Aug 30, 2013

The Garden Path

Book Details
Author: Anita Stansfield
Release Date: August 2013
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Genre: Drama

This is the first book I have ever read by Anita Stansfield and I am really impressed!

Written about real-life situations and reliance on the Lord, I felt immediately pulled into the story and wanted to keep reading to find out how it all comes together.

I LOVED how the characters kept looking for the blessings brought to them through their trials instead of wallowing in the trials themselves....need to learn from that myself!

I also loved how one person can turn their life around and receive all of the blessings awaiting them.

Whit used to belong to a gang and even spent some time in prison. But he has found forgiveness in the gospel and started a new life.

He has a a loving wife and a baby on the way, and has recently been found innocent for the murder of his father-in-law. His heart is full of gratitude.

But now his world is being thrown into a tail-spin once again as situation after situation falls to pieces right before his eyes. And at times he wonders how he will get through it all.

But time after time miracles happen.
Family ties are brought together
Hope finds its way
And a new garden path is in his families future.

A definite MUST READ!

Follow the links to find on
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About the Author
Anita Stansfield began writing at the age of sixteen, and her first novel was published sixteen years later. Her novels range from historical to contemporary and cover a wide gamut of social and emotional issues that explore the human experience through memorable characters and unpredictable plots.

She has received many awards, including a special award for pioneering new ground in LDS fiction, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Whitney Academy for LDS Literature. Anita is the mother of five, and has two adorable grandsons. Her husband, Vince, is her greatest hero.

Aug 29, 2013

Cold Pursuit w/ 2 Books Giveaway

Book Details
Author: Susan Dayley
Release Date: July 2013
Publisher: Walnut Springs Press
Genre: Romantic Suspense

I purposefully read this book because it promised a "choose your own ending!"
I was intrigued with HOW the author was going to pull that off.
And she did it BEAUTIFULLY!
I REALLY LOVED this book!
What a FUN way to tell a story!

The story line is suspenseful and romantic!
And YOU, the reader, get to choose which way it goes!

Atticus has just moved to Idaho and is a neighbor to Kennady.

Their first meeting is not very impressive.

And the next time they meet it is not much better.

But when someone tries to sabotage the secret cold-energy project being put together on the university campus, they will have to team up to help solve the mystery.

YOU, the reader,  get to choose what is missing from the lab break-in...Dr. Takishida OR his files.

"As sinister forces try to stop Kennady and Atticus from solving the crime, each of the two story lines divide, offering a total of four possible endings" taking your "reading experience to the next level."

I read through to one of the endings and LOVED it...
But wanted to know what the other endings were too!
So I read ALL of them!
You will LOVE this book!

Read it through to one ending and be done.
Read it through to one ending and choose to take another ending (book will prompt this :)
Read it through like I did, going back and reading through all the different endings!

IT is totally up to you to choose your own ending!
YOU choose how the mystery unfolds!

BONUS: Includes links to images, music, clues to the mystery, information about cold fusion, and on and on. See the links at the back of the book and type them into your computer browser for even more fun

Susan has graciously offered 
a Book Giveaway to my US readers :)
AND an eBook Giveaway for my INT readers :)
YES 2 winners~ 1-US 1-INT

So enter this one if you live in the US

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Enter this one if you live outside of the US

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About the Author
Susan blogs about life in a small town, her writing, and other miscellaneous, terribly important subjects.

She is a teacher, a student, and a writer. Author of Redemption, (the story of Jonah), and her latest venture–a mystery romance–Cold Pursuit, Susan enjoys exploring trails with her husband, celebrations, and trying new recipes.

“I was raised second in a family of nine children on Idaho potatoes, night games in a cemetery, and family picnics at parks. I was known for reading books in the backyard willow tree and standing on my head (not at the same time).”

She now has two adult children who are expanding themselves into families, and one granddaughter, a precious girl whose middle name is Suzanna.

