A Delicious Surprise in our Mailbox!

>> Wednesday, April 16, 2014

On Mondays, I pick up my son from school and we have lunch together. This past Monday, we were delighted to find a box waiting for us by the door. Thinking it was books, we quickly picked it up and then noticed the "perishable goods inside" label. What could be inside the box, we wondered?

What a wonderful surprise to find a box of 2 lbs of Cheryl's Gourmet Cookies!

These cookies came all the way from Ohio. My 10 year-old son did a happy dance when he opened the box. His eyes lit up as he bit into the Buttercream Frosted Lemon Burst Cookie. I shared a bite and had the same reaction! Yum!

This thoughtful and delicious gift was sent to us by author Carole P. Roman, Michael Philip Cash and Michael Samuels. You may have seen Roman's books highlighted on my blog before. She has written the If You Were Me and Lived in... series as well as the Captain No Beard series, which are simply adorable.

Look for the upcoming reviews of these books that my son and I will be spotlighting soon. While we much on these delicious cookies, we will travel the world through these books and experience great pirate adventures. After a month of dealing with house woes (leaking roof causing water damage...) and family sickness, a simple gesture of thanks through a box of cookies has brought us so much pleasure.


To learn more about Carole's books, visit www.carolproman.com.


Mailbox Monday and It's Monday, What Are You Reading? April 14 Edition

>> Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia who now blogs at To Be Continued. It is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.

We've been having house woes. Our roof began to leak and damaged our tenant's ceiling and bathroom. We had to wait for the temperature to get warmer so we could finally replace our roof, which happened this weekend. Our insurance company doesn't want to cover the damages and the expenses are mounting! It's been a hectic month for us and my book blogging has been suffering. I miss visiting your blogs! I appreciate all of you who stop by and leave comments. They make my day! Thank you for not abandoning me...

For review:

Some Bunny Loves You by Jesse Thom

In this heartwarming and beautifully illustrated musical picture book by puppet-author Chyld Saint Thomas, the reader is transported to the world of Carpenter Glen. Here the reader discovers a group of charming and unusual little bunnies who have a surprising secret to share.

This book includes a full-length CD featuring the title song plus 9 "bedtime tracks" that complete the bunny world.

Free Kindle Book:

Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta

The year is 1838, and seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston’s position has never been more fragile. Orphaned and unmarried in a time when women are legal property of their fathers, husbands, and guardians, she finds herself at the mercy of an anonymous guardian who plans to establish her as a servant in far-off Scotland.

With two months to devise a better plan, Julia’s first choice to marry her childhood sweetheart is denied. But when a titled dowager offers to introduce Julia into society, a realm of possibilities opens. However, treachery and deception are as much a part of Victorian society as titles and decorum, and Julia quickly discovers her present is deeply entangled with her mother’s mysterious past. Before she knows what’s happening, Julia finds herself a pawn in a deadly game between two of the country’s most powerful men. With no laws to protect her, she must unravel the secrets on her own. But sometimes truth is elusive and knowledge is deadly.

This meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. This is where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.  The kidlit version is hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts.

Read and reviewed:
Under the Jewelled Sky by Alison McQueen (reviewed by Sandra)

Bookish Posts:
Rewind to You Cover Reveal and Giveaway
Missing Lily by Annette K. Larsen Book Spotlight

Currently Reading:
Trophy: Decision by Paul M. Schofield
Sent: The Missing #2 by Margaret Peterson Haddix (with my son)

 Hope you all have a great reading week!


Missing Lily by Annette K. Larsen Book Spotlight

>> Friday, April 11, 2014

Last October I read and reviewed Just Ella by Annette K. Larsen, which I loved. (read my review) I'm now excited to spotlight her next novel!

Coming May 15th

missing lily

Missing Lily by Annette K. Larsen

“You don’t know who I am,” I whispered. He didn’t move—either away from me, or closer—and after an interminable moment, I stepped back and hurried out of the house. He didn’t follow me as I fled into the night.

Lylin was not used to being alone—much less alone, hurt, and lost. So when she is separated from her guard and forced to abandon her horse, she counts herself lucky to stumble upon a manor house. Still frightened by those who chased her into the night, she keeps her identity a secret, calling herself Lily as she accepts the help of kind servants, and the compassion of Lord Fallon. When they fall into an easy friendship, she wonders if her secrecy was too hasty. However, as she gets to know the manor and its residents, Lylin discovers that she’s not the only one hiding secrets, and it may be a very good thing that her host doesn’t know her true identity as a member of the royal family.

add to goodreads


Author Annette K. Larsen

I was born in Utah, part of a crazy, fun family of nine. I grew up in Flagstaff, AZ and St. Louis, MO before striking out on my own college adventure in Virginia. I decided to try my hand at writing novels after I was married and living in Idaho. I write clean romance because it’s my favorite genre, but often difficult to find.

