Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Mary Did You Know?

I can't listen to this without being touched!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas!

"Every Christmas, we celebrate the first gift of that holiday. That gift did not come from the shepherds, the Wise Men, or the innkeeper. The first gift of Christmas came from Heavenly Father, who gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to the world. Heavenly Father gave this gift to us because He loves us and desires our happiness. Watch and share an inspiring message about the first gift of Christmas. "

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

3 Giveaways!

What am I reading now? Rough Around the Edges Meets Refined (Rachael Anderson)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far? I've enjoyed this book and will definitely be looking up the author to see what else she's written!

For Noah Mackie, life is finally back on track. He has a great support system, a promised promotion is on its way, and he's finally getting the hang of this single father thing. But when the job falls through and his neighbor's matchmaking efforts become more aggressive, Noah is in for yet another unwanted detour. With his career and two spirited daughters to worry about, he doesn't have time for dating—especially not someone like Cassie Ellis, his girls' beautiful and sophisticated dance instructor, who is about as open and approachable as a brick wall. 

Rough around the Edges Meets Refined is about two people who think they know exactly what they want but who have no idea what they really need. It's about learning that people aren't always what they seem and that sometimes life’s detours take you exactly where you need to go.

Be sure to sign up for the $25 Giveaway for this book at the very bottom of this post!


It's the end of 2014 and you know what that means? 
I'm giving away one of the favorite books that I've read this year! 

This year I've chosen an author, Jennifer A. Nielsen, and am offering one ebook of one of her books. The Shadow Throne, the third book, was published this year, but if you are the winner and you haven't read the pervious books, you could choose book 1, The False Prince, or book 2, The Runaway King.

We're also giving away one of each of our books--they were published in 2014 too!

For a chance to WIN one of Jennifer Nielsen's books 
or one of ours: 

  • Click on the tab at the top that says "Our Books" and read the blurbs.
  • Everyone who leaves a comment on this blog post will be entered to win one of Jennifer's books. To also enter to win one of ours, list your title preference.
  • Be sure to enter your contact email address, in case you win. I'll contact you to get your choice of which book you'd like.


$25 Blog Tour Giveaway 
Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 1/19/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What Makes a Romance?

What am I reading now?  Demon's Heart
(Emily H. Bates)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far? 

Young ruffian Rustav is determined to escape his abusive uncle and hated homeland, even if it means braving the demon-infested forest. His escape is halted, however, when a race of legendary beings reveal him to be the country's fabled heir. As the people rally around him, Rustav teeters precariously between raising his people from the dust or destroying them from the inside.

When I first read a request to feature this book on my blog, I thought it might have a romantic element (main plot or subplot). It doesn't, yet--maybe it will in future books. 

But I read everything and still enjoyed this fantasy story.

What makes a book a "Romance"?

•The main plot focusses on the romantic relationships between the main characters. If the book has a romantic sub-plot, the remaining elements in this list are there although it isn't called a romance novel.

•One or both of the main characters have blocks to being able to commit to relationships.

•The characters' personalities clash but opposites attract, and they are drawn to each other.

•It all starts off with a Cute Meet; it could be a memorable, awkward, stressful, or accidental first meeting.

•The thoughts shared with the reader reveal the changing attitudes toward the other person and the relationship possibilities. This one is HUGE! The character helps the reader fall in love with the other person by revealing their own experience of falling in love! 

•The relationship is earned in a step-by-step progression of emotional and physical relationship building.

•The book answers the question--Will they be a couple? Before I ever read the first word of a romance, I know the answer to this question is YES--so this is not the most important element to make something a romance. Instead, the most important part of the romance is the emotion being transferred to the reader through the characters' experiences of falling in love.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


What am I reading now? My Life with the Walter Boys (Ali Novak)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far? YAY! This is not an "issues" book. I have to admit I was worried it might be when it started off with Jackie's parents being dead (not a spoiler--it's first chapter stuff), but it really is just a YA romance. It's a mostly clean read, but there is some swearing and awkward situations you would have if you live in the same house--also very funny. I enjoyed this read.

Here's the blurb:
Sixteen-year old Jackie Howard knows nothing about her new guardian Katherine Walter when she moves from New York to Colorado. After discovering that Katherine has twelve boys, Jackie fears that living in the Walter house isn't going to be easy. It's just icing on the cake that the boys look like Abercrombie models...

Cloverton Hallelujah
Now that we're kicking off the holiday season, I thought I'd share a favorite Christmas song on my blog today to set the mood. **Sorry, the grinches have removed this video from YouTube

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sweet Christmas Romances

What am I reading now?  Christmas Romances
Annnd . . . what do I think so far?  I hope there are enough of these to keep me busy during the holiday season! Here are my recommendations so far.

Christmas in Snow Valley
Many times when I read an anthology, I'm not so excited about one or more stories. I won't say that about this anthology. It starts off with a wonderful tale and just keeps that promise throughout.

Timeless Romance Anthology, Silver Bells
This anthology brand publishes several times a year. Three of the authors are the same in each series--Sarah M. Eden, Heather B. Moore, and Annette Lyon. Then they invite three new people to participate.

A Christmas Reunion
This one is a stand alone story, written by one of my favorite authors. Be warned--it's a novella--it will end with you still wanting to hang out with these people. I loved the story!