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

Aug 28, 2013

Cougar Football Cookbook

Available FREE with Bookshelf Plus

Book Details
Steak and Spinach Salad
Contributed by Samantha Workman Kariya
who is married to Bryan Kariya,
BYU running back from 2008 to 2011
Compiled by: Holly Mendenhall
Release Date: August 2013
Publisher: Deseret Book
Genre: Cookbook

I LOVE how this cookbook is put together!

First you have a list of contents:
Pre-Game Warm-Ups (Breakfast Treats)
Rise and Shout (Tailgate Apetizers)
First Downs (Salads)
Bowl Games (Soups)
Touchdown! (Entrees)
Cheers from the Sidelines (Side Dishes)
The Point After (Desserts)
Swiss Cheese Chicken w/stuffing
Contributed by Becca Eason
who is married to Corby Eason
BYU defensive back from 2009 to 2011
Water Break (Beverages)


is listed not only by food group such as appetizers, beverages, breakfast, etc...
But also by foods...

If you have blueberries on had you can make Blue and Red Berry Pie, Cougar Blueberry Cheesecake, Muscle Recovery Smoothie, or On-the-Go Green Smoothie.

Strawberry/Basil Pork Chops
Contributed by Samantha Workman Kariya
who is married to Bryan Kariya
BYU runing back from 2008 to 2011
Ground beef on hand? You can make The Best Italian Meatballs, Cornish Pasties, Fiery Habanero Chili, Gyoza, Lasagna Roolups, Pasta Rustica, Taco Soup,or Wendy's Slow-Cooked Sweet Potato Chili.

Each recipe has been contributed by a coach, player, or family member of the Cougar Football team.

And all author proceeds benefit Thursday's Heroes Charity

Kassies' Pani Popo (Coconut Buns)
Contributed by Kassie Feinga
who is married to Ray Feinga
BYU offensive lineman from 2004 to 2008
Pictures are of some of the VERY DELICIOUS recipes my husband made for us...yes...with all my blogging, working, singing, reading... he has taken over the cooking...lucky me! 

My husband informs me that all of these recipes are simple and easy to put together.

And they really did taste wonderful, delicious, oh. so. good!

Find it on

Click HERE to learn more about Bookshelf Plus

About Holly Mendenhall
Holly Mendenhall is an outdoor enthusiast, a University of Montana graduate, and author of Find the Money, a book about budgeting.

She and her husband, BYU head football coach Bronco Mendenhall, are the parents of three boys. 

The Holly & Bronco Mendenhall Foundation, which sponsors Thursday’s Heroes, aims to provide inspiration, resources, and hope to ordinary people facing extraordinary challenges.

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

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

Aug 27, 2013

Kat McGee and the Halloween Costume Caper w/ 2 Books Giveaway

Book Details
Author: Kristin Riddick
Release Date: September 2013
Publisher: In This Together Media
Genre: Middle Reader Halloween


I ADORE the Kat McGee series!

Filled with fun and adventure PLUS creativity and imagination.
This is the PERFECT book to read right before Halloween!
A treasure and a treat to be enjoyed by all ages!

Kat McGee is the Queen of Halloween!
It is HER DAY!

She can trick-or-treat faster than anyone else, run through hay mazes without getting lost and she has won the best costume award for five years in a row...soon to be six with her Bride of Frankenweenie costume she made this year.

When Dr. S asks the town council to cancel Halloween, Kat is devastated!

Life without Halloween?
How can it be?

As Kat falls asleep that night she is magically transported to a place called Treatsville, where the Halloween costumes go to live during the rest of the year.

Only now the costumes are disappearing and taking all the Halloween magic with them.

Can Kat help get them back?
Can Kat restore the magic of Halloween not only in Treatsville, but in her own town too?

Go with Kat as she travels through the Forest of Fear, around the Pits of Gloom, over the Swamp of Sorrow, and up the Hill of Haunts to trick-or-treat at the scariest place of all.

A FUN, FUN read!

