanna feels that life is well planned for her and that her future is a bright one.

Then things start to fall apart and she is asked to step out into an unknown future.

Time and time again her path is shown a different direction...but she "takes life by the horns" and tries to make the best of each situation.

Each time she feels that she has found her "safe haven" the Lord closes that door and opens a new one which she must learn to trust.

Filled with raw emotions, pains, trials, friendship and love Susanna is lead to a better place...one filled with the gospel.

See more from Jean Holbrook Mathews
(Click the icon for more information)

* This post contains affiliate links. I am an affiliate with Amazon.com and the Deseret Bookshelf Plus Services Affiliates Program. Both of these help me without any extra costs for you. Thank you!

Feb 25, 2013

Meet Amber Gilchrist

Amber Gilchrist lives in New Mexico with her husband and three children.

She writes YA for upper teens, as well as LDS Romantic Comedies. She calls her lifetime of jumping from one job to another 'experience' for her books and not an inability to settle down. Amber loves mysteries and a good, happy romance. She also loves to laugh. Sometimes she likes all of them together.

A fan of quirky movies and indie books, Amber likes to be with her family, is socially inept, and fears strangers and small yippy dogs. She alternates between writing and being a mom and wife. She tries to do both at the same time but her kids don't appreciate being served lunch and told, "This is the hot dog of your discontent." So mostly she writes when everyone else is in bed.

Amber loves to hear from readers and can be reached at ambergilchristbooks@gmail.com

If you would like to be added to her newsletter please email your address to be notified about future releases and events!

Ten Fun Things about Amber

1. I am really technologically impaired. I don't have a smartphone, nor can I imagine what I'd do with one. Social media is a necessary evil in my opinion.

2. When I was about 7 or 8 my parents took me to Holland and I made a big fuss about getting some wooden shoes. My parents dragged me all over town trying to find some small enough to fit my feet. When the discovery was made, I tried them on, proclaimed them to be uncomfortable and said I no longer wanted them. Surprisingly, may parents did NOT try to kill me.

3. I ran track in high school because I liked the track suit with the tiger paw more than that I liked to run.

4. My husband is a much better cook than I am. When we were first married people would ask me if I was learning to cook his favorite meals and I was like, 'if his favorite meal is pigs in a blanket, then yes.' And then they'd all laugh like I was kidding but I really wasn't. If not for his cooking and our personal chef, Boyardee, we would have starved for the first several years of our marriage.

5. Arsenic and Old Lace is one of my favorite movies. The Lady Vanishes also ranks up there.

6. I watch little kid shows without my children.

7. Despite liking children's programming, I don't watch TV very much. This isn't some moral superiority thing. It's because I'm just way too ADHD for TV. The first time something distracts me I'm out of there and I just never come back.

8. My house is always dirty. ALWAYS.

9. I never dreamed about my wedding growing up.

10. I'm a convert. I joined the LDS church in 1993 when I was 18

Amber wrote the romantic comedy titled GLITCH

What People are saying
about Glitch

Glitch is a fun-filled, clean,
LDS chic flic~
Full of funny situations and
sweet moments~
to see my full review click HERE

You can purchase Glitch for your Kindle at Amazon
OR your Nook at Barnes&Noble
OR enter to win an eBook copy below :)
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Feb 23, 2013

Far World: Land Keep

Far World: Land Keep
Book Details:
Release Date: 2009
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Genre: Middle Fantasy 

Book Description:
Four mythical Elementals — Water, Land, Air, and Fire — have the power to save two worlds, Earth and Farworld, from a common enemy: the Dark Circle. In book one, Water Keep, a portal has been opened between the two worlds, allowing Marcus, from Earth, and Kyja, from Farworld, to combine their unique gifts and begin their epic quest to find the Elementals.

In book two, Land Keep, Marcus and Kyja travel with Cascade, a Water Elemental, toward Land Keep, the home of the powerful and wise Land Elementals. However, their journey may end before it even begins. Land Keep is empty, deserted for at least a thousand years, and the rumor is that the creatures who once controlled all land magic are extinct. Marcus and Kyja's only hope seems to lie in finding the Augur Well, a legendary Oracle protected by subtle traps and mind-bending trials. To succeed in their quest, Marcus and Kyja must also avoid the Keepers of the Balance, an order dedicated to redistributing magic to the rich and powerful. And they must travel far underground, where Cascade is unable to follow and where they will be unable to leap to the safety of Earth.

As the Dark Circle closes around them, Marcus and Kyja are faced with the temptation of what they desire most. Sacrifices must be made, and not everyone will survive unscathed.