I have Charlotte Brontë to thank for the courage to write novels. After being bombarded with assigned reading about women who justified abandoning either their families or their principles in the name of love, I had the great fortune of reading Jane Eyre. And that was it: finally, a heroine who understood that being moral and making the right choice was hard, and sometimes it hurt, but it was still worth it. After rereading it several years later, I realized that if I wanted more books to exist with the kinds of heroines I admired, then I might as well write a few myself. 

My books are about women who face hard choices, who face pain and rejection and often have to face the reality of sacrificing what they want for what is right. The consequences are often difficult or unpleasant, but in the end, doing what’s right will always be worth it. I believe there is no substitute for good writing or good chocolate. Fortunately, one often leads to the other.



Rewind to You Cover Reveal and Giveaway!

>> Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Cover Reveal, About the Author, a Sneak Peek of REWIND TO YOU and Rafflecopter Giveaway

Genre: Clean Contemporary YA Romance
Release Date: September 15, 2014; Available for PREORDER now

One last summer before college on beautiful Tybee Island is supposed to help Sienna forget. But how can she? This is where her family spent every summer before everything changed, before the world as she knew it was ripped away.

But the past isn’t easily left behind. Especially when Sienna keeps having episodes that take her back to the night she wants to forget. Even when she meets the mysterious Austin Dobbs, the guy with the intense blue eyes, athlete’s body, and weakness for pralines who scooped her out of trouble when she blacked out on River Street.

When she’s with Austin, Sienna feels a whole new world opening up to her. Austin has secrets, and she has history. But caught between the past and the future, Sienna can still choose what happens now…

About the Author:

Laura Johnston lives in sunny Arizona with her husband and two children. Growing up in Orem, Utah with five siblings, a few horses, peach trees, beehives and gardens, she developed an active imagination and always loved a good story. Laura enjoys running, playing tennis, sewing, dancing (deduced to dancing around the kitchen while cooking dinner these days), traveling, writing, writing and more writing, and above all, spending time with her husband and kids. REWIND TO YOU, her debut novel, was inspired by the loss of her father as a teenager.

A Sneak Peek of REWIND TO YOU:

Giveaway: Signed Copy of REWIND TO YOU and $25 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. The winner, chosen by Rafflecopter, will be announced here on April 29th as well as emailed. The winner will have 5 days to respond at which point a new winner will be chosen. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.


Under the Jewelled Sky by Alison McQueen

Under the Jewelled Sky by Alison McQueen
ISBN: 978-1402288760
Published by: Sourcebooks Landmark
Published: January 2014
Trade paperback, 416 pages

British-born Sophie moves from England to India with her parents where her father becomes physician to a rich Maharaja and his zenana or harem. Exploring the palace where they live, 18-year-old Sophie meets a young Indian man called Jag, son of a palace servant. They soon become more than friends. The star-crossed lovers are torn apart and heartache ensues. Years go by, but their undying love remains until the end.

Excellent character development of Sophie in particular allows the reader to see her grow from a very young, untried girl to a strong, determined woman, tempered by heartbreak and suffering, who succeeds in finding closure in an unexpected way. India itself is a main character, finely drawn and enigmatic.

The author is skilled at building a tale that is both riveting and intricate. I learned a lot of interesting facts about India in this excellent historical novel filled with romance and suspense. Well-known figures such as Nehru, Gandhi, and Edwina Mountbatten make their appearances as India is divided or partitioned religiously and politically. Indian burial rites are described as are the condescending attitudes of the British expats toward Indians. The incredible wealth of the ruling class versus the poverty of the ordinary person is eye-opening.

Themes of friendship, family dynamics, the loss of innocence, and enduring love all feature in this story set against the backdrop of the political turmoil engulfing India at the time of Partition in 1947. I experienced a roller coaster of emotions - grief, compassion, heartache, sympathy, and internal turmoil - while reading this book. Keep a box of Kleenex nearby.

 I highly recommend Under the Jewelled Sky.

Note: This book is rated P(mild) = Profanity.

Reviewed by Sandra

Disclosure: Thanks to Sourcebooks for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them."
— Mark Twain

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