Click HERE to read about Kat McGee in the book Mrs. Claus and The School of Christmas Spirit :)

In This Together Publishing has graciously offered a Book Giveaway to my US readers :)
AND an eBook Giveaway for my INT readers :)
YES 2 winners~ 1-US 1-INT

So enter this one if you live in the US

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Enter this one if you live outside of the US

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About the Author
Kristin Riddick doesn’t look good in hats, but she seems to wear a lot of them. Her voice has been heard on shows such as One Tree Hill, The OC, Everybody Hates Chris, and Chuck, and on-camera she recently played opposite Megan Mullally on Fox’s Breaking In. She’s written a screenplay, a pilot, a middle-grade book, and a lot of memorable thank you notes… so she’s told. She teaches Pilates and spinning to stay sane, may have a super power or two, and takes a lot of chances riding her bike all over Los Angeles because she gets road rage when driving. A native of Corpus Christi, Texas, Kristin graduated from The University of Virginia and currently divides her time between LA and Austin with her multi-talented producer husband David Kirkwood. If you want to see other hats, go to

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

Aug 26, 2013

Pretty Darn Funny Season 2: Pinterest Plot w/ Six Sisters' Stuff Giveaway


What a fun episode!
Baby Blues, Shopping, Comparing, Feeling Inadequate, Guilt Trips, Planning, Friends, and Finding Happiness...and then pinning it all on PINTEREST!

The troupe has come together to help Madison plan a 1/2 birthday party for Mordecai. Can they help her come out of her baby blues?

Pretty Darn Funny and Deseret Book have graciously offered a GIVEAWAY in connection with this series....

This week's giveaway~
Six Sister's STUFF
(US Address only please)

Here are 10 things to know about Lisa Valentine Clark -
 Executive Producer/Gracie

1.  My first foray into improv comedy was recording the “Loco Local News” show with my siblings on cassette tape.  Like Gracie, I was also in a comedy troupe in college, “The Garrens,” and it is our 20th anniversary (we’re putting on a reunion show in a couple weeks:  Buy tickets HERE), and I am one of the founders of the improv as theater troupe “The Thrillionaires” which I refer to as my 6th baby.  

2.  The first time my mother met my husband, Christopher, he was wearing pink and white-striped tights and full pancake make-up.  When I asked her what she thought of him she told me to “keep looking.”  The first time my father met my husband was on our wedding day.  When I asked him if this made him worried or nervous, he said, “No.  I know you’re super picky.”  

3. I love all cheeses including artificial cheese flavoring in its many forms.

4.  I am really into running and I like to run half marathons.  I recently ran one with my 15 year-old son in under 2 hours and cried at the finish line (because I thought of how I could barely walk when I was pregnant with him), but the first half marathon I ran was with my two brothers and two sisters in Nashville.  We all crossed the finish line holding hands together and I cried (because of the possible metaphors).  

5.  I have five children and every time I was in labor (Every. Single. Time), my husband would make the same inside “joke” from our Lamaze class and sing “She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain” during the most difficult part of labor.  He couldn’t help himself.  I hate that song more than anything in the entire world.  

6.  I taught an online science fiction class for over 15 years.  I also taught junior high and high school English, where I like to think I got a lot of comedic and acting training.  

7.  The minivan in the PDF videos with the dents and duct tape is really mine.  Jealous?

8.  I lived in England for a year with my husband and two small boys.  I played the part of the loud, hyper American who ate a lot of cheese and whose boys “talked like Buzz and Woody.”  It was during this year that I discovered that I talk to strangers too much.  I can’t help myself.

9.  I belong to the very best book club in the world.  Actually, it’s more of a food club.  

10.  I collect books and lipstick and although I am a minimalist at heart and happily throw away things systematically, I cannot throw away these two things.  