My Review:
This series continues to amaze me....
It is truly a great fantasy story!
Filled with adventure, friendship, hunger for power, a hint of humor, and twist and turns along the way...and just wait until you read the very last line of the story...OH SO GOOD!
I am anxiously ready to read book 3 ~ Far World: Air Keep!

Click HERE to read my review of Far World: Water Keep.
About the Author:
J Scott Savage is the author of the Farworld middle grade fantasy series and the Case File 13 middle grade monster series. He has been writing and publishing books for over ten years. He has visited over 400 elementary schools, dozens of writers conferences, and taught many writing classes. He has four children and lives with his wife Jennifer and their Border Collie, Pepper in a windy valley of the Rocky Mountains. You can follow Scott on: FACEBOOK \ HIS BLOG

I had the opportunity to meet this author the other day and spent some time talking with him about his books. Besides being a great author he is a really nice guy :)
So enjoyed visiting with him!
Thanks Jeff!
(A review copy of this title was provided by the publisher for this review. However, all reviews are of my own opinion :)

Feb 22, 2013

The A to Z Book Challenge 2013


 Hosted by Babies, Books and Beyond

I am really intrigued with this concept...
So I joined...
Make a list on your blog from A-Z.
Throughout the year, as you go along, add the books you are reading to the list.
Hope that by the end of the year you have read one book for each letter.
Towards the end of the year, you can check and see which letters you are missing and find books to fit.

Armor Up!
Adventures of Hashbrown Winters, The
Air Keep (Far World #3)
Art of Motherhood, The
Ann Romney: A Mother First
All That Was Promised
A Way Back to You
Above Rubies
Ashes Ashes
ABC Adventures: Magical Creatures
Angels of Christmas
Allison's Christmas Carol
Accidental Marriage, The

Broken Path, The
Baked Alaska
Blind Eye, A
Be Mine
Belonging to Heaven
Beginner's Guide to Talmage, A
Burnout Cure, The
Butch Cassidy and other Mormon Outlaws
Becoming Free
Blog This

Change the World Before Bedtime
Charlie's Girl
Confessions of a Cereal Mother
Continuous Conversion, The
Choose Higher Ground
Cold Pursuit
Checking Out
Cruise to Murder
Chasing Hope
Crickets in the Pockets
Choir of Angels
Carla Kelly's Christmas Collection
Consider the Blessings
Christmas From Heaven
Christmas Crossroads

Drops of Gold
Do Over
Dark Memories
Drawing Out the Dragons
Deep Cover
Day of Defense
Day the Crayons Quit, The
Daughter of Oreveille
Desperate Measures

Eat Your Peas Faithfully, Love Mom
Eliza, The Life and Faith of Eliza R. Snow
Exclamation Mark!
Evertaster: Buttersmith's Gold
Emma: A Latter-day Tale
Extending Forgiveness
Emerald Ring, The

Finished Being Fat
Faithful, Fit & Fabulous
Faith Experiment, The
Family Ever After
Fire Girl
Face to Face
Family Size
Fill Your Day With Hope
Faux Paw
Fantasy Christmas, A
Fight for You

Greater Than Us All
Gaze into Heaven
God Remembered Me
Glimmer of Hope
God Doesn't Write With a Pen
Garden Path, The
Getting Things Off My Chest
Gift of Love, The
Guardians of the Hidden Scepter
Guardians of Elijah's Fire, The
Guardians of the Finisher's Fury, The
Guardian, The

Hashbrown Winters and the Mashimoto Madness
Hashbrown Winters and the Phantom of Pordunce
Hashbrown Winters and the Whiz-tastrophe
Healing from Neglect
How to Have Peace When You're Falling to Pieces
Heaven's Just a Prayer Away
Heroes of Faith
House at Rose Creek, The
Hadley-Hadley Benson
Humpfree: The Humpless Camel
Hexes and X's
Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom, A
Happy Are We!

Inventor's Secret, The (Cragbridge Hall)
Infinite Atonement, The
I, Spy
I Belong With You
I Will Lead You Along
In Wisdom and Order
I Will Fly ~ The Green Fin Fish Story

Justine, We're Late
Journey of Promise
Janitors: Curse of the Broomstaff
Jeweler's Apprentice
Just Ella

Kindling, The
Kat McGee and the Halloween Costume Caper

Life is Too Short for One Hair Color
Land Keep (Far World #2)
Life is Too Short Collection, The
L. Tom Perry, An Uncommon Life: Years of Preparation
Lifestyles of the Great and Spacious
Longtime (and at one point illegal) Crush, A
LDSLiving: Best of Mothers
Living Your Covenants Every Day
Lord Haversham Takes Command
Longing for Home
Little Red Writing
Love, Hugs, and Hope
Lock & Key
Lord Who Sneered and Other Tales, The
Lord Trowbridge's Angel
Light in Dark Places, A