Happy start to the holiday season! I'm off to find more!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Softly Falling

What am I reading now?  Softly Falling (Carla Kelly)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far?
 Beautiful Lily Branson learns that her wayward father has lost his Wyoming cattle ranch in a card game to handsome cowboy Jack Sinclair, no less! When a series of deadly winter storms sets in, Lily and Jack must work together to save the cattle—as well as their hearts.
I reviewed another book by the same author, and I really enjoyed it too. You can see that review HERE.

It's time for Bookmarked Bargains again!
Click the pic to get some great books at fabulous prices!

Get our books for only 99 Cents

This is a great opportunity to stock on some great reading options. This event only happens twice a year. With the holidays, coming up, be sure to check out the various genres. Click here.
Books by
 in Bookmarked Bargains are:

Not sure how to give an ebook as a gift? It's a piece of cake!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Trouble Writing?

What am I reading now?  Newbie (Jo Noelle)
Annd . . . what do I think so far?  Yes, this is our book too! I have a special place in my heart for Sophie. She a little fun, a little naive, and has a lot of heart and spunk! BTW, if you want a great present for a teacher this year--give them this book.

The housing market is crashing, and Sophie’s life is crashing with it. At twenty-four, her successful real estate career evaporates. She’s broke, can’t find a job, or pay her bills, leaving Sophie wondering how her successful lifestyle became so fragile. 

At the urging of her roommate, Sophie accepts a job in her fallback career—teaching six-year-olds. She hopes it’s temporary. After all, how long can a tanking economy last anyway? The best part of the new job is Liam, another employee at Rio Grande Elementary. The worst part of the new job is, well, teaching. 

Sophie has a surprise real estate closing from a contract she wrote months ago, leading her to a niche in the real estate market and to a new partner, Kevin. Sophie must choose between Liam or Kevin and between a lucrative career or recess duty. 
Trouble Writing?

Several years back, I was taking a class in Ohio about how to teach writing to elementary students. Near the end of the week, the instructor asked us to reflect on our insights about the writing process. Among many thoughts, I also stated that I thought writing was hard or frustrating at times and as long as I understood that, I could help students through their own writing choices and revisions.

When we shared our reflections, most of the participants disagreed with that reflection. It's still true at times for me. I like those times though because they push me to fix whatever it is in the project that I'm not yet satisfied with.
I'm okay with having trouble writing!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Lexi's Pathetic Fictional Love Life

What am I reading now?
Lexi's Pathetic Fictional Love Life
(Jo Noelle)
*Yup, this is our book!

Annnd . . . what do I think so far?
I love Lexi and Gabe and Tillie. Maybe someday Tillie will get her own book too.

Lexi Middleton has been socially invisible to her classmates, but starting her junior year, that’s going to change. First, she’s determined to hook a boyfriend, ensuring dates with flowers and possible kisses on the doorstep. Second, she wants to be a writer for the school paper, even though it freaks her out to think of everyone judging her by her punctuation and metaphors.

High school is difficult enough—keeping up her grades, dealing with increasing sibling rivalry, and trying to stay out of the way of her personal nemesis, Amberlee—but when Lexi catches the eye of her long-time crush, she also becomes the focus of mean-girl tactics.

Caught between who she was and who she wants to be, Lexi must decide how to confront a bully, and choose who to let into her heart.


The Best Hot Sauce Ever

I love Mexican food, and I love hot sauce and chips! Here's a very special recipe. It was given to my husband's father from Mrs. Rios, who had a wonderful Mexican restaurant in Colorado.

6 C tomato juice
1 can 8-oz tomato sauce
1 medium onion, diced
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
1 heaping tablespoon cumino (cumin)
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dried cilantro
1 tablespoon red chile powder
1 tablespoon dried chile pequin (or chile flakes) *This is where the heat is--so adjust to match your own tastebuds
2 tablespoons lime juice (can substitute lemon)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dried oregano

Simmer for 30 minutes. Serve hot with chips!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Happy HalloweeK!

What am I reading now? Miss Delacourt Has Her Day (Heidi Ashworth)

Annnd . . . what do I think so far?  I love it when I find an author whose voice I love. That's the case with these books.

And there are enough of them to will keep you in great stories for several days!

Lay on the couch, with the chocolate nearby, and read until the doorbell rings...
Happy Halloween! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

30 Books & a $300 Giveaway

28 authors have come together to give you a
 reading list of FUN FALL FAVORITES!


Click on the image to read a summary of each book :)


$300 Amazon Gift Card 
OR PayPal Cash

GIVEAWAY ends 11/17/14
No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older and legally able to receive and use an Gift Code. This giveaway is not associated with Rafflecopter, Facebook, Twitter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. Void where prohibited by law.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway was organized by I Love to Read and Review Books :)
and is sponsored by the following authors ~

(While we can no longer ask you to "LIKE" Facebook pages as an entry~ Facebook links are below ~ as "LIKES" would be very much appreciated :)
Jenny Proctor
Rebecca Talley
Anna del C. Dye
Mona Ingram
Lisa Swinton
Shannon Guymon
Joyce DiPastena
Rebecca Belliston
Jo Noelle
A.L. Sowards
Christy Monson
Daniel Coleman
Rachel Rossano
Ronda Hinrichsen (aka Kathleen Marks)
Kathy Carmichael
Nichole Van
Beate Boeker
Virginia Ripple
Julie Coulter Bellon
Stacy Lynn Carroll
Theresa Sneed
Cindy M. Hogan
Anaiah Press
Julia Dweck
I Love to Read and Review Books :)
This drawing is open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Card.  Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here, as well as emailed. Check back on this blog to see the winner. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.