Watch Jane Austen Is My Homegirl (a Downton Abbey Rap) HERE
Watch The Real Hunger Games HERE
Watch Season 1: Episode 1 HERE
Watch Season 1: Episode 2 HERE
Watch Season 1: Episode 3 HERE
Watch Season 1: Episode 4 HERE
Watch Season 1: Episode 5 HERE
Watch Season 1: Episode 6 HERE
Watch Mom Footloose Parody HERE
Watch Season 2: Episode 1 HERE

Aug 23, 2013

The Clicker Kit w/ 3 Clicker Kits Giveaway


Have you heard about the "CLICKING MOVEMENT?"

Listen to singer/songwriter Hilary Weeks as she tells about her clicking experiment...

A few weeks ago I was given one of these "Clicker Kits."

I was a little skeptical as I put it on...But after wearing it for just ONE day I realized I do have a lot of negative thoughts...I became more aware and decided I wanted to turn that around!

I focused really hard the first few days and clicked when I had a positive thought. Then I had so much fun clicking that I would purposely think a good thought just so I could "click."

A friend of mine had one too and when we would see each other we would name something we were grateful for and

I share my "clicker" with other people and allowed them to click it too...but only if they think of something positive/happy before they click.

It has been so amazing as my thoughts have turned more positive and I am truly happier.

I decided I wanted to share all of this with readers.

So I contacted Deseret Book who contacted Hilary Weeks who contacted me and gave me permission to share....that deserves a CLICK :)

Hilary has also graciously offered 
3 Clicker Kits 
(US address only please)

Kits include: 
Booklet - An Introduction to Clicking
Sticker - Think Happy. Be Happy.
Sticker - Design Your Own

PINK - The color of self worth, order and love. There is a place deep in your soul where these qualities live. Each time you breath, think, click you nourish and feed each one.
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YELLOW - Energy. Joy. Cheerfulness. These are the characteristics of yellow. To embrace these is to embrace the wonder and delight of the human spirit. You are meant to soar. You are an optimist.

ORANGE - Creativity. Enthusiasm. Success. Orange. You can create you. You hold that power. Step forward and let your wings take over.

Please visit Hilary Weeks website 

Click HERE to purchase a Clicker :)

Spread the Word with a Button!

Get the button HERE

Aug 22, 2013

The Ten-Day Daughter

Book Details
Author: S. Michael Wilcox
Release Date: August 2012
Publisher: Eagle Gate
Genre: Drama

This book is one of the most tender books I have ever read!
Filled with urgency, love and hope for understanding. Questions of WHY and HOW play throughout the book. Answers seem to be held back. Knowledge never given.

Only the thought of "Be still and know that I am God" AND "is not the giving enough?"

Continual seeking for understanding and hoping for acceptance.

Based on true events Brother Wilcox tells of two individuals that come into his life.

Both are transients.
Both have troubled past.
Both seek for help.
Both seem to lack the ability to stay.

Adam sought help in the past. He comes in and out of the Institute directors life.

When a pregnant young girl needs help, Adam suggests she go see the Institute director.

The story that unfolds is reverent and heart-touching.
So many conflicts within one's soul.
So much love offered, yet never fully accepted.

Sometimes we need to do what we can and then turn it over to the Lord.

Above all we need to remember that "giving, no matter what the results, can be its own reward."

About the Author
S. Michael Wilcox was an instructor at the institute of religion adjacent to the University of Utah. A frequent speaker at Brigham Young University Education Week, Michael also conducts tours of the Holy Land, Church history sites, Europe, China, and Central America. He received a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Brigham Young University, a master’s in media from the University of Arizona, and his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in educational philosophy. He is the author of House of Glory and When Your Prayers Seem Unanswered.

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

Aug 21, 2013

Working It Out w/ $25 Amazon/PayPal Giveaway


Book Details
Author: Rachael Anderson
Release Date: July 2013
Publisher: HEA Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance

What an incredibly fun book! LOVED IT!
Would HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend it!

Filled with so many good moments...and some tender ones too...oh. so. WONDERFUL!

Romance and high-adventure...friendship and family :)

Grace is a physical therapist who is helping a friend by bidding on him at a bachelor auction.

When Seth shows up, out-bids her and then kisses her, she storms out of the room hoping to never see him again.