Make it Happen: A Guide to Happiness for LDS Singles
More to Your Story
Mom Rules
Marriage 101 For Men
Mr. Nice Spy
Mark of a Giant, The
Motive for Murder
Mommy, Are You Ready for Potty Training?
Murky Shadow and the Special Gift, The
Mary Had a Sleepy Sheep
My Own Mr. Darcy
My Sweetheart
Mile 21
Mormon Origami
My Yellow Umbrella
Monkey Fun!
Make Him Room
Mansfield Ranch

No Excuses, No Regrets: The Eric Weddle Story
Not Even Once Club, The
New Heart for Christmas, A
No Ordinary Shepherd

One Drop at a Time
On the Way Home
Osteoblasts to the Rescue (Human Body Detectives #4)
Once Enchanted

The Power of Everyday Missionaries
Pandora the Curious
Power of Starting Something Stupid, The
Premonition (The Book of Jer3miah)
Prince Tennyson
Poaching Daisies
Proceed With Caution
Peace River
Persephone the Daring
Peace Be Still
Pedal Forward
Pocket Full of Posies

Quick, Duck

Royal Guardian, A
Rapunzel Untangled
Running Home
Reluctant Bachelorette, The
Ribbon of Darkness
Road to Bountiful
Rising Sun, Falling Star
Reluctant Blogger, The
Riddles of Hillgate, The
Ruby's Secret

Secret Sister's Club, The
Safe Haven
Savior's Symbols, The
Second Chances
Small and Simple Things
Sister Eternal
Sarann and the Prince of Angkor
Suit Up
Sworn Enemy
Swept Up by the Sea
Spirit of the Revolution
Sudden Darkness (The End Begins)
Slow-Ripening Fruits of Mothering, The
Shannon's Hope
Simplify and Savor the Season
Spy for a Spy
Smallest Gift of Christmas, The
Sophie's Christmas Wish

Texting Through Time: John Taylor and the Mystery Puzzle
Tug of War
Trouble's On the Menu: A Tippy Canoe Romp
Thousand Suns, A
Trouble with Toads, The
Through Cloud and Sunshine
Ten-Day Daughter, The
Traitor's Knife

Undercover Saint

Vee Caught Offside

Word of Wisdom: Discovering the LDS Code of Health, The
Water Keep (Far World #1)
What Would a Holy Woman Do?
Why I Don't Lose Weight!
What Would the Founding Fathers Think
Why a Daughter Needs a Mom
Winds and the Waves, The
Whisper Island
Where Do I Belong
Working It Out
Written On Our Hearts
Witnesses, The


Year of Powerful Prayer, A
You Belong With Me
You are More

Zucchini Pie
Zombie Kids

40 Days with the Savior
10 Questions to Answer While Preparing For a Mission
21 Principles
7 Principle of Fat Burning, The
52 Life-Changing Questions from the Book of Mormon
12 Gifts for Christ
31 Deliciously Easy Lunchbox Recipes & Ideas

Feb 21, 2013

Baked Alaska Book Blast


Baked Alaska by Josi S. Kilpack

An Alaskan cruise is the setting for amateur detective Sadie Hoffmillers latest adventure. Sadie plans to spend time relaxing with her two grown children, Breanna and Shawn, and her boyfriend, Pete, while enjoying the luxury and cuisine of an elegant cruise ship and helping to plan her daughters upcoming wedding. But even as the crew prepares to leave port, Sadie has suspicions about the voyage ahead and the relationship between her normally easygoing son and a mysterious female passenger he obviously knows but refuses to discuss. When the woman is discovered unconscious during the second night at sea, Sadies apprehension escalates. Over the last few years, Sadie has developed an extreme dislike for secrets and it would seem her son is keeping one from her. *Includes eight new mouthwatering recipes, tested and approved by the official bakers of Sadies Virtual Test Kitchen.

Praise for Baked Alaska
Josi Kilpack has done it again. You would think that all these events that occur in Sadie's life wouldn't be natural, but Josi Kilpack has a way of making you believe that it just "happens" and it is normal. I have grown to love Sadie's character, even if she is a busybody, you can't help but cheer for her as she attempts to solve a mystery or crime. One of my favorite series. :)
~Goodreads Reviewer Lacey McNeill

Author Josi S. Kilpack

Josi S. Kilpack grew up hating to read until she was thirteen and her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and credits her writing “education” to the many novels she has “studied” since then. She began her first novel in 1998 and hasn’t stopped since. Her seventh novel, Sheep’s Clothing, won the 2007 Whitney Award for Mystery/Suspense, and Lemon Tart, her ninth novel, was a 2009 Whitney Award Finalist. Josi was the Best in State winner in literature for 2012 and currently has two books (Banana Split and Tres Leches Cupcakes) as finalists in the 2012 Whitney awards.