A few weeks later Seth shows up at her rehab clinic after a skiing accident needing therapy.

As she works with Seth she re-lives the accident that caused her brother to need a wheelchair and falls for a patient...a definitely wrong thing to do...or is it?

Twist and turns in the story leave you wondering if she can work through it all...and work it all out.

What a FUN. FUN. READ!
Rachael Anderson is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors!

About the Author 
Rachael Anderson is the author of five novels (Working It Out, The Reluctant Bachelorette, Minor Adjustments, Luck of the Draw, and Divinely Designed) and two novellas (Twist of Fate, from the All I Want anthology and The Meltdown Match from The Timeless Romance Anthology: Summer Wedding Collection). She's the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 9/10/13
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Aug 20, 2013

Augustina w/ Book Giveaway


Book Details
Author: Rebecca Belliston
Release Date: August 2013
Publisher: Gated Publishing
Genre: Romantic Suspense

And this one delivers!

Only Rebecca Belliston can start off a story with the main character's funeral and turn it into a happy ending.

WOW! What a TWIST! YES! She buries Augustina, the main character, on the very first page.

"Every pew was filled with friends, coworkers, and tear-stained loved ones overcome with grief."

Find out how the author turns the story to have Augustina on the run instead of in the casket.

Read what happens to her friends and family as she tries to help the authorities put her ex-boyfriend, Guillermo, away for good.

Watch as Guillermo seeks, hunts and hurts everyone who gets in his way.

You will keep turning the pages of this book long into the night anxious to find out what happens next!

Didn't want it to end!

Watch the book trailer :)

Click HERE to read the first 2 chapters~
Click HERE to read my review of book 1, Sadie~
Enter below to win a FREE copy!

Rebecca has graciously agreed to do a GIVEAWAY of her book for MY readers :)
Hard Copy OR eBook for US addresses
eBook for International readers

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10 Fun Things to know about the Author :)

1) I live in Michigan next to a beautiful pond which allows us to have interesting creatures in our backyard year-round. Great for viewing. Not so great for gardening.

2) I hated school but I absolutely love to learn new things and hobbies. Google is my friend.

3) I play the piano, guitar, organ, and a little bit of violin. I've participated in choirs for most of my life, although I'd prefer to be the accompanist rather than the singer.

4) I have perfect pitch (a music thing). So does my husband, which means we can play really geeky games with each other.

5) I have five kids ranging from a senior in high school to a kindergartner. If I seem frazzled at times, you know why.

6) I love Reeses and my hubby often brings home an eight pack instead of flowers. I love him!

7) I'm the daughter of Gerald N. Lund (LDS author). I'm also the daughter of Lynn S. Lund (LDS composer). To say I've followed in my parents footsteps would be an understatement. :)

8) I've had characters in books named after me, namely Rebecca Steed in the Work & the Glory series, and Becky Lloyd in The Alliance. Now I'm the one naming characters. It's a blast.

9) I'm a total computer nerd. I love everything about computers and software, but I can barely work a smart phone.

10) I'm a hopeless romantic. If a story doesn't have a good romance, I really struggle to like it. I guess it's safe to say that all my stories will be centered around a romance.
(A digital review copy was provided for this review. However, all reviews are of my own opinion :)

Aug 19, 2013

Pretty Darn Funny Season 2: Footloose Parody AND Episode 1~ Movie Cheating

How fun to have the cast of Pretty Darn Funny back for SEASON 2!
LOVED LOVED LOVED this music video.
What a fun way to kick-off the season AND what a fun play on past music videos.

Also how fun to see moms let loose and have some fun!

Funniest part for me and my husband (yes, he watches with me) is at the end of the dance and the mom are all out of _________

Not going to give it away...
Watch and see.

How fun is that!?
What music video would you like to re-enact?

Now watch Episode 1: Movie Cheating

I am SO EXCITED about the new twist this web series is taking!
I LOVE the comedy troupe, but I am SO EXCITED to see insights into the lives of these women as they try to do it all and be it all and sometimes find they just can't.

WARNING: This clip will make you want to go out and buy NACHOS!

Fun tip:
The husband and wife of this clip are really husband and wife.

Pretty Darn Funny and Deseret Book have graciously offered a GIVEAWAY in connection with this series....this week's giveaway
(US Address only please) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Watch Jane Austen Is My Homegirl (a Downton Abbey Rap) HERE
Watch The Real Hunger Games HERE
Watch Season 1: Episode 1 HERE
Watch Season 1: Episode 2 HERE
Watch Season 1: Episode 3 HERE
Watch Season 1: Episode 4 HERE
Watch Season 1: Episode 5 HERE
Watch Season 1: Episode 6 HERE

God Doesn't Write With A Pen

Book Details
Release Date: June 2013
Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.
Genre: Biography

Words cannot express the amazing journey of this man and his family.

Heart-touching, and sometimes heart-wrenching, you will find yourself being amazed at the story that this book tells.

A story of Blema and Fatoumatou and their family.

You will read and wonder and feel like surely this cannot be true...for you will read of a life journey so truly different from your own.

But this is a true story...a true story of a West African family who must live through some pretty terrifying moments.

A family who is separated for more than 12 years.

A family who seeks safety in a refugee camp to only realize that refugee life is not that glamorous or private or healthy.

A family who goes through tremendous efforts to be resettled to the United States.

A family who will praise the Lord even through the midst of their trials.

A family who receives tender mercies from the Lord

A family who will find a place in your heart.

For "God doesn't write with a pen... not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart." ~ 2 Corinthians 3:3

Click HERE for the BOOK GIVEAWAY :)
Offer ends 9/1/13

One-half of all the royalties are going to help support 
two clinics in West Africa

About the Author
CHRISTI LYNN PAULINE was born in the humble town of Blackfoot, Idaho, near the Fort Hall Indian reservation. It was here that her interest in other cultures was cultivated at an early age. With a yearning to see the world, she has traveled with her husband, Ernie, to fifteen different countries, and in so doing, has developed a great appreciation for the amazingly beautiful and diverse world that we live in.

Love of God, people, and literature has fueled Christi’s desire to write, and her favorite theme is that of ordinary people who possess extraordinary faith. She also enjoys reading and writing poetry, and especially admires the works of Eliza R. Snow.
As a wife, mother and grandmother, Christi treasures the time she spends with her family. Among her favorite pass-times are, gardening, genealogy, sewing, and playing her cello.

Aug 17, 2013

Pretty Darn Funny: Hunger Games Sketch

Hunger Games parody from the Pretty Darn Funny Cast...ENJOY!

Do you want to support good clean fun?
Go to this clip on YouTube and click "LIKE"

Watch Gracie and her team in their sketch called
Jane Austen Is My Homegirl (a Downton Abbey Rap) 

Watch Season 1: Episode 1 HERE
Watch Season 1: Episode 2 HERE
Watch Season 1: Episode 3 HERE
Watch Season 1: Episode 4 HERE
Watch Season 1: Episode 5 HERE
Watch Season 1: Episode 6 HERE

Aug 16, 2013

Hadley-Hadley Benson

Book Details
Author: Jody Wind Durfee
Release Date: August 2013
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Genre: Drama

If Hadley Benson were writing this review he would say...

"This book is EXCELLENT, uh-huh, MOST EXCELLENT!"

For it truly is!

Fun and light, yet deep and solemn too.

Many things to think about including how we treat each other and why we are here.

I fell in love with the characters immediately...all of them!

I LOVE the way they interact with each other! Not always perfect, but real and with flaws....which made the story all the more interesting to read.

Jaxon wants nothing more than to escape BEFORE he has to help the new neighbors move in. That is until he sees their daughter Maddi. Then he is all smiles and muscles and can think of nothing he wants to do more than help them lift their heavy boxes.

While holding said heavy box Jaxon literally runs into Maddi's twin brother, Hadley.