Josi currently lives in Willard, Utah, with her family.

Tour Schedule

Book Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 3/17/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com 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, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Feb 20, 2013

A Blind Eye

Book Details:
Author: Julie Daines
Release Date: January 2013
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Genre:  Romantic Suspense

This book was SO GOOD!

It has everything I love in a book...suspense, mystery, and humor, all rolled-up in a little bit of romance.

The storyline is awesome!

Christian is running away from home. He just can't take it any longer. But then Scarlett comes into his life and changes all his plans.

Scarlett claims she has seen a murder...well...she actually dreamed about the murder...but the murder came true and now those responsible want to get her.

The author throws in an amazing twist to the story...Scarlett is blind.

What can Christian, a mere 17-year-old, do to help her?

This book is definitely a must-read!

About the Author:
Julie Daines was born in Boston, Massachusetts, raised in Utah, and educated around the world. As a high school student, she spent her summers hiking the deserts of southern Utah, drawing inspiration from the various plants and animals to write children’s stories and legends. 

She studied Zoology and Secondary Education at Brigham Young University, paying her way through college by performing live reptile demonstrations at the university’s life science museum.

She spent eighteen months living in London where she studied and fell in love with English Literature, Sticky Toffee Pudding, and the fellow who ran the kebab store around the corner. 

After editing for other authors, she decided to take up writing again--this time in the young adult genre. She feels qualified to write for teens because, as a young adult, she mastered the art of drama. Oh, and she has some skulking around the house.

Julie is a member of SCBWI, the League of Utah Writers, and Utah Children’s Writers. She frequently attends conferences where she has won a few awards for her writing, and is part of a superb writer’s group.

Things She's done:
  1. BulletThrown a frisbee off the top of the Eiffel tower.  It was a group effort.  

  1. BulletRemoved my own stitches.  The nurse was doing a terrible (aka painful) job, so I demanded the scissors and finished it myself.

  1. BulletKilled a rat with my bare hands.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.

  1. BulletPulled a snake tooth out of my finger--on my honeymoon.  True story.  The snake (a Rainbow Boa Constrictor) bit me a few weeks before my wedding.  I couldn’t figure out why it was taking so long to heal--until part of the tooth started sticking out.  Did I mention it was on my honeymoon?  

  1. BulletTalked my way out of three speeding tickets.  Seriously, it pays to go to the judge and argue your case.

  1. BulletTaught myself to play the Irish whistle.

  1. BulletSnuck out of the hotel (age 18--three girls--alone) in Moscow to meet some strange (but hot) guys at a local disco.  Did we ever find them?  No.  Did we ever find the disco?  No.  Did we get lost on the subway system and find ourselves wandering deserted streets late at night in Communist Russia?  Yes.  Were we stupid to try?  Absolutely.

  1. BulletStole a flashing barricade from a road construction site.  It’s important to note that they put those barricades up for a reason--to warn sneaky teenagers of the deep and dangerous hole.  Picture roadrunner slapping down a black circle-hole.  Picture Wile E. Coyote walking along then suddenly disappearing into the aforementioned hole.  As a follow up, I’d like to say that, riddled by guilt, we put it back about an hour later.

  1. BulletHeld a scorpion in my bare hands.  A live scorpion.  

  1. BulletGot car sick on the way home from Disneyland.  I was trying to finish my math homework in the very back of a station wagon.  To this day, any mathematical work still makes me a little queasy.

  1. BulletBeen chased by a moose.
Things She's Never Done:

  1. BulletHad a facial, pedicure, or manicure--or been to a spa. 

  1. BulletEaten sushi--I just really can’t stand seafood!

  1. BulletTired of seeing the full moon through wispy clouds as it rises over the mountains near my home.

  1. BulletBeen to Hawaii.

  1. BulletChanged a flat tire on my car.  My awesome husband always does it for me!  I am, however, pro at changing my road-bike tires.

  1. BulletBroken a bone.  Or had my tonsils out.

  1. BulletBeen stuck in an elevator.

  1. BulletBeen stung by a bee.  A wasp, yes.  It was hiding in my pants and when I put them on--yeow!

  1. BulletHit an animal while driving.

  1. BulletCheated on a test.

  1. BulletEaten brains.  They tried to serve me some in South America.  But I started having a nervous breakdown and told them, in my not-so-fluent-spanish, that I didn’t want to eat any “mind.”

  1. BulletJumped off the high-dive.  

  1. BulletWon the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes.

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