Hadley is standing with his hand in hand-shaking mode saying "Hello, I'm Hadlye-Hadley Benson."

Jaxon tries to explain that his hands are full with the heavy box.

But Maddi yells at him "just put it down and shake his hand. He won't move until you do."

And so starts the sometimes awkward friendship between Jaxon, Maddi, and Hadley-Hadley Benson.

And "just when things seem to be working out, a horrible prank seems to make everything fall apart, leaving Maddi and Jaxon caught in the middle of doubt and faith, hurt and forgiveness, friendship and love."

I really LOVED this book!

About the Author:
I've coached Special Olympics for a little over 10 years and it's one of the most enriching things I do. I've made many friends and have been taught too many lessons to count by people much, much farther up the awesome chain than I. This year the State Summer Games were held at Herriman High School. First, whoa! I was amazed at the size of the school and all of its facilities! Second, the volunteers were extraordinary! I've attended almost every Summer Games since I began coaching and the people that help are always incredible, but this year, I might have paid more attention to what everybody does. The kitchen staff were always helpful and friendly––and there were a lot of people to feed, the janitorial staff was ON IT, and all of those helping with Healthy Athletes were kind and professional, no matter how many times I interrupted to gather athletes for events.

I can't begin to mention all of the work the volunteers do, but here are a few things I noticed––they encourage, cheer for, time, announce, stage athletes to prepare for races, guide athletes onto the track, take pictures, tape lines so the athletes (and coaches) aren't confused about where the athletes need to race, ready medals and ribbons, announce medals, make snow cones, paint faces, sing, dance, set up and take down tents, organize opening and closing ceremonies, listen, share, coach, love and on and on and on. (I haven't even mentioned the trillions of hours the paid SOUT staff put in.)

In addition to all of this, there was something I hadn't seen before this year. In a corner of the school, there was a back drop, stool, interviewer and camera where people were able to tell their personal Special Olympics story. I'd walk past the area each time I retrieved an athlete from Healthy Athletes. I was always in a hurry, but I still heard little snippets. Some were given by parents or coaches or siblings, volunteers or athletes. Storytelling is always powerful, but I can only imagine the power of these stories and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that one day I'll be able to tell about the many people with Special Olympics that have influenced me. I'll be watching for the stories they collected this year.

The thing is, all of these volunteers get together for the incredible, courageous, human, funny, witty, humbling athletes. And I am so thankful they let me be a part of it.

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

Finding Sheba Book Blast w/ $50 Amazon OR PayPal Giveaway

Finding ShebaFinding Sheba by H.B. Moore

 An ancient legend is reborn . . . One that might prove the Bible false.

 For centuries, historians have theorized the Queen of Sheba as only a seductive legend, and scholars have debated over the legitimacy of King David or King Solomon.

When undercover Israeli agent, Omar Zagouri, stumbles onto a tomb in Northern Jerusalem he unknowingly finds the final clue that threatens to overthrow government claim to the Holy Land, pits wealthy collectors against one another, and sends ruthless archaeologists scrambling to find the queen’s secret burial place.

An assassination attempt on the Coptic Pope, His Holiness, Patriarch Stephanus II, is only the first in the chain of lethal crimes.

Omar must find a way to prevent the greatest discovery of the century from becoming the most deadly.
finding sheba tour

heather mooreAuthor Heather B. Moore Heather B. Moore is the award-winning author of ten novels, two inspirational non-fiction books, and two anthologies, including The Newport Ladies Book Club Series, A Timeless Romance Anthology, and Christ’s Gifts to Women (co-authored by Angela Eschler). Her historical fiction is published under the pen name H.B. Moore. She is the two-time recipient of Best of State in Literary Fiction, two-time Whitney Award Winner, and two-time Golden Quill Winner for Best Novel. Her most recent historical novel under H.B. Moore is Daughters of Jared (2012 LUW Gold Award of Excellence & 2012 LUW Best Book Trailer).
 Book Blast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 9/3/13 a Rafflecopter giveaway 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